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Comment: Re:the problem with Twitter (Score 4, Interesting) 114

by marcansoft (#48896939) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

140 characters isn't enough ... in English. You should see the novels that Japanese people post on Twitter. Japanese is about 2x denser per character than English, so you can fit in a lot more stuff. I was amazed when I was able to compose an elaborate explanation for someone in Japanese and it still fit in one tweet (I'm learning the language).

Comment: Glenn Seaborg - a great man (Score 4, Informative) 85

by Cliff Stoll (#48783809) Attached to: The Mystery of Glenn Seaborg's Missing Plutonium: Solved

I was honored to know Glenn Seaborg while working at Lawrence Berkeley Labs in the 1980's. By then, Manhattan Project was long behind him, as was his Nobel prize, the Atomic Energy Commission work, and his chancellorship of the University of California. Yet he was still a kind and supportive scientist who was deeply interested in any research - whether in physics, astronomy, chemistry, or biology. He recognized the need to teach music and art alongside science and math, and would visit local high schools to encourage students.

I once met him at the Lawrence Hall of Science, walking around the old cyclotron. When I asked him about it, he said that he'd been wondering how the field magnets had been mounted (it was perhaps 40 years after the Manhattan Project). After a short chat he invited a few 12 year old kids over, and told stories about using the beast to create new elements. Amazing guy.

Comment: Re:Does it really matter (Score 2) 86

SDKs are useful to investigate and develop homebrew exploits (they provide information on the system architecture), but they are not useful for actually developing homebrew unless you want to end up with a situation like the Xbox 1 (the original) where all homebrew (except for Linux) was basically illegal because compiling it meant using the SDK and the resulting binaries were not legally redistributable. As a counterexample, the Wii has a fully open source homebrew SDK (though some bits have a questionable history and are arguably non-cleanroom reverse-engineered SDK code from games, but that's a much finer point than outright using the official SDK).

Given what I've heard of the Xbox One security architecture, it's going to be a tough nut to crack, SDK or not.

Comment: Re:What a useless paper (Score 1) 181

by AnyoneEB (#48343225) Attached to: There's No Such Thing As a General-Purpose Processor

A genuinely interesting paper would have specific ideas for architecture capable of solving problems beyond the scope of current CPUs and GPUs.

A couple cool projects I've seen on making good use of dark silicon are GreenDroid and Chlorophyll, both of which are recent research projects on compiling for weird architectures that are specially designed to be energy efficient. If it's specialized for different applications that you want, then Anton is the closest I've seen; it's specialized for running physical simulations so it can do things like protein folding.

Comment: Fresh out of college with 20 years experience (Score 5, Funny) 574

by Cliff Stoll (#48307277) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

Can't resist tooting my own horn. These are from my Klein bottle website:

    TOPOLOGY CONSULTANT Part-time design of low-dimensional manifolds in glass, wool, plastic, titanium, niobium, pentium, and unobtanium. Ideal candidate is fresh out of college with 20 years experience in applied topology; and can solve Poincare's, Heawood's, and Hodge's conjectures. Pay & benefits are epsilon above unemployment. Compensation package includes trillions in worthless stock options.

    GLASSBLOWER Construct borosilicate manifolds using lampwork. Handy with glass lathe, oxy-hydrogen torch, and bandaids. Must know the usual cuss words to describe breaks & cracks. Experienced in minor burn treatment. Special bonus if you know the difference between inside and outside.

    MANIFOLD OPERATOR. Curvaceous, conformal Riemannian vector field desires normalized Ricci tensor with nice eigenvalues. Will relocate within proper metric space. No polymorphic permutations, please.


Comment: Re:Hmm, says here: (Score 5, Informative) 249

by marcansoft (#48306383) Attached to: New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

Moving faster causes time to slow down (special relativity), but so does beeing in a deeper gravitational well (general relativity). As you move away from the Earth, both effects have opposite (but not equal) magnitude. I'm too lazy to do the math right now, but here's a walkthrough (for the case of GPS satellites, but the same equations hold; you just need to know the distance from Earth's center to Death Valley and to Mount Everest, and work out their linear velocity from that).

Comment: Re:Once again proving ARM is awesome (Score 4, Insightful) 97

by marcansoft (#48160329) Attached to: Android On Intel x86 Tablet Performance Explored: Things Are Improving

Um, no, x86 CPUs are nothing like ARM and I'm not aware of any commercial x86 CPU with an ARM backend. Yes, modern x86 cores use a RISC-ish microcode backend with an x86 decoder frontend, but that doesn't say anything in favor of ARM. All it means is that the industry has collectively agreed that CISC as a microarchitecture is a stupid idea - not necessarily as an instruction set.

I'm not a fan of x86 myself, and I think it's a stupid design with a vast amount of baggage causing a significant power/performance impact when designing an x86 CPU (that Intel can get away with because they're a generation or two ahead of everyone else in silicon tech), but then again ARM isn't the pinnacle of RISC either (though I do think it's better than x86).

Me, I'll take whatever microarch gets the best performance per watt at whatever TDP is relevant. If Intel can pull that off with x86-64, by all means. If ARM AArch64 ends up ahead, awesome. If both are about equal, I'll take whatever's more practical based on other factors.

Comment: Re:Anonymity == being a schmuck for a good number. (Score 1) 728

by AnyoneEB (#48117343) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

I agree that statistics require careful interpretation, and any claims made based on statistics require critical thought to determine if they are using statistics properly. There is, after all, another study someone else referenced in this thread that concluded the exact opposite by studying the proportion (not absolute number) of harassing tweets sent to a set of 65 celebrity Twitter accounts. I am unsure what your discussion of domestic violence statistics adds to this discussion other than giving an example of another emotional charged area where statistics are complicated.

