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Comment Re: Just what we need to do... (Score 3, Informative) 80

China did not eliminate its one child policy because it wanted more population growth. It has in fact been relaxing it for years and did away with it entirely because of the social problems it causes:

* in traditional Chinese culture male offspring are highly valued and when allowed only one child many couples abort female fetuses. In rare but all too numerous cases newborn girls have even been killed just after birth. The result is that there are 10s of millions more men in China than women now. The one child policy has been relaxed for years to allow women to have a second child if their first was female to help balance the population. This has virtually eliminated infanticide but has been slow in re balancing population.

* measures to enforce one child policy have been very cruel, such as the common policy of denying anaesthetic to women in labour with their second child and clawback of social assistance and forced sterilisation of women without consent immediately after the birth of a child.

* the significantly greater number of young men to young women has been attributed to problems with sex crimes from human trafficking to gang rapes, though much of the evidence is anecdotal

* there are now a couple of generations of people in China raised as only children. These children have been doted upon and spoiled rotten by parents and grandparents all their lives, turning many of them into entitled "little emperors". The lack of empathy towards others and lack of respect towards elders has been unsettling to older Chinese where those traits are very important in traditional culture. It has led to institutionalisation of seniors that was almost unheard of as well as exploitation of workers and in extreme, occasional cases, incidents such as people ignoring a toddler run over by a car dying in the street while everyone goes on about their business.

Anyways population is self limiting as societies develop and direct population control has been shown to backfire. Allowing those with the means and desire to have fertility treatments to conceive is probably a net benefit to society on the whole when properly regulated. At least these parents really want to be parents and have the means and the drive to be good parents.

Comment So, emacs is like systemd then... (Score 1) 303

...except systemd is less monolithic since it is actually a suite of separate binaries that each do specific things where everything emacs does relies on the central interpreter ;-)

Really though this "UNIX way" dogma is tired and old and irrelevant on all modern computing systems. Yes the philosophy has its merits but it was abandoned many years ago. XOrg gave up on it ages ago. Android and MacOS have UNIX/Linux underpinnings and next to nothing that makes them the OSes they are have anything to do with the UNIX way.

I will get off this here lawn now before that old guy with the grey neckbeard finishes piping his log files 15 ways through cat/awk/sed and notices my presence. I guess he didn't hear me arrive over the clacking of his model M and he cant focus his eyes that far after so much close work in front of his amber monitor ;-)

Comment the difference us in the SQL (Score 4, Informative) 40

Postgres is the predecessor of PostgreSQL. Postgres used a different query language when it was still a university project led by Stonebraker. Postgres was the next project after Ingres as the name suggests, and its query language was originally similar...called QUEL instead os SQL or something like that.

Postgres forked into two code bases after the university project ended. Stonebraker started a company called Illustra to sell a commercial version of Postgres. Informix eventually bought Illustra and called it Online Dynamic Server if i recall, and by the time IBM bought informix this sibling of Postgres was the flagship product.

The second fork of postgres was picked up by former students of Stonebraker (initially Joly Chen if i recall and one or two others..too lazy to google for the details). They introduced a SQL parser front end of their own and called the initial release Postgres95 v1.x since it was the fad MSFT started to use years in product names, and also resetting the version number given the changes in features and management (postgres was at version 4.x).

When it came time to release the next major version the name was looking dated and redundant since there was still a release number. So the name became PostgreSQL as it was more meaningful (the primary feature difference being the query language). The version number was then "un-reset" too...postgres95 1.x being considered as 5.x and the first PostgreSQL named release being 6.0.

So yes, postgres isn't the same as postgresql. It is mist accurately described as the father of PostgreSQL and Informix. Architecturally the latter two are essentially the same, but their SQL parsers are unrelated as they were each developed post fork, plus the codebases diverged quite significantly over the past 20 years.

They are both fantastic databases by the way...they wipe the floor with mysql. To say postgreSQL is not web scale are ignorant and probably last used it in the 1990s if at all. It truly kicks butt for full text search, geospatial data for mapping or survey data, astronomy and so on. It is 10+ years ahead of Microsoft SQL server or mysql at that stuff as well as things like multi version concurrency...i was spoiled by PostgreSQL MVCC when i had to contend with rows and tables being locked until transactions wete committed in other RDBMSes.

MySQL has no extensibility, nowhere near the rich set of data types or extensibility, and is not optimised for write heavy ACID transaction stuff. MySQL is great for your CD collection or your blog or whatever, but PostgreSQL is still far superior for accounting/erp/mapping/etc, though i do acknowledge MySQL/MariaDB has gotten "good enough" it is far frpm the best.

And dont start with me on noSQL. Its a great hammer but only some applications are nails, even at "web scale".

Congratulations to Dr Stonebraker. His legacy in the industry is impressive and his work has led to a Free database project that can truly take on the big O on many serious fronts.

Comment That's a waste of time (Score 1) 60

Why explain anything? Anyone worth my time has my phone number and/or email. The only response required to queries about me and facebook can be "phone me" or "email me" or "text me".

If anything, using facebook is more trouble than picking up a phone or tapping out an email or sms, and NSA dragnets notwithstanding less intrusive as well. So after signing up years ago and getting poked and having sheep thrown at me for a couple months my account has been virtually dormant since.

Comment Re: Transparency in Government is good! (Score 1) 334

Voting only changes nothing when you vote to change nothing. That is why you have no change. The vast majority of Americans vote for a Democrat or a Republican, and both represent status quo.

If America really wanted change they would yake their votes seriously, study all the options and vote for candidates that represent neither democrats nor republicans because the track record of both is quite clear--no matter what is said by candidates of either of those parties you get the same thing.

It has to be driven by voters too. Independents and third parties wont run for office in great numbers unless voters support then in great numbers and voters must be the ones to break the cycle. Nobody will care to run for office that is truly different until voters care to have a different government. Voters dont care and dont actually vote. The ones that bother to go to the voting station are often not really voting, they are just picking a name because it is the incumbant or because it was the one on the most campaign signs and tv ads.

American government is an example of what happens when people DON'T vote, not that change doesnt happen despite voting.

Comment Re: Circumcised at age 18? (Score 1) 221

Well actually yes there are some very offensive hysterical pro choice nut hubs out there. I knew one of those in university.

In Canada where I am there are literally no restrictions at all on abortion. The court struck down laws decades ago and it is such a sensitive topic no restrictions or regulations have ever been put in to replace them. Though in reality medical professionals would never do so, from a strictly legal standpoint a woman could abort a healthy viable fetus at full term for any reason at all, including gender selection or other non medical reasons.

While watching TV a nurse was being interviewed and her opinion that abortion should be regulated...not even restricted much but that guidelines requiring counselling for late term abortions and limiting reasons beyond 30 weeks or so to medical issues like birth defects and threat to mothers health.

This person I knew was watching this and declared she was "such a close minded bitch" and left. It was her opinion that a woman should be able to terminate any pregnancy for any reason whatever at any time, including during labour and right up to the point of delivery. Literally. And if you thought otherwise in any way she had no time for you. She was VERY judgemental on that fact and would say a young woman was foolish for keeping an unplanned pregnancy if they weren't done school and so on.

She called herself pro choice but I called her anti abortion. I never liked to call wing nuts who threaten abortion doctors or picket clinics pro life...I call them anti abortionists. After I met this young woman I stopped using the term pro choice so freely too. They are pro abortionists. The issue is abortion and you are pro or anti.

I was amused at the term inactivity. Clever. But the issue is circumcision and you are pro or anti. And people have their reasons and there has to be some open mindedness to those points of view on both sides.

Comment Re: Fewer bug fixes? (Score 0) 287

What attack surface?

Systemd *the project* is a repository of a large number of individual binaries. The init system is separate from the logging is separate from this time sync thinf and so on.

Systemd is NOT one monolithic entity (which linux OS people haven't seemed to mind in other respects--the kernel is monolithic after all). It does not have any one large attack surface either.

The issue that makes it contoversial is that it is not "unix like" enough for old grey neckbeards. It has binary log stores, the various components interact with binary APIs and it is designed to work specifically with Linux rather that being kernel agnostic. It is "different"...the init system appears to be the free software equivalent to Microsoft svchost...or so goes the argument.

The other argument..or conspiracy theory or whatever, is that the *project*, irrespective of how modular or componentised or how much is optional, is that forces from the evil-corporate-redhat camp are somehow coercing distro maintainers to adopt the whole works carte-blanche, perhaps before its time.

None of this really has any bearing on the security of its design or attack footprint however. It has been in use for a few years now and no heartbleed scale issues found yet.

I did find it disorienting at first to work with systemd and i wouldn't have implemented it exactly that way, but on the whole it is far better than the inconsistent, crufty, not broken per se but very brittle sysVinit.

Anyways i see the whole systemd controversy as being indicitave of a 'UNIX old guard' culture. Not universally in open source but a loud segment of it. Sometimes what aint broke is worth fixing, because it is brittle, or it actually has cracks and holes unseen like metal fatigue. And in the case of low level stuff like this it is thankless work. Systemd is in that realm with openssl and ntpd and consolekit. Systemd takes some old poorly supported and outdated stuff and replaces it with something radically different, and for their efforts they are shat upon. Yes they have big egos but so do most free software leaders. If you create and maintain something and are more meek or deferential then this kind of un sexy software ends up in a state like consolekit or ntpd or openssl...no new ideas, no scrutiny, no appreciation... Until the developer just gives up or thete is a big bug missed or whatever.

Attitudes have to change. Stop bitching about the efforts of people like Pottering and Sievers and contribute! Don't agree with the state of things? Spearhead an effort for an alternative. Systemd is not compiled into GNOME and other software though it is packaged with that depenency most often. The APIs and peotocols are open. Alternative implementations can be made.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for those who put in all the effort on systemd...AND uselessd AND systembsd. They want to make software better even if we dont always agree with their approach. And in the interest of avoiding monoculture I really hope the alternative implementations gain traction...and that goes for alternatives to openssl anf ntpd as well.

Comment blame systemd? (Score 1) 765

Curious, i have not in the past year of using NFS mounts on systemd based systems encountered 90s hangs you describe. What distro do you use? Did you set up the unit files yourself or stick with packaged ones?

Sounds like a configuration problem to me, not specifically an issue with systemd doing something wrong. It is simpler and more complex than init scripts. Enabling concurrent service startup by its very nature is more complex, regardless of the implementation. But if it is configured right systemd won't even try to start nfs if the network is not reporting it is up....if it is configured right ;-)

Comment It isn't systemd... (Score 1) 765

...it is the way Ubuntu has been for a long time.

Nobody is pushing systemd into the OS any more than any other big change. Ubuntu has done, or tried to do, the same with pulseaudio, unity desktop and mir and even upstart. At least systemd has cross distro support. Usually Ubuntu charges ahead with something invented in house at canonical and then try to own it completely and alienate development community.

Also though systemd is not how i would exactly do things i am getting used to it and it is WAY WAY BETTER than the old init and isnt the odd man out, not invented here solution that is upstart.

But whatever you think of systemd...even if you love it or dont care either way, Ubuntu is repeating history by doing major screwing with things at inappropriate times in the release cycle and it really should have been put on the 15.10 roadmap instead. Part of the reason people jumped on the systemd hatewagon, or kde4 or gnome3 pulseaudio or whatever, is because of how aggressively they were adopted in general releases before their time. All of the above are just fine...now..but all were barely beta quality when they started to receive wide adoption. The antics of Ubuntu management and their ilk don't help engender support.

I will likely stick with Debian. As painful as it was to witness the immature sh!t-slinging by political factions on both sides of the debate that added nothing useful to the discussion, at least there was a debate, and a very extended time with systemd being an optional experimental/unstable package. That has never been the ubuntu way. The systemd suite of software may be finally ready for prime time, but nothing of that sott of nature should be done on an apparent whim. Thats why i stopped using Ubuntu after lucid lynx.

Comment Re: Who did the study? (Score 1) 341

Besides the geopolitical fantasy required in your fairy tale solution is the requirement to have unlimited availability of non existent superconducting transmission lines.

Big copper cables have electrical resistance which results in line losses. In the winter in much of the world peak power usage happens after sunset, which often is the calmest time of day too. That means power woulf have to be transmitted across the continent, or even from another continent. The line losses would be tremendous...most of the power would be lost to heat and RF emissions.

It is far more efficient to have highly distributed generation AND storage than to have an intercontinental power grid of supersized transmission lines. Skyscraper sized batteries ate stupid too, but to make solar and wind work you probably would need every household to have a refrigerator sized battery permanently plugged into the grid, and for all users connections to the grid to be bidirectional.

Comment Re: can't wait to see it work on fox news web site (Score 1) 375

Who decides what is indisputable? A crew of experts hand picked by google executives? A computer algorithm that does big data analysis of mob rule?

Once a thing becomes indisputable and thus factual, what happens when it is disputed in the future? When is dispute just crackpots and when is it valid? I remember 16mm films in school talking about how smog, particulates and so forth could block sunlight and bring about cooling that could trigger an ice age. Today clinate change is about heat trapping gasses heating up the planet. The idea we are heading into an ice age is laughable.

Nutritional facts are notoriously fluid and disputable things. All fatty foods used to be fattening and bad for the heart. Then it was discovered some fats...unsaturated vegetable fats...were good, and margerine consisting of hydrogenated vegetable fats were widely thought to be better than butter for the heart. But hydrogenation transforms such fats into trans fatty acids, which are virtually toxic to the heart. Also some saturated fats like coconut oil are supposedly healthy now, and eating moderate amounts of beef and other meats with saturated fat are better for the heart than a very low gat diet.

Facts are not simple clear cut things because nothing is absolutely indisputable. And often determining what is fact is tainted by political and commercial conflicts of interest.

Quite frankly i do not think Google is capable of being a trustworthy arbiter of what is an indisputable fact, no more than Microsoft, or Apple, or the Republican party, or the Democrats, or the UN or any institution.

Can we even say that it us a fact the sky is blue? We cant even agree on the colour of a woman's dress ;-)

I think it is a mistake to try to rank degree of "factualness" for these reasons...it reinforces conventional wisdom when sometimes it should be challenged. More important to me is to link information better to original sources. I would prefer Google work to trace statements/content to their origins and the relationships of content creators, then let searchers judge for themselves. For example, in researching climate change solutions, how much of it is funded by nuclear energy industry? It is a valid question to consider, since agressively shutting down fossil fuel power generation can be hijacked by such interests to further their own interests. This doesnt mean facts publushed by the nuclear industry are not valid, it just provides context so you can make informed decisions.

Ranking should remain based on how highly cited tge results are, with the "chain of citations" easily accessible, because the most highly cited information probably deserves the most scrutiny.

Comment Re: Demand (Score 1) 224

Mostly wrong. Emissions from burning biomatter are less than coal, and particulate emissions from power plants are very stingently regulated.

Particulates, called "fly ash", are removed electrostatically and collected along with the bottom ash--particles that are too heavy to go up the stack. This ash can be pelletised and used as a high quality fertiliser.

Processing food waste is a big challenge, from straw, husks, peels and such to animal waste (you can feed a lot of food products to livestock but you still have manure to handle). Such waste is not immediately useful...it must be composted or cooked or otherwise processed otherwise it does more harm than good.

I do not support subsidised production of " fuel crops" like switchgrass and surplus corn, but food waste in the developed world is almost tragic. Developing biomass energy technology is vital to recover this wasted energy source. Making it into automobile fuel is a bad way to do it, but burning it to make electricity or heat homes or capturing the methane (much more serious source of greenhouse effect) from landfills or stockyards or barns to use, well, solar be damned. This is recovering wasted energy anyways.

It should be said that though studies like this are scientifically valid, they are commissioned with a political agenda in mind. First we had peak oil, we were going to run out so we had to get off oil, which was a valid observation at the time. Then technology made more oil recoverable and now we have reserves that could stretch out centuries. But wait, if we burned all that oil it would release all this carbon and make our climate like it was when the dinosaurs were alive--also a theory with scientific merit. But then we use technology again to try to solve the issue and it gets shot down as well. Biofuels are inefficient and compromise food production. Nuclear is dangerous and makes toxic pollution. Wind is unreliable, destroys habitats and kills birds. Solar is similar in that it destroys habitat and is unreliable--we need to store and transmit power at night time. Hydro ruins rivers and floods lands and so on.

There is a pattern here. Scientific studies funded with the purpose of starting at a pre determined conclusion and working back to a credible theory to back it. Just like science funded by big oil or ither industries, governmental entities do this too. In cases like this it is done to justify ideological policies or the creation of bureaucracies.

Case and point...Kyoto and related accords spearheaded by the UN, which is dominated by developing and undeveloped nations and representatives that lean heavily socialist. The whole world needs to address climate change, but developing nations get a free pass and the rest enforce emissions caps through elabourate trade and credit schemes adminustered by a large bureaucracy. The real problem of climate change continues apace, but the agendas of developing nations to get a competitive advantage in industry and socialists have a means of wealth transfer/equalisation as well as guaranteed jobs running the cap and trade market...a handy nest-feathering scheme for them too (nothing is more treacherous than a wealthy socialist ;-)

It sure would be nice if we all did what is sensible and simple while we thought of all these wild future schemes...biofuel is a great concept when viewed in the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mindset. Using up thousands of acres to grow switchgrass for the sole purpose of making ethanol to put in cars is asinine, but so is building a solar array in the desert the size of Phoenix compared to making pig poop into electricity, which would have otherwise polluted waterways and released much more damaging methane into the atmosphere. Bonus is that the byproduct of creating electricity with pig poop is a quality, much more eco friendly fertiliser to *increase* food production.

But then that doesn't create scarcity which can be used to hold power over a population, nor does it advance the socialist cause of wealth redistribution. Also the concept is too simple there must be a catch...to get big government/corporate buy in a solution must be complex, intrusive, widespread and expensive.

Comment Re: Heartbleed (Score 1) 211

You are wrong. It is illegal to fix most proprietary software yourself. The EULA for most closed softwats, including all Microsoft's propritary software, prohibits all reverse engineering by end users. You could issue a binary patch if you wanted perhaps, but creating that patch would violate license agreements and be illegal under copyright law.

These long standing flaws in free software are not there because of the development model, they were eventually found because of it--people eventually looked hard enough for them. Closed software in widespread use may...no DOES... contain flaws of this magnitude. It is just that the POTENTIAL number of eyes is limited in closed software, and most if not all of those eyes belong to people who have a disincentive to reveal bugs.

Comment Lots of love for Python (Score 1) 264

I'm biased towards Python - and the following suggestions have nice UIs but they are web-based

I agree there, especially if you are coming from the purgatory of VB6 or .NET line-of-business apps, and there are good frameworks out there.

The original poster does want to know about traditional client-server, and there is a Python business application framework that is a closer fit: Tryton

It is not web centric and has a GTK based client, although there is integration with Flask for web based applications (the Nereid module) and a big push on for a full fledged web client alternative to the GTK client (plans are to give it a "material design" look and leverage all the best tools and practices etc).

It has a very extensive API so if the provided front ends do not suit your needs you can make a front end tailored specifically to your needs and leverage Tryton for the model, business rules, workflows and such. The database of choice is PostgreSQL, though you can implement SQLite or MySQL I think. ERPNEXT I think is limited (or was when I last looked) to MySQL and seemed to lack in documentation and testing, but it might be simpler if you can live with web front ends.

Hope this helps...

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