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Comments

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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

dotancohen Re: RT.com? (538 comments)

Mod points. Please, mod points for this.

about two weeks ago
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WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

dotancohen Re:SSDs will outpace platter drives (296 comments)

In comparison, shortscreen monitors (often mislabeled as widescreen) are a trend which has no logical or technical underpinning.

You are holding it wrong. No, really.

I've got a longscreen monitor (widescreen turned 90 degrees). It fits 120+ characters on a line and shows 122 lines of code plus two additional lines for the VIM status line. The other widescreen monitor is running Firefox with the tabs on the side (Tree Style Tabs) and the KDE panel on the left side of the screen, not the bottom. This is the absolute best setup that I could imagine.

Just stop wasting the vertical space and make better use of the horizontal space. I was a 4:3 holdout for the longest time, now I love the widescreens.

about two weeks ago
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New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

dotancohen Re:Send Them Back To Hell (215 comments)

Sending IS back to hell with airpower is easy when they are out in the open. But once Islamic State fighters retreat to towns like Fallujah it will be very difficult to twist them out of their holes. It will require house to house fighting and the towns will be more or less destroyed in the process with great cost to any civilians in the area. If the Shiite dominated Iraq Army does it there will be all kinds of payback. But I doubt they will step up. It will be up to mostly the US with help from the UK and some token help from a few other countries.

Colin Powell was right. We broke it, we bought it.

This is exactly what happened in Gaza the past few weeks, to weed out Hamas.

about two weeks ago
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Deadmau5 Accuses Disney of Pirating His Music

dotancohen Re:Bob's you Uncle (137 comments)

Where are the mod points when I need them. Sad day when nobody even at /. knows who Robert Zimmermann is.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

dotancohen Re:Perl: TMTOWTDI (729 comments)

Maintaining the code of others? Heck, I have found in perl, that it was easier to rewrite a program than try to debug it even if I wrote the original program.

I've often heard of Perl being referred to as a write-only language.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

dotancohen Re:Perl: TMTOWTDI (729 comments)

That list comprehension is actually very much the reason why Python is terrific. C# programmers will be familiar with the idea from Linq.

for: This is a for loop
a,b,c,d: Each value of the iterator is itself composed of 4 values. In Python this is called a tuple, but you can think of it as an array if it helps. The first value is bound to a, the second to b, etc. Thus, the variables a,b,c, and d are defined in the loop body.
in: The next thing mentioned is the iterator
[x.q for x in y if x.z]+[x.r for x in y if x.z]: This iterator is a mess, let's look at it's parts, which are:
[x.q for x in y if x.z]
+
[x.r for x in y if x.z]:

[x.q for x in y if x.z]: y is an iterator. Return only the q property of each item in y, only if the z property is defined. This results in a list (another Python datatype which you can think of as an array) being return, of q properties.

[x.r for x in y if x.z]: y is an iterator. Return only the r property of each item in y, only if the z property is defined. This results in a list being return, of r properties.

+: Combine the list of q properties with the list of r properties.

Like learning another (human) language, it it incomprehensible at first. However, I'm no Pythonista and even for me it was very simple to figure out what this does.

about two weeks ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

dotancohen Re:What kind of cyborg? (206 comments)

Cyborgs are just kinds of humans, so yes.

The situation is really not that simple, even if you consider non-cyborg humans. See this Stack Exchange thread on the topic:
http://philosophy.stackexchang...

about two weeks ago
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Giant Dinosaur Unearthed In Argentina

dotancohen Re:Predators become Parasites? (85 comments)

i'm guessing the fact that it was aquatic dissuaded the rats and ferrets. I'm not sure the size of the creature means the small parasites would ignore it, either.

I'm guessing leeches and little shrimp-like things and jesus that's disgusting. No wonder it's extinct. Good thing, too. You wouldn't want one of these wandering into your backyard to get into your garbage. It would give your dog a heart attack.

Thanks, now we know what was swimming around in the Death Star's garbage disposal. They've just unearthed a Dianoga!

about three weeks ago
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E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

dotancohen Re:sponsered phones. (116 comments)

How is the modability of the Kindle firmware these days? I know earlier versions are relatively tamed at this point; but any time I see 'with offers' my loathing gland swells.

I bought the B&N Nook for $99 and rooted it. Works great, I use it to study with Ankidroid.

about three weeks ago
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Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements

dotancohen Re:Agree 100% (253 comments)

Car dealerships should be required to keep an inventory for every model on-hand in case my car needs to go in for warranty service for an extended period.

Actually, in my country (Israel) this _is_ law. All car dealerships have associated garages that must supply seven years worth expected spare parts for all new vehicles, including non-wear parts such as body parts, and to maintain that stock. I'm not sure about how the details pan out for older vehicles, but it ensures that the company cannot just up and leave us without any parts.

about three weeks ago
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Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

dotancohen Re:Why does it take so long? (211 comments)

That was not fair! I should have been done with my five-minute /. break an hour ago!

In other words, thank you for the Mechanical Watch link. That professor is amazing.

about three weeks ago
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Reformatting a Machine 125 Million Miles Away

dotancohen Re:Alternative Title (155 comments)

And the state of the hardware. Some unknown number of systems on the real curiosity are degraded to the point of malfunctioning; And they have little to no way of exactly measuring what and where.

Opportunity. Curiosity is on the other side of Mars, nuturing holes in its wheels and looking for cats to kill.

about three weeks ago
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US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

dotancohen Re:It'd be nice... (248 comments)

You completely proved Cardoor's point.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

dotancohen Re:Quite simply... (548 comments)

OK, I'll bite. :)

Standardizing on tabs helps mitigate this, as everyone sees what they like to see (I se tabstop=4 in vim on my vertical monitor, my emac-using coworker likes tabs to look like 8 spaces on his widescreen monitor), yet indentation level 3 is represented by 3 of something, not 12 (as I would have it) or 24 (as Stas would have it) of something.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

dotancohen Re:Switch to linux / OsX. (331 comments)

Which will last exactly as long as it isn't profitable to make a virus for it.

If everyone swapped to a certain distro of Linux, I'd be willing to bet you'd have major problems within a week.

Then why isn't there "major problems" with CentOS / RHEL which are on the majority of computers connected to the internet? Because they are running an Apache webserver instead of a Gnome desktop?

The truth is, Linux computers are heavily represented on the internet yet we still don't see anything significant in the way of Linux malware.

about a month ago
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Wiring Programmers To Prevent Buggy Code

dotancohen Re:Completely ignores bad specs... (116 comments)

Someone should first wire up management to zap them every time they get an idea for a "brilliant" addition.

I had this at work today. Somebody arbitrarily decided to store 3 months worth of hourly MySQL backups. Never mind that they were being stored on the MySQL server itself (some backup!) but each backup was over 1 GiB - that is 30 GiB per day. 30 * 90 = 2700 GiB on a server with a 2 TiB hard drive that was already half full.

I enjoyed cleaning up that mess, but I as usual people with no technical knowledge continue to make technical decisions.

about a month and a half ago
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Fork of open-source Remastersys closes source, wants payment for source code.

dotancohen Re:Isn't the previous version still open? (2 comments)

Actually, the original code has been removed from all the repositories. There is no way to get to the code any more.

about 1 month ago
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PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

dotancohen Re:its why devs cringe. (180 comments)

Putting aside the whole whitespace debate(*)...

* For which I personally do have trouble with python - I want the computer to bend to my will, not the other way around.

Do you only use languages that let you choose the language keywords? Surely there is leeway in how much bending to your will that you demand of a language.

If you indent your C, PHP, Java, or whatever else sanely, then you will have no issues with Python indentation rules. They are just the sane C rules, but enforced.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: How to handle unfixed Linux accessibility bugs?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about 6 months ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "It is commonly said that open source software is preferable because if you need something changed, you can change it yourself. Well, I am not an Xorg developer and I cannot maintain a separate Xorg fork. Xorg version 1.13.1 introduced a bug which breaks the "Sticky Keys" accessibility option. Thus, handicapped users who rely on the feature cannot use Xorg-based systems with the affected versions and are stuck on older software versions. Though all pre-bug Linux distros are soon scheduled for retirement, there seems to be no fix in sight. Should disabled users stick with outdated, vulnerable, and unsupported Linux distros or should we move to OS-X / Windows? The prospect of changing my OS, applications, and practices due to such an ostensibly small issue is frightening.

Note that we are not discussing "I don't like change" but rather "this unintentional change is incompatible with my physical disability". Thus this is not a case of every change breaks someone's workflow."
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German dam bursts

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about a year ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "Thousands of people have been evacuated to safety in eastern Germany after a dam burst on the swollen River Elbe and farmland was flooded in an attempt to spare towns, with meteorologists forecasting more rain.

In Magdeburg, one of the oldest cities in eastern Germany and a regional capital, some 23,000 people were asked to leave on Monday as water levels in the Elbe rose to a record 7.48 metres — about 5 metres above normal and surpassing the level reached during devastating floods in 2002."

Link to Original Source
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Linux-friendly major motherboard manufacturers?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about a year and a half ago

dotancohen writes "I am tasked with building a few Linux machines for a small office. However, all the currently available motherboards seem to be Linux-hostile. For instance, in addition to the whole UEFI issue, my last install was a three-day affair due to the motherboard reporting a Linux-supported ethernet device (the common RTL8168) whilst it was actually using a GbE Ethernet device that does not work with the legacy drivers and didn't even work with a test Windows 7 install until the driver disk was installed. There are no current HCL for Debian or Ubuntu and I've written to Asus and Gigabyte but from both have received the expected reply: No official Linux support, install Windows for best experience.

Note that I did even turn to the two large local computer vendors asking if they could provide Linux-compatible machines ready to go, but neither of them would be of any help. What globally-available motherboards or motherboard manufacturers can one recommend today?"
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Maplesoft breached, database accessed

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "MapleSoft, makers of MatLAB competitor Maple, just emailed all their customers to inform them about the company's recent security breach. “We deeply regret any inconvenience or concerns that this situation may cause our contacts and customers,” was the most important part of the letter, added by CEO Jim Cooper."
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Kubuntu 12.04 To Drop Support For Firefox

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Yesterday it was brought up that KDE support has been dropped from the Firefox package, so the firefox-kde-support will be stripped from Kubuntu 12.04, which is an LTS release. This is becoming because the Ubuntu Firefox maintainer no longer wants to maintain the KDE support patch, which isn't mainline in Firefox."
Link to Original Source
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Study links sexual content on TV to teen pregnancy

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Sexual content on television is strongly associated with teen pregnancy, a new study shows. Researchers at the nonprofit organization RAND found that adolescents with a high level of exposure to television shows with sexual content are twice as likely to get pregnant or impregnate someone as those who saw fewer programs of this kind over a period of three years."
Link to Original Source
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Greenpeace penetrates French nuclear plant

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Greenpeace activists secretly entered a French nuclear site before dawn and draped a banner reading "Hey" and "Easy" on its reactor containment building, to expose the vulnerability of atomic sites in the country. Greenpeace said the break-in aimed to show that an ongoing review of safety measures, ordered by French authorities after a tsunami ravaged Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant earlier this year, was focused too narrowly on possible natural disasters, and not human factors."
Link to Original Source
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Gigabyte's solution to the ASPM bug: use Windows.

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Gigabyte's response regarding kernel power regression issues due to their BIOS bug:
"...since our products only support Windows OS... We suggest you to install Windows OS to prevent having problems. If you install the Windows OS and still have any problems, please provide the error message screenshot for us, so we can try to see how to help."
I wonder if Gigabyte will provide the unlock keys for the EFI boot loaders with a policy as clear as this?"

Link to Original Source
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AskSlashdot: Calculators with 1-2-3 numpads?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Although the telephone has the 1-2-3 key on the top row, most calculators and keyboards have 7-8-9 on the top row. Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory. Do any slashdotters use a scientific calculator with 1-2-3 on the top row? I've already scraped and resoldered my Casio fx-82 calculator to have 1-2-3 on the top, and remapped the numpad in Kubuntu, but if there exist any calculators like this already on the market I'd buy two."
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Another Paypal policy update: where to find info?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Today there was yet another policy update on Paypal. There is no diff file, and the policies are all in lawyerese. My bank had a similar policy update recently, as has my domain registrar. Is there any corpus, legal or otherwise, who regulates or at least elaborates on these? Is there a legal forum to discuss these changes? How does the little citizen keep up?"
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Mars rover Spirit is no more

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "fter nearly a year of trying to reestablish communications with the Spirit Mars rover, NASA has decided to suspend efforts. Communications channels used to contact the vehicle (redesignated from "rover" to "spot" when it got stuck in a sand trap) will be used to develop a communications base wit hthe next Mars rover: the ambitious Mars Science Laboratory."
Link to Original Source
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Fedora 16 will number user UIDs from 1000

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Sharing users between Fedora and Debian-based distros just got a little easier. Beginning with Fedora 16, the Red-Hat based distro will number it's human user UIDs starting from 1000, as opposed to the old 500. Though this change is intended to facilitate interoperability with other distros, it risks breaking backward compatibility with older Fedora releases including the newly released Fedora 15."
Link to Original Source
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The Organic Elite Surrenders To Monsanto

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's GE crops from contaminating 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. "The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.""
Link to Original Source
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Paypal alternatives?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "It seems that everything that I used to do with Paypal is gone, and nobody has found a good alternative yet. This month I tried donating to Anki (but Paypal is no longer serving Japan for donations) and Virtual Identity (which stopped accepting Paypal due to the Wikileaks incident). The authors of both software are looking for alternatives. What can we recommend to them? What reliable and inexpensive money-transfer services exist today? What do you use?"

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