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Comment Re:What's with all the awkward systemd command nam (Score 1) 561

So what you're saying is you like powershell?

Aliases are not realy a fix you can not reliably write shell script with them and stay portable.

In scripts long names are fine, I would even say preferable.

However when I'm SSHing into a foreign box (that I what I do most of the time) then I like to have my rm, ls, cd, mv, vim, and other short commands _already configured_. I cannot imagine if I had to configure my aliases each time I SSHed into another machine. Also, if the aliases are up to the user to configure, that means that every user will have different aliases and we'll be back to the Tower of Babel when trying to communicate with other sysadmins.

Comment And then they can make fun of '80s hairstyles... (Score 1) 81

You are missing the point.

You can make fun of everything. You can jam in jokes anywhere.
Hell... just put a laugh track on it and some people will laugh at anything.
Just like with that show where people tune in to laugh at how awkward nerds are.
You can also parody SciFi up the kazoo. Most of it has already been done by Red Dwarf though.

The fact that there is room for jokes can't change the fact that Galaxy Quest was not about joking about SciFi tropes or making fun of such shows or its audiences.
That's what The Big Bang Theory is about.

Galaxy Quest is your classic "the dream is real and I am secretly a hero king" story.
And THAT story can't be stretched out for too long before it becomes a genuine story of heroics and NOT a parody.
Galaxy Quest ends by becoming Galaxy Quest the Journey Continues.
It stops treating the show or the work of those actors on the show as a joke - but as a real and highly important MISSION.

They are no longer actors. They are an ACTUAL HEROIC CREW of NSEA Protector which was a real starship.
They are no longer acting. They are on a diplomatic mission, sending messages into outer space.
They have a real living alien with them on the set. They KNOW things and they did things that have changed them and the entire universe they live in.
The ending changes the GENRE for the audience. It becomes obvious that it is not a SciFi parody but genuine SciFi.
Because it is a love letter - not a parody. Goofy characters become heroes.
Seen Guardians of the Galaxy?
Seen Antman?

MASH never stopped being a comedy, turning around and making every joke actually just a bizarre scene in a gritty war drama. If it did, it would be Kafkian.
Neither did Hogan's Heroes.
Nor did Lost in Space or Star Trek get a laugh track and started being about crazy hijinks of a wacky crew.

They can try doing that, sure, but all they'll end up with is just another lame "reference is a joke" show, like that crap Seth MacFarlane keeps churning out.

Comment Re:what's the opposite of Progress? (Score 1) 59

You apparently didn't read the complete article. They are now busy building components for the Space Launch System. They are still very much alive.

They might have food on the engineers' families tables, but I don't see anything coming out of there flying anytime soon.

Comment Re:Ubuntu was great on the desktop (Score 1) 161

Since Ubuntu was/is a very easy to use desktop environment, it has become familiar to a lot of people. Those people ended up developing cloud services and stuck to what they are familiar with, Ubuntu. It's that simple.

I moved from Fedora to Kubuntu on the desktop circa 2008 or so. Not long after my servers went from CentOS to Debian, then to Ubuntu. The real kicker for me was the seamless integration of sudo, which allows for per-user accountability even when performing commands with elevated privileges. Sure, I could have hacked sudo onto CentOS 5 or 6, but Ubuntu already had that and other niceties set up.

A poster above mentions that Ubuntu does not separate out feature updates from security updates. However, on any LTS distro (these come out one every two years), after the first six months all updates are only security updates. In fact, other than the abomination that is Firefox, even in the regular updates (non-LTS) I think that there are no feature updates, only security. To get featuers one must update the release, which happens once every six months.


How Close Are We, Really, To Nuclear Fusion? 330

StartsWithABang writes: The ultimate dream when it comes to clean, green, safe, abundant energy is nuclear fusion. The same process that powers the core of the Sun could also power everything on Earth millions of times over, if only we could figure out how to reach that breakeven point. Right now, we have three different candidates for doing so: inertial confinement, magnetic confinement, and magnetized target fusion. Recent advances have all three looking promising in various ways, making one wonder why we don't spend more resources towards achieving the holy grail of energy.

Comment Not a parody. A love letter. (Score 2) 81

This was my thought, especially it they made it as much a parody of Star Trek as the movie was of the cast and culture.

The same actions, characters and tropes that movie is poking fun of, turn out first heroic then triumphant by the end.
They really become heroes they were playing on a show, they save the world, help out friendly aliens, redeem their fans AND they get a revival of their show.

I doubt that the same effect can be achieved with a lesser (cheaper) cast and as a running gag over a season or more.
Sam Rockwell alone already used up most of those jokes.
While being awesome and ultimately - heroic.

Trying to copy Rickman on the other hand... simply won't work.

Comment Re:Veterans care (Score 1) 40

Anybody who ever served on active duty and handled classified information is just a bit hacked off at Her Majesty's cavalier attitude about, well, everything.

That's true, but comparing Hillary's sending and receiving emails that weren't marked as classified over a non-government server is absolutely NOTHING compared to Petraus' knowingly giving top secret information to someone with neither a need to know nor a security clearance. Remember Mata Hari? (I probably spelled that wrong)

Plus, his adultery is strictly against the USMJ code; people have gotten dishonorable discharges for that alone, and anyone else would have gotten time in Leavenworth for spilling secrets. Petraus got off not with a slap on the wrist, but a stern talking to.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Gimpy text and Mars

I use the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) to design book covers. It's an excellent free open source program that has three weaknesses -- its menu structure is completely illogical (but can be gotten used to), I can't find a full spectrum palette, and its text handling is so poor as to be useless.

Comment Re:small? (Score 1) 121

The optics, software and servos that make up this kind of system are evolving rapidly- I doubt it is really an adaptation of anything

Sure it is, nobody starts a project like this from scratch. I even recognize the body of the device from infrared cameras from over a decade ago, not identical but very similar.

Comment Re:small? (Score 1) 121

Which has me wondering just how much unpredictable manoeuvring a small autonomous aircraft would have to do to defeat it.

The fine article states that the laser must stay on target for 2 seconds. I don't know if this is to target the plastic (melt, warp, or burn) or the metal (penetrate) components. When targeting mortars the system would heat them until the explosive ignited, when targeting rockets they would be heated until the vehicle failed structurally. I find it hard to believe that these differing applications would all need the same 2 second time period, though.

Notice that the targeted devices in the video seem to have a dangling antenna, it really seems as though that is helping with targeting. Maybe they can't target drones without the antenna!

Comment Re:small? (Score 5, Interesting) 121

it can be transported in a few medium-sized boxes"

How big is a medium-sized box?

Rosanna Arquette or John Edwards

This device seems to be an adaptation of the mostly-failed experiments to knock down mortars and grad-style rockets with lasers. Those systems only worked if the projectile was following a previously-known flight path and the laser was set up to protect that specific path, because they couldn't target fast enough. Real-world mortars are less predicable, but drones are slow enough that the targeting seems to work on them.

It is rather convenient for the researchers that a slower, more media-visible target for their mortar-laser was developed!

Comment Re:Holding the code hostage? (Score 1) 59

I'm not morally offended at his approach, but as a crowd-funding campaign, it does present a risk/reward ratio that I'm not willing to accept.

What would be more acceptable is if he firs developed the software and shows its worth, and then offered to open-source it for some specified amount of money. That eliminates almost all risk related the fact or quality of the delivery.

In open source, the delivery is not the binary but the code itself. I've seen (and written) quite a few applications that run great, don't crash, wow the user, and have horrible code that I was _not_ proud of. I think that Open Office under Sun was a prime example of this. I understand that Photoshop code is a horror, a mess, and that nobody understands the full code base anymore.

Comment A bullet may have your name on it... (Score 1) 179

...but tear GAS is addressed "To Whom It May Concern".

As for those other "less lethal" weapons... aiming skills are not the issue.
Fact that they are LEGAL means that should they want they can employ any kind of technique to achieve that hit with a drone.
Be it "painting" the target with a laser by a human or any and all AI or assisting technology available EVER in the future... Doesn't matter.

The fact that this legalizes drones equipped for "less than lethal" drone strikes against civilian population is what matters.
Drone strikes against civilians. It has a certain ring to it, does it not?


North Dakota Legalizes "Less Than Lethal" Weapon-Equipped Police Drones 179

According to the Daily Beast, writes reader schwit1, North Dakota police will be free to fire 'less than lethal' weapons from the air thanks to the influence of a pro-police lobbyist. That means beanbags, tear-gas, and Tasers, at the very least, can be brought to bear by remote. It's worth noting that "non-lethal" isn't purely true, even if that's the intent behind such technologies. From the article, based partly on FOIA requests made by MuckRock into drone use by government agencies: The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones. Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal