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Comments

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XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

Unknown Lamer Re:Google Play Store in AOSP? (121 comments)

You are running Play because your phone came with Play, and the Cyanogenmod installer copies it from the stock image before installation.

Play most assuredly is not part of AOSP.

about 2 months ago
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XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

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

SIP is a good protocol. There aren't very many great clients, but ekiga always worked fine for me.

about 2 months ago
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Traffic Optimization: Cyclists Should Roll Past Stop Signs, Pause At Red Lights

Unknown Lamer Re:So a bicyclist is safer..... (490 comments)

You know, I could say the same thing about drivers. Because I've encountered drivers who do incredibly stupid things. E.g. a few months ago I was forced to take the lane for a while because there was no shoulder and a lot of oncoming traffic. The person behind me was nice about it, and began to pass when it became safe. The person behind them had been revving their engine the entire time, and passed them as they passed me, forcing the car attempting to pass me safely to jerk back over, and me to end up in a ditch. From this I can extrapolate that all drivers are awful, and I'm risking my life every time I hop down the grocery store right? No, only some impatient people who don't think the rules apply to them are awful. I have about one dangerous interaction a year, and two to three instances of "stupid college kid thinks he is impressing his friends by trying to scare me" (beep beep, or throwing something). Which reminds me that college drivers are about as bad as college cyclists...

We all remember the bad interactions... most everyone operating a bicycle or a car is doing so reasonably and you have no reason to waste neurons on remembering mundane interactions. I do get annoyed and occasionally lecture other bicyclists who use the sidwalk, ride against traffic, etc. Because they are putting themselves in danger and I am concerned for their safety... almost all car-bike collisions occur when you are riding against traffic, when you end up getting backed up into from a driveway, when a driver right turns in front of you because you were not visible. Which is also why I don't use bike lanes (the artificial division creates inconsistencies in the uniform traffic code... there are no other situations where you must yield to traffic on your right!).

You also cannot directly compare red light / stop sign safety between bicycles and cars. I usually do a full stop, but if I have a clear line of sight and there are no other cars around (and, estimating a bad driver going ~15mph over limit would not appear), I might only slow down a bit. Or proceed through a red light on a primary road intersecting a neighborhood road a few moments early if I happen to end up at the head of the queue to avoid blocking traffic (or being passed unsafely in the intersection). You can see much better on a bicycle, you can stop in a much shorter distance (base reaction time is basically the limiting factor after you practice using your front brake), etc. So there is reason to treat bicycles slightly differently.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Unknown Lamer Re: How does it affect me? (533 comments)

lsb-init gained dependency support like five years ago.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Unknown Lamer Re:Emacs (533 comments)

Not yet, but eventually. Systemd has all of the bloat of emacs, without any of the benefits.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Unknown Lamer GNU Is Working on It (533 comments)

See Daemon Managing Daemon. It was written in the early-00s for the Hurd, languished for the better part of a decade, and has been picked up again. It has a model kind of like systemd, only without the Windows braindamage (I mean come on, ini files as a programming language?). Development on DMD is pretty active now, and it's written in Scheme instead of C so mere mortals can hack on it. The design is pretty interesting, and makes extending things easy. E.g. imagine you run an openafs cell and need a service to grab Kerberos tickets and afs tokens at start. You can just register interest in the service in another service and have it Just Work (tm). From the looks of it, you may even be able to just write a single "Kerberize all the services" service. Better than sysvinit (oh joy, forking an init script) and better than systemd (oh joy, forking an ini-file-pretending-its-not-a-program)..

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Unknown Lamer Re:Accept, don't fight, systemd (533 comments)

Also, Lennart Poettering has noted he doesn't care about support anything !Linux, even if someone else maintains the code.

about 2 months ago
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Programming Education Making A Comeback In Primary Schools

Unknown Lamer Re:Huh? (138 comments)

A good time to introduce programming is likely between ages 7 and 12, as a way to introduce abstract reasoning as their minds develop. Alan Kay had a lot of success with that age group, but he's kind of an ass toward educators (with some justification) and here we are in 2014 and little Billy and Susie can't evaluate (+ 2 2).

about 3 months ago
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ARIN Is Down To the Last /8 of IPv4 Addresses

Unknown Lamer Re:Wasn't allocation always the problem? (306 comments)

If MIT had to give up some of their IPv4 addresses, maybe we'd get IPv6 openafs this century ;)

about 2 months ago
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The Security of Popular Programming Languages

Unknown Lamer Re:How does a language remediate anything? (189 comments)

It is actually possible for the language to prevent certain classes of vulnerabilities. See Ur/Web. That's not what Perl is doing, but...

about 3 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Unknown Lamer Re:not hounded for his views/opinions (1746 comments)

Balancing that, of course: "Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein."

And the right to form a family is fundamental. Ethics is complicated.

about 4 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Unknown Lamer Re:Why the Hell Didn't He Just Apologize? (1746 comments)

Sort of ambivalent on the whole thing personally, but I think he refused to recant because he makes a point of not discussing his political views in public. When he made the donation, the record was between him and the state, and was only later made an open record. It seems consistent with his previous actions to refuse to discuss it. Of course, that's an approach that ended up costing him greatly. Maybe it was worth it to him. Maybe it will be the nudge that makes him introspect and change his views if he hasn't already.

There's a bit of a logical problem with assuming guilt from a refusal to make a statement, despite the human tendency to do so.

about 4 months ago
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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

Unknown Lamer Re:Pleeeeeeeease? (276 comments)

I'd like to add to this question, since I missed my chance last time and I'm a huge B5 fan (it was on PTEN when I was a kid, and we didn't have cable so it was UHF channels for me... and then I missed season 5 entirely which led to rewatching it a couple of years ago... and hooking plenty of other people since then).

Would it be possible to have the portions that were not composited retransfered in HD, progressive scan video? And maybe the CGI portions upscaled and transferred as full frames at the original frame rate instead of being converted to interlaced/24fps video? Running a version of the filter at the previous link does result in a noticeable quality improvement, and it would be great if officially released versions didn't have to be ripped/filtered to restore the quality.

Availibility in DRM-free formats (Bluray and GNU/Linux aren't really friends, and it sucks having to break the law to watch video you paid for) would be awesome too.

Of course, I hear that the rights situation with the whole PTEN explosion is likely what is preventing any of this from being possible...

about 4 months ago
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Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

Unknown Lamer Re:I see a lot of discussion about systemd (379 comments)

The worst part is that systemd existed about ten years ago: GNU Daemon Managing Daemon, written in Scheme. It has recently been resurrected as the init system of GNU's Guix distribution... instead of ini-files (which have gotten out of control already in systemd and have transformed into an absurd little programming language with awful syntax and undefinable semantics) you extend it using Scheme modules which can be loaded without recompiling the entire daemon. New functionality is implemented as classes, methods, and plain old functions (better than shell pseudo-functions and "well just add a new ini key in C").

I'm not sure why we're reverting to an init system written in a barely-typed static language that doesn't have garbage collection (I really like it when a process I can never kill has any chance of leaking memory), can segfault with nothing more than a small typo, requires new releases to add even minor new features, and has an upstream that is ... difficult (I mean come on, rejecting patches to support not-Linux? Even when an offer to maintain the other system comes with the patch?), ... especially since Debian has (except for the whole GFDL is non-free spat) been pretty closely aligned with GNU.

about 5 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Unknown Lamer Re: Extra strain? (767 comments)

Build more nuclear fission plants, throw more than a few pennies at fusion research. Problem solved.

Still, when CFLs cost about $2 for a four pack... I only have a few incadescent bulbs left (weird vanity bulbs in the bathroom, a pair of three way bulbs in some floor lamps because 3-way CFLs suck and seem to die faster than incadescents do anyway, at least for me).

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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LHC Discovers New Particle That Looks Like the Higgs Boson

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  about 2 years ago

An anonymous reader writes "The wait is over: new submitter Roger W Moore (among many, many other submitters) writes "The ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN have just announced the discovery of a new particle which is consistent with a Standard Model Higgs boson. There is still a lot of work to do to confirm whether this really is the Higgs, and if so whether it is a Standard Model Higgs, but this is a major result.""
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LHC Discovers New Particle That Looks Like the Higgs Boson

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  about 2 years ago

An anonymous reader writes "The wait is over: new submitter Roger W Moore (among many, many other submitters) writes "The ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN have just announced the discovery of a new particle which is consistent with a Standard Model Higgs boson. There is still a lot of work to do to confirm whether this really is the Higgs, and if so whether it is a Standard Model Higgs, but this is a major result."!!!"
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my bum emits god particles. LHC Discovers New Particle That Looks Like the Higgs

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  about 2 years ago

An anonymous reader writes "The wait is over: new submitter Roger W Moore (among many, many other submitters) writes "The ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN have just announced the discovery of a new particle which is consistent with a Standard Model Higgs boson. There is still a lot of work to do to confirm whether this really is the Higgs, and if so whether it is a Standard Model Higgs, but this is a major result.""
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NRC Approves First New Reactor Construction Since 1978

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Unknown Lamer writes "At their noon meeting today, the NRC approved the COL for two new reactors at Southern Company's Georgia Vogtle site. Expected to begin operation in 2016 or 2017, the pair of new AP1000 reactors will produce around 2GW of power for the Atlanta area. This is the first of the new combined construction and operating licenses ever issued by the NRC; hopefully this bodes well for the many other pending applications."
Link to Original Source
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Sixteen Years Later: GNU Still Needs an Extension

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Unknown Lamer writes "Fresh from the 2011 GNU
Hackers Meeting, Andy Wingo has written a long piece on the status
of Guile Scheme, the
woefully underutilized official extension language of GNU. Wingo
argues that Guile
is the best choice for extension in GNU given the ability of
Scheme to adapt to change over time. Presented with using
e.g. Javascript instead of Scheme for its popularity: 'We should also
consider the costs of using hastily designed languages. JavaScript has
some crazy bad stuff, like with, var hoisting, a poor numeric model,
dynamic this scoping, lack of modularity regarding binding lookup ... Finally, we have the lifespan issue. If GNU had chosen Tcl because
it was popular, we would have a mass of dead code.' Perhaps after Emacs has been
ported to Guile the philosophy of extension will spread to other
parts of the system."
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HP Spinning off WebOS and Exiting Hardware Busines

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Unknown Lamer writes "A number of readers submitted rumors about a few announcements HP was to make today. Now that has actually happened and the news looks grim. For starters they are exiting the tablet and phone market and repositioning webOS for use in appliances and vehicles. They also confirmed they are in talks to acquire Autonomy. Finally, they are considering exiting the PC hardware business entirely in order to focus on their software business."
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Nokia Killing Symbian and S40 in North America

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Unknown Lamer writes "In interview with AllthingsD, the head of Nokia's US operations declared that Nokia will be focusing exclusively on Windows Phone devices in North America. Reasons cites include the low profit margins of the ubiquitous low-end Series 40 devices and lackluster sales of Symbian based devices. This also means that the N9 won't be making it to North America either."
Link to Original Source
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Google+: Tools, Names, and Facebook

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  about 3 years ago

Unknown Lamer (78415) writes "Several readers submitted stories about Google+ today. CWMike writes in with an article about the lack of developer APIs from Computerworld Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to tinker with. A Google spokeswoman said, 'We definitely plan to involve developers and publishers in the Google+ project, but we don't have specific details to share just yet. Please stay tuned.' The spokeswoman declined to say specifically if Google+ will be compatible with the company's OpenSocial set of common APIs for social networking applications. An anonymous reader notes that Google is requiring real names for profiles, and may have suspended some users. Anita Khanna writes "Facebook is trying real hard to block users migrating to google+. Although the recently announced Google+ social platform is still in private beta, it has generated enough excitement to have Facebook making some preemptive measures. Shortly after the announcement, Facebook made a peculiar change to their TOS that resulted in the . Over the weekend, another personal data migration tool, Open-Xchange, has also been deactivated.""

