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

danpbrowning Floppy discs and the programmers who use them! (232 comments)

Many members are up in arms over the large new utility: "Programmers these days with their fancy new computers and their gigantic 'five and a quarter' new-age magnetic spinning discs are constantly looking down on us 'old-fashioned' punch-card programmers. Why can't they write a new utility that supports six rows of 8-bit EBCDIC? Laziness. This just proves that OpenBSD don't care about small, home-built systems. Sixty four bytes is big enough for anybody."

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?

danpbrowning Sci-fi, non-fiction, and a classic (796 comments)

"The Brothers Karamazov" by Dostoyevsky. Characters and conflict that will really come alive in your mind.

"Foundation" by Asimov. Start of a really good sci-fi series. I read the entire book as if computers were described in the story all along, only to realize after I was done that he wrote the book before computers were even invented. Whoa!

"Israel" by Martin Gilbert. A fact-based history starting in late 19th century using Arabic sources that will make you shudder to realize how many lies are believed about the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict as well as the sheer magnitude of the current level of anti-Israeli propaganda (i.e. "news").

"Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose. A great portrait of American heroes from The Greatest Generation. Better than the TV miniseries.

about 3 months ago
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Confessions of a Cyber Warrior

danpbrowning Re:If true, a profound disservice (213 comments)

...they are jeopardizing the domestic infrastructure they are ostensibly tasked to protect?

You must be new here. Don't you know how things work here in America?

about 9 months ago
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Oracle Releases SPARC T5 Servers; Too Late?

danpbrowning Re:Probably not. (175 comments)

You could at least quote the OP's statement correctly:

I agree, but it looks like an honest oversight to me. He did leave SPARC over performance concerns.

1 year,20 days
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Is It Time To Enforce a Gamers' Bill of Rights?

danpbrowning You should call it a communist manifesto instead (469 comments)

I'm sure politicians and judges will this just as much respect as the real Bill of Rights. Which is to say, not much. (cf. Holder, Bloomberg, et al.)

about a year ago
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Home Server On IPv6-only Internet Connection?

danpbrowning Re:Hamachi (164 comments)

They finally fixed that? Good. They previously used 5.0.0.0/8 and it took a *long* time to figure out why certain users can't access certain web servers.

about a year ago
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Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies

danpbrowning Re:GO UNIONS! (674 comments)

I'm still not convinced this was a smart move on the part of the Union, but I can certainly understand what they were thinking!

Management and their crony lawyers could have given up their entire salary and worked pro-bono all year, and it *still* wouldn't have been enough to bring the company out of the red. Employee salaries and pensions, however, are probably at *least* a billion dollars per year (if it's only a third of revenue, which I would guess is on the low end). So making cuts to salaries/pensions would actually do something.

Your article doesn't have total amounts, but let's be generous and say that management gave themselves and their crony lawyers an extra $10 million per year. Sure, it's an insult and a slap in the face, but it's not enough to really impact the bottom line significantly.

If $10 million in management excess is the reason the union employees voted the way they did, then they cut off their nose to spite their face.

about a year and a half ago
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Linus Torvalds Will Answer Your Questions

danpbrowning Hardware standards design and engineering? (460 comments)

You often criticize poor hardware designs (e.g. that ACPI is "a complete design disaster in every way") and complement good ones (AHCI). If you were given the opportunity to directly influence the design of important hardware standards in the future (let's say, if Intel gave you veto power), would you do it?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It a Good Idea To Incorporate?

danpbrowning Do it for taxes, not liability (293 comments)

I recommend incorporation for the tax advantages, not for the lawsuit liability protection. From what I've read, and what my CPA has told me, a lawsuit can make your personal assets just as vulnerable in a single person corporation as they are in a sole prop. The difference is that it's *possible* to make contracts between your corporation and others, rather than you personally. But just because it's possible doesn't mean it's likely -- until you build up some significant business credit rating (e.g. a good D&B report) you're going to have to personally guarantee everything (e.g. lines of credit, business visa, etc.) anyway.

about a year and a half ago
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Intel Confirms Decline of Server Giants

danpbrowning Re:Your first server, in 2012 (152 comments)

But mdadm *does* beat at least some of the enterprise $700-$1500 ones as well. My LSI MegaRAID SAS 9261-8i cost me about $900 (the battery alone was around $300) and it's slower than snot.

I was raking in 800 MB/s seq with mdadm on an empty 8-disk RAID-50 using a bunch of $30 "cheapy" SATA HBA, but when I switched the exact same drives to hardware raid, the most I could get was 250 MB/s (seq) on an empty array and 160 MB/s at 85% full. Not to mention the random read I/O of 1 MB/s (yes, one MB per second -- not a typo). This is after spending a few weeks optimizing things: stripe-aligned partitions, block-aligned stripe sizes, and both controller and disk cache enabled. The latter of which I'd prefer to have turned off (even with a battery).

I certainly wont make that mistake again. Of course, it's partly my fault for buying something without waiting for reviews (several other newegg buyers found it to be ludicrously slow as well), but I thought that after all these years it was a sure bet that *anyone* could turn out a decent hardware raid card if you give them over a grand. Apparently not. And I should have really researched the raid-5 write hole more before blowing $1200 on a supposed fix for the problem when a much better solution is to just use RAID-6 and the write intent bitmap (or ZFS).

Of course, I'm not trying to say *all* hardware raid cards are bad. I'm sure that most of them are just fine. But I just don't see any benefit to them any more. Linux has mdadm, *BSD/Solaris have ZFS. The only reason for hardware raid is if your operating system's software raid implementation is completely braindamaged. In other words, it's for Windows.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: To AdBlock Or Not To AdBlock?

danpbrowning Vendors should be paying *me* to block their ads (716 comments)

Many of the ads that I see make me *hate* the vendor. Before seeing the ad, I would have been fine buying from them. After, I avoid them like the plague, tell my social circle about why their ad made me dislike them, start a boycott, or maybe just leave flaming bags of doggy doo on their front steps. So by blocking ads, I'm actually boosting the vendor's sales. They should be paying *me* to block their ads.

In reality, the above is a bit silly. In most situations, the ads that drive me nuts are for products/services that I (and most in my social circle) would have never bought anyway, and the advertisers know that. The very things that make the ad so annoying to me are precisely what makes it effective on the actual target demographic.

For example, I was watching TV with some extended family when one of those supremely annoying used car dealership commercials came on, with the "M-M-M-Monster Sale! Friday! FRIDAY! Fri-day! We're going craaazy!" and some family members said something to the effect of "Sounds like a great sale! We should seriously get down there!" I was shocked.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?

danpbrowning Watch Portlandia (999 comments)

Before you decide, be sure to watch "Portlandia", a recent TV Series (on a torrent near you). It's a documentary about how much fun it is to live in Portland. (Heh heh). Where else can you see stuff like this on a daily basis? :D

about a year and a half ago
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ADA May Force Netflix To Provide Closed Captioning On Content

danpbrowning Re:Mixed feelings (694 comments)

I've tried the computer-translated captions on several youtube vidoes, and they are even more hilarious than normal computer translations. They don't even bear a *slight* resemblance to what is spoken in the video. But I'm sure that the videos with clear audio (i.e. approximately the same audio quality that Dragon Naturally Speaking requires) work a lot better.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Manage Your Personal Data?

danpbrowning To the cloud-mobile, Robin! (414 comments)

Duplicity backup software: $5/mo (donated to EFF)
FDCServers Atom + 2TB HDD: $45/mo
Comcast Internet with 20 Mbps upload: $130/mo
Running into your 250 GB transfer cap in just 24 hours: priceless.

about 2 years ago
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Intel Releases Sandy Bridge-based Xeon E5 Series

danpbrowning Where's the 10GbE? (96 comments)

There have been news items all year about how the E5 was going to usher in a new era of low-cost 10 GbE LOM (LAN on motherboard). Even today's news stories are talking about it. But where's the beef? I've looked through about 30 motherboards from Supermicro, Tyan, etc., and the only 10 Gb LOM I've found is on a proprietary Supermicro MB and it's not even ethernet. Sure, system integrators have them, but I'd rather build my own box.

Anyone have an idea where they are?

more than 2 years ago
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Comparing Today's Computers To 1995's

danpbrowning Re:Only 24-bit in 1995? We've come a long way. (461 comments)

Sorry, I'm not trying to be obtuse. Maybe I can put it more simply. In 24-bit color (8-bit per channel), there is a maximum of 256 levels of brightness (for any and all colors): 0 is the darkest, 255 is the lightest. That is nowhere near the number of distinct brightness levels we can see with our eye. Hope that helps.

more than 2 years ago
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Comparing Today's Computers To 1995's

danpbrowning Re:Only 24-bit in 1995? We've come a long way. (461 comments)

That's not how RGB works.

Actually, it is. On a 10-bit-per-channel display (with 10-bit software, 10-bit O.S., and 10-bit cable), you can display 1024 distinct values, each increasing value brighter than the next. If you display the exact same image on an 8-bit-per-channel display, there will only be 256 levels. There are a variety of techniques for compressing them with the smallest amount of image degradation (such as dithering to avoid artifacts from quantization error), but no matter what technique is used, the human eye can *definitely* see the difference.

more than 2 years ago
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Comparing Today's Computers To 1995's

danpbrowning Re:Only 24-bit in 1995? We've come a long way. (461 comments)

We are still using 24 bits / 32 bits because more would be simply overkill. You see, there is still an old element in the equation, it is the eye! Even an accomplished artist cant see more than 2^24 ( 16,777,216 )colors.

That's all fine and well as far as colors go, but what about *range*? Even the layman can easily distinguish more than the paltry 256 levels provided by 24-bit video. It's very difficult to compress 12-14 stops of dynamic range (a typical DSLR raw file or film negative) into 256 levels. You can spread the levels out so that each doubling of intensity has about 18 levels to it, but it looks terrible ("low contrast"). Of you can compress a huge number of stops into just a few levels, so that you preserve the lion's share of the levels for midtones to have an attractive image ("high contrast", "pop", etc.). Or you can just cut the head and feet off the image until it's down to just 7 or 8 stops, which is easier to fit inside the 8-bit range limitation.

more than 2 years ago
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Comparing Today's Computers To 1995's

danpbrowning Re:Only 24-bit in 1995? We've come a long way. (461 comments)

What's worse, human vision is still limited to about 10 million nuances and can't even take advantage of 24 bits. Time for an upgrade!

I disagree. Do you really believe that human vision is limited to seeing just a paltry 256 values for the entire range of light to dark? Not even close.

more than 2 years ago

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