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Comment: Helvetica is the type face for tomorrow? (Score 1) 363

by pikine (#48181759) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday
The fine article is right about Mac OS X Yosemite being hit by an ugly stick, but he's dead wrong arguing that Helvetica is the type face of choice designed for tomorrow's high resolution display. Helvetica was the default system font of Windows 3.0. That's how far the Mac OS X look and feel has regressed before a time when designers developed an aesthetic sense from lessons in calligraphy.

Comment: Re:Big Bang is RELIGION (Score 1) 109

by pikine (#47687349) Attached to: Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

It's kind of useless arguing with me since I shouldn't be putting words in the mouth of Ethan Siegel, and arguing on whether it is appropriate to call dark matter tiny really has no bearing on what I'm telling you about God and the Universe. But just in case you find it a pleasure to discuss these fine points with me, the very notion of mass distributed over volume involves statistics, and as you know, you can make statistics tell any story.

Consider this figure that I just randomly found so I don't have to draw one myself. You can see that the two clouds of green dots span about the same space. But the cloud on the right is more concentrated than the cloud on the left. You can imagine a third figure where there are several clumps of dots and still has the same overall space and density. Do you count the space between the dots as occupancy? Do you impose some form of density threshold to eliminate spaces that are simply too sparse? Not to mention that an atom consisting of a dense nucleus and a cloud of electrons is really more than 99.999% of space.

I'm not saying your Wikipedia references are wrong; they want to paint a picture illustrating the pervasiveness of dark matter, but Ethan Siegel is also entitled to say the amount is tiny. Tininess is really in the eyes of the beholder.

Comment: Re:Big Bang is RELIGION (Score 1) 109

by pikine (#47684569) Attached to: Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole
Sure, in an imaginary world where the graceful and faithful elephant works freakishly hard to make the ants live happy lives even though the ants are so tiny to imagine what this great elephant looks like or means to them. The ants who hate the elephant drown themselves in puddles of water, and we the outsider look at these drowning ants in this imaginary world and think "these ungratefully stupid ants deserve to be eliminated by natural selection." And the elephant looks at us and say "if we can save one more ant from drowning, then why don't we?"

Comment: Re:Big Bang is RELIGION (Score 0) 109

by pikine (#47684441) Attached to: Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

From TFA, "As it turns out, we live almost in the Goldilocks case, with just a tiny bit of dark energy thrown in the mix ... What’s remarkable is that the amount of fine-tuning that needed to occur so that the Universe’s expansion rate and matter-and-energy density matched so well so that we didn’t either recollapse immediately or fail to form."

Even if not religion in disguise, you can call it religion in searching at least. From Acts 17:27, "God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us."

Comment: This AC fails the Turing test (Score 1) 502

This AC shows the strangest lack of reading comprehension ever. I made no statements about tangibility of audio quality difference between semi-pro and pro equipments. I also made no claims comparing on-board audio and semi-pro gear. Chat bots are known to be able to spew out sentences that make sense on their own, but their responses do not show any comprehension of the context. Is Slashdot infested by chat bots these days?

Comment: Go professional... (Score 1) 502

MOTU, RME Hammerfall, Pro Tools, Mackie. Or a cheap hobbyist like me uses Presonus, M-Audio, or Behringer. These sound interfaces feature TRS or XLR balanced 3-conductor connectors and cabling that are more resilient to RF noise. Sound Blaster cards offer only RCA 2-conductor which is a joke on the audiophiles.

Comment: lack of local government oversight is the cause (Score 1) 513

by pikine (#46320881) Attached to: Why Is US Broadband So Slow?

The article's assessment is mostly correct. It even correctly mentioned that the previous net neutrality rules were unconstitutional. Except the article neglected the fact that new rules forcing local municipality to open up rights of way would also be unconstitutional because Federal agency has no power over local jurisdiction.

Forget about the federal or even the state government for a moment. The problem is that most people don't even know how to keep their local government in check. They increase local sales and property tax rates and/or tax assessment at will. They are behind in repairing public roads and other infrastructures, and even so they are mostly funded by Federal grants. The teachers are paid poorly, but the local officials are paid handsomely.

This is all caused by the lack of local government oversight. All governments are pests, be it federal, state, or local, but the local government is usually overlooked. We pay too much attention to federal and state. Better show up at your local town hall meeting next time, or they will slowly erode away your rights and property.

Comment: Negotiation and power play (Score 1) 716

by pikine (#46225391) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

I think his boss is trying to renegotiate this poor guy's salary. In any case it's a power play, so there is no use to explain to the boss how software engineering differs from brick laying. Simply assert that: (1) he'll work in excess of 40 hours a week only on overtime salary as required by law, (2) market rate already takes into account software maintenance cost due to defect or changing requirement, and (3) his performance evaluation should have already taken into account the quality of his output.

Why is this a power play? If he's actually not meeting expectation, the boss is free to simply fire him and hire someone else. The boss would not have to employ such power play tactics.

Of course nothing is going to stop him from saying "ok boss ur right" and take a voluntary pay cut.

Comment: Economic viability is the reason (Score 3, Interesting) 731

by pikine (#46218027) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

That's because the outdated infrastructure had been economically viable to use, so there had been no reason to update it, until now, that is.

Many ways of the US rely on an honor system. There used to be unattended shops where you take the goods and put money in a box. The box didn't use to require a lock. This might be possible in a small town where everyone trusted each other, but in a city where crime is rampant, this business model is simply not economically viable. Public transportation used to allow monthly or weekly pass holders to board from the rear doors without verifying their passes, but they don't allow that anymore because nowadays enough non-paying passengers take advantage of that such that the honor system is no longer economically viable.

The honor system is always able to absorb a small percentage of fraud cases and remain economically viable. It's only when the fraud rate rises past a certain threshold when the system breaks down.

When a merchant displays a credit card logo, you trust the merchant. When the merchant hands you a receipt and you sign it, the merchant trusts you to pay. Again, this is an honor system. The rest of the world also started off with a complete "out of date" manual-imprint or swipe-card honor system. They were forced to upgrade the infrastructure because they suffered enough fraud such that the old system was no longer economically viable. The new smart card system is designed to enforce contractual agreement so that you don't need to rely on the honor system anymore, making credit payments economically viable again.

The US simply held off this long because the honor system had worked until now. Economic viability is the reason. The bad news is that the US has morally declined to the level of the rest of the world. The good news is that the US upheld its morals longer, being the last to abandon the honor system.

Comment: IOMMU is for restricting device's memory access (Score 1) 163

by pikine (#46211881) Attached to: GNU Hurd Gets Improvements: User-Space Driver Support and More
I think you confused the purpose of IOMMU. It's for restricting the device's memory access. Without IOMMU, it just means that any firmware running on the device's coprocessor can access the main memory unrestricted, meaning that a hacked firmware can root the machine. IOMMU virtualizes device's access to main memory so that doesn't happen. On a machine without IOMMU, you can still run device drivers in user space as long as the kernel sets up the correct memory mapping for the device's PCI address space. That's called memory mapped I/O and has nothing to do with IOMMU.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.