Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Possibly android (Score 1) 110

by JWSmythe (#48590465) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

I used Familiar Linux back in the day, when my Compaq iPaq became little more than a paperweight. When it was new, I had bought the iPaq with the battery sleeve that had 2 PCMCIA card slots. I did use it for a couple things. One was a little wifi scan tool, kind a primitive Wifi Analyzer. The other was the fancy IR remote that you mentioned.

Since it was so limited, even though it was a little Linux box, it eventually just ended up sitting on my desk until the batteries died, and a few years later it end up in a box in the closet. I haven't seen it in a few years, so it got misplaced one of the times I've moved. No big loss, other than the huge amount I had paid for it when it was new.

Since I can do everything with my Android phone that I ever did with the iPaq, there really isn't a reason to even try to resurrect one.

Comment: Re:Just in time. (Score 2) 219

by JWSmythe (#48590369) Attached to: Seagate Bulks Up With New 8 Terabyte 'Archive' Hard Drive

Their consumer drives have gone to absolute shit. I was buying them because they were marginally cheaper than the other choices. I ended up with a couple dozen running over the period of about a year. As each matured to about 1.5 years old, they started dying. Seagate reduced their warranty for consumer drives down to 1 year, so now they're all paperweights.

I guess they're ok, if you want to build a computer that you only want to use for 1 year. Maybe building out a machine for someone you don't like, or you like repeat business from angry customers who lose all their data yearly.

One of these days, we're going to have a thermite fueled funeral pyre. I'll post the YouTube video. :)

At least these "archive" drives get a 3 year warranty, for now. I wouldn't be surprised if they start trimming that down over time as they find out what their real failure rates are like.

Comment: Re:that pre dates 9/11. laptops from late 90's for (Score 1) 184

by JWSmythe (#48580069) Attached to: Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

I've only ever been asked once, over countless flights before and after 9/11. That was in 2000, to board a flight leaving the US for Europe. Unfortunately, I was using it on the first flight, and my battery died. I told the agent "The battery is dead, but I can plug it in if you'd show me where an outlet is". That was the end of it.

Comment: Re:Oh it's asteroids now? (Score 1) 135

by JWSmythe (#48570931) Attached to: Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

It wouldn't have "seeped out", but you're on the right track. hydrogen + oxygen + energy = water. and water + energy = hydrogen + oxygen. We understand a lot of the surface chemical processes on this planet. We don't understand all the subterranean processes, but we have an idea.

Non-terrestrial bodies can carry water. Landing on a single comet and saying "no comets have Earth-like water" is like saying "We've only found life on Earth, therefore no other life exists."

I think some people have a very homogenous view of the universe. Once you've sampled a few, you've sampled them all.

Even on the Earth, there isn't a lot of water. This may give a better visualization.

Comment: Re: 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda? (Score 1) 409

by JWSmythe (#48541319) Attached to: Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

Slashdot's archive policy used to be much longer. I think it was at least 6 months. I'm not sure why they changed it. It may be for the sake of managing comment spam posts. It looks like they're removing them now. At least I haven't noticed posts for knockoff merchandise lately. I still read at -1, since people still downvote perfectly good comments.

Even on Facebook, we sometimes have running conversations for weeks. There, it's all in who your friends are. The ones I friend can usually keep a conversation going. Sometimes well beyond when it should just die.

Comment: Re:This is of course complete nonsense (Score 2) 84

by JWSmythe (#48539599) Attached to: US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes

Well ... I worked for a company who dealt with lots of PII (like, info on *every* person in the US). We put together a system to monitor what TOR nodes existed, and compared attacks to TOR nodes. It was significantly used as an attack vector, not only because of the anonymity, but because the attacker could change IPs frequently. Not a single legitimate user used TOR.

We decided it was worth protecting our users, and the PII of everyone in the US, to refuse any traffic from TOR.

Banks doing the same thing does seem like it's in the best interest of the customers.

If you are a legitimate user, and some 3rd party logs into your account and transfers money out, would you prefer the bank to say "Sorry, it was some random person, and we have no way to find or prosecute them. They will likely do it again." or "The intruder was found and prosecuted."

Depending on the theft, you may or may not get your funds back. If someone goes in and transfers funds as you, some banks aren't willing to refund the transaction. Transfers aren't handled like credit card transactions, which are easily refunded.

Even if your bank does give you the stolen money back, that means they've absorbed the cost. So your loss ($1 or $1M) and refund, is now added to the fees, because the bank's operating expenses are higher.

I'd prefer the "inconvenience" of not being allowed to use TOR and other anonymous relays, and not have the bank have a huge and expensive fee schedule to make up for losses that are impossible to recoup from the thieves.

Comment: Re: 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda? (Score 1) 409

by JWSmythe (#48539485) Attached to: Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

Well, I do still log in occasionally, and comment. I gave up on submitting stories a long time ago, since I've had all of one published ever, and countless other good ones ignored.

Conversations on any story dry up pretty quickly. There's usually a 3 day lifespan at best. So after today, I doubt there will be many (if any) more comments.

Comment: Re:Joyent unfit to lead them? (Score 1) 254

by Junta (#48531329) Attached to: Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

Changing a pronoun is not worth of developer resources. I would have reversed it too -- we don't need everyone's principled opinions infiltrating the codebase and starting problems between people's values and beliefs.

The thing is, the change was done by some third party. Rejecting it and justifying actually took *more* work than just accepting it. The change was just inside comments. Now if the change was to function names or something, that would be different.

If I were faced with a commit that just changed he to they or he to she or she to he or they to he, I'd probably accept it because I don't care what a comment says. The exception would be if it became apparent that two committers cared in different ways about such an asinine thing, then I'd have to think. As this stands, someone rejected a practically patch that some people cared about and should have just accepted the damn patch.

Comment: Re:difference? (Score 4, Informative) 254

by Junta (#48531259) Attached to: Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

People don't fork 'just because they can'. They fork because they are failing to get what they want out of the project. It remains to be seen if they are wasting their time.

It could be like ethereal to wireshark, where the holder of the copyright has precisely *zero* development skin in the game.

It could be like XFree86 to Xorg where both had some nominal capability to continue, but it becomes quickly apparent that the fork is where the development effort went.

It could be like Wayland fork where the fork pretty much died (though the main project isn't seeing massive adoption either).

Worst case would be something like the ffmpeg/libav fiasco, where both forks go and which one is available readily for a given distribution is almost more a matter of politics than technical merit, and yet they have significantly diverged.

Comment: Incorrect... (Score 1) 254

by Junta (#48531217) Attached to: Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

A 'project' is a vague concept. What 'sponsorship' means can be vague too. Are they providing hosting services? Are they managing the authentication configuration? Did they impose some CI where they get final say? Did they provide employment to some or all participants? Did they pay as part of a contract arrangement for the time of some developers?

In short, knowing how corporate sponsorship historically happens in open source, the corporation maybe provides some contribution, but does take control of the project hosting and copyright such that the 'authoritative' source follows their will, but they do not actually offer many of the developers financial benefit or bind their hands to fork.

This happens not infrequently to very prominent software in open source land, sometimes without the commercial facet. MySQL and MariaDB. Ethereal and Wireshark. gPXE and iPXE. XFree86 and Xorg. ffmpeg and and libav. Openoffice and Libreoffice. Usually it becomes clear where the *real* meat of development was and only one fork is technically viable.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.