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Comments

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Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

buchner.johannes I have an idea (88 comments)

How about releasing a version of bash that has function passing disabled. That would be safer and we can find out what breaks.

3 hours ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

buchner.johannes Re:It doesn't matter (146 comments)

"Web-scale" is "big enough to hold a Wordpress database"?

Its more about the load, i.e. how many people can you serve a Wordpress page per second. A static html page can be served extremely fast, the linux kernel doesn't even have to load it into RAM, it goes from disk to network directly. For a Wordpress page, multiple SQL queries have to be waited for, probably something writes to the database as well (recording the visitor). All this is implemented with complex locks. I think the trade-off NoSQL would like to do is to have less complex locks, write a bit in parallel in good faith, and thus have faster turn-around.

4 days ago
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"Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

buchner.johannes Re:Cue "All we are is dust in the wind" (133 comments)

Oh hey, I'll just fix that for you:

- The universe did not come from nothing. Thermodynamics prevents this.
- The universe did not create itself. Thermodynamics prevents this.
- The universe was not created.

Cheers!

Thermodynamics is a theory valid for a large number of particles, and deals with the emerging phenomena based on a statistical basis, i.e. what constitutes rare phenomena. This is not enough to deal with the early universe. Even if it was, there might be an infinite "time" or "tries" before our universe exists so we can observe it.
Also, the term "create" is vague. Arguable, one can speak of creation as early inflation expands the universe and cools the soup of radiation into massive particle. In that sense some earlier state *did* create the universe as we understand it (time, space, and matter).

Also it is not true that "The universe did not come from nothing. Thermodynamics prevents this." It is possible to create a universe from nothing. What you do is borrow energy from a quantum fluctuation. You would have to give it back in a time proportional to the energy borrowed. Then inflate the universe by 10^26 so that the quantum fluctuation becomes a size-able scale, and quantum mechanics do not apply anymore. The energy borrowed obviously necessitates a balancing energy, which is stored (as negative energy) in the curvature of the universe. In a sense, enormous inflation allows you to run away with borrowed energy.
Sorry for being brief in my explanation, but the above is not a crackpot theory. It is one that is consistent with the data of the CMB and large-scale structure correlations (e.g. galaxy clusters), and commonly presented in cosmology talks. You can find some books on the subject if you search for "universe inflation", one by Alan Guth who came up with the basic theory.

The right answer is "We do not know yet where the universe came from."
and "We do not know yet if the quest for a 'cause' makes sense in the early universe or has a testable answer. But we will continue trying."

Now it is possible to call the "creation" of the universe a god, in the Greek sense of the word. The creator. A mechanism. But it is a long way from there to argue a currently present, omnipotent but willfully acting, personally addressable God.

about a week ago
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"Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

buchner.johannes Re:Dust? (133 comments)

The dust only accounts for the swirl patterns in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), not the CMB itself. In other words, the 'imprint' of gravitational waves in the CMB might be an erroneous discovery, and this is not unexpected at all, since gravitational waves have yet to be demonstrated.

It is unexpected depending on your expectations on the BICEP2 paper. If you read the paper, they go through a lot of checking in the analysis to demonstrate that the signal is real. From that perspective it is a believable demonstration. If you are very skeptical, you would say the dust maps they used are perhaps not up-to-date or accurate. Naturally, scientists are skeptical. So we were anticipating the release of the dust maps by the best detector, the ESA Planck mission.

What they demonstrate in their paper (the topic here) is, perhaps unexpectedly, that there are no dust-free windows of the CMB, i.e. in all galactic latitudes, dust creates B-modes. In a range of extragalactical surveys it is common to do surveys at high galactic latitudes, where the effects of dust (from star formation), such as absorption and extinction, are small. This is demonstrated to be not possible for CMB B-mode measurements. Unfortunately this means that the analysis of B-modes will require a more complex analysis, and perhaps it is not even possible to detect B-modes of the desired magnitude due to the Milky Way foreground noise.

about a week ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

buchner.johannes Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (149 comments)

"Under the EU's state aid rules, national authorities cannot take measures allowing certain companies to pay less tax than they should if the tax rules of the Member State were applied in a fair and non-discriminatory way,"

It is not possible to specifically write one company into the law as exempt. Now it has been done by making laws such that they only apply to one company, but these practices are being sued now.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/...
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-r...

So no, it is not common place outside the US, and certainly not as easy.

But the voting in the US is dominated by companies anyways, it is a very different climate and understanding of democracy than anywhere else.

about three weeks ago
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Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

buchner.johannes Re:CDC guilty of correlation == causation (291 comments)

But don't ask us on Ask Slashdot. There we will tell you to do your job yourself, that your company should hire someone who has a clue and/or that you don't even understand the question.

about three weeks ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

buchner.johannes Re:Nobody has the right not to be offended. (1134 comments)

because if people have a right not be be offended, then there is no freedom of speech

Oh bullshit. There is a middle way, and the majority of nations have found it, including the USA. Don't be so dogmatic.

about a month ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

buchner.johannes Re:I predict (1134 comments)

It sounds like that was said in the context of comparing to other fan-doms. Such as someone might be a Twilight fan and write some fan-fiction. She is saying, in response to something before the cut which is not shown, that her case is slightly different. She is not a fan.
To me that could even mean "I'm not a fan. I am a gamer."
In any case, I don't think it follows automatically that she does not like video games. That can only be said if the context in which she spoke is ignored, and her words taken to the letter. "Qu'on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j'y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre." applies here.
That she had to learn a lot about video games also does not mean anything, because there are many genres and games out there. Nobody has an overview without some systematic digging.

I think we can agree that she played games at some point (and thus at least was a gamer), so she can talk on the subject.

Even if she had literally said "I do not like video games" she could have been a prolific gamer, become disappointed with the industry, and stop actively playing. In that case "I do not like video games" would be a true present statement, yet she still has all right to talk on the subject of video games.

about a month ago
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Raspberry Pi Gets a Brand New Browser

buchner.johannes Re:Not the correct application for this (107 comments)

1) Ever heard of caching? 2) Browsers do not need to support HTML standards, but real-world HTML practices, which is messy. Such as tested by Acid2.

about a month ago
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Brian Stevens Resigns As Red Hat CTO

buchner.johannes Re:Yo (39 comments)

Not to worry, it's not clickbait, because TFA does not say.

about a month ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

buchner.johannes Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (1262 comments)

I liked this comment: "Her arguments [are] open to plenty of valid criticism that the female gender is not always misused in video games."
So many things wrong with this sentence. Somehow, people have the urge to bend their view so the troll side, and their means of death threats, is also justified.

about a month ago
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Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

buchner.johannes Re:I forced myself to watch it (300 comments)

I know that someone was beheaded. It is clear that this is an horrible and cruel act, that nobody and nobody's family should experience. What information does it add to watch the video? You can convey the relevant information in text.

about a month ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

buchner.johannes Seems like they found something (465 comments)

“Also what can they possibly sue me for? I have no job, no savings and no means of paying any compensation regardless of the outcome. Is it simply going to be a waste of everyone’s time?” he concludes.

about a month ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

buchner.johannes Stone (193 comments)

Wouldn't it more useful for it to be set in silicone?

about a month and a half ago
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Iceland's Seismic Activity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

buchner.johannes Re:So I'm confused... (69 comments)

...the headline and article summary at the top says that air travel is threatened

Read again. The headline and the beginning just state that ash can be expelled again, and we remember this from last time when it caused air travel to stop. It does not say air travel is threatened.
In fact, by the end of the last event, I believe it has been established that those ash clouds do not harm the air planes, and you can just fly through them without worry (Airplane companies' CEOs got together to do a fly-through to inspire confidence). Anyone got more detail on that?

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

buchner.johannes Re:What trolls (382 comments)

The reality of the internet is different for different groups of people. Everybody lives in their own bubble depending on what websites they log into, and what software they use. That also dominates the civility or absence thereof.

Remember back when you were 14, what you understood as the Internet was an entirely different thing. All of us have made one or a few transitions between the bubbles -- but it is extremely difficult to do so except serendipitously or through contacts.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Btrfs becomes stable, releases v3.12

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  about 9 months ago

buchner.johannes (1139593) writes "Btrfs is the next-gen filesystem for Linux, likely to replace ext3 and ext4 in coming years and filling the space between ZFS and Reiser4. Btrfs offers many compelling new features but development has been a long time coming in the "unstable" status leaving many users unsure whether to entrust their data to. Since August, their web page declares Btrfs as stable. Have you tried it since? What has been your experience with Btrfs? Fedora users probably are already using it on a daily basis."
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My primary work is

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  more than 2 years ago

buchner.johannes (1139593) writes "My primary work is
  [a] developing software for a company
  [b] developing software for a research institute
  [c] research
  [d] management or consulting (not coding)
  [e] I'm unemployed
  [f] something else"
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WebM license made GPL and Apache compatible

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  more than 4 years ago

buchner.johannes (1139593) writes "Google updated its licensing terms for WebM, which is now a pure BSD license, with a standalone patent grant.

Using patent language borrowed from both the Apache and GPLv3 patent clauses, in this new iteration of the patent clause we've decoupled patents from copyright, thus preserving the pure BSD nature of the copyright license. This means we are no longer creating a new open source copyright license, and the patent grant can exist on its own.

Here is the WebM license FAQ. Time to make a GPLv3 fork?"
Link to Original Source

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Ethics of producing Non-malicious Malware

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  more than 3 years ago

buchner.johannes (1139593) writes "I was fed up with the general consent that Linux is oh-so-secure and has no malware. After a week of work, I finished a package of malware for Unix/Linux. Its whole purpose is to help whitehat hackers point out that the system can be turned into a botnet client, by simply downloading BOINC and attaching it to my user account, helping scientific projects. It does not exploit any security holes, but loose security configurations and mindless execution of unverified downloads: I tested it to be injected by a PHP script (even circumventing safemode), so that the web server runs it, hell I even got a proxy server that injects it into shell scripts and Makefiles in tarballs on the fly, and adds onto windows executable for execution in wine (Z: is /). If executed by the user, it can persist itself in cron, bashrc and other files. The aim of the exercise was to provide a payload so security people can 'pwn' systems to show security holes, without doing harm (such as deleting files or disrupting normal operation).
But now I have a problem: I am unsure of whether it is ethically ok to release this toolkit, which, by ripping out the BOINC payload and putting in something really evil, can be turned into proper Linux malware. On the one hand, the way it persists itself in autostart is really nasty, and that is not really a security hole that can be fixed. On the other hand, such a script can be written by anyone else too, and it would be useful to show people why you need SELinux on a server, and why verifying the source of downloads (checksums through trusted channels) is necessary.
Technically, it is a nice piece, but should I release it? I don't want to turn the Linux desktop into Windows, hence I'm slightly leaning towards not releasing it. What does your ethics say about releasing such grayware?"
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Common charger for mobile phones coming in the EU

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  more than 5 years ago

buchner.johannes writes "The EU Commission and companies agreed on common charger for mobile phones:

Incompatibility of chargers for mobile phones is a major inconvenience for users and also leads to unnecessary waste. Therefore, the Commission has requested industry to come forward with a voluntary commitment to solve this problem so as to avoid legislation. As a result major producers of mobile phones have agreed to harmonise chargers in the EU.

Discussed before here and here. The text continues:

Industry commits to provide chargers compatibility on the basis of the Micro-USB connector. Once the commitment becomes effective, it will be possible to charge data-enabled mobile phones from any charger compatible with the common specifications.

"

Link to Original Source
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Your average disturbance timescale?

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  more than 5 years ago

buchner.johannes (1139593) writes "In your office, your work is disturbed or interrupted on average after (e.g. people walking in, calls, etc.)

  — less than 5 minutes
  — less than 15 minutes
  — less than 30 minutes
  — less than 2 hours
  — more than 2 hours
  — depends on how fast slashdot throws out stories"

Link to Original Source
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Jake looking for developers

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  more than 5 years ago

buchner.johannes writes "Jake is the new kid on the block for team collaboration. Developed by students in Vienna, this serverless, open-source, cross-platform versioning tool is aimed for non-developers. What makes Jake unique is that the communication is done over XMPP, and that the look-and-feel is very native (unlike most Java apps).
We turn to Slashdot as we look for developers interested in picking up the work, forking it, contributing or reusing concepts in other projects. Slashdot already discussed the need for a painless, easy-to-use tool once. About Jake shows a small comparison to other tools."

Link to Original Source
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Bittorrent reverse hash database

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  about 7 years ago

buchner.johannes writes "Story at: http://twoday.tuwien.ac.at/jo/stories/305252/
This is probably the first reverse hash database for torrent files.

When watching torrent traffic as an network administrator, you might want to know if the data is legal and complies to your policies.
On the other hand, if you see a torrent loading in your network as a user, if you know what it is, it might be _very_ interesting to join it, as the speed can be expected to be very high.
Database at: http://stud4.tuwien.ac.at/~e0625457/bittorrent/hostedsummary.html"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Jake looking for developers

buchner.johannes buchner.johannes writes  |  more than 5 years ago Jake is the new kid on the block for team collaboration. Developed by students in Vienna, this serverless, open-source, cross-platform versioning tool is aimed for non-developers. What makes Jake unique is that the communication is done over XMPP, and that the look-and-feel is very native (unlike most Java apps).
We turn to Slashdot as we look for developers interested in picking up the work, forking it, contributing or reusing concepts in other projects. Slashdot already discussed the need for a painless, easy-to-use tool once. About Jake shows a small comparison to other tools.

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