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Comment: Re:Like the companion app (Score 1) 64

by TheRaven64 (#49781067) Attached to: Microsoft Bringing Cortana To iOS, Android
Apple used to ship iSync with OS X, which could sync calendars and contacts with a wide variety of phones via bluetooth or a cable. It also had a nice plug-in architecture for adding new sync clients (and new kinds of data to sync). They also had some Bluetooth integration with the address book app, so when someone called your phone you'd get a pop-up on the screen of who it was and could send SMS directly from the address book. All of these features disappeared with the first OS X release after the iPhone and were replaced with cloud-base syncing that only worked with the iPhone.

Comment: Re:Just stick to the mantra (Score 1) 106

by TheRaven64 (#49773763) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down
Online copies are just RAID done at the file level instead of the block level. The reason that RAID is not considered a substitute for a backup is that user error or a compromise can damage all online storage. If your backups are online, they are not backups, they're just redundancy.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile OS/2 and Xenix existed (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49761245) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

enough ram to run without swap file thrashing. Price was high as well

These two are related. OS/2 needed 16MB of RAM to be useable back when I had a 386 that couldn't take more than 5MB (1MB soldered onto the board, 4x1MB matched SIMMs). Windows NT had the same problem - NT4 needed 32MB as an absolute minimum when Windows 95 could happily run in 16 and unhappily run in 8 (and allegedly run in 4MB, but I tried that once and it really wasn't a good idea). The advantage that Windows NT had was that it used pretty much the same APIs as Windows 95 (except DirectX, until later), so the kinds of users who were willing to pay the extra costs could still run the same programs as the ones that weren't.

Comment: Re:For me it's Windows NT 3.1 (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49761223) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
I never ran 3.0 on a 386 to try that. On Windows 3.1 it wouldn't work, because the OS required either (286) protected mode or (386) enhanced mode. Running 3.0 on a 386, the DOS prompt would use VM86 mode (yes, x86 has had virtualisation support for a long time, but only for 16-bit programs). Windows 3.0 could run in real mode, so would work inside VM86 mode. In real mode, it didn't have access to VM86 mode (no nested virtualisation), so probably couldn't start again.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49760671) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
And Windows 3.1 lost real mode support. You could run Windows 3.0 on an 8086 with an EGA screen and 640KB of RAM (I did - the machine originally shipped with GEM). I think 3.1 still have 286 protected mode support, but didn't work very well unless you ran it in 386 enhanced mode. It was a bit sad that the version of Windows that required an MMU didn't use it to implement memory protection...

Comment: Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49760611) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Sort of. The desire not to cannibalise sales was a key factor in the design of the PC, but these were also features that IBM didn't think would be missed.

IBM knew what multitasking was for: it was to allow multiple users to use the same computer with administrator-controled priorities. Protected memory was for the same things. Why would you need these on a computer that was intended for a single user to use? A single user can obviously only run one program at a time (they only have one set of eyes and hands) and you can save a lot in hardware (and software) if you remove the ability to do more. And, of course, then no one will start buying the cheap PCs and hooking them up to a load of terminals rather than buying a minicomputer or mainframe.

Comment: Re: *shrug* (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49760579) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
My father's company got their first Windows 3.0 install because they bought a diagram tool (Meta Design, I think), that came with a free copy. The company that made it had decided that bundling a copy of Windows 3.0 was cheaper than writing (or licensing) a graphical toolkit for DOS and an associated set of printer drivers. I don't know if they were the only company to do this, but after a year or so they stopped bundling Windows and just expected their customers to either have a copy already or go and buy one.

Comment: Re:MIssing Option ? (Score 1) 164

by TheRaven64 (#49710395) Attached to: I spent Mother's Day this year ...

Celebrating the person who brought you into the world,

Some of us are lucky enough to have parents who made a conscious decision to have children, worked out what it would cost them, understood that it was a responsibility and a commitment, and decided that the costs were worth it. Some people have parents who fucked and forgot the pill (or whatever) and decided that keeping the child was the path of least resistance. For those of us in the first category, one day a year per parent is nowhere near enough - we owe our parents a lot for the advantages that we had early on that let us succeed later in life. For people at the opposite extreme, even one day can seem like an insult.

wiped your ass for you and taught you right from wrong, for one day per year,

You don't need to do any of that to qualify as a mother, you just need to make it to childbirth. If you're in the first category that I described, then please do remember to appreciate your parents, but please also remember that those advantages that you're thanking your parents for giving you (teaching you right from wrong, as you say, and hopefully teaching you to value education and how to be happy) are not universal.

Remember, occasionally, just how lucky you are. If you're born in an industrialised society, in a stable family, with supportive parents, then that gives you a huge advantage in life.

Comment: Re:Couldn't care less. (Score 1) 241

by TheRaven64 (#49710319) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

Tried that but wasn't able to get something useful from "cat /proc/cpuinfo".

I had exactly that experience! Though mine was on Linux and was one of the things that pushed me to *BSD. An unstable text-based format that varies between architectures and between kernel versions turns out to be a piss-poor way of getting information from the kernel.

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action (Score 2) 529

by TheRaven64 (#49710163) Attached to: Harvard Hit With Racial Bias Complaint
I can't speak for other universities, but we (Cambridge) publish undergraduate admissions statistics (though the 2013 figures are the latest published so far, I think 2014 is out soon). If you look on pages 13 and 14, you'll see the gender ratios for applications and acceptances. 8 subjects have more female applicants than male, 7 have more women accepted than men. 18 have more men apply than women, 19 accept more men than women. In total, 54.4% of the applicants and 53.1% of acceptances are men. I'd hardly call that underrepresentation. You are right that the figures look slightly different if you exclude STEM. For Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 43.8% of applicants and 42.6% of acceptances are men. White men and women make up 74.7% of our applicants and 75.6% of our intake. It's pretty hard to argue that white people are under-represented here.

If you look at other top-10 universities in the world, you will see a fairly similar picture. A big part of our admission training is getting interviewers to understand their subconscious biases (usually this means 'people like me', although the aspects of 'like me' that they think are important are quite varied). There's no affirmative action or direct equivalent (the closest thing is a set of targets for state school applicants, which we usually meet).

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action (Score 1) 529

by TheRaven64 (#49710103) Attached to: Harvard Hit With Racial Bias Complaint

Though I agree with the spirit of what you are saying, the term "reverse discrimination" is a misnomer at best and discriminatory at worst — because it implies, that discriminations are or can be different

The idea of reverse discrimination is to correct for unconscious biases. The end result is intended to be the result that you'd get if you had a really unbiased person making the judgement (which doesn't exist in the real world).

Comment: Re:Common sense prevails! (Only Partially!) (Score 1) 545

by TheRaven64 (#49696559) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

I'm also fairly certain the overall research/trial time for military vaccines is shorter than civilian ones

I wonder how improvements in logistics and remotely operated weapons systems change the need for this. The danger of having everyone on a base be incapacitated by illness while surrounded by a hostile enemy was huge 50 years ago and would easily outweigh possible dangers from side effects of a less-tested vaccine. Now, it's far easier to have drone patrols protecting a quarantined base and deliver men and equipment from reserves far away to fill the gaps in an overall strategy.

Comment: Re:wtf (Score 1) 54

It's hard to translate miles into actual value. 30K United miles + fees buys you a transatlantic flight. When I was looking a couple of weeks ago, it was the same going from LHR to EWR or SFO, with $188 for the UK leg and about $6 in the other direction (UK airport taxes are pretty huge). The round trip to SFO is about $1200 without the miles, so 60K miles works out to about $1K on that. That makes the value of 250K miles about $4000. This is a pretty low bug bounty.

On the other hand, the value depends a lot on whether they count as premiere qualifying miles and flight miles or not. If they count as PQM then the 250K is enough to give you the highest level of premiere status, which means you're at the head of the queue for upgrades and get a number of other benefits. If they count as flight miles (exceedingly unlikely!) then it's a quarter of the way to the million mile thing, which gives you star alliance gold for life (and, having flown far too much recently, I can attest to the fact that gold status makes it far less annoying. Apparently it actually become enjoyable at higher levels, but I'm hoping not to fly enough to find out).

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

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