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Comment Re:HALLELUIAH! (Score 1) 108 108

So, you're saying that the universe looked new to people then, and looks old to us because we weren't created?

Not sure how that would work. I mean, the Genesis account has humans created last before God took a break. It's not like Adam ever got to see anything else created, except for Eve, of course (assuming the standard "we-all-came-from-incest" theory where God wasn't creating more humans for A&E's children) - and he was asleep for that. It seems more likely that they didn't think of the universe as being old simply because they had no knowledge. After all, scientists didn't realise what stars actually were until the last couple centuries.

I don't understand what you mean when you say the universe would have looked "new" - I mean, in astronomical terms six thousand years is nothing. A "new" universe doesn't have matter, for instance.

Anyway, I'm not here to dash your beliefs - that's not my style - but I certainly don't share them. You won't get a convert out of me - been there, got the T-shirt, got out. From my point of view, you're ignoring an awful lot of science trying to shoehorn young earth creationism into reality - which like I said in my previous posts, is one of the things that drives off young believers. It's up to you to decide if insisting on literal interpretation is worth losing more of the flock - there are an awful lot of Christians who don't believe the old stories in Genesis are historical fact, and they seem to get by just fine.

Comment Re:Let's welcome the slower web (Score 1) 67 67

I'm not a professional web designer, but I've taken a few jobs doing it.

They do it because that's what their customers want.

Most of the people wanting websites (and willing to pay for them) aren't tech savvy. They're business people, often small business people. And to them, all that flashy Javascript and animations look "professional."

I once designed a website for a dialup ISP. The default page template I made for them had one small graphic - their logo. Everything else was standard HTML and CSS 1. It was well organized, with the links easy to find for both customers and prospective customers, and it was classy, if minimalist. I included setup pages for four versions of Windows, MacOS classic, MacOS X, and even a page with info for Linux users (if you've never dealt with the different distributions in the days of dialup, count yourself lucky. It was a crapshoot.).

They used it for a couple months, and then paid someone else (probably a lot more) for a horrible, ugly clusterfuck that took a long time to load (I did mention this was dialup, right?), centered everything in a tiny column in the middle based on percentage (imagine that on an 800x600 screen, old but not uncommon at the time), had little information besides marketing bullshit, and required newer browsers than many of their customers had. They didn't even include email setup instructions.

These guys ran an ISP (albeit in redneck central). They should have understood the issues. Someone running a pottery shop? No chance.

Comment Re:LibreSSL (Score 1) 157 157

OpenSSL's problems aren't from Microsoft. Honestly, Microsoft isn't nearly as bad as they used to be, security wise. It's a relief, really - I've been UNIX only for almost two decades, but I still have to maintain a few Windows machines for family members.

There's an excellent talk by one of the LibreSSL developers at BSDCan 2014 that explains a lot of what OpenSSL's problem was (and still is, although there's been a lot of work done since to improve matters). Basically, it boils down to poor project management; the primary maintainers were focused on expanding capabilities rather than maintaining "working" code, and it eventually turned into a horrible mess that no one wanted to tackle. After all the security issues (culminating in the Heartbleed vulnerability), several people "had enough" and started trying to fix it - LibreSLL, BoringSSL, etc.

I highly recommend the LibreSSL Valhalla blog if you're interested. The early posts are pretty funny, if you're into that sort of thing.

Comment Why does this invalidate carbon dating? (Score 1) 108 108

OK, I'm no expert, but I'm not stupid either, and I do read.

Scientists have been using various methods to track how much carbon (among other things) is in the atmosphere by various methods. We've got a record of this going back quite some time. That's how we know, for example, how much carbon was in the atmosphere 300 years ago compared to now.

So if we know how much carbon is in the atmosphere, and we know how much of that is carbon 14 (we are keeping records, right?), then can't we correct for this? Other people have posted about how nuclear tests have increased the carbon 14 in the atmosphere. I'm sure at least these guys are keeping track of it.

It'll take some tweaking to get right, but I'm sure we can account for the difference. Maybe some grad student will use it for their PhD. When there are cases of overlap (the t-shirt dating as 1000 years older), there might be some issues, but for anything truly old it shouldn't be an issue.

Comment Re:HALLELUIAH! (Score 1) 108 108

The problem with that supposition is that it in no way invalidates scientific research or teaching, which is usually the goal of people making these arguments.

If you want to assume that, six thousand years ago, God created a 14 billion year old universe, that's fine. That doesn't invalidate, for instance, evolution - it just means God created a universe where evolution had occurred, and where the teaching of evolution is still appropriate.

And, of course, it doesn't explain a lot of other things, like how the entire world could flood and leave no evidence behind, or how the distribution of people throughout the world dates much further back than six thousand years (the date where Adam and Eve would have lived).

I've never seen any argument that could reasonably combine literal biblical interpretation and reality. In my opinion (as someone raised as a creationist and now hovering somewhere along the line between agnosticism and atheism), fundamentalism hurts Christianity more than anything else - if I had been told the stories in the Bible were myths to take moral lessons from, I might still be a believer.

Comment Re:Only one side seems to be doing the 'pitting' (Score 1) 250 250

I doubt most of the BSD community cares much. The loudest aren't necessarily the majority. But it's easy to understand the ones who do care.

The BSD philosophy has some overlap with that of the FSF. The major difference is that the BSD philosophy isn't a movement. They see themselves as trying to make the world a better place by providing better software for everyone. Anyone who wants to contribute is welcome. The FSF also wants to make a better world, but they also want to force everyone to follow suit, whether they want to or not. Both camps are on the same "side" most of the time, and get lumped together a lot.

What pisses off some people in the BSD camp is that GPL code is, to BSD, as inaccessible as proprietary software. This is why BSD doesn't have as much driver support as Linux - the Linux guys can take almost* any code from BSD, but BSD can't take any code from Linux. The closest they can get is having someone document a Linux driver - anything beyond that is against the GPL.

So here's all this source code out there that they can't touch. When you spend a good portion of your time writing source code that anyone is free to use as they wish, it's understandable how that might piss you off a bit.

* FreeBSD does use some CDDL licensed code that Linux can't incorporate, which is why FreeBSD has an in-kernel ZFS implementation and Linux does not. That's not FreeBSD's fault, though - blame that one on Sun.

Comment Re:Keep it simple (Score 1) 173 173

I assume you don't have kids. Or work in security, for that matter.

This is standard industry practice. You weigh your security needs (very little, based on the original question) and base your policy on those. If you catch someone circumventing your policy, you take action (for parents, you punish the child; for companies, you discipline the employee).

What this setup does is make it non-trivial for the children to circumvent the basic security setup. It also makes it dead easy to find someone who is circumventing the security setup - the child's internet usage will look different than their grandparents'. There will be no accidental circumvention of the security policy. The real problem, from a parental point of view, is that the child is deliberately disobeying - and that's a parent issue, not a technical one.

Think about it; if you really want to secure your house, you'll build it out of steel deep underground. Locks can be easily circumvented; I could probably break into the average house in less than ten minutes, and I'm no locksmith (or burglar, for that matter). But for some reason, you don't find people living in buried steel vaults. Banks, on the other hand, do use buried steel vaults; their security need is greater than the average household.

Comment Re:Keep it simple (Score 1) 173 173

Well what you basically wish for is corporate-like network with authentication to local systems and to network usage. It can't be done without enterprise class systems - you will need an internet access proxy/gateway for accounting and enforicing access policies for network, user directory to enforce password usage and restrict access to certain machines for certain users (namely your son), network access protection system (and network hardware supporting it) so your son can't just use his Linux machine to access network however he likes.

Um, what?

He's not setting up a corporate network, and he's not protecting vital data. Hardcore security isn't required (and can still be had, at some inconvenience to the users, using things like this, for instance), If he's got a UNIX-based firewall that can run cron scripts, that's all he needs.

Try this:
1) Put grandparents' machines on static IPs (or set their IPs on the DHCP server, if whatever's serving DHCP supports it).
2) Have grandparents put a password on their Windows boxes and set the screensaver to lock after a few minutes.
3) Set up a cron script to turn off internet access for all IPs except the grandparents' machines at a certain time, then turn it back on in the morning.
4) Disable the cron script and disable internet access altogether if the kids are grounded.
5) Use the firewall logs to see what the kids are doing. A little scripting can generate reports for you, if you want.

If only one kid is grounded, it's a bit trickier, but still doable. A kid could unplug the cable or turn off one of the grandparents' machines and take the IP, but that would be best dealt with as a social issue (i.e. beat the kid's ass if he does).

I use a similar setup here and it works like a charm. I use OpenBSD for the firewall, but Linux and pfSense have the same capability.

Comment "Undetermined Payload" (Score 0) 51 51

Sounds like Mexico just wants to throw money away for appearances' sake.

I mean, if it was a scientific package from a Mexican university, or a Mexican military satellite, or something, I'd understand. I don't understand why they'd want to just send something to the moon just to have sent something to the moon. The US did it to outdo the Russians, but at least we got a decent amount of research and development out of it.

Obligatory Mexican comment: Someone should paint "muff diver" on the side of it.

Comment Re:been there don't that (Score 1) 637 637

Yeah, that makes sense, if you completely ignore all of human history.

Look at California. Sure, they've got a drought, but consider their long-range prospects; southern California is a desert with millions of people living in it. Lake Mead is going away. Agriculture drinks up the water faster than it comes in, even when there is no drought. Desalination is an option, sure, but they should have started building the infrastructure ten years ago, and it'll be both outragously expensive (large-scale desalination always is) and unpopular (they'd have to use nuclear power - they can't handle their power needs now, much less run extremely power-hungry desalination plants).

Is there a mass migration away from southern California? Nope. And why would they? They have jobs, they have their homes and friends, and moving is a pain in the ass. They won't move until they absolutely have to.

Despite what you believe, we are exactly like frogs in a boiling pot. Take that from a guy whose senator still thinks global warming isn't happening at all. Change is expensive. Those with money and power want to keep their money and power, and change is their enemy. They'll fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo - which is why global warming is a political debate in this country, whereas it's a given in the scientific community.

I don't think there's going to be some sort of horrible apocalypse that will end civilization. I do believe that we'll suffer major economic damage. I like the idea of my grandkids having the same opportunities as I did. I'd rather they didn't grow up in a soup line or ending up in WPA-style work camps.

Comment Re:the flat curve (Score 1) 179 179

So the implication here is that the only reason achievement would be different is because struggling students were denied help based on their demographics?

In the 1980s and earlier, it would have been a valid assumption. But no, the implication is that not all students receive equal assistance and help from their peers or from home. That's certainly valid. The assumption, which I'll agree is unrealistic, is that the desire to learn is not reflective of any of those classifications. A good teacher can only do so much to interest a disinterested student, but there is correlation between demographics and the desire to learn.

To require "equal achievement"? Really? (And I was asking about the school system.)

I don't claim to be an expert on school-specific laws. I do, however, have quite a bit of experience with laws and rules for large organizations.

Achievement in this case is more or less the same as "performance." A company with two factories - one of which produces more product than the other - will want to know why, and take steps to bring both factories up to par. The military expects to be able to take any group of people of the same rank and job description (MOS, AFSC, etc.) to be able to accomplish the same tasks with the same speed and proficiency.

I think you're looking at things here from too low a level. You're looking at individual students and classrooms. These sorts of regulations are there to identify problem schools or school systems.

Comment Re:the flat curve (Score 1) 179 179

That's a problem you have with any organization, really. It's all down to accountability.

Target metrics are pretty much a standard thing. You can argue their usefulness all day (educational experts do), but what it boils down to is that you have to have some way of making sure the schools are teaching the students properly.

The ideal is that students who were struggling would get help, regardless of any other factors. Bad instructors would be replaced. By looking at the metrics, principals, superintendents, and school board members could spot trouble spots. The reality, well, we'll see. It's all down to how well the supervisors supervise.

And as far as if that verbiage has been applied: very similar verbiage is applied all over the place, both in the government and out. Statisticians work with that kind of language all day. Look into, for instance, equal opportunity laws and wage inequality, or quality control.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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