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Debate Over Systemd Exposes the Two Factions Tugging At Modern-day Linux

asaul Re:How about we hackers? (863 comments)

SMF never forced anyone to go away from init scripts - in fact it annoys me more that ISVs seem to insist on ignoring SMF and using init scripts (probably because they write 32k ones that if/else/case every single operating system in existance). I find SMF is better for monitoring, if a service fails to restart its not hard to monitor svcs -x to alert when something falls over - but I can see how perhaps some legacy actions might need updating.

I will give you learning to tap into SMF at first seems like a whole lot of useless XML and extra scripting to do what you used to do in a 10 line script, not to mention those services that just don't start in a traditional daemon fashion, but once you get the pattern down it becomes quite powerful. For system deployments I have a dependency tree setup for all the post-install scripts which means if one falls over, the dependencies don't try to do things half assed, and I also know where it fell over. I also like the persistence of SMF, as well as the ability to instance and copy services in a proper clean manner.

Personally I think the move to SMF style startup is the right way to go. I can't speak for systemd, but I know that I find SMF far more understandable than upstart and far more reliable. init is clean, simple and logical - but once you start getting into complex dependencies and related instances of applications it simply becomes a nightmare and especially if you want to do things like restart an entire application you then need aditional scripting over the top to make all the necessary dependencies restart in the right order and cleanly. At least with SMF you build that once and then future actions are all handled consistently.

about 2 months ago
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How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

asaul Re:police arive within 'minutes' (894 comments)

I can walk even in the "most dangerous" areas of my city of over a million at night, and it might be uncomfortable, but at worst, I'd probably have a wino accost me for some change, or a drunk hipster nearly miss me with his Prius. I try that in a city with gun bans, and I'll be dead.

I live in a city of 6 million in a country that has strict gun laws. I have been out plenty at night and dodge the same winos and drunk hipsters. Never yet have I had anything approaching a death threat. I have been mugged, but that was my own stupid fault (wrong place, wrong time, wrong blood alcohol concentration) and that was just an punch or two to the face. Worst case you may run into some wannabe thug that may have a knife, but unless you are in organised crime a gun is completely remote threat here.

You will never remove guns from criminals, but the harder you make them to get the less wannabe gang bangers there are running around with them and the less likely there is to be someone going to use them. In your scenario the only reason you would be dead is because the predisposition to shoot first because you know anyone could be carrying a gun.

1 year,3 days
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How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

asaul Re:police arive within 'minutes' (894 comments)

I think the NRA is smart enough to realize that, when you spend decades fighting in support of independent firearm ownership, suddenly turning on that population would be a Very Bad Idea.

You are assuming those in power had not subverted the NRA into some form of brown shirts, which is what the original poster implied. You don't think a sufficiently riled up and suitably lied to section of NRA members would not take part in such a thing? The brown shirts were originally just pissed off ex military who wanted a fair go - see what it become with the wrong leadership.

1 year,3 days
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How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

asaul Re:police arive within 'minutes' (894 comments)

Take a look at the earlier posted list of school shootings on Wikipedia. Something stands out from that to me - the number of "they upset me so I am going back to the school with a gun" shootings - so many petty things which in no way justify the death of someone let along a violent reprisal. Stupid things like unrequited love interests, failing grades or being told to get off school property.

The availability of guns means someone the quick answer to a short temper is to take out a weapon and hurt someone. A gun makes this incredibly easy as opposed to having to stab or "cave someone's head in" because at least in those situations the person has a chance to fight off the attacker, instead of having to dodge (if their are aware of it) a subsonic piece of lead being sprayed at them.

Every gun owner is a law abiding gun owner until they decide not to be, or lose their temper, or have a breakdown, or an have an event of an undiagnosed mental condition. The fact is a gun makes it simple to inflict violence at range rapidly far more than any other weapon. If someone is inclined to do such a thing, the gun is the enabler. Take the guns out of the picture and you still have these problems, but the consequences are far more controllable and less severe.

The argument of having guns to stop guns is nonsense - sure, people might like to think they are John McClane and will stand up to be the hero - but how often does that actually happen? How many times has the would be hero shot someone they mistook for a possible bad guy, or shot a family member mistaken for a prowler. The more guns that are out there, the greater the chance the weapon is the in the hand of someone who will not use it for defence.

I don't blame the guns - I blame the idea that they need to be used for personal defence.

1 year,3 days
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How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

asaul Re: police arive within 'minutes' (894 comments)

And most of the time when it is gun crime, its wannabe gang idiots shooting at each other - and usually that is just spamming the front of a house and driving off.
True, there are hold ups and car jackings with guns, but that is pretty rare and any occurrence usually gets a significant police interest in it.

I think the big difference may be mindset. If everyone is armed, everyone is a threat hence the use of a weapon is going to be more likely especially as a shoot first tactic. In a low gun culture yeah it might suck to have one pointed at you as a threat, but at least there is a low chance of it actually being used.

I am not anti-gun though, a have a small interest in them from a military point of view and I think proper education on handling and usage is perfectly good. But your average civilian should not need them. Military, Police, some security, specialist needs like farmers and professional hunters are all reasonable usage. I just cannot see the use case for having one in the home for "defence" let alone roaming in public like the wild west.

1 year,3 days
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How To FIx Healthcare.gov: Go Open-Source!

asaul Re:How about just turn it off (307 comments)

The only reason people are being forced to buy insurance is because there is no way in the US model of government that true universal tax payer funded health care would ever get up with Republican opposition. Take a look at Australia or the UK - universal tax payer funded healthcare. None of that is tied into taxing people for abortions and the government would by lynched by the people should such a move ever be attempted. In Australia everyone pays - you can go to a public hospital or see a doctor and it will cost you nothing, many medicines are subsidised, and in general services are decent. You can buy private insurance and go to better hospitals if you wish - if you have high income and don't have private insurance you pay a levy - but most people in that bracket have private cover anyway.

The difference being our elections tend to matter - in Australia (while not perfect) the gerrymandering of representative seats is not easily done. Typically it is managed by the electoral commission so its hard for political influence to simply keep changing seat boundaries to suit the sitting member. That means come election time a poor performing or unpopular government has a real risk of being unseated. Our election cycle reflects that - poor performance is punished so the parties toe enough of the line to stay in power - but once they become to arrogant they get kicked out.

Nothing about universal health cover is about governments taking away freedoms. Its about using the power of numbers to deliver the basic services everyone will need at some point in their life. Sure there are inefficiencies, waste, bun fights over proper funding etc but in the end its something a government should be providing. If you leave it up to the free market well you have the existing US system which from what I understand has costs far in excess of the same services anywhere else in the world simply because there is money to be made.

about a year ago
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How To FIx Healthcare.gov: Go Open-Source!

asaul Re:open source is easier to fix (307 comments)

That purely depends on your skills and your available time. Assuming you have an issue on a platform of this size, and assuming you can narrow it down to say an application level component, you then are expected to grab the source and troll through it looking for possible fixes against someone else's code. Never mind the time it takes to get up to speed with the layout and architecture of the product and its source code, you have to understand it enough to the point you can modify it to work. You then need to test it and test it in your application, and then assuming it fixes your issue convince someone upstream that your fix needs to go in, or as typically happens maintain your own patch set against the code for the next time you build it because egos upstream don't agree with you.

In my role I occasionally have to spend time reworking open source tools to fit into our environment. Mostly because I have to spend time weeding linux specific coding and GCC hacks out of code that we would like to use on Solaris. Just because it is open source does not mean it is going to save you time - of course we can fix things, of course we are saving not having to pay extortion to some vendor for something just as frustrating to deal with. But please don't claim open source is a wonderful magically all healing panacea for IT problems - that is actually performed by skills and time.

about a year ago
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Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

asaul Re:What is a 100Mbit connection good for? (327 comments)

Why have more than 8Mhz and 640k memory - all it does is drive people to use graphical based pr0n. Won't someone think of the ascii pr0n industry.

Think what a home with say two adults and two teenagers might consume in parallel - each possibly watching their own content - thats just video/streaming. Then you have other applications that benefit from low latency and low jitter connections that can be offered with such fast stable networks (better conferencing, gaming etc). The increased upload capacity can open up options for remote monitoring for medical or security purposes.

Sure, it will take time for the current use of such bandwidth to be consumed but you don't have the use for it until you build it. Go back 15 years and imagine those networks with modern YouTube and Netflix load on them.

about a year ago
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Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

asaul Re:Of course he hates it. (327 comments)

There is nothing stopping Foxtel being offered over the NBN - what he hates is the hint of competition that it would bring compared to the current cable/satellite monopoly.

about a year ago
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Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

asaul Re:Rupert Murdoch can die in a hole already. (327 comments)

Some history. Until around 1991 Australian telecommunications was provided by a single government owned business - Telecom (formerly Post Master General, then later Telstra). Telstra practically owned all the in ground infrastructure including the last mile copper to practically every phone in the country. Any hint of competition was crushed with obstruction, anti-competitive wholesale practices etc. Other players came in and grew some of their own infrastructure, extra long haul fibre mostly, but still practically any Telco wanting to provide services to a customer had to lease a Telstra tail line, generally at prices that made it impossible to offer anything cheaper than Telstra offered. During this period technology that the US long forget (such as ISDN) was as premium as you could get here, and technology like DSL was limited by being only possible where Telstra decided to offer it or where Telstra were forced to provide space in exchanges.

The old copper network crippled any sort of improvement to Australian internet technology - the copper lines were Telstra's cash cow and doing anything modern with them would also mean they would have to share it with the competition, so nothing much changed.

Then a previous conservative government came up with the idea of doing a "National Broadband Network" initiative. It was basically WiMax everywhere, except new places that might get some fibre over time - most likely FTTN (fibre to the node). The problem was to do anything more required buying the copper back from Telstra, and the conservatives screwed the pooch on that because they sold off Telstra as one entity - retail, wholesale and the copper network. As a new deregulated entity with some more gung ho leadership, Telstra were even more anti-competitive and not willing to give up their network. The conservatives also naively believe the free market will bring in the new technology, despite 20 years of proof that Telstra won't let that happen.

When the government they got voted out, the new more socialist government (read that as centre left) plan for the NBN was researched, and the proposal was Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). To do this they gave Telstra the option of selling its copper/access for $11B, or having it bought by compulsory acquisition (a constitutional right of the government) and a long legal fight. A deal was reached (most likely because Telstra delayed long enough and now had a new 4G network that was now its prime market) and the copper was sold, allowing the NBN project to kick off and start rolling out fibre across the country. The basic plan is the NBN Company (NBNCo) build a national fibre network and run it, and service providers sell services on it to customers.

As is natural of opposition government, they say no to everything, and think their way is better. The argument boils down to this:

a). Spend $36B and provide 96% of the population with 100M or 1GB internet over fibre. Most of that cost is covered by selling investment bonds and the eventual income from providing services on this network, so the cost is not necessarily on the taxpayer as much as the opposition would like to go on. Obvious benefit, its long term scalable infrastructure, but is more costly and slower to deploy. This is the socialist (Labour Party) plan.
b) Spend $28B and provide most of the population with 24MB VDSL using FTTN, leaving the copper as the last mile to the premises. Similar business plan, just slightly less cost. Benefit is it is slightly cheaper, and meets current internet needs. This is the conservative (Liberal Party) plan.

So - Murdoch is quite definitely a friend of the Liberals (ironic naming for conservatives), and is using his weight in the media to lay into the NBN plan every chance he gets to attack Labour. Any minor delay, problem, cost increase or simply propaganda he can find to rubbish the Labour government using the NBN is headlines. Also because if the Liberals get their way they will basically stop rolling out the current NBN and go to the lower specification one, just on the basis of slightly cheaper cost at the expense of building actual real infrastructure for the country - and that would be ideal for Murdoch too.

about a year ago
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Google Pressure Cookers and Backpacks: Get a Visit From the Feds

asaul Re:Wireshark (923 comments)

I will support and defend the Constipation of the United States

DEATH TO FIBRE!

about a year ago
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Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts

asaul Re:Fear leads to Hate, Hate leads to Measles (668 comments)

Sorry - my facetiousness did not come across in my points. I know doctors are human, I know mistakes are made. What I am putting forward is that the media presentation of medicine sets up so much negative noise that it undermines the trust that is required to put your health/life in the hands of another human being, and people will seek out a solution fits their views, rightly or wrongly.

about a year ago
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Rise of the Warrior Cop: How America's Police Forces Became Militarized

asaul Re:IRS Too? (835 comments)

Perhaps poorly worded - what I mean is when there are those sorts of people that have to be confronted, its beneficial to have a police office that can respond in kind available. The hope is that the ones with the badge are also the ones who have the correct discretion as to when to use that sort of force.

about a year ago
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Rise of the Warrior Cop: How America's Police Forces Became Militarized

asaul Re:IRS Too? (835 comments)

No, I just know that from local news the sorts of things Aussie cops get in trouble for, and the way things don't occur the way they say they do, so I take the Aussie shows with a pinch of salt, I don't have that reference for the NZ and US shows.

When I see the Aussie cop shows they tend to do a lot more talking down and use defensive postures a lot more than what you see on COPS - on COPS the thug behaviour comes across a lot clearer and I can see where they escalate something or use heavy force. I don't doubt the Aussie cops do it, but it seems less of it comes across in their shows.

about a year ago
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Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts

asaul Re:Fear leads to Hate, Hate leads to Measles (668 comments)

It is distrust of medicine as a science - look at what people are faced with:
  - Doctors who wont prescribe birth controls, because of the doctors faith, not the patients.
  - Anyone with the title "Dr" (of what, from where) can appear on TV and flog the latest magic beans from the amazon as a cure for everything, unopposed.
  - Advertising for every 3 month cycle of trendy "natural/traditional/herbal/secret" cures also attacks pharmaceuticals as "unnatural chemicals"
  - Any a time a doctor screws up its a news worthy event
  - Everyone has a friend who went to a doctor (or doctors) that misdiagnosed something major (anecdotal: I know someone who saw 4 doctors before the last finally noticed the fist sized tumour growing a creeper up her spine).
  - All doctors are paid by drug companies to play golf, everyone knows that.

Is it any wonder when something as scary as "MMR causes autism" hits the headlines, people take notice and don't ask their doctors. Everything in the media screams "don't trust doctors", why take the risk of autism, doctors have been wrong before?

As a parent of ASD diagnosed twins it certainly crossed my mind did it start when they were immunised. Certainly it was a traumatic time and I felt their behaviour changed after, but no, the symptoms were there before but they just were not advanced enough for it to be obvious. It didn't help that doctors kept telling us "they are twins, they will develop late" (see!). My wife and I as two reasonably intelligent people, knowing the MMR link was debunked, still wanted to put off further immunisations - the fear was there, even though we knew it was not to blame. How can you blame other people with less discerning processing and intelligence to make better decisions with so much bad information.

That said I really feel some parents want something to blame - "its not my genes, it was that evil MMR which was just a scam by doctors to sell drugs.". I looked for it when we got the news - something else was to blame, not us. I can imagine others do something similar.

about a year ago
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Rise of the Warrior Cop: How America's Police Forces Became Militarized

asaul Re:Why to learn proper gun use, even if you don't (835 comments)

I thought everyone who watched a Warner Bros cartoon knew that - if you can see the big hole at the end, you are being threatened.

about a year ago
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Rise of the Warrior Cop: How America's Police Forces Became Militarized

asaul Re:IRS Too? (835 comments)

Watching COPS, and Australian/NZ similar shows the differences are stark. The default on COPS seems to be if some mildly drunk person gives some backchat, they get crash tackled, two cops twice their size pound them into the ground screaming "STOP RESISTING" despite the person appearing to be more dazed and confused if anything. In the time I watched it there were plenty of cases where tasers were deployed to obtain conformance to the officers requests, rather than as a defensive measure, in a few instances directly used as a threat against someone for nothing more than talking out of turn. Maybe its just the producers showing the more "exciting" footage, but so many times what they show I would consider the cop assaulting the "perp" for not bowing to his demands rather than being an actual threat.

On the NZ shows they are almost placid - look up "always blow on the pie" to see what I mean. I am sure they have their rough and tumble, but the sort of assault and direct threats you see on COPS is not present, and even when they go against someone drunk and agro they try and talk their way down and only deploy capsicum spray or tasers as a last defence. The Australian cop shows are too heavy edited to show some of a heaviness the cops use here - I have do doubt they have certain groups they don't mind putting the boot into, but most of the confrontations you see on COPS would be resolved differently on the Aussie cop shows in similar situations.

I think shows like COPS though are the sort of thing that attract the wrong people to policing. The sort that like the power trip and the odd chance to rough someone up under the cover of a badge, rather than actually engaging and protecting the community. That said, there are those in the community I don't mind having those sorts of cops available for.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

asaul Re:Manager skills are not the issue (331 comments)

This.

The best manager I had was when I worked in a 14 person sysadmin team. The team leader was vaguely technical but was not a sysadmin at all. The technical details were left to us, she was a people manager first and foremost and spent most of her time either defending our team, getting resources for our team or dealing with crap from other teams. If you screwed up you knew it (sort of one of those "I am not angry so much as disappointed" type deals), but if you needed someone to go in to bat for you it was her - she had most other managers in fear usually. Absolute best manager you could wish for but aside from driving Outlook and Word not an IT person, team thrived, top ratings all round and we were well respected for getting things done.

Absolute worst was a fellow sysadmin that got promoted - turned into a screaming bully, kissed ass of upper managers and directly blamed people in the team for any issues. Killed morale and any effort above and beyond the team was willing to do.

I have also had a manager who was technically amazing, brilliant guy to work for but you had to really work hard to keep up. He had so many ideas and plans I eventually had to learn to ignore most things he wanted unless he asked for them twice. I think a case of too technical a manager - if he could he would do the lot himself. Not a bad manager, but it was sometimes hard to know what was a priority. At the same place we worked under the head of engineering who was not an IT specialist, but a specialist in our companies field. The problem was he thought he knew IT, so it was a constant battle to undo effects of his autocratic tech decisions - most of the time my manager just outflanked him and went straight to the CTO to get things done.

As for the OP - tech tests are useless - if he is a manager, test his ability to manage. Find out the justifications for the poor decisions, find out why they were made and what the process was. Find out why the budget is the way it is - maybe there is more thought to it that everyone else thinks. I know plenty of users who think IT don't know what they are doing - generally they have no idea what is involved and just get annoyed at minor daily issues.

about a year and a half ago

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