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Comment Well it is half true (Score 1) 97 97

Slashdot has been crying wolf since they are a geek site and geeks seem to like that kind of thing and also like new technology, no matter the cost and issues.

However there have been actual depletions of IPv4 space of various kinds. First it was that all available networks were allocated to regional registrars. Now some of those regional registrars are allocating all their remaining addresses.

That doesn't mean doomsday, of course, it means that for any additional allocation to go on, something would have to be reclaimed. That has happened in the past, organizations have given back part of their allocations so they could be reassigned. It may lead to IPs being worth more. Company A might want some IPs and Company B could cut their usage with renumbering, NAT, etc so they'll agree to sell them.

Since IPs aren't used up in the sens of being destroyed, there'll never be some doomsday where we just "run out" but as time goes on the available space vs demand will make things more difficult. As that difficulty increases, IPv6 makes more sense and we'll see more of it.

We are already getting there in many ways. You see a lot of US ISPs preparing to roll it out, despite having large IPv4 allocations themselves, because they are seeing the need for it.

Comment Because someone will do it (Score 1) 215 215

Either states will decide you don't need insurance if you have a self driving car, or a company will spring up that will insure self driving cars for a lot less money.

It is one area where capitalism can work. Lets say all the existing insurance underwriters charge $100/month for normal insurance based on human drivers. At that rate they can cover the rate of claims and make a nice profit. Say $20/month ends up being net profit after their operations costs and payout are factored in, and operations are another $20/month.

Well lets say that self driving cars then have a 0.01% accident rate compared to human drivers (it may end up being lower than that). That will drop their payouts by a similar amount, so from $60/person/month to $0.60/person/month. Ok but they decide to keep the price the same, just make more money.

Thing is, they'd still be really profitable at $41/month, instead of $100. Someone else will realize that, and work to steal their business. They might not go that low, maybe $80/month, but it'll happen. Then they'll try to get it back and so on and so forth.

Remember that your costs aren't just based on your specifically, they are based on actuary data of accident likeness. Sure you've had no accidents, but there is a statistical probability that you will. You are in the lowest risk group likely, but it is there. If self driving cars are much lower, rates can again be much lower.

Also, have you checked around? My rates haven't gone up in a long time. Maybe your company is just screwing you because they can, and you'd save if you took your business elsewhere.

For comparison purposes I pay about $350/6 months for $200k/$500k liability insurance on an old, cheap, car.

Comment Directional arrows aren't as silly as you'd think (Score 2) 339 339

These can not be very good cables because they lack the direction arrow that the Belden audiophile Ethernet cables have (had?). This was so you would know which way to plug them in. Packets flow from hub/switch to the device.

And if you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. It is orange and you will make your money back in picture postcard royalties.

It's in the caption of the very first picture:

Audiophile-grade "Vodka" Ethernet cables, from AudioQuest. They even have directional indicators!

But, surprisingly for Ars, they missed the point of those directional indicators. The article on electrical testing hints at it:

Finally, the braided shield inside the cable drew some comments. "There is no continuity from the body of the one connector to the body of the other, indicating that the shield has not been terminated to one or both of the connector," noted Denke. "Our 6A uses an absorptive shield—that is, the cable is shielded but the shield is not terminated at either end. Alien crosstalk is the crosstalk which occurs between cables, as opposed to the internal crosstalk which occurs between the pairs in a cable. This may also be why there are unterminated shields on the Audioquest cable—I’m not really sure what the reason is there, though I had thought that the shields on Cat 7 were required to be tied to ground. It is also possible—I have no handy way to test—that they've tied the shield to one end only, though this would be highly nonstandard for network cabling." (emphasis added)

It's highly nonstandard for network cabling, but highly standard for audio cabling - it's called a telescoping shield and is used to prevent ground loops and audible (60 Hz) hum. Typically, you leave the shield connected at the low-impedance source, and disconnect it at the high-impedance load... as a result, the cable actually does have a directionality, but on the shield, rather than the signal lines. I can guarantee that's the intent with these cables and why they're marked with directional arrows, and it's pretty surprising that Ars and Denke missed it. Maybe they were stuck thinking "network" cable rather than "audio" cable.

That said, because these are network cables, that telescoping shield is irrelevant. You're not going to get ground hum into your amplifier from your network card, the way you would with a shield on an analog audio cable. They're simply not connected, and if they were, you'd have much bigger issues - like that hum causing all sorts of problems on your PCI bus. This is why network cable shields are typically connected at both ends: ground loops are irrelevant.

