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Comment: If you can install it, who cares? (Score 2) 231

by msobkow (#47769045) Attached to: How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

If you install the newer packages you want, who cares what the "default" package is?

Personally I'd much rather a distro that lets me choose which version of packages to install rather than shoving one down my throat randomly during updates of the system.

Granted, the Debian stable I run isn't full of the latest shiny, shiny, but it isn't causing update problems by rolling out new versions of packages, either. Both Debian stable and RedHat RHEL are focused on stability, not bleeding edge development. No one in their right mind runs production systems on untested versions of packages, and no one (not even banks) can afford to do constant regression testing on the latest releases of software just because it's "new."

I'm constantly surprised at how many people opt for downloading the "production" version of my own project, even though that really was just a peg in the dirt of functionality, not some big fancy schmancy roll-out that went through more testing than other releases. There are bug fixes and new features in the latest and greatest, but a lot of people don't want that -- they want that peg in the dirt, and are content to wait for an SP1 to get access to the new features and bug fixes.

Don't forget it can often take a few months to properly regression test software. It isn't just an issue of booting with the latest version and making sure it starts running -- it's testing how it responds to having network cables yanked, power flipped off hard, sometimes even yanking hardware components while a box is running. Serious servers aren't something you just push out after running them with a dozen users for a week.

Comment: Is that so? (Score 1) 243

by SmallFurryCreature (#47764691) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Since the idea is that this universe is a simulation, who says it is a simulation of reality? Maybe we are some kids crazy fantasy world in which the container has to be larger then its contents! FREAKY!

The trick to thinking outside the box, is to stop thinking the box is real.

IF this is a simulated world, there is no reason to assume the rules in the simulation are the same as the ones of the world in which the simulation is running.

+ - Some raindrops exceed their terminal velocity->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New research reveals that some raindrops are “super-terminal” (they travel more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity). The drops are the result of natural processes—and they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. Whereas all drops the team studied that were 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:It's job security (Score 4, Insightful) 807

by msobkow (#47750845) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

System admins both old and new that are worth anything don't want things changing just for the sake of change.

It boils down to the old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Which further boils down to something admins care very much about: stability and reliability. Changing something that's been in production for 5, 10, or more years just because someone decided to roll out the new "shiny, shiny" is not an effective use of the admin's time.

Last but not least, admins are often responsible for systems from multiple vendors. Having a unique configuration model for each system goes against the whole point of things like POSIX APIs and standardized startup processing.

Sure on a desktop or developer system, the difference is probably irrelevant. But when your main job is configuring and maintaining services on servers instead of just using a box, the arguments and priorities change for damned good reasons.

Comment: Re:They're not gamers. (Score 1) 275

by msobkow (#47749115) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys


Look, just because a bunch of magazines decided that their "gamer" demographic was going to be teenagers and specific sub-genres of computing games doesn't mean their definition is anything other than marketing tripe.

But given how many people go around wearing overpriced clothing emblazed with the brand names of sporting goods companies, I'm not surprised that you suckered into the marketing hype.

What I've described is factual history. You can argue against it all you like, but you can't change facts just by being stubborn. If anyone "co-opted" the term "gamer", it's the gaming magazines and the kids who fell into their marketing traps.

Comment: Re:Chinese control from center is fatal flaw (Score 1) 93

by msobkow (#47743249) Attached to: A New Homegrown OS For China Could Arrive By October

China is no more "controlled from the center" than any other government-run country. They have local governments and bureaucrats, they have fiefdom cities, they have states/provinces. As with any other country, there is a hierarchy of management.

And unlike the communist days, there is little to no "central management" of resources in China any more, other than the government investing in large projects that would be studied to death and never approved here in North America.

People just seem to love bashing on China, but most of their "facts" are as outdated as they would be if they were to bash the Germans for being "Nazis" in modern times.

Comment: Re:They're not gamers. (Score 2) 275

by msobkow (#47743045) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Dude, you're missing the whole point. I'm not insulting people, I'm making fun of a business that was so foolish as to narrowly define their demographic instead of accepting the standard public-use definition of the term. Anyone who spends an inordinate amount of time playing games of any kind is a "gamer."

The term has been in use since before computer games were mainstream. Your local DnD league that runs 3 day sessions on the long weekends with only 4-5 hours of sleep a night are gamers. Your grandmother who plays bridge for 2-3 hours every day after lunch is a gamer. The people who play the computerized versions of old card, board, and strategy games for hours on end are gamers.

But, hey, I remember being young and using "cool" terminology that my parents disagreed with, too. Don't worry. Someday you'll be older, the kids of your day will try to redefine the use of the language, and you'll be on my side of the fence laughing at their stupidity. It happens to everyone.

And after you've seen a few generations of people trying to redefine the use of words to solely mean whatever is the latest technology rage, you'll shrug your shoulders, laugh, and realize it's all marketing shills through the centuries, trying to make a fast buck on the latest fad. It's a bunch of leeches trying to define a "demographic" so they can sell to it, and nothing more.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 507

by msobkow (#47742867) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

The "point" of Java is portability amongst vendors. It was never designed to be the fastest, most scalable, or most elegant language on the planet. It was designed to be portable.

And it succeeds at that goal, for the most part, so it is and continues to be used widely.

Don't confuse the extensions of the JEE environment or the various JCP packages with the core of Java's mission: running business code across diverse platforms.

Or have you forgotten Java's original tag line? "The Network IS The Computer." And the network includes all kinds of platforms.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 4, Interesting) 507

by msobkow (#47742841) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Those "suits" you refer to included every major hardware vendor on the planet. Java was only sold as a silver bullet for portability, not speed, not efficiency, not scalability, but solely for it's ability to be shifted from one vendor's platform to another's.

When it comes to straight forward business service and batch job processing, it succeeds admirably at that goal, which is rather rare for what you claim was a "silver bullet."

The "problem" is that all kinds of people have visions of Java doing this, that, and the other thing, ranging from the addition of database bindings that don't allow for stored procedures to 3D graphics. Java's "problem" is that it's gradually becoming too much of a "kitchen sink" instead of staying focused on what it was designed for: portable business programming.

Comment: Re:They're not gamers. (Score 4, Insightful) 275

by msobkow (#47741453) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

You're the one who's confused. There is no "mancave" involved in gaming, except for reclusive pimply-faced acne victims in Momma's basement.

Over the years "gamer" has evolved from meaning someone who played pen and paper rule-based, card, or board games to include video games, and all the sub-genres thereof. The typical portable device nowadays has far more CPU and graphics power than the 386's that ran the Doom series, never mind the original Atari or Nintendo platforms.

It's only *kids* who think "gamer" has anything to do with a particular style of game or a particular demographic. Gamers are of all ages, genders, and races. But, hey, if you're convinced that "gamer" means pimply faced male playing first person shooter wargame on My Favourite Platform, knock yourself out. You're wrong, of course, but I've learned many years ago you can't convince people who "know they're right" of anything.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein