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Comment Re:I remember... (Score 4, Insightful) 318

Not so long ago niche platforms and disparate architectures were slated to be good BECAUSE they were so diverse it wasn't worth the time to hack them individually...

I also remember a time not so long ago that Microsofties used to complain that the frequency and ease of attacks on public sites was due to their dominance and being a big target. I wonder what Linux admins say now, since they now dominate the data centre?

But these are not niche platforms or disparate architectures. They are all compatible from the point of view of applications and malware. It is just the customization and vendor disinterest that prevents updates. It is as if Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc added their crapware so deeply into the Windows infrasture that Microsoft's security updates could not be applied and the vendors were not interested in creating or distributing adapted versions.

Comment Password strength should match importance (Score 2) 538

I at least try to use better passwords for more important logins. I don't waste brain power or worse resuse high quality passwords for sites where it really doesn't matter if my account gets hacked.

The annoying trend I see that the sites that most often enforce "better" passwords are the ones I don't care about. Must have at least one upper and one lower character, must have a non-alpha numeric character, no more than two consecutive characters: All this just so I can post to a web forum. Meanwhile the bank will accept almost anything.

Comment bad snacks and vending machine (Score 1) 172

My current employer supplies unshelled peanuts, green bananas, and non-quite-ripe apples. The fruit, lame as it is, disappears around Wednesday of the each week, long before it actually become edible.

There is also a vending machine which sells generally toxic vending machine food. At least I can get Coke from the machine to ward off the afternoon snooze.

At a previous short term employer, the only viable caffeine source was chocolate. So not a good thing, especially since I was somewhat immobilized due to an injury during that period.

In a way, I think the bad snack approach may be the best. If it isn't palatable, I don't eat more than I really need.

Comment Re:So tablets at PCs now? (Score 1) 577

I think not.

The IBM PC was introduced on August 12, 1981.

Yet, here is a 1978 Computerworld article, slinging the phrase about with abandon

No, actually, the article does no such thing. The term was "personal computer". The acronym "PC" appears nowhere in that article, which should be no surprize because it was not in common usage at that time. "Personal computer", on the other hand was widely used to describe a variety of different platforms available at that time. "PC" comes from "IBM PC" and it's clones. It only gained a tentative broader definition after nearly all alternatives to the IBM PC linage were extinguished.

Comment Re:Customer lock-in from lenses (Score 2) 259

Customers definitely care. However, the ones likely to care the most are the ones with a significant investment in Nikon format lenses. These lenses don't work with Canon and there may not even be an equivalent for Pentax, Sony, or Olympus.

You can get adapters to fit Nikon lenses on Canon dslrs.

As long as you don't need things like auto-focus or stabilization sure. The adapters are purely mechanical. Any electronic linkage is broken.

Comment Re:But for Terraforming? (Score 1) 264

Venus, on the other hand, already generates a good magnetic field, and has no problem holding a significant atmosphere. It's just too hot and toxic. But a couple thousand tons of bacteria into the upper atmosphere will solve that problem, so Venus is actually the best candidate to turn into an Earth-like place

Venus doesn't have enough hydrogen to support hydrocarbon based life. Your cyanobacteria will simply die unless you hit Venus with a preposterous mass of comets. You may also need to get rid of the excess CO2 so your bugs don't they don't get too cooked.

Comment Customer lock-in from lenses (Score 1) 259

Ding. If customers care, they'll buy from different manufacturers. This guy doesn't have a right to those parts.

Customers definitely care. However, the ones likely to care the most are the ones with a significant investment in Nikon format lenses. These lenses don't work with Canon and there may not even be an equivalent for Pentax, Sony, or Olympus.

Comment How well did these people fare *before* streaming? (Score 1) 665

. 'In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if this is going to be the only way people consume music,

Has anything actually changed? For as long I've been alive, the music industry has been starkly stratified. The big stars make lots of money but most musicians barely get by if they are even fortunate enough to not need a day job to pay the bills. It's hard to sell CD or tapes or LP's of 'Avant cello' when few people have heard of the genre, much less the artist, and only the largest stores carry anything close.

Comment New technology vs visible new devices (Score 1) 417

There is all kinds of new technology. (Finfets, carbon nanotubes, meta materials, etc). And there are new devices: smart phones, dvrs, drones.

What we don't often see are new technologies suddenly making their appearance in new devices that consumers can see and buy. That's the classic (and mostly wrong) inventors tale. What happens much more often is that new technology is first applied to existing applications and new applications are cobbled together from existing technology. This model substantially reduces risk since, if we can make it work, we know there is a market for new technology. New devices can be created much more quickly and be much more likely to work if they are not based on unproven technology.

It does raise the question of what sort of breakthrough devices are we missing out on because the required technology is not useful for any current applications.

Comment Wrong gear sometimes mean no photo at all (Score 1) 316

The most useful camera might be the one you always have with you, or one that can be made ready quickly, and that's probably not a DSLR.

It might be but, then again, it might not. Sometimes, not having the right gear means that you don't have a shot. I don't mean: "the color is a little off and image is a little grainy". I mean: "what's that spec supposed to be?" or "what's that blur supposed to be". Quite often, it means "what's that blurry spec supposed to be?".

My travel hobby is wildlife photography. There is almost never enough light as I would like. The subject is hardly ever close enough. I get good stuff with my 500mm lens on my SLR. A P&S isn't much use in the jungle but can sometimes get useful results in open areas with good light. With very rare exception, it isn't worth the effort lift a camera phone out of my pocket.

Comment Re:Is it lazy to be prudent? (Score 1) 189

Consider our ancestors. Would it be a good idea to always rush from point A to point B, risking near constant exhaustion? Predators would find us an easy kill at that point.

I'd argue that this conservative behavior is evolutionarily driven.

Quite so. Though, I think you have the scenario backwards. Our ancestors were the predators. They relentlessly "ran" down their prey, moving efficiently while forcing the quarry to sprint erratically trying to get away until they collapsed from exhaustion.

Comment Migrating Facebook users to other services (Score 1) 158

The idea was that you would go into Vine, Vine would search your facebook profile for friends of yours who were also using Vine and add them to Vine's friend list for you. That is providing real functionality. Now you have to manually search for and enter each of your friends one by one. So no, they aren't just jumping on the bandwagon, they are using the information from the Facebook API in a way that is so incredibly obvious that the fact that it is blocked makes you wonder what the hell the API was supposed to be fore in the first place.

From Facebook's perspective, the API is supposed to make being on Facebook more valuable and, therefore, help to retain users. Facebook's main asset is isn't user base. Facebook has the users, other sites don't and Facebook would like to keep it that way. Marketing to those users is how Facebook makes its money.

What you are describing is a migration tool. Once your Facebook friends have been moved to your Vine friends list, Vine doesn't need Facebook anymore and will be competing for those user's attention. I'm pretty sure this is not what Facebook Corporate had in mind.

When a corporation offers you a API, you need to keep in mind that they are doing it for themselves, not for you. If what you do with the API does not advance the business of the corporation, don't be surprised if they cut you off.

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