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Comment: Re:The FSF (Score 1) 296

by smbarbour (#40518343) Attached to: FSF Criticises Ubuntu For Dropping Grub 2 For Secure Boot

Actually, from reading the story, it appears that the FSF is feeling hurt because Ubuntu is switching to another open source bootloader that doesn't use the GPL.

Ubuntu has no control over hardware manufacturers putting in a secured BIOS, so Ubuntu decided to take the route of compatibility: Ubuntu signed with Microsoft's key. Ubuntu has their own key as well.

Just as software developers have the right to NOT open source their code, companies have the right to secure their computers. This step allows Ubuntu to run on those secured computers.

Comment: Re:A Bad Method (Score 4, Informative) 132

by smbarbour (#38014274) Attached to: Teaching Programming Now Emphasizes Sharing

Sounds like a great way for the teacher to make other students do the job of the teacher. I certainly don't want my son going to school and spending the majority of his time teaching rather than learning something new under some false assumption that they can all be winners. As the kid who always held the class record for math speed tests in elementary school, its a shitty teacher that would make that me spend most of my time helping other students on rudimentary problems when I could have instead moved on to something more challenging.

I want kids to go to school to learn, not teach remedial topics to their classmates.

One of the best ways to solidify one's grasp of a topic is to teach it to someone else. Additionally, everyone has a different method of presenting information to others, and some people are more receptive to different methods of learning. Ideally, students of similar levels of aptitude would be paired together to learn from each other, increasing the knowledge of both, but we all know that the real world does not revolve around ideal situations at all times.

Comment: Re:Morons (Score 3, Informative) 99

by smbarbour (#37992702) Attached to: HP Pondering Sale of WebOS

Seriously, did they really think Palm wasn't going to fail? What on earth were they thinking? Has Palm ever done an OS correctly? EVER? Lets see, their competitors were Apple, which has been lauded as the most user friendly in every type of OS they've ever produced... Google, who doesn't seem to be able to write anything that geeks don't love... and Microsoft... ok, maybe they could steal all 25 of Microsoft's mobile customers. Good Business decision HP... oh wait, I forgot, HP makes all their money off of printer ink.

Let's see, when Palm was first starting out, their competition was Apple in the form of the Apple Newton... I remember how the Newton flew off the shelves... oh wait... no they didn't... Palm PDAs were flying off the shelves. In fact, Palm's OS was put into a smartphone an entire DECADE before Apple got into the market. Then came Windows CE, which actually was competition for Palm. The original developers for Palm split off into their own company called Handspring, which produced the Treo (which first ran Palm's OS). Palm acquired Handspring, and for some strange reason, switched the Treo to run Windows Mobile. ALL of this happened before Apple and Google entered the smartphone market.

Comment: Re:WTH HP (Score 1) 99

by smbarbour (#37992558) Attached to: HP Pondering Sale of WebOS

Its lifespan is only defined by the products that run it. It is a good, solid mobile OS that languished without the marketing hype it needed. It's the best product that nobody considered buying. For the record, when I had the choice between the Motorola Droid and the Palm Pre Plus, I chose the latter. WebOS has the better interface. Now, when I replace my smartphone, I'll be going with an Android phone since there are no new WebOS devices.

Comment: Re:Mask Work Law and Why the Heavy Process? (Score 1) 274

by smbarbour (#37910390) Attached to: The Software Patent Debate Is Incorrectly Framed

There are plenty of resources online that get you from nothing to your first "Hello, World!" program in a matter of minutes. The same is not true of hardware circuits -- especially if you want to manufacture them at all in a commercially viable way.

This analogy is rather flawed.

Actually... the analogy is not really that flawed. Your first "Hello, World!" program is about as complicated for software as wiring a light bulb to a battery is for hardware. I'm not arguing for or against software patents, though personally, I feel software should be patentable if it exceeds a certain threshold of complexity. Something along the lines of, "Wow! I'd have never thought of doing that." should be the litmus of whether the software is complex enough to be patentable (and should be done by someone with expertise in the applicable field).

Comment: Re:Quorum looks a lot like Pascal (Score 1) 538

by smbarbour (#37861990) Attached to: Is Perl Better Than a Randomly Generated Programming Language?

Quorum looked a lot like BASIC to me. Only the keywords were different. The headline for the article is horrible (as usual). The headline (and summary) neglect to mention that this test was given to people who had no experience in programming.

We compared novices that were programming for the first time using each of these languages, testing how accurately they could write simple programs using common program constructs (e.g., loops, conditionals, functions, variables, parameters).

My takeaway from this "research" is that Perl is not a good language for beginners. If you already know the general concepts of programming, Perl is fairly easy to pick up.

Comment: Re:DHCP? Huh? (Score 1) 154

by smbarbour (#37518780) Attached to: Intel Shows RealVNC Embedded In the BIOS

Exactly. All that is required is that the packet reaches the intended destination. The easiest way to do that on a TCP/IP network is the magic packet sent to one of the broadcast addresses (either network specific i.e. 192.168.0.255 or the general purpose one: 255.255.255.255). Every switch knows how to handle network broadcasts (and every hub, though I haven't seen an actual network hub in ages since small switches are commodity hardware now, transmits every packet to every connected port).

Comment: Re:Costs of education? (Score 1) 551

by smbarbour (#37493002) Attached to: Your State University Doesn't Want You

With the exception of professions where there is either very little expansion of knowledge, but a vast knowledge base (such as literary professions) or an ever increasing knowledge base where knowledge is seldom replaced (such as medical professions), most of what a college degree proves is that you have learned how to learn. This is especially true in the IT professions where the industry changes so quickly that the curriculum is already multiple generations behind by the time changes have been approved.

My advice for those entering the IT professions: Try to get in with a start-up. The work is not stable, but they will be more willing to take a risk on those with less experience (due to the fact that the more experienced will be looking for something more stable.)

Comment: Re:DHCP? Huh? (Score 1) 154

by smbarbour (#37458492) Attached to: Intel Shows RealVNC Embedded In the BIOS

Using VNC, one can now ... power up,

Before I VNC in to power up the box, I need DHCP running so I have an IP address to connect to. No problemo, I'll just power up the box to get a DHCP address before I power up the box to power up the box. Its turtles all the way down.

I'll take it you've never heard of Wake-on-LAN. Third-party services such as LogMeIn actually can turn on remote machines as long as there is another computer on the network with LogMeIn installed. That doesn't even require an IP address. It's a packet addressed to the MAC of the NIC (which is why the originating packet needs to be on the same network).

Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.

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