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Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influenced Highway Sign Hacking

Balial If only... (154 comments)

If only more officials had played the game so they could learn about the risks and prevent them.

about 4 months ago
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Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

Balial It's the right tool for the job (634 comments)

Scientists work in formulas. Fortran was designed to do things naturally that don't fit into C/C++, Python, whatever.

about 5 months ago
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If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

Balial This is only half a question (591 comments)

Everyone has their opinion about what their laptop should be 10x better at. Few people stop to think about what they'd have to give up to get it. Laptops are the very essence of compromise in computing, a more interesting question is what can you throw out to get what you want.

Want better battery life? I hope you like carrying giant sacks of bricks.

Oh, so you actually want it more efficient? OK, stick in a crappy CPU and a ton less memory. And get rid of any radios for WiFi or 3G/LTE.

Want a bigger screen and/or higher pixel density? Hope you like halving your battery life, or just cutting the back-light to "barely readable".

Want a ton more fast storage? How much money are you willing to pony up for flash?

Of course, if your answer is "I want it bigger/faster/better without the compromise"... well then just wait. In case you haven't noticed, it's exactly what the industry has been doing. It's not like they're sitting on their hands.

about a year and a half ago
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48-Core Chips Could Redefine Mobile Devices

Balial It's just Larrabee (285 comments)

Keep floggin' that dead Larrabee horse, Intel.

about 2 years ago
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iPhone 5 Teardown Shows Boost To Repairability

Balial Re:I knew it (171 comments)

... then you could buy a 2.6oz battery case?

about 2 years ago
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Easy Fix For Software Patents Found In US Patent Act

Balial It's good to see... (172 comments)

It's good to see, and a pleasure to read, rational discourse on patents who knows what the fuck they're talking about. Almost every single article about patents is so for wrong, calling it a straw-man argument is a joke. Let's have more articles like this on /., please.

about 2 years ago
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The True Challenges of Desktop Linux

Balial The elephant in the room (505 comments)

Why does it have to be someone else's fault? Why's it Mac OS X's fault? Or Microsoft's monopoly? Or even ABI compatibility? Where's the analysis of whether the bulk of average-joe users actually like using Linux desktops?

Seriously, it's the first explanation that needs to be looked it. Yes, many of people love their Linux desktops, and they're very vocal here on slashdot. But is there any Linux desktop that is there today, or has been, that could be loved by the masses?

I switched from Linux desktops about years ago and there's nothing about it I miss.

more than 2 years ago
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Feds Plan 'Fog of Disinformation' To Track Information Leaks

Balial I can't wait... (263 comments)

... until a misinformation document gets rolled up into a report to higher ups and the president and policy is set or action is taken based on it.

ie. what could possibly go wrong?

more than 2 years ago
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Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?

Balial Flamebait or not, the quotes article are so wrong (1134 comments)

"Just the simple task of separating two kinds of files from a single directory, 'mkdir GIF;mkdir JPG;mv *.gif ./GIF;mv *.jpg ./JPG' and I'm done -- five seconds to accomplish that. How long would it take in a pretty looking GUI?"

Create two directories; sort by file type; drag & drop * 2... done. And it'll deal with mixed case extensions. Don't get me started about Mr. "You can't do that FTP transfer in less than 8 mouse clicks". vs 32 keystrokes. I'm not sure where his maths comes from.

They also don't go into how far you are away from destroying the world with a CLI:

sudo rm -Rf ~/bin

is one keystroke from

sudo rm -Rf ~ /bin

Or just the simple case of "cp a b c/", only you eagerly hit enter before "c/" so you blow away b with no checks.

And who knows what you get when your super awesome smart shell loop isn't escaped properly on a filename with a space, quotes or apostrophe in the name.

GUI or CLI -- do whatever you like -- but don't base your choice on the "quality" of information from the types of people in this article.

about 2 years ago
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Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall

Balial Enact mandatory voting (388 comments)

In Australia getting to the polls on voting day is mandatory. You're fined otherwise. This really gets people to vote. Digital only leads to vulnerabilities.

more than 2 years ago
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Thunderbolt On Windows: Hardware and Performance Explored

Balial Re:get out the hot glue gun (177 comments)

Your security concerns are legitimate, which is why you should get a chipset with VT-D support.

more than 2 years ago
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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

Balial Re:$99 once? get over it (809 comments)

Have you actually read the article?

Yes

Not only does it require everything from boot loader to kernel to drivers have to be signed,

That's the whole point of trusted computing. It's an excellent thing.

but Microsoft can revoke permission at any time.

Revocation is critical to security.

about 2 years ago
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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

Balial $99 once? get over it (809 comments)

It's one-off fee for a commercial company. Get over it.

The real story here, though, is that they're actually taking a real stab at doing signing right and requiring a chain of trust. They're also doing it in a very cooperative open source way.

This is an excellent step for the assurances of trusted computing for their users!

more than 2 years ago
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The Patent Mafia and What You Can Do To Break It Up

Balial This idea is worse than the status quo (205 comments)

If the little guy sues he's liable for triple damages? Which is probably a drop in the ocean for the big guy? This is meant to improve the situation how?

more than 2 years ago
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Terminal Mixup Implicates TSA Agents In LAX Smuggling Plot

Balial Re:Why? Because (255 comments)

Lol... "Somalia's worse, ergo, nothing needs fixing". That's some great logic there, Lou.

In response to GP, though... it's clear the TSA's busted. What other good-for-nothing orgs are there? I'm generally of the opinion some have some actual value :)

more than 2 years ago
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NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman 911 Call

Balial Re:Why so hung up on a race? (1005 comments)

So it's perfectly acceptable for any physical confrontation to end up with a dead body, no questions asked?

It doesn't matter who started the confrontation, only one person in it had the ability to make it a deadly one.

more than 2 years ago
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NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman 911 Call

Balial Re:Why so hung up on a race? (1005 comments)

Your fixed version isn't. The victim didn't have a gun. Or a knife. Or a brick. Lethal force was not clearly necessary, and using it means you should be on trial for murder to determine if that's the case.

more than 2 years ago
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Chevy Volt To Resume Production One Week Early Following Record Sales

Balial Re:Electric Cars are a bad idea (443 comments)

You don't even need to replace it. It's already vastly more efficient.

more than 2 years ago
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NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman 911 Call

Balial Why so hung up on a race? (1005 comments)

An unarmed kid is dead because someone with a gun pursued and shot him. The ethnicity of the two parties is irrelevant. The shooter should be on trial for murder.

more than 2 years ago
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Van Rossum: Python Not Too Slow

Balial I hit a will with the garbage collection (510 comments)

I use python a lot to process large string logs (hudreds of megs or a couple of gigs). The problem is it's all super quick until the working set in the garbage collector gets too big and you fall off a performance cliff. I dunno what they're doing in there, but you easily go from a minute or two run time to half an hour to an hour because of the paging.

I'm not familiar enough with other garbage collected languages and such workloads to know if this is inherent or just a problem with the Python GC. Either way, I think it's fair to say that Python is too slow under such circumstances. I'd like to see it fixed, though, rather than abandon it :)

more than 2 years ago

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