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Comment What's better (Score 1) 403

Why would it be desirable to run bash on Windows 10 when I'm going to get a better experience using bash on anything else be that Linux, BSD, either native or virtually. I can understand for some people this might be their only choice, but that doesn't make it good, it's just making the best of a bad situation. If they want me to try it, they'll have to make it better than on Linux, not just "good enough to ship". Because if I'm going to use Windows 10, it had better have some concrete benefit given all its massive downsides.

Comment Re:Depends on enhancement (Score 2) 79

Agreed. You can enhance an image correctly if that processing only makes use of information in the original image. For example, deconvolution, despeckling, contrast enhancement. These change the image, but the process is either neutral (no information loss) or lossy (some information loss). You can't *add* missing information to an image, because that implies making assumptions about the image which are likely to be incorrect for most cases. Validating such assumptions are correct is extremely difficult. In the case of the google filtering, this is fine if it's purely for aesthetic purposes, but definitely not if it's used for any serious purpose. In the domain I work in (scientific and medical imaging), this would be classed as fraudulent misrepresentation of data, and would get you fired. In fact, a member of my faculty was fired just last week for academic fraud after being discovered to have been misrepresenting their image data over their whole career--it's taken extremely seriously.

Comment Re:RTFA, please. (Score 2) 508

I'm well aware of the history and context. It was quite clear that a replacement would be welcome, providing that replacement was an improvement. I was initially quite hopeful when systemd came about; but it's proven to be unsuitable. There's more to software than features alone, and for this low level part of the system, it's critical to the system's functioning for it to be defect free. It has some interesting ideas, but the design and implementation leave a lot to be desired.

sysvinit (or any init) does not need to have a lot of features, so long as you can build more complex features and functionality on top. The very essence of modularity and substitutability. The priority is to be minimal, reliable and bug free. Just look at how many other systems run more advanced stuff on top of sysvinit. It doesn't have to be there in PID1 or provided by the same software package. sysvinit had a very clearly-defined role and within that constrained scope, it provided a working robust solution that worked for multiple decades. The design of sysvinit can be described in a couple of paragraphs of text; you'd need a book to describe systemd, and I doubt even the authors could fully describe it themselves. Overcomplexity and poor design has a cost, and systemd is already an unmaintainable mess.

The very fact that it had a small interface (signals, initctl, inittab) meant that it could very easily be replaced by other systems (and this was done multiple times). The fact that it was easily built upon meant that there were multiple systems built on top of it. It wasn't perfect, and it didn't have every feature everyone wanted. But the point is that it didn't have to while it could be used as a building block by others. systemd is at one extreme (large, complex, tightly-coupled) while s6 is at the other (tiny, simple, loosely-coupled); sysvinit is toward the s6 side of the spectrum; were I writing it from scratch, I'd lean more towards s6 and strip out the more complex bits into separate parts; PID1 doesn't need to deal with inittab for example, nor with runlevels or shutdown.

Comment Re:RTFA, please. (Score 3, Informative) 508

"Unchanging" does not mean "unmaintained".

The core C code of sysvinit was feature-complete, reviewed, debugged and tested years and years ago. Its original design goals were satisfied, and the project is "done". Software does not need continual churn to mark it as "maintained". The same applies to startpar/insserv and other ancillary bits. If you found a bug in sysvinit, I'd review and test it, and push a commit for it. I no longer maintain the Debian packaging, but I still have upstream commit rights should I need them.

Compare this with systemd. It doesn't have the same clearly-defined scope; it's not possible to say when it will be complete as a result. Software can be complete and finished.

Comment Re:GMOs (Score 1) 527

That really depends upon how independent the "independent" studies are, and exactly what they were looking at.

When I was a Biology undergraduate in the late '90s I got several haranguing lectures by various researchers about GMOs and how awful it was that people were against them, how safe they were and how they were the experts and knew they were fine. I later checked, and they were funded by Monsanto, Novartis and other big agribusinesses. Being funded to do fundamental research by big companies can introduce bias, and in some cases it's quite unsubtle.

The big problem I have with claiming something is "safe" is that it's often in a very narrowly-defined and short-term scope. In the case of GMOs, that's often limited to "safe for human consumption" ("because we fed it to rodents for a few years with no ill effects" or similar). What about the effects upon people and the environment in the long term (many decades)? Contamination and change to wild populations of the same organism, for example.

The problem I have with it is that it's easy to prove something specific is safe while ignoring the bigger picture. We were assured that glyphosate was safe for bee populations. It had been tested in the lab and we knew its toxicity precisely. But it later turned out that at sublethal doses it screwed up their navigation leaving them unable to make it back to their hives. That hadn't been investigated, and that was an important part of the bigger picture. It wasn't toxic but it was still deadly.

When such important glaring omissions are made, which could potentially destroy our agricultural productivity, leading to starvation and civilisational collapse at the extreme, it also makes you wonder what important but uninvestigated aspects there are in all areas of science. GMOs might be "obviously safe" to the intelligentsia of the present, but who knows if it will be quite so obvious in 30 years time if some fatal flaw is discovered. While it's clearly profitable today, and it might well be safe, it doesn't hurt to have a sensible amount of caution when our entire population is critically dependent upon this stuff for our continued survival.

Comment Re:What happended to slashdot? (Score 2) 86

There's a difference between "hating change" and being uninterested in over-hyped junk with no practical relevance. And yes, I've been to a demo of the HoloLens and seen it in real life. It was crap and even the rabid fanatic doing the demo couldn't make it work properly during his demo. That's Microsoft software again! Make one that actually works well, as well as actually solving problems I have, and I might start to get interested. But right now, it's nothing more than a toy trying desperately to provide solutions to problems which people don't have. It lacks purpose, in addition to being a mediocre implementation of the concept. Having been reading slashdot for nearly 20 years now, I think it's certainly fair to say I've become less susceptible to hype. Lots of stuff has been hyped over the years and come to nothing. Most of it was crap. I don't hate change, I just don't have interest in over-hyped useless crap anymore. Let it establish itself, and then I might get interested if there's worth in it. I'll leave the rabid fanaticism to others.

Comment Re:Did it occur to them that no one wants them? (Score 1) 86

Yep, went to a talk/demo three weeks back. Looked interesting and promising, but in reality I was completely underwhelmed. Didn't help that the speaker was a rabid Microsoft fanatic and spent most of the talk going on about how awesome Microsoft were rather than talking about the technology, but the technology itself is nothing particularly special. And most of the usage scenarios and games they had for it were contrived and useless. They also chose to go with an Intel Atom processor in the unit rather than a less power hungry ARM. I really don't need a hot CPU plastered onto my forehead. The power consumption was so bad the guy had a big USB battery pack in the back of his pants! The overall idea does have some merit. The implementation is respectable but frighteningly expensive and not that impressive overall. I don't think the HoloLens will take off, but the concept might once it is refined somewhat. Given that you can almost do what it does today with a mobile phone in a harness and a front-facing camera, I suspect that other manufacturers will be able to make a better product for a fraction of the price.

Comment Re:Did it occur to them that no one wants them? (Score 1) 86

Actually, they didn't get over it, at least in some cases. I can't play a lot of the early 3D games. They make me want to vomit and induce violent headaches with only a few tens of minutes of use. Most newer games don't. And I think it's largely due to differences in the FOV and camera positioning. The original Star Wars: Jedi Knight/Dark Forces were almost unplayable for me, as were a lot of others in this era. I stuck them out and suffered, but only in small doses. JKII/III, Mass Effect, and post recent/current games are totally OK (but not all). A lot of this might be down to my eyes and physiology, but it's also absolutely the case that the individual games are prone to causing this, and those old games were especially bad for it (for me, and I suspect others).

Comment Re: Que the consultant guy... (Score 3, Informative) 162

You've posted this exact text to other stories. Please stop. The content is garbage. Code compiled with GCC is not forced to be GPL and never has been. Your compiled code retains your licence. Changes you make to the Linux kernel would be required to be GPL if you distribute them, the GPL being a *distribution* licence, but are required to be given to people you *distribute* the changes to only, not the whole world. If this is for real, and not just a lame troll, you got lousy advice from your "lawyers".

Comment Unicode (Score 1) 200

Maybe the Unicode consortium need to supplement the ZWJ character with an SJW character.

In all seriousness, while Unicode is intended to be universal, I don't think that bullshit emojis have a place in it. We have markup in addition to characters, not to mention SVG and other formats which can better represent them. They don't have to be in the Unicode standard.

Comment Re:KDE is the Premire Linux Desktop. (Score 1) 111

Nothing special. It was a fresh clean install in both cases. It's even a problem without the NFS home which has older crufty bits in the config. I've seen it on both my work machine and home machine, with Intel Iris and Radeon R9 390 graphics, respectively. The NFS problems are due to the KDE programs and libraries liking to log verbosely to stderr which gets logged to the homedir. While it's not as noticeable with local discs, it becomes a significant problem with freezes lasting up to a minute with NFS. This is a major usability problem. There's really no need to log this useless junk--this has been a problem since KDE4.

Comment Re:KDE is the Premire Linux Desktop. (Score 1) 111

For me kwin crashes for no reason very regularly (10 mins on average); back to i3 for me since Ubuntu 15.10; 16.04 is no better. It also completely sucks when using an NFS home. Every mouse click seems to want to write some pointless logs or state back to my homedir, freezing everything up. I don't have that problem with i3: it just manages windows and doesn't do lots of unnecessary I/O. Still pining for the pinnacle of usability and stability which was KDE3.

Comment Re:It is not like it was not expected... (Score 0) 251

Most people inside Britain don't find him funny either! I've never been a particular fan, and I don't know of anyone who is. I can only imagine he's connected with the BBC management, and is suitably PC. I doubt Rowan Atkinson would have the needed personality either. He's not a presenter, he's an actor, and is known for acting roles rather than being himself. One major change with this new series is that they hired actors rather than car nuts who can talk well. The old trio might have scripted parts of their show, but their banter came across as quite natural, and they all knew their stuff even if they didn't focus on it too much. They weren't acting, they were doing stuff with their mates, while being filmed doing it. I think LeBlanc could grow into that, and it would help if he had some more compatible personalities which complemented each other. Evans definitely wasn't that person! And regarding the "non-PC" attitudes of the old presenters, mentioned elsewhere in the comments. People watch Clarkson because he's an opinionated arsehole, or rather an entertaining and funny opinionated arsehole. It wasn't the sanitised and bland product which is the rest of the BBC's output, and his views likely resonate more with people than they care to imagine. Hell, I have plenty of friends in India and other countries who think Top Gear is the best thing on TV and absolutely *love* Clarkson. This is another demographic the BBC would like to pretend doesn't exist (they should be outraged by his non-PC opinions!), and while they all think he's an arsehole (as do we all), outraged they are not.

Comment Re: Compression (Score 3, Insightful) 295

It depends entirely upon the type of data. See the examples below. Some data gives a little compression; there's a lot of binary data in my homedir which doesn't compress too well. On the other hand, source code, system logs and mail can compress superbly.

Regarding the "performance penalty", it's generally going to be positive and improve performance. We are talking lz4 here, not gzip/bzip2/xz. It's fast, trading a lower compression ratio for performance. It can compress and decompress blocks in parallel. It can do this much faster than it can read data from disk, so you'll actually improve read and write speeds. And this is on top of ZFS being able to pull data of multiple spindles as the data is distributed over multiple zvols, with redundant copies of data, etc. It's likely not the penalty you think it is. It does multiple rounds of lightweight lz4 compression to reduce the entropy, and it bails out early if poorly compressible.

% zfs get refcompressratio red/home/rleigh system/usr/ports system/usr/src system/var/log system/var/mail
NAME PROPERTY VALUE SOURCE
red/home/rleigh refcompressratio 1.33x -
system/usr/ports refcompressratio 1.60x -
system/usr/src refcompressratio 2.16x -
system/var/log refcompressratio 6.54x -
system/var/mail refcompressratio 4.99x -

With compression like this, you no longer need to bother compressing rotated logs. And while the homedir compression is small in comparison, it's gained me an extra 100GiB just for this single dataset, which is not to be sneezed at.

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