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Comments

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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

jandersen Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (184 comments)

The Chinese government are not always right, but likewise, they are not always wrong either. And I think they do actually want to find good solutions to problems; solutions that benefit their people.

What evidence is there of that?

The rise in living standard ought to serve as evidence, I would have thought. The ever more open doors to the West. I could go on, of course.

As far as I can see, they are open to fair and reasonable criticism;

What evidence is there of that?

I have traveled extensively in China over the last 15 years. I have talked to many people, from peasants to middle class to the elite, such as several party secretaries. I have discussed democracy, religion and basic freedoms with several. Those at the lower end of the scale mostly say things like 'What do I care about democracy when I have to struggle with feeding my family?' or 'Why do I care about freedom of speech - I have all the freedom of speech I need' - disappointing, I know, but that is the way it is. The only ones who really care about the issues are a) university students and b) others with a high position. And surprisingly, they are not against these things, they just don't want to dictated what to do by the Western media, who in most cases clearly haven't spent any time understanding the issues at all. As far as I can see, they do want democracy, just not like in America - and I think you know why that is: it is just a sham, a circus show to give people the illusion they have influenced things. Perhaps China will find a better way - we will see in the coming years.

As for evidence that dosn't depend on my views - how about the way China has opened up? There is a very direct link between the fact the we in the West started treating them a bit like equals some 30 - 40 years ago, and the way they have opened up to the world. When people start talking to each other and treating each other with respect, trust starts to build and barriers become less important - that is what's happening.

No, we know exactly how it will affect them: massive upheaval as they find out that everything their system of law is based on is a lie designed to maintain the status quo, and keep those on top in their position of power while peasants scratching in the dirt support them.

And would any government want that, do you think? What you say there is exactly why they don't just slap 'democracy, freedom of speech etc etc' in the face of their citizens - would it be right for a government to just sit back and let inevitable civil war engulf the country? They Chinese have seen - just like we have - what happens in developing nations when you do that, because it has happened over and over since colonial times. So, is that what you want for China - upwards of hundreds of millions of innocent people dead for your vain ideals of 'freedom'? What a grand sort of person you are.

Hell, most critics don't even know what these things mean in their own countries

Now you're talking shit. No citation needed, just shit.

In light of my arguments above, I think my words stand - you have yourself demonstrated as much.

3 hours ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

jandersen Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (184 comments)

so you're saying that criticism of the chinese government is ok, as long the chinese government approves the criticism

If you had bothered to understand what I am explaining, then you would have been able to answer that question yourself. I think the reason you chose instead to just gush out this mock-argument is that you know you don't have a real argument against what I say. How willing to listen would you be, if somebody came up to you and started criticising you harshly for doing something you feel is right? Do you write code? Say you were writing a program that you had designed yourself, and you know exactly what you want it to do, and then somebody comes up to you, takes one look and starts telling you what you should have done, that 'frameworks are all the rage' and 'blah, blah', without even asking what you are trying to achieve; you wouldn't like that, and you wouldn't want to follow his instructions either, whether they are good or not. On the other hand, if the same had come to you, asked what you are working on and how were going about it - then perhaps you would have been prepared to listen and learn, and perhaps you would have received some good advice.

Traditionally, since the days of imperialism, we in the West have been arrogant know-it-alls, and still idiots like you are going on about they should 'just' do this and that; just introduce 'democracy like in the US' - which everybody can see isn't working (including most Americans), just introduce US style capitalism, which everybody can see is rotten to the core, just introduce religious freedom - as if that isn't already there, in a nation with at least 4 major religions (but of course, what you really want is being allowed to send in hordes of US style fundamentalists). And so on - why should the leaders (as well as the population) of a rapidly growing superpower want to listen to that kind of rude idiocy? On the other hand, we have clear, historical evidence that entering into a dialog works with China; ever since the US opened up to China's political leaders, establishing diplomatic relations, allowing them a place at the UN Security Council etc - since that time, they have become more and more open to the West. And fortunately China's leaders are mature enough to ignore the more idiotic form of criticism and listen to sensible arguments.

do you even listen to yourself? how propagandized and/ or braindead do you have to be to not see how stupid that sounds?

I think before I talk - and I think about what I have said, afterwards. I don't think I am the one that sounds stupid here. Did you think before you started shooting off you gob? Did you go over the text before pressing 'Submit'? Of course you didn't.

3 hours ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

jandersen Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (184 comments)

How is it hypocritical to criticize this aspect of Chinese society from European point of view?

If I may butt in here.

I too don't think there is anything hypocritical in criticising China - and if you search for my many, previous comments on Chinese matters, you will see that I have a lot of understanding for China's position. What I have always had a problem with, is unfair criticism; criticism that is black-and-white, dishonest, deliberately mis-reading or mis-representing the facts etc. But that applies to anything - if we want to make progress, solve problems etc, then we must be honest to the facts, open to other viewpoints and willing to change if the facts indicate that it appropriate to do so.

The Chinese government are not always right, but likewise, they are not always wrong either. And I think they do actually want to find good solutions to problems; solutions that benefit their people. As far as I can see, they are open to fair and reasonable criticism; where it often goes wrong is when we in the West come stomping in with badly thought through ideas and seem to say "Why don't they just {introduce democracy|allow free speech|...}" - without even having done any research into how these things might affect things in a vast and complex society like China. Hell, most critics don't even know what these things mean in their own countries, they just sing along to what seems to be a popular tune at the moment.

yesterday
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

jandersen Re:Crash-testing & strength? (115 comments)

I think designing and printing whole car bodies is only ever going to be niche industry; to most people, a car is just a set of wheels to take them to and from work. But I can see a much more interesting application of this: printing out spares that are otherwise ridiculously expensive to buy. It might help break the car industry's stranglehold on their customers - that would be very welcome, IMO.

yesterday
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

jandersen Been like that for many years (787 comments)

Hasn't it been common to fake the engine sound to some extent for decades? I mean, you've long been able to buy 'tune sets' or whatever they are called, with big, trompet exhausts - the only purpuse of which is to make the engine sound louder. I've always felt vaguely amused when I saw them - this seems very indicative of the kind vain person you refer to as 'a peacock', no doubt in reference to the size of his manhood.

2 days ago
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The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

jandersen Re:The end of both QM and GR? (228 comments)

Making more observations is getting harder and harder.

But that, in a way, is why I think it is necessary to start looking again at some of the things we haven't really got a good enough definition of. I remember Einstein worked at some attempt at defining what a particle is, but I forget which paper; that is the kind of things we need a better understanding of, is my feeling. I think it has always been obvious that 0-dimensional particles are a shortcut, a convenient way of not adrdressing the problem you don't yet have, and the same goes for things like charges and fields - I don't think they are really fundamental properties, only placeholders for an underlying reality that we have yet to discover.

Alas, all I can do is offer speculation, and probably not all that good either. But how about, if one wished to define something like an abstraction with particle like properties, but based purely on geometry? And since this is pure speculation, we put no restraint on dimensionality and make no assumptions about whether the geometry is particularly simple; whether it is necessary to hold on to smoothness in the mathematical sense, I'm not sure. To sum up, this might be a universe with many dimensions - all the way up to infinity, even - and the geometry might be chaotic (as in chaos theory) or even 'rough' (ie. a non-differential manifold ~ of varying dimensions). Could a 'particloid' be defined as some sort of localised, crinkly geometry, something that can't easily stretch out and fade away? A whirlpool in the turbulent geometry?

If one were to carry the comparison to turbulence a bit further, could one construct a sort of 'dimension-eating' mechanism involving whirlpools? If you think about wirlpools in turbulent water, they can seem to form 'networks' or structures that seen from a distance appear 2-dimensional; so at lower resolutions they approximate a simpler geometry which seems smoother and of lower dimension. Just idle speculation, I suspect, but one day, when I am tired of working, perhaps I will spend some time on this.

2 days ago
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The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

jandersen The end of both QM and GR? (228 comments)

I think it is time to revise the foundations of both our great theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity. This has become more and more evident in the recent decade, but it has been obvious almost from the beginning, since the two theories have been known to be incompatible already since the Solvay conference, if not before, and I think I can see some signs that efforts are being made to move away not only from GR, but also from QM.

