×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Debian Forked Over Systemd

Theovon Re:Forking is good, whiny bitches (277 comments)

My main assertion is that many forks are done with good intentions. This new fork, on the other hand, is not necessarily based on the best motivations.

7 hours ago
top

Debian Forked Over Systemd

Theovon Forking is good, whiny bitches (277 comments)

On the one hand, forking is what drives Free Software. It allows us to innovate, adapt software to new needs, etc. Without it, the FOSS community would not be as strong as it is.

On the other hand, Debian's board took a vote, and the anti-systemd people lost. Democracy happened. Democracy is good. Those people who created this fork are a bunch of malcontents that are whining because they didn't get their way. This isn't a "downstream branch" like Ubuntu, which strengthens the community by sending patches upstream. This is breaking up of a strong community, and it's now going to be inherently weaker.

7 hours ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Theovon Maximizing profit (509 comments)

Although they are regulated to death, power companies want to maximize profit, and there are no rules that say they have to invest in improving infrastructure "as long as everything is working fine." They have no motivation at all to seek out aging sections of their power grid and replace them during normal operation. Rather, they are entirely reactive. When power goes out, they fix it on demand. Nothing more. Moreover, whenever there are major storms that take out massive swaths of their network, they cry for help from the government to pay for the repairs becuase they "can't afford it." The only reason they do anything at all when power does go out is because they'd be slapped by regulators if they didn't. Otherwise they'd be perfectly happy to leave paying customers without power the way Comcast leaves paying customers without internet service.

Just imagine if power delivery were government-run. It would be even worse, because there would be no profit incentive.

2 days ago
top

Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Theovon Re:ATC (329 comments)

For a while there, there were some 2560x2048 monitors being marketed for ATC as well. And then there was the IBM T221, which did 3840x2400.

about a week ago
top

Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Theovon Re:ATC (329 comments)

Don't forget Tech Source, who had beat Barco to the market by years with 2Kx2K graphics cards: http://www.techsource.com

Incidentally, Tech Source is now owned by Eizo, but they still produce ATC graphics cards.

about a week ago
top

Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

Theovon Re:How do you do it? (51 comments)

Excellent link. Not only did I learn to do overtone singing, but I also have another person I can send prayer requests. :)

about two weeks ago
top

Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

Theovon Re:Go back in time 5 years (575 comments)

Only problem is that none of what you said about Systemd is actually true.

about two weeks ago
top

Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

Theovon How do you do it? (51 comments)

That was very interesting, but I was hoping she'd also include some information about how she manipulates the resonance chamber physically to do the filtering.

about two weeks ago
top

Philae's Batteries Have Drained; Comet Lander Sleeps

Theovon "Science data" (337 comments)

Why does NASA's use of the term "science data" sound so weird to me? I mean, sure, it's data collected for scientific purposes, but the turn of phrase just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it sounds pretentious.

about two weeks ago
top

Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

Theovon Puritans go home! (350 comments)

Or whatever you want to call yourselves, you perverted prudes with unhealthy sexual hangups.

In general, those people who want to judge others on the basis of something they consider to be immoral typically have the same problem themselves. Some Christians I have known who speak out actively against homosexuality, for instance, I have had the impression that they had latent homosexual tendencies themselves that they're fighting.

Similarly, we have religious people speaking out against public breastfeeding, and I get the impression that they worry too damn much about having impure thoughts or something. If that's what's really going on, that their own problem, since breastfeeding is a natural thing that we should encourage, and babies get hungry at "inconvenient" times, so you just have to feed them.

One thing I wonder is what would have happened if the women in the photos had been much less attractive. They're both very pretty, which I suspect is further fueling people's worries about being spurred on to have impure thoughts.

As a final note, while I encourage breastfeeding, there are some people who are nazis about it. I think it should be a choice. Moreover, there are some people who have trouble with it. Sometimes they naturally don't produce enough milk. Sometimes, the baby has trouble latching on; for instance, tongue-ties are fairly common.

about two weeks ago
top

Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

Theovon Re:Remember: Cultural, not racial (459 comments)

Yeah, but average human brain size is fairly consistent as well. Well, it varies a lot, actually, but more randomly, not correlated with race.

about two weeks ago
top

Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

Theovon Re:Remember: Cultural, not racial (459 comments)

Just to be clear, I am pefectly well aware that "racial" groups have far more overlap in genetic diversity than they have differences. You can compare individuals in intelligence. You can compare population averages, although the averages aren't all that different. But even if the averages were much different, you couldn't project population averages to individuals, because the population variances are huge.

If Neanderthals were still around (more than some genetic remnants), it would be cool to analyze the differences. I suspect that they wouldn't be generally less intelligent than homo sapiens, but that they'd have slightly different strengths and weaknesses. I could see that being really useful for team building with complementary skill sets. As it is, with all of our "racial diversity" humans are a monoculture compared to what it would be like if we had more high intelligence species.

Anyhow, "Are whites more prone to discriminate against other groups?" isn't necessarily a dumb question. None of those questions is stupid from the point of view of detached scientific inquiry. The answers are all going to be mostly or completely "No," but science is often about asking stupid questions, even if the effect is to provide quantifiable evidence for something we intuitively knew. Also, that the answers are "no" is not intuitive to everyone. Moreover, slashdot has linked to plenty of cases where scientists tested something "obvious" and the results came out different from what we expected.

There IS some basis to say that some populations (on average) are smarter than others, when it comes to variation in specific strengths and weaknesses. Racial groups have been apart long enough that we've all adapted a little bit to slightly different environments. We're all more or less well-adapted to those environments, and since those environments have some differences, we're going to have some differences. An example is skin color. It's likely that humans living in Africa 1/2 million years ago had a medium brown complexion, owing to the higher density of trees, greater moisture, and other factors making sunlight exposure less than it is now. As the environment in Africa became more arid and sunnier, humans there adapted to develop darker skin, while those who migrated to the far north developed lighter skin so as better absorb the more limited UV radiation and generate enough Vitamin D. (Incidentally, Inuits are too dark to generate enough Vitamin D where they live, so traditionally, they would get it from blubber. Now that they have adopted more western diets, they're getting sick due to insufficient calciferols.) Another difference often pointed out (but hot much if it's genetic I'm not sure) is how Africans tend to have superior social ability. Although this doesn't necessarily imply anything about other components of intelligence, it may represent a tradeoff, where different human groups all have about the same average intelligence, and as a result, greater social intelligence will trade off against other kinds of intelligence. One example I recall reading about many years ago pertained to children with cognitive impairment. A white child with an 80 IQ will be generally retarded, while a black child with an 80 IQ will be socially normal.

BTW, I've always argued that social intelligence is a major blind spot for IQ testing. That doesn't mean that IQ is useless. It just means that sometimes, IQ will underestimate someone's over-all intelligence if they are smarter in an area that IQ doesn't test for. There are other kinds of intelligence left out of IQ, such as bodily–kinesthetic.

And one last thing. In 100 years, hopefully this line of inquiry regarding racial intelligence will be as boring as questions about gender intelligence. Also, hopefully gay marriage will be boring too. We'll have some knowledge about these things, but we won't prejudge people on those basis. We won't assume the neighborbood is going to hell if a minority family moves in, and we won't disown our children if they turn out gay. But at this time, there are many people who would love to pervert science to tell a story that gives them permission to be assholes to other people, which forces us to carefully analyze those questions. (But of course, when science goes counter to their preconceived notions, they'll reject it.)

about two weeks ago
top

Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

Theovon Remember: Cultural, not racial (459 comments)

In engineering and academia, I've appreciated those rare black colleagues. For one thing, they were all much more social (and it is well established that culturally and/or genetically, africans statistically have superior social ability to whites and asians), so I could enjoy hanging out with them more. Another is that they had different things to say, making our work environment litterally more diverse in terms of ideas.

However, in many ways, those black colleagues were not extremely "black" culturally. Dialectally, they sounded more mainstream, along with their general comportment.

As others have pointed out here, the biggest barrier to blacks getting into white collar jobs is black culture. Those who manage to escape the anti-education indoctrination demonstrate themselves to be just as smart as everyone else. It's not politically correct to suggest that different genetic sub-groups (i.e. races) might have different intelligence levels (albeit just averages), but it's anthropologically, it's an important question. However, what we find is that the culture dominates so strongly that we can't even begin to explore that question. (And of course, it is both stupid and unethical to assume that every member of a race is equivalent to the average (whatever that is) and prejudge them on that basis.)

about two weeks ago
top

The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Theovon Had 60% of my students cheat on second homework (438 comments)

Turns out 60% of my class is Indian.

Here's what happened: I'm teaching one of two sections of a CS course. On one of my homework assignments, I borrowed two of the questions from the other instructor. However, I altered them so that the numbers were different. The other section's answer key came out just before mine was due. Nevertheless, about 60% of my class turned in exact copies of the other section's answers, which were not correct for the assignment I gave them.

Call me lazy if you want, but coming up with good questions isn't as easy as you might think, so instructors often reuse their own questions (with some facts altered), and this isn't a whole lot different. This gave me an opportunity to explain to the students the meaning of the term "honeypot."

Anyhow, India isn't unique in developing this sense of entitlement to do what you want and to achieve grades, regardless of what you might actually learn. Some people will spend more time trying to evade learning than actually doing the learning. But some people find the piece of paper to be more important than having job skills.

about two weeks ago
top

How To End Online Harassment

Theovon Re:Has to worry (834 comments)

You seem exceedingly rational, which is actually rare among netizens (male or female). I'm concerned that the abuse you receive may be mild compared to what some people have to deal with, where the abusers intrude on real life or at the very least make it difficult to do anything on the internet without having to wade through tons of crap.

People should not send you threats of bodily harm by any medium, whether we're talking about snail mail, phone, fax, or Internet.

about two weeks ago
top

How To End Online Harassment

Theovon Religion should be fair game (834 comments)

Unlike those other things, religion is something you choose and something you can change. Moreover, religions are responsible for (directly or due to perversion) for countless atrocities. For gender, race, and sexual orientation, it is only bigotry against them that has lead to atrocities (although bigotry applies to religion too). Finally, many aspects of most religions don't make logical sense or are in direct contradition to established scientific fact or well-supported theory.

Therefore, I say that people should be subject to verbal criticism for aspects of their religions that are stupid.

That being said, many religious people are not intellectual enough to be able to question their religions, and due to the all-encompassing role that most religions play, religion is an integral part of their normal function. It's one thing to pick on someone for being intentionally stupid, but what about the cases where people are simply unable to think beyond their upbringing? You're not going to train me to want to eat grub worms any time soon, although it's perfectly normal in some cultures, so maybe I'm stupid in that way. There are some aspects of one's upbringing that are difficult or impossible to shake.

Consider sexual orientation. Mostly or strictly gay people make up only about 10% of the human population. Something we don't think about is the part of the population that is strictly straight. There are cultures where homosexual acts are or have been expected, and some people naturally are unable to bring themselves to participate, making themselves outcasts. Let's say for the sake of argument that that accounts for another 10%. That suggests that there is about 20% of humans who fundamentally have no choice about their sexual orientation. What about the remaining 80%? Some identify as something else (like bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc.). But most of them identify as straight. Why? Cultural indoctrination. They could have, if raised differently, been more flexible, but they had that flexibility trained out of them. Religion is really no different from that or any other aspect of culture that we take for granted.

Which is why it's unethical (I didn't say it should be illegal) to discriminate on the basis of religion. That being said, facts are facts, and when someone is wrong (regardless of how deeply ingrained it is), they should be subject to criticism. The rest of us should not be contrained by other people's backward cultural hangups, just because we apply the label "religion."

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

Theovon Re:VERY POSITIVE: Systemd is well-modularized (928 comments)

As I have been coming to understand, you have a good point. What I don't know is if these components have well-documented interfaces so that they can be swapped out.

about a month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

Theovon Re:VERY POSITIVE: Systemd is well-modularized (928 comments)

Systemd is also modular in that it is comprised of multiple components that run in isolated processes, which avoids having one service crash due to bugs in another. It's also not as spaghetti as people say it is. As I said in another post, the high level differences between systemd and sysvinit are:
- sysvinit starts a whole bunch of services whether you need them or not sequentially at boot time, and the startup is controlled by shell scripts.
- systemd starts services entirely on demand, only when they are needed, automatically managing dependencies, and the startup is controlled by C code.
So basically, they're a lot a like, except that systemd maintains more components internally to the project, and it's smarter and faster.

about a month ago

Submissions

top

Ask Slashdot: Any really good texts on evolutionary details?

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Theovon (109752) writes "To me, that we evolved from earlier life forms is a straightforward conclusion. We have mountains of evidence, and current theories are sound given that data. But I'm not a biologist, so I find it a challenge to get access to much of that data. I'm looking for a single coherent tome (or maybe multivolume set) of biological data used to develop specific theories of evolution of many ancient and modern family trees. I don't want mere drawings of fossils in sequence like in a high school textbook. I want to see photographs of the original fossils, along with data about geologic strata, measurements of numerous morphological features, and explanations of the lines of reasoning that lead to particular conclusions. Sections on DNA analysis would be great too, along with any other interesting lines of evidence. The conclusions that scientists draw are fascinating, and I'd like to dig deeper into the data they started from. Would the slashdot crowd be able to help me find a top example of such a resource?"
top

'Something is deeply broken in OS X memory management'

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Theovon (109752) writes "Ever since Apple released Lion, countless users have been complaining about performance problems, even on top-of-the-line hardware. OSX point releases have been coming out, but this issue has remained completely unaddressed by Apple, as per their usual "it's not our fault" approach to their mistakes. Well, some researchers have been investigating this. Perhaps Apple will finally take notice. The original article is here, and the OSNews article is here."
Link to Original Source
top

Pampers Dry Max diapers, chemical burns

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Theovon (109752) writes "Despite the self-deprecating jokes, many of us slashdotters do indeed have the social skills to find mates and have children. This is why articles like the recent one on delayed umbilical cord cutting are of interest to us. Well, here's another one for us parents, something my week-old daughter is experiencing first-hand. Procter and Gamble is putting their heads in the sand and denying all responsibility in response to a spate of reports that the most recent version of their "Dry Max" diapers are causing severe rashes that appear to be chemical burns. There are articles all over the place, with questions and blogs and even P&G's lame response trying to suggest that it's a mere coincidence that rashes are increasing at the same time that their new diapers came out. The feds are investigating, and hopefully, there will be a recall soon. My little girl's rash isn't quite as severe as what I've been reading about, since we caught it early and are using liberal amounts of Desitin. We're accustomed to seeing corporate greed stand in the way of product quality, every one of us who is forced to use Microsoft products. But it's one thing to lose some work. It's entirely another when helpless babies are physically injured by a product that we're supposed to trust, and even worse when the manufacturer tries to tell us that we're the ones at fault."
top

Linux Not Quite Ready for New 4K-sector Drives

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Theovon (109752) writes "We've seen a few stories recently about the new Western Digital Green drives, including this one on slashdot. According to WD, their new 4096-byte sector drives are problematic for Windows XP users but not Linux or most other OS's. There's an article on OS News that suggests that Linux users should not be complacent about this, because not all the Linux tools like fdisk have caught up. The result is a reduction in write throughput by a factor of 3.3 across the board (a 230% overhead) when 4096-byte clusters are misaligned to 4096-byte physical sectors by one or more 512-byte logical sectors. The author does some benchmarks to demonstrate this. Also, from the comments on the article, it appears that even parted is not ready since by default, it aligns to "cylinder" boundaries, which are not physical cylinder boundaries and are multiples of 63."
Link to Original Source
top

OGP releases video of VGA emulator booting

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Theovon writes "Slashdot hasn't seen much news about the Open Graphics Project for some time now, but the OGP has been quite busy, especially recently. As you may recall, the OGP's goal is to develop a fully open-source graphics card. All specs, designs, and source code are released under Free licenses. Right now, they're using FPGAs (large-scale reprogrammable chips) to build a development platform that they call OGD1. And they've just completed an alpha version of legacy VGA emulation, apparently not an easy feat. They have posted a Youtube video of OGD1 driving a monitor, showing Gentoo booting up in a PC. This completes a major step, allowing OGD1 to act as the primary display in an x86 PC. The announcement can be seen on the OGP home page, and there's an OSNews.com article. Finally, the Free Software Foundation has taken notice of this and is asking for volunteers to help with the OGP wiki."
Link to Original Source
top

Dedicated compute box: Persistent terminals?

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Theovon (109752) writes "I just built an expensive high-end quad-core Linux PC, dedicated for number-crunching. Its job is to sit in the corner with no keyboard, mouse, or monitor and do nothing but compute (genetic algorithms, neural nets, and other research). My issue is that I would like to have something like persistent terminal sessions.

I've considered using Xvnc in a completely headless configuration (some useful documentation here, here, here, and here). However, for most of my uses, this is overkill. Total waste of memory and compute time. However, if I decided to run FPGA synthesis software under WINE, this will become necessary. Unfortunately, I can't quite figure out how to get persistent X11 session where I'm automatically logged in (or can stay logged in), while maintaining enough security that I don't mind opening the VNC port on my firewall (with a changed port number, of course). I'm also going to check out Xpra, but I've only just heard about it and have no idea how to use it.

For the short term, the main need is just terminals. I'd like to be able to connect and see how something is going. One option is to just run things with nohup and then login and "tail -f" to watch the log file. I've also heard of screen, but I'm also unfamiliar with that.

Have other slashdot users encountered this situation? What did you use? What's hard, what's easy, and what works well?"
top

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Theovon (109752) writes "It's only been two days since the announcement of the official release of Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft), and the fallout has been very interesting to watch. By and large, fresh installs of Edgy tend to go well. A few problems here and there, especially with installation of closed-source ATI and nVidia drivers, but for the most part things have been smooth. Many people report improved performance over Dapper, improved stability, better device support, etc. A good showing. But what I find really interesting is the debacle that it has been for people who wanted to do an "upgrade" from Dapper (6.06). Installing OS upgrades has historically been fraught with problems, but previous Ubuntu releases, many other Linux distros, and MacOS X have done surprisingly well in the recent past. But not Edgy. Reports are flooding into Ubuntu's Installation & Upgrades forum from people having myriad problems with their upgrades. One user described it as a nightmare. Users are producing detailed descriptions of problems but getting little help. This thread has mixed reports and is possibly the most interesting read. Many people report that straight-forward upgrades of relatively mundane systems go well, but anything the least bit interesting seems not to have been accounted for, like software RAID, custom kernels, and Opera. Even the official upgrade method doesn't work for everyone, including crashes of the upgrade tool in the middle of installing, leaving systems unbootable, no longer recognizing devices (like the console keyboard!), reduced performance, X server crashes, wireless networking problems, the user password no longer working, numerous broken applications, and many even stranger things. Some of this is fairly subjective, with Kubuntu being a bit more problematic than Ubuntu, with reports that Xubuntu seems to have the worst problems, and remote upgrades are something you don't even want to try. Failed upgrades invariably require a complete reinstall. The conclusion from the street, about upgrading to Edgy, is a warning: If you're going to try to take the plunge, be sure to make a backup image of your boot partition before starting the upgrade. Your chances of having the upgrade be a total failure are high. If you're really dead-set on upgrading, you'll save yourself a lot of time and headache by backing up all of your personal files manually and doing a fresh install (don't forget to save your bookmarks!)."
top

Theovon Theovon writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Theovon writes "Back in the 1920's a blight all but completely wiped out Chestnut trees in the United States. As such, my uncle's 1100-tree chestnut farm is a rare sight indeed. From the article, "... someone found a single tree in Ohio that the blight did not kill ..., crossed it with the Chinese chestnut, resulting in a nut with the characteristics of the Chinese variety but with the larger nut of the American tree." The article goes on to describe some interesting things about chestnuts themselves, such as the spiny burr that they grow in on the tree."

Journals

Theovon has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?