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Comment: Re:this is great news! (Score 1) 77

by swb (#47514373) Attached to: Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

I own two Panasonic blu-ray players and they have all been terribly slow at everything, from loading discs to using the "smart" features like Amazon and Netflix. One of the Panasonics quite regularly requires me to cut the power to it and cold start it to either watch Internet content ("NO NETWORK") or to watch a movie (hang up with a "Loading.." graphic).

The Amazon interface on them also seems stuck in the stone age -- you can browse titles or search, but the 'modern' Amazon interface found in Sonys or the iOS apps isn't there so the Watch List isn't available.

HBO discs are the worst with these units due to their bloated menu/multimedia content. I just reflexively cold start my player before trying to watch an HBO disc.

Comment: Re:Breaking news (Score 1) 530

by swb (#47510349) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

"Ownership of the means of production" is just a high-falutin' Marxist way of saying property rights. If I'm some peasant in a feudal society, the "means of production" boils down to my hoe and the patch of dirt where I grow vegetables.

Property "rights" in feudal societies generally boils down me keeping what little I have mainly because its of so little value nobody has bothered expending any effort to take it from me, not because I manage to maintain physical possession of it. It stays in my possession not because of any rights I have, only because entropy has a tendency to keep objects at rest where they are.

The fact that my liege can take anything away from my anytime he wants to creates an uncertainty of possession and is a major disincentive to productivity -- why work beyond a subsistence level if you have no idea (or every idea) when it will be taken away from me.

Comment: Re:Breaking news (Score 1) 530

by swb (#47506475) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Usually capitalism is associated with private property which implies property rights and rights implies some kind of constitutional government which implies government rule by consent of the governed which usually implies democracy.

I think most of this is academic theory because it fails to account for consumer market economies in places like China where there are no rights per se and property ownership seems to be at the whim of the government.

Comment: Re:SCSI madness (Score 1) 183

by swb (#47499303) Attached to: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

It was and it wasn't. One or two devices on a Mac SCSI bus was pretty PnP but beyond that, especially when adding non-disk devices like scanners, the Mac SCSI bus quickly could get into voodoo territory -- devices that disappeared from the chain, drives that wouldn't mount and general unreliability.

Usually over time you could get it stable, but that often meant "over time" -- re-ordering the chain physically, numerically and swapping expensive cables in and out to try to find a stable setup.

I often wonder if the 25 pin connector, which IIRC was non-standard, didn't contribute to the problem. SCSI seemed to work better on PCs which used the standard 50 pin connector.

Comment: Not effective (Score 5, Insightful) 202

This kind of mass data collection on everyone is a huge waste of resources. The more people you add to a database, the less relevant it becomes for anything. People who know trade craft, know how to cover their tracks and pollute big data. So this is basically a giant database of amateurs, stupid crooks and ordinary civilians.

Another problem with big data are the large numbers of errors. I've run big databases where users were motivated to provide good data and there were still gaps in the data, misspelled names, numbers transposed, and some entries locked out because they were trying to enter duplicate primary keys. Travel data is coming in fast, I can't imagine what the exception reports look like every day.

Comment: What if we hadn't? (Score 1) 203

by swb (#47494349) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

I'm kind of curious what the space program would look like today if we hadn't sent people into space and had only used remote landers. About half the current Slashdot audience is critical of manned space exploration and prefers robotic exploration only. Would we be more or less down the road of space exploration if we hadn't done a manned moon mission?

It cost a lot of money to send people to the moon vs. just robotic stuff, but I wonder if there would be as much interest in it if we had never sent humans to the moon.

Comment: Re:From the "is it 2005? department" (Score 1) 160

by swb (#47493229) Attached to: Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

Yeah, but how many people were editing 4k video in 2007? I'm sure the 3 people at the time weren't worrying about scheduling their Fusion ioDrives across workloads, either, just pounding them into submission. Wider adoption usually means mixed workloads where scheduling scarce resources matters more and is more complicated.

FWIW I don't know if I agree with the article premise -- it seems like most of these resource scheduling decisions/monitoring/adjustments are being made in hypervisors now (think VMware DRS, as only one example). And a lot of storage resource allocation isn't even done at the hypervisor level, it's done in the SAN which simply allocates maximum storage bandwidth to to the host and figures out on its own which storage to use.

Comment: This illustrates my problem with creationism (Score 1) 77

by HangingChad (#47484457) Attached to: Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

Religious people claim we were designed by god That seems hard to believe when engineering improvements like this can be made so easily. Our skulls are too soft, our field of vision and range of motion is fairly limited. If the Great Engineer in the sky really did design human beings, it seems like he or she could have done a better job. We have features that give us a competitive advantage over other animals, nothing more.

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann