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Comment: Re:Yes, but.... (Score 1) 257

by Frobnicator (#49350203) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

8 character limits were common up until a few years ago. Today I still see 16 (and 15 because of broken front ends) effective limits. 32 seems to be the most common.

I still see them far too often. My normal password patterns are different than the ones presented but still several words long. Many places requiring accounts still greet me with "Password must be between 6-8 characters, and must contain at least one uppercase letter, lowercase letter, number, and symbol."

I also too-frequently get "Passwords must not contain a space". It prevents me from entering my password of "correct horse battery staple", which is really annoying.

Comment: Re:We should lobby to break the cable companies (Score 2) 535

in Britain, our telecoms monopoly (BT) is obliged to provide service for a standard connection fee.

Yes, that's the UK, where even farmland has a dense population.

Consider locations in the US like Wyoming (253,348 square km) compared to the entire UK (243,610 square km) but with a population of 584,153 compared to the UK's 64.1 million. Or states like Alaska, North and South Dakota, and Montana.

Wyoming is such a good comparison because the land mass is similar to the UK. Remove EVERYONE from the entire UK except the people of Cornwall, allow those in Cornwall to spread far and wide, wherever they want anywhere on the isles, and then hook them up with new infrastructure regardless of location. That's about how sparse one of the least populated states is.

Most Europeans fail to understand just how sparse the US really is. While the US is nowhere near as sparse as Australia or parts of Africa, except for a few cities most of the US is quite sparse. I've talked with quite a few people traveling from Europe who flew into Las Vegas and traveled to the Grand Canyon. It is a four hour drive -- 120 miles -- of desert, cactus, and sagebrush that most European visitors were shocked could even exist. Where are the people? How could there be so much empty space? Who owns the land? Google finds some images for comparison: Here is Alaska (the largest state) overlaid over Europe. Another, the lower 48 states overlaid over Europe. The trip from Lisbon to Copenhagen is just a portion of historic Route 66, and is less than half the distance of the country.

In these US states hooking up a single remote dwelling might mean deploying many miles, thirty miles, fifty miles, or even more, to reach the single dwelling. Nobody, not even the federal government, is going to mandate that kind of deployment for £130.

Comment: I'll join the chorus: Mac. (Score 1) 385

by aussersterne (#49289585) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

Get a nicely configured MBP and be done with it.

It's the most common platform in research and academic settings for individual use these days, which means that there is a social dimension to the available support (i.e. people around you can help with problems). Meanwhile, the platform is narrow enough and the OS and hardware tightly bound together enough that one-off bugs and edge cases are exceedingly rare (which is not the case for Linux).

And Apple has very reasonable quality control in both hardware and software.

Having done a Ph.D. and dealt with the pressures and complexities that come therewith, I'd say that the overriding concerns should be reducing the PITA factor, keeping downtimes short, eliminating unexpected behavior and gotchas to whatever extent possible, and buying in to the largest on-the-ground support network (i.e. installed customer base) that you can find with identical hardware/software.

All of these things point to Mac for academic research settings.

Comment: You're right and wrong. (Score 2) 320

You're absolutely right about incentives and grant money.

How you tied this to the Nobel Prize is beyond me, so let's drop that.

The incentives are all about grant money and outside (the campus) capital. As a result, the science takes a back seat to market economics, market-ing (both of corporate partners and of academic institutions themselves, which increasingly operate in a competitive marketplace for enrollments), management concerns, investors, etc.

This incentive structure is increasingly becoming the norm well beyond U.S. shores.

So the problem isn't that science is increasingly wrong, it's that scientists are increasingly doing labor that may *involve* science, but that is in fact product-oriented R&D driven by short-term investment timelines and economic and investor-friendly optics, and whether any of it is good *science* is secondary or tertiary to whether it's profitable, whether directly or indirectly.

Let the scientists go back to doing science first and money-making (whether to support their own tenure lines or to support corporate profits) second or even better, third, fourth, or fifth, and you'll find that the ship rights itself.

Comment: Look at Panasonic's tablet (Score 1) 450

by Ed Avis (#49231947) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch
The real competition (in features, that is, not price) for an Apple tablet would be the Panasonic Toughpad 4k, a monster 20-inch tablet with 3840x2560 resolution (that is, 4:3 aspect ratio). It's a beautiful piece of kit but hugely expensive. Apple could put the same panel in a 20 inch "iPad Pro" or "MacPad" and if priced more keenly it could sell well among those doing graphics work who want something more portable than a desktop.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 1, Informative) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230369) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

Hi AC,

This is sort of self-contradictory, so I don't really need to respond to it directly. I just want to point one thing out. I can't afford to work for any company as less than a C-level employee. It would be a salary cut from my current business.

Not to mention that I'd not like it.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 2, Insightful) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230275) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

I can't say I'm happy about what's happened to Debian. Having Ubuntu as a commercial derivative really has been the kiss of death for it, not that there were not other problems. It strikes me that the kernel team has done better for its lack of a constitution and elections, and Linus' ability to tell someone to screw off. I even got to tell him to screw off when he was dumping on 'Tridge over Bitkeeper. Somehow, that stuff works.

IMO, don't create a happy inclusive project team full of respect for each other. Hand-pick the geniuses and let them fight. You get better code in the end.

This actually has something to do with why so many people hate Systemd. It turns out that Systemd is professional-quality work done by competent salaried engineers. Our problem with it is that we're used to beautiful code made by geniuses. Going all of the way back to DMR.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 1) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230079) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

It really does look like Jomo did post this article, and it refers to another article of his.

What isn't to like about Ubuntu is that it's a commercial project with a significant unpaid staff. Once in a while I make a point of telling the unpaid staff that there really are better ways that they could be helping Free Software.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 4, Interesting) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49229989) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

It's just that I object folks who would be good community contributors being lured into being unpaid employees instead.

Say how do feel about idiots working for corporations contractually enmeshed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex. Why no spittle-laced hate for them?

The GNU Radio project was funded in part by a United States intelligence agency. They paid good money and the result is under GPL. What's not to like?

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?