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Why Robot Trucks Could Be Headed To Afghanistan (And Everywhere Else)

Iskender Download Comments While You Can! (135 comments)

Hello, everyone.

Now is the time: if you have some comment/thread you really like, accesible through search or bookmark, then you should

SAVE THE POST OR THREAD!

With the direction things are going, they may very well disable linking to posts. We may lose the Slashdot archive!

There's no way to back it all up, but we *can* preserve the gems. So, save the good stuff so it won't disappear!

about 7 months ago
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Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

Iskender Re:I'm sorry I'm an idiot (204 comments)

Thanks for the info. I'll do some more specific research on video tearing before the next big X11/Wayland fight. =)

One hypothesis could be that it works on your system because some coder put in a heroic effort, and the video is rendered by some ugly mess which bypasses as much of X11 as possible, and cannot be consistently implemented (yes, pure guesswork). Point being: the solution could be a bigger nightmare than the problem, maintenance-wise.

about 7 months ago
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Dried Meat "Resurrects" Lost Species of Whale

Iskender Re:"poorly surveyed"? Sounds like us... (87 comments)

Well, it's not as big as it used to be, especially not as a percentage of the largest ones.

Of course that still means a lot of users, but in today's capitalism it's probably an obvious gamble to try to make it "even larger", even while risking a complete meltdown.

about 7 months ago
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CowboyNeal Locked In Basement For Opposing Slashdot Beta

Iskender Re:AltSlashdot is coming (23 comments)

I just want to add one more voice to the pile:

1. Great job. Looking forward to seeing what happens. It will be interesting to see!

BUT

2. Get rid of the trademark-infringing name. Maybe keep the "slash" part in the name, maybe not. In any case, your current domains will get you in trouble if you do anything real with them.

All that being said, I'm personally warming to frostyhotgrits.org. OMGPONIES.ORG is also pretty great!

about 7 months ago
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CowboyNeal Locked In Basement For Opposing Slashdot Beta

Iskender Re:AltSlashdot is coming (23 comments)

As someone else said, we just start over. You get what you get.

I realise this is easier for me to say - my UID is almost double the length of yours. OTOH we'll get a new gold rush - if there is a new Slashdot (or several), people will have a new chance at getting a low ID.

In any case, it'll be really interesting. If there's a new Slashdot, I'm looking forward to the troll posts.

about 7 months ago
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Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

Iskender Re:I'm sorry I'm an idiot (204 comments)

Second, nobody's arguing for "one size fits all". X11 proponents who point out that Wayland will not be as functional as X11 are pointing out that there are things we use that X11 has that Wayland will ditch.

I'm pretty sure someone does argue for that! Or I at least hope so (tell me if we've read my "fits all" line differently!).

I get the impression you like X11 (to the point of labelling supporters of something else "anti-X11"). X11 currently works for some, doesn't work for others.

The way I see it, X11 has to work for everyone, or be replaced for many sets of users. Currently some users are having problems with running a modern desktop because of it. The only options for a smoother experience are closed source operating systems. Basically, unless X11 can work for everyone, people will create an OSS option.

I have a hard time being convinced by your idea of one-to-one feature replacement. It would basically mean copying a system which is originally from 1984. Even with a rewrite, it's still "keep everything and add more on top". When has including as many old features as possible ever made a project work better? The difference between your optimism here and your pessimism about Wayland's actual code development is pretty stark. In reality, we do not yet know what the result will be.

There comes a point where the different desired features cannot be reconciled: it's probably possible to code a network transparent 4K video display system in principle. However, in practice it will just output junk, even with tomorrow's networks.

about 7 months ago
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Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

Iskender Re:I'm sorry I'm an idiot (204 comments)

So.. WTF is tearing????? And why do I have to lose my network transparency to get rid of it?????

Tearing is when video doesn't look like one picture seamlessly replacing the previous one. It's most obvious when vertical lines are moving horizontally in video: the vertical lines will seem to "dance", with different parts of them moving at visibly different speed (they tremble a bit). It's a problem caused by the horisontal lines of the images being out of synch. Even when it isn't specifically visible, it will make video seem more choppy. It's not bad enough to bother everyone.

I can't give the specific code reason for this: I'm not a coder. However, as I understand it, this problem is tricky or impossible to solve consistently under X11, simply due to complexity and it not being built for showing high-resolution video.

Also supposedly, network transparency puts a lot of demands on the server, so implementing that and modern graphics in the same package is not easy. I don't really know why Wayland lacks integrated network transparency, though. Could be that they just decided to omit it for all I know.

about 7 months ago
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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

Iskender Re:Classic Slashdot (463 comments)

Don't forget Greased Yoda if you do. Slashdot Beta deserves it.

about 7 months ago
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Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

Iskender Re:I'm sorry I'm an idiot (204 comments)

Pretty much anyone who's over the age of 30 who's been involved in software development for any substantial period of time knows that Wayland isn't going to solve it, and that in five years it'll be just as hacky and ugly as X11 is perceived to be - with the added bonus that it won't be anything like as powerful (because by design it won't - I'm serious, they're removing most of X11's core feature set, including the network transparency.)

I think they've realised something that a lot of X11 proponents haven't: that a one-size-fits-all solution won't work anymore.

