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Comment: Re:Amusing (Score 1) 349

by sylvandb (#48173973) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

I find it amusing how people continuously claim to "know" what is and isn't possible based on our infinitesimally short stint into the sciences.


When I see articles like this, and especially with a "[likely] always will be" clincher I like to imagine how the exact same tone could be (and often was) applied prior to previous breakthru advances. Such as traveling several times faster than a horse could run. (Breathing would be impossible at such speeds!) Such as heavier than air flight. (A bird can fly because its body is optimized for flight but no matter what heavier substance you add to the body of a man it only makes him heavier and thus less able to fly.) Such as supersonic flight. (The "sound barrier" isn't called that for nothing!) and etcetera.

Until we really are omniscient any claim which depends on "we didn't know then but now we know" just shows the laughable hubris of the claimant.

Comment: Re:And yet IBM soldiers on... (Score 1) 156

by sylvandb (#48053021) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

The PowerPC line, They were doing good until the Gigahertz range was common in Intel, Power PC was still in MHZ. Intel started to make much faster chips and PowerPC couldn't get caught up.

of course PowerPC was RISC and Intel CPUs were CISC.

Yet that makes what happened even more strange. A long touted advantage of RISC was that because of its simplicity it could be clocked so much faster than CISC that doing less per instruction would still be faster net throughput. Yet what happened was that CISC (in the hands of Intel) could and did do and even outdo all the optimizations of RISC, including clock speed.

Now ARM has been making hay with a new RISC advantage, power efficiency. We'll see...

Comment: Re:Sit and watch my automated scripts and read (Score 1) 228

by sylvandb (#47630635) Attached to: What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?


Then as you monitor the automation you improve the scripts and your active involvement lessens over time, leaving more time for other things.

Maybe automate other parts of your job?

Self-improvement (training, education, experimentation, etc)?

Being available to consult or assist others, improving your "team player" metric?

Sell your ideas for automation, demonstrate the prototype (before it is perfected, of course)?

Entertainment? (Anything so long as it doesn't get you fired, which in a good company should be primarily based on job performance which is already covered, right?)

Just do it already...

Comment: Re:What about my rights? (Score 1) 172

by sylvandb (#47561499) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

Never said all exchanges. Nice of you to put words in my mouth to build a strawman and shoot it down.

Some exchanges were. Maybe some still are.

Fractional-reserve banking is the practice whereby a bank holds reserves (to satisfy demands for withdrawals) that are less than the amount of its customers' deposits.

from wikipedia seems like a good definition for fractional reserve banking.

A bank is a financial intermediary that accepts deposits and channels those deposits into lending activities...

ibid seems fine also.

And those definitely meet what has happened in the world of BTC exchanges. Were they officially lending? Probably not. But as soon as they start dipping into "deposits" and later reimbursing those deposits, somebody is making money by borrowing the "excess" reserves.

MtGox specifically:

Financial institution? Check.
People deposit financial assets? Check.
Fractional reserves? Check.
Lending of those assets? Check.

Sure sounds like it meets at least one public definition of fractional reserve banking.

Comment: Re:What about my rights? (Score 1) 172

by sylvandb (#47559017) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

I said "operate" and "will fail eventually." I did not say "legitimate" and neither did the original statement. I do not know how you define legitimate, and frankly don't care about your addition of an illegitimate qualifier. The original request said the system did not allow fractional reserve, and you cannot believe that in light of the evidence that fractional reserve did exist.

MtGox was operating with a fractional reserve for some time. Either intentionally (criminal) or not (negligent).

Many other BTC exchanges have been in similar state. Most have failed. As per my original, I expect them to fail. One, I don't recall the name, has either repaid or is close to final repayment bringing reserves back to 100%. That is a failure of fractional reserve I appreciate.

There is at least one bitcoin "bank" currently offering to pay interest on bitcoin deposits. I don't believe they are any more legitimate than MtGox or any other failed/failing fractional reserve business.

Comment: Re:What about my rights? (Score 1) 172

by sylvandb (#47554145) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

You can't use bitcoin for fractional reserve banking; the system itself doesn't support it. Legislation banning fractional reserve banking in BTC is like legislation banning the sun from rising in the west.

You could say the same about gold or any commodity currency.

And most definitely gold and bitcoin have both been used in fractional reserve situations.

Any system where you can take a deposit and issue a receipt can be operated as fractional reserve. Without the ability to print money on demand it will fail eventually. But eventually might be a long way off, and in the meantime that fractional reserve is very profitable and that provides all the necessary incentive.

I still claim there is no need for regulation specific to bitcoin (or gold). If you promise to deliver my X units of anything and fail to do so, you are guilty of at least breach of contract and quite possibly fraud or even theft.

Comment: Re:How to regulate something that is unregulateabl (Score 1) 172

by sylvandb (#47553985) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

Most stores "taking" cryptocurrency are not actually taking it. Their payment processor is taking the crypto payment and converting it for the store.

Similar to someone who sells on ebay and takes paypal. You can pay with a credit card, but the seller is not taking a credit card payment. The seller is not bound by any of the credit card regulations, instead the payment processor (paypal) is bound by them, and the seller is bound by paypal's user agreement.


TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes 702

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-something-safe dept.
Trachman writes The US Transport Security Administration revealed on Sunday that enhanced security procedures on flights coming to the US now include not allowing uncharged cell phones and other devices onto planes. “During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted on board the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening,” TSA said in a statement.

Comment: Re:syntax (Score 2) 132

by sylvandb (#47384193) Attached to: Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

rubbish. ...if you took any language and converted it to a set of machine-readable numbers, they'd all look the same. The difference is that you want something humans can understand. Perl manages this - _but_ you have to take the time to learn what those symbols mean. In more wordy languages, you get the understanding from the English names they use instead. The trouble with that is that many people read the English words and assume they fully know what they mean, when they don't necessarily do.

Rubbish is a great word.

Your squiggles idea has been thought, tested and practically failed decades ago.

APL much?

Learn the squiggles


+ - FPGA for Makers: The Dream of Drag and Drop Circuits-> 12

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "FPGA's are great, but learning VHDL/Verilog can be a daunting task! This new Kickstarter project has a unique new idea so simple that it just might put FPGA's into the hands of Makers everywhere. It's as simple as pairing an FPGA with an Arduino and creating software that lets Makers draw circuits. Instead of learning a new programming language Makers can draw circuits right away using open source building blocks such as stepper controllers, audio chips, video chips, and even a bitcoin miner. Circuits are loaded to the FPGA and then controlled by the Arduino. It's a very simple arrangement with mind boggling possibilities — everything from bitcoin mining, embedded vision, robotics, to reconfigurable System on Chip designs."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Why do distros so often change the way they ini (Score 1) 533

by sylvandb (#46956717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Billy, three suggestions:

Quit calling it "inet" when you mean "init".

None of what you mention has anything to do with inet or init and so my laptops have done very well in your scenarios using the traditional sysvinit and now with upstart.

If you want to sell systemd, figure out what it does that was not done before, not just what was not done before by init.

Comment: Re:Privilege to start a service (Score 1) 533

by sylvandb (#46956627) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

And no, Linus, adding a printer is not "an everyday task."

You don't know college. A student is likely to be close to five different printers in a day.

And if you are "close to five different printers in a day" why would you want to add them to your system? There is no need to "add" a printer in order to print to it. The only reason to "add" a printer is if you regularly print to the same one.

Thinking you need to "add" every printer near you is a broken mindset spawned by Windows.

Comment: Re:No... (Score 1) 533

by sylvandb (#46956607) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Can you help me out here? I would love to know what the crux of this little flamewar that's going on around here actually is. Near as I can tell:

1) init is pretty much just a bunch of shell scripts that are used to start & stop services. It, IMHO, qualifies as an unmitigated hack
2) systemd is... what? Something sensible that at least attempts to start & stop services in a standard way?

I mean, forgive me, but it seems that this is a vast improvement. Who wants a system that's basically a collection of scripts? That just seems so fragile and un-documentable.


I really seems to me that getting rid of that horrible kludge of shellscripts and moving towards a standardised and sensible startup process is a big step forwards in Linux land.

Those who don't know Unix are doomed to re-create it, poorly.

Comment: Re:No... (Score 2) 533

by sylvandb (#46956575) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

If you think sysv init is not broken, then you must not have been using unix systems in earnest.



"Sheesh" is right.

Funny how I've been "using unix systems in earnest," and Linux systems in particular for over 20 years, and never needed systemd to solve the problems you point out. That usage includes desktops, servers and laptops so I really don't know what impediment you and lennart suffer from that causes you such problems that you think systemd is the solution.

"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!" -- Post Bros. Comics