×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Biofuels From Corn Can Create More Greenhouse Gases Than Gasoline

caseih Re:Uh ... it's still carbon neutral, isn't it? (158 comments)

No it's not that simple. Plants require nutrients from the soil, which have to be replenished each year[1] partly by natural in-soil processes that break down residue from previous crops, but mostly from the application of synthetic fertilizer, which is synthesized using a process that burn natural gas. See the wikipedia article on the Haber Process.

Also there are fossil fuels used in the planting, cultivation, harvest, and irrigation of the crop.

If corn could fix its own nitrogen like legumes do, it might be a lot closer to carbon neutral.

[1] In many parts of the world, including the Brazillian rainforest, farmers are actively "mining" nutrients from the soil. The soil left from burning the rainforest is extremely rich in nutrients, allowing intensive farming for a few years. After a while, though, the soil is depleted of nutrients and organic matter and yields drop. Sadly many farms just burn down more forest. Some methods of farming, including zero-till, try to foster natural soil processes to produce more nitrogen in natural ways, reducing synthetic inputs.

3 days ago
top

Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

caseih Re:Application and driver compatibility (245 comments)

Do you actually have experience or are you just making things up? Are are you willing to both write a driver and port the software for me that controls a chemistry instrument that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, uses some proprietary PCI card (or worse yet, ISA)? The instrument runs absolutely fine now, and will for years (I managed one instrument controlled by a Mac from the mid 80s), but would either cost a lot to upgrade to Windows 7, or require a new instrument. Instrumentation companies are like this. They do operate stupidly, are stuck in the 80s, and I'd love to smack them, but like it or not, in vertical industries, the choices are few and far between, and *very* expensive.

So what do you do? The hard part is some of these instruments generate a lot of data and require access to network servers. Dedicated, firewalled LANs will suffice here. Windows XP is going to be running for another ten years or more.

The whole problem revolves around the fact that in many industries computers are treated as "hardware" not "software." I mean you only replace a pump's pressure switch when it fails. We in the computer industry have been successful in pushing our technology into all kinds of places where it's invisible and just seen as a "controller" or a "switch" and treated as such. And it's not entirely the fault of the users of these devices either. The thought of securing and updating the firmware on these devices has really only been something anyone worried about recently. When was the last time you did a firmware update to your lawn sprinkler controller? Add internet capabilities to it, and suddenly it's a security hole requiring weekly software updates. How does this relate to XP? Well for a lot of people and industries, their instruments and devices are in their mind much like the sprinkler controller in your garage. They are just tools and they don't think about the software security, updates, EOL, etc. They've never had to before. It's a brave new world we've started, and this Windows XP EOL issue is just the beginning of our problems with this new "internet of things" idea. Which is brilliant, but fraught with all kinds of danger.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly Firewall For a Brand-New Linux User?

caseih Looks like official Unbuntu gui is gufw (187 comments)

Doing a bit of research, the official Ubuntu firewalling utility is ufw, and there is a default GUI for it called gufw. Probably the OP should direct his attention here first.

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly Firewall For a Brand-New Linux User?

caseih Poster asking about GUI frontend software (187 comments)

Many of the posts so far direct the original poster to dedicated firewall appliances or distributions. If I read the summary correctly, the OP is simply looking for a good GUI to manipulate the firewall rules built into the kernel of all modern Linux distributions.

I can't vouch for any of them, but GUI frontends include guardog, lokkit, firestarter, and probably others. They are all in various states of development and maintenance.

Part of what the user wants to do (firewall per app) wasn't possible in the past with iptables (per-gid blocking was easy), but I believe it's now possible. A primitive daemon, called Leopard Flower, seems to offer this functionality: http://leopardflower.sourcefor...

From what I can see, the most promising, integrated, easy-to-use firewalling GUI software going forward is Fedora's firewalld and it's accompanying GUI. I know firewalld is available on Ubuntu (and its command-line interface). I'm not sure about the GUI part. Perhaps someone familiar wit Ubuntu can comment. Here's an article on installing it in Mint, so I assume it's similar in Ubuntu: http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2013...

From what I can see, firewalld and firewall-config hit the sweet spot for most desktop users. I'd never use it on my router, but for a desktop, it works pretty well and is under active development. I imagine it will sport per-application feature soon, if it doesn't already.

about three weeks ago
top

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

caseih Re:What about aircraft? (496 comments)

Never said it was. The implication being that other airliners besides airbus have them too on occasion. Sorry I didn't spell it out!

about three weeks ago
top

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

caseih Re:What about aircraft? (496 comments)

Many Airbus planes do have some cameras that the pilots can use. Usually in the tail. I was on a 777 recently that had at least 3 cameras that you could view via the inflight entertainment system. Was very cool.

about three weeks ago
top

Subversion Project Migrates To Git

caseih Re:Change (162 comments)

What specifically don't you like about git? How is it a new broken design? Is it broken because it does not fit with your work flow or handle certain types of development? Curious to know.

about three weeks ago
top

UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

caseih Re:Where are the farmers? (987 comments)

Farmers tend to be quite politically conservative for a number of reasons. I suppose part of it is because things like property rights and gun rights are a lot closer to home. When all you own is a home in a lot in suburbia, neither issue is really that meaningful to you. Also, as with most people, farmers' own experiences tend to be given more credence than just about any other force, including science. So a farmer who sees his entire year wiped out by a hail storm has a hard time understanding how man has any influence at all over nature; he seems too puny. This kind of puts farmers in a tough spot, when it comes to public opinion. On the one hand they want the public to learn about the science behind herbicides (IE many herbicides are quite safe), but when they deny climate science it doesn't look good. Also some farmers might think they'll even benefit from a warmer, wetter climate. But in many parts of the world, the very poorest of all (including farmers) are going to suffer with flood and famine.

The way to get farmers on board is explain climate change in terms they can understand. Increased likelihood of droughts, increased likelihood of storms, increased chances of weather extremes (hot and cold). Farmers in my area look outside at the spring snow and say, haha told you so, while nervously hoping warm weather comes soon so crops can be planted. They don't understand that climate change is going to make things like spring more and more unpredictable.

about three weeks ago
top

The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes?

caseih Watch "how it's made" first (400 comments)

Seriously before we go off in a discussion of how 3d printing will change everything, it'd be helpful to first understand how modern things are actually made, currently. When people talk about printing car tires, I just laugh. They don't have a clue what's inside a tired. I highly recommend watching "how it's made." then we can talk about what 3d printing is good for. I think 3d printing will revolutionize things but maybe not in the way most people think.

Creating moulds, tooling, prototypes, one offs, that's where 3d printing is hitting its stride. Or maybe structural plastic manufacturing. But complicated items like tires always will be complicated involving many materials and many construction techniques and steps.

about three weeks ago
top

KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

caseih Re:Shh... (202 comments)

You're misreading what I said. Wayland absolutely is going to have to have to have remoting capabilities to gain traction. And note I said, "per-window" remoting. In other words the forwarding you talk about will be coming in Wayland. It's not just desktop in a window we're talking about.

And you should do a few benchmarks. X11 over SSH is horrible slow. A lot of round-trips to the server, etc. And really, under the hood, it's just a sucky version of VNC (got that spelt right finally) behind each window you pull across via ssh. Almost all of what you see is simply bitmaps being passed over the wire. But it's worse than that. Because of the nature of the X server and it's IPC, there are a lot of round trips to the server before the bitmap is even pushed across, and a lot of dupicated redrawing, etc. This makes any modern X11 app virtually useless over ssh on anything slower than a LAN.

There's nothing in RDP that restricts you to a desktop in a window. It can and does do individual windows and apps, if the server part supports it. And guess what, it's way faster than X11 tunneled. And it can pass files and printers too.

Of course Wayland doesn't define the remoting method. Something even better could be created.

Seriously watch that video of Daniel Stone.

about a month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

caseih Re:Is it really that costly? (423 comments)

I think you kind of gave away you age there with your comments (20 years wasn't that long ago). But rather than mod you as troll for completely missing the point of the OP, I'll answer your questions:

No we don't drive on a surface un-fathomable just 20 years ago. What do you think roads were made out of back in the ancient times of the 1990s.

No cars haven't increased in power/efficiency by "orders of magnitude" in the last 20 years (you didn't say 20 years here, granted). Not even close. Do you understand what "orders of magnitude" means? Since the dawn of the automobile age, average car HP has increased by about one order of magnitude, and has pretty much plateaued, mainly because it doesn't make much sense for most cars to have much more horsepower than they currently have. In terms of raw horsepower, IC engines were developing hundreds even thousands of horsepower in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, though not in everyday cars. Efficiency has probably doubled, tripled, or quadrupled, but I'm hard pressed to find a single order of magnitude there.

Your paper cup analogy sort of works, though. Software is hard to get right, and we're really bad at writing it, so the best we can do is make paper cups. That's not likely to change either.

about a month ago
top

KDE and Canonical Developers Disagree Over Display Server

caseih Re:Shh... (202 comments)

Think you need to watch Daniel Stone's presentation on why X11, well, sucks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Long story, X11 has been hacked to add things like GLX and composite, and these things go around the X protocol essentially. X is pretty much a complicated and poorly-working IPC nowadays. Yet even if you removed all the cruft, you'd be left with the fact that X makes a very poor IPC mechanism. Also with GLX and compositing, X is no longer network transparent. It's network-capable, but it's not transparent in the same way it used to be with X primitives crossing the wire. In most cases, especially with compositing, the X is network-transparent in the same way VLC is. It's simply sending graphics over the wire. And there are better ways to do it than how X does it. Heck, VLC is better (don't believe me? try Xvncserver... it's quite fast since it knows what to redraw over VLC). RDP is a whole lot better also. And X's asynchronous nature means we still have tearing and stuttering after all these years.

Really, once window remoting is in Wayland, X will be completely unnecessary.

about a month ago
top

OpenSUSE 13.2 To Use Btrfs By Default

caseih Re:Beta testers (91 comments)

Been beta testing BtrFS for about 3 years now. Haven't had any problems. This is home desktop use. All my laptops run it, and I'm starting to use snapshotting more and more. Snapshotting a single VM disk image file is very handy.

about a month ago
top

Interviews: ESR Answers Your Questions

caseih Re:beyond funny (117 comments)

Maybe I'm misreading your tone here, and you really are trying to be funny. If you're not, then what are you talking about? Climate change denial? Doesn't appear to me to be the case: http://www.esr.org/outreach/cl...

Pretty clear explanations on his site of why human factors are contributing to global climate change.

about a month and a half ago
top

Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty

caseih Re:End farming subsidies (545 comments)

This might be a good time to post a link to a fascinating radio program I just heard today on the chicken and hog industries. And it also has something to do with cattle too because these big food companies are starting to use their market clout to bring secret grower contracts to bear that undermine the free market, and, even if subsidies were eliminated, make the subsidy issue almost moot. It's honestly pretty scarey (and I say that as a farmer). And it's also directly relevant to this article and conversation.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesa...

I do know as a farmer that this system of food production is working its way into other food areas besides meat production. Potato production is now governed largely by secret contracts with regional monopolies who care only about their profits, though they pretended to be farmers' friends for many years. And when contracts result in farms not making enough money to be solvent, the big processors are extremely happy to help farmers out by buying their farms out. This means in Idaho much of the prime farmland is directly owned by the processors. At this point, the open market and subsidies are largely irrelevant now.

So far other bulk food commodities like wheat and soybeans still have an open market, but who knows what will happen as consolidation among grain buyers continues.

about a month and a half ago
top

The New PHP

caseih Re:A fractal of bad design. (254 comments)

Just wasted a ton of time reading through that rebuttal thread. Wow. Eevee is very articulate and pleasant. ManiacDan on the other hand tries to turn just about every specific language criticism into, "no it's a feature!" and a personal attack on Eevee. It's clear that Eevee has broad experience in a variety of languages, including PHP, but ManiacDan has had very little recent experience outside of PHP. ManiacDan came off sounding more like a person defending the indefensible. But I suspect the same conversation would play out on the forums of most any language when specific criticisms are addressed.

And remember, whitespace-syntax of Python really *is* a feature. ;)

about a month and a half ago
top

The New PHP

caseih Re:Why use the Zend engine at all? (254 comments)

Perhaps people should start using it more. It apparently is capable of running Drupal and Wordpress, and seems to give some significant performance benefits for those apps. For shops that already have a lot of Java infrastructure, and if they need to roll a PHP site with Drupal,Wordpress, or some other framework, using Quercus is a no-brainer (though you can argue that not using Drupal or Wordpress is a no-brainer). A lot of the security problems of PHP are mitigated. IE if you can manipulate bad PHP code, you're not going to get access to the webroot and Apache.

Had I known about Quercus when my employer rolled out its Drupal site a few years ago, I would have given Quercus a seriously try.

about a month and a half ago
top

Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

caseih Spending stolen bitcoins and the blockchain (704 comments)

Question here. I've read several articles on how bitcoin works but I'm still unclear on specifics.

Unless the stolen bitcoins can be laundered and spent, they are worthless to the thieves. Sooner or later they'll want to spend or sell them. At that point, won't the distributed blockchain be notified of this transaction? '

Also what happens if a user had a backup of his bitcoins on a usb stick somewhere?

about 1 month ago
top

Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS

caseih Re:ANDROID != LINUX (487 comments)

Do you deny that Android apps can run on an Android stack on QNX or Windows? Android is the environment: the whole stack, of which a major component is a virtual machine. The bottom of the pyramid is the Linux kernel, as you say, but I maintain it's not technically an essential part and could be replaced, with enough effort. I'm not sure how well BlueStacks or Windroy run at present, but they certainly run on a Windows kernel. And I'm not saying the kernel of Android is likely to change. Only that it could very well have been different.

Yes you're right that by choosing Linux to be the kernel of Android, there have been benefits that flowed back into the community, though I do note that Android's kernel is still technically a fork of Linux, and hasn't yet been integrated into the mainline git repositories that I know of.

Not everyone shares your narrow definition of "operating system." The definition I was taught in uni, which is shared by some random wikipedia editor, is that the Operating System is a collection of software that manages resources and provides services for a program to run on top of it. By this definition, Android *is* the OS, and happens to have a Linux kernel at its core. It's also the reason that Stallman insists on Linux distributions, "GNU/Linux." Also, many distros correctly call themselves "Operating Systems." Debian calls itself "the Universal Operating System" and comes with either a Linux kernel or a FreeBSD kernel.

about 1 month ago

Submissions

top

Damaged US passport chip strands travelers

caseih caseih writes  |  more than 2 years ago

caseih writes "Damaging the embedded chip in your passport is now grounds for denying you the ability to travel in at least one airport in the US. Though the airport can slide the passport through the little number reader as easily as they can wave it in front of an RFID reader, they chose to deny a young child access to the flight, in essence denying the who family. The child had accidentally sat on his passport, creasing the cover, and the passport appeared worn. The claim has been made that breaking the chip in the passport shows that you disrespect the privilege of owning a passport, and that the airport was justified in denying this child from using the passport."
Link to Original Source
top

Media doublepeak in reporting BPI raid

caseih caseih writes  |  more than 6 years ago

caseih writes "The BBC reports that "The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is investigating allegations of an extensive illegal music filesharing ring at a Honeywell plant in Scotland." What's amazing is that the article treats this entire incident as if the BPI is somehow the equivalent of Scotland Yard or even the MI-5. Not only does the article report this as being the equivalent of real crime with hyperbole, invoking the inevideble comparison to fraug, human-smugging, or even pedophilia rings, but it also has some real gems like a quote from a so-called expert saying, "Filesharing music in the workplace is illegal, misuses company resources, wastes employees' time and introduces network security risks." Regardless of one's stance on the problems of copyright infringement, this kind of bad reporting really shows how the copyright cartels have gone too far."
Link to Original Source

Journals

caseih has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...