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Comment: Re:/. is getting more and more unbelievable !! (Score 1) 209

by toejam13 (#48223565) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

Anglo-Saxon refers to the blending of Germanic and French roots. English is an Anglo-Saxon language because it is a mixture of Germanic- and Latin-root languages.

Not really. Anglo-Saxon is less recognized as a language family as it is a synonym for Old English. It is also an ethnic term for describing western Germanic tribes (Angles, Danes, Franks, Frisians, Jutes and Saxons) who came to colonize post-Roman southern Britain and people of their decent.

You are spot on about the Germanic and Latin roots. Back in the fifth century during the Anglo-Saxon migration, the intellectuals in southern Britain (and much of post-Roman Europe) spoke Latin. The spread of the Bible kept Latin as a influential language.

But Old English had only limited "French" influence. The Germanic Franks who lived in Gaul were never a major conquering force in Britain. There are some Old Frankish loanwords that influenced Old Saxon and Anglo-Frisian languages, but it wasn't much. The predominate French influence didn't come for centuries later via the Norman conquests. That resulted in Middle English, which is not synonymous for Anglo-Saxon.

According to the language experts, the classification is: English -> Anglic languages -> Anglo-Frisian languages -> Ingvaeonic languages -> West Germanic languages -> Germanic family. Ingvaeonic includes Old Saxon, but Anglo-Frisian does not. Likewise, West Germanic includes Old Frankish, but Ingvaeonic does not.

Comment: Re:/. is getting more and more unbelievable !! (Score 1) 209

by toejam13 (#48222679) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing
Most scholars in the linguistic world seem to disagree with you. While the three remaining Frisian dialects have moderately drifted from Old Frisian, there seem to be enough fundamental differences between the Anglo-Frisian family and the Old Norse family to disqualify Modern Icelandic from being the most closely related living language to Old English.

Having said that, that assumes that you are talking about Old English that was spoken in London. As you traveled into Northumbria (modern Yorkshire), Old English had significantly more influence from Old Norse due to the conquering Danes (see: Kingdom of Jórvík). So, your statement may be true, but only for what was spoken in York in the tenth century.

Comment: Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (Score 1) 502

by toejam13 (#48222415) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

I don't know much about FTDI's chip ... but it sounds like they designed something that was relatively easy to clone, and now they're stuck trying to sell something that many manufacturers don't see as differentiated enough from the copy-cats to try too hard to buy the original part? Trying to actively destroy the competition is NOT the solution. Perhaps more R&D to offer a superior update to the original chip would be?

The manufacture of inexpensive clones is nothing new in the chip industry. After the SN7400 TTL series was released in the 1960s, a flurry of clones were released. Same goes for the MC6800 IC series in the 1970s. Some were licensed second source suppliers, some were unlicensed compatibles, some were outright counterfeits.

Intellectual property law in many countries tends to prohibit counterfeits. Those knockoff Asian light bars you described could have been seized by customs if they tried to pass off as KC brand products. Likewise, it is unlawful in most countries to create a chip and sell it as an FTDI brand chip without their express permission. That isn't an issue of R&D issue, that's I.P. theft.

The issue of unlicensed clones is a little more murky. In some cases, the original product may have one or more patents that protect its design, function or interface. If those knockoff Asian light bars tried to used a patented housing design or voltage module without licensing, you have another I.P. theft issue. The owner of the patent could get judicial permission to have customs block or seize those products.

In the case of the affected FTDI compatible clones (and counterfeits), the issue comes down to their use of FTDI's vendor and device code in the USB stack. FTDI developed software drivers for customers of FTDI products. The unlicensed clone manufacturers have designed their chips to utilize FTDI drivers so that they didn't have to incur the expense of writing and maintaining their own drivers. So really, it is the unlicensed clone manufacturers who need to bump up their R&D research so that they don't facilitate I.P. theft and/or terms of use violations for their customers. If Microsoft wrote the device drivers or if unlicensed clone manufacturers wrote their own device drivers, we wouldn't have this mess.

The big question is if FTDI has a lawful monopoly on the USB vendor code it has been assigned. If it has, then it may have a right to physically stop squatters from using it (read: resetting the USB vendor ID code). Of course, being an international issue, it is going to vary by country. They may have broken the law in some places. They may only have the right to disable the driver. They may only have the right to degrade the driver. Or they may only have the right to display warning messages.

So I don't think it is just a cost, quality or R&D issue here. It really is about third parties designing their products to utilize work on FTDI's part without paying for it.

Comment: Re:/. is getting more and more unbelievable !! (Score 5, Informative) 209

by toejam13 (#48217093) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

English is not a Romance language (it's derived from Old Low German), but due to many accidents of history, it has accumulated an incredible number of words directly from Romance languages or derived from words in Romance languages

After the Norman invasion, English barely hung onto its Germanic roots. So many English words have a Latin heritage, it has become something of a hybrid.

For non-native English speakers reading this who aren't familiar with its history, English is a blend of about five different languages: Old Celtic, Roman Latin, Old Low-German, Old Norse and Norman French, along with a sizable number of Greek, Arabic and [recently] Spanish loanwords.

Old English is the name for English after the infusion of Old Low-German. Middle English is the name for English after the infusion of Norman French. Modern English is what developed after the Renaissance.

The closest living language to Old English is Frisian, which is still spoken in small parts of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Here is an example of it.

Comment: Re:Goolge is helping... (Score 2) 262

by toejam13 (#48216915) Attached to: Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Goolge is helping... ...compiling dossiers on everyone.

The question is how public those dossiers remain. If Google locks the information up and refuses to share, then it is of limited consequence. If Google releases all of its dirty laundry at once, then it will probably result in some major changes to society as open secrets come to light and things thought to be taboo are suddenly found to be normal.

