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Comment: Re: Ummmm.... (Score 1) 318

by valmont (#49085393) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare
Agreed. What gets forgotten in the debate is that Java is a reference implementation of all true OOP constructs: Interface Abstract Class Class Which when applied judiciously, allow u to do things like inversion of control, dependency injection and test driven development in a strongly-typed environment, and this strongly-typed nature, when properly embraced, makes it easier to write software which you can refactor as often as you desire with orders of magnitude less risk than with "fsck-all-typed" languages like ruby or JavaScript. So, if your application does little more than pushing data into and reading data from some storage engine, then okay, JavaScript is an okay choice. If your application is growing into having significant business logic, then JavaScript will turn into thousands of lines of spaghetti untraceable closure hell , whereby each refactoring attempt will almost certainly have catastrophic consequences in production down some obscure execution path in some anonymous callback function you couldn't be bothered unit testing because how the fsck do you write a unit test against that anonymous function? There's not a concept of a Class in JavaScript. Sure you can mimmick inheritance patterns with prototypes with albeit some unintended consequences (hasOwnProperry) and encapsulated properties by having your closures reference variables from their enclosing context etc, but those techniques are what i call "expressively contrived" Strongly-typed OOP languages have very-well established tried and true patterns for writing test-driven code Ruby while not strongly typed, at least has a concept of Class/methods/inheritance/polymorphism . Problem with Ruby is as i am writing things TDD in it, the first half of my tests are there to ensure that my methods behave correctly when i pass them arguments of the wrong types, and my methods are littered with lines of code ensuring that my arguments have the expected properties. Totally retarded. And Ruby doesn't know anything about an Interface, but that's okay because it's got "fsck-all-typing" so it's not like you would even try to enforce modicums of contracts. Anyway, as applications grow in complexity, building things TDD in strongly-typed OOP languages leads to more fun, and frequent refactoring which makes ur code more stable instead of more brittle. I've written a crap ton of JS code. Java code too. And PHP. And a minimal amount of Ruby: I've appreciated their strengths. And drawbacks. Feel free to learn the same thing I have the hard way: this panacea mentality to stacks is just one big circle jerk. If you think JS, in its current form, is the only true way to build web applications, then by all means, keep that head firmly planted in the sand while the rest of the World out innovates you with a blend of languages and platforms best-suited for their use-cases.

Comment: "Which gets me to thinking..." (Score 1) 690

by Zhe Mappel (#49014479) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

Which gets me to thinking: with free electricity, wouldn't that be a great business opportunity, to build a cloud of servers in poorer Greeks' basements? Maybe that is the real plan behind the free electricity idea.

Hyuk-yuk.

It's not "thinking," you tone-deaf dolt, to joke about a nation that's suffering a severe depression. Your crack has the moral value of someone saying, "Say, 9-10 would have been a great day to short the airplane industry, har-de-har!"

It's simply you hanging your autism out before the entire board.

Comment: Re:here's an idea (Score 2) 57

by pen (#48995953) Attached to: With Insider Help, ID Theft Ring Stole $700,000 In Apple Gift Cards
Here's another idea:

Apple products can be deactivated remotely, even laptops.

Each device has a serial number that can be linked to the gift cards which can be linked to the stolen credit cards.

Do a little bit or leg work, deactivate the illegally obtained devices. Even if you don't nab the thieves, you make this scheme way less profitable.

Comment: Congress'l approval rating near all-time low (Score 1) 667

by Zhe Mappel (#48872617) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

A reminder: sensible men and women have already voted on the merits of Congress.

As Gallup confirmed once more in its December 14 poll, Americans agree on at least one thing in our most divided land. We're led by idiots, chiselers, maniacs and fools:

Americans' job approval rating for Congress averaged 15% in 2014, close to the record-low yearly average of 14% found last year. The highest yearly average was measured in 2001, at 56%. Yearly averages haven't exceeded 20% in the past five years, as well as in six of the past seven years.

+ - Book Review: "FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials", by Michael W. Lucas-> 1

Submitted by Saint Aardvark
Saint Aardvark (159009) writes "(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review. Disclaimer to the disclaimer: I would gladly have paid for it anyway.)

If, like me, you administer FreeBSD systems, you know that (like Linux) there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to filesystems. GEOM, UFS, soft updates, encryption, disklabels — there is a *lot* going on here. And if, like me, you're coming from the Linux world your experience won't be directly applicable, and you'll be scaling Mount Learning Curve. Even if you *are* familiar with the BSDs, there is a lot to take in. Where do you start?

You start here, with Michael W. Lucas' latest book, "FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials". You've heard his name before; he's written "Sudo Mastery" (which I reviewed previously), along with books on PGP/GnuPGP, Cisco Routers and OpenBSD. This book clocks in at 204 pages of goodness, and it's an excellent introduction to managing storage on FreeBSD. From filesystem choice to partition layout to disk encryption, with sidelong glances at ZFS along the way, he does his usual excellent job of laying out the details you need to know without every veering into dry or boring.

