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Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Released

MoonlessNights Re:Pi has poor flash file system (32 comments)

I have never had problems with my Pi, either (Model B). It is powered by a USB port on my Odroid-U3. All that is attached to it is ethernet and the USB UART connector to the Odroid's serial interface.

I have never had problems with it and, when I am running my stress tests on it, the load average gets up to around 30 for about 20 minutes so it is sustained activity on the CPU and RAM (although I never use its GPU for anything, so maybe that helps). I also do wonder of the power draw of some of those USB WiFi dongles, since they probably need a lot.

In terms of filesystems (these are just partitions on the SD), my root is just the Raspbian default (which I think is ext4) but my write-heavy file system where my tests run is BtrFS, which is supposed to do better on such devices.

2 hours ago

Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Released

MoonlessNights Re:Here's a novel idea (32 comments)

Their main products (if you look at their web site) are much more substantial.

I am writing this while using Ubuntu on one of their Odroid-U3 devices, right now. It is a great little machine. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a low-power, low-cost, small ARM Linux machine.

2 hours ago

State governments consider regulating digital currency

MoonlessNights A new universally foreign currency? (1 comments)

I don't understand why virtual currencies are a special case. Why not just treat them as you would foreign currencies?

2 days ago

Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

MoonlessNights All-laser Lasik approach worked well (541 comments)

I had one of the all-laser ("Intralase SBK") approaches done about 4 years ago and the results were great! My vision was only about -2 in each eye, but the surgery put me to marginally better than 20/20.

The most annoying part was not being able to wear contacts for the week leading up to the surgery so my eyes could go back to their natural shape but the surgery was neat (only took 3 minutes) and I could see perfectly, as soon as I sat up from the chair (although my eyes had a "fog" effect for a few hours).

When doing the initial consultations, I expressed concern over night vision (since I am usually out at night) but they said that most of the issues related to that were pre-existing and were only noticeable due to the increased resolving power of their eyes, post-surgery. Personally, I haven't noticed a problem and things like lights, when out at night, seem much sharper (I could tell the first time I tried to get on a bus, after the surgery, and realized I could clearly make out the route name and number from MUCH further away than usual).

I highly recommend it.

about a week ago

Unisys Phasing Out Decades-Old Mainframe Processor For x86

MoonlessNights Re:IBM Z still uses custom CPUs (113 comments)

That largely applies to pretty much everything but there are actual cases where Z and P are incredibly different so unifying their back-end implementations will be potentially limiting in the future. Specifically, I am referring to memory coherence model: Z assumes a rigid write-back ordering where P allowed these to be highly out of sync, between cores. Now, I am not sure if any modern P implementations actually exploit this flexibility so the difference might be moot but this decision could be limiting in the future.

about a month and a half ago

Android Needs a Simulator, Not an Emulator

MoonlessNights Re:It always did seem odd to me. (167 comments)

It shouldn't be too surprising that it runs well with Java. Embedded is where the first Java inroads were made. Recent VMs make the performance pretty sweet, once you get going.

Running the JVM on an emulator, however, is less than optimal: "it's turtles all the way down".

I understand why they did it but, if there are still serious performance problems with it (which wouldn't be surprising - phones are growing in performance faster than PCs) then they probably need to go the simulator route (even though that isn't quite as generally useful or rigidly correct).

about a month and a half ago

Kids With Operators Manual Alert Bank Officials: "We Hacked Your ATM"

MoonlessNights Good to see! (378 comments)

Good to see on many fronts:
1) kids looking into how things actually work and wondering about what that means
2) kids acting to fix the problem, as opposed to exploiting it
3) a company actually thankful for the help without "shooting the messenger"

In terms of the ATM configuration, I am a little surprised that it was so easy to get in. It reminds me of when I used a similar technique to get configuration access to a heated timer cabinet at a McDonald's, when I was in my teens (It meant I could use it to solve some additional problems which had no ideal solutions - as well as add my name as a food item). That wasn't changed from its factory defaults but that one was at least behind the counter so it was physically protected. I am a little surprised that there isn't some kind of physical locking switch to enable that mode, on these devices. Banks are usually pretty good about that.

Still, at least I am happy to see that they were thankful for the help.

about 2 months ago

XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

MoonlessNights Re:Catching up to Microsoft fast (121 comments)

You are going to have to explain how popularity precludes incompetence.

about 2 months ago

XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

MoonlessNights Re:Google is dropping XMPP and Talk/Chat anyway (121 comments)

They never really explained why federation wouldn't work or why XMPP wasn't sufficient for their needs. As far as I can tell, this was purely to thicken the walls on the garden.

This is the problem with anyone becoming too big within an otherwise open space: there is no reason for them to play nice when they have de facto control. Let's just hope that E-Mail doesn't suffer the same fate at the hands of GMail.

I have said almost word-for-word what you just said about walled gardens (even using Compuserve and AOL as examples) so I am totally in agreement with your concerns on that front.

about 2 months ago

Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

MoonlessNights Re:That's why I back them up to the internet (329 comments)

Because no internet company has ever gone out of business, strayed into an area of legal ambiguity, had a security vulnerability, made their software incompatible with your existing work flow, or made unpleasant changes to their terms of service or privacy policy...

about 3 months ago

The Truth About OpenGL Driver Quality

MoonlessNights Re:Meanwhile OpenGL ES Is Doing Great (158 comments)

I would still like to see OpenGL largely punted in favour of OpenGL ES. As you point out, it is a much smaller API and it reflects the realities of the hardware, as it actually evolved (shader programs and GPU-memory vertex buffers), instead of how the software initially wanted to see it (immediate mode and imperative matrix manipulation).

