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Comment: Re:Er? (Score 2) 314

by rmstar (#47851075) Attached to: GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

The three services are actually needed. [...] centralized management of date/time and locale changes were long overdue. Linux is pretty much the only OS remaining, where application, if needed, can't really know if/when date/time or locale has changed.

Ah no, you are bringing facts into this discussion? How dare you! :-)

Thank you, actually.

Comment: Re:Powershell (Score 1) 724

I've studied the language pretty well. I've read the Standard enough to know that a lot of stuff is well defined, and when I go through the program, I see only constructs I recognize as defined (or implementation-defined, or unspecified, and we won't write code that depends on anything unspecified).

Or, put another way, you have spent a very large number of hours to master this stuff. This is a failure of language design, as it is known that you can write languages that do not require such a high time investment.

It is possible to write conforming C++ programs

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you on this point. The critique is that is needlessly difficult. Even an expert has a bad day now and then, and when that happens, in C++ he is exposed to a much larger number of pitfalls and traps than in other languages.

Comment: Re:Powershell (Score 2) 724

Of course, the more you explain about C the less sensible it appears. ;)

It's funny, really.


both in C and certainly in C++, it is uncommon to see a screenful containing only well defined and conforming code.

That's what proper language design is supposed to avoid. Oh well.

Comment: Re:why the focus on gender balance? (Score 1) 579

by rmstar (#47782459) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Why not let women do what they want instead of trying to force them in to places that aren't necessarily their thing?

You mean, let them care about cooking and pink dresses instead of dealing with psychopathic jerks on wikipedia? I'm sure that if you think this through, you will at some point (maybe in a decade? nah, optimistic) reach some from of enlightenment on the issue. It helps if you talk to actual women, too.

Comment: Re:Usability is THE killer feature that Linux need (Score 2, Informative) 209

by rmstar (#47647093) Attached to: Elementary OS "Freya" Beta Released

As someone who uses Ubuntu as their primary desktop OS both at home and at work, I have to say that usability is the biggest feature holding back Linux desktop.

I keep wondering about this one. Because of work requirements, I started using windows again after a long hiatus, and find it rather cranky (windows 7). It was easier to program the reactions to my marble ball mouse under linux than it was under windows 7 (essentially impossible to get reasonable scroll-wheel emulation). Then there isn't anything remotely comparable with xmodmap. I can't have multiple desktops. Files are named in weird ways (PROGRA~1, etc) that have their special rules (it really is much simpler in linux). The keyboard layout kept unhelpfully switching to whatever it felt was right, and it took a long battle to ensure it stays where I want it. And Skype has annoying ads under windows.

Installing updates is gargantuan pain in the buttocks, especially when compared with ubuntu. In windows, a reboot is almost always necessary after downloading and installing updates. Quite often you need multiple reboots, and all of it takes ages. Under ubuntu they are much faster and unintrusive.

So, in my experience Windows actually sucks compared to a decent linux distro. All the talk about the little annoying things in linux is, I think, due to an illusion. Windows is popular today because it was popular yesterday, so people are used to it and all its little (and not so little) annoying things. They just don't notice anymore.

Comment: Re:Not about leverage or influence (Score 1) 266

by rmstar (#47625691) Attached to: Snowden Granted 3 More Years of Russian Residency

You do remember the "girls band" members that tried to desecrate the church right? Russia is not kind to it's detractors.

Fun fact: had these girls done that very same thing in a german church, they would have landed in jail. Probably a better jail, but a jail nonetheless. In other countries, with other sites of religious worship, they would have been killed.

So please, keep it real. Russia is no paradise, but it's not by a very large margine the worst place in the world. Among other things, they have a lot less people in jail than the USA does.

Comment: Re:Specs On Paper & Buyer Mindset (Score 1) 198

by rmstar (#47345975) Attached to: Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

This is simply a stats arms race.

one that seems overheating, too. You can buy quite well speced smart phones (way better than an iPhone, as you have correctly noted) for a very decent prize. Manufacturers seem to be running out of ideas on how to get traction in this market, so this is what they come up with: over-the-top-specs.

A market full of smartphones that can't find a way to differentiate themselves from each other seems to me like a market ready for collapse.

Comment: Re:Why do scientists falsify? Or how can they? (Score 3, Informative) 52

by rmstar (#47227903) Attached to: Japanese Stem Cell Debacle Could Bring Down Entire Center

Why do scientists falsify? Or how can they? They must know they will be found out - especially the more sensational the finding.

The answer to that is that they fool themselves. If you ever have been at a top institution of this kind you might have witnessed a certain mix of hubris, megalomania and groupthink. These people tend to be really good, but their selfconfidence, their lack of understanding of statistics, their mutual reinforcement, and the huge pressure to keep producing blockbuster research can warp their thinking. It would not surprise me that they believed the results to be true, but thought it was just the damned data that kept being wrong.

This sectlike atmosphere at some of these institutions is compounded by the fact that people there work so insanely hard that they don't have time to take a step back and think things through.

Comment: Re:Throw the book... maybe literally at him. (Score 1) 220

by rmstar (#47201495) Attached to: NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

Many of those systems have no (or minimal) idle time.

In my experience, this is true only for the top machines in terms of reputation of the institution where they are run. Many more supercomputing facilities actually idle around a lot if not most of the time. They were bought to confer bragging rights and are embedded into a context that makes them unable to operate effectively.

A lot of these machines are hard to program for, and the institutions that own them hard to deal with (often universities with bad bureaucracy and ridiculous internal rules) which means few bother and even fewer get to run code on them. Of course that is something that is rarely admitted in public.

I think the guy did wrong and should be punished. OTOH, I think he also deserves an award for showing (again) how ridiculous the whole HPC thing actually is. Here we have these supposedly super-high-end machines (in terms of running benchmark software) which just aren't competitive by a hilariously large margin with what is out there mining bitcoins. How embarrasing.

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