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Comment: Re:not reasonable at all (Score 1) 767

by tyggna (#47751971) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide
Same OS, same install (Archlinux on a Lenovo W520, using fluxbox as a window manager with slim for a login)

Boot time with initd setup: 14-20 seconds for full environment
Boot time with systemd setup: 3-7 seconds

Number of times I boot my machine: 2-3 times per day, including weekends. So, since I converted, I could be saving up to 79 hours a year in boot times.

I'll take an additional ounce of complexity for those gains.

Converted a server, with a very long POST time, over to systemd as well. It cut boot time down from 4 minutes to all services being up and running to one minute and 20 seconds. If you're working with a system that reboots often, that's a big gain in overall availability. I'd hardly call the thing bloated if it makes better utilization of system resources than its predecessor.

You see, I don't know if you're aware of this, but most computers have multiple processor cores in them now. Running from a script implies serialized code. Running and booting from a database implies threading. Systemd is designed to work with modern systems, but hey, if you're still on a pre-dual-core setup, then more power to you.

Oh, I guess you've also never worked in an environment where httpd frequently logs more than 30GB in a day. I like awk as much as the next admin, but being able to run a query and get targeted data from the deamon itself in less than a second's processing time is a HUGE gain.

Yup, certainly no reason to design it THAT way. . .

Comment: It's in the pipeline (Score 1) 720

by tyggna (#47715139) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'
Dividing out compute functions into mobile devices might have been the key to this happening. Tablets/smartphones do a lot of the leisure activities associated with computers, and can do some of the minor business features too.

This means that, increasingly so, the market for desktop computers will be for heavy business uses, and for heavy gaming. The marginal stuff will move to mobile as it's able to.

The day the Linux desktop comes is when it becomes easier for the majority of people to use Linux in the office than the alternative.

So, how is that going? What are some of the heavy-use applications that will likely never move away from a desktop computer?

Office applications - Openoffice and libreoffice are considered a viable alternatives to Microsoft Office. The fact that you can write macros in python gives the FOSS stuff a bit of a longevity advantage as new office workers come into the labor force and don't feel like learning Visual Basic. Where it lacks is the Exchange server market, where there's no viable FOSS software to handle email, organize meetings, allocate resources, and have it all work natively with single-sign-on credentials.
Gaming - OpenGL has seen huge improvement over the years, and it gets easier to work with every release. If it isn't already equivalent to DirectX, then it's well on its way. I see OpenGL as having more potential as well, since there are more interested and intelligent parties involved with its development than DirectX. The rendering library is just one component though. You also need top-notch hardware and drivers to match. The NVidia drivers are equivalent from Linux to Windows and are pretty good, if a little unstable. The FOSS drivers for NVidia have a long way to go still, as do the ATI drivers. NVidia is on-board with maintaining Linux as diligently as Windows, but ATI tends to lag behind in that area. Most major gaming engine components already work for Linux, like Havok, or the Source engine. With Steam picking up the banner of Linux gaming, it will certainly grow more viable over time too.
Interface - This is a big one. No matter how proficient you are, this one has to be learned. Linux has hundreds of different interfaces, and all of them require some amount of training to use and customize. Windows has this one because it has been essentially the same since Windows 95, and the paradigm and prior knowledge from all previous Windows OSes tend to transfer over from release to release. The only solution to this one is making streamlined workflows a priority inside of the interface, and then training people on it. As odd as this might sound, I think the best candidate for Linux gaining more ground on the PC interface is a window manager that focuses on ease of user customization, rather than ease of use. For me, that's fluxbox or openbox, with xfce making strong ground. Teaching people how to edit a text file and customize their menus and hotkeys takes me about 10-20 minutes, and the person learning it usually can get far enough with it to make it their own after an hour or two of use. Add in a program that turns your interface into a drag-and-drop to customize mode that's easy to use and it might start making some serious ground. I mean, Linux's real interface is the command line, and bash largely put to rest our ancient shell holy war. Once we can intelligently combine the advantages of gnome, kde, and xfce (which are the three biggest contenders for user space) and make all these paradigms work together, then we'll be on track for taking the desktop.
Anyways, just my two cents.

Comment: eSports aren't like regular Sports (Score 1) 146

by tyggna (#47632989) Attached to: The ESports Athletes Who Tried To Switch Games
because they're constantly subjected to rule changes. Every week, month, year, decade, there is the potential for having a very upsetting change in the fundamentals of the game. If eSports players can't keep up with these, then they fall out of brackets. That's why the people who were the top of the top 3 years ago aren't. Maybe that's what'll prevent eSports from ever gaining the same prominence as regular sports--an athlete can expect to have a 10-25 year career. A pro-gamer would be lucky to see a 10 year career, and I don't expect that'll ever change.

+ - Nasa approves 'impossible' space engine design that apparently violates the laws-> 4

Submitted by sirlark
sirlark (1676276) writes "In a quiet announcement that has sent shockwaves through the scientific world, Nasa has cautiously given its seal of approval to a new type of “impossible” engine that could revolutionize space travel.

In a paper published by the agency’s experimental Eagleworks Laboratories, Nasa engineers confirmed that they had produced tiny amounts of thrust from an engine without propellant – an apparent violation of the conservation of momentum; the law of physics that states that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction."

Link to Original Source

+ - Cringley: IBM not a viable company, propping itself up by trippling its debt->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "Robert X. Cringely has a new ebook out, titled "The Decline and Fall of IBM" (http://www.cringely.com/2014/06/04/decline-fall-ibm/). Cringely believes that IBM is in deep trouble and has been since before the Great Recession of 2008. He also says that the company has probably been doomed since 2010.

On Sunday, Cringley was interviewed on the nationally syndicated talkradio program Moneytalk. Program host Bob Brinker (http://bobbrinker.com/) pointed out that Warren Buffett bought almost $11 billion worth of IBM common stock, then asked Cringley "what did he miss?" Cringley answered that IBM is in a downward spiral because it is focused on maintaining and increasing earnings per share (EPS). IBM is borrowing money to buy back shares, propping up EPS but adding debt. IBM's debt has tripled in the last 5 years.

Cringley also told Brinker that IBM has gone from hardware sales to selling services but they have poor customer retention, having lost the state of Texas and The Walt Disney Company. Their sales culture tends to bid low to win the contract and then extract more dollars by selling extra services. IBM also lost a contract with the CIA to Amazon. A person who called-in to the program pointed out that IBM lost its leadership in product development, lost sales of its core products to Fortune 500 companies, and its software business is eroding because of open source applications. Cringely concurred with the caller and told him "you made my point."(http://honeysbobbrinkerbeehivebuzz3.blogspot.com/)"

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Comment: Sound advice I was given (Score 2) 246

by tyggna (#47589905) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel As Ostriches?
Just keep the guy who does your yearly reviews happy and make him look good. Also, make his boss look good. If you're like me and have multiple bosses, develop your relationship with the one you think will hold that position longest. Don't burn any bridges unless you have to in order to keep your job. Every company has different standards of security, and an even wider variation of enforcement. Don't intentionally be a butt-head to anyone, and if you see anything that's off policy or could get someone fired, just politely point it out to the individual so they can correct it.
As for dealing with sensitive information, I usually ignore it. You'll see lots of stuff you probably shouldn't as the only IT guy. Just file it away and don't bring it up again--even if it seems like a good idea or a neutral situation to do so. You don't want upper management finding out the IT guy knows more about the company than they do, or they'll (often unintentionally) make your life miserable.
IT can be likable, but there will be a lot of people who will make your job harder because of their ignorance. Just do you best to educate them in a friendly way so you can work on more important things than dealing with office dunce's all the time.

+ - NASA tested an impossible space engine and it somehow worked->

Submitted by John_Yossarian
John_Yossarian (1160273) writes "According to the article, a recent test of what seems to be a reactionless drive (to the extent that it uses radiation in place of exhaust) done by NASA appears to have worked. If so, this would revolutionize space travel.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8...
http://cannae.com/introduction"

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+ - MIT system will make oxygen on next NASA Mars mission->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "MIT researchers this week found out that a system they have developed to produce oxygen on Mars will be making the next NASA trip to the Red Planet. MIT’s Mars OXygen In situ resource utilization Experiment or MOXIE will be just one of the seven instruments that will travel on the Mars 2020, mission which will feature a large rover similar to the Mars Curiosity rover currently looking around on Mars."
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+ - "Word Record" as Single Laser and Fibre Optic Cable Delivers 43 Tbps

Submitted by Mark.JUK
Mark.JUK (1222360) writes "A research group working out of the Technical University of Denmark claims to have broken "another world record" in fibre optic data transfers after they were able to demonstrate speeds of 43 Terabits per second over a single laser and fibre optic cable (67km long), which is theoretically much closer to real-world connections than most other lab tests where multiple lasers and cables can be used.

Professor Leif Oxenløwe of DTU Fotonik said that his team had "used all the known, neat tricks that exist nowadays to make data in five dimensions: time, frequency, polarization, quadrature and space”. However one such "neat trick" is the decision not to use a traditional single core cable and to instead adopt a 7 core (glass threads) design from Japanese telecoms firm NNT.

Admittedly the new fibre optic cable does not take up any more space than the standard single-core version, but it's still a new cable and thus perhaps the "world record" claims aren't quite comparing apples to apples."

+ - Student Uses Oculus Rift and Kinect to Create Cool Body Swap Illusion->

Submitted by kkleiner
kkleiner (1468647) writes "Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, Microsoft Kinect, a camera, and a handful of electrical stimulators, a London student's virtual reality system is showing users what it's like to swap bodies. Looking down, they see someone else's arms and legs; looking out, it's someone else's point of view; and when they move their limbs, the body they see does the same (those electrical stimulators mildly shock muscles to force a friend to mirror the user's movements). It's an imperfect system, but a fascinating example of the power of virtual reality. What else might we use VR systems for? Perhaps they'll prove useful in training or therapeutic situations? Or what about with robots, which would be easier to inhabit and control than another human? The virtual body swap may never fully catch on, but generally, virtual reality will likely prove useful for more than just gaming and entertainment."
Link to Original Source

+ - NASA Scientists Use Intelligent, Autonomous, Aircraft to Fight Fires in Californ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "NASA Scientists are using intelligent drones capable of monitoring their own health, and responding to failures and dangerous situations safely, to fight fires and monitor environmental hazards in the state of California. Given all the recent bad press for drones, it's great to see NASA using them for good, rather than evil.

FTA:

Safety is NASA's top priority! The search for innovative new ways to validate and verify is vital for the development of safety-critical systems. Such techniques have been successfully used to assure systems for air traffic control, airplane separation assurance, autopilots, logic designs, medical devices, and other functions that ensure human safety. Safety is important to ensure at all stages of a system's lifetime, from design time to run time.

We take a look at an exciting recent advancement in run time System Health Management (SHM) for totally autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) tasked with important missions like wild-fire surveillance and earthquake response.
"

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