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Comments

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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

davek Re:What battle? (2010 wants its article back?) (810 comments)

At the moment, just about every major distribution except Slackware and Gentoo not only supports systemd, but ships with it on by default.

So...what "battle" are we talking about? (Or did this post just fall forward five years from the past?)

Ubuntu is the largest distro I know of and it doesn't support it by default.

But you're right, all the arguments I've read against it boil down to Linus hating on one of the developers on the project and/or "It's too complicated and unmanageable!" I've yet to read something I'd consider a valid argument against it. A bunch of neck beards yelling "Get off my lawn!" is not and argument I can get any value out of.

When the neck beards speak, it's often prudent to at least listen.

I'm reminded of a myth, of when the Ancients were sitting down to design Unix, someone said "Why would we ever need a special file, that never contains any data, and always throws away everything written to it?" The Ancient replied, "Trust me, you'll need it." And thus, /dev/null was born.

about a week ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

davek As true as "hybrid cars get 400 MPG" (461 comments)

If you cherry-pick data, you can get it to say just about anything. It's similar to how hybrid cards are allowed to use MPG data from when only the electric motor is running, making the clain that they get hundreds of miles per gallon. What did they /do/ with that electricity? Could it be stored and used when the sun went down? How efficient are they over time? I'm sorry, but nuclear power and continued prudent use of fossil fuels are the ONLY solutions for the worlds energy problems. It is physically and mathematically impossible to power the world with straight wind or sun power (which is not to say it couldn't be used as a catalyst in some yet-to-be-discoved process).

Sorry to rain on your solor parade.

about 2 months ago
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WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

davek Re:Let's look at the Canadian example (222 comments)

Canada was openly ridiculed by the US for not deregulating its financial industry right up until the financial disaster. By an large, Canada escaped disaster that plagued the other G8 countries in the banking meltdown.

So, we have recent proof that strict financial regulation works and yet they want to keep doubling down on deregulation?

The argument of "See! It works in $OTHER_COUNTRY! Why is the US so dumb in not doing it the same way?" is getting really tired. Maybe if the US was full of 300 million Canadians, I might agree with you, but it isn't. Even if I stipulate that Canada "works" (which I certainly do not), what works there doesn't necessarly work here

Also, the Canadian housing bubble never really popped. Rest assured that it will. http://www.thefinancialblogger...

about 2 months ago
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Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool

davek Re:Ghash.IO is not consistently over 51%, yet anyw (281 comments)

Not yet anyways.

6 months ago GHash.IO promised they would
(1) Take steps to prevent accumulating 51% hashing power, including: not accepting new miners, and
(2) They would not attempt an attack, and (3) They would provide cex.io users an option to use another mining pool
(They have apparently not implemented (3) yet).

A DDoS against the pool was reported to occur yesterday, which adversely affected mining.
At one point... their hashrate was reported to have dropped to 7%.
Then BitFury pulled 1 PH/s out of their pool.

Excellent post. BTC haters gonna hate, and I don't understand why.

Funny thing about pooled mining, it's run by the users. User's don't like it? They go away.

about 3 months ago
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NYC Councilman (and Open Source Developer) Submits Bill Establishing Open Source Preference

davek The party of slavery (105 comments)

I know it's the default in NYC (and NY in general), but I still wish some of these smarter guys would rebel and throw off the chains of the Party of Slavery. It forces me to question everything you do, even if it sounds interesting and benificial.

about 3 months ago
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Kaleidescape Settles With DVD CCA But No Victory For DRM

davek Re:DRM (76 comments)

Excellent post. Right on.

DRM has been a huge success in accomplishing what it was designed to do: NOT prevent piracy, but rather retard development, stifle innovation and new businesses and business models, and keep control of high-demand consumer products in the hands of a few individuals with infintely deep pockets.

about 3 months ago
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Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

davek Re:Stocks? (404 comments)

something with intrinsic value, like stocks

Stocks have no more intrinsic value than our paper currency.

Incorrect. If I buy a share in PepsiCo, I then receive a tiny fraction of the profit of EVERY single Pepsi sold on earth. That's work. That's economic production. The share has "intrinsic value" because it gives me access to their profits. This is also why, at it's core, the stock market is not a casino (although government regulation and crony capitalism make stock purchases much more like a "bet").

