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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Chirs and how would you discover this? (688 comments)

If you didn't already know about this, and didn't have a network connection, how would you discover this?

(And yes, the same complaint holds true for linux as well....)


Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Chirs what are you smoking? (128 comments)

Anything performance-sensitive isn't going to use emulation but rather paravirtualization or passthrough of physical devices. Current x86 virtualization is getting pretty good, with minimal hit to CPU-intensive code. As for I/O, you can pass through PCI devices in to the guest for pretty-much native networking performance.

Disk I/O still isn't as good as native, but it's good enough, and most enterprise systems are using ISCSI anyway to allow for efficient live migration.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Chirs limited resources are often an issue, even now (637 comments)

There are plenty of places where you can't just add more memory...embedded devices in particular. Your phone is limited to 2GB of RAM, and you really don't want any one app chewing it all up. Raspberry Pi, Arduino, BeagleBone, etc. are all relatively limited in terms of resources and to use them efficiently you need to be careful.

Even on really beefy virtualization hosts with a couple hundred GB of RAM, you want to be able to dedicate as much of the resources as possible to the guests, not the host management software--so you need to be able to put strict limits on how much memory the host itself will use under any circumstances.

about two weeks ago

"Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Chirs heard about vaccine on the radio (390 comments)

Apparently there are a number of vaccines being developed. None of them have reached the human trials phase, but several of them have been given to people under in emergency circumstances. The problem is that it requires an official request from the person's government as well as informed consent from the patient. According to the researcher it's hard to get either of these in the area of the current outbreak.

about three weeks ago

How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Chirs not mutually exclusive (391 comments)

A laptop is useful for lots of things, but when I really want to get some work done, I need screen real estate and a full keyboard and mouse.

My main compute is a laptop with a docking station. It has external keyboard, mouse, dual monitors (can connect via hdmi, displayport, vga, or dvi), audio, networking, etc.

The only downside to my laptop is that it maxes out at 16GB of RAM and the CPU is more limited than what you could put in a power-hungry desktop. But the peripherals are all supported.

about three weeks ago

How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Chirs hard to do real multithreading with python (391 comments)

but python is single threaded

Only if you use it that way.

CPython (the most common python interpreter) has the "global interpreter lock" which means that even if you have multiple threads only one of them can be executing python bytecode at a time.

about three weeks ago

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Chirs rent not cheaper around here (570 comments)

I'm fairly sure that my current house could *not* be rented for cheaper than my mortgage payments, and I'm making bigger payments than strictly necessary because I want to pay it down fast and minimize interest costs.

Also, around here (Canadian prairies) housing prices were pretty stable for decades. Recently they took a jump due to more demand in the market, but that's because people want to move here.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

Chirs performance (348 comments)

f it does no harm in day to day operations and offers protection when your assumptions fail, why *not* run a software firewall?

Connection tracking can be expensive. If you need that, it's going to cut into the performance of your server, so it can be beneficial to do that on a separate box.

about three weeks ago

Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Chirs it's your choice, but you might reconsider (739 comments)

I did mostly linux kernel stuff for over a decade. The vast majority of developers are quite helpful to people with little history in the community. As others have pointed out, generally this sort of stuff is aimed at people/projects that have a history of good work and then fall short of expectations.

If you submit a patch (formatted as per instructions) to the list, generally it will either get ignored (in which case you might want to contact the maintainer for that area) or else you will get some comments. Note that not eveyone's comments count equally--ultimately the subsystem maintainer is the one that will apply the change.

about three weeks ago

Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

Chirs 240V is fairly common (260 comments)

240V would be used for kitchen stove/range, clothes drier, electrical heat (air and water). Some commercial cappucino machines use 240V.

A home shop could very well use 240V for a welder and any number of power tools...lathe, jointer, planer, tablesaw, mortiser, wide belt sander, dust collector, shaper, etc.

about 1 month ago

Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

Chirs it's 240V in USA/Canada (260 comments)

In the USA/Canada typical residential setups use two conductors at 120V to ground, but the conductors are out-of-phase so there is 240V between them.

There really isn't any such thing as 110V or 230V in the USA/Canada, both of which you'll sometimes see referenced. 208V does exist, it's the difference between two legs of a 3-phase setup where each leg is at 120V to ground.

about 1 month ago

Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Chirs that's a stupid argument (390 comments)

If it were all about "even" traffic flows, then netflix could have their clients send garbage data back to balance out the flows. This would result in *more* traffic on the network overall, but hey it'd at least be balanced!

No...the traffic is there because it was *requested by verizon's subscribers*. There is no logical reason why cogent/level3 should pay extra for traffic requested by verizon. I know this is how it was done in the past, but that was under the assumption that the types of flow is more or less similar. In the case of verizon, it's mostly consuming data rather than sending it, so it shouldn't be treated as a regular peer.

about a month ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

Chirs not always self-centeredness (710 comments)

caveat: I live in Canada, your mileage may vary.

When I see a person panhandling on the street, I know full well that there are social assistance programs, welfare, employment insurance, homeless shelters, retraining programs, health care programs, etc. In many cases, they have trained professionals who will probably do a much better job than me of helping people that need help. In a sense that means that *I have already helped them* by supporting a society and government that includes these programs, and by funding them with my tax dollars. In many cases the problem is just getting people into programs that will work for them.

That said, I still help people out sometimes if I think it makes sense. Most of the time though my charitable giving goes outside the country to places with less of a social safety net.

about a month ago

Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing

Chirs would mod up if I could... (30 comments)

It seems to me that we want to simultaneously be able to prove to the voter that their vote was counted properly, while also wanting to ensure that the voter cannot prove to someone else that they voted a certain way (to prevent buying/coercing votes).

Adding to do you ensure that the person voting is who they say they are, and not another family member, care provider, guest, etc.?

about a month and a half ago

Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

Chirs Generally okay with gov't competing. (349 comments)

Again is it okay for the government to compete with private enterprise?

Others may disagree, but I think so, yes. (Assuming they compete on merits rather than legislation.)

Around here (Saskatchewan, Canada) the main telco is a government-owned and they have excellent wireless coverage in rural areas. My electricity comes from a government-owned utility, and their rates are controlled to cover costs and build infrastructure. My natural gas comes from a government-owned utility that has huge underground storage tanks all over the province so they can buy gas at low prices and store it for winter. (Important, winters are cold here.) The main vehicle insurer is government-owned with controlled rates, and of course police/fire services are government-run.

The only real complaint I have with a government-run organization is liquor stores--and that's a political issue since there's nothing stopping them from implementing a solution where I could order booze via a website and have it shipped to my house with the appropriate taxes automatically paid to the government.

about 1 month ago

It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

Chirs recumbant and enclosed (218 comments)

Being able to put feet down requires a more upright and open riding position.

Removing that requirement enables a recumbant seating position (for better aerodynamics) and a fully-enclosed cabin. Making the cabin fully-enclosed allows for better protection from weather, better soundproofing, air conditioning, etc.

about 2 months ago

It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

Chirs self balancing when stopped (218 comments)

The key to this one is that you don't need to put feet down when stopped, so it can be recumbant and fully-enclosed.

about 2 months ago

3-D Printing with Molten Steel (Video)

Chirs mostly, but not always (104 comments)

Some really intricate parts are cheaper to 3D-print than to try and cast/forge/machine traditionally. Think hollow structures with stiffening ribs or cooling channels inside, or other similarly complicated shapes. The SuperDraco rocket engine falls into this category (though of course also is a small production run).

about 2 months ago

Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

Chirs distinction between managed and unmanaged (387 comments)

With managed hosting, the provider handles support, backup/restore, etc. Typically with "the cloud" the resources are unmanaged. The end-user is responsible for all of that stuff.

I don't believe Amazon themselves offer managed services, but there are lots of other companies that will sell you managed services built on AWS.

about 2 months ago

Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

Chirs better businesses prepare for disasters (387 comments)

Nobody is saying they were legally responsible to prevent crime.

People *are* saying that they were poor businessmen who didn't plan for disasters. (What if the cloud provider failed catastrophically, or they lost all the passwords, or any number of other catastrophic events?)

about 2 months ago



skydiver to attemp record jump from 131,000 feet

Chirs Chirs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Chirs (87576) writes "Former 64-yr old french paratrooper Michel Fournier is attempting to break multiple world records by jumping out of a helium balloon at 40 kilometers (131,000 feet) altitude. They anticipate that he will break the sound barrier on the way down, taking 15 minutes to fall and reaching speed of over 1500km/hr.

The big concern at the moment is the wind. Anything over 10km/hr will cause problems getting the massive balloon inflated. The previous attempt failed when the baloon was destroyed by wind while still on the ground.

Some links: CNN Canadian Press"


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