The big problem is of course the inescapeable success of both theories; we have yet to discover a clear example of a contradiction of either theory. To my mind, this suggests that it is necessary to be willing try to go beyond the traditional interpretations of the fundamentals of both. There has already for many years been massive efforts to try to modify GR to be more 'quantum', which have not really brought anything obvious to light, so perhaps it would be worth trying to revisit the foundations of QM? Basic tenets like the collapse of the wave-function and similar concepts have always struck me as far too glib to be real explanations. I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect better than that, something that somehow feels more convincing. Not necessarily simple or intuitive in the naive sense, but convincing. Something like the original explanation for Heisenberg's indeterminacy: that because we observe by means of particles, that are actually waves, there is a limit to how precise our observation can be. Please note, I'm claiming that this is the correct explanation, but it illustrates my point: it feels right because we feel we understands the way waves work, and we can perform calculations on much a finer scale than the observation by means of waves permits.

I think a lot could probably be resolved by understanding more clearly the basics of QM; all the things that feel too much like glib assumptions, questions like what is a particle in terms of physical space (declaiming that it is 'the wave-function' or similar just sidesteps the issue), and what is time (talking about entropy involves a circular argument, IMO) and others. As you can see, I have stated these two in terms that have some bearing on GR; that is not by accident - I think GR is fundamentally more correct than QM.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Has the Time Passed For Coding Website from Scratch?

jandersen Learn at least some programming (296 comments)

I don't think you can get around learning a bit about programming, but depending on you ambition, it may not have to all that much.

Starting at the front-end and working towards the server side:

1) Learn Javascript + how to use jQuery. This works exclusively on the browser side (except for AJAX) and you can do an amazing lot with it. It is quite easy, and jQuery makes it very easy.

2) Learn a server-side technology. Node.js seems to be popular and there are some that use only that - the advantage being that you still use Javascript on the serverside, apparently. I haven't used it myself, though.

3) Go further and learn a server-side framework. My preference is Java EE, but this may be overkill. If you are interested, though, after a rather steep learning curve, it is surprisingly simple to write things like database applications etc.

I have deliberately not recommended things like PHP or the other popular frameworks - mostly because I don't know them well, but in the case of PHP because I find it too messy; I don't think it is a good idea to explicitly mix code into the actual HTML. That is just my opinion though, many people like it because it is easy to learn.

3 days ago
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Hands On With Microsoft's Holographic Goggles

jandersen Wow (170 comments)

...Kipman, with shoulder-length hair and severely cropped bangs...

This is the central message here: this is a guy with shoulder-long hair. That is some impressive street-cred right there, but I'm worried that we hear nothing about whether he uses a tie and suit.

Hmm, am I being too sarcastic? It just gets up my nose when tech-news are presented in a cloud of inconsequential nattering. If this is worth hearing about, surely it can stand on its own merits.

3 days ago
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Healthcare.gov Sends Personal Data To Over a Dozen Tracking Websites

jandersen Re:Who expected differently? (203 comments)

Tell me, when is Government not in bed with business?

I don't know. I think a better question is HOW: how can we achieve that? I'm all for free market and enough inequality to drive people's ambition to better themselves, but free markets have, without exception, always become corrupted, so they support only monopolies in the end, and inequality tends to grow in the same way: hence the recent news that the richest 1% very own > 50% of all wealth globally.

Somewhere in the solution to this, democracy looms large, but democracy only works if the overwhelming majority play by the rules, and if everybody actually cares. And, as another answer states, transparency is crucial in ensuring that both of these factors can be realised.

But you all keep believing government is going to solve the problems it created, but I think that is pure insanity.

Good government CAN solve the problems, but good government does not exist unless people are willing to put in the effort to make it happen.

3 days ago
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Healthcare.gov Sends Personal Data To Over a Dozen Tracking Websites

jandersen Re:Who expected differently? (203 comments)

You didn't need to be a drooling FoxNews zombie to see that Healthcare.gov was a bad idea.

But the reason it is a bad idea is not that all government does is bad - rather this illustrates why things like this should be managed by a body that is guaranteed to not be in bed with business and is stricly regulated. Whether or not this can be called corruption in the legal sense, it certainly is morally corrupt.

3 days ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

jandersen Programmers vs non-programmers (629 comments)

I think what matters, when you learn to program, is that you enjoy programming; the language doesn't really matter. Some people seem to just get the idea, while others never quite get the hang of it - I suspect it has a lot to do with personality. In my experience, a good developer is somebody with an 'engineer's personality': who approaches everything in terms of how to construct things, who enjoys working out which procedure is best, what resources are needed etc. A good programmer is probably not bad at DIY, for that reason, this is something I have seen many times.

I have been around a lot of programming languages and enjoyed most of them - except Perl and Visual Basic (sorry); Perls seems to me to be like a pink hammer with LEDs blinking (ie. too much attempted coolness) and VB is just a bit sad. BASIC wasn't bad, such as it was, but it was never really meant for much more than an introduction to FORTRAN. For learners, I'd say, start them off on C, so they can learn what really goes on inside a program, including all the obscure errors you can run into; then on to python, which is an amazingly pleasant language, where they can learn some pretty advanced concepts without worrying too much about strange errors. If they've got what it takes, they'll enjoy both languages; I don't really believe in always catering for the weakest. Being able to program is not like literacy or numeracy; it's more like poetry: unless you really think in terms of poetry all the time, you will never become anything more than a so-so poet.

4 days ago
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Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

jandersen A whiff of hypocrisy? (136 comments)

It is interesting to hear an executive of a pharmaceutical company admit that the industry is rotten, but not all that surprising. But of course, he's not really saying that; he is trying to blame the developing world, again not all that surprising.

Adding antibiotics to live-stock feeds has been a well known practise in the West for decades - I first heard about it in the 70es, and it must have been going on for a while before it got into the news. There was a public outcry back then, so the industry started calling it 'growth enhancers' instead; or they invented 'medical reasons' for it, such as taking suckling pigs away from their mothers too early - they would then get diarrhea, which the vet would prescribe antibiotics for etc.

And it is also a well documented that pharmaceutical companies shift drugs that are banned in the West to developing countries, where the rules are that much easier to live with, and where you can get away with marketing practices that would land you in very hot water in the West. All in all, I think it is a bit rich to blame developing nations for something the companies clearly are complicit in, if not the prime architects.

Just one further point in this debate: look up MRSA, where it originated (hint: the West) and why.

5 days ago
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What Africa Really Needs To Fight Ebola

jandersen Good initiative (83 comments)

It's nice to see that we haven't lost our ability to be condescending without wasting effort on getting informed. Let me suggest some other headers along the same, stupid lines:

"What America really needs to curb gun-related crime"
"What Europe really needs to save the economy" ...

Well, you get the gist, I'm sure. We all have hard-to-solve problems, and none of us welcomes this sort of non-advice that sounds like 'why don't they just get their act together'. Why don't the Americans and Europeans 'just get their act together'? Probably because the problems are more complex than 'just something ...', and part of that complexity is that we in the West are tying well-meaning aid to greedy businesses who have no intention of giving these countries a fair deal. Why would a Western company actually help set up competition against themselves in an African country? Companies are businesses, not idealists.

about a week ago
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Spanish Judge Cites Use of Secure Email As a Potential Terrorist Indicator

jandersen Re:Without knowing the context - who can tell? (174 comments)

Exactly. By this logic, ANYTHING could be a "potential terrorist indicator", including terrorizing people who just happen to be using encrypted email by wrongfully arresting them.

You didn't actually read what I wrote carefully enough to understand the meaning, did you? What I'm saying, I hope, is simple, common sense: that we have to be intelligent about what we do and how we address this problem. We don't want to harrass people who have a legitimate wish to encrypt their communications - people who work from home over a VPN, people accessing their bank, and any number of other things. On the other hand, we do have to be alert to anything potential danger, because if we don't, bad things will happen.

If you have a better way of addressing the threat of terror, do let us all know, because we are struggling with this at the moment.

about a week ago
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Spanish Judge Cites Use of Secure Email As a Potential Terrorist Indicator

jandersen Without knowing the context - who can tell? (174 comments)

Is it possible that using secure email services can be construed as an indicator of being a terrorist?

When the question is posed like that, no. But it has been taken out of a context, and it is similar to saying 'is carrying a crowbar really a sign that you are going to burgle a house?' - you may be on the way home from the shop, intending to break some timber apart. On the other hand, if it is about 2AM and you are in a residential area far from your home, friends or family, and you can't offer a plausible explanation - perhaps it is reasonable to suspect that you are a burglar.

Terrorists look just like everybody else, at least until they blow themselves up or start shooting at the defenceless, so we have to use a complex set of indicators to try to guess who is likely to be plotting attacks; unfortunately they don't all use emails on 'terror.org' or whatever. If a number of factors come together, then perhaps using strongly encrypted email is worrying - you may have something legitimate to hide, but most people don't bother with encryption if they are just writing to their mum.

about a week ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

jandersen Re:Pope Francis - fuck your mother (872 comments)

I agree - as an atheist I can't for a moment imagine why any all-powerful being would pay the slightest notice to what any individual in a potentially infinite universe might think, do or say. Even to a believer, one's actions can only be judged on their effect on oneself and others, and blasphemy is only ever as bad as the harm it causes, which in most cases is none.

Still, whether you are religious or not, you are required to use your brain for thinking, and there is rarely any excuse for not having spared a thought for the consequences of your actions, especially if you have been given ample warning.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

jandersen Re:Pope Francis - fuck your mother (872 comments)

You do realize that you're essentially asking whether or not it is okay to not allow the majority to oppress the minority's fundamental rights because they might get their feelings hurt, right? Good thing we don't live in direct democracies, because I don't want anything to do with them.

I do indeed; it is a question that needs to be asked - and answered. Isn't it better that people with a minimum of integrity and good intentions take the lead, than leaving it to the rabid fringe, such as the National Front or the like? Unlike those, I don't presuppose what the answer should be, and I am willing to be persuaded that it is worth the cost to society, but not without having thought it over and heard the arguments first.

And it is not about people's feeling getting hurt - if that was all, then I'd say, go for it. The people you are talking about here, are going to inflict a potentially heavy cost on all of us; it seems likely that they are going to do so no matter what we do, but in that case thinking about things will help us overcome the problems better, I would have thought.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

jandersen Re:Pope Francis - fuck your mother (872 comments)

Yes, the majority have no rights over me

- and you have no rights over the majority, come to that. Just to cast it in a harsh light: If you use your freedom of speech in such a way that you or your family are targeted by terrorists, should society be obliged to spend millions on policing to protect your lives? That is what happens at the moment: a small minority, who don't give a toss about other people get abusive and hide behind the skirts of 'freedom of speech', and expect the rest of us to pay up. Give us all a good reason why we should care that much about you?

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

jandersen Re:Pope Francis - fuck your mother (872 comments)

What price? There is no price. If you get offended (which is subjective), that is your problem.

Looking back to the infamous Danish cartoon of Mohammed, there were costs to Danish businesses, costs incurred for police protection for the cartoonist etc etc. We don't communicate into a vacuum, and everything we do has consequences. So what are you, personally, willing to pay for your freedom? Everything you own? Your life? How about the lives of your family and friends? And do you have a right to expect others to cover your expenses in these cases, as it were, even if you have no qualms about it?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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10 TB cloud storage for free

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about a year ago

jandersen (462034) writes "Chinese Tencent are going to launch a free, 10TB cloud storage service:

http://pandodaily.com/2013/11/18/tencent-to-launch-international-version-of-free-10tb-storage-service-new-photo-sharing-app-coming-soon-to-us/

10TB is some 5000 times more than Dropbox, and 666 times more than what you get with Google (Yes, I know, that number keeps cropping up, doesn't it?)

What will no doubt worry people is that it is a Chinese company, although they are planning to store the data outside of China. I guess, with the NSA scandal unfolding, it is just a question of choosing your poison."
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Arctic thaw may be first in cascade of tipping points

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about 2 years ago

jandersen writes "Here's an article from New Scientist that's guaranteed to arouse yet another controversy (from http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729064.500-arctic-thaw-may-be-first-in-cascade-of-tipping-points.html):

ONE climate domino has fallen, and it may start toppling others. A recent study outlined an interconnected web of climate tipping points, some of which make the next ones more likely. Now, an analysis of data from the last 23 years suggests we passed the first of these tipping points in 2007, when Arctic sea ice flipped into a new, less stable state. That may speed the world towards the next tipping point – the thaw of a vast expanse of Siberian permafrost.

New Scientist is sometimes criticised for being sensationalist, but this article seems sober to me: it is well referenced, and they try to include opposing viewpoints to balance it. If what they say is true, we may be in for a series of increasingly dramatic changes, and sooner rather than later."
Link to Original Source

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EU to spend 1 billion euro on graphene and brain research

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about 2 years ago

jandersen (462034) writes "The EU is going to spend 100 million per year over the next 10 years to boost research and interdisciplinary cooperation by launching two flagship projects in March:

- The Human Brain Project: Aims "to develop a large-scale ICT infrastructure for the specific purpose of understanding the brain and its diseases, and of translating this knowledge into new computing technology." Basically, they want to build a working computer model of a human brain. (http://www.humanbrainproject.eu/in_brief.html)

- The Graphene Flagship: Aims "to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to society, revolutionize multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe." (http://www.graphene-flagship.eu/GF/index.php)

How cool is that? For more info, see http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/programme/fet/flagship/home_en.html — but be warned: this is EU, and understanding the whole setup is fiendishly complicated."
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Ask Slashdot: Server room toolbox?

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jandersen writes "I am the system manager in charge of a smallish server room (~50 servers, most in racks), and I am going to buy a set of tools; but first I want to hear what other people think would be a good idea.

Certainly a range of good quality screwdrivers — slotted, Phillips, Pozidriv, Torx (here for the whole range of strange screwdriver standards: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives). But what else? Tape measure? Spirit level (for aligning the racks)? Any meters or cable testers? A wood lathe? I can probably get away with a budget of a few hundred GBP, but there ought to be some mileage in that."
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The revolution is coming

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jandersen writes "According to Peter Turchin, University of Connecticut, we may be heading towards serious, social unrest within a decade (article on New Scientist — registration (free) required: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528781.800-calculated-violence-numbers-that-predict-revolutions.html?full=true):

The mathematics underpinning the rise and fall of empires suggest that the US faces imminent and bloody unrest. How worried should we be?

Is he on to something? Note, this is not a head-in-the-clouds-prophet speaking, but a real scientist, who proposes a real theory: a falsifiable hypothesis; and as he says ""It is easier to predict timing than the height of the peak. My feeling is that it's going to be worse than we expect. Hopefully I'm wrong — I have to live through this."."
Link to Original Source

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A sad tale: US gov online visa app

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jandersen (462034) writes "It was recently my fortune to have to assist in applying for a US visa for a Chinese citizen living in London. This turned out to be a very painful journey, not least because of the online application form — give it a whirl yourselves:

https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

- and here is the video that introduces it:

http://www.youtube.com/user/USEmbassyLondon#p/u/1/LSd6gYr-aSs

Don't worry, it isn't dangerous, and the effects can mostly be fixed with counselling, eventually.

On top of the horrors of this supremely inept piece of code, you get to be treated with a mixture of hostility and indifference at the embassy plus constant demands for further documents about trivial nonsense — like "You state that you went to primary school x until such and such date, but didn't enter secondary school until 6 months later; what did you do in that time?"; presumably they have words like "training camp" rolling around the vast empty spaces in their heads (makes you wonder what they would think of an American teenager who has been to "boot camp" — now there's damning evidence if ever there was)

And what do they expect to hear when they ask "Are you coming over to commit terrorist offences?" — "Oh dear, it's a fair cop, they've caught me now, right enough. And there was I, wondering if terrorism would require a work permit.""
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What Open Source Forum SW is best

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jandersen writes "I want to do something about improving morale and team-spirit in the company where I am the UNIX manager; and I thought it might be good to run some sort of social forum where people can engage in intellectual discussions on a high level, just like on Slashdot. People will, of course, waste time there — at least if you ask management — but I don't think of it as wasted. After all, people tend to "waste time" talking about sport and solving the great problems of the world any way, so why not put it on a server? And the thing is — this is a global company, and we don't really know our colleagues in India, China, Europe and so on. But which software should I choose? There seems to be a lot of for forum/BSS software around; what I want is something similar to /. — I like the concept of users being able to mod each others up and down — and it has to be open source, rather not Java, and run on Linux. Other than that, I am open to suggestions. What does the people think?"
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Non-violent, cooperative games?

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jandersen writes "While I generally don't really play computer games, I do occasionally play games like Crossfire or The Mana World, because they have more of a story line and allow you to go at your own pace; they require a little bit more intellect and less testosterone, perhaps. What I don't care much about, though, is that they are still basically about killing monsters and amassing wealth, and it gets very tedious after a while.

Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended, where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering? Would people be interested in a game of that nature?"

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