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Comment: I tepidly disagree... (Score 2) 191

Your comment is way funnier the way you put it, but I trust the Internet as a transmission medium -- so long as I'm using solid encryption. Unfortunately, between reports of NSA backdoors in NIST encryption algorithms, and SSL bugs, "solid" has become a somewhat relative term.

Excuse me. Time to fire up my Tor client over OpenVPN using pufferfish through an SSL tunnel.

Comment: And this surprises... who? (Score 1) 191

I mean, really. We *know* that (most) grandmas ain't exactly surfin' like crazy. They're terrified of viruses, and all the other associated buzzwords, and were uncomfortable around new technology before that. Certainly there are exceptions -- but I'm not at all surprised to hear that the demographic mentioned isn't exactly spearheading the digital revolution.

Comment: Wow, I wish you were right. (Score 3, Insightful) 210

But you're not. (For the record, I work for $MAJORCABLECOMPANY as an engineer in the group... well, under discussion. So I'm somewhat informed.) Case in point: the ability to use a song in a movie for theatric release is not the same as the ability to use the song when released on DVD. Likewise, songs played on the radio cannot (unless, of course, specified) be willy-nilly copied for downloads in podcats. The biggie, of course, is region-enforced blackouts for sporting events.

I could give more pertinent examples, but I also like my job, so I guess I'll have to take a pass. But trust me: it ain't as easy as you'd like to make it out.

Comment: Ironically... (Score 1) 21

by Slartibartfast (#47326589) Attached to: Sigsense is Making Interchangeable, Modular Sensors (Video)

I was instrumental in the non-launch of a Linux magazine. I planted the right idea in the right person's brain, and he was going to go with it... but then he kinda bailed on magazines altogether as part of his divorce.

All things being equal, that was probably the best choice after all, anyway. I hadn't realized just how hard magazines were gonna get hammered by the web. (I used to live in a town that had a HUGE number of tech magazines published from it. The late 90's were not a good decade, there.)

Comment: If Roblimo makes a video in a forest... (Score 2) 21

by Slartibartfast (#47310967) Attached to: Sigsense is Making Interchangeable, Modular Sensors (Video)

Does anyone care?

I mean, really. Granted, I have some animosity toward him on general principle -- I think he's a bit of a jerk. But more seriously, he keeps putting out these videos that are essentially the multimedia equivalent of a vendor press release. Why should I care? There are so many cool things that videos could be made of, you gotta wonder why we should care about these even a little bit.

Get Command Taco and Hemos on and have them talk like in the olden days. Get videos with interesting content from (say) a kernel conference, or an embedded conference. Get Google to give some down-low on Android development. Find a cool something that *isn't* vaporware. (Having worked for two failed startups -- both of which had really cool ideas on which they couldn't fully execute -- I'm far too familiar with just how ethereal vaporware really is.) Get some black hats to talk about root server DNS vulnerabilities, or real-life ways to fight DDoS attacks. Get a banker and a BitCoin guy in the same room and see who walks out at the end. Arduino! ARM! 64-bit ARM! IPv6 adoption rates and how to make use of it, especially since the country's largest cable provider, Comcast, has pushed it out to the majority of their subscribers -- something most people seem not to have noticed! Linux-based intro to robotics that's more than just video from a FIRST competition! Al Franken on Net Neutrality! Of course, this might actually take *EFFORT*, as opposed to asking vendors if they want to sell stuff. But that's kinda what journalists are, y'know, supposed to do.

Comment: Perl isn't (un)dead: worse, it's moribund. (Score 3, Insightful) 283

by Slartibartfast (#47302421) Attached to: Perl Is Undead

All traction was lost when Perl 6 became some amorphous goal, and nobody gives a damn any more. Personally, I think this is a shame -- but I've found Python and Ruby to be more-than-acceptable replacements. (Honestly, I think Ruby is the cat's pajamas, aside from regex speed on 100+ MB logfiles.)

So... does Perl wish to make a comeback? It really would be fairly easy:
1) Have Larry Wall take the reins well-and-truly again.
2) Give a timeframe for a for-real reference release of Perl 6. Not this sort of wish-wash "everything that says it's Perl 6 *is* Perl 6" thing. Choose *one* of the projects, and have it be the reference against which all others are measured.
3) Give direction and make it public. While associated clearly with #1, merely taking the reins won't do the job -- it has to be clear that Perl is *GOING* somewhere, and not just stagnating. And this has to be made known.

There are plenty of sysadmins who learned Perl when it was 5.x, and who have fond memories of it. Give them something more than memories to work with, and you may well go somewhere. As it is? I just couldn't be bothered to care. Gimme Ruby.

Comment: I keep *hearing* about age discrimination... (Score 1) 370

by Slartibartfast (#47292409) Attached to: Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

But, as a 47-year-old Linux guy, with many different positions at companies large and small over the years, I've never *seen* it. Of course, anything I say is anecdotal; makes me wonder if some facet of my experience is keeping me from where it's practiced, e.g., I'm in the northeast; I'm a 100% Linux-head; I've been in senior positions for years, etc. Perhaps it's more prevalent in different locales, outside of the Linux community, or among mid/junior-grade positions?

Comment: "Was this Freshmeat?" -- says it all, alas. (Score 1) 62

by Slartibartfast (#47280701) Attached to: Freecode Freezeup

Yes, it was Freshmeat. They changed the name about two years ago, though it still resolves to freecode.

I, for one, am very sad. Any time I was feeling like I had a bit too much time on my hands, I'd go to Freshmeat^WFreecode, and check out the newer projects. Almost always, something would catch my eye. And, yes, I still get their daily updates mailed to me, too. I'm wicked bummed. Though I do appear to be one of the relatively few who still use it, so I guess it's no big surprise.

Sad day.

Comment: Engineer at $CABLEMONOPOLY (Score 2) 158

I made the jump, at 40-something, from IT to an engineer with that-cable-company, where I now get to play with thousands of Linux boxes, and never, ever have to get viruses off someone's damn laptop after they surfed too many pr0n sites. And, while my company has a not-exactly-sterling reputation from outside, inside, it's surprisingly fun: management really *does* "get" technology, and is doing its best to both back it and see it forward.

Bottom line: still a stressful environment with on-call, etc., but in many respects, a lot more fun.

Comment: Re:A lack of Enlightenment? (Score 1) 611

by Slartibartfast (#47119557) Attached to: Which desktop environment do you like the best?

I'd say Enlightenment certainly played a role in early posts, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that Slashdot got started *because* of it. As I remember it, Slashdot really got started because it was more of a Linux(and-related)-in-the-news aggregator; if Linux was mentioned somewhere, Rob did his best to link to it with some commentary. Sadly, I don't think the archives go back that far, so I guess we'll just have to have Battle of the Slightly Dusty Recollections. ;-)

Or...

https://web.archive.org/web/19...

That's the oldest listing I could find. It lists (including overlap):
Three Linux stories
One Gnome story
Eight MS stories
Two RH stories
Two Sun stories
And a smattering of other stuff...

(As a side note, Rob has an editorial -- https://web.archive.org/web/19... -- talking about "his" solution to the browser wars: GPL'ing Netscape. And the way it's written, it sounds like ESR hadn't gone public with that suggestion, yet. Looks like Rob may get an awful lot more credit for FireFox than I'd been giving him.)

Comment: Wrong. (Score 2) 362

by Slartibartfast (#47020861) Attached to: Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

Who said "car batteries"? If someone came up with a truly revolutionary battery -- say, one that stored 10x what batteries do now -- you could sell them, at great margin, to *everyone*. Cell phones. Tablets. Computers. Cars (a battery 1/5 the size that's more powerful than the old one, and costs the same? Damn straight I'd buy it). Etc.

THAT BEING SAID... I don't see anyone coming up with a revolutionary battery technology. Not even Elon. So I agree with you, but think your rationale was incorrect.

Comment: Batteries are *HARD*. (Score 3, Insightful) 362

by Slartibartfast (#47020757) Attached to: Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

I think Elon Musk is awesome, but I haven't seen him do anything, battery-wise, that makes me think he's got anything revolutionary up his sleeve. If he does, I completely agree with her -- or at least make it a separate company to do "battery stuff." But otherwise, getting rid of the "Motors" in Tesla to go and try to be Yet Another Company Trying To Make Batteries Better is probably a fruitless endeavor.

Comment: Wordstar even kinda lives on elsewhere, to boot... (Score 1) 522

Several of the Wordstar key bindings are supported in -- of all things -- "edit.exe" under Windows.

That being said, I hope he's using a machine with 3.5" floppies -- gonna start getting hard to pull data off 5.25" floppies in the not-crazy-distant future.

Comment: I am -- literally -- shocked (and pleased!) (Score 2) 59

by Slartibartfast (#46963481) Attached to: Luke Prosthetic Arm Approved By FDA

After years of working at Segway (though not while Dean was around), I'd had no small exposure to his... ethos. And, generally, he most excelled at self-promotion. To see an engineer from the project answering -- in detail -- questions about it simply floors me. Perhaps Dean has reached the stage where he's willing to let others have a shot at the limelight? Whatever the reason -- congrats to the team for their hard work, and to Dean for giving them the opportunity to pursue it! My ex-boss actually ran the team for about a year, before he decided to leave for other pastures, but I'm sure that those who are still there are exceptional engineers, and should be proud of their hard work. Kudos all around.

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.

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