Hopefully, the inclusion of OpenGL ES as a subset of OpenGL within the 4.x versions will make this more a reality, as well as the use of things like WebGL.

about 3 months ago

Can Google Influence Elections?

MoonlessNights Re:Why stop at influence? (138 comments)

The point is that, with influence, they don't need to buy the politician as control of information is far more powerful than control of resources.

In effect, they could manufacture their own candidate and ensure that the information they returned is heavily biased in light of this new "underdog" or "dark horse" and suddenly political manipulation has been accomplished, and packaged in a story you can sell to Hollywood, for added attention.

They would also be able to keep their puppet on a short leash since they had already demonstrated that they have the ability to control all the information around them. That kind of control can't be purchased with campaign donations or lobbying.

Interestingly, because of the way many people seem to vote and because they had so much control over the information, even pointing out that this was happening would be unlikely to change the result (since it would take attention away from the competitors, it would probably make matters worse).

about 3 months ago

Programming Language Diversity On the Rise

MoonlessNights Re:A good sign (177 comments)

I always try to remember this when I wonder if I am getting out-of-touch (being a 30-something, primarily C guy) but the reality is, despite all the hype around new languages (or new service providers *cough* GitHub *cough*), it turns out that much of what is currently used, is used for a reason.

The best software developers I knew were comfortable in several languages and could pick up new ones in an afternoon but they preferred writing in simple C, heavily-simplified C++ (basically just C plus classes, no other language features), or maybe Java.

They could easily express their ideas and the code could be easily read by even a novice (part of knowing many languages means avoiding esoteric or "clever" language features).

It is nice to see new ideas on the horizon but the signal to noise can get a little overwhelming when there are more frameworks or languages than developers (as it sometimes seems).

about 3 months ago

Dropbox and Box Leaked Shared Private Files Through Google

MoonlessNights Re:Not technically a leak (92 comments)

Actually, a document isn't private unless you physically own it (hence, no "cloud" anything) and control the access to it (private links, self-destructing links, HTTP sessions, etc). Relying on an external walled garden means that you gave them ownership (either legally, or physically).

As bandwidth increases, owning a link which resolves a piece of information will become increasingly equivalent to owning that information.

about 3 months ago

Dropbox and Box Leaked Shared Private Files Through Google

MoonlessNights Re:To the URLbar! (92 comments)

The confusing thing is why this is so popular, anyway. As far as I see it, it is nothing more than Clippy, the next generation.

Maybe people only disliked Clippy because it seemed like a distraction. I suppose the "omnibar" wouldn't be as popular if, every time it got focus, put up a large overlay box with the content: "It looks like you are trying to type a URL".

Alternatively, it means people _would_ have liked Clippy if it just started silently writing the letter for you or if it sent the letter to Microsoft so they could finish it for you.

The address bar and any kind of search bar are different things with _very_ different uses. I don't understand why I would ever want to conflate them. It makes no sense from a UI perspective and is an absolute disaster from a privacy perspective.

about 3 months ago

Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops

MoonlessNights Re:You know what worked better for me then longhan (191 comments)

That sounds about right.

I always took complete notes, by hand, until I got a laptop in second-year and started typing up the complete notes in LaTeX.

I think that typing worked better than writing, but only because I was doing a verbatim copy of board information and the tex files could be grepped, after-the-fact. I can also type with my eyes closed and I wasn't getting much sleep, in those days.

The friends of mine who just sat in class and listened seemed to understand the content much better (they just needed to be sure to discuss the content or do the assignment before it fell from memory as unreachable information).

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

MoonlessNights Don't conflate age with culture (274 comments)

Stop looking at this as an us-and-them dynamic, as though there is a line somewhere which divides the "old" from the "young" and everyone on one side is a firmly entrenched, 1-dimensional stereotype.

People are different and I doubt that everyone at that company enjoys the specific culture you have described (let alone doing so proportional to their "youth"). If you can work well together, that is the primary concern.

about 3 months ago

How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed

MoonlessNights Re:Not really (231 comments)

This is EXACTLY the way to look at this!

Relying on static analysis to solve parameter validation bugs is asking technology to solve a human problem, akin to asking the computer "do what I want, not what I said".

Static analysis and defensive programming techniques are good ideas but there is always a chance for something to go wrong.

about 3 months ago

How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed

MoonlessNights Re:need to get over the "cult of macho programming (231 comments)

The problem has more to do with the "hey, this is free so lets just take it" attitude of the downstream consumers not willing to pay for anyone to look at the code or pay anyone to write it.

Why would you want the OpenSSL people to be held accountable for something they basically just wrote on their own time since nobody else bothered?

Striking out to solve a problem should NOT be punished (that culture of legal punishment for being useful is part of why knowledge industries are leaving North America).

This problem was caused by a simple missed parameter check, nothing more. Stop acting like the cultural problem is with the developers when it is with the leaches who consumer their work.

about 3 months ago

Could Google's Test of Hiding Complete URLs In Chrome Become a Standard?

MoonlessNights Re:Sounds like Microsoft in the 90's (327 comments)

That is what I keep thinking.

It seemed like, although Clippy might have died, his religion ("the user is stupid and needs the computer to help them use the computer") is alive and well.

The thing that confuses me is, why do people think this is "good"? Personally, I spend appreciable time fighting with software "helping" me when I already knew what I wanted to do.

about 3 months ago


MoonlessNights hasn't submitted any stories.



What does the Slashdot journal do?

MoonlessNights MoonlessNights writes  |  2 days ago

I am having trouble finding information explaining what this feature does. The UI makes it sound almost like it is connected to the submission flow but also seems to come across more like a minimalist blogging system.

Is it both: a blogging system which can be easily promoted to a front-page story, if others find it insightful?

If anyone can point me to some authoritative information, that would really help.

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