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Comment Is the news cycle the only explanation? (Score 2) 120

Or are there other interpretations that explain why it *seems* bad?

Enduring and worsening (I don't know about the worsening part) income inequality, with automation and globalization likely to make income inequality even worse, and automation predicated by many to lead to widespread under/unemployment?

The environment getting much worse -- mass deforestation, global warming, declining fresh water supplies, much of it abetted by ever-spiraling population growth?

While it's true we don't actually worry about a US/Soviet nuclear exchange every day, the number of states with nuclear weapons has increased and the newer states that have them or are working on having them are less stable or have chaotic or messianic motivations.

The nature of some of our conflicts seems more intractable due to the lack of state actors involved and in some cases leaving states that are marginally viable or stateless altogether (Libya, parts of subsaharan Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria).

It seems too simple to just dismiss a sense of pessamism as human nature and media styles.

Comment Re:How do they measure the dosing? (Score 1) 412

Because a "tab" is a known quantity?

Back in the day you kept track of the picture on the blotter because experience suggested that it might take 3 hits of "globe" to get the job done but if it was "orange sunshine" you really only needed one. And that windowpane? You either got nothing or you lost track of the next 36 hours completely.

Fixed dilution makes sense if you know what you're starting with, but my experience was you didn't really until you had sampled the batch a few times to figure it out.

I read of guys into powdered drugs with good lab skills who test and refine everything they buy so they can get the dose right, but that's almost practical with stuff dosed in the 10-20 mg range. At the microgram range? You'd need a decent starting quantity and a mass spectrometer.

Comment Re:Keto (Score 1) 149

It would be nice to have a low carb replacement for flour that would provide a convincing replacement for bread, chips and pasta. You can kind of do some stuff with almond flour, but I haven't always been impressed with it.

I'd like to see something more interesting done with pork rinds, even. They're not a bad replacment for crunchy chips, but it seems like the only kind you can find are really bad BBQ or "spicy" flavors. It would be nice to have some kind of yellow corn or neutral flavorings that could be used with guacamole or salsa. I stumbled across a decent nacho cheese flavor on a trip -- you can order them online, but there's like a 2 case minimum and that's a lot of commitment.

Comment What happened to Pascal, anyway? (Score 1) 130

I remember in the 1980s it seemed like kind of a big deal, an "advanced" programming language that required a compiler and a more real computer than an Apple ][ (although, yes, there was a Pascal system for the ][, IIRC it was worthless without two disk drives and really not an ideal platform). I knew people writing commercial software in Pascal. They taught it when I was in college. I think "Inside Macintosh" Vols. 1-3 that documented the Macintosh used Pascal.

It was kind of everywhere, and then it wasn't. What happened to it? Was it not really meant to be a "practical" language and meant to be kind of an advanced educational language? Did the growth of Unix-like systems on x86 push everyone into C? Did stuff like the availability of maybe Visual Basic or something grab the users who would have used Pascal?

Circa 1986 or so, you wouldn't have thought "kind of a dead language, nobody uses it for anything anymore" and you wouldn't have thought it would get that way any time soon.

Comment Re:he should know better (Score 3, Insightful) 297

It is incredible how many people bring "free speech!" up in conversation where it is not warranted.

It's actually more incredible how many people think that freedom of speech is only a concept in relation to governmental restrictions on communication.

Obviously private party restrictions on speech aren't a violation of 1st Amendment rights, but it should be more than obvious that freedom of speech can be threatened by private restrictions on speech by refusing access to media, venues or physical places which are commonly accepted as public spaces.

Comment Re:Education (Score 1) 491

I think part of it is a mindset that every problem has a solution, and that existing problems remain problems only because whoever gets to decide doesn't like the solution.

I'm sure everyone in IT has been at the point where euphemistically the solution to a problem is just to nuke the old system and start over because the problems in the old system are so complex and intractable that fixing it isn't practical on any timescale and replacing it is more time efficient.

I think applying that kind of thinking to political and social problems is probably a very easy step for a lot of people to make.

I also think that engineers are prone to thinking of "correct" and "incorrect" answers -- I've known plenty of IT people who once they latch onto "the correct" answer can't see any other solution -- even ones that solve the same problem -- as correct. There's one right answer. 1 + 1 = 2 and everything else is *wrong*.

Submission + - Will you be able to run a modern desktop environment in 2016 without systemd?

yeupou writes: Early this year, David Edmundson from KDE, concluded that "In many cases [systemd] allows us to throw away large amounts of code whilst at the same time providing a better user experience. Adding it [systemd] as an optional extra defeats the main benefit". A perfectly sensible explanation. But, then, one might wonder to which point KDE would remain usable without systemd?

Recently, on one Devuan box, I noticed that KDE power management (Powerdevil) no longer supported suspend and hibernate. Since pm-utils was still there, for a while, I resorted to call pm-suspend directly, hoping it would get fixed at some point. But it did not. So I wrote a report myself. I was not expecting much. But neither was I expecting it to be immediately marked as RESOLVED and DOWNSTREAM, with a comment accusing the "Debian fork" I'm using to "ripe out" systemd without "coming with any of the supported solutions Plasma provides". I searched beforehand about the issue so I knew that the problem also occurred on some other Debian-based systems and that the bug seemed entirely tied to upower, an upstream software used by Powerdevil. So if anything, at least this bug should have been marked as UPSTREAM.

While no one dares (yet) to claim to write software only for systemd based operating system, it is obvious that it is now getting quite hard to get support otherwise. At the same time, bricks that worked for years without now just get ruined, since, as pointed out by Edmunson, adding systemd as "optional extra defeats its main benefit". So, is it likely that we'll still have in 2016 a modern desktop environment, without recent regressions, running without systemd?

Comment Re: Camo Dude (Score 1) 256

With this guys luck (Blair) he'd probably send his money to some guy who worked the hackers and then have them not only keep his money but turn around and turn him into the authorities in the US. They might be incapable of helping him with his families online based troubles but they'll know exactly what to do with an international murder-for-hire. This is name change/go offline for a decade time not make things worse by trying something stupid time.

Comment flawed "research" (Score 5, Insightful) 199

30 mA will light most modern LEDs screaming bright. Or very bright, at least.

Deciding that the camera is not uploading images to the cloud based on power consumption is like deciding that water is wet by looking at clouds... I did not see any mention of ethernet packet capture in TFA. You want to see if the thing is uploading? show me some captured packets.

The argument is specious at best. It is a wireless camera, administered over an internet connection. In "power down" mode it still needs a way to be powered back on -- so it needs to keep its microprocessor and wifi radio on.

The researcher says that power down mode should reduce current by 10-100 times. Let's see. 1/10 of the 322 mA cited for 360p "video record -- no motion" would be 32 mA. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say you cannot run a microprocessor and wifi radio at that power level. And the 1/100th? 3.2 mA? NFW.

TFA is a troll, perhaps by a shill. it is a crock of shit, and it stinks.

Comment Re:Why would Disney do this? (Score 2) 262

You've never been to Disneyworld, have you?

The entire fucking place is one giant network, down to the RF wristbands ("magicbands") used by guests to do everything from unlocking their rooms, paying tabs everywhere throughout the entire resort, getting on rides, entering the parks, everything.

And let's not forget that pretty much every ride and attraction runs or is directly dependent on computers. It's like Steam, but connected to animatronics.

Disneyworld is the most IT-driven place I've ever been to.

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.