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On Independence for Scotland:

Urkki Re:So influence is the most important? (192 comments)

Joining the EU again will not be as easy as many may think. The EU still has to welcome them in, and not every EU power may be that eager to reward an independence movement like Scotland's. Spain in particular won't want to encourage Catalonia to do the same.

Yeah, they'd need full negotiations of course, but being denied EU membership is, to me, unthinkable. It's a western country with laws already aligned with EU, and economy tightly tied with that of EU. Just because for example Spain might not be happy about it, vetoing them from joining would be a step towards breaking the whole EU.

4 days ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

Urkki Re:Probably a bad idea, but... (192 comments)

Scotland's independence, if it happens, is probably a bad idea. It'll cause all manner of short-term problems, and the long-term repercussions are hard to predict worldwide.

That said, I'm strongly in favor, for a simple reason. The Scottish people, like people everywhere, have the right to self-governance. Right now they don't have that, and even if they destroy their country in the process of gaining independence, they'll at least be free to choose their own destiny.

Scottish people is not one entity, it is composed of individuals. There are many of them who would really like to choose their own destiny to be part of GB still.

Anyway, for a major change like this, if it is tight vote, and not everybody votes, then actually it'll be that actually a minority of the people decide to change the destiny for everyone. I think for a big thing like this, the change should require at least like 3/5 or 2/3 of the total votes cast.

4 days ago
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An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

Urkki Re:Thunderbird too (111 comments)

Um, Thunderbird has not been killed. Release notes for current version, released last week: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/31.1.1/releasenotes/

It may not get new features any more, but that's not same as killed. In fact, many people would argue that this is a good thing. There's need for stable software too, and for mail clients, Thunderbird is that. Don't dis it just because you may want something more cutting-edge.

4 days ago
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I think next winter will be:

Urkki Severe? (147 comments)

Last winter was totally crappy here, not a real winter, no proper snow cover, dark and depressing. So I certainly hope next winter will be more "severe", maybe even so severe that it would be a normal winter!

about a week ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Urkki Re:Atheism offers no values - you have to add them (917 comments)

And that's the problem; it's impossible to justify a value system purely from an atheist perspective;

And this is different from justifying a value system purely from a religious perspecive... how? Just because someone says their value system is 100% based on their religious canon, does not make it so. Every religion needs to... interpret some things to make them palatable, and just throw out other things as patently absurd.

Furthermore, how is that a problem?

about a week ago
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NASA Panel Finds Fault WIth Curiosity Rover Project's Focus

Urkki Re:To Dwell or Not To Dwell (51 comments)

Essentially, its mission plan should be "drive around and sniff at interesting or odd things".

It's a 3-trillion-dollar dog!

Not just any dog through, it's a space-dog. And it has lasers, that has to count for something, too.

about two weeks ago
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DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

Urkki Re:Drug addicts. (228 comments)

Coffee seems harmless, so EVERYONE uses it, EXPECTS you to use it.
We'll even eat it out of a cat's ass. That's true horror.

Actually, the coffee addicts will not do that. When they need a fix, they'll just drink from the bottom of the pot, whatever is left there from yesterday, no matter how it tastes.

I know I do.

about two weeks ago
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DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

Urkki Re:Add genetic sequence for .... (228 comments)

Of course that wouldn't really work, since most, if not all, of the effect is based on the civets selecting the beans they eat (as a side note, if you buy cheap Kopi Luvak beans, you're buying unselected force-fed crap beans, both literally and figuratively, and if you buy expensive ones, then most likely you're still buying the same beans, just paying more for the fake label...).

So you'd actually need to genetically engineer the pickers, turn them into cat people. Then they would pick the good beans with their mighty cat powers, which would be force fed to the caged civets, for mass producing the real thing.

about two weeks ago
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3 Decades Later, Finnair Pilots Report Dramatic Close Encounter With a Missile

Urkki Re:20 seconds away? (138 comments)

Airplanes don't fly stationary. I assume it was flying away from the missile, so "20 seconds away" would've been calculated using the missile's speed minus the airplane's speed. Which means the missile could've been much closer.

Closer sure, but not much closer. The speed of the missile might be 4 times the speed of the passenger plane, so for example 20 km becomes 15 km. The missiles are designed to hit supersonic military aircraft, after all.

about two weeks ago
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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

Urkki Re:Ummm.... (169 comments)

And if you think many XKCD "strips" are rather smart... what are you doing at a "New for Nerd" website?

Fixed that for you.

No, I think you are actually wrong there. If you don't find some subset (different for different people, but still a sizeable subset) smart, you do not really fit what is considered "a nerd". You can still be intelligent, smart, interested in technology,whatever, but not a "nerd".

about three weeks ago
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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

Urkki Re:Ummm.... (169 comments)

He only seems smart to you because you're so incredibly stupid.

Note that "smart" and "genius" are two different things. Also "smart" does not necessarily mean "intelligent". The comics he creates regularly are very smart, and to regularly create smart comics requires genius of some kind.

And if you don't think many XKCD "strips" are rather smart... what are you doing at a "New for Nerd" website?

about three weeks ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Urkki Re:Damage or Change? (708 comments)

Climate has always changed, the concept of "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it.

You mean, the same way as asteroids of various sizes have impacted into the Earth throughout the history of the planet, and "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it?

Yes, I agree.

about a month ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

Urkki Re:Amazing to use such a crude programming languag (98 comments)

Nothing prevents writing runtime libraries on safer languages than C, even C++11 would be a lot better (unless abused, but that applies to C too). And assembler is used very little these days, because there are many relevant CPUs in the market (ARM variants, x86, x64).

about a month ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

Urkki Re:Amazing to use such a crude programming languag (98 comments)

Protip: Your fancy "modern" language is written in this "crude" language.

Even if a compiler for a "fancy" safe language were written with a "crude" unsafe language, it would still be just one program to verify for ptr++ kind of bugs. Additionally, a compiler is a classical input -> output kind of non-interactive program, which yields itself very well for running under verification tools like valgrind, which increases confidence that at least for any given input, it will not do nasty things.

about a month ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Urkki Re: I hope not (511 comments)

Compile and link is a simple concept.

10000 functions, create 10000 objects, 9990 are unused. 10 get copied to one bigger object. Duh!

Mmm, not sure what point or joke you are trying to make, but it is ruined by numerical inaccuracy: generally one object (whether you mean C++ class or a compiler output object file) contains many exported functions.

about a month ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (129 comments)

"No, stripped to the bone, operating system offers no APIs at all"
I think we called those Kernels and it's already done in the linux and bsd world not windows.

Mmm, yeah, a barebone OS would not have almost anything except the kernel. But Linux and BSD kernels offer a complex API: all the system calls. Not barebone at all.

about a month ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (129 comments)

Or

It would have to be able to shut itself down, on PC probably by ACPI events.

Oh, that's communication, then you can hack it.

I don't know, it could be made to be one-time trigger, which starts the shutdown. If there's no way to get altered input through, that will not allow hacking. It should be simple enough to,be made bug-free.

about a month ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (129 comments)

Note that discussion is about users noticing performance gain with OS running on bare metal in the year 2020. At that time, with harware of that time, they'll need a benchmarking software to notice the difference between native and VM host, even for stuff like games.

In fact, at that time, I think state-of-the-art games etc PC software will be delivered as VM images, because the OS part of those images is going to be so small part of total size of the game that it is inconsequential, and developing against a fixed virtual OS is going to save tons of time, especially on the compatibility testing.

about a month ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (129 comments)

How would you even know if it's running?

Well, for the totally barebone version, you could run it in a VM and examine its memory contents there.

I think even barebone OS would need *some* functionality. It would have to be able to shut itself down, on PC probably by ACPI events. It would probably need to be able to start the first process/program, because I think an OS has to be able to do that, even if that process then wouldn't be able able to do anything due to lack of APIs. Etc. So even barebone, it still needs to do something.

More practical than examining a VM, much like physical skeletons on display, most likely there would be some extra support to be able to see what is going on. Equivalent of wires and rods for a real skeleton would be some kind of debug features for the barebone OS: display messages on screen or over RS232, possibly accept some commands like reboot or dump information, even provide machine language debugger/disassembler.

about a month ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (129 comments)

No, stripped to the bone, operating system offers no APIs at all, and it will not run any user applications.

Uh, what would be the point of such an operating system?

Point would be to have a stripped to the bone OS.

Actually it's kind of same as having a stripped to the bone animal (ie. skeleton): you can for example study it, put it on display, give it to the kids to play with... ;)

about a month ago

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