Do you need to know about GEOM? It's in here: Lucas takes your from "What *is* GEOM, anyway?" (answer: FreeBSD's system of layers for filesytem management) through "How do I set up RAID 10?" through "Here's how to configure things to solve that weird edge-case." Still trying to figure out GUID partitions? I sure as hell was...and then I read Chapter Two. Do you remember disklabels fondly, and wonder whatever happened to them? They're still around, but mainly on embedded systems that still use MBR partitions — so grab this book if you need to deal with them.

The discussion of SMART disk monitoring is one of the best introductions to this subject I've ever read, and should serve *any* sysadmin well, no matter what OS they're dealing with; I plan on keeping it around for reference until we no longer use hard drives. RAID is covered, of course, but so are more complex setups — as well as UFS recovery and repair for when you run into trouble.

Disk encryption gets three chapters (!) full of details on the two methods in FreeBSD, GBDE and GELI. But just as important, Lucas outlines why disk encryption might *not* be the right choice: recovering data can be difficult or impossible, it might get you unwanted attention from adversaries, and it will *not* protect you against, say, an adversary who can put a keylogger on your laptop. If it still make sense to encrypt your hard drive, you'll have the knowledge you need to do the job right.

I said that this covers *almost* everything you need to know, and the big omission here is ZFS. It shows up, but only occasionally and mostly in contrast to other filesystem choices. For example, there's an excellent discussion of why you might want to use FreeBSD's plain UFS filesystem instead of all-singing, all-dancing ZFS. (Answer: modest CPU or RAM, or a need to do things in ways that don't fit in with ZFS, make UFS an excellent choice.) I would have loved to see ZFS covered here — but honestly, that would be a book of its own, and I look forward to seeing one from Lucas someday; when that day comes, it will be a great companion to this book, and I'll have Christmas gifts for all my fellow sysadmins.

One big part of the appeal of this book (and Lucas' writing in general) is that he is clear about the tradeoffs that come with picking one solution over another. He shows you where the sharp edges are, and leaves you well-placed to make the final decision yourself. Whether it's GBDE versus GELI for disk encryption, or what might bite you when enabling soft updates journaling, he makes sure you know what you're getting into. He makes recommendations, but always tells you their limits.

There's also Lucas' usual mastery of writing; well-written explanations with liberal dollops of geek humour that don't distract from the knowledge he's dropping. He's clear, he's thorough, and he's interesting — and that's an amazing thing to say about a book on filesystems.

Finally, technical review was done by Poul Henning-Kamp; he's a FreeBSD developer who wrote huge parts of the GEOM and GBDE systems mentioned above. That gives me a lot of warm fuzzies about the accuracy of this book.

If you're a FreeBSD (or Linux, or Unix) sysadmin, then you need this book; it has a *lot* of hard-won knowledge, and will save your butt more than you'll be comfortable admitting. If you've read anything else by Lucas, you also know we need him writing more books. Do the right thing and buy this now."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:You Kids Get Off My Lawn (Score 4, Interesting) 294

by pen (#47936721) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance
"Natural" means "tested by hundreds of thousands of your ancestors who lived to reproduce", provided this is actually true for whatever you're eating.

"Artificial" means "some lab tech trying to feed his/her family on 50k/year synthesized it and then it passed FDA testing without killing anyone or making them sick right away"

Comment: Correct link for buying the book (Score 4, Informative) 83

by Saint Aardvark (#46326797) Attached to: Book Review: Sudo Mastery: User Access Control For Real People

Hi all -- I submitted this review, but it looks like something ate the link for the book. Here's where to buy it:

I believe the Amazon link gives the author a few more shekels, but he makes the most money from the first link; details from his website's page on this book.

+ - Book Review: "Sudo Mastery: User Access Control for Real People"->

Submitted by Saint Aardvark
Saint Aardvark (159009) writes "Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book because I was a technical reviewer for it. Disclaimer to the disclaimer: I totally would have paid for this book anyway. Final disclaimer: a shorter version of this review appeared on Amazon.com.

If you're a Unix or Linux sysadmin, you know sudo: it's that command that lets you run single commands as root from your own account, rather than logging in as root. And if you're like me, here's what you know about configuring sudo:
  1. Run sudoedit and uncomment the line that says "%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL".
  2. Make sure you're in the wheel group.
  3. Profit!

Okay, so you can now run any command as root. Awesome! But not everyone is as careful as you are (or at least, as you like to think you are). If you're a sysadmin, you need to stop people from shooting themselves in the foot. (Might also want to stop yourself from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.) There should be some way of restricting use, right? Just gotta check out the man page.... And that's where I stopped, every time. I've yet to truly understand Extended Backus-Naur Form (sue me), and my eyes would glaze over. And so I'd go back to putting some small number of people in the "wheel" group, and letting them run sudo, and cleaning up the occasional mess afterward.

