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Comment My smart TV was obsolete within months (Score 1) 76

My smart TV was connected to the internet only during the first months of its operation. The manufacturer did not update any of the apps, and the ones supplied were not interesting. So I have now left the TV unplugged.

So I bought a Chromecast, and plugged it into a spare HDMI socket. So for an extra $50, I had a true smart TV, one that works on WiFi leaving my ethernet cables I pulled through the walls obsolete. Now it looks like I dodged a bullet with respect to this security vulnerability.

Chromecast is not the only option - there's a variety of similar products around. And if one gets dropped by it manufacturer and has a security vulnerability, its simple and cheap to replace with a competing product. No need to lay out big bucks buying another "smart" TV.

Comment Re:Google Beta (Score 1) 142

We had significant problems with ABC iView a couple fo weeks ago. It would display the leading advertisement, then go into an endless download loop, needing the chromcast to be power cycled. This happen 3-4 times, after which time (half an hour wasted), we gave up trying to watch that episode. Haven't used chromecast since - maybe the A/B testing is our problem?

Comment Early contributer to the Everything List (Score 1) 40

Hal was an early contributer to the Everything list, set up to discuss the ensemble everything theories of Max Tegmark and others like him.

In particuar the notion of the quantum theory of immortality received a lot of discussion. Hal followed the absolute SSA interpretation, which means he didn't believe in the quantum theory immortality. However, if he's wrong, I hope he didn't stay locked in for long!

Comment Kid loses expensive phone? (Score 1) 682

It will happen, and usually sooner rather than later.

Problem is that instantly replacing said phone does not teach the right lessons to the kid either.

I first gave my son a mobile phone when he was about 10, when he started at a distant school involving taking public buses to get there. It was an old brick (late '90s nokia), and attached by a string to his schoolbag for the first few years. Even so, he still managed to lose it a couple of times (fortunately we always recovered it, even if it took several weeks).

Now at age 15 he's pretty good about it, so he gets a modern smart phone.

Submission + - Steve Keen nears Kickstarter goal for open source economic software (

HighPerformanceCoder writes: From the article:

Economist Steve Keen is closing in on his goal to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter to help build “the best economic modelling software ever produced”.

“It’s going to get funded and we’re hoping to get two or three times that much if we can,” Keen told iTNews.


Submission + - How does modularity evolve? ( 1

JimmyQS writes: "As programmers know, modularity is critical to making reusable, adaptable software. However, modularity is not instinctive for beginners and must be learned via painful training. Biology faces a similar problem: modularity is useful to make species more adaptable, but how did it evolve in the first place? Surprisingly, computational simulations of 25,000 generations of evolution reveal that modularity does not evolve because it makes organisms more adaptable. Instead, modularity evolves as a by-product for selection to reduce the "wiring costs" of a network. The discovery greatly advances research into evolving artificially intelligent robots, a field where the inability to evolve modular designs has long been thought to be a key roadblock to evolving truly complex, intelligent neural networks.

The paper was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. You can also watch modularity evolve in this video."

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Open source project to revolutionise economics is seeking Kickstarter funding (

HighPerformanceCoder writes: "Minsky is an open source visual programming tool for modelling dynamical systems, oriented towards economics modelling, in particular supporting nonconventional dynamics systems model. It is an initiative of Prof. Steve Keen to help reform the economics profession.

Steve has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund further development of the software package. If you're interested in alternative theories of economics, in mathematical modelling of dynamics systems, or visual programming software for mathematical modelling, this project should be of interest. Get involved by funding it, contributing programming time, or even just joining the beta testing programme."

Comment Depends on how big the coding standard is (Score 1) 430

Having worked for one team that had a large, detailed coding standard - 100s of items, references to books that introduced another few 100 items, plus a whole bunch of undocumented standards that get discovered in code review, I can say that even after a year in the place, my coding performance was impacted, and coding reviews spent an enormous amount of time on style things.

In another place I worked at, there was perhaps only a dozen coding style items, every developer had their own style of working, and the crazy thing was it worked. You got used to the other coders' "accents" after a while, and the good thing was you didn't need to think too hard about the coding standard, nor waste much time in reviews.

So yeah - it depends.

Comment Numbers look way wrong (Score 1) 540

They seem to be way overestimating the Windows numbers, and underestimating the Mac numbers

For many years, I've seen Windows share (as measured on various websites I own) hover around 70%, with MacOS climbing to around 20%. Linux has been stable in the range 5-10% - the remaining 1-2% is usually classified as "unknown".

My website data may be atypical, but it can't be _that_ atypical.


Submission + - Microsoft Word Rage ( 8

HighPerformanceCoder writes: Way back in the dim distant past (well, the 1980s, for those who remember), whilst a PhD student of theoretical physics, I noticed a distemper amongst my colleagues attempting to write their theses using a word processor. It involved much swearing and cursing at the computer, slamming of doors, and running full tilt down the corridor screaming at the top of one’s lungs.

What prompted me into writing this is that one would have expected that with two decades of computer development in both software and hardware (with the hardware being 10,000 more powerful now than when I wrote my thesis), this condition of “Word rage” would be a thing of the past. Not so. My son recently was writing up a report on his school science assignment. This was no book! It was around 30 pages, and yes, had quite a few figures and tables, but I found him swearing at the computer, complaining of Word “crashing and running slowly” in an eerily similar way I noticed my PhD colleagues do all those years ago.

We need a word for this phenomenon.

Comment Fvwm2 does all I need (Score 2) 818

I use a small display (1000x600). Using a virtual desktop gets around this limitation. KDE has workspaces, but this is not as good. The toolbar at the bottom of the screen takes up valuable space. It took me ages to figure out how to turn off the mandatory screen lock (required renaming the kde locker executable so that it couldn't run).

Fvwm2 does all I need, plus runs rings around KDE performance-wise. The only thing it doesn't do (which might be handy), is support multiple screens properly.

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