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CloudFlare Announces Free SSL Support For All Customers

c0d3g33k Re:beta.slashdot.org sucks! (30 comments)

Mod parent up. /. needs to support SSL yesterday.

4 hours ago
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New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

c0d3g33k Re:Gladwell (109 comments)

True that. Can't argue with you, Mark[something].

8 hours ago
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New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

c0d3g33k Re:Gladwell (109 comments)

Clearly it didn't take you 10000 hours to learn how to dash off a snarky rebuttal with no detail or supporting evidence.

Bravo to you sir - you are a Slashdot commentor! The sky's the limit for you!

8 hours ago
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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

c0d3g33k Re:Speak for yourself, Mr. Emanuel (477 comments)

I have a wife who is a board member for the local hospice, so I get to accompany her to a lot of functions. Many of the board members are approaching or have passed the age of 70 and still seem to be going strong. Note I said "board members" - those who are managing the entire affair (quite effectively from what I can gather), not those in need of care. Your friend may have experienced some selection bias because of his work. That doesn't mean his observations apply to everyone. In fact I'm sure they don't.

about a week ago
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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

c0d3g33k Speak for yourself, Mr. Emanuel (477 comments)

You lost me when you assigned an arbitrary number as your cutoff rather than defining the cutoff on reasonably definable measures of physical and mental health. I exercise, eat healthy, avoid smoking and drugs etc. because these activities provide *measurable* benefits to my health based on measurements made by my doctor. Not to mention that I feel better.

Does the fact that I do things that measurably improve my health and prolong my life as long as possible mean I am "obsessed"? Does "I don't smoke, overeat, take drugs or engage in dangerous life-threatening activities (extreme sports, for example)" mean I am obsessed? I find it completely rational, and my insurance company sure loves it because I'm a low risk according to their actuarial tables. Because science.

If I take your advice, I should just sit around and passively wait to die after reaching a certain age rather than doing things that measurably increase my ability to be "vibrant and engaged". Sorry, but no thanks. Save me a place when I get to the Pearly Gates - I might be a little late to the party. And when I get there, we're going to blow the roof off of that sucker.

about a week ago
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An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

c0d3g33k Re:what is this even talking about? (112 comments)

But it's not just about the source... it's about the community, the support from the original authors, the available knowledge and comprehension that transcends wiki docs, as well as having a team large enough to be able to realistically continue its development in the foreseeable future. To lose these things abruptly doesn't mean that all the source code was deleted but rather that the virtual ecosystem was.

Feh. Those things you mention (the original authors, the development team, the community, website and other resources) aren't guaranteed regardless of how badly one would like them to persist. The source and the freedom to do something with it are what the licence grants. Everything else is gravy. Without the source the virtual ecosystem is useless; with the source one person can continue the project, even if only for personal use. The virtual ecosystem can be recreated by anyone who wants badly enough to continue developing the software, just like it was the first time. So it is really just about the source.

about two weeks ago
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Chinese City Sets Up "No Cell Phone" Pedestrian Lanes

c0d3g33k Waste of time (46 comments)

I haven't read all of the posts since the original story hit the front page, so I may be touching on something that's already been discussed, but ...

I don't understand how this is different from people just being unaware of their surroundings. I have been to many places in the last 20 years where people will just stop right in the middle of the sidewalk/thoroughfare/pathway to have a conversation or family dispute. The concept of stepping to the side out of the way so that the other 1000 people who aren't having a family issue doesn't seem to occur to them. Cell phones? Just the latest distraction. Oblivious people are forever.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

c0d3g33k Re:A WiFi router re-flashed with OpenWRT or DD-WRT (238 comments)

I'll second this - currently running OpenWRT flashed on to a TP-Link WDR-4300. It replaced a very old beige-box PC running IPCop and has been doing very well for the past year.

about two weeks ago
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Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

c0d3g33k Re:this is how most funding works. (215 comments)

When scientists write grant proposals, they are actually showing they've already done what they are asking for funds to do.

Not quite (though maybe that's more common now than a decade ago). If the work is already done, you can be sure it's being prepared for publication, since published work is even more valuable than grant money (because it gets you more, possibly bigger grants, plus tenure). What usually goes into a typical grant proposal are the obvious next steps following up on recently published work (used to illustrate why awarding the grant money is a good risk). Work that hasn't been done yet, but is likely to be successfully completed by a typical grad student. Then there are the more speculative "stretch goals" which are less certain, but probably the most fun if things work out. And by the time the next grant deadline rolls around, the scientist can describe how well that worked (to justify the next speculative leap) or how it didn't quite work out, but how this alternate theory ('based on what we have since learned') will likely yield good results (ie. the "new" obvious follow-on steps to the previous work).

Smart scientists generally have several somewhat boring but steady grants running (often funded by the government and possibly with eventual military applications) to keep the lights on, and use a little bit of that funding to support the more speculative, but more fun work.

Maybe long-term Kickstarter success will involve a similar strategy: get funding for less exciting but predictably do-able games that are turned out on schedule while diverting some time to work on getting a working prototype produced for the revolutionary game that was the real goal all along.

about two weeks ago
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Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet

c0d3g33k Re:JAVA (230 comments)

The applications you mention are all Open Source, which people on here keep insisting are secure.

Nope. This is a varied community, so people here believe lots of things, but probably not as many believe this simplistic view as you think.

FLOSS applications have the *potential* to be more secure than proprietary/closed source. They also have the potential to become more secure over time if the community/contributors have more resources available to fix security problems than a proprietary vendor. Most importantly, FLOSS applications can be scanned by anyone for bugs and security problems, and fixed by anyone. Those activities are limited for proprietary code to those who have access to it and allowed (by privilege or managerial decree) to fix it or even publicise that there's a problem in the first place.

Depending on the situation (skillset of the development team, size of the team, interest in maintaining and fixing the code), this can either lead to a particular piece of FLOSS or proprietary code being more secure. *In general*, it seems that FLOSS code tends to be more secure because greater resources can be brought to bear, particularly over time as proprietary vendors stop supporting code for older products and move their teams on to something new (gotta keep paying the bills). In some cases that doesn't hold true and proprietary code is more secure.

about a month ago
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E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

c0d3g33k Re:How short our memories... (116 comments)

Indeed. I first started reading ebooks on my original Motorola Droid (the backlit screen allowed me to read in bed without disturbing my wife with the bedside lamp on). It was a decent enough experience with the phone held in landscape position and using a reasonable font size. I had quite a little library on the microSD card. And plenty of apps and games too.

The only problem was not being able to have most or all of the text equating to a printed page on the screen at once, which prompted me later to get a tablet, which is a much better form factor for reading. But I still have books on my current smartphone (bigger screen than the Droid, but much smaller than the tablet) for those times when my tablet isn't with me.

about a month ago
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E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

c0d3g33k Re:"Book Deserts"? WTF? (116 comments)

Sigh. Another /. response that opens with a veiled insult in the form of an ad hominem argument. I hope your self esteem got a little boost, person who is clearly better than I.

The problem wasn't determining the intended meaning of the phrase. That was pretty clear: it implied that "many" areas in the US are literary wastelands devoid of life and nourishment (for the mind) with haggard readers thirsting for relief crawling slowly along in the dirt, bathed in the harsh life-sapping light of modern media, hoping to come upon an oasis. I get it.

The problem is, this isn't a poem or creative piece of prose where such imagery can provide a more engaging reading experience. It's a summary set in the real world about a cheap smartphone with ereader software installed and a statement about the potential impact of said phone (in the real world). So dramatic language isn't warranted unless there are actually many places in the US suffering so horribly from lack of real books that this phone and ereader meets a pressing social need. I see little evidence in the real world (via much traveling, talking to people, watching the news, reading the news, listening to the news, reading books and magazines, visiting used bookstores swimming in donations, looking around me at parks/on the bus/at the beach/etc.) that this is actually true.

So it comes across as overly wrought handwringing with no real basis in fact. It should read in the voice of the sad persona of the Mayor of Halloween Town to help people really feel the intended emotion.

If there is some truth to it, another solution might be for some enterprising socially minded entrepeneur to come up with a viable way to move books from where they are in oversupply to places where there's a dearth (and more importantly, demand). Or people could just, you know, order cheap used books from Amazon and have them delivered right to their doorstep.

about a month ago
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E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

c0d3g33k "Book Deserts"? WTF? (116 comments)

What could cell phone e-reading mean in the many "book deserts" of the U.S.?

Citation needed. I've never heard of this phenomenon. Sounds like a made up term to add extra drama.

about a month ago
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Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

c0d3g33k Re:don't they understand the Internet? (70 comments)

Perhaps your online time would be better spent by actually reading the stuff than bitching about a nick.

Oh snap, you got me, you clever lad.

Perhaps your online time would be better spent actually reading the stuff than tossing out sophomoric zingers.

I mean, put a little work into it and bring in the source material. Feynman was a funny guy - work that into your act. Here are some quotes to get you started: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/...

Better yet, show that you actually spent your time reading the stuff and work that into your schtick. THAT would be impressive.

Come on, show me what you got, funny guy. Stop phoning it in. :-)

about a month ago
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Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

c0d3g33k Re:don't they understand the Internet? (70 comments)

Perhaps your online time would be better spent by actually reading the stuff than bitching about it.

Personally I feel that was uncalled for, but your nick suggests that perhaps you can't help it. Please learn to distinguish between 'bitching' and 'discussing critically'. The latter is intended to point out how things might be made better, while the former is more about complaining for the sake of complaining. They are very different things. It seems to me that these days anything outside of Pollyanna-ish optimism and praise is being lumped into the "bitching" or "complaining" or "being negative" category, often as a technique to quash discussion, belittle or shame. Or worse, to avoid the effort needed to make improvements to the status quo. The end result seems to be a general lack of improvment where it might be warranted or even slow deterioration over time as attitudes shift from a roll-up-the-sleeves-we-can-make-it-better to a shrug-why-bother.

about a month ago
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Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

c0d3g33k Re:don't they understand the Internet? (70 comments)

I should point out that my final comment about updating some of the figures only applies to some of them - the majority of the updated SVG versions are actually quite nice as they are, which I noticed as I looked through volumes 2 and 3.

I was thinking in particular of the monochrome photographic images such as Fig 52-1 from http://www.feynmanlectures.cal..., which could probably be updated with a photo of the same models using a modern camera, or perhaps a nice 3-D rendering of the same molecules. Another example would be figure 51.4 from http://www.feynmanlectures.cal..., which I can't really make out at all.

about a month ago
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Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

c0d3g33k Re:don't they understand the Internet? (70 comments)

The front-page warning says "However, we want to be clear that this edition is only free to read online, and this posting does not transfer any right to download all or any portion of The Feynman Lectures on Physics for any purpose. "

I wonder how they expect people to read it in their browsers without the text of the document being transferred down to the computer on which the browser is running...?

Not to mention the implied requirement that an always online connection is required to read these 'free' editions, rather than being able to read from a local copy offline.

Yes, yes, we all know that in the modern day everyone has an internet connection to the cloud all the time, so this is an old-fashioned sentiment. Or wait - maybe it isn't so old-fashioned. It's still quite common that in situations where there is enough idle time to read something like this (on a plane, train, boat or automobile; in a remote vacation cabin in the woods etc) there isn't an internet connection available. Not to mention the times I deliberately set my tablet to airplane mode just so I can read a book or magazine without being distracted by notifications or tempted to look at something else online.

I'd also think that these lectures would be quite useful to those in poorer countries that don't have the funds to have an always on internet connection available personally at home, but might have access to a library or other venue where a public internet connection is available.

I appreciate their graciousness in making these lectures available gratis, but that front page warning does seem to be a bit counter to the spirit that probably drove this effort.

Personally, after glancing through some of the chapters in the first volume, I think that maybe releasing the material under whatever Creative Commons license allows them to retain the rights they want but enables people to share and contribute updates might be preferable in the long run. I'm thinking not so much of the text itself, but many of the figures seem rather outdated (eg. a poor photograph of some old ball-and-stick atomic models) and could benefit from some cosmetic updating to make them more suitable for modern eyes.

about a month ago
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Brian Stevens Resigns As Red Hat CTO

c0d3g33k Re:Who to believe? (39 comments)

nice uid, btw.

Yeah, no kidding. I envy both of you. :-)

On the other hand we're all still above ground after all this time, so yay us.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Glitch 2-D MMO released completely into the public domain

c0d3g33k c0d3g33k writes  |  about 10 months ago

c0d3g33k (102699) writes "Glitch, a collaborative, web-based, massively multiplayer game developed by Tiny Speck, Inc. (tinyspeck.com) has been released under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal License. I'm not at all familiar with this game, but it is rare that both source code *and* all game assets are released into the public domain, which makes this announcement noteworthy.

An excerpt from the announcement:

"The entire library of art assets from the game, has been made freely available, dedicated to the public domain. Code from the game client is included to help developers work with the assets. All of it can be downloaded and used by anyone, for any purpose. (But: use it for good.)""

Link to Original Source
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Steve "CyanogenMod" Kondik contemplates "The Death of Root" on Android

c0d3g33k c0d3g33k writes  |  about a year ago

c0d3g33k (102699) writes "Prompted by the addition of new security features in Android 4.3 that limit the effectiveness of elevated privileges, Kondik wonders which uses really require full root. Most common activities that prompt owners to root their devices (backup/restore tools, firewall/DNS resolver management, kernel tuning), could be accomplished without exposing root, argues Kondik, by providing additional APIs and extensions to the user. This would improve security by limiting the exposure of the system to exploits.
Reasonable enough, on the face of it. The title of the post, however, suggests that Kondik believes that eventually all useful activities can be designed into the system so the "dangerous and insecure" abilities provided by root/administrator privileges aren't needed. This kind of top-down thinking seems a bit troubling because it leads to greater control of the system by the developer at the expense of the owner of the device. It's been said that the best tools are those that lend themselves to uses not anticipated by the creator. Reducing or eliminating the ability of the owner to use a device in ways that are unanticipated ultimately reduces its potential power and usefulness. Perhaps that's what is wanted to prevent an owner from using the device in ways that are inconvenient or contrary to an established business model."
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Google Code deprecates Download Service for Project Hosting

c0d3g33k c0d3g33k writes  |  about a year ago

c0d3g33k (102699) writes "Google Project Hosting announced changes to the Download service on Wednesday, offering only "increasing misuse of the service and a desire to keep our community safe and secure" by way of explanation. Effective immediately, existing projects that offer no downloads and all new projects will no longer be able to create downloads. Existing projects which currently have downloads will lose the ability to create new downloads by January 2014, though existing downloads will remain available "for the foreseeable future". Google Drive is recommended as an alternative, but this will likely have to be done manually by project maintainers since the ability to create and manage downloads won't be part of the Project Hosting tools. This is a rather baffling move, since distributing project files via download is integral to FOSS culture."
Link to Original Source

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