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Comment Dell XPS 18 (Score 2) 177

Dell already sells an 18" "All-In-One Desktop" XPS 18 which is thin enough to be a tablet and has batteries and a touchscreen. I have owned one for over a year and it is very nice. Fast Core I7, 8 GB and a terabyte of hybrid disk. They sell less tricked out versions as well. Other than the Android OS on the Samsung and the Windows 8.1 on the Dell they sound pretty comparable. Not sure this is a really new idea.

Comment Re:What could go wrong? (Score 2) 161

What asteroids/meteors? Those were American/Chinese/N Korean missiles.

And we haven't even heard from our 'Tin Foil Hat' brigade yet.

This proposal would clearly be:
- Against God's will
- A government conspiracy to subjugate us
- A plan by the Freemasons/Communists/Bankers/Democrats/Republicans to subjugate us
- Contrary to a natural cycle of extinctions

And most importantly "ALL THE PRESIDENT'S FAULT"

This is just a friendly reminder that we will eventually go extinct, and it will be our own damn fault.

Comment This process is already in OAGIS' library (Score 1) 365

All the USPTO examiner had to do was to look on the OAGIS website (or EDIFACT or ANSI for that matter), find the appropriate business process documentation and even the XML data structure definition for the control messages. This stuff is 40 years old already. This should be a basic step in the review process. The auto supply companies have been doing this kind of thing for years, with computers, on the internet! The orders are complex and extremely time sensitive and if you screw up even a very few times you are de-sourced. Suppliers can get specific orders from the customer in the traditional way or manage specific inventory levels and needs that change over time on the customers premises. That having been said there is no fix until something pushes the system out of its current screwed up equilibrium state.

Comment Meijer for Electornics? (Score 1) 322

In Deee-troit we have a Microcenter which is where I go most of the time. It IS geek central. The prices are pretty good, the selection is great and it is busy as h*ll all of the time. But.... I recently bought a Roku, a couple of iPads, a Nano and a Shuffle at Meijer of all places. They are a general merchandise discount department store based out of Grand Rapids MI. Think Midwest Super W*Mart. They keep sending me 15% off coupons that are good for all of their electronics plus there is stuff on sale all of the time and the 15% still applies. Try getting any kind of discount on the Jobs stuff most places. Plus it's a department store so no high pressure. Three caveats staff expertise is mixed, you need a Meijer credit card to get the discount and I'm sure part of the profits go to fund the founder's family's statewide political campaigns. They keep trying to be the Michigan Governor or Senator. So far unsuccessfully I'm happy to say. Like their store, their politics... not so much.

Comment Drunk dudes and skunks (Score 1) 137

Here in Michigan we were once threatened by a bunch of drunk dudes who were out joyriding while we were out stragazing. Most of the time those type of guys were interested in getting a look through the scopes but these dudes were wacked. No harm came to anyone in this "incident". The only chemical weapons we ever encountered were wielded by the skunks. All in all much safer here.

The Afghans get props for their dedication to the science. Lets hope it gets better not worse for them.

Comment A real gentleman (Score 2) 172

I was fortunate enough to meet the man a few times during my short stay at DEC in the 80's. He was very gracious, intelligent and committed to the company. Ken was on the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors so he came to Detroit fairly often. I remember at one point he gave Henry Ford II a Rainbow PC and one of the guys I worked with had to go install it at the Duce's mansion. Henry gave Ken an Escort station-wagon which he drove for several years. Rest in Peace Ken.

Comment Re:5.25" Floppy (Score 1) 498

I had to pull an old file consisting of a BASIC program off a 51/4" drive recently. After I found the disk it took an hour to locate an old drive in the "box of old drives" and install it in a case. It's original source was a Honeywell mainframe running GCOS (a.k.a. God's Chosen Operating System) and I must have downloaded it back in the mid 80's using some kind of ADM3A terminal emulator. Anyway, I needed it to look at the logic of some AI programs I wrote back then. Once I had it in Windows 7 it "mostly" loaded into VS 2008 and with a minor tweak or two ran just like the original.

Comment 20-Jan-1979 MS Basic Bug (Score 2) 375

The oldest file has a timestamp of 20-Jan-1979. It was moved from my prof's North Star Horizon 5 1/4 floppy. Oldest file from my Horizon is 12-Jan-1981. Funny, most of these old files are MS Basic and VAX Basic source code. One has a program comment "REM Talked to Bill at Microsoft. This way of doing it avoids a bug in Basic"

Comment The WOW brochure was in the mailbox (Score 1) 286

The WOW (Wide Open West) guys have been trenching in the commons area here for the last week and I just got the WOW brochure in my mailbox. More service for less money. I'm guessing I have to endure Comcast for only a few more weeks! Thank you to our city council for insisting there be cable competition here in Rochester MI.

This award in not a joke. My experience supporting my own place and parents and in-laws, 6 total in multiple states, convinces me that Comcast is indeed the worst company in America.


Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."

Comment Vistas in Information Handling, Spartan Press 1962 (Score 2, Interesting) 108

The most amazing computer book ever. It has Doug Englebart's first description of “augmenting the human intellect” using computers. It describes what we know now as windows (generic) with pointing devices. It has an early linear document retrieval system using page ranks based on word co-occurrences and it has an early language translation system (Russian to English with examples of translating Soviet missile papers). What a preview of things to come.

It is worth a read just to get into the heads of some of the computing pioneers.

Another required reading book for all aspiring CS students should be John Von Neumann’s the “Computer and the Brain.” Dated, but again this is what they were thinking.

We have a lot to be humble about given the hardware and compilers they had to work with. Not to mention primitive development environments, a.k.a. the card punch.

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