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Comment: Re:Not GPL, and suitable for JIT (Score 1) 360

by v1z (#41912895) Attached to: FreeBSD Throws the Clang/LLVM Switch: Future Releases Use LLVM

While a developer can be a user, not all users are developers. Availability of the code means squat to someone who does not know how to write code.

That's ridiculous. If you have the code, you can *hire* someone to fix the thing, ten years after the original supplier went bankrupt or whatever.

I need the plans for my house, even if I'm not licensed to fix the bathroom -- I need them in case I hire someone to do improvements here.

Most every place I've been paid to work with software, the ones with budgetary responsibility have *not* been able to code themselves out of a wet paper bag. They've been readily able to get something fixed, if the source is available -- if needed by hiring someone to do it.

Comment: Machine readable serial numbers? (Score 1) 289

by v1z (#41324157) Attached to: QR Codes As Anti-Forgery On Currency Could Infect Banks

I don't see how this is going to be a big change wrt the current system. You already have to pick a serial number that will either be invalid or a duplicate when forging a bill. Nothing stops a forger from doing the same with a qr-code.

I'm pretty sure banks are already able to machine read sequence numbers -- and embedded metal thread are presumably harder to fake -- I don't see how qr codes would be a big improvement.

Comment: Re:Just buy insurance...it's honestly that simple. (Score 1) 468

by v1z (#41102561) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Contractors, How's Your Health Insurance?

> My wife doesn't have insurance (pre-existing condition, minor but enough to get her disqualified).

Wow, and I almost thought, hm, 300/month for a family, that's not that bad. Of course when that only covers the people in the family that *doesn't need medical help* -- it *is* pretty bad.

As for the original question: I live in Norway. The only thing we have to pay for (after turning 18) is dental and opticians (ie: glasses/contacts).

We do of course pay taxes, but depending on who you ask, not much more than elsewhere. I know one engineer in offshore that has a UK citizenship, and (via agreements between UK and Norway) has to pay extra tax to the UK because taxes he pays to Norway doesn't cover what he should pay according to UK law.

Granted, I'm guessing he makes well over 100k USD/year.

Comment: Still not charged with a crime... (Score 1) 612

by v1z (#40500771) Attached to: Julian Assange Served With Extradition Notice By British Police

As far as I've been able to gather from Swedish media, Assange still isn't considered a suspect of any crime, nor has he been charged with a crime.

He is still just wanted for questioning, and Swedish police have refused an earlier offer to take a statement in Britain -- for no good reason as far as I can tell.

Additionally, there doesn't seem to be any law requiring (or even allowing) extradition for something as trivial as "we'd like to ask you some questions" -- neither in UK law, or in Swedish law.

I've yet to find any recent articles that actually explore this -- it's all about the accusations, and about the extradition -- but nothing about the legal basis for the extradition order.

Comment: Re:Hello (Score 1) 276

by v1z (#38188548) Attached to: Palantir, the War On Terror's Secret Weapon

Here's the problem with all these liberty-vs-security debates. Before we get into the argument about just how much personal liberty we're willing to give up for security, let's first establish that the proposed measures would actually make us safer. Does any of this security theatre actually work? If torture isn't an effective interrogation technique- and all of the available evidence strongly suggests that it is not- we don't need to have a debate about whether it's moral to torture someone to save lives. If torture doesn't work, then the left, right, and centre should all be able to agree that we shouldn't torture.

It's about counter insurgency, not counter intelligence.

Breaking hearts and shattering minds.

We take your dad/husband/friend/son away in the middle of the night, ship him half across the world, torture him for 4 years for no reason then drop him right back, and pretend it didn' t happen. Why? So you know we're really fucking scary people and you shouldn't try do topple our puppet regime in the name of "democracy" or some other counter-consumerist nonsense.

It's a really old doctrine, formed mostly by the British in India/Afghanistan in the good old days, refined by the SAS and CIA for Latin-America: http://www.soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=98

If you want reliable intelligence, torture doesn't work. Isolation and sleep deprivation and repetitive questioning does.

Comment: Re:Libraries at their core.... (Score 1) 158

by v1z (#38135066) Attached to: Are Maker Spaces the Future of Public Libraries?

Well, if they've already got a Nebula or Hugo nomination (or award) they generally make it to my reading list eventually. Of those you mentioned, I was only really aware of Mieville (which appears to be the youngest, incidentally?). And Stephenson, obviously.

I suppose it comes down to taste, but holding up Neal Stephenson of an example of someone that's not an "overrated old guy" strikes me as odd. Granted "the Diamond Age" is great, and "Snowcrash" is great fun -- but after he got so famous editors didn't dare cut back on length (It what it *looks* like happened, more likely he's a voluntary victim of modern publishings idea that many words must be better than the needed amount of words) the novels go kind of down hill.

I recently re-read the foundation trilogy and was pleasantly surprised at how well the characters had stuck with me over the years -- but I suppose some will feel his style is too simple.

On a side note, the sci-fi book I generally recommend people to read first is "the Stars My Destination" -- but I must admit part of what makes it stand out to me is how early it was written.

For any *actual* library 54 books is a little light to represent sci-fi as a genre -- and I'd hope they both fit in Lem, Strugatsky (btw, see http://rusf.ru/abs/english/ for free downloads) Bradbury, Gibson, Sterling, LeGuin, Kress, Vinge as well as newer authors... but I'm hard pressed to list anyone a generation younger than Sterling off the top of my head.

Comment: Re:Libraries at their core.... (Score 1) 158

by v1z (#38134072) Attached to: Are Maker Spaces the Future of Public Libraries?

Really? "A great sci-fi collection" ? "Overrated guys" ? I don't think I know of any "great" young sci-fi authors. Elizabeth Moon has at least one good book (speed of dark), I don't think she's got anything I'd call "great sci-fi". Ursulua LeGuin has a lot of *great* stuff, but she's also "old" (and overrated? I hardly think so). There's Samuel DeLaney, black and gay -- but also old. So, which young female author has written something as new, important and good as "Foundation" ? I'd really like to know, great books are really hard to find while their authors are still young - as they haven't been reviewed and recommended as much as older books.

Comment: Missing reference: Blue Thunder (Score 3, Insightful) 299

by v1z (#34980744) Attached to: Domestic Use of Aerial Drones By Law Enforcement

Seriously, no ones mentioned Blue Thunder in this thread yet?

Ok, so it wasn't unmanned, but definitely relevant...

The imdb summary http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085255/ even states:

    "The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle."

1983 wants its privacy concerns back.

Comment: Version control, wiki (Score 1) 462

by v1z (#33413296) Attached to: What 'IT' Stuff Should We Teach Ninth-Graders?

Well, of things that is essential, rather easy, and probably overlooked -- I'd suggest:

  * VCS eg mercurial/git
  * Learning to use a wiki (MoinMoin/Mediawiki)
  * LaTeX (I would suggest Abiword rather than OO -- because OO is an awful, stale reimplementation of MS Word (which, ofcourse isn't original in itself)

Some info on typesetting, and either with LaTeX or html+css learning to use an editor to write text, and a proper tool to layout text -- either with markup, or using a proper dtp-program. Teach them the difference between structuring text, and displaying text. The old idea that you can format text once -- is outdated and wrong. Today at least three layouts are needed: small screen hypertext, big screen hypertext, print.

But the single most important concept to teach, would be using version control systems. The second most important thing would be teaching them to cooperate meaningfully -- and for that a versioned wiki might make a good starting point. Or simply use VCS for that as well.

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

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