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Comment Re:the iso to usb tool only accepts win7 isos (Score 4, Interesting) 356

There are no silver-bullet solutions for booting ISOs via USB. A silver-bullet solution requires doing "floppy emulation", which is something that can't be easily done in a general-purpose way. For CD booting, each BIOS has this functionality implemented differently. For USB booting, the bootloader has to figure out how to do this. MEMDISK and GRUB4DOS are the only ones I know that do floppy emulation.

But then you have to do CD drive emulation too.

The way almost all ISO=>USB booters work is to pull the pieces apart and make them work without floppy+CD drive emulation. But this requires intimate knowledge of how that ISO normally boots, and thus it can't be a silver-bullet solution.

Comment Re:Not the bottleneck (Score 1) 394

You can easily modify one of the GPL fonts to use wider punctuation, and call it a programmer's font. The important thing that makes proportional fonts faster to read is that the letters are proportional-width, punctuation width doesn't necessarily have to stay small.

Comment Re:Overrated (Score 4, Informative) 394

Elastic tabstops solve the alignment problem. "Do what I mean, not what I say" with whitespace is a good thing, particularly when the width of a character can be totally different for every reader. Elastic tabstops aren't implemented in many editors yet (currently available as an optional feature in gedit and Code Browser), but once it becomes more widespread, many more programmers will be free to try out proportional fonts for coding.

Comment Re:I'm Confused (Score 1) 274

and they are much more likely to be monitoring my traffic then someone with a wireless snooper

Are you sure? It's usually not difficult for law enforcement to find out who the owner of an AP is, because they're fixed in place. It's much more difficult to track down random passersby after the fact, because they're mobile and they're usually anonymous.

If you had the ability to sniff traffic, would you rather do it near your house (where the traffic is lower, and the chance of police finding later you is higher)? Or at your nearest coffeeshop (where the traffic is higher, and the chance of police finding you later is almost zero)?

Comment Re:Target, or Amazon? (Score 4, Interesting) 241

Comment Re:haha (Score 1) 241

At one point, Target had mirrored Amazon's product pages, which resulted in Target appearing to sell marijuana and an anus constricting book. However, that was FIVE YEARS ago. You'd think that Google would eventually figure out that these products are long-dead, and purge them from their index.

Or does Google keep things around forever? Psychologists have discovered that forgetting old memories is actually useful. Maybe Google should follow suit.

Comment Re:Google Dictionary? (Score 2, Insightful) 180

I've used onelook.com for a while, which is another aggregator that (for now) seems to have more links than Google Dictionary does.

But Google Dictionary isn't just an aggregator, they provide their own pronunciations for some words (a really important feature IMHO), and a list of synonyms for some words.

I actually hope that onelook links to Google Dictionary, as strange as an aggregator-linking-to-aggregator might be.

My guess is that Google has been working on computational linguistics for such a long time (stemming has been important for search for a while, and Google lately has started throwing in synonyms to the search results) that it's natural for Google to start exposing some of their internal dataset to the world more directly.

Comment Obligatory (Score 2, Funny) 121

"The Internet is not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it generates more heat and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of boiling water, enormous amounts of boiling water."

Comment Re:Dr Strangelove? (Score 1) 638

From the article:

the counterattack would be controlled by so-called command missiles. ... These missiles would launch first and then radio down coded orders to whatever Soviet weapons had survived the first strike. At that point, the machines will have taken over the war.

From Wikipedia:

these rockets in turn would broadcast attack orders to missiles, bombers and, via radio relays, submarines at sea. Contrary to some Western beliefs, Dr. Blair says, many of Russia's nuclear-armed missiles in underground silos and on mobile launchers can be fired automatically."

That is, it's clear that there's a human in the loop who decides whether to launch the command missiles. But it's not clear that there has to be a human in the loop to fire individual weapons, if those weapons systems were to erroneously conclude that a command missile has remotely ordered it to attack. The US never did this — nuclear weapons always require a person on-site to make the final decision whether to fire.

Comment Re:Illegible Cursive going away? Oh Noez! (Score 1) 857

If fast cursive isn't very legible, then it's not worth keeping as an option. Slow script is much more legible than slow cursive — practically no machine-printed documents use cursive. The only time someone really needs to "write fast" is when they're recording real-time spoken words, and that's what shorthand was invented for.

Comment New standard (Score 1) 438

They'll solve the problem of "how do you download a browser without first having a browser installed?" by providing a minimal front-end whose only purpose is to download a browser:

That screen would allow users to choose from a number of competing browsers, which would then be downloaded and installed on the machine.

To allow this, each browser will need to provide a stable, standard URL that will download the latest version of its browser. Hopefully this can be standardized enough that other OS's can use these stable URLs as well.

Comment Re:Great formatting in this article (Score 4, Informative) 555

View the HTML source, the quotes are actually <i> elements — that is, it's a bug in Slashcode's CSS. The problem is that this bug doesn't occur on every Slashdot page, only some pages. So, likely, when the author composed their message, it was on a page that the bug didn't occur on, so they couldn't have known that it would have rendered so differently on another page.

The buggy part of the CSS page reads:

div.body i{display:block;padding-left:1em;margin:.5em;border-left:3px #ddd solid;font-style:normal;}

Comment Re:Known since at least 2006 (Score 1) 174

Of course there is no reason this is still not fixed (by being able to disable a:visited style)

If the issue were so simple, why has no major browser implemented a proper fix for this yet, despite the fact that we've known about the issue for nine years ?

A:visited is very useful to the user in some circumstances, so it's unacceptable to turn it off for every user in every circumstance. Firefox 3.5 added a hidden preference in case some users want to turn it on sometimes, but that solution doesn't work for 80% of the people out there. Personally, I think applying the "same origin" policy to a:visited is a better solution, but that hasn't been integrated into any mainline either.

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