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Comment: Re:Censorship? (Score 2) 418

by cbhacking (#48881639) Attached to: Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut


Seriously, people are *IDIOTS* when politics come out. One of the forums I hang out in refers to the phenomenon as "politics is the mind-killer". It turns normally rational people into raving lunatics at a sport competition, except with less cheering and (somehow) even more bullshit.

Comment: Re:There's nothing wrong now... (Score 1) 489

by cbhacking (#48881285) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Eh, biggest objection to XP post-SP2 was that it hung around for too long, while the rest of the world moved on. 32-bit only (the 64-bit version is actually Server 2003 without the Server-y bits, and not fully compatible with 32-bit XP even aside from driver issues), no ASLR (at the time XP launched, DEP support was pretty cool; by the time it went out of support an OS without ASLR couldn't be called "secure" with a straight face), one-way firewall (Vista added bi-directional filtering and a lot more control, though at least XP had *a* firewall), running as a daily user was a total pain if you weren't an Administrator (I know, I did it for months), and so on. Yes, these are mostly security concerns, but that's a pretty critical aspect of an OS for me. With that said, in the spectrum of Windows releases, XP SP0 was pretty much a bad skin on top of 2000 (which had plenty of its own issues, but XP SP0 didn't really *fix* most of them). SP1 helped a little but SP2 was really where the difference was made. Unfortunately, SP3 was little more than a roll-up of previous updates, and Vista was delayed again and again, then shipped as a reasonably secure but pretty buggy OS. There really needed to be an SP4 (or a real SP3) for XP that back-ported some of the important stuff from work on Vista, or an earlier and less-ambitious Vista (or at least NT5.3) release to fill the gap.

Comment: Re:I am going to say "Yes" (Score 2) 489

by cbhacking (#48851239) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

There's a program (free, though you may have to sign in with a Microsoft account) for getting OS updates on Windows Phone direct from Microsoft, without waiting for OEM or MO updates. It's called Preview for Developers, and has been available for well over a year. Despite the name, it's release software - same version that people on the normal upgrade path eventually get - and available to anybody who bothers to set it up. There's already a new version of the program for WP10, though it's not active (i.e. you can't actually use it to install WP10) yet.

Comment: Re:There's nothing wrong now... (Score 2) 489

by cbhacking (#48851205) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

"run the OS on top of DOS like Windows was previously doing" - you're aware that there were Windows versions between 3.11 and XP, right? None of them ran on top of DOS. Hell, I'll even ignore the fact that the GPP explicitly called out Windows 2000, which (being NT-based) was *exactly* as DOS-based as XP.

The 9x family (95, 98, ME, and their various releases/service packs) booted up through some DOS code, but DOS was basically no more than a bootloader for them. This OS family ran 32-bit protected-mode kernels (DOS was 16-bit Real Mode; no virtual memory, user/kernel separation, or process address space isolation). 9x ran on the FAT filesystem, like DOS, but supported long file names and Unicode, whereas DOS was limited to 8.3 names and 8-bit characters. 9x had a preemptive multitasking scheduler, unlike DOS which had no multitasking support at all (some previous software, such as Windows 1.x-3.x, had a cooperative multitasking scheduler on top of DOS but could not pre-empt a long-running process). 9x could and did run background processes (what a Unix user would call daemons), which was impossible on DOS. 9x had a hardware abstraction layer, allowing processes to share access to hardware such as mice and sound cards without requiring each program to have its own hardware drivers and take total control over the hardware the way DOS programs did.

Claiming that Windows pre-XP ran on top of DOS is just false. It used some DOS code in a few places and used DOS to bootstrap itself, much like a modern bootloader, but that's it. All of the core functions of an OS - the hardware interface, task management, memory management, and file management - were handled by Windows-specific code. The UI was 32-bit and Windows-specific. The 16-bit APIs were still present but the system call interface (kernel32.dll) was 32-bit and Windows-specific. It's true that you couldn't start 9x without DOS, but DOS was not running in any meaningful sense once 9x was.

Comment: Re:Lessons learned (Score 1) 329

by cbhacking (#48836021) Attached to: Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

It does install a service on Windows that runs with elevated privileges, allowing Steam to do admin-y stuff at will, though. Not a rootkit because it isn't hidden and doesn't resist removal, but still sketchy. I disable this service; it means I have to put up with a UAC prompt on the rare occasion I need to run a Steam game for the first time, but I'm OK with that.

I haven't tried it on Linux, yet. Due to the DRM nature of Steam, I avoid buying from them. The DRM-free games from Humble Bundle and GOG work fine on Linux without requiring that I install Valve's crap.

Comment: Re:QUALITY, not QUANTITY, damnit! (Score 1) 273

by cbhacking (#48807243) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

First of all, you seem very confused about the causes of age-related mortality. They are, in large part, the same things that make old age unpleasant. If your body went on aging "like normal" except for the things that could kill you, it would have to stop aging pretty young.

Second, the very concept of living a thousand years without arresting aging is so amazingly stupid, it sounds like satire. Oh wait, it is: Nobody would seriously suggest such a thing. Mind you, I'd still take it if it were offered. Why? Because I would *still have the option* to "eat a bullet". I would have more choices in what to do with my life than if I didn't take it, so why would I choose not to?

Comment: Re:Ah, the endless quest... (Score 1) 273

by cbhacking (#48807105) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

Probably true; if nothing else, there's always the heat death of the universe. But hey, if I can outlive everybody who has such a useless outlook on life as yourself, I will consider it a life well-lived! (You're actually opposed to life-extension research? Do you respond the same way to, say, cancer treatment research, or Alzheimer's prevention research?)

Maybe I should move to silicon valley and/or become a millionaire. (For context, at the moment I'm close enough to the upper end of middle-class that I could afford to live in SV, but I'd be in the lower end of the income range there.)

Comment: Re:Some rich people. (Score 1) 273

by cbhacking (#48807065) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

Oh, please. That's pure bullshit. Would you call it "panicking" if the people involved were middle-class? Because there have been lots of people involved in anti-aging research and most of them are nothing extraordinary, wealth-wise, by the standards of the US (especially by the standards of doctors in the US, though they weren't all doctors). Sounds more like jealousy on your part than panic on theirs. Some people spend their money on fancy cars and huge yachts. Some spend it on charity. Some spend on building a (continuously growing) commercial empire. Some spend it on politics. Some spend it on art collections. Some spend it on medical research. Really, it's not so different.

As for the hoarding of resources, I have no respect for those who accumulate resources for no better purposes than to accumulate. But if people who have lots of resources want to use them to extend lifespans, that's fantastic! Yes, initially it will be expensive. The first person to crack the problem will make a shitload of money, and probably be able to enjoy it for a very long time. But the costs will come down over time, and what was once a perk of the ultra-rich will eventually become a standard part of healthcare. Somebody has to get there first, though, and it's only logical to permit those who have lots of resources to commit those resources to the goal.

Comment: Re:Found something you can't buy? (Score 3, Insightful) 273

by cbhacking (#48806811) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

The "anybody who wants to prevent/stave off death is just 'scared shitless' " meme is one I've seen before from a wide range of sources, and I can't for the life of me understand how so many people can be so stupid. Fighting death is the logical thing to do, the *obvious* thing to do, whether you're rich or poor. Fighting death has given us life expectancies better than any other point in history. It has given us medical advances that seemed impossible just a few decades ago. It has improved quality of life across all ages. It has vastly reduced infant and childhood mortality.

It doesn't even seem to make sense as a religious objection. Biblical characters had vastly longer lifespans than we do - the concept of "Methuselah" as relating to longevity is fairly common, yet Methuselah's lifespan was merely the longest, rather than being exceptionally long compared to others of the same generation and lineage - and while some people are focused on ending death entirely (via things like brain uploading or cryopreservation with later revival), that doesn't apply to this project. It's not exclusive to the rich; rejuvenation and clinical immortality memes have been widespread in science fiction for decades, and most SF authors aren't exactly Scrooge McDuck. It is most common in the developed world (in many third-world nations, the fact that life expectancy can be higher is completely obvious, as their developed neighbors demonstrate) but certainly isn't exclusive to California.

The "found something you can't buy?" meme is also a stupid one. The vast majority of things people can imagine today - never mind things we'll be able to imagine in the future - are things you can't buy. People work constantly to bring new things to market. Prior to Tesla Motors, you couldn't buy a pure-electric car with a multi-hundred-mile range. Prior to Iridium, you couldn't buy a telephone usable anywhere in the world. Prior to the medical development of penicillin, you couldn't buy a cure for most bacterial infections. Prior to... you get the idea. Technology marches on. Today, you can't buy a life expectancy of 100, but that's no reason to avoid working on it!

Comment: Re:what about a net? (Score 1) 213

by cbhacking (#48785997) Attached to: SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

The most expensive part of the first stage (which itself is the most expensive part of the stack) is the rocket motors. You don't want those landing on *anything*, including a net. The legs are intended to keep the motors well off whatever surface you land on.

Also, the rockets are firing on descent (both for slowing and for maneuvering). There's a final braking burn right at landing. Any net that can survive this braking burn is probably tougher stuff than you want the rocket running into even at relatively miniscule speeds.

They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan