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Comment: I wish Safari would bring back RSS (Score 1) 237

by petsounds (#48504445) Attached to: Firefox 34 Arrives With Video Chat, Yahoo Search As Default

I've been impressed by Safari 8 with Yosemite. I'm so eager to drop the bullshit that Firefox has become, but without proper RSS support I just can't do it. Yes, they did bring back a kind of RSS, but it just dumps all the subscriptions into an unsorted window (and no I don't want a separate reader app).

Comment: Re:NASA bureaucracy at it again (Score 1) 51

by petsounds (#47856019) Attached to: NASA Panel Finds Fault WIth Curiosity Rover Project's Focus

I've seen this kind of argument here on slashdot since Curiosity landed. Talking about the weight of wheels is a misdirection. This is about weight, but the crux of this issue is about priorities: choosing to load up the rover with more scientific instruments instead of making the rover more durable. In effect, the committee that designed Curiosity chose to subvert the primary mission (traveling to Mt. Sharp) before was even built by choosing short-term scientific goals over a long-term exploration ability. They designed the wheels optimistically ("hmm, well surely we'll just find some loose rock and dirt there like we always have, so let's just design around that assumption") and put the primary mission in jeopardy.

Comment: Re:next they will say Mac's get viruses (Score 3, Informative) 220

by petsounds (#46522319) Attached to: Malware Attack Infected 25,000 Linux/UNIX Servers

That there's no relationship AT ALL between the OS's?

While OS X is based heavily on NeXTSTEP (and most developer API class names on the Mac are prefixed "NS"), I wouldn't go so far as to say there is no relationship between the "classic" Mac OS and OS X. OS X's standard filesystem is HFS+, which was released in 1998 with Mac OS 8.1, and which shares the same format as its predecessor, HFS. And decisions and limitations from those days still unfortunately put their marks on OS X. For instance, the Labels feature from Mac OS which was bolted back onto OS X (after much public outcry) are still stored in the same place on the filesystem, and in the same format (bit fields), as they were in 1988! And the new tagging feature introduced in Mavericks, for the sake of backwards compatibility with Labels, uses this same area and format to record Tag information! And of that, only three bits are available for storing color information on HFS+. This is why Labels-cum-Tags are limited to the same seven damn colors Mac OS had when Ronald Reagan was still president of the USA.

Comment: Space bees (Score 2) 135

by petsounds (#46432479) Attached to: Dinosaurs Done In By... Dark Matter?

"So what if there was this giant swarm of space bees, and every 35 million years our solar system–"
"Wait. Wait, hold on. You're suggesting space bees killed the dinosaurs?"
"Not directly! These bees are huge. Moon-sized. And they live in the interstellar gaps between stars. I calculated that if their swarm passes through the Oort Cloud, they would get really upset and buzz around, and their gravitational forces would fling asteroids and comets into the solar system."
"How did you calculate that the Oort Cloud makes your hypothetical space bees angry?"
"Well it's a lot more plausible than your hypothetical invisible aether making the sun go wonky."

Comment: Re:Sticking w/ 10.6.8 (Score 1) 241

by petsounds (#46365525) Attached to: Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

Hey, I do understand the feeling of nausea at the thought of using Illustrator, or any Adobe product for that matter, but you say it's "simpler" to stick with Snow Leopard. From the perspective of sustaining productivity inertia, that's probably true. But where security is concerned, "simpler" usually means "vulnerable to attack". And if Snowden showed us anything, it's that these security vulnerabilities are not just applicable to silly people who get fooled into running malware -- they are red alert warnings that your government spy agency of choice, NSA/GCHQ/etc, is probably already exploiting these vulnerabilities.

Comment: Re:Classic Slashdot (Score 1) 463

by petsounds (#46169289) Attached to: Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

To use your restaurant metaphor, it's more like taking a classy pub and turning it into a 7-11 convenience store.

Slashdot is a place for nerd/geek discussions on topics curated by "editors". The problem is that DICE is a company whose product is ads. When your product is ads and not user discussions, the site will be changed to make ads the focus.

Slashdot should have been taken in the *opposite* direction – towards better curation, towards longer-form tech articles and original content, and towards keeping the level of discourse high. Because slashdot was never about news scoops -- it was about the interesting melange of tech industry people, scientists, academics, geeks, and cultural misfits discussing interesting things and having interesting things to say.

