Penny stocks are the wild west (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Here's proof another tech bubble is waiting to pop on 2014-07-10 22:38 (#2EQ)

Pyramid schemes, pump 'n dump, perpetual motion schemes, and greater fool theory (as in, I'll sell to the greater fools coming in after me) abound.There's one called Global Digital Solutions that was briefly part of the NH race for US Senate, when it was discovered that one of the GOP candidates had accepted a stock grant to be on the "advisory board" of a company that had no products and no sales. Their web site is full of visionary pronouncements and press releases, though, as well as a couple amusing filings with the SEC.

Re: The best thing was the name (Score: 1)

by in Google pulls the plug on Orkut on 2014-07-01 02:56 (#2A5)

I figured it was the only pronounceable five-letter dot-com they could find that wasn't registered.

I messed up the Gates URL (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Bill Gates: US Clean Energy R&D Funding is Woefully Inadequate on 2014-06-27 12:16 (#29M)

Please remove the part before, thanks

Re: Mainframe != server (Score: 1)

by in Mainframe technology is here to stay. Just add innovation. on 2014-06-25 02:25 (#294)

The price/performance of mainframes is not very competitive unless RAS is a non-negotiable requirement, rather than as a tacked-on or 3.0 feature as it is for MS and Linux-based vendors. The rest of the computing industry is still catching up to the RAS stuff that IBM (and presumably its erstwhile mainframe competitors) had in place decades ago, not so much because it is rocket science, but because they're always too busy chasing the new new thing.

Yahoo (Score: 1)

by in Tech that I'm nostalgic for: on 2014-06-23 13:06 (#285)

I kind of miss the original Yahoo, with its curated treeview guide to all things.

Maybe that doesn't even count as technology since it was labor intensive. Same with daily newspapers with the staff sizes that were common 20-40 years ago.

Lots of young liberal arts college grads are looking for work (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Mozilla to develop New York Times' new comment/contribution system on 2014-06-19 23:47 (#26R)

Seems it would be easy to hire interns at $10/hr to moderate the comments on a newspaper's web site in real time, and also maybe contribute youth-oriented content (entertainment and restaurant reviews, etc) on the side.

Totally need Don Adams error boxes (Score: 1)

by in A look at the KaOS Linux distro on 2014-06-19 12:48 (#268)

Your RPM installation failed... Sorry about that Chief!

They should rename it (Score: 1)

by in R.I.P Freshmeat on 2014-06-19 12:39 (#266)

Code, ready to eat

Some rather obvious conclusions (Score: 1)

by in The future of opensource security on 2014-06-19 00:27 (#261)

1. Monocultures are bad, whether it's proprietary software with IE 6, or open source with OpenSSL. When one software product has 90 percent market share year after year, be afraid.

2. "With a million eyes, all bugs are shallow" turns out to be BS when it comes to complex code, which certainly includes infrastructure that implements cryptographic and security protocols.
Bugs in the TFA and TFS at Slashdot/Soylentnews/Pipedot, OK, the crowd can be counted on to point out those.

3. Open source might be even *more* vulnerable than proprietary software to security vulnerabilities, because the source code is so easily obtainable in readable form, no reverse engineering necessary. Just as door locks keep the casual thieves away, "security by obscurity" raises the acquisition costs for potential attackers. This just means that the open source community has to be more vigilant than their closed source counterparts, not less.

Where has the money gone? (Score: 1)

by in post-Eich, Mozilla still has no CEO. Now what? on 2014-06-18 01:04 (#25A)

I realize that hosting a web site that serves millions of hefty downloads costs money, but I would think it could be done for far less than $300 million/yr. What has FF been doing with the rest of Google's money?

Re: Insightful Graph (Score: 1)

by in Blogger: Newspapers Can't Succeed By Repackaging Old Goods on 2014-06-17 02:19 (#24G)

That is a cool bar chart, which Baekdal found but didn't create himself (it wasn't in the NYT report either).

I remember thinking that the bar on the extreme right, representing the habits of people age 75 and older, would have been representative of the entire US population twenty years ago, when the web was just being rolled out into the mainstream.

Re: "Intensely Private" (Score: 1)

by in Today it's all about Tim Cook and the iWatch on 2014-06-17 02:16 (#24F)

The subject matter is arguably tasteless but it is kind of interesting, there's something about gays being media tycoons, maybe it's a combination of artistic taste and ruthlessness. Off the top of my head we have Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone), David Geffen, and the woman who founded AllThingsD/

HP finally makes use of the Apollo brand name (Score: 2, Informative)

by in HP and IBM go head-to-head in supercomputing race on 2014-06-17 02:12 (#24E)

Apollo Computer was the original "engineering workstation" company that got started around 1980 and was an early market leader, but which lost the race to Sun. Apollo had serious technical talent but they made at least two mistakes: they developed their own operating system, and their system program language was Pascal.

Funny blog, but I've seen worse (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Download this trial version of our software: bad example on 2014-06-17 02:03 (#24D)

It's actually about par for the course for installing any trial version of a pricey commerical software product. It's never free with no strings attached. They want your email address so they can follow up with non-ending streams of marketing, etc.

Re: formatting (Score: 1)

by in Blogger: Newspapers Can't Succeed By Repackaging Old Goods on 2014-06-16 04:17 (#23V)

yeah, it's old media formatting :)

Re: Good idea (Score: 5, Insightful)

by in New poll: what topics would you like to see? on 2014-06-12 15:54 (#22W)

I think pot luck (no drug reference intended) is a sensible approach right now. People can submit stories they find interesting, and see whether they can convince the editors to post them and then get people to respond to them. That's their feedback. Trying to put together a submission content policy right now would probably be counterproductive.

Re: Mighty Big Headshot (Score: 1)

by in Secret of Short Intense Workouts Revealed on 2014-06-10 03:47 (#21H)

"Just twenty one minutes of exercise a week? Hey doc, that almost sounds too good to be true."

Re: Tragic NIH Syndrome (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in Apple shifts from Objective C to Swift on 2014-06-07 17:13 (#215)

The big vendors lock app developers into their platform via APIs and services. The role of the programming language is really secondary. Really, I think Apple and Google are innovating here, not in a large sense (as Java was back in the '90s, or C++ in the '80s) but incrementally improving on current practice, which is what they should be doing.

The right to be forgotten by search engines (Score: 4, Funny)

by in I am Google on 2014-05-22 12:33 (#1VB)

probably just acquired its first champion within the Googleplex.

Cassette tapes (Score: 1)

by in The worst storage media of all time on 2014-05-20 03:12 (#1RZ)

The audio fidelity noticeably deteriorated within a dozen playbacks, and the tape frequently snarled or snapped, often winding itself around the playback mech so you'd have a nice little task extracting the now-worthless tape from your cassette player so you could throw it out and play something else.
The only thing they were good for was for Sony Walkman's, which was the signature device of the Yuppie era (as in, "damn, I think I left my Walkman at the sushi bar...")

Re: Yes (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in LGBT in sports; will Michael Sam be drafted to the NFL? on 2014-05-12 01:01 (#1H0)

The other owners owe the Rams big time. The NFL would've looked plenty bad if Sam had gone undrafted.

Sam was rated as a 4th to 6th round talent (the draft has 7 rounds). In the past, players who had won the award that Sam got (SEC defensive player of the year) have usually been drafted within the first two rounds, but strangely enough, many of them haven't been particularly successful in the NFL - that factored into the '4th to 6th round' projection, along with the fact that Sam is not considered to be a prototypical NFL defensive lineman or linebacker in terms of size, speed, atheleticism, etc.