The danger is if Google uses and shares it sparingly and deliberately. Think blackmail, insider trading, identity theft and so on.

Comment: Re:I'm glad SOMEBODY finally said this (Score 2, Interesting) 227

Shouldn't the diversity crusaders be making waves calling for more male enrollment in fashion?

Actually, the call should be for more heterosexual males. One complaint about the fashion industry is that many of the men are gay. And it has been speculated that one of the reasons female models in the model industry are built like teenage boys is because gay fashion designers have a preference for this body type*. The frequency of female models with this body type are a well known cause of self-image and eating disorders in young women.

/* the other two reasons being that 1) clothes for skinny women without curves are easier to tailor and 2) designers want people to admire the clothes, not the women

Comment: Re:WfW in VM (Score 1) 554

An easier solution would be to include a Pentium compatible processor emulator for NTVDM. That's what Microsoft did for NT4 and NT5 for the DEC Alpha platform. I'm actually surprised they haven't done the same for x86-64 editions of NT.

I found that a surprising number of older Win32 programs came with Win16 installers. That's where I ran into troubles when I upgraded to XP 64-bit edition. Having a WfW virtual machine really wouldn't have helped.

These days, I'd argue that the majority of 16-bit programs home users have are old games. The vast majority are going to be DOS based, since gaming under Windows back in the 16-bit era wasn't very popular. DOSBox already provides a great solution, and is superior to NTVDM in most ways.

Over on the corporate and industrial side, you're still looking at more DOS based programs than Win16 programs. There is still a lot of industrial control and custom inventory software running on DOS. Might be nice to run that within a VM if you're running an all IPv6 house (let the VM do NAT6) or on new hardware that doesn't have a DOS drivers. But most of those people are probably going to hit eBay for used equipment that can still run DOS as opposed to new gear.

For the few Win16 programs still kicking around, a NTVDM under x86-64 that supports Win16 would be nice. Much easier than messing with a full VM. But there is probably so little demand, MS would rather leave it to third parties at this point.

Comment: Re:What's so hard about using the time-honored (Score 5, Insightful) 242

by toejam13 (#48015489) Attached to: At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert
Came to say the same thing. How many different restaurants print your order number on your receipt, then call the number when ready? While more impersonal than calling names, it makes it easier since you can display a number on a screen. Also, numbers are more easily pronounceable than some names, and avoids the issue when two or more customers have the same name.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 602

by toejam13 (#48003831) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy
Actually, there are about 20 HVDC lines within the United States. Three are in California alone: Trans-Bay, Pacific Intertie and Intermountain Power. And given the recent advancements in HVDC breakers, that number is expected to rise significantly.

HVDC is no longer just for bridging grids or for short industrial lines.

Comment: Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (Score 5, Insightful) 981

by toejam13 (#47931267) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Geopolitics aside, some would say that a strong man who sees a horrific crime that he has the strength to stop has the moral responsibility to do so. ISIS has conquered territory by force of arms - do we want to allow that sort of thing to be acceptable on the world stage again? The way ISIS is treating their conquered subjects is horrific and appalling, and we should probably put a stop to it.

Some would also suggest that the current instability within the Near and Middle East is the result of European colonial powers drawing national borders in such a way to cause instability and invoke inter-racial and inter-religious tension.

Perhaps the better solution is to withdraw from the area and let the regional powers work the issue themselves. If that means a century of warfare, not unlike what Europe experienced after the Protestant Reformation, then so be it.

Sure, such a conflict would result in a spike in the price of oil. But last time oil went above $160/bbl, we saw factories in North America being brought out of mothball, a renewed interest in alternative fuels (methane, nuclear, solar, wind), higher urban growth, an increase in the use of transit and a decrease in the use of petroleum derived fertilizers. Our economy and environment actually benefit in many ways when oil gets expensive.

Comment: Re:Still behind the times (Score 1) 108

by toejam13 (#47894475) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

I believe that the boat for à la carte channel lineups has already sailed. Back during the 1990s when digital cable and mini-sat were starting to hit their prime, à la carte channel lineups would have been cutting edge.

But technology has since moved forward, and à la carte programming is now a mature market. Services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime and the like give you access to individual shows at any time. And you now have an entire generation that has been raised with DVRs, PPV and BitTorrent. Broadcast schedules are increasingly seen as antiquated.

Lastly, there is a larger force at play here. People aren't just cutting their cords because of price or because of poor quality content. They're cutting because they have better things to do. Video games and the Internet now consume a large chunk of my "wired" free time while cooking and home improvement stuff that I learned on PBS and online takes up the rest. I don't need 299 channels of crap to keep me entertained.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 282

by toejam13 (#47857313) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Except Microsoft went this EXACT same route of merging them all into a single system starting with Windows 2000.

My understanding is that the Windows NT series has always used a unified code tree for Workstation and Server, save for a few exotic one-off builds like NT4 Terminal Server and NT4 Enterprise Edition with PSE-36 support.

Maybe you remember the days when there was a separate uniprocessor and multiprocessor kernel? Both versions were available with the Workstation edition.

But otherwise, you're spot on. Mostly it came down to kernel tunings defined in the registry, available packages and licensing.

Comment: Re:*drool* (Score 1) 181

by toejam13 (#47787095) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

I second this. It isn't always about performance.

I recently replaced my Core i7-930 (Nehalem) system with a Core i7-4790S (Haswell) system. The new system is modestly faster. But mostly, it requires significantly less power, resulting in a cooler and quieter system. My case fans now only run when gaming for long periods.

If I lived in a colder part of the country, I probably would have kept my i7-930 for another couple of years. But I live in an area where A/C is a must. So I expect the upgrade to eventually pay for itself in the form of reduced electrical bills.

There is no distinction between any AI program and some existent game.