Comment: Re:Dreaming of code? (Score 1) 533

by petsounds (#46126565) Attached to: The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer

That really depends on whether materialism drives your life or not. My only purpose for money, other than to sustain a moderate lifestyle (place to live in a low-crime area, healthy food to eat, a nice bottle of bourbon/wine/beer now and then), is to give me enough financial independence to concentrate on projects which matter to me, but are not likely to generate revenue. My aspirations run higher than my current net worth, but they cap out much lower than someone who finds happiness in life through the acquisition of things.

Comment: Re:Samzenpus headline (Score 5, Interesting) 239

by petsounds (#46087111) Attached to: Nissan Unveils 88 Pound 400-HP Race Car Engine

Which was the moot point when the FIA series ended. To much power, too difficult to maintain control. Probably the first time any racing series achieved the upper limit in power.

I would argue that the 1967 Formula One season was the first time a racing series had cars that were too powerful to control. 400-500bhp V8 and V12 engines attached to four wheels and a gas tank, sitting on old-style treaded tires with no downforce wings. In fact, the two fatalities during this season (including Lorenzo Bandini's horrendous accident at Monaco) forced the FIA to mandate new safety features, such as requiring wings on the cars.

Comment: Re:Jailbreak with broken Cydia and Mobile Substrat (Score 1) 110

by petsounds (#45764119) Attached to: Evad3rs Announce iOS 7 Jailbreak For Latest Apple Devices

Because they are installing the Chinese store with root access, meaning the code can do whatever it wants with the information on your device and send that information to wherever they want. Jailbreaking always comes with risk, but this basically compromises your device with unknown and unreviewed code. But hey, if you feel like dancing with the devil, go for it.

Comment: Re:supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults (Score 1) 554

Iceberg lettuce is very low in nutritional content. At least use romaine lettuce. You'll get more flavor and definitely more nutrition. Most stores sell pre-chopped/washed romaine and arugula, if you don't want to bother with the prep work.

Comment: Re:BSD-bad, MIT-good (Score 1) 47

by petsounds (#45558905) Attached to: Creative Commons Launches Version 4.0 of Its Licenses

Just like a mechanic does: You want to make money. You do a bid for a prospective customer. You agree on a price. You do the work ONCE. You get paid for the work you did ONCE. The difference is that a mechanic's work benefits one car, and one driver; The whole world can benefit from your efforts if you create free software. Note that there is no coin slot on your ignition switch so that the mechanic can extract a fee for each time you benefit from their work...

The only time a software developer is getting paid by a single entity for spec work is the case where a business is paying a developer for the work, and in that scenario the business certainly doesn't want their proprietary code out there for everyone to see and copy.

In most cases, a software developer spends money/time to develop a product and sell it. The cost of develop + some profit is factored into the price, based on some estimate of how many copies will sell. But under your philosophy, only one copy should be sold, which means that one person would pay for the total cost of development + profit, and then every other person on the planet could get it for free. It would be like the game X-COM being sold for $3 million, and when some chump bought the game for $3 million, then they'd release the GPL'd code to the public. The only way this setup would work is via a mechanism like Kickstarter, where the funds for the work are donated up-front so that development costs and profit are recouped before the code is delivered.

Comment: Re:Trying a new business model (Score 2) 167

by petsounds (#45430905) Attached to: Sears To Convert Old Auto Centers Into National Chain of Data Centers

My grandmother has some Sears catalogs from the 1800s. The 1800s! I mean, they made it a hundred years doing fairly well, but they couldn't seize the opportunity of the Web that they -- more than any other company in the USA -- were positioned to grab. It makes me kind of sad, not that I have any great affinity for Sears, but that it was a national institution throughout the 20th century (at least until the 70s where they started to decline) and they just couldn't adjust to the march of technology. But I guess you could say that about a lot of well-established American companies; resting on their laurels until resting turned to rusting.

Comment: Re:Atari would have kept their secrets if possible (Score 1) 211

by petsounds (#45415527) Attached to: Apple II DOS Source Code Released

Atari lost the computer war because they had no mindshare. I was the only kid in school I knew with an Atari computer. Everyone else had Apples and C64s. To most people in the early 80s (which is when I had my 800), Atari was a brand associated with an aging game console, not computers. Between that and the lack of quality software as compared with the Apple ][, it was a doomed system.

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.