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Comment: Re:Why .Net? (Score 1) 247

by saigon_from_europe (#46438817) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

I work in digital TV. It is embedded, but with quite capable processors and a lot of resources. E.g. SoC based on MIPS 3300 running at 500MHz with 256MB DDR2 at 800MHz is considered "low end" and used for cheaper STBs. Software for such system is still written in C/C++. I've seen one big company using C/C++ in combination with Java, but that made system very sluggish. And Java was only for top tier (GUI). So I don't expect that C/C++ would be abandoned soon in DTV field due to entire code base already written. But Java is also making a progress because Android will be very big player in DTV very soon, so more and more thing will move to Java, but core of the system will still require solid amount of C/C++ coding in predictable future.

Comment: Re:Code. (Score 1) 111

Yes, it would be nice if we could get entire stack - documentation, working code, test examples, free support accounts, testing hardware, source repository access, Intel engineers payed to work on our favorite project, board of directors meeting memos and our own Santa but that is not going to happen. Documentation and some support is probably all the community would get, but that should be enough. The community usually had to work with a lot less and it was still capable of making useful code.

Comment: Re:How about that rented storage? (Score 2) 239

by saigon_from_europe (#45807989) Attached to: NSA's Legal Win Introduces a Lot of Online Insecurity

That was really explanatory, indeed. One idea that came to my mind: how about medical records? Medical records are used by doctors not by you*, they are kept at hospitals and they are still protected by 4th Amendment. Do you think that this brings sufficient analogy to telephone metadata? Or is it maybe that medical records are protected by some law and not by the constitution?

* In some cases they may be used by the patient, but that can be said for phone listings and related metadata as well.

Comment: Re:This Is A Bad Idea (Score 1) 516

by saigon_from_europe (#39466009) Attached to: NHTSA Suggestion Would Cripple In-Car GPS Displays

And not only that, but since the map can't scroll, I'm assuming the map can't rotate either.

Very good point! During my military training, official instruction was to rotate the map as you were moving/rotating - i.e. to orientate map just as the terrain is oriented and not to keep the North on the top just because the map was drawn that way.

It is very confusing to have to rotate the map in your head even when you are walking, not to mention the effort for doing it real-time while you are driving a vehicle.

Comment: Slick Willy's Logic.... (Score 3, Insightful) 722

by saigon_from_europe (#36803846) Attached to: Bill Clinton Says 'Paint Your Roofs White'

...all roofs in New York should also be painted black in winter, because damnit, it gets cold in New York in winter.

During the winter, day is shorter than night, and your house is always heated to ~70F (both day and night). Hence, your roof will radiate energy for longer period (night) than it would absorb the energy (day). And black bodies radiate energy better than white ones. Conclusion is that it is better to have white roof during the winter.

Comment: Their wrong perception of social problems (Score 1) 769

by saigon_from_europe (#33601912) Attached to: Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

Apart from necessary technical knowledge, there is one more reason: most radical social movements has often started on technical universities.

Reason for this is simple. Technically oriented people tend to underestimate how society works, and believe that it is possible to change it easily. This attitude was also seen in XIX century, when mathematicians tried to apply mathematics rules to social problems. It should mention that this never worked. Not because mathematics is wrong, but society is simply too complex to be modeled that way. (Or, it could be modeled mathematically, but results would not be spectacular.)

Or to say it in other words: you have an intelligent but socially incompetent person, who believes that everything is easy to fix (hey, there was no WinXP that he could not attach a SATAII disk to!). He is highly dedicated, he believes that his position in society won't be appreciated as it should, and he believes that one bomb could actually solve something. Doesn't this sound like a good candidate for a terrorist?

Comment: Re:Hmm, I wonder (Score 1) 200

by saigon_from_europe (#32861866) Attached to: After a Decade, Digital Radio Still an Also-Ran In UK

DAB is around 30% efficient in transmission, whereas FM is about 90%.

Please define "efficiency in transmission".

This is a term from telecommunication theory. For each type of modulation (AM, FM...) you have carrier and signal which is embedded into the carrier. IIRC (it was 1997 when I attended telecommunication course), efficiency is defined as a power of the signal compared to the power of the carrier. In AM it is like 0.5% (!) which is why they have so powerful transmitters (up to 1MW, IIRC). FM is much better in that regard.

Comment: Agile is good for GUI/web projects (Score 2, Insightful) 193

by saigon_from_europe (#30119106) Attached to: Becoming Agile

Scrum has one good point - show your code to your customer often and apply his comments. But that works only for GUI or web. I cannot imagine that in, say, medical software. For instance, one of my colleagues had to optimize crucial piece of code (some heavy math for CAT scanner). It took him several months. Only thing he could say to the customer was like "it is now two times faster" or "it is now 3.45 times faster". Not something you can really get some useful feedback on.

In another company, we were supposed to do a project for GE, and there was some serious GUI there, but their office was some several thousands miles from us and I really didn't know how we would make regular meetings with them as Scrum required. Also, they had some very elaborate specs and they did not see too much point of Scrum methodology. In some other situation, that project would be a perfect one for Scrum.

PS One thing I don't like with Agile evangelists is that Agile (Scrum in this case) is always right. It's either "what are you doing is not Scrum" or "you did not adapt Scrum to your needs", but its never the problem in Scrum.

Comment: What about pre-paid mobile numbers in USA? (Score 1) 272

by saigon_from_europe (#28819497) Attached to: The Irksome Cellphone Industry

I have a cousin in USA, and last time we talked, she told me that she and her husband pay 120USD per month (total) and they get nice mobile phones and awesome Internet. She compared that to Serbia where she considered mobile rates to be extremely high, since we pay everything by usage. In the worst case, we pay about 0.05 per SMS (only sent one, receiving is free); we pay about 0.20USD per minute of call (receiving call is free); Internet can go up to 0.60USD per MB. But with some extra "packet add-ons" you can lower your SMS price to 0.01USD, calls to 0.01USD for certain numbers and you can get Internet for 0.02USD per MB. And everything is still without any contract, just via buying some coupons on the kiosk (or on ATM, or in bank, post office, via Intenet...).

In my point of view, this is actually a better deal than 60USDx24 months to get a telephone which I can buy for 300USD (and you can always buy it on credit card if you don't have enough cash). Even with worst case scenario here, it would take me quite a calls and SMSs to make bill worth of 24x60-300 = 1140 USD.

Is there a way to get pre-paid number in USA and how much they charge per minute and SMS? Can you buy decent DCMA telephone without contract?

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