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Comment: Re:Also affects Linux - patch now! (Score 5, Informative) 115

by sydsavage (#48660675) Attached to: Apple Pushes First Automated OS X Security Update

Completely wrong. You do not need to open a port to sync with an external time source any more than you need to open a port to browse the web. It is only necessary to open/forward a port if you wish to allow others to sync to you from the external network. But you shouldn't do this unless you have mitigated the potential for using your time server in an amplification attack.

Comment: Elementary OS (Score 4, Interesting) 346

by sydsavage (#45543967) Attached to: The Burning Bridges of Ubuntu

I hadn't heard about Elementary OS until this Wired write up yesterday. Out of curiosity, I tried it out in VirtualBox just to have a look at it. And yup, it's pretty, and simple, and it's not Unity. I considering giving it a try for real on my workstation, but it kind of barfed on my nfs shared home directory, so I think I'll pass for now. That has been my most current pet peeve; distributions that do not respect the 'Unix Way' of doing things, like having a network mounted home directory, so all my files and preferences go with me to which ever machine I log into on the network. I had just wrestled with Shotwell refusing to import some photos in my nfs home, and since the article talked up EOS's tight integration with all things Yorba, the authors of Shotwell, I didn't really want to go down that road. I did try out Yorba's email client, and liked it enough to install it on my Ubuntu machine. And it seems to work just fine so far with my networked home.

Anyhow, if you want to see what Wired is calling the Apple of Linux OSes, take a gander at Elementary OS. I can appreciate them striving for the 'Just Works' mantra, but it needs to 'Just Work' with the tried and true ways of doing things that Unix and friends have enjoyed for decades now.

And I'm not saying that it completely fails at an nfs mounted home directory, but it was competing with Ubuntu's settings (where that home directory mounts on my real machine) for simple things like the desktop wallpaper. I imagine it can be made to play nice, but I wasn't looking to spend time tweaking yet another distro to get things to work the way I want them to.

+ - Suggested Programming Books for Young Kids

Submitted by sydsavage
sydsavage writes: I've been tasked with recommending some good books for the child of a friend who is interested in learning to program. He's just shy of 13 years old, and is an avid Minecrafter. Last year I built a server for him, and he has shown real aptitude managing and customizing various plugins, managing permissions, and creating redstone circuits and command blocks. So what would you recommend for a young person to begin learning to program? And what languages would you recommend? Java is an obvious choice, due to his interest in Minecraft, but I'd like to hear reasoning for other languages with which to get started.

Comment: Re:What!? (Score 1) 298

Actually, I completely agree with that. My statement was intended to contrast with the parent's post that people who choose to live far outside the city center expect subsidized services to be provided to them, even though they pay a smaller portion of tax revenue due to lower property taxes. Which I also agree with, as this puts a higher burden on those that choose (or don't have a choice) to live in the city center, where the infrastructure costs are lower due to the shorter distances and higher density. But in this case, the infrastructure is already in place, and was likely already subsidized when it was first installed, at least in the case of phone lines.

As for the roadway analogy, which I think is perfectly apt, it's as if we have multiple parallel private toll roads for every city street. (And the owners of these toll roads make every attempt to extract more tolls from every delivery truck that isn't owned by their subsidiary, besides the tolls they charge for each resident.) It makes far more sense to consolidate the ownership of these streets on the municipal level, as is typically the case, and pay for the maintenance from taxes and fees collected for that purpose.

The update on my connection issue: Dial tone was restored this afternoon with no visit from a repairman. However, my internet speeds have been reduced by 50%, and I now enjoy 1024/640 kbps up/down, for the same $55/month. So tell me again how much the US is improving it's net speeds? Because mine just went down by a significant amount, and I'm stuck paying the same price. But Mr. ITIF Senior Fellow is in the clear, because these speeds don't qualify as broadband.

Comment: Re:What!? (Score 2) 298

I live less than 2.5 miles from my state capitol. My two choices for internet are $55/mo for 1.5/.75 DSL from CenturyLink, or $70/mo for "up to" 20/5 from Comcast. I don't want the gubmint to subsidize shit. But somebody needs to step in and break this duopoly. If tighter regulations on these two asshat companies is what it takes, so be it.

Personally, I'd like to see the city turn the SCOTUS approved imminent domain laws on their head, and seize the infrastructure from these racketeers and then lease back wholesale access to any company that wants to provide service. Because unless Google decides to come to town, nothing is going to change, at least not for the better.

The prices have continually crept up while bandwidth caps have been continually lowered along with the quality of service. At this moment, I'm waiting for the second day for a repairman to show up to fix a recurring issue of moisture in the ancient copper lines (so that's why they call it CenturyLink!) that causes no dialtone on the landline, and the DSL connection to flap from no connection to barely dial-up speeds.

Comment: Wrangler Power (Score 1) 212

by sydsavage (#40492705) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Add New Tech To Old Van?

I used these guys as a source when upgrading my '77 Jeep Wagoneer. That was about ten years ago, so I don't know what they are like now, but I was really happy with them back then. I was able to get factory style connectors that let me make my own custom wiring harness, but still be plug compatible with the various factory components. I also got some heavy duty fuses and a circuit breaker that I used to protect the cabin wiring and electronics.


Comment: Re:Every supercomputer should look nice . . . (Score 4, Informative) 68

by sydsavage (#38115778) Attached to: The Top 10 Supercomputers, Illustrated

Way back in '03, Virginia Tech built a cluster of 1,100 Mac G5's. It came in at #3 on the Top 500 list that year, and at $5.2M, it was a fraction of the cost of the next cheapest supercomputer in the top ten. And it was assembled by students in 3 weeks, using stock G5 towers fitted with InfiniBand cards.

It was later upgraded to G5 xServe boxes, and as of 2008, was still ranked 281 on the Top 500 list.

Here's a short promo film that VT produced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLujLtgBJC0

Chairman of the Bored.