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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Rob Riggs Make Magazine (285 comments)

Lots of good stuff. Byte could have morphed itself into this magazine.

about a week ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Rob Riggs Re:I will be a millionaire. (466 comments)

The only way that we will ever deal with our national debt is with very high inflation. We will all be millionaires soon enough.

about a week ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Rob Riggs Re:I for one . . . (1617 comments)

I for one am just grateful that a liberal jurist has finally acknowledged that it would take a constitutional amendment to do that. Most of them seem to think that the Constitution already reads that way.

I am too. And I agree with Stevens that it needs to be changed. I don't think the Constitution should be ignored because parts of it are no longer useful or fashionable. It should not remain some relic of a bygone era. It should be a living document that enshrines how we have grown as a nation and as a people; how we as citizens want to live today and in the future. I think that is what the founding fathers would have expected of us.

about a week ago
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A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream

Rob Riggs Re:clunky software? (143 comments)

This is not for a remote control. It's a simple slide latch for a radio battery. And the problem with the design is that the plastic it was made from was the same as the battery case, which is too brittle for the switch. A less brittle plastic such as ABS or HIPS would actually work better and last longer. Was a material scientist consulted when designing the battery? Doubtful.

Since you have no idea about the problem I am trying to solve, the "ignorant" comment seems misplaced. Will the solution be ideal? Certainly not. But it will be "good enough" and even "better than stock". Probably. I currently have six different types of material for my 3D printer, each with its own purpose. Is 3D printing a panacea? No. But there are real problems that it can solve today. And putting more of them in people's hands will encourage innovation in printing technologies and materials science. Hell, the materials available to work with today are way more versatile than the limited rapid prototyping materials available to me 20+ years ago.

about two weeks ago
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A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream

Rob Riggs Re:clunky software? (143 comments)

Most people just want to be able to download an object from the internet and print it out. Missing a part for that new 'some assembly required' doodad that you bought? Hit their website and print it out. Cheap plastic part snapped under abusive strain? Print out a new one.

Exactly. I have a battery with a broken latching mechanism. A replacement battery is $50. I could print a replacement plastic part for pennies if I had a model for it.

about two weeks ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

Rob Riggs Re:Read the summary a couple times (465 comments)

Not only is it English, it is British English from English Britain, the original and still the best English since 1066.

More like the tortured English of Murdoch's London headline writers. I don't think they are required to have a complete understanding of the language. I could write a book entitled "How to turn any sentence into meaningless gibberish with just a Thesaurus" using just London newspaper headlines as examples.

about three weeks ago
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Nature Publisher Requires Authors To Waive "Moral Rights" To Works

Rob Riggs Publish or Perish, Bitches! (82 comments)

You want that tenured position? Suck it up.

about three weeks ago
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Linux 3.14 Kernel Released

Rob Riggs Re:ZRAM (132 comments)

I would rather have my kernel only swap when needed and this is when it runs out of memory.

You really don't want your kernel swapping when it runs out of memory. That is too late and will kill performance. Instead, your kernel moves pages that are not used to swap so that it can be freed for other, more important things when the need arises. That is a much more efficient way to manage memory.

That said, the kernel provides tuning parameters that will give you what you want.

sysctl vm.swappiness=0

about three weeks ago
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Linux 3.14 Kernel Released

Rob Riggs Re:ZRAM (132 comments)

Compressing/decompressing the data in RAM is faster than writing/reading from disk. CPUs are getting much faster than disk. And flash/SSDs have a limited number of write cycles. It improves performance and preserves the life SSDs. What's not to like?

about three weeks ago
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I prefer my peppers ...

Rob Riggs Re:To make it easier: (285 comments)

Jalapenos shipped in from areas who where more stressed will be hotter, And that is pretty much he only way to know.

Agreed. And you can look for signs of stress on the skin of the Jalapeno. There will be white striations on the pepper. The more the merrier in my book. It's only a guideline -- there will still be lots of variation in heat. But, in general, the more skin damage the hotter the pepper.

about a month ago
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Google Cuts Prices On Enterprise Cloud Services

Rob Riggs Google Cloud is Way Too Limited (43 comments)

Google has a *long* way to go. Unless they allow their customers to select the operating system (by providing IaaS), this just won't fly long term. We looked at using Google, but we need Windows Server 2012 for some of the things we wanted to move out of our datacenters. And SQL Server. They provide/allow neither.

about a month ago
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Twitter Turns 8; May Drop Hashtags and @replies

Rob Riggs Re:Only thing I hate about Twitter (96 comments)

Hashtag and At are just a condensed form of markup. They are useful for entry of tweets but completely unnecessary for displaying them.

Except they make it readily apparent how to compose a tweet -- even for new users. #dying

about a month ago
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Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Rob Riggs Re:Geneva Convention (623 comments)

Not sure they can be unlawful combatants unless there is actually combat taking place.

Ah, yes. It was vacationing Russians that took over the Crimean peninsula. They saved some money by parachuting in rather than taking a commercial flight to Sevastopal. (The checked bag fees are brutal!) And I hear combat gear is the newest fashion statement out of the Moscow fashion district this year.

about a month ago
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Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Rob Riggs Re:Geneva Convention (623 comments)

Citation? I have a hard time believing the Geneva Conventions condone a bullet to the head for anyone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summary_execution#Exceptions_to_prisoners_of_war_status

According to Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, irregular forces are entitled to prisoner of war status provided that they are commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates, have a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance, carry arms openly, and conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. If they do not do meet all of these, they may be considered francs-tireurs (in the original sense of "illegal combatant") and punished as criminals in a military jurisdiction, which may include summary execution .

Emphasis mine.

about a month ago
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Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Rob Riggs Geneva Convention (623 comments)

If true, under the Geneva Convention these soldiers would be considered unlawful combatants and subject to Ukranian law.

about a month ago
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Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

Rob Riggs Re:Where is the center? (269 comments)

Where is the center of the surface of the earth?

about a month ago
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Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

Rob Riggs Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (878 comments)

It's very easy for the U.S. to pay off the U.S. debt. It is denominated in U.S. dollars.

about a month ago
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Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

Rob Riggs Re:Napkin time (382 comments)

If the engines ran for 4-5 hours and they flew in a straight line

I think you missed that bit.

Assume there exists a spherical cow in a vacuum...

about a month ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Rob Riggs Re:Unregulated currency (704 comments)

No, it's what we get from the pro-bitcoin crowd. The people who think impossible-to-regulate transactions are a good idea happen to have a 100% overlap with the set of people who have a novice's understanding of economics, and apply that cudgel to all ideas.

I don't know that I agree with that 100%. I've seen people that think they understand economics be all for it. I see it as driven by engineers (among others) with no education in the Humanities, having a complete lack of understanding about fundamental aspects of human nature.

about 1 month ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Rob Riggs Re:Unregulated currency (704 comments)

Dependable banks require that those running them, and those depositing money into them are not GREEDY BASTARDS

Let me re-write that for you in a simplified form:

Dependable banks require that those running them, and those depositing money into them are not Human.

about 1 month ago

Submissions

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Economists: selfish bastards

Rob Riggs Rob Riggs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Rob Riggs (6418) writes "Cory Doctorow has started an interesting discussion at Boing Boing based on research he's doing for a new book. The conclusion from the research he has found? Economists are more selfish than non-economists, and the more one studies economics, the more selfish one gets. Cory writes:

In the course of researching my next novel, I happened upon this old paper by Robert H. Frank, Thomas Gilovich, and Dennis T. Regan, "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?" Its conclusions: Economics grad students are more likely to free ride than the general public. Economists are less generous than other academics in charitable giving. Economics undergrads are more likely to defect in prisoner's dilemma problems. Students are less likely to return found money after studying economics but not after studying another subject like astronomy.

"

Journals

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JPackage is Evil

Rob Riggs Rob Riggs writes  |  more than 9 years ago I am leading a project at work where we are building components to extend an enterprise-scale software system. We are mostly a Sun shop. Most of the new components are being built to run primarily on Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (AS3) to be exact. Some of the new components are being written in Java.

Most of the software installs for our in-house software is done using a rather archaic system and I want to do better on the Linux systems.

Being a long-time Linux user and admin, I wanted to make sure that we were managing our software installations and dependencies using the excellent package manager, RPM. When it came time to do the initial rollout of the first Java components, I looked around for pre-packaged components and was excited to find the JPackage Project. These guys have all of the most useful Sun and third-party Java software packaged up in RPM format.

I had no idea how evil these people were at the time.

Red Hat AS3 comes with its own set of Java components, including a JVM, ant (a common java build tool used to replace make) and a few others. The development servers seemed OK and the packages build. I installed the missing dependencies from the JPackage Project and everything was looking good. My workstation is a Fedora Core 1 box, so I had to install a few more components from JPackage on my machine than I did on the development servers.

I had all of the dependencies met for the software I was about to package up, and it took only a few minutes with wget and rpm to get there. I was ready to start building the package for the new software.

Here's where things start to go horribly wrong.

Ant would not work on my machine. I kept getting tracebacks about dependencies not being found. This was bizarre. Ant all worked on the development server. And ant worked on my workstation when run as root! I took me a while to look into all of the obvious potential causes: paths, environment, permissions, etc. Everything looked like it should work.

Then I decided to trace the script that instantiated the JVM and ran ant. It was setting different (and wrong!) environment variables. It was looking for its jar files in /opt/abacus, the location I have RPM configured (through my own .rpmmacros file) to use as the location to build packages for (the %_prefix). Why the hell was it doing that?

It took me a couple minutes looking at the the JPackage configuration system to discover, to my horror, that it was using the RPM build environemnt for runtime configuration. WTF?!? The RPM build environemnt is not a runtine configuration system. It is a build configuration system.

So now I am a bit disturbed that anyone would do such a thing. I sent an email to the person who built the ant RPM for the JPackage project:

I got your contact information from the JPackage RPM of Ant. I am trying to use Ant with RPM, but it seems to me that the Ant shell script that is provided with the RPM is doing some (IMHO) screwy things to set up its environment. It is invoking rpm to evaluate various rpm build variables to set up various environment variables. This completely breaks Ant when I need to change the %_prefix variable for RPM. The RPM build variables are just that: build variables. They have no relation to the runtime environment, which is what the Ant script is assuming. Do you know who is responsible for maintaining that script and how I can contact them?

This was forwarded to the JPackage mailing list and conversation ensued. There was at least one person who agreed with me about the problem, but the majority of responses were from the incredulous (saying I am doing something wrong) to the blasé.

The last quote in the thread were:

> I am still
> holding that %_bindir must be defined to `/usr/bin', and that if your
> build environment does not match your runtime environment then you're in
> serious trouble.
I agree. However it's not worth the arguing IMHO. Let people discover by
themselves the joys of using non-standard paths in a shared env.

And that, my friends, is just evil. Anyone who know RPM will know how evil that is. The JPackage developers do not understand RPM and are usurping it. This sort of attitude can harm RPM in the long run. And they don't care.

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