Comment Re:"to this very day..." (Score 1) 268 268

Some of those older GUI's had some nice ideas. For example in GEOS you can print documents directly from the file manager, either from the menu or you can just drag and drop documents on the printer icon.

The Thunar file manager for XFCE doesn't have a print action by default, though you can add one with a custom action.

Comment Re:Major change? No. (Score 1) 268 268

Which, I've noticed, is still how people handle common applications, with "copy it to the taskbar" a close second and the two "pin" options vying for a distant third.

I run Linux, Fedora 22 using the XFCE desktop. My "panel", which I call the "taskbar" is at the bottom, as the Goddess intended. On that taskbar just to the left of the buttons showing my running applications/windows, are 4 quick launch buttons for my most commonly used applications, in the usual place for quick launch buttons. At the far right of the taskbar is the clock, the notification area is to the left of the clock. I use a specific theme for window decorations where the window title bars are blue and the close button is red.

Why yes it DOES resemble WinXP, why do you ask?

Strangely I was exposed to KDE and FVWM BEFORE I ever used WinXP. And I had used WinNT4 before I used Win95.

Those folks who came up with the CDE that inspired em all knew what they were doing...designing a GUI that WORKED.

Comment Re:The future of private and open tech? (Score 1) 345 345


We've gone from having something like Pidgin being able to run all instant messaging clients ad free to now having to download a separate app for every messager, for example (no one uses the older ones anymore, or they've been shut down).

You can blame the pidgin developers for that, for deciding to NOT implement Voice and video support as was earlier planned. Also, since the Pidgin developers mostly used the finch with XMMP on the console it meant that the protocols especially used by "normal" users got short shrift and didn't keep up featurewise.

You can also blame some of the silly UI changes to pidgin, made by some of those finch using developers that were ill-advised.

Comment Re:Companies Selling Actually Free Software? (Score 1) 345 345

We do have to cut him "some" slack on this because he formulated his movement BEFORE the mass adoption of home computers and gaming.

When he joined the MIT AI Lab, computer access was still pretty much limited to the "bearded priesthood". It's also why I think he needs more pragmatism. He's out of touch with the actual needs of people who "aren't" members of the MIT AI Lab style bearded priesthood. As I've said before, he mostly computes as if it was 1964, since he uses EMACS on the console EMACs originally being macros for TECO.

He just simply doesn't "get" how others use computers and how his views would actually remove the freedom from others to do what THEY wan't to do.

Comment Re:Companies Selling Actually Free Software? (Score 1) 345 345

Hey now, I may be no fan of Stallman, preferring more pragmatism in the open source movement, but I don't consider him a troll.

A better way of putting it might be:

Stallman has a skewed view of "living in the real world" since he squatted at MIT till 1998 and spents most of his time traveling to foreign countries to speak about "free software" now.

Someone should tell him that while foreigners invite him to talk about software freedom, the really care more about free as in beer part of it. Part of the reason hardcore FSF zealots tend to be non-americans is because they were former pirates who simply don't want to pay for software and "free software" now gives them free-as-in-beer software without the guilt.

Comment Re:First let's consolidate all keyboards. (Score 1) 684 684

Why the US Keyboard has a smaller "enter" key compared to the Latin America Keyboard? I fell more important having a big enter key :)

It has a smaller enter key to have a larger delete key

This is the original PC keyboard:

Notice how some of the keys are actually wider at their base than the top of the key. Also notice that the pipe/backslash key is next to the Z key. This keyboard was NOT loved by those who had used other keyboards especially the selectric.

This is the AT keyboard:

It's better, but the delete key is small (1 key width rather than 1.5) and the caps lock is in the wrong place for someone trained on a selectric. Which was just about everyone.

This is the mighty Model M:

It's better even if the return key is small, the only way to make the return key bigger would be to shrink the pipe/backslash to 1 keywidth rather than the 1.5.

Comment Re:Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 1) 1170 1170

You know, I generally don't agree with open carry ... most of the world cringes at that, and it's something Americans cherish.

But if your drone was hovering in my backyard looking at my teenage daughters for no good reason, and if I'd shot it down and you were about to come onto my property in a threatening manner without explanation, I can see the point.

Do you really need an explanation, considering you just shot down their drone?

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 352 352

Doesn't even have to be LOGO these days:

import turtle

It's turtle.pendown all the way down.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.