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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

paskie Re:Not convincing at all (433 comments)

Indeed, someone meanwhile made the point about loudness wars and difference in mastering above. That makes total sense and wasn't something I knew before. I wish the article was about that. :-)

4 days ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

paskie Not convincing at all (433 comments)

Audio is just a crazy world of snake oil and placebo.

Really, the argument that's supposed to convince us is this?

> That warm vinyl sound: "I think this is what people like about it: it pins very closely to the way that human beings hear music organically," Gonsalves said. "It's very mid-range-y and very warm," a sound that flatters the fuzzy guitars of rock 'n' roll.

I'm sorry but I just don't buy it. There seems to be no obvious reason why you couldn't easily hack up a digital audio filter that makes stuff "sound like a vinyl". I'd even wager that it already exists?

Especially when you skip the compression and use FLACs. (But no, I'm not that kind of person who would claim to be able to distnguish 320kbps mp3 from a FLAC.)

5 days ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

paskie Re:You're Doing It Wrong (566 comments)

I don't really use side-by-side windows but I still like portrait mode - because I get to have enough room for sideways tabs!

Seriously, I don't get it why by default the browsers still ship the tab bar at the top. As soon as you have more than 6-10 tabs open, tab bar on the side becomes incredibly more convenient to work with.

about a week ago
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Philae May Have Grazed Crater Rim

paskie Re:Almost made it ... (48 comments)

Do you have any links discussing this more in depth? I took a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... and that one is pretty brief and it's not remotely clear if it succeeded at these or not.

about three weeks ago
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Philae May Have Grazed Crater Rim

paskie Re:Almost made it ... (48 comments)

I don't know why are people looking at it as failure. We got plenty of data, we even got the very important chemical analysis data in the last session. It would have been great if it worked further, just as it was awesome that the Mars rover worked much longer than their projected mission lifetime was. But if that did not work out, we still got a lot of value out of this, so I don't follow why should it be a failure.

about three weeks ago
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A Brilliant Mind: SUSE's Kernel Guru Speaks

paskie Vojtech Pavlik is awesome :) (61 comments)

Vojtech brought me to SUSE Labs where I then worked on git and glibc for several years; since I did home office, we didn't meet that often but whenever we did, even because of something banal, it was a little awe inspiring for me. SUSE Labs is packed with brilliant people, but I always got the feel he's the smartest guy around. *And* at the same time it's a place that feels as un-corporate as possible in a corporation, I'm sure mostly thanks to his managing role.

So, I'm generally a bit sceptical about revering articles. But this one is spot on. When I think about it, I guess I still consider him one of my role models. :)

P.S.: Don't you guys feel kind of bored by the systemd spam under every Linux article too?

about a month ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

paskie Re:People (481 comments)

Based on Kant's imperative, I don't want to do myself what I wouldn't want others to do. I wouldn't want others to eat me (at least if it involved killing me first), so I wouldn't eat others either.

The question is, who are the "others" - in this context, clearly those that are also capable of guiding themselves by the Kant's imperative. Is any animal intelligent enough to make a choice based on this imperative? (I.e. it would willingly choose not to eat me based on observing me not eating its kindred.) I'm no expert on animal intelligence but I really doubt so.

Let's feast!

about 2 months ago
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Artificial General Intelligence That Plays Video Games: How Did DeepMind Do It?

paskie Re:Opensource remake (93 comments)

"Clearly not concerned about the AI's performance?"

It uses Python, indeