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Comment Re:so they give up (Score 1) 204

> you can go all the way from the top, to the bottom of the heap of irrelevancy

That metaphor seems to have gotten away from you - since that's the exact OPPOSITE of what happened to them these past few years. They were not irrelevant at all (at the bottom of the heap of irrelevancy) and now they are (putting them at the top).

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 204

You will pretty much never find a "real" vi on a Linux machine since the original vi was proprietary. Linux systems invariably ship one of the free clones - usually vim or elvis.
Elvis is closer to vi than vim, but vim has awesome and modern features on the same time-tested fundamental design. It's my editor of choice.

Actual vi is mostly found on commercial unixes and there aren't very many of those left. Even there it's not universal, if memory serves even AIX was shipping VIM when last I worked with it (which was a few years ago so I could be remembering wrong).

Comment Re:Ha-Ha! (Score 1) 204

I finally relented and, for the first time in a decade, got a windows install again for games when SkyrimSE came out. Unfortunately it is entirely impossible to get it working in wine (unlike the original game) if you got it through steam since steam is 32-bit only and SKSE is 64-bit only and wine cannot run 32 and 64 bit apps in the same emulator.

But I refused to pollute my actual hard drive with it. I installed it onto a portable hard-drive, and added an NTFS partition where my windows steam lives (since I really don't want my games to be loading assets at USB speeds). But that's it, a single portable win10 - first time in 10 years I have any windows at all, and it's used *only* for gaming - it has nothing else installed, and never contains any personal information. Hell even when I buy games from steam I reboot into linux and do it from there, then reboot back into windows to do the install. I choose Linux native games whenever possible (Brutal Legend is awesome btw), and wine as second choice - installing to the portable windows is a distant third.
Frankly I wouldn't even have bothered doing it for SKSE if it wasn't for the fact that I got it for free.

Comment Re:Ha-Ha! (Score 1) 204

There is no such problem. If your program uses GTK or QT then every desktop distro will run it with the possible exception of a few ultra-tiny desktops but those are built for a specific niche and it only affects you if you are specifically marketing to that extremely tiny niche. Which one of GTK or QT to use ? That's up to you - but QT is probably the clear winner because it offers native windows support, and even android support, as well, which is nice if you want to make the program portable, and has some more advanced features.

And frankly it's not hard to run things that use less common varieties. PlayOnLinux uses WX which is now quite obscure enough that almost no distro ships with it, yet it easy as pie to install PoL on every major distro. The only time I've ever had difficulty was on a CLFS build - but you don't do any LFS-like system and expect it to be easy.

You shouldn't be targetting a specific DE with a user-app unless you are an open-source developer working on an app targetted for that DE. For general-use apps -target GTK or QT, this is certainly what commercial app devs should do.

Comment Re:They agreed to the cards (Score 1) 309

Those aren't the same backs I know. Guess they had a redesign since the days I was doing this trick. I kind of lost interest in card games after high school.

A google image search shows that the back design have changed several times over the years. I was talking about this one:


Look at the wings on the central wheel. Notably the wing on the left which points at one of the edges.


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Warns Against 'Hubris' Amid AI Growth (bloomberg.com) 58

Microsoft and its competitors should eschew artificial intelligence systems that replace people instead of maximizing their time, CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview on Monday. From the report: "The fundamental need of every person is to be able to use their time more effectively, not to say, 'let us replace you'," Nadella said in an interview at the DLD conference in Munich. "This year and the next will be the key to democratizing AI. The most exciting thing to me is not just our own promise of AI as exhibited by these products, but to take that capability and put it in the hands of every developer and every organization. [...] There's a thin line between hubris and confidence," Nadella said. "Always there is risk of hubris coming back, missing trends. The only long-term indicator of success is, âhow good is your internal culture?'" "What I've learned if anything in three years as CEO is, it's not about celebrating one product," he said. "That, to me, is the sign of a company that's built to last. In tech it's even more harsh."

Comment Re:Lini batteries (Score 1) 46

A battery capable of running a laptop for 10 hours is - if the energy is applied as heat, or even just sheer unrestricted electrical discharge - the same as powering 600 laptops for a minute. Or 3600 laptops for a second. Imagine the energy you need to do that - to just turn on 3600 laptops simultaneously, even for a second.

The amount of energy stored is enormous. In oil-based products it's orders of magnitude more again. Which is why a tiny little candle thing in a survival pack can cook your food, or a paraffin heater can heat a house.

The more energy you store, the greater the risk, but it does depend on how it's released. There's a reason you can't stop a house fire without hours of dampening it down - wood has a ton of energy but doesn't tend to release it that quickly, but can still be alight the next morning once it gets going.

In terms of battery, the worst problem is a short-circuit, either in the battery or the circuit itself. I can remember short-circuiting AA NiCd batteries as a kid, with my electronics kits. You could literally melt the plastic casing off the battery and make them too hot to touch in just a few seconds, with sparks and all sorts of case deformation as you did so. And that's an AA battery, with maybe 450mAh. Nowadays, rechargeable AA's can ten times that.

And then you consider the energy in a Li-Po that's as big as a laptop battery? When that goes wrong, you're in big trouble.

The short-circuit resistance does change things. Shorting a cheap alkaline likely won't do much at all, but even they come with warnings not to do that. But you're assuming that things are already going wrong for a battery in normal usage to short. At that point, you just assume zero-resistance and watch as your laptop catches fire and explodes.

No matter the technology, if it's capable of delivering that much electrical power, and you short it or break it, it's going to do pretty much the same thing.

My dad tells a story of when he and his work colleagues shorted a forklift battery bank. It was in an abandoned warehouse and the forklift was scrap, basically. They dropped a thick steel spanner over the batteries (a handful of normal lead-acid car batteries, basically) from a distance. The spanner glowed red, then bent, then glowed white, at which point the entire forklift exploded into smithereens and they were scraping battery acid off a warehouse ceiling (50ft up!) for weeks.

The energy is there, if you need to do those jobs for that length of time. If you release it all at once, even for a car battery, you have a literal explosive device on your hands. That isn't going to change just because you change lead-acid for hydrogen fuel cells or petrol for LPG or NiCd for LiPo.

Comment Re:Why is that useful? (Score 5, Insightful) 96




They're hoping that "linux" comes to mean just a particular set of utilities, no matter the OS.

In this day and age, virtualise. And it doesn't matter what OS you host virtual machines on, so long as they run.

Which is a death-knell to Windows, because the choice between "server core" and a barebones Linux install with a hypervisor? What's to choose except price and licensing?

Developers should be able to code on - literally - anything they want to. It helps in testing, if nothing else, if they are checking in code that is Windows-only and everyone complains that it breaks builds.

But they should all have all the target platforms as VMs, too. Then it's a matter of personal preference.

To be honest, I don't get why so many coders actually use MacBooks. It seems completely the wrong decision to me, if given free choice.

But the days of which OS is actually running on the hardware mattering are long gone. The choice of what you use as desktop is personal preference. The choice of what to use for backend services doesn't matter so long as you have people managing it.

Windows, at this point, is just a fancy GUI, not unlike which choice of DE you use on Linux. I think Microsoft are trying to claw that back a little and make you think that you can get rid of the Linux desktops and interfaces by using Windows.

Comment Re: Remember kids! (Score 1) 309

Quite frankly if this was supposed to be games of chance it should be illegal to have programmed slot machines at all. They should be purely mechanical devices with the result determined by random (at the level of unpredictable at least) physics - more like dice or roulette.
The odds of a jackpot happening on the first coin ever placed in it should be exactly the same as the odds the day AFTER it has earned more than the jackpot. The mere fact that only a few combos win anything and the rest is money to the house is already more than enough advantage in their favour.

Comment Re: Remember kids! (Score 1) 309

> It's a tax on those with poor reasoning skills.

That claim makes sense for state lotteries. It makes no sense whatsoever for privately owned casinos. Private companies are not supposed to be able to tax you and if, indeed, this is a tax as you claim - that alone is proof that it is evil.

Whether it should be illegal is another question entirely. At the very least though - it ought to be well regulated. It's a known (severely) dangerous business, government *does* in fact therefore have a compelling interest in regulating it.

Comment Re:They agreed to the cards (Score 1) 309

This same trick works with the common "bicycle" brand cards most home players use. Look at the wheel in the center of the back pattern. There are three wings attached- and two are on the same side - so if you take a deck with all cards sorted same-way up, and flip one over, you can tell it apart later.

We used to do a simple "is this your card" trick in school using exactly that approach, sort the cards upfront so all the wheels are two-wings-up, let the person draw a card, then ask them to put it back - look which way up it is, and ensure you hold the deck out the other way up.

Then just sort through until you find the card with one-wing-up.

I admit it never occurred to me to try this at a casino though...

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 210

The problem with America today is, there hasn't been a war in America in far too long. The last time was the civil war. The only time since then there was any combat on home soil was Pearl Harbour (a single battle) and 9/11 (not even part of a war). The last time you had a war against another country that was even on the same continent was the Mexican/American war and that was before even the civil war. The Spanish/American war happened almost entirely at sea.

So with nobody left who can remember what war really looks like - it becomes way too easy to start them. War for America means sending your sons and daughters off to die somewhere far away, the other losses don't exist for Americans, they only happen to other people. America never has to see it's cities reduced to rubble, it's monuments and history and art lost for ever, it's factories and economy and productive capacity entirely shattered. It's women and children raped and tortured. That only happens to other people far away.
There's a reason the biggest doves in Washington are the generals - they are the only people there who actually know what war *really* means. The evidence of world war 2 is still visible throughout Europe, it's destruction still seared in people's memories - and that's a big part of why Europe has not had another war since world war 2. They know what it means. Americans no longer do. Ozzy Ozborne spoke of how Black Sabbath's tone was largely inspired by the rubble and destruction of world war 2 that was still everywhere in their home city of Birmingham when they were teenagers... and that was in the 1970s. Birmingham wasn't fully rebuilt until the late 1990s. It took 50 years to rebuild after that war !

People who know what war really means see it as an absolute last resort, it's never something to be considered lightly or, indeed, for any reason short of a truly verified and immediate threat.

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