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Comment Re:Iran never called for Israel's destruction (Score 1) 164

This is a reference to an older quote by Khomeini, but in Khomeini's days Iran was an ally of Israel. The alliance was broken off after the 1990 gulf war, because with Iraq gone and the USSR gone Israel had to change its strategy and Iran became a regional competitor.

I stopped reading after this sentence since it is so wrong, I assume the rest of it is also drivel. Israel and Iran were allies up until the Islamic revolution of 1979 in which Khomeini took power. You may have heard about the Iran hostage crisis, which happened at the same time when Iran's friendly relationship with the US was similarly dissolved. The Islamic council of Iran, which still rules today, has always been hostile to the US and Israel

Comment Re:"Other minor changes"? (Score 1) 212

This is a huge deal for developers since the iPad and iPhone/touch are now running the same software release. This means that developers no longer needs to target iOS 3.2 as the lowest common denominator for all devices, and can instead start using the new 4.x features (assuming they don't care about the very first generation iPhone/touch).

Comment What EFI is and isn't (Score 5, Informative) 216

Every time Slashdot has a story of EFI, we get a thousand uninformed posts about what it is, isn't, what it should do and why it sucks. As someone who has worked on EFI for years, let me clear them up for you:

1) EFI was designed by Intel as a replacement for BIOS. UEFI (edk2) is the second generation EFI, and is open source (see: http://tianocore.sourceforge.net). Intel delivers all of their boot support code as EFI drivers these days.

2) EFI is NOT a graphical interface. Some Chinese motherboard makers created terrible graphical configuration applications for it. Apple created a pretty nice boot selector. It can just as easily "post" and give you a console-mode menu like you're used to.

3) EFI is very common. All Apple computers use it. Most PC (Windows / Linux) laptops use it (your laptop probably does if it was made in the last 4 years). EFI drops into BIOS emulation mode after boot because Windows doesn't support it.

4) EFI machines generally allocate a small EFI partition on the hard drive, particularly if they use GPT. All Intel-based machines boot from flash memory and would successfully boot without this partition. This partition is for additional EFI firmware volumes or drivers that can be dynamically loaded.

5) EFI is much better than BIOS. It runs in full 32/64 bit mode. It can dynamically load drivers built into the ROM of your hardware (like a video card) and therefore doesn't have to rely on ancient backward-compatibility modes. It can run "apps", like a safe firmware updater so you don't have to boot your PC with a DOS boot disk to update the firmware. It can communicate a lot of configuration information to the OS and even provide hooks for some low level hardware-specific drivers. It can do things like boot from a network-shared CD-ROM drive or from a disk image stored on a USB stick (without resorting to making bootable partitions and jumping through a bunch of hoops like your average Linux USB stick). EFI can read FAT, NTFS, EXT2, HFS+ filesystems and boot the kernel directly from there (and the initrd image) without involving grub or other second stage boot loader. It can boot your GPT-tagged disks in your chosen order no matter what order you changed them around (take your boot drive, move it to a USB enclosure, boot from it).

Booting Intel machines is really fucking complicated, and EFI makes it much simpler.

Comment Re:Windows Phone 7 is great (Score 2, Informative) 319

For example, side by side, the Android browser in Froyo as running on a Nexus One has been demonstrated to be faster than the iPhone 3GS and the iPad despite the fact that they are both based on Webkit.

The Nexus One has a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM, whereas the 3GS has a 600 MHz (both ARM Cortex A8) and 256 MB of RAM. The fact that up until Froyo the browser didn't run faster should be quite embarrassing.

Comment Re:Transparent is no lie (Score 1) 114

Google needs your data, just like how you need Google. Search is their core business, after all. What we need to make sure is that those TOS and agreements are not just some legal stuff to make the whiners go away, and it's in their enlightened self-interest to make sure we can verify it. Google is not Microsoft: it won't cost you days of work and months of learning to move away from their products if they piss you off, and they know it.

You are mistaken, advertising is their core business. Search, email, maps, mobile operating systems, these are just hooks to lure in the product (users) to sell to the advertisers. Protecting your privacy is contrary to their entire business model, which is to sell targeted advertising based on collected data. They will change some wording around to placate loud complaints, but at their core they will continuously encroach into your personal information as best as they can.

Comment Re:Fonts are too small (Score 1, Interesting) 198

E17 doesn't give you the option to do that without going into the config files and manually editing them. It's not something that is any problem for more experienced Linux users but it is the kind of thing that may hurt adoption of E-17 Ubuntu.

I'm an experienced Linux user. I write device drivers for a living. But I get home, the last thing I want to do is edit configuration files to change settings in my GUI. This is why, after 10 years of using Linux on the desktop, my next computer will be a Mac.

Comment Re:And my 6 years old son takes 1/5th of the gas (Score 1) 940

In practice 30% is still optimistic. A 767 weight approximately 180,000 kg, and seats less than 250 people. If those people each weighed 100 kg (220 lbs), the weight of the people is around 12% of the flying mass. What you're mostly paying for is the big metal bird the people are in.

If you want a proportional discount based on weight, your child should only get a discount on 12% of their ticket price. But we also have to pay for aircraft maintenance, the pilot and crew, aircraft lease of purchase service payments, and the airline's other expenses. In reality, the fixed costs of flying an aircraft far outweigh the added fuel per passenger kilogram component of your ticket. Your discount would end up being a low single digit percentage value of your ticket price.

The point of getting fat people to pay more is not due to their fuel consumption. It's due to their space consumption. They're either taking up a valid seat which could be occupied by another human who is splitting the aircraft costs with the rest of the flyers, or crowding people out of the space they paid for.

Comment Re:And my 6 years old son takes 1/5th of the gas (Score 4, Informative) 940

You can't have it both ways. If you're going to charge the fat folks extra, you gotta give the rest of us the price break on kids' tickets.

It's simple: Airlines don't sell distance per gas consumed. They sell seats. People are not packages. You can't fly more of them in a plane if they weight less in a linear manner. One seat is the minimum allocation unit you can buy. Whether you use the whole seat just put your purse on it is not their business. You're paying for it if you're going to use it. If you're so fat that you cannot fit into the single smallest allocation unit they provide, you will have to purchase two of them (or upgrade to a higher class with bigger seats).

Comment Re:Open Source to the rescue (Score 1) 258

Nitpick: SDHC card sectors are always 512 bytes, and most SD card sectors are 512 bytes too. Flash memory would benefit from larger sector sizes too, but they've probably stuck to 512 bytes for Windows compatibility.

This is no longer true. Most 2x NAND memory manufactured in the past year is 4KB block sizes with 8KB coming soon. That it pretends to be 512 bytes is a function of the SDIO MLC driver IC. Luckily for SD they come pre-partitioned so that the partitions are aligned properly.

Comment Re:That's mighty elitist of you (Score 1) 260

I completely agree with you, it is a very real engineering problem that requires serious academic examination. This is a good candidate for something like that Software Engineering Institute. The issue is one of writing software and managing a code base. It is a logistics problem. Maybe it can only be solved by a new language or method of source control or verification. In that area, yes, it's open to computer science to explore. But in general, it's a code architecture, testing, development methodology problem, which is the concern of software engineering.

Comment Re:That's mighty elitist of you (Score 1) 260

A Turing machine cannot solve the problem of software maintenance. You cannot model software maintenance as a finite state machine. There is no algorithmic solution. There is no space-time trade-off that you can make improve the situation.

It is not a problem to be solved by computing. It is outside the realm of Computer Science, and clearly in the lap of Software Engineering.

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