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Norwegian Infectious Disease Specialists Have New Theory On HIV In Africa

Kelerei Even if correlation != causation, it's plausible. (118 comments)

As someone who grew up in KZN, I find the correlation interesting. Bilharzia is a significant issue (don't even think about swimming in the rivers unless you're in the Drakensberg mountains -- particularly in northern KZN where one also has the possibility of crocodiles deciding that you'll be a tasty morsel), and KZN is also the province with South Africa's highest HIV infection rate. Obviously, the correlation does not imply causation, but from the information presented in TFA, it's certainly plausible and, in my opinion, worth researching further.

I'm going to back those that have already posted that it's worth treating bilharzia in it's own right. If it contributes to a reduction in the HIV infection rate, so much the better.

about 7 months ago

Average latency to Slashdot.org?

Kelerei Cape Town: 254ms (558 comments)

Ping averages:

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 253ms, Maximum = 259ms, Average = 254ms

Traceroute (route goes from Cape Town to London and thence across the "pond"):

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms
2 9 ms 9 ms 9 ms 196-210-170-129.dynamic.isadsl.co.za []
3 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms cdsl1-ctn-vl2173.ip.isnet.net []
4 10 ms 11 ms 11 ms
5 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms core2b-ctn-gi0-1.ip.isnet.net []
6 163 ms 163 ms 162 ms
7 161 ms 162 ms 207 ms
8 161 ms 161 ms 161 ms vl-3602-ve-226.csw2.London1.Level3.net []
9 192 ms 221 ms 203 ms ae-22-52.car2.London1.Level3.net []
10 161 ms 162 ms 161 ms bcr1-ge-6-1-0.londonlnx.savvis.net []
11 167 ms 162 ms 162 ms cr1-te-0-0-5-0.uk1.savvis.net []
12 254 ms 254 ms 253 ms cr1-te-0-6-0-0.chd.savvis.net []
13 254 ms 254 ms 253 ms hr1-te-12-0-1.elkgrovech3.savvis.net []
14 254 ms 254 ms 254 ms das5-v3030.ch3.savvis.net []
15 257 ms 254 ms 266 ms
16 254 ms 254 ms 254 ms slashdot.org []

about a year and a half ago

Repo Man Director Alex Cox Plans To Edit Next Film With OpenShot

Kelerei Did anyone else... (105 comments)

... read it as "Repo Man" Alan Cox, before doing a double-take?

I need to get out more.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

Kelerei Re:It works both ways... (572 comments)

I will bet there are many people within M$ who disagree with the "Always On" requirement, and this is ammunition for their counter-argument. If it wasn't for this twitter-gaff, you might see Always-On, but because it happened, we will probably see this requirement removed.

In an ideal world, this would happen. Sadly, the world we live in is far from ideal, and, if past history with Microsoft is anything to go by, their stance will be a "my way or the highway" one. I have no doubt that there are indeed people within Microsoft who disagree with "always on", but I have serious doubts as to whether their counter-argument will be listened to, or even heard.

If one is looking for an example, the Metro interface (or whatever its official name is) in Windows 8 is a perfectly good one. User feedback regarding Metro was generally negative; Microsoft had a "suck it up" attitude and rammed it down our throats anyway, and one need only see how Windows 8 is shunned in these parts to see how that turned out. (Personal opinion: Microsoft really missed the boat with the Metro interface. They had a really nice idea, but the execution of said idea leaves a lot to be desired.)

The thing is: users are becoming more aware and more vocal regarding what they perceive as abuse of their freedoms, and alternatives to Microsoft and their products are far more viable to those who relied on the Microsoft ecosystem than they were in times gone by -- so Microsoft users, when faced with that "my way or the highway" stance, are now far more likely to take the latter where they would have previously taken the former. If anything, Microsoft seems to be making the same mistakes as the previous "Evil Empire" (IBM): unable and/or unwilling to react to shifts in the market until it becomes too late. They won't disappear entirely, but if they continue down the path they seem to be taking, they could well be a niche option in the not too distant future.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

Kelerei Re:It works both ways... (572 comments)

Replying to self: given the responses that were posted inbetween me reading the original article and getting my parent post in, substitute "quite possibly" with "most definitely".

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

Kelerei It works both ways... (572 comments)

To turn the article title around: "Gaming Console Users 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Requirements". And based on the SimCity launch (there's been other examples, but this one is, in my opinion, the proverbial straw breaking the camel's back), this has been the reality for a long time.

