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Comment Re:and when BSD moves to systemd... (Score 1) 403

Jordan Hubbard, you know, that guy that has a little influence in the FreeBSD project, seems to think that systemd is a pretty good idea (Slideshare transcript).

I was actually there when Jordan gave that talk. He specifically mentioned `launchd', rather than `systemd', as being something to look at. In fact, people in the FreeBSD community already have `launchd' running as PID 0, though I believe it's not fully stable. Right now, it just execs `rc' so most things just work as usual; individual services will have to be migrated to get started via `launchd', but that will take time.

Comment Re:There is more news than can ever be parsed (Score 1) 194


It used to be until tons of old classmates from elementary school showed up on my facebook account pretty much devaluating the meaning of "friend"

Then why did you accept the friend request? I limit my FB friends to pretty much only people I'd enjoy spending the whole day hanging out with.

Okay, there are also a few few relatives, whose friend requests I accepted to not start a bunch of family drama. But I largely ignore their posts, and I have groups set up such that they can't see the vast majority of my posts either. As far as those folks are concerned, I'm rarely on FB at all.

Comment Re:Dongles (Score 1) 282

I think they were among the first to support USB in an era where PC makers were slavishly doing nothing new because nobody else had done it yet.

Apple fought USB with their own proprietary connector called Firewire. Firewire was significantly faster than USB, especially at sustained transfers, but it was more expensive to implement because of a combination of the technologies involved and Apple's license fees. Apple ended up abandoning that technology for newer versions of USB and eventually Thunderbolt, mostly due to lackluster third-party support for Firewire devices.

That is pretty fundamentally wrong. USB and FireWire were intended to be complementary connectors and protocols. USB was intended for inexpensive and low-bandwidth devices, master-slave connectivity, no DMA - the type of things that would previously have been connected with PS/2, DB9, or DB25. FireWire was intended for things that needed peer-to-peer connectivity, bandwidth and latency guarantees (like video - IEEE 1394 is part of the DV standard), and DMA - things that would previously have been done with something like SCSI or PCI. Both interface coexisted for years on Macs and PCs.

It so happens that later versions of USB have added some of FireWire's features, to the point where USB2 and USB3 can do most - but still not all - of the things that FireWire can do. Because the chipset vendors included USB in commodity chipsets, but FireWire required a discrete chip, USB has better market penetration.

Thunderbolt is another thing entirely - it's essentially 4x PCIe-Gen2, using an interface that allows for piggybacking DisplayPort as well. (For example, the Thunderbolt RAID enclosures that you see basically contain a PCIe RAID controller that shows up on the PCIe bus when you connect it.)


Comment Re:Don't bitch. (Score 1) 353

Don't take it out on others just because you're imperfect and ignore all of the S.M.A.R.T. and controller warnings... Some of us tech Gurus do religiously tend to our flock of hard-drives and recognize when they are in spiritual, and physical, need of replacement....

I do hardware diagnostics for an HPC storage system vendor, including drive testing, qualification, and failure analysis. SMART has its uses, but, in my experience, if you've tripped SMART, you're already in serious trouble.

It's not helped by the fact that pieces of SMART which are actually in the ATA standards are basically tripped/not-tripped - none of the attribute structures are in the current specs, let alone which attribute IDs mean what. Heck, even getting the thresholds is no longer in the ATA standard!

Fortunately, *most* vendors implement *most* of the SMART structures the same way, and *most* use the same attribute IDs to mean the same things, and *most* still implement the sub-command for getting the thresholds. But all the really interesting data that could be used for more aggressive failure prediction (i.e. beyond the almost-always too late SMART trip) is vendor specific, and getting that information out of some vendors makes pulling teeth look like taking candy from a baby.



Comment Re:LLVM? (Score 2) 237

... And also, does the above mean that Gnome is no longer using GCC to compile, but switching to the LLVM compiler? ...

LLVM is designed to be modular. It sounds like what they're doing is probably similar to what Apple did a few years back - include LLVM bit-code files for functions that aren't handled natively, then hand those off to libllvm to emit native code when needed.


Comment Re:If your Mac is too old (Score 1) 542

I've read comments in past stories about the iOS developer program from people who own a Mac but still can't develop because the Mac is too old to run recent Xcode. So you end up having to depreciate the Mac and the iPod touch on which to test as annual expenses just like the developer fee.

Apple generally supports the current OS and developer tools on hardware going back three years, for both Macs and iPods/iPhones.


Superluminal Neutrinos, Take Two 98

Coisiche writes "To address the many responses to their original findings, the OPERA team who reported the detection of faster-than-light neutrinos is starting a new and improved version of their experiment. 'The neutrinos that emerge at Gran Sasso start off as a beam of proton particles at CERN. Through a series of complex interactions, neutrino particles are generated from this beam and stream through the Earth's crust to Italy. Originally, CERN fired the protons in a long pulse lasting 10 microseconds (10 millionths of a second). ... [In the new experiment], protons are sent in a series of short bursts — lasting just one or two nanoseconds, thousands of times shorter — with a large gap (roughly 500 nanoseconds) in between each burst. This system, says Dr Bertolucci, is more efficient: "For every neutrino event at Gran Sasso, you can connect it unambiguously with the batch of protons at CERN," he explained.'"

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley