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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.

Comment: Why Bill Gates lost. (Score 1) 449

by pikine (#46074837) Attached to: 23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds
Bill Gates played too conservatively so that he couldn't mobilize his pieces before getting checkmated. It's a common mistake if you care too much about losing pieces (presumably because that might appear embarrassing). I think it's uncharacteristic of Bill actually. He was known to be a lot more aggressive when he was younger, but I have to admit he's a lot more admirable now that he's older and mellowed.

Comment: remind them at the beginning of their terms (Score 1) 462

If after several years holding seat and having a lucrative political career, you tell your congressmen that you're going to replace them because they no longer represent you, they'll keep doing the same and ignore you.

If, just after a new congressman got elected, you tell him how the last one was voted off of his seat because he stopped representing his people, that'll stick to him for his whole term of service. Congratulate him and tell him you look forward to his servitude.

Comment: Re:I can confirm that (Score 5, Insightful) 308

by pikine (#45627157) Attached to: Physicist Peter Higgs: No University Would Employ Me Today

Let's suppose you're the fund manager and you want to maximize impact of your dollars. But there are too many researchers applying for grant. What do you do? You divest rather than invest, and hope that one of the projects will churn out useful outcome.

If you want to focus your money for deeper impact, people will definitely accuse you of favoritism. It is hard to prove innocent because research is, intrinsically, a very specialized craft, and only very specialized people understand the qualifications. Sometimes experts don't agree on the qualifications either. Once you are accused and unable to prove yourself innocent, your career as a fund manager would be ruined due to academic misconduct allegations. If you distribute your funds fairly and squarely, people can still accuse you of favoritism, but at least you have plausible deniability.

From a researcher's point of view, research is really about begging money to do things you want to do. Or if you end up not doing what you want to do, simply begging money. Historically only the nobles have the time and money to do research. This is what I always tell my friends:

  • If you have no money and no time, make time.
  • Now you have time but still no money. Make money with your time.
  • Now you have money but no time. Make money smarter so you save time.
  • Now you have both time and money, do whatever you want.

+ - RMS calls for "truly anonymous payment" alternative to Bitcoin 1

Submitted by BitVulture
BitVulture (3423655) writes "With everybody but the Dalai Lama talking about Bitcoin, Richard Stallman took a break from his duties as high priest of the free software movement to air his views on the crypto-currency that has become virtually as valuable as gold. In an interveiw with Russian media giant RT, Stallman praised Bitcoin for allowing people to "send money to someone without getting the permission of a payment company". But he also warned against a major weakness of Bitcoin and called for the development of "a system for truly anonymous payment" online. The interview took place on the sidelines of the recent Bitcoin Expo in London. Among the guests to the gathering of Bitcoin fans, and a few critics, were 3D-printed gun developer Cody Wilson and a singer named Rachel, who was scheduled to perform the song "Bitcoin Baby"."

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.