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Comments

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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

Siker Inflation at the speed of Moore's Law (491 comments)

The FAQ seems slashdotted, but if the currency is based on CPU time, inflation would not only be high (how many years between doubling of CPU capacity?) but also rather erratic. Every time Sony released a new 'super computer caliber' gaming station inflation would shoot up as the price of CPU time just went down.

more than 3 years ago
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YouTube Was Evil, and Google Knew It

Siker Re:What's more evil? (419 comments)

You don't have the right to ignore laws you don't agree with.

Sorry

Only in a literal sense. You don't "have the right" to ignore a law - that's just by definition of a law. He was talking about what's evil, not what's lawful. In fact, without even taking a stance on whether this particular law is evil or not, I think we could safely say that following an evil law may in itself be evil.

Some will say these copyright laws harm our cultural wellbeing. With or without a 'right' to do so, I can see how some would say the morally correct action is civil disobedience.

about 4 years ago
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How Do You Get Users To Read Error Messages?

Siker Re:Dr. Zen's answer (951 comments)

In my experience that's far too long. Here's the message as seen by the user:

...permissions and integrity of your filesystem.

[More information] [Retry] [Ignore Error]

The customer would then assume the software has destroyed their filesystem. They'd call and leave a screaming voicemail starting something like 'Someone needs to call me RIGHT NOW.'

Messages need to be ten words or less to have a fighting chance. And I'm talking about simple words. Even then, people will still call in. We recently had a customer call in wondering what to do about this error in our shipping software: "you have to specify a weight greater than 0 pounds."

Here's how to make error messages work: make them simple and actionable for the sake of the literate. For the rest, charge per incident for support and hire a lot of cheap labour.

more than 4 years ago
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Mozilla Puts Tiger Out To Pasture

Siker Re:Nooo ! (440 comments)

While your typical /.er might be on a 1-3 year upgrade cycle, a lot of people (ie older parents/grandparents) buy a Mac because it's "easier" and are more inclined to be on a 5-10 year cycle.

Great, then it'll take them 5 years to upgrade Firefox and notice something is wrong. Hey, that's just around the time they're upgrading their computer anyhow!

more than 4 years ago
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Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

Siker Re:Are nerds not aware (844 comments)

The whole thing needs a complete redesign. I think doing something to get rid of the whole HTML thing would be a giant improvement; just display things straight into a window from application code

Right. HTML is a great language for documents, horrible for applications. The solution you are looking for is called Cappuccino and it throws out HTML and CSS in favour of a regular Objective-C Cocoa like paradigm where you just draw in a window or place UI widgets using layout managers.

Trying to write a web application in HTML is like painting with a tennis ball for a brush. It's the wrong tool for the job and you'll spend half the time bending the various components to your will.

more than 4 years ago
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Snow Leopard Snubs Document Creator Codes

Siker Re:We Know Best (214 comments)

Yes seriously. I have lost count of how many times I had to force quite Photoshop just to get it to stop loading when all I wanted was to bring up a picture in Preview.

more than 4 years ago
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Madoff Sentenced To 150 Years

Siker Re:Tricky -- NOT (602 comments)

Let me put it this way: if you are seriously ill, you go to Germany. Not only are there endless queues in Sweden for any more complicated treatment but the survival rates are among Europe's lowest.

As a Swede I can say this comment is likely to just be rightist bias. I have never felt the need to go to Germany and know of no-one who has. Keep in mind that Swedes in general love to complain and the right wingers love it doubly so to draw attention to their alternative.

Medical care in Sweden is very good and close family members and myself have had excellent treatment available in a timely manner time and time again, for everything from surgery to life long conditions. By contrast, the one time I had a serious problem in the US - appendicitis - I was receiving new bills over a year after my day in the hospital and the numbers which my insurance had to cover were just astronomical. If I read the paperwork right I basically paid several years worth of salary for a three hour routine surgery. That just doesn't happen in Sweden. My last surgery in Sweden is just a memory and a scar - I don't even recall a single bill. Wait time was shorter than in San Jose, California in the US.

As someone else's signature here on Slashdot says: I like paying taxes. With it I buy civilization.

more than 4 years ago
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Wolfram Alpha Rekindles Campus Math Tool Debate

Siker Misguided Universities (339 comments)

The professors who are afraid of calculators and automatic problem solvers are the same as those who think class attendance matter. A university, if anything in the world, should be a place for learning, not a very expensive kindergarten. In that perspective the activities of the students are irrelevant: if they learn practical abilities through Wolfram Alpha, great. If they don't, that's their problem. Ultimately the student is the paying customer. Professors much too often slide into this illusion of grandeur where they think the student owes them anything or needs to satisfy the professors when it's in fact the other way around.

If you choose to go to and pay for a university education, do it your way. If Wolfram Alpha gives you the insights you need, then that's the right tool for you. If your style of learning is snoozing under a tree, occasionally watching an apple fall, then do that. If you never go to a class in your life but you come out as the next Einstein you have succeeded. If you waste all your time 'cheating' that's your problem. You're the boss, you're the one paying for it.

And before somebody brings it up, grades are arbitrary statistics based on a flawed system. If they are affected by something as simple as the use of Wolfram Alpha that's just another demonstration of how little real world value they have.

more than 4 years ago
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Security Flaw Hits VAserv; Head of LxLabs Found Hanged

Siker Re:Depressed person with problems kills himself (413 comments)

If an engineer is working on a bridge and his supervisor orders him to use a dangerously weak cable, the engineer has both a moral and legal duty to refuse. The same principle ought to apply to software developers, especially when life and property are at stake.

But software is not built that way. Chances are this started out as a small project, at a small company, and then only grew later into something where security was an issue. In your analogy it'd perhaps be like an engineer designing a wooden park bridge, not knowing that in the future somebody would try to lay down an 8 lane highway on it. You wouldn't hold the engineer himself responsible for his work being overextended in a future scenario he did not account for.

So the true problem then is with the supervisor who allowed the project to grow out of reasonable bounds without properly revisiting the foundation.

more than 4 years ago
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Cory Doctorow Says DIY Licensing Will Solve Piracy

Siker Jamendo (189 comments)

Check out Jamendo for cheap to license music which is actually pretty good.

more than 4 years ago
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Illusion Cloak Makes One Object Look Like Another

Siker Make a Mouse look like an Elephant (219 comments)

I know, why don't we call it something easier than "illusion cloak." Something like... a photograph of an elephant!

more than 4 years ago
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German Doctor Cures an HIV Patient With a Bone Marrow Transplant

Siker Re:Like to see this replicated (639 comments)

Brilliant post. Clear and to the point, backed by cogent reasoning and checkable facts.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Why the heck are people still using POP3?

Siker Siker writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Siker (851331) writes "Email Service Guide asked "Why the heck are people still using POP3 [...instead of IMAP]?" Remarkably the answer does not seem to be "because they don't know any better" because at Email Discussions an intense debate erupted over the topic. In this day of large storage server accounts and multiple access devices for email accounts, is there a reason other than habit for POP3?"
Link to Original Source
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Interview with Jeremy Howard of FastMail.FM

Siker Siker writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Siker (851331) writes "In a world of giants such as Gmail and Rackspace, email service provider FastMail.FM is somehow doing great with signups above the million mark. Email Service Guide interviews Jeremy Howard, founder of FastMail.FM, to find out how. Also covered is the company's contributions to Open Source software such as Cyrus-IMAP and Thunderbird. Jeremy discusses the future of IMAP, how open protocols help FastMail.FM and why he thinks SLAs from email providers are a con."
Link to Original Source
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Review of Safari 4's Fresh Developer Tools

Siker Siker writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Siker writes "Apple's Safari web browser was upgraded to version 4 yesterday and with it came an update to the developers tools first introduced in Safari 3.1. The new version is set to give Firefox's FireBug plugin some very serious competition. Not only does the Development environment look and perform very well, it's also very full featured."
Link to Original Source
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When VMware fails, go to jail

Siker Siker writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Siker writes "Email transfer service YippieMove ditches VMware, switches to FreeBSD jails: 'We doubled the amount of memory per server, we quadrupled SQLite's internal buffers, we turned off SQLite auto-vacuuming, we turned off synchronization, we added more database indexes. We were confused. Certainly we had expected a performance difference between running our software in a VM compared to running on the metal, but that it could be as much as 10X was a wake-up call.'"
Link to Original Source
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Pirate Party Doubles after Pirate Bay Verdict

Siker Siker writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Siker writes "Trade organizations RIAA and MPAA are used to getting what they want politically. In Sweden they have had good success too, most recently getting the right judge for the job at the Pirate Bay trial. But is their political maneuvering backfiring in Sweden? The raid on the Pirate Bay lead to public demonstrations by upset Swedes. And now it appears the Pirate Bay trial has fed the opposition: the Swedish Pirate Party has doubled in size in less than a week."
Link to Original Source
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Cleversafe ready to release GFS alternative

Siker Siker writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Siker writes "Playing With Wire has a recap of Cleversafe's presentation at LinuxWorld. 'Cleversafe separates data into slices that can be distributed to different servers, even across the world. But it's much more than just slicing and dicing: the algorithm adds redundancy and security as it goes about its task. When the algorithm is done, each individual slice is useless in isolation, and yet not all slices are needed to reconstruct the original data.' This kind of software can lead to higher data availability without the overhead of the Google File System."
Link to Original Source
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Siker Siker writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Siker writes "Playing With Wire has a review of the book accompanying symfony's 1.0 release. Symfony is a PHP web development framework, similar to Ruby on Rails, and was recently made famous as Yahoo! used it for one of its services. One of the book's authors, François Zaninott, comments on the review in the comments section."
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Siker Siker writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Siker writes "Symfony is PHP á la Ruby on Rails — it's a fast growing web development framework but for PHP, with the 1.0 release hot out the doors. Playing With Wire has a review of "The Definitive Guide to symfony", the book published with the release. Take a look at the first comment on the review as well — it's made by one of the book authors."
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Siker Siker writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Siker writes "I firmly believe in updating server software only when you need to. If you don't need new features, and things are working, why change anything? If you update anything you will doubtlessly need to update configuration files. You will need to fix things that break in the upgrade process. [...] This is hard with Gentoo. Gentoo wants you to change a lot of stuff. It wants to be bleeding edge.

My blog post caused a bit of a stir with lots of passionate comments and even its own thread on the Gentoo forums."
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Siker Siker writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Siker writes "It's hard to find good CS programmers these days. Universities are a part of the problem and every year they hinder another generation of young computer scientists from becoming the effective programmers we need for our computer based future. This opinion is about what they're doing wrong."

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