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Virtual Reality Experiment Wants To Put White People In Black Bodies

donaldm Re:Already do it in Dayz (446 comments)

Most RPG's do allow you to be male or female. black or white and pretty much any colour you want, not only that but you can be non-human as well which makes for interesting talk from some of the NPC's you come across as you either help or slaughter them. In Skyrim as an example you can do this.

In games like the "Souls" series you can help, hinder or fight players without any regard to their colour, race or sex.

3 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

donaldm Re:Copied from elsewhere... (873 comments)

"If you are in Sydney, do NOT tweet or post news of what Police are doing around Martin Place. Assume jihadists follow social media"

In Sydney it has become a media circus since the start of the siege. Just that alone has pandered to the terrorist(s). It must be very frustrating for the police.

5 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

donaldm Re:Don't worry guys... (873 comments)

I'm skeptical of the peaceful nature of a religion founded by a warlord; but at this stage we don't know that it's not some nut-job who is trying to capitalise on the ISIS popularity.

I think you should get your facts right Muhammad was not a warlord in fact he was a merchant until he became a religious leader at age 26. Of course since it is very easy to interpret the Quran for personal reasons and many splinter groups of Islam have done just that so I can understand why many non-muslins would think Muhammad was a warlord.

The flag that is being shown is not associated with ISIS however it is what is called The Black Standard . The writing you can see on the flag is means "There is no god but the God, Muhammad is the messenger of the God", however this same writing does appear on many flags and some of those are associated with Muslim terrorist groups.

This incident is classified as a terrorist act however even the top Muslim Cleric in Australia has condemned this so it basically boils down to one or two extremists who have their own agenda. Basically this act will achieve nothing except to alienate Muslims from Australian society which I suppose is what the terrorists really want.

BTW. A simple search would have found the information I have given. I do live in Sydney as some of my previous posts have attested too however I am not a Muslim nor have I any intention of being one but lets get the "facts" correct.

5 days ago
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Microsoft To Open Source Cloud Framework Behind Halo 4 Services

donaldm Re:please keep closed! (50 comments)

Whatever it is that made Halo 4 (cloud-based or otherwise) should remain closed. Or better yet, incinerate it.

Well it is designed to run on .NET which is open source as well but licensed under Reasonable_and_Non_Discriminatory_Licensing which if you read this seems like a minefield full of flowers since Microsoft holds lots of patents on the all over infrastructure. Basically this will be a Microsoft only thing. Other companies enter at their peril. :)

5 days ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

donaldm Re:Have Both (566 comments)

I have two monitors: one landscape, one next to it flipped into portrait mode. It's not fucking rocket science.

Why? All you need is a reasonable sized monitor that can display without resizing A4 or if you are so inclined A3 although I would question that. For A4 you need a 16:9 aspect ratio 24" or larger monitor. For a different aspect ratio I will let you do the arithmetic.

For commercial applications the choice of using Landscape or Portrait depends on what the application is required to display. However for home use in the majority of cases of a one monitor requirement Landscape is the best compromise. For business use the choice of a monitor or monitors really depends on business requirements.

The problem you have from a home user perspective is the physical size of the monitor or monitors since they do take up physical space and the viewing distance between the user and the monitors(s). If the display size is large compared to the viewing distance then the user could be asking for eye problems somewhere down the time track. Too small can also cause eye problems as well. Actually what I have just described can also affect the health of a user working in a business. It may be fine while you are young but as you get older your eyes do degrade (how fast or slow depends on the person) so some thought as to what display or display configuration suites you the best is very important.

about a week ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

donaldm Re:Depends (566 comments)

I manage Unix systems so having it be wide screen helps with longer lines.

But I also write code so having a portrait screen helps when I'm reading documentation (PDFs for example)

Well I have managing and configuring Unix systems since 1981 and Linux since 1998.

Be it a tty or even a printer (and yes you can do this) you can write programs, in fact with a GUI it becomes even easier to write programs, however no matter what you use unless your display software is really stuffed you have what is called "line wrap" so you can always see what you wrote.

Using a GUI can let you configure a window to any size within the confines of the physical display area. In fact with a decent display manager you can set up virtual screens which are very easy and fast to switch between. Over the last 16 years I have been using KDE and Xfce to do just this. Going back to the early 1990 I actually use CDE to do something similar.

So I have a four monitor setup. Two Landscape (one reversed above my number 1 landscape monitor) and Two Portrait; one to the left and one to the right of the two center monitors. Works well for web browsing and coding where I want more side to side screen space and gaming and works well when coding and I need directories to the left and pdfs to the right. The top screen has my debugger or Firebug if I'm working on a web page.

Nice a 4 monitor setup. The problem with this is you are not very portable but then again that is your prerogative. As for multiple screens this really depends on what you are doing and how efficient you are in managing the displays. Four screens IMHO is definitely over-kill but to each their own after all it is your money.

As I mentioned before I use KDE and I have setup by default 4 virtual screens which I can add too or subtract in about a second. Switching screens normally takes a second and since I have a high performance laptop I am very portable although I can easily plug in a larger screen if I so desire. If I was using a desktop PC which had limited portability I would still use a single landscape monitor although I would make sure it was above A4 in height which for a 16:9 aspect ratio is 24" and above.

Ok I am going to demo some real world examples. I have a 17.4" 16:9 aspect ratio laptop and I am going to write some code, how many lines do you think I actually need in the window where I am going to write my code? How does 79 rows and 261 columns with wrap around sound? Don't like that I can still increase the size although of course I can go smaller as well. How about 24 rows by 80 columns (standard tty screen cira 1975)? I can even have multiple tty windows if I wish or smart GUI editor windows.

Using the same screen I am going to display a PDF file. Displays fine however because the hight of the screen is smaller than A4 so I have to use the scroll wheel of my mouse to view it fully although I can shrink it to fit keeping perspective. The same is also true for web page and since I use tabs I can have multiple webpages on the same web window. This really begs the question "Is this a problem?" and if so "Why"?

I have posted before on what I consider stupid articles that try to show (IMHO poorly) that Portrait is better then Landscape. The choice depends on what your requirements are however in the majority of cases Landscape on a reasonable sized display is a compromise but it is normally is the best of all worlds. Sure when displaying full sized A4 you will have some "real estate" that is not used up but again is this such a big deal?

Having made my rant I still will state that a Landscape monitor is better than a Portrait monitor providing the criteria I mentioned before is met.

about a week ago
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Fedora 21 Released

donaldm Re:What if I want to KickStart a Desktop machine? (106 comments)

Why did you get rid of the "Everything" DVD image that Fedora 20 had?

The Desktop version of 21 is a live image. The Server version of 21 has no GUI.

What if I want to KickStart a Desktop machine and don't want it to be a live image?

Yes that is originally what I thought but once i selected the KDE spin and installed it along with the software I wanted I actually ended up with approx 4.1GB in "/" which is a huge reduction from my Fedora 20 DVD installation of 9GB. In addition it took me only about 90 minutes to actually download the "spin", create a bootable USB stick, install, customise, add additional software and update.

Fedora 20 actually took over 4 hours to do the same thing but without a reasonable speed network you would be have a minimal installation from the Live install. At least with the full DVD you can install allot more software although you would still need to update it at some stage..

Not sure how you would KickStart a Desktop machine although you could possible make a repo machine that contains the Fedora 21 packages which you could KickStart off. I actually have done this with Redhat servers so it should be similar with desktops.

about two weeks ago
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Fedora 21 Released

donaldm Re:Fedora 20 upgrade comments (106 comments)

You should have picked the appropriate "spin" that you wanted such as KDE or Xfce or ... etc. It is very easy to install and you don't have any stuff you don't need.

about two weeks ago
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Fedora 21 Released

donaldm Re:But will it be stable? (106 comments)

Pick the "spin" ISO you want (eg, KDE, Gnome, Xfce ... etc) from the appropriate site and download it. Create a bootable DVD or USB (This what I do) then Install., it's pretty easy. Of course it should go without saying but backup and make sure you have documented all customisations which is user info, repos, wireless password (if appropriate), then when the install is finished (usually within 20 minutes) add those customisation and any additional software.

As far as partitioning this new distro is simplicity itself and I actually use LVM to create the appropriate volumes and then use ext4 for my file-system.

I did have one major issue which was not the fault of Fedora and that was a faulty sector on my disk. A complete reformat fixed that but my recovery took a few hours. If I get any more bad spots on my disk I will have not choice but to replace it.

about two weeks ago
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Fedora 21 Released

donaldm Re:dropped that fool and the systemd it rode in on (106 comments)

Have your really tried the latest installer it is fairly obvious what you have to do even if you are using LVM. Fedora 20 was a little confusing but it was logicaI and not that hard to get a handle on. With the Fedora 21 installer I doubt you could make it that much easier.

about two weeks ago
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Stealthy Linux Trojan May Have Infected Victims For Years

donaldm Re:Well (129 comments)

Pity the article is more concerned with fear mongering than providing technical details.

I read through both articles and it read as "The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Everyone panic!" but they did not really provide any technical details.

Oh the horror /(^o^)\

about two weeks ago
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Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Ends Hibernation To Start Mission

donaldm Re:Dwarf Planets (77 comments)

Astronomers are now adding more and more epicycles to the definition of "planet" as used in their jargon. That's stupid.

The Keplerian solution is apparently too simple to grasp: A planet is one the set of {Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune}. Everything else is not a planet. That is a reasonable and sufficient definition of "planet" in the current astronomical jargon.

At least Astronomers are trying to come up with formal definitions of stars and their orbiting bodies. Just saying the following in this particular list are planets without asking "why" is no more different to saying that the Earth is in the centre of the Universe and all opposed to this are heretics.

Astronomers have been applying the Scientific Method to orbiting solar bodies for a few centuries now and have arrived at what we would call a reasonable agreement on the scientific definitions of what each type of solar body is. Are these absolute?. No they are not however if you just take a reasonable scientific view of what a planet is and the best one is ours (the Earth) then knowing what criteria (excluding life and size although it does have to be spherical in shape) defines our planet within our solar system we then apply that criteria to other bodies orbiting our star and come up with the names of which we humans have named of the planets you have listed.

As for other bodies in the cosmos such as Extrasolar planets, wandering planets, asteroids comets ... etc to say nothing of the different types of stars Astronomers do agree on certain criteria however they may have to refine or even redefine those criteria in the light of new discoveries.

Will things change in the future? I would be saddened if they didn't because we would be heading into another "Dark Age".

about two weeks ago
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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

donaldm Re:Tape Culture Fallacy (284 comments)

Agreed, restore check is essential, whatever the backup method, and my employer offers that as a managed service. But it's also hard to convince a non-technical, small business client to invest in best practice, unless they've already experienced a disaster first hand.

It is normally impassible due to time constraints to do a restore check after every backup. Even if time does permit you are going to effectively reduce the life of the tape by a half. What is important is to initially set-up and confirm that the appropriate backups work and can be recovered. Once this is done you can be fairly confident that backups are going to work (checking logs is important) however you must perform test recoveries to machines that can be made available for testing purposes on a regular basis as outlined in the company IT disaster recovery plan.

Don't have a company IT disaster recovery plan? Then you as the consultant or IT manager better arrange to have one implemented.

about three weeks ago
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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

donaldm Re:Tape Culture Fallacy (284 comments)

Sounds like you should be fired, to me.

Why do you say that the person who was accounting the story was not the one who was responsible for the disaster.

about three weeks ago
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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

donaldm Re:Tape Culture Fallacy (284 comments)

I've been on calls to clients who've diligently changes their tapes nightly, but the backup software has been crashed for months...

I have seen this also on a Unix system with a script that diligently backed up the database infrastructure however the script actually forgot to backup the database. Needless to say when the data disk (it wasn't even mirrored or RAID'ed) died they lost all their data and it cost the small company tens of thousands of dollars to fix the issue.

When I asked if they tested the backups for recovery the manager replied that the person who wrote the script was highly recommended, it was all I could do to suppress my laughter. The only thing I could do was to stop the Clerical Assistant (female, who was in tears) from getting the sack since it wasn't her fault since she did not know what to look for. All she knew was the backup had completed without errors which it had.

To compound the issue I asked for the system backup tapes since the overall system and data wasn't that big and would fit on their system backup tapes of which the script had been written to backup everything. I was then was informed that of the two tapes that they used (that was all they used) one had failed which rendered the system backups useless. On that note all I could do was give up and wish them luck since I was only doing this as a curtsey and was not getting paid.

about three weeks ago
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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

donaldm Re:The magnitude of Tape:HDD difference is shrinki (284 comments)

For some time the tapes that were readily available had a huge capacity advantage over hard drives. That advantage is quickly shrinking. While there is still an edge in cost-per-TB for tape, that is decaying quickly as well.

That is not the point. The reason for doing backups is to recover data to a state before loss of data occurred be it deliberate or accidental.

Sure you can get hard drives that you can can fit your data on however to do a proper backup you should send your backup media off-site. Doing backups onto a hard drive may be fine for home use, in fact I do this my self, however for business this is not a solution in fact it is a disaster waiting to happen since a hard drive (SSD or spinning disk) is an electronic device and a relatively fragile one at that, with more potential for failure than a tape which is a robust passive device.

As an example say you want to backup a 25 TB of data how would you go about doing this and be able to go to your manager or even Board of Directors with a confidence factor of 99.999% reliability for recovery? OK I will make this easier, how do you backup 1TB of data and still be able to meet this reliability? While I am not going to answer since it would take up many pages of documentation (ie. IT disaster recovery) it must be said that backup solution consultants get paid quite a considerable amounts of money to make sure that a companies' data has very little chance of being lost.

Even today with much larger capacity disks you still need reliable backup and recovery strategies and hard disks while they can assist (see Disk based Virtual Tape Library) are still not a total solution. Even "Remote IT Services" (aka "Da Cloud") still require a very high level of reliability so backup and recovery solutions are still very important and (if they are professional) they still use backup tapes.

about three weeks ago
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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

donaldm Re:Dear Sony, I am delighted! (155 comments)

Would I be right to believe the Sony Pictures, being part of the Sony conglomerate, are infected with the same high-handed corporate arrogance that we have seen at Sony Music? "cough" root kit "cough"

Not bad bringing up something that happened in 2005 with the scandal having impact to 2007. Yes Sony BMG was IMHO stupid to put what is called a "root-kit" on a PC running a Microsoft OS. Although that root-kit was benign and Anti-virus firm F-Secure concurred, "Although the software isn't directly malicious, the used rootkit hiding techniques are exactly the same used by malicious software to hide themselves". This is not to say that this absolves Sony BMG however the finger of blame should also point at AV protection software and the Microsoft OS as well that allowed the root-kit to be installed in the first place.

I shall be wearing the smile today, all day

You may not like Sony and that is fine, however extortion is a crime and carries a fairly stiff punishment. It is definitely not something to be applauded.

about three weeks ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

donaldm Re:Square? No Thanks (330 comments)

Square doesn't help me any. 16 high by 9 wide suits my needs reasonably well. Almost as good as the Apple monitors we had back in the 90s for publishing applications. Oh, God, I said something positive about Apple.

Have you ever thought of sizing your work window to the appropriate aspect ratio. You know you can get fairly cheap screens that have a vertical hight greater than A4 if you really need that height. You may have "real estate" left over but is that such a big deal.

about a month ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

donaldm Re:I'd be happy if 4:3 came back! (330 comments)

Forget square monitors, I'd be happy if 4:3 made a comeback.

You should know that 16:9 screen aspect ratio is really a compromise out of all of the other aspect ratios out there. Personally I have never had a problem with working on a 16:9 aspect ratio screen since all you need to do is resize your windows (I use Fedora 20 with KDE) to the appropriate aspect ratio that suits what task(s) you are currently doing. So you may have some so called "real estate" left over is that such a big deal.

I have for many years going back to the very early 1990's used multiple virtual screens which allow me to create tasks particular to what I want. It must be noted that a particular task may take up one or more virtual screens out of which I can create or delete (normally I have four default virtual screens) accordingly in less than a second. Switching between virtual screens takes approximately half a second and if I want I can display all windows on my physical screen, again within half a second.

So all this ranting about how people would like a specific aspect ratio screen is to me rather childish since it is possible to be comfortable with any reasonable aspect ratio screen providing it it of a size that will let you do what you wish to do. Basically aspect ratio, pixel density and screen size are all important however there is still a need for compromise.

about a month ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

donaldm Re:ObFry (330 comments)

Shut up and take my money!

I do my DTP on a Pentium IV with a 4:3 screen because the simple fact is it's far more comfortable looking at a document on a 4:3 screen than it is a 16:9 or a 16:10.

you don't have to keep every window maximized to the full width of the screen... you can have multiple windows, each with a 4:3 ratio. Just a suggestion. #NOOB

Careful you may give the poor guy a brain aneurysm with that logic and whatever you do don't mention the command line much less a visual editor ... Oh! sorry. :)

about a month ago

Submissions

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donaldm donaldm writes  |  about 8 years ago

donaldm (919619) writes "A few months ago I once said jokingly to some of my colleagues that it won't be long before someone sues Nintendo for patent violation on their Wiimote. Well unfortunately I was right as the following Arstechnica article shows http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061208-8385 .html

My next crystal ball prediction will be a patent case on accelerometers which are used by Nintendo and Sony in their contollers. I really hope I am wrong but with the sad state of patents (rumble anyone) I won't be surprised."
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donaldm donaldm writes  |  about 8 years ago

donaldm (919619) writes "SecurityFocus columnist Mark D. Rasch, J.D looks at the license agreement for Windows Vista and how its product activation component, which can disable operation of the computer, may be like walking on thin ice. Read the following http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/423?ref=rs s for the details (two pages).

To quote Mark " Does the Microsoft EULA adequately tell you what will happen if you don't activate the product or if you can't establish that it is genuine? Well, not exactly. It does tell you that some parts of the product won't work — but it also ambiguously says that the product itself won't work. Moreover, it allows Microsoft, through fine print in a generally unread and non negotiable agreement, to create an opportunity for economic extortion. "

Now could be a good time to look at alternative OS's."

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