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Comment: Re:Seems he has more of a clue (Score 3, Insightful) 703

by gilgongo (#49577393) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

I'm afraid the burden of proof is on you to show the results of all your experiments proving climate change is not happening. The overwhelming evidence we have is that *is* occurring - so any disproof of this needs presenting far more than any more corroboration.

Which is how science works, BTW.

Comment: It's about the gangsters and hoes, really. (Score 1) 218

by gilgongo (#49468165) Attached to: Legislation Would Force Radio Stations To Pay Royalties

"For decades, AM/FM radio has used whatever music it wants without paying a cent to the musicians"

That is completely false. They pay to ASCAP and BMI, who in turn pay to the musicians. That is why those organisations exist.

The real issue here is that those organisations are shameless parasites who take almost all the money for themselves before passing anything to the people they claim to represent.

A finer example of how utterly venal the music business is. Any musician who deals with them gets what they deserve, in my opinion.

Comment: So a coat it silly, but what about...? (Score 3, Interesting) 40

by gilgongo (#49208761) Attached to: Energy-Generating Fabric Set To Power Battery-Free Wearables

While I agree that putting the fabric inside a coat demonstrates a naive view of human factors (you can't wash the coat, you have to wear it all the time, etc.), I wonder if this might simply be the first idea they had after developing the invention?

Fabric generating power from movement would seem to have applications in other places: sails on boats; flags flying on buildings; tarpaulins on trucks, maybe quite a few others if the fabric is sufficiently robust enough.

Comment: Re:The systemd issue may give a clue... (Score 1) 716

by petrus4 (#49065407) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

And they are massively negative and destructive for Linux and its community if not repelled decisively.

Sadly, they are not going to be repelled. Reddit's main Linux sub is almost completely supportive of systemd. Say anything against it whatsoever, and you will be trolled and downvoted into oblivion.

On the other hand, I don't completely agree with you at this point, about systemd being entirely devoid of technical merit, or at least not in the minds of some. While I don't like the idea of it myself, I've encountered several people who've looked at it and think that many of its' features are worth keeping, but that the overall design is bad and needs to be re-worked.

In other words, it's given us some good features, but they will probably need to be re-incorporated into another project, with a better overall design.

Comment: Re:Why make debian run slower than Windows Vista? (Score 1) 403

by petrus4 (#47990351) Attached to: Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

I can't remember the last time I did a Linux distro install, where I did not use the minimal net install image, when one was available. I always expect any distro's large default install to be full of superfluous crap; so I do not necessary resent Debian because theirs also is.

My philosophy is that there is a direct relationship between the quality of anything I receive, and the amount of work I put into it myself. So if I get something where all of the usual decisions have been made for me, then I consider it only natural that it will be horrible.

Comment: Only underscores the point (Score 1) 399

by petrus4 (#47990329) Attached to: Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

While bash is by far my favourite UNIX shell, I've seen various bits of evidence that have indicated a need for major refactoring, for quite a while now. I would look into it myself, but there is always the risk that whatever changes I proposed would be rejected. Perhaps I should think about creating a fork, although that would be a lot of work.

Comment: Re:Dead as a profit source for Symantec, well, ... (Score 1) 331

by gilgongo (#47689701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

As another poster pointed out, it is perfectly viable for a literate - or just sensible - individual to not use an antivirus. For more than 20 years, and for various reasons (monetary, but also relating to general hassle), I have been running my family's Windows computers without any AV save for MSE in the last few years. I have yet to have any significant problems in doing so. My parents, my wife and my son (although he just uses and iPad now) are perhaps unusual in not surfing pr0n or not clicking links on emails that tell them to re-set passwords, etc. Gmail is pretty good at filtering out these in any case.

When I've mentioned this to others, it's a bit like saying you don't eat breakfast. The reaction is variously like I've broken some taboo, or that I'm risking the health of the Internet by allowing malware to botnet my machines to hell (which they aren't BTW, since I do the occasional scan using a LiveCD from time to time).

