Re: And I thought (Score: 1)

by in Goal-line technology new at the 2014 World Cup on 2014-06-12 11:50 (#22E)

... at the beach... that sounds pretty awesome, I must say...

if a comment falls on a news aggregation sight (Score: 1)

by in Google buys satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million on 2014-06-11 22:25 (#224)

and nobody is there to reply...

did it really make a sound...

Re: Coastal change and flood risk assessment (Score: 1)

by in Google buys satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million on 2014-06-11 22:24 (#223)


What a good thought sir, funny I was thinking the same thing... or is that a sense of deja vu... or self-reflection...

Coastal change and flood risk assessment (Score: 1)

by in Google buys satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million on 2014-06-11 22:22 (#222)

Strike me as potentially good applications for this imagery.
Imagine being able to collect high resolution time slices for before and after big storms and all.

And I thought (Score: 1)

by in Goal-line technology new at the 2014 World Cup on 2014-06-11 22:20 (#221)

a story about the World Cup might get Pipedot commenters out of the wood work. Soccer is a religion after all...

Weather must be too good these days, everybody is outside playing :)

Re: England (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Goal-line technology new at the 2014 World Cup on 2014-06-11 14:46 (#21Y)

Actually, in the 2010 World Cup, Frank Lampard of England "scored" a goal that would have tied up their elimination game with Germany 2-2, but it was not acknowledged and the score remained 2-1 (Germany went on to win 4-1 in the second half, but the tying goal, had it been awarded, could have been a significant turning point). Lampard's goal is cited frequently as one of the key examples which turned the tide to accept a need for goal-line technology (although I think FIFA first tried to use extra referees on the end lines, but this approach failed as well). I was not aware of the view that the general stance change only after England benefited from an error. Do you recall the example you have in mind?

Re: Tragic NIH Syndrome (Score: 1, Insightful)

by in Apple shifts from Objective C to Swift on 2014-06-03 20:33 (#20N)

I quite agree with your suggestion that this is, potentially, more about NIH syndrome rather than a necessary change... which does not preclude that it is going to turn out to be a useful evolution in coding...

My hypothesis for why every big company might make such moves at some stage -- if they can -- is the temptation of control. If you support standards, common tools, etc., then people might build things that you haven't anticipated in ways that you might not be able to mediate and so on. I think the business case for control and lock-in seems obvious to many, but I also think people try to create "the foundation" for all other activities based on their personal outlook. I have seen spouses, bosses, children, etc. try and exert "their way of doing things" on everyone around them simply because "their way makes the most sense". To move in the other direction, i.e., to facilitate many different people's outlook or activities pseudo-equally, a given person or business must be able to value the cognitive dissonance that can arise when other people want to arrange or do things on their own terms... just a thought (and probably not well formed).

Exciting if it works and scales (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Iron-Chromium Flow Battery Aims to Replace Gas Plants on 2014-06-02 16:47 (#208)

Definitely like the idea of being able to use relatively abundant, low cost materials in a system that can be indefinitely charged and discharged... wow!

Re: Three good ones (Score: 1)

by in Forgive Me, Scientists, for I Have Sinned on 2014-05-26 20:52 (#1X8)

I really like his attempt to bring humour to the practice of science and academics.

I didn't put this in the original story, but this standup clip ( ) posted on Youtube is an incredibly poignant tale of how a boy who saved insects in his house could transform to a lab associate who kills mice in the process of becoming a scientist of and about life. It strikes me that the line between humour and sadness can be very thin sometimes.

Re: But, but... (Score: 1)

by in Sick of Hearing about the Cloud? Here's a Browser Plug-in for You on 2014-05-16 15:43 (#1NW)

Fair enough... but I suspect Mr. Zafiro17 -- who likes his whiskey, by the way -- is posting stories in somewhat of a hurry each morning to keep the content going while story posters remain minimal on Pipedot.

I posted a story on Nintendo from Ars the other day and totally missed summarizing the second page of the article because I only had a minute or two before getting off to work. I am noticing that my story-posting and comment quality may be suffering because I am trying to make a contribution to anything going right now on Pipedot... using the assumption that something is better than nothing at this stage. I am a lurker by nature or necessity on most sites I like, but ... man... something about Pipedot just makes me think it will be good if it can get past the 10,000 member mark (nothing like a Reboot to give something fresh energy). Anyway, I'm in on trying to get the community exchange going while it remains low at this stage, and its not as easy as it looks. Point being -- definitely state when a story topic is way old as you've done, downvote them in the pipe if your timing is right, but feel very free to post good (new) stories too!

Re: who is the switzerland of tech (Score: 1)

by in NSA 'Upgrade Point' Implants Backdoors on Hardware on 2014-05-16 15:27 (#1NV)

great point!

Re: More general (Score: 1)

by in Sick of Hearing about the Cloud? Here's a Browser Plug-in for You on 2014-05-16 12:44 (#1NK)

"....from my butt...
etc. This plug in has tons of add-on potential"


who is the switzerland of tech (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in NSA 'Upgrade Point' Implants Backdoors on Hardware on 2014-05-16 12:41 (#1NJ)

If companies desire hardware that they don't make themselves and that is "guaranteed" to be free of eavesdropping/tracking additions, from whom do they buy? The fact that it may be "proven" that the USA is doing such activities in no way proves that other countries aren't?

different jurisdictions moving in opposite directions (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in European Court Backs Your Right to Disappear Online on 2014-05-16 12:36 (#1NH)

I wonder what it will mean for "global" websites and web services when different jurisdictions support different internet models, e.g., neutral versus differential pipes, privacy versus retained information, and so on. I do hope geographic borders don't become reflected too greatly in the functioning of the internet...

Maybe to be used in paints, etc. as well (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Nanotechnology in Your Sunscreen! on 2014-05-16 12:31 (#1NG)

the article says... because it reduces the environment-caused degradation experienced over time.

Will this potentially mean sunscreen applications that last all day?

wishful thinking maybe (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in Dice Holdings Trading down on Disappointing Earnings on 2014-05-16 12:27 (#1NF)

Hard to see how Dice's stock price is not just oscillating about an average over the past six months to a year or so. Slashdot seems to have recovered much of its comment volume from immediately after the beta boycott, although it may be down by historical levels. And, Dice just had a recent study get lots of news coverage about the lengthening time it is taking to fill various skilled tech jobs.

Maybe the CEO from Dice just wanted to buy a new house or boat?

I generally support artists and software developers (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Adding DRM to Firefox on 2014-05-15 00:46 (#1MH)

Who want you to pay for their work and maybe use DRM to twist your arm... because ultimately I think it is their choice...

That said, I almost always choose the open source and free software option when available and listen to music via radio... because I generally value all of this stuff becoming lingua franca across all economic and accessibility classes...

There is probably a contradiction in here somewhere...

Re: ChromeBox (Score: 1)

by in The Year of the Chromebook on 2014-05-14 19:10 (#1M4)

Wow, thanks for the correction... that definitely changes things from my perspective... I wonder how they keep the cost down for the Chromebooks, that can't all be a Microsoft tax can it?

Re: vim (Score: 1)

by in WordStar and Old Software Too Good to Stop Using on 2014-05-14 19:05 (#1M3)

Awesome article from Slate, I laughed out loud reading parts of that... the only depressing part was learning I might be older than two of the oldest still used pieces of software out there...

Re: ChromeBox (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in The Year of the Chromebook on 2014-05-14 14:25 (#1KQ)

I've understood that the ARM hardware in many of the affordable chromebooks are not performance competitive even with older Core processor based laptops. Is this a misconception on my part?

Any recommendations (Score: 1)

by in Nine Out of Ten Top Webhosting Sites Run Linux/BSD on 2014-05-14 14:22 (#1KP)

I currently use (Linode) for webhosting, anybody have any recommendations over whether it is worth considering a switch to any of the top 10 given in the parent article?

Re: vim (Score: 1)

by in WordStar and Old Software Too Good to Stop Using on 2014-05-14 14:17 (#1KK)

I enjoy using vim too, I especially enjoy the powerful copy and paste functionality, multi-file split screens, accessible regular expression searching, and so on. I actually haven't invested in learning custom syntax highlighting though, probably because I tend to script/write in languages that appear to come with builtin highlighting (Python, Perl, Bash, Latex, ...), but your post has got me intrigued... that's the other thing about vim, every three years or so I bother to learn something new that adds to the fun...

civ3 and pacman (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in WordStar and Old Software Too Good to Stop Using on 2014-05-14 14:14 (#1KJ)

Civilization 3 is not that old, but this is still my go to game of choice, at least when circumstances allow my wife to "tolerate" a game play session (which always lasts too long), otherwise I still get a kick out of pacman for the 2-minute game play sessions that popup once in a while.

