Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Dragonfly BSD, Funtoo, and (for now) Gentoo (Score 1) 66 66

I'm happy to see that you don't hate systemd. That was the last shoe to drop. I'll complete the switch to BSD now!

Dragonfly BSD works quite well on the desktop, as does Funtoo Linux, which is systemd-free. Gentoo also works and still uses OpenRC by default, although there is growing concern some of the devs are quietly preparing to push a systemd agenda (kdbus patches in the kernel, one of the devs commenting he hopes systemd would become the Gentoo default, and a habit of the moderators in the Gentoo forums to shut down any discussions critical of systemd).

Linus may not be showing good leadership in this instance, but not everyone has drunk the urine just yet, and there are others stepping up to the plate to maintain or create alternatives.

Comment: Re:Dumb as a Rock (Score 1) 74 74

252 square feet is smaller than a lot of New York City apartments. A king size bed alone is 42 square feet.

I do agree that a lot of the "smart house" technology isn't very sustainable, and realtors I've talked to tend to say that it actually makes houses hard to sell.

I suspect, though, that some flavor of smart technology will become more normal at least with regards to electricity. I think improvements in battery capacity, reductions in net metering value and so on will get more people running from mixed power sources, whether it's grid, generators, solar, wind, etc, and an electrical system that understands its power source, available power, charge status, etc will become not unreasonable.

Comment: Re:Dumb as a Rock (Score 1) 74 74

Interesting. How big is it? I didn't see any size estimates (nor did I spider the web site, either) but it looks pretty small -- 20 ft or less on the long side, maybe 10-15 on the short side, call it 300 sq ft. That's extremely small -- the standard size for a two car garage is 400 sq ft.

While it's impressive that you were able to produce an entire house for $7k, had you said "yeah, we build a stone house for $7k and it's only 300 square feet" it would have seemed more realistic.

It almost seems like you leave how small it is out of the "entire house for $7k" claim on purpose to make the brag seem more amazing.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 725 725

The results of not killing them -- two US soldiers killed, one gravely injured, several killed when a rescue chopper comes under fire and crashes. I couldn't even give you the Taliban body count -- my guess is at least two dozen killed by the 3 SEALs as they tried to escape, another dozen or more killed by a helicopter when it finally rescued the "Lone Survivor".

The results of killing them? Two dead Taliban, the 3 SEALs escape.

And in the annals of military history in any similar situation the two Taliban would have been killed by any scouting party or commandos lest they imperil their mission and escape.

Comment: Re:Dumb as a Rock (Score 0) 74 74

It's interesting how you only say "I did it" without explaining how you did it.

Most cost estimating uses ~$100/sq ft for residential properties, which would make your stone house 70 sq. ft.

Provide some facts -- finished square feet, internal materials and features, cost of land, etc, otherwise I have to remain skeptical.

Comment: Re:Kaspersky (Score 1) 31 31

I'd imagine it's also because the Kaspersky guys spend much less time than Krebs trying to dox various malware authors and so on. The real life identities of those people are just much less relevant. So if a journalist comes and starts asking questions about various people who "anyone in the business should know" etc, and if your job is just analyzing malware all day but you don't much care about the real names of the people who make it, then you might come across as evasive when really they're just thinking, "that accusation might be kind of weak, but I don't know for sure either way, best to stay out of it". Especially if you'd rather not appear in print with your name next to the real name of a bad guy.

The Kaspersky question was kind of dumb anyway. Let's imagine that they have some sort of shadowy deal with Russian intelligence to avoid flagging their IC malware. I doubt it, but let's pretend they do.

What are you gonna do about it? Kaspersky is the best at what they do, and they've blown the covers of way more government malware than any other company out there, period. If you say, gosh, I don't trust those awful Ruskies, what if I get hacked by the Kremlin, I'm gonna go with a True Blue American Patriot AV company ..... then all you're doing is siding with a team that not only hasn't revealed NSA malware, but generally, hasn't revealed any government operations at all. Does not seem like a win. Especially because the Russian government is about 1% as scary as the ridiculous Western propaganda would have us believe.

Comment: Re:Dumb as a Rock (Score -1, Flamebait) 74 74

Who builds a house for $7,000? Maybe 50 years ago if you did all the labor yourself and it was a two room affair with no plumbing or running water.

Even a very basic kitchen these days would cost more than that, and that would just be for cabinets, plumbing, electrical a fridge and a stove.

I'd wager that the mortar alone would cost a good chunk of the $7k by itself, if by "stone house" you mean a single floor house built with entirely stone walls to the soffits.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 725 725

In reality, the only way to fight a war like ISIS is to do what was done to Germany -- level all cities (and all buildings in the city) that even are rumored to have insurgents. Without the commitment to do actual, yucky warfare that completely breaks all resistance... half-ass measures just creates emboldened enemies (think "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!".)

This has been the weakness of the US military since at least Viet Nam and possibly even Korea.

The only way to "win" a war is to defeat the people, not just the army or the fighters. Sure, it's ugly because you kill a lot of people who don't really deserve to die in any conventional moral sense. But not doing it just causes you to lose lives for nothing.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 725 725

and yet 9999 times of 10000 or more they continue to treat the enemy humanely and frequently place themselves in grater danger to do so.

But do they do it for humanitarian reasons or fear of punishment?

I don't know how true to life it was, but in "Lone Survivor" when the 3 SEALs capture two random Afghanis they have all manner of animated discussion about what to do with them -- if they let them go, they will likely get a whole bunch of Taliban after them, if they kill them or tie them up so they can't get away, they might end up with some kind of war crimes problem.

During their debate, it wasn't "what kind of a humanitarian are you" it was "Do you want to go to Leavenworth for the rest of your life?"

Frankly, I think they probably should have just executed them. It was pretty clear they were aligned with the enemy (one guy was carrying a two-way radio, and I don't think Afghanistan has a CB club) and the results of not killing them were kind of as predicted -- a company-size band of Taliban chasing them down and trying to kill them, succeeding at killing two of them.

It's hard to think of any other military campaign that would have allowed an operation to get compromised like that when snuffing the enemy would have been so effective.

Maybe a better future compromise is a little autoinjector they could carry with a strong dose of a short-acting (eg, 4-6 hours) but powerful sedative/hypnotic. Nighty-night for them and when they wake up, the soldiers are long gone.

Comment: Re:Kaspersky (Score 1) 31 31

Given what's pretty well known about the overlap between FSB/KGB and Russian organized crime, the generally corrupt nature of Russian government and the cronyism in Russian business, it's hard not to see Kaspersky being reticent about talking with a foreign reporter about Russian cybercriminals.

That being said, it may have more subtle influences. Maybe they're in social scenes that overlap? Maybe there's a certain nationalism or national pride going on where they want to talk about something OTHER than the usual narrative of Russian corruption and crime.

The base problem I have with Kaspersky is that given what we know about money-grubbing American corporations and their willingness to cave to the security apparatus, how does Kaspersky operate in Russia without caving or being strongarmed by the government, criminals, or worse?

Comment: Re:Free Speech vs. Vigilantism (Score 1) 202 202

Yelp would have to want to deal with fraudulent reviewers -- and I think we've seen some claims or evidence that Yelp uses negative reviews, perhaps even dishonest ones as a "sales incentive", so they may not want to.. ..but if they wanted to, they could require reviewers to "check in" at the business (using GPS locating to ensure the customer was actually at the business) within X days of visiting the business to write a review which would then be flagged as "VERIFIED CUSTOMER" kind of the same way Amazon tags reviews as "VERIFIED PURCHASE" so that the person reviewing is identified as having actually bought the product from Amazon.

Now, there's a whole host of businesses where you aren't ever at their place of business (like a remodeling company or other home services) or you don't want to check in (ie, a doctor's office or something). Maybe those businesses could give out a "Yelp integrity code" that could be entered in for customers to validate their customer status when they wrote a review. Crooked companies may not give it out to avoid verified bad reviews, but I think generally speaking companies would have an incentive to want verified customer reviews versus just random reviews by people who weren't customers or maybe even made a mistake and reviewed the wrong business.

I think all of this would be easier if there was some sense that Yelp actually cared about the integrity of reviews. Obviously some kind of integrity checking (were you really a customer?) needs to happen, but if you're Yelp the sheer volume of reviews is part of your business model and making it harder to post reviews (or deprecating unverified reviews) reduces the quantity of reviews which I think many people use as a criteria in and of itself (a 4 star average by 2 reviewers means less than a 3 star average by 100 reviewers).

Comment: Re:Free Speech vs. Vigilantism (Score 1) 202 202

Whatever happened to the marketplace of ideas?

If you assume Joe's Pizza runs a good business, makes a decent product and generally treats his customers well, how can one reviewer with an ideological axe to grind ruin his business by posting a negative review? Wouldn't a preponderance of otherwise favorable reviews drown the cranks out?

Sure, one person with a serious problem can go nuts trying to ruin a business in many ways but not by writing one or two reviews.

I think a lot of time these complaints against review sites are by BAD businesses that aren't well liked trying to drown out negative reviews like an Orwellian Memory Hole.

Comment: Is this really a big problem? (Score 1) 114 114

I guess if estimates say 5% of fuel, but...

- half or more of flights are in the winter, when there are no bugs or a lot less of them.

- most flights spend most of their time at bug free altitudes.

- many airports are in urban areas with reduced bug populations

Is this mostly a small plane phenomenon?

Comment: Re:What an opportunity! (Score 2) 358 358

Bitcoin is not actually deflationary. Its supply grows constantly until it eventually stabilises. The fact that Bitcoin prices have fallen a lot is more because lots of new people have discovered the project and decided they want some, but that effect will eventually peter out as Bitcoin becomes boring and everyone finalises their opinions of it.

Greece doesn't need fiat currency. What Greece needs is hard money – like the Euro (which is hard-ish, though not as hard as Bitcoin). This is because the Greek government is notoriously corrupt and the fact that they couldn't just print the pensions of their civil servants was one of the few things creating pressure to reform, and preventing outright pillaging of the savings of Greeks who do actually work in the private sector. Seeing Greece as one monolithic entity isn't right: there are different factions, not all of whom want the government to suddenly be able to spend whatever it wants. Hence the Greek people apparently voting for both keeping the Euro and not enacting any spending cutbacks, a contradictory position.

Ultimately Greece is going to get a lot poorer, no matter what. In many ways it's practically a third world country, one that was simply kept afloat by huge injections of foreign cash. But it never really stopped being third world in the way that it was run.

Bitcoin could, theoretically, benefit some Greek people now in the heat of the crisis because the Greek government wouldn't be able to impose capital controls on it. Thus preventing the outright theft of whatever little cash Greek's have left in the bank (sorry, I mean, solidarity tax/haircut/pick euphemism of choice). It is no magical cure for Greece's problems but it could tip the balance away from a government that discovered it was paying salaries and pensions for entirely non-existent departments, and towards people who are just trying to make a living.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake