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Comments

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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

AndyCanfield Server Workstation (280 comments)

I am responsible for several servers running Ubuntu Linux. My Lenovo Notebook runs Ubuntu Linux. For development, for testing, I want the same OS on my machine as we have on the servers. When I test code on my notebook and upload it to the server I want it to see the same environment. It makes no professional sense to me to develop code under Red Hat and then hope it runs under FreeBSD when a hundred people are watching it crash. I don't need optimization, I need reliability.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Server Support and Monitoring Solution?

AndyCanfield Status updates (137 comments)

I manage a hub server and a backup server. Every 60 seconds the backup server crontab (wget) fetches a 'web page' from the hub server which as a side effect records the callers IP address into a file. Even though the backup srever has a dynamic IP address I can always find it by going to the hub server and looking into that file.

I have a page I can go to on the hub server which checks the timestamp on the file BackupServer.ip. if it is suspiciously old then that web page turns red and tells me that things are cut off. If all is OK the background stays green. You can see it at http://gregor/ServerCheck.php. I check it every time I start my browser.

It would be trivial to support more than one call-in server. It would be easy to add more complex status information. From your notebook computer anywhere in the world you can go to that web page and see that all is OK, or, if it is not, what remove server has a problem.

about two weeks ago
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Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

AndyCanfield Re:Good to lose (52 comments)

You are good; he is a monster. In order to devour him you must become a greater monster than he is. After you have consumed him, the world still has one monster in it (you), but it is a bigger monster than the one it had previously. And now, as a monster, you are hungry, and we must play the game all over again. Who will step forward to become a triple-sized monster to devour you?

Share everything you do with the NSA - they are monster killers.

about 2 months ago
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Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

AndyCanfield Good to lose (52 comments)

The Thai government taught me, years ago, that sometimes it is better to lose than to win, because you do not want to become what you would have to be in order to win. In that case the choice was to let the militants go free or to slaughter them. The Thai government, wisely, let them go.

In amother case the Lao government invaded Thailand and occupied a refugee camp where the refugees from Laos were staging attacks into Laos. The camp was on the top of a hill. The Thai border police surrounded the bottom of the hill, and sat there until the Lao army went home. No war.

In this case the choice is to rescue a fellow human trapped in a burning building, or to ignore his pleas and let him burn. Would you want to be friends with someone who did that? IN THAT REALITY, the pleader is a real person and decent people will treat him as such. I would help save the guy, because I do not want to be the kind of person who could let him die.

about 2 months ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

AndyCanfield Cloudy, chance of rain (176 comments)

Dropbox is cloud. Cloud is a remote hard disk. My hard disk has nothing to do with privacy; anyone who can SSH into my computer can read my hard disk. Put that hard disk on the Internet, in "the cloud", and the same thing applies, anybody logged in to the Internet can read your dropbox. Hey, I thought that was the PURPOSE of Drop box, to share files. If you want privacy, burn a DVD and hand it to the guy.

For me, my notebook has a 1TB hard disk. I have a web site I control. Yeah, my web site is hostile to privacy; that's the whole purpose of a PUBLIC web site. I had a "Dropbox" and dropped it.

about 2 months ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

AndyCanfield Expanders (418 comments)

The ones that get me are where you go to an ordinary (text) web page, probably news, and there is a flash add on the right side that starts playing instantly, video and sound. OK, bad enough. But to trying to turn it off I move my mouse over it, and the D*** thing expands to half the screen, blocking what I went there to read. And it won't go back to being small!

It is for this reason that I do not have Flash installed on my new notebook computer. Adobe Flash should give the user more power. How about a global option that says "Don't run anything until I click on it." That would be decent. Even door-to-door salesmen are required to knock on your door; they can't use bullhorns from out on the sidewalk, which is what Flash is used for.

about a month ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

AndyCanfield Security Rankings (280 comments)

High security = online banking
Medium security = Linux logins
Low security = everything else, everywhere else

My low security password has no digits in it. If your web site insists on a digit, I just don't sign up for your web site. My security level is MY choice, not yours. Why should I memorize a special password just to get your daily news feed?

about 2 months ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

AndyCanfield Flip a coin (753 comments)

I lived in Laos for a while and was surprised that they have no coins there, only paper money. How do you flip a coin? You have to keep a foreign coin just for flipping. Then I came back (to Thailand) and thought it was weird that we have two kinds of currency - paper and metal. Why? Don't know.

As for all purchases being electronic, have you ever heard of Edward Snowden? Come on, be real! Currency is the last vestage of privacy! Buy a book for cash and no computer in the world knows that you own it. How will you use your credit card to give a beggar a dollar? Tip the lady at the massage parlor and your wife hits you with your bank book. "Officer, forget the speeding ticket; just take a hundred from my Visa card." A world without cash? Not in my world.

about 2 months ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

AndyCanfield Personhood (285 comments)

This whole Turing Test discussion is talking about the wrong issue. Nobody cares if a computer is 'intelligent' or not. What matters is whether it's a person or not. I just watched 'Terminator 2' again, and the Terminators were people. They had feelings, confusions. They learned from their environment. They did not shut down for an hour or a month at the flip of a switch. I don't care if a computer is "intelligent" or not; what matters is whether it is a person, with the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that we grant Russians and Klingons and Terminators.

How do you detect whether the Ukranian is human? Ask him if his wife is a good screw. If he answers "NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!", he's human. The Test is the universe to a machine, but it is only a temporary context to a human. Break out of the context and the machine is lost but the human reacts like a person.

about 2 months ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

AndyCanfield Re:Which Lovelace? (285 comments)

The Linda Lovelace test is when you make love to a lady and you can't tell if she's a human or a robot. I live in Thailand, and I have been involved in the Linda Lovelace test many times - including my ex-wive.

about 2 months ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

AndyCanfield Which Lovelace? (285 comments)

Ada Lovelace or Linda Lovelace? I volunteer for the Linda Lovelace test.

about 2 months ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

AndyCanfield must be a black box! (285 comments)

The great thing about the Turing test was that it was a black box. It did not depend on assumptions about what the designers knew, or what hardware was used, or the like. And so far the only test trials I have heard of have been carefully arranged one on one. Give us a dozen Ukranian teen-agers, and pick the one (or two) which are non-human - that's a better test run.

But, of course, the ultimate test of machine intelligence is when the computer can sue your ass off and win in the Supreme Court.

about 2 months ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

AndyCanfield Functioning (702 comments)

Near as I can tell from reading the news (from rural Thailand), the point is that the device must be turned on and functioning so you can prove it's not a bomb. Fully discharged is not allowed. But fully charged is not required. IMHO this is reasonable. Call your mother.

about 2 months ago
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Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi

AndyCanfield Free Wifi (112 comments)

Here in Thailand / Laos I have recently seen massage parlor signs advertising "Free Wifi". You get in a room with a beautiful lady and she rubs her hands all over your body. Why would you want to check your e-mail? And certainly you would not "Exotic Massage" to show up in your wifi list. But remember that phones are like that. I manually checked my wife's call history to see if she had telephoned my girlfriend.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

AndyCanfield Handcuffed (427 comments)

I live in Thailand. In 1992 I was going to visit the USA. so I bought a watch. A month later I was in the US. A month after that I lost the watch. A watch feels too much like a handcuff. Be there then, race the clock, step in time, step in time, step in time. No thank you. My heart made the choice. I haven't owned a watch since then. If I want to know what time it is I reach in my pocket and pull out my new Sony Smartphone. It tells me the time, and connects me with other people and the world's schedules. But only when I chose. It's not a handcuff.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

AndyCanfield Hotel Room Alarm (310 comments)

I was on a business t trip with colleages and we stayed at a rural hotel overnight. They said they would pick me up at 7am. I had no alarm clock, I had no watch, I did not trust a wake up call. But I had my Windows 98 computer. So between eight and nine p.m. I wrote "nalika", a program to display the current time on the screen in large digits and ring an alarm according to the paramer. Big digits; the computer had to sit across the room from the bed. In one hour; a DOS program running in a Windows 98 DOS window.

I am still running that program today under Ubuntu Linux 14.04 so my family and I can see the time all night long.

about 3 months ago
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Why Snowden Did Right

AndyCanfield Lie to the boss (348 comments)

The NSA is part of the U.S. Federal Government. The boss of that government is the People of the United States of America. It's in the constitution; read it. The NSA will get their asses nailed to the wall because they lied to the boss. If I'm your boss, and you lie to me, you're fired.

Edward Snowden is my hero; he can sleep on my floor any time.

about 4 months ago
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Gen. Keith Alexander On Metadata, Snowden, and the NSA: "We're At Greater Risk"

AndyCanfield A Fair Trial (238 comments)

Some people ask whether Edward Snowden can get a fair trial in the US. The real question is whether Keith Alexander can get a fair trial in the US. He was the head of an organization which was doing illegal things. Will he get a fair trial? Will he get a trial at all? No.

about 4 months ago
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Don't Be a Server Hugger! (Video)

AndyCanfield Look! Touch! See! (409 comments)

A few days ago our backup server died. The hub server detected that no back up had been done for over an hour, and changed the server status web page background from green to red. I saw it and drove over to the office - it's about 4 kilomters from here - and had a look around. Computers were OK, but the router needs replacing.

If you have wings and long hair and a beard and a white robe and a belt made out of rope maybe you can fly into the cloud and do the same.

about 4 months ago
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

AndyCanfield Punched cards (230 comments)

My first programs were on punched cards at U.C. Berkeley in 1968. As a student I punched the cards myself. The serious programmers, like me, would stay up all night so we could get our results back in only an hour or two. Results came as 11 by 14 blue striped paper wrapped around the original deck of cards.

Ah, I miss punched cards! They were the perfect size to fit into your breast pocket. One side was blank to write notes on; the other side had column numbers and digit numbers: columns 1-80, digits 0-9. They were free; came in boxes of 2,000 cards per box.

My first keyboard/monitor thingy was a graphics terminal connected to the Stanford Timesharing System about 1980. The boss had an Apple II in a back room.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Streamed U2 Concert not visible in Thailand

AndyCanfield AndyCanfield writes  |  more than 4 years ago

AndyCanfield writes "The streamed U2 concert in Los Angeles was not visible in Thailand.

If you ever have a global event, for God's sake give the time in GMT. People in Buchestan do not know what time zone "PT" is, but everyone knows their local clock relative to GMT.

If there are technical requirements, such as "Windows only", be sure to spell those out.

If possible, the video rectangle should read "If you can read this, your ISP is blocking our video traffic." People who can see the video will not see the message.

If possible, get one person in each country to monitor the broadcast and post the results to a separate status page, such as "FRANCE: OK" or "HONDURAS: CHOPPY" or "THAILAND: NOTHING".

Over all it is the confusion of "what the H*** is going on?" that is the worst. And it makes U2 look like a bunch of incompetant bumblers."

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