Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: Civics class (Score 1) 474

by cduffy (#48455001) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

From my perspective, it tends to be the people who say they support "family values" that actually support legal and social measures that keep families small.

Look at who it is defending zoning laws enforcing "single-family household" status as excluding larger chosen (non-blood-related) families, and compare to who it is embracing legal and social norms that allow maximum flexibility in assembling a strong, self-supporting structure from such components as available. Look at who is trying to restrict legal marriage and adoption and who is trying to extend it. Look at the group voting for judges that view large aggregated families-of-choice as evidence of perversion -- from which children should be protected -- and the group voting for judges who view a large, stable support network built from people who love and care for each other as precisely that. I'm all for "family values", in by that one means values that support large and strong families... but if I say "family values" in public to a random stranger, what's going to come to their mind is not the same as what I'm actually referring to.

I say this as someone who is overwhelmingly happy to have participated in the upbringing of children -- two of whom are now legal adults -- in whose genes I have no role, but to whose memes and ethics I am gratified to have contributed. I'm glad to have contributed to the financial stability of their household; I'm glad to have been another person there to help with homework and listen to their stories and serve as a role model and help keep things running. The people who say they support "family values" but who would have broken apart that family? I cannot, at such short notice, find words for the damage I see being done -- or attempted -- in the name of "family values".


And yes, I know that you're acknowledging much of the above, and that a great deal of my rant (perhaps all of it) doesn't apply to you. Please forgive that. I don't believe your assertion that anyone (for a statistically significant value of same) views state programs as an adequate replacement for having a genuine support structure... but would suggest that, perhaps, there are those who would like those who don't have a support structure to have somewhere to turn.

I've known too many people whose blood families weren't a healthy place for them -- physical abuse and the like. Several of those people were welcomed into a family of choice that gave them the support that they needed -- but not everyone can be that lucky, and establishing social policy in a way that only helps those who are already fortunate... well, there's a lot of that done already, and a lot of people it leaves behind.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 453

by cduffy (#48446921) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Finding road edge boundaries in snow, at least, is actually a place where existing self-driving car systems do better than humans already. Keep in mind that they're not limited to the visual end of the EM spectrum.

For the rest, I'll defer to empirical studies on effectiveness under varying conditions. It's easy to think of corner cases -- but the real question, corner cases or no, is whether the average amount of liability incurred per hour of driving is greater or less than a human at the wheel.

Comment: Re: In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 453

by cduffy (#48446869) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

I guess, if you like the state or insurance companies telling you when and where you may travel.

The power of the state is one thing. On the other hand, doing harm to others without means to provide recompense is legitimately immoral even under reasonable Libertarian frameworks.

Motor vehicle insurance allows the externalities which would otherwise be created by individuals defaulting rather than being able to pay off debts they incurred to be priced by the market -- quite transparently, given as the profit margins are known and available to customers as well as shareholders. If you can't pay for the harm you're doing to others by an action, even as aggregated and normalized by the insurance industry, can you truly morally justify that act?

Comment: It's a 68008, as used in... (Score 1) 147

by Ed Avis (#48441023) Attached to: Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard
In fact this is not the 68000 but its crippled little brother the 68008, which uses an 8-bit external data bus (as the 8088 is to the 8086). That was also used in the Sinclair QL, which was Linus's first computer before he bought a 386 PC and got into Minix. Could Linux now be ported to run on the QL?

Comment: Re:Tetris is based on a Russian board game (Score 1) 37

by Alioth (#48433685) Attached to: The Man Who Made Tetris

The original game is fun to play. Last month at Retromañía in Spain we had the original game running on the Russian pdp-11 clone for which it was created (unfortunately the pdp-11 clone had to be emulated - we actually have a real pdp-11 but it's a DEC built one and the original code won't work very well on it due to the lack of the Cyrillic character set). It's a good bit harder than the PC version which I think was the next version of Tetris to be written.

Comment: Re:Meet Streisand (Score 1) 306

by Alioth (#48418059) Attached to: UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

You should expect a basic, clean, functional room though with what was advertised to come with the room.

I've stayed in a £35 a night Blackpool B&B (Windsor House or something it was called) and it was perfectly acceptable. The room wasn't huge but it was clean and comfortable, the shower worked fine, it had free WiFi, and a full English breakfast included and was much better value than most so-called "low cost" hotels like Premier Inn. I stayed recently in a 25 euro a night hotel in the centre of Zaragoza in Spain and this was similar - no way could you describe it as "luxury" but it was clean, the bed was comfortable, the shower worked just fine and so did the WiFi. It is perfectly possible to have an entirely acceptable hotel room for this price.

Comment: Re:Will take years to tackle Oracle crown (Score 1) 102

by Ed Avis (#48376683) Attached to: Amazon Goes After Oracle (Again) With New Aurora Database
Don't SAP have their own RDBMS, called SAP DB or MaxDB? It was even released as free software a few years back (then they changed their mind and went back to proprietary). Do you mean that despite that, the only database backend that works well with large SAP installations is Oracle?

Comment: Re:Hybrids (Score 1) 377

by cduffy (#48374875) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

Thinking that farmers from Ghana will not be able to make a rational decision between buying industrial seed every year or saving whatever strain they have already from year to year is a not so subtle form of racism.

Or maybe what is or isn't rational varies based on local conditions. Capital availability is a concern. Distribution infrastructure (and differences in cost based on same) is a concern.

Ghana is one of the best-governed countries in its region, but even so, there's still an infrastructure gap -- a decade ago (which is as recent as I had knowledge) you had daily rolling blackouts even in the capitol as a matter of course; electrical generation capacity wasn't growing with demand.

Accusing those who disagree with you of assuming anything other than rational behavior in light of full knowledge of local conditions strikes me as starkly unreasonable.

Comment: Re:Or just practicing for an actual job (Score 2) 320

by cduffy (#48368777) Attached to: Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

Sorry kids, Library use is copying. Copying is not a bad thing, you save a lot of time by doing it.

Shared libraries or static libraries?

Static library use involves copying at the link phase. Shared library use doesn't. Depending on your license, the distinction can be legally significant.

And, well, that's the thing. Those of us who are professionals think about liability... which is why we can actually find a large company willing to buy our startups without doing an absolute freakout (or requesting a huge discount for cost of reimplementations) analyzing the codebase during due diligence.

Comment: Re: Yes, what are YOU going to do? (Score 1) 95

by cduffy (#48364947) Attached to: Secret Policy Allows GCHQ Bulk Access To NSA Data

"However, I do like other people paying for things I can use. You know, good roads, schools, a health service, mass transportation and so on."

Well, uhh, yeah. The whole point is that that kind of thing is so expensive that no one person can pay for it alone.

Is this supposed to be controversial?

Comment: Re:Tempting (Score 1) 181

by Fweeky (#48364849) Attached to: Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

Multi-process architecture... I've not really noticed a problem with the threaded one, and Firefox already sticks flash objects in a separate process. So what's the real draw

Isolation. The same reason you want different apps to have their own processes instead of having the whole of userspace in one big blob. You can give processes reduced privileges to reduce the scope of exploits, hangs and crashes don't take down more than they have to, and leaks don't force you to restart the entire system to recover resources.

Plus it makes for simpler concurrency. Kind of handy when you've got a stop-the-world garbage collector if you can just split the world into many smaller independent units, each able to run at the same time and each with an order of magnitude less work to do and no synchronisation to worry about.

64bit... again, bragging points about how many bits you use, no functional difference to anyone

ASLR is a fuckload more effective when it has a reasonably sized address space to work with, and 2^32 is miles away from being reasonable. It's the difference between an attacker having to guess one of 8 locations and one of 8 billion. Plus, memory mapping things is awesome, and also a fuckload easier with a reasonably sized address space.

And hey, some of us actually use our browsers quite a lot. Mine's eating 5.5G right now. So many windows and tabs, and absolutely no fucking reason whatsoever why that should be considered even slightly unreasonable.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"