Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Same here. (Score 1) 443 443

I have similar issues:
  - Towing several tons (travel trailer or 23 foot trailerable-with-extreme-trailer deep-keel coastal-water-ocean-capable sailboat) up and down mountains and cross-country.
  - Going to/from the ranch - over 250 miles one way (over the Altamont grade, across the central valley, and through a pass in the Sierras) - with the last 0.7 miles sometimes hubcap-deep mud.
  - Carrying ranch groceries for several months and/or other supplies or equipment from the nearest supermarket etc. - 27 miles away.
and so on.
  - Off-roading to visit ghost towns and other historic sites in the Nevada Desert - where "running out of gas" - in the absence of cell phone service - might mean your skeletons are discovered in a couple years.

On the other hand, for trips about 3/4 of the year and NOT towing, a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle with sufficient range, serious regenerative braking, and adequate cargo capacity for two week's groceries and luggage for two, would be ideal. Charge it up at each end (off a windmill/solar at the Nevada end) to start full, use regenerative braking on the downslopes to power across the valley or up the next up slope. For a hybrid: Top off the batteries while cruising the central valley and use batteries plus engine to avoid being a creeping traffic hazard on the mountain roads.

My cycle would be almost identical to a Silicon Valley worker who mostly commutes 25 miles each way and occasionally vacations at the Lake Tahoe ski resorts or Reno or camps in the Sierras. A single vehicle that could do both - rather than needing two vehicles to accommodate the use pattern - would be ideal.

Comment: Re:France (Score 1, Insightful) 133 133

Much like a drug raid on your neighbor's house is in no way your doing if you secretly called the police to report a meth lab in the basement? Try that one on a judge.

Oh, I get it!

Saying something untrue which someone else learns of, and then decides to tell police, who then in an over-the-top knee-jerk reaction make utter fools of themselves, is *exactly* the same as intentionally and personally filing a false police report!

C'mon! I expect much better propaganda than this for my tax dollars!


Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 1) 254 254

Does it ensure it, or is it simply a basic characteristic? I think of the market-driven economy as amoral, but largely effective -- certainly better than any other solution we've seen to date. But your use of the term "ensure" connotes intent, and intent implies moral cause.

I meant 'ensure' in the sense that the structure of laws and government are designed to have the least impact and/or influence possible while maintaining a reasonably fair and level playing field. I understand the point you make and agree. The only 'morality' involved is in basic natural law like penalties for theft, fraud, etc that almost any kind of remotely functional system would demand.

I don't disagree with the larger point here, but sometimes I think pro-market people slip into thinking that markets are positively moral, rather than simply fair through consistency (so long as laws are justly enforced). Markets are not immoral, which socialism is. Markets are baseline neutral, and allow for positive moral decisions because people can do what they wish with charitable or humanitarian use of private property.

Spot on, sir. Could not agree more.

It's very hard to convey detailed meaning & nuance across a wee bit of text on some internet discussion forum concerning deep and fundamental concepts and principles. Intents and viewpoints can be easily and honestly misinterpreted.

Forgive me if my phrasing and choices in necessary brevity caused any misunderstanding or confusion.


Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 130 130

act surprised when they pick controversial locations.

How is it controversial to add concentration camps as "historic locations and monuments"?

Because they were one of the results of fascism, but fascism seems to be coming back into fashion (see: US, UK, NSA, GCHQ, secret courts, 'crony capitalism', destruction of encryption/anonymity online, destruction of private property rights, destruction of right of conscious, domestic paramilitary SWAT for non-violent misdemeanor offenses, etc etc etc) so being reminded of them makes those wishing to control what others do uncomfortable to think about.

The US is making striking parallels to the former Wiemar Republic across multiple areas of government, economy, and society.

It's an ideological 'lalalala I can't hear you!'.


Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 1) 254 254

Capitalism uses the power of the state to ensure its corporations can oppress its citizens.

Incorrect, or maybe incomplete. "Capitalism" without a framework of equably-enforced reasonable and just laws is anarchy and chaos, not capitalism.

What you seem to be talking about is our current system which bears only passing resemblance to capitalism. Fascist oligarchy or crony-capitalism would be more accurate terms.

The larger the government, the more it controls both in wealth and power to control, the more tempting a target it is for corruption and the bigger the payoff when successful, so efforts to corrupt become intense and extreme.

Nobody is interested in buying off someone with little power to benefit them and will spend little or no effort to do so in that case, particularly if criminal penalties are severe for the attempt. And, with a less corrupt system overall, prosecution and conviction becomes a real possibility for all involved.

Corporations use the power and reach of government from lawmaking/enforcement to regulations on everything under the sun to enable them to remove wealth, liberty, privacy, and choice. Corporations can't kick in your doors with a paramilitary force. Yet. Not until the people allow government to become just a bit more powerful, then that will likely change.

A fairly well-run capitalist society ensures that as many people as practically and realistically possible have the opportunity, if they so choose to do so, to create a business/corporation *of their own* with hard work, sacrifice, and whatever other capital they can invest, and with a good business plan, have a chance at competing with others in the market.

The US used to be a fairly-well run capitalist society (compared to most) to which people from around the world took extreme measures to emigrate to. That has not been true for decades.


Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 2) 254 254

Perhaps you don't know very many people in the UK? David Cameron's coalition partners in the last government were considerably more socialist than David Cameron's own right wing party, yet they were the ones putting the brakes on this kind of State overreach and they were the ones try to protect the privacy of the people. You've clearly got some misplaced biases against socialism and considerable ignorance about the UK.

Also, stop and think about the suggestion of assigning a caseworker to every child... does that sound like something the UK could afford, and if they did do it, just what kind things would they be able to achieve given the current budget conditions? Sounds like a nonsense to me.

I live in the UK BTW.

Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 1) 161 161

advocating siccing agents of evil on innocents

Yes, I and many others realize the government considers the people they are allowed to govern by consent of those very same people "agents of evil" if they do not give up their civil rights without push back

Your entire diatribe is based on false assumptions and strawman arguments.


Neither myself, nor anyone in my particular agency, has anything to do with violating any U.S. person's civil rights.

You work for the government. At this point so much of the government is corrupt and has assumed powers it does not have that it's highly likely the agency/dept. you work for should not exist in the first place.

same persons you wish will murder my family.

I don't wish anyone murdered. I want your activities and associations brought out into the sunlight, as it needs a thorough disinfection. The people most likely to "murder your family" work for the same government you do.

none of which changes our responsibility to protect you

I'll take my chances, thank you very much, as it seems to the government to be a free license to remove liberty, privacy, and civil rights. Please STOP.


Comment: Catch them! (Score 1) 197 197

The cutting process must take some time as the bundle is large and armored.

The photodetectors receiving the light on each end of the fibers should be able to detect disturbances associated with the fiber being cut AS IT IS CUT. (If you physically disturb the fiber it affects the transmission efficiency.)

With the appropriate automated analysis (time-delay reflectometry), police could be requested to deploy to the vandals' location before they have even finished cutting through the bundle.

Alternatively, DHS' secret drones could have missiles on that spot in seconds. (I'm joking... or am I.)

Just saying...

Comment: Systemd, pass II (Score 1) 171 171

Sure, no problem. If you dislike systemd that much, it certainly makes sense to move to a different software platform.

I don't particularly dislike systemd per se. I do observe the controversy around it, and the image of it and its project, painted by its opponents (some of whom have enough creds that it's unlikely that they're talking through their hats), indicates that the claimed issues are likely to be real problems, and this may be a tipping point for Linux adoption and user choice among distributions or OSes.

Your Snowden argument isn't particularly applicable in this instance, as you have access to the full source code for systemd. If you're not comfortable looking through C code, then any init system would be a problem for you. ... If you think that porting your laptop, home servers and desktops to a completely different operating system is less effort than learning how systemd works, then I can only conclude you haven't tried to learn how systemd works. Or you've severely underestimated the work involved in moving to another OS.

I did my first Linux drivers (a PROM burner and a Selectric-with-selonoids printer) on my personal Altos ACS 68000 running System III, wrote a driver for a block-structured tape drive for AUX - working from my own decompilation of their SCSI disk driver (since the sources weren't available to me initially), ported and augmented a mainframe RAID controller from SvR3 to SvR4, and so on, for nearly three decades, through hacking DeviceTree on my current project. I don't think C has many problems left for me, nor does moving to yet another UNIX environment - especially to one that is still organized in the old, familiar, fashion. B-)

As for trying to learn how systemd works, that's not the proper question. Instead, I ask what is so great about it that I should spend the time to do so, distracting me from my other work, and how doing this would meet my goals (especially the undertand-the-security-issues goal), as compared to moving to a well-supported, time-proven, high-reliability, security-conscious alternative (which is also under a license that is less of a sell to the PHBs when building it into a shippable product.)