Fortunately, Michael W. Lucas has written "Sudo Mastery: User Access Control for Real People". If his name sounds familiar, there's a reason for that: he's been cranking out excellent technical books for a long time, on everything from FreeBSD to Cisco routers to DNSSEC. He just, like, does this: he takes deep, involved subjects that you don't even know you need to know more about, and he makes them understandable. It's a good trick, and we're lucky he's turned his attention to sudo.

The book clocks in at 144 pages (print version), and it's packed with information from start to finish. Lucas starts with the why and how of sudo, explaining why you need to know it and how sudo protects you. He moves on to the syntax; it's kind of a bear at first, but Chapter 2, "sudo and sudoers", takes care of that nicely. Have you locked yourself out of sudo with a poor edit? I have; I've even managed to do it on many machines, all at once, by distributing that edit with CFEngine. Lucas covers this in Chapter 3, "Editing and Testing Sudoers", a chapter that would have saved my butt. By the time you've added a few entries, you're probably ready for Chapter 4, "Lists and Aliases".

sudo has lots of ways to avoid repeating yourself, and I picked up a few tricks from this chapter I didn't know about — including that sudo can run commands as users other than root. Need to restart Tomcat as the tomcat user? There's a sudoers line for that. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know this.

There is a lot more in this book, too. You can override sudo defaults for different commands or users (you can change the lecture text; maybe sometimes there *is* a technical solution for a social problem...). You can stuff sudo directives into LDAP and stop copying files around. You can edit files with sudoedit. You can record people's sudo commands, and play them back using sudoreplay. The list goes on.

Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It is. But the book flies by, because Lucas is a good writer: he packs a lot of information into the pages while remaining engaging and funny. The anecdotes are informative, the banter is witty, and there's no dry or boring to be found anywhere.

Shortcomings: Maybe you don't like humour in your tech books; if so, you could pass this up, but man, you'd be missing out. There wasn't an index in the EPUB version I got, which I always miss. Other than that: I'm mad Lucas didn't write this book ten years ago.

Score: 10 out of 10. If you're a Linux or Unix sysadmin, you need this book; it's just that simple.

Where to buy:

  • You can buy the ebook version from Lucas himself.
  • You can also buy the ebook or a dead-tree version from Amazon.com.
"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Thing is (Score 1) 146

by Zhe Mappel (#46258523) Attached to: John Carmack Left id Software Because He Couldn't Do VR Work There

Very good points.

I notice you don't mention Willits in your pantheon of id talents. Wisely, I'd say. His design stewardship of Rage -- and its resulting perfect banality -- was as much a lodestone around its neck as was one more advanced yet performance-lacking Carmack technology. Put together, the mixture was lethal.

There was an id fantasy game in the works, briefly, a decade or more ago; it was killed off in favor of another FPS retread. I wonder what might have been if a) the faction that wanted to keep cloning Doom and Quake hadn't won or, alternatively b) instead of id consistently shedding its most notable design talents leaving Carmack surrounded with people content to recycle the past, he had struck out on his own with a new group of talent and created something original.

Comment: Edward Snowdenhands (Score 1) 822

by Zhe Mappel (#46088755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

My advice to brave Edward: you already know the ugliness of the machine, so why bargain with the ghost inside?

The impossibility of a corrupt system according justice to its whistleblowers is a good reason for Edward to remain in Russia. Moreover, he should know, and will know based on poll data, that his sacrifice is scarcely appreciated by our society of sheep, anyway.

You've done your share. You've paid your price in loss of home and comfort. F--- Washington; construct a life out of all the many rich possibilities that have nothing to do with this declining empire and its sordid leaders.

Comment: Re:A lot worse than it seems (Score 2) 544

by Zhe Mappel (#46088733) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

Do you want to know what brings about the biblical apocalypse? Ignorance of the natural world in which we live. Buckle your seatbelts, because the ignorant are starting to drive this bus we call civilization, and the last stop is not utopia.

I hate religion as much as the next godless heathen, but really now.

Surely you don't think climate change is a direct result of belief? At worst, fantasies about the afterlife can make the world appear more disposable to the god-bothered, but I don't think it's churchy mumbo-jumbo that drives hyper-capitalism.

Something else has led the west to overproduce, overconsume, overbear and overlord. And the causes and reasons are rather more prosaic than heavenly.

Comment: Re:Land of the dumb, home of the uninformed (Score 1) 544

by Zhe Mappel (#46088699) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

Unfortunately, the US's first major "nation building" failure might be said to have occurred after the civil war... We defeated the insurgency; but never really managed to rebuild a functional society in the southern provinces. If subsequent events are any guide, we may just suck at dealing with religious zealots with shitty human rights records.

Oh, come.

Surely any society that can produce John Carmack can't be all bad.

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