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Comments

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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Fotis Georgatos Re:Expert?? (432 comments)

bah. Engineering is about being able to tell somebody that, say, a bridge can be built in X days, bearing Y load of such and such type, endure for Z years at a cost $$$ AND be able to explain that we actually don't have analytical equations for all the physics that relate to it. Engineering is about taking responsibility in delivering the collected knowledge about technical systems of the past, for addressing current and future needs. As an engineer, it is nowhere written that you grasp the whole physics about a technical system, although you are still held accountable for its performance - as a minimum, to explain observed behavior.

2 days ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

Fotis Georgatos Re: meh (164 comments)

eleven years in hex? is that marriageable age over there?!

5 days ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

Fotis Georgatos Re:Only Major Site Not Stolen From (164 comments)

True: ancient tombs have been looted and re-looted, long before the concept of archaeology really took off. There is a good probability this tomb will be like taking a 2000-year-old 3D photo, all along with connecting it with historical figures & events. It's pretty much on track to be a spectacular finding, of the type that re-writes history books (or at bare minimum, amend them).

5 days ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

Fotis Georgatos Re:meh (164 comments)

he he... great answer! let's go figure the dozen definitions of a mile now!

5 days ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

Fotis Georgatos Re:The tomb of Geryon! (164 comments)

the real news are that the site is now protected by police 24/7, and the tomb will be opened anytime within this month.

5 days ago
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Wikipedia Gets Critical Reception from UK Press at Wikimania 2014

Fotis Georgatos oh, OMG, BBC... (113 comments)

... the eternal source of truth!

about a week ago
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How Facebook Is Saving Power By 10-15% Through Better Load Balancing

Fotis Georgatos Only two... (54 comments)

... comments threads after 24 hours, on slashdot? Now we know which keyword turns off the slashdot crowd! :-P

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Fotis Georgatos Re:Yeah! Why would anyone want it maintained? (132 comments)

+1. Yeap. You are on track, guys! The whole point is, that even if when we are involved commercially in a project, it's optimal to promote the usage of open source software anyhow, as a matter of enhancing community effort and investing time in a manner that you can benefit from it many times more in the future. Kudos.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Fotis Georgatos Re:Why? (132 comments)

OP here. Your concern is very valid and you are not alone, I have the same concerns. However, at the moment we know of no other standard that actually renders alike among zillions of Desktops, smartphones, automated processing agents etc. Can you really replace .pdf format with something of similar functionality AND not ask the majority of users to install X, Y, Z?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Fotis Georgatos Re:Why? (132 comments)

btw. have you ever heard of LRD? Language Restraint Disorder... I've spotted some examples over here: http://slashdot.org/~znrt

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Fotis Georgatos Re:Why? (132 comments)

OP here. Somebody is listening ;-) Nope. It's not how you described it. But thanks to your nice language I need not explain you either :-P

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Fotis Georgatos Re:IText (132 comments)

Hi mark-t, OP here.

itext appears to miss two-three major targets:

  • software architecture/api may not be too tidy; this is word of others, I cannot verify it since I've never used it
  • unclear licensing scheme, not free of commercial clashes
  • due to the above, community has been fragmented in 3 (?) big fragments :-(

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

Fotis Georgatos Re:memory management circa 2014 (637 comments)

Sorry to be cynical, but here it goes: Next time your smartphone slows down horribly or plainly crashes, remember the above words of you. It's how this game is played by you guys, yet all systems people frown upon the concept of "wrap around software deficiencies by buying more hardware"...

about two weeks ago
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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Fotis Georgatos Re:Political Agenda (213 comments)

Hm, that rang a bell...

I also find inappropriate a similar recent evolvement within IEEE politics; in this case it relates to LGBT rights, see for yourself: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/... To be sure, LGBT rights are important and it is good that laws protect them - and more could and should be done about it. The same applies for Human Rights, overall; no person in his secular humanist mind would ever object to that.

It is doubtful, though, that LGBT groups would ever add banners in their statutes in relation to engineers' rights and ethics, so it is questionable why the reverse should ever be true. There is really no point in adding pompous statements in relation to sex, sexual orientation, skin color, disabilities etc. Making such a list is itself a kind of discrimination (!), since you hand-pick which kind of discrimination is bad, as if similar non-professional conduct is any more tolerable. Sorry, that's not correct and, it's even not fair for those who really cherish a generic concept of citizenship and may get discriminated for a reason not declared in the list.

