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Comment: Re:KDBus - another systemd brick on the wall (Score 1) 19

by ledow (#49558671) Attached to: Linux 4.1 Bringing Many Changes, But No KDBUS

Systemd is one of those thing that people know will end in disaster. Sure, it works at the moment. But a personality will jump into it, or a bug will catch up with their design, or something else. And it will all come crashing down.

What bugs me about systemd is not the idea behind systemd. It's the implementation. Using cgroups and other kernel-provided features, it's able to provide functionality that we don't have elsewhere. But rather than break-down that functionality and make each part replaceable, and use "old" methods to do some things while they are replaced with "new" methods.

It's the all-or-nothing nature of systemd that I hate. There's no reason it can't be done in some other way. There's no reason that, even at a base level, you can't write scripts that do the same as it does - for all functions, but also for parts of the functions. As such, it's not modular, not changeable, it's just a lump of code that you accept having complete control of your machine or not. And I don't.

Honestly, I'm waiting for the crash-and-burn moment at which someone steps up, gives us the same features, using predictable, modular code or even scripts, and we can put in the bits we like and leave out the bits we don't like and replace any bit and NOBODY will know or care that we've done that.

Comment: Re:Okay (Score 1) 71

by ledow (#49558411) Attached to: Oculus Rift: 2015 Launch Unlikely, But Not Impossible

The biggest edits I ever did on Wikipedia, many years ago now, were to the articles about ZX Spectrum games.

I spent hours loading up games in emulators, capturing screenshots, writing out information, etc. Most of the articles for those games existed already, I just did things like link the developers, publishers, etc. categorised them, added screenshots where they were missing.

By a year later, every screenshot I'd done had been removed. Not because of copyright - but because when I'd first done them, I'd tagged them as per the required tags for copyright (e.g. fair usage, etc.). I'd spent forever putting all the tags on after being told for one article. The next month, my images were removed because a new tag had been introduced and I hadn't updated the images with it. So I updated the tags. Repeat ad infinitum for nearly a year. Every time, warnings about tags, copyright-tag bots spamming my talk page, new tags popping out of nowhere and serving no new purpose but those same bots stripping any images that did not have them.

In the end, I gave up. I stopped editing. I stopped categorising. I stopped screenshotting. All my screenshots (despite being perfectly fine for a year while I was tagging them) disappeared within a month. Most of those articles never got even a title screenshot back and are now either plain-text or the entire article is history.

And every "new" game article I added was removed for being "non-notable", when tiny little indie game articles stayed up for years, and the article were about huge, mainstream, industry-changing games.

Sorry, but my time and effort was wasted, not by fans of the games, readers of the articles, or even the article curators. Just by random paranoid spamming bots and people who - at first - I presumed were editors and moderators but actually were most likely just random people who wanted to criticize and break the articles for their own stats(?), I don't know.

All that happened is that the articles turned to dust and rotted over the years while the talk pages filled up with arguments.

Comment: Google+ (Score 2) 159

by ledow (#49558385) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

You wanted to compete with Facebook. Which you took to mean that I should be shoved onto it forcibly even though I have a fully-functioning social network with all my details, photos and friends plugged in anyway. You thought I should be badgered into submission until I moved all that content over, and have to go via roundabout routes to opt out of this stuff - on a GMail account I'd have since the first days of invite-only accounts.

And you didn't listen or care at the time. If you're that forcible with getting the information out of me, imagine how forcible you'll be when I try to get that information on me back.

Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole (despite being quite Google-centric in my services otherwise) just because of the "YOU MUST SIGN UP NOW" attitude.

If you'd just done what you did with Google Mail, slowly adding in features (e.g. Google Talk, Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc.) quietly that I can choose to use as I see fit, and just stumble across them as I need, and can just use them without being required to fill out EVERY DAMN BOX every time, then it would have taken off much nicer. And if I don't want to use them... well, they're still there any time I do.

Fact is, my Google Account is still the same one and STILL does not have a Google+ profile. Not even an image. Because, sorry, it doesn't work that way. I choose to use the service, you don't choose who must use it. When you tried to force me to fill out and use that part of my Google profile, I did everything I could NOT to. And look who won.

Comment: Re:Islamic idiocy... (Score 1) 384

by jandrese (#49558131) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead
One could argue that the Islamic world went through an reverse of the Enlightenment. An unenlightenment if you will. People like to blame the British for screwing everything up (they certainly did not help), but really they were exploiting the repressive and regressive systems held in place by petty tribalism that long predated their appearance.

This is going to be a continuing problem until they figure out how to get some separation between church and state. This separation will be difficult to achieve so long as assassination of potential political rivals remains commonplace. The christian world had the advantage of making the separation back when a King could be reasonably protected against assassination by simply living in a castle and keeping a close eye on his advisers and family. Today with high power sniper rifles and small but powerful bombs available to any random stranger it is much harder to avoid being assassinated.

Comment: No need to overthink this (Score 5, Insightful) 159

by Jeremi (#49557801) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Google's social networking features remain marginal for the same reason all of the other social networking sites remain marginal: the value of a social networking application is proportional to the number of people who are already using it. And Facebook hit critical mass first, which means that anyone who wants to "socialize" online with all of their buddies is going to want to do that on Facebook, because that's where all of their buddies are to be found online.

Asking people to also sign up for a second social-networking service is a losing proposition, because it inconveniences them (now they have to check two sites every day) without providing any compensating benefit (why talk to their friends on site B when they could already do that on site A?).

