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Comment Re:What about natural bee colonies ? (Score 5, Insightful) 131

"Enslaved" is a pretty mean way to describe having their shelter provided by the beekeeper, along with routine inspections for (and treatments of) parasites that would kill them. Yes, the keeper will rob honey from the hive, but not enough to kill it during the winter - and may well supplement the hive for the winter. Keepers that offer pollination services also move their bees from one rich food source to the next.

Comment Re:Impacts (Score 5, Interesting) 131

There is no threat to honeybees (which in the US aren't even native). Queens can be bred in bulk (there are tricks to make a hive produce lots of queens), and starting a new hive only takes a queen and a handful of workers. Beekeepers can order them by mail.

These dieoffs are not about fundamental threats, but economics. It means more labour and cost to beekeepers, which they have to pass on.

The Slashdot summary presents a pretty accurate description of the reasons for the dieoffs - they appear to be multifactor, but varroa is what you find most commonly in afflicted colonies.Note that annual dieoffs are normal among honeybee colonies - 15-20% over winter is pretty typical, although it depends on location.

Bees are amazing creatures, and many of their problems have been brought on by humans. There are many bee species around the world, and many have long had their own specific parasites, which they're adapted to. As people have moved around the world, they've taken honeybees with. As a consequence, they've spread all of these local parasites and diseases around the world, into European honeybees that have no natural resistance to them. Ironically some were accidentally spread by programmes trying to breed resistance to other pests and diseases, bringing in bee stocks from around the world (a big example being the Buckfast Bee). Also, attempts to optimize bees for docility and honey production ended up reducing honeybee genetic diversity; for example, the European dark (formerly the most common in northern Europe) was considered an inferior breed, and was reduced to just a handful of colonies. But it appears that the European dark has some natural resistance to varroa, as well as being better at defending its hives from wasps (they're also much better adapted to cold climate areas).

It's interesting the means different bee species use to defend against the pests and predators that they evolved to in their natural range. One of my favorites is how Japanese honeybees fight off the nightmarish Japanese giant hornet (don't look it up if you have any fear of being stung by a huge insect). It's far too well armoured for honeybees to hurt it, so instead what they do is swarm it and beat their wings like crazy, creating heat. Because their maximum survivable body temperature happens to be just a couple degrees hotter than the hornet's maximum temperature, so they basically cook it to death ;)

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 228

> That's also not a pile of hate. You could say it's not polite, but the implied message that I pick up on here is that Gentoo will need to implement alternatives to systemd technologies if they
> want to continue to benefit from other software projects that use systemd.

The you missed something in earlier lines in that post. Gentoo already maintains its own udev fork, eudev, so that's not the issue. He spoke of moving kernel event signalling from netlink to kdbus, which "breaks userspace" at a much more fundamental level, not just Gentoo's eudev.

I put "breaks userspace" in quotes, because the statement of simply changing interfaces like that breaks normal kernel practices, like keeping published APIs around for years of non-use before removing them. I've no problem with a kernel config switch that says something like "netlink or bus1 for event signalling", that's fine, breaking currently in-use and in-development software isn't. This betrays either a lack of familiarity or lack of regard for normal practices, neither of which belongs in a piece of infrastructure as important as systemd has become.

> That's great, but I didn't see any technical arguments from you. Maybe I missed them.

You didn't. I've mentioned technical or software philosophy several times, and this is the first time in this thread that anyone has picked up on it, or expressed any interest.

1 - PID1 is critical. If it crashes, the whole system crashes. I know that everything in systemd is not PID1, but it's still got a big one. Every line of code may someday translate into a bug or a crash. Proof, look at the bug history of IEFBR14 some time - that really is quite literally a one-liner, that managed to accumulate multiple bugs. My hair is grey, I used to use IEFBR14 all the time.

From what I've seen the functionality of systemd's PID1 could have readily been separated into a much smaller PID1 that did less, and one or more helpers that PID1 could restart as needed. That would have also allowed updating systemd without rebooting the system, as long as the PID1 portion hadn't changed, and being much smaller, that would have been more likely.

2 - Unix philosophy - small pieces each of which does one job and does it well. Then tie them together to do bigger things. In other discussions on this topic, I've been told that the Unix philosophy is obsolete, but I disagree. It has kept Unix running for some 40 years, through orders of magnitude of change in every aspect of computing. I'd be hesitant about throwing it out that quickly.

3 - I like initscripts written in a Turing-complete shell script language. You don't always need it, but when you do, you've got it. I've never written an initscript from scratch, but I have so heavily modified some that they practically end up from-scratch. From what I've ready, systemd has a decent configuration language for service units, but it's not Turing complete, and if they did, why not just use something that already exists and is well-debugged - shell script?

4 - Right now systemd is one package, even though it has many parts. That means that a bug in its logger requires a complete sytemd update... Or a bug in its new resolver subsystem, etc, etc. If the packaging were split, kind of the way the old functions that systemd has been subsuming were, then such updates would be simpler. Don't forget that a systemd update requires rebooting.

I could go on, but that's a few.

By the way, when attempting to make technical arguments like this, I've been called quite a few names, along the names I've been called when calling for network transparency out of Wayland. I try to let it roll off my back, but it can get to you after a while, especially when technical arguments are answered with insults and name-calling, rather than counter technical arguments.

Comment Re: Who cares? (Score 1) 228

So you've obviously decide that there are no possible technical or software-philosophical faults with systemd.

I'm not trying to sit here and argue with YOU. I'm requesting that people quit questioning my sanity or technical chops for not using systemd.

Comment Re:First Time Buyers (Score 1) 572

My wife & I used the USDA loan program a couple years ago, and bought our first place with 3% down & the seller paying closing costs.

Would we have liked to have 20%? Do we understand why that would be better financially than what we did?

Yes on both counts. But, to us the trade-off was worth escaping the hideously high DC metro area living costs...and things worked out to where the mortgage is literally the same as the rent payment we had paid for 4 years after moving here - and thanks to the low down payment, we still have enough cash stashed away in an emergency fund to pay for an eventual new roof and other large expenses.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 2) 228

No, you keyed off of the wrong sentence. Look at, "Gentoo folks, this is your wakeup call." Up until the Devuan fork, Gentoo and Slackware were the only Linux distributions not converting to systemd. There was context surrounding this quote, implying the inexorable forcing of systemd into Gentoo.

I will add that you've got a bit of the attitude here, too. Note your words, "fact resistant, knee-jerk reaction against progress". There are certainly interesting ideas in systemd, I'll grant that. However overall I don't consider it progress, so in wishing to not adopt it I don't consider myself anti-progress.

If you really wished to engage in a technical discussion about this, what I like and what I don't like about systemd, I'd be happy to. However your last paragraph has lumped me as a systemd-hater, and therefore I cannot possibly have technical arguments to make. That is not true, I (and others) have technical and software-philosophical arguments, its just that nobody from the systemd camp (There, how's that for polarizing?) wants to hear them.

Comment Re:Hmmmmmmm (Score 1) 148

As opposed to a simple carbon tax, there is another proposal which I rather like, though I've sadly forgotten the details. Maybe knowing a little about it would enable you to learn more. It was also proposed by someone conservative-leaning, but that doesn't stop me from liking it.

He proposes something like a carbon tax, but really more of a carbon transfer. As I said, I don't remember the details, but essentially high-carbon-emitting parties put money into a fund that is QUICKLY transferred to low-carbon-emitting parties. That's a poor choice of words, but as an example carbon-emission-proportional funds are transferred from coal-fired power plants to solar, wind, and tidal power plants. That transfer is then reflected in the cost of the power they sell. Cost for coal power goes up, cost for solar, wind, and tidal power goes down.

The real issue there is "QUICKLY", and this is what I like about the idea. Any time you create a pot of money, there is a class of people who work hard and craftily to get their hands into that pot, frequently through government / regulatory capture. While this is vulnerable in that it creates a flow of money, at least it specifically avoids creating a pot of it.

Comment Re:Going Galt just got easier! (Score 1) 716

Star Trek, or any post-scarcity economic model depends on a generally conservative populace. And by "conservative" I mean as in "conservation", not right-leaning. Peoples' ability to waste is probably limitless, so you need people who reflexively don't waste. When you walk out the door of an air-conditioned (or heated) room into the hot (or cold) outside, you shut the door to conserve energy. You don't leave the door open and say, "It don't cost me nuthin,"

Sensible, but too often as a people, we aren't. It's also a different definition of "conservative" than matches current usage. Too often these days in the US, "conservative" goes along with a right, almost an obligation, to waste resources, both natural and human.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 2) 228

> Unless the systemd-haters prepare another kdbus userspace until
> then this will effectively also mean that we will not support
> non-systemd systems with udev anymore starting at that point.
> Gentoo folks, this is your wakeup call.
> Lennart

Now another thing in there. Just because I prefer not to run systemd, I have been characterized as a "hater". Other than the fact that I'm also not into Taylor Swift, I'm not that much into the whole "hater" thing, but I recognize that I'm being categorized and insulted.

I actually tried being an early adopter of systemd, years before its widespread adoption, and found that it didn't work for me. By the time it started getting widespread adoption, the THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! attitude really annoyed me. If it were just the attitude I could probably get over it, but I also have technical and software-philosophical objections. But none of that appears to matter in discourse, because it all comes down to haters and steamrollers, instead of real discussion.

Comment Re:Problem is the amount of farmland you'd need. (Score 3, Interesting) 148

Doing some math here... if we say that the absorbed oxygen is 20% of the absorber's mass, burned stoichiometrically with methane, at 50% efficiency due to high temperatures and pressures, then storing a day's worth at 1MW would require 62 tonnes of absorber. At iron oxide bulk costs and iron oxide densities, that'd be about $44k and 11 cubic meters, respectively. 1GW-day, $44m and 11000 cubic meters (say, a storage yard 50x50x4,4m). None of this seems at all unreasonable, given that a thermal plant usually runs about $1/W or more in capital costs; the absorber could be far more expensive and the storage time far more than a day's worth without being prohibitive.

Nifty. :)

Comment Re:Problem is the amount of farmland you'd need. (Score 2) 148

All very good points. And the possibility of higher temperature combustion didn't occur to me, but that may well be possible - you get higher adiabatic flame temperatures in pure oxygen combustion. If the oxygen absorber isn't very costly, the higher Carnot efficiency could potentially pay for the cost.

Another interesting possibility that now occurs to me is high pressure combustion (also greater efficiency). The oxygen-rich absorber is almost certainly going to be dramatically more oxygen-dense than even compressed air feedstocks. You could have some crazy-intense combustion out of that. You're basically looking at something like the thermite reaction. In the thermite case, you have iron holding onto oxygen relatively weakly reacting with aluminum which forms a high energy bond with oxygen. Aluminum burns poorly in air because the oxygen is so sparse, but when it has such a concentrated oxygen source (the iron oxide), it burns extremely aggressively. I could easily envision the same sort of situation here - just methanothermic reduction rather than aluminothermic.

Wow, just thought of another thing: combustion doesn't have to occur at the same time as oxygen collection. So for a peaking plant you could dramatically downsize the intake section and scrubbing bed, so long as the oxygen absorber isn't too expensive (which it probably isn't - most common metal oxides are dirt cheap). It stocks up on its oxidized material when demand is low, but when demand is high it burns through it like crazy. And on top of that, burning feeding in your oxidizer as a solid means a physically small footprint on the combustion side. So overall the plant is scaled down.

You know, the more I think about this, the more interesting it sounds.

Comment Re:So long as we seem unwilling as a society... (Score 1) 716

Indeed. The problem is even worse than that because a lot of people on benefits have marginal - but some - ability to work. Taking on a job is a risk. They want to hold a normal job, but there's the fear that if they take start working and lose their benefits, and then it turns out that their condition ultimately means that they can't hold down the job, then they're back to being unemployed, but without any benefits. Which is of course a scary situation.

These perverse incentives hinder the economy. You want people working to whatever extent they're capable of, not being hindered by fear of consequences if they accept a job.

Comment Re:It's easy for him to demand that (Score 3, Insightful) 716

YOU are slow. YOU are holding everyone else up.

Speak for yourself. And if you had the baggers be checkers instead, you could have literally twice as many lanes open. So if you want to talk about "holding everyone up"....

And, FYI? Our checker counters have a divider where the groceries come out, and the checker can route groceries to either side. So a person doesn't need to be done bagging for them to start checking the next person's groceries.

But then again, it's that whole "rational solutions" thing that Americans are so allergic to.

Comment Re:So long as we seem unwilling as a society... (Score 1) 716

What's to prevent the fat and lazy from living meager lives on basic income and never contributing to society greatly increasing our taxes?

What's to prevent the elderly who are still in good enough health to work from simply living on pensions and not contributing to society greatly increasing taxes? What's to prevent people currently on existing safety net programs from avoiding working too much so as not to lose their benefits?

More to the point, the reason that people currently on existing social safety net programmes overwhelmingly do end up working if they are capable of it is because people want a better life. So unless you're talking some UBI that is vastly better paying than the existing social safety net, you're not talking about a great life on it either.

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A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein