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Comment: Re:Do what you can to support this (Score 2) 185

by TheRaven64 (#49335787) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act
There was an article a few years ago about how Congressmen judged popular support. I don't know how true it is now, but back then most of them got under ten letters for any given bill. Anything that got 100 was judged to be really important to their constituents. Basically, if everyone on Slashdot who is a registered voter in the USA actually bothered contacting their representatives (a form letter doesn't count, those are ignored, but a couple of short paragraphs will be counted as a separate mail) then they'd be perceived as representing popular opinion.

Comment: Re:The downside: It won't protect from direct hits (Score 2) 126

by TheRaven64 (#49325785) Attached to: Boeing Patents <em>Star Wars</em> Style Force Field Technology
The lack of seatbelts makes sense. If you're on a spaceship that can accelerate quickly enough to turn everyone into a fine paste and relies on inertial dampeners (adjustments of the artificial gravity) to prevent this, then there aren't many situations where you'll need a seatbelt: either the inertial dampeners are preventing you from needing them, or you're dead. The problem is that the drama needed the ship to seem to shake. It's the same issue as feeling the ship warm up as you get close to a star: it makes for good drama, but the difference between 'humans are comfortable' and 'humans are on fire' is tiny compared to the difference between 'humans are comfortable' and 'nuclear fusion is happening' - it's far more likely that the shields would work fine and no one would be discomforted right up until the point where much of the ship vaporised.

Comment: Re:As a recent buyer of a mid-2014 MBP (Score 1) 204

by TheRaven64 (#49325695) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance
I was quite surprised by the numbers they had for the old model. On my 2014 MBP, I recently did some tests doing sha calculations of VM images. These were multithreaded and not CPU-bound, but they ended up getting almost 2GB/s reads from the SSD. The benchmark is interleaving reads and writes, so that may account for it, but if you're just loading game data from disk then the old model can fill the whole of physical RAM in 8 seconds, so I doubt that's the bottleneck.

Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 1) 569

If people are actually being killed, then as soon as you get near the house you're likely to hear screams / gunshots. If they're just being threatened, then you have time to plan something that has a good chance of having the victims survive. Well-trained police forces don't rush in guns blazing.

Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 5, Insightful) 569

Step one, drive past the house - no sirens or lights, just see if there's anything odd. Step two, knock on a couple of the neighbours' doors - say that you've received a non-specific report of gunfire in the area, ask if they heard anything. Step three, from somewhere inconspicuous see if you can see in through the windows with binoculars. Step four, visit the nearest take-away and have someone in plain clothes take the food to the house pretending that they misread the number, look for signs of distress from the person answering the door. Step five, surround the house with armed officers at all exits and have someone in uniform knock on the front door and ask the person who answers to step outside - if they're refusing and showing signs of distress, then go in.

Or they could just forget all of their police training and pretend that their soldiers in enemy territory.

Comment: Re:Normal women... (Score 1) 764

Racism is ok outside of the workplace? Thought not...

The workplace is special because it's somewhere where your freedom of association is limited. If you're being racist in a public place, I can leave or use my freedom of speech to tell you to shut up. If you're being racist in my house, I can ask you to leave (and call the police if you don't). If you're being racist in work, then my ability to do anything about it is limited by the management. If you are the management, then there's nothing that I can do about it except quit, and (depending on the state of the economy) that may hurt me more than you.

Comment: Re:Animal House (Score 3, Interesting) 764

She sees the same absurdity in the "feminist" movement that I do.

The problem for feminists today is that their parents (or grandparents) won all of the easy battles. Now the only ones left are difficult and nuanced. Addressing them is hard - it's much easier to make up an easy target to attack than deal with real issues.

Comment: Re:Everybody gets a dime. (Score 1) 54

They don't admit to anything, but the fact that they're willing to pay to make the lawsuit go away counts for something. Precedent doesn't usually apply in a small claims court anyway (and magistrates tend to get a bit cranky with anyone trying to be a lawyer in one).

Comment: Re:I choose MS SQL Server (Score 1) 320

by TheRaven64 (#49299953) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB
Because needs grow. The entire point of the free version is to encourage people to use it for everything and then discover that their data has grown to over 10GB and they can either pay MS for the full version or spend a lot more migrating all of their data and software to something else. If you start out on PostgreSQL, then you don't have that issue.

Comment: Re:Everybody gets a dime. (Score 5, Interesting) 54

When a class action suit is settled, if you are a member of the class then you should receive a letter asking if you want to opt in to the class. If not, then you don't get the money and are free to take it to court yourself. Opting out then turning up in a small claims court with a class action result and evidence of the value of your losses should get you a few hundred dollars fairly easily. If enough people do this, then it will discourage companies from offering too low settlements for class action suits. The cost for them to send someone to defend is sufficiently high that it's probably not worth it and small claims courts have a habit of ruling against people who don't turn up...

Comment: Re:I can't find the commercial speech section (Score 1) 239

by TheRaven64 (#49256569) Attached to: FAA Says Ad-Bearing YouTube Drone Videos Constitute "Commercial Use"
Exactly. There's a reason why 'no commercial use' licenses are generally best avoided: defining commercial use is hard. The problem for the FAA is that, traditionally, it's pretty easy with an aeroplane: if someone is paying you to fly the plane, it's commercial, otherwise it isn't. The distinction makes sense because you want tighter regulation on pilots who are going to fly with passengers, or for those passengers to definitely know that they're flying with a hobbyist at their own risk. For drones, it makes a lot less sense.

Comment: Re:Write-only code. (Score 1) 757

by TheRaven64 (#49236361) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?
Well, fuck you Slashcode! Apparently I was using too many junk characters by having the temerity to post code snippets. Posting lots of mathematics also triggers it. Remember when this place used to be for nerds? Rather than try to work around the filter, I have placed the contents of my post here: http://pastebin.com/HtQXTnX0

Comment: Re:Multiprocessing (Score 1) 180

by TheRaven64 (#49236011) Attached to: Exploiting the DRAM Rowhammer Bug To Gain Kernel Privileges
I don't think I understand what you think you're trying to do. You can't make a cache flush a line that you're modifying with an atomic operation to RAM, because atomic ops require the value to be in cache. Given an n-way set associative cache, however, you can typically force cache flushes (without requiring special cache flush instructions) by writing N+1 values at cache-line offsets (e.g. at address X, X+64, X+128,...) repeatedly. This probably wouldn't trigger the rowhammer issues though, because it's up to the CPU which row it evicts each time and you'd end up repeatedly stalling on loads without bashing a single DRAM line. You might be able to do something similar with the nontemporal store instructions that Intel added in recent generations of processor...

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