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Comment Re:Microsoft broke my scanner once... (Score 1) 220

More people need to be made aware of VueScan. Cross platform, acceptable price, unbeatable scanner support. My father has a SCSI Minolta Dimage with APS support. Drivers up to Windows 2000, XP worked with a bit of hacking. SANE doesn't want to know about it.

VueScan? Just works.

I have no stake in this. I am just a happy customer.

Comment Been hearing this for, oh, 40 years or so (Score 4, Insightful) 140

Not to be an old programming fart (but, hey!), but this comes up about every 5-10 years. Someone has created a system for automatic program generation that is going to replace programmers (4th generation languages, anyone? How about "The Last One"?), and it turns out to have only limited usefulness.

Of course, code generation programs exist. They've existed almost as long we've been programming computers. The most common are assemblers and compilers, which take in text specifications and generate running code (or sometimes bytecode to be interpreted). And if you stop and think about the difficulties that most of us who code have with making source code that we write produce running code that meets our needs, you can immediately see the issues with replacing or bolting on top of that system a 'source code generation' system. It can work very well as long as you don't exceed what it can actually do and only if the code generation system itself is well-written and reliable. (This is why developers feel a sense of betrayal and anger with compiler bugs more than any other kind of tool bug.)

So, yeah, like strong AI, self-coding systems are always 5 to 10 years out and have been for half a century. ..bruce..

Comment Re:Lots of citites still run windows (Score 1) 166

It's been a while since I did any Java programming. Actually, it's been over 7 years, but that does mean I was around the 1.5 days. I was one of the few who used Linux, and boy did I find bugs due to assumptions that you shouldn't make when working on cross platform applications. At typical one was using a hardcoded "\" as a path separator instead of the System.getProperty("file.separator") value.

Maybe the underlying libraries now catch these things, but back in the day it didn't. Even with Java, writing platform independent code does require some care.

Comment Re:A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Democracy in the US is a funny thing. You don't want to follow the money, you don't want to spend too much time thinking about the effective two-party system, and you don't want to reflect on the meaning of your choices boiling down to an empire-building felon and an equally empire-building megalomaniacal moral vacuum.

But Hillary seems to be the best of the choices because Trump manages to look like a bit of a dick wherever he goes. I particularly found him funny when he waltzed into Scotland, where people hate him anyhow on account of some, eh, real estate decisions, on the day of the Brexit, and said how wonderful the democratic process is while standing on soil inhabited by 70% nay-sayers who seem to be unhappy about their English overlords for the past 700 years.

If anyone ever deserved the moniker "You insensitive Clod", he'd be the prime candidate.

Submission + - How (and why) FreeDOS keeps DOS alive (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: In August it will be 35 years since of the release of version 1.0 of MS-DOS (or PC DOS as it was known at the time). Despite MS-DOS being long dead, the FreeDOS community has kept DOS alive, with the open source project having been founded some 22 years ago. I caught up with the founder of the project about the plans for the next version of FreeDOS and what keeps the open source OS alive.

Comment Re:Agreed except power consumption (Score 1) 75

Well, I was clearly looking at it from my consumer end view.

For corporations this changes any way: 5 year old gear is amortized and should be replaced, just because the beancounters say so.

However, I doubt you can totally offset the energy savings by purchasing new gear. Assume 500$ for a new machine (Business machines? Hell, you won't get them that cheap, but I'll run with it). I don't know how much my i7 rates, but I know it comes with a 90W powersupply. As such we can assume it uses that as a maximum. Assume a new i5 laptop will use half of that: 45W. So, you save 45W, which means you save 45*24*365 Wh = 394.2kWh over year. Let's assume you live in New York, which means you pay 18.1 cents per kWh (okay, values are from late 2011), which means you pay about 71$ less per year by the replacement. Assuming the 500$ investment, you need 7 years to break even. This is true regardless of scale (1 computer or 10000 computers)

So, yes, energy is a factor, but if it were the only factor, it wouldn't be cost effective. Do, also note that in every assumption I was very very friendly with the "replace" argument: cheap replacement cost, expensive electricity....

Of course, I might have miscalculated and you're right... who knows....

Comment Re:Slow growth? (Score 1) 75

He refers to a certain period of manufacturing where lower quality capacitors were used, which resulted in failing computers within 3 to 5 years. If I remember correctly, that was around the P-IV / Athlon days. So, if manufacturers start using worse caps, the computers will die quicker and as such people will be forced to buy replacement machines earlier.

See also: planned obsolescence.

Comment Computing plateau (Score 2) 75

Really, it's just that: we're at a computing plateau. At least for most users. Twenty years ago, if you held onto your machine for 5 years, the machine was usually unusable with up to date software. These days? 5 years? No problem. I'm still using a i7-2630QM, which was introduced in 01/2011. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it and does anything I ask of it.

Same for my desktop, an AMD A8-3860, which was introduced in 07/2011. Does what I need, quickly enough.

Are these machines high end machines now? Absolutely not... However, the time of buying new toys just to have new toys, is over for me. Works for me, means: no reason to upgrade. Many people who are not into tech think that way. A few years ago, I helped a non-tech with her old desktop. It had died: caps gone up in smoke. I said: hey, it's about 5 years old, it had a good run. She: *only* five years? Non-tech people think differently (Ha!) These days I'd be pissed too if my machine died after 5 years of use.

Submission + - Throwing our IoT investment in the trash thanks to NetGear (networkworld.com)

Miche67 writes: Alan Zeichik tells a cautionary tale about what happens when Internet of Things device makers stop supporting devices and the cloud services that go with them. For him, it's NetGear's termination of its services for VueZone wireless video cameras that's led him to throw those devices in the trash.

His three-year investment into two VueZone camera systems and their services is lost.

All that VueZone equipment is headed for the dustbin of IoT history. There is nothing wrong with the access points or cameras. There is nothing wrong with the cloud-based service VueZone relies upon—except that it is no longer cost-effective for NetGear to offer the service.


Comment Re:Most Clients Get Infected Looking For Free Movi (Score 2) 212

I would say it is about 50/50 with porn and regular movies.

Which I don't understand. You can get porn risk free pretty much on all big platforms. Free porn is a solved problem. No need to go to shady websites.

Hell, it's in the interest of most porn providers to avoid infecting you because, they'd rather have you as a paying customer. Go to the big streaming porn websites, invariably there are payvideo on demand, webcam sites and dating sites behind them. They want you to pay for that. They don't want your credit card number to be lifted by some malware writing shady criminals...

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