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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Datacenter HDD Wipe Policy?

gnu-sucks Re:My policy (116 comments)

Explain please how a drill press is not secure.

Let's see...

1) flashy: not really
2) secure: definitely, no hard disk has ever been physically reconstructed that had holes in the platters. Short of a scanning electron microscope, you're not reconstructing that data
3) available: go to home depot
4) price: yes, more expensive than running dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/olddisk, but cheaper than an industrial-grade shredder and of course cheaper than any commercial "enterprise" data removing software. I think drill presses can be had for around $200.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

gnu-sucks Re:ASM (637 comments)

I've never had to learn or use assembly (though I wouldn't mind trying).

What I want to say is that you may gain a similar knowledge by working with microcontrollers and low-resource embedded platforms. When every byte of memory and every instruction cycle counts, you will start to think about algorithm efficiency and other tradeoffs that simply don't matter on an enormous 16-core Xenon workstation with 32 GB of ram. And then, of course, this does lead to better code on those big desktop machines. Those optimizations do add up in larger programs.

As for the overall OP's topic, yes, it is a problem that CS grads are "only" working in Java. So they're learning about program flow control and algorithms. But a mathematician can do that. The CS grads that learn programming at a lower level really do have an edge over those that are just point-n-click-n-type java programmers.

To me, and I'm an EE, knowledge of the above resource-limited systems, linux, and C has taken me a long way. It has enabled me to work on just about anything.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

gnu-sucks Really depends on the details (348 comments)

Your post is not clear on what you mean by "without a firewall". There are so many places in a typical setup where a firewall could be placed, and yes, it is safe to leave them out in some situations.

For example, your store has a firewall at the internet connection and everything inside is a private ip address. The cash registers run on their own network, firewall'd away from the other computers in the store, with rules to allow for outgoing credit card authorizations and that sort of thing. Does each cash register need a firewall? Probably not, and it might even be a significant expense to maintain updated rules every time the network needs to be reconfigured.

So yeah, it depends on the entire configuration. The tone of your post suggests that the situation is not good though, and of course, it's a lot easier to argue for a firewall these days than against one.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Resources On Programming For Palm OS 5?

gnu-sucks Re:Dear Slashdot (170 comments)

So then add a short USB cable. If you're building something for production, then make a custom board. Beagle Bone is a fine product to have fun with.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Resources On Programming For Palm OS 5?

gnu-sucks Re:Dear Slashdot (170 comments)

Also, look at the beagle bone. These are about $50 and they come with analog i/o and digital i/o, but unlike a micro controller, they run a full operating system (linux). Lots of fun!

about three weeks ago
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Smoking Mothers May Alter the DNA of Their Children

gnu-sucks What about... (155 comments)

What about smokers who abstain from smoking during pregnancy but otherwise chain smoke through life?

about three weeks ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

gnu-sucks Re:Lots of people... (544 comments)

Capacitive screens work fine with standard lab gloves. We have two types of gloves here in the lab, and both work good with iPhones and iPads.

Having said that, if you have gloves on, you probably shouldn't be contaminating the phone and/or your finger tips.

about three weeks ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

gnu-sucks Re:File with the FCC (285 comments)

And then hire some cisco-approved "experts" to recommend you the latest configuratable ipv6 fancy-pants 100Gig routers for each classroom. They will give fancy "the future is here" 3D presentations to the principal and board, and make sure you loose every last dime that could have purchased time with real educators and industry experts to actually help educate.

about a month ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

gnu-sucks Re:I still can't for the life of me (285 comments)

You can "enterprise-deploy" iOS devices and then sign your own apps. That's what large institutions do.

The real question, android fanboys, is, WHY A FREAKING TABLET AT ALL?

about a month ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

gnu-sucks Re:I still can't for the life of me (285 comments)

Well, just sayin', maybe kids would be naturally curious about other things too?

Like, I dunno, science and math? Reading interesting books? Dropping eggs off the side of a building in various contraptions? Shooting rubber bands in a contest? Observing the weather each day? Planting stuff? Estimating quantities of items? Playing musical instruments? Drawing? Making things out of scraps of material? Exploring mathematics without a calculator and a test?

Oh, right, this stuff isn't digital, doesn't cost enough money, and requires additional effort form the teacher other than watching kids play on ipads while they play on facebook themselves.

about a month ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

gnu-sucks Re:Completly Blindsided. (285 comments)

And now they want to become an ISP? Hmm...

Teach kids stuff: fail
Deploy iPads: fail ...
Become ISP? FAIL

about a month ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

gnu-sucks Re:I still can't for the life of me (285 comments)

Why does it have to be a tablet? How about hiring a scientist or an engineer to come to each class room for a few hours a week. Guarantee you'd get your mileage there.

Given how these will be used, I doubt there will be much difference except for the cost. Either way it is a complete waste.

about a month ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

gnu-sucks Re:Expensive? (285 comments)

You've got this exactly correct. Educate. Don't waste our money, time, and most importantly, our students' childhood on a "device."

I guarantee you that if I were educating students with a chalkboard I could do better than a moron with the latest iPad. Or google tablet or whatever.

Let's get better teachers and better materials, not more technology.

"Oh, but our kids won't learn how to use Office XYZ and Windows F" Big deal. They can pick that up pretty quick any time. Let's get them THINKING and LEARNING first.

about a month ago
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Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

gnu-sucks Re:It's kind of telling that... (68 comments)

I hear that system is a real POS.

about a month ago
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LibreSSL PRNG Vulnerability Patched

gnu-sucks Re:LibreSSL cannot be different by being the same (151 comments)

It's not an edge case. The random number generator should not be seeded only by a PID.

Hello Theo, the 1970s called, they want their random number generator back...

about a month ago
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LibreSSL PRNG Vulnerability Patched

gnu-sucks Re:This is not how you inspire confidence (151 comments)

It's not a minor flaw. Getting the same PID causes the same random numbers to return, that is a major flaw and something I would not have expected from an OpenSSL fork.

They might as well have written it in bash(ie, RANDOM=$$, seeds the random number generator with the current PID), this is ridiculous. It should be HARD to get the same random number twice.

It's a good thing nobody uses this yet.

about a month ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

gnu-sucks Re:Inside the PC case? Forget it (502 comments)

A standard PC power supply is extremely noisy. So are the regulators near the CPU. Computer power supplies do not have real noise requirements because a digital system like a computer will be essentially uneffected by noise until it reaches extreme amounts.

Any PSU can pick up noise from the mains, it is the good PSUs that deal with it properly.

about a month ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

gnu-sucks Re:The difference isn't the card. (502 comments)

See here's the thing. You changed something in you system and you think it "sounds better" and your wife agrees.

Well, what about it was better? Did you change it back to see if the change reverted? Did you then test your perceived changes with any kind of quantitative testing equipment?

What you have recounted thus far is about as reliable as those commercials on TV for the "gambler's charm" where they have a person say they "felt much luckier" with it. And this is a typical audiophile recount.

I once knew one of these folks that paid $500 for a standard IEC power cable for their preamplifier. I reminded them that the wiring in the wall of the apartment was shit, but he insisted he could "feel" the difference, though it was not describable in any way past that.

about a month ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

gnu-sucks Re:... and acoustic treatment (502 comments)

There are differences, it's not all smoke an mirrors.

The first time I really noticed a low-quality external converter was when I purchased a replacement from brand X. Their new converter did not sound right to me at all. A few minutes with the scope showed me why, slew rate was so bad it couldn't pass a 1khz square wave without significant slewing.

A client of mine had another box from this company, using it as a microphone input. The analog circuitry was very very bad. Once you got the mic up to the appropriate gain level (for close-up speaking), the noise floor came up to maybe -30dBfs or so. This is one of the cheaper units, around $200.

I have recorded in studios with "the best of the best" in recording gear. There is a lot of pseudo-engineering and trickery around many devices, but there definitely are a lot of shitty intro-level ADCs and DACs. Mandy of these intro-level devices are basically what is inside your PC, including cheap chinese-made switching power supplies near the analog i/o, maximum-compactness PCB layout, etc.

I won't argue about "gold monster cable" or similar smoke, but with these external "sound card boxes" there definitely are differences. Some are noticeable, some only in specific situations would bother anyone, and some are just marketing.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Connectors to blame: Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results Invalidated

gnu-sucks gnu-sucks writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gnu-sucks (561404) writes "It appears the universal speed limit has actually not been broken. A bad connection on an optical network was found to be inserting an additional 60 ns, causing additional delay at the time processors at the sending site, and making the neutrinos appear to arrive earlier than expected."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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gnu-sucks gnu-sucks writes  |  more than 9 years ago

gnu-sucks means:
1) There are more licenses than just GNU/GPL
2) GNU isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread

I'm a huge linux nut, but I just want people to know there's more than gnu/gpl out there.

I'm currently running OpenBSD, Mac OS X, and Debian Linux.

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