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Comment Re:Dumb idea. (Score 3, Insightful) 395

But your entire argument is undermined by how buggy IE has historically been. Despite all of that QA, they've never managed to fix some quite serious bugs.

While there's truth to your argument that updates should be less frequent, I don't think IE should be the standard you're using for quality.

Comment Re:Verizon, AT&T -- all backing Rand Paul (Score 1) 948

Wireless monopoly: the large operators in the wireless industry have exclusive, monopoly rights to broadcast on the frequencies they own. Wireless is not a 'free market' -- once the spectrum is purchased, there is no additional spectrum left to sell.

Cable: you live in an excellent area, and it sounds like your local government is well-functioning and actually does allow for multiple franchise agreements in both name and in practie. I'd be less concerned about net neutrality if everyone's local governments functioned this way.

Sadly, in the city I live in (San Francisco), and the last city I lived in (Pittsburgh), Comcast and AT&T have effective monopolies on the poles. Even though there is a theoretical opportunity for expansion in these cities, the cities refuse to grant additional franchise agreements.

I would get behind any 'Internet Freedom' movement/lobby effort that would remove or make equitable the crappy local zoning laws and franchise agreements that block additional landline competitors from going in.

In SF, AT&T has been trying to drop fiber for years, and they keep getting blocked by zoning laws. Two small ISPs ( and MonkeyBrains) have been trying to build their own fiber networks, and are getting thwarted as well. None of these companies want anything special: no subsidies or handouts--they'd pay all expenses for installation. They just want to be able to lay the lines and have not been able to do so.

There are many other cities that have this same problem.

Comment Verizon, AT&T -- all backing Rand Paul (Score 4, Insightful) 948

"Internet Freedom" sounds like a phrase designed to make being anti-Net Neutrality sounds good.

And no wonder: Verizon and AT&T are heavy contributors to Rand Paul's campaign.

Make no mistake: there's nothing "free" about the state-granted monopolies the wireless and cable industry have. Since they're monopolies, they ought to be regulated.

And if regulation is removed, you know that the telecom industry will be hitting up Google and Netflix for cash right away.

"Internet Freedom" means freedom for Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T to charge siteowners like Google and Amazon just because they feel like it.

"Internet Freedom" means every single thing you do on the Internet is going to cost more because Verizon and Comcast need to keep posting massive increases in profits.

"Internet Freedom" means freedom for the carriers to hold you hostage. ...and if you think that the 'free-market' will solve this, remember: bandwidth is scarce and already monopolized by the big carriers. You won't see landline competition either: the big carriers also have all the local governments locked up so there won't be any competition there. And you know that the Pauls won't be taking on the local governments so that there can be competition in the landline market.

Comment Re:"real name" means your REAL NAME. (Score 1) 560

Not correct. What you're describing as REAL NAME is your LEGAL NAME. I think it's just as likely that real name is what you're known as to the people around you.

I know many people who know Skud. SHE (not he!) is known to all of them as Skud. That is her real name.

Consider that when we're adding friends on Google+, we will all search for our friends and family members by the names we know them. We don't know the legal names of all our friends--so we're going to end up entering what we know them as, and we'd expect Google+ to come up with answers.

That Google is creating a system that forces people to use legal names and not real names is actually making it more difficult to link Google+ info to info about these people outside of Google+ -- since all of that info uses the person's real name.

Comment What about investment banking? (Score 4, Funny) 388

It's tragic how our era's finest mathematical and technical minds are working on social networking. It's not right that they're wasting themselves trying to figure out how to monetize people sending pet photos to each other!

Why just a few short years ago people in that field were really doing great things for the world--like repurposing the Black-Scholes theorem to create increasingly complicated derivative financial instruments. Those instruments powered a revolution that brought prosperity to everyone.

If we can't get our best and brightest to go back to investment banks and get to work on developing new financial instruments, I don't know what will happen to our fine nation.

