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+ - NASA awards "space taxi" contracts to both Boeing and SpaceX->

Submitted by ugen
ugen (93902) writes "Contrary to the rumor posted on Slashdot earlier today, "NASA will partner with Boeing and SpaceX to build commercially owned and operated "space taxis" to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, ending U.S. dependence on Russia for rides, officials said on Tuesday... Boeing was awarded $4.2 billion to SpaceX's $2.6 billion. ""
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Comment: Re:Analyzing the FBI's Explanation of How They Loc (Score 1) 142

by ugen (#47852843) Attached to: Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers

That'd be one useless network though. If your devices have no information worth stealing - than what are they doing?

That's the problem with anonymity (and security in general). To be perfect, it's got to have no value.

In a more practical case like this one, I fully expect that administrators of those servers made one small mistake (more likely simply could not check every possible bit of code for information it may leak) and that was their downfall.

Comment: Seat size is well defined (Score 1) 812

by ugen (#47845829) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

On most airlines size and pitch of seats is well defined and listed when you purchase tickets. I mostly fly United (not that I like them, they just go where I need to go) and seat size is clearly listed.
You can pay extra and get an "Economy Plus" seat that is promised to have extra leg room and may otherwise be more convenient.
Seats that do not recline are also clearly marked.

  That is to say - you pay airline for a very specific set of conditions, and it is airlines job to provide those (as limited as they might be).

People that need more knee space/seat space etc are able *now* to buy seats that fit to their specific size. What they cannot do is buy a cheapest ticket and then attempt to make up for lack of space by taking some of the space *I* paid for.

Comment: Re:A solution to a problem (Score 3, Informative) 152

by ugen (#47813659) Attached to: Google Serves Old Search Page To Old Browsers

Yes, and that's precisely what I've been doing. Firefox + UAControl = score :)

I get to use normal-looking and convenient Google maps (instead of the recent monstrosity that shows up in Safari and other "current" browsers)
I can easily remove trackback links (because Google returns them in plain text to IE6 but goes to great lengths to obfuscate them for current browsers)
And otherwise Google looks clean and neat.

This is one feature of Google I happen to love :)

+ - US arrests son of Russian MP in Maldives for hacking ->

Submitted by ugen
ugen (93902) writes "The son of a Russian lawmaker has been arrested by the U.S. on charges of selling credit card information he stole by hacking into the computers of American retailers.
Roman Seleznev, 30, was arrested overseas by the U.S. Secret Service on July 5 and was ordered detained today during a hearing in federal court in Guam, the Justice Department said in a statement."

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Comment: Re:Greater per car occupancy? (Score 1) 260

by ugen (#47184255) Attached to: Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

So what you are saying is that Uber is not even a ride "sharing" platform so much as an enabler for unlicensed car service business? I did not know that.

I have to admit that my opinion on Uber was, so far, essentially neutral. However, if what you are saying is true - I would be inclined to reconsider and think of them as a net-negative. If they are a taxi cab - they should register and operate as one, any instant online hailing and optimal vehicle routing sauce notwithstanding.

I will vote accordingly if/when this comes up in my locality.

Comment: Greater per car occupancy? (Score 5, Insightful) 260

by ugen (#47183715) Attached to: Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

I am not sure trying to pass Uber as an environmentally friendly solution will pass muster. Uber drivers operate essentially as unlicensed taxi cab drivers, rather than true "rideshare" or carpool services. They pick up new clients wherever requested and drive them to wherever client wants to go. These are trips that would not have happened otherwise. Since these services are, generally, cheaper than licensed taxi cabs (though, curiously, not by much in the area I just checked) - they may prompt people to call for and use an individual car, whereas otherwise the same riders might have chosen less convenient but cheaper public transportation.

Comment: Re:Good bye source compatibility (Score 3, Insightful) 636

by ugen (#47152165) Attached to: Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

That's not what cross-platform compatibility implies. Placement of specific elements and their view is a subject of "themes" and is readily customizable.
As a developer I care about underlying primitives - things like "windows", "buttons", "menus" or more generically "events", "inputs" etc. Once those underlying things can no longer be shared - you have to write a new product from scratch for every platform.

Think of something like Adobe Photoshop (I assume as a UX person you are using it?). It is possible to have a version for Windows, and one for Mac precisely because you have those common underlying primitives and APIs, even though they don't necessarily look the same in all respects.

If commonality of platforms is gone - even a company like Adobe will have really hard time building products for both platforms. That will eventually affect users too, since they will likely have to select different (and no longer compatible) products for each platform as well. For now that's not the case - but given where things go, it probably will be.

Comment: Re:Windows Phone and RT do not require C# (Score 1) 636

by ugen (#47152069) Attached to: Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

Ok, so that's what I meant - it may be C++, but WinRT is not compatible with posix/libc-ish API (in fact, because of its event-based nature I don't see even an indirect mapping to the way things were done in the other ones). While it's nice to think Win32 is still alive, clearly it's on the way out and so is source compatibility.

Comment: Re:Good bye source compatibility (Score 1) 636

by ugen (#47151827) Attached to: Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

Are you sure about the "metro"? Name is dead, but I was under impression that all new windows "apps" had to be written in C# against a new SDK that has neither binary nor source compatibility with Win32/posix/C/C++. I'd be glad to be wrong, but that's what I've seen so far.

Are you saying that it is possible to write new "Windows app-store-acceptable" apps using C/C++/posix/winsdk? That would be exciting news to me (honestly).

Comment: Re:Good bye source compatibility (Score 4, Interesting) 636

by ugen (#47151349) Attached to: Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

Qt does not (and cannot) support Windows "Metro" (or whatever the name is for the C#/event driven/non Win32 environment now)
By the same token it won't be able to support this new environment.

Qt, XWidgets and others like them rely on basic C compatibility and certain common UI themes and primitives to be able to build cross-platform libraries and applications. With proprietary, non-portable and non-overlapping languages vendors make sure that any development has to target their platform specifically.

Aside from that, if new development environment does not support linking against "old" binary libraries - developers also don't get the benefit of code reuse (since they won't be able to use existing libraries for things like image handling, graphics, sound, networking, you name it).

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten