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Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 1) 220

by SeaFox (#47934435) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

I actually have one somewhere in my junk in storage. It was an analog modem mated with a hub pretty much. You would connect your devices with Ethernet and the modem would hold it's own dialer setup. When something wanted to connect the modem would call in the provider and it (and any other devices) were online.

In practice it didn't work that good, because once a computer thinks it has an always-on network connection it tends to try making remote connections for all sorts of things unless you lock it down. So the modem was always connected pretty much. This isn't practical when you don't have a dedicated phone line for it and even then many ISPs had systems set up to not allow you to keep connections on constantly like that.

Comment: Re:How long is rent going to go up before?dun dun (Score 4, Insightful) 52

by AuMatar (#47932765) Attached to: Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

Because face time is important. Interacting with coworkers is important. Being able to go over a design at a whiteboard together rather than reading the same powerpoint slide separately is important. THe best ideas I've had in my career have been created as a result of talking to my coworkers over lunch/coffee break/tangent from another discussion. Telecommuting is a loss to productivity even if they are perfect about actually working (which having done it for a year- its not an easy thing to do, there's a lot of temptations). Its not only easily worth 15-30k, its worth 2-3 times that to have then onsite. That's ignoring the fact that a large number of people won't be on point when working from home- many without even meaning to cheat the system.

Comment: Re:Keyboard (Score 1) 188

by AuMatar (#47932567) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

I doubt you paid much attention to this. I do, I've been developing keyboards for 5 years now. Some of those at Swype, some at a second startup (I left Swype a few months after the buyout and have had neither residuals nor stock in the company or its new owner since May 2012), and now well its still on keyboards but I'm under NDA preventing me from stating where. Do all Android users use continuous path input? Of course not. Not even a majority. But a very solid percentage do, and a majority of those wouldn't use a device without it for a phone sized device (answers differ on large tablets where swyping isn't as efficient). So no, I don't think I oversold the importance of the technology- its a blocking issue for millions of people moving to iOS. Would they have moved had it been available when they were making their OS choice? Some large percentage of them would have. Will they now? Who knows- now they're locked in by various apps and expected behavior. We'll see.

Comment: "Do one thing well" and pipes aren't the same (Score 1) 320

by davecb (#47930861) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

"Do one thing well" is how Unix kernel functions are written, and it's just plain a good idea. Systemd probably follows the first principle internally, many programs do.

Creating production systems[1] out of single-purpose commands connected by pipelines is a different principle, and only works if you keep them pretty simple. It's not a prionciple, but it is how a lot of Unix scripts are written, NOT including the shell that glues the parts together, and not including all the more complex programs, like ed or mail. Systemd doesn't follow the second, because it's more like ed than a text transformation like spell.

A more useful question is whether systemd as a whole does one thing, and does it well. About that, one might usefully discuss whether the Unix principle applies.

[Pipelines were patterned after a subset of "production systems" in early AI, which applied transforms to "produce" new things. They're not the kind of production systems you put on a raised floor]

Comment: Re:The end for me (Score 1) 887

by evilviper (#47930673) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

...scratch that. SoylentNews turns out to be just as bad as /. in this regard. They posted this same damn story, too, and the head of the site has stated they don't want to be a tech site at all.

Instead, my last hope rests with pipedot, which is much more like an old-fashioned /. with a focus on sci/tech instead of flamebait crap. Hell, the sci/tech stories even get more comments on pipedot than they do on SoylentNews, which says a lot about the community.

Comment: Re:Just one question... (Score 2) 188

by AuMatar (#47930379) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

iOS terms of service prevent you from writing a service or daemon except under very specific circumstances. If you do, they'll reject your app from the store. So you have to do a lot of things that should run in the background only when you're in the foreground. Yes, its idiotic- in order to try and avoid a few badly written apps from draining battery power unnecessarily running in the background they've instead prevented entire categories of useful behavior.

Comment: Re:It doesn't scale (Score 1) 129

by davecb (#47929427) Attached to: FBI Completes New Face Recognition System

You can have 99.999 accuracy, and if the number of comparisons is (N choose 2), then the probability is (N chose 2) * 0.00001, which will be (really huge number * 0.00001) which is (merely huge number).

I don't care how good or bad the implementation is, it has to have more 9's to the right of the decimal than I have zeroes to the left in the number of people, N. That's a known hard problem in computer science (;-))

[And yes, Siemens was getting crappy even then, but that isn't the problem that the FBI has to solve]

Comment: Re:Keyboard (Score 4, Interesting) 188

by AuMatar (#47929393) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

Highly doubt it. I worked at Swype. We had deals at the OEM level and shipped preinstalled. That means we made money on every phone shipped. (Some of those deals fell apart post buyout, because the buyer was hard to deal with). They won't get that deal from Apple. So they may make more money per download, or get more paid downloads. But they won't make more money overall.

Comment: Re:Keyboard (Score 4, Insightful) 188

by AuMatar (#47929097) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

Anyone who ever used an android phone. Swype, Swiftkey, and others do an amazing job. Apple lacks continuous path typing (Swype-like paths to type) which is in every major Android keyboard these days and used by hundreds of millions of people as a faster alternative to thumb typing. Apple's autocorrect is mediocre, Swiftkey and Swype/Nuance kick its ass. And the keyboard does matter- its the most used app on the phone- you use it in texting, emails, even browsing. If it isn't a good experience people will not use your device. Apple lost millions of users who wouldn't consider switching due to the lack of options on iOS. The question is if they're now to embedded into the Android world to be willing to change. I'm guessing Apple lost them permanently by being 4 or 5 years too late with opening up the keyboards api.

Comment: Re:No good for older iPhones (Score 4, Informative) 188

by DigiShaman (#47929059) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

I have an iPhone 5. When iOS 7 was released, the main features that pulled pep from my phone was the motion visual effect. Turning it off made a huge difference. Can be found under -Settings --> Accessibility --> Reduce Motion (ON). Hopefully the iOS performance hit is mainly video related so as to turn off whatever advance feature chews through cycles. If it's the kernel itself taxing the CPU, yeah, pretty much screwed.

Comment: Wow... (Score 1) 213

by Safety Cap (#47928963) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

I have been in a few jobs where the managers were verbally and/or emotionally abusive. In both cases I left ASAP.

THIS. Life's too short to put up with loser companies.

That being said, one needs a financial cushion of 6 months-ish. The easiest way to do that is to skim off 10% from every paycheck, no matter what.

Remember, you canâ"and should!â"evaluate the company you work for, daily. If they "fail the interview" (i.e., it is more hassle to work there than to find another job) then it is time to Let Them Go.

Comment: My father is a retired corporate pilot . . . (Score 1) 100

by walterbyrd (#47928719) Attached to: A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

According to him, the rear engine placed in the middle of tail fin is a bad design. The engine vibration puts too much stress on that fin. The metal weakens after a while. Compare this design to the design of the 727.

I think, some time ago, this design was causing problems.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre