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Comment Re:If I want IoT I'll make it myself. (Score 2) 110

About 5 years ago I built a little relay box to control household outlets (inspired by http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Coff... ). So I can control my lights/stereo amplifier/etc. with a dinky web interface or via SMS (through Google Voice emails). Security is dubious (to say the least!), and yet somehow, I haven't been the victim of an attack, "friends" aside ;)

Also, the HDMI CEC on the Raspberry Pi allows me to control basic features of my A/V system remotely (my TV and receiver are not internet-enabled). Really handy given that I don't have line-of-sight access to my receiver. Much better than v1.0, which was to use a mirror...

Comment Re:This is how it begins (Score 1) 245

Sure, but that's not always how it plays out. In the USA, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus -- but it was restored at the end of the civil war. Granted, that's not exactly the way the Patriot Act has played out, but still...governments aren't always nefarious entities, and sometimes they even do The Right Thing at the end of the day.

Comment Re:What about Log tables (Score 1) 220

Since starting grad school, I've had to work with decibels a bit. I've really found that thinking in dB/log10 can be extremely useful, especially for back-of-the-envelope sort of calculations. And I'm absolutely terrible at mental arithmetic.

Though I guess mostly I just memorize that 3dB (10^0.3) is ~2, 5 is ~pi and 10 is 10. One rarely needs to know the mantissa better than that ;)

Comment Re:First systemd, now LSB (Score 1, Insightful) 220

Sure, but some of us have had Just Plain Bad experiences with systemd, regardless of startup scripts.

A server (running Debian Stable) I was rebooting for a kernel upgrade wouldn't reboot -- it just hung at "Reached target Shutdown" (similar, I believe, to this bug). Of course, it had already stopped sshd, so I had no idea what was going on until I dug out a monitor and plugged it in.

Another server had an entry in /etc/fstab for an external USB disk that was occasionally used. One time after upgrading, systemd decided that, because the disk wasn't plugged in, it would just hang there because it couldn't mount an fstab entry.

Another time I go to turn off my computer and...it just hangs there, telling me the system is powered off (I had to physically turn off the power, though of course everything was cleanly unmounted so not a problem).

Yes, some -- or maybe even all -- of these problems can in part be blamed on me. The first one could be fixed with "systemctl reboot," the second one with "noauto" in fstab, and the third with "poweroff" instead of "halt." But that's not the point. The point is, when my *completely working system* decides to stop working on numerous occasions, and it can all be traced to one source, it just Isn't A Good Thing in my opinion. To each his own, though.

Comment Welchia, the 2003 "helpful worm" (Score 1) 79

The Welchia worm, also known as the "Nachia worm", is a computer worm that exploits a vulnerability in the Microsoft Remote procedure call (RPC) service similar to the Blaster worm. However, unlike Blaster, it first searches for and deletes Blaster if it exists, then tries to download and install security patches from Microsoft that would prevent further infection by Blaster, so it is classified as a helpful worm.


Comment Re:Analog DRM, no way (Score 1) 92

DRM is "blanket functionality removal." That is it's intention. It fails, but that is not the point...

While I certainly agree with that point for some implementations of DRM, I think there are cases where it's not altogether bad. Take Netflix, for example -- I am very clear that I am paying for the right to watch items that Netflix has, whenever I want to, so long as I'm internet connected. That's what I signed up for. I don't own every episode of M*A*S*H or Star Trek, but I'm enrolled in a service which lets me watch them on demand.

Of course, if I, say, buy a movie, then yes, I should be able to watch that movie whenever I want, wherever I want, on whatever device I want. But, in certain cases (particularly streaming services), I don't really have an issue with this.

Comment Re:10 Mbps (Score 1) 280

It all depends on the use-case. I have a 100Mbps (University) connection, and it's fantastic for web, streaming video, etc. -- never had any issues. But if I'm backing up my computer or transferring large data sets, then yeah, it's slow, and I'll just use a patch cable to transfer between two (gigabit) machines (or plug in an external drive).

It all depends on your usage. Netflix 4k claims 7GB/hour, or about 16Mbps ("normal" HD is less than half that).

Comment Re: Theory (Score 1) 591

Right -- this was the point he was referring to:

One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed

He was speaking in jest, yes, but his point is that evolution is real, but compared to, say, the theory of gravity, it's very poor -- we know things evolve, but making quantitative predictions can be...difficult.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year