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Comment: Proof that the Internet Makes You Fat (Score 1) 487

by obscuro (#49349879) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds
That guy's chart is proof that html makes you fat. See that little downward tick around 2011 when everyone started abandoning the web for mobile apps. Then BOOM - Bootstrap brings him back to html pages. And that steep recent drop. He thinks it's from his diet and exercise but it's really because all the time he spends looking at his Fit Bit he's not on the web.

Comment: FreeBSD and OpenBSD (Score 1) 716

by obscuro (#49048041) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

I hadn't touched the BSDs (with the exception of Mac) in nearly a decade but recently had reason to dig into FreeBSD and OpenBSD. I installed both, played around and dug into some work related to my goals. This will sound funny, but I almost wept. They were both so straight forward and HELPFUL!! The errors suggested paths for getting it right the next time. The documentation was up to date and made perfect sense. Everything was where and what the documentation said it would be and where I intuitively wanted to look for it. The config files had nice big comments and helpful examples you could uncomment and use. There was just no noise.

I ended up choosing FreeBSD for my project for convenience sake. Some packages I needed were being tested on FreeBSD. But OpenBSD is BEAUTIFUL. If security is your top concerns it's worth ANY hassle to run it.

I've administered Linux on servers and on desktops/laptops since 1998. I ran RedHat, Fedora and then Ubuntu on my laptop from 2000 till 2011 when I got a started using Mac a lot more.

I started out with Linux a little late. In 1996 I bought that Gray Box with the Red Hat on it when it started selling at Fry's. That box came with a book. I was a Windows admin at the time and the mix of dlls, config files and registry entries was just getting annoying. I was playing the the pre-release of NT 4.0 and worrying about all the shit they moved out of userland and into the kernel. I remember going through the Red Hat book that came with that box, reading man pages and falling in love. It made sense. I got excited about knowing where to look and having pretty much ONE set of things to know for all the configuration files and shell work. I felt like if I did my homework and took an action, it wouldn't betray me.

FreeBSD made me feel that way again but MORE. It's an operating system you can master with the necessary services to do anything.

As the opportunities arise I'll be switching to one of the BSDs. I'm already running some of my cloud services on FreeBSD 10.1. There are more services in the cloud for Linux but it's worth the extra bits of work to me. And I'm constantly pleasantly surprised that the work I prepare for has already been done somewhere or is easier than I thought it would be.

If you feel like Linux is getting too complex. There's and alternative *NIX out there worth a good hard look.

Comment: Signal (Score 1) 237

by obscuro (#48932717) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

There seems to be a trend in our own civilization toward more and more experiences being constructed purely from information.

We are heading toward the capacity to transform ourselves into information when our bodies fail.

Information appears to be the only thing with any hope of overcoming the limits of the speed of light.

Our civilization is a few thousand years old. We dream of visiting other stars and we invest a little bit of our wealth in preparing to do so.

If spreading to other planets and stars is a common feature of civilizations and existing as information is the only way (or the most efficient way) to operate at interstellar scale, then a billions year old civilization would have transformed into either pure information or something close to it well over a billion years ago. Being made of a specific bundle of matter would just get in the way.

For all we know, the cosmic background radiation could be crowded with ancient civilizations "visiting" earth and a million other places simultaneously.

Comment: DROPPED PANTS (Score 1) 106

Yeah, it's regrettable that in pursuit of spying on your own citizens and other departments of your own govrrnment, you dropped all of our collective pants to a long list of potential attackers. On second thought, maybe I'm overstating things. How many people who want to damage American interests can afford a room full of GPUs and some math Phds? It's all good. Let's just move along.

Comment: Hmmmm... (Score 1) 386

by obscuro (#48706129) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

Google built an ad and PR platform that caters to early adopters with significant disposable income and when it doesn't show up at Walmart the next year this dude calls them stupid.

Oh, and the demand for a driverless car? How about one ofthe fastest growing demographics in the world - old people.

If you'received ever in the mood to sample willful ignorance talk to a journalist.

Comment: Yes, If... (Score 1) 546

by obscuro (#47839697) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?
If "learning to code" include some careful, thorough attention to theory, algorithms, oop and patterns AND a deep, productive dive into building real functioning software, then, yes, it's beats the shit out of a BS from most colleges. Languages and frameworks are essentially built environments. Theory and ease in learning core language features doesn't compare at all with extensive experience with a set of useful, well supported libraries and frameworks. Most wheels have been invented. Most problems require the applicarion of existing structures. Yes, there are important instances where extensive knowledge of theory matters but you can add a HELL of a lot of net value without deep theory that is impossible to add without specific knowledge of libraries and the application of patterns.

Comment: Re:The flip side: (Score 1) 127

by obscuro (#47534507) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

Dungeons and Dragons is a game of probability events and profiles that offset those probabilities. It's great training for decision-making under constraints. In the real world one seldom knows everything necessary to make the best decision. We're stuck using what information we can gather (and a model for best understanding) to take our best shot.

On the DM side, a good campaign is about balancing the probability of kicking your players asses too hard and giving them enough challenge to build skills and hit points. For instance, a campaign that is well matched to the players should kill them really fast if they were to (to be allowed to) try to play it backwards. The campaign should present opportunities to build the characters to face the later challenges the DM knows are coming. That's a hell of a lot like the long term management of a team.

Comment: Given who we think are terrorists... (Score 1) 509

by obscuro (#45695629) Attached to: NSA Head Asks How To Spy Without Collecting Metadata

... the NSA director is right about what he needs to do his job.

Wired has an article about the threats the NSA has to worry about:(sarcasm)

Here's an article about our potential terrorist veterans: (sarcasm)

Here's a list by paranoids: (sarcasm)

Comment: Article Misses Point of Nukes (Score 1) 211

The problem with nukes is the scale of their destruction and the potential to poisons regions or the world. Drones are just another new weapons system. They don't relate at all to nukes. They still could use some international controls and other attention from potential combatants but that could be said of all kinds of weapons.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser