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Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 2) 150

by damn_registrars (#48027507) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

The issue is that people learn Photoshop, they don't learn the fundamentals for the tool.

I'm not sure how that would effect sales. Are people who learned Photoshop without understanding how it works really be likely Linux users? I think the overlap on those sets is vanishingly small.

So they switch to GIMP and then find it's horrible because their skills don't transfer and they cry on the internet that "GIMP SUX" because they don't want to relearn anything.

First of all, I can tell you that I have used a significant number of Photoshop tutorials in GIMP to do various functions and found that they work just fine.

Second, the most critical (by frequency of use) tools in Photoshop are the technical adjustments - color, levels, curves, etc. They work the same in GIMP and are even in the same menus. There is no significant relearning to do. My wife uses Photoshop and Illustrator (as well as InDesign) professionally on a daily basis. A while back we were traveling with only my laptop, which has GIMP and Inkscape but nothing from Adobe. She was able to get by just fine for a quick job while we were out; going well beyond the use level that I get from GIMP even though I use it almost daily.

This is even worse in a business situation because relearning things pushes back deadlines and impacts quality

I'm not sure how this applies. How many businesses are running Linux workstations and need Adobe on them? Again this seems to me like a likely very small set. I don't see the absence of Adobe software in Linux as being a critical impediment to Linux migration for businesses who want to do that, either.

Comment: How important is that at this point? (Score 2) 150

by damn_registrars (#48027155) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks
I know that Photoshop is still the gold standard, but I'm not sure how many Linux users are concerned about it. I use GIMP for all my photo work in Linux and it meets all my needs. It seems that the overlap between people who need Photoshop (and are wiling to pay for it) and the people who are using Linux would be pretty small.

I know that Photoshop gets a lot of attention from the WINE community but that doesn't necessarily translate to people who want to buy licenses for running it in Linux.

Comment: They're used to getting it both ways (Score 1) 432

by damn_registrars (#48024903) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power
The electric companies (other utilities as well, but electric in particular) have been getting it both ways for some time. They have a lock on providing most - if not all - of their services for their market, and government is generally unwilling to investigate their actions when they use their power to abuse customers. I recall in a previous home of mine, one winter the temperature wasn't as cold as predicted, which led to less need for heating energy. The power companies hence made less money, which they made up for by forcing a subsidy on the customers. Customers who tried to contest the subsidy (which raised their monthly bill) were threatened with disconnect and collections.

Now that solar is becoming a viable option - even if just to reduce the electric bill - the power companies are seeking ways to prevent it from hitting them. Eventually they will follow the same path that the insurance industry took with "health care reform" and dictate to the government a giant handout for themselves.

Comment: Re: Wisdom from these guys? (Score 1) 256

by damn_registrars (#48024607) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

Yet you were the person so sure that the stock would tank that you shorted it and got millions? No, didn't think so.

The stock market has been, for quite some time now, a casino for the wealthy. I was one of many who knew that it was drastically overvalued but had no way to make money on that knowledge. Even to short sell, based on the insane IPO price, required vastly more expendable money than I or most others had.

Comment: Wisdom from these guys? (Score 1) 256

by damn_registrars (#48022223) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"
This sounds like the same kind of wisdom we saw from people tripping over each other to buy facebook stock on opening day, paying obscene sums for stock that subsequently tanked on the market. It seems like he's just trying to play the opposite argument now in hopes that he might be able to look less stupid.

Too bad he's just as wrong as his type was before.

Comment: Re:Call it what you will (Score 1) 322

by c (#48020063) Attached to: Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

The wrong mechanism (a semi-persistent environment) is being used to transfer what should have transient data. That is a vulnerability in the spec.

Hm. Okay, I'll buy that argument.

In practice, if the CGI developer follows best security practices it shouldn't be a more significant problem than any other "untrusted input" path, and whatever invokes the CGI does have the option of cleaning up the environment instead of accepting the default, but it's fair to say there's a flaw in the spec.

Comment: Evaluation of a charged topic (Score 1) 438

by damn_registrars (#48019053) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans
I know that RTFA is passe' here, but if we even take a look at the abstract (which shoudl be publicly available to all) we see a key point here:

Turning to a case study of scientific communication, another online sample of adults described public attitudes toward climate scientists specifically.

We already know that a large portion of our country is repeatedly fed biased misinformation on this topic and told to distrust anyone who represents an opposing viewpoint. If we tried this on something that is less of a political football, we would likely see very different results. I would doubt that anywhere near as many people would doubt scientists telling them about research on gravity or the spheroid shape of our planet.

Comment: Re:Call it what you will (Score 3, Insightful) 322

by c (#48018573) Attached to: Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

The fact is that bash allows external entities to poison environment variables ahead of invocation, causing unintended behavior in bash when it is launched as a child process.

Well, it's not that it allows external entities to poison the environment, it's that it gives the finger to that basic secure programming practice where you should just assume that externally provided input is tainted data.

(you could say that there is a design vulnerability in CGI - and I would agree about that).

Debatable.

There's nothing in the CGI specification that requires or suggests that there needs to be any kind of intermediary in handling the reqests aside from the web server. The environment is a perfectly legitimate way of passing data, and if the web server calls the CGI safely (i.e. pipe()/fork()/exec()) there's no reason for a transient interpreter like bash to get involved. And, aside from security, the performance hit of invoking a shell just to launch another program makes it a bit silly to do it any other way.

