2012 mid-year link clearance


Another round of the semi-annual link clearance.

And, as always, the obligatory plug for my column in TechNet Magazine:

Comments (23)
  1. Skyborne says:

    I must say, I rather expected bacon bits rather than a bacon strip on the sundae.  It's an awesome concept with a disappointing execution.

  2. kog999 says:

    "a reality-adjacent program" – thats gold Jerry pure gold.

  3. xpclient says:

    Windows Confidential is getting boring. :( More nostalgia inducing columns please.

    [Um, the target audience for TechNet Magazine is IT professionals, not people looking for nostalgia. The articles tend to be about process and infrastructure management. -Raymond]
  4. Roastbeef says:

    Interesting JPL tidbit:  Somewhere around 2004 I had an email exchange with one of the guys at JPL that does their navigation and I asked him what type of floating point math they were using for their calculations.  Turns out virtually everything was done with 64-bit IEEE floating point except for their "master planetary ephemeris" (which tracks the major planets). For that they used (if my memory is correct) some old Unisys box with supported a 68-bit floating point format. They wanted to move off that old box, but apparently those extra 4 bits of accuracy were needed.

  5. mmx says:

    House Hunters is truer than I thought! I thought it was all fake, like, people with no intention of buying any house; them being already in the process of buying one and being shown two others is much truer than I thought.

  6. MikeBMcL says:

    I keep waiting for conspiracy theorists to take up the idea that avian flu is a dinosaur plot to reconquer the earth. Though maybe they already have and I just haven't seen anything about it.

  7. xpclient says:

    "Um, the target audience for TechNet Magazine is IT professionals, not people looking for nostalgia. The articles tend to be about process and infrastructure management."

    You can kill two birds with one stone. I guess the Windows Confidential columns for the past several years gave me the wrong idea. :)

    [You make it sound so easy. Writing that column is way, way harder than writing for this Web site. "Gee, Raymond, all you have to do is change your target audience from 'IT Professionals' to 'IT Profesionals and xpclient. How hard can that be?" -Raymond]
  8. Evan says:

    "Airflow efficacy of ballpoint pen tubes: a consideration for use in bystander cricothyrotomy"

    Sounds like a contender for the Ig Nobels to me.

  9. cheong00 says:

    For the first reply in "What is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics?" link, I think the mock answer for "Mathematician's answer" is incomplete. A real Mathematician will try to reduce it to simplest form on reply, with clear steps for how to reduce it to there. Afterall, it's why those lengthy journal papers exist.

  10. Andrew says:

    CamelCamelCamel is nice to use for tracking hard drive prices, which as of this post still haven't quite made it back to pre-flood prices. What's interesting to note is that prices were quick to rise and slow to fall; an interesting inside view of how the market works, albeit a very simple and convoluted look. Here's one example: camelegg.com/…/N82E16822136533

  11. Yuhong Bao says:

    [You make it sound so easy. Writing that column is way, way harder than writing for this Web site. "Gee, Raymond, all you have to do is change your target audience from 'IT Professionals' to 'IT Profesionals and xpclient. How hard can that be?" -Raymond]

    Why not a "Windows Confidential" column in MSDN Magazine?

    ["Why don't you do extra work that's really hard, and do it for free?" You seem to think all somebody has to do is go up to a magazine and say, "Hi, tell your current back-page columnist to take a hike and use me instead." -Raymond]
  12. Mark says:

    The rover thing was awesome.  I wonder why they chose that method though, instead of some old technique.

  13. "Gee, Raymond, all you have to do is change your target audience from 'IT Professionals' to 'IT Profesionals and xpclient. How hard can that be?"

    Easy – just requires a few minor adjustments to xpclient…

    On the NASA side, I'd have thought a "long double" (80 bit) would do for that? (Not on MS Visual C++ for some reason, that treats it as plain 'double', unlike the Intel compiler.) Talking of them and conspiracies, I loved the suggestion about faking the moon landings that thoroughly being such a hard job, the easiest way would in fact be to do it for real. Clearly, Princess Diana had to fake her own death because she knew too much about that – but it all went wrong when the emergency cricothyrotomy was done using a pencil instead due to a stationery mixup in Crystal Palace.

    The Euro-crisis articles were a good read, though I still can't shake the suspicion far too many of the target audience are the architects of the situation in question.

  14. Joshua says:

    And the result of "Why can't we all just work together" is binary pipelines are still the most efficient.

  15. Lawrence says:

    I always enjoy the semi-annual link clearance.  Thanks!

  16. John says:

    The Mars rover video is pretty cool, but there are so many moving parts; one tiny thing goes wrong at any stage and the mission is done.  On the other hand, I'm a bit disappointed that they weren't able to do a barrel roll and tell us to deal with it.

  17. Rick C says:

    @Mark the video says why:  the atmosphere's too thin for aerobraking.  Left unsaid is the idea that just using a bigger rocket to land is probably a lot more expensive.  Presumably the bouncing inflatable balls used on the previous rovers aren't scalable to the size of the new one, either.

  18. Jim says:

    Re: The TechNet column on Power Users vs Admins

    Sorry to ask such a basic question, but why is it that file associations are system-wide, with all the security implications that creates? Why not per-user, defaulting to the system-wide version when that's not specified, like most other setttings? This question sort of applies to COM object registrations as well, but I don't know much about COM so I'm happier to believe there's an obvious answer I'm missing.

  19. John says:

    @Jim:  COM object registration and file associations can be per-user or per-machine.  The issue is that a normal user can only modify his per-user registration while a power user can modify the per-machine registration.

  20. Mason Wheeler says:

    From the Seattle thing:

    Seattle traffic is so generous and efficient that a woman sued the city in the '80s because it took her more than 7 minutes to get to work.

    Maybe so, but ever since the late 90s it's been a mess, thanks to Tim Eyman getting the funding gutted for the mass transit that kept the traffic congestion down.

  21. Alex Cohn says:

    Re: power users – why is their ability to install and run system services missing from the list?

    [The list was intended to be illustrative and not comprehensive. -Raymond]
  22. Jim says:

    Assuming you mean that you can *override* a per-machine file association with a per-user one, in that case I don't understand why this is a useful privilege to give to a power user. Just so they can annoy other users on the machine?

    (To a certain extent this applies to the program installation privilege too, since you can install programs in your user folder. But I can understand that some poorly-written programs might not work well in that situation.)

    [Some IT administrators add their technicians to the Power Users group in a misguided effort to grant them limited powers to do things like upgrade and install software. -Raymond]
  23. James Schend says:

    @Mason Wheeler: Your sarcasm detector might need a tune-up, if you think that entry about traffic was intended seriously.

Comments are closed.