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Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 727

by unrtst (#49351443) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

You are trying to explain a mechanical failure of a door right at the moment when the aircraft...

Why does it have to be a mechanical failure? Just a wild stab in the dark (since everyone else is doing it)... couldn't the pilot have forgotten the code?
* I'm assuming each plane has a different unlock code. It'd be silly not to.
* I'm betting pilots, especially these pilots where many at that company have been going on repeated strikes due to wages, fly more than one plane
* I wouldn't be surprised if they don't test them every single time - IE. how often do you actually need to enter your code if the other guy in there can just buzz you in?
-> doesn't seem like a far stretch to think someone could have forgot the code.

Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 727

by unrtst (#49351403) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Regarding the door lock/unlock switch...

The action to move between the three states is a very deliberate one - you need to lift the switch up and move it, there is an infinitesimally small chance that it was engaged by accident.

However, the video posted by gnunick below, , indicates otherwise. It appears that one does have to lift the switch up to move it into the "unlocked" mode, but to push it into "locked" you just push it down (no need to lift it up), which makes some sense since its purpose is for emergencies when you want to keep people out.

Whether or not things were deliberate, what their motivations are, etc, I don't know. All seems a little fishy though, especially considering all the pilot strikes that company has been having this year, and on that very weekend.

Comment: Re:It depends (Score 1) 481

by unrtst (#49347779) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

Snap...just read the article. They used Java and Python...need I say more.

Yes. You and everyone else I've read thus far should be saying just a little bit more.

Their python example is doing this for in memory concatenation:

for i in range(0, numIter):
  concatString = addString + concatString ... but this for the disk-only version:

for i in range(0, numIter):

Those are not the same. Try doing the same with the disk-only version (PRE-pending the value).

They even mention it and provide the corrected code for the in-memory version:

for i in range(0, numIter):
    concatString = concatString + addString

When using that, it performs virtually the same as the disk-only solution.

Granted, your point still stands, and they note that in their paper (it's pretty much the whole point of the paper). I just think comparing two completely different things is pretty stupid and worth noting.

Comment: Re:Or... (Score 1) 47

by unrtst (#49346921) Attached to: Dueling Home Automation Systems at SXSW (Video)

I see it less of a hobby, I see it as lazy asses that can't be fucked to get off the couch and walk 5 feet to a light switch.

This is exactly the kind of laziness that makes for excellent programmers (or at least perl programmers: The definition of Laziness from the 2nd edition of the camel book:

The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful, and document what you wrote so you don't have to answer so many questions about it. Hence, the first great virtue of a programmer. Also hence, this book. See also impatience and hubris.

The example you provide is a great of example of an incomplete, misconfigured, or broken by design system. If the end result is more effort than before, then it wasn't automated. The "clapper" works better than using your smartphone to twiddle light switches manually.

There are a bunch of parts to a well implemented home automation system. If any one of them is missing or incomplete, then it's going to suck and waste your money and time. The hardware and the controllers need to be in place, of course. If you don't have controllers for everything (or at least most things), then it's going to feel incomplete and it won't behave well. Once you have controllers for most things (or most things of a class, like for most of your lights), then they need to be automated in some way. Using your phone or tablet to manually trigger events is a fine *addition* to the norm, but that's not automated. Using presence information (motion sensors, rfids, cameras, light sensors, etc etc) would start to automate things, as would timers and many other hooks.

Getting all those set up nicely takes significant work, which is why many people stop at just being able to click on things on their phone which is, as you noted, pretty useless. Laziness isn't the problem, it's the solution. You need an extremely lazy mindset to go through the additional effort so you don't ever have to touch the switch again. This is all too much for most folks.

Where I think the automation CAN make strides with average folks is when it ties together multiple activities, orchestrating more complex results via a single trigger. For example, there are smart switches that can control multiple lights and be programmed for various sets and moods. You'd still click the switch, but it'd take care of many changes via one trigger. The fairly dumb smart phone app control could also be used to do this with IoT devices. Another area which should be pretty obvious is for your TV/Entertainment system - click one button and have your receiver change inputs to your PS3, turn on the TV, change TV input, adjust volume, change TV brightness, dim the lights, put the dvr into low power state, and set an alarm for 1hr from now so you don't keep playing all night. This has all been possible for ages with cheap equipment... it just takes some work with the initial setup. If all these various parts start to get some standard API's, maybe some apps can come alone to make it easier for normal people to pull off stuff like that.

Comment: Re: The real reason (Score 1) 52

by unrtst (#49340753) Attached to: Australian Company Creates Even Faster 3D Printer

I'm sorry you can't imagine a scenario different from your own experience.

Your quoting of the parent makes it seem like you're implying that he's wrong, but you pretty much restated his points and did so poorly.

To quote DreamMaster, "Maybe you have kids who need thousands of plastic army men. Maybe you are in a business where fabricating prototypes is valuable to you. Great for you, I'm glad you have a use for one."

And yet, your example was a company that does a lot of 3d prototyping, and yet they simply outsource it! Even that company is unable to justify the purchase!

While we still have a marketplace online that'll print anything you want and send it to you within days, and do so on a printer that is probably higher quality that what you could justify having at home, why would someone buy one for home use?

FWIW, I know there's a lot of edge cases, and I think it's all pretty cool, and I could see the simple sake of doing it to do it as reason to blow some excess income, but I've gotta agree with the DM - the feature/price/quality balance isn't there yet for "most people", or even for most of the geeky people. For many small plastic things, I can get away with using a homemade vacuum form and sculpting my form, or building it from plastic and glue and heat etc, or carving some wood, or even welding and grinding steel if that is needed, or build it in wax using traditional methods and then cast it in whatever you want. That said, I do truly hope that they keep making and improving printers in this price range or lower (ie. expensive, but not beyond the means of an average person to obtain if they wanted one)... maybe someday they'll be good enough to print virtually any plastic thing, or complex enough to include circuits, or I'll be bored enough with other things to splurge on one :-)

Comment: Re:Why make it complicated? (Score 1) 366

by unrtst (#49294417) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids

I think you've got some good and true points, but there's one big problem both edges of this argument are getting wrong, and it's embodied in this part of your comment:

This isn't some evil plot to rip off a poor poor American company, this is about basic safety standards.

It's not ONLY about safety standards.
It's also not ONLY about the threat to the revenue stream, nor is it only about the cartel or monopoly controlling things etc etc etc.

IMNSHO, Uber is prompting some very good discussion on points that are long overdue. They are also nowhere near perfect. The fact that they can be selective in choosing passengers and the drivers hardly ever have proper insurance for their customers are both some big glaring problems IMO. There's also a VERY diverse set of locations and companies offering "taxi" service around the globe, and the variety of laws, regulations, environments, norms, etc are vast.

One can certainly argue that the medallion system in NYC is supporting a monopoly and the prices for said tokens are truly outrageous (approx $800,000 - $1.1 million for a single medallion). Those are owned by companies and assigned to cars. Maybe that worked at one point, but it's time for some re-evaluation.
On the other hand, once you get into a NYC taxi, they are required to take you wherever you ask. I've had drivers that told me tales of times where they had to drive half way across the state - a HUGE fair - but they did it and did get paid. The cars are also regularly inspected and maintained, and you can be fairly confident that your car and/or driver are properly insured. None of these are true of Uber drivers. Uber would be a huge step backwards in these respects.

Hopefully, all the parties involved can meet in the middle and bring the best of both sides to fruition. All we really need to worry about is that they don't end up being the worst of both sides (ex. drop all the consumer protection bits but keep the expensive medallion, cutting a deal with uber to give them X virtual medallions or something like that).

Comment: Re:I hope... (Score 2) 211

by unrtst (#49270447) Attached to: Yahoo Debuts End-To-End Encryption Email Plugin, Password-Free Logins

The real problem is that people are using web browsers to read their e-mail instead of a proper e-mail client that already supports the existing standards of pgp and s/mime This yahoo plugin is actually based on google's code for an end to end plugin. It implents pgp.

The problem is that the browser+javascript is the most ubiquitous platform around. It is also FAR more convenient to use.

I'd love to see a decent FOSS webmail application that supports encryption. The only options that exist right now are pretty weak compared to something like GMail.

I get the feeling that very few people understand the problem here.

Both pgp/gpg and s/mime require ownership of a public/private key pair.
True, all the algorithm stuff for signing and encryption has already been implemented in javascript, but it's all useless without the keys.
How do you store and access those keys safely and securely from a web browser? That's what most of the existing webmail plugin solutions for pgp/gpg/smime do - they just provide a local keystore and make that available to the js methods to do the work.

Right now, you can't do S/MIME in a webmail app without a plugin.

Comment: Re:Becasue... the children! (Score 1) 190

by unrtst (#49257221) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Approved By Feds, Banned By States

There's also high proof stuff available readily, though not up at the everclear level. For example of a really common one, bacardi 151.

IMO, the hiking reason fails for a different and very simple reason:
* It's not worth it unless its really good.

The big claim is that weight is the factor for why you would want to pack powdered alcohol. I'd really like some clear facts on that first. Parent post links shows the 37.5% alcohol by volume for the powered stuff, so I don't know why it wouldn't weight any less than 80 proof vodka (for example). Is it just that it's not a liquid and doesn't need a glass bottle? A plastic bladder would solve that problem.

Anyway, lets say it does weight a little less, but it still has weight. You still need to add liquid to it, which you may be able to filter from a stream, but then you're drinking stream water + powdered alcohol. I see very little hope in that being any good. And what's the end goal there? Are you trying to get blackout dunk? If so, that's fine, but you shouldn't be hiking to remote locations to do so. Are you just trying to enjoy a delicious beverage while gazing at the night sky? Then I'd be surprised if you wouldn't be better served by bringing a small flask of a high quality whiskey (or whatever your preference).

The craziest part is simply that site. All those really poor arguments and defenses on the front page - why not just talk about the positive aspects and sell the product? The one I laughed at the most was regarding snorting it:

Listen, people can snort black do we ban it? No, just because a few goofballs use a product irresponsibly doesn't mean you ban it. But even the goofballs won't snort Palcohol due to the pain the alcohol would cause. It really burns. Imagine sniffing liquid vodka. Second, it's impractical. It takes approximately 60 minutes to snort the equivalent of one shot of vodka. Why would anyone do that when they can do a shot of liquid vodka in two seconds?

1. Why is he talking about black pepper?!?! What about cocaine, the obvious comparison to snorting a powder?

2. Imagine snorting vodka? I've done it (I don't do it regularly). It does burn, but people do it, usually when they're not making good decisions. It's actually dangerous because you are not simply metabolizing it; it enters your blood faster and more directly.

3. "impractical"? "take 60 minutes to snorth teh equivalent of one shot of vodka"? See #2... you don't need to snort a whole shot. Drops can be enough. So yes, I'm pretty certain this stuff will get snorted all over the place. I've seen lots of people snort pixie stix back in they day for no other reason than because they can and it hurt.

4. Why would anyone do that when they can do a short of vodka in two seconds? This is his argument? Why would someone abuse my drug when they could quickly consume some other drug?

It's going to happen. There's no argument it won't. It's stupid, but so are many of the use cases and arguments here.

His argument that, "airlines can reduce the weight on an airplane", is just stupid. They'd have to mix it with liquid, so they'd have to carry an equivalent amount of liquid for mixing it, and they'd also have to care the powder, and the combined weight of those is greater than pure alcohol. If I'm overpaying for booze on a plane, I want the real thing. There's a first class / coach argument to be made here as well.

FWIW, I don't think it should be banned. I think there's loads of better ways to market this stuff though. Food prep, medical, manufacturing, remote temp locations (ex military or research camps), etc are all interesting areas. Why is he trying to sell it as a drinking replacement? I'm simply not going to:
* buy powdered drinks in a bar
* buy powdered booze to keep at home (standard booze doesn't go bad any faster, and probably has a longer shelf life)
* carry powered booze on vacations to lands that don't allow alcohol
* pretend powdered booze is what I want after a long day of hiking

Comment: Re:Becasue... the children! (Score 1) 190

by unrtst (#49257091) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Approved By Feds, Banned By States

I haven't seen ANY studies claiming that the potency in available strains of cannabis has remained the about the same for the past 10-40 years, let alone for hundreds of years.

I HAVE seen LOTS of studies that seem quite legitimate and performed by impartial groups (ex. universities) that show THC levels have increased significantly. Here's one example from a quick google search: http://medicalmarijuana.procon...
1978 : 1.37% average
1988 : 3.59% average
1998 : 4.43% average
2008 : 8.49% average

In addition, most of the strains I've seen available lately have been around 15-20% THC (based on wikileaf's info). wikileaf also notes the average sativa strain is 12.5% THC. That's a medical MJ site, which also has a recreational marketplace search subsite (, so it should be fairly trustworthy information for the current state of things.

So, even if I don't believe the 1978 figure because it's old, I have a fair level of confidence in the values reported for 98, 08, and present, which shows 3-4x potency increase over 20 years.

Based on your /. login, maybe you have more/better info? Care to share? Though, based on your uid, you probably haven't been around long enough to remember way back then.

Comment: Re: Where to draw the line? (Score 1) 386

I do not know if you can be accused of stealing if you came independently with a similar sound but not exactly the same. Any examples ?

Loads of examples (both of these links stolen from other posts):
Axis of Awesome 4 chord songs:
Pachelbel rant:

When you said, "if you came independently", I'm assuming you didn't mean, "if you were never exposed to music from earth before".

Comment: Re:M-16? (Score 1) 449

by unrtst (#49238493) Attached to: Cody Wilson Wants To Help You Make a Gun

But would you also force insurance companies to insure you regardless of the business venture?

If insurance is required by law for a normal activity (driving, operating a business manufacturing CNC mills, etc), then yes, the insurance company should be required to provide service to any lawful entity at a fair price regardless of who that person is.

That doesn't exactly answer your question, because I don't know if he's required to have insurance, especially with so few employees. I still think they should be required to provide basic insurance coverage. There are companies that actually make guns, and ones that make and test bullet proof vests, and ones that make and test drugs, and ones that make and test tasers, etc etc etc. He's making small CNC mills. His intent doesn't really matter**.

** I'm assuming this isn't some odd insurance request, like asking to be insured against any suits or claims against him as a result of someone being hurt by the items made by the product he's shipping. Even in this case, they should provide it, at a reasonable rate with reasonable deductables and all that stuff - I mean, why not. Anything else is just based on principals that do not align with the law.

Comment: Re:Photosynthesis thumbs up! (Score 1) 65

by unrtst (#49216165) Attached to: Solar Impulse Plane Begins Epic Global Flight

With a bit of fossil fuel power, GlobalFlyer circumnavigated the globe non-stop in less than three days. An A380 could circumnavigate the globe 100 times in the five months these guys will be at it, making one stop per circumnavigation, moving 160000 people and vast amounts of cargo to the other side of the world.

I originally misread the summary, assuming this had to be a non-stop thing, then quickly realized that's not what they said, and the 2 pilots 1 seat stood out a lot too.

So, I agree... how is this an interesting technical achievement? Given enough time, they could throw a paper airplane around the world, or fly a glider around the world. At this point, "around the world" only seems interesting to me if it's non-stop or human powered (ex. walk around the world).

Comment: Re:The Summer of Systemd (Score 1) 53

by unrtst (#49206627) Attached to: KDE Accepted To Google Summer of Code 2015

How can KDE shed some of its bloat by using some of the services and API provided by Systemd?

I thought this was meant to be a joke. Then I looked at the list of suggested ideas, and this is the second one:
Project: Port KSystemLog to use journald as a backend

Granted, I didn't see any others in the large number of other suggestions. Still a bit of a coincidence.

Comment: Re:Watching systemd evolve (Score 4, Informative) 765

by unrtst (#49198935) Attached to: Ubuntu To Officially Switch To systemd Next Monday

The bug report linked by kolbe ( is, IMO, a very good read to give a quick glimpse of the fine lines between the two camps (pro-systemd; anti-systemd).

Poettering's first reply/answer was simple, "Yupp, journal corruptions result in rotation, and when reading we try to make the best of it. they are nothing we really need to fix hence."

That embodies the "here's a bug; our answer is to say it's a feature and not a bug; NOFIX" that some people feel.

He then follows it up with a much longer reply because, "Since this bugyilla report is apparently sometimes linked these days as an example how we wouldn't fix a major bug in systemd". I'm not quoting out of context - that's the first sentence of his reply. Regardless of the motivation to his reply, the reply was much more thorough and he seems to truly want to help others understand. IE. I think it shows some of the good side there.

However, I'm still anti camp, and I'm not there because bugs like this are not directly fixed. I'm anti because of the underlying assumptions that are needed in order for his reasoning to be justified. In this case, that reasoning only works if one assumes the need for a binary log whose format includes re-writable parts at the front of the file, and whose corruption results in an non-repairable state. However, if the format is such that, after corruption, it's difficult or impossible to fix, why are they using that format?

FWIW, that specific bug report was, "How does one fix journal corruptions?". In that context,his answer is completely sufficient - you don't. The next question seems obvious to me though - how do we avoid that in the future? Currently, it seems that the systemd solution is to make the log reader more intelligent so that it can handle the corruption, like an FSCK, and read as much as it can.

Personally, I'm really hoping that uselessd matures and becomes commonplace and easy to drop in. It's not ideal, but it seems that systemd is going to be everywhere through the Linux community, and there's no good way to avoid that at this time. Uselessd would at least allow someone to use alternative init systems while still being able to use modern applications and environments without crippling them. Regardless of ones opinions on systemd and other init systems, the ability to swap out a subsystem is something that we should all be able to recognize as valuable.

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce