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Comment Re:Mutt is my MUA of choice (Score 1) 32

Exactly. X11 has too many round trips to the server for things to be usable over anything but a LAN link. X2Go, however, can easily run Thunderbird remotely.

That said, a terminal window is so darn handy that it's nice to have nice text-mode programs we can use from it. Especially when working with a remote system that doesn't even have the X11 client libraries installed.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 160

Systemd is not monolithic. It's highly modular and only a few small parts are mandatory for systemd's init to function. Saying systemd is monolithic does not make it so.

As for the evolution of launchd and it's current usability, the same exact things can be said of systemd. systemd is not a creation of theoretitists. It actually solves practical problems in a practical way, as does launchd.

It's just ironic to me that slashdotters will come to launchd's defense while lambasting systemd.

Comment Re:strife in israel and palastine? (Score 1) 203

Israel and Palestine have been having strife over water for decades. Israel diverts nearly 100% of the Jordan river now, mostly for its own agricultural purposes. To add insult to injury this water is piped right through the west bank to Israeli farms and communities in the south. Palestinian farms and communities get less and less of this water as time goes on. And as the aquifers that feed the Jordan river fluctuate, guess who gets the short end of the stick? Certainly not Israelis. Water is certainly used as a passive weapon, that's for sure.

Comment Turkish Air free wifi worked better than airport (Score 1) 193

A couple of years ago I flew transatlantic on a very nice Turkish Air flight with free wifi. They turned it on just about as soon as we were boarded and at the time it was completely free. Not sure how many access points they have, but it worked great on this flight. Maybe few people were using it, or maybe it was offered to business class only. Had it not been free I'd have not bothered with it at all. But it was convenient for downloading some maps I had forgotten for OSMAND+, and I sent a few voice messages on Voxer. The speeds weren't crazy fast, but they were faster than anything I could get in the airport terminal by a wide margin. Latencies were high of course.

Comment Re:Upstart? Scarebus? Comparison to Concorde? (Score 1) 345

Though what you say is correct, the OP is also right. The US banned overland flights (sonic booms), and restricted the airports it could operate out of. Whether or not these restrictions had any impact on the ability of the Concorde to make or lose money, I cannot say. Certainly those restrictions didn't help.

As to the demise of the 747, I am pretty sure in the Asian and Pacific markets, the 747 will continue to fly for some time, and freight haulers will continue using the 747 for years to come. The 747-8 is only 10 years old now, and was purchased even recently, according to wikipedia. Granted many of the purchases were for freight, which is what the 747 was designed to do all along. That's why the cockpit is up on the second story, so freight can be loaded through the nose. Passenger hauling was not in the original design, but it turned out to be a great passenger hauler.

Having flown on the 747 several times, I will certainly miss the big bird when passenger airlines stop flying it.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 221

Actually GTK+ is quite maintainable, both in terms of the toolkit development itself, and app development. The patterns it uses are easily seen, and replicated, and also easily automated. For example, to gobject-based toolkit code is often automatically generated from more abstracted definition files. GTK+ is definitely not an embarrassment, nor is it haphazard.

The biggest problem with C++ is language bindings, and also a the lack of a standard ABI. Unless things have radically changed recently, I cannot use MingW G++-compiled object code with Visual Studio's C++ compiler. And from a language binding point of view, C++'s OOP does not easily map well to many other languages. This often means writing a lot of C wrappers to thunk C++ that can then be imported into a language like Ruby, Python, or Perl. C-based libraries are easy to import. GTK+ happens to bind well to other languages because they implemented a fairly straight-forward object model (no multiple inheritance).

I have no idea what you mean by "As far as C compiling itself goes, GCC won't be doing that any more, it is moving to C++." Are you talking about the compiler itself? I know LLVM is written in C++, but I don't think GCC's compilers are, nor do I think they are likely to move that way.

Comment there's room for several players to be successful (Score 5, Interesting) 87

I'm a bit surprised by some posters talking like a success for the Japanese somehow hurts spacex or vice versa. It's good to have lots of redundancy.

As to costs, even if the Japanese launcher can match or beat spacex costs, spacex has one thing no one else even the Russians have. That's return cargo capability. For research purposes this is a big deal.

Comment Re:WPS Office (Score 1) 316

I used to be pretty excited about WPS. However it's certainly not better than LO. I was quite disappointed with it actually. I tried opening a fairly large spreadsheet we use in it and found that LibreOffice actually did a better job handling all the formulas. WPS (a year ago anyway) seemed to have a lot off ERR values for whatever reason that LO doesn't get. I didn't investigate further.

Also WPS office has moved to a freemium model now (which is understandable). So besides the occasional nag, it cannot write to any of the docx formats unless you buy a license. I can't speak to formatting issues as I didn't encounter any. I'm sure it paginates and renders slightly differently than MS Office, so I doubt it works any better than LO or OOo.

In short, with LO getting some serious attention these days, I can't see WPS getting any traction, and certainly it doesn't offer businesses much value in my opinion.

Comment Re:People isn't the issue, farming is (Score 3, Interesting) 390

People are always the issue. But I take your meaning.

Indeed in the 1930s the dust bowl exodus was by people who were farmers, or from towns and cities who's existence was 100% dependent on agriculture, for food and employment. At most this exodus was numbered in the thousands, not millions or anything. The 1930s dust bowl crisis (including the weather and horrible storms) was caused in large part by soil erosion, not from the drought itself per se. There was no irrigation. The drought triggered it no doubt, but it was the farming practices of the time that brought it on. Once this was realized and tillage techniques were altered, things settled down and droughts, though bringing crop failures, no longer bring the dusty conditions that were common in Oklahoma in the 1930s. If you've ever seen pictures of the dust storms back then, it really was truly apocalyptic-looking, and very frightening.

Things are very different in CA today. For one, the issue is not about soil erosion causing weather patterns and dust storms. For two, if and when CA does run out of water for agriculture, there really will be an exodus, but only from farms and agricultural areas, probably numbered in thousands, not unlike the dust bowl exodus in the 30s. Modern western living brings in foods from all over the world, so people living in a city in CA are, except for state-imposed water rationing, completely oblivious to the devastating effects of drought.

So all's good, right? After the final crisis, farmers will all leave and all that water will become available. And at only a 2% loss of the state's GDP. Win win. Very sad, but when it comes down to the bottom line, this is probably what will happen. Only the total loss to the GDP will be somewhat higher than 2% because there's an entire sector of the economy around agriculture that also generates its own part of the economy, including laborers.

The problem is that across the world, vast amounts of water are required for growing food, and this is not going to change anytime soon. Human survival depends on this. As a farmer myself, I get very discouraged at how out of touch people are with the food they eat. They have not idea where food comes from. Grocery stores stay stocked regardless of local, regional, or even national conditions. Rich people can continue to buy organic, as one person put it, "because [they] care," though they aren't sure what it is they are caring about. Food prices are lower than they've been in decades compared to incomes, but that's contributing to things like growing almonds when more traditional food staples could be grown.

California used to grow grains and other commodities before irrigation was developed. Probably farmers will return this way, but the amount of acres required to make a go of this is quite a bit higher than with vegetables or almonds, so we'll probably see far fewer farms survive, and they will have to be much larger.

Comment Re:How do we know? (Score 4, Insightful) 112

Maybe but we're slipping into a very real Orwellian thoughtcrime mentality in recent years. Meanwhile the word has even lost all meaning, simultaneously defined narrowly (Islam only) and broadly (re-tweating is material support? Really?). So what does pretending to be a terrorist even mean? Make a sick joke about being an Islamic extremist and you're off to jail. On the other hand I've seen people make public statements about how certain political candidates should just be assassinated (Hillary Clinton seems to be a common target for this sort of red-neck speech) and it's just free speech during the election cycle.

Comment Re:..all versions of Android after and including 2 (Score 2) 120

What are you talking about? What does being in Canada have to do with it? I have rooted, unlocked, and installed CM on several devices including my Virgin Mobile Galaxy S1 and a Kudo Galaxy S2. And all the carriers here allow you to bring your own device if you wish. I brought my unlocked S2 to Telus.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.