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Comment Re:Why do we need a desktop client? (Score 1) 464

No, Outlook with Exchange is terrible on many levels. Probably Exchange's fault, and the fact that it doesn't use IMAP. Every time I have to fire the beast up for some reason, it takes more than half an hour to "synch" to my mailbox. How is that even possible over gigabit ethernet? Why, every time? Does it forget everything it ever synched the last time? Rubbish.

Comment Re:Why do we need a desktop client? (Score 1) 464

Non-braindamaged message composition, sane integration with the rest of the native applications that I use, off-line access, seamless integration of multiple accounts and, oh, speed. Built-in searching, and integration with the platform's native searching are bonuses. Oh, and not being in a web browser.

BTW: Mail.app has some faults, but as an IMAP client (with dovecot back-end) I've met nothing that comes close. (OK, claws-mail is fairly close, but lack of html/rich-text composition is limiting in some contexts.) I would *love* to have something as good as Mail.app on Linux/FreeBSD.

Comment Re:Can You SHow Me (Score 1) 607

"Films" (at least the big-budget, blockbuster ones) haven't been recorded on "film" for years. Everything is video. Not VHS video, but electronic. That's one of the reasons why Kodak is out of business. Certainly some smaller film companies are probably still using actual film, but it's not mainstream. I haven't checked but I would be *very* surprised if any film stock was harmed in the making of the Hobbit.

This 48 Hz issue is a different problem.

Comment Re:16 bits isn't enough dyanamic range, sort of. (Score 1) 841

"That quantization can be heard."
Only if you go and turn the volume up at that point, so that those quiet pieces are loud. (And that's why you want a larger bit-depth while recording and mixing, because mixing some parts up is something that you're doing.) If you don't go and fiddle with the volume knob, then you're competing against the noise floor of the listening environment. Even the quietest suburban listening rooms+hi-fi kit only have 85-or so dB peak-to-noise range, so the 16-bit CD's 120-ish floor is plenty.

Comment Re:When do we get compression? (Score 1) 803

There is essentially no virtue in a compressed filesystem because there is essentially no compressible data on a modern file system. The bulk of user data these days (by volume) is already compressed, as JPEG images or MPEG sound files, or similar. A very few people or situations will have a fair chunk of information in the form of documents and guess what: the modern forms of those are already compressed too (zipped XML is the new doc.)

The pieces of data that people will complain about, executables and libraries, aren't particularly compressible either, and are not useful in compressed form because the modern operating systems that execute them operate by demand paging. Everything else (directory structure, control files) is in the noise, and arguably much better off uncompressed for efficiency of access.

Comment Re:Why so much opposition? (Score 1) 554

I'd say that it's mostly disillusionment. You're right: it's not that hard in essence, but in the modern age of spam the effort required to stay clean is (IMO) non-trivial, and things can get very ugly very quickly. (Ugly in terms of bounce loops and bounce spam and various spools filling up.)

I gave up, but haven't switched to gmail (yet). I just turned off my external SMTP service, and now configure all of my MUAs to SMTP directly to the upstream server of the account I'm responding as. Most can handle that, and it still lets me run a unified IMAP server, which I love, but avoids all of the pain of black-lists and most of the pain of spam. Still run a local spool, because my ISP's mail is only POP, so I fetchmail from there.

So: the OP can probably get most of what he wants with an IMAP server (dovecot) and a web-mail front-end (maybe roundcube? I just read about it here.) Let the big ISP's mail spool handle MX and most of the spam filtering...

The Internet

Elderly Georgian Woman Cuts Armenian Internet 282

welcher writes "An elderly Georgian woman was scavenging for copper with a spade when she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and cut off internet services to nearly all of neighboring Armenia. The fibre-optic cable near Tiblisi, Georgia, supplies about 90% of Armenia's internet so the woman's unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours. Large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected. Dubbed 'the spade-hacker' by local media, the woman is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property. She faces up to three years in prison if charged and convicted."

Comment Nice looking on large screens, worse on phones (Score 0) 2254

The old Slashdot used to format the centre column nicely across the width of the iPhone screen. The new one does that by making the font size unreadable, keeping the same number of lines per paragraph. Please support "vertical" reading on handheld devices again, by allowing the paragraphs to re-format, as HTML intended.

Comment Re:Asynchronous and self modifying code. (Score 1) 109

"creating and composing anonymous lambda functions on the fly" is usually referred to as closing over lexically-scoped variables. It is certainly something that happens as a common idiom in functional languages, but it is *not* self-modifying code. It's more like creating an ad-hoc object that holds some data, and has an over-ridden "operator-()" (to use a C++ idiom).
Yes, many lisps can and do generate code at run-time. So do several object-oriented languages, like Smalltalk. There are many dialects of lisp (including common lisp and scheme) that compile to pure executable code, either directly or through C, and have no compiler in the result. No compiler or self-modifcation, but they still operate with closures.

Comment As a crossover... (Score 1) 543

I have a circa-2000 Pentium-III 500MHz that is running the crossovers for my lounge room hi-fi, which I'm listening to at the moment: so it's in use. It's plugged into a very nice multi-channel AD/DA box with a PCI interface: not sure how hard it is to find those (PCI interfaces) any more.
The box has alway run FreeBSD, and I'm happy to report it's as happy as it's ever been under 8-STABLE. Props to 4front-tech for the oss drivers.

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