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Comment: Re:For me, there are two questions. (Score 4, Insightful) 211

by DrXym (#49491809) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released
The debate about micro or monolithic kernels was just a backdrop. The real reason HURD failed had more to do with the mindset of the people involved.

Linus (impatient with the pace of HURD) developed a quick and dirty kernel that a Unix user land could be built on top of. He took a lot of shortcuts, he didn't think too much about portability and basically just made a beeline for the end line - to get a shell and hence other stuff running over a kernel. The kernel filled out and became portable as the project gained momentum and volunteers.

Whereas HURD got stuck up its own ass for correctness and politics. And that's even before Linux existed as a thing. It's hardly a surprise that when Linux did appear that people jumped ship.

It's true there was a debate about micro kernel designs but that alone doesn't explain HURD's failure.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't a re-write be more fruitful? (Score 2) 207

by DrXym (#49468575) Attached to: Linux Getting Extensive x86 Assembly Code Refresh
The problem with total rewrites is they almost always involve a huge amount of effort, introduce new bugs and when they "work", users barely notice the difference. So the company soldiers on, applying patch upon patch to some bullshit codebase and suffering from it but in a incremental way.

Worst of all is when they embark on a rewrite and give up half way through. I was involved in a project to port a C++/ActiveX based system to .NET forms. They ported most of the major views but left a lot of the minor stuff from the old codebase lying around and wrote bridges to host it in the new framework. So they doubled the code, half of it became bitrotten and hidden by the new code and bloated out the runtime. Great project.

Comment: Re: here's the benefit (Score 1) 71

by DrXym (#49427655) Attached to: Has the Bitcoin Foundation Run Out of Cash?
Which is of course why the exchange rate tanks every time one of these supposedly secure exchanges collapses or disappears with your money. It doesn't matter how fastidious with your own bitcoins, their effective purchase power is still fucked over by all the cons, scams and general incompetence. People lose confidence in the system and bailout.

Comment: Should be opt-in (Score 1) 82

by DrXym (#49390099) Attached to: Verizon Subscribers Can Now Opt Out of "Supercookies"
Opt-out is a pathetic concession. Most people don't even know they're being tracked and of those only a small fraction would bother to opt out. I would not be surprised that even with the option 99% of people are still tracked. It's probably why Verizon did it - a sop to those complaining without materially affecting their bottom line.

This is the sort of thing that should be covered by privacy law. This would be the case in Europe where data protection laws would require explicit consent and services would have to be opt-in, not opt-out.

Comment: Re:I don't get why there needs to be anything to b (Score 1) 58

by DrXym (#49368735) Attached to: Australian Government Outlines Website-Blocking Scheme
It's FAR harder to block a magnet link. When you click a magnet link it doesn't resolve to an HTTP request - instead your bittorrent client launches (or you paste the link into it) and it does a distributed hash table lookup to find the content. This can be encrypted so the ISP isn't in a position to block it even if they were to sniff your traffic.

They can't even block the site which provided you with the link because there are so many trivial ways to hide it - e.g. writing it as an image, or inserting it client side with some JS, or just encrypting it in an HTTP connect.

Given how popular a search app would be, it's likely that bittorrent clients would integrate with one. e.g. you paste a magnet, check the "web application" box, and perhaps the "keep updated" box and hit download. When the app downloads, the client hosts it through a http port so you can see it from a browser. Magnets are hashes so how the app is kept up to date is certainly an issue and also how it does its search, but neither is an insurmountable one.

Comment: Re:And now, things get Ugly. (Score 1) 120

by DrXym (#49336795) Attached to: Uber To Turn Into a Big Data Company By Selling Location Data
Well they should if they don't want to be on the receiving end of massive fines. It's not like their cab service where they're fighting cities and towns.

Europe has strong and clear-cut data protection laws that require explicit consent and limit the data that may be kept on a person to that needed. If Uber sell or aggregate data without good cause in the EU they'll be digging their own grave.

Comment: Re:Nice (Score 1) 119

by DrXym (#49334439) Attached to: GNU Nano Gets New Stable Release

When some inexperienced Linux user has to edit some file in some form of Linux and there is no gui available, I point them to nano, because it behaves pretty closely to what they expect from a text editor (which tends to be something like notepad...sigh).

By which you mean it behaves in a relatively straightforward, least surprising way.

Comment: Re:And now, things get Ugly. (Score 3, Informative) 120

by DrXym (#49334403) Attached to: Uber To Turn Into a Big Data Company By Selling Location Data
Starwood are a predominantly US chain but they and Uber had better be damned careful not to share info in the EU. It's not illegal for companies in the EU to do it, but they must obtain explicit consent and even then there are limits on the data they can share or aggregate and rules on how the data is managed.

"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!" -- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_