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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Kjella Re:Why focus on the desktop? (92 comments)

Well first of all Linus has never been overly concerned with market share, just building a technically damn good kernel so I doubt this will have much practical influence on his work. It's got to be frustrating though, Linux works on massively huge and complex servers. It works on the smallest mobile and embedded devices. But a regular desktop that from the kernel's side is rather simple, one CPU and usually one GPU and pretty much no exotic devices (from the kernel side all USB devices look the same, for example) and no absurd limits being pushed in any direction.

I think the last real significant desktop feature was when they increased interactivity by changing the default time slice from 100 Hz to 1000 Hz and that was in 2004 or so. Heck, I would say it was at least as ready as the BSD kernel was when Apple created OS X in 2001. It's quite telling that the one thing Google did not want to rewrite when they made Android was the kernel. All else they ripped out and replaced with Apache licensed code, but not that. Well that and a bunch of Google proprietary APIs, but that's another flame war. I think I'd feel just the same in his shoes.

9 minutes ago

Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

Kjella Re:or they could just NOT do it (114 comments)

Sure, but they're not hosting anything. Links to infringing content are pretty solidly in the realm of the legal. It's actually kind of weird that they rolled over on that one.

They're solidly in the realm of the legal in the US because of USC 17 512(d):

(d) Information Location Tools.- A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the provider referring or linking users to an online location containing infringing material or infringing activity, by using information location tools, including a directory, index, reference, pointer, or hypertext link, if the service provider:
(C) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material;

If they don't respond to DMCA notices they fail condition (C) and become liable. This has been established legal history since way back when web pages used to link to illegal MP3 files, perhaps longer. It's not true in the general case, just because you point them to other website that might contain something illegal won't get you into trouble. But pointing directly to infringing content and claiming you aren't liable because you're not the one hosting it doesn't fly.

1 hour ago

Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

Kjella Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (74 comments)

If that is so, then I find it abhorrent that the OSS movement prioritizes the freedoms of killing, censorship and persecution above the right to life and live.

What drugs are you on really? You make as much sense as saying that because this knife didn't come with an EULA not to behead unbelievers the manufacturer supports what the Islamic State is doing in Iraq/Syria. I've never to my knowledge bought or owned anything that has a political agenda as condition for use and newer will. I do care how they were produced (no child labor, animal testing, destroying the rain forest, social dumping or so on) but I'd never buy a car that had the gall to tell me where I could and couldn't drive in the EULA. So are you nuts, a troll or just trying to kill OSS? Because you make RMS look pragmatic.

1 hour ago

Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

Kjella Re:Tivoization (74 comments)

I pick C++ as the weapon!

Since that's not actually a license, I pick lightsaber. Not as clumsy or random as C++. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.

2 hours ago

Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

Kjella Re:Poor material choice (142 comments)

But the wheels aren't failing. The skin on the wheels is failing but the wheels will work fine with structure alone.

If that is true, why do the wheels need skin in the first place? I doubt anything on that mission is there for decoration...

9 hours ago

Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Kjella Re:Play hardball (149 comments)

Overage fees are nothing but pure evil. They did use to offer capped DSL and my cell phone data usage is still capped, I ran into it this summer as I was watching videos at the cabin but it doesn't have overage. What happens is at 80% I got a text that I'm getting close on my cap. At 100% I got a new text saying my quota is now up, I'll now either get very, very slow internet connection the rest of the month like enough to check email and barely browse the web, or I can pay up for additional quotas. Back when they offered capped DSL it was the same there.

The biggest benefit to a flat rate connection is that it's flat rate. And particularly today when you got phones and tablets and laptops and consoles and smart TVs and whatnot that all like to go online keeping track of your aggregate data usage is not easy. Overage fees are like the credit card model offering you 30 days free credit. How to do they make money off giving people free money? Because people slip up, get unplanned or unwanted expenses and then they nail the suckers. It's just begging to exploit the people who think they can save a few bucks a month.

13 hours ago

Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Kjella Re:Left or Right? (458 comments)

Why not just bump the signage by that much, and make the signs themselves the hard limit?

To avoid arguments. If the cops say 11 km/h over an artificially 10 km/h low limit then you weren't speeding just a little, if they said 1 km/h over the limit people go all "waaaaaaa it was only 1 km/h" and "waaaaaaaa your equipment must be off I went 1km/h under". "I wasn't speeding that much" holds a lot less sway than "I wasn't speeding".


AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

Kjella Re:Marginally better (64 comments)

Like OCZ which bumped theirs up to 5 years before they imploded? Here's the thing, 2014 was a big year for consoles, both the PS4 and XBone sold many millions of consoles all with AMD semi-custom chips. Yet despite this AMD is barely floating with a small operating income and a tiny loss overall. In 2018, what consoles will be selling? Still the PS4 and XBone but a whole lot less of them.

Two vital quotes from their last earnings call "In the desktop space, demand for our desktop APUs was strong from our OEMs. However, the desktop component channel was softer than we expected." "Inventory was $960 million, up $91 million, primarily driven by increased level of our latest 28-nanometer microprocessor products and lower shipments to channel distributors." Read: APUs go unsold. Either they need to lower production or prices or both.

