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Comment: Re:Already Happened (Score 2) 280

by rwa2 (#47856757) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Not only has this already happened, but the server-side of Linux looked at the new features introduced by Android / ChromeOS and decided they wanted some of that too.

So now you have CoreOS formed based on the features of ChromeOS as a nice way to run and maintain Docker containers in a server cluster. So much for forking desktop and server Linux.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

You can compile and run GNU utilities on Android (and likely ChromeOS as well).
https://play.google.com/store/...

granted, it's in a chroot environment, but whatever. Have the best of both worlds, but only when you want it.

+ - Could the Higgs boson destroy the universe?-> 1

Submitted by Applehu Akbar
Applehu Akbar (2968043) writes "In a story widely quoted in the disaster-loving media, Stephen Hawking speculates, in a foreword to a new book, Starmus, that a Higgs boson created at sufficiently high energies, could destroy the entire universe. There is no discussion so far on whether the energies Hawking envisions have already been achieved in, say, supernova explosions."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Heh, it's already happened, and look where it went (Score 1) 7

by rwa2 (#47855229) Attached to: It's Time To Split Linux In Two

This makes me laugh, because ostensibly Android and ChromeOS is already kind of that fork of Linux for the smartphone / tablet... the long-awaited user-focused version of linux that shed off all of the user cruft into a lean, optimized distro.

And then what happens? The server-side part of Linux notices that it could actually make good use of a lot of that work, and takes the useful features introduced for "desktop Linux" and applies it back to the server domain:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Comment: Re:Musk worship (Score 1) 260

by rwa2 (#47854061) Attached to: Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

Others have already answered this more succinctly ("politics"), but sure, I'll bite.

I get a little tired of the Musk worship.

Why does his company need a huge pile of tax breaks to succeed? If I open a company tomorrow, how can I get away with not paying taxes?

Rich people can affect public policy to help them make more money. But in this case, think of it less as giving tax breaks, and more of giving tax incentives for finally succeeding at doing something we've been trying to do for a long time anyway. I'm sure Musk made plenty of threats to build this factory somewhere in Asia if he didn't get favorable treatment here in the US. At least, he would have been a dumbass not to.

Why are Tesla's debt bonds in Junk status but he continues to get freebies from states?

S&P 's reasoning was that Tesla had all of their investment in one kind of product: electric cars and batteries. Not enough diversity to avoid risk. So if China preemptively opened their own Gigafactory and undercut Tesla's battery prices, all of Tesla's assets would be kind of worthless and they'd go kaput. It already happened with Solyndra, it could well happen again. Hell, we might as well give up and let China build batteries and electric cars for the world now.

Why are Tesla's cars so rudely expensive? Is there a plan for a 4 door sedan that a real family can afford in the 20K - 30K range like the Prius?

OK, I'm not a Musk worshipper, but I've followed enough tech news that the "Model E".. oops, sorry Ford, "Model 3" will be priced at 35K after they finish fleecing the early adopters for funding all of the preliminary engineering R&D costs with the Model S and the Model X. And they would have come out with the Model 3 sooner, but one of the blockers is... the lack of a Gigafactory. Tesla already consumes the majority the world's supply of Li-ion batteries serving the Model S production as it is.

Why is it that a guy with a big mouth and political friends on all sides gets so much tax subsidy, loans, breaks and deals?

I dunno, ask your friends at Exxon and Monsanto? I would think Musk seems to be some kind of small fry in comparison. Oh, now you've got me looking up his bio... http://www.biography.com/peopl...

Why are guys who run factories employing tons of US citizens in US based factories (like Toyota) who produce super reliable product with great mileage get slapped by the media when a bogus story about a gas pedal getting stuck?

Heh, do you also remember the story about the faulty seatbelts back in the 90s, and Toyota blamed messy American fast food culture for spilling food in the clasp mechanisms and jamming up the works? Silly media. Anyway, I bet those companies also get some nice tax breaks. Maybe some of those tax breaks are expiring, because Ford/Mazda has been moving some of their assembly plants from Michigan to Mexico. BTW, if you're interested in that kind of news, http://www.thetruthaboutcars.c... tends to have pretty good coverage and typically includes a healthy helping of humor, wit, and sarcasm.

Not sure why people need a super-hero.

Er, are you suggesting that Musk should have gotten into boring venture capital financial firms after making his fortune? It seems to take a special kind of nerd to throw your finances at the relatively high-risk and low-margin pursuits of electric cars and space launch vehicles. Most other nerds I know do that kind of thing as a hobby.

3.8 million priuses have been sold and cab drivers will tell you they easily go into the 300K range and even if the battery runs out the car is still useable.

I like the Prius (at least the Gen2 Prius)... it's a very different experience than driving most cars, and they've done the best job of "gamifying" the process of hypermiling, and the planetary transmission is genius! Still, there are plenty of hobbyists modifying their Prius to try to get more out of it... making it work more effectively like a plug-in hybrid, or increasing performance some how. If the Prius is Good Enough for you, that's great! But many people see hybrids as an interim solution... 600 miles on a 10-gallon gas tank was a great advance, 2x more than typical ICE compact cars.

But instead we continue to give money to the cartoon guy.

Yes, Musk has done a better job wrangling together publicity.. But, uh, feel free to buy a Nissan Volt, or Chevy Spark, or whatever
http://www.caranddriver.com/co...

Comment: Re:Humans have too much (Score 2) 206

by rwa2 (#47839979) Attached to: Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

Good point... I don't think that kind of thing will be much of an issue, though, because corporations like to save money by hiring the lowest salary staff from the largest pool of potential employees as possible.

As much as I'd like to believe that workplace diversity policies were implemented purely for progressive civil rights reasons (and I do applaud some of the brilliant and talented HR reps that can make everyone and themselves believe it!) it's obviously in their interests to "overlook" a lot of stuff that might come up from a moderately extensive background check, if it helps them stuff more warm bodies into a chair for less money. The labor force will become much more like the mechanical turk... remote, faceless, unseen. Heck, we're already just a number. Then later on if something bad happens, they can just say "oh, how were we to know employee #4872030 was a psycho?"

Sure, maybe small time employers still lack the sense to do less extensive background research... so in that case, hope you only shared the stuff that's kosher! So in a sense, if you already assume we have full transparency and Someone is always watching what you're doing, you should already be in good shape.

Just as an aside, I did go to a Catholic school for a few years as a kid, and it wasn't that bad. Granted, it was an international school next to a US Embassy, though most of the US Embassy brats went to a more expensive international school across town. In retrospect it was pretty well run... We said the morning prayers (well, the glee club eventually started singing it) along with the national flag anthem during morning assembly, and other than that, there wasn't much religion. OK, actually there was also a religion class period, but you could choose to do the Catholic one, the Buddhist one, the Muslim one, or the Hindu one, or if you were just a dirty atheist/agnostic like me, you'd be lumped into the "Values" class which was essentially another social studies/psychology group. The only thing I remember is a picture in the textbook of two girls licking an ice cream cone together. We laughed our way through it then, but still, when I came back to the US school system, I felt that it was something that was missing here... there weren't really any classes that tried to teach you how to share and be nice and get along with others. So if you didn't get it from your parents or church, well, then you just don't get it here in the US. Huh.

Comment: Re:zero privacy = full control (Score 1) 206

by rwa2 (#47839919) Attached to: Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

I'm just saying if we can embrace the positive parts of full transparency, that will be better than the fallacy of believing we can successfully safeguard our privacy.

Unless you live as a hermit in the middle of the Yukon, I don't really see how you might expect to have fully guaranteed privacy rights while living in society. Someone's going to gossip about you. Might be more effective to limit the damage they can do with whatever information they manage to glean by flying their X-Ray UAV over your house, than rely on some kind of "promise" from your neighbors or government to ever fly their X-Ray UAV anywhere they might accidentally see you.

I have a gun safe too. The manual has a little serial number on it that helps the manufacturer open it if requested. I don't know how well that information is protected from hackers, probably not that well. If someone takes my little airsoft gun out of the safe and uses it to commit a crime, I hope I get a good shot of the perp on my webcam. In any case, I've probably demonstrably done enough due diligence to keep that gun under my control, so I'm not sure what more relevance that strawman has to this conversation.

As far as people going through your personal effects, yes, it can and has happened. Maybe you have an accident or get heat stroke or get knocked unconscious. People are going to go through your pockets looking for ID or medicalert bracelets. Maybe they come across your stash or some kind of embarrassing toy that you didn't have locked up in a briefcase handcuffed to your wrist. You're not going to sue your good samaritans for invasion of privacy, I'd hope.

Secret business plans is an interesting one... of course even friendly countries spy on each others' businesses now, and even have regulatory limits on the strength of encryption that can be used within their borders to help with this. Business intelligence is kept in confidentiality primarily for control while negotiating... you can finagle a higher price for your shit while negotiating if you keep your trade secrets and special sauce to yourself, as well as coordinate bidding wars between competitive offers for your products and services. With more information and transparency, the work would still get done, but you may have to give up some of your ability to boost profits by lying or embellishing... whatever's fair. And perhaps disclose and license your trade secrets as patentable intellectual property, because, well, it'd probably get out eventually anyway. Or, like the Coke recipe, just maintain it as a secret special sauce for marketing mystique, even though people can analyze exactly what went into it anyway. Eh.

What about reading your thoughts? We could be getting closer to that over the next few decades, with passive sensors that will probably be part of our video game consoles soon, and maybe even deeper and more detailed with cybernetic implants like TFA suggests.

Yes, I agree privacy rights ought to be a fundamental thing. It's also a pretty certain thing that we've already pretty much lost it already, save for a little bit of data integration. Rather than ending this line of questioning, we need to start standing up the next line of defense... more limits against prosecution for "thought pre-crimes", limiting abuse of power from government / corporate / societal data mining (which probably also involves increasing transparency to all of the archives they do have), making sure we can watch the watchers...

And there's no "disruptive innovation" here... as an engineer who has held several "public trust" positions over the decades handling plenty of classified / PCI / PII data (as are many more of us here at /. ), we're quite accustomed to having a lot of scrutiny, monitoring, and accountability for every little thing we do in the line of work. So we've sort of been living that way for a while now. Yeah, it'll suck to see more of that disciplined environment creep into "civilian" life. But such is the way of the world, and good luck avoiding it without blasting ourselves back into the stone age (or Northern Canada ;)

Comment: Re:Humans have too much (Score 1) 206

by rwa2 (#47839807) Attached to: Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

Yeah, very idealistic, probably too much for homo sapiens, but maybe an advanced race of cybernetic organisms could handle it. Or perhaps they won't really have a choice since their black boxes could be subpoenaed.

Heh, as a parent, I would feel like a failure if there was something that my kids wouldn't feel comfortable confiding with me. But they're not yet teenagers, so we'll see. I suppose my own youth may have been atypical... brought home my first porn stash when I was 7 or something (someone left a bundle in the neighborhood playground trash can). My parents found it... and let me keep it. My mother was a fairly conservative asian, but my dad (who's pretty much that hippie perv uncle type) convinced her that if they were ever going to raise a medical doctor, I'd have to not be squeamish around "anatomy". So yeah, maybe not everyone would grow up with such, er, "understanding" parents, but it seems like with the internet and all, people are really opening up about formerly taboo topics and talking more comfortably about masturbation and menstruation and accepting of different viewpoints, if only because, hey, there are some real wackos out there. In all likelihood this trend will continue for at least a generation, until they rebel against it for reasons.

Yes, politics... it's a long shot, because people love to argue about this kind of stuff like it really matters to them personally, but idealistically that kind of thing will eventually relegate itself in status to "administrative overhead" which should be minimized so we can all just get on with our lives. Yes, politicians make it sound like it's the most important thing ever, because that's the only way they can get power in this world, and we let them. So there will always be people trying to assert their power over others, the question is how can we limit that. I don't think the answer is by trying to guarantee privacy, because as you mentioned, if someone really holds a beef against you, they'll be able to dig up some kind of dirt on you and control the narrative. Hell, even if that narrative is "hey, look at how carefully this guy guards his privacy, he uses the same level of encryption as the drug cartel bosses, he must be up to no good!" I think it's important for you (or perhaps your lawyer, if you're in it deep) to be able to control your own narrative, and that's where the greater transparency comes in.

I don't know if the matters of piracy and intellectual property will be with us that much longer into the future, esp. if we're considering the plight of cybernetic organisms. Already, we're kinda seeing the shift away from licensed reproduction and performances to a clamoring for mindshare.... fading away are the days where the Distributors of Popular Culture had to put earworms into your head by playing crap repetitively on broadcast radio, until you shell out money at them so you can listen to that earworm whenever you want to be reminded of that particular year of your life, like they own a part of your life and culture. Nowadays they're kinda losing the broadcast channel, and have to compete virally for eyeballs with a ton of other half-decent content, in order to deliver you to their advertisers. Or worse yet for them, artists can simply be crowdfunded directly, and paid to produce more of the type of content that people want.

Anyway, I and a ton of other people pirated a ton of content back in the day, back when my entertainment budget was closer to 0 than it is now. I've since been able to just avoid that content that wants to collect royalty fees. If they want to go back though the records and collect for "lost" sales, then sure, I suppose it's fair game, but I'd also expect them to settle for fair compensation and not the exorbitant legal sums they've been requesting. But enough on that digression.

Probably the more impactful "invasions" of privacy we'll be seeing are overlays of stuff that already exists... maybe an overlay that shows you all of the registered sex offenders you meet as you go about your day. There seem to be so many, you'd probably start ignoring it. Or maybe an overlay on your windshield that shows the number of accidents each driver on the highway around you have been involved in recently. You have ratings on restaurants now, how long until restaurants rate their customers so they can decide how much service to bother giving you as you walk in? This is all stuff that's coming, and it'll be kinda foolish to pretend that it isn't or that it can be stopped legislatively. So be prepared to adjust your behavior accordingly.

Comment: Re:Humans have too much (Score 1) 206

by rwa2 (#47839723) Attached to: Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

Oh, well, that's an easy problem to solve, we can just simply round up all the persecutors and... OH SNAP, NOW YOU'VE GOT ME DOING IT!

But really, at what point can we just ignore the busybodies and come skulking out of the closet and be who we want to be and not give a fuck about what what other people think, because they don't have the power to do anything about it.

As far as living by everyone else's rules go, I probably have a good deal of privacy, but I still do it anyways. I don't veg out on video games as much as I'd like to, or pay people to perform sexual acts, even though those things are perfectly legal in places. But people are social creatures who learn from watching others, and naturally try to "fit in" whether their peers are giving them a hard time about it or not. Varying degrees of privacy might make it easier or harder for people to give you shit about stuff, but protection from other people is more of the essential right that should be guaranteed; having some sort of "guaranteed right to privacy" is delusional at best. If someone has some beef with you they'll be able to dig up some dirt.

Comment: Re:Humans have too much (Score 1) 206

by rwa2 (#47838585) Attached to: Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

Hmm, well, I actually came here to make some sort of comment like that... are there no advocates for full transparency?

Increasingly we're living in a world where everything is recorded. Back in the old days you just had to tell everyone that "God is watching" to make them behave. It kinda worked (the Renaissance was pretty much started because bankers were trying to buy their way out of Hell by commissioning works of art for the church). These days with so much privacy, there's not really any incentive to do anything quite like that, and we sort of have an unbalanced arms raced between those who have the money to monitor everyone else and yet guard their own privacy and anonymity.

What if, say in a parallel universe or another planet, there was a society that just simply had full transparency? No pictures of our private parts to worry about, because, well, everyone has them. Everyone shares their browsing history, because, gee, you're into interesting stuff. No need to guard your birthday and SSN because, well, there's actually real cryptographic security keeping people from opening accounts in your name. And if they they did take anything (including the people in power), we'd know who it was and where it went and how to get it back.

I mean, I know this is Slashdot and all, but humor me here.

Comment: Re:Ruby and string/symbols (Score 1) 729

Heh, yeah, I'm surprised I haven't seen more Ruby yet in this thread, esp. with the proliferation of Chef and gems and rvm and other parts of that ecosystem to keep it puttering along.

For a language that seems to pride itself on its complete OOP-ness, there's so much syntax and different ways of accessing that syntax. I had wondered where all of the PERL masochists had gone...

In my limited experience wrangling with Ruby, it seems very schizophrenic... at once it's supposed to be very clean, yet it's so littered with syntactic sugar. The "best practices" guidelines always seem to be changing, so a common pattern one year will be an anti-pattern the next. There's a little cottage industry of dependency management that has grown up around it, so even as it has become something of a cross-platform glue language like PERL and python, it's such a pain to even maintain consistency among its own minor releases, so we have to use rvm gratuitously to spawn different ruby environments to run different "core" ruby utilities on the same box (chef, foodcritic, rubocop all needing different versions of ruby and libraries and gems, etc.). And it's so slow compared to its peers... for an automation language, I find myself taking a lot of coffee breaks while it goes out and does its thing, and of course that also means all of the code check tools like foodcritic spam me with warnings to do all of the little optimizations like converting my string objects into symbols, so much for the pure object-orientism.

Anyway, I have yet to have an experience with Ruby where it does something that impresses me compared to something else. It seems to be used to write templates for config files a lot, so I suppose that might be its strength. But even there, it seems to be a combination of the worst parts of other languages... all the indeterminate pieces of XSLT, more verbosity than XML, much slower and resource-hungry than other interpreted languages, almost as ugly as PERL, scattered package management in competing and overlapping gems since a lot of the base functionality is somewhat broken ( http://stackoverflow.com/quest... ), and yet seems harder to debug and less accessible too noobs than even compiled languages.

From my experience with Ruby, I'm not exactly sure why this language was developed, other than to provide job security for some devops types. Oh, and I suppose https://github.com/mame/quine-... is cool from an academic standpoint.

+ - Space Station's 'Cubesat Cannon' has Gone Rogue->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Last night (Thursday), two more of Planet Lab’s shoebox-sized Earth imaging satellites launched themselves from aboard the International Space Station, the latest in a series of technical mysteries involving a commercially owned CubeSat deployer located outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. Station commander Steve Swanson was storing some blood samples in one of the station’s freezers Friday morning when he noticed that the doors on NanoRack’s cubesat deployer were open, said NASA mission commentator Pat Ryan. Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston determined that two CubeSats had been inadvertently released. “No crew members or ground controllers saw the deployment. They reviewed all the camera footage and there was no views of it there either,” Ryan said."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 546

by rwa2 (#47820443) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Yeah, one of my roommates did something like this at Cornell U... took all of the core courses while enrolled in the Math & Applied Physics program (in the land-grant Arts & Sciences College), and then transferred to CS in the Engineering College which had much higher tuition. I think this kind of scheme could work well enough even at most other "high end" universities. Plus, the guy ended up with almost twice as many friends/connections (compared to most people... probably 100x compared to me :P )

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI

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