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Comment: Re:depends on what you're doing (Score 1) 402

by Rutulian (#47602903) Attached to: Comparison: Linux Text Editors

My guess though is that you "hate vi" because it's strange and foreign to you and if you humbled yourself, took the time to learn some simple, easily memorizable things you'd probably change your tune.

No, it's really that I already have to know and be familiar with a number of things. I've used vi, very frustratingly, maybe three times. I don't care to spend more time learning it because i see it's complexity as just completely unnecessary. When I already have to know how to configure a dozen different services off the top of my head, manage cross-distribution complexities, script in half a dozen different languages, and keep up with new stuff coming out every month, the last thing I need is to keep a bunch of completely non-intuitive random letters and symbols in my head to do very basic every day things. I'll stick with nano, thanks.

Comment: Re:depends on what you're doing (Score 1) 402

by Rutulian (#47589283) Attached to: Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Simple 3x5 card with the commands on it is all you need to be proficient enough to get most things done. Hell, a Post-It note would do.

That's just the point. I shouldn't need to refer to a reference sheet, notecard or otherwise, to edit a bloody text file!. I shouldn't need to spend two hours learning the difference between !#*$ and ?!$& just to go between a bunch of nonsensical modes (view, edit with insert, edit with overwrite, edit the end of a line, edit the middle of line, blah blah blah) in vi just to edit a text file. It is retarded.

With nano, you have a basic intuitive text editor. Navigate with the cursor keys (amazing, imagine that!), edit with backspace, delete, and just type letters to insert them ( more shocking things). When you need to save and quit, there is a help text at the bottom of the screen, Ctrl-x. That's it and that's why I like nano and hate vi. On top of that, nano is small and efficient and easily fits in a minimal environment. There is really no reason to not have it as a default text editor in any distribution.

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 2) 158

by Rutulian (#47555067) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

(though Linux does have non-stock application deployment packages available, like Puppet, that partially fill that last point).

You're kidding right? In addition to Puppet, which is a relative newcomer, there has been Satellite ( and Landscape ( among others (Suse has one too). Where do you think the distros make their money? Now you may have meant there is no free application deployment and management software, but last time I checked Windows Server was definitely not free. If you need free, though, you can roll some scripts fairly easily, wrapping things like Kickstart with custom repositories (yum or apt) and services like Cobbler or Spacewalk (which Satellite is based off of), rsync, cron jobs, and ssh (for remote execution).

Linux AD-via-Samba quite simply doesn't even come close for the convenience of centralized GP maintenance,

I don't know what you are trying to say here. Why would you manage linux machines with a Samba domain? If you want the same functionality as AD on linux, FreeIPA is the most mature project, and it can integrate with AD via cross-realm trusts in the latest version. So you can manage a mixed Windows/Linux environment with the same core infrastructure. If instead you meant Samba as an AD domain controller for Windows, Samba4 is (mostly, 95%) a drop-in replacement for Windows Server. There are a few features missing, but you can provision and manage an AD domain via Samba with ease.

Comment: Re:FreeIPA (Score 1) 98

by Rutulian (#47515145) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

Well, if it's linux, FreeIPA is better because then you can take advantage of group policies that are designed to work with linux. If you use AD, you will get authentication and that's about it. Now if you have windows+linux it's a bigger problem. In our lab we went with AD forsaking the advantages of FreeIPA for our linux users, but you could also set up both servers with a shared trust. It's a bit more complicated, but this is something RedHat are trying to develop into a turnkey solution.

Comment: Re:Silly argument (Score 1) 529

I agree it is difficult and challenging. It is not happening to me, but it recently happened to some friends of mine. What did they do? They tightened the belt, looked for temporary opportunities where they could, went back to school, and it is starting to turn around. I think they will be fine. They won't live a lucrative suburban life, but they didn't really want that anyway. They will survive at above the median wage, living in a modest apartment, driving old cars, and raising two children.

It would be ideal if it didn't happen at all, but really ask yourself, what's the alternative? Change, chance, and shifting jobs is a reality of life. We can't stop it. We can blame companies, but unless we are prepared to stop economic growth and development, we are fooling ourselves. Protectionism will not make the reality any easier to bear. They could have had government put a stop to the development of computers and robots that were taking jobs away from Americans in the 1970s. And then where would we be now? Still working shitty factory jobs for some other first world country that moved ahead and developed their technological sector.

I would argue that if the government is to do anything, it is to establish a solid safety net that will catch people as they fall and help them get back on their feet. Such a safety net used to exist, but it has been become far less effective than it used to be. Part of this is due to changing times, and part due to underfunding. So let's get it working again. The second, I would say, is helping to ensure that employees benefit from the growth of the companies they work for. I don't know exactly how to do this. It is not as simple as "wealth redistribution," but I think it needs to happen so that workers do not feel increasingly disconnected from their employers. Cultivate better relationships, and better ideas and a more productive work force will emerge.

Comment: Re:Summary is terrible (Score 1) 52

by Rutulian (#47494403) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

Uh, this is not just scientific curiosity. There are some deep practical applications to such technology. Newsflash, malaria is still a big problem in the world and many other efforts to combat it are failing. If we can target the mosquito population I. Ways that don't involve copious amounts of DDT, or inhibit the ability of Mosquitos to act as a vector for the disease, we may make some significant inroads finally.

While the 12 Monkeys doomsday scenario is popular amongst techies, I don't think we should discount a useful tool just because of a possibility for misuse. The authors themselves recognize the need to use it responsibly and develop an appropriate regulatory framework. From the article,

Ecological changes caused by gene drives will be overwhelmingly due to the particular alteration and species, not by the CRISPR drive components. That means it doesn’t really make sense to ask whether we should use gene drives. Rather, we’ll need to ask whether it’s a good idea to consider driving this particular change through this particular population. While gene drives could tremendously benefit humans and the environment if used responsibly, the potentially accessible nature of the technology raises concerns about the risks of accidental effects or even intentional mismanagement. In a new paper published in Science, we specifically address the regulation and risk governance of gene drive applications to promote responsible use.

Comment: Re:Silly argument (Score 1) 529

Three things:

Even in universities, where wages compared to the private sector are usually lower, IT workers get paid more than double other typical staff. Wage depression is not a big problem right now as far as I can tell. IT workers may not make as much as they think they should make, but that is a different issue. When average IT income starts to approach median household income (instead of being in the top quintile), then we might have something to talk about.

Few industries don't require you to establish yourself and work your way up fresh out of college. Even medical students have to go through residency hell before they can get their first permanent position somewhere. In some places moving up is quick, but starting at a low wage fresh out of college is more normal than abnormal. IT has not had this, for the most part, until recently, so count yourselves lucky, but it can't last forever.

When computing and automation started playing a significant role in the workforce, this exact same conversation happened with respect to the then factory workers and office workers. Did all office or factory work disappear forcing everybody to work slave wages? No, the job landscape changed requiring fewer, but more highly skilled people. Some people will be out of a job. They will have to retrain or change fields. This is what happens. It may take some time, but ultimately those workers end up employed in new areas and growth in other industries occurs as a result.

Comment: Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (Score 1) 52

by Rutulian (#47493837) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

Yes, but the CRISPR system can be designed to work precisely with a single species, because the targeting sequence can use non-homologous regions of genes that are similar between species. So in your horizontal gene transfer case it would die out after the transfer event into a new species. Another potential safeguard is to put the CRISPR system in a different locus from the mutation, so that horizontal gene transfer events would be very unlikely to transfer both functions into another species.

Comment: Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (Score 1) 52

by Rutulian (#47492201) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

the mechanisms used to disseminate the genes to the target organisms are going to have to look rather virus like as it's unlikely you're going to try to catch every Cane Toad in the swamp to give them a shot.

The entire point behind the method is to not have to do this. You make one genetically engineered organism that then breeds passing on the desired trait, only in such a way that inheritance is biased toward the desired trait so that it isn't lost by "dilution" into the gene pool.

Comment: Re:Silly orthography (Score 1) 52

by Rutulian (#47492137) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

This is a it more elegant and controlled, in that it basically just suppresses reversion back to wild type after a mutation has occurred. Nothing else, no need to crest a bazillion untargeted copies all over the place. The process of gene editing (not new) becomes cleaner, which is something greatly needed.

Comment: Summary is terrible (Score 4, Informative) 52

by Rutulian (#47491223) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

Summary is an excerpt of an article highlighting some potential use of technology developed by George Church's lab at Harvard (and others). It is actually some pretty incredible stuff. Church's first published the adaption of the CRISPR system to gene editing in eukaryotes a few years ago. Basically, it works like this. CRISPR is a bacterial defense system where an enzyme (endonuclease) is directed to cut a specific DNA sequence by it's directly adjacent targeting sequence. Bacteria use this to protect themselves from viruses. When a virus tries to insert itself into the genome of a bacterium, CRISPR will cleave that sequence (if the bacterium has the appropriate targeting system) and subsequent DNA repair processes will occur that will excise the viral sequence. You can think of it as a pseudo-immunity system for bacteria against viruses. Like other DNA sequences, CRISPR sequences can be transferred between bacteria in a population allowing for broad-ranging resistance to viral infection to occur within a bacterial community.

The innovation by Church's group is to put the CRISPR system in eukaryotes. Introducing modified genes by homologous recombination has been around for a long time, but the problem with most eukaryotes is they have multiple copies of each chromosome. So a modification in one copy will get diluted out over several rounds of replication. By including the CRISPR system in the mutation that targets the original gene, a mechanism is supplied to allow a modified gene to quickly spread throughout the population. This makes genetic modification of eukaryotes much more efficient and easier to control.

Now, while safely applies in a laboratory system, the ecological consequences of using such a system in a natural setting are unclear. This is the purpose of the article: to raise some of the issues and possibilities to begin a discussion about how such a system might be used safely and what sort of regulations may need to be put into place. The article does quite a good job of illustrating some scenarios. Here is what I consider the meat of it, but of course other scenarios exist as well.

Why and how might we use gene drives to intervene in a particular ecosystem? Our earlier example is perhaps the most compelling: we might use gene drives to control malaria by altering Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Anti-malarial medicines and insecticides are losing effectiveness due to evolving resistance, while a vaccine remains out of reach despite intense research and investment. Gene drives, in contrast, might spread genes conferring malaria resistance through the mosquito populations with few if any effects on other species. Alternatively, they might be able to reduce or even eliminate the mosquitoes for long enough to permanently eradicate the malaria parasite. Similar strategies could work for other organisms that spread disease.

Just want to put that out there so that a somewhat productive conversation can hopefully happen here.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie