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Comment: I'm glad I taught my daughter to be careful ... (Score 5, Insightful) 331

I'm glad I taught my daughter to be careful/paranoid. I'm also glad she listened.

What we're observing here and in many other different places is the classic problem of technological advancement: Powerful tools in untrained/unexperienced hands. Each of us here has seen the internet/web grow and trivial-to-stupid data-collection services come over us like the plaque. We have a natural negative reaction to post non-anonymous content online or giving some corporation or the public all our data just because they offer a flaky lock-in version of IRC or microblogging. For most users however, that is a very normal thing to do. I cringe each time I see others exposing themselves to abuse and fraud by posting everything under their real name and data. They are one identity theft or one online stalker away from having their entire life turned into living hell.

I set up my daughters Ubuntu Netbook with two mailaccounts, one fake on with a pseudonym and one with her name. I told her to specifically use the latter only for official real-world stuff - sending in homework, applying for some course, etc. and the other for everthing else.

When she went off for a student exchange in Malaysia, she set up a another seperate pseudonymed online Facebook account for the occasion, to be able to cut it lose should things get out of hand. That's daddys smart girl.

Fake/pseudonymed accounts and a general base paranoia about all things online is a must these days if you don't want to be over-exposed to crap from immature teenagers.

I'm glad my daughter caught the drift and didn't wave off her daddys advice on this matter.

Comment: Re:There is no debate. (Score 1) 299

by Qbertino (#49300901) Attached to: Scientists: It's Time To Resolve the Ethics of Editing Human Genome

This technology will be developed to the point where traits like intelligence, disease resistance, emotional stability, beauty, et. al. will be almost guaranteed. If it's outlawed in one nation state, wealthy people will just have it done in another. Their children will benefit. The poor will be at a financial AND genetic disadvantage. The hand wringing ethical concerns of "scientists" will have no effect on this whatsoever.

The question is not wether this will happen. It will, if it can. The question is, will those super-intelligent, super-beautyful kids pay the handicapped pension for those who were genetically engineered but turned out with serious mental and/or physical handicaps. If somebody has his offspring genemodded and it turns out a parapleptic retard, do they expect public healthcare to take care of things? ... Ok, so some live in the U.S. and don't expect anything from healthcare, but what about every other indstrialised nation?

Who is going to carry the risks and the costs of genemodding and carry the consequences of trial and error?

I tell you who will: In first world countries it will the society, the taxpayers. So they get to vote on if this is done or not. End of story.

Comment: Seperate Domain Registrar from Hoster! (Score 2, Interesting) 295

by Qbertino (#49281801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice For Domain Name Registration?

The only general advice I can give you - since I'm not in the US and I presume you are - is to seperate your Domain Registration service from your hosting service. That way you can, in a jam, close down your hosting without having to give up your domain. Or simply redirect the domain if you have to scale or something.

However, it might be worth looking out for a Doman Registrar that offers to handle all the email stuff - setting up an E-Mail server is a real drag.

Most of my domains are tied in with an ancient hosting package, and it's a bit of a drag, quite simply because today I probably wouldn't use webhosting offers altogether but rather run my on webspace on some cheap Linux vhost.

Comment: Das Keyboard or Apple/Slim Keyboard (Score 3, Informative) 451

by Qbertino (#49273789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

If you're the old-school type, it's hard to go better than Das Keyboard.

However, if you're willing to experiment, I'd recommend trying out the current Apple Keyboard. I was squarely in the Model M demografic and for my life wouldn't have guessed that I like the Apple Keyboard and it's flat keys, but ever since I got one I've been using them almost exclusively. My typing speed has increased and I've come to like the laid-back lightweight and minimalist approach these take.

I recommend you try an Apple/Slim Keyboard for a few days before you decide what to buy. Could be that you're suprised just like I was.

Comment: From good FOSS projects? ... Everything. (Score 2) 133

From good, working FOSS projects you can learn just about anything. As for the distributed software development: One thing people can learn from FOSS is versioning. Seriously. Quite a few teams I've met in RL can't and don't/didn't version, with FOSS it's mandatory. A very important aspect is that FOSS teams version just about everything, including docs and assets. Very important.

Another thing distributed teams can learn from successful FOSS projects is not to drown in tooling-bloat. Most tools in FOSS are tried and true and have a track record of decades. IRC, simple IDE/compile setups, tried and true working environments (f.e. LAMP stack), a bug/issue tracker that does the job and maybe a web-forum. I like to use the Google suite for my projects, but that's mostly for FOSS stuff, so it doesn't matter to me that much what Google is reading along. YMMV.

One thing that I would recommend when doing distributed development is, that you should set up your entire environment and pipeline, so that it is ready for distributed devlopment. You should have different pipelines depending on location. The overall process of versioning, tracking, compiling and deployment should be the same for everyone. The difficult part isn't getting the externals to do their thing but to get the locals to switch to the new, optimsed processes.

Another thing good (FOSS) projects have in common is a clear vision and good gouvernance. The stakeholders and PMs of FOSS projects actually have their agency behind the thing. If they don't, they quickly drop out or the project simply never gets off the ground. ... That's a huge upside to FOSS btw. In paid development, you get idiots dragging along for years, simply because there's a paycheck involved. Very painful. I've seen that a lot of that.

Comment: Well, they're wrong. Plain and simple. (Score 1, Insightful) 447

by Qbertino (#49245425) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

Just a few days ago I made the case why homeopathy or other "magical medicine" and the way it might be practiced today can offer at least one significant upside vis-a-vis regular medical treatment ... or should I say council?

That homeopathic substances probably offer no better remedy than placebos is not really news. However, they *do* offer cheap placebos, which also can be a good and useful thing. And placebos are effective, or at least have an effect, there are enough studies that prove that.

Comment: This has me second-guessing my C++ ambitions ... (Score 1) 757

by Qbertino (#49232081) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

Never had heard of the Linus Torwalds rant on C++, but reading it has me second-guessing my C++ ambitions. Linus has strong opinions, no doubt, and he doesn't tiptoe around the issue, but more than once have I found myself agreeing with him and also seeing why I would call other people names - because often quite widespread ideas and notions about programming are notably stupid, and Linus doesn't stop short of pointing those out.

What he has to say about C++ actually makes me weary about the PL. ... Gotta look into this.

Comment: Could be. (Score 5, Interesting) 392

by Qbertino (#49225125) Attached to: Does USB Type C Herald the End of Apple's Proprietary Connectors?

Since Steve Jobs came back Apple has only introduced proprietary connectors when there was a really good reason for them to do so. Lightning was introduced because Micro USB was considered sub-par by Apple. And let's face it: There is some truth to that. Lightning is sturdier, easyer to handle, has more data throughput and IIRC more relyable electrical specs. Say about Apple what you want, but unlike quite a few other tech companies they actually know what they are doing and why and they don't short-change hardware design decisions. Their market evaluation seems to prove them right.

In a nutshell: If Apple decides that USB C is worthwhile and offers upsides vis-a-vis lightning, it could be that this actually is the case, and Lightning actually is on the way out.

As for Thunderbolt: Unlike what quite a few tech experts think, it is *not* an Apple specific spec, but a standardised port. It's only that Apple likes to use it more than any other vendor.

Comment: WTF? What has this guy been smoking? (Score 4, Interesting) 300

by Qbertino (#49196317) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Last time I checked, Sun was a corporation selling pro-level branded hardware and insanely expensive services (like they all do), being bought out by Oracle and Mozilla was a FOSS orgranisation watching over branding and provided guidance to a set of web- and mobile-centric FOSS projects.

Those two things couldn't be more wider apart.

As for Mozillas market and mindshare being eaten by Google: That is due to Google releasing the awesome Chrome browser, because the web is too important an income vector to them, so they decided to pull it inhouse and cut out the policy middleman. Mozilla itself is ten git commits away from switching from Gecko to Blink, and the devs could probalby do this in a weekend. Probalby have been doing it privately already just for the kicks. So no big deal, it's all free and replacable anyway.

The one big thing that Mozilla has going for them is their branding, and as far as I can tell that is going pretty well. Right now, anything standing between a totalitarian Googlezied control of the web and freedom loving citizens is Mozilla - at least in most peoples perception and if they continue playing their cards right, relyably drumming the hip and flashy but yet still underdog/freedom theme, they'll continue to do just fine.

IMHO Firefox OS was a bit of a stretch, but if they manage to keep things simple and intuitive in that ecosystem, having a mobile plattform that puts web-technology front and center could be just exactly the right thing a continuingly fragmented mobile space needs.

As for the browser: Google-independant "Hello" voicechat by Telefonica, Search by Yahoo, neat, google-independant environment syncing, etc. All these things aren't too bad. In fact they're all pretty interesting to me. And I am an IT opinion leader, as we all are. That should have Apple and Google raising their eyebrows.

What we need is a replacement for the Google online suite of apps, and if Mozilla can manage to pull yet another underdog of the industry in to help build that, we have a free-free competitor to all the Google stuff. Desperately needed!

Meantime, Mozilla IMHO is doing just fine making neat celebrative movies and playing to the hippster independant "we are different and free" crowd. That's what made apple big. Apple, however, is a PLC, dependant on profit. Google is too. Mozilla, OTOH, is mostly a FOSS organisation. They can all go on vacation 10 years and then come back and everything will still be the same for them. What does that have to do with revenue and eval problems Sun had back when Oracle scooped them up? ... Nothing.

I see Mozilla as a hip web-zentric play of the old and bland EFF & GNU organisations with a solid focus on branding (very smart btw.). They'll do just fine if they don't spread themselves to thin and wait for the big boys get all paniky about profits somewhere down the line.

I've got FF in everyday use and will continue to use it. If they build an independant contacts application for mobile and web alongside a calendar and perhaps some simple docs management, preferably all of it encrypted, I'll be on board from day one.

Google doesn't have to get *that* big or know everything.

My 2 cents.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.