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Comment: Re:Cuz Minix Dude Was A Old Guy (Score 3, Informative) 260

by mark-t (#49632577) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

1. FreeBSD required a hardware FPU, at a time when many computers didn't have them.

For me, with a '386 at the time that I first heard of Linux, and with no fpu coprocessor, that was a key factor... although not the defining one, because I was soon going to be getting a '387 anyways. For myself, the deciding factor at the time was that FreeBSD did not support any sort of multiple OS system, where with Linux, I could boot from floppy which would then transfer control over to the hard drive after the kernel was loaded (or after lilo came out, even load the kernel directly from the hard drive), and leave my DOS partitions and the hard drive boot sector completely unaltered.

Comment: $5k??? Really, NASA? (Score 2) 127

by mark-t (#49631405) Attached to: NASA Will Award You $5,000 For Your Finest Mars City Idea

It occurs to me that a feasable plan for a sustainable mars colony is worth a *HECK* of a lot more than just $5K....

Try increasing that by *AT LEAST* a couple of orders of magnitude.

Offering only $5K for a practical idea that once successfully implemented is going to be quite frankly worth trillions of dollars is really undervaluing the significance of coming up with a workable plan in the first place.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't using this if it were seized... (Score 1) 273

by mark-t (#49630923) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device
Uh... not quite... if they *DON'T* take the USB drive. as you literally told them, then they still power it off... The suggestion amounts to knowingly telling him to do something that you will definitely cause the computer to lose its RAM content.

It might be better to respond with something that is entirely factual, such as "You won't get anything from the computer by taking the computer from me". Then, if they take the computer, it will still power off... but you could argue that you even warned them that they wouldn't get anything from the computer if they tried to take it from you, so you could not reasonably be held accountable for the tampering of the evidence that they were trying to obtain.


Apple's Plans For Your DNA 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the download-a-parkinson's-cure-from-itunes dept.
An anonymous reader writes: MIT's Technology Review breaks news that Apple is working with scientists to create apps that collect and evaluate users' DNA. "The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps hospitals or scientists run medical studies on iPhones by collecting data from the devices' sensors or through surveys." A source says Apple's plan is to enable users to easily share their DNA information with medical workers and researchers performing studies. "To join one of the studies, a person would agree to have a gene test carried out—for instance, by returning a "spit kit" to a laboratory approved by Apple. The first such labs are said to be the advanced gene-sequencing centers operated by UCSF and Mount Sinai."

Comment: Re:The /. groupthink is strongly against manned mi (Score 2) 134

by mark-t (#49625409) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Reaches Martian Day 4,000 of Its 90-Day Mission

If humans go to Mars it should be to do what only humans can do (like have babies).

Except that they can't... at least not the way that they do it naturally. I recall reading somewhere that mammal reproductivity is quite dependent on the earth's gravity, and attempts have a baby outside of that environment would most likely be fatal for the fetus, assuming that the attempt to become pregnant in the first place did not outright fail.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't using this if it were seized... (Score 1) 273

by mark-t (#49624135) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

It could be argued that not advising the officers of the existence of this protection measure when they tell you they are going to take your computer would constitute a willful attempt on your part to sabotage their efforts to gather said evidence, and still be considered as tampering with evidence on those grounds.

Of course, if they don''t tell you that's what they are going to do before they go ahead and do it, then yeah... you probably have a pretty strong defense on that point. But I'd typically assume if they are going and seizing someone's property, that they've already shown the applicable warrant, and so you'd know what they are up to before they go ahead and actually take it.

Comment: Re:The Curve on Academic Courses (Score 1) 409

by mark-t (#49621029) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth
I've always suspected that the reason for such a bimodal distribution in academia is that the people who would otherwise be in the middle of the curve, are clued in enough to realize that they may not necessarily completely getting it in ways beyond what their grades alone might attest to and end up dropping the course.

Comment: Re: I don't understand (Score 1) 63

by mark-t (#49600101) Attached to: Game:ref's Hardware Solution To Cheating In eSports

How does the serve admin know that the software is accurately reporting what hardware the user has installed when the user controls his own PC, which could without *too* much difficulty be set up to misreport its hardware the software that connects to the server?

I'm sure there'd be a DMCA violation in there somewhere, but this concept and the measures that are being proposed here wouldn't make anyone who genuinely wanted to cheat even blink.

Comment: The peter principle only applies if.... (Score 1) 210

by mark-t (#49590197) Attached to: Yes, You Can Blame Your Pointy-Haired Boss On the Peter Principle

.... you get promoted to a new position before you are actually fully qualified for that position.

In my experience, companies don't promote people to having additional responsibilities before that worker has already proven that they are capable of handling those responsibilities, perhaps through a management training program. Such a promotion must actively be sought out by the employee.

The only other "promotions" that I know of are something like annual cost-of-living salary increases that the most respectable companies may offer to their employees, or else performance-based raises, which are not promotions either, being where one's duties and responsibilities remain essentially unaltered, but one has shown that they are providing a sufficient utility for the company to justify paying them more... generally because after factoring in training costs, the company feels they may have to pay more just to replace them and still get the same amount of utility.

A debugged program is one for which you have not yet found the conditions that make it fail. -- Jerry Ogdin