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Comment POC doesn't work here. (Score 5, Interesting) 127

I read through the POC, it seemed safe enough to play with, so I've tried it out on a few different servers here (CentOS & Debian Stable). On the CentOS boxes it dies before it even gets started trying to overflow into a tty, and on my Debian machine it's been going for 5 minutes (using up to 90% CPU, but still leaving the machine quite usable), and still hasn't got anywhere.

This isn't quite the "instant ROOT ACCESS!" privilege escalation that scares keeps sysadmins up at night. (unless I'm missing something...)

Comment Sydication - bring back BBSs! (Score 2) 284

"No, of course I don't have 3000 visitors a day! My site is automatically limited to 2500. It's funny though, the first 250 visitors every day take my posts and repost them on their sites. But that's their responsibility, not mine... but since my site has passed it's daily quota, here's links to sites with 'similar content'..."

Seriously. This is a stupid law.

We can easily just stop using blog 'websites', and instead post to public newsgroups. Or use RSS & other syndication & mirror tools.

Comment Religion, maybe, but not /faith/... (Score 3, Interesting) 1037

The internet may kill religion, but it doesn't kill faith. Religion being defined in this instance as cultural observances, unquestioned metaphysical assumptions and ceremonies, and faith as things one deeply believes and part of who you are, not merely what you do (to fit in).

And, I suspect, most people of faith who have thought about it deeply have no problem with that. I'd much rather people were sure of what they believed, and actually thought about it, argued about it, and made a real statement about what they believed, rather than just accepting what they are brought up with.

I think that the internet - and in fact any meeting with outside ideas - is the best way to kill nominal 'religion'. However, I'd make a guess that many people actually find a new faith, or find their faith hugely challenged or restructured. I know formally agnostic people who got into 'new age' mysticism and became (in some form) Buddhist through reading and learning online.

I am a follower of Jesus, who I believe is the son of God. ("Christian" being a very loaded term, especially in the USA). Many of my friends and others who believe the same as I do have been strengthened in their faith by discussions and videos online. Many churches don't bother actually exploring scripture in a critical or even structured way - but plenty of people online do. Video serieses by John Piper, Rob Bell, Nicky Gumbel, John MacArthur, and many other "thinking preachers" have been instrumental in my building a faith which is able to accept alternative viewpoints without freaking out.

C.S. Lewis was an Athiest, but became a Christian at university, and encountering views which challenged his view of the world so much he had to re-examine his own philosophies. I know plenty of others who came to faith at university, and a few who did online.

So. I'm a believing, 'born again', totally convinced Jesus-freak, with friends who are Athiest, Buddhist, Muslim, Agnostic, straight, gay, married, divorced, rich, poor. Their views do not destroy mine, and I will not try to destroy theirs. And I accept the fact that my views can only really be solid if I can engage with them in civilized discourse, and can understand and appreciate (even if I totally disagree with) them.

To those who call themselves Athiests here - how many of your friends hold views as strongly as you do, but which are completely contrary to your own?

Comment "This code is shit" (Score 4, Insightful) 452

What the ? I can't understand this code straight away without thinking about the problem or why they wrote it this way? It's shit!

Actually, a lot of problems are complex, and there isn't a single straightforward way to implement it. It could be that doing it the obvious way works - up to a certain point, and then the whole thing needs writing in a new totally non-obvious more complex way, in order to cope with x. (latency, bandwidth, text encoding, ACID compliance, European data protection law, occasonal data spikes which make the stack explode if you use a recursive function, certain servers only having python 2.6 on them still, etc. etc. etc.)

Comment That's a little harsh... (Score 1) 505

That's a little harsh. Javascript, as as language, isn't *that* bad. It's got plenty of annoying things, and plenty of warts, but as a language, it's workable with.

The problems you mention are mostly solvable. "use strict" solves a bunch of them, and then use jslint (or similar) to catch the bugs your compiler normally would.

If you really want a compiler, and to get away from some of JS's more annoying bits, then switch to coffeescript (which compiles to JS).

Comment Re:Because it's not groundbreaking any more... (Score 1) 503

Huh - interesting, and very weird.  When I edit this post, it's normal font, but when I click preview/submit, it suddenly turns into monospace.  That is totally unintentional.  Thanks for catching that, I'll try to figure out why my browser posted it that way...

Comment Because it's not groundbreaking any more... (Score 1) 503

Common Graphical Computer user interfaces haven't really changed that much in the last 15 years, in general.

In general, there's:

- a single place for starting common applications
- a place for starting more unusual ones.
- windows full of files which can be manipulated with menus, dragging, and dropping.
- some method of switching between those applications.

And so people will naturally gravitiate to the variant of this scheme which is most familiar to them.

There's a lot more 'mainstream' users of open source/free desktops these days, and most of them don't actually want the fun hacker 'computers, and interfaces in general are interesting problems, lets hack and play with the concepts and see what we can invent'.  They just want something they can use straight away, and customise as much, or as little, as they want.

I'm using awesomewm, and find it almost perfect for me - but largely because it didn't require too much hacking to get it very familiar. (tiling, virtual desktops, 'command space' textual launcher...)

However, if there was a new, interesting, and different model all together, I'd be fine testing and playing with it for a few weeks - but for a very long time now I've not really seen any new paradigms which offer anything interesting (from a conceptial point of view).  Things like unity, or gnome3, or whatever, only offer the same boring old models, shinier in places, but more limited in others.

Partly, that will be because the type of applications that we're all running — no matter what desktop — work the same way.  If there was an entire suite of programs that worked in another manner altogether, perhaps with circular pop-up menus, any element dragable and dockable into any other, objects having interactions, not applications... then we'd have something more interesting.  But that's an awful lot of work - creating an entire new desktop paradigm.

What are the unique selling features of each desktop system?  Why would I *want* to change what works?

Comment CSS & Blinking (Score 1) 249

Actually, the blink tag is dying, you're right.  However, it's possible with CSS keyframes animations to do a lot more (including 3D pulsing, and spinning if you really want), which is far more annoying than blink ever was.

In some ways, I'm kind of sad that flash is also going out - as it used to be so easy to block everything annoying on sites by disabling the blink tags, and having click-to-load plugins.

Now, with everything being all JS/CSS based, and half the freaking internet break when you turn off JS (seriously? why do blogs need to load in the main textual content dynamically?!?!?) it's very hard to get a minimal experience that doesn't suck.

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