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Comment Re:Oooh Goodie! (Score 1) 119

Because the ability to think algorithmically is MORE important in the internet age than most of the rest of high school maths and basic sciences.

It gives kids the ability to examine, use, experiment with the data that's thrown at them from news and magazines rather than just consuming it - yes, even writing a little app to automate one aspect of their journeyman trade perhaps. I thought LOGO to 9th, 10th and 11th graders as an introductory computer class and was delighted when the kids, for their final projects, used it for their own interests, even a Cosmo-style "how good is your boyfriend?" quiz.

Also, it gives kids the ability to better navigate a world where so much of what they interact with - store clerks, web sites, tech support people, tax forms - are more algorithm than human.

Comment Re:Lack of commitment (Score 1) 541

I heard the usual "we need to make sure it's a good fit" deal, but my attitude is you either believe me at my skills or don't.

Well, in your case it was obvious. But temp-to-hire is extremely common for the "fit" problem - just because you have the skills doesn't mean you have the right "fit" to the team. There's a lot of interpersonal dynamics at play. Sometimes you may be the expert at what you do, but either the way you act, or the way you react, to everyone else makes it difficult to fully utilize your skills.

Of course, if it was temp-to-hire, they won't use a third party to hire you. They'd put you on contract first.

Comment Re:OMG, it still looks the same (Score 1) 205

I don't have to worry about getting patches pushed out that I can't opt out of.

I thought you were talking about Android being better than iOS?

iOS has never required you to update if you didn't want to. This is true way back since 2007 when Jobs introduced it.

Now, iTunes back then prompted you (and still does) that there's an update, but you can click "Cancel" and check "Do not ask me again" and it won't bug you again until there's another update. Which you can decline as well.

In fact, when people were hacking the first iPhone to unlock it, Apple specifically told them to NOT update because it wouldn't work. Of course, when Apple releases a new version, everyone daftly clicked "Update".

At no point has an update ever been forced on someone while they had a working phone. The only time an update is "forced" is if you clicked "Restore" to restore the phone back to factory settings. But if you were happy with what you had and things worked, you did zilch - you have to click update to perform the update.

ISTR that forced updates was more of an Android thing... mostly perpetuated by carriers.

Comment Re:OMG, it still looks the same (Score 1) 205

2. A decent on-screen keyboard. Personally I like the sliding-style ones like Swype and Swiftkey and iOS doesn't do that eithre, but one of my biggest annoyances with iOS is that Apple's keyboard does not change the state of letters on-screen when the shift key has been pressed.

Fair comment about the shift key state (though I suppose one reason why is caps gives readability).

Though I wonder if the reason why Android keyboard alternatives are plentiful is because the default Android keyboard is... well, terrible. Mostly because the touchscreens are terrible which gives a horrendous typing experience on Android. Entering passwords I find extremely tedious on Android purely because it takes many attempts to do it properly.

I've tried keyboards like Swype and the like and hated them, and then reverted back to the default because they just got annoying.

On iOS, I can enter my password in the first time every time.

Comment Re:How is brute force even a viable means of hack? (Score 1) 36

Also even if the bot has 1 failed attempt a day using some discretionary attack, at some point a server should realize that there is no human stupid enough to fail to enter a password properly on a regular basis. I mean once you enter your password in most browser or on the Wii console, you don't even have to type it in again, so 3 failed attempts in any given period of time should lock you out of your account, period.

Except Club Nintendo is NOT tied to anything you already have. It's a separate account and everything.

In fact, it's sort of useless because all it's good for is entering those codes you get with the system and games, which gives you access to prizes. There's very little personal information (you only need an email address to sign up), and there's absolutely no financial information at all - the rewards of Club Nintendo are paid for completely by Nintendo - no shipping, etc.

Heck, even shipping addresses may not be all that special, if they're retrievable. And Nintendo only asks for those when they need it.

Comment Re:It was bound to happen (Score 1) 198

What's wrong with usage taxes?

Gas and other vehicle tax goes to maintaining roads. Not schools, not reproductive habits of Bolivian underwear weasel, not buy the president another vacation - roads. There's other ways to do it that are closer to fair, but never mind that.

Once you cut out victimless crimes and stop making stupid shit criminal, such as buying socks on Sunday in parts of New Jersey or rolling up a wild weed in a piece of paper, setting it on fire and inhaling the smoke, and make only things that have real victims crimes then you can have criminals support their own prosecution and incarceration.

The "every fucking transaction you can conceive of" method of taxation just isn't right.

Comment Re:Just guessing? (Score 2) 36

I have lots of easy to guess passwords if they allow 15 million attempts on an account.

More like they tried 15M attempts at logging in with various username-password combinations, of which 24,000 of them were successful.

Though, given how little information Nintendo asks, one wonders what the whole point is - I don't think Nintendo even asks for an address until they absolutely need it, so if it was an account created but not really used, there's no information at all. Maybe a few coins, but you can't take them from one account and consolidate them to another...

Of course, Nintendo's entire online thing is a bit iffy to begin with - there's at least three different logins for three different systems, none of which are combined - you have a support account, a Nintendo Network account (Wii U) and a Club Nintendo account.

I suppose a lot of the separation is because well, all the child privacy and protection laws really make it hard to even get something like an email address...

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 253

It's all "make-you-feel-good-software" which doesn't survive a simple OS reinstallation...

False. Computrace (LoJack) actually survives OS reinstallation, provided the new OS is compatible (i.e., WIndows).

It does it by relying on a BIOS component that checks for it to be installed and if not, patches itself back in on the hard drive.

Of course, it lacks a lot of authentication and can easily be hijacked if you modifiy the BIOS...

Comment Re:NEWS FLASH (Score 1) 298

The "real price" of something is exactly determined by each transaction where it is sold. This is the realest price you can get. A MSRP printed on the book is not "real".

Exactly. The MSRP is just a "suggested" price, like what the manufacturer thinks it should cost, but it isn't what you necessarily pay.

And it's just like the stock market in the end - the price is what two people agreed upon to do the trade. The next one may be higher or lower.

If the gap between what buyers are willing to pay and what sellers are willing to sell is too big, it, like a thinly traded stock, will not be very liquid and sales will be low.

Of course, an opportunity comes in where a middleman may be able to talk the seller into going lower (but not as low as the highest buyer), and asking the buyer to go higher (but not as high as what the seller is willing to sell) and thus facilitating a trade. Which causes trades to happen and adds liquidity in the system..

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 300

However, I don't mind Sony doing it so much since I can play online there for free. It's also less intrusive than Xbox. Microsoft, on the other hand, charges $60 a year for their services and spams the shit out of the home screen with ads.

PS4 requires PS+ to play online. Sony has already stated this. PS3 will however retain ability to play for free online.

You mean "what's new" which shows the last 3 games you played, and 3 panels above and below that with promotional tiles. You can set it so that the PS3's XMB doesn't go to it after boot.

System Settings> Display [What's New]

Turn it to off. That setting only applies if you have your PS3 connected to the Internet, if you don't it can't show it. Either way you have the option of not automatically showing it, though I find it useful to check for new releases on PSN.

That doesn't remove that ticker that shows up below the login details that scrolls ads. I don't know why, but I find that way more annoying that how Microsoft does it (though that advertising tile comes close - the one that says "advertising" on it). The other stuff seems fairly static and somewhat relevant and interesting.

That said, I think the PS4 will have to include it as well - an advertising API because games will demand it for in-game ads. (Which are here now, no matter what the platform)

Comment Re:Why Not Regular Printers? (Score 1) 67

Why does it still take fucking drivers, patches, and voodoo to fucking hook up a regular printer and make it function?

Because printer manufacturers want it to be this way. Although there's also a tone of stuff that's not standardized - e.g., computer-printer communication protocol (e.g., how is a printer supposed to announce its capabilities? Remember that the old parallel interface (emulated by USB) consists of 8 data lines and 5 return status lines. It was assumed back then that printer drivers knew everything. It's also why printers have a set of "defaults" that exist in the printer driver and on the printer itself.

I also can't understand why it's so complicated? Isn't PCL supposed to be standard?

PCL is a page description language and a bit of printer control protocol. A page description language describes how to put things on paper, while a printer control protocol describes how the printer should work.

The former describes what's on the page, the latter how the pages are laid out. So something like duplexing, paper type, which tray, color settings, color correction, etc., are printer control while things like what font to use and how to rasterize it are page description.

It's only recently have full two-way communications between computer and printer been available that let us query printers for capabilities and such and actually lead us to one universal driver because printer control is typically a two-way protocol while page description is one-way.

In fact, Apple's been trying to push driverless printing through AirPrint to allow devices to print to printers directly (if they support AirPrint) or through an intermediary (legacy printers).

It looks like it's actually a modified version of CUPS since Linux can support it natively.

What's even more ironic is that inexpensive monitors only have VGA. they would be even less expensive if they had DVI (or HDMI) since they could skip the A/D part. But they want you to buy the more expensive ones for digital inputs.

Except it's generally an all-in-one chip that does it all - A/D, scaling, and panel interfacing.

Also, DVI gets complicated with stuff like HDCP (which requires keys and such) and layout (DVI does require high-speed layout since the bits are coming at it fairly fast). VGA can be fairly tolerant as long as the three lines reach the chip at around the same time.

Comment Re:More crappy moderation. (Score 1) 198

The same one was among them - some of us just have our eyes open wider than others.

BTW - I'm not against all forms of taxes.

Usage taxes are fine, though I have dreamed up a few ways around those they seem like a good thing. Tax the gas, tires, cars, bus tickets, etc.. To pay for roads. Every dime of that tax (and) toll money should go to maintaining, building, and upgrading our vehicle infrastructure. Since the historical pre-car users of roads were pedestrians, equestrians, and cyclist and those historical roads didn't require 100th the maintenance they can pay for bike lanes and sidewalks for the people and animals they displaced, though a tax on bicycles and parts for them, maybe shoes- not allowed to exceed the percentage placed on gas or cars - I would find acceptable if the same reasoning was used. Don't bike drive or walk? No road tax!

The people of your city want a stadium? Tax the event tickets. I'm not on-board with taxing hotel rooms to pay for stadiums. Your team sucks and so does Justin Bieber so you don't watch sporting/music events at your stadium? Don't pay for it.

I should not however have to pay taxes on my gasoline where the funds get diverted to studying the mating habits of feral Chihuahua's, nor should should taxes on my phone bill go to pay for a war with Mexico that was over more than 100 years ago.

Comment Re: Open airplanes (Score 3, Informative) 506

It's both an aural warning and an indicator light. But they ignored about 70 aural stall warnings; they probably ignored the dual input warnings too. Remember, the pilots didn't know they were suffering an instrumentation failure due to iced up pitot tubes. All they knew was that they were getting inconsistent, contradictory, and in some cases impossible readings from their instruments. While trying to figure out what the hell was going on, they got the plane into a high angle of attack, low speed configuration which caused the stall warnings to stop (even though the plane was still in a stall) due to the computer being programed to discount aerodynamic data as unreliable in that state.

When the pilot then gave the plane the correct input (nose down), the plane picked up speed and the stall warnings began again. Completely the opposite of what's actually going on, and probably confused the hell out of the pilots. At that point they probably guessed they were experiencing an electronic/computer problem, and probably began disregarding all the alarms they were hearing.

It's tempting to blame the accident on how easy it is to miss the "dual input" warning during a confusing and dangerous situation where all sorts of warnings are going off, and say that a force-feedback system like Boeing uses is superior. But with Boeing's system, one pilot slumped over or deliberately pushing his control column to crash the plane would hinder the other pilot from controlling the aircraft, possibly causing an accident. With Airbus' system, the conscious pilot just pushes a button and he has complete control. It's not that one method is better than the others, they're just different, and vulnerable to different failure modes. AF447 just happened to hit upon a failure mode of the Airbus system.

It's also worth pointing out that the other two major crashes caused by disorientation following instrument failure were 757s. So while the dual inputs probably added to the confusion, it's still highly likely AF447 would have crashed anyway even without the dual input problem. The overwhelming cause of the accident was spatial disorientation coupled with reluctance to believe the instruments after a systemic failure (the airspeed inputs feed into multiple other systems that update the pilots on the state of the plane).

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