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Comment Good news, bad news (Score 1) 58

The good news is that this thing uses an existing processor core, OpenSPARC T1 (SPARC V9), so there's plenty of software around for it. (Yes, it runs -- or I imagine it will soon -- Linux.)

The bad news is that this thing uses an existing processor core, instead of a more secure architecture (say, something segment based with tag bits, like the B6700 among others) which would render it much more resistant (dare I say immune?) to things like buffer overflows and such.

Comment Re:The MS Merry Go Round. (Score 1) 198

The main customer who will not abandon Windows no matter what are businesses (esp. large ones) and governments. The US government just loves MS (plus HP Enterprise); even if all their individual customers and most businesses left them, they could just jack up their prices to $1M per computer and the US government will happily pay that.

Comment Re:Crowd source the egress (Score 1) 143

I think you are creating generalities from your specific situation.

No, I specifically said it varies; did you miss that? You even quoted it. I also said that addressing is controlled by local governments, so places with alleyways are obviously going to be handled differently.

AFAYK. But it's not that way in real life. There is no "default". You have to know.

No, you'd don't "have to know". Enter some lat/lon coordinates into Google Maps, and it'll show you a location on the map. It doesn't ask you for your datum. That's because there IS a default.

That's funny, because I can get my location in any number of datums using GPS. Wikipedia isn't always right..

And I'm supposed to believe you over a cited article? If you think it's wrong, then go correct it. From a little bit of Googling, what I've read supports Wikipedia:

The only reason anyone uses other datums is because they have old maps that are based on them, not because they're better in any way (they're not).

Comment Re:Signed drivers? (Score 1) 193

Because even generic USB devices that adhere to standard device classes use drivers? And it is perfectly possible for a device manufacturer to still have a custom driver because they want added functionality?

Ages ago I was developing the USB functionality for a device and accidentally came up with a particular firmware load which did something wrong during the initial connection of sending back & forth device identification info... on any Windows machine (98, 2000 & XP) we tested it on that you plugged it into, the device discovery would fail, so you'd unplug the device and move on... and 3 minutes later the PC would seize up (no BSOD oddly enough).

For some reason I never reported the bug, nor did spend any time trying to figure out what bits of my code were breaking Windows, I just solved my problem, made the device be recognized by Windows and move on.

When parsing any protocol or format, it is often possible for there to be unexpected cases which weren't adequately tested which make have negative side effects. This shouldn't be a surprise, I'd just be curious to know what specific change in the new update caused this.

Comment Re:The MS Merry Go Round. (Score 1) 198

Oh, please. These businesses and governments have been threatening to move to Linux for years and years; they never do. They only say this so they can get a discount from Microsoft when they're negotiating their license costs.

Show me a significant number of companies, or any really large companies, that have actually made a move to Linux. We're all familiar with a small handful of standout examples: City of Munich, Ernie Ball, etc., but these are exceptions, not the norm.

I'd really love it if businesses and governments all moved to Linux, but after everything I've seen about how these organizations work, I'll believe it can happen when I actually see it, and I expect to see pigs fly first. The morons running these places don't know anything besides MS, so they aren't going to change no matter what. It's entirely to MS's advantage to screw over their customers for more profit, because these customers aren't going anywhere.

Comment Re:Crowd source the egress (Score 1) 143

I live on a corner. My "address" is on one street, but if I walk out the side door I'm on the wrong street from what my address says.

This is resolved with standards. A building can only have one address, so in the case of a building on a corner, you have to pick one. This probably varies by country or state, but I think in many places in the US, residential houses' addresses are determined by which road the driveway enters from. I lived in a house like that years ago: the front door faced street A, but the driveway was on street B, so that was the house's address. I don't really see the problem here; it's not like the two are very far apart.

If you're coming out of a larger buildings with faces on two non-contiguous streets, and want a roboUber to pick you up, you should be able to just give it your GPS coordinates. (Also, I wouldn't be surprised if in large cities, buildings like that don't frequently have multiple street addresses that are resolvable by GPS, but I don't really know. Again, this probably varies a lot from place to place, since addressing is controlled by local government.)

How do you fix the "coordinate" problem of having ten different coordinate systems in use just in one place?

Um, the default? Almost everything is WGS-84 AFAIK. My car GPS lets me enter GPS coordinates, and it doesn't ask me for a datum. According to the Wikipedia article for WGS-84, it is the datum used by the GPS system itself, so logically that's the one you should use. Again according to the article, it's consistent worldwide to an accuracy of +- 1m. For building addresses, that's far more than sufficient resolution, esp. if you're just worried about where some robocar is going to pick you up. If you can't walk an extra 6 feet to deal with an inaccurate address, you're not going to be taking a roboUber anywhere.

(Here's one I really love. I order something online and the vendor tells me that my address doesn't exist. I've lived here for 20 years, I get mail and packages here all the time. Unfortunately, the shipping program he's using has "fixed" my address and it doesn't appear in his database, so my address doesn't exist.)

Does your address exist according to the USPS? That's the real authority there. I've seen that before, where people claim their address is such-and-such, but the USPS does not recognize that as an address and so will not deliver to it. Just because Google Maps thinks it's a real place doesn't mean the USPS does. To check, you need to go to and use their address verification tool there. If it doesn't come up there (along with a 9-digit ZIP code), then you need to contact your local postmaster and have the issue fixed. However you say you get mail there all the time (I'm assuming USPS when you say "mail"), so likely it is in there, and the vendor is using some other 3rd-party address database which is incomplete. I'm not sure what the real problem here is without more information but it sounds like your vendor has some shitty 3rd-party software. My recommendation is to go here:
and check your address. It'll correct your address if you're entering it weirdly, and will put it into the USPS's preferred standardized format (no punctuation, correct city name, etc.). Use that for your orders always. If the vendor has a problem with that, then it's the vendor's fault. Point them to the USPS's verifier if they disagree. How many vendors have a problem with this anyway? One or a lot?

Comment fucking paywalled knowledge is antiknowledge (Score 1) 44

They can't RTFA because it's published $Nature$, hence paywalled.

transitive verb

1 a : to make generally known
b : to make public announcement of

2 a : to disseminate to the public
b : to produce or release for distribution; specifically : print 2c
c : to issue the work of (an author)

I guess 2 out of 5 isn't bad. Wait, that's a failing grade.

Comment Re:Man up, NASA. (Score 2) 107

To be fair the article summary above makes it sound like a computer glitch, so if you just went with the slashdot summary and quote I can understand the confusion. From the article it indicated that there was a sensor malfunction (not necessarily a computer malfunction) which means it couldn't autonomously point itself at the sun anymore. Leading to the solar panels not getting enough direct sunlight and thus draining the battery. The computer startup just means it will then consume power more quickly than the solar panels can produce it at the wrong angle to the sun and the battery will drain in a couple minutes again and the computer will automatically shutdown.

Really all we are talking about is whether the computer can boot up quickly enough and whether they can send something like:

1010 Fire thruster X for 23 milliseconds
1020 wait 500 milliseconds
1030 Fire thruster y for 22 milliseconds

(My BASIC is a little rusty though ;)

Assuming they know a precise orientation of the craft when they send the commands they should be able to at least point the craft more towards the sun. Maybe not 100% optimally, but enough to get net power to the computer and maybe begin to charge up the battery. Of course without more information from the computer they probably don't know much about the state of the systems. It could just not work if there are more malfunctions, so there is substantial unknown risk mitigated by the fact that they have already lost the use of the probe so they have everything to gain from the success of a best attempt.

This is all about observation, timing, communication, making some educated guesses, keeping the execution simple to keep it within the estimated window of opportunity and a lot of triple checked math to come up with the correct numbers to send based on all the available information.

Comment Re:Soon: One last update to end all misery (Score 1) 198

Why is it that every time I make a comment about Seattle, referencing posts like yours here (I haven't actually been to Seattle, much less lived there and tried to sign up for ISP service), some Seattle person chimes in telling me that it's all lies and they have no trouble getting high-speed internet service there?

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