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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

knorthern knight Re:Oh well ... (314 comments)

>I simply predict that in the future there will be two platforms -
> GNU/Linux and SystemD/Linux.

Actually, they should be called GNU/Linu-x and GNOME/Lenna-x

about a week ago

DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

knorthern knight Re:Oh, really? (261 comments)

> His real crime was ending his sentence with a preposition.

Ending a sentence with a proposition is something up with which I will not put. (Sir Winston Churchill)

about three weeks ago

Email Is Not Going Anywhere

knorthern knight Re:serious confusion by the author (235 comments)

> EVERY mobile device and OS that matters comes with an email client,
> do ANY of them come with a Facebook or twitter client out of the box?

Unfortunately, yes. And in some cases, not only do you have to jailbreak the device to delete Fecesbook/Twitter, you have to load a new ROM like CyanogenMod, because they're baked into the firmware by the @$$hole cellphone companies. Do not confuse a pristine Android phone with the crap that you'll get once a cellco has "branded" it.

about a month ago

Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

knorthern knight How can you hire what doesn't exist? (561 comments)

What is the available hiring pool? According to to the National Center for Women and Information Technology in a PDF document

14% of 2010 Computer Science undergraduate degree recipients at major research universities were women. This compares with 37% in 1985. Why blame Apple?

Besides what qualities do women provide that men don't? Intuitive GUIs? Did you know that Melinda French (who later married Bill Gates) pushed "Microsoft Bob" into production, and that Julie Larson-Green pushed through both the MS Office Ribbon and the Windows 8 Metro interface?

about a month ago

Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

knorthern knight Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

> Almost free communication to anywhere on the planet
> is an enormous thing, and it's just one thing of many.

So some guy from India can call me for free, claiming that my linux box is infected with a Windows virus; not to mention all the robocalls about the free cruise to the Bahamas that I've won.

about a month ago

Can We Call Pluto and Charon a 'Binary Planet' Yet?

knorthern knight Re:Pluto is a Planet (115 comments)

> Pluto is a planet. The definition of a planet is arbitrary, and always will be.

If you can find an astronomy textbook from the 1830's or early 1840's, it'll list 11 planets...
Ceres (discovered 1801)
Pallas (discovered 1802)
Juno (discovered 1804)
Vesta (discovered 1807)
Uranus (discovered 1781)

As time went on, more and more asteroids were discovered. Today, there are a few hundred thousand asteroids. To keep the number of planets at a manageable number, the asteroids wwere given their own class. Similarly, there are now almost 1300 http://www.minorplanetcenter.n... known objects in Pluto's vicinity. If you want to think of the solar system having 1300 planets, be my guest.

Scientists occasionally make mistakes, based on incomplete data. When more info becomes available, they correct those mistakes. E.g. they junked the Aether theory after the Michelson-Morley experiment.

There was *ALWAYS* major doubt about Pluto's planetary status. This article from 1934 is an example.

> So that Pluto ranks as the largest asteroid,
> rather than the smallest planet;

BTW, it's worse than the article suggested; Pluto is actually less than 1/10th the mass of Titan.

> and the dipshits who insist that a kilobyte is 1000 bytes.

So you think the ancient Greeks were dipshits? And the French who introduced the metric system? The real dipshits are the people who arbitrarily change the meanings of words after thousands of years..

about a month ago

Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

knorthern knight Why does Comcast have 32 ASN's? (146 comments)

One of the major arguments for IPV6 was that it would eliminate the bloated routing tables that are almost as much of a problem for IPV4 as addresses being all used up. So why does Comcast need 32 ASN's?

about 2 months ago

How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

knorthern knight Re:Expensive? (285 comments)

> Primarily because the school boards aren't in the business of
> writing textbooks or funding the creation of the same.

Classical English literature
you can get Shakespeare's works *FREE* from project Gutenberg

======== (yeah, the website name is an anachronism) *FREE* and since it's a website, you don't need to order and pay for a new edition each time new discoveries are made

Tree of Life Project

Dinosaur Specific *FREE* and since it's a website, you don't need to order and pay for a new edition each time new discoveries are made

For those fundamentalist schools who don't believe in evolution Project Gutenberg has the King James Bible and the Douay-Rheims version

A school district should be able to get a good chunk of its needs free off the web. Most of these sites will easily give permission to download and duplicate. Instead of handing out 16 KG of books to each student, hand out 16-gigabyte USB keys to each student with the necessary e-books and/or mirrored websites.

about 2 months ago

X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

knorthern knight GNU/Linu-x not GNOME/Lenna-x (226 comments)

Is Lennart paid by Redhat or by Microsoft?

about 2 months ago

The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

knorthern knight The submission is outright wrong (552 comments)

> The Heartland Institute skews the data by taking two points
> and ignoring all of the data in between, kind of like grabbing
> two zero points from sin(x) and claiming you're looking at a
> steady state function.

Totally, 100% false. I'll give the poster the benefit of the doubt, and assume they don't know what they're talking about. Check for yourself...
1) download the file of monthly anomalies from
2) import into a spreadsheet
3) take the slope() function for the 3rd column for the range Sept 1996 to June 2014

You get a very slightly negative result.The slope() function uses *ALL THE POINTS FROM THE START TO THE END*. I repeat, the submission is flat out wrong.

about 2 months ago

Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting

knorthern knight Re:So how is that going to work (188 comments)

> I throw people out of the theatre all day long for using
> their cell phones... There are places it should be legal
> and my business or home is one of them.

Try covering the walls of the theatre room with aluminum foil or tin foil. It's not exactly a new idea
> In 1836, Michael Faraday observed that the excess charge on a charged conductor
> resided only on its exterior and had no influence on anything enclosed within it.
> To demonstrate this fact, he built a room coated with metal foil and allowed
> high-voltage discharges from an electrostatic generator to strike the outside of
> the room. He used an electroscope to show that there was no electric charge
> present on the inside of the room's walls.

about 3 months ago

Wikipedia Mining Algorithm Reveals the Most Influential People In History

knorthern knight People have short memories (231 comments)

I'm a fan of pre-Beatles oldies rock music. Every so often, somebody comes up with a "Greatest Hits Of All Time" list, and it usually seems to go back no further than 10 or 15 years before the list was published. Similar for history. Many such lists are better described as "the most influential people of recent times".The most influential people are founders of major movements religions (Jesus, Mohammed, etc) and political ideologies such (Karl Marx, etc)

And then there are leaders of states/empires, who led their empires to triumph/defeat. Too numerous to mention, going back to Biblical times through today

about 3 months ago

Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

knorthern knight Re:Behind the curve (1040 comments)

> Point is, if you don't just grab the cheapest item on the shelf, there is a surprising
> amount of domestically-produced goods in Walmart (excluding clothes).

One thing I've noticed about Walmart is that they seem to be almost the only place here (Toronto, Canada) where you can get neutral-coloured T-shirts that you're not ashamed to wear to work. All other stores have "branding" splattered all over their T-shirts, e.g. Nike "checkmark", Tommy Hilfiger, AeroPostale, etc, etc. I do not want to be a walking billboard for a manufacturer. At least not while I'm paying them for their product.

about 3 months ago

The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

knorthern knight Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (240 comments)

> Total BS. Phones should last 20 years. The old land line ones last 20+ years.
> The only thing in a modern phone that doesn't have a 20+ year life span is the
> battery and that is not through not trying.

I got a Nokia 6015i "Candy Bar" phone in 2006. Back then, it could talk to the network (Virgin Mobile Canada) over 3 protocols; analog, 1XRTT, and I forget what else. Now the display only shows 1XRTT active.

I rarely use it, so I don't need anything fancier. I'll keep it until my carrier no longer supports it. They've already sent me an offer of a "low-cost upgrade to a faster phone", but I ignored it. With all the buzz about 3G, 4G, 5G, etc, etc, and VOLTE, I don't think 1XRTT will be around several years from now, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

about 3 months ago

Rising Sea Level Could Put East Coast Nuclear Plants At Risk

knorthern knight Here's the source data... (323 comments)

Source data is at The graph shows an average rise of 3.2 mm / year. You can download the data in ASCII format, suitable for plotting at

Note that this includes a fudge-factor called GIS (Glacial Isostatic Adjustment). They give a long-winded explanation. tl;dr they've added a 10% fudge factor. From

> We apply a correction for GIA because we want our sea level time series
> to reflect purely oceanographic phenomena. In essence, we would like
> our GMSL time series to be a proxy for ocean water volume changes.
> This is what is needed for comparisons to global climate models, for
> example, and other oceanographic datasets.

So they talk out of one side of their mouths about how much sea level is rising. Out of the other side of their mouth, they admit that their numbers aren't really sea level rise.

Another question... what type of effing idiot approves nuclear reactors located such that a sealevel rise of a few inches, let alone a few feet, would cause problems? Anybody ever heard of tsunamis (like at Fukushima)? They're rarer in the Atlantic, but they do happen.

about 4 months ago



RSS satellite data; No global warming for 17 years

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  about 10 months ago

knorthern knight (513660) writes "James Hansen, in a 1988 speech speech to the US Congress, claimed that 10 years of rising temperatures proved that the earth was warming. But in 2008, a 10 year pause was not considered sufficient to show that it had stopped. In a 2011 news release Ben Santer said a minimum 17 year pause was required before claiming that it was more than statistical noise. The November 4 update of RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) monthly temperature anomalies to the end of October shows that over a 204 month period (Nov 1996 to Oct 2013) there has been no warming. Indeed, the slope is very slightly negative for that period. A more detailed story at skeptical site"

Same programs + Different computers = Different weather forecasts

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  about a year ago

knorthern knight (513660) writes "Most major weather services (US NWS, Britain's Met Office, etc) have their own supercomputers, and their own weather models. But there are some models which are used globally. A new paper has been published, comparing outputs from one such program on different machines around the world. Apparently, the same code, running on different machines, can produce different outputs due to accumulation of differing round-off errors. The handling of floating-point numbers in computing is a field in its own right

The paper apparently deals with 10-day weather forecasts. Weather forecasts are generally done in steps of 1 hour. I.e. the output from hour 1 is used as the starting condition for the hour 2 forecast. The output from hour 2 is used as the starting condition for hour 3, etc.

The paper is paywalled, but the abstract at says...

The global model program (GMP) of the Global/Regional Integrated Model system (GRIMs) is tested on 10 different computer systems having different central processing unit (CPU) architectures or compilers. There exist differences in the results for different compilers, parallel libraries, and optimization levels, primarily due to the treatment of rounding errors by the different software systems. The system dependency, which is the standard deviation of the 500-hPa geopotential height averaged over the globe, increases with time. However, its fractional tendency, which is the change of the standard deviation relative to the value itself, remains nearly zero with time. In a seasonal prediction framework, the ensemble spread due to the differences in software system is comparable to the ensemble spread due to the differences in initial conditions that is used for the traditional ensemble forecasting."

Link to Original Source

Leap second on June 30th

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 2 years ago

knorthern knight (513660) writes "The second used to be defined as 1/86,400 th of a 24-hour day. But ocean tides, pounding against shorelines, slow down earth's rotation, so that a day gets 1.4 milliseconds longer each century. This seems small, but it would affect scientific constants (speed of light, etc). Since 1967, the International System of Units (SI) has defined the second as the duration of 9192631770 cycles of radiation corresponding to the transition between two energy levels of the caesium-133 atom. Every few years, a "leap second" is added as necessary, either on June 30th or December 31st. Enjoy that extra second of sleep."
Link to Original Source

Canadian agency investigates US aircrash

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 2 years ago

knorthern knight (513660) writes "When 2 light civilian planes collide in US airspace in Virginia, the usual response includes calling in the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) to investigate and make recommendations based on their results. But what do you do when the crash involves two planes piloted by a crash investigator with the FAA and the chief medical officer with the NTSB? In order to avoid conflict of interest by American investigators working for these agencies, the investigation has been turned over to to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as a neutral 3rd party."
Link to Original Source

Some mobile phones give out phone # when surfing

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 4 years ago

knorthern knight (513660) writes "Story at says that
* SOME "medium-price-ranged" phones need a Web proxy to reformat Web pages for their smaller displays.
* The cellphone service provider's web proxy modifies the outgoing HTTP-headers to include unique identifiers such as the International Mobile Subscriber Identity number, customer account numbers and — most troubling — the actual mobile phone numbers.
* the webserver can log this info, and data-mine it. The possibilities are endless.
* Amongst the cellphone providers doing this are Orange (UK) and Rogers (Canada)"

Link to Original Source

NASA scientist says jail global warming skeptics

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 6 years ago

knorthern knight writes "From the In-Soviet-Amerika-Hansen-supresses-YOU department; Dr. James Hansen, NASA's global warming cheerleader who whines about being supressed by the government, apparently feels no compunction about supressing others who disagree with him. In an article in the Guardian and an interview on WAMU radio, available in Realplayer and Windows Media formats, Dr. Hansen "will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.""

Warming supporters make BBC change climate article

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 6 years ago

knorthern knight writes "The Register has an article about how a global warming true believer pressured the BBC into changing the title and text of an article, which quotes the secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization as saying that 2008 will be cooler globally than 2009. Seems that was too much for the true believers.

Here is the story as reported by the woman who pressured the BBC to change their article.

Here is the story from a global-warming-skeptic-website complete with "before and after" snapshots of the article.

Regardless of which side you're on, censorship like this is wrong. How about issuing a rebuttal instead?"

Link to Original Source

Bell Canada Throttles Wholesalers Without Notice

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 6 years ago

knorthern knight writes "Users of the Canadian family-run ISP Teksavvy (which is popular amongst Canadian P2P users precisely because it does *NOT* throttle P2P) have started noticing that Bell Canada is throttling traffic before it reaches wholesale partners. According to Teksavvy CEO Rocky Gaudrault, Bell has implemented "load balancing" to "manage bandwidth demand" during peak congestion times — but apparently didn't feel the need to inform partner ISPs or customers. The result is a bevy of annoyed customers and carriers across the great white north. Story at"
Link to Original Source

2007 was 2nd or 5th or 8th warmest year on record?

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 6 years ago

knorthern knight writes "From the How-warm-would-you-like-it-to-be department; 3 groups of climete experts with 3 different opinions as to how 2007 ranked in terms of warmest years on record.

2007 Was Tied as Earth's Second-Warmest Year
Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth's second warmest year in a century.

2007 was Tenth Warmest for U.S., Fifth Warmest Worldwide
January 15, 2008
The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. in 2007 is officially the tenth warmest on record, according to data from scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The agency also determined the global surface temperature last year was the fifth warmest on record.

Another warm year as Bali conference ends
13 December 2007
The Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia have today released preliminary global temperature figures for 2007, which show that the top 11 warmest years all occur in the last 13 years.

The provisional global figure, using data from January to November, currently places 2007 as the seventh warmest on record since 1850. (Update... due to a cool December, the data set at University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit shows 2007 as the eighth warmest on record, just .006 C lower than 2001)"

Canadian Mint claims IP rights to words "one c

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 6 years ago

knorthern knight (513660) writes "A weird intersection of copyright/trademark with Canadian politics. Short background. Various Canadian cities and municipalities have launched a publicity/lobbying campaign seeking a fixed take from the GST (Goods and Services Tax, a national Canadian sales tax similar to European VAT). The amount sought is 1 cent for each dollar of the purchase price. This is summarized by the slogan "One Cent of the GST NOW". Acoording to this press release, the Royal Canadian Mint (the federal agency that prints Canadian paper currency and stamps Canadian coins) has demanded royalties for use of the phrase "one cent", and the image of the Canadian penny. The Royal Canadian Mint, a corporation of the federal government, has now demanded that the City of Toronto pay $47,680 for the public education campaign. Included in this amount is a request for $10,000 for the use of the words "one cent" in the campaign website address ( and the campaign email address (, and an additional $10,000 for the use of the words "one cent" in the campaign phone number (416-ONE CENT). The remaining $27,680 has been assessed against the City for the use of the image of the Canadian penny in printed materials such as pins and posters."

