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Comment Re:MS (Score 1) 176

If you make packed structures on x86, they will require unaligned loads and stores, which are slow (so don't do that). If you do it on a new ARM chip, you get the same. If you do it on a slightly older ARM chip, you get a trap to the OS which fixes up the load. If you do it in x86 code emulated on ARM, then the emulator will turn it into a load-shift-mask sequence (and since ARM instructions get a free shift, this is actually a very quick sequence).

Comment Pursue civil penalties against the infringers (Score 1) 762

IANAL, but by the plain language of the statue, these individuals have infringed the author's copyright by making unauthorized copies of his software into their non-volatile iPhone memory. While the circumstances exclude criminal liability, civil liability for copyright infringement is limited only by logistics and the will of the author to pursue it.

He should go to court and subpoena the identities of these individuals, and ask for the statutory damages he is entitled to.

I strongly recommend the author consult a lawyer to explore his options here. It's possible an IP lawyer would be willing to take his case pro bono as a trial case.

Comment Re:simpler test (Score 2, Insightful) 81

I think his point was that you could make a pretty straight 1 km bar along the ground. I thought the main thing being tested here is the ability to hit the target as it goes along the cable/bar to a distance of a km. Mimicing the resistance of gravity while moving in the horizontal plane is quite simple.

At some point though you do want a full system integration test, so perhaps that's what they are actually doing here.

I would wonder how 'stationary' the helicopter can actually be. I'd figure it would move around quite a bit given wind gusts at altitude; how much would an actual elevator ribbon move in the wind in practice?

Comment anyone with an actual need for (Score 2, Insightful) 219

electronic components has no difficulty differentiating "SPARC" from "SparkFun". While a SPARC CPU is in fact an electronic component, it is one that can only be used if one is building a specialized sort of computer (i.e. one that won't run x86 code and can't run any Windows / OSX apps). If one is going to design an electronic circuit with any hope of functioning, one has to know EXACTLY what components one is designing into it.

The population of actual electronic component customers likely to mistake SPARC for SparkFun is exactly zero. There is NO public likely to be confused by this.

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 244

You're right, instinct isn't the right word, but your conclusion I think is correct also. Instinct really is a bad word because what is really the case is more affinity than anything else. When our nervous systems interact with the environment we feel pleasure, pain or indifference as a response to the stimuli. Animals aren't hard-wired to just act a certain way, instead animals behave a certain way because their nervous systems reward them with endorphins for behaving certain ways if the response from the environment is conducive to the animal in some way (either as a reward for short term survival of the organism itself or as a reward for the long term survival of the animals genes. The latter providing the strongest rewards). It really is a bizarre way to propagate genes when you think about it this way, but it must be noted that only a subset of the animal kingdom uses this system.

As far as rising above these affinities, it's very hard for us to do, but I think being aware of it is the first step to rising above it. A certain amount of it can be done away with just by changing the environment. Take hunting for instance, ask any hunter that doesn't have to do it why they hunt and ultimately it will be because the feeling of the hunt is powerful. Having never hunted myself, I remain ignorant of this affinity and don't have a strong attraction to hunting. Same thing with the feeling of glory that soldiers get from slaughtering their enemies.

That being said, I think the attraction to certain affinities that have never been experienced can be a driving factor for an individuals behavior. I think it's a part of what we might consider curiosity. Obviously, some people are more curious about some things over other things and this isn't a function of environment. Who grows up in a serial killer household? And yet there are people who are curious about what it's like to engage in acts that the vast majority of us consider outrageous.

Anyway, enough rambling, back to work...

Comment Obviously (Score 1) 239

It is clear that the petit bourgeois of the developing world are having difficulty. How are they to manage their bank accounts or find the lowest cost maid service? They live lives that lack basic necessities like online shopping and right-wing blogs! It is vital that we act to improve the lives of those whom we have so much in common with!

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