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Comment antiX Linux is a systemd-free Debian derivative (Score 1) 744

[...] the only way to avoid it [systemd] is to either run old distros or some other OS entirely.

A third option is to use a newer distro that does not use systemd. I run a Gentoo system that does not use systemd. You can also get up-to-date Debian based distros such as antiX Linux which don't use systemd. I imagine these are not the only options.

Comment Re:Startup management subsystem (Score 1) 416

Isn't that an argument that everything should be written in shell script?

I don't think so. There are many many things that are better off *not* written in shell script, even for sysadmins. Compilers and interpreters come to mind.

I think it is more of an argument for using the right tool for the job. And the right tool will depend very heavily on the role you are playing. I think this is partly why there is such strong disagreement over the value of systemd. From a purely user perspective where everything is assumed to be working properly (or it is someone else's problem) then it is great. The same can be said of Microsoft offerings. But if you are coming at it from the sysadmin side then you might want something that is easier to understand and debug and fix. The init system has to have a lot of glue because it has to start up services from a lot of different code bases. There is a lot in favor of having this glue in a simple language that is easier to understand and fix. Systemd makes more sense for commodity, user-oriented devices. It makes very little sense on servers.

IIRC, this is similar to what Linus said about systemd. He said that as a user he liked it and didn't have problems with it but he did run into problems when interacting with the systemd developers.

Comment Re:Startup management subsystem (Score 4, Interesting) 416

I'd rather have a system that does it better without having to resort to scripts all over the place to make up for deficiencies in the system.

You seem to be making the tacit assumption that everything works perfectly. If I am debugging a system then I would much prefer to deal with scripts (usually all in one place or otherwise easily found) than have to try to debug C and C++ code and XML schema. See Theodore Ts'o comments that were linked to above.

It reminds of me dealing with Microsoft systems (many years ago from the NT days, maybe they have changed since then). *IF* everything works pefectly then it is fine but as soon as you are in the mode of tracking down problems then it becomes a nightmare. This is why I made the switch from Windows-NT to Linux when I was doing sysadmin at a university. If I wanted to use a system that was like that then I would use Windows. This tacit assumption that the system was designed perfectly so there is no need for any intervention is one of the reason people don't want to give up init scripts on their Linux systems and replace them with systemd.

Comment Link to whitepaper is broken (Score 4, Informative) 90

In his second to last answer Kim Dotcom says:

I want to win this fight for all of us. To anyone who is interested in this case I recommend that you read this documentto [sic] understand the corruption behind the mercenary law enforcement action that led to the destruction of Megaupload.

That link just brings me back to this Slashdot page. I believe the correct URL for the whitepaper is

Comment Re:The /. title is bullshit (Score 1) 518

Yes, I agree it is highly suspicious that the predictions are down in the noise level in any test conditions that can be reasonably obtainable in an existing laboratory. That is one of the reasons I am so highly skeptical of there being any actual effect. One thing is certain, if there is an effect then it is so small it is very difficult to measure when the device is powered with a 700 watt magnetron. Basically, they produced enough lift to levitate a snowflake. Also, please remember that the first results from China were orders of magnitude greater than what was measured here so we also know that those first results were completely bogus.

The /. title is still BS. Results that warrant further investigation (which is a boiler-plate phrase used in a vast number of research papers) is very different from results that confirm an effect. It is usually very bad from to not include such a phrase because by omitting it you make it more difficult to get further research funding.

Comment The /. title is bullshit (Score 5, Informative) 518

Here is the first page of the actual paper, including the abstract which says:

Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EMDrive but intends to independently assess possible side-effects in the measurement methods used so far.

So the /. title says pretty much the exact opposite of what the actual paper says.

I am still extremely skeptical that there is any actual effect. They powered their device with a 700 watt magnatron and measured plus or minus 20 micro-newtons of thrust. To put this in perspective, one Newton is roughly the weight of an apple near the surface of the Earth. If the thrust scales linearally with input power then you would need 50,000 x 700 Watts = 35 Megawatts to levitate a single apple. Of course the inventor claims that the thrust to power ratio is highly non-linear so at these higher power levels you would get a lot more thrust. I have not seen any sensible theoretical model that explains why this would be so.

If you are using hundreds of watts to produce a handful of micro-newtons then it is extremely likely there is no actual effect and what is being measured is just some form of noise. This is especially true when the so-called effect violates a primary law of physics.

Comment Re:The Majority Still Has Follow the Constitution (Score 1) 1083

And again, I reiterate what I said earlier. Where do rights come from?

If they come from God, well, the religions practiced by virtually all people worldwide have consistently said throughout their history that such a marriage is not a marriage.

Religions are human-made institutions and thus, unlike God, are fallible. Your confusion of human-made institutions with God is the epitome of hubris. If you believe believe basic human rights came from God then why do you think humans running religions have a right to take them away?

This was the basic point the Founding Fathers were making when using the terms "Nature's God" and "their Creator" in the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

So what you are saying, that human-made religious institutions can take away inalienable rights bestowed by a Creator or by Nature's God, is the exact opposite of what the Founding Fathers said in their Declaration if Independence.

Comment Snowden had started getting props ... (Score 4, Insightful) 222

Snowden was starting to get some very begrudging props for his role in the limited NSA reforms passed by the US Congress. This laughably ridiculous and unsubstantiated attack on him was deployed to help keep Snowden trapped in the traitor role.

The real danger here is that if the powers that be keep destroying their own credibility like this, eventually they will start to lose control and then all Hell will break loose. They seem to be reacting emotionally, not rationally and they seem to be losing touch with reality. It reminds me of the craziness of the last days of the Nixon White House. Only this time the problem goes much deeper. It is no longer a single person and the tight knit group surrounding him. The insanity has metastasized.

Comment Wanderlust (Score 2) 637

I was living on Cape Cod near the beach with a good view of Martha's Vineyard which was three or four miles away. Sometimes (very rarely) we would see a deer either swimming towards the island or getting out of the ocean from the direction of the island.

Whatever urge the deer had to swim across miles of ocean was probably not beneficial for survival of the individual so why would they do that? I concluded that although it was bad for survival of the individual, it was terrific for survival of the species since they would tend to not be locked into a specific geographical location and could migrate across significant barriers.

I think many humans have this same built-in wanderlust. In this sense many animals, including humans, have adapted to deal with climate change. I have even wondered if our inclination to warfare was beneficial because it caused the creative peace-loving types to spread out away from the crowds. I think the real problem is that we are not genetically prepared for a finite Earth. If the Earth were infinite then I think many of the grave challenges we face which threaten our species would not exist.

Comment Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 2) 223

If I'm reading this right, Google incorporated Oracle's Standard Library wholesale, instead of re-implementing the Standard Library from scratch.

You are not reading it right. The standard library was re-implemented using the same API. That's why the government's stance would destroy the software industry as we know it because a complete re-implementation would still be covered by the copyright of the original implementation. This is exactly copyrighting an idea instead of a particular expression of an idea.

My guess is that the reason for this idiotic position is to intentionally kill off Linux and all independent software development in order to stop terrorism.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll