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Comment: Re:Android (Score 1) 77

by swillden (#48189855) Attached to: Google Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and Nexus Preview Images

The structure varies from device to device, yes. On the Nexus devices I'm most familiar with, which don't have SD card slots, there is no real sdcard partition. There is an /scdard, but it's a symlink. The advantage to not having a separate partition is not having to create a hard decision about how much to allocate to /data and how much to /scdard. This is one of the benefits of MTP over UMS that I mentioned, and it means that in terms of storage allocation you need only talk about /data, since it's the only r/w partitiion (except for actual SD cards, of course).

Comment: Re:This could be really good for Debian (Score 4, Insightful) 160

by Bruce Perens (#48188887) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork
I am beginning to be wary of systemd, but no. I am talking about anal-retentive policy wonks who believe they only make the distribution for themselves and have (perhaps without intending to) systematically marginalized Debiian and made the project a whore to Ubuntu.

Comment: Constitutions CAN be useful, if honored. (Score 0) 208

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48188597) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Yeah, this is stupid. You can't sentence people for drawing and using a paper and pen, whatever the content of their drawing, ...

Sure "you" can. This was in the UK. They don't have First Amendment protections, so the law is what's passed and enforced.

Last I heard, some jurisdictions in the US have some similar anti-pornography laws, banning drawn images. In the US the anti-pornography laws are justified against the clear prohibition on such laws in the First Amendment by claiming the purveyors of pornography are part of a conspiracy with the pornographer who abused an underage child by photographing her.

Obviously this justification is bogus when the image is drawn. So while the prohibition is on the books, I understand the authorities are reluctant to actually enforce it against anyone who has enough money to appeal it. So they tend to use such laws only when they can't find (or plant) any actual child pictures on a target(s) they've raided, but still really want to jail them and seize their assets, or as a "pour on the counts" measure when knocking the law down wouldn't do much for the accused.

(I think the underage are underripe and have no personal interest in such fare. So I don't follow the issue closely, except when someone threatens to post such stuff on a system I administer. Maybe somebody else, with more reliable and/or up-to-date knowledge, can comment?)

Comment: How about an insulated box at the counter? (Score 1) 207

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48188411) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

Even if the Nevada health department DID have an objection, what's wrong with having some ice bags in an insulated box at the counter and calling THAT a "cooler" or "icebox"? It wouldn't need to be powered, because it would be kept cold by the steady flow of fresh bags from the supply truck.

You'd have to run it as a FIFO, to avoid having bags sitting there for hours. (Bag porters put 'em in one end, clerks pull them out at the other - or put a moving partition in and run it as a circular buffer, so you don't have to slide them down. No additional communication between counter workers and bag-porters is necessary, because the available open space signals when more bags need to be toted. Only downside I see is that if/when the counter is about to close, you need to signal the porters to stop, to avoid having unsold bags in the cooler that need to be ported back to the truck to keep them from melting during the break.)

Such a local buffer would do all you want, without leaving the ice bags sitting on a counter in the desert. Also: The ice would be seen by the customers to be fresh, rather than partially melted while waiting to be picked up.

Comment: Re:So what qualifies? (Score 1) 447

by jfengel (#48187871) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

In Germany, it's written all the way into the Constitution. The very first article reads (in official translation), "Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority." The second article, about personal development, specifically limits it to development that doesn't contradict the previous part.

That doesn't make the definitions any more concrete, but it does suggest that it's a country which takes it seriously, and the requirement pervades the rest of the national law. I don't know if that can be adopted into a country like the US, where a great many people want their First Amendment rights to trump everything else. I can even see the case for it. It's just that I hear it defended most vocally by people who aren't in a position to be harassed and don't see the way it can interfere with the rest of their lives.

Comment: Re:864 million bananas (Score 1) 233

by swillden (#48186543) Attached to: The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

It is a convenient standard unit. Inexpensive and tasty. Can be used for measuring mass, volume, friction (obviously), and radiactivity (due to its high potassium content). A chest X-ray is equivalent to 70,000 bananas.

Given the other sub-thread asking about the conversion to Libraries of Congress, apparently it can be used to measure data content as well.

Comment: Re:Ho-lee-crap (Score 3, Informative) 233

by Dr. Evil (#48186493) Attached to: The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

It wasn't long ago that South Korea wasn't so advanced, and Daewoo was corrupt.

The national identity has been trying to raise standards in everything, but it still has horrible reminders of its recent past. The Sewoul disaster where hundreds died needlessly, the subway crash where 200 people died, the recent collapse of a sidewalk grate where 16 concert goers just... died.

By "national identity" I mean the health, safety and anticorruption standards are considered part of the national identity and distinct from the standards of many neighbouring countries.

In the past 20 years Korea has been rebuilding everything and has good standards. These stories are making the country obsessive over safety and quality, but there's still junk from the recent past, or people who are wrapped in nepotism and corruption who shouldn't be responsible for anything involving public safety, but can't be removed.

As long as the ship builders are not part of that past, then it's a boon for the country and another milestone for Korea's advancement.

Comment: Re:Android (Score 1) 77

by swillden (#48186367) Attached to: Google Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and Nexus Preview Images

I don't understand your comment as my Android phone from a few years back was recognised as a USB Mass storage device.

Yes, it was. The problem with UMS is that it's a block-level protocol, not a file-level protocol. This means that when storage is mounted via UMS, the host has no way to coordinate with the target device, which is a big problem if the target device is actually operating on the file system. Basically, it's not safe to have two operating system simultaneously using the same block device.

Because of that, when Android acted as a UMS target, it had to unmount the file system, which had all sorts of unpleasant effects on the system design. Among them, it forced the user-writable data to be partitioned into the portion that could be accessed via UMS and the portion that could not, which required guessing how large each should be. That enforced separation also added all sorts of subtle complexities to the OS, which had to take into account when /data was available and when it was not. SD cards have this same complexity, but core OS operational data isn't stored on them. Finally, it also forced the UMS-mountable data partition to be vFAT, which created many limitations around both functionality and (especially) security. /data could be ext3, or f2fs, or whatever, but MTP support is better across desktop OSes than support for random Linux file systems.

MTP is a file-level protocol. It leaves the Android Linux kernel in charge of managing the file system and just provides an API for browsing and manipulating the files, without exposing details of the file system representation.

UMS is like attaching your hard drive directly to another machine. MTP is like running an FTP server.

Comment: Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (Score 1) 196

by swillden (#48186231) Attached to: The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Quite a few are downright geniuses that could move anywhere and ask for a fortune, yet they're T4-T6, often making a lot less money than me, even though I couldn't dream of doing their job.

So, why don't they move, if they're underpaid and there isn't anything different about Google?

Comment: I had one for a while. (Score 2) 274

It was a military surplus rifle that had been "sporterized" (mainly by cutting the stock down to a more civilian profile).

The Enfield has an interesting history: Back in the period leading up to WWII the British mmilitary had a good idea the war was coming. The army was armed mainly wiith the Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles and they knew they needed a good slect fire automatic/semiautomatic rifle to replace them, least they be outgunned. But they debated over WHICH design to pick for so long that, when the Blitzkreig brought the Germans into a faceoff with the British, the autos weren't yet deployed.

It turns out that the Lee-Enfield action has a number of features that make it VERY much faster to operate than other bolt-action military weapons of the time. The bolt has a very small throw angle. It has rear, not front, locking lugs (out where there's lots of clearance and little stress and opportunity for dirt to gum them up). The action is almost glassy-smooth. The bolt ball is located where it can be opened by the thumb, while slapping it closed with the palm, doesn't require accurate positioning of the hand, and guides the hand back to the correct position to fire, letting the user's attention remain on the target scene and sight picture. It cocks on closing (rather than on opening as Mausers do), dedicating essentially all the energy on opening to case extraction, rather than splitting it with spring-cocking and keeping the opening and closing work closer to equal.

The result is that, with a modicum of practice, a rifleman with a Lee-Enfield can achieve higher firing rates than the operator of a machine gun. (Machine gun rates are deliberately limited to make them easier to control and aim, avoid wasting ammunition, and reduce overheating, burnout, and jamming.) It can't keep it up as LONG, because the Lee Enfield has a small, fixed, magazine. But it can fire a couple fast, controlled, bursts - just what is needed in many situations - using a powerful rifle cartridge.

By comparison the Germans were armed with things like the recently developed "assault rifle" - a short-barreled select-fire rifle (for easy handling in cramped hallways or popping up out of a tank hatch), firing a low-powered cartridge. (Militaries had figured out that a gun should be designed to WOUND, not kill: Kill a soldier and you take one out of action - wound him and you use up him, his buddy, a medic, and a lot of infrastructure and supplies taking care of him and shipping him back home.)

The Blitzkreig stormed across much of Europe and encountered only limited resistance, typically armed with the likes of the slower bolt-action Mausers. Then they came up against the British. They knew the Brits were armed with bolt-actions and believed their own propaganda about their lack of resolve. So they expected to sweep them up as they had their previous encounters. They came charging out, and were blasted back, repeatedly, by withering fire. There are records of communications from the front where the officers were claiming all the Brits were armed with machine guns. (I hear one of these records is a recording - with the officer in question being killed in mid-message by a round from one of those Lee-Enfields.)

Comment: Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (Score 1) 196

by swillden (#48183525) Attached to: The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

ie: the promotion process, which has a lot in common with how big banks do it for engineers...and thats not a good thing

I don't think so, and I spent 15 years working in and around large banks. I've never seen a self-nomination/promo-committee process anything like Google's. I'm not saying Google's is especially good (though I do think it's better than many alternatives I've seen, especially the ones which depend mostly on your manager's political clout and the ones that are all about checking all the right boxes), but I don't think it's comparable to anything in the financial industry or anywhere else outside of Silicon Valley (most of Google's processes are modelled on Intel's).

For the pay, its because the tiers are shifted. An engineer lvl 2 (making up titles, read between the line) at Google is paid the same as a lvl 2 engineer elsewhere... but a lvl 2 at Google could be a lvl 3 or more elsewhere, and thus be paid a heck of a lot more.

Again, I don't see this. If that were true, all of my colleagues and I should be able to get a significant raise by moving, and as far as I can see that isn't the case. I've made a habit throughout my career of maintaining good ongoing relationships with a few headhunters and always being willing to talk about opportunities... and as soon as I tell them what I'd have to have to leave Google, they start talking about management positions, not individual contributor positions (what I am) or even team lead positions (what I've been and likely will be again soon). Granted that I'm not in SV; but Google would give me a raise if I agreed to move there, so I think I'd still be in more or less the same position.

Of course, I only have detailed knowledge of my own situation, but I don't see many (any, actually) colleagues leaving for better pay. In fact, everyone I know who has left has done it for personal reasons (location), or to go to a startup where they usually take a hefty short-term pay cut in exchange for heavy equity that they hope will someday explode. The latter happens mostly because Google pays so well, actually. After a few years of accumulating Google stock grants, most people can afford to take some financial risk, shooting for big rewards.

Comment: Re:Android (Score 1) 77

by swillden (#48182399) Attached to: Google Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and Nexus Preview Images

That makes no sense what so ever. Tell me again how USB Mass Storage is magically different from the myriad of devices out there which have SD cards?

I was talking about the phone as a target device, and my explanation as to why it changed to use MTP for that purpose is correct. You and the GP were talking about it as a host. I don't know why stock Android doesn't acts as a USM host.

Is a person who blows up banks an econoclast?