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IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

broken_chaos Re:It makes perfect sense (322 comments)

The problem there is that it's not actually a solution. All it does is delays the need to find a real solution, which will cost roughly as much then as it does now.

5 days ago

Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

broken_chaos Re:Modern audiophiles are no different. (469 comments)

It's difficult to even tell a difference above ~128 kbps (assuming a proper VBR encoder -- constrained VBR or, especially, CBR is different), and essentially impossible above ~192 (again, with a good VBR encoder). The big benefit to keeping a lossless collection is just that you can encode, without repeatedly losing quality, into whatever the format-of-the-day is.

There are a few exceptions, some tracks or samples that essentially just fall to pieces under most encoders at anything other than a very high bitrate, but they're extremely rare.

about two weeks ago

Twitter Turns 8; May Drop Hashtags and @replies

broken_chaos Re:Only thing I hate about Twitter (96 comments)

It could be nice for them to not count against the character limit. Especially as Twitter starts to wear on in age and all the shorter usernames disappear.

about three weeks ago

Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

broken_chaos Re:Not everything is up for discussion (667 comments)

The short version is it's because everything about you is your fault and responsibility. If you're not smart, you're just not trying hard enough. If you're poor, you're just lazy. This creates a recipe for absolutely crushing children if you treat them harshly -- it's not just a matter of "You didn't do well, but that's okay.", it's become "You didn't do well, and that's your own fault.". It's not stated overtly like that, but the sentiment is so pervasive and has been so deeply ingrained in people over the past thirty years that it doesn't have to be said directly.

This ends up creating a lot of weird contradictions in education environments. If you want to be kind to someone, which is a lot of peoples' instinct when dealing with children, you have a very hard time with criticizing their ideas or capabilities because you're no longer just criticizing their ideas or capabilities -- you're implicitly criticizing the person directly. From the other direction, education has become a push for everyone to succeed... Because if they fail, you've failed to get them to work hard enough. It's not that anything is beyond anyone's capabilities -- it's that it's either their personal failure for failing, or your personal failure for not pushing them to work hard enough. Standardized testing is the poster child of this latter issue.

Of course, this makes for a lot of problems later in life, too, when someone who's been told their entire life that they can do anything if they want it enough... Fails to do that anything. They obviously just didn't want it hard enough, or didn't work hard enough. Ending up in a mediocre (or worse) job is their own personal failing, and people often need to find some way to escape from that (be it escapism like video games, TV, books, or movies, or mind-altering substances, or spiraling down into depression). Doesn't make for a great society at all.

This isn't the only problem with the world or society, but it's a really big one and, for most people, really difficult to even notice.

about a month ago

OpenSUSE 13.2 To Use Btrfs By Default

broken_chaos Re:Have they fixed the need to manually rebalance? (91 comments)

You can run into the same sort of error, if I understand correctly, from other filesystems running out of inodes. Typically the solution there is to know what kind of workload (roughly) you'll be doing with the filesystem, and set the inode-to-block ratio appropriately. I imagine btrfs should have something similar for metadata allocation?

about a month ago

Ubuntu To Switch To systemd

broken_chaos Re:why not the new thing? (279 comments)

If a daemon has problems and needs to restart itself how does it do that?

...Monit? runit? Two completely different approaches to service monitoring, one not even in an init system. And there are more (s6, daemontools, etc.).

hundreds or thousands of daemons

...What the heck are you running that puts thousands of daemons on a single server? If you're doing something this large, you might want to consider virtualization. Thousands of daemons is a gigantic attack surface to have on a single system, and a mess if something were to go wrong with one of them that takes down everything.

about 2 months ago

Ubuntu To Switch To systemd

broken_chaos Re:systemd violates the UNIX philosophy (279 comments)

Wayland is actually one of the "new Linux" things that I'm interested in. I'm not getting rid of X anytime soon, but when Wayland has the tools, hardware support, etc. I need, I'll likely switch to it without any fuss. (For the curious, I use i3 as a window manager, and there's just no equivalent compositor for Wayland yet. None of my applications are GTK+3 or QT5, either, so I'd be using the X compatibility layer for essentially everything too.)

But systemd I really am not fond of. It's not an issue of being different (though that is some part of it), so much as the way it dictates so much of how you use things. It seems to touch every single part of your system on an ongoing basis, rather than just booting the system and staying out of the way. I sincerely doubt there would be as much distaste for it if it was just the init system part, rather than stuffing everything else in too.

about 2 months ago

Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

broken_chaos Re:OpenRC (379 comments)

Too beta in Debian. It's been used for years in Gentoo, but was only added to Debian's package archives a couple months ago.

about 2 months ago

Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

broken_chaos Re:I see a lot of discussion about systemd (379 comments)

The biggest thing that pushed adoption was when it absorbed udev. You can still run udev without it, but it's plastered with systemd branding and building udev without also building systemd (and then having to manually strip udev out, if you want to run it standalone) is difficult. Beyond that, Gnome 3.8 made it (almost) a hard requirement. Strictly speaking you can run Gnome without, but, as I understand, it loses almost all of the power/disk/device management.

People like it because it's obsessed with boot times (which is apparently a really important thing to people who don't actually run a real-world system, where boot times of 10 seconds vs. 5 seconds are meaningless), has a few useful features (often, subjectively, questionably implemented), and has really good PR. The problems with it include an obsession with APIs (Unix, everything is a file -> systemd, everything is an API), an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach (NIH: write their own binary-formatted logging daemon, their own cron daemon, their own implementation of dbus, ...), and a horrid misunderstanding of what an initsystem really needs to do for servers (LP: "Control groups of course are at the center of what a modern server needs to do." -- which, really, what it needs to do is serve things, not shuffle processes around various metaphorical boxes). The project is, as a result of including the kitchen sink, also extremely monolithic -- everything is stuffed in a single git repo, a single tarball, and is heavily interconnected.

Two of the primary developers (Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers) are also notoriously hard to deal with if you ever suggest they've done something incorrectly. You can find a lot of examples of this, largely to do with LP's attitude towards anything that isn't systemd, and Sievers' regular breaking of udev over the past few years.

about 2 months ago

California Students, Parents Sue Over Teacher Firing, Tenure Rules

broken_chaos Dangerous... (399 comments)

While in rare cases job security is a problematic issue due to incompetence (or worse, in extreme cases), stripping away job security typically creates even more, worse problems in the long term with an even faster race-to-the-bottom. If this succeeds, they could find themselves, instead, fighting against the school board hiring cheap, less-competent or less-experienced teachers because they can get rid of the expensive, experienced ones quickly and easily.

Also, teachers are, in most places, unionized (the article doesn't seem to mention if California teachers are or not). Go against the union in such a drastic manner and you may find yourself with a widespread strike on your hands.

about 3 months ago

FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

broken_chaos Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (1098 comments)

Choice for the consumer is good.

I encourage people to think about this word choice. At least to me, it's a little disturbing that we are trained to think of ourselves and everyone else as consumers in every context.

about 3 months ago

FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

broken_chaos Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (1098 comments)

To vastly simplify it... BSD emphasizes freedom for developers. GPL emphasizes freedom for end-users. Different goals, and impossible to ever say which is "more free", since it depends heavily on the context.

You can just as easily point to instances where companies have taken BSD sources, closed them off, and sold them, saying that now the end-users have less freedom than they would with GPL sources.

about 3 months ago

Why Whistleblowers Can't Get a Fair Trial

broken_chaos Re:This Is Nothing New. (441 comments)

They also then proceeded to define pretty well everything involving any part of the government anywhere in the world as dealing with national security...

about 3 months ago

OpenBSD Moving Towards Signed Packages — Based On D. J. Bernstein Crypto

broken_chaos Re:You're wrong. (232 comments)

Also important is: which version are you looking at? The 1.4 series (still updated) is intended for smaller/embedded installs, while the 2.x series is intended for mainstream (especially desktop) usage

about 3 months ago

China's Government Unveils 'China Operating System' To Great Skepticism

broken_chaos Re:MaOS (223 comments)

It's a wordplay on "Mao", the guy famous for kickstarting communism in China.

about 3 months ago

US Government To Convert Silk Road Bitcoins To USD

broken_chaos Re:"according to the law" (408 comments)

Because there's no way that's going to be a government sting operation. No way at all.

about 3 months ago

Creationism In Texas Public Schools

broken_chaos Re:Creationists love Social Darwinisim (770 comments)

He said "Creationist" not "Christian". There's not a complete overlap between "Creationists" and "believers in social Darwinism", but the general impression one gets of the attitudes towards the poor and attitudes towards religion in the right wing of (especially American) politics is that it's a large set (partly by virtue of "believers in social Darwinism" being a terrifyingly large set in general).

about 3 months ago

Creationism In Texas Public Schools

broken_chaos Re:Biology workbook (770 comments)

It's not the science education where you need to fix people who believe crazy things like literal $HOLY_BOOK interpretations, it's the language skills. Teach these people what similes, metaphors, and allegory are.

about 3 months ago

Oracle Seeking Community Feedback on Java 8 EE Plans

broken_chaos Re:Security (109 comments)

They should just ditch the browser plugin by default. Support it as 'legacy' for a version or two, but don't ship or install by default (hell, they could even only offer it to corporate customers for all I care). It's the biggest problem with Java -- otherwise you pretty well get what you expect if you download and run unknown code, no worse than any other language. It's not like C's ability to completely tear your operating system apart if you run code you don't know is a bug, after all.

about 3 months ago


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