I'm a desktop Linux user. I am not a sysadmin, and never will be. I have not used network transparency and likely never will.

I use fullscreen video daily, on the other hand. It has tearing. Switching from Ubuntu on a good desktop to Windows on a sucky netbook feels like an improvement video-wise, and that's not how it should be.

The people who have the most to lose from a switch to Wayland are the same people that have the power to choose their own display server. The ones who can't make the switch manually are the same people who will gain from it, on the other hand.

Looking at things from my perspective, I'm glad people are working on a better desktop experience. If anyone wonders why they're ignoring your network transparency...well, that's what a lot of people are doing about better video. There are two camps, and neither has a solution that works for both.

about 7 months ago
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India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

Iskender Re:corruption, NOT science (253 comments)

You're basically saying that India is corrupt, so a new project has to be literally all about corruption.

You support this idea by basically saying that the US will always be the first to do any beneficial thing, even when the return isn't great.

If you're trolling, you're not doing an entertaining enough job of it.

about 7 months ago
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India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

Iskender Re:Here's how it compares to 4 nuclear plants... (253 comments)

Wind and solar look great if you compare nameplate capacity and ignore the variability. In reality though, getting useful power out of them is pure fantasy unless you have pumped hydro available nearby, and even then it is not competitive.

In reality, there are electricity users that are just fine with following a schedule. You seem to assume that the default everywhere is factories running constantly.

If there's a plant nearby which generates electricity out of thin air, you can bet people will find a use for it. I find the idea of electricity produced during the workday being useless pretty surprising - how could someone *not* find a use for it?

about 7 months ago
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Weird Asteroid Itokawa Has a Dual Personality

Iskender Re:NO! (61 comments)

It could look like anything for all I care, if it *worked*.

But the beta is a huge discussion functionality downgrade. Might as well read comments on Ars Technica to get that masochist interface kick...

about 7 months ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

Iskender Re:Nice subjectivity (628 comments)

Not a biased piece at all. Never would have thought so with ''slaughter'' in the headline /s

Without commenting on the bias, what word should they use? (I'm assuming that's /sarcasm at the end there)

The dolphins will be killed for meat. The word for killing animals for food is "slaughter". In fact, using that word makes it very clear that they are just animals: the reason it's a strong word when used about human violence is that its meaning then becomes "killed like mere animals".

about 8 months ago
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Telescope Designer and Astronomer John Dobson, 1915-2014

Iskender Re:Legend (57 comments)

That story sounds totally believable to me. I used Ganymede as a focusing aid yesterday (mirrorless camera, overwhelmed by Jupiter's brightness). If I can use a planet-sized moon as a focusing aid, I have no problem believing that a guy like that used a bird's eye for telescope testing. : )

about 8 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Iskender Re:Prison lighting (767 comments)

I *did* start my day by putting words in your mouth. I'm sorry about that.

I stand by what I said about calling either technology "horrible" though. Although we seen to agree more or less on that...

about 7 months ago
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The Role of Freeloaders In Open Source Communities

Iskender Re:No, they're still bringing value to the project (120 comments)

If people (or more likely corporations) are ideologically opposed to contributing back to the communtiy because they dont want to mix "their valuable IP" with the communities IP then are a dead weight to us.

And yet even there they are doing something good by using it. This is especially true of FOSS frameworks, libraries, etc. The more jobs that use them, the more value knowing the work becomes and that means you attract more potential contributors. Besides, at some point you run into situations like when Microsoft decided to add intellisense support to jQuery and build solid support into Visual Studio. Then a lot of these people suddenly stiffen up when a company with that clout decides to throw in some of its IP lot with the project.

I agree 100%: just look at Photoshop. Imagine where it would be today had Adobe somehow managed to eliminate all piracy. The answer is, probably in pro use, like it is now. But normal people would have needed something else, and that would have been a competitor. It could even have meant normal people using GIMP more. Who knows, maybe it could have been a blessing for GIMP, leading to more contributors, more pro-level features...

A big userbase makes software stronger. Who cares if some user has the wrong ideology, if he's using your software? Only those who break the license are a problem.

about 7 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Iskender Re:Prison lighting (767 comments)

They are horrible and yet their fanboys will mob you and rip you limb from limb in a heartbeat if you question their absolute superiority for any and all applications.

Shocked? Authoritarianism is deeply engrained in human psychology. This is sad but it's not shocking.

Nice, the situation is completely black-and-white, isn't it? Anyone disagreeing with you is a violent fanboy, are they?

You're doing the same thing as those supposed fanboys with your blanket dismissal. Neither technology is horrible. Incandescents are really inefficient, whereas CFLs are more toxic and fragile.

If you want to get a lot of light for little power (or just a lot of light), incandescents can't beat CFLs. If you need a continuous spectrum, then incandescents can't be beat.

A correctly-installed CFL will save a lot of money compared to an incandescent, and avoid the hassle of changing bulbs constantly. Airtight, hot fixtures will cause problems, on the other hand, and you can't use CFLs in an oven of course.

Both technologies have many strengths and weaknesses: there's no reason to pretend otherwise.

about 8 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Iskender Re:Prison lighting (767 comments)

You're really upset about the mercury in conventional fluorescents too, right?

about 8 months ago

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