Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:That part of one line says it all! (Score 3, Insightful) 128

I'd argue that that one line is incorrect. TSA's job isn't to make airline passengers feel safer. It's to make them feel like they should feel unsafe except for the fact that the TSA is there.

That is: Their job is to make you think that you need them to do their job, and that without them you would be killed.

Comment BBEdit (Score 1) 286

BBEdit on Mac (my normal computing platform), in Markdown format. (Usually Pandoc-flavored markdown.) That's if I want the notes to last more than five minutes.

Under five minute notes are often on paper, using either pen or pencil. (Mechanical pencil preferred, but pen's easier to find.)

On other platforms I'll take whatever is the best text editor I can find commonly available - vi or some derivative on most Unix/Linux boxes.

Comment Re:I have an idea... (Score 1) 231

So? They have two industries that are hurting. They can help both with a fairly simple plan. Now, it may be better to send the electricity to a nearby country or something instead of transferring it internally - I don't know who could use it most, or what's most cost-effective - but it seems like a sensible plan either way.

Comment Re:All of the above (Score 1) 229

Exactly. The only reason I'm not still making nightly backups via Tarsnap is that I'm completely broke, and can't afford it. Otherwise I'd have all of the above. (And I'm nervous that I don't have off-site - I just can't afford the cost at the moment, so redundant on-site will have to do for now.)

Comment The real question (Score 1) 211

Is ... can I run DragonFly on it? Or is the BIOS locked to Chrome ? If this baby has the normal write-protect screw / developer mode BIOS features that allow us to run whatever we want on it instead of being locked to chrome, then great!

We've had great success with the older Acer C720[P] (running a mobile haswell cpu) running DragonFly. So if one of these new HP Skylake-m babies allows me to cut into the dance then I'll give it a big thumbs up.

I'll have to buy one to find out, I guess.

-Matt

Comment Re:iPhone 5s with dying battery (Score 1) 183

I will impart a warning here. I have a friend who has repeatedly tried to use non-Apple batteries in his Apple mobile devices and its been a dismal failure for him. Spend the money to have Apple replace your battery, you will be happier in the end.

Apple laptops... well, the ones with replaceable batteries are a different story. Going third-party there works fairly well. The ones that don't... again spend the money to have Apple do it for you, you will be happier in the end.

Another recommendation... when possible, always leave your devices plugged in. This causes the Apple battery management software to properly load cycle the full battery and will significantly increase battery life. I usually bring along an external battery and just keep my phone plugged in whenever possible for that very reason (when convenient).

My ipad-1's battery is still in great shape (now going on 6 years old), though the ipad-1 itself doesn't have enough memory to really be able to run much any more. My ipad-2 as well. 512M of ram isn't enough to run apps smoothly any more on the ipad-2 (and the ipad-1 can barely run anything), but the battery is in great shape because I leave the devices plugged in as much as possible.

-Matt

Comment The key event (Score 1) 183

Perhaps not one key event, but a combination of solid state storage removing the hard-drive-failure event that often drove people to upgrade, CPU performance topping out, and RAM well beyond anything most programs need have all conspired together to give us desktops, laptops, and mobile devices that basically no longer get 'old'. Not to mention that power consumption is low enough now that PSUs just aren't burning out like they used to :-).

Something strange happened in the last year or two. I buy computers all the time for DragonFly testing, so I have a pile of machines of all different kinds including a bunch of BRIX form-factor units. I stuff nominal sweet-spot memory and storage into them all, always, because they get repurposed or farmed out to friends all the time to make room for new hw.

The strange thing that happened... it became convenient to just throw 8-16GB of ram into all of these things. Even the tiny little BRIX. And even the little BRIX can dual-head two 4K displays, and easily fit a 2.5" SSD (and so can hold quite a bit of storage). None of these boxes have any moving components except a fan or two. They don't fail if I put them on a shelf for a year.

Up until about 2 years ago I was regularly throwing away my oldest hardware, including the bulky cases (which had to be large enough to hold a CD and/or DVD and several 3.5" drives).

But the remainder of that really old hardware petered out last year. Now there's no reason at all to throw away my 'new' old hardware... it is still useful enough that I can give it away or repurpose some of its components. The cases are all small so I just reuse those if I can't find any use for the mobo. I reuse the SSDs (I never reused old hard drives). I reuse the PSUs (if any). There's no graphics card to replace since it is built into the cpu.

In fact, the only thing I haven't been able to recycle in the new old machines have been the DIMMs due to continuous technology changes, but those just stay with the original motherboard.

In our colocation for DragonFly our blade server (12 x haswell blades in 2U) has handled all of our needs and other than slowly replacing the remaining HDDs with SSDs will probably handle all of our needs for the next 10 years. Or longer. It will be interesting to see what the failure mode is for the hardware because it will probably be the first piece of hardware I own that stays fully active and relevant until the blades actually physically fail.

I love the technology but I think there's only more pain to come for Intel.

-Matt

Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

Comment p.s. proper way to install a smart t.v. (Score 1) 81

... is to disable all of its smarts. If you value your privacy, don't let it connect to the internet!

I'll take a regular 4K monitor without any bells and whistles thank you very much. And if it has a microphone or camera built into it that will be the first thing I stick my soldering iron into before I begin using it for real. Gouge out its eyes and ears, and we're good.

-Matt

Comment Re:May not continue for the long-term (Score 1) 314

No, actually, very little energy is lost in transmission. Nationally its something like 6% in the U.S. currently.

We need very high voltage transmission lines (e.g. 750Kv and higher) with more capacity if we want to link grids together and be able to get electricity all the way across the country with reasonably low losses, but that certainly is not needed when moving electricity across a few states... and that is all that is really needed when talking about linking up renewable sources of energy.

Not that it wouldn't be nice to have new high-capacity cross-country lines. I'd love to see it happen. But not having it isn't a show-stopper.

-Matt

Comment Re:Solar is not cheaper, (Score 1) 314

Not exactly. In both India and China, coal is producing so much pollution that people's life spans are significantly affected. Basically they tried to build a western-style full-on system and almost choked to death. Coal is still widely used, but these countries recognize the environmental disaster that you get when you use coal without pollution controls. And China, even with some pollution controls, is hitting the limit as well.

In the U.S. coal's demise is mostly driven by the price of natural gas and the recognition of its real cost, not just environmentally, but also its real cost in terms of deferred requirements that politicians have let the coal companies get away with for decades. Now with the coal companies going bankrupt the states that formulated those lax rules are paying the price. That is adding nails to coal's coffin.

Just as with Nuclear, decomimissioning cleanup costs revealed when the coal mines and plants are actually shut-down are running into the billions of dollars... costs that the coal companies conveniently did not have to take into account in the years they were operating. Kinda like spent nuclear fuel, it just builds up over time when the rules allow you to ignore it.

-Matt

Comment Re:Solar is fine, so long as the price doesn't ris (Score 1) 314

Much of India doesn't even *have* 24/7 power, so Solar power is actually a pretty damn good fit. Solar is definitely cheaper in this situation. Minimal battery (just needed to stabilize the load and handle occasional occlusions from clouds), the panels, and the inverter and you are done. Night-time LED lighting can be battery powered.

Big deal in India which has virtually no reliable national power infrastructure.

-Matt

Slashdot Top Deals

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.

Working...