I think the whole crypto currency thing will evolve into more of a stock market type of thing, with companies running their own block chains as a way of selling shares.

about 4 months ago
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After a Long wait, GNU Screen Gets Refreshed

davek Re:most useful? (77 comments)

try byobu, you will thank me

You can use screen as the backend of byobu too. But, in my experience, byobu doesn't really give you anything, especially if you don't like having status bars at the bottom of my terminal. ALL menus, status bars, menus, etc. go on the top. Always.

about 4 months ago
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Reinventing the Axe

davek Re:Neat (217 comments)

The new way of doing things is called a log splitter. You can get one pretty cheap now (especially if you can do with electric), and while it doesn't have that same rustic appeal, it works really damn well. Personally splitting and stacking was my chore as a kid (I'd guess I’ve split at least 60 cord in my lifetime), and I'm not planning to ever split a log by hand again.

I did also, but I never hated it. I always preferred to swing the axe rather than sit hunched over a giant piston. And as a teenager, wielding an axe to chop firewood is a MUCH better stress reliever than lashing out at parents or going to school with a gun. Very therapeutic, in my opinion.

about 4 months ago
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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

davek Re:Rewarding the bullies... (798 comments)

Here's the thing: Everyone has been bullied at some point in their life. Not all children are prone to it, but there is always a bigger kid prone to intimidation tactics when growing up.

Kids live by the law of the playground jungle when adult supervision and rules are absent from the equation. It is ingrained into us as some form of social stepping stone, the animal in each of us at work, attempting dominance and security for an insecure bully.

There is a time honored civil process in which we attempt to retrain our young into civilized little pricks. Picking on the weak is wrong, and you don't get to take advantage of a fellow human because you're physically or mentally able to do so.

Everyone is small and helpless early, and many are old and helpless late in life. These rules benefit us all, and what happened here sends precisely the wrong message.

To quote the movie Paranorman :

Neil: Nah. You can't stop bullying, it's part of human nature. If you were bigger and more stupid, you'd probably be a bully too. It's called, survival of the thickest.

Profound.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

davek Re:PCs aint expensive (452 comments)

Not sure why they'd be trying so hard to save themselves from buying new PCs.. Probably the XP machines run like ass as it is.
Linux as a general use machine for people that are so bad at computers they still use XP.... just no.. hell no. tell the boss to stop being so cheap and upgrade to this decade

I think this is correct.

Even though I'm at work, running Ubuntu 12.04 with LXDE, and I have full ability to do everything I need to do, I wouldn't want to be /forced/ to use any OS or tool that wasn't the best for my work. I'm a software engineer, working on linux embedded systems, so having a linux desktop is the best for me. Our IT also allows linux to be run on the desktop, but doesn't support a lot of the details. THAT's the best way to go. Provide your users with a wide range of tools. For those that don't care, give them windows. Forcing them to use Linux won't win anyone over.

That said, I'd set up LXDE + Ubuntu 12.04 (or later), and give that to people to try. Just don't force them to use it.

about 5 months ago
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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

davek Re:Politically correct sexism (673 comments)

This is so flagrantly sexist that it's absurd. But luckily for Google, it's the politically correct form of sexism. It's been decreed that programming being male dominated is bad, and thus taking sexist action to fix it is okay.

Google is a private, non-government run company. They are fully within their right to offer incentives for more girls to get into computer science. Or blacks. Or native americans. Or Jews. Or whites. Or whoever they think needs help.

Stop focusing on false flag, and rather on the government's croney capitalism that allows Google to dodge taxes and eliminate competition. "Don't be Evil" has truely become the most ironic slogan of all time.

about 5 months ago
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Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

davek Re:"It's been turned over to other people" ? (390 comments)

Close, but not quite.

I assume you're asking how the "mining" works, and that's actually pretty easy to explain.

Each bitcoin block is generated with a SHA256 hash of the block's header. Presumably, the header information is not guessable, otherwise it would be pointless.

The SHA256 hash becomes the "target." In order to successfully mine the block, you must produce a hash with a value lower than the target. The lower the target, the harder it is to mine the block.

The "target" is in fact the difficulty. Essentially a difficulty of 1 means an applicable proof-of-work block solution would be less than 2^256 >> 1 (I could be wrong on the max size, I'd have to look it up). A block "solution" is a sha-256 hash of (merkle root (which is generated by doing a merkle tree starting with the transaction IDs of all the transactions since the last block) + some other header stuff + a nonce). The header stuff is completely public and known. The "work" miners to is generate trillions upon trillions of those nonces (which is just a word for a random piece of data), calculate the sha-256, and see if the resulting sha is less than the target.

Successfully mining a block is essentially like winning the lottery because there is no known way to make educated guesses about what text might produce a hash below the target's value.

Once an acceptable hash has been generated by a miner, it is submitted to the network with a proof of work that permits the rest of the network to essentially check the solution. At that point, the block is considered completed, the transactions are processed, and the successful miner is awarded the transaction fees plus 20 new BTC.

It's fees + 25 BTC. But that will change eventually, as we approach the max of 22 million BTC in circulation.

I don't think the rainbow table comparison is apt because you're not attempting to produce hash collisions, only find hashes below a set value. Finding a collision is exponentially more difficult, by design.

A "rainbow table" in this case would have to have a number of entries greater than the size of particles in the known universe, I think. We're talking about stupidly large numbers here.

about 6 months ago
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Russia Bans Bitcoin

davek Re:A ban? What ban? (207 comments)

The linked official press release simply reiterates that bitcoins are getting more wide use including criminal use. That the bitcoins are not legal tender. That bitcoins are not backed by anything or anybody but speculative interest and that bitcoin holders are not afforded legal protection of their property rights in respect of their bitcoin investments. Is the word "banned" being misused here?

From the translation:

In accordance with Art. 27 of the Federal Law "On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation", "the official currency (currency) of the Russian Federation is the ruble. Introduction on the territory of Russia and other monetary units issue money substitutes is prohibited. " Certain distribution received anonymous payment systems and kriptovalyuty, including the most famous of them - Bitcoin are money substitutes and can not be used by individuals and legal entities.

I'm pretty sure the ruskies would have a strict interpretation of "can not be used by individuals." Sounds like it's a ban.

I'll be interested to see if BTC can hold above $500 at the end of the day.

about 7 months ago
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Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion

davek Re:the moral of the story (448 comments)

gain access to the victem's domain registrar account

Sometimes I hate not being able to spell :(

about 7 months ago
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Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion

davek Re:the moral of the story (448 comments)

like so many other articles, this just seems like another reminder to never ever use godaddy

Perhaps this is more of an indictment of using ANY non-big-brother email provider for login information to ANY domain registrar. It seems to me the crux of this attack was to a) gain access to the victem's domain registrar account and then b) hijack the domain MX record so all email to that domain goes to the attacker's server. At that point, you can reset all the victem's passwords to all accounts and ALL password reset emails will go to the attacker.

Time to enable 2-factor on all my registrar accounts.

about 7 months ago
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Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

davek Read TFA, still don't get it. (692 comments)

I read through that entire sentence-fragment of an article, and I still don't see what people are protesting. Are they just OWS hippsters and neo-anarchists who will protest anything that isn't run directly by the state? Perhaps they just don't like the fact that some people have money? Surely it's not because some people choose to carpool. I don't get it.

about 7 months ago
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App Detects Neo-Nazis Using Their Music

davek Re:Freedom of thought (392 comments)

I agree, hate groups aren't right, but barring freedom for one to choose for themselves to be involved with a hate group is worse.

I know I'll get marked as a troll for this from the euro-centric crowd, but this is exactly why you embrace freedom-loving society and not authoritarian socialism like they have in Europe. As John Green has said, you cannot declare war on an idea or noun because nouns are so amazingly resilient.

about 9 months ago
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Bitcoin Tops $1,000 For the First Time

davek Re:Where is all of this money coming from? (371 comments)

> Maybe you should stop taking economics lessons from someone whose predictions are always wrong.

Good advice. Can you recommend an economist whose predictions are always right?

Who's Ron Paul?

about 9 months ago
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Bitcoin Tops $1,000 For the First Time

davek Re:Where is all of this money coming from? (371 comments)

With the high profile shutdown of Silk Road the number of things you can buy with Bitcoin would be considerably less.

Negative. The silk road was a tiny fraction of bitcoin volume. Do you realize you can buy gift cards with bitcoin, via the Gyft website? For example, CVS sells beer, Gyft sells CVS gift cards, therefore I can buy beer with bitcoins. Problem solved.

Or it's an attack on the system itself, maybe someone figure out a way to race the market and make money?

My guess is it's massive amounts of Chineese money flowing into bitcoin, as they slowly realize that the USD will soon be worth less than the paper it's printed on (or the electrons in bank computers that actually make them).

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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OKPAY Cuts Ties with Bitcoin Processor MT. GOX

davek davek writes  |  about a year ago

davek (18465) writes "With mounting pressure on online money exchanges from US regulators, payments processor OKPay has announced that it is suspending processing for all Bitcoin exchanges, including industry leader Mt. Gox."
Link to Original Source
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Bitcoin to be regulated under US money laundering laws

davek davek writes  |  about a year and a half ago

davek writes "Last November, in an act of sheer monetary desperation, the ECB issued an exhaustive, and quite ridiculous, pamphlet titled "Virtual Currency Schemes" in which it mocked and warned about the "ponziness" of such electronic currencies as BitCoin. Why a central bank would stoop so "low" to even acknowledge what no "self-respecting" (sic) PhD-clad economist would even discuss, drunk and slurring, at cocktail parties, remains a mystery to this day. However, that it did so over fears the official artificial currency of the insolvent continent, the EUR, may be becoming even more "ponzi" than the BitCoins the ECB was warning about, was clear to everyone involved who saw right through the cheap propaganda attempt. Feel free to ask any Cypriot if they would now rather have their money in locked up Euros, or in "ponzi" yet freely transferable, unregulated BitCoins."
Link to Original Source
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Fresh round of hacked climate science emails leake

davek davek writes  |  more than 2 years ago

davek (18465) writes ""The emails appear to be genuine, but the University of East Anglia said the "sheer volume of material" meant it was not yet able to confirm that they were. One of the emailers, the climate scientist Prof Michael Mann, has confirmed that he believes they are his messages. The lack of any emails post-dating the 2009 release suggests that they were obtained at the same time, but held back. Their release now suggests they are intended to cause maximum impact before the upcoming climate summit in Durban which starts on Monday.""
Link to Original Source
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davek davek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

davek writes "A few months ago, a friend of mine bought a brand-spankin new $3000 Mac intel laptop. The thing ran like a dream, and with the easy open source hooks in OS X, all my open source knowledge was instantly applicable to the new toy. But all was not rosey. The machine started to overheat very quickly, even after a laptop fan platform was purchased. My friend couldn't even produce a single DVD (using iMovie), because the encoding process takes around 5 to 10 hours, and the machine would invariably overheat in that time. After the hard drive started making noise, I advised my friend to take the machine back and get a new drive. I expected apple to be good about it, transfer all the old data off the working old drive, and install a new drive. However, after getting the machine back after 2 weeks, I see that all the data is gone. All the production bits I've done for my radio: gone. All his website work: gone. All my OSS work: gone. My friend has been on the phone with Apple customer support many times over the last few days, and have gotten nothing but hung up on, literally. My question is: has anyone else had such a horrible experience with Apple customer support? Has anyone else had to replace the drive because of overheating and had all their data lost because of Apple's mistake? Does my friend have any avenues for a lawsuit over this?"
top

davek davek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

davek (18465) writes "Commercial Open Source Software:
Building an application versus a program.

You see, the software world is focused now on the idea that the bits
and bytes of a software program actually have value. They do indeed,
but when you buy a car, do you get a crate full of engine blocks and
alternators? No, you get a pre-assembled car, and if you want to
change the fuel injectors, or add a turbo charger, you are free to do
that. This is essentially the shift that free, open-source software
must make. It must move from selling auto parts to selling whole cars,
or from selling programs to selling applications.

You can buy a laptop with a large hard drive, audio support (only two
channels needed), and a CD burner for under 2 grand. It doesn't have
to be the latest model, it just has to work. Put a load of free
software on there for audio production, and there you have your Application.
A portable, cheap, studio usable for home music production. Part of
the business would be selling these set-top-box-type deals to people
who want to record their music, and the other part would be in developing
the correct software to support these needs. I have no idea if there
even is any audio editing software for Linux (this would be a question
for slashdot). We would need something simple, something which could
record and mix several tracks and apply a number of simple effects (reverb,
chorus, etc.).

In the beginning, we would work only for portable computers. Because
you don't always want to leave your recording device in the garage where
you keep your instruments. And you have to upload the music content
onto the internet somehow too, which requires moving the machine. The
company could offer this service as well, which then goes into free
internet broadcasting stations, music sharing programs, and other things.

It's a paradigm shift from making money from the digital data of music
and software, to making money from recording and performing. The concepts
of music and intellectual property has been changing for years, and no
amount of litigation is going to hold back the tide.

In time, the company would grow to include other open source projects,
and we would open our own studio to promote our products, business
model, and name. Its possible that this idea may bring together all
the things I love, that is music, open-source software, and a mobile
workplace. Since our developers would be located all over the world,
it wouldn't matter if one was working in Budapest, or Tokyo or NYC.

So that's the pitch. For about as much as you just spent on your
guitar, you could buy a linux-supported laptop and figure out how
to put some good audio software on it. Our business wouldn't start
with from scratch, but we would use the massive amount of software
which is already out there. We wouldn't claim it as our own, but rather
add to the development effort, because it would be in our best interests.
Within a year, I think we could be making a profit."

Journals

top

The Command Line will Never Die

davek davek writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Let it be written: The Command Line will Never Die.

At the time of this writing, there are all of THREE (3) google results for the string mentioned in the subject of this essay. All of which deal with elitists trying to express their superior knowledge of computing. I, on the other line, believe that "speaking" to a computer -- either through text-to-speech, or through the tried and true command line -- is the only to truly communicate with the digital world. This is not a personal preference, it is a fact of existence.

When you were young, and unable to talk, you probably communicated using various hand gestures and sign language. In other words you pointed, and clicked. Without the ability to properly communicate the grammar and details of your desire, you were limited to using a clunky pointer to gesture at what you were trying to achieve. However, as you got older, you achieved the power of language. Suddenly, you could simply speak the details of your desire and get what you want. The gestures and physical language served only as an additional cue to emphasize your command.

The same is now true, and will always be true with computers. The myth that "point-and-click" is somehow an advanced method of communication over spoken language is blatantly neolithic. In the end, all communication with a computer will be done with the most efficient method that we humans have devised, that is: LANGUAGE.

The command line will never die. Period.
-------
Mon May 26 13:12:57 EDT 2008
http://blog.softwareishardwork.com/2007/11/live-and-die-by-command-line.html
-------
Tue Aug 26 20:58:02 EDT 2008
http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200201/msg00677.html
-------
Tue Aug 26 21:05:46 EDT 2008
  <7> command line will never die.
  <5> it's a computer
http://www.quotesdb.info/freenode/linux/23Feb2006/13.html

top

Building Software vs. Building Applications

davek davek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Commercial Open Source Software:
Building an application versus a program.

You see, the software world is focused now on the idea that the bits
and bytes of a software program actually have value. They do indeed,
but when you buy a car, do you get a crate full of engine blocks and
alternators? No, you get a pre-assembled car, and if you want to
change the fuel injectors, or add a turbo charger, you are free to do
that. This is essentially the shift that free, open-source software
must make. It must move from selling auto parts to selling whole cars,
or from selling programs to selling applications.

You can buy a laptop with a large hard drive, audio support (only two
channels needed), and a CD burner for under 2 grand. It doesn't have
to be the latest model, it just has to work. Put a load of free
software on there for audio production, and there you have your Application.
A portable, cheap, studio usable for home music production. Part of
the business would be selling these set-top-box-type deals to people
who want to record their music, and the other part would be in developing
the correct software to support these needs. I have no idea if there
even is any audio editing software for Linux (this would be a question
for slashdot). We would need something simple, something which could
record and mix several tracks and apply a number of simple effects (reverb,
chorus, etc.).

In the beginning, we would work only for portable computers. Because
you don't always want to leave your recording device in the garage where
you keep your instruments. And you have to upload the music content
onto the internet somehow too, which requires moving the machine. The
company could offer this service as well, which then goes into free
internet broadcasting stations, music sharing programs, and other things.

It's a paradigm shift from making money from the digital data of music
and software, to making money from recording and performing. The concepts
of music and intellectual property has been changing for years, and no
amount of litigation is going to hold back the tide.

In time, the company would grow to include other open source projects,
and we would open our own studio to promote our products, business
model, and name. Its possible that this idea may bring together all
the things I love, that is music, open-source software, and a mobile
workplace. Since our developers would be located all over the world,
it wouldn't matter if one was working in Budapest, or Tokyo or NYC.

So that's the pitch. For about as much as you just spent on your
guitar, you could buy a linux-supported laptop and figure out how
to put some good audio software on it. Our business wouldn't start
with from scratch, but we would use the massive amount of software
which is already out there. We wouldn't claim it as our own, but rather
add to the development effort, because it would be in our best interests.
Within a year, I think we could be making a profit.

top

This is a sample entry

davek davek writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I'm just playing around. I'm not sure what this is. Slashdot has changed a lot since the last time I logged in.

-Dave

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