The link I reference had two parts: (1) the actual study that showed the fake users created by the researchers which were identical except for gendered names resulted in 25 times as much harassment directed at the bots with females names and (2) the references to previous studies showing that reports of harassment are much more common from women. The assertion made by the article is that (1) supports (2). Note that in (1) the same researchers are the ones coding messages as harassing or not, so there is no separate subjectivity of men vs. women on what messages constitute harassment. That's why I cited it: it answers the question of "Do women get harassed equal to men and are just more vocal about it?" In fact, the data suggests women are less vocal about it.

Lastly, as I stated above, this whole argument is a tangent to the real issue which is "Trolling" or "Abuse". While you go pull more made up numbers to back your tangent, nothing gets done to resolve the real issue.

No disagreement there. The article is about abuse/harassment, not trolling, so the title is misleading.

Comment: Re:Anonymity == being a schmuck for a good number. (Score 1) 728

by AnyoneEB (#48114463) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

I really wish we could just drop the sexism part of this right now. Both genders get attacked by these people.

Both do, but it *is* sexist. It is far more widespread and vicious towards women. Ignoring that is not helping.

Really now? Proof by assertion is not proof, it's an informal fallacy. Yes, even if you claim that not believing your assertion is "not helping". Prove that women get trolled more, and prove that the trolling is more vicious as you claim. I await your great study of everyone trolled on the Internet with eagerness.

While a complete census of internet trolling has not been conducted, it turns out there are statistics and they do support the GP: here's a study showing women get harassed at a much higher rate than men.

According to a University of Maryland study, online users who appear female are 25 times more likely to receive threats and sexually explicit messages than online users with male names.


The disproportionate targeting of women accords with statistics compiled by the organization Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA). In 2007, 61 percent of the individuals reporting online abuse to WHOA were female while 21 percent were male. 2006 followed a similar pattern: 70 percent of those reporting online harassment identified themselves as women. Overall, in the years covering 2000 to 2007, 72.5 percent of the 2,285 individuals reporting cyber harassment were female and 22 percent were male.

Comment: Re:Duh! (Score 1) 75

And since this is a camera passthrough, not an optical overlay, that's a glaring implementation flaw. Properly aligning the head tracking framerate, camera framerate, and rendering would let them render the virtual objects in lockstep with the physical ones (at least at speeds where motion blur isn't a significant issue; you can fake that by minimizing motion blur in the real image by using a short shutter time on the cameras).

Comment: Doesn't look unreasoanble (so far) (Score 3) 192

by marcansoft (#48009543) Attached to: NVIDIA Begins Requiring Signed GPU Firmware Images

So, they're locking out things that can brick the card (flash ROM/fuses, screw up thermal sensors) and apparently a hint of OS security (the Falcons that respond to userspace commands can no longer access physical memory, only virtual memory). The latter sounds somewhat bizarre, considering the firmware should be fully under the control of the driver, not userspace (I guess/hope?), but not unreasonable. Maybe there are software security reasons for this.

Nouveau is free to continue using its own free blobs or to switch to nvidia's. If they start adding restrictions that actively cripple useful features or are DRM nonsense, then I would start complaining, but so far it sounds like an attempt at protecting the hardware while maintaining manufacturing flexibility for nvidia. This isn't much different from devices which are fused at the factory with thermal parameters and with some units disabled; the only difference is that here firmware is involved.

NV seem to be turning friendlier towards nouveau, so I'd give them the benefit of the doubt. If they wanted to be evil, they would've just required signed firmware for the card to function at all. The fact that they're bothering to have non-secure modes and are only locking out very specific features suggests they're actively trying to play nicely with open source software.

Operating Systems

Outlining Thin Linux 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the tux-on-a-diet dept.
snydeq writes: Deep End's Paul Venezia follows up his call for splitting Linux distros in two by arguing that the new shape of the Linux server is thin, light, and fine-tuned to a single purpose. "Those of us who build and maintain large-scale Linux infrastructures would be happy to see a highly specific, highly stable mainstream distro that had no desktop package or dependency support whatsoever, so was not beholden to architectural changes made due to desktop package requirements. When you're rolling out a few hundred Linux VMs locally, in the cloud, or both, you won't manually log into them, much less need any type of graphical support. Frankly, you could lose the framebuffer too; it wouldn't matter unless you were running certain tests," Venezia writes. "It's only a matter of time before a Linux distribution that caters solely to these considerations becomes mainstream and is offered alongside more traditional distributions."

Comment: Re:Moderately well prepared - Oakland, California (Score 1) 191

by Cliff Stoll (#47744875) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

Hi gang,

        Thanks for the reports of stale gasoline - I'm convinced. Tonight I'll head out & recycle my old gas. The problem isn't getting things together; it's keeping it all up to date & ready. Your comments hit me in the right place: be prepared.

        I'm associated with a ham radio emergency group; the rule is that the station's equipment must be immediately ready for action. In an emergency, you don't have the luxury of stringing a cable, or figuring out which power supply can work with which rig. If the transceivers aren't wired up, tested, and set to go, they might as well be underwater. Same's true for on-the-air skills. You gotta check into the 2-meter net at least every month, or you'll get rusty and screw up when things get hot.

      And so it is with earthquake readiness. It's not enough to put away a survival stash and let it molder. Gotta keep things fresh - gotta keep my skills sharp.

Best wishes,
        ps to ksmithderm ... sure, I've got Klein bottle hats (and Mobius scarves). They're on m'website.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson