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X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

Warbothong Re:Systemd? Not on my system... (225 comments)

I use systemd on GobiLinux to launch Gnome3 in Wayland so I can tab-indent, via my Dvorak keyboard, the UTF-16-encoded, dynamically-typed code of my GPLed program in Emacs. While playing Oggs in Amarok2 through PulseAudio on OSS4. /nerd-troll

about two weeks ago

Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

Warbothong Why tell people what they need to hear? (109 comments)

Why can’t we tell them what they want to hear?

Anchorman 3: The Legend Goes Webscale

about three weeks ago

UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Warbothong Re:"Emergency" laws. (147 comments)

"The government says if there had been no new powers there would have been no obligation on phone and internet companies to keep records if there was a UK court challenge to the retention of data."

So? That's a good thing. It's the reason why the ECJ ruled as it did. Grrrr....

about three weeks ago

New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

Warbothong Re:Needed to stop anyway (153 comments)

Most publishers sold games on Steam's Russian store for far cheaper than they did on the US or UK stores - a friend of mine bought a 4-pack of copies of Dead Island (back when that was a new-ish game and the 4-pack was going for upwards of $60 on the US store) from Russia for like $20.

Then, Valve started cracking down on cross-region purchases, making it so that you could still add games from other regions but could not actually play them until your IP was detected as being in one of those regions. The problem was that it was applied so that more expensive regions had fewer restrictions - US-bought games can be played anywhere, as can AUS/NZ ones, but games purchased from Russia or a few other regions can't be played outside of those specific regions. This means that if you're from the US and go on vacation in Russia, you can play Counter-Strike GO while in Russia, but if you're Russian and go on vacation to the US you can't play CS:GO while in the US.

It's a ridiculous double-standard, and a counter to geo-blocking would remove a lot of it.

It makes perfect sense, since the market for these games is massively skewed. Many customers are only interested in particular titles; they want GTA V and don't regard "Gangster Sim III" as a viable alternative. Since the publishers have a monopoly over their titles, they can set the prices to whatever the market will bear, regardless of how much it costs them to produce each unit (which, FYI, is $0 since the game's already finished and released).

If the market were allowed to decide, ie. if it was legal for anyone to sell copies of already-finished games, rather than just the publishers, then the prices would crash right down to near-zero.

Keep that in mind next time some copyright troll is denouncing "pirates" for being "anti-capitalist", when in fact it's copyright which is responsible for this anti-competitive crap.

about three weeks ago

Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Warbothong Re:Faith in God (299 comments)

A few will skip the doctor part and either heal spontaneously (praise the lord!) or die

Thus reinforcing the selection bias.

about a month ago

Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

Warbothong Re:Why can't (349 comments)

Or just provide a usage-over-time graph, so customers can see there's a large base-line usage when they're not even at home.

I'm with Andrews & Arnold and I can see this usage data by logging into their Web site.

about a month ago

Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

Warbothong Re:Administrators (538 comments)

Notice that anon used the phrase "shouldn't be", not "isn't".

about a month ago

Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

Warbothong Re:Core competency (142 comments)

Mozilla wants an 'open Web'. Making an open source browser is a big part of that.

Protecting users from mass surveillance is another. Crippling third-party systems by default is a big part of that.

Unfortunately that kills some existing services, like unified commenting systems, which users want. Someone *could* come along with a unified commenting system which doesn't conduct mass surveillance, but that's an unlikely business model at the moment. Hence Mozilla's solving the chicken-and-egg problem themselves, by making a unified commenting system which (presumably) doesn't do mass surveillance.

If this works, it will go a long way towards making the third-party-crippling an effective default. Hence the Web becomes more 'open'.

about a month ago

German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany

Warbothong Re:Merkel is a hypocrite (103 comments)

Serves her right.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

about a month ago

German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany

Warbothong Re:Just like the DDR or the 3rd Reich never happen (103 comments)

These people are doing the same things that were the very basis of oppression of any and all freedoms on German soil in these two regimes. It is like these cretins _want_ that state of affairs back.

They want that level of power, but since it's *them* this time, they'll only use it for "good" (ie. what *they* want).

Of course, they neglect to realise that's exactly what the Nazi's thought.

about a month ago

German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany

Warbothong Re:End-run around everyone's rights (103 comments)

The reality that since the beginning of times governing people requires spying that same people.

The government needs spies as it needs assassins and torturers and all kinds of evil agents. If the people keep pushing to reveal the truth, the result won't be the disappearance of evil agents but the removal of the pink veil.

At some point, if the kid insists enough, the parent's patience ends and he replies "because I say so, now shut up."

At "the beginning of times" governments used targetted spying. They couldn't tap intercontinental fibreoptic communication cables, run the output through face recognition algorithms and automatically build huge databases of everyone's correspondance.

As an analogy, I accept that police and handcuffs are necessary evils. What I don't accept is that we may as well have everyone wear electromagnetic bracelets, which police can remotely switch into a pair of handcuffs.

about a month ago

Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

Warbothong Re:Science Fiction (275 comments)

Of course it would be pretty awesome to be able to colonize Mars, but we're not there yet and putting a human being there unless there is a real reason to do so is wasteful and a safety risk.

You're right that there needs to be a 'real reason', but we can say the same thing about, say, Australia. Why do we make so many wasteful and potentially dangerous trips there every day? Because there is a thriving colony of humans there.

It's a bootstrapping problem. Visiting/emmigrating to a martian colony would be a 'real reason' to go to Mars; so that's what we need to build.

about a month and a half ago

The Flaw Lurking In Every Deep Neural Net

Warbothong Re:Optical illusuions? (230 comments)

I'm saying "why would be assume a similar flaw in a biological system because computer simulations have a flaw".

Nobody's assuming; scientists are asking a question.

I think jumping to the possibility that biological systems share the same weaknesses as computer programs is a bit of a stretch.

I've not come across the phrase "jumping to the possibility" before. If I 'jump' to giving this a possibility of 2%, is that a 'stretch'?

about 2 months ago

The Flaw Lurking In Every Deep Neural Net

Warbothong Re:Optical illusuions? (230 comments)

If a deep neural network is biologically inspired we can ask the question, does the same result apply to biological networks? Put more bluntly, 'Does the human brain have similar built-in errors?

And, my second question, just because deep neural networks are biologically inspired, can we infer from this kind of issue in computer programs that there is likely to be a biological equivalent? Or has everyone made the same mistake and/or we're seeing a limitation in the technology?

Maybe the problem isn't with the biology, but the technology?

Or are we so confident in neural networks that we deem them infallible? (Which, obviously, they aren't.)

You're just repeating the question asked in the summary.

about 2 months ago

RFC 7258: Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack

Warbothong Re:Broader implications? (67 comments)

"Monitoring" is an awfully loose term. Could this, for instance, apply to such things as the persistant port scanning (e.g. "monitoring" which ports a user has open on a given IP) and thus have implications for operations like Shodan HQ, or even the periodic scans of the entire Internet done by the likes of H.D. Moore and other companies or universities conducting research?

Research is conducted based on the data available. If stronger protocols reduce the amount of available data, research will continue with that reduced amount of data.

If some research specifically requires more data, that's OK. That's called 'performing an experiment', and there are numerous procedures which can be followed to do this. One thing they all have in common is that if they involve people, like Internet monitoring does, then it must pass an ethics board and gain consent from all of the subjects involved.

If that were the case today, there wouldn't be all of this mess playing out.

about 2 months ago

Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousness Is Noncomputable

Warbothong Not non-computable at all (426 comments)

In other words, a God-like observer with perfect knowledge of the brain would not consider it non-computable. But for humans, with their imperfect knowledge of the universe, it is effectively non-computable.

What they're saying is that there are limits, beyond undecidability, when a human mind tries to study itself. It's an algorithmic analogy to the classic data-storage problem of trying to imagine, using your mind, the whole contents of your mind. Via recursion, that can't be done. Likewise, TFA is saying that we can't use our minds to compute some things about our minds, even though an outside observer with perfect knowledge of our mind could do so.

The reference to PCs is hence entirely wrong. What they're saying is that if a PC worked like our brain, it would be limited in its introspection ability compared to, for example, a hypervisor on which it's running.

about 3 months ago

First Arrest In Japan For 3D-Printed Guns

Warbothong Re:Cue "freedom" NRA nuts in 3.. 2.. 1... (274 comments)

Because guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

The groupings that emerge when ordered by homicides per 100,000 is interesting. The most dangerous seem to be quasi-dictatorial republics in the Americas. Unsurprisingly this includes the USA.

about 3 months ago

DreamWorks Animation CEO: Movie Downloads Will Move To Pay-By-Screen-Size

Warbothong Re:Pay per pixel? (347 comments)

Some people prefer the high-quality version and are willing to pay extra, others are unwilling to pay extra, or have poor vision and think the low-quality version is good enough.

Others think that the quality of a movie cannot be measured in pixels.

about 3 months ago

One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

Warbothong Golden Age (230 comments)

I remember one of my Computer Architecture lecturers lamenting the end of of punchcard era.

Gone are the days of being able to see how hard a PhD student is working by counting the boxes of punchcards in their office.

Gone are the days when sending code to be compiled meant everyone could go to the pub.

about 2 months ago



Eff: A pure language with side-effects

Warbothong Warbothong writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Warbothong (905464) writes "The debate between pragmatism and purity in programming languages has been going on for decades. Pure languages forbid side-effects in their computations (eg. changing a variable), since they make formal analysis hard; whilst pragmatists embrace them to allow quick production of 'good enough' code. A new experimental language called Eff, created by Andrej Bauer and Matija Pretnar, is blurring this distinction. Eff is based on a Mathematical model of side-effects, allowing it to harness mutable state, exceptions, IO, random choice and more in a pure way from within a Python-like syntax. The product of on-going research, Eff is still in its infancy and, as its authors state, " an academic experiment. It is not meant to take over the world. Yet.""
Link to Original Source

Tiny generator runs off vibrations

Warbothong Warbothong writes  |  about 7 years ago

Warbothong (905464) writes "Researchers at Southampton University in the UK have developed a tiny (less than 1 cubic centimetre) generator which uses local vibrations to output microwatts of power, making it an alternative to batteries, which need replacing regularly. The devices are currently being used in industry where "there is the potential for embedding sensors in previously inaccessible locations", but its creators imagine it could be used in devices such as pacemakers, where the beating of the heart would produce ample movement for the magnetic mechanism inside to work."
Link to Original Source

Warbothong Warbothong writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Warbothong (905464) writes "I am going off to University this month, so I have been chasing up payments and deposits, etc. online. The other day I received an email confirming that I am all payed up, which is great. The not-so-great part was the email's header, since after "To:" it had a list of 1343 email addresses, including mine. It is pretty clear that all of these addresses are for students paying their deposits online, and it is also clear that this list has been sent to 1343 people. In our world of datamining and spamming I am pretty concerned that sooner or later this list will get into the hands of someone who might want to make a bit of money from a list of 1343 valid email addresses, all in active use, all owned by soon-to-be students at a particular University in the UK who all have the capability for making online payments, so I am wondering what Slashdot readers make of this? Should I be worried? I have already sent an email of concern to the Reply-To: address, and got a swift response that this matter will be dealt with "immediately", but I am not sure there is much that can be done at this point. I would also like to point out though, that my email address is with Yahoo! and I have apparently already been added to at least two user's Buddy Lists. With that in mind, is this just a subversive way of getting fellow students together before we all leave for the campus, and to hell with the University's privacy policy and the fact that this was my spam-free email account?"


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