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Comment: Re:Evens are evil (Score 2) 198

Of course it will alternate even and odd, the article is incomplete...

I don't think it will, at least not daily.

What you think does not matter, the reality is that they will alternate if the measure lasts more than one day. The measure is even called "circulation alternée", let me not translate that for you.

Comment: Hardware and Software (Score 1) 385

by paulatz (#49290395) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

I've a master and a PhD in physics and I've been working as a phisicist during the last 5 years, this is my insight.

First of all, not every kind of phisicist does software development, if you don't any laptop and even a chromebook, would do. However, this is getting increasingly rare, only really outstanding scientists can afford this luxury, so chances are that she'll need a real laptop of some kind

Windows, Mac and Linux all have some advantages and some disadvantages, here are the nost important:

Windows: you have all the graphical software you need, whatever field you are going to study. Some communities rely on specific commercial software which are typically only available for Windows and Mac. On the other hand, developement on windows is going to be difficult: all the developers use Mac or Linux for a reason, just installing python on Windows is a pain, let alone using makefiles or similar.

Mac: it is a good tradeoff, you have almost every graphical software and a developement environment which is relatively well supported. Between ports and fink and homebrew, installing developement software on a Mac is always on the hedge of becoming a mess, but not as bad as windows. On the other hand, you'll have to spend big cash on it. Not just for the hardware, also software tend to be more expensive, i.e. the Intel compiler suite is free for academic use on Linux and Windows, but for Mac you only get a reduced version (and it used to be 150$ until last year!).

Linux: by far the most powerful development environment, ad everything is pre-packaged and tidy, you waste no time installing packages and fixing dependencies like on mac. You trade off by not being able to use some specific proprietary softwares, popular in some communities; it is better to keep a windows partition just in case. You may need to do some tweaking in order to get it to work properly on your laptop, and battery performance may never be on par with the same laptop on Windows (or MacOSX).

Personally, I do a lot of developement. I would never use anything else than Linux on the desktop, but I'm sort of tempted to go for a Mac for my next laptop in a couple of years. My main problemd on the Linux laptop (a 2nd gen XPS13) is that skype for linux sucks. Or maybe in a couple of years I won't have the need to buy a laptop anymore, I'll just buy a tablet and take out my old laptop those few times I need to ssh from home. When I was a student, I used a cheap (still 1k$ at the time!) HP laptop and dual boot it with Linux and Windows, I could write my PhD thesis on it no problem, I liked that it was quite bulky with a big keyboard, suspend to ram never worked properly.

Comment: Re:Breakthrough? (Score 1) 445

by paulatz (#49183805) Attached to: Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough

How can they earn back their $6.4 billion investement in Nokia with $40 smartphones? Marketshare isn't everything here. Someone who buys a $40 phone buys it to make phone calls and doesn't want a data plan (like my mum). They will not load the phone with many apps, if any at all.

They won't spend a single penny on their phone, but they will kick and scream if they don't get windows & ms office at their workplace.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 579

Also battery life is allright, and usability is not worst than Samsung craptastic interface. Just at providing updates they really suck . Also note that they said they one major update was coming, then they retracted.

And still I would not mind, if it was not for unpatched vulnerabilities.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 2) 579

I've got an HTC ONE-S, that was not dirty cheap at all, and I love it: small, lightweight, nice screen, fast. But, shortly after having bought it HTC went back on their promise to udate it at least one mayor version. So now I'm fucked.

I have three choices: 1) stop using a perfectly good phone that I like, but is basically a portable danger until I to get my data stlen by some russian mofo 2) throw away a perfectly good phone 3) sue HTC for selling an unsafe device, and spend all my money for a very dubious outcome

Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 353

by paulatz (#48233541) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

Calling Apple excluded from any such ruling of a court as above, is contraindicated. The OS is clearly not in any way free at this time.

except that Italy uses a system of Roman law, not common law, where precedent judgments do not make law. If you think you have a case against Apple you can move to Italy, buy a Mac, try to get a refund for OSX and eventually bring the case to court. What will be decided , after two levels of judgment and one of appeal, will not depend on precedents but on the law, the interpretation of the law given by the judge, the large discretionary powers that he has and other circumstances.

Comment: Re:I'm not an encryption expert by any means... (Score 1) 220

by paulatz (#48138623) Attached to: VeraCrypt Is the New TrueCrypt -- and It's Better
You are right, but let me rephrase: the algorithm scales perfectly, what does not is the initial distribution of the data; also the operating system poses some limits to scalability, specialized parallel infrastructures use custom operating systems to mitigate this effect.

Comment: Re:I'm not an encryption expert by any means... (Score 1) 220

by paulatz (#48138287) Attached to: VeraCrypt Is the New TrueCrypt -- and It's Better

And that probably only begins to approach the computational power the NSA has at its disposal

It is sure that the NSA has at its disposable a ridiculous amount of computing power, but it is equally evident that they cannot only use it once at a time. I.e. they may well have a billion CPUs, if it takes one billion hours to crack a disk they can only crack a disk an hour. Also, even the best parallel cracking scheme is going to scale less than perfect on a massive parallel setup, let alone a cheap cloud infrastructure.

Comment: Re: Application sandboxing (Score 1) 577

by paulatz (#48054027) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

And its a ton easier on any unixy-box. And guess what, all this is even easier for a homogeneous hardware pool like a particular cell phone model, or a particular OEM PC model, with a preconfigured image that matches your hardware exactly - for a random home PC thats more work.

I don't agree on this. On a Linux box, if you used separate partition, it's as easy as save down a list of installed rpms (or deb), reinstall os, reinstall list of rpm. On OEM windows installation you normally only have a recovery partition that can only do automatic repair (that never works) or destroy everything and restore to the factory state.

I'm not talking about restoring the factory state, I'm talking about restoring your PC to a working state, with all your software and data as before but not fucked up

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.