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Red Hat Software

Alternative To the 200-Line Linux Kernel Patch 402

climenole writes "Phoronix recently published an article regarding a ~200 line Linux Kernel patch that improves responsiveness under system strain. Well, Lennart Poettering, a Red Hat developer, replied to Linus Torvalds on a mailing list with an alternative to this patch that does the same thing yet all you have to do is run 2 commands and paste 4 lines in your ~/.bashrc file."

Damn Vulnerable Linux — Most Vulnerable Linux Ever 227

An anonymous reader writes "Usually, when installing a new operating system, the hope is that it's as up-to-date as possible. After installation there's bound to be a few updates required, but no more than a few megabytes. Damn Vulnerable Linux is different; it's shipped in as vulnerable a state as possible. As the DVL website explains: 'Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is everything a good Linux distribution isn't. Its developers have spent hours stuffing it with broken, ill-configured, outdated, and exploitable software that makes it vulnerable to attacks. DVL isn't built to run on your desktop – it's a learning tool for security students.'"

Comment Re:Copyright? (Score 4, Insightful) 154

IIRC Psygnosis owns the rights to Lemmings. Also IIRC, Psygnosis is now owned by Sony. Unless Psygnosis was only the publisher for a third party I'm not aware of.

Good luck with that.

Not a bad résumé tactic though, however you look at it. If I had an interviewee who ported a game for kicks in 36 hours, I'd certainly file that in the "pros" column..

Comment Re:Another crutch (Score 1) 244

Yes and no. Bear in mind there's a difference between "dirty" code with bad indentation or inconsistent bracket styles, versus "dirty" code which doesn't follow best practices in actual code design. The former can be tolerated (albeit reluctantly), while the latter poses a real threat.

Often dirty code won't clearly demonstrate the problems it causes -- in which case noting the dirty code and moving on may save an hour up front, but can easily cost half a day once you stumble onto one of its side-effects and follow the breadcrumbs back to the source. Or after the dirty code is copied / inherited / extended into more locations, and fixing the same code now includes exponentially more use-case scenarios.

It's easy to paint the good devs as being "too" anal-retentive, "too" focused on clean code... yet this obsession leads to far more maintainable code, and to "version 2.0" releases going orders of magnitude more smoothly. Not to mention avoiding the loss of time every time the production code tips over, or the customer rants about bugs in the market and devs are forced to investigate, causing unscheduled time impact. But even when fixing dirty code takes days, and fixing comparable clean code takes minutes or hours, the payoff is often dismissed because the time was saved after the initial release date, and the client's money is no longer on the line.

In the best of worlds, the good devs are able to fix the code behind the scenes as much as possible, knowing that one evening of working in front of the TV tonight, can guard against multiple stressful days of cleaning up a mess later, losing time on their own schedule in the process. For better or for worse, "good developers" are considered "good" for a reason.


Video Gamers Have Power Over Their Dreams 308

Ponca City, We love you writes "Live Science reports that researchers say playing video games before bedtime may give gamers an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, which could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma. 'If you're spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it's practice,' says Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada, who says that hardcore gamers represent the leading edge of immersion in virtual worlds that increasingly has come to define a large part of contemporary entertainment and communication. 'Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.' One intriguing theory holds that dreams are a sort of threat simulation where nightmares help organisms hone their skills in a protective environment, and ideally prepare organisms for a real-life situation. To test that theory, Gackenbach conducted a study using independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports and found that gamers experienced less or even reversed threat simulation (in which the dreamer became the threatening presence), with fewer aggression dreams overall. In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something 'fun' for a gamer."

Comment recent convert (Score 2, Interesting) 155

I'm admittedly a Johnny-come-lately Linux user, a mid-ish 20's (three cubed!) developer who switched to Linux (openSuSE) last spring. Loved it. Then a month ago, I (re)stumbled upon Slackware, which the online distro choosers (I know, I know) said was a match for me -- great performance mixed with not-quite-crazy learning curve, and even the learning curve would give me oh-so-adaptable "purity of Unix" skills. While downloading this new toy, I met Bob, who truly changed my life -- I became a fledgling member of the Church of the SubGenius. Later, while installing, upon seeing that one of the options was "Newbie: Use verbose prompting (the X series takes one year)"... that, my friends, is when I knew I was truly home.

Comment Re:Not So Much With The Internet (Score 1) 160

But Facebook -is- a product, specifically one for easily sharing personal info. And when it comes to personal data and privacy, "out there on the internet" includes telling Facebook's databases and giving suggestions regarding which of your friends to share with. That's hardly a legal contract of confidentiality, and treating it as such is disingenious. We've rubbed our own bottles and let our own genies out, and are now complaining when the genies chat amongst themselves without our approval.

Cub Scouts To Offer Merit Pin For Video Gaming 366

Hugh Pickens writes "Fox News reports that the Boy Scouts of America — a group founded on the principles of building character and improving physical fitness — have introduced merit pins for academic achievement in video gaming, a move that has child health experts atwitter. 'It could be quite visionary and exciting or it could be a complete sellout,' says Dr. Vic Strasburger. 'I don't see anything wrong with that as long as they're not playing first-person shooter games, violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content. The question is, who's going to supervise the scouts?' Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts can earn their pins by spending an hour a day playing games, teaching others how to play better, and researching the best price for games they'd like to buy."

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