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Comment Re:Why pay the Microsoft tax? (Score 1) 125

One thing I've learned over the years is that Slashdot commenters are generally not good at reacting to abuse. Slashdot commenters make excuses, or react to abuse weakly.

I see the last 20 years have done nothing to dampen your idealism, good for you but maybe an ounce of reality wouldn't hurt? Back then your data was local, you had the executable and the only thing you didn't have was the source code to inspect it. Even though things like email went from your server to their server instead of peer to peer, things were pretty distributed and decentralized. Having access to the source code was mostly about being able to fix and extend it, not that it did something nasty.

Not only have consumers ignored open source solutions, they've gone totally the other way. Much of their data lives in the cloud, where they have no control of what's done with it. They use huge, centralized services like Facebook that collects a ton of data. Auto-updating devices download and install new executable code all the time and often rely on online servers. People don't care that they're being tracked and in many cases even accuse those who object of having something to hide. They sign away all rights in mile-long EULAs without thought.

We've ranted. We've raged. We've raised the banners and tried to proclaim YotLD many times. XPs online activation in 2001. Slammer & friends in 2003. Vista in 2006. "Trusted Computing" sometime late 2000s. Windows 8 in 2012. Windows 10 in 2015. Stealth telemetry in all VS apps in 2016. I'm sure there's many more things I've forgotten. I'm sure there's bad things about Apple, Google, Adobe and many others. We've raged out. It's like "OMG OMG Microsoft is... wait, what's the point? Why is anyone going to listen now, when they never have in the past?"

They earn billions of dollars that way. And in between screwing us over they sometime make pretty good software, so yeah... maybe open source is more efficient but one idealist versus a hundred paid developers is unfair teams. So I run Win7 and I got an iPhone. Should it have been Linux and a rooted Android phone? Maybe. But like I said, raged out. If I can't even stand the hassle myself, it's pretty hard to ask anyone else to fight a fight I feel is pretty hopeless. Pretty sure I'm not the only disillusioned ex-revolutionary here.

Comment Re: Lots of children have the wrong DNA. (Score 1) 194

It's been quite a while since I was in high school, but I remember a much higher percentage of bastards than that.

Asshats have a much bigger chance of being raised by asshats, nature vs nurture and all that. Being a bastard is just one of those "kick where it hurts" words like that you're fat, have freckles, wear glasses, wrong skin color, have a funny dialect or speech impediment, it's f-f-f-f-f-unny you see. I've been on the receiving end of a lot of teasing but ultimately I've understood it's all about some people's need to establish a pecking order. And I've kicked downwards where maybe I shouldn't, but it felt good to have someone below me. I wasn't very mature at the time and I didn't act very mature.

We act like children are born innocent and all that, but there's a saying that from kids and drunk men you hear the truth. Well from kids and drunk men you're also more likely to get punched in the face. We're far from innocent, we're a bundle of raw emotion caught in a web of civilization. Not behaving like wild animals is a trained behavior. I tend to think we have a far greater capacity for cruelty than anyone really likes to think about, the Nazi concentration camps are but one example. Having done that analysis on myself, if I genuine believed in something... I'm scared to consider how far I'd really go.

Comment Re:Systemd! (Score 1) 227

As long as it stays as an init program, it's fine because it can be swapped out easily. But if it starts becoming a required component for turning up the volume, that is clearly a sign of poor design.

Well it has to talk to something. I mean we had applications that used to talk directly to the hardware back in the DOS days, this application can talk to Soundblaster and Gravis Ultrasound, I don't want to go back there. So you want to fix it a bit on the hardware side so all the apps can talk to one interface and it'll play on all sound cards. And you want to fix it on the software side so more than one application can play sound at the same time.

And then the ball starts rolling, does it have a hardware mixer? Is it a 5.1 surround setup or a 2.0 headphone? Does it have positional sound? Can it bitstream compressed audio to another device? Can we have ann equalizer? Per-application audio controls? Etc. and so eventually you end up with a form of "sound system service". Eventually you have to decide on a standard.

Comment Re:Lots of children have the wrong DNA. (Score 2) 194

There are plenty of cucks out there

Actually research indicate there aren't, at least not after birth control, legalized abortion and the awareness of DNA tests. Current estimates are 1-3% of the population. The excessively high numbers you get quoted from time to time are because they've self-selected groups where the paternity is in doubt, in these low confidence selections it's 10-30%.

Comment Re:a little late to the party (Score 1) 80

Easy to use. Works well. Tons of features. Free to a point. After that, inexpensive.

After that, not so inexpensive... $14k/core for the Enterprise edition at "no level" list price is pretty harsh. You could build a pretty sweet database server for the licensing money. That said, for an organization that doesn't have any OSS culture and thus doesn't understand anything that doesn't answer an RFQ it's okay. If we somehow managed to get approval for a PostgreSQL server with no vendor backing us up I fear that some sales droid would convince some higher-ups somewhere to go Oracle, DB2, SAP/SAS or Teradata.

Comment Re:Goes to the heart of capitalism (Score 1) 194

If they do not want to be legally held responsible for what the services they do, then the answer is simple - do it for free, with disclaimers about not promissing anything.

Doesn't work that way. You can be held liable for:

Malice: Give away "free candy" with rat poison
Recklessness: Give a free foot rub but confuse the massage oil with caustic soda
Negligence: Give a free house, it collapses and kills someone because of poor foundation work
Strict liability: Give a minor a free blowjob, even if he's got a fake ID

Software mostly gets away with it by saying "these are just blueprints, we're not making any claim they can actually be used for anything". But the moment you start actually doing anything you can't really get away from liability.

Comment Re:Bullshit, Todd. (Score 3, Interesting) 194

You didn't even read to the end of the summary, it seems. The problem is they are not suing over the mistake made by the clinic, but that the child has the wrong genes. Suing the clinic over medical malpractice is fine, but the couple has sued for a completely different formulation of the problem.

You keep talking about "right" and "wrong" genes as if it was a flawed designer baby that didn't match the contract specifications. If you make a child, you pay child support. If it's not your child, you don't pay child support. If it doesn't have dad's genes, biologically it isn't his which leaves half of the child's expenses unpaid. If the accidental donor can't be held economically responsible, the clinic should. If a man can have a one night stand and pay for it the next 18 years, I don't see why they can't have one lab accident and pay for it the next 18 years.

I think the clinic is lucky to only pay 30%, I'd say the cuckolded father has every right to disavow this child and for the mother to demand the clinic pays half in the absentee father's place. The man in this couple has essentially agreed to become the adoptive dad of someone else's child and pay 20% of the expenses himself, I think that's overly generous. In fact I bet in the US they'd both sue the hospital for many millions of dollars over the emotional trauma of discovering "their" child isn't their child.

Comment Re:Could climate science be affected, too? (Score 2) 110

Its also good to point out that the fraud was in the review process, not the work itself. So the tools that did it were extra stupid in their laziness.

If they didn't do the peer review, it's probably because the work wouldn't survive it.

As for AC's hand wringing, climate science is not cancer research, with obscure aspects only a few people know anything about.

Climate models are huge and complex, only a few people can truly claim to understand them. They're not lab experiments where you can easily isolate causes and exclude other factors or extrapolate how the ecosystem will respond. There's huge local variations in climate that people use as proof or counter-proof because this year was particularly cold or warm without any validity as a global phenomenon.

That said, just because there's a lot of detail we're working on doesn't mean there's much doubt about the big picture. Take evolution for example, we're still doing tons of research into the exact mechanisms that create and divide species but there's no real scientific competition from creationism or lamarckism that genetics isn't real. "Survival of the fittest" does work as a one-liner summary.

The greenhouse effect is clearly real, if Earth had no atmosphere it would have a surface temperature of -18C instead of +14C. So when they're talking about trying to keep the temperature change because of human activity under 2C we're really talking about a <10% change in the effect. We are just a small part of a pretty big puzzle of how this all works.

Comment Re:Version Fatigue. (Score 1) 353

Everyone (Many people) are suffering from some kind of version fatigue. It's as simple as that. Owning any software run device these days is like having someone come and and re-arrange all the furniture in your house every week. The novelty might seem nice at first, but after a while, any change that you don't specifically want becomes irritating.

Pretty much this, to use the car analogy I have a car that's 10+ years old and I know exactly how it works. I know pretty much every knob, dial and lever, pedal response, how it handles on the road, how much space it takes to park, how much luggage will fit, pretty much everything. And I don't want any of it to change on anyone else's schedule or because they've decided the new way is better than the old way, obviously if there's a safety recall I want that but otherwise... no. I have computer software that's pretty much like that, it does what I want and I don't want it to change. But because software gets hacked I feel a need to stay patched. But often I can't stay patched unless I'm also on a constant upgrade treadmill.

The downside for the developers is of course that you have to live with ancient versions and bugs that were fixed years ago. Like IE6, how many of us hasn't wished for that to die in a fire. I remember one discussion on the Debian mailing list where a developer was so tired of getting bugs for older versions he had time-bombed the code, any older than X months and it'd pop up a big warning saying this version is obsolete and demanded to be upgraded. But as a user, I did not mind running almost 10 year old WinXP. I don't mind running almost 10 year old Win7. And if Microsoft gave us a home version of the Enterprise LTSB with no feature upgrades only 10 years of security patches I'd take it.

And I'd like it to be loosely coupled, so I can run a mix of old and new software. With Linux distros the packages and dependencies have often meant that if I want to run a newer version of one particular package it'll drag in a whole kitchen sink of library updates forcing other applications to upgrade. It's okay that you can dist-upgrade everything every 6 months or every 2 years, but often you cross fingers and pray nothing important changed. Without backports, PPAs and such I'd go nuts. Of course some software is very conservative and pragmatic, you can start a release years later and drop right in. Others... it's pretty much UI design fashion, it'll change just to be hip and cool.

Comment All those little changes add up... (Score 1) 353

...and they usually add up to a giant, steaming pile of crap.

I worked on a project once that did its best to implement all user requests in its product. By the time I started working on it, there were at least seven different ways to do any basic function, because different users thought it would be great if they each had their own way of doing the same damn thing.

The result? The software was bloated, and damned near impossible to adequately test. The permutations possible to do the exact same task were staggering. This resulted in a lot of weird bugs that weren't found during testing. It made the software brittle, and in the end the same users that wanted all these different ways of doing the same task (multiplied by a few dozen different tasks I might add) weren't happy with the resulting complexity. All that stuff that users thought would be simple and a good idea, in combination, sucked.

Sometimes it's a developers job to say no. It can be very difficult to decide when that time is, but projects that never say no are doomed to failure. Sometimes an over-arching vision as to how the product should work needs to win out over every single good idea some random user has.

I sometimes work with physical tools. And there are times when I'm using a wrench, but need to put it down and start using a hammer. I don't think it's unreasonable of the tool manufacturer to reject it when I suggest to them it would be great if they welded a hammer to all of their wrenches so I didn't have to put one tool down to use the other.


Comment Re:How can this be an improvement? (Score 1) 67

Letting one corporate giant rifle through your personal email is bad enough. Letting two of them? Why? "I have a hole in my head. Let me improve it by drilling another hole in the head"!!!! How can that be an improvement?

More like if you don't care that the patio door is open, opening your bedroom window doesn't make much of a difference. Your data is as secure as the least secure place you keep them. If that's "in the cloud", well you don't care much if the thief uses the door or the window. If you keep your data in three vaults, it's still pretty secure same as one vault. If you keep your data in three clouds, it's still pretty insecure same as one cloud. It's the people thinking well I share my data with Google but at least not with Microsoft and think that makes a difference that are the foolish ones. If you don't care more install iTunes and put it in the iCloud too. The odds are hackers have stolen your data anyway.

Comment Frustration is not proportional to loss (Score 1) 168

I can get really frustrated with other drivers in a matter of seconds, but in reality I always get where I'm going a minute or two later. Then I can get pulled into an hour long BS meeting but hey, I'm getting paid to sit here so... sure, the computer can frustrate me for a few seconds here and there. But I doubt it's really a big time sink, even if I got the ultra-extreme top of the line model. That said, I have some issues with the servers/SAN...

Comment Re:Remote display? (Score 2) 224

I haven't paid any attention to the Wayland/Mir development for quite some time. When they were introduced the stated plan was not to support any sort of remote display natively. Has that gap been closed?

The way X does it through draw calls will never happen, because Wayland doesn't draw. I'm not sure how far they've gotten on detecting damaged sections and compression, but it's all bitmap based. I did read something to indicate they were considering a "smarter" rdp where you did the composition on the other end so you could move windows around without lag. I think it should also be possible with client support to expose a bigger virtual window that you have a viewport into so you could have smooth scrolling in a browser because what you actually see is a 1000 pixel cut from a 1200x pixel tall window buffer.

But if you want the client to interpret and render it's probably either a web application, a speciality format like video streaming or a dedicated client-server protocol. Basically the size advantage comes from intimate knowledge of the nature of the data, I once created a system that forwarded much of Qt's signals and slots to a remote window. That worked quite well because you could just tell it you wanted a QDialog with a QPushButton, all the logic to draw it was already client side. It's basically reinventing a "heavy" version of HTML and DOM manipulation though and the opposite direction of where Wayland is going.

Comment This is clickbait... (Score 1) 349

So the real purpose of the article? Create a trumped up controversy in order to generate hype before the IPO. Everyone is supposed to think the stock is cheap because of the controversy while thinking they are the clever one who sees the business model will work because the consumables are what matter. When everyone is the clever "one" they all buy the stock and the original investors get the profits.


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