Comment you get paid to code: be excited (Score 1) 842

presumably, you really wanted to be an engineer AND you interviewed at a few places and got the job you wanted. few people are lucky enough to do what they want in life, and fewer still have the privilege of making things. you do. be excited.

appreciate that you get to be around people who are as excited about software engineering as you are. ask people about what they're working on. learn from them. if there's an opportunity to propose a good idea, do so. accept the feedback you get if you find that your idea wasn't perfect, but don't give up. keep in mind that you work in the software industry and not the mafia: you're not being paid for your silence, you're being paid for your ideas.

read every single line of code you can get your hands on. learn the system inside and out. be ready to pitch in and work on code you're responsible for.

i've been coding professionally for a while. everyday i get to collaborate with colleagues who are dedicated to making great software. i've learned so much from them, and i've been given many opportunities to contribute across the project i work on.

be kind to your colleagues: the industry is small, and you're going to be working with these people for years even as you switch companies. the colleagues you get along well with will help you find work when it's time for you to change jobs. that said, don't be a pushover either.

in short: play well with others, speak up, be curious, and do well.

Comment or buy a Palm Pre: also uses a standard distro (Score 2, Informative) 621

the Palm Pre has a standard OpenEmbedded based distro. you can install packages from the OptWare repository. enjoy fully supported, debugged and tested Linux components that are updated on a regular basis--all written by very talented engineers who are committed to getting awesomeness to customers as often as they can. (has Nokia ever released updates as often as Palm has for webOS?)

don't like javascript apps? rip out the webOS window manager and put whatever you want on it. or maybe you want both. you can always switch between the two. the development community has already figured out how to do this.

and the Mojo javascript development environment does have its strengths. it's the first platform since the computers of the 80s where you can hack on it right out of the box.

how could you not love a company that made the contra code an officially-supported way of entering development mode?

The Internet

NSF-Funded "Dark Web" to Battle Terrorists 258

BuzzSkyline writes "The National Science Foundation has announced a new University of Arizona project, which they call the Dark Web, intended to monitor all terrorist activity on the Internet. The project relies on 'advanced techniques such as Web spidering, link analysis, content analysis, authorship analysis, sentiment analysis and multimedia analysis [to] find, catalog and analyze extremist activities online.' The coolest part of the project is a tool called Writeprint, which 'automatically extracts thousands of multilingual, structural, and semantic features to determine who is creating "anonymous" content' with an accuracy of 95%, according to the release."

Submission + - Hacker does a DIY Amiga in FPGA (

An anonymous reader writes: Developer Dennis van Weeren recently announced completion of his from-scratch completely re-engineered Amiga chipset. His PCB design is fully operational and compatible and his verilog code has been released under GPL. Will this finally give the Amiga community a new breath of life?
PlayStation (Games)

LAIR Pushed To Next Month 50

LAIR, the much-anticipated title featuring combat from dragon-back, is a very important title for Sony and the PlayStation 3. Its the first of the AAA slated for the end of the year for the trailing platform ... and so far things don't look good for the title. Now, the company has announced that LAIR has been delayed until early in September. "Due to an extra step in QA testing to enhance the community features in the game, the release of LAIR, originally set for August 14th, has changed to September 4, 2007. Natural challenges that arose while finalizing the offline game to include key online features - such as leaderboards and medal systems - have led to the difficult choice of pushing back the release date. We appreciate everyone's excitement and patience for the game and look forward to its release on September 4."

Submission + - HP-35s calculator announced and withdrawn 1

leighklotz writes: "HP announced their 35th anniversary version of the groundbreaking HP-35 calculator on July 11th, and the New York Times featured [reg warning] it in their Circuits section today. Sadly, today was also the day that HP apparently withdrew the product to correct reported manufacturing defects. For calculator geeks, note that it has a big prominent ENTER button and reportedly features good tactile feedback. No news about the recall on HP's website..."

Submission + - Microsoft delays Office 2008 for Mac until mid-Jan (

i_hate_robots writes: AppleInsider is reporting that Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) said Thursday that the release of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac has been pushed back from the second half of 2007 until mid-January. The Redmond-based firm now anticipates showing a final version of the software at the Macworld trade show and conference in January, with global availability to commence in the first quarter of 2008. "This was a business decision based on the Mac BU's commitment to deliver a high-quality product," said Mac BU General Manager Craig Eisler. "Our number one priority is to deliver quality software to our customers and partners, and in order to achieve this we are shifting availability."

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