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Comment: Re:It's our own damn fault (Score 1) 534

by fudoniten (#37146354) Attached to: What If Aliens Came To Save the Galaxy From Mankind?

That may be true, but the worldwide economy is a lot bigger and more stable, and transportation is far easier, than just after WW2. Or at any other time.

A wave of locusts in Kansas would bump worldwide food costs up a couple of cents. Nobody in the US would starve. It's possible, though, that somebody somewhere (who could not afford those cents) would.

Comment: This guy is right (Score 1) 591

by fudoniten (#37045430) Attached to: Old Arguments May Cost Linux the Desktop

This guy is totally right. All this choice is just too confusing. There are too many competing options, and it's ruining things for everybody.

So I'm going to start listing alternatives, and we'll get a simple, fair show of hands. I hope the losing projects have the good grace to step down, disband, wipe their code base, and instruct their users to migrate to the winning project. Oh, I'm sure it'll be hard, but it's the only way to get to the Year of the Linux Desktop.

Okay, let's start at the basics:

vi, or emacs?

Comment: Re:What (Score 2) 90

by fudoniten (#36963422) Attached to: Middleboxes vs. the Internet's End-to-End Principle

That's why it's called the end-to-end principle. It doesn't mean that nothing should ever, ever modify a packet on the network. But, end-to-end communication with functionality pushed to the edges is an ideal for which to strive. The fact that almost any two hosts on the Internet are able to communicate (after jumping through some stupid and mostly unnecessary hoops) is evidence that some people out there still consider it a solid principle. Just because you cannot hit the platonic ideal doesn't mean you should scrap the whole notion. It's fundamental to the Internet. IP is built on end-to-end principles, it doesn't give a shit what it carries, it's simple and dumb, so it's working perfectly today, decades after it was created. The farther we stray from the principle, the worse things get; firewalls, gateways, NATs and proxies have forced most traffic to masquerade as HTTP. Is that a good thing? Is that safer, or smarter?

So, yes, there are cases where you want a bit of intelligence in the network to stop a DDoS. You also need routers to route packets. That doesn't invalidate the whole idea, unless you're a literal-minded idiot.

Comment: Re:Breee! (Score 1) 840

by fudoniten (#36638824) Attached to: With regards to beer, I prefer it to be:

Funny, and I have the opposite problem.

They use preservatives in some pasturized beers (which is most--unless you see grit on the bottom of your bottle it's been pasturized), especially if they have to be distributed far and wide. I've never had a problem with dra(ft|ght) beer, and most bottles are fine, but I react, reproduceably, to certain bottled beers. I assume it's the preservatives, since some of my immediate family have similar issues with MSG, etc.

Comment: Comparing total memory usage is stupid (Score 4, Informative) 258

by fudoniten (#36187186) Attached to: Preliminary Benchmarks: Unity vs. Gnome-Shell

Others have correctly pointed out that comparing memory usage on two different distros is pointless. On top of that, comparing total memory usage is stupid.

Look, you have memory in your system to be used. If you dug into it and found out that most of that memory consisted of massive, unused libraries, duplicate code, empty datastructures, or garbage that wasn't getting cleaned up, then sure, you could give it a hard time. But if it's full of cached images and icons so that the interface can be quicker and more responsive, well, isn't that why you have all that RAM?

A perfect program/OS would very quickly gobble up all available memory by storing and caching useful stuff...and then free it up the instant it was needed elsewhere. That turns out to be harder than it sounds, since procs generally don't know or care about totally memory usage, but still, the ideal should not be the opposite extreme.

Comment: Re:wikipedia (Score 1) 336

by fudoniten (#36150666) Attached to: Bill Clinton Suggests Internet Fact Agency

And, hold on, stop and think yourself.

I am a constant, daily reader of Wikipedia, a sometimes editor. I've been involved in a small handful of edit wars. To overlook the immense amount of high-quality information on Wikipedia because some edits of yours got turned down is absurd. Now that you've asked the GP to check himself, you should do the same. After years of casual editing, I've run across assholes, but never this mythical clique of jack-booted thugs.

And now, a low blow: empowered regular folks would seem like massed jack-booted thugs to somebody with a crazy opinion...

Comment: Re:The Slashdot system seems to work pretty well (Score 2) 393

by fudoniten (#36076482) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Going Beyond Comment Threads?

Groupthink: A derogative term used to disparage a widly-held belief or set of beliefs with which the speaker does not agree.

I've seen highly-rated counter examples for all of the examples of groupthink you cite. Not so many for copyright as it stands today. I would suggest that's because there's not much positive to say. You can get a good rating for "creator's rights are important!" but adding "...for the creator's great-grandchildren!" might lose you some points.

Comment: Re:Well, they screwed up with 11 (Score 2) 441

by fudoniten (#36075998) Attached to: Ubuntu Aims For 200 Million Users In Four Years

I disabled auto-hide. And I think the menubar/title is a bit stupid, but it doesn't bother me.

My only real annoyance is that the whatever-bar expects you to run only one instance of any program. That's fine for Firefox or Evolution or whatever...but I tend to have like 15 terms open at a time. Represented by one icon? WTF. I have the same problem with OSX. Others just use one terminal window with many tabs, but that sucks for all sorts of reasons (tailing logs? debugging w/ line numbers? etc). I'm constantly popping open a new terminal for a quick command or whatever; having to open an existing one and use CTRL-Shift-N is just awful.

Aside from that, I like it as much as I ever liked old gnome.

Comment: Re:Collision Detection? (Score 2) 112

by fudoniten (#35935012) Attached to: The Future of In-Car Computing

Indeed, any car autopilot that only took into account other smart cars would be a horrible disaster waiting to happen. Obviously.

The only way cars could use this sort of communication is as mistrusted advice, which it could use to strengthen it's own observations. The same way you treat another car's turn signals, basically.

Comment: Re:Collision Detection? (Score 3, Insightful) 112

by fudoniten (#35934968) Attached to: The Future of In-Car Computing

They have that now. The collision detection system is the human who's driving. You can hack it by driving up beside them, and then pulling abruptly towards them. They're very likely to swerve right off the road!

The implicit question here is: you can already be a vicious asshole and try to kill people, but you don't. Why would you do so if their car happened to be computer-driven?

Also, frankly, give the computer driver a few generations, and it's responses will probably be much safer and more reasonable than a panicky human driver.

Remote hacking and viruses are a potential problem; preferably the car's autopilot will be entirely isolated from any network connection. You could still walk up, stick an ethernet plug in, bypass the security system, and upload malicious code. Or, you could cut the breaks.

Comment: Re:How do you change human nature? (Score 2) 307

by fudoniten (#35871396) Attached to: Tim Berners-Lee: Stop Foaming At the Mouth, Twitter

Well, for a start, you could redesign the service so it's not just a mini-soapbox for each user...

I see his point, Twitter is designed in such a way that everybody does these little one-way bursts, and the only way to rise above the crowd and gain followers is to be more 'interesting' than everybody else, which will often take the form of being noisier, more outrageous, more controversial, more extreme.

OTOH, that seems to be what people want. I mean, there's already alternatives in existence. I'm talking to you in one now. People want a soapbox.

I think it helps that you don't have to think too hard about a tweet. Reading through a list of tweets every now and then is a lot less mentally taxing than catching up on a mailing list conversation.

There's certainly room for plenty more social network experimentation. The way Twitter and Facebook are designed shapes the conversation. What if you added common forums to Facebook? What if you just doubled the message size in Twitter? It would certainly change the way people used them.

Boy, it sure would be nice to have a free, open-source, distributed social network, so people could play with things like this more, huh?

Comment: Re:All FPS do this (Score 3, Interesting) 366

by fudoniten (#35859912) Attached to: FPS Gaming and the 'Just-World Hypothesis'

I disagree. I suppose it depends why you're playing. If it's a 3D version of Pac-Man or whatever, and you're just playing for the action, then sure, you don't want any moral ambiguity thrown in. But that gets boring fast, to me at least.

I'm playing Red Dead Redemption these days, and there are a lot of moments where you're riding across the prairie and come across a shootout. What's going on? Should you intervene? Is it lawmen chasing a bandit? Bandits attacking a family? Just gangsters having a shootout? You have to sneak up and survey the situation, and try to figure out what the hell is going on. Moments like that make the game for me, I find them thrilling. Much more, actually, than the scripted moral conundrums you find in 'deep' games, which tend to be about 1.5D. Do you want to a) be a paragon of virtue or b) be a complete jerk? In these random encounters, all of a sudden you've got a whole platter of options. Try to figure out what's going on, and join the 'good guys'? Or join the bandits? Wait until it's over, finish off the survivors, and grab all the loot? Or, shrug and head in the opposite direction, since it's none of your business? The last one is interesting, 'cause it's easy, it's probably what most people would do in real life...and it flies right in the face of normal game logic, where of course you must get involved. It's kinda thrilling to have real decisions to make in a game.

Comment: Re:Sysadmins VS Lusers, lets get ready to rumble! (Score 2) 1307

by fudoniten (#35858690) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

Actually, I will assume you are unqualified at your job, as you see fit to complain about your tools (computers) and we all know, it is a poor workman who blames his tools. I'm guessing YOU are the reason you have difficulty with your job, not your IT department.

Haha, neat, you can use that argument against anybody who ever complains about you, since your job is to make sure they have decent tools. If they complain, they must be incompetent, since they are ipso facto complaining about tools!

But seriously, I understand your POV, but I identify more with the OP. Maybe the healthcare world is different, but I've seen more cases where the problem is some useless bunch of MCSEs running a patched-together network, not really sure how it works, and afraid to touch a thing (or open a port) lest it all come crashing down. Invariably, they call everybody else incompetent and a security risk.

Comment: Re:call it engineering (Score 2) 173

by fudoniten (#35800928) Attached to: Computer Science Enrollment Up 10% Last Fall

Most of the people who use PHP and SQL and python don't go around calling themselves computer scientists, in my experience. Graduate students and professors in comp sci are not making webpages and app games.. Heck, many of [the professors] couldn't; some haven't touched an actual computer in years. Many could probably more accurately be called mathematicians than scientists, if there's a difference. They deal with the theoretical bounds of computation, data storage and compression, encryption, solving or reducing the complexity of hard problems, inventigating the NP-complete problem, etc, etc.

IOW, what you're doing is not like pointing out that there's a difference between nuclear engineering/scientist, it's more like saying that nuclear science doesn't exist. When you get down to it, after all, it's all just banging atoms around with accelerators, you know.

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