Comment: It wasn't better. (Score 4, Insightful) 159

by jandrese (#49557789) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed
The big problem with G+ is that it was basically Facebook by Google. They tried to make a big deal about the circles but I didn't know anybody who found that to be a compelling feature and it just made the site more of a headache to use. Plus if you really care you can do that on Facebook anyway. This wasn't like Myspace where the site was quickly swirling the drain and people needed someplace new to go. Facebook still works alright for most people (although the way they keep using every trick in the book to use "Top" view instead of "Most Recent" is still obnoxious) and their friends are already there. It never had that killer feature to overcome people's inherent inertia.

Comment: Re:sage (Score 5, Interesting) 207

by nbauman (#49557569) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

The people who put down public schools and experienced union teachers are "visionaries" but they don't have facts to back them up. If you want the facts, do a Google search for "Diane Ravitch."

Ah yes, a single data point proves everything. Sorry. No.

I have had exceptional public school teachers that cared about the students, knew their material, and provided a rich, learning environment. I have had hideous public school teachers that made it obvious that they hated the students, wished they were elsewhere, and only because thy had been on the job so long and were tenured that it was too late to change careers at that point. I have had public school teachers at almost every point in between.

I'm extremely glad that you had only exceptional experiences with public school teachers. But please, don't start pretending that you're representative of all public school students' experience or that your teachers were representative of all public school teachers.

Do your homework. I said do a Google search for "Diane Ravitch." Do I have to do everything for you?

Ravitch was assistant secretary of education under GWHB and Bill Clinton. She believed in testing and charter schools and getting rid of unions. The Wall Street Journal gave her a column. But she knew how to understand data. And the data said that charter schools were failing and the testing was unscientific gobbledygook. So -- unlike some people -- when the evidence went against her, she admitted she was wrong. She has more data than you knew existed. For example, she knows about the NAEP which actually did a good, scientific study of charter schools and found that they were on average worse than public schools. And I'm not going to find it for you, you can look it up yourself, although you're probably too lazy for that.

There's plenty of data. And it doesn't do what the "visionaries" say. Most of this stuff has been tried before, and didn't work.

I didn't say that I had only exceptional experiences with public school teachers. I had good teachers and bad teachers, like every institution. but most of them -- enough of them -- were good. I found more dedicated people in the public schools than I found in private businesses.

Comment: Re:That wasn't an Inquisition (Score 1) 384

"Bringing Christianity to the heathens" was one of the rationalizations of the land grab on native Americans. So it's reasonable to count it as murder and genocide with religious justifications.

I'm finding it difficult to understand your comment that "Jews are that way all over the world" doesn't fit with the idea that Christians in the USA for the last 300 years have not engaged in harassment, even genocide. I raised the Jews as a specific target of US christian abuse: the abuse being global does not contradict that claim.

Black slaves were _definitely_ denied their own religions. Slaves were denied the time and place to practice their former beliefs, compelled to attend Christian churches, and on occassion killed for refusals to abandon previous beliefs and practices The "Santeria" and "Voodoo" traditions that arose in some locations are fascinating mixes of Christian and different African beliefs, but it was certainly not a peaceful melding.

Comment: Re:ROTFL! (Score 1) 140

by RDW (#49557175) Attached to: Random Generator Parodies Vapid Startup Websites

At least now perhaps we can put to rest some of these awful trends in web design.

These guys have designed a really absurd parody site that mocks many of these design elements (I especially love the ridiculous horizontal scroll bar):

It's a bit too silly to be believable (e.g., what are they actually supposed to be selling?!) but it'll still probably fool a fair number of people.

+ - Another billionaire lobbys for education->

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman writes: James P. Steyer came here from San Francisco last week on a whirlwind tour to try to engage the country’s power brokers in his new crusade to put children and education at the top of the nation’s political agenda.

[blah blah blah digital literacy new media Internet for schools broadband for poor kids technical education for students and teachers privacy think of the children]

“What you’re seeing is an organization pushing an agenda to improve education through technology coinciding with the self-interests of companies providing funding to that organization,” said Joel R. Reidenberg, a professor at the Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan. “If you had municipal governments providing Wi-Fi in poor neighborhoods, you wouldn’t need to subsidize the private sector to do it.”
Turning a Children’s Rating System Into an Advocacy Army
New York Times
APRIL 26, 2015

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:This plan has holes (Score 1) 207

by nbauman (#49557039) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

I dunno. I'm not an educator, but I'm pretty sure that when I was in school that there was more to the class than just the lecture. I don't think you can just roll a copy of something from "The Great Courses" and declare yourself done.

I would be very worried about any teacher that would reduce their own job to that.

This reveals my age, but I remember when I was waiting in my home room in the morning and some of the kids in the back of the room were excited about something.

A kid had just built one of the first transistor radios from schematics.

I saw a transistor for the first time.

It was not in the textbooks.

Comment: Re:sage (Score 3, Interesting) 207

by nbauman (#49557025) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

It's not, but as someone who went to both public and private schools K-12, I wouldn't say my education was ever individualized. Sure, I could ask questions to an extent (up to when a teacher became annoyed), but the lesson was never for me, but rather the group.

I went to public school. When they saw that I was a good science student, they gave me a lab class with 4 other students, where we grew bacteria and bred fruit flies. That actually turned out to be useful in my future career.

Most of my teachers were dedicated and knew what they were doing. A lot of them stayed after work to help kids with projects and tutorials. They treated their students like their own kids.

The people who put down public schools and experienced union teachers are "visionaries" but they don't have facts to back them up. If you want the facts, do a Google search for "Diane Ravitch."

"America is a stronger nation for the ACLU's uncompromising effort." -- President John F. Kennedy