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Comment: Server Workstation (Score 1) 280

by AndyCanfield (#47857043) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?
I am responsible for several servers running Ubuntu Linux. My Lenovo Notebook runs Ubuntu Linux. For development, for testing, I want the same OS on my machine as we have on the servers. When I test code on my notebook and upload it to the server I want it to see the same environment. It makes no professional sense to me to develop code under Red Hat and then hope it runs under FreeBSD when a hundred people are watching it crash. I don't need optimization, I need reliability.

Comment: Status updates (Score 1) 137

by AndyCanfield (#47844169) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Server Support and Monitoring Solution?

I manage a hub server and a backup server. Every 60 seconds the backup server crontab (wget) fetches a 'web page' from the hub server which as a side effect records the callers IP address into a file. Even though the backup srever has a dynamic IP address I can always find it by going to the hub server and looking into that file.

I have a page I can go to on the hub server which checks the timestamp on the file BackupServer.ip. if it is suspiciously old then that web page turns red and tells me that things are cut off. If all is OK the background stays green. You can see it at http://gregor/ServerCheck.php. I check it every time I start my browser.

It would be trivial to support more than one call-in server. It would be easy to add more complex status information. From your notebook computer anywhere in the world you can go to that web page and see that all is OK, or, if it is not, what remove server has a problem.

Comment: Re:Good to lose (Score 1) 52

You are good; he is a monster. In order to devour him you must become a greater monster than he is. After you have consumed him, the world still has one monster in it (you), but it is a bigger monster than the one it had previously. And now, as a monster, you are hungry, and we must play the game all over again. Who will step forward to become a triple-sized monster to devour you?

Share everything you do with the NSA - they are monster killers.

Comment: Good to lose (Score 1) 52

by AndyCanfield (#47526731) Attached to: Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

The Thai government taught me, years ago, that sometimes it is better to lose than to win, because you do not want to become what you would have to be in order to win. In that case the choice was to let the militants go free or to slaughter them. The Thai government, wisely, let them go.

In amother case the Lao government invaded Thailand and occupied a refugee camp where the refugees from Laos were staging attacks into Laos. The camp was on the top of a hill. The Thai border police surrounded the bottom of the hill, and sat there until the Lao army went home. No war.

In this case the choice is to rescue a fellow human trapped in a burning building, or to ignore his pleas and let him burn. Would you want to be friends with someone who did that? IN THAT REALITY, the pleader is a real person and decent people will treat him as such. I would help save the guy, because I do not want to be the kind of person who could let him die.

Comment: Cloudy, chance of rain (Score 1, Insightful) 176

by AndyCanfield (#47520207) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

Dropbox is cloud. Cloud is a remote hard disk. My hard disk has nothing to do with privacy; anyone who can SSH into my computer can read my hard disk. Put that hard disk on the Internet, in "the cloud", and the same thing applies, anybody logged in to the Internet can read your dropbox. Hey, I thought that was the PURPOSE of Drop box, to share files. If you want privacy, burn a DVD and hand it to the guy.

For me, my notebook has a 1TB hard disk. I have a web site I control. Yeah, my web site is hostile to privacy; that's the whole purpose of a PUBLIC web site. I had a "Dropbox" and dropped it.

Comment: Expanders (Score 2) 418

by AndyCanfield (#47491003) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

The ones that get me are where you go to an ordinary (text) web page, probably news, and there is a flash add on the right side that starts playing instantly, video and sound. OK, bad enough. But to trying to turn it off I move my mouse over it, and the D*** thing expands to half the screen, blocking what I went there to read. And it won't go back to being small!

It is for this reason that I do not have Flash installed on my new notebook computer. Adobe Flash should give the user more power. How about a global option that says "Don't run anything until I click on it." That would be decent. Even door-to-door salesmen are required to knock on your door; they can't use bullhorns from out on the sidewalk, which is what Flash is used for.

Comment: Security Rankings (Score 1) 280

High security = online banking
Medium security = Linux logins
Low security = everything else, everywhere else

My low security password has no digits in it. If your web site insists on a digit, I just don't sign up for your web site. My security level is MY choice, not yours. Why should I memorize a special password just to get your daily news feed?

Comment: Flip a coin (Score 1) 753

by AndyCanfield (#47446477) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

I lived in Laos for a while and was surprised that they have no coins there, only paper money. How do you flip a coin? You have to keep a foreign coin just for flipping. Then I came back (to Thailand) and thought it was weird that we have two kinds of currency - paper and metal. Why? Don't know.

As for all purchases being electronic, have you ever heard of Edward Snowden? Come on, be real! Currency is the last vestage of privacy! Buy a book for cash and no computer in the world knows that you own it. How will you use your credit card to give a beggar a dollar? Tip the lady at the massage parlor and your wife hits you with your bank book. "Officer, forget the speeding ticket; just take a hundred from my Visa card." A world without cash? Not in my world.

Comment: Personhood (Score 1) 285

by AndyCanfield (#47425617) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

This whole Turing Test discussion is talking about the wrong issue. Nobody cares if a computer is 'intelligent' or not. What matters is whether it's a person or not. I just watched 'Terminator 2' again, and the Terminators were people. They had feelings, confusions. They learned from their environment. They did not shut down for an hour or a month at the flip of a switch. I don't care if a computer is "intelligent" or not; what matters is whether it is a person, with the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that we grant Russians and Klingons and Terminators.

How do you detect whether the Ukranian is human? Ask him if his wife is a good screw. If he answers "NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!", he's human. The Test is the universe to a machine, but it is only a temporary context to a human. Break out of the context and the machine is lost but the human reacts like a person.

Comment: must be a black box! (Score 1) 285

by AndyCanfield (#47422021) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

The great thing about the Turing test was that it was a black box. It did not depend on assumptions about what the designers knew, or what hardware was used, or the like. And so far the only test trials I have heard of have been carefully arranged one on one. Give us a dozen Ukranian teen-agers, and pick the one (or two) which are non-human - that's a better test run.

But, of course, the ultimate test of machine intelligence is when the computer can sue your ass off and win in the Supreme Court.

Comment: Free Wifi (Score 3, Interesting) 112

by AndyCanfield (#47383361) Attached to: Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi
Here in Thailand / Laos I have recently seen massage parlor signs advertising "Free Wifi". You get in a room with a beautiful lady and she rubs her hands all over your body. Why would you want to check your e-mail? And certainly you would not "Exotic Massage" to show up in your wifi list. But remember that phones are like that. I manually checked my wife's call history to see if she had telephoned my girlfriend.

Comment: Handcuffed (Score 1) 427

by AndyCanfield (#47319591) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?
I live in Thailand. In 1992 I was going to visit the USA. so I bought a watch. A month later I was in the US. A month after that I lost the watch. A watch feels too much like a handcuff. Be there then, race the clock, step in time, step in time, step in time. No thank you. My heart made the choice. I haven't owned a watch since then. If I want to know what time it is I reach in my pocket and pull out my new Sony Smartphone. It tells me the time, and connects me with other people and the world's schedules. But only when I chose. It's not a handcuff.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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