3d printer (Score: 2)

by in Want Your Own Quadracoper? on 2014-05-14 10:22 (#1K9)

I've been thinking that a 3d printer might be the essential cool toy for kids these days to really get their creative hat on. Any recommendations for the best gear or setup for a basic home lab?

Re: ChromeBox (Score: 1)

by in The Year of the Chromebook on 2014-05-14 10:17 (#1K8)

The price and look of the Chromebooks are very attractive, but I have held off prefering Linux on a "regular" laptop: ebay has good deals on older Dell Precision, for example, that are price competitive with Chromebooks. I'll probably get a tablet at some point for the casual or ultra mobile use cases.

vim (Score: 1)

by in WordStar and Old Software Too Good to Stop Using on 2014-05-14 10:09 (#1K5)

I am happy to have learned vim and use it to this day for many scripting and general writing tasks.

Re: Yes (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in LGBT in sports; will Michael Sam be drafted to the NFL? on 2014-05-12 20:15 (#1HP)

No worries. I actually thought about posting this story a few days before Friday and hesitated for the same reason (is it germane to Pipedot). Then again, I'm trying to mix up my story postings to see which ones actually generate some conversation and I am trying to not just repeat what is on slashdot and soylent as well, so I figure that justifies thinking outside the box a little bit.

Right now my main motivation is to participate in Pipedot as I hope to see it grow... maybe I will get sufficiently hooked on having all my story submissions pushed to the front page that I will have withdrawal symptoms once the community gets big enough to be choosy.

On topic: I think Michael Sam is going to surprise people with how well he plays in the NFL and teams are going to look back and possibly wish they had taken the initiative ahead of the Rams. Regardless, I am glad one team did draft him because he will get his chance. Now if only someone would bring back Tebow... (just kidding). And, in my opinion, the possible germane-ness of the topic for pipedot was that it is a high profile example of where concerns over human difference can unfairly deny someone a chance to succeed in their preferred profession (like older programmers as I suggest in the original submission).

Re: Instanteously pushed to front page? (Score: 1)

by in Saving Nintendo the Ars way on 2014-05-12 19:58 (#1HN)

One of the comments on the ArsTechnica site suggests that with the large cash pile Nintendo has on hand, they have some luxury in taking their time to identify their forward path. But I agree with the tone of the article and your own suggestion: Blackberry provides a compelling example of what can happen if a company takes a long time to react.

Re: Yes (Score: 1)

by in LGBT in sports; will Michael Sam be drafted to the NFL? on 2014-05-11 21:30 (#1GZ)

I submitted the story early Friday, but as with the real draft of Sam, it took until the latest possible moment for the story to be promoted. Cheers

an excuse to try (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in 2014 openSUSE Conference Focused on Subtle Improvements on 2014-05-09 19:46 (#1GJ)

I've always wanted to find an excuse to take Suse for a spin, but I've become such a fan of the Debian-style package management system that I've never got around to it...

feeling helpless without government regulation... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Network Neutrality fight enters a brutal, contentious phase on 2014-05-09 19:31 (#1GH)

I concur with the view that internet providers are (or should be) providing dumb pipes for information and, as well, should be viewed as common carriers or whatever the right term is for a public utility. I suspect that the owners of said dumb pipes would still make good money and it would still be a great business. However, as the latest moves take us towards a crazy system where internet providers can introduce fees all over the place, more or less as they like, and it is difficult to hold them accountable without government regulation and enforcement, and it is difficult to abandon use of their services, I generally end up feeling helpless...

Atari ST (Score: 1)

by in The Lure of Retro Computing on 2014-05-07 12:18 (#1EX)

I think my first computer was a TRS80 of some vintage and my friends had Commodore 64s. But, I really liked my second computer which was an Atari ST. It was great for Music and Midi. I suspect it would still function highly at this stage for that purpose, although I finally sent mine to the landfill about eight years ago.

stayed with ubuntu and unity (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Ubuntu 14.04: don't touch those buttons! on 2014-05-07 12:15 (#1EW)

Over the years, I have drifted from Redhat, Gentoo, Debian and finally to Ubuntu about five years ago. I just found that Ubuntu was a reference point for many project releases even if the projects also release source code as well. I guess the latest high profile version of this is Steam on 12.04. Anyway, aside from linking Amazon to search queries which I disable, my functionality and use of Linux has not (yet) been greatly affected by Canonical's decisions with its Linux distribution and Unity window manager. I guess I don't really care where various UI elements get put at the end of the day as long as I can find them. I quite like the Dash search.

That said, I remain puzzled why Canonical seems to care to fix UI elements to particular places in the first place? I am not sure what they gain from this?

Re: internet law? (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in Stephen Hawking on the dangers of advanced AI on 2014-05-05 16:40 (#1D0)

You have touched on two of my pet peeves as well: (1) when the messenger is more important than the message, and (2) when arrogance breeds the offering of opinions without appropriate pause for reflection. However, these seem so eminently human traits, they seem hard to criticize in an absolute sense. My latest approach to these things is just to ignore the bias implicit in listening to others based on perceived eminence and concentrate on their content or message. I suppose in the present context that means trying to say something sensible about the future of artificial intelligence or our fear of losing control over the AI we create... mmm...

I guess I would say we need to consider what purposes intelligences, whether natural or artifical, serve because -- presumably -- intelligence will evolve to support these purposes. And, there isn't enough conversation in society at all levels about the reasons for our moral (or purposeful) choices. Thus, I suppose I could be almost as afraid of the very rich and powerful making decisions which adversely affect my personhood as I am of any future artifical intelligence. Maybe this could change if we could demonstrate how choices for shared good outperform choices for personal good? Maybe an AI superior to our own natural intelligence could help us discover this?

Re: Did pipedot's pipe just get spammed? (Score: 1)

by in Pipecode source released on 2014-05-05 12:51 (#1CV)

Thank you!

Re: Did pipedot's pipe just get spammed? (Score: 1)

by in Pipecode source released on 2014-05-05 12:33 (#1CS)

for my edification, how do you submit a bug report here?

Re: internet law? (Score: 4, Insightful)

by in Stephen Hawking on the dangers of advanced AI on 2014-05-05 12:31 (#1CR)

I've heard this meme a lot and, for better or worse, I've often liked it. There is something refreshing about viewing the genius in our society as normal in other respects.

On the other hand, it takes amazing skill, luck, or fortune to become someone whose voice has a platform in society, its hard to judge someone for using the platform once they've reached this status. I figure we are all pretty opinionated about lots of topics in our own circles of influence?

Re: Maybe this says more about journalists? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Social Networking Enters the Age of Angst on 2014-05-05 12:28 (#1CP)

Then again, I think one of the reason's why I like Slashdot, Pipedot, etc. is to talk with interesting strangers over the internet.

My personal discomfort with social networking stems from the fact that there appears to be a great agenda to monetize my participation and, as part of that, to link my participation to all sorts of other things thus making me look over my shoulder about how comments in one setting might be used against me in another. I think there is a great market for the exchange of ideas on the internet whether through community forums or online courses or whatever, but I would like the mandate and reach of such community's to remain narrow.

Did pipedot's pipe just get spammed? (Score: 3, Informative)

by in Pipecode source released on 2014-05-05 12:21 (#1CN)

I went to check out the stories in the pipe and came across a long list of gibberish stories with apparent links to items like "viagra pills" and whatnot?

Re: I always thought that DNT meant... (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Help EFF Test Privacy Badger on 2014-05-04 16:41 (#1C3)

I've wondered similarly... and further thought that a better means of retaining some privacy in the modern internet might be providing lots of diverse data randomly in plain sight so that "true" information or signal is obscured by "false" information or noise.

Re: Reading your old code (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Programming ruining my memory? on 2014-05-04 16:36 (#1C2)

One of the things with programming is that you usually need to interact with way more functions, libraries, and concepts than you can retain or burn into your memory. Your own code almost always falls into this category because you only hung out with the implementation while doing it and so it is not usually part of your embedded knowledge.

I have learned that "clever" code is almost never good long term unless you can implement it behind an interface and the underlying implementation rarely needs to be revisited. Otherwise, you're almost always better off writing transparent code with transparent naming conventions and functions structure whose purpose and behavour and layout are easy to "reoccupy" at a glance.

Difficult to test (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Programming ruining my memory? on 2014-05-04 16:32 (#1C1)

Your hypothesis is interesting, but I suspect it would be difficult to test with control groups, is the change permanent, how much time need to see an effect, mitigating factors, etc. so we can only offer anecdotal impressions which may not be unbiased. That said...

In my experience, programming is a very specific type of mental activity that requires holding functional goals (what am I trying to achieve in a given function and how does it relate to an overall picture) and logical relationships (how is the division of labour distributed between my code, used libraries, class frameworks, design patterns and so on) in your head as you work away on locally very mundane building blocks. The memory of specific facts is useful at different moments, but usually you have dedicated your memory to how everything works together and you lean heavily on being able to look up the specific facts as needed in terms of function calls and so on. Your access and interaction with your memory is absolutely modified by this emphasis. And, the research on neuroplasticity suggests that this must lead to actualy brain changes if repeated in your life over continual periods of time.

In my experience, I HATE/STRUGGLE EXTREMELY trying to get into the "programmer's mindset" when I am switching from needing/wanting to garden, play sports, and so on; and I HATE/STRUGGLE EXTREMELY trying to get out of "programmer's mindset" when I need to brush up on mathematical background, learning in general, playing music, relaxing, and more analogue style activities. It suggests that we are using our mental resources very differently across different tasks.

Re: Not easy, but still possible (Score: 1)

by in The Economics of Writing a Book on 2014-04-29 12:34 (#18R)

I think I might buy your Dictators Handbook , it sounds like an adventure, at least for the mind, and I'm not likely to make Nicaragua in the near future.

I wish I had time (Score: 1)

by in Introducing: the Raspberry Pi-Phone on 2014-04-29 12:12 (#18N)

to play with technology and do cool things like this...

Re: Great News (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Skype Gives In: Group Video Chat Now Free, Like Hangouts on 2014-04-29 12:09 (#18M)

I like both. I use Skype more -- but this is mostly because many of my contacts are on Skype. My experience with Skype is that it can be unstable on certain links, especially using wireless internet at some hotels and such. Then again, I have used it for international connections from all over Europe, Latin America and North America and would rate my satisfaction >95%. I like Google Hangouts as well and it has been stable for me in all cases. Then again, I have not tested Google Hangouts on the same connections where Skype has experienced difficulty. I have only used Google Hangouts from wired or otherwise strong internet connections where Skype works fine as well. My sense is that Skype/Hangouts connection quality is linked directly to internet connection quality.

The link between Google+ and Google Hangouts stopped me from using Hangouts for a long time (I have zero interest in social networks), but I finally joined to use Hangouts because certain work collaborations had a pre-existing culture of using Hangouts and not Skype. Since then, I have been surprised at the number of contacts who have joined Google+ principally to use Hangouts. Anecdotally then, I would say that Hangouts is competing well and perhaps this is why Skype dropped the fee. I think my ideal scenario would be an open or standard communication protocol like email for multi-head video chat so that different people, groups could all be using different clients without being centralized in some database. This probably exists, but if everyone is on Skype/GooglePlus/Facebook it is not necessarily suitable.

Re: Great News (Score: 1)

by in Skype Gives In: Group Video Chat Now Free, Like Hangouts on 2014-04-28 18:16 (#17Z)

Previously, I've never modded my own posts up -- now they get a 1 automatically immediately upon posting? Is that expected behaviour? Maybe I haven't been paying attention...

Re: Great News (Score: 1)

by in Skype Gives In: Group Video Chat Now Free, Like Hangouts on 2014-04-28 18:14 (#17Y)

Just checked my account, I appear to have auto-received a Skype Premium promotion until early 2015, interesting...

Great News (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Skype Gives In: Group Video Chat Now Free, Like Hangouts on 2014-04-28 18:09 (#17X)

I actually paid for Skype for group video chat... and I joined GooglePlus for Hangouts...

Personally, I would prefer to pay Skype than have to join a Social Network, but this is the pressure of modern collaboration, you have to go where your colleagues are or you just look ludite.

Maybe this means I won't need to renew my Skype subscription to retain this feature. Unfortunately, they had it set up on auto-renew when I signed up, so I will have to check my preferences, which is something I frequently forget to check... thanks for the heads up in any case

this change isn't jinxed I hope (Score: 1)

by in Use of NGINX Increases on 2014-04-27 05:13 (#16K)

what can I say, I'm a Dad, it affects my humour...

In the spirit of adding a comment (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in SpaceX CRS-3 on 2014-04-27 05:11 (#16J)

these links reminded me of visiting the Air and Space Museum in the Mall in Washington, DC -- which was awesome. I can't believe all of those museums are free to the public. NASA has a pretty amazing history of accomplishments. Suffice it to say that it still blows my mind that we've gone from hunter and gather to flying spacecraft to the moon.