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 7 years ago

knorthern knight writes "To counter P2P programs that encrypt their traffic to evade detection, Rogers Cable in Canada has apparently started throttling ALL ENCRYPTED IP TRAFFIC, according to this article on Michael Geist's blog. How many of you log in to work over a VPN or ssh-tunnel? How many get usenet news, or email over an encrypted connection. This could be a problem for Rogers Cable customers. Michael Geist, who happens to be the "Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law" at U of Ottawa, has "been advised that the University computer help desk has received a steady stream of complaints from Rogers customers about off-campus email service.""

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 7 years ago

knorthern knight writes "According to this story, tens of thousands of LG customers [ in Australia ] will require a software upgrade for their televisions after the company identified the cause of a mystery glitch that is causing them to freeze. LG says it will need to send technicians to every affected home to perform a "simple software upgrade" but will not be in a position to begin the mammoth task for at least a week.

Several readers of the website have written in speculating that the malfunction was caused by Channel Nine switching on encryption — to prevent copying — when screening shows in the high definition (HD) or wide screen formats. This could explain why many readers who reported experiencing the glitch said it happened when they were watching prime time programs broadcast in the HD format, such as CSI."

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 7 years ago

knorthern knight writes "...and the rest of the world is probably next as the RIAA pressures politicians worldwide to "harmonize their policies" with the US. The United States Copyright Royalty Board has basically accepted the big business position, and raised internet radio royalty rates to punitive, indeed destructive levels. Some details are at Broadcast Law Blog. The implications are discussed in more detail at the Save Internet Radio website. To summarize, nobody but the biggies can afford it. Note that these royalties are *IN ADDITION TO* ASCAP/SESAC/BMI royalties that terrestrial radio stations pay. Terrestrial radio will *NOT* have to pay these additional royalties, unless they stream their feeds over the internet."

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 7 years ago

knorthern knight writes "Some people fear a remotely invoked "kill switch" in Microsoft products. In the past you could play safe by not connecting to the internet, and MS wouldn't be able to shut you down. What if Vista had to occasionally connect to the mothership, and request permission to continue functioning? And if it couldn't connect, it would cease functioning. If you don't believe me, check out Microsoft's EULAs
Product Name: Windows Vista
Version: Home Basic
Language: English
Page 2 of that pdf, paragraph 4 talks about mandatory activation. If it was a one-shot deal, I wouldn't have a problem. **BUT*** paragraph 5 says...
a. The software will from time to time validate the software, update or require download of the validation feature of the software.

and if it isn't allowed to connect to the mothership...

c. If, after a validation check, the software is found not to be properly licensed, the functionality of the software may be affected. For example, you may
* need to reactivate the software, or
* receive reminders to obtain a properly licensed copy of the software, or you may not be able to use or continue to use some of the features of the software

OK, so you're the Chairman in China, or the President of France. From a national security POV, do you *REALLY* want a situation where the vast majority of PCs in your country have to call home to the USA, and beg for permission to continue operating? Not to mention that there are probably some PCs with sensitive information that should never connect to the net in the first place."

knorthern knight knorthern knight writes  |  more than 7 years ago

knorthern knight writes "NOAA has issued a news release about the return of El Nino conditions, i.e. above average temperatures in the tropical Pacific. This is expected to lead to a chain of events resulting in warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada, and over the western and northern United States. Wetter-than-average conditions are likely over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, while drier-than-average conditions can be expected in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest."


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