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Comment: Oscilloscope (Score 1) 172

by sgunhouse (#47227043) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?
Back in what has to qualify as the computer stone age, a high school Biology teacher I worked with got a bunch of A/D converters and wired them to his networked C-64s, I wrote the software myself. We were measuring the acceleration of gravity (okay, not a Biology experiment, but he saw it in a magazine and wanted to try it himself) and graphing student's heartbeats and so on - in 1986. So really, the oscilloscope part is trivial. Might even be able to use the existing A/D and DSP from the sound card, if you can figure out how to feed your signal to the Mic. input. (Yes, 1986 - the school board wanted him to upgrade to PC XTs, he preferred to use what he had. When they saw what we did with those old C-64s, all they could do was scratch their heads.)

Comment: Second? (Score 2) 611

by sgunhouse (#47105901) Attached to: Which desktop environment do you like the best?
Favorite? KDE (though the old version was slightly better) Second? Enlightenment.

When I look for a desktop, I expect a basic set of tools to come with it, and design consistency between said tools. KDE seems best in terms of tools (aka desktop accessories if you prefer). Gnome's tools seem like they are chosen by committee, rather than actually designed for that environment.

And yes, desktop environments should include Windows and Macintosh OSX as options.

Comment: Re:Bill specifically about Glass is a bad idea... (Score 1) 226

by sgunhouse (#46340581) Attached to: Google Fighting Distracted Driver Laws
And ... can Google Glass be used as a HUD? That is, when driving it shows you pertinent information to your driving. If your "digital devices" law bans GPSs then it may be counterproductive.

As long as a company - in this case Google, but any company - can show how their product assists the driver rather than distracting the driver, there really shouldn't be an issue. There will of course be states that want to ban HUDs, but the public will straighten them out over time. So go ahead, Google, convince us that Google Glass will actually help the driver ...

+ - NSA datamining Verizon records-> 1

Submitted by sgunhouse
sgunhouse (1050564) writes "Wired has a story up, originally from the Guardian apparently, about an order for Verizon to turn over 3 months worth of call data to the NSA starting back in April and ending on July 19th. While the data does not include actual subscriber names and addresses, it does include both the originating and receiving phone numbers and various other "metadata" (not including actual conversations).

Strangely, the article says the warrant was granted to the FBI and not the NSA ..."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Recovery? (Score 2) 397

by sgunhouse (#43815169) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good?

The question is ... if the user changes their mind, how easy is it to recover.

I help out with an online forum, we get requests every day from people who requested to delete their accounts and then changed their mind. (Okay, not every day ... but too often.) This isn't something the user can do themselves, one of the administrators has to go into the backups to find the data.

Conversely, we do have a legal requirement to delete user data upon proper request, we can't just make this option unavailable.

So the option is there and is fairly hard to find (I've never used it myself and can't say how hard it is to actually use), that's the best we can do.

Comment: Re:Open set it is! (Score 2) 248

by sgunhouse (#43729355) Attached to: Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

I gather the comment system doesn't like all those symbols. It removed half of my reply. Let me try words ...

n! is divisible by k for all k less than or equal to n, so n! - k is divisible by k and (if k is not 1) is not prime. So n! - 1 to n! - (n + 1) are two numbers with a difference of n with no primes between them.

The result must show that for any x there are primes p and q with q > p > x and q - p less than 70 million, ...

Comment: Re:Open set it is! (Score 1) 248

by sgunhouse (#43729305) Attached to: Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

May. There is a trivial proof that there exist gaps larger than any given number ...

Pick any number n. Consider n! (that's "factorial", for the non-mathematicians). Now, n! - 1 might be prime (or not), but as n! is divisible by k for all k x and a prime q > p with q - p = 70 million, not that there will always be a prime within 70 million of x.

Comment: Meaningless permissions (Score 1) 176

As the example I'm most familiar with, let me consider the Opera Mobile web browser. Since the browser supports GetUserMedia it has to say it accesses the camera, though in reality it will ask you if the website should be allowed to access your camera if the site asks to do so (if you visit some video chat site). Likewise since they support location-aware websites, the permissions say it uses both GPS and network location data - but again, if you visit a website that wants your location (so they can tell you where their nearest physical store is, for example) the browser will ask if the website should have access to your location. The Play Store doesn't have any way of indicating that the app will ask before actually accessing this data.

And for those apps which don't offer a choice, the OS should. All browsers support 3 general settings for cookies - accept, deny (block), and ask. You should be able to say "No, I don't want this app knowing my location today" if you so choose - and still be able to allow it tomorrow. Or still run an app while denying it access to your contacts - ever. It should be part of Android (the browser shouldn't have to ask per se) or whatever OS, so that the developer doesn't have to think about it ... well, okay, an email or chat app always needs access to your contacts, so maybe they should have a "requires" and "can use" in the permissions.

Comment: Re:KDE and lightweight. (Score 4, Informative) 129

by sgunhouse (#43438747) Attached to: KLyDE: Lightweight KDE Desktop In the Making

Already been several mini-distros (the whole system is under 100 MB) that do use KDE. Things like Nimblex come to mind, though that's been a few years ago now. Admittedly not sure they kept Plasma though ...

But as KDE is supposed to be able to run on phones now, it should be easy enough.

Comment: Computers (Score 1) 253

by sgunhouse (#43366343) Attached to: Automated System Developed To Grade Student Essays

I've probably been in this longer than anyone - in 1986 I was working with a teacher (High School Biology) who had networked C-64s in his classroom. Of course back then the questions were all multiple choice (we couldn't give it enough intelligence to evaluate expressions), and yes he did the semester tests himself.

If used properly, there is nothing especially wrong with doing assignments or quizzes on computer. That being said, you know there is going to be a tendency to misuse them. They'll assign more work or have to handle more students, and start depending more and more on the computer ...

It's hard to imagine one grading essays except on structure (grammar, spelling, etc.) as it even tends to be hard for humans to grade essays. But then again, I'm a Math and Science guy, so what do I know.

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