Journals

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Kerberos and Apache and Postgresql and CGIs and Kill Me Now

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  about a year ago

So, I've been overhauling the infrastructure at the ol' hosting coop, and decided: hey, we're acquiring afs tokens using mod_waklog and a $user/daemon kerberos principle, why not use that same principle for authenticating against postgresql? Bonus features: using a user map, the user's primary principle would authenticate as the same database user, and it eliminates another indirection in the auth process (we're using identd now, probably a terrible idea).

And then reality: mod_waklog grabs tokens, but the tickets used to acquire those tokens are not available to any CGI processes. This is correct behavior afaict: being an apache equivalent to aklog, it has no business dealing with kerberos keys. So, mod_auth_kerb is probably the piece responsible for this, right? Maybe. mod_waklog has two modes for acquiring tokens: one wherein you specify the principle and a keytab for a specific location, and another where it will use any tickets previously acquired by another module. So you can grab tokens using mod_auth_kerb for real users entering passwords or forwarding tickets.

In a moment of insanity I though modify suexec might be a good idea. It was, luckily, just a moment of insanity.

So now I'm left wondering if there's even a solution. Since we're offering generic Internet hosting, requiring that members figure out authentication with kerberos in their cgi programs just to access postgresql (and one day mysql, if it can even use gssapi) isn't going to fly. If there is a solution: where oh where does it belong.

My current thinking is that I should add something like Krb5AcquireTickets $principle $keytab (or Krb5LocationPrinciple, or ... whatever, I'm bad at naming things) to mod_auth_kerb. This promises a slight improvement to mod_waklog: all of the code dealing with acquiring tickets could be removed since it appears to only exist since no other modules exist to acquire tickets from a keytab. But something tells me this might still be wrong.

I'm probably doomed. The life of a volunteer sysadmin!

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New Phone, New Desktop...

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Continuing with my quest to write at an abyss...

I ended up getting the mytouch 4G Slide (HTC Doubletouch) from newegg ($130 + 24 months further enslavement to T-Mobile + if-you-cancel-within-six-months-you-owe-us-$400 standard reseller crap). And then the despair began, as the Internet informed me I had to do crap like run an untested binary to exploit the userspace and bootloader instead of a simple unlocking procedure... but then a friend who had done something similar let me know that, *phew*, you only had to do that if you wanted the "easy" way of reflashing from Android (before getting your new image installed, naturally).

I just had to use the HTC bootloader unlocker and flash Clockwork Recovery, fastboot flash the kernel, and then use the recovery image to flash the new /system. I.e. the way it had to be done on the G1... yes, much much more difficult than exploiting Linux and some vulnerability in the bootloader...

With that out of the way, I now have CM9 (Android 4.0.3). So far it's running well... my first day battery life was great, yesterday not so much (suspecting something with wakelocks, the phone refused to suspend to ram after I ran maps...). I'm also trying to use as much Free Software as possible: I installed the Google apps for now because ... I am weak, and I like the calendar and maps. But, otherwise, I'm trying only to use software from F-Droid (or things not in F-Droid that are Free of course, but in an ideal world I'd also be submitting those for inclusion). The bad: the keyboard kind of sucks. There's basically no tactile feedback, they removed the tab button for a stupid "www/com" button (hoping I can remap that, but this is Android and not X11), and it's uncomfortably wide. Dear HTC: Please, please, resurrect the Dream's hinge... I thought the hinge would be the first part to fail on my G1, but it was solid until the end. That extra bit of vertical space was nice (5 rows!), and gave a more natural horizontal spacing between keys (I could reach 3/4 of my G1 keyboard with one thumb, now it's about half for each).

Still, Android on a device with lots of processor power and RAM is actually pleasant to use, instead of an exercise in seeing how many profanities you can utter at a device.

And now for MORE FUN: at some point I did an apt-get upgrade to get a slightly newer X server and ... where did my network printer go? Oh no, cups was repackaged and I need to install these new driver packages? They rely on GNOME 3 components... no, no, no is this really happening... thus died my gnome-session + sawfish + xfce-panel desktop :(. I gave GNOME 3 a five minute shot and it confirmed my suspicions: gnome-shell sucks. I have yet to futz with getting fallback mode working with sawfish et al, and am just using KDE 4.7 now. Which is a lot nicer than 4.5, and may actually suffice for my needs. We'll see. The big thing is that it seems to handle multiple monitors reasonably well now (before hotplugging never did the right thing; I have a laptop + 24" display for when I'm at my desk, so I plug/unplug on a daily basis).

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Farewell, HTC Dream

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I got an HTC Dream about ... three years ago? And two days ago I was merrily using the phone when suddenly the touchscreen stopped responding. I rebooted, hoping it was Android 1.6 being lame yet again and ... where did the audio hardware go? dmesg revealed scads of i2c errors and that was that, time to get a new phone against my will. Because, honestly, I think the G1 is the best phone designed, ever. I'd really like to see a new version with an optical trackpad replacing the trackball (it got a bit less responsive after ~18 months, presumably from dirt) and a slightly larger screen... but otherwise untouched. And, since it croaked after a mere three years of being treated very well, a bit better build quality (hey, HTC, sell the design to Nokia and hit them with the cluebat to make them release more maemo devices). It was good enough for me to lay down my desire for an OpenMoko and compromise on a mostly non-free device yet again...

After a bit of searching, I settled upon this mytouch 4G slide thing. The keyboard is lame and only four rows... emacsing over ssh will certainly become more exciting. But, it was the best device under $250 (+ 24 months further enslavement to T-Mobile) hardware wise and is supported by Cyanogenmod so maybe I won't hate it too much. UPDATES TO FOLLOW (not that anyone reads Slashdot journals anymore).

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Journal! Thing! Hops and Homebrew

Unknown Lamer Unknown Lamer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Hello once upon a time people used Slashdot journals and I think that was pretty neat. I was thinking to myself: "I need to upgrade HCoop's Debian install so that I can install some modern weblogging software and do more than post asinine facebook status updates" and then I realized... Slash!

The system says I have no journal entries, but I could have sworn I wrote a few way back when they were new and I was a lame teenager. Oh well, they're probably best left to the abyss if they even existed at all.

Let's start on a sad note then: there's a shortage of Centennial hops until the fall harvest. Kind of sucks, I hope this isn't indicative of a secretly poor aroma hop harvest last fall (discovering stuff like total hop yields doesn't seem too easy).

But, hey, let's make the best of a potential sharp increase in hop prices: No time like the present to knock out a double batch of my homebrewed IPA (and I just upgraded to a converted keg kettle + 60 qt mash tun with a fancy homemade manifold = hello 10 gallon batches). Mmm... a pound of hops (tasty, until the register displays my total bill ... and then tasty again 8 weeks later).

In the off chance anyone is actually reading this... I'm not too keen on experimenting with the hop bill of this since it tastes pretty good, and is probably the hardest and most expensive thing I brew (failure is agonizing). So ... I've stuck with Citra, but I hear that other hops have similar fruity tastes, ... anyone know whether any of the non-proprietary hops varieties might be reasonable as a substitute? I was unaware of the politics of hop genetics until after I made this recipe, and I kind of want to one day grow all of the ingredients in my back yard.

Moo.

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