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Comments

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Stephen Wolfram Developing New Programming Language

abroadwin Re:Well... (168 comments)

I would say this is often true in the real world, but it shouldn't be true if things are really written using best practices. A true, well-written object-oriented design comprised of small, isolated pieces of encapsulated logic, ideally paired with comprehensive unit tests, should prevent the kind of subtle problems you describe. The unfortunate reality, however, is that in many professional settings such careful practices are often ignored or only partially followed, undermining the benefits they are supposed to provide.

about 9 months ago
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First Lab Demonstration That the Ability To Evolve Can Itself Evolve

abroadwin Re:Common sense (72 comments)

You're right, it is common sense. My initial reaction to this was the same as yours. That said, it's very useful to verify common sense scientifically, because it's amazing how often common sense proves to be wrong when formally tested. Take nothing on faith, not even (and perhaps especially) the obvious.

about 9 months ago
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Blockbuster To Close Remaining US Locations

abroadwin Re:LOL WUT? (419 comments)

Here we have Exhibit A: the soul after it has been thoroughly crushed by corporate reality.

about 9 months ago
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Snowden Seeks International Help Against US Espionage Charges

abroadwin Re:Presidential pardon (351 comments)

You do know we're talking about Snowden here, right? The one who actually took the time to sift through and prepare the data, just sharing elements of it that really show USA wrongdoing and carefully timing it for maximum impact? Not Manning? Just what did he release that caused more bad than good? Or perhaps your definition of "bad" is "makes the US look bad even if they're violating the constitutional rights of their citizens". Just who or what do you think you're talking about, exactly?

about 10 months ago
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20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

abroadwin Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (453 comments)

Not all meetings are created equal. If I can provide an alternative to your closing sentence... "Meeting can and should be about collaboration, with group participation, and getting something done. If you can not get that out of a meeting, fire the participants or reconsider why the meeting was called in the first place."

about 10 months ago
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How Science Goes Wrong

abroadwin No... (316 comments)

This is not science going wrong, this is wrongly calling something science.

about 10 months ago
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Scientists Create New "Lightsaber-Like" Form of Matter

abroadwin Well (175 comments)

Good thing that lightsaber quote isn't getting out of hand.

about a year ago
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Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway

abroadwin Re:Steve jobs says: (311 comments)

I actually kind of agree with your joking sentiment... GPS instructions should be taken with a grain of salt. I've had my Tom Tom tell me to drive off a cliff before (really, it said "turn left", left was a sheer drop), but I didn't listen to it. Pretty sure if I were told to drive onto a runway I'd engage my brain and reroute myself.

about a year ago
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Google To Encrypt All Keyword Searches

abroadwin Re:Illusion of privacy (224 comments)

I consider any machine I don't control unsafe, especially servers run by any corporation. Machines I do control are still suspect. At this point the only guarantee is the one that the government has long known to be the best option... air gap. Even that isn't 100%, as evidenced by ip/thumbdrive as with stuxnet, but it's the only way you can consider something private.

about a year ago
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Snowden Spoofed Top Officials' Identity To Mine NSA Secrets

abroadwin Re:"Brilliant"? Hardly (743 comments)

The fact that the "former official" does not seem to realize this does not lead us to conclude that Snowden was brilliant... but rather that the mentioned official was anything but.

It doesn't show that the official is anything but... it shows that the official believes the American public is anything but.

about a year ago
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Back To 'The Future of Programming'

abroadwin Hmm (214 comments)

Yes and no, I think.

On the one hand, it is a good thing to prevent yourself from constrained thinking. I work with someone who thinks exclusively in design patterns; it leads to some solid code, in many cases, but it's also sometimes a detriment to his work (overcomplicated designs, patterns used for the sake of patterns).

Unlearning all we have figured out in computer science is silly, though. Use the patterns and knowledge we've spend years honing, but use them as tools and not as crutches. I think as long as you look at something and accurately determine that a known pattern/language/approach is a near-optimal way to solve it, that's a good application of that pattern/language/approach. If you're cramming a solution into a pattern, though, or only using a language because it's your hammer and everything looks like a nail to you, that's bad.

1 year,12 days
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First Laptop With Full-Sized Solar Panels Will Run On Ubuntu

abroadwin Re:If it's real... (155 comments)

I do have a kindle in there actually, yes.

1 year,15 days
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First Laptop With Full-Sized Solar Panels Will Run On Ubuntu

abroadwin Re:If it's real... (155 comments)

I already have all that covered. I have a very well stocked survival bag (the list of contents is very long, but it's a surprisingly reasonable weight). I am quite pragmatic :)

1 year,15 days
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First Laptop With Full-Sized Solar Panels Will Run On Ubuntu

abroadwin Re:If it's real... (155 comments)

Well, it has built-in GPS, so I could load it up with maps, survival guides, etc... but who am I kidding? It's more because I'm an engineer and I think it would give me +5 sanity.

1 year,15 days
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First Laptop With Full-Sized Solar Panels Will Run On Ubuntu

abroadwin If it's real... (155 comments)

It's going in my emergency bag. Looks like a perfect emergency and/or post-apocalyptic laptop.

1 year,15 days
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Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan

abroadwin Re:How about .. (867 comments)

Brilliant! We can make people exercise less and remove their healthcare at the same time!

1 year,28 days
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Visual Studio vs. Eclipse: a Programmer's Comparison

abroadwin 3 MB of memory? (543 comments)

"Eclipse requires about 3 megabytes of memory"

Hah! My current instance of Eclipse, with a handful of relatively small Maven modules open, no build in progress, is using about 800MB. If you look at help.eclipse.org you'll also find:

"By default, Eclipse will allocate up to 384 megabytes of Java heap memory"

I'm not so sure I trust the credibility of this author.

about a year ago
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Why JavaScript On Mobile Is Slow

abroadwin Re:Only a short-term problem (407 comments)

Totally true. My first computer only had 16k available. Now that I have 12 gigs of RAM I have 786432x the amount of memory I need, so everything is always fast!

about a year ago
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How DRM Won

abroadwin War on DRM? (221 comments)

The idea of DRM winning or losing is a bit too black and white here. I'm not against DRM; I'm against *bad* DRM. You've probably seen one of the images showing the difference between watching a pirated movie and watching a paid DVD/blu-ray, showing that the pirated viewing experience is far better. Similarly, most early attempts at DRM resulted in a far worse media/game consumption experience for paying customers. That's what I'm against, and when that proliferates with complete acceptance I will consider the war lost. Services like Spotify, Steam and Netflix get it right, though. Yes, they use DRM, but they found a balance where the paid, rights-restricted solution is actually more convenient than the pirated solution. Most common use cases are easy, and I'm happy to pay. In my opinion, when the legal option becomes nice enough to use it doesn't matter if it includes DRM, and I don't blame content distributors for doing so. The issue of DRM is really pretty different from the issue of rent versus own, though. If you rent a digital item it necessarily has DRM, but DRM isn't the issue there.

about a year ago
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Tech Companies Looking Into Sarcasm Detection

abroadwin Not sure that's possible... (167 comments)

Often the detection of sarcasm relies on understanding of popular opinion on a topic. I don't think we'll have any magic bullet algorithm to detect sarcasm until we have hard AI with a far-reaching corpus of current knowledge. Take these two sentences: "DRM is the best. It makes everything so much easier!" and "The iPhone is the best! It makes everything so much easier!" Ok, algorithm. Pick the one containing sarcasm...

about a year ago

Submissions

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Handling Remote/Headless Boot Failures

abroadwin abroadwin writes  |  more than 6 years ago

abroadwin (1273704) writes "A coworker of mine has two machines in another state, and these machines require periodic maintenance (which sometimes necessitates a reboot). Of course, it's possible that something will go wrong when the machine is coming back up (such as a disk check failure), leaving the machine waiting at boot and network inaccessible. Both machines are running Linux, and the working assumption is that at least one machine on the same network is remotely accessible at the time of the other machine's failure. Does anyone here have any experience in administering remote/headless/inaccessible computers in a similar situation? If so, how do you handle it?"

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