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Comment Not really bought either (Score 1) 147

Given away. It is BS to say the use of personal information as currency is "clearly stated" in the terms of service. The Big Five make ZERO effort to ensure users have read and understand how they are paying for the services they offer for "free". They write long form legalese, and they present a little Web link labelled " as have read the terms of service" next to a checkbox in the sign up and there is no mechanism whatsoever to ensure a person has read it.

It is partly our fault for lying by checking the box without following the link, but companies do the absolute minimum required to inform users. They in fact go out of their way to hide their terms.

It's as if a store leaves their stuff on a shelf, without price tags, but a sign saying "take and enjoy!" with fine print saying "you agree to the terms of the agreement available at the customer service desk" underneath. Then when they get home they discover their bank account cleaned out. They go back to the store and they say sorry you agreed to the terms by taking the stuff. It's not our fault you didn't go to customer service desk to get the 5 page agreement stating we have full access to your bank account and can take whatever you want and that we do not take returns.

The point is they are using their services as bait, and their behaviour wouldn't be tolerated when the currency is cash and the product is tangible. Society does not yet appear to value personal information like cash. People give it freely, corporations leverage it however they please without regard to consequences and governments forcefully take whatever they want to further their agendas. Perhaps one day we will live in a Roddenberry style economy without cash and the new currency will be information and it will be valued and respected accordingly, but we are far from that point right now.

Comment Re: Easy answer (Score 1) 489

I think it is a bit lost on seasoned, technical computer users that if these modern UIs were actually terrible then they wouldn't persist. GNOME 3 is still around because it is actually pretty decent for normal people. It was released before it was complete but in the years since it has become very good.

Microsoft quickly got rid of Bob, and Aero became a flash in the pan. Apple moved past the sometimes awkward, resource intensive photorealistic apps. Some of the modern look is the trend of the day, but the central concepts seem to me to be evolutionary. Maturity coming into computer user interfaces.

Comment Limited colours and flat look are the best though. (Score 2) 489

I actually really like most of Material Design. I often have to design HMI displays (user interfaces for industrial automation). There are good reasons for much of the design:

* colours should be limited and subdued for user interface elements so as to focus attention on content. Bright colours and animation are intended to call attention to important information.

* textures, gradients, transparency and drop shadow effects for the sake of visual flare cause visual confusion and eyestrain. Important elements get lost in the clutter otherwise

* ability to customize is often good but there can be too much of a good thing. If there are 100 "themes" or "skins" and all controls can be moved around by the user on a whim it severely detracts from usability. There is no consistency with the system and it makes it very difficult to train a group of operators when they all can mess with the UI. Also all the code that goes into extreme customzing is bloat.

* Skeuomorphic Design has no business in UI Design. If it was ever a good idea then MS Windows would have fully embraced Microsoft Bob to this day. Making controls look like photorealistic pictures of real life objects just causes frustration unless they behave exactly as the real object does, and are usually more cumbersome than what can be done on a computing device. Skeuomorphism is especially bad when it badly emulates something that is bad to begin with. Using a Blaupunkt stereo from the 1990s is a miserable experience in real life. Who was the idiot who thought we should have an audio player skin that imitates that crap?!

Good riddance to Bob, to Fisher Price gummi Windows XP and glassy Vista and 7. If you have to sit in front of that kind of garbage continuously for 12 hours a day as an operator in a power plant or refinery or whatever it is refreshing to see this "modern" trend. There are some teething pains as designers evolve, such as obscuring too many options or the wrong ones, lacking visual cues as to what is a control and font choices that are form over function as examples, but I for one am very glad designers are "growing up" and dropping the useless toys.

Comment Re: Dilbert predicted this (Score 1) 254

I'm curious...please elaborate on how he is crazy and why you think this happened recently?

* he has ascribed to his outlook on life and ideology since before creating Dilbert...when he learned hypnosis techniques in his early 20s.

* though he never endorsed any candidate, he correctly observed Trump knew what he was doing and that he would become president...and it isn't the only correct call he has made

* in all his writings and interviews I've almost never seen a more reasoned, dispassionate insightful commentary.

Scott Adams is not crazy. He appears to be super smart...as in Einstein and Hawking smart. He even acknowledges that he doesn't know everything and can be an idiot at certain times, which is a sign of very high intelligence.

I suppose it is understandable that you think he is crazy then. Quite often people confuse intelligence with insanity. But I'm still curious as to what makes him appear crazy because to me he seems quite rational.

Of course, that might say something about me too...hmm...

Comment Re: Solar: Not only cheapest. Often a total win. (Score 1) 504

Solar most definitely requires batteries. Super capacitor banks cannot store enough energy to meet household demand for most people in North America during the winter for example. The days are too short. Especially where I live where solar panels can only function six to seven hours a day in December and January.

Comment Re: Just what we need to do... (Score 3, Informative) 80

China did not eliminate its one child policy because it wanted more population growth. It has in fact been relaxing it for years and did away with it entirely because of the social problems it causes:

* in traditional Chinese culture male offspring are highly valued and when allowed only one child many couples abort female fetuses. In rare but all too numerous cases newborn girls have even been killed just after birth. The result is that there are 10s of millions more men in China than women now. The one child policy has been relaxed for years to allow women to have a second child if their first was female to help balance the population. This has virtually eliminated infanticide but has been slow in re balancing population.

* measures to enforce one child policy have been very cruel, such as the common policy of denying anaesthetic to women in labour with their second child and clawback of social assistance and forced sterilisation of women without consent immediately after the birth of a child.

* the significantly greater number of young men to young women has been attributed to problems with sex crimes from human trafficking to gang rapes, though much of the evidence is anecdotal

* there are now a couple of generations of people in China raised as only children. These children have been doted upon and spoiled rotten by parents and grandparents all their lives, turning many of them into entitled "little emperors". The lack of empathy towards others and lack of respect towards elders has been unsettling to older Chinese where those traits are very important in traditional culture. It has led to institutionalisation of seniors that was almost unheard of as well as exploitation of workers and in extreme, occasional cases, incidents such as people ignoring a toddler run over by a car dying in the street while everyone goes on about their business.

Anyways population is self limiting as societies develop and direct population control has been shown to backfire. Allowing those with the means and desire to have fertility treatments to conceive is probably a net benefit to society on the whole when properly regulated. At least these parents really want to be parents and have the means and the drive to be good parents.

Comment So, emacs is like systemd then... (Score 1) 303

...except systemd is less monolithic since it is actually a suite of separate binaries that each do specific things where everything emacs does relies on the central interpreter ;-)

Really though this "UNIX way" dogma is tired and old and irrelevant on all modern computing systems. Yes the philosophy has its merits but it was abandoned many years ago. XOrg gave up on it ages ago. Android and MacOS have UNIX/Linux underpinnings and next to nothing that makes them the OSes they are have anything to do with the UNIX way.

I will get off this here lawn now before that old guy with the grey neckbeard finishes piping his log files 15 ways through cat/awk/sed and notices my presence. I guess he didn't hear me arrive over the clacking of his model M and he cant focus his eyes that far after so much close work in front of his amber monitor ;-)

Comment the difference us in the SQL (Score 4, Informative) 40

Postgres is the predecessor of PostgreSQL. Postgres used a different query language when it was still a university project led by Stonebraker. Postgres was the next project after Ingres as the name suggests, and its query language was originally similar...called QUEL instead os SQL or something like that.

Postgres forked into two code bases after the university project ended. Stonebraker started a company called Illustra to sell a commercial version of Postgres. Informix eventually bought Illustra and called it Online Dynamic Server if i recall, and by the time IBM bought informix this sibling of Postgres was the flagship product.

The second fork of postgres was picked up by former students of Stonebraker (initially Joly Chen if i recall and one or two others..too lazy to google for the details). They introduced a SQL parser front end of their own and called the initial release Postgres95 v1.x since it was the fad MSFT started to use years in product names, and also resetting the version number given the changes in features and management (postgres was at version 4.x).

When it came time to release the next major version the name was looking dated and redundant since there was still a release number. So the name became PostgreSQL as it was more meaningful (the primary feature difference being the query language). The version number was then "un-reset" too...postgres95 1.x being considered as 5.x and the first PostgreSQL named release being 6.0.

So yes, postgres isn't the same as postgresql. It is mist accurately described as the father of PostgreSQL and Informix. Architecturally the latter two are essentially the same, but their SQL parsers are unrelated as they were each developed post fork, plus the codebases diverged quite significantly over the past 20 years.

They are both fantastic databases by the way...they wipe the floor with mysql. To say postgreSQL is not web scale are ignorant and probably last used it in the 1990s if at all. It truly kicks butt for full text search, geospatial data for mapping or survey data, astronomy and so on. It is 10+ years ahead of Microsoft SQL server or mysql at that stuff as well as things like multi version concurrency...i was spoiled by PostgreSQL MVCC when i had to contend with rows and tables being locked until transactions wete committed in other RDBMSes.

MySQL has no extensibility, nowhere near the rich set of data types or extensibility, and is not optimised for write heavy ACID transaction stuff. MySQL is great for your CD collection or your blog or whatever, but PostgreSQL is still far superior for accounting/erp/mapping/etc, though i do acknowledge MySQL/MariaDB has gotten "good enough" it is far frpm the best.

And dont start with me on noSQL. Its a great hammer but only some applications are nails, even at "web scale".

Congratulations to Dr Stonebraker. His legacy in the industry is impressive and his work has led to a Free database project that can truly take on the big O on many serious fronts.

Comment That's a waste of time (Score 1) 60

Why explain anything? Anyone worth my time has my phone number and/or email. The only response required to queries about me and facebook can be "phone me" or "email me" or "text me".

If anything, using facebook is more trouble than picking up a phone or tapping out an email or sms, and NSA dragnets notwithstanding less intrusive as well. So after signing up years ago and getting poked and having sheep thrown at me for a couple months my account has been virtually dormant since.

Comment Re: Transparency in Government is good! (Score 1) 334

Voting only changes nothing when you vote to change nothing. That is why you have no change. The vast majority of Americans vote for a Democrat or a Republican, and both represent status quo.

If America really wanted change they would yake their votes seriously, study all the options and vote for candidates that represent neither democrats nor republicans because the track record of both is quite clear--no matter what is said by candidates of either of those parties you get the same thing.

It has to be driven by voters too. Independents and third parties wont run for office in great numbers unless voters support then in great numbers and voters must be the ones to break the cycle. Nobody will care to run for office that is truly different until voters care to have a different government. Voters dont care and dont actually vote. The ones that bother to go to the voting station are often not really voting, they are just picking a name because it is the incumbant or because it was the one on the most campaign signs and tv ads.

American government is an example of what happens when people DON'T vote, not that change doesnt happen despite voting.

Comment Re: Circumcised at age 18? (Score 1) 221

Well actually yes there are some very offensive hysterical pro choice nut hubs out there. I knew one of those in university.

In Canada where I am there are literally no restrictions at all on abortion. The court struck down laws decades ago and it is such a sensitive topic no restrictions or regulations have ever been put in to replace them. Though in reality medical professionals would never do so, from a strictly legal standpoint a woman could abort a healthy viable fetus at full term for any reason at all, including gender selection or other non medical reasons.

While watching TV a nurse was being interviewed and her opinion that abortion should be regulated...not even restricted much but that guidelines requiring counselling for late term abortions and limiting reasons beyond 30 weeks or so to medical issues like birth defects and threat to mothers health.

This person I knew was watching this and declared she was "such a close minded bitch" and left. It was her opinion that a woman should be able to terminate any pregnancy for any reason whatever at any time, including during labour and right up to the point of delivery. Literally. And if you thought otherwise in any way she had no time for you. She was VERY judgemental on that fact and would say a young woman was foolish for keeping an unplanned pregnancy if they weren't done school and so on.

She called herself pro choice but I called her anti abortion. I never liked to call wing nuts who threaten abortion doctors or picket clinics pro life...I call them anti abortionists. After I met this young woman I stopped using the term pro choice so freely too. They are pro abortionists. The issue is abortion and you are pro or anti.

I was amused at the term inactivity. Clever. But the issue is circumcision and you are pro or anti. And people have their reasons and there has to be some open mindedness to those points of view on both sides.

Comment Re: Fewer bug fixes? (Score 0) 287

What attack surface?

Systemd *the project* is a repository of a large number of individual binaries. The init system is separate from the logging is separate from this time sync thinf and so on.

Systemd is NOT one monolithic entity (which linux OS people haven't seemed to mind in other respects--the kernel is monolithic after all). It does not have any one large attack surface either.

The issue that makes it contoversial is that it is not "unix like" enough for old grey neckbeards. It has binary log stores, the various components interact with binary APIs and it is designed to work specifically with Linux rather that being kernel agnostic. It is "different"...the init system appears to be the free software equivalent to Microsoft svchost...or so goes the argument.

The other argument..or conspiracy theory or whatever, is that the *project*, irrespective of how modular or componentised or how much is optional, is that forces from the evil-corporate-redhat camp are somehow coercing distro maintainers to adopt the whole works carte-blanche, perhaps before its time.

None of this really has any bearing on the security of its design or attack footprint however. It has been in use for a few years now and no heartbleed scale issues found yet.

I did find it disorienting at first to work with systemd and i wouldn't have implemented it exactly that way, but on the whole it is far better than the inconsistent, crufty, not broken per se but very brittle sysVinit.

Anyways i see the whole systemd controversy as being indicitave of a 'UNIX old guard' culture. Not universally in open source but a loud segment of it. Sometimes what aint broke is worth fixing, because it is brittle, or it actually has cracks and holes unseen like metal fatigue. And in the case of low level stuff like this it is thankless work. Systemd is in that realm with openssl and ntpd and consolekit. Systemd takes some old poorly supported and outdated stuff and replaces it with something radically different, and for their efforts they are shat upon. Yes they have big egos but so do most free software leaders. If you create and maintain something and are more meek or deferential then this kind of un sexy software ends up in a state like consolekit or ntpd or openssl...no new ideas, no scrutiny, no appreciation... Until the developer just gives up or thete is a big bug missed or whatever.

Attitudes have to change. Stop bitching about the efforts of people like Pottering and Sievers and contribute! Don't agree with the state of things? Spearhead an effort for an alternative. Systemd is not compiled into GNOME and other software though it is packaged with that depenency most often. The APIs and peotocols are open. Alternative implementations can be made.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for those who put in all the effort on systemd...AND uselessd AND systembsd. They want to make software better even if we dont always agree with their approach. And in the interest of avoiding monoculture I really hope the alternative implementations gain traction...and that goes for alternatives to openssl anf ntpd as well.

Comment blame systemd? (Score 1) 765

Curious, i have not in the past year of using NFS mounts on systemd based systems encountered 90s hangs you describe. What distro do you use? Did you set up the unit files yourself or stick with packaged ones?

Sounds like a configuration problem to me, not specifically an issue with systemd doing something wrong. It is simpler and more complex than init scripts. Enabling concurrent service startup by its very nature is more complex, regardless of the implementation. But if it is configured right systemd won't even try to start nfs if the network is not reporting it is up....if it is configured right ;-)

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