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Comment: Re:Tetris is based on a Russian board game (Score 1) 34

by Alioth (#48433685) Attached to: The Man Who Made Tetris

The original game is fun to play. Last month at Retromañía in Spain we had the original game running on the Russian pdp-11 clone for which it was created (unfortunately the pdp-11 clone had to be emulated - we actually have a real pdp-11 but it's a DEC built one and the original code won't work very well on it due to the lack of the Cyrillic character set). It's a good bit harder than the PC version which I think was the next version of Tetris to be written.

Comment: Re:Meet Streisand (Score 1) 302

by Alioth (#48418059) Attached to: UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

You should expect a basic, clean, functional room though with what was advertised to come with the room.

I've stayed in a £35 a night Blackpool B&B (Windsor House or something it was called) and it was perfectly acceptable. The room wasn't huge but it was clean and comfortable, the shower worked fine, it had free WiFi, and a full English breakfast included and was much better value than most so-called "low cost" hotels like Premier Inn. I stayed recently in a 25 euro a night hotel in the centre of Zaragoza in Spain and this was similar - no way could you describe it as "luxury" but it was clean, the bed was comfortable, the shower worked just fine and so did the WiFi. It is perfectly possible to have an entirely acceptable hotel room for this price.

Comment: Re:Yet another example... (Score 1) 176

by Alioth (#48360173) Attached to: The Disgruntled Guys Who Babysit Our Aging Nuclear Missiles

Boredom is a big human factor in many accidents. We *should* be making a big deal about the boredom of people in charge of some incredibly dangerous weapons. Certainly in other safety related fields, boredom has resulted in serious fatal accidents (for example automation in airliners leading bored crews to trying experiments, leading to a crash). Attributing it to the "pussification of America" just shows this opinion to be rather ignorant of the serious consequences of ignoring human factors.

On the pussification of America, bring it on. If it makes the US a more peaceful place, and a country less likely to start wars, this bodes well for the planet. Pussification is good for our long term survival as a species now we have developed nuclear weapons.

Comment: Re:warnings are out there (Score 1) 495

by Alioth (#48267929) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Weather and climate prediction are two entirely different things.

Here's an analogy, it doesn't involve cars:

Take a pot of water and put it on the stove top, and turn the stove on. The analogy of the weather forecaster is that the weather forecaster is trying to predict every eddy, every bubble, every current in the pot of water. It gets extremely difficult to predict all the eddies even 10 seconds from now. The climate scientist on the other hand is just trying to predict the bulk temperature of the water in 2 minutes time. This is much easier to do and can be done with a lot more accuracy. In terms of global warming, the climate scientist is predicting how the rate of change will differ if you now put a lid on the pan, and what difference it will make if you (say) only half cover the pot versus putting the lid on completely.

Comment: Re:History is written by the victors (Score 1) 495

by Alioth (#48267913) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Why would we end up with more arable land? Sure if you're used to looking at a Mercator projection map it looks like there's an awful lot of land above 60 degrees north, but simple geometry will tell you that this is not so, the horizontal distance shrinks in proportion to the cosine of degrees above the equator. For instance if you draw a square on a Mercator projection map at the equator, and this square is 1km x 1km and then moved this square up to 40N (where much of the arable currently is), the actual size underneath this square would now be 0.76km x 1km. Move this to 60N and it's now 0.5km x 1km, As you go further north, the horizontal dimension gets smaller at a much faster rate, go another 10 degrees north up to 70N and now your square is only 0.34km x 1km, so an area at 70N north that looks as big as an area at 40N is in reality only 45% of the area of the same sized looking area at 40N (and not only that you start running into the Arctic Ocean).

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 4, Insightful) 700

by Alioth (#48211001) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

This has the potential though to backfire quite badly on FTDI. The vast majority of users don't know that the thing they bought is fake, all they know is that it's FTDI branded and all of a sudden it doesn't work, and they blame FTDI, and FTDI gets a bad reputation for unreliable crap (even though the hardware was counterfeit).

Comment: Re:This could be really good for Debian (Score 1) 555

by Alioth (#48195397) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

That's a feature, not a defect. I run Debian on a bunch of servers. I like that it changes slowly. I like that it's not trying to be the bleeding edge. I like that migrating from one major version of Debian to the next is reasonably painless. For running a bunch of servers, I want something that follows the tried and trusted, not something that rides on the bleeding edge and something that has an absolutely rock solid packaging system. This is Debian, and it's why Debian is the right tool for this job.

If you want a distro that develops, there's always Ubuntu or Fedora.

Comment: Re:Has it been working so far? (Score 1) 387

by Alioth (#48167229) Attached to: Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

From the context, this is not forking the kernel (this is just using mainline with patches for your distro).

Forking in this context means basically what Theo de Raadt did with NetBSD. OpenBSD was a NetBSD fork, completely new OS, team, etc. due to dissatisfaction with the NetBSD group and various personality conflicts he had with the NetBSD group. No one's done this with Linux yet.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234