* Posts by Matt Bieneman

8 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Oct 2009

Boffins prove oil and water CAN mix – if you do it in a gas giant

Matt Bieneman

Ionic vs. Covalent Bonds

"the covalent bonds in other polar molecules like salts and sugars"

Sugar molecules have slightly polar covalent bonds. Simple salts don't have covalent bonds at all. Here's a good and very short description of covalent vs. ionic bonds:


BSODs at scale: We laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail

Matt Bieneman

Not necessarily the vendor's fault.

"Someone's ATM vendor seems to be shortcutting on their Windows licenses."

Not necessarily true; I have seen this happen to authentic, licensed Windows systems. Recently it happened to a Dell computer that actually has the Microsoft holographic sticker on the machine. The machine was purchased directly from Dell; it worked for many years, then Microsoft suddenly decided that it was no longer genuine. It will no longer accept the serial number from that sticker. Microsoft has phone numbers and websites available to help solve this problem. Their phone system accepts the serial number from the holographic sticker but then gives you a very long serial number that the Microsoft system will not accept. The web site no longer functions at all. This is the Microsoft "Genuine Advantage"!

Courts cry over cunning call-center criminals crafting convincing cons

Matt Bieneman

Old news.

This has been going on for several years. I know several people that they have called; none of them fell for the scam but it is still very annoying. They are cowards who mainly prey on vulnerable elderly and spouses of recently deceased people who may be susceptible to this kind of scam. Still, good to have as much publicity as possible to make sure that everyone knows about the scam.

Here is one link from two years ago: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/scammers-continuing-pose-irs-agents

Also check out how much this scam (or at least the IRS variant) has been growing: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0519-irs-imposter-scams-infographic

This chap's maintained an Apple game for 32 years – from Mac to iOS

Matt Bieneman

Re: Great article, but...

Sorry if this sub-thread is getting off the article's main topic. I assumed that readers would know the two languages. C++ does everything that Objective-C does, but without all the extra square brackets and other clutter, and many developers had already been using it for several years when Apple made the switch. Its simpler syntax is the reason why, given a choice, most developers will choose it over Objective-C; also it is used by far more developers than Objective-C, so you will find far more help online if you have a problem. Apple has essentially admitted that Objective-C is lousy, by switching to Swift, which is a lot more like C++ than Objective-C. In addition, when Apple switched from C and C++ to Objective-C (and Objective-C++), it set developers back because they had to learn a niche language that essentially is only used for Apple products. Apple has fixed the problem of Objective-C being a lousy language by introducing Swift, but by making it difficult to use industry-standard languages, it is still difficult to support multi-platform products (Apple + others). Since Swift is actually a reasonably good language, this remaining problem may gradually fix itself. (Swift is now available for Linux!)

Matt Bieneman

Great article, but...

...Objective-C is hardly a 21st-Century language. It's more like late 1950s meets object-oriented programming. It was a huge setback for Apple developers when they were forced to go from nice clean & modern C++ code to incredibly ugly and cumbersome Objective-C.

Also, Klondike was a great game! I'm glad to know it's still available!

Boffins open 'space travel bureau': Come relax on exoplanet Kepler-16b, says NASA

Matt Bieneman

Shadows on Kepler-16b

Kepler-16b has an unusual feature not mentioned in the article. Possibly the first visitors there can write up a scientific paper describing why the shadows appear to be the wrong colors.

I'm not really a shadow-scientist, but I would expect shadow from the white sun, since it is illuminated by the red sun, to have the more reddish color. The shadow from the red sun should be neutral in color, since it is illuminated by a white sun.

NASA 'nauts have a go on Star Trek replicator IN SPAAAAACE (sort of)

Matt Bieneman

Spare parts.

Picard: "Tea....Earl Grey, hot"

Replicator: "Unable to comply. Replicator component 123-A has failed and must be replaced."

Picard: "Make one replicator component 123-A."

Replicator: "Unable to comply. Replicator component 123-A has failed and must be replaced."




I think they'll need to make all of the possible spare parts now, while the machine still works.

Apple sexes up Time Capsule

Matt Bieneman
Jobs Horns

Puffy caps deja vu

Yes, Jonathan Hogg is correct; the problem was that in the original "UFO" AirPort Base Station Apple was using capacitors rated at 80 degrees C rather than the very slightly more expensive 100 degree C capacitors. All three of my original AirPort Base Stations eventually died from this; I opened them up and replace the puffed-up capacitors with 100 degree C ones and everything was fine for years afterward. I would not be surprised if they have done the same thing again. I eventually replaced my first-generation AirPort Base Stations with the white third-generation ones. They work fine, but I still make sure that I have some spacers underneath them for cooling.

Steve Jobs devil because the pressure to use smaller capacitors and no air vents probably comes from the top.