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More Supermassive Black Holes Than We Thought! 79 79

LeadSongDog writes: The Royal Astronomical Society reports five supermassive black holes (SMBHs) that were previously hidden by dust and gas have been uncovered. The discovery suggests there may be millions more supermassive black holes in the universe than were previously thought. George Lansbury, a postgraduate student in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, at Durham University, said: “For a long time we have known about supermassive black holes that are not obscured by dust and gas, but we suspected that many more were hidden from our view. Thanks to NuSTAR for the first time we have been able to clearly see these hidden monsters that are predicted to be there, but have previously been elusive because of their ‘buried’ state. Although we have only detected five of these hidden supermassive black holes, when we extrapolate our results across the whole Universe then the predicted numbers are huge and in agreement with what we would expect to see.”

Comment: About three days work, but PITA (Score 1) 374 374

Basically an loading tool with a bug I knew from testing, you could set it correctly once in production but if you set it twice every user was f*cked up and could only be fixed from the web interface by about 5 clicks per user, no programmatic solution. And of course we had an error in the production setup, I altered that part - which I could - but forgot to take out the "you can run this only once" settings. Hundreds of users borked and the vendor support would take forever or claim there's no other way, what do?

This was a consulting company, trying to bill this would look bad on both our vendor and ourselves and it pretty much broke everything so we gave a benched consultant the assignment from hell. Click here, here, browse, pick, save in this somewhat less than instant web interface. Now do that all day, every day for all users until you're done. Personally I'd be ready to jump off the roof after an hour, but apparently she stuck to it for three days and finished. I don't think we won any popularity points with her though.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 374 374

Or pulling the network cable. You have to plan for idiots, because there will be idiots. And odds are, they will outrank you.

Since this was a server unless he was at the console copying it off to a USB stick he'd probably hook the server back up to the network so he could copy it to his client.

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 657 657

The problem is that the overall experience is more of a PITA than just shoving fuel in the tank. Obviously this assumes you ignore externalities, but that's the norm so it's a safe assumption. Once more of these issues are ironed out then there will be less anxiety and more purchases.

He's got so many problems in that video that it's probably staged for click bait, so it can be linked to by EV opponents. Like the cable, that's staged. Every charger map has a filter and you only need to set it right once. I don't know anyone else who hasn't been able to pay for power, usually they have all the ordinary credit/debit/cell phone payment options in addition to the EV-specific cards. With broken chargers and drive problems, well that's bad luck on top of everything else. Not to mention he's trying for something the car's not planned for at all.

First of all, it has a 74 mile range and he's planning a 350 mile drive. The last 20% is really slow, so in practice the fill-ups will be 60 miles max so he'll need at least five full recharges even assuming they're perfectly spaced and he'll run close to zero range. If you want a 5 mile margin and estimating that the chargers are 5 miles from where you'd like them to be 50 miles is more realistic. That's six 80% recharges in a day, at least half an hour each so three hours total. Any sane person would say let's not do that, just rent a Tesla/ICE or take the plane or whatever.

He's abusing the range extender to carry on, but I like the basic idea that if there's a screw-up you can solve it with a little gas instead of being stranded or stuck on a slow charger. Like big boats also have small rescue boats, you know in case of emergency. Hopefully more EVs will come with that option.

Comment: Re:Hillary Clinton says: (Score 3, Interesting) 268 268

Then you lack a moral compass and need t get some help. I'm suggesting that when you know the fucker is guilty, you put his ass in jail, not defend him.

If your defense lawyer won't offer competent counsel it won't ever be a fair trial. Everybody speculates, even defense lawyers. The prosecutor, the judge, the jury members, the journalists, everyone on the peanut gallery got a personal opinion. You can pick one from the lynch mob as judge, jury and executioner and you got the court of personal opinion instead of the court of public opinion, it's still a shitty system.

That's why we have a system built on evidence. The prosecutor lays out the evidence in favor, the defense lawyer the evidence against, the judge is the referee and the jury decides if it's proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Now certainly there's a lot of subjective evaluation on what testimony is credible, evidence is reliable, theories are plausible and so on.

It's not supposed to be gut feel speculation based on superficial appearance and behavior, maybe you get an impression he's creepy and sleazy "hood rat" but that doesn't make him more guilty.than a slick smooth talker in a suit. At least it's not supposed to, but that's what personal opinion often is - how well the person in front of us matches the mental image we have of "that kind" of person.

Comment: Re:It's the end of the world as we know it! (Score 1) 298 298

Furthermore, even if they would manage to return the blocks to the pool in a couple of years, it would both be too late and too little and the demand for address space far outpaces the supply that ipv4 can offer.

This. We got 7 billion people - probably closer to 10 before it peaks, and as a minimum I should have one IP address at home, at work and for my cell phone. So 3*10 billion is 30 billion, IPv4 can offer 4 billion. And that's not counting every other odd thing I might want, like remote-controlled alarm/heating/whatever at my cabin or my car, servers of various kind and maybe IoT will become good for something.

Of course they probably could have just done it much, much simpler by making a dotted quad a dotted quint:

1.2.3.4.5

For compatibility each host under 1.2.3.4.x is granted 256 ports IPv4 ports mapped from x*256 to (x+1)*256-1 to a designated "IPv4 compatibility ports" like say the last ports from 65279 to 65535. So 1.2.3.4.1 can either be fully addressed by quint-capable equipment or 1.2.3.4:256-511 that'll be mapped to 1.2.3.4.1:65279-65535. And 1.2.3.4.2 will have 1.2.3.4:512-767 mapped to 1.2.3.4.2:65279-65535 and so on. You could use the same technique to provide a virtual IPv4 interface for legacy software, it thinks it is listening to 1.2.3.4:256 but it's really listening at 1.2.3.4.1:65279 - and any application it tells to connect to 1.2.3.4:256 would work.

That would have led to a gradual 256-times expansion of the address space without any hard switch-offs. But instead they decided to solve everything and now 19 years after the IPv6 standard we're still only barely in motion.

Comment: Re:Modularity (Score 4, Informative) 79 79

The very page you link to says:

Some might argue that there might arise a small problem with shipping 27M ICU libraries. If you don't need ICU (http://site.icu-project.org/) you have to recompile Qt with ./configure -without-icu.

What's ICU?

Here are a few highlights of the services provided by ICU:

Code Page Conversion: Convert text data to or from Unicode and nearly any other character set or encoding. ICU's conversion tables are based on charset data collected by IBM over the course of many decades, and is the most complete available anywhere.

Collation: Compare strings according to the conventions and standards of a particular language, region or country. ICU's collation is based on the Unicode Collation Algorithm plus locale-specific comparison rules from the Common Locale Data Repository, a comprehensive source for this type of data.

Formatting: Format numbers, dates, times and currency amounts according the conventions of a chosen locale. This includes translating month and day names into the selected language, choosing appropriate abbreviations, ordering fields correctly, etc. This data also comes from the Common Locale Data Repository.

Time Calculations: Multiple types of calendars are provided beyond the traditional Gregorian calendar. A thorough set of timezone calculation APIs are provided.

Unicode Support: ICU closely tracks the Unicode standard, providing easy access to all of the many Unicode character properties, Unicode Normalization, Case Folding and other fundamental operations as specified by the Unicode Standard.

Regular Expression: ICU's regular expressions fully support Unicode while providing very competitive performance.

Bidi: support for handling text containing a mixture of left to right (English) and right to left (Arabic or Hebrew) data.

Text Boundaries: Locate the positions of words, sentences, paragraphs within a range of text, or identify locations that would be suitable for line wrapping when displaying the text.

And much more. Refer to the ICU User Guide for details.

Not sure exactly how much Qt functionality you'd lose, but it's an optional dependency.

Comment: Re:No, they just need reliable Linux distros. (Score 4, Insightful) 179 179

Maybe it's okay if systemd and PulseAudio fuck up your single Ubuntu workstation. That's not a luxury that these admins have. They need their Linux systems to work reliably all of the time.

Or maybe it's okay if systemd fucks up all the servers running RHEL 7. After all, nothing important runs on that. So let's check, is Red Hat Inc. tanking and considering backtracking? Hell no, they're growing strong both in revenue and profits in the year that's passed since. So if a $14 billion dollar company can make systemd work for them, it probably can't be that bad. Or if it's bad, well then rip out the bad parts like write a non-binary log because how hard could it be to take the binary messages, printf and log the text in addition to/instead of a blob? Sometimes it sounds like the only two options is to drink the kool-aid or nuke it from orbit.

Comment: Re:linux hard to install and use for desktop users (Score 4, Informative) 179 179

that was always a problem of Linux being reliant on X Windows, and you don't know if the X windows is going to run properly until it's installed. therefore the installer has to be text-based, or so they claim. but it's all BS. the people who are doing the video drivers have a vested interest in discouraging direct use of those video drivers -- they are typically employed in jobs that have to do with either X Windows or something related. they want you to use X, even though X is terribly insecure and generally crappy software.

Not sure if you're stoned or trolling or dropped out of a time vortex from the 90s, but

1) GUI installers have been the norm for desktop oriented distros for years, mostly through live CDs.
2) For most of Linux history there's been zero credible competitors to X
3) Wayland is mainly driven by ex-X developers
4) Wayland will still need drivers to have accelerated graphics

5) Neither application developers nor users usually see X, you write against for example Qt and the toolkit takes care of talking to X. They might hate X, but they hide its quirks pretty well.

Comment: Re:He answered the most boring questions! (Score 2) 179 179

It's the typical FOSS mindset. Since you did something other than what I wanted, all of your work was a waste of time.

I think those wanna-be generals aren't really the community, but those who want to exploit the community to achieve their pet goals. To steal an expression from 4chan: The FOSS community is not your personal army. The opposite is less intuitive, but it also means the community isn't going to stand still just because your pet needs have been met while many others feel theirs haven't. For example I haven't heard much shit about PulseAudio in recent years, though initially it was rather crappy but it did add features that didn't exist before. Maybe in ten years time we'll feel the same about systemd.

Comment: Products not organizations (Score 1) 23 23

This organization would just be responsible for verifying that software is secure, not than an organization is secure. Just like you can still electrocute yourself with a UL listed device if you insist on using it in an unsafe manner, it will be entirely possible for organizations to use CyberUL software in horribly insecure ways. The point of the listing is just to verify that the software can be used securely, if you keep it patched and use it correctly.

Comment: NOT selling Bing Maps (Score 4, Informative) 61 61

The headline is horribly misleading. Microsoft is absolutely not selling Bing Maps. They are selling the team that has been gathering street-view imagery. The companies haven't released many details on the deal, but you can imagine that since Uber already has a fleet of vehicles driving around they could pay drivers to capture this imagery while delivering people and save a fair bit of money.

Microsoft

Microsoft To Sell Bing Maps, Advertising Sections 61 61

UnknowingFool writes: Microsoft has announced that they will sell some Bing Maps technology to Uber and their advertising business to AOL. About 1,300 employees are expected to be offered positions in their new companies. CEO Nadella said previously that there would be "tough choices" to be made. Some outside analysts have said neither venture was very profitable for Microsoft and may have been unprofitable at times.

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