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Comment What could have been... (Score 1) 245

Mod parent up. The domain system was meant to be strictly hierarchical, with most entities registering domains at the third or even the fourth level.

The perversion of system into a quasi-flat namespace centered around second-level domains came about because the planned high-level directory service for the Internet never materialized. These days most people use search engines to do much the same thing, albeit at the cost of standardization and protocol / vendor independence.


The Bomb Squad Olympiad Starts Today 43

The bomb suit relay and the robot obstacle course are just two of the events you can enjoy at the Bomb Squad Olympiad. Over the next three days squads from across South Carolina will compete and showcase their bomb defusing capabilities for the public. I hear the deep fried dynamite is especially good.

Comment I wouldn't get my hopes up (Score 1) 432

Judging from Apple's page, all the gestures are the same as the ones used by the current MacBook Pro trackpad. Apple didn't even bother to change the preferences panel (screenshot). Apple's claim to fame is keeping things simple as possible for consumers, and adding gestures that aren't supported by any other Apple device would tend to run against that.

Seeing as Apple has never bothered to provide official Windows driver support for their peripherals, I wouldn't hold my breath on that, either. Somebody will probably rip the appropriate bits out of Boot Camp if and when they update it to support the pad, however (this has been done before for other Apple devices).


Passwords That Are Simple — and Safe(?) 563

TravisTR submitted a story that talks about simpler passwords. I don't think anyone disagrees that having elaborate rules with 20 char passwords requiring mixed cases and symbols and requiring them to change frequently is a pain, but I'm not sure that allowing unique but simpler passwords is a better idea.

Comment Re:Engadget's Page Refesh = Awesome (Score 1) 917

The auto refresh is there because the article is a "live blog" which received real-time updates as the press conference progressed. Now that the conference is over, Engadget appears to have forgotten to turn it off, but removing the &refresh=60 from the end of the URL string and reloading the page should fix it.

Comment Re:While I agree that anonymity is a good thing... (Score 1) 780

[...] the secret ballot is such a terrible analogy for this petition that it's incredible anyone would bring it up if they have any clue whatsoever as to how secret ballots actually work, and how much effort is made to verify that people in secret ballot situations don't vote twice, and their identity matches who they say they are, and they are actually legally allowed to vote.

For all we know the names on this petition are "Donald Duck" repeated 100,000 times, or the names of closet gays (also known as Bible Believing Christians) and their minor children.

Publishing the names serves the good and useful purpose of validating that the signers are who they say they are, and that they are adults living in the State of Washington, as opposed to shills from out of state, minors, or fictional characters.

There is absolutely nothing to prevent the same checks from being applied to the signature gathering process. If all signatories provide their address along with their name, it is trivial to verify that they are indeed eligible citizens of the jurisdiction in which the petition is being circulated.

The agency responsible for verifying the signatures could even opt to contact a random sample of the signatories and confirm their participation, if they so chose. I would point out, however, that doing so goes beyond the measures taken to ensure the integrity of actual ballots. When I request an early ballot and vote by mail, the state has no way to confirm that the person who called for the ballot, filled it out and returned it was actually me.

The only practical reason for making petition signatures public is to allow them to be verified by any interested third party. The problem with this is that, for some people, "verification" involves breaking kneecaps. Why should we hold petitions to a higher standard than the elections that follow them?


Adobe (Temporarily?) Kills 64-Bit Flash For Linux 272

An anonymous reader writes "It seems that with the release of the 10.1 security patches, Adobe has, at least temporarily, killed 64-bit Flash for Linux. The statement says: 'The Flash Player 10.1 64-bit Linux beta is closed. We remain committed to delivering 64-bit support in a future release of Flash Player. No further information is available at this time. Please feel free to continue your discussions on the Flash Player 10.1 desktop forums.' The 64-bit forum has been set to read-only."

Traffic-Flow Algorithm Can Reduce Fuel Consumption 328

thecarchik writes "New projects from German automakers Audi and BMW promise to ease congestion simply by looking at traffic signals and driving style, in an effort to smooth the flow of traffic. Through a test course in Munich, vehicles were able to post phenomenal fuel efficiency gains simply by adjusting the timing of traffic lights depending on traffic volume — to whatever speed provides a so-called 'green wave' of four or more synchronized signals."

Submission + - CSIRO's 'lazy billion' Wi-Fi patent payday (

An anonymous reader writes: Australia's peak science body stands to reap more than $1 billion from its lucrative Wi-Fi patent after already netting about $250 million from the world's biggest technology companies, an intellectual property lawyer says. The CSIRO has spent years battling 14 technology giants including Dell, HP, Microsoft, Intel, Nintendo and Toshiba for royalties and made a major breakthrough in April last year when the companies opted to avoid a jury hearing and settle for an estimated $250 million. Now, the organisation is bringing the fight to the top three US mobile carriers in a new suit targeting Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile. It argues they have been selling devices that infringe its patents.
Data Storage

Submission + - Hybrid Seagate hard drive has performance issues (

EconolineCrush writes: The launch of Seagate's Momentus XT hard drive made news on Slashdot last week, and for good reason. While not the first hybrid hard drive on the market, the XT is the only one that sheds Windows' ReadyDrive scheme for an OS-independent approach Seagate calls Adaptive Memory. While early coverage of the XT was largely positive, more detailed analysis reveals a number of performance issues, including poor sequential read throughput and an apparent problem with command queuing. In a number of tests, the XT is actually slower than Seagate's year-old Momentus 7200.4, a drive that costs $40 less!

STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set 100

starseeker writes "The Scientific and Technical Information Exchange (STIX) font creation project has released version 1.0 of its font set. This release is the product of almost 15 years of work, with the goal of creating a comprehensive set of fonts for scientific and engineering manuscript creation. The fonts have been released under the SIL Open Font License, and can be downloaded here. Among the many potential applications is proper universal support for MathML in web browsers." If you want a peek, here's "a page for viewing the thousands of glyphs (as a first approximation, think of a glyph as an individual character)."

Adobe May Change To Monthly Patch Cycle 76

Trailrunner7 writes "Adobe, which has been under fire for the security of its flagship products, Flash and Reader, for some time now, may be on the verge of changing its patching process to push fixes out on a monthly schedule, which would coincide with Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday releases. The change would be the second major adjustment to Adobe's patching process in the last year or so. In 2009 the company moved to a scheduled quarterly patch release process in an effort to give its customers a better chance to plan for testing and deployment. That change was generally well-received. Now Adobe may change the schedule again in order to get patches out more quickly. The company is considering releasing its security fixes for Reader on a monthly schedule, the same day that Microsoft releases its patches."

Comment Re:Apple is scared to lose their development platf (Score 1) 515

That's just your speculation and not supported by the facts. Why are they dumping so much money into free HTML5 dev tools and support for HTML5 apps in Webkit if their goal is to prevent cross platform apps?

Apple's move to support HTML5 is commendable, but don't doubt for an instant that they also have an interest in breaking the back of Flash. Adobe has been less than stellar in supporting the Mac lately and Apple wants to be sure they aren't beholden to them in the future.

Also, why would taking steps that make cross platform development in and of itself help Apple instead of hurt them. Generally, breaking interoperability only helps when you have dominant market share, otherwise it hurts the bottom line. So basically, your hypothesis has no support.

Apple's mindshare with casual users is tremendous. The big fight right now is not among Apple, Android, RIM, Nokia et al, but rather between Apple and Android. The latter two have traditionally targeted the business and prosumer markets and have mature offerings there. Android and the iPhone OS are both new, emerging platforms targeting home users, and in that market Apple's position is enviable. They may recently have slipped behind Android on total sales, but they still have the next gen iPhone coming down the pipe and all reports indicate that it will close the hardware gap that emerged with the release of the Nexus One.

Your argument that Apple's exclusion of Flash is based exclusively on concern about application quality is a little naive, I think. If applications developed with Adobe's tools are lower in quality than the native offerings, consumers will recognize that and opt not to use them. Saying that they will instead turn around and blame Apple for their shortcomings is a little twisted. Additional choices are a win for consumers here, the only one who stands to lose is Apple. Denying that their actions here are not motivated at least in part by unadulterated self-interest is disingenuous.

Comment Re:Apple is scared to lose their development platf (Score 1) 515

Another reason Apple is so dead-set against using Adobe Flash on their iPhone/iPads is because they would lose their exclusive development platform of XCode on their custom Mac hardware. And if Apple is anything, they are a hardware company.

I'm trying hard to understand what you're trying to say here. Apple makes piles of money selling iPhones. They make next to nothing selling Macs to iPhone developers.

Apple wants to control the development platform because it locks developers into supporting only Apple's end user hardware, namely, the iPhone. Apple's tools do not effectively support cross platform development, so anyone who wants to make an app that runs on more than just the iPhone has to write substantial amounts of additional code to support the non-Apple devices. The result is many developers opting not to target devices other than the iPhone at all, which is good for Apple because users are now pressured to buy their hardware for the exclusive applications.

If Apple allows Adobe's development tools to be used, the distinction between Apple and non-Apple hardware is abstracted away, and there is no longer any reason for developers not to make their applications available on as many devices as possible. This invites competition that Apple naturally does not want.

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