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Comment: Re:A rather empty threat (Score 1) 464

by IamTheRealMike (#48189867) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

The problem is that some factions in the non-systemd camp are pursuing systemd "emulation" by using shims and forks. That way you just get a second rate systemd, and it will remove any motivation from upstream projects to support anything else than system. Using Ubuntu's "logind" is a short term gain, but a strategic failure for the non-systemd camp. They need their own implementation of needed infrastructure, not just copying or emulating systemd.

It sounds a lot like the non-systemd camp have no idea what they are actually for, they only know what they are against. So this kind of thing is not surprising to hear.

The "UNIX philosophy" is an empty slogan that switches people's brains off. It sounds great, until you try and build a real system with the features modern users demand, and then it turns in to an exploding nightmare of combinatorial complexity as every program tries to abstract itself from every other program in the name of political correctness. As already noted elsewhere, the programs people use serverside Linux to actually run barely resemble the UNIX command line tools and that's for good reasons ...

Comment: Re: Moral Imperialism (Score 5, Interesting) 419

by IamTheRealMike (#48188407) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Is there really someone so stupid that they cannot tell the difference between a cartoon drawing and a real child?

There appears to be an entire united kingdom whose legal system is populated with such people.

Just FYI, the rule against illegal cartoons exists in the USA too. The Supreme Court struck down attempts to use CP laws in this way as being obvious nonsense, so Congress just went ahead and amended the law to make it explicitly illegal as opposed to implicitly illegal.

Unfortunately a lot of crap like this ends up being brought into otherwise sane legal systems thanks to pressure from the USA to "upgrade" national laws to meet the "latest standards". Japan has been pressured for years to tighten its CP laws, being publicly named and shamed etc - the primary justification for not doing so was fear of false positives. Like this one. And like the notorious cases where two teenagers can legally have sex but not photograph themselves doing it.

Fact is, politicians love being able to say they made the law tougher on paedophiles. It's a sure popularity winner. So it's inevitable you end up with idiocy like this.

Comment: Re:Why the hell... (Score 4, Informative) 192

by IamTheRealMike (#48177859) Attached to: JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface

The JVM is very language specific. For example it has op codes for allocating java objects. A truly cross language virtual machine doesn't have anything anywhere near that high level or specific to a particular language.

Whuuu? The JVM does not have opcodes for allocating "java" objects unless you use a very strange definition of the term - if it worked that way then how could other languages target it? The JVM has opcodes for allocating objects and calling methods on them, including opcodes like invokedynamic that exist purely to support non-Java languages like Javascript, Python, Ruby, etc.

The JVM has a really large variety of languages that target it. It's impressive. There are static languages like Java, Scala, Kotlin, Ceylon etc, there are dynamic scripting languages like JS (using the new Nashorn engine it's only about 2-3x slower than V8), there are Lisp like languages, there are implementations of Erlang and so on. And thanks to the fairly well specified "least common denominator" type system Java provides, code written in these languages can all interop pretty nicely.

If you think the JVM is language specific then I'd suggest looking at Ruby and Kotlin, two very different languages that are not much like Java, yet nonetheless both can run on top of the JVM.

Comment: Re:Identification != Authentication (Score 3) 59

The difference is for authentication for important stuff we have to show up in person with an ID and a real human checks the identity.

For some things you can also use a SuisseID which is just a regular PKI smartcard USB dongle thingy. I have one. After installing the software, you can log in to some Swiss websites by just clicking the login button in the web page. You might have to enter a password and the dongle then signs the SSL session. It's all standards based and the certificate in the hardware is based on your legally verified identity, i.e. you show a passport at the post office and get your personalised stick through the mail a few days later.

Comment: Re:LT LP (Score 2) 387

by IamTheRealMike (#48167515) Attached to: Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Er, if you ignore things like lack of a stable driver API then sure. Lots of users would have loved one of those.

But Linus encounters fewer problems like that because he has little in the way of vision for what desktop Linux should be. His job is to make a UNIX kernel along the same lines they were being designed 30 years ago. He is largely judged by how tightly he replicates a long-dusty commercial design. Desktop Linux on the other hand has no such luxuries because old commercial UNIX was never a force on the desktop. There, it has to both forge ahead its own path, and also look to competitors like MacOS X for good ideas.

And guess what? The genesis of SystemD bears a strong resemblance to launchd, the MacOS X init system. But because that's not something you would have found in Solaris or AIX, the UNIX "community" throws a fit.

Comment: Re:Always a chuckle (Score 1) 116

by IamTheRealMike (#48153111) Attached to: The Great Robocoin Rip-off

I'm not especially libertarian, but I do not believe libertarianism has anything to say against dispute mediation. Bitcoin itself has the ability to do dispute mediated transactions but it's not fully fleshed out. If it was, and had been used here, a third party could have signed off on the transaction and the money could have been released, only once the machine was delivered and working.

Of course, Robocoin may have chosen not to use such a mechanism because with pre-sales, they are often spending the purchase money to actually build the machine, but that will always be extremely risky.

Comment: Re:Huge spreads on withdrawals! (Score 1) 116

by IamTheRealMike (#48153091) Attached to: The Great Robocoin Rip-off

Well, except, you know, running an bitcoin ATM in a shop is about a million times easier than getting a full blown banking license. Right now they often charge very high spreads because there's a lot of risk involved and the machines costs have to be paid down. But in theory there could be quite a bit of competition, given friendly governments and a long enough time horizon.

Comment: Re: Why..... (Score 2) 259

by IamTheRealMike (#48147735) Attached to: "Double Irish" Tax Loophole Used By US Companies To Be Closed

This is not about the "sales tax" (VAT in EU) which is typically assessed and paid in a defined jurisdiction where the sale occurs.

..... until January. It appears our glorious leaders in the EU have decided that they weren't getting enough VAT because people sell things out of low tax jurisdictions (how dare they), so now VAT on various types of digital products and services e.g. online software sales or e-books get to pay tax based on the jurisdiction of the buyer, not the seller. So if you sell software in the EU now you have no choice, essentially, but to hire an expensive middleman who handles the nightmare of filing VAT returns in every EU state. Plus you need to be able to track exactly where your customers are for tax purposes. Effectively people would get a discount for buying through a proxy so god knows how this will be implemented. Total nightmare. All driven by the desire for ever more tax.

Comment: Re:I've been wondering why this took so long (Score 2) 127

by IamTheRealMike (#48109821) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

If you read the TfL page about this that's exactly what they say their plan is - more track barriers, and allowing "current drivers to work for the rest of their careers". Of course I doubt the RMT will be willing to see itself slowly fade into the sunset via natural ageing, but they don't want to push it too far. London Underground engineering is incredibly efficient, they pack a lot of maintenances into the 3-4 hour engineering hours they get each night (the Tube never really shuts down per se). A lot of the upgrades require rehearsals in mockups of the stations, timing is so tight. If there was a sustained strike then a crapton of automation upgrades could be completed quite quickly.

Comment: Re:Or howabout IMAP? (Score 2) 74

by IamTheRealMike (#48097219) Attached to: Gmail Security Is a Problem For Tor Users In Repressive Countries

More generally, 2-step authentication disables the risk analysis based login security. If you set up 2SV then you can use your account via Tor.

However, note that - as observed in a comment below - you cannot create a Gmail account via Tor without passing phone verification. Thus if you're logging in to a Gmail account via Tor successfully that probably means it was created outside of Tor and so has some non-Tor IPs associated with it at some point.

The key point is that email and Tor don't mix, for obvious spam reasons. It's not a Google specific thing. People may wish to look into Pond, a secure messaging service designed to be used via Tor from beginning to end.

Comment: Re:it solves some unicode issues (Score 4, Interesting) 765

by IamTheRealMike (#48094841) Attached to: Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

I haven't used desktop Linux for about a year now, but before that I used it for about a decade and in the early 2000's even did development for it, so I read this post with interest.

I feel the money quote is this one:

People on the email thread have claimed we had an agenda. That's actually certainly true, everybody has one. Ours is to create a good, somewhat unified, integrated operating system. And that's pretty much all that is to our agenda. What is not on our agenda though is "destroying UNIX", "land grabbing", or "lock-in". Note that logind, kdbus or the cgroup stuff is new technology, we didn't break anything by simply writing it. Hence we are not regressing, we are just adding new components that we believe are highly interesting to people (and they apparently are, because people are making use of it now). For us having a simple design and a simple code base is a lot more important than trying to accommodate for distros that want to combine everything with everything else. I understand that that is what matters to many Debian people, but it's admittedly not a priority for us.

For what it's worth, this paragraph makes a ton of sense to me. The biggest problem with Linux, both on the desktop and to a lesser extent on the server, was the fact that you got a basically half-baked set of components that were hardly integrated at all. Basic stuff like being able to set the timezone graphically ended up being distro specific apps / hacks because there was no API to do it, and everything was held together by giant piles of shell scripts and Python which might or might not be something you could actually contribute to or work with, but was certainly never usefully documented.

Basically, the experience of using or developing on Linux gave you the impression of a man in a slightly dishevelled, ill fitting suit. All the parts of a smart suit were there, but none of them quite fitted or lined up, and there were lots of small tears everywhere. And waaaaaay too many people liked this state of affairs because they had made "I am a UNIX user" a part of their identity and had managed to convince themselves that an OS architecture that dated from the 1970's was actually totally elite, and any attempt to reform it was "ignoring the UNIX philosophy" or some shit like that.

Result: MacOS X absolutely ate Linux's lunch on the desktop, despite the fact that Linux was free and Macs .... decidedly not free. Heck Linux didn't even make much headway against Windows, even though under Ballmer the Windows team basically sat on their ass for a decade rewriting the start menu.

From a (now) outsider looking in, this whole systemd fiasco looks a lot like Linux finally being dragged into the 21st century through the sheer willpower of one man, who has an apparently infinite ability to withstand faeces-throwing by the UNIX peanut gallery. Don't like systemd? OK, stick with Debian Stable or FreeBSD and don't get the new features. Stick it to the man and keep your "I Love *Nix" t-shirt on. Me? Between reading about GNOME 3 and systemd I'm starting to wonder if it's time to revisit Linux and give it another shot. If that community can conquer its UNIX fetish and build a modern OS, it has a lot of potential.