To be fair, they're hanging on better than I expected but their traditional business still points downwards and breaking new ground is hard. And unless they can turn the trend, it needs to grow a lot and fast to make up for the business that we can see slipping. I wouldn't exactly be sure that AMD will be around to honor that warranty in four years.


Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Kjella Re:Surprise? (559 comments)

At my company (125 users) a while ago we moved to OpenOffice to save money. Users were not happy and started to call it "BrokenOffice".

Which is the real issue in doing an office migration. That and replicating Outlook, I don't know about the whole kitchen sink but at least the whole mail/calendar/meeting bit. Somehow I'm amazed that in the last decade open source hasn't managed to pull it off, what the average office worker does is not rocket science. I guess it's just nobody's itch.

2 days ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Kjella Re:Misleading title & summary (559 comments)

Well when the First Mayor is making statements like "Linux is limping after Microsoft" and the Second Mayor says the "employees are suffering [under Linux]" then I have a fairly good bet on how the "independent" committee to review their OS policy is going to turn out. And maybe finally we can stop flogging this dead horse, because I'm tired of hearing about Munich as the beacon of light that will usher in a new era of Linux on the desktop. It's been rather obvious to all but zealots that they weren't convincing anyone else to make the switch.

2 days ago

Software Combines Thousands of Online Images Into One That Represents Them All

Kjella Re:The Average Cat (66 comments)

Somehow, I still fail to see the point... I can search for "cat" in Google Images, then if I'm not happy then "siamese cat" and finally "siamese cat jumping" because I'm probably looking for one useful picture, not a blurred mess as I'd expect trying to average what a "jump" looks like. And if you ask what an average face looks like, they mean the average feature size and location not a mathematical average. I'm trying to think of one single purpose where the results of this "average browser" is what I'm looking for and I'm coming up blank.

2 days ago

Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Kjella Re:Mental Masturbation (237 comments)

Mental Masturbation

Someone is, yes. Building overpasses or tunnels for pedestrians on every street is not nearly realistic. If you sprint out a doorway you'll cross the sidewalk and hit traffic in less than 0.5 seconds, even with zero reaction time physics won't let a car stop that fast or they'd have to drive a lot slower than cars today. And while their might be auto-only cars, for most the autopilot will be the new cruise control. It will have an off switch. So yes, somebody here is detached from reality.

2 days ago

Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

Kjella Re:us other engineers matter, too (369 comments)

Valuing people by their number of direct or indirect reports makes a lot of sense. If I am one of a group of ten people and I'm 20% more productive than the others, my extra contribution only adds about 2% to the total. If I am a good manager my staff might be 5% more productive than an average manager's. Think about it.

I wish that would be equally applied on the lower half of the scale, a poor manager who makes his staff 5% less effective than average kills half a year's worth of productivity. Probably even less since poor management often means you end up doing things that are meaningless or inefficient. It doesn't matter that it was done well, because the deliverables won't ever be used.

2 days ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Kjella Re:ASICs drive out CPUs and GPUs ... (267 comments)

I think you're trying very hard to avoid seeing the point though. The point is to enable regular people to mine coins using their ordinary GPUs, either benevolently to have a democratic currency or as the cynic in me suggests get buy-in from many enough people. After all, an altcoin that only a few with specialized equipment can mine effectively is likely to never get off the ground. Bitcoin was different because it was first and everyone pulled together to create a cryptocurrency. It's very easy to create an algorithm that uses 1% of a shader's features and that makes a custom ASIC orders of magnitude faster. The other extreme is to build an algorithm where all the bits and pieces and functionality that goes into a shader is needed, if you tried building a custom ASIC you would essentially end up with your own GPU. That's the meaning of ASIC proof.

2 days ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Kjella Re:Not credible enough for merchant's to hold ... (267 comments)

But not enough credibility for merchants to hold/keep the bitcoins they receive from customers.

I think you're confusing credibility with volatility because their business is making a profit on margins, not playing with currency speculation. Most of the value flows through them as they buy from suppliers and sell to customers, even a relatively small change in value can wipe out their margins. I'm assuming that when I buy something in another country with my VISA then 99.99%+ of the time the store is paid in its local currency, not my currency.

2 days ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Kjella Re:Bitcoin credibility? (267 comments)

I hereby award you the Hermes Conrad award for meticulous technical correctness. It may be collected at the Central Bureaucracy upon reception of a properly filled out, signed, stamped and notarized Award Reception form.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

Kjella Re:Saw similar posts before the web existed (318 comments)

Then things like allowing execution of arbitrary code in images, another case of MS fucking up in a truly astonishing way - how the hell do things like that end up as anything other than SF novel plot points in a large corporation that is supposed to be competantly managed?

Blame C, zero-terminated strings and strcpy(). That you can copy a string into a buffer that can't hold it with no sanity checking is a disaster waiting to happen. Same that you read beyond the buffer waiting forever for a terminating \0 that'll never happen. Because you don't have objects you don't have sanity checks, even with the "safe" versions you have to make sure to pass the same buffer size twice. No doubt there's code like this where you haven't defined the size through a constant:

char *dst[512]; // used to be 1024
strncopy( dst, src, 1024 ):

"High level" programming languages don't let you do that. There's no way to read from a QFile to a QByteArray in Qt/C++ that can cause a buffer overflow. There's no way to read from "beyond the end" of a QByteArray unless you deliberately get the internal pointer and use that directly, all the functions are safe. The C model is that everything is really little boxes in memory that you can store bits and bytes in and the rest is interpretation. You can do stuff like this with no casts or converts:

int a = 5;
char *b = &a;
b = "abcd";
// value of a is now something entirely different

I know there's a very few low-level, high performance scenarios where this may be useful. But I'd say for >95% of developers, >95% of the time it's only an easy way to shoot yourself in the foot.

3 days ago

Of the following, I'd rather play ...

Kjella Re:Social Opportunity (273 comments)

We did that a few times with Texas Hold'Em except with a winner-takes-it-all prize, but the challenge was finding the sweet spot where there's enough at stake that people take it a bit seriously but not too seriously. With no money involved it was just crazy random play, people didn't care so they played the way that was most fun like playing every hand, pulling off the most absurd bluffs and so on. It gets old pretty quick and there's no penalty to busting out, the resemblance to real poker was minimal.

On the other hand, a few got very competitive and very serious the moment there was even a bit of money involved - and I know enough about where they work and what they make to know it was pocket money it was just their personality quirks kicking in. That too ended up something of a buzz-kill, after all we're friends chatting and having beers not pro tournament players crunching statistics. If you avoid getting tipsy at the end of the evening because of the prize, the prize is too large. Instead we mostly play Wii/WiiU.

3 days ago

Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

Kjella Re:you must not have done well in math class (211 comments)

It's something of a prisoner's dilemma. I'm feeling quite safe here in Norway without a gun because getting hold of illegal guns is fairly hard. Not extremely hard, but enough that your petty pickpocket/mugger/burglar won't bother. And your victims won't have a gun so it's overkill to rob people at gun point, it just attracts a whole lot of unwanted attention and will put you in jail for longer.

Now if criminals had to assume the regular victim might have a gun he'd have to arm himself, no good robbing your victim at knife point only to be shot dead once you try leaving. Likewise, once you have to assume quite ordinary criminals have guns I'd want to arm myself, so I could shoot them before they'd shoot me. It's also a value issue that can't be definitively answered, do you want to defend your property with your life?

I know that personally I'd rather not put my life on the line if I can help it, between the police and insurance companies I'd rather let them deal with it. Things are just things, they're not my life. That's just me though, others might be of the opinion that the only real defense that doesn't rely on forces beyond your control is self-defense. That you, personally, have to stop him from robbing your wallet and if you get hurt or killed in the process well that's the price.

3 days ago

Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Kjella Re: Duh. (235 comments)

5) Cops knocking down the door - WTF what have my kids done now?

3 days ago



Microsoft bans Firefox on Windows ARM

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "In another case of "if you can't beat them, exclude them" Microsoft has decided to not allow third party browsers on Windows ARM. The reasons cited by Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel David Heiner are: "
  • ARM processors, which power virtually all iOS, Android, and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets today, are different from the x86 chips that power PCs. The chips have new requirements for security and power management, and Microsoft is the only one who can meet those needs.
  • Windows RT — the version of Windows 8 geared for ARM devices — "isn't Windows anymore."

Link to Original Source

Chrome beats IE for first time ever

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "Sunday 18th of March should go down in browser history. For the first in many years IE is no longer then #1 web browser, with Chrome narrowly beating IE with 32.71% to 32.50% while Firefox on third with 24.81%. As the figures are substantially higher for Chrome and lower for IE on weekends it's only for a day but it's another big milestone. While IE still is in a clear lead in North America and Oceania, it is tied with Firefox in Europe while Chrome now leads in Asia and South America and Firefox leads in Africa."
Link to Original Source

French "three strikes" back thanks to Sark

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "A little over a week ago, slashdot reported that the EU would forbid disconnecting users from the Internet. But even after having passed with an 88% approval in the European Parliament and passing through the European Commission, it was all undone as the European Council, led by French President Sarkozy removed the amendment before passing the Telecom package. This means that there's now nothing stopping France's controversial "three strikes" law from going into effect. What hope is there for a "parliament" where there is near unison agreement, yet can be completely disregarded so easily?"

Oil fall nets lame duck with free crossover wine

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "The good people over at CodeWeavers set up a challenge for King George to really make the most of his last days in office. The Lame Duck Presidential Challenges are to reduce the price of gas, reduce the price of food, create more jobs, rejuvenate the housing market and bring Osama bin Laden to justice. Noone realized just how he was going to do that as most of the goals were rather ambitious, but along with the doom and gloom of recession fears one of the criteria has been met. The price of gas is now back to $2.79 per gallon in the Twin Cities so break out your SUVs and party like it's 2006. For those of you instead looking to save every buck, today Crossover is giving away all their products for free, or at least gratis for the FSF fans out there. Already they're down to a light web page due to Digg, surely we can do better than that."


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