Snowden's revealations show that the NSA, and others like them are adept, at taking advantage of problems in obscure corners of systems and using that obscurity to avoid detection. The defence against this is simplicity and clarity, avoiding the complexity that creates subtle bugs and hides them by burying them in distractions. Bigger haystacks hide more needles.

The configuration for systemd isn't buried. It's there for all to see and change, in plain text. Logging in binary form is _optional_. You can choose to direct logged messages to syslog, or use both syslog and binary, to have the "best of both worlds", albeit with the best of disk usage.

Unfortunately, I don't get to make that choice myself. It's made by the distribution maintainers. My choice is to accept it, open the can of worms and redo the work of entire teams (and hope their software updates don't break things faster than I fix them), or pick another distribution or OS.

Again, why should I put myself on such a treadmill of unending extra work? If I could trust the maintainers to mostly make the right choices I could go along - with no more than an audit and perhaps an occasional tweak. But if they were making what I consider the right choices, I wouldn't expect to see such a debacle.

Entangling diverse processes into an interlocking mass is what operating systems are all about! ;)

No, it's not. The job of an operating system is to KEEP them from becoming an interlocking mass, while letting them become an interacting system to only the extent appropriate. It isolates them in their own boxes, protects them from each other, and facilitates their access to resources and ONLY their LEGITIMATE interaction wherever appropriate and/or necessary. The job is to Keep It Simple while letting it work.

Your phrasing, and making a joke of this issue, is symptomatic of what is alleged to be wrong with systemd and the engineering behind it.

Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 0) 161 161

If you would be so kind as to not make me and my family an assassination or harassment target because I happen to work for a defense agency protecting your own family, I would be most grateful.

You misspelled "committing unconstitutional civil rights violations against me and my family".

If these programs were actually aimed at stopping domestic acts of foreign terror then the Tsarnaev brothers would have been caught, as well as the perpetrators of other terrorist acts. All you are protecting are fascist oligarchs' lust for power.

Sorry, I do not feel kindness towards those complicit in enabling those who violate my civil constitutional rights.

I have a suggestion: If you don't wish to reap the consequences then don't work for those who commit such acts. If you cannot remain employed at your current position without committing or being complicit in such acts, either find new employment or be prepared to reap the consequences.

I have absolutely zero sympathy. Grow a set or live with the consequences of being an unprincipled coward.


Comment: Re:Routing around (Score 2) 197 197

At a large scale, the internet was designed to route around individual problems such as this.
Can't this same principle be applied on a smaller scale?

Yes, it can. Just dig a whole bunch MORE trenches around the country at enormous cost.

The SONET fiber networks were designed to be primarily intersecting rings. Most sites have fiber going in opposite directions (with a few having more than two fibers going off in more than two directions so it's not just ONE big, convoluted, ring.) This is built right into the signaling architecture: Bandwitdth slots are pre-assigned in both directions around the ring. Cut ONE fiber run and the signals that would have crossed the break are folded back at the boxes at each end of the break, run around the ring the other way, and get to where they're going after taking the long route. The switching is automatic and takes place in miliseconds. The ring approach means that the expensive cable runs are about a short and as separated as it's possible to make them.

But cut the ring in TWO places and it partitions into two, unconnected, networks. To get from one to the other you have to hope there's another run between the two pieces, and there's enough switching where they join to reroute the traffic.

IP WANs have, in some portions, also adopted the ring topology as they move to fiber, rather than sticking to the historic "network of intersecting trees" approach everywhere. That's partly because much of the long haul is done on formerly "dark fiber" laid down in bundles with the SONET rings from the great fiber buildout (or is carried in assigned bandwidth slots on the SONET networks themselves), partly because the same economics of achieving redundancy while minimizing costly digging apply to high-bandwidth networking regardless of the format of the traffic, and partly because routers that KNOW they're on a ring can reroute everything quickly when a fiber run fails, rather than rediscovering what's still alive and recomputing all the routing tables.

= = = = =

Personal note: Back when Pacific Bell was stringing its fibers around the San Francisco Bay Area, I was living in Palo Alto. They did their backbone as two rings. There was only one section, perhaps a mile long, where BOTH rings ran along the same route. It happened to go right past my house, with the big, many-manhole repeater vault right next to the house. (I used to daydream of running my own fiber the few feet into the vault. B-) The best I had available, in those pre-DSL days, were dialup with Telebit PEP modems (18-23 k half-duplex) and base-rate (128k) ISDN.)

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.