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Comment: Re:It Remains a Journalism Scandal. Deal With It. (Score 1) 716

by jwdb (#48339945) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

Fair enough. I actually don't tend to play the games you mentioned, so I don't run into those kind of idiots. I have however read about the experience of women on MMOs before this scandal, and it looks very similar to that recent video posted online of street harassment. More broadly I've also spoken to women in business about the discrimination they face there. There's clearly still a wider problem of sexism, as there is with racism, and people declaring victory over both are being a bit premature.

I prefer to stay out of this particular discussion, however, as it's gotten way too polarized. Gamers feel like they're being personally attacked, so they get defensive and irrational. I have no idea what's going through the activits' minds, but at this point I despair of getting a clear picture of that as well. Therefore, I'm going to wait for it to blow over and for tempers to cool, at which point I hope reason will prevail and we can start making progress again.

Nonetheless, I wish you good luck. I don't necessarily agree with how you're fighting this fight, but we do have a similar goal. Foul language aside, there's absolutely no call for the serious death threats we're seeing. They may not all be real, but conversely some of them are, and that should be taken seriously.

Comment: Re:It Remains a Journalism Scandal. Deal With It. (Score 1) 716

by jwdb (#48334827) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

Honestly, I think you know as little as I do about what's actually happening and who's acting badly. Letting media coverage, forum posts and whatnot turn you into a gamergater, a feminist, or whatever, would therefore be foolish.

I'm ignoring the whole thing for the most part, apart from a few posts like these. I'll base my opinion on what I see around me and on the people I meet, and not on an online storm in a teacup.

Comment: Re:It Remains a Journalism Scandal. Deal With It. (Score 1) 716

by jwdb (#48332909) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

The notion that these women are sending themselves or making these threats up seems a bit far-fetched to me.

See AC's post above. There's too many threats coming from anonymous jackasses who I'd like to see prosecuted, but these activists are stirring the pot as well.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanha...

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 1) 445

by jwdb (#48286677) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

"But generational starships"- nope, sorry. We can't build a Buick where the fucking bumper doesn't fall off in 3 years... we are sure as SHIT not building a spaceship that will last the literally tens of thousands of years required to travel to our nearest neighbors with orbiting planets while supporting huge amounts of life on board. Let alone the fact that there's no guarantee the planets you find on the other end of that 30,000 year flight will be habitable in any appreciable way.

Except it may not take nearly that long for the ship itself. If you can scale up one of the low impulse drives they're developing now, say the ion drive, and accelerate the ship to say 90% the speed of light, time dialation kicks in. For crew and ship, a 27,000 light year journey will only take 13,000 years subjective. At 99% a 29,700 light year trip would only take 4000 years subjective. High speeds, but if you can keep accelerating during the whole journey, they're not unfeasible.

Relativity makes FTL possible, in the subjective sense that 29700 light years / 4000 years is a speed faster than light.

Comment: Re:The usual bullshit from an armchair pundit (Score 1) 282

by jwdb (#47862337) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Regarding the many different Linux configurations, then I agree with you in principle. But I don't think the fragmentation of Linux has been really helpful either. It is clear that there now is a major push to reduce Linux fragmentation.

I think the "every distro is a separate island" doing everything their own particular way, is something that will disappear. But perhaps that isn't so bad, maybe the interesting thing about different distros, aren't that they all place their shared libs in different subdirs, but rather, what software platform they deliver above the system level. Less Linux fragmentation will definitely make it easier for distro maintainers and upstream developers in many respects, so perhaps this will release energy to do more cool things, instead of patching up differences. I mean, a pure systemd version of Gentoo will still be Gentoo, it will just share some basic OS characteristics with other Linux distros that will make it easier for upstream projects to support it.

I still think there will be many, many different Linux distros in the future, catering for either the mass market, or specialist use, I just think they will be less fragmented and different at the core system level, thanks to systemd etc.

I can see the value in that. At some point I expect I'll set up a box with a mainstream distribution if only to run Steam, for instance. The current fragmentation does make it difficult to run software packages that make assumptions about how the system is laid out. I can often get something working, but it can be a pain.

If I had to choose between very fragmented or completely uniform, however, I'd choose fragmented. We can't predict where Linux will be used in the future, and so we may need the core-level diversity that fragmentation brings. It's about more than just where libraries are placed, but about ways of doing things. Being able to drop in an alternative system-level structure lets us try out new principles, such as systemd versus sysvinit for instance. We might all be using systemd in 10 years, but I would bet you nobody will be in 50, so if we're no longer able to experiment with alternatives because we're locked into one system, that new alternative will come from outside the Linux ecosystem. It's evolution: stop growing and settle into a niche, and eventually something nimbler will outcompete you.

This is a similar discussion I have with the rest of my family: they use OS X because they see a computer as a tool to run software, whereas I also see it as a testbed to experiment with the running-of-software as well. I value diversity and flexibility over ease of use, which is why I've stuck with Slackware and similar distributions, and only occasionally use a package manager. That's an issue of taste, however, and as they say: de gustibus non est disputandum. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm hoping the majority doesn't abandon us as it feels like is happening at the moment.

I think the only way the smaller distros will have a say in the new direction Linux is taking at the moment, is to organize and counter it with their own proposals.

Yeah... There are some interesting alternatives out there for various parts of systemd - I've been using runit as init system for a few months and like it - but few of those are gaining enough traction.

Comment: Re:The usual bullshit from an armchair pundit (Score 2) 282

by jwdb (#47861539) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Patrick Volkerding seems to have made no firm decision in any direction at the moment.

Ok, my mistake.

...it seems that the future for non-systemd distros is very bleak.

The future definitely doesn't look good, and I don't disagree with the arguments you offer to paint it so bleakly. I'm not ready to give up on alternatives, however, so I'll do what I can with my meager skills and encourage anyone else also doing so. I prefer to remain optimistic, that we can get enough people together to continue offering an alternative to systemd.

Not requiring everyone to use the same setup is one of the big strengths of Linux. That's one of the main reasons I don't like systemd as an ecosystem: it seems to be trying to force everyone to use the same setup, by depreciating everything else. No one piece of software should be so central that there is no way to replace it with an alternative, because otherwise you end up with monoculture and monopoly.

Comment: Re:The usual bullshit from an armchair pundit (Score 1) 282

by jwdb (#47860865) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Slackware still doesn't have systemd, and Patrick Volkerding has apparently come down pretty hard against it. He still hasn't accepted Pulse Audio for similar reasons, and that's from a decade ago. Unless you think Slackware will disappear, or that it doesn't qualify as a "distribution of note", I think it'll end up proving you wrong.

Yes, probably no Gnome and similar, but there's always Enlightenment, Xmonad, and plenty of other more palatable alternatives. There's eudev to handle /dev, Slackware already hasn't shipped with Gnome for years now, and there's daemontools/runit/s6 to replace sysvinit. I'm sure we'll find a way to steer clear of systemd, even if we end up in the minority.

Comment: Re:Same reason blu-ray didn't take off (Score 1) 204

by jwdb (#47837273) Attached to: Dell Demos 5K Display

I expect using a larger font, or actually a larger system DPI setting, is exactly what he wants to do. There's a huge difference between a 12 pt sentence at 92 DPI and at 300 DPI, one of the reasons I still prefer to print out articles when I'll be reading them intensively. It's the high DPI in addition to the lack of backlight that makes e-paper displays so great.

I'm only 31 and I can't see details like I used to either, so anything that makes text sharper is good. I'd be interested in a 300 DPI 27", but that's roughly 7050x3960.

Comment: Re:Binoculars (Score 1) 187

by jwdb (#47744873) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

Ideal viewing times for these come rarely, and at the magnifications required he would also need a very expensive tracking mount in order to really enjoy them.

That's news to me... I regularly watched Saturn's rings a few years ago using a cheap Nature Company 4" refractor. Couldn't see any details of course, but I could very clearly make them out, an inspiring sight. Can you do that with binoculars?

Comment: Re:And when you include end-of-life costs? (Score 1) 409

I agree, a panacea it is not. I'd rather see nukes than coal, but I'm looking forward to the day we can rely on space-born generation. It's still a pipe dream, but a conference I was at a few years ago had a few people presenting on the topic. Seems the Japanese are very interested.

Cheers,

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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