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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

linuxrocks123 Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (360 comments)

Drug addicted prostitute was probably on Medicaid to begin with. At least now she can get free birth control.

12 hours ago
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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

linuxrocks123 Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (360 comments)

The only bright spot is that the people who voted for him are still taking it on the chin economically while the rest of us enjoy our stock profits.

I don't understand. You think he's responsible for the stock market increases? If so, wouldn't that indicate competence of some sort?

I remember reading a few years ago during the "great recession" that someone was going all-in shorting the market thinking there was going to be another 1929. I wonder how that worked out for him. Guess it wasn't you, but if you think he's so bad ... why DID you go long?

12 hours ago
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College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

linuxrocks123 Re:The same as with Fortran (270 comments)

Would this be OS X, where porting it so it could run on high-end Mac Pros might make a modicum of sense, or iOS, where you'd have to be on multiple psychedelic substances to believe that would be a good use of resources?

3 days ago
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College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

linuxrocks123 Re:The same as with Fortran (270 comments)

"He must have forgotten to update it."

HTF does that make any sense? Once a language gets "too old" it gets erased from your memory even if you knew it before?

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

linuxrocks123 Re:Free market (231 comments)

I'm firmly in the camp that you can pick up a language in a weekend. I was once given an interview question to implement a hydrocarbon naming application in Ruby. This was a take-home question, btw, I emailed them my answer:

Given a diagram of a hydrocarbon, give its (algorithmically generatable) name. Trivial? Not really. I didn't know Ruby. I didn't know enough organic chemistry to really understand the question. They knew I didn't know either of these things (they asked).

In the span of a week, working about 2 hours a day and keeping them up-to-date on my progress as I went, I researched hydrocarbons, their naming scheme, and Ruby, and implemented a pretty awesome little program that named hydrocarbons. You needed graph theory (which I /did/ know) to do the solution, and the algorithm was, as usual, much more intellectually challenging than the programming language or vagaries of the problem domain. The question would have been a little easier if I'd known the implementation language or the hydrocarbon naming rules beforehand, but not by much.

The only languages worth learning if you don't foresee using them immediately are ones that expand your brain. Those include your first functional language, Prolog, APL, the first language you learn with pointers, and the first assembly language. You should ideally get those in college, although I missed out on Prolog and APL and never did pick them up (ONE of these days...). Perl 6, Ruby, Python, C#, Java, COBOL, FORTRAN, Octave/Matlab, PHP (ugh), Pascal, and other "normal" languages do very little to really expand your cognitive model of programming.

The first functional programming language with garbage collection was released in 1958. The fundamentals of CS change slowly. VERY slowly. It's important to keep up with them when they change. That's not hard, though.

My attitude toward jobs and training is this: I will know the fundamentals, meaning the basic concepts and building blocks in the field. I will remain current with them because I'm working in the field and, even if not, I enjoy doing relevant stuff in my spare time. You get that when you hire me. You also get whatever skills I happen to know because I needed them for something in the past.

You need me to start coding PHP? COBOL? Visual Basic 6? Whitespace? Fine. But you'll have to pay me to flail around for a week or so while I figure a few things out. Languages and libraries are "learned" through memorization. Memorized facts go away when you don't use them. I'm not going to waste my time learning COBOL. I'll forget it before I need it.

Something fundamental changes? I'm on it. Nothing fundamental changes? I'll pick up whatever suits my hobby.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

linuxrocks123 Re:Free market (231 comments)

I'm sorry, did you say "four hours a day honing your skills"? Are you nuts? What do you do, learn a new programming language every week and make flash cards to memorize library APIs?

It's hard for me to gauge exactly how much time I spend "honing my skills", because a lot of it mentally falls under "playing" and "cool hobby projects", but I'd guesstimate more like 10 hours a month. If you have a family and your "first loyalty" is to them, spend some time with them on weekends instead of shutting yourself in a room and filling your brain with useless knowledge that 90% of you'll never use and the other 10% you could pick up when you actually had a need for it.

4 days ago
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FBI Completes New Face Recognition System

linuxrocks123 Sunglasses (129 comments)

Sunglasses royally fuck up most face detection software. It's even better than putting your hair in front of one eye a la Dr. Blight in Captain Planet. Someone else linked to this, which is another, even better option (once they make them more "stylish" so you won't be drawing attention to yourself by wearing them): http://petapixel.com/2013/06/1...

5 days ago
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Schizophrenia Is Not a Single Disease

linuxrocks123 Re:Helps explain a few things ... (221 comments)

Both humans and dogs have had ample opportunity to cross-breed. Dogs' opinions of people are likely to based on the primitive, intuitive brain. I don't know how different their criteria would be. Their main purposes in judging people are probably going to be something like, "Is this person going to feed me, kick me, or kill me or my master?" Hardly conducive to a job interview situation. If you really think the dog is better at judging new hires than yourself or other humans, I suggest you let the dog perform an interview. I would make sure first, though. "You know, that DOG never liked this SOB from the start!" is likely to be subject to some pretty severe confirmation bias if you're not keeping records.

It's pretty easy to experimentally verify this. Whenever you hire someone new, gauge how the dog likes the person, and how you like the person, and write that down in a journal. Six months down the road, go back and see who was right. After a sample size of 20 or so, decide whether to let the dog participate in the interview process. You might want to do this subtly so as not to freak the candidates out, but it would be pretty easy to be, like, "Hey, we have a dog! Doggy, say hi to !" without making it obvious you're getting the dog's opinion for hiring purposes. I'm surprised you haven't done this already. It's important to get as many people's -- er, creatures' -- opinions as possible when hiring someone.

Personally, I'd be pretty pissed if someone passed me over for a job because a dog didn't like me, but unless the dog's being racist or sexist, I wouldn't have a leg to hump or to stand on in a lawsuit. Actually if I somehow found out that happened, I'd probably think some really negative things about the company and be kind of glad. But, hey, don't let broader society stop you. Do the experiments, then go with Dog.

5 days ago
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Schizophrenia Is Not a Single Disease

linuxrocks123 Re:Helps explain a few things ... (221 comments)

That's an interesting hypothesis. But I don't buy it, certainly without some scientific testing (versus emotional, speculative anecdotes from people with dogs). Evolution doesn't work like leveling up in a video game. Once a local maximum is reached, further generations have no impact. I would also wager that, while there may have been some selection pressure to "read" a person's immediate emotional state, selection pressure for reading general personalities, etc. was likely much weaker. And, of course, the selection pressure for humans to "read" other humans would have been much, much greater. After all, we have to mate with each other. Dogs don't have to mate with us. They do, however, have to mate with other dogs, and interaction with other dogs probably dominated the selection pressure on dogs' social intuition faculties. So, I would speculate people are likely better judges of people than dogs are.

What probably happened with the schizophrenic people was perhaps they were anxious, because of delusions or whatever, and the dog picked up on that. You probably also did. That you had a single negative interaction with one person your dog didn't like is not an important piece of information, if we're going to go about this scientifically. But, hey, I'm speculating too. Someone would have to research this. How and why, I have no idea. But my speculation can beat up your speculation :P

about a week ago
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Schizophrenia Is Not a Single Disease

linuxrocks123 Re:Helps explain a few things ... (221 comments)

Or your dog could just not like certain people because they smell bad to him. Some schizophrenic people have poor hygiene. Or maybe the dog doesn't like the color of their skin. I met a racist dog once -- it was hilarious :)

In any case, I think it's more likely a coincidence of some sort than the dog peering into someone's soul. Remember, we're the species with orders of magnitude more neurons than everyone else, and dogs are about as smart as small children.

about a week ago
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Schizophrenia Is Not a Single Disease

linuxrocks123 Re: Then I guess you could say... (221 comments)

No, he's thinking of multiple personality disorder, which is extremely rare and much different than schizophrenia. It's confused with schizophrenia because of the hallucinatory voices common in schizophrenia, but those "voices" aren't different personalities of the afflicted; they're just hallucinations. Multiple personality disorder is the split personality one -- the person is basically like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, although the personalities don't have to be good/evil or working at cross purposes to each other, and there can be more than two.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

linuxrocks123 Re:The Nanny State Strikes again! (364 comments)

I was at a gate to my apartment. Nonresident woman was in front of me, oops, she went to the resident gate instead of the nonresident one. There's a somewhat-hard-to-see U-turn slot for exactly this reason. Instead of using it, she starts backing up. I lay on the horn. She BACKS INTO ME anyway. Fortunately she was going 5mph so no harm mostly although she did scrape off some of my paint.

Sometimes, you wonder how some people survived childhood.

about two weeks ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

linuxrocks123 Re:At home too (185 comments)

Re "what could possibly go wrong": it was a combination of a nod to the common humorous expression and a serious question I meant to answer, the answer being historically graphics cards, etc., and now, I asserted, being mainly printer stuff.

about two weeks ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

linuxrocks123 Re:At home too (185 comments)

The last time I had any trouble with Intel graphics was with kernel 2.2 on a 700MHz Celeron with an i810. It was right after I first got into Linux, and I needed to compile an external kernel module for it or something. I think I still have the printout of Intel's mini-manual on how to do that somewhere. That computer came with Windows Me; XP might have been too much for it.

Broadcom turned over a new leaf four years ago: http://www.pcworld.com/article...

I've never had any problems with touchpads. Don't they just look like USB mice to the OS if you don't take advantage of Synaptics-specific features?

You're right that it's hard for me to put myself in a newbie's shoes at this point. I don't use the same distros as they do and I compile my own kernels (although it's getting harder and harder because the number of configuration options keeps growing), so "easy to set up" isn't something I see on a daily basis. But my experiences with Knoppix, king of hardware auto-configuration, have always been positive and seem to be getting better with time.

Still, thanks for responding. It's interesting to hear other people's experiences with this.

about two weeks ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

linuxrocks123 Re:At home too (185 comments)

Okay well let's look at this objectively. When installing Linux, what could possibly go wrong? You need support for:

- The CPU, which is x86. No problem there.
- The graphics card, which is one of Intel, AMD/ATI, NVidia, or Via. No issues there. You don't even need proprietary drivers anymore except for games.
- The WiFi card. Because of Android, Linux wireless support is now a given.
- The wired Ethernet card. Hasn't been an issue for over a decade.
- Keyboards and mice. USB or PS/2 and have been since forever.
- Modems. Oh wait. It's 2014, not 1994. Your computer doesn't have a built-in modem. Scratch that one.
- Printers. These could actually still be an issue; I personally ran into a non-supported printer in the past six months. I'd wager maybe a 10-20% chance of a brand new printer not working. If it's older I'd wager 1-3%.

That looks like pretty good odds to me. And Windows isn't better with the printers. With Linux new printers sometimes don't work. With Windows, old printers almost never do.

If you're running into issues with graphics cards, maybe Unity sucks. Well, Unity does suck.

about two weeks ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

linuxrocks123 Re:At home too (185 comments)

winetricks ie6

or 7, or 8

And what century is her school in using ActiveX.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

linuxrocks123 Re:Free as in TPB (163 comments)

Ugh. Should have used preview. I meant to say, "Would it be illegal for him to PIRATE Premiere?" Sorry.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

linuxrocks123 Re:Free as in TPB (163 comments)

Oh shove it up your ass. The guy's posting on Slashdot and said specifically, "this product is what I used to use but it's out of my price range, so what else is out there?" He's not going to buy Premiere. If he WERE going to buy Premiere, he would have DONE it already and not wasted his time posting to Slashdot.

If he's not going to buy Premiere no matter what, Adobe loses NOTHING if he pirates it. Piracy hurts the cppyright holder WHEN IT'S A LOST SALE. He's not going to buy Premiere. It's too much. He said so in the question. Would it be illegal for him to buy Premiere? Yes. So is ingesting a plant known to treat epilepsy, schizophrenia, and chronic pain (marijuana). So was marrying someone of another race until not terribly long ago. The law is often in conflict with reason/morality.

So back to the topic in question. This guy probably isn't going to pirate Premiere anyway, because he would have just done that and not posted to Slashdot if he was inclined to do that. Reminding him he has that option isn't unreasonable, but he's probably not going to do it. Instead he's going to use what he would probably consider an inferior tool because he can't legally get Premiere for himself. In the short-term, this is a pure economic loss. He and Adobe both lost out. Longer term? If his use of FLOSS video editing software leads to improvements in the products, maybe not. Improving FLOSS forces Adobe to lower its prices and makes better video editing software available to those who can't afford and won't pirate from Adobe.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

linuxrocks123 Re:CS2 (163 comments)

Not quite. Such a contract -- "we can change the terms at any time" -- would almost certainly qualify as an adhesion contract. Websites get away with this in terms of service because they're free to use. But if you shell out money for something and the contract says, "we can decide to give you nothing at all for your money whenever we want to", that probably wouldn't hold up.

Most likely, however, the CS2 terms always were, "you're only supposed to download this if you bought CS2", and Adobe just wasn't publicizing that requirement enough. My understanding with the giveaway is, from a technical perspective, you can register with a throwaway account and download it whether you bought CS2 or not, but you'd be pirating it if you didn't legally buy CS2 in the past. I never bothered to create an account and download the stuff because I had no need of the software. It might be cool to run it in WINE, I guess, but the GIMP is awesome, and mkvmerge + ffmpeg + handbrake works okay for the tiny amount of video editing I do. Also if Acrobat Reader and Flash are any indication, Adobe's software is bloated, unstable crap.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Horrid Ruling in Oracle v. Google: APIs Are Copyrightable

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  about 4 months ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "This is an absolutely horrible ruling. If APIs are copyrightable, every Windows program could be held to infringe Microsoft's copyright. Every program written in Java needs permission from Oracle to be distributed. Video game console emulators are right out. And you can kiss things like third-party printer cartridges goodbye.

The only way it could be worse would be if they ruled that what Google did isn't fair use as a matter of law. If you read the decision, they almost did that, but didn't. I hope this is reheard en-banc or the Supreme Court takes the case. This is a nightmare.

I have very little respect for the Federal Circuit. They seem to cause many more problems than they solve. And, here, they took Ninth Circuit precedent and twisted it to say the opposite of what it meant. The Ninth Circuit gives interoperability concerns serious consideration; this decision gives them much less consideration than they deserve.

For Google's particular case, there looks to me to be an easy way out. All Google has to do is distribute its work under the GPL, since Java, including the APIs in question, is under the GPL anyway. The "Classpath exception" was Sun's explicit consent to use the APIs in Java without needing the work to be GPL as well. So, as long as Google distributes its work as a "modified version of OpenJDK", they should be good. I'm not sure why they haven't done this already, or didn't do it to begin with, actually. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I can't see what.

But this goes way beyond Android and Java. This ruling, if it's not overturned, could chill software development, promote extreme forms of vendor lock-in, and otherwise cause mayhem and misery."

Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed on Slashdot back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper from the university. Instructions for using the code on my blog."
Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I wanted to keep this secret until I published this paper (it's just a tech report right now), but it got rejected once and I want people to be able to use this as soon as possible.

I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed here back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper here. Instructions for using the code here."

Link to Original Source
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GPF Comics Seized by Copyright Gestapo

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "In a move that would make GPF Comics villain Trudy Truehart proud, US Immigation and Customs Enforcement has apparently seized my favorite webcomic's domain name. A visit to http://gpf-comics.com/ currently shows that stupid "Domain Seized" template with the eagle in the middle looking like it's about to bite your face off. It's all speculation at this point as to why this was done: maybe it's a mistake, or maybe newspaper comic book artists just don't like competition. I assume we'll have more details — and a rehosted domain for GPF Comics — as this story develops."
Link to Original Source
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linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "It looks like Dell is joining Microsoft and Novell in their Linux patent pact. Dell is selling SuSE on servers, backed by Microsoft's Linux patent certificates. No response from Red Hat yet, but Dell claims to still be selling Red Hat servers despite the deal."

Journals

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Okay, people, this is starting to get scary.

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

A recent Slashdot article about CIA reclassification prompted a lot of comments suggesting that a majority of Slashdot posters may have some sort of mental illness. Like, maybe, paranoid schizophrenia. The idea seems to be that all large corporations and governments are absolutely and intractably evil. They think every other law is unconstitutional and that the Bill of Rights is meaningless today. Oh yeah, and China is going to kill the U.S. economy because it holds some U.S. bonds. That's another good one.

Of course, this isn't true; the government does some good things, businesses are subject to a LOT more regulation than they would like (and thus aren't in control of the government), free speech still exists in the U.S. (Why else is Michael Moore not in jail?), the Supreme Court still finds laws unconstitutional from time to time, and the worst China can do is stop buying our bonds, which would have a barely noticeable impact on the U.S. economy (China can't "call in our debt." Bonds don't work that way).

Posters also commonly conjure up images of a mythical medieval era, where kings reigned viciously over their subjects, but "things were done differently" with regard to the law, the principles of which were somehow nobler. They'll talk about some ancient legal principle (usually one that has become irrelevant to modern practice) or the wording on a subpoena and build an entire story out of it. I've seen this on Groklaw too, where it's even more scary. They're history is often wrong, and I don't know why they bring this up on a technology site. Perhaps it's another sign of a widespread delusion among the afflicted posters.

This isn't to say that these posters are stupid. Many intelligent people are also insane, and those skilled in mathematics seem particularly prone to mental illness (consider Cantor's fate). It's just a little scary to find that many in this crowd think so irrationally. I often find that the Wall Street Journal's arguments are orders of magnitude more well thought-out even when I don't agree with them.

Any comments from other posters noticing this bizarre phenomenon are welcome. Rants from those posters afflicted with some form of mental illness are also welcome, though not necessarily encouraged.

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GCC Port to the CLR

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

http://gcc-cil.blogspot.com/

I am VERY interested in this project. I think it's the coolest thing since Linux itself (and from my Slashdot username, you can see that that's saying something :).

I can't get it to work, though. Does anyone know if it supports languages other than C (I LOVE C++ so much it's not funny)? Would it be possible to call other languages, such as, for example, Java, from it (I like Java's built-in library for some things).

I don't have much compiler experience, but I think this project has much potential. The creator seems finished with it, though, so I think it's up to us to extend it. It would be a real shame if the code ends up going nowhere because it's so incomplete that the GCC developers have no use for it.

By the way, I don't have bad karma anymore, which is a Good Thing since posting at zero was really starting to get annoying. Whoever modded my recent comments up, thank you.

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I have bad karma now...

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

As of this posting, my third and second most recent comments were moderated from 1 to 0. I think arminw did it since I listed him as a foe for a while because I didn't want to listen to his lunatic, anarchist ranting. He's not my foe anymore because most of his posts don't seem to have much to do with politics and he seems otherwise sane and worth reading.

Still, with only a cumulative -2 moderation, probably because of that as*hole arminw, I have bad karma. Whatever. I deleted the +1 karma bonus modifier from my preferences to weed out karma whores.

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