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Comment: Re:file transfer (Score 1) 260

by Yaztromo (#49144939) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

The new machines lack LPT ports? WTF kind of machine did you buy without an LPT port? A laptop, sure, a desktop? You have to look hard, even today to find a machine that doesn't have a printer port.

It isn't that hard -- Macs haven't had any sort of specialty printer port on any model that I'm aware of for at least 15 years now.


Comment: Of course (Score 1, Troll) 54

by ShieldW0lf (#49142909) Attached to: OPSEC For Activists, Because Encryption Is No Guarantee

If I'm the only one who can unlock your encrypted communications, then it's in my best interest to have everyone encrypt their communications, because then, I'll be the only one with total situation awareness.

It won't be in any of your interests, of course, because you'll be handing me my advantage on a silver platter... but you're all far too shortsighted to pay attention to such things.

Of course Obama and the NSA want you all using strong encryption. Stupid of you to give them what they want, though.

Comment: Re:More of this (Score 5, Insightful) 91

by Kjella (#49142839) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

I think this is because in the olden days having CRLF meant being able to dump a raw text file to a printing device. Unix had a tty driver that could handle adding the missing CR. CP/M and DOS didn't have any such thing. That doesn't mean I haven't spent 20+ years being annoyed by CRLF though.

That's not it, CRLF was a feature. How do you make strike-through text on a type-wheel printer? It automatically advances to the next position and it only has a fixed number of characters, you don't double it with strikethrough-a in addition to regular a. So you send a CR - carriage return - to return to first position, space your way over to the text to be striked out and make a ------- over it before you CRLF to the next line. And you have no idea how old knowing that makes me feel.

Comment: Re:Predicting the future is hard (Score 1) 248

by Kjella (#49142265) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Unfortunately most of the projects I've been on are of the "We want to replace old system A and make a new system B that also has features X, Y, Z" variety. What they want from the new system is usually okay, it's somewhat documented already, you've identified some stakeholders, you can show them prototypes, you can ask for clarifications and their testing validates the feature. Developing new code for genuinely new features is actually quite easy and fun.

The old system on the other hand is more like software archaeology, nobody really seems to have the specs - or maybe a spec 1.0 from 10 years ago that's got nothing to do with reality - and if you're replacing it it's probably because it's crap, uncommented code in an arcane language with poor frameworks and third party components. So you dig and keep digging and try to implement something similar without knowing what's a feature and what's a bug, who'll come yelling if you break something or features nobody told you about and you weren't aware anyone was using disappear.

I had a bit of an epiphany today at work when i finally found out how structure a major piece of the redo I'm working on and I've so far spent ~2 months digging through that code. From a similar job I was doing in another area I thought maybe 2-3 months total, now I'm guessing it'll be 6-12 because of all the rework I have to make and every apparently simple thing has exceptions and special cases. It's wasn't my bad estimation, it's that the conditions are entirely different. Like comparing travel speed for a walk in the park to chopping your way through a dense jungle.

Comment: Re:The state is easy to see. (Score 1) 148

by Kjella (#49139737) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

It's not great. It's only good for staunch advocates who refuse to run any other operating system. Linux still isn't good enough for joe sixpack to run it as a daily driver. Until they get joe sixpack on board, it'll forever be a niche product without enough inroads to support a gaming ecosystem. (...) OS X has more of a chance at becoming a capable gaming OS than Linux does, and that's really saying something.

Except for cost. That's what powered the Android drive, it wasn't the technical superiority. There's probably more people gaming on phones and tablets than any other platform when you count Angry Birds, Candy Crush and such. Chromebooks running on Linux also seem to sell reasonably well for the same reason. If Valve can get a a range of steamboxes out there to sell to everything from a $99 box to sell freemium + $1-5 games to a $999 gaming rig to people who don't really care about having a desktop anymore with their tablet/convertible covering those needs there's probably a market for gaming boxes.

It does of course assume that you commit enough to get it off the ground. Nobody wanted to code for Android either before it got popular. And if Valve is backing off now that the Microsoft Store doesn't seem that big a threat after all, it might take many years. But Linux is well propped up by servers, supercomputers, embedded, cell phones, tables, chromebooks... it's not going away. Particularly not in the direction we're going with more cloud, less local it's certainly not going to get worse.

The driving force behind Mesa is Intel, they're certainly not going away. Pretty soon they'll hit the big OpenGL 4.0 and it seems almost all the prerequisities for 4.1 and 4.2 are done once they get over that hurdle. And they certainly want to keep their OpenGL ES current if they want to play in the x86 smartphone/tablet market. AMD also apparently like their open source driver for embedded/custom projects, less legal hurdles for customers who want full control. So maybe they don't win, but I don't see how they could lose much terrain either.

Comment: Re:if it has a fan, you are doing it wrong (Score 1) 59

by Kjella (#49135861) Attached to: Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked

Built one almost like it, but with a 35W Core i7 4765T. It's not exactly a cheap machine though, for a HTPC it's way overkill. You can get a lot cheaper to play 1080p BluRays and probably won't be enough when 4K BluRay arrives, 3840x2160x60fps 10-bit HEVC decoding will need new, dedicated chips.

Comment: Re:Xp all over again. (Score 1) 451

by Kjella (#49135725) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

People complained about the playschool look of XP and hated all the chrome. Those same users swore by XP after Vista came out, and will adapt to metro the same.

Guilty as charged, eventually I had to move off 2k for XP. Skipped Vista (went on a Linux hiatus), got 7, skipping 8.x but Win10 looks like the next usable version. Until either WINE is just as good as the real thing or most games are cross-platform I'll probably be stuck with a box with a semi-recent version of Windows. Currently the WINE rating of the game I play the most is garbage.

Comment: Unfortunately... (Score 1) 148

by Yaztromo (#49133295) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

Unfortunately, the experiment came to an abrupt end when they threw "ET: The Extra Terrestrial" at the AI, whereupon after an hour of trying different tactics the AI decided that the only way to win was to send a power surge through the system, frying the only working Atari 2600 the researchers could dig up.

This still classifies the AI as coming up with the best solution to the game ever implemented.


Comment: Re:Don't ask for advice online. (Score 1) 676

Or, "Don't take life too seriously... it's not like it's permanent."

At that age it's usually not a problem, you're far more likely to do something reckless and stupid that will have consequences for the rest of your life. I'd at the very least temper it with a bit of "Enjoy today, plan for tomorrow". Sure, life might throw you a curve ball but if act like every day is your last the odds are pretty good that you're wrong and have to live with yesterday.

Comment: Re:He is linking homeopathy to astrology (Score 1) 295

by Kjella (#49128423) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

But let's be serious. The placebo effect is one of the most effective thing in medical problems. The problem with it is that if you don't believe in it, it no longer works. Building false theories that makes sense for most people is therefore a skill that can be much more effective than finding real cures.

And the "anti-placebo" effect if you know doctors and nurses are liars and frauds so you think the actual treatment which has a pretty good track record is just more astrology/homeopathy/placebo bullshit? I mean you have to have a rather big medical community that knows this is as good as sugar pills. And you have to quite often tell that truth to limit the resources taken away from actual medical treatment to spend on placebo. Yes, the truth can be tough to deal with. No, having our real doctors pushing snake oil and superstition won't help. Now if we were talking about better psychological care to people suffering from severe physical conditions I'd be all for that, but not this.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 2) 162

by Kjella (#49128015) Attached to: Should a Service Robot Bring an Alcoholic a Drink?

The question is... If you are in your own home, does the robot count as a bartender, or is it an appliance? My guess is the latter, the responsibility belongs to the operator.

Liquor licenses apply just to the sale of alcohol, if I'm at a private party and mix a round of drinks I don't need to follow any regulations except those that generally apply like serving alcohol to minors. And if a minor orders it from the robot, I shouldn't be in any more trouble than if they go to my fridge and grab one. I guess they could require "alcohol lockers" the way they do "gun lockers" around here, but we're not there yet.

Comment: Re:Another bad omen for privacy and security (Score 1) 276

by Kjella (#49126123) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

Like many other administration chores, the key management needs almost an expert system to deal with the daily operations for the non-caring, lazy, or just "regular" people.

And the "expert" system most choose is simply having an account - everyting from e-mail accounts to forum accounts to social media accounts. The users keep their password safe - that's securing the endpoints - and then you trust the system to deliver the email to the recipient and not anybody else. Because if you're handing over the keys to a third party, you might as well hand over the communication too.

Comment: Re:Another bad omen for privacy and security (Score 4, Interesting) 276

by Kjella (#49125965) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

Crypto is hard to get right. It's hard for the average person to know what ciphers or tools to use and which are just snake oil. It's hard to implement correctly so that it is secure. New ciphers are written by people who have a lot of experience in breaking the old ones. As the old guard ages out, I don't see the same depth of interest in the next generation. With crypto, there's no quick fix, and the new hotness doesn't come overnight.

Crypto is easy. Ciphers are easy. Here's a key you can use it to sign and verify messages, open and seal envelopes.

Using crypto is hard. People lose keys, forget passwords, don't transmit keys in a secure way, don't store keys in a secure way, revoking keys, checking for revocation, using third party services like webmail and so on. Strong crypto is like losing your house key and being told that sucks, but since it's an impenetrable bunker with an unpickable lock there's nothing you can do but start from scratch.

People want recovery options. If my house burns down to the ground and I escape with no passport, no driver's license, no identification of any kind the government will get me a new one. Work will find a way to get me a new access badge and key fob. That's why all those ways to recover your account exist, they're not necessary per se and you don't have to answer the security questions seriously. But when you have fucked up big and the answer is just gibberish you're pretty screwed. That's why people answer those with actual facts.

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.