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Comment It's a sign of continuing centralization (Score 1) 205

In the past it was trivial to just mirror websites as they typically only consisted of some HTML pages and some images. If something like that happened in the past, you'd just have mirrors popping up everywhere.

Today websites are much more complicated. Even something as simple as a blog is now dynamically generated every time its loaded. You cannot simply mirror that.

Comment Well about the "Frogs" (Score 1) 73

There were no references to French people as such particularly since nation states apparently did not exist any more. There was one reference to "Frogs" being a kind of animal. In the series there were just blurry shapes with glitter. There actually was a French version of that series which seemingly got lost in the mists of time. Only one fragment exists.

The reason why there were only so few episodes was that it was _really_ expensive to make. Multiple German TV stations had to cooperate to finance it. Since it was filmed just before TV stations invested in colour, it didn't get sold abroad very much. There were plans to make a second series in colour but those were abandoned.

What really drew new generations of viewers to that series are the sets and the dancing. Both incredibly goofy even for a 1960s show.

Comment Re:Most techies have no real free will to do so (Score 1) 537

Well most 'technies' are also unable to solve any decently complicated problems because of incompetence.

You don't need to be a good software developer to write the 457th version of Candy Crush, but you may need to be one to actually solve an important problem.

I mean there would be lots of things like building a secure mobile device. The problem is that your average "Java jockey" won't understand that their desire to make everything complicated is part of the security problem.

Also most problems in the world cannot be solved by technology. You cannot solve the problem of few people owning most of the world with technology. In fact if you are an incompetent "techie" you commonly even make it worse. A typical example are websites today. HTML used to be something simple, something everybody could do. Today it becomes more and more complex, so complex that there's just a hand full of working browser engines around.

Comment I couldn't get past the first episode (Score 2) 75

I mean realism is not everything with those shows, but it hurts when they include segments that make no sense in he context and are historically inaccurate.

I'm specifically talking about the "reverse engineering the IBM PC" bit. That bit involved reading a PROM with switches and LEDs... those LEDs came in colours unimaginable back in the 1980s. That wouldn't be bad if the whole scene would have made no sense. You can read out that PROM with the BASIC Interpreter provided with the computer... and the rest was documented in the manuals. The IBM PC was, essentially, open source (but not free). That's why it áfas to popular. There was no need to reverse engineer.

So spending a large part of your episode showing something that made no sense... and showing that very badly, kinda killed it for me.

I don't know how the other episodes went, but this kinda pissed me off. In a time where we have TV series like Silicon Valley or Mr Robot we shouldn't applaud a props guy ordering some C-64s.

Comment It was to half-assed to have a future (Score 2) 211

After all, Microsoft and the DOS community messed up to many points badly. For example the "driver" concept was basically unused. Few people ran ansi.sys because it meant sacrificing a ridiculous amount of RAM. That's why most software had to access the hardware directly, even for primitive things like coloured text.
Also there was the problem of not having a compiler coming with the operating system which meant that there was no free software movement. People actually sent out binary files. So every software was restricted to a narrow band of hardware.

Essentially there is now the need for a "new DOS". It would run on hardware like STM32-class microcontrollers which have (much) less than a megabyte of RAM and no memory management.You'd start off with decent lightweight hardware abstraction, then add a file system as well as simple version of the usual UNIX tools. Once you have an editor and a shell you'll have a decently working system which can be used for all kinds of things.

Comment Re:Explanation is bogus (Score 1) 348

There are still 4 bit microcontrollers. Even if you can get a C compiler, the limitations will be so severe most of the time just writing assembler directly will be a _lot_ less work.

Also certain things like "long arithmetic" are actually simpler in Assembler. Or just try to add 2 1024 bit numbers in C. It's surprisingly difficult. On Assembler you can simply use the carry flags.

Comment Assembler is good for certain things (Score 3, Interesting) 348

First of all, many, if not most, computers run software so trivial on microcomputers so small, installing a compiler for them would just be _way_ more effort than to just code to program in C. Typical examples are the microcontrollers in electric toothbrushes or other smaller embedded systems. It's hard to get your software running on a 4 bit microcontroller as modern C makes assumptions like having your memory addressible at a byte level.

Then there is another, in my opinion more important, point. Assembler is a great teaching aid. It shows you what the computer actually does. Understanding things like pointers is trivial in Assembler so you can learn a lot from it. Also in Assembler every control structure hurts, as you need to keep track of it yourself. This nudges you towards writing simpler code, away from thousands of nested if statements and functions with hundreds of lines. Those are desirable traits in all programming languages.

No language is suitable for everything, but most languages have at least one are where they are really useful.

Submission + - systemd starts killing your background processes by default (blog.fefe.de) 1

nautsch writes: systemd changed a default value in logind.conf to "yes", which will kill all your processes, when you log out. And as always: It's not a bug, it's a feature. Translated from the german source: "Bug of the day: systemd kills background processes on logout". There is already a bug-report over at debian: Debian bug tracker (link also from the source)

Comment Networks never can be secure (Score 1) 143

A network will always be able to mess with your data. Trusting in the security of a network is stupid. It used to be a theoretical threat, but now we know that organizations like the NSA sniff everything they get.

The Internet has taught us that we must always use end-to-end encryption. That's why, unlike the phone network, a big percentage of data is secure. The phone network is one of those networks that are considered to be "secure". In reality it's very likely that most phone calls, and particularly their "metadata", will be recorded. In fact many phone companies record the "metadata" in order to be able to send you a bill.

Comment Well we have already dealt with that problem... (Score 1) 414

At least in a minor form. We could now have 20 hour workweeks, yet we have chosen to go down the path of "Bullshit Jobs". Those are Jobs that serve no productive use and are just there to keep people occupied. Typical examples are certain types of marketing executives and middle management people, others are badly educated engineers which do not know how to solve problems and are not in a situation where they could ever learn that. The effect is that you have huge numbers of people working all day accomplishing nothing.

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