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Comment: Re:Slight OT: USB-bootable virtualbox? (Score 1) 198

by drinkypoo (#48942683) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Performance of USB3 sticks is more than adequate and this might be a way to create a way to create a single stick that could run multiple operating systems from bootup without needing any host storage.

You can just write a filesystem to a USB device, or you can partition it and write to it like it was an HDD. So putting multiple operating systems on a USB stick has always been not just possible, but trivial; you do it just the same way as you do it on a HDD.

I made a go at rolling my own with Ubuntu, but because I trying to do it with an older version of VMware workstation running under Windows it seemed to hose up on the USB stick installation.

Get vmware player and the gparted CD ISO, and you will have all that you need to accomplish your goal. ;) Make sure to set the boot order before installing anything because it's much easier to get into the BIOS then. Can't you point VBox at a physical drive, though?

There might be too many gotchas in terms of hardware drivers for the host Linux environment, but it seemed like a sweet solution if would work.

Once you manage getting both nvidia and ati drivers installed at the same time, the rest is child's play.

If you've got a fat USB stick, I advocate installing some lightweight edition of Ubuntu to do the job you're trying to do, perhaps lubuntu. I've never tried pointing vmware at a partition, only at an actual raw device. That worked well as long as I made it an IDE device. This is on an Ubuntu host and using a SATA HDD, and later an SSD. If I told it that the disk was SCSI or SATA then Windows 7 got confused. Telling it that the virtual disk was IDE and pointing it at my SATA disk worked great.

The question I have, though, is why not just use vmware player? It costs the same as virtualbox. Last time I checked, it was vastly superior. It doesn't involve Oracle. Seems better all around.

Comment: Re:VMWare is worth the money (Score 1) 198

by drinkypoo (#48942623) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

KVM could work, but is still maturing and hasn't quire reached the same level yet -- plus, it's nowhere near as portable to any host.

I also like that VBox inherits any improvements made in QEmu.

Portability to any host isn't the point of KVM, it's intentionally Linux-centric. So yeah, if you want to host on things other than Linux, you probably want something else. On the other hand, KVM is used through qemu, so you get the same sort of benefits with KVM as you're expecting with VBox. I just installed The Foreman on a Debian system so that I could manage KVMs, but I haven't actually started fiddling with it. Tomorrow, I think. There's always the command-line tools.

Comment: Re: If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 198

by drinkypoo (#48942557) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Yeah. I mean I totally buy into innovation for innovation's sake. But VirtBox just works. Sure when a new OS comes out there's work to be done to make it so it will boot in Virtual Box but still. It's worked well for me for years where when I upgrade my OS, VMWare Fusion refuses to work until I pay them (again).

How odd. I was using VMware Server on Linux, because that was free. But then VMware Player became the free product, so I moved to that, which also didn't cost anything. Then it went through several versions, and I still didn't have to pay anything.

I also firmly believe that software which is currently working and working well for most, doesn't need constant attention and "updates" to keep it relevant.

The thing that I personally have noticed has substantially improved in VMware Player is 3D graphics. I've occasionally been in the habit of using it to let me run Windows games (in a window no less) while I do serious things on Linux. Recently I decided to try installing Windows (7) in a VM using the physical drive mapped to the VM and then boot it on the bare metal, which worked brilliantly. I have to admit that it's been a little while since I tried Virtualbox's 3d support, but last time I did that it crashed pretty much every game I tried, except for when it was crashing the VM. Some of those games worked great on vmware player 3.x, let alone 5.x. Most of them work wonderfully on 5.x.

I'm now exploring using KVM on Linux, but not where I want graphics, just for servers. I think that's a much more sensible way to go than messing with anything with which Oracle is involved. Eventually KVM will be better in every way, and not in just a couple. In the meantime, I still have vmware player, which cost me nothing and which IME works better than vbox.

Comment: Re:Not for me (Score 1) 67

by drinkypoo (#48942467) Attached to: Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

It's very random, which leads me to the conclusion that it could also be an issue with the AP and/or all the wireless networks around me,

If an AP your NIC is not connected to is causing your NIC problems other than low signal or perhaps low throughput, then your NIC is at fault. OTOH, if your router (AP, whatever) is actually causing you problems, then yes, your NIC deserves a pass. However, IME most of the time if a Linksys router has a problem, it's usually hanging. YMMV, I suppose.

I sometimes wonder why works at all.

Most of the hardware designed before most of the problems were solved is now gone, or at least sitting in a drawer someplace. Sure, I own devices invented before WPA2, but I don't actually use them.

Comment: Re:"Wi-Fi" is fundamentally broken, period. (Score 2) 67

by drinkypoo (#48942431) Attached to: Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

The problems with "Wi-Fi" are numerous. The end result is that generally speaking, Wi-Fi is a hot mess of broken tech that doesn't work.

Oddly, I find Wi-Fi to be the only wireless technology which does work reliably. Bluetooth? It's pure bollocks, it never works. Well, that is, when you're trying to do anything the least bit fiddly. And they permitted all kinds of things which abuse the shit out of the spec to call themselves bluetooth, like PS3 controllers. And my problems with cellular technology are legion. But Wi-Fi tends to just keep on ticking along for me. Routers, those shit themselves, but completely and not just the Wi-Fi.

Actual implementations of Wi-Fi are all over the map in terms of quality, with ridiculous things like: advertising support for an extension that it doesn't actually support; criminally severe bugs in a production implementation; vendors that try to work around bugs that other vendors introduced but in turn create yet more bugs, causing a vicious cycle of workarounds to workarounds; "hide and go seek" with extensions and spec interpretations; ridiculous driver implementations that hold exclusive access over very coarse-grained locks in the OS kernel for long periods of time, causing freezes and/or panics; poorly designed antennas; buggy firmware that never gets updated; etc.

You can have all the same equivalent problems with normal Ethernet, though. Many vendors still sell ordinary 100bTX(etc) chipsets which are total garbage, and people still buy NICs using them and stick them into their machines. I have a whole raft of sketchy tulip clones here because they were $1/ea some years ago at Fry's, back when that was still a really amazing price and not just what you'd expect on eBay. They work OK if you only put one of them in a system, which pretty much crapped on my plans for them, but over the years they've occasionally come in handy. Problem is, PCI is goin' away...

The spectrum WiFi uses is open to be used by literally anything else that complies with a few simple rules, [...] Ever lose your WiFi when you turn on your vacuum cleaner, or microwave? That's what's happening.

Well no. My vacuum and microwave are both brand-name products which seem to have adequate shielding, they do not seem to negatively impact my 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi in the least. In case you're wondering, the vac is a Dyson.

If USB and its "device class" specifications (Mass Storage, Battery charging spec, RNDIS, audio class, etc.) is a ringing success story of how standardization can promote interoperability,

It isn't. Most devices don't use the generic driver, even when it would be better than whatever they actually did.

What sucks about Wi-Fi is that when you have a lot of networks near one another, they crap on one another harder than they are supposed to. It takes extra-special care to make this not happen, and then any dillhole who brings his own battery-powered AP with him can still totally hose your network. But otherwise it mostly works, and often better than the other stuff that's supposed to be better. I had way less radio-related problems when my WISP used Wi-Fi than I do now that they're using some custom CDMA crap. No weather problems either, even though I'm more than five miles from the site. It proves nothing of course, except that the Wi-Fi is more mature technology than whatever they were using.

Now, I have yet to try Chromecast, Miracast etc. but I'm starting to think harder about that, so maybe I will finally learn to hate Wi-Fi. But in general, the only real hardship I've had is with chipsets whose drivers don't support master mode under Linux. This taught me to buy intel and Atheros. Even then you don't get a guarantee, but odds are great and you can always check ahead of time. The thing is, that's good advice anyway, both what to buy and what to do before you buy.

Comment: Re:Pollute the air twice. Once to make bio fuel, (Score 1) 173

by drinkypoo (#48942335) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Or, of course, you can use the fischer-tropsch process to turn the methane into actual gasoline and not have to bother converting the vehicles.

But that just costs more energy. If you've got unlimited energy, why not just make fuel from seawater? I mean, we should be treating our crap better anyway because we need the resulting soil anyway, but even so.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 406

by drinkypoo (#48942329) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Traditional ways of selective breeding are MORE dangerous from a genetic perspective than genetic engineering.

Nonsense. That's a ridiculous idea no matter how you slice it. Nature might occasionally slip DNA from one family into another, but it never produces a big fat protected monoculture of anything like that. We have the opportunity to ensure the success of things which would better not exist at all, and you imagine that this new ability is somehow less dangerous than what we have been doing, which is limited by the effective checksum functionality built into all familiar life? Yeah okay there buddy.

Comment: Re:Study limited to sugar cane and maize for ethan (Score 1) 173

by drinkypoo (#48942301) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

If it were that easy people would be investing billions into it to earn the profits that the oil companies are currently earning on petroleum.

Yeah you sound like you know what you're talking about, except you don't. BP is patent trolling to prevent Butanol from happening, when they could be selling it. Why wouldn't biodiesel be subject to the same sort of machinations?

Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 173

by drinkypoo (#48940389) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

they're very initial studies that never scaled up.

Yes, I've read them, I know they only did one decent-sized test.

Excepts it's been decades and no one has been able to do it.

Who has the land? Who has been trying to do it?

I've followed a number of the experiments of people trying and it doesn't seem to be as easy as the NREL papers made it sound. The open raceway ponds get contaminated with lower oil strains and don't produce the oil at the rate the papers hypothesized and the closed systems are expensive and difficult to operate.

Clearly you and all the people you have allegedly been following [citation?] failed to read and understand the report, which specifically says that this will happen if you try to seed the ponds with specific strains, but also that it's a fat waste of time because the strains which are most efficient in the laboratory are not going to be the strains which are most efficient in your pond, year over year. The strains which are most successful in your region will naturally dominate the ponds no matter what you do. The only way to select for strains that produce a lot of oil is to make producing a lot of oil a survival strategy, and it isn't that. Maybe someone will come up with some kind of additive that convinces the algae that it is, and then you can have your even-more-efficient-than-necessary strains.

Think of it this way, if it worked, oil companies would be pouring billions into making it work rather than spending those billions drilling underwater or paying despotic dictators.

They have a system that works. They're not interfering with it. Indeed, BP is suing GE to prevent them from interfering with it.

The thing which prevents biodiesel-from-algae from happening even though it would be profitable now is that you can't get the permits you'd need to do it. Even if you did, by the time you actually got moving, the next administration would come along and quash it. It takes cooperation from government to enact such a massive project, and government is currently cooperating with Big Oil — indeed, it's peopled by it to sufficient degree to permit them undue influence. In the past the federal government has been happy to permit BLM land (for example) to be exploited for coal and oil in extremely destructive ways, to say nothing of the clear-cutting that goes on in the parts which still have soil enough to support trees. But they've been resistant to solar projects, citing concern over environmental impact. Now that is comedy.

There's nothing magical about oil from algae as a feedstock for transportation fuel, and it would make a significant positive difference, and we can do it. We do have the technology. Moving water around between ponds is a well-solved problem. We do more complicated things all the time, and for much more specious reasons than to reduce environmental impact.

Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 173

by drinkypoo (#48940307) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

You made the first claim; you show me your resource showing the energy efficiency of algal microbiofuel from sun to tank.

I didn't make a specific claim about algal microbiofuel from sun to tank.

Cite the page, please.

First, you cite the comment which justifies your claim. And, your laziness. I provided a citation. It's a summary, and it contains its own summaries, and you can search it.

Comment: Re:Remove politics from the survey (Score 1) 406

by drinkypoo (#48940289) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

If you honestly don't have a single scientific opinion that isn't political then you don't give a shit about science in the first place and shouldn't even be having this conversation.

I'm speaking in generalities. This was a survey of lots of people, not just slashdotters. You're being obtuse. Is it deliberate, or are you just frothing?

Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 173

by drinkypoo (#48939531) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

They are not saying it is impossible to convert biomass to diesel, or even that we shouldn't grow biomass. They are saying that with current technology it is better to use biomass for carbon sequestration and food, and use more technological approaches to capturing solar as energy.

In order to come to that conclusion, they only included technologies known to support it, and completely ignored well-known and proven technologies which disprove their point. Therefore, there is no validity whatsoever to the study, and you should summarily ignore it in turn.

Converting biomass to biodiesel, right now, costs more energy than turning solar into charged batteries through PV, wind, or solar furnaces.

[citation needed]

Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 173

by drinkypoo (#48939521) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

I worked in a lab that researched biofuels and turns out that the biggest issue with this setup is that the bacterial populations keep evolving away from the good biofuel-producing genes, [...] That, more than anything else, is the biggest issue with algae and biofuel production.

That might be true for butanol production, and if so, you should say so. But as for Algae grown in open ponds, it's a complete falsehood, and the linked report makes this clear. In a reactor, where it doesn't have to compete with other strains, it might work. But if you put it in a pond, another algae is going to come along and outcompete it, since it's not putting its effort into producing what excessive lipids (for its purposes, anyhow.)

The linked report is especially relevant to the particular point you raised because the goal of the program on which it reports was to study the breeding and application of high-lipid-production algaes for the purpose of production of biodiesel fuel, and what they determined (and indeed the thrust of the summary) is that there was simply no point. You put out the water, the algae shows up, you stir the algae, you achieve peak production with very little effort. The only thing that's really changed is that peak insolation has increased since the report was written, so you might need to shade your ponds.

A list is only as strong as its weakest link. -- Don Knuth