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Comment: Re:Dammit! Adam you rolled over... (Score 1) 62

by unrtst (#47702351) Attached to: Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

The silver lining here is that if he spent over $500,000 odds are they ended up spending something similar.

It's quite difficult to consider spending half a million dollars on legal fees only to walk away without justice being served as being a silver lining. This is one more reason people should support the EFF - they see their cases through to the end whenever possible (AFAICT). The best outcome in this case for the lawyers involved is exactly what happened - loads of fees and no actual case; what motivation do they (in general) have to see patent trolls go away?

Comment: Re: You're doing it wrong. (Score 1) 198

by unrtst (#47672551) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

So you have documentation for developers (API), community (code contributes), and designers (themes), but the problem area is for users.

IE. you are providing docs for the very smallest percentage of users, and leaving the vast majority of users without documentation.

That seems to be fairly common, but it's completely backwards. Similar to optimizing administration processes while end user processes get ignored because they get paid less or are simply not as well connected.

Come up with some way to document while making coding changes for user facing parts. That's the part that should be documented, and keeping it current is much more important than your API docs (though those are most likely autogenerated already, and thus up to date). Make documentation part of the cost of development so that expectations in productivity don't get way off kilter (ex.rewriting 1000+ pages at release time... it's just not maintainable that way).

Comment: Re:Calling TP-Link (Score 1) 38

by unrtst (#47671747) Attached to: Ryan Lackey, Marc Rogers Reveal Inexpensive Tor Router Project At Def Con

Thank you. That makes a lot more sense.
EG. The TP-Link routers mentioned are small travel routers (good for this purpose), low power (even usb or battery powered), and have onboard ethernet, 802.11n, usb, easily accessible serial consoles, and good openwrt support.

So yes, a travel router with a bit more ram and/or flash + openwrt support would be nice.

That said, if they're trying to market to the public, then it might be easier to go with a larger model that has the necessary ram/flash than one that is a desirable size but requires... uh... something the summary says is difficult.

Comment: Re:Calling TP-Link (Score 1) 38

by unrtst (#47670601) Attached to: Ryan Lackey, Marc Rogers Reveal Inexpensive Tor Router Project At Def Con

Why TP-Link? There are lots of models of routers that are that are readily available, have enough onboard flash and ram, and support DD-WRT (some even come with it out of the box). Why start with two models from TP-Link which do not meet the minimum requirements without physical modification?!?

Comment: Re:CLA (Score 1) 57

by unrtst (#47664971) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Corporate Open Source Policy?

I'm not sure if the idea of a contributor license as you suggest is in the spirit of open source.

Depends on which "spirit of open source" you are referring.

The classical Richard Stallman model is about giving the person running the code the ability to modify it for their own use and share those modifications with others. I believe that one of his first big gripes had to do with printer drivers, as an example. In that case, the contributor license agreement causes no harm at all. The CLA defines restrictions for the user if the user wants his contribution to become part of the codebase distributed by the original author. That does not stop the user from re-distributing the same codebase with or without his own changes (ie. fork).

In most cases, the CLA will never actually be necessary. Most new projects get few, if any, contributors. The summary even says the works they previously posted just sit there and rust - they aren't maintaining them, and neither is anyone else. On any cases where someone contributes code, it will either be:

a) very trivial, and thus no copyright transfers are needed (ex. a bugfix changing 2 if statements)
b) a small patch.
c) a large patch.

For the large patches, you'll just need to decide if the CLA is worth it or not. Is it a feature that is worth having. If so, is it worth the legal hassle, or should you just rewrite it?

For the small patches, those often need rewritten anyway. People rarely submit complete patches with tests and everything... so just rewrite it. If it's something that doesn't need rewritten, see the previous sentence. Contributors will often provide the patch with a public domain license if asked, which you can then relicense as needed.

Comment: Re:Money pit (Score 1) 322

by unrtst (#47626559) Attached to: With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

That seems to validate the parents point of, "Panama didn't have the benefit of the massive machines available now. It will likely be much cheaper compartitively."

311ft tall, 705ft long, 45,000 tons (versus panamas digger at 105 tons), and moves 2,700,000 cubic ft of day!

A bunch of various big machines...

Hydraulic Shovel (possibly the best comparison/evolution of the steam shovel you shared). It's shovel holds 57 cubic yards (versus the measly 2.5 - 5 of that steam shovel).

I'd say that's quite an improvement and should make the job faster and cheaper than panama.

Comment: Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (Score 1) 316

by unrtst (#47611869) Attached to: Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

The bottom line is that without upgrading their networks, they can't provide the promised service to 100% of their customers.

Wrong (AFAICT).

They are actively throttling users. That is not the same as their network being unable to handle it, or for congestion to affect many users.

The users with metered plans are not being throttled. They may be using even more. Everyone could do that, and they would not throttle the metered users because they want that additional money. The unlimitted users are getting throttled when they hit some cap of MB/month. That's not unlimitted. Unlimitted would mean they should behave just like the metered plans, but they'd pay a flat fee.

As others have said, they should just terminate all of these contracts and offer those users something else. They are all on month to month. There's just an awful lot of them that ARE still profitable, and they're scared to lose that... so either it's worth it to keep them all or not, but they shouldn't be throttled like that (as much as I hate the idea of some very small percentage of folks ruining my day to day experience).

Personally, I'd like a more customizable rate... something like the way fractional T1's used to work (dedicated 256k up/down, and burstable to 1.5mbit if it's available... but some different rates in those places, especially on the high end). I'd be willing to wager this is quite possible (for 3g/4g/lte as well as cable/dsl/etc), but is just "too complicated" to market to people (quantity, 2gb/month, is easier to grasp than throughput, 256kbps; and they are very very different forms of measurement, with the former barely meaning anything - if you do all your downloads at 3am, you'll still hit your cap even though there was loads of extra bandwidth).

Comment: Re:so, I'm in the more than 8 yrs ago camp (Score 1) 391

by unrtst (#47608801) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

ECC isn't *that* much more than normal ram. Ex.
Kingston ValueRam 8gb DDR3 1600 non-ecc CL11 (amazon list $115.99; amazon price $79.99)
Kingston ValueRam 8gb DDR3 1866 ECC CL13 (amazon list $168; amazon price $103.99)

It used to be (many many years ago) that ram was very expensive, and ECC was tons more expensive (more than 2x's the price).
A few years back, they were almost the exact same price, and it was almost half as much as it is now (it was when I did my last desktop build). I think I accidentally one of the sweet spots, cause it was well under $100 for 16gb DDR3-1600 ECC... somewhere around fall of 2012.
I really wish it became bog standard... just as common as VT-x and friends are these days.

Comment: Re:where's the money?! (Score 1) 213

by unrtst (#47607923) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

I am a long time member of the ACM, and I've always thought the value for money was excellent. I'm not an academic and I don't go to conferences. The Safari and 24/7 Books Online subscriptions, plus the skillsoft training is where I see most of the value.

That peaked my interest quite a bit. However, after looking into it, that gets you a custom collection from each of those book places (700 safari books online, and 500 books 24x7, and 150 morgan kaufmann and syngress books). Safari, for example, offers far more books on their cheapest plans (which includes over 200 publishers).

ACM also offers a discounted Safari Pro upgrade:
The ACM price is 20% off list. The Safari Pro package is $39/month or $399/year. So you save either $93.60 or $60 a year.
If you wanted to get the Safari Pro already, then you might as well join ACM and do the pro upgrade... it's almost a wash, and you get the other ACM benefits.
I was hoping for a bit more of a free ride :-) Still not a bad deal, but thought others might want to know.

Comment: Re:Very original (Score 1) 182

Well, he went as far as confirming he was getting the same particle counts.

He confirmed that the homemade filter reduced particle counts. But I don't see that he compared its effectiveness to filters costing "up to $1000".


Compares Blue Air 203/270E (3,600 RMB) and a Philips AC4072 (3, 000 RMB) to both of his setups. Those are only about $550 filters, but I think that is sufficient to cover the "up to" in "up to $1000". If you want to donate a $1000 one to him, it looks like he'd be happy to test it.

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 1) 306

by unrtst (#47571331) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

Amazon is winning too much, it seems as if kindle is becoming synonomous with ebook reader. Thats not a good thing, no additional storage, no pdf support , no library support.

Are you talking about eInk e-reader, or their tablet?
If eInk, good luck filling up the storage they give you with books. Pdf support is there (as far as I can tell), and you can borrow books from the library using overdrive (checkout is not built in, but it works).

If you're referring to their tablet, just get a generic android tablet. You can install all the reader apps on it (Amazon Kindle, BN Nook, Kobo, FBReader, etc).

I do wish their eink kindle allowed other "app stores", so to speak, but I think that'd be entirely possible using the browser, and they do have app support (I have scrabble on mine).

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 1) 306

by unrtst (#47571313) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

I'd rather not live in a world where the only places to shop are walmart, amazon, and maybe costco. using size and supply chain efficiency to force smaller guys out of business is not a good thing in the long run.

While I agree, when it comes to ebooks, there's no reason someone else couldn't capture that market. The only thing they have going is that the Kindle is somewhat locked down, however, anyone can make an ebook that works on it (with or without DRM). Those 3 big companies are where they are due to the awesome distribution work they have in place + size (negotiation power) + software. Those things don't matter nearly as much for ebooks.

I don't think Amazon should force a maximum price for ebooks, but I do think anyone selling both the ebook and the physical book on that same site (amazon in this case) should have the ebook at a lower price than the physical copy.

Comment: Re:Since when government needs to allow me sth? (Score 1) 190

by unrtst (#47568145) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

Nitpicking, but this:

driving isn't a right... it's a privilege.

... is technically incorrect, though in general practice it sure does seem that way.

The "privilege" is that of driving on public roads. Just about anyone can legally drive just about anything on their own land (ex. young kids operating farm machinery).

The AC was almost right, except that we (at least in the US) already put laws in place banning various driving situations, like driving in public without a license, or without insurance, or with an unregistered car, etc etc (most of which are actually state laws). It's much like one of the ways that marijuana got banned - they put a requirement that sale required a tax stamp, and then didn't sell any of those stamps. In this case, you can't operate a driverless car on the public roadways without having a licensed driver and registered car and all that stuff, and those don't pass yet.

Comment: Re:It's only gone 25 miles? (Score 1) 46

by unrtst (#47565067) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

...but the problem is the power budget. Going faster -> more power required -> bigger solar panels -> more weight -> going slower.

Or the problem is the financial budget (more money -> send more stuff -> include more features/stuff -> going faster and doing more).

FWIW, I totally understand that certain design decisions were made for various, and well justified, reasons. Personally, I'd favor the ability to travel long distances over some of the other features (ex. have it nuke powered, and ignore the issue of contamination of Mars). I'd also love to see more stuff sent there, and to other celestial bodies, like maybe a deep drilling device, or excavation equipment.

Anyway... I had just assumed (poorly) that it had wheeled around more than an average of 36 feet a day, or had a top speed better than 0.1mph. It's still an amazing little rover (already survived more than 40x's longer than planned).

Comment: It's only gone 25 miles? (Score 2) 46

by unrtst (#47563313) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

I realize it's done much more than it was designed for, and we got more bang for our buck, but when I first read TFS, I thought this:

"If the rover can continue to operate the distance of a marathon — 26.2 miles (about 42.2 kilometers) — it will approach the next major investigation site mission

...meant, "If the rover can travel just 26.2 MORE miles THAN IT ALREADY HAS TRAVELED, then..."

It's been on Mars for over 10 years. It's not a very fast little bugger, is it?

They had their own goals and all that, but my first goal, if I was sending something millions of miles away (I don't know how far it traveled when it went to Mars, but the closest approach between earth and mars has been 34.8 million miles), I'd certainly want the ability to move it more than XXX feet per day. 25 miles is REALLY short compared to it's 35 million+ mile trip to get there!

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming