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Comment: Re:Workstations ? (Score 1) 98

by psergiu (#47758877) Attached to: IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

Yes, almost surely IBM won't alow AIX to run on those boards.
Linux can run on any old x86 cheapie - there's nothing useful to do with a Power 8 CPU running Linux:

- Are you able to learn something that can be applied to big-iron Enterprise IBM hardare ? No.
- Are you able to run any 3rd party commercial software on that Power8 Linux box ? No - most 3rd party Linux commercial software only provides x86 binaries. Sometimes ARM.
- Are you able to do the exactly same Linuxy things with a cheaper x86 machine ? Yes.

Yes, it's a new and exciting CPU, some hobyists will buy this - but for most of them, after a couple of months, the Tyan power 8 machine will remain unused or will be downgraded to a "seldom used server in the corner" as it's less usefull than a Raspberry Pi.

Comment: Workstations ? (Score 5, Insightful) 98

by psergiu (#47757391) Attached to: IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

Latest Power workstation had Power 5 CPUs. The should make a new workstation.

No workstations => No small computer labs => Weak interest for the OS/Hardware from sudents & hobyists => Future decline of sales in servers.

Look at HP & all the other commercial Unix vendors - decline in server sales is almost directly related with workstation unavailability in the past ~5 years.

Comment: Re:Storm in a teacup (Score 1) 73

Well ...
As long as you can push a SIM-App to that Phone's SIM card, that program can periodically send updates with the current location (Network ID, Cell ID, power) to another network-connected device without the owner ever knowing. It's invisible even to the phone OS, as everything happens inside the SIM and radio module)

And all newer SIM cards (all that have a SIM Application menu, 2001 or newer) can do this, and your network operator (or anyone having the proper network access) can push something OTA to your SIM. You will just see your phone losing it's mobile network for a couple of seconds and reconnecting - that was the SIM's CPU rebooting with the updated firmware.

Comment: Re:My opinion on the matter. (Score 4, Informative) 749

by psergiu (#47750617) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Systemd's strenghts are:
- Fast startup & shutdown (compared to sysVinit);
- Better on-demand loading and stopping services and processes and changing network settings.

Compared with all the problem it brings:

- That is useful on a tablet or phone - where you never have to modify the factory configuration;
- A bit useful on a laptop - if you only use GUI tools that can do a limited ammount of config editing for you;
- Not very usefullon a desktop - unless you are prepared to get your hands dirty with systemD's smelly and poorly-documented guts;
- Useless on a server - where you only reboot 4 times a year or so and never have to hot-plug anything or change wireless networks.

For a server situation, the BSDrc style startup is even better than sysVinit.

Comment: Re:Display server (Score 4, Insightful) 749

by psergiu (#47750399) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

As long as xterm & the web browser are running on Wayland, nobody will complain. has became such a mess itself (compared to the old XFree86) so anything smaller, simpler, faster and 100% compatible is welcome.

OTOH systemD is not smaller, simpler and 100% compatible with the systemV init and BSD rc - so it requires everybody relearning a lot of concepts for scratch just to gain 4-5 seconds at boot time - unsually on a server that you reboot only a couple of times a year.

Comment: Re:Storm in a teacup (Score 4, Informative) 73

Actually, that's part of the GSM protocol.

You can "ping" a device in th GSM network and that device will return a reply containing the current Cell ID and distance from the tower. And with some devices you can "ask" them to seek a different cell - and it will return that as the reply. The owner of the phone only sees the cell signal bar fluctuating.

Also over the course of a phone conversation, both devices will tell the other one the Cell ID at the beginning of the call and at every hand-over between cells.

Comment: Re:Storm in a teacup (Score 4, Informative) 73

If you remember a little device from 2007 called iPhone - it introduced a "novel" idea: Let's find out where we are based on the nearby cell towers - we get a list of nearby cell towers and distance from them (can be computed: power & ping delay) and we ask a central data base where the tower location is and we triangulate based on that.

The Cell ID location databases are still active and public (and used for AGPS in the newer iPhones and other devices). And even if you cannot access it, by just driving around with a GPS-enabled device and some logging software you can build your own map.

And the cell locations are NOT changing frequently. It costs A LOT to have a tower in place: the only things that are changing once a tower is in place is the antennas (orientation and type/spread) and back-end network hardware (upgrades from 2G cards to 3G to 4G ...)

Comment: Re:I wish we didn't need something like this (Score 3, Insightful) 567

by hey! (#47749109) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

No need to paint the male gender as a whole as being filled with sociopaths. It's just the law of large numbers at work. There's maybe 30 million American men in the age rage that are likely to pick up srange women; if just 1/10 % of them are sociopathic predators that's 30,000 predators; and since they *are* predators they'll be overrepresented in young women's encounters with men in pick-up scenarios. Small numbers can produce disproportionate problems. In this case it represents numbers the actions of such a small proportion of men that our ideas about how normal people act aren't a reliable guide.

Drink spiking is a very rare crime. Most studies that look for evidence of it find very little. The highest I found was a government study which found date rape drugs in 4.5% of the cases from four sexual assault clinics. Note this is 4.5% of the cases where the assault occurred, so we're not talking about 4.5% of encounters, we're talking 4.5% of rapes. 4.5% is certainly high enough to be a concern in certain situations, like residential parties at a college. In such a situation a date rape drug detector might actually have some utility, even though it addresses relatively rare actions by a tiny proportion of men.

A bigger concern than what we think of as a "date rape drug" is alcohol itself. The same study that found date rape drugs in 4.5% of sexual assault samples found alcohol in 55%. This result is consistently found across studies: alcohol is very frequently associated with sexual assault -- around half of the time. This is especially concerning because some people (men and women both) don't believe that surreptitiously incapacitating someone with alcohol in order to have sex is rape. They don't distinguish ethically between two people getting drunk and having sex and one of them slipping extra alcohol into a drink.

But the fact remains most men wouldn't do something like that. But that doesn't preclude the possibility that a woman might often encounter the few remaining men who would. A typical man has sex with a small number of women many times; a man who has sex with a large number of women only once is bound to be encountered by women disproportionately often.

Comment: Re:A stupid consideration (Score 2) 484

by hey! (#47744757) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Exactly. If you want to regard yourself as an engineer, you have to start by accepting you are working to serve the interests of the client, not your career. I've seen so many problems occur because programmers want to have a certain technology on their resume. And the sad thing is that it works to get them through the HR filter. If HR is told to look for experience with a particular technology, it doesn't seem to matter whether the candidate's experience with that technology is failure.

Comment: Still not cool, *but* ... (Score 1) 484

by djbckr (#47742835) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Java as a language isn't fun - I haven't used it for many, many years now - but the advent of JVM-targeted languages makes the Java ecosystem fantastic.

Starting with the JVM - a very good machine that runs on pretty much anything, without having to re-compile your program. Perfect, no, but is anything? And the performance (given that it's a virtual machine) is top-notch.

Then there are the JVM-targeted languages: Scala, Groovy, JPython, BeanShell, etc, etc... Pick your poison.

Then there is a crap-ton of very useful libraries out there, and they can be used with any of the above targeted JVM-targeted languages.

So, we can whine about Java (the language) but really, I use it (the JVM, the other languages, and the libraries) to get stuff done. Cool, no. Productive, yes.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.