And I'd point out that it's possible to explicitly control the environment of a subprocess (i.e. execle()), so anything calling a CGI program can at least sanitize things to minimize any damage. Not that the CGI should depend on the caller to sanitize things, of course.

On the other hand, the environment is a perfectly stupid way to pass code around.

Comment: Re:Is that the only beatable one? (Score 1) 5

by damn_registrars (#48018157) Attached to: Yes, SimCity 2k is beatable.

I ran it under dosbox. Worked fine except for the occasional need to restart because the audio would get munged up, and I like having the audio.

I haven't bothered with the sound. I tried it a few times in dosbox and generally - at least on my thinkpad - the sound would work for about 30 seconds and then never a sound again after that. I didn't personally see it worth additional effort.

There were a lot of Win3x and Win95 games that were just wrappers around a dos extender.

It could be that my memories of SC2K are clouded by rose-tinted glasses. However I am pretty sure that the Win9x version I had was able to run in a window at any of a choice of resolutions. I can't get dosbox to give me that freedom; I start it from dosbox and it insists on going full screen (I probably need to RTFM to solve this one but haven't done so yet) with a rather poor resolution. I know some people love to see pixelated buildings the size of aircraft carriers; I'm the opposite and want to see as many buildings as possible while still being able to resolve individual ones.

Comment: Is that the only beatable one? (Score 1) 5

by damn_registrars (#48016843) Attached to: Yes, SimCity 2k is beatable.
My understanding was that the other SimCity titles had no "victory" scenarios. I recall there were some versions (the Super NES version of SimCity comes to mind) that did have various (often amusing) failure scenarios where the game would not allow you to continue. I bought copies of SimCity 2000 and SimCity 4 through gog.com recently and started up SC2K recently in emulation and it works quite well. For some odd reason their release of SC2K installs through windows but runs through DOS.

I think I may have managed to find a copy of "Streets of Sim City" somewhere as well; I don't know if you remember that one but it lets you drive (or fly!) your city. I thought it was a clever idea but I haven't seen how good it is in execution.

And I really wish I could get RoboSport working, as well; that was a favorite of mine from the same group.

Comment: Re:Gonna miss Snidely Whiplash (Score 1) 30

by damn_registrars (#48016381) Attached to: Eric Holder to Resign as Attorney General

but calling atheism a religion is like calling abstinence a sex position

That depends. I have gotten into this discussion many times here on slashdot before. It is important to distinguish literal (or "classical") atheism from what represents atheism today. The literal definition of atheism is "without faith" or "without beliefs". However many people who call themselves atheists today explicitly demonstrate a belief in the absence of a deity.

A good way to model this is as a set of vectors. If a person rooted in their faith has a vector of magnitude 1 and a given direction, a modern atheist essentially has the same vector magnitude but the opposite direction. A classical atheist, by comparison, would have a vector of magnitude zero.

The importance of this is that many of the soviets were actually modern atheists, concerned with removing religion from their country. A classical atheist would not care about other peoples' faith(s).

Similarly your notion of atheism as

a set of beliefs

Distinguishes modern from classical. A modern atheist is often driven by their desire to remove others from their faith because they believe their faith in the absence of a god to be superior. A classical atheist would not waste time on it. An excellent example of the classical atheist in the modern society is Dr. Neill deGrasse Tyson; he simply doesn't care about other peoples' faith - yet he does not call himself an atheist either because he is aware of how loaded that term is in the current situation.

Comment: Re:Why not self host? (Score 1) 6

by damn_registrars (#48013975) Attached to: Sorry I haven't written
That is an excellent idea, there. One change I would make to that suggestion though is to just do an install that doesn't include an x server (ie, either a "server" linux install [ubuntu server is OK though not great for this] or FreeBSD). Then you don't have to waste time and storage space installing a service that you're not going to run.

Another possible change on it would be to use a compact flash card in a CF->IDE (or CF->SATA, depending on the age of the laptop) adapter. I like to keep things internal as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of the storage getting knocked out physically by accident.

Comment: Re:Why not self host? (Score 1) 6

by damn_registrars (#48013759) Attached to: Sorry I haven't written

I probably don't have a fixed IP address

That part is easy to address with dyndns or various other services.

I'd have to keep on top of security far more closely than with a PC

That depends on what you need. If all you need is to host a static website, the security concerns are actually pretty minimal. If you want php and a lot of goodies plus remote login and what-have-you then your concerns grow quickly.

I'd have to have at least two computers running 24/7/365 in case one went down, and I usually only have one or two running when I'm awake

Perhaps I underestimated the traffic volume for your web site, then. I know if my site is down occasionally (my personal server at home pulls five nines without much effort but there are sporadic things beyond my control like power / internet losses) it isn't a big deal.

The electricity alone would cost more than hosting.

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Again, if it is just a static page you could set up a really basic box (think mini-ITX) with as few moving parts as possible and your power consumption will be less than if you go to work and forget to turn off your coffee maker on the way out the door. I can tell you that the power consumption of my web server at home (an old P4 desktop I got for free some time ago) makes no notable difference on our monthly power bill.

You may have seen some of my JEs over the years where I have mocked the various attempts to compromise my home system via ssh. If I bothered to either change my ssh port or disable ssh entirely I would have basically zero attempts - I leave it where it is primarily out of laziness and my occasional needs to check in to my system remotely for various work-related functions.

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.

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