Please, guys from the US, let's keep the focus on what the original subject is and, avoid making professional bodies appear as vehicles for (valid) political ideals, which distract from the original cause and warrant conflicting agendas! And if somebody goes against constitutional mandates, the juries are there to put things in order.

about three weeks ago
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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Fotis Georgatos Value for money (213 comments)

ACM carries a historic name, but subscriptions cannot justify buying just that. IMHO, most techie people do try it out and then have their memberships lapse.

about three weeks ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Fotis Georgatos Re: Nuke those terrorists (868 comments)

A small step for a person, a giant leap for mankind. In god we trust, etc etc

about three weeks ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Fotis Georgatos Re: Nuke those terrorists (868 comments)

who would you vote for, if you were in their shoes? I mean, really, who?

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

Fotis Georgatos Re:Just deal with problem users individually. (98 comments)

This!

I've been managing systems with hundreds of well-meaning and not-so- scientists, for years.
Generally, I subscribe to the school of thought that putting too many fences does more damage than good.

I know for myself, that I *can* create trouble in a zillion of ways on a system, that fencing against it is almost pointless:
* fork bombs
* malloc bombs
* /tmp overuse
* /dev/shm overuse
* deliver daemonized processes in the background
The first two you may handle a bit with the PAM limit techniques described by a fellow poster, but not without limiting the capabilities of the system (ie. you take out useful features, to enforce some policy). The rest you can attempt to handle with some other clumsy fencing techniques, but again not without side-effects.

In short, do not overengineer, yet be totally reactive: let the rules be relaxed in the beginning, monitor tightly, react quickly and be sure to have often your users at the other end of the phoneline/email justifying their tasks' activity. You'd be surprised how much you'll discover by doing that and policies will be far more justified.

> One thing that shouldn't be underestimated is the ability of a user (especially a young user) with *lots* of free time on his/her hands to figure out ways to game the system...

Also this!
Young users with lots of free time will give you a headache, one way or another. But you can often stop them by just blinking an eye.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

Fotis Georgatos Both Python & R great, yet do check under the (143 comments)

To begin with, I'm a Pythonista for much of the time. Even so, I can see how you will probably land in the world of R; here is why:

  • * R comes with reasonable facilities for statistical processing and, on top of that, has important extensions that allow for remarkable features. Example: Setup R language, with snowfall->snow->Rmpi extensions. The result of this would be *fault-tolerant* *scalable* code, within relatively simple codebase. It cannot be overemphasized how much functionality you get out of the box in such setup, with basically zero code changes (in R).
  • * Python is great when it comes to integration with other languages/codebases. It could well be the best scripting language since... the invention of bread. As another poster mentioned, it can also interface with R via Rpy, so it's not at all a black-or-white decision.

In short, both are first-class tools for scientific computing and you should compare and choose them on technical merits basis.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Best PDF handling library, for our own definition of "best" ;-)

Fotis Georgatos Fotis Georgatos writes  |  about two weeks ago

Fotis Georgatos (3006465) writes "I got recently engaged in a conversation about handling PDF texts for a range of needs, such as creation, manipulation, merging, text extraction and searching, digital signing etc etc. A couple of potential picks popped up (PDFBox, itext), given some Java experience of the other fellows. And then comes the reality of choosing software as a long term knowledge investment! ideally, we would like to combine these features:
  • open source, with a community following ; the kind of stuff slashdotters would prefer
  • tidy software architecture; simple things should remain simple
  • allow open API allowing usage across many languages (say: Python & Java)
  • clear licensing status, not estranging future commercial use
  • serious multilingual & font support
  • PDF-handling rich features, not limiting usage for invoicing, e-commerce, reports & data mining
  • digital signing should not go against other features

I'd like to poll the collective slashdot crowd wisdom about if/which PDF related libraries, they have written software with, keeps them happy for *all* the above reasons. And if not happy with that all, what do they thing is the best bet for learning one piece of software in the area, with great reusability across different circumstances and little need for extra hacks?

ROTG is not at all a good answer; I'd really like to hear the smoked out war stories. It is easy to obtain a list of such libraries, yet tricky to understand how many obtained success with them!"

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