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Comment Re:"Linux Command Line Tirckery" HA! (Score 4, Insightful) 642

Well... since you didn't bother to limit it to only "simple user tasks".....

for i in * do mv $i `echo $i | tr [:upper:] [:lower:]` done

Done, all the files in that directory are now lower case.


  • it fails with file names with spaces in them (which shouldn't be anything out of the blue)
  • it fails with file names beginning with "-"
  • it might overwrite in an unwanted way if two files exist with the same name but different case
  • it warns when file is already lowercase

And that's just it. It's another case of "See how easy that was? Oh, we just need to add some quotes. Oh, and -- as an argument for mv. Oh, and -i as an argument for mv. But remember to put -i before --. Everybody knows that." - and yet you created a script that is a text book example of creating a fragile script.

Great default settings are of utter importance and the whole list of the default tools is much influenced by historic (and backwards compatible) reasons. It still leads to different interesting design cases:

  • head and tail are extremely similar but have two different commands. GNU head can't even behave as tail with command switches.
  • most people would want to create soft links (as opposed to hard links) in their daily routine but still have to go through ln -s instead of a command just for soft links. That is not unlike the -o loop example in GP, as a case of "yeah, you should obviously know that".

Comment US restricts US companies' sat.photos of Israel (Score 5, Informative) 90

There are some real bizarre laws out there. For instance, United States companies are restricted in the resolution of satellite imagery of Israel.

This is truly bizarre, albeit true. With the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act in 1997, private companies in United States aren't allowed to provide high resolution satellite/aerial imagery of Israel. This restriction boggles my mind for a free country. Not that it matters much longer as other countries such as Turkey are going to provide high-resolution imagery of Israel in 2013.

It could be possible to construct a rudimentary "aerial" view by warping street view imagery (of course several areas and building roofs would not get into that picture) however. So yeah, there are some pretty weird restrictions out there.

Comment Re:IRONY OVERLOAD (Score 1) 171

Apparently the video requires a browser that supports opening tens of windows and moving them around all over the screen for maximum annoyance.

Not a great sales argument for Chrome.

Comment TinEye matched a painting from Google Street View (Score 1) 109

TinEye searches much more than exact images.

I just took a screenshot from Google Street View in The Museum of Modern Art. From the screenshot I cropped out a painting (and didn't even change the perspective) and searched at TinEye which resulted in this search. Colour me impressed. Once again, my image is just a screenshot from a photo taken non-orthogonally at a painting.

TinEye is also extremely useful to help understand a photoshop meme :-)

Comment Re:mobile platform (Score 1) 424

Isn't that pretty much like saying: "Actual Windows developers don't seem to share your concern. As I've said before, only Linux fanboys seem to care about Windows' supposed security issues."?

(replace with your favourite OS/kernel/whatnot)

Maybe the developers should care?


Submission + - Bing opens aerial imagery to OpenStreetMap (stevecoast.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Steve Coast, the founder of OpenStreetMap announced last week that he had accepted a position with Bing Mobile and that Bing was donating their aerial imagery for use in editing OpenStreetMap data. Yesterday the license details were released. As of this morning, the imagery is available for use in both the new version of the flash based editor (Potlatch 2) as well as the stand-alone java editor (JOSM).

This is a positive step after the previously covered story concerning Bing and OSM. Does Microsoft see the value in open data, is this just a PR stunt or are they just desperate to do something interesting with maps to try and catch up to Google as Mapquest seems to be doing with it's OSM based maps?

Comment Re:Freedom (Score 1) 304

dude, just because it's _legal_ doesn't mean it's _ethical_.

And the reverse is true as well. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it isn't ethical.

I have spent lots of time adding data to OpenStreetMap with almost 25.000 edits (including the import of millions of address points in my country). I did it because I would like a map that's available for pretty much any purpose, not excluding Microsoft's usage.

I'm pretty fine with the arrangement. My contributions are to be used and Microsoft does exactly that. However trying to use my contributions as arguments against Microsoft (or any other part that uses the data) is douchebaggery.

Creative Commons is not a cult. There shouldn't be any kind of hidden zealotry about using data - it's not okay to say "This data is free under a CC license and you are encouraged to use it" - and when that happens shouting "However you are a dick if you don't contribute! We want your money or work or other stuff!".

Comment iPod Touch experiences - and working offline usage (Score 1) 237

(user from Denmark, Europe)

Furthermore, the iPod Touch receives information about nearby wifi networks for local storage (offline usage).

When I'm walking around the area with my iPod Touch (without any internet access) it is still able to tell me where I am.

It seems like the local information received is in the range of about 2 kilometers (about 1.25 miles).

This is a GPX track from a bus ride a few weeks ago heading north, logged with my iPod Touch:

At the northest point of the track the iPod Touch couldn't find the local position anymore. The iPod wasn't online at any time.

Unfortunately it seems like it flushes the local database whenever it gets online. If I travel away from my home I can see my position until I reach about two kilometers away. If I go online at my destination (e.g. a friend's house) and travel home I can only see my position for a few kilometers away from my earlier destination and nothing from that point before I reach my own home again. It really would be cool if it was possible to store more information locally.

I'm pretty sure the iPod use Google's database as well as the Google Street View vans have been around Denmark pretty thoroughly last year. All the positions seem to be snapped to roads as well where the cars were positioned when driving around.

On another node; several public means of transportation in the metropolitan area of Denmark is now fitted with some kind of Internet access - usually free access with commercials injected in the web pages. This helps being online in trains or the most frequent buses (however not that one I was on when I logged the above track).

But as the wifi geolocation service is based on the idea that an access point is stationary the results for positioning when riding a bus or train could usually put you at that station where the train (carrying the access point) just happened to be when the Google vans were driving around. I hope the self healing mechanisms in Google's (and Skyhook's) databases could "invalidate" these access points.

Comment Re:Implications on China (Score 1) 288

The most common way is to use a meta refresh "header". When redirected this way browsers don't include the referer header.

Some forum software use such a feature when making URLs clickable.

Other methods include javascript tricks.

The actual output from Google when searching for slashdot is this and clicking the link is the following, which is primary javascript with fallback to the html meta header:

<script>var a=parent,b=parent.google,c=location;
</script><noscript><META http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL='http://slashdot.org/'"></noscript>

Comment Re:Porn according to whom? (Score 1) 263

FTFA: ".. all images that are of little or no educational value .."

These images you mention seem to have educational value.

Yeah, there might be different opinions about how much is sufficient to be educational, but the comment is not "If this is porn/'inspiring', then it should be removed" but "little or no educational value but which appeal solely to prurient interests".

Comment Re:Is this good or bad? (Score 1) 214

It works, but it's not as accurate as one might think. Signals bounce, which (at least in the GPS world) is known as multipath. This both result in a longer distance (and delay) and a weakened signal. The recipient (the antenna tower) do not know how much the signal has bounced.

Actually the distortion and reflection in the GPS signal makes it possible to gather (crude) information about the location and shape surrounding buildings. I wish I could find the appropiate video :-/

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