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Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?

FlyingBishop Re:really?? (1134 comments)

False. If it's supported by CLI, any user can script it and build a GUI easy, suddenly you don't need to type any commands on the CLI.

Conversely, if it's only supported by a GUI, we're in a really shitty state. If that feature is a complete waste of time and should be automated, we have to spend hours looking for ways to hack the internals rather than just use the great and oldest API.

more than 2 years ago
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Philosopher Patrick Lin On the Ethics of Military Robotics

FlyingBishop Re:Asimov naive? I don't think so. (146 comments)

I don't really think that is really an accurate description either. Rather, in Asimov's view autonomous robots would be completely uncontrollable without something like the three laws, and that even with the three laws there was still considerable danger to the operators.

Asimov's view was that if you tell a robot it can kill people, it's going to figure out a way to twist that into an order to kill you. You don't fuck around with telling robots to hurt people, it's just too dangerous due to the unintended consequences. You need to make sure that the robot is starting from purely altruistic intentions. I don't think it was a simple plot device, but a very considered belief.

about 3 years ago
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Sony, Universal and Fox Caught Pirating Through BitTorrent

FlyingBishop Re:So they are uploading the movie? (284 comments)

It's not though. If they really sent a blanket threat to 10,000 people on the basis of one IP address, they are probably liable for significant damages in a class-action suit.

about 3 years ago
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US Air Force Pays SETI To Check Kepler-22b For Alien Life

FlyingBishop Re:Military the first one, huh? (301 comments)

Yes, of course, then the British and Swedish forces will eventually give up and go home when they realize it's a war that can't be won.

about 3 years ago
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Is the Time Finally Right For Hybrid Hard Drives?

FlyingBishop Re:It'd better happen quick then (311 comments)

I would expect that not only would a hybrid drive have that problem, but you wouldn't be able to recover because it's hard-wired to pretend it's a single disk and you can't just fall back to using it as two separate disks if the controller that does the caching has a failure.

about 3 years ago
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Dennis Ritchie, Creator of C Programming Language, Passed Away

FlyingBishop Re:And no patents (725 comments)

Had he been a patent hound, other people would have received the support he received, and he would be a nobody.

more than 3 years ago
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Eben Upton Talks About the Raspberry Pi USB Computer

FlyingBishop Re:Mini Server? (82 comments)

Half the cost of the RT-N16 is presumably the WiFi. And that's what I buy them for.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Bill Gates the Cure For What Ails Microsoft?

FlyingBishop Re:Dear Steve Ballmer (337 comments)

The funny thing is, Apple's products that compete with Microsoft's core products are shit. Have you ever tried to use OS X Server? It's impossible to administer well. Windows Server 2008 R2 is a fine system by comparison.

Apple flat out gave up on XServe, and what's more they've basically done the same with Office. Microsoft, in contrast, is still very much in the game when it comes to everything Apple and Google are doing.

more than 3 years ago
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The Insidious Creep of Latency Hell

FlyingBishop Re:The new slashdot interface (297 comments)

Whatever they did recently made it bearable. (Though yes, I had a good two years where Slashdot was unbearable to use.)

more than 3 years ago
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Asus EeePad Transformer Gets a Thumbs-Up

FlyingBishop Re:The price is pretty reasonable. (160 comments)

Personally, I just want a notebook I can write stuff in that I don't have to worry about charging. You may be surprised to learn that some people like to write.

This is the first product that actually sounds like it could be that device.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

FlyingBishop Re:In my corporate environment.... (1307 comments)

Exactly backwards. IT already has access to all patient info since, I hope, it's being backed up.

Not at all. I haven't personally worked with such systems, but my understanding is that in modern heathcare systems, everything is encrypted with multi-factor authentication, and all IT has access to is encrypted snapshots. If the professor was working on some sort of research that was ongoing and needed a system, I could see making the decision that it was just a prototype, and the best way to keep it relatively secure for a few months of the project was just not to give anyone but a few tech-savvy medical people the keys (and not back it up.)

This obviously isn't such a case, but the fact remains that if IT has access to all patient info, you're not HIPPA compliant.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

FlyingBishop Re:In my corporate environment.... (1307 comments)

Sounds like poster is a professor. Probably with tenure. In any case, professors in technical fields need wide latitude in setting up computers to do their jobs.

That said, this doesn't sound like research, this sounds like something simple that IT should be taking care of. (Of course, that's not to say IT should be forced to implement it, they have their own priorities, etc.)

Only way poster has a leg to stand on is if this thing somehow touches patient info. Then I can see an argument for keeping IT out.

more than 3 years ago
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Motorola Adopting 3 Laws of Robotics For Android?

FlyingBishop Re:Stupid (178 comments)

The point though was that the specific ordering of the laws was the most stable form. The one presented by Motorola here is supposed to be flawed because when the android is allowed to place its own safety above obeying the human, it is easier for it to do things that have unintended consequences. It's also suggested that the robots can subconsciously disobey the three laws, especially by pretending not to see unintended consequences.

more than 3 years ago
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Motorola Adopting 3 Laws of Robotics For Android?

FlyingBishop Re:The Zeroth Law (178 comments)

That's the "protect itself" part. Rated higher, of course, than obey the user.

more than 3 years ago
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Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin

FlyingBishop Re:We don't use sudo? (592 comments)

ls, cat, grep, sed, free, etc.

If you're not using these 3 times as much as you're doing active things, I don't know how you know what's going on.

Sure, you occasionally run into the odd file that's only readable to root, but mostly you can see things well enough without touching anything before you decide what needs to be done. Then you say sudo just so you're clear about what you're doing.

more than 3 years ago
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Malaysia Releases Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

FlyingBishop Re:Need a GM to alter FEMALE mosquito's lifespan (140 comments)

But we don't want the males to have a shortened lifespan. We want the females to have a shortened lifespan, while the males live long and productive sex lives. That allows the number of bad genes in the population to grow until there are almost no females left.

more than 3 years ago
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SourceForge Down After Attack [Updated]

FlyingBishop Re:possible explanation (143 comments)

I'm going to feel a lot less sheepish about my desire to fork any project I find on Sourceforge and throw it up on Github after this.

more than 3 years ago
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Android Text Messages Intermittently Going Astray

FlyingBishop Re:This is fucking hilarious. (325 comments)

It's not reproducible. Even the reporter can't reproduce it. No shit it's not fixed.

more than 3 years ago
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Cyberwarrior Shortage Threatens US Security

FlyingBishop Re:Stupid tags (394 comments)

I think they moved it to the Firehose so you have to put in a little effort if you want to tag a story (presumably to cut down on tags like cyberwarfareisbullshit)

more than 4 years ago
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Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain

FlyingBishop Re:Genius (250 comments)

What's the point of a single-use patch? I had a tetanus shot the other day, and needles are so thin now, I literally felt nothing.

Now, once the shot took the spot on my arm was sore for a few days, but the needle was absolutely painless.

This just seems like a less controlled and more expensive way to do the same thing.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Building a truly Rugged laptop.

FlyingBishop FlyingBishop writes  |  more than 4 years ago

FlyingBishop (1293238) writes "With the recent onslaught of cheaper and cheaper netbooks, laptops with long battery life are becoming more and more prevalent. However, netbooks still don't have quite the durability to take on a long hiking trip where one's only need is a notetaking mechanism, and possibly a few programming environments should you need to do some coding in the wilderness. Unfortunately, the supposedly more rugged machines, being larger, naturally come with larger CPUs, which means their battery life is laughable by comparison. Making things worse, they aren't all that rugged.

So, I'm looking to embark on a journey to create a truly rugged machine: more battery than CPU, a full-sized keyboard, and a nice, shock-resistant chassis. Well, I'll focus on the first two to start with. The BeagleBoard seems like a natural place to start for this project, with a generic keyboard as the input. After that, the water gets a little more muddy. Screen size doesn't need to be huge, just enough to comfortably view a paragraph or two. It doesn't even need to be color — though finding a black and white display to interface with the BeagleBoard seems like a difficult task. There are plenty of smaller USB monitors available, but they're somewhat light on power usage specs.

So, I'm building a portable computer that hopefully will run at the bare minimum Vi/Emacs/Nano on top of Linux. Wireless would be nice, but at its core I'm looking to build the anti-netbook. Typewriter and number cruncher. Any suggestions on what sort of hardware to use?"
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Hardening Windows XP

FlyingBishop FlyingBishop writes  |  more than 5 years ago

FlyingBishop (1293238) writes "I was recently in Latin America, and came across a number of cyber cafes with less than ideal patching. On the one hand, it puts me a little bit at ease — at least I know the management isn't intelligent enough to snoop my passwords. On the other hand, I feel something of a civic duty to bring them up to scratch. If you decide to take the plunge and insist that they patch, what do you want to have on hand? Obviously, if the computer is in the hands of the sort of people that leave things unupgraded for that long, you won't be able to truly 'harden' it — but what's the absolute minimum set of packages you want to install to get the box up to a reasonable level of security? Do you just hand them an SP3 install disc and be done with it, or is there anything else you could put on that disc? SP3 is only 340 mb, that leaves 360 mb for a whole host of programs that could help keep the cafe from turning into a botnet. What would you put there?"
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Google allows abortion advertisements

FlyingBishop FlyingBishop writes  |  more than 6 years ago

FlyingBishop (1293238) writes "In a recent out of court settlement, anti-abortion groups got Google to allow them to pay for ads on the keyword 'abortion.' The case has been going on for five months, centering around Google's refusal to allow advertisements that mix 'abortion and religion-related content.'

Google's new policy relaxes that requirement somewhat, requiring only that the advertisement be "factual."

I can't say I'd be horribly disappointed if anti-abortion groups were left off the search results on Google. Still : do we really want Google to have this kind of control over what we read?"

Link to Original Source
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Old games offered DRM-free

FlyingBishop FlyingBishop writes  |  more than 6 years ago

FlyingBishop (1293238) writes "A site called Good old Games is slated to begin releasing a variety of older games, completely free of DRM and tested for XP and Vista compatibility. I guess wine testing would be too much to ask, but then, complete lack of DRM more than makes up for it. Shack News has an article primarily grilling GoG over their lack of DRM.

EA and LucasArts (and I'm certain this will surprise many of you) have yet to allow any of their games to be offered."

Link to Original Source
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US Emulates Chinese Brainwashing Techniques

FlyingBishop FlyingBishop writes  |  more than 6 years ago

FlyingBishop (1293238) writes "In a strange twist, parts of US interrogation methods used appear to have originated with a paper, Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From the Air Force Prisoners of War . Written during the Korean war, the paper was generally considered an example of why China should not be emulated. Apparently the paper was stripped down to a simple list of interrogation methods, then included in US training.

You can read the the New York Times article here."

Link to Original Source
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Spanish P2P developer sued for €13 milli

FlyingBishop FlyingBishop writes  |  more than 6 years ago

FlyingBishop (1293238) writes "Spanish music conglomerate Promusicae (judging from my limited Spanish skills combined with Google translator the RIAA's Spanish cousin) is suing Pablo Soto for 13 million euros for distributing (and selling) the program Manolito P2P. The arguments appear to be the same as those constantly hashed out on this side of the pond for several years: Soto cites the numerous legitimate uses of his software, including the distribution of 'copyleft' material. Promusicae accuses him of deliberately promoting and profiting from piracy.

Despite his claimed support of free (as in speech and beer) media, it's a little difficult to muster sympathy for a man who charges $15 for a special 'premium' version of his software. Information wants to be free. Unless it happens to be my information, of course."

Link to Original Source

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