Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:What's the range of an EMP? (Score 1) 145

Can you use a single nuke to EMP the entire continental US?

No, not really. If you had an EMP that could cook via electromagnetic radiation the electrical grid of the US, you'd have worst problems than EMP caused black outs to deal with.

The whole idea of an effective EMP is to fry as much cooper/aluminum wire as one could. Think of really effective EMPs being more like lighting and less like nuclear detonations, since using a nuclear detonation is like trying to cut off the kitchen lights using a bulldozer and thirty tons of sand. If we're strictly talking EMP, lighting and all the static discharge family is your better bet.

So with that said, a lot of electrical companies are prepped for pretty bad EMPs with response teams, though I'm pretty sure most of America would find that hard to believe when their power does actually go out. One thing that is actually going to be slightly more difficult to deal with is first finding the point of failure, bring it down, and then put up the replacement. With a bomb, it's pretty easy to figure out where the failure is and the upshot is that the part to be replaced is already on the ground or missing completely so you can skip that whole removal step. Yeah, we might be talking several kilometers needing to be replaced with a nuclear device, but you know from the first second you need a couple of hundred kilometers of wire. A good EMP keeps you guessing and has a dozen or so employees walking hundreds of kilometers of wire trying to find the failure. Better sections of the US grid have more fine grain reporting points so maybe on a dozen or so kilometers need to be checked. However, the actual transmission lines are the key to a good EMP. That said, you don't need a big "bomb" to be effective, you just need coordinated attacks on major transmission lines. However, doing that alone is just more of a major disruption, rather than a major blow to the nation.

Additionally, power generating plants usually have a lot of counter measures for EMPs. So you really aren't going to take out the generators. It's silly to think that someone could without a massively coordinated attack. Especially if we're talking strictly EMP here. If we're talking a nuclear device, again, you've got bigger problems especially if you had enough to take out all the major plants in the US.

The real danger here, I guess, is consumers. Some EMPs can fry pacemakers and pretty much anyone on life support is dead in a massive EMP. However, it's not the end of society and more so, hardly the end of the US. You can take any example of when some large section of the US had power knocked out for several weeks. A massive EMP would be roughly equal to a hurricane without any advance notice that hit a large section of the US. If you were lucky enough to hit the entire US then multiply the figures in your head by that amount. However, the end of days for the US, hardily. EMP weapons in real life would cause some death but for the most part the US would be tired of martial law long before the US fell under the pressure of an EMP weapon.

The real tactical value of EMPs is not as some silver bullet, but as a disruptive force that is soon followed by other forms of attack. Additionally, you'd want your EMP to be as quiet as possible and look as much like a lighting strike as possible on the grid. Anything else and there would be way too much attention drawn that would get people ready for the obvious next strike. Thinking that an EMP would be a good primary strike is silly. Additionally, some have thought about EMPs in asymmetrical warfare contexts and while they would play a good role in the demoralizing aspect of that, it's just simpler to buy a ton of fertilizer and diesel fuel as opposed to trying to construct something massive enough to disrupt more than just a few dozen people. In other words, the reason low tech seems to win in asymmetrical warfare and terrorist operations is that you get more bang for buck so to say.

I think when you consider it carefully, those who would toss EMPs around like we are under some imminent threat of them, are doing nothing more but trying to push some agenda. EMPs just really aren't that great of a weapon and the technical curve to building ones that would be worth the time and money is just too high for your casual mayhem makers.

Comment: There may be some at a loss for sympathy (Score 3, Insightful) 689

by slack_justyb (#46740133) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

I know that some here on Slashdot will be at a loss for sympathy for the project being in such dire circumstance. However, the key thing that some should remember is that a lot of what the GNOME hackers do, goes into the base for many other projects as well. Much of Linux Mint is an eclectic mix of Ubuntu and GNOME. Likewise for Elementary OS.

So while we might be able to argue if this project has finally run its course, which I do want to add that the foundation running out of reserves hardly equates to the death knell for GNOME. One of the things we shouldn't do, or at least it would be in a very short sighted, is think that the actual GNOME Desktop and how ... "not so great," they've ran that ship plays into all of this. Agreed, the people in the project have become quite hard headed, but honestly which OSS project hasn't by now? However, there are a lot of people (Canonical *cough, cough*) who find their software very useful and hardly give anything back, at least to the foundation.

PS: Being using beta now for a month plus some. I honestly think it is getting better but it does need quite a bit more work. I guess I just wanted to add that after seeing all the f*** beta sigs.

Comment: Re:Good for devs. (Score 1) 270

by slack_justyb (#46728785) Attached to: The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future
Totally hit nail on head there. It's always been a gamble which of the different frameworks will mesh out in the petty internal battle. It's hard to bank on any MS tech because you never know when it might just up and vanish. I've seen some say, oh then I guess we should just stick to COM then. No, but changing the game as often as I change my phone isn't going to help you win converts.

Comment: Re: How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46578221) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

I think, and I dislike this disjoined thread so maybe we can move it all back into one thread, if you ask the Wayland team, they'd be the first to tell you that X11 isn't going anywhere. There is a difference between wishful thinking and the reality. The Wayland people are anxious to have a more testers for their display system. Distros are ultimately the ones who decided to "cram" it down your throat. The Wayland people have good reason to see the end of X, because many of the X developers are on the Wayland team. They see X as taking time away from Wayland, however, they acknowledge that X is a pretty important piece of software and that supporting it for the near future is a pretty big item on the list. Additionally, yeah they are a bit rude, but they have non-stop email after email on their list yelling about how wrong they are. So yeah, maybe they've gotten a bit jaded. Do you blame them?

Comment: Re: How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46578173) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

Feverish much?

There isn't a point because you'll just sit here and come up with half brained reasons as to why it is wrong. So why even go down the road to begin with? It'll just lead to a conversation that neither of us really want to have, wouldn't you agree?

X11's tunneling isn't worth it to me and that's the way I feel about the matter, case closed. It obviously is something you are worth foaming at the mouth about, so if that's what tickles your fancy so be it. We just don't agree on how we'd go about implementing like solutions, like I said, we'll just have to agree to disagree. If you find that hard to swallow, that isn't exactly my problem. However that's what we have in front of us. Neither one of us agrees on the solution, presenting our so called facts will just stroke more flames, and I'm pretty sure both of us have better things we could be doing with our time than to talk about pieces of software.

Do you have anything else you'd like to add? I'll be more than happy to enter a reasonable debate about the matter, but I doubt from your tone that we'd have a reasonable debate. Don't you think that this thread might be a bit too hot to really have any useful discussion?

As for XFree/XOrg, the big difference is that it resulted in XOrg, a capable display system that worked much better than XFree.

What do you think happened to XOrg? XOrg has suffered greatly from a lot of in fighting that sounds a lot like what you and I are having at the moment. Why do you think that has happened? You say the split resulted in a much better display system, why do you think that would not happen with Wayland? It is one thing to have outside people say X11 sucks, but it is an altogether different thing to have X11 developers say X11 sucks. Why do you think they say that?

I'm more than happy to entertain the thought that X11 has some saving grace, but I and a lot of X11 developers are drawing blanks when posited the same question. The world has changed and X11 is too large to move as agile as the world would want it. The exact same thing could be said about IPv6, or the new firewall code in the Linux kernel, or btrfs, and so on. There are a ton of pieces of software where better, more agile things have come along and people just aren't ready to give up the old to make way for the new. Eventually those new things will become old and we'll all have the same arguments all over again. All that being said, maybe you can understand why I am so tired of these rehashed arguments. I've had twenty years of having these types of (quote fingers)discussions(quote fingers), I'm pretty much done with them. Maybe, you aren't that way and perhaps that's a fault of me, but I just can't stomach this kind of back and forth. Hopefully you can understand that.

So like I said, maybe we can *both* cool off a bit and have a reasonable discussion some point down the road. However, I just don't think we're going to have that at this moment.

If you honestly want my opinion on remote options I'll relent, but only if you wish to push the matter more. Whatever it is that gives you some piece of mind.

Comment: Re: How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46577691) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

There obviously isn't any point. I don't think I'll ever be able to convince you personally that the feverish hang ups that you have with X are the exact same things that has played out on X11 mailing lists for the last decade and a half that has gotten X11 nowhere. The whole XFree/ breakup was all politically motivated. Same thing here. There is just too much drag to worry about trying to fix X11, it just isn't worth the headache to fix. Fixing X just causes more problems and more headaches. Might as well start clean.

There are things that are worth the argue, but I doubt that we'll ever be able to agree on anything with this topic. For me, X11 just isn't worth continuing to prop up. For you, you see it as some vital thing. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Comment: Re: How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46577623) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server
If you think X11 is going away anytime soon, then you've been horribly misled. Yes the Wayland folks want it to go away but we're in too deep for X11 to disappear anytime this decade. That's just a show of how dug in some are with X. I'm not sure what IPC issue you speak of but I do know that X11 takes in 1270ish points in the API for IPC alone. Wayland's stands at 135. The API is greatly simplified so if you have a better scheme in mind, you have a lot of liberty to, 'go it alone'. The last bit isn't a head in the sand. It's a not our domain to implement thing. Which I think it's a good thing that they focus on the display stack and not network bits.

Comment: Re: How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46577339) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

Also, I like how you pointed out X tunneling over ssh. Which has been shown time and time again as the slowest method for remote connections into a system hands down. Yes, it's nice in that it is easy on admin costs and takes very little to get up and running, however, that comes at the cost of it being slow. Just to compare, Doing Mathlab via X11 over ssh versus (randomly grabbing a tool out of thin air that I know is a really bad choice) VNC. X11 over ssh is close to about 35 seconds to finally see the window appear on the remote client. VNC is roughly three tenths a second. That's just doing wall clock figures so don't take that as a scientific thing, but you can check out Google and see all the "Why is X11 tunneling so slow" hits.

I'm just saying, if X11 tunneling is what you are hanging onto, there are tons of other ways to do the exact same thing with less of a bandwidth cost and less suck. Again, I get that X11 tunneling is really easy to setup and other solutions can be a pain to get setup up. But you pay the setup cost once, you pay the bandwidth fee per usage.

Comment: Re:How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46576957) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

As you know there are lot of protocol-oriented application implementations out there are insanely useful and their effectiveness is hardly ever challenged. For example, TCP as a generic and NTP as a more application specific example.

Being protocol based isn't instantly a mark of slowness, just like using a hash map isn't a sign of slowness versus a binary tree. It is how it is used and X has had so much tacked on and so many extensions that need to be negotiated, it's just turned into a really bad use of a pretty good protocol.

Mir is library-oriented so no-longer will DEs paper-over the ugly parts, but instead they'll just fix the client library.

I think I had covered that quite well. Most DEs are working well with the Wayland team of patches upstream to ensure that if there is a specific thing they need, they get an out for it. If it is a generic fix, everyone wins as the patch is taken upstream. The problem with MIR is that if the MIR team changes on the dime the underlying API, your client library is going to be needing a slight overhaul. Libraries are a great way to solve what we're talking about so long as the libraries can be kept fairly stable. That's not really a sure thing, or at least I don't think anyone from the MIR team has said, "We are for real, for sure that this part is never going to change except in major revisions." Last I checked, pretty much the whole collection of things in MIR were all works in progress.

Again, nothing bad about MIR except that with it being mostly developed by a single team, it just isn't ready for other to try and base compositors off of it, just yet. However, just because something is implemented is a certain way, doesn't mean, that is gets tossed into the crap realm. Even binary trees are a bad idea for some applications. Go grab a book by Bjarne Stroustrup, he makes a way better case for fighting this kind of thinking than I ever could. That's not a vote of confidence for C++, but that the guy makes some really good generic programming arguments for bad thinking in the Computer Science arena.

Comment: Re: How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46576839) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

So just make sure you don't remove useful functionality with your 'improvement'.

Which is why X cannot be fixed the way it should be fixed. There is always going to be some group of people that uses some random function of X that is horribly ineffective. I can pretty much bet you a lunch that one can point to any random function of X and find some group of people that rely on that function. Most of these functions just get in the way of the majority of users that just want to use desktop applications. I mean come on, who really uses XPrint? Or needs a non-rectangular window? I guess if that's what you need, go for it, but Wayland offers a better method for implementing your own method for doing those things rather than a bunch of hacks in X11.

For example, virt-manager uses it along with ssh for remote VM consoles.

It is also a horribly ineffective way of doing it, but no one is going to stop you from using one of the worst methods of doing that. If that's how you roll, then that's how you roll. But mind you, it is the reason why X cannot be fixed. The network transport is feature of X is horrible because most WMs draw to a pixbuf and then send the pixbuf to the remote client. The only thing is, there are a ton of other clients out there that will draw you a picture and send it across the wire a whole lot faster than X can do it. With built in security too to boot. However, I'm not here to convince you of anything except this. You cannot fix X, it is broken and simply cannot be fixed because, among other reasons, there are too many diehards that will cling to every little feature of X11. These types of discussions where people argue old crusty features are the reason why X developers started working on Wayland. They needed a clean break, they needed a new project where people wouldn't be sitting there yelling about dropping feature A, B, or C. If Wayland doesn't fit for you, don't move to it, that easy. But X11 is old, slow, and bloated and if that's what you need, then go for it.

Comment: Re: How are these things related? (Score 1) 202

by slack_justyb (#46569835) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server
That's correct, you can as in technically possible. However you cannot because it would cause some breakage with legacy applications that the foaming mob of X11 zealots would stone the developer. The X11 fan base is so feverish they'll scream at any and all changes, I mean look at them when you threaten their 'network transport'. So while it is technically possible, it is impossible given the current inertia that the X11 fans have for change.

Comment: Re:How are these things related? (Score 5, Informative) 202

by slack_justyb (#46567045) Attached to: KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

The whole point about all of this, X/Wayland/MIR, is getting closer to the video card without having to yank one's hair out whilst doing it. Why would one need a little close interaction with the bare metal? If you've ever used Linux and saw tearing while moving windows around, then you've hit on one of the points for why closer to metal is a bit more ideal.

With that said, let's not fool ourselves and think, "OMG, they just want access to the direct buffers!" That wouldn't be correct. However, developers want to have an ensured level of functionality with their applications visual appearance. If the app shows whited out menus for half a second, blink, and then there is your menu options, then there is something very wrong.

It was pretty clear that with X, politically speaking, that developers couldn't fix a lot of the problems due to legacy and the foaming at the mouth hordes that would call said developer out for ruining their precious X. You can already see those hordes from all the "take X and my network transparency from my cold dead hands" comments. It is to a degree those people, and a few other reasons, that provided the impetus for Wayland. You just cannot fix X the way it should be fixed.

Toolkits understand that display servers and pretty much the whole display stack in general suck. Granted there is a few moments of awesome, but they are largely out weighted by the suck factor, usually when you code an application, you'll note that sometimes you'll gravitate to the "winning" parts of the toolkit being used versus the pure suck ones. Qt has a multitude for all the OSes/Display Servers it supports. Be that Windows, Mac, X11, and so on. Likewise for GTK+ but to a lesser extent, but that is what make GTK+ a pretty cool toolkit. Because let's face it, no display stack is perfect in delivering every single developer's wish to the monitor. Likewise, no toolkit is perfect either. The GNOME and KDE people know this, they write specific code to get around some of the "weirdness" that comes with GTK+ or Qt. Obviously, that task is made slightly easier with Wayland and the way it allows a developer to send specifics to the display stack or even to the metal itself.

Projects like KDE and GNOME have to write window managers and a lot of times those window managers have to get around some of the most sucktacular parts of the underlying display server. However, once those parts are isolated, the bulk of the work left is done in the toolkit. So display servers matter a bit to the desktop environments because they need to find all of the pitfalls of using said display server and work around them. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a patch to the toolkit or the display server upstream. Sometimes it can be as painful as a kludge that looks like it was the dream of a madman, all depends on how much upstream a patch is needed to be effective and how effective it would be for other projects all around.

That leads into the problem with MIR. MIR seems pretty gravitated to its own means. If KDE has a problem with MIR that can be easily fixed with a patch to MIR or horribly fixed by a kludge in KDE's code base, it currently seems that the MIR team wouldn't be as happy go lucky to accept the patch if it meant that could potentially delay Ubuntu or break some future unknown to anyone else outside of MIR feature. Additionally, you have the duplicated work argument as well, which I think honestly holds a bit of water. I fondly remember the debates of aRts and Tomboy. While I think it's awesome that Ubuntu is developing their own display server, I pepper that thought with, "don't be surprised if everyone finds this whole endeavor a fools errand."

I think the NIH argument gets tossed around way too much, like its FOSS McCarthyism. Every team has their own goals and by their very nature, that would classify them as NIH heretics. Canonical's idea is this mobile/desktop nexus of funafication, MIR helps them drive that in a way that is better suited to them. That being said, a few changes to their underpinning technology would help them do the exact same thing on Wayland. I'll add to the previous statement, while it is a few changes, those would be very large changes, changes that might not sit well in the stomach of Canonical. However, I'd say the idea for using MIR versus Wayland comes not from technical matters but by ripping a page out of the Google playbook on how to write a display server. Making the display server theirs and not subject to the, as someone in one of the comments above said, "open-source management by committee model ensures they end up bloated mockeries" flux, helps them woo would-be vendors. Because let's face it, when subject to committee, don't expect anything crystal clear to emerge, (ooo, burn on XML).

X11 is legacy. I know everyone's going to be a hater, but X11 is just so huge. There just is no turning this ship from the iceberg, it has become by its most feverish supporters, unfixable. Wayland is the obvious choice since it is trying to apply a broad approach to the problems that exist in X11 and at the same time give enough outs to developers to ensure we can undo some of the problems that Wayland has yet to invent for us, all the while giving developers the one thing they've honestly been asking for. A more consistent experience with applications. MIR serves that too, to an extent, but pretty much for Canonical's goals. Qt and GTK+ developers, specifically KDE and the variety of GNOMEish DEs, like the appeal of Wayland because if there are parts they don't like sending a patch upstream has thus far proved to be pretty painless, additionally, they have a couple of means to get around Wayland fairly easily. MIR hasn't really had such a test, at least to speak of but that's not saying that haven't already, of DE developers asking for patches to be sent upstream. However, some of those DE developers are basing it off of previous experience with dealing with the Ubuntu developers, who haven't been the most friendly bunch. Granted, the Fedora and RedHat people aren't the shit that smells like roses either.

So I know this has been pretty long winded, but this whole debate is a pretty complicated one because it has less to do with technical reasons and more political reasons. The toolkits are always working around the brain dead assumptions that display servers make, desktop developers are always working around the crazy assumptions that toolkits are making. Making the ability to easily bypass all of that has been a pretty big goal for everyone and Wayland/MIR stand to bang the drum on that pretty strongly. The main difference between Wayland and MIR is that they take different approaches for doing just that and trying to have code that works reasonably well on both would be a pain in the rear to support and having code that "just works" defeats the whole purpose of going to Wayland/MIR in the first place. That in turn is the reason for the big scream in this debate. Supporting both is either a no-go or defeats the whole point of leaving X.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten