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Comment known_hosts only, not login keys (Score 2) 88

If I read the article (or even the summary) correctly, this is about updating the known_hosts file, not authorized_keys. So, even with this enabled, this only affects the "The hostkey has changed" warning message, not who can log in with which keys. Although I am a tad uneasy about automatic key updates, this seems to be fairly safe, and it makes it so much easier to change a hostkey, without bothering all the users of a system.

Comment Libraries (Score 5, Informative) 641

If you write a good useful library in C, it can be used from almost any other language, with little effort. If you write your library in any other language, you limit its use to a handful of related languages. Also, properly written C can be very portable to a wide variety of systems.

Comment Re:GNU/Linux is made in the USA (Score 4, Insightful) 332

GNU/Linux is open source, so you can (in theory) verify for yourself that there aren't any back doors. And if there are, you can fix them

That's true, but not if you're among the 99+ % that installs a binary distribution.

The point is not that everyone needs to verify the code, but that anyone can do so, and that someone is likely to have done so.

Comment One way (Score 4, Interesting) 167

I work for a company that does a lot of Open Source stuff. Here is how we manage it: We have core toolkits that are open source, and custom applications that are closed source, made for specific customers. When ever a customer needs new functionality, we try to generalize it and put it into the toolkits, which we then release. We tell the customer that we have this open source toolkit which we use for the project, and which we keep improving. But we don't specify how much of the work goes into the toolkit, and how much on the custom side.

Those toolkits have been our main marketing effort, and have certainly paid off. Within our very narrow field we are world famous, and our toolkits almost dominate the market. Nobody can afford to build a competing one, when ours is free. Although anyone may use our tools, we happen to know them best and have most experience with them, so we can often do any given job faster than others. The company has survived over a decade, and has expanded internationally, and is now all of 15 people.

Comment Search sucks (Score 2) 290

It is really good to have music in the free. But it could be organized better. I tired to search for "Locatelli", a baroque composer I know a little about. The first hit found a "piece" with a headline "Battista, Locatelli & J.S Bach - Concetos". What passes for a comment for the music is some details about Vivaldi's life, and under that is a composer Bio, also of Vivaldi. The "piece" consists of four parts, starting with a Concerto Grosso by Vivaldi, followed by Pergolesi, something by Bach, and finally a single movement of a Locatelli concerto. Last there is a fact box that lists Vivaldi as the composer, and fails to mention anything about the performer or period...

Comment Re:The 'Mysterious' part. (Score 1) 209

"Gears are finicky things, every single tooth must have the correct angular position, pitch diamerter and involute profile"

no. The more accurate those things are, the better it measurs time. And this think wasn't very accurate. By today's standards.

As far as I know, the original machine was not meant to measure time. It had a crank you gave one turn every day, and it showed the position of various stars etc. More like a calendar than a clock.

Comment Impossoble Licensing Agreement (Score 1, Interesting) 290

I can not read the book. I can not accept the license that requires my moral values to coincide with those of the author. For example, "That your family is first and foremost the most important thing in your life." makes not much sense to me, with no wife, no kids, parents dead, and the rest of the family not interested in much contact, and residing in a different country anyway.

Although he means well with it, I find such licensing an offensive intrusion in my life. If my employer would put up conditions like "That you will exercise your body as well as your mind" I would certainly tell him to stay out of my private life.

Some of the points are blatantly impossible. For example, "That you will defend the rights of those who are unable to defend themselves". Note that there is no provision to make this apply only occasionally, only when practical or even possible. Thus, anyone who is not defending the people in Libya, in China, and in Afghanistan, at the same time, is in violation of the license.

Moral principles are fine, but trying to enforce them as a condition for reading a book is absurd. If that is the price for reading the book, I rather keep my freedom!


Submission + - Japan’s tsunami devastates prefecture in 6 m (

An anonymous reader writes: News reports this week are understandably focusing on the events that have recently shook Japan to its core. An 8.9 magnitude earthquake just off the coast, followed by a tsunami, has devastated parts of the country and taken thousands of lives. The extent of the damage is still being realized, there are thousands of people still missing, and problems with nucelar reactors could escalate.

While most of the video footage seen on TV so far has shown the extent of the devastation, it is mainly seen from the viewpoint of someone in a helicopter, or after the damage has been caused in an area. But now we have some raw footage of someone who experienced the torrent of water passing through his home prefecture at ground level.

As you can see in the video, it caught some drivers unaware and in a little over 6 minutes we see a dry Japanese street turn into a fast moving torrent of water ripping buildings from their foundations, crushing cars, overturning boats, and rising a few meters above ground level. The footage was captured in the Miyagi Prefecture in the city of Kesennuma which is home to 74,000 people.

Submission + - Robert X Cringely predicts more mininuke plants (

LandGator writes: "PC pundit Robert X Cringely had a life before writing "Triumph of the Nerds" for PBS: He covered the atomics industry and reported on Three Mile Island. In this blog post, he analyzes the Fukushima reactor failures, and suggests the end result will be a rapid growth in small, sealed 'package' nuclear reactors such as the Toshiba 4S generator considered for Galena, Alaska. He thinks Japan may have little choice, and with rolling blackouts scheduled, he may be right."

Comment Re:This game is random , you can't outsmart someon (Score 1) 292

I did this many years ago. No need for fancy AI, a simple Markov chain was enough to beat the people I tried with. Today I would make it adapt the chain length dynamically, trying with different lengths and keeping track of their performance. But even a 3-level chain (if I remember right) beat humans consitently in about 50 games, and the random number generator of that old machine in less than 10000 games. But it was probably not a good random number thing...

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