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Comment: Re:systemd adds to and supports the old model (Score 3, Interesting) 810

by CRCulver (#47750863) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

I think the ado about systemd is more about Linux people who think that Linux should be hard to use except for a small elite and do not want the OS to be useful to less technically adept users.

If by "less technically adept users" you mean ordinary PC users who are being encouraged to adopt the Linux desktop, there is no reason that the init process has to be changed to woo them, because such users won't ever touch the system internals anyway, whether they be sysvinit or systemd.

If by "less technically adept users" you mean people with some command-line skills but who are not yet Unix wizards, well, arguably systemd makes things more difficult for them. One of the biggest reasons systemd adoption has pissed people off is that for the systemd devs, documentation is at best an afterthought. The API has changed significantly over the last couple of years, but most documentation one can find on the internet is now out of date, and it has not been replaced with docs for the current state of systemd. sysvinit, on the other hand, is extremely well documented from a number of sources, and the technology remains accessible to anyone with some bash skills.

Comment: Re:Hardwoods and a broom (Score 1) 336

by CRCulver (#47736527) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W
If you like in a separate house, then maybe you can do fine without the carpet. In a block of flats, however, parquet floors make life hell for the people below (and, depending on noise conduction, even above) you. My winter heating bill also went down significantly after increasing the carpeting of my flat.

Comment: Re:Couch Surfing at a Strangers / Letting one stay (Score 3, Interesting) 44

by CRCulver (#47722953) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam

When you've pretty much agreed that everything he said was true (though you attempt to handwave it away

Fearmongering about risks that are statistically insignificant should be waved away. Otherwise one would hardly ever leave their own homes (or even move about in those homes).

and blame the victim...

Noting that the well-known cases of violence within related to single females hosting single males is in no way blaming them. Rather, the point is that since the GP is presumably male and writing for a predominantly male audience (these being the sad demographics of Slashdot), his exortation to fear such violence is groundless.

The "years of experience" you cite are for more-or-less closed communities of like minded people, very likely known to each other or having common friends or acquaintances. The modern hospitality exchanges are between random people, complete strangers.

There has been no such transition overall in internet hospex from trustworthy closed communities to "random people, complete strangers" as you depict. specifically has grown too large to have that feeling of being a closed community of like-minded people, though the result of this is vastly more likely to be simply meeting a person whose company one doesn't enjoy with than experiencing crime. However, internet hospex in general remains a series of overlapping circles of friends, which one can plainly see from Couchsurfing's two community-run alternatives.

Comment: Re:Couch Surfing at a Strangers / Letting one stay (Score 2) 44

by CRCulver (#47722781) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam

Couch surfing at a stranger's home is like staying at a hostle or homeless shelter and is very risky to you and your belongings. On the other side of that, letting a complete stranger into your home to sleep on your couch is also risky and could get you robbed, hurt, and/or killed.

Couchsurfing (with a modicum of due caution) isn't staying with or hosting "complete strangers". You can check previous references left by other guests/hosts that the person has had. Plus, well-functioning hospitality exchange platforms tend to have an active userbase small enough that everyone kind of knows each other. I've hosted a number of people with whom I've turned out to have mutual friends.

People have been "robbed and hurt" on Couchsurfing, but beyond the rare petty theft that could even happen when hosting friends (yes, people's friends can steal too) or relatives (many people have a klepto in the family), violent incidents are rare and the cases I am aware of were single females unwisely hosting single males. I am unaware of anyone ever being killed. Maybe you would like to back up your assertion somehow?

Couchsurfing is nothing new. It superseded its website forebear Hospitality Club, which in turn inherited, among other things, mailing lists for hospitality exchange among hitchhikers and nomadic travellers. There's also WarmShowers, a community for cycle tourists, that has been around for years now and goes back to a pre-internet paper directory. With years of experience and millions of host-guest interactions, you cannot reasonably claim that hospitality exchange is more dangerous than, say, driving one's car on a daily basis.

Comment: Re:Reading between the lines. (Score 1) 233

I think it's you who haven't been to many third world countries. Yes, there are countries with famine, but there are plenty of poor fat people in Nicaragua, Fiji, Egypt, Brazil, etc.

Honestly, I'd list those countries at a higher scale than the absolute Third World. In the Indian subcontinent, Madagascar and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, there are still millions of people who are badly nourished, who expend an enormous amount of effort every day in unskilled labour but whose sustenance consists of a mere handful of a staple food (white rice, cassava, cornmeal, bread) with little or no ingredients added. Central America and the Middle East is significantly better off.

Comment: Re:The oblig. quote from Snow Crash (Score 1) 233

Some of those are not comparative advantages, not absolute advantages, but that's all you need.

Not, that's not all you need. What you need is employment, and manufacturing in the US no longer employs a significant amount of people. With automation, factories today are run with a workforce an order of magnitude less than in the heyday of the American middle class. Farming too only employs somewhere around 1% of the population now.

Also, 'microcode' has an actual meaning and it isn't what you think it is.

Are you really so daft as to quibble among the meaning of a word within a lengthy quotation from a book by someone else? If you have a problem with the use of "microcode" here, take it up with Neal Stephenson. The passage in question remains an overall valid summary of many people's concerns about globalization.

Comment: Re:You're a volunteer (Score 2) 44

by CRCulver (#47721333) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam

Yet you're posting this on Slashdot, which continues to operate from the .org TLD after having been sold to Andover, VA Linux, and Dice.

While Slashdot may continue to operate from its old .org URL, no one regularly refers to it as "" with the aim of suggesting community governance, which is still done by some disingenous advocates for Couchsurfing. And luckily with the Dice acquisition and beta debacle, and the rise of SoylentNews, most people are aware of Slashdot's circling the drain and the rise of a community-run alternative.

Comment: " volunteer"? (Score 2) 44

by CRCulver (#47720995) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam
Couchsurfing went from an ostensibly community-run (but really oligarchy-controlled) website to a private, Delware-registered and venture capitalist-funded corporation three years ago. To continue to call it is disingenuous. And as for "volunteer", most of the volunteers with any integrity have long since stopped donating their time to Couchsurfing and instead are active on other, truly community-run hospitality exchange platforms.

Comment: Re:Too subjective to be useful. (Score 1) 276

by CRCulver (#47716543) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

I would like to see a real breakdown by...

I don't think that would be worth the effort. One sees enough cyclists in the winter, and the city has its own methods for judging use, that society generally considers biking a reasonable method of transportation even in winter and appreciate that the major bike routes are kept clear of ice and snow all winter long. Those who don't enjoy cycling, or prefer not to cycle in winter, can take public transportation.

... deaths in traffic

Helsinki bike lanes are separated from car traffic.

Comment: Re:Finns still love their cars though (Score 1) 276

by CRCulver (#47715907) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

As I have pointed out elsewhere here, in the Helsinki metropolitan area people tend to own cars to get themselves and their children out to their second homes in the country (owning a summer home is a popular Finnish tradition), but they wouldn't actually drive the cars into the city: the cost of parking in Helsinki is horrendous, and petrol isn't cheap either.

Comment: Re:Another blow to Uber (Score 1) 276

by CRCulver (#47715899) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Why would anyone use a taxi to get around Helsinki?

Never been around Rautatientori late at night? When you have been drinking heavily with friends and want to get back home, but you are too drunk to walk, 1) it might be a shorter distance to the taxi stand than to the night buses, 2) the taxi drops you right at your door, you don't have to stumble home from the bus stop.

But yeah, only after some crazy nightlife have I ever used a taxi, and the same goes for every other young person I know. I have no idea why they would be used during daytime.

Helsingin Sanomat did report a couple of years ago that some people were operating illegal taxis. Maybe they were cheap enough that a group of people would find it preferable to split the cost of one of those than use public transportation to some obscure spot.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by CRCulver (#47715575) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

the EBT cards

That's not exclusively a city thing. Rural poverty in the US is extremely high. Much of my extended family back in the middle of nowhere Alabama has been on food stamps. Your welcome to go up to one of said relatives and tell them that thanks to being country-dwellers, they can eat the best steak around, I'm sure they'd love to hear about their supposed wealth of options when they can hardly buy enough food (crap food, the same as any metropolitan area in the US) to feed their families.

If someone starts doing that in a small town... very quickly everyone will simply know who you are and what you do. It doesn't work. The sort of criminal you get in small towns tends to be drifters... traveling criminals.

Besides the aforementioned backwater that marks the southernmost extent of Appalachia, I have extensively travelled in rural areas across Europe, Africa and Asia. Crime is a concern in many places -- you might not get mugged, but you can get burgled, or your telephone might stop working because someone cut down the copper lines so they could sell the copper inside. And it often can't be blamed on a drifter, but instead it's a member of the community that everyone knows. Many travellers can tell you of having e.g. a camera or notebook stolen in a village, and when the theft is reported, a group of the villagers simply walks you by the houses of the usual suspects to get your stuff back, because they know these people regularly steal.

You would be surprised how far meth addiction has spread in rural areas globally, from the Caucasus to Madagascar, and alcoholism has often been prevalent in some countries, and all that leads to much of the same crime anywhere.

Those same people would probably be a lot happier in small towns where they could at least feel like they are a part of a community rather then just a number in a machine.

As I've mentioned elsewhere here, it's important to look at the motivations of the population in question and not be so presumptuous as to speak for them. In the Finnish context, young people overwhelmingly want to move to the cities. You can talk all you want about citydwellers being just "a number in a machine", but they won't have any of it. I daresay the same applies for many places in the US. Everyone is not you.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 1) 276

by CRCulver (#47715375) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

As to congressman... you have a parliament... in the context of this discussion is there a relevant distinction?

Entirely. Political horsetrading works quite differently in Finland than in your depiction of the US. People living in the country do not just want lower taxes and nothing else. There is wide support for state funding of physical and cultural infrastructure even among rural people; they want a lot of the same things you can find in cities, and building these things with state subsidies has proven to a help against depopulation of rural areas (though it may not be enough to stop all the young people from leaving). There simply isn't the same "red state"/libertarian versus "blue state"/redistributionist divide here that you suggest is true of American society.

As to runways, finland might be similar to Alaska in the US. They deal with that situation with sea planes and ski planes.

The north of Finland gets enough visitors seasonly that there has been a push to build better airports, not least from the local people whose income is heavily boosted by these tourists.

Comment: Re:a matter of scale (Score 1) 276

by CRCulver (#47715247) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

I can commute farther in the state of California than the entire nation of Finland.

The maximum distance in Finland from north to south is 1,157 km. While it might be possible to commute on a regular basis in California, I doubt that a meaningful proportion of Americans would consider that particularly desirable. While perhaps not embracing public transportation, they'd probably want to be based in a suburb nearer to the commuting destination in questions where they would drive.

We can predict everything, except the future.