Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Brilliant! (Score 1) 406 406

And if there were really that much of a business case for a US to China railway connection, the same case could be argued for a China to Europe railway connection,which already exists.

It's my understanding that while this exists, it's not really terribly useful, and that China is already building new tracks, going so far as as to finance the parts going through poor nations. It's not easy to find much online on this, but here are one discussion and another.

Comment False assumptions (Score 1) 7 7

I'm sorry, couldn't comment on your previous journal entries, but I think you're maybe going about this with a false set of assumptions.

For instance, regarding portability, you have apparently missed the part where Lennart explained that he's previously written portable software (e.g. PulseAudio) and that he knows about the tradeoffs. Maybe you think of the tradeoff differently, but it wasn't you who had to implement it so that's sort of a moot point.

Regarding GNOME's use of logind, you have to remember that ConsoleKit was dead. Instead systemd showed up with manpower and momentum. This is actually common theme among many of the small utilities bundled with systemd.

Regarding depending directly on DBUS instead of separating the communication mechanism from the API, I think your false assumption is that anyone in the desktop landscape would really prefer that to DBUS. The sole purpose of DBUS is to allow APIs to be developed between separate processes. And there's a real cost to adding abstraction layers of fat.

Regarding logind and systemd, you seem to start from the assumption that logind shouldn't depend on systemd. As far as I'm aware, apart from the small start up notification library (and perhaps udev), the systemd stuff isn't really intended to be run separately?

Personally I'd like to see competitors to systemd form, but I really think the value in collecting and maintaining a bunch of low-level utils necessary for getting a Linux system up and running to the point where you can run interesting stuff (i.e. applications) is under-appreciated.

Comment Re:Who would? (Score 1) 358 358

I probably would. I don't have a TV, and when I need to find something to watch with my small kids, it's usually on Youtube, e.g. the renowned Lego Police Chase Part 3. The ads are annoying, especially when you have an angry 3-year old, and we've had some long stretches where adblockers don't work (currently they seem to do).

Likewise, with two small children I don't really have the time and energy to play computer games, but I still sometimes watch a let's play - it's easier to just watch an episode or two and then fall asleep. For me, it's a bit like watching a friend play a game, except I can turn it on and off as I wish. :)

I realize for many people, Youtube is mostly a bunch of stupid cat videos, but there are a lot of different niches in there, some of which have high-quality content of a different sort than what you'd find on commercial TV channels. Provided the fee isn't absurd, I wouldn't mind giving something back to the creators.

Comment Do not add anything to the list (Score 1) 298 298

Code needs to be easy to understand, that's all. You can't keep a long list of priorities in your head, that simply doesn't work at all. Just keep one: easy to understand.

Of course it needs to work, but that's obvious so not really worth stating - testable is part of this obviousness, if you need to test it, and you can't, well, then it doesn't work.

Sometimes code needs to be performant, but often this is only the case for small parts of it, so it's better not to think about it or it will tend to compete with making the code easier to understand.

I'm deliberately using the phrase "easy to understand" and not just talking about readability, because ease of understanding often doesn't not come from just superficial readability tweaks like spacing, consistent styling, self-explanatory naming, etc. Often it may require approaching the problem at hand from a different angle, modeling it slightly differently or otherwise shuffling things around a bit to reduce accidental complexity and avoidable dependencies.

Comment Re:Yes he's right (Score 1) 214 214

He considered my and their work with "software as a service" to be immoral, because all the software should be directly in their hands.

Well, I'm not RMS but from some of the remarks I've seen from him on mailing lists, it's not just the software but also very much the data. He's against the idea of giving up data to a third-party.

In the light of the Snowden revelations, you have to admit there's some validity to his point.

... nor to discuss the inability of most home users to maintain a robust or secure database

I'm sure his response would be that we should figure out ways to help them do that. There are in fact people working on these kinds of things, e.g. the FreedomBox project. It's of course a much harder engineering challenge than a controlled server-based solution where the service provider can monitor stuff and fix problems directly.

Comment Re:Ain't freedom a bitch... (Score 3, Interesting) 551 551

So why is he complaining here?

He's complaining because this is about GCC.

AFAICT, he's seen in the past that GCC can be used as a tool to make hardware vendors open up their platforms because writing a new compiler is just too damn difficult compared to getting support into GCC, and the latter required distributing the source under the GPL.

With LLVM, that kind of hardware vendors can keep their source code to themselves.

Thus he sees LLVM as a threat in the long term.

I think most people in the Emacs community understand his point, but disagree that adding support to Emacs will change anything. LLVM will thrive whether Emacs supports it or not.

Comment The GR outcome (Score 1) 581 581

IMHO it was good that it ended up with the outcome it did. You'll notice that the option "we should not have a GR about this" won. What it means is that Debian elected NOT to try to force any particular solution through, but let things settle themselves through consensus decisions by individual package maintainers.

If enough people care about sysvinit, it will survive and thrive - if not, it will die in Debian, just like other things that have been abandoned. Whether project X is your pet project or not, this is just natural software evolution. You can't be in the software world for long without seeing something you like rot and be disbandoned.

Comment Re:Article is retarded - here's the situation (Score 1) 488 488

If you erect a wind turbine it will produce power as the wind blows.

I should perhaps add that unless you've looked at the data, intuition in energy production works really bad. For instance, the above sentences makes wind sound really bad, but in reality the wind conditions in Denmark are actually pretty good. Otherwise wind power wouldn't be economical here, and it certainly is.

Comment Article is retarded - here's the situation (Score 4, Informative) 488 488

Look, energy production is hard stuff, and the reporter here clearly didn't understand ANY of the intricacies.

Basically the situation is this: you have a consumption curve that you need to meet at every instance. It is important to understand that this is a curve with daily peaks. These peaks MUST be met or you get riots in the streets.

If you erect a wind turbine it will produce power as the wind blows. Same with solar and the sun. When you match the resulting production curve up against the consumption curve, there will be gaps that you need to fill in some other way.

Nuclear power is a bad way to fill the gaps. Due to high capital costs, to stay economical a nuclear plant usually needs to produce 100% all the time until it needs refueling (which takes a month I think) where it will produce 0%, in other words a flat line with some clearly defined gaps. But we need to match a curve with gaps, so a flat line doesn't help much.

Instead you need something you can dispatch relatively quickly without costs going through the roof. Currently stuff like hydro, biogas, biomass, etc.

In Denmark, besides all the wind turbines we have a bunch of big coal plants. These plants are currently being transitioned to biomass (i.e. wood pills and chips) and will fill in the gaps, as well as produce heat for district heating (which is really big in Denmark, winter's cold up here).

If these plants get into financial trouble, the national grid operator Energinet can increase a fee on each kWh (the PSO) and use the extra income to pay some of the plants for standby services. Besides this, we have really good grid connections to Norway where they have a ton of quickly dispatchable hydro. The connections to Norway are a two-way street - they get cheap wind turbine power in return which makes it easier for them to get through the winter without running out of water (very little water flows to the dams in winter because it's frozen).

Hence, apart from the transportation sector where we're waiting for Tesla and the like to come up with better electric cars, there really isn't anything tricky or hard about the transition away from fossil fuels in Denmark.

It was tricky in the past because wind turbines used to be expensive, but the industry has matured and wind is now the cheapest source of new (undispatchable) kWhs. Really, the only political question left is whether we should try to save some of the biomass by building more off-shore wind turbines.

It's also true that our current path is a bit more expensive than a fossil-based base scenario - I think it's supposed to be around 100-200 USD per inhabitant per year in 2050. So not overwhelmingly expensive.

Comment Re:Temporary (Score 1) 488 488

I don't know how you got modded up, but you are actually wrong on most accounts:

- Greens in the government just pretended it doesn't exist until it's now hitting them square in their faces.

False. It is well-known that you need something to fill in the gaps. Energistyrelsen (~ department of energy) has recently calculated the costs. They are not excessive.

- Wind power is installed mainly offshore.

False. But it's true that much of the future growth is expected to be off-shore.

- Essentially, not a single watt of non-renewable energy can be sold on exchange until all of renewable capacity has been sold.

False. At least for Denmark. If you think otherwise, please provide a source. The producer bidding with the lowest price (so usually those with the lowest marginal costs) get to sell first. Solar and wind have lower marginal costs.

- This obviously leads to the problem where it's unprofitable to keep the non-renewable plants operating, so operators just shut down the plant. Except that woops, if they do, you have grid blackouts

Well, this hasn't really happened yet (many plants shutting down), and Energinet is responsible for making sure that if it happens, we don't get into trouble. Energinet can increase the PSO (a fee on each kWh sold) and use that to pay standby plants or build more power lines. We will not have regular blackouts, that's just FUD.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.

Working...