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Comment Audiophoolery (Score 5, Insightful) 168 168

I've always wondered about people who buy these kind of cables. I mean, they're expensive cables, but what do they plug them into? Do they spend $340/$4000/$10000+ on a cable only to plug them into a cheap $15 D-Link switch?

I mean, what are the "audiophile" switches out there? Do they buy those $10,000 Cisco Catalyst switches? Or do they prefer HP ProCurve? Or do they just plug them in any old switch or whatever came with their $20 router?

It's just like power cables. You're telling me that the power, which came from a power station hundreds or thousands of miles away, travelling through copper wires, then coming into your house wired with regular Romex style house wiring, that some special cable used in the last 6 feet really matter? Or do they rewire their house with special audio quality wire? Do they buy special electrons from their power company? Or paid to have their house wired using the special cable? Are you telling me that after hundreds/thousands of miles, the last 6 feet really matter?

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 4, Insightful) 266 266

Wasn't the ability for other browsers to set themselves as the default browser part of the DoJ settlement? So now Microsoft is deciding that doesn't apply?

Sorry, but Microsoft has gone well into the "we can do anything we want to your computer, any time we want, and unless you have an enterprise license you can't stop us".

That is complete bullshit. If they're going to assert ownership of my computer, they can help me pay for it. Until they do, it's my computer.

Here's the problem - Firefox/Chrome/etc ask you if you want them to be the default browser. The ability for the program to set the preference is the problem.

If you don't see the problem, let me rephrase it. I create SuperWebBrowser. I think it's so super, I will make it the default browser on everyone's machine. So I do that. Why should I ask the user? It's so super they'll want it.

If you still don't get it, then how about, I create WebBrowserSpy and set it as default. It launches an instance of your normal web browser but hooked so it can spy at your traffic and even get at HTTPS data after it's been decrypted.

Just because the good guys ask, doesn't mean everyone else has to. In fact, if you're particularly nasty, if that setting is changed, you can always reset it back.

And you'll be surprised, but both scenarios are common - many management types can't understand that people might just want to use your software as necessary, and they don't need or want it to be the default shell, the default web browser, to pin itself to the task bar and start menu and all sorts of other things. After all, after buying a copy of SuperApplication, why wouldn't you want it in your face everywhere you look? I mean, it's a great application.

It's why Microsoft doesn't provide APIs to pin applications to the task bar, start menu and a few other things. Heck, I'm surprised no installer decides to go change your desktop wallpaper on you after you install an app. After all, it's super, and you'll not want to live without it...

Comment Re:better late than never (Score 4, Informative) 62 62

I do kind of wonder about one thing, though... why are the engineers who designed that beast not being indicted? After all, nearly all of the vital pumps and generators were in the basements of both the Daiichi and Daini sites, with much of the critical equipment right next to the water, instead of uphill where they should have been (and at least not in basements... WTH, people?)

Actually, the generators being under was not the problem. You can run generators underwater, provided you have a source for fuel and air above water and can keep it reasonably water tight.

The real problem was the distribution gear got flooded.

As in the electrical panels. Once the tsunami flooded the panels, they shorted out. The generators were running just fine with the water level, and even then, the generators were a backup to a backup.

The first thing is if the reactors go offline, the power station draws power from the grid to run the equipment. And the plant was doing that since there was still power going in. That's the first backup. The second backup is if the grid power goes offline, then you have local generators.

All of which means diddly when your electrical distribution panels get soaked and short out your switchgear, taking with it BOTH backup mechanisms. So now it doesn't matter that the generators or grid power was available - the panel's shorted out and you can't use either system.

Comment Re:Yet another Wi-Fi-won't-work distro (Score 1) 71 71

The wireless card in the laptop is Atheros. The entire lower mac is in hardware in this card, so binary blobs are not needed. Wifi should work fine. Obviously the card can DMA over PCIe to the main memory so it could still compromise the machine.

Which really makes the whole "freedom" thing kind of a cheat.

I mean, if I stick RAM on my hardware, and have the driver load that RAM with firmware, it's seen as "non-free" because there's this binary blob on there.

Yet, if I stick some flash on it, pre-load that at the factory with the same binary blob, it's see as "free" because the driver is open and doesn't have to load a binary blob.

I can keep the driver and everything else the same - one is seen as "non-free" because the driver has to load a binary blob into hardware, and the other is seen as "free" because it doesn't.

Comment Re:There probably isn't one (Score 1) 154 154

Especially if you are looking to wirelessly transmit 1080i/p reliably. I've tried and wireless was so unreliable (display artifacts and whatnot not present with wired) that I wound up going to the crawlspace and running wires to every device in the house.

There are proprietary solutions, and generic solutions.

I've seen proprietary HDMI to wireless to HDMI adapters - one end plugs into an HDMI ouput, the other end plugs into an HDMI input and it's supposed to work, but no idea how it works internally.

Then there's non-proprietary solutions like Miracast which is built into Windows 8/8.1 and can cast your screen to it, but it's laggy as all heck.

Which is to be expected - a raw RGB888 HDMI image at 1080p60 is a large datarate (4Gbps) so you're going to lose something due to compression unless you run 10gE through your house.

If it isn't wired, you're not gonna game with it.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 4, Insightful) 846 846

The future will be driverless cars, mass transit and bicycles in urban/suburban areas.

The sea change is already happening - car ownership of all kinds is lowest among millenials. In fact, having a driver's license is no longer the rite of passage it once was - there's a growing group of millenials who do not have a driver's license and have no intention of getting one. Granted, they're generally limited to areas with good public transit, but the car as a form of status symbol no longer applies.

And public transit, especially subways and the like, often get people around faster than being stuck in traffic. (The daily grind of traffic jams will rapidly wear down even the strongest driving advocate). And we know this because distracted driving is either #1 or rapidly becoming the #1 cause of accidents (drunk driving is/was #1) - because driving is boring and horrendous.

Heck, some employers have reported difficulty recruiting people because of the commute. And what was once a good idea to move to an industrial park where land is cheap and you can stuff people in like cattle, businesses are finding that they need to be more urban to attract employees who don't want, or can't, do the commute and want to be close to amenities.

Comment Re:Will Edge be ported to Windows 7? (Score 1) 254 254

If not, then Microsoft will not have the opportunity "to push the web browsing experience" for me.

No. Windows 7 fell out of mainstream support January 13, 2015. That means no new features. It's currently in extended support, which runs out January 14, 2020, at which point there will be no more security updates, either.

Windows 8 will probably get it as it should be in mainstream support still.

Comment Re:Faa rules for RC planes (Score 2) 1163 1163

So below are all the rules for flying an RC plane. Why don't we simply apply the rules to drones? As a matter of fact, you have to explain to me why the don't automatically apply anyway?

Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
Don't fly near people or stadiums
Don't fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
Don't be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft Ã" you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft

They're not rules, they're just guidelines.

I repeat, they are not rules, they are guidelines.

All things in the air are classified under the FAA jurisdiction, including those little toy hobby drones you fly in your backyard.

The reason the FAA released the advisory circular (it's not official law or anything) is because the FAA recognizes the silliness of trying to enforce rules for "normal" aircraft on those who want to fly little models for recreation.

So they released a set of guidelines that generally will keep you safe from the FAA, but not always - the NTSB has ruled that the FAA has the right to charge hobbyists with dangerous flying. (A drone pilot was observed dodging and weaving their drone in a public park at people, buzzing them and flying through an underpass tunnel with people in them. The FAA pressed charges, the initial NTSB official ruled against the FAA (per the advisory circular), and the FAA appealed to the NTSB board saying despite the circular, it's still an aircraft under their jurisdiction and they did have the right to prosecute the owner. The FAA won.).

Anyhow, the guy probably should've swung at the drone - they still are vulnerable beasts and if you can disable a rotor, most will be uncontrollable. Whacking it with a stick is sufficient.

And yeah, I too would like to see the drone owner charged.

Comment Re:WiFi? (Score 3, Informative) 72 72

Was kind of thinking the same thing, actually... I'm pretty sure** that no one would be stupid enough to have the thing accessible over wireless, which leaves you the task of actually sneaking up on the damned thing to reprogram it. At that point it becomes a physical access problem.

** not perfectly sure mind you, but it counts as a fair no-brainer.

The WiFi is there primarily for remote viewing capability. As in someone with a tablet (iPad, Android, whatever) can view the video from the rifle as the gunman uses it. They'll get access to the positioning and tilt of the gun on all the axis as well as what target is marked and what it's tracking.

It's also one of the newfangled "smart" guns in that the user has to wear a special ring in order for it to fire.

Also, the computer can only inhibit it's firing, it can't fire on its own. It's why once it's tracking a target, it calculates the necessary positioning to get a hit on the target once you squeeze the trigger (and wear the right ring).

The goal is to turn basically anyone into a marksman.

Comment Re:10W is hellish hot (Score 1) 57 57

10W is incredibly hot for any sort of passively cooled, enclosed device.

The machine would be quite warm (almost hot) to the touch unless they use some inventive cooling. The current Gen Apple TV is about 6W, and your typical smartphone is around 2-3 W.

There is a reason that NV has only really been able to get a foothold in tablets, android TV, cars and their own shield product. Quite simply put, they have historically been fast and hot. Great as a SOC within certain markets.

Actually, it isn't too hot. ARM typically goes for 100mW/MHz and it looks like this thing has 4 cores running at 1.9GHz or so, or basically, 1.9W/core. Four cores is a little under 8W, which leaves about 2W for the GPU.

The only reason ARMs are getting hot is even at 100mW/MHz, stuffing in a lot of cores with a lot of speed eventually catches up with you.

(The 100mW/MHz figure dates back to early ARM processors, too, so it's been remarkably consistent).

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 147 147

Depending on language, "Hello World" may inherit bugs from the compiler used to produce its binary. Otherwise, it gets its bugs from the interpreter or VM.

Even "hello, world" itself has many bugs in many implementations.

I mean, do you check to see that stdout is actually connected before you blindly output? Or do you just output and hope for the best? ("hello, world" that doesn't print "hello, world" would be considered a failure).

Do you check all return values? Do you even know that printf() in C has a return value?

Did you check that the output buffer has sufficient space for your characters, or are you assuming your program won't hang because the output buffer is full?

Does your language startup/shutdown routines properly handle your return type? I mean, if you're doing the "void main(void)" thing, is your startup code making an assumption that you're returning an int? Sure it might do the right thing most times, but perhaps it suddenly blows up and instead of returning 0, it returns -238 or something.

Etc. Etc. etc. It's a good way to test how good someone is at QA testing - give them a standard version of "hello, world" and have them figure out all the bugs that can be lurking in it.

Comment Re:And Lattice wont shut this project down because (Score 1) 104 104

Basically, hardware companies are, on the whole totally mental. For some reason, they have all their expertise in hardware and produce hardware for a living and then throw a total shitfit over the software and believe that their super special awful crashy piece of shit software is really the important thing and wrap it up in all sorts of proprietary licensing "solutions" designed to make life as hard for the paying customer as possible, when what the customer really wants to do is make some cool shit with the hardware, and maybe sell a bunch of stuff based on it.

OTOH, perhaps Lattice is currently licensing their POS toolchain, so something like this would mean they have no longer have to license and pay $$$ for the stuff.

Few hardware companies get it - they can produce good hardware, but they invest practically nothing in software - thinking it comes for free or something like it.

Considering Lattice isn't one of the big guys in the whole FPGA business, I'm sure they have to pay Synopsys or Cadence for a lot of the tools. Or provide support to them so customers buy those tools to use their chips.

A project like this would mean they could "own" their own toolchain and be able to provide a low-cost software solution for people to use their chips. And the only reason hardware guys do software is to sell more chips.

Comment Re:Opposite (Score 1) 29 29

What eBay needs is competition.

True, and the problem is eBay has critical mass. Everyone knows about them and they're the de-facto place to sell your stuff.

Which poses a problem for a new site that wants to compete - they need to get word out, and they need to attract buyers and sellers. Attracting sellers is easy - you just make it so your fees are a lot lower than eBay (not hard). Attracting buyers, though, is a lot harder.

First, buyers know what eBay pricing is about, and if they're coming to your site, they need a hook. One common hook is cheaper prices - why pay $100 for this item on eBay when you can pay $75 on our site! That attracts buyers quite easily.

However, then you have the opposite problem - sellers know what they get on eBay, and they want eBay pricing because well, why should they get $75 from your site when they can get $100 from eBay? Only if the eBay fees make it so they get less that way than through you would they want to go through you.

And buyers, no they won't pay eBay prices on non-eBay sites because they made the effort to come - if they're going to pay eBay pricing, they'll return to eBay.

Perhaps you'll try the payment angle. The fact is, if you're Joe Random selling stuff, Paypal is the only way to go in the internet era. Otherwise you're going to have to accept money orders sent through the mail, which is a huge PITA and a general annoyance Why would anyone bid on an item, then line up at the post office to buy a money order then a stamp to post it? That's so ... 80's mail order. Buyers want to whip out their credit cards, click "pay" and enter those details in, and boom, payment done in a few seconds, not hours. So maybe you'll try being the middleman, which might work (if you can deal with all the payment card stuff).

So the crux of it is - your new site must sell stuff below eBay's prices or buyers won't come, it must give sellers more money than eBay would, and it must make it as frictionless as possible with easy payment systems designed for modern ecommerce.

And I've heard plenty of buyers who complained about alternative sites - not worth visiting because it's the same prices as eBay. And I've heard sellers complain buyers lowball them - they get more money from eBay. So the deck is stacked against you - buyers want to pay less, sellers want at least the same.

Comment Re:..all versions of Android after and including 2 (Score 4, Informative) 120 120

95% of them will never be patched........thanks for all the fragmentation.....

EXCEPT 5.0 Lollipop, because Lollipop uses a different media framework. Which I'm sure has its own issues, but thankfully, even a year after release, its marketshare is tiny enough that it doesn't matter.

Even worse, it's a bug inside the OS itself, so it's not like Google can actually fix the problem like they have using Google Services Framework.

It can only be fixed by a rooted device or a software update to replace the broken library.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)