Still, had he not come out he probably would've been drafted by some team before the 7th round. Why was he not? Because football squads are large, and there's a certain macho mindset that can't be completely controlled, just as in the military which struggles with gay and sexual harassment/assault issues. If the entire coaching staff and 95 percent of the players were fine with having a gay teammate, that 5 percent could still create plenty of trouble that could detract from the team's effort to make the playoffs and then win a championship. And what if Sam turns out to be a bit of a diva, giving interviews in the press about the problems that gays face in football and society? That was too much of a risk for every team in the league except one.

It's the good life (Score: 1)

by in How materialism makes us sad on 2014-05-08 02:45 (#1FM)

Full of fun, Seems to be, The ideal

(vaguely disconcerting piano run filling the gap before the singer's next line)

Fantastic job, Bryan (Score: 2)

by in Pipecode source released on 2014-05-06 03:13 (#1DS)

It's amazing how much better this site looks and feels compared to when I first came here maybe six weeks ago. And opening the source code just makes it that much sweeter.

Long live Pipedot!

Pretty impressive (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Isaac Asimov's Vision of 50 Years Hence on 2014-04-24 03:38 (#15K)

Asimov's essay nailed 2014 civilization's fascination with gadgetry and the frivolous uses of same, aided by incredible advances in communication bandwidth and technology. "There will be lots of robots around, but they won't be very good." Wow! He also predicted similar advances in mechanical engineering, but those have been slower than he anticipated, perhaps more because of economic and financial reasons than scientific/technological know-how.

He thought we'd have colonies on the moon by now; the fact that we don't is something the rest of us should regret, not Asimov.

I'm not a big science fiction fan but I did read some Asimov when I was in school. He wasn't the kind of literary writer you could stack up against the authors who publish stories in The New Yorker, but he was an excellent craftsman who wrote to inform, provoke, and entertain readers at the same time. And always with a friendly touch.

Not an Apache/MIT license (Score: 2, Informative)

by in NASA Releases Over 1000 Projects as Open Source on 2014-04-11 04:07 (#11S)

The NASA open source license is here .

It seems to be a viral license like the GPL/LGPL, plus a dark warning about export restrictions.

1.Whenever a Recipient distributes or redistributes the Subject Software, a copy of this Agreement must be included with each copy of the Subject Software; and 2.If Recipient distributes or redistributes the Subject Software in any form other than source code, Recipient must also make the source code freely available, and must provide with each copy of the Subject Software information on how to obtain the source code in a reasonable manner on or through a medium customarily used for software exchange.

J.Notwithstanding any provisions contained herein, Recipient is hereby put on notice that export of any goods or technical data from the United States may require some form of export license from the U.S. Government. Failure to obtain necessary export licenses may result in criminal liability under U.S. laws. Government Agency neither represents that a license shall not be required nor that, if required, it shall be issued. Nothing granted herein provides any such export license.

Somewhat offtopic (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Where to find credible, interesting science and tech stories to submit? on 2014-04-07 01:58 (#ZX)

Back when I used to submit articles to the green site, I noticed that my highest acceptance rate came from non-IT science stories from places like I think anyone who camped out on and submitted anything that sounded remotely interesting to nonspecialists, would probably get a ton of bylines there, especially if they posted it using the primary publication URLs instead of

Of course, the editors there love stories about copyright/fair use, patent, and surveillance/privacy lawsuits and faceoffs (particularly having to do with the NSA and Snowden), which are very dependable in generating lots of comments - even though it seems to be mostly the same set of comments repeated every time - and modded up or down on cue. That's one of the thing that eventually turned me off about Slashdot, much more than the beta stuff. There was a herd mentality that was reflected in the moderation, big time.

Great interview (Score: 4, Interesting)

by in Can a Requirement for Credentials Be Overcome in Science Today? on 2014-04-01 23:19 (#XS)

I can't speak for science, but one certainly doesn't need an advanced university degree, or even an undergraduate degree (Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg, etc), to do fantastic work in software. People with a masters or Ph.D in CS from a well-regarded university tend to have a certain polish, though, with a practical understanding of the peer-reviewed research and fewer gaping holes in their base of fundamental knowledge. That would be important for professors, as even Dyson grudgingly acknowledges in the interview, I think.

It's almost a truism that many or most of the best teachers on a given college campus are those who don't have tenure. Youthful energy, ambition, receptiveness to new ideas, lack of complacency and habits of political infighting, rapport with students, are some of the reasons commonly given.

Re: Sorry, couldn't read the summary (Score: 3, Funny)

by in Harry Potter spin off to be a trilogy on 2014-04-01 14:41 (#XF)

You guys are really mature, making fun of my handle.

Sent from my Netscape Communicator

Re: On a Technical Note (Score: 1)

by in The Fallacies of Big Data on 2014-03-31 16:03 (#WG)

Thanks, that's now no my long list of things to check out.

It seems that the Apache folks are trying to corner the market on open source Big Data projects...

Re: I'm glad to see this kind of criticism (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in The Fallacies of Big Data on 2014-03-31 03:01 (#W4)

So you're saying BD can be useful for exploratory data analysis to suggest avenues for investigation using more traditional methods. I remember they used to say the same about data mining before Big Data became the buzzword.

Maybe Big Data is just the reincarnation of data mining?

Re: Microsoft, Apple, and Sun! (Score: 1)

by in Bill Krause looks back on 35 years of networking revolution on 2014-03-28 22:20 (#VK)

Right, those guys not only had technical chops, but they were all whip smart as technical entrepreneurs. This would be before anyone had heard of Sun, and only a few hobbyists had heard of Microsoft (Gates wrote MS-BASIC). I'm not sure what MS was using networked VAXs for though - maybe they had an 8088 software emulator?

Uppercase HTML tags not recognized (Score: 1)

by in Pipedot Status Update on 2014-03-28 04:19 (#V4)

This is a small thing, but I bollixed up my first submission awhile back because I used 'A HREF' tags (out of long habit from submitting stories at the other site) instead of 'a href'. The content remained but the tags disappeared in the preview, and (since I'm stubborn) in the submission as well.

Then I read the FAQ.

Kinda hoping Marshall Cline's FAQ remains separate (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in New, Revised and Unified C++ FAQ published on 2014-03-25 23:04 (#TV)

Cline's FAQ has always been well organized, stuff you need to know right away on the topic you looked up, warts and all. Bjarne's writing tends to be professorial with a strong flavor of advocacy.

Amazing how long 'Continental Drift' was considered a crackpot theory (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in John Tuzo Wilson: a Canadian who revolutionized Earth Sciences on 2014-03-25 22:51 (#TT)

By contrast, Darwin's 'Origin of the Species' apparently won nearly immediate and widespread acceptance throughout the scientific community; the deniers were in the minority. But the Continental Drift guys who, e.g. pointed out striking similarities in species between South America and Africa, were pariahs until Tuzo Wilson and his colleagues worked out the geologic details.

Re: Graphite can be manufactured. (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Tesla's Lithium-Ion batteries causing a ruckus in the USA and China on 2014-03-25 02:59 (#ST)

Yeah, but that's like getting drinking water from desalination.

Re: what are the contexts where this is preferred? (Score: 1)

by in Lightweight C library musl 1.0 released on 2014-03-21 21:28 (#RD)

I suspect there's a certain amount of inertia and "Nobody ever got fired for..." in favor of sticking with gcc. It takes time to vet something as large as libc. The size of the library is probably a non-issue for server apps.

Can't figure out how to include links in summary (Score: 1)

by in Microsoft Tools Group Adopts Open Floor Plan on 2014-03-15 17:40 (#K3)

The ones I embedded using literal A tags vanished. Then I tried with HTML ampersand escapes - that raised an error "Invalid value..".

Maybe this is just me.