Adam Orth has quite possibly done a fair bit of irreversible damage for the next-gen XBox's prospects.

about a year and a half ago

How That 'Extra .9%' Could Ward Off a Zombie Apocalypse

Kelerei Re:Poor judgement in TFA (204 comments)

Even poorer judgment, in fact, as his probability calculation relies on an actual rate of infection of 1 in 500. For such a highly contagious disease the rate of infection will grow (well, duh!) So if 1 in 500 gives about 83% false positives, when the infection rate reaches 1 in 50 the false positive chance drops to 33% and for 1 in 5 to 4%.

That said, one could argue that then the infection rate reaches those levels, it would be too late for the cure.

In fact, it may be able to prove (or disprove) this with the equations of motion that we learned back in elementary physics (here's a refresher if you've forgotten them). Substitute velocity with rate of infection, acceleration with how the rate of infection grows, and displacement with number of people infected (obviously, time stays as is), and you'd have a pretty decent starting point. Now, we just need to get Randall Munroe on this.

(Disclaimer: the "too late for cure" statement above obviously excludes Will Smith.)

about a year and a half ago

Egyptian Forces Capture 3 Divers Trying To Cut Undersea Internet Cable

Kelerei Collateral damage (166 comments)

The East African SEACOM cable has been having outages lately; they posted an outage notification due to a cable break off the Egyptian coast at 08:40 UTC yesterday (March 27th, 2013). Of course, this has been having knock-on effects: for instance, many South African ISPs use this cable as their primary international link, and have had to fall over to secondary links resulting in significant service degradation.

Co-incidence? Perhaps, perhaps not...

about a year and a half ago

Decade Old KDE Bug Fixed

Kelerei Déjà vu... (129 comments)

...Slashdot reported on a 25 year old BSD bug being resolved back in May 2008.

And these are just the ones we know about -- there may be yet older bugs (particularly in proprietary, closed-source systems, where the source cannot be reviewed by the general community).

about 2 years ago

What To Do After You Fire a Bad Sysadmin Or Developer

Kelerei Re:Been down this path... (245 comments)

Thing is, it was a small, young company still figuring out what the best practices were to follow. When I had started there, things were extremely ad-hoc: there was pretty much no process at all (not too dissimilar from this, actually!), and I knew pretty much nothing when I started. Towards the end of my stay, I had pretty much taught myself concepts such as proper source control, process models and that kind of thing, and was trying to get things implemented (despite resistance from the "greybeards"). At the time when all this was going on, things were moving in the right direction, but the whole system was still far from perfect. It's likely been sorted out since.

Like I said, sometimes it's necessary to learn the hard way.

more than 2 years ago

What To Do After You Fire a Bad Sysadmin Or Developer

Kelerei Been down this path... (245 comments)

One of my previous employers, a while back, employed an individual who I will henceforth refer to as the Office Freak From Hell (it had various freaky habits: no personal hygiene, odd behavioural patterns, that kind of thing). I kind of ignored it at first (except to avoid it as much as possible), until it was moved over to my team. It didn't take me long to realise how useless it was -- his code was often delivered late, and was always of a poor quality (example: using strings as every variable type -- really, what the FUCK?). Between my manager and myself, we tried to mentor him, correct him and all of that -- we couldn't fire him straight away as South Africa has really fucking stupid labour laws which makes firing a tedious and difficult process at best (and you'd better not slip up, otherwise the fucktard can successfully sue for damages and the old position back). Meanwhile, I was searching for alternative employment (although mainly because software development in Durban is a dead-end industry, the OFFH was a major contributing factor), received an offer that I couldn't refuse from a company in Cape Town, and put in my resignation. I still had to work a calendar month's notice period though (Americans, things work differently over here!).

That's when things got interesting.

My manager and I started the process of handing over all my projects -- most to the rest of my team, but a few went to the OFFH. It didn't take long for the OFFH to piss off one of my soon to be ex-clients to the extent where top level management got involved, the OFFH was finally pulled into a disciplinary hearing (wasn't fired, but received a final written warning), and I had to step back in and clean out the mess. The next day, the OFFH put in for leave on the Friday coming up, went away... and never came back. It was formally dismissed for absconding shortly afterwards.

That's when we found what was really going on. To summarise:

  • - The code that would be pushed through to production was often not the same code checked into the source code repository, and the production code was riddled with security holes, backdoors, and that kind of thing. (Since I used the code in the repos for code review purposes, I never picked this up.) A few months after I'd worked my notice period and left, I heard that they ended up writing new, parallel systems and chucking everything he'd worked on, while doing their best to maintain it until the parallel system was complete. (Side note: I left on friendly terms, and I still keep in contact with those guys.)
  • - When we went to try to get source code from his machine (see point above regarding the source repos), we discovered a whole lot of background services constantly maxxing out the CPU. We never found out exactly what they did, but given other discoveries, this pretty much resulted in the network team dropping everything and performing a full security audit of absolutely everything.
  • - He would often tag in after hours and during weekends. I remain convinced that he was up to absolutely no good during this time, particularly as I am in possession of an IRC log detailing an intrusion he was involved with on the South African XBox 360 fansite around mid-2009.

So, while we thought we were dealing with mere incompetence, in truth, the OFFH was a malevolent fucktard.

All of us involved has learned our lessons -- personally, I'm far more security conscious, and the folks I worked with are far stricter regarding who they hire, development practices and policies, and that kind of thing. As for the OFFH, it seems to have vanished into thin air...

more than 2 years ago

Will EU Regulations Effectively Ban High-End Video Cards?

Kelerei Re:Just ship with a low-draw driver (303 comments)

... gamers will just need to order their cards from outside the EU.

This assumes that customs won't seize graphics cards in violation of the new regulations. Of course, none of us knows whether or not this may happen, but it's a scenario worth keeping in mind.

more than 2 years ago

World of Warcraft Character Becomes Campaign Issue

Kelerei Re:And thus... (381 comments)

There's every chance that the Burning Legion is binding their time, waiting to come back. They're still out there: we merely prevented Kil'jaeden from getting summoned into Azeroth at the Sunwell, and of course, we're yet to go face to face with Sargeras. From reading the lore on both of those characters, they are certainly not happy with being on the losing side back in Outland, and I suspect that the time is coming when we'll be facing their full wrath.

Perhaps this is what Wrathion is hinting at...

more than 2 years ago

World of Warcraft Character Becomes Campaign Issue

Kelerei Re:I bet.. (381 comments)

I can't imagine hiring someone dumb enough to list WOW on a resume. (Hint: employers want to hire people who want to WORK.)

Coming from the perspective of an officer of a large guild and raid leader, I can. This is going to come across as a personal anecdote, but what the heck.

Let's take your average raid team. This is a group of folks playing different classes, different specs, having different roles, playing the game their own way. I have to bring them all together and co-ordinate their efforts in order to defeat the raid encounters. For all of us, that's some serious teamwork right there. For me, it's a test of my own leadership abilities: giving the correct strategy to defeat the encounters, being able to identify any problems (such as "OK, we hit enrage on Zon'ozz because ranged was standing too far away from the boss, and the ping-pong ball was taking too long to travel. If you guys stand closer, that may buy us the time we need" -- and next pull, they did that and we got our first heroic kill), and having the ability to see the bigger picture. (In my case, being INTJ helps... :)

Now, these are all skills that one could bring into the workplace, and indeed into real life. Sadly, the masses out there think that gaming is a real waste of time, induces psychopathic tendencies in people -- we see this brought up all the time whenever some random kid goes on the rampage and shoots/blows up a whole lot of people. And this isn't restricted to World of Warcraft only; we've seen Doom blamed for Columbine, we've seen Call of Duty shouldering blame for last year's Norway attacks (Breivik did admit to use the game as "target-simulation", but here I'd argue that if he were to do that, there's a more fundamental psychiatric issue in there)... it's a rather lengthy list. What a lot of people don't realise is the positive effects that gaming could have. Member of a raid team? The guy knows the importance and value of teamwork. Raid/guild leader? He knows how to lead, and the burden of doing so. (In my case, being unexpectedly thrust into the raid leader role after the established guard suddenly quit the game in favour of SW:TOR has, over the last few months, taught me that I have leadership abilities that I previously never realised I had.) That's just some examples from one game; there's bound to be plenty more from others.

That being said, if you're going to put this kind of thing forward to prospective employers, know your prospective employer. If your employer understands this kind of thing (mine does: we're a fairly large and well-respected ISP in our part of the world), they'll be far more receptive to this kind of thing (a lot of folks play World of Warcraft here, including my direct manager). If your prospective employer doesn't (let's say a large financial institution), then that's probably going to count against you, for reasons I've put forward above.

At the end of the day, what one does outside of the workplace is totally up to them (obviously, so long as it doesn't negatively affect what they actually do in the workplace!). As one of the other people who have replied to this post says: "there's nothing wrong with having hobbies". We're not all mindless drones; we all have a need to get out there and enjoy ourselves. If we get enjoyment from hacking on the Linux kernel, from socialising with friends, from playing games... so be it.

more than 2 years ago

World of Warcraft Character Becomes Campaign Issue

Kelerei Re:And thus... (381 comments)

I mean, who the hell can still support Garrosh Hellscream?

This may come as a bit of a surprise to some hardcore Alliance faithful, but there's quite a few Horde players who share that sentiment. I've seen on some realms that, when the Alliance decides to do a raid on Orgrimmar, some person will put up a warning in trade chat, followed by most of the rest of /2 replying with some or other variant of "So? Just clear a path from Grommash Hold to the main gate. Hopefully, this time we'll get lucky and the bastard won't respawn."

more than 2 years ago

Apple Acknowledges iPhone 5 Camera Flaw

Kelerei Re:Copy THAT, Samsung! (472 comments)

Besides. It is a feature not a bug.

Major bugs have little bugs, which, being fixed, can cause 'em.
And little bugs from tiny bugs, and on it goes ad nauseam.
The bigger bugs themselves can be pernicious, tangled creatures;
So suck it up and ship the phone and we'll just call them "features".

more than 2 years ago

Stubborn Intel Graphics Bug Haunts Ubuntu 12.04

Kelerei Re:What they are actually reporting an Issue. (320 comments)

I have been reporting that problem for a while, but they just assume that I am an idiot who just doesn't know how to use a computer.

I'm guessing that, in their eyes, you didn't ask your question in the proper form.

(I don't necessarily agree with all of ESR's points myself, but his essay is kind of like a creed that the OSS Folks That Matter religiously follow -- so, like it or not, you have to follow it too.)

more than 2 years ago

Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

Kelerei Problem: DirectX lock-in (880 comments)

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that Valve will face won't be porting Steam itself over to Linux, but porting the library of games over.

While I don't know what the actual facts and figures are, I think that it's a fairly safe bet that most of the games on there will have been coded around Microsoft's DirectX graphics API, making the games themselves Windows-only. Yes, they can be rewritten to use OpenGL instead, but this would require substantial effort -- Valve would have the resources to do this with their own titles, but some of the other publishers on Steam may be of the opinion that it's not worth the effort.

This is as close to a perfect example as one can get as to why vendor lock-in is a bad thing. Arguably, the DirectX lock-in is probably why gaming on OS X hasn't really taken off either.

Still, this move by Valve could well be the snowball that sets off the avalanche...

more than 2 years ago

Japanese Researchers Transmit 3Gbps Using Terahertz Frequencies

Kelerei Re:Hmmm... (134 comments)

Walls are dense? Where?

The average wall is two half inch think drywall sheets and air. External walls have insulation, but that stuff is designed not to be very dense. Studs are dense, but they are only every 16 or so inches.

Perhaps in your part of the world, the average wall is like that -- but that doesn't mean that that's applicable throughout the rest of the world. Over here (Cape Town), stuff generally gets built with bricks, and the walls of my apartment are of sufficient thickness that my Desire HD has an extremely hard time picking up the wireless signal from an adjacent room.

more than 2 years ago

Congress Wants To Resurrect Laser-Wielding 747

Kelerei Quick question... (302 comments)

Yeah, I know that the idea of a shark^H^H^H^H^Haeroplane wielding a laser sounds really cool to us nerds, but... when you think about all the other problems that the USA is dealing with (budget deficit, etc.), as well as some of the other crazy stunts that you guys have been trying to pull lately (*cough* SOPA and its descendants), then as someone outside of the US, I have to ask one simple question: has your government now gone completely mad?

(Admittedly, my own government isn't much better (ZA), but still.)

more than 2 years ago



Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

Kelerei Kelerei writes  |  about a year ago

Kelerei (2619511) writes "TechCrunch is reporting that Windows 8.1 will start rolling out on Thursday at 4 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (that's 11:00 UTC). However, it won't be available to everyone at that time, as the article states: "However, as this is a staged rollout, not everyone will see the code at 4 am Pacific tomorrow. The new operating system will pop up as an update in the Windows Store at various times, depending on your location. All you have to do is have a fine sleep, and when you wake up, the operating system will either be ready for you to snag, or on the way." The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade."
Link to Original Source

Google rumoured to be negotiating for Whatsapp purchase

Kelerei Kelerei writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Kelerei (2619511) writes "The rumour mill has it that Google is in negotiations to acquire the Whatsapp mobile messaging application. Many have suspected that a messaging app would be "the next billion dollar acquisition deal" following Facebook's acquisition of Instagram last year. Acquiring Whatsapp could be regarded as a no-brainer, as messaging has been described as "a huge, gaping hole in Google's mobile strategy". Whatsapp is reportedly asking for a $1 billion acquisition price."
Link to Original Source

Windows 8 Name Confirmed; Three Editions Only

Kelerei Kelerei writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kelerei (2619511) writes "Windows 8 has been confirmed as the official name for the next x86/x64 version of Windows, which will be released in two editions [submitter note: similar to Windows XP]: a home edition (simply named "Windows 8") featuring an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, improved multi-monitor support and "the ability to switch languages on the fly", while a professional edition ("Windows 8 Pro") adds features for businesses and technical professionals such as encryption, virtualization and domain connectivity. Windows Media Centre will not be included in the Pro edition and will be available separately as part of a "media pack" add-on. A third edition, branded as "Windows RT", will be available for ARM-based systems."
Link to Original Source


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