Comment: Re:These aren't even real developers (Score 2) 171

by petrus4 (#47466545) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

This is one of those guys who jumped on the "I want to be a web designer" bandwagon many years ago when the field was hot and it was easy to churn out crap and make money at it. He learned (by cargo cult copypasta and/or Whatever for Dummies books?) to get by in PHP and Javascript over the years. But he never really understood what he was doing.


An Anonymous Coward responds to the OP article with an extended string of smug, elitist ad hominem, uses this to construct a strawman argument, and gets modded +5, Insightful.

What are we to make of this, fellow Slashdotters?

Comment: Where I think the problem lies (Score 3, Interesting) 171

by petrus4 (#47463905) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

I have overwhelmingly observed that the majority of computer users, do not want a truly free, democratic, autonomous, or self-empowering scenario, where their use of a computer is concerned.

With computer use, we now essentially have two groups of people. A minority of specialised, elitist programmers who write software for an almost completely unskilled, disinterested, and technophobic majority; and said technophobic majority themselves.

It seems that the proverbial "owner driver," of computers (a group among whom I gladly self-identify) are becoming a dying breed. I sat up all night last night, until 7 am this morning, compiling and re-compiling sources for my new NetBSD/amd64 vm. I have found use of that system tricky; and the current install is my third attempt. It is uneven in some areas, and there are many jagged edges. Nevertheless, I am determined, and while it has been somewhat frustrating, I have enjoyed the process; to the point where I have since only had six hours' sleep, in part due to my level of enthusiasm to get back into it.

People need to understand that maintaining their freedom requires vigilance, personal initiative and responsibility, and active defense. The psychopaths are tireless in their attempts to take it away from us; and more, to convince us that we should actually want them to take it away.

Learn to program yourself; but when I say this, I do not merely mean the new languages that are popular, which will win you approval from a manager. I mean the old languages, like C, FORTH, Tcl/Tk, shell, awk, m4, and LaTeX. Learn simple HTML, and use RMS' own web site as a code example if you do not know how. Java might bring you money, but in my observation at least, it will not bring you joy.

Use the BSDs. Get comfortable with compiling something from source code. A lot of applications are designed much more smoothly than they used to be, so this is nowhere near as difficult as it once was. Get VMware Player, and install an Open or NetBSD guest. Use it to teach yourself the command line and shell scripting, and then realise that there is no reason for you to pay hundreds of dollars to Microsoft for Windows if you don't want to. You can buy a perfectly good computer from here, which has completely Free Software compatible hardware, and then run one of the BSDs natively, and dual boot it with Windows if you want. I don't hate Microsoft at all; I just think people should have that choice.

In addition to your use of Twitter, consider downloading XChat 2 and discovering Internet Relay Chat. Many open source software projects have IRC channels, so if you do start using *BSD, that will also be a good way of getting help if you need it.

In addition to your use of Reddit, get Forte Agent and find out if your service provider maintains a Usenet server. If they don't, Forte sells Usenet access at $3/month for 20GB.

I know many of you want the new, shiny thing; but voluntary simplicity is becoming a major movement in other areas of life as well, and truthfully I really think it's time we brought it to computer use as well. I am certified as a Permaculture designer, and I truthfully view use of the BSDs as being as close as I can get to using a computer in a Permacultural manner. The word Permaculture is short for "permanent culture," and UNIX is timeless.

Comment: I enthusiastically approve (Score 3, Insightful) 244

by petrus4 (#47455347) Attached to: German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

I salute the German government in adopting this measure, quite seriously. I am migrating to virtualised NetBSD/amd64 myself, and aside from using pkgsrc in order to install Xorg, am probably going to rely on manual installation of packages in named directories in either /usr/local or /opt.

I fully believe that maximising simplicity, to the point of adopting seemingly primitive solutions, is the most effective means of maintaining reliability and security. There truly is no school like the old school. Others can call me a Luddite if they wish, but that is a title that I will wear with pride.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor