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Comment: Re:They already know about Earth (Score 4, Informative) 178

by gman003 (#46783165) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

have known at the minimum that Earth has liquid water, oxygen, and chlorophyll

Chlorophyll doesn't need to be detected - the presence of elemental oxygen alone is evidence of life, as it is too reactive to remain elemental unless some reaction is replenishing it, and as far as we know the only such reactions are biological in nature.

Comment: Re:Big data, spying? (Score 1) 115

by gman003 (#46774703) Attached to: Steam's Most Popular Games

Does Valve know any time I've played such and such games,

Yes, if you are playing in online mode (and maybe only if you launch it through Steam - I'm unsure on that point).

This data is in fact shown on your Steam profile, although you can set that to private to let only certain people see it. That will prevent people outside yourself, your Steam friends list, and Valve itself from seeing it.

on which servers and so on?

If it's using Steamworks, I believe so. They often use this for matchmaking - if people often quit a server after only a few minutes, it's counted as a mark against the server. For some games they record even more detailed stats - I've seen heatmaps of player deaths in Orange Box games.

Games that are merely sold and launched via Steam, but do not integrate with it, most likely have no data other than start/stop playtime.

Are data anonymized when surveys or such sociological studies are made?

Valve's own public data is presented only as a summary. This was an "unofficial" study done by randomly sampling profile pages.

While it is disconcerting, there is one point of interest - while most game developers want to gather data like this (or in even greater detail), they want it so they can make better games, not to sell as advertising data. I've actually never heard that come up in discussions on game metrics (as they call it), and I honestly don't think it would be that useful to any marketers.

Comment: Re:Hours Played is a bad metric. (Score 1) 115

by gman003 (#46774617) Attached to: Steam's Most Popular Games

It can be skewed the other way, though, by offline mode. I have some games listed as unplayed that I've played to completion, but in offline mode so nothing was recorded.

And then Half-Life 2 can be skewed back up because, at least as of several years ago, Source mods would log as HL2. I don't think that's still the case, but I also don't think they could retroactively fix that data.

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 2) 109

by gman003 (#46771329) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

Kinda what I was thinking. x86 is now ancient, and unless things have changed a lot in the last few years, tend to be pretty power hungry.

They're power-hungry in comparison to lower-end ARM - a Cortex-A9 is far more efficient. However, they also perform circles around them. But the latest Atom tablet chips are neck-and-neck with similar Cortex-A15 chips (both in performance and in battery life), and the Core ones get a usable battery life while being more powerful than many laptops. In terms of performance-per-watt they're effectively the same.

Oddly, Intel's biggest tablet success was the Surface Pro - while it tanked as a general tablet, it found a niche among artists, who liked its full Wacom hardware and compatibility with Photoshop. I can see Intel having a future in high-end tablets because right now, they're the only ones who can do it - even Apple isn't able to match that much power, yet, and none of the Android chips are even close.

Comment: Re:OpenSSL OR... (Score 1) 286

by gman003 (#46759485) Attached to: OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

OpenBSD tries extremely hard to make the entire system BSD-licensed. AFAIK the only non-BSD items in a default installation is GCC, and that is an optional-but-default item. There are a few optional, not-compiled-by-default and rarely-used kernel modules that are GPL (an FPU emulator for very early x86 systems is the only one I recall), and of course you can install non-BSD packages as you wish, but the base OS and all components are BSD-licensed.

GnuTLS, naturally, uses the LGPL, which is probably why they went with OpenSSL (BSD-licensed) in the first place.

Comment: Re:Backport\Upstream? Seems unlikely (Score 3, Insightful) 286

by gman003 (#46758403) Attached to: OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

It's a fork specifically for OpenBSD. Why would they keep support for other OSes?

I agree that if they were trying to create a general replacement fork of OpenSSL, that those would be bad things, but for what they're trying to do, these are good decisions. They're trying to improve OpenBSD's security - OpenSSL is a big attack surface, and they're trying to make it smaller by removing the things they don't need.

This will complicate things both ways, going forward. Updates to OpenSSL might be harder to integrate with OpenBSD's fork (if it becomes an actual independent product, can we call it OpenOpenSSL? Or Open^2SSL?), if it touches upon the altered parts. Likewise, anyone trying to merge an Open^2SSL fix into OpenSSL might have difficulty. I expect that if OpenBSD's fork of OpenSSL becomes a separate project, one or the other will die off, simply due to all that duplicated effort.

What I expect to happen in that case is that Open^2SSH will maintain compatibility with all the platforms OpenSSH or OpenSMTPD (which are OpenBSD projects) support - pretty much any Unix-like environment, including Linux, BSD, OS X, Cygwin, and most proprietary Unices. If there's enough desire for support for other platforms, a second fork might happen to maintain them, but I honestly doubt it (Mac OS 9? Really?).

Comment: Re:Specialization is for insects (Score 1) 728

by gman003 (#46737393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

I'm pleasantly surprised to say that I've done all of those except dying gallantly (for obvious reasons).

I was not particularly good at any of them save the programming and the equation-solving (my attempts to "cook a tasty meal" still fail as often as not when trying something new). And my invasion plans (as well as combat skills) are limited to simulations - "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and five iterations of "Civilization" for the strategy; paintball, HEMA and boxing for the combat skills.

Comment: Re:Fork it. (Score 1) 149

by gman003 (#46729911) Attached to: NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

What OpenSSL needs is multiple independant line by line code audits of the paid variety, by teams of competent people. It may be an open source piece of software, but considering the countless billions of dollars at stake, there shouldn't be any fucking issue finding the money to make this shit happen.

What major corporations use SSL? Cisco? IBM? Anybody else like that? We could probably get them to foot most of the bill.

Comment: Re:Temporary workaround (Score 1) 152

by gman003 (#46720603) Attached to: Google Chrome Flaw Sets Your PC's Mic Live

...but I challenge anyone who isn't a linguist to read and even vaguely comprehend the Navajo language Wikipedia article. :/

Challenge accepted - I'm not a professional linguist, nor do I have even an iota of formal training in the field, but I read most of that just fine, only having to look up "head-marking language". Just don't ask me how to pronounce the ejective consonants... I still can't figure that out. The written language certainly looks complex and intimidating, but that's at least partly because they're using a slightly-modified Latin alphabet rather than one that was designed purely for the needs of their language, making it less efficient.

It actually isn't too weird of a language, from the looks of it. A lot more precise than Romance languages, and the verb construction is complex, but there are no linguistic concepts in Navajo that I haven't seen elsewhere - even the stuff like a fourth-person verb tense or deverbal nouns. The vocabulary is completely unfamiliar, of course - they don't even seem to have many loanwords from any language I would recognize. But that only matters if I were trying to actually understand Navajo, rather than an article about it.

Comment: Re:strange (Score 5, Informative) 99

by gman003 (#46707373) Attached to: LHCb Confirms Existence of Exotic Hadrons

It *is* made up of quarks - a charm quark, an anti-charm quark, down quark, and anti-up quark. The interesting thing is that this is a pairing never before seen - all previous hadrons were either two quarks (quark + antiquark of same color) or three quarks (three quarks or antiquarks, all of different colors). Two quarks and two antiquarks has been postulated but never observed, until now.

Comment: A few Humble Bundles (Score 1) 240

by gman003 (#46696725) Attached to: How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Several Humble Bundles included Android versions of the games, alongside the PC versions that I actually played. My phone, being an ancient piece of junk by Android standards (Motorola Droid 1, woo!), can't really run most of them, but I have a couple installed. Even counting them all purely as Android purchases, though, I don't think I've spent more than $10 a year.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.