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Comment: Re:What is systemd exactly? (Score 2) 765

by hawkeey (#49197761) Attached to: Ubuntu To Officially Switch To systemd Next Monday

It depends how well you know Windows or Mac OS X.

systemd is roughly equivalent to Window's svchost / Services [1] or Mac OS X's launchd [2]. Maybe if you remember DOS, it's kind of like autoexec.bat / config.sys (shudder). systemd is meant to replace the init system in Linux.

Right after your computer boots and loads the hardware interface (the kernel), systemd or init is the first program that starts that is meant to start all the other programs. Traditional UNIX philosophy is to keep things extremely modular and simple. Each piece of software should do a single job and do it well. Furthermore, it should easily work with other modular programs. The controversy is that systemd has a tendency to expand in scope. While it has various subsystems and modules internally, it is trying to do "everything".

The motivation for systemd is that modern systems have many services which need to interoperate, particularly at boot time. The old init system would start each service sequentially, one right after another. Modern systems now have multiple-cores and it would be advantageous in time to start services in parallel to take advantage of multiprocessor systems. In order to do this, there is a dependency graph problem where you have figure out which processes can start in parallel and which one depends on the others. For example, before you start a web server, you probably want to make sure that that the Internet connection is up. This problem has been solved and part of the solution was retrofitted onto init. Systemd, however, also wants to supervise services as they are running and possibly respond to events. These features are more important to laptops which boot frequently and change environment. Servers, however, boot infrequently and exist in relatively static environments where the additional complexity of systemd might cause an issue.

Windows and Mac OS X have embraced solutions similar to systemd earlier to take advantage of tighter integration and also partly due to development being centralized. Linux development is more distributed and many would prefer it to be more modular and simple. The fight over systemd is a philosophical debate about whether the core services in Linux should be centralized and integrated or highly modular and simple.

The dichotomy is false, however, as what is really needed is specialized configurations for different situations. What people are squabbling over is whether generalized solutions should lean towards supporting their specialized application (stable servers vs flexible laptops). The distributions which package software have been leaning towards systemd to support both, but those interested in servers see little advantage, greater complexity, and more security issues in systemd than in the previous init system.

In summary, systemd is a replacement for the first process that starts in Linux that is supposed to provide core services. At the cost of simplicity, systemd integrates many services internally. The disagreements over this are philosophical and are about people fighting over the direction of generalized solutions rather than working towards optimal solutions for their specific needs.


Comment: Scientific Proof (Score 1) 497

by hawkeey (#46435373) Attached to: Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

It is really not possible to prove hypotheses in science. We can only disprove hypotheses, and "proof" only occurs when all other current hypotheses are eliminated except for one.

We can also create models, often with mathematics, that are just another form of hypotheses. So being "settled" is only a transient state until someone else proposes a consistent model with the evidence.

As such, we must embrace "deniers" that challenge the standing hypotheses and ask them to propose their own testable hypotheses.

Religion is often another hypothesis, but it is often not one that cannot one that can be scientifically disproved. An all powerful deity can alter our reality to erase or manipulate evidence.

If we disallow standing hypotheses to be challenged, then Science becomes an institutional religion. True science must always allow hypotheses to be constantly challenged by well formed alternate hypotheses.

Comment: US Hegemony (Score 2) 148

by hawkeey (#45662783) Attached to: Program to Use Russian Nukes for US Electricity Comes to an End

While some people complain about the geopolitical status of the United States, it has to remembered that the US emerged from isolationism outside the Western hemisphere only after the second World War. Sure there was some involvement after the Spanish-American war and the first World War, but current state of affairs was created by the actions of countries around the world. If there is anything especially exceptional about the United States, it is that it is a large political conglomerate that continuously assimilates immigrants.

Cooperation between nuclear powers can only benefit humanity as a whole. A system of friendly competition and cooperation between countries than the wanton destructiveness of general war.

Comment: Reagan created universal healthcare (Score 1) 499

by hawkeey (#45401967) Attached to: How 3 Young Coders Built a Better Portal To

OK, technically Congress under the Reagan administration created universal healthcare by passing EMTALA requiring almost all hospitals to provide treatment regardless of the ability to pay:

The ACA or ObamaCare tries to shift the financial burden back to the individual rather than continuing an unfunded mandate. Don't like it? Pay the $95 or 1% tax.

In summary, Congress under Reagan created universal healthcare. Congress under Obama came up with an effective tax incentive to fund it.

This appearance of this website along with existing health insurance brokers seems to make make the individual healthcare insurance much more transparent. ACA or not, that is a good development.

Comment: Costs and Appstore/Package management (Score 1) 1215

by hawkeey (#43950859) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

I recently assembled a computer around a used motherboard I found at Goodwill with the intention of swapping it out for a better motherboard in 12 - 24 months. The cost of trying to legally license a new copy of Windows (>$100) encouraged me to install Ubuntu first and see how far I could get. The first challenge was trying to get Eve Online to work. After that, LibreOffice and Firefox/Chrome took care of most of my other needs. Eventually, Gimp and Inkscape satisfied the need for graphics creation. Ubuntu took some elbow grease in the beginning to get it to work with my graphics card. After that it has very smoothly scaled with my professional and gaming needs with the large number of ready to use applications.

The cost of Windows was particularly high because I would need to obtain a full version (>$200) rather than a systems builder version since I intended to upgrade the core of my system in a few years. Since Windows was particularly costly for system migration, it just didn't make sense. Windows only begins to make sense for OEM appliances where it's cost is greatly discounted. Installing and updating software on Windows is also a huge pain.

Comment: Watermark and Object Protection (Score 1) 183

by hawkeey (#41318921) Attached to: Intel Demos McAfee Social Protection

It appears to watermark images and use some kind of applet (like Java or Flash?) to block simple screenshots. You need the addon to view the photos I believe. Of course an actual screenshot with a camera would defeat it, but there is obvious quality loss there.

It seems to me that noscript or turning JavaScript off might prevent you from seeing the image all together.

Comment: Re:You get what you pay for (Score 2) 168

by hawkeey (#41273391) Attached to: Internet Brands Sues People For Forking Under CC BY-SA

That is not quite it. To extend your analogy to Leveraged Buy Out, what they did first is first borrow $25 in the name of the lawnmower from the neighbor. When selling the lawnmower, they then told the neighbor that the new owner is the one that owes the $25 that YOU borrowed.

This would be all great if it was summer and the owner could mow lawns in the neighborhood, but now it's getting into the winter and the new owner is going to have to wait six months before they make any money back. Then it turns out that the neighbor wants their $25 back now but the new owner does not have the cash. So instead the neighbor says that they'll just take the lawnmower.

The former owner that you sold it to for $75 is now out $75 and does not have a lawnmower. Now imagine that all the gears and parts of that lawnmower are people. The neighbor that lent the money decides that they don't really need a lawnmower and decide that only the motor is valuable and can quickly recoup the the $25 loan. They throw away all the other parts (fire the people) and sell the motor.

You (Bain Capital) are $75 richer
Initial Buyer (Small investors): $75 and no lawnmower.
Neighbor (lender): Recouped initial $25 loan and maybe some.
Lawn mower parts (employees): Without a purpose (job)

You see this is not just venture capitalism where you are taking a risk with your own money. In this case, you are not even using a lot of your own money or taking any kind of significant risk in doing so. The main capital at risk is equity in the company that you borrowed against in order to buy it. If you did not saddle the company with so much debt, it would not be so bad. At least you have some more time until your creditors come after you. Now sure people should not have put more investment into the company knowing that it had substantial liabilities, but a lot of time this is not very obvious due to how they structure the debt.

If you don't have time to do it right, where are you going to find the time to do it over?