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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

Urkki Re:Ummm.... (162 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".

yesterday
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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

Urkki Re:Ummm.... (162 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?

yesterday
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Urkki Re:Damage or Change? (527 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.

5 days 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).

5 days 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.

5 days ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Urkki Re: I hope not (508 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 week 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 two weeks ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

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

First, assumption is that we're talking about the kind of virtual machines people run in VirtualBox etc, using the native CPUs etc. IOW, not talking about emulators like QEMU.

VM host RAM overhead is essentially static, while VM guest memory sizes go up along with all memory sizes, so actually RAM overhead asymptotically approaches 0%.

30% CPU, just how do you get that number? Virtual memory page switches etc may have some overhead in VM maybe, I don't know, but normal application code runs at the raw CPU just like code on the host OS.

And there's normally no emulation of hardware, there's just virtualization of hardware in the normal use cases. Hardware can also be directly connected to the VM at the lowest possible level, bypassing most of the host OS driver layers (non-performance-related, this is very convenient with mice and keyboards in multi-monitor setups, where each monitor can have a VM in full screen with dedicated kb&mouse in front of it, no more looking at one VM while focus is in another).

about two weeks ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

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

Except there will be no performance boost. There may be a blip in some benchmark.

Additionally, programmers are already running *application code* on bare metal when that kind of performance matters, most commonly on GPUs.

about two weeks 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. It will just tend to itself. Then you add some possibilities for user applications to do things, the less the better, from security and stability point of view. Every public API is a potential vulnerability, a potential window to exploit some bug.

about two weeks ago
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Can We Call Pluto and Charon a 'Binary Planet' Yet?

Urkki Re:What debate? (115 comments)

Planet and Dwarf Planet are arbitrary labels defined by the IAU.
How can you "debate" about that?

Well, they're not really arbitrary. There are at least three points you can argue about:

1. Argue to change the definition (actual written words), which determines which is which and what isn't either.

2. Argue about interpretation of the defintion. Though, if this succeeds, then it makes the definition ambiguous, and the classification of border cases does become arbitrary.

3. Argue about the chosen terms "planet" and "dwarf planet". For example I'm personally not too happy having "dwarf planets" which are not a subclass of "planets", it's a bit unintuitive to me.

about three weeks ago
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Can We Call Pluto and Charon a 'Binary Planet' Yet?

Urkki Re:Binary yes, planet no. (115 comments)

neither has Jupiter. Zing.

"Cleared its orbit" means, the planet controls everything which shares or crosses orbit with it. This may mean the usual moons, but also oribtal resonance (such as the Pluto-Neptune resonance) and minor bodies oribiting the Lagrange points of the planet (Trojans at L4/L5) instead of the planet itself like the usual moons.

about three weeks ago
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Digia Spinning Off Qt Division Into New Company

Urkki Re:Doing it wrong (59 comments)

we often end up competing against ourselves instead of competing against other technologies

You don't compete against technologies, you compete against other businesses.

Ideally, no. If you have to compete against other businesses, you need to set your prices to match the competition. When you compete against other technologies, you can set the price according to what the market can bear. Consider Apple, they have their own technology, which competes against for example Microsoft and Linux related technologies. Now they can set their price according to what those who want their technology are willing pay, and rake in big profits. While in (for example) Windows PC/laptop or Android phone business, companies are competing against each others, and many are struggling to make any profit.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

Urkki Obvious solution (430 comments)

Obvious solution to poor documentation: don't read it!
.
There's a lot of decent, good and even excellent documentation to read too, after all. Why would anybody read the bad documentation instead?

about a month ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Urkki Re:Have you seen Gedit lately? (402 comments)

Anyone can learn vi in about 1 hour. You really only need an explanation between edit and command mode, about eight commands to get started, and three basic command pattern variants, and one searching pattern (fixed string)

You are drawing a false equivalency between "learn vi" and "get started with vi". Using vi before one has learned it well is... painful. Really painful. Knowing what you want to do, but not knowing how to do it in vi effectively. While at this stage of learning, not knowing many vi commands, one tries to do the editing tasks using same methods as with a more conventional text editor. And that is painful, being force to think about the editor instead of thinking about the content.

To use vi effectively, one needs to learn an entirely new way of thinking about editing text, and that takes time before it stops being distracting. Not to mention, one needs to learn far more than 60 commands, options, settings and so on. Just pick a random vi cheat sheet / reference card, and count the items. Learning and *remembering* one per minute is kinda... optimistic.

Then if you don't know regular expressions beforehand, you can double the time it takes for one to learn to use vi well enough for it to be practical.

about a month ago

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