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Comment Re:Symbian (Score 1) 97

Drive letters. Enough said.
Backslashes as directory separators
Non-POSIX filesystem semantics

So what you're complaining about is that Symbian is not Unix?

Very strange application deployment consisting of several disparate directories with magical names

As opposed to Unix?

Comment Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (Score 1) 427

"[This point was really hammered down for me when "Supreme Commander", highly hailed as innovative, came out and it turns out it's an almost 1-to-1 copy of the old "Total Annihilation" from 10 years ago only with better graphics]"

And that's exactly as I and thousands of other fans wanted it. Most remakes are crap. SupCom isn't.

(actually, a 1:1 copy of the old with better graphics would better describe TA: Spring)

It did add a vital gameplay mechanic in the zoomable tactical display*. Starcraft II is going to hurt so much when I won't be able to do that.

*I'm sure other games did it before... Rome: Total War?

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Wise Man on the Mountain (on teaching)

(quickly whipped up metaphor on the difficulty of teaching)

There once was a wise man who lived at the top of a mountain. He knew a Great Truth, that was bestowed upon him by Greater Powers. He would freely provide this Great Truth to anyone who sought him.

Comment Why getting it wrong sucks (Score 1) 815

PulseAudio was adopted to solve the problem of broken audio for some users, but PulseAudio broke stuff for some users for whom things worked before.

There is more loud complaining about newly-broken systems than there is praise for newly-working systems (humans are a fussy lot), and the complaining is drowning the praise.

Lesson: when you change something, make sure it works well and more importantly doesn't break anything for existing users, or the backlash will be terrible. Apple knows this, Ubuntu is learning this.

Comment Re:Hyperbole inflation (Score 1) 332

It's been close to 5 months now, and he still hasn't achieved his goal of publishing his apps on the store. He has had to put up with nonsensical paperwork and claims. He is at the mercy of a bureaucracy he doesn't control. He still doesn't know what to do to get through this mess. I dunno, it kinda reminds me of Kafka's The Trial.

Maybe your "Don't abuse Kafka" rant has merit for other situations. This one? Not so much.

Comment Re:Dodgy statesmen (Score 1) 681

Would Washington be a better place if MS just pulled up roots, and moved to another state? Another country?

Oh that stupid argument again. Let's cut the bull: There are about 30 000 employees on the Redmond campus, (and that was in 2005, before they started expansion to hold 12 000 more). That many employees, and that much infrastructure, does NOT move overnight, or even over a few years.

Comment Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 137

Except it doesn't really help anyone but them. And later it turns out that they were only doing so because they were breaking the GPL. And then later that the code was shit and has taken a bunch of effort to get into decent shape and they've been completely ignoring emails on the subject.

Just like most other companies contributing drivers to the kernel through Greg K-H's Linux Driver Project, as Greg points out himself

Microsoft puts C# and the CLI under the "Microsoft Community Promise" and trumpets as it being a win for interoperability and open source. Except it only covers the core standardized parts. All the libraries specific to Microsoft's implementation that are widely used aren't included. As a result it basically only makes it easier to move from other implementations to theirs, and not the other way around, and the only one who wins is Microsoft.

It's still better than some other industry-standard languages such as, I dunno, C and C++. Show me their standardized network, threading, GUI libraries please? When did an open-source Java become useable: before or after Microsoft came with open-source C#?

Now I hate Microsoft as much as the next slashdotter, but let's be pragmatic please. Microsoft isn't Bill Gates, it's a thousand-headed hydra. Some heads may still be stuck in the old ways, but things are slowly improving.

In the old days, C# would never have been standardized, it would've been bundled with all their applications, and dev kits would cost thousands. They would've counter-sued to oblivion anybody complaining about their linux drivers. Yeah, OOXML is one of their myriad fuckups, but please don't single out the driver issue or C#, which are actually signs that things are improving at Microsoft, even if they're not perfect yet.

Comment Re:Porting code to a new architecture (Score 1) 521

In an ideal world, you just recompile your C code.

In the real world, your code (indirectly) uses low-level libraries and system calls that only work on a given chip because they make use of specific hardware, either through assembly or through hardware-mapped structures.

More rarely, some basic C operations don't work as expected. A common gotcha on previous ARM architectures were that all memory accesses had to be 32-bit aligned (it saved transistors and power). That meant that you couldn't use a char[] array, you necessarily had to use an int32_t[] from which you'd then extract each byte.

Comment TFA Text (Score 5, Informative) 314

Woops, looks like /. is hammering the server. Here's a copy of the text (as of now):

I've been taking a closer look at the WebOS side of my Palm Pre tonight, and I noticed that it periodically uploads information to Palm, Inc.

The first thing sent is intended to be my GPS location. It's the same location I get if I open the map app on the Pre. Not very accurate in this case, but I've seen it be accurate enough to find my house before.

{ "errorCode": 0, "timestamp": 1249855555954.000000, "latitude": 36.594108, "longitude": -82.183260, "horizAccuracy": 2523, "heading": 0, "velocity": 0, "altitude": 0, "vertAccuracy": 0 }

Here they can tell every WebOS app I use, and for how long.

{ "appid": "", "event": "close", "timestamp": 1250006362 }
{ "appid": "", "event": "launch", "timestamp": 1250006422 }
{ "appid": "", "event": "close", "timestamp": 1250006446 }

It sends the above info on a daily basis.

2009-08-10t09:15:10z upload /var/context/pending/1249895710-contextfile.gz.contextlog ok rdx-30681971
2009-08-11t09:15:10z upload /var/context/pending/1249982110-contextfile.gz.contextlog ok rdx-31306808

There is also some info that is recorded when a WebOS app crashes. Now, I've seen WebOS crash hard a time or two, but it turns out apps are crashing fairly frequently behind the scenes, and each such crash is logged and a system state snapshot taken. At least some of these are uploaded, though if things are crashing a whole lot it will be throttled.

2009-08-09T17:01:22Z upload /var/log/rdxd/pending/rdxd_log_59.tgz OK RDX-30246857
2009-08-09T17:05:36Z upload /var/log/rdxd/pending/rdxd_log_26.tgz OK RDX-30249465
2009-08-09T17:09:11Z upload /var/log/rdxd/pending/rdxd_log_56.tgz OK RDX-30252374
2009-08-09T17:11:46Z upload /var/log/rdxd/pending/rdxd_log_70.tgz OK RDX-30253958
2009-08-09T17:16:29Z upload /var/log/rdxd/pending/rdxd_log_67.tgz ERR_UPLOAD_THROTTLED_DAILY
2009-08-09T17:17:28Z upload /var/log/rdxd/pending/rdxd_log_51.tgz ERR_UPLOAD_THROTTLED_DAILY
2009-08-09T17:20:40Z upload /var/log/rdxd/pending/rdxd_log_21.tgz ERR_UPLOAD_THROTTLED_DAILY

Each tarball contains a kernel dmesg, syslog, a manifest.txt listing all installed ipkg packages (including third-party apps), a backtrace of the crash, a df (from which they can tell I'm using Debian on the phone), and ps -f output listing all processes owned by root (but not by joey).

The uploading is handled by uploadd, which reads /etc/uploadd.conf:



The "HOST" this is sent to via https is

My approach to disable this, which may not stick across WebOS upgrades, was to comment out the 'exec' line in /etc/event.d/uploadd and reboot. However, then I noticed a contextupload process running. This is started by dbus, so the best way to disable it seems to be: rm /usr/bin/contextupload

BTW, since Palm has lawyers, they have a privacy policy, which covers their ass fairly well regarding all this, without going into details or making clear that the above data is being uploaded.


Submission + - Palm Pre reports your location, usage, to Palm ( 1

AceJohnny writes: "Joey Hess found that his Palm Pre was ratting on him. It turns out the Pre periodically uploads detailed information about the user, including installed apps, application usage (and crashes), as well as GPS coordinates to Palm. This, of course, without user consent or control. The only way he found to disable this was to modify system files."

Comment Stars are dangerous! (Score 1) 756

Funny, the Sun being unsuitable for life is one of the ideas behind Passages in the Void, a series of SF short-stories about (among other things) living long-term.

In the long term, living around a star that will eventually gobble up your planet isn't a good idea. Better go make a home in the interstellar (or better, intergalactic) void where chances of stray asteroids or supernovas are much smaller.

Comment Re:That's why.... (Score 1, Insightful) 582

Google lives by its search engine, and people at Google know it.

Actually, Google's main source of revenue is AdSense.

We generated 99% of our revenues in 2007 and 97% of our revenues in 2008 from our advertisers.

(from their 2008 annual report)

Even though the most visible part of Google's activities is the search, I believe the corporate entity (maybe not the brand) would very well survive the demise of their search activity.

Keep that in mind.


Journal Journal: Aging, synthesizing, simplification

Lots of old respectable people seem to go on wild tangents. See: Tipler, Freeman Dyson, Linus Pauling.

As we age and learn, our brain culls unneeded neural connections. This is a natural and required process. Too many neural connections have been correlated to neural pathologies (autism?).

I wonder if too *much* culling makes people oversimplify their understanding of things, as their brain tries to fit new situations into their existing schemas?

Comment Re:Whatever happened to Wengo? (Score 1) 282

on a related note: whatever happened to Google's open-source VoIP thingy that incorporated with XMPP/Jabber? I think it was called 'Jingle', but I haven't heard a lot about it since then.

True, Jingle adoption has been very slow in other clients than GTalk, which is a crying shame. I expect it was for technical reasons: it isn't easy for client developers to easily integrate Jingle in their existing clients, and NAT-traversal (through the ICE method) drives people crazy.

But it's slowly getting there. The most popular Jabber-specific client, Psi, finally supports Jingle-Voice (though not video) in a cross platform way in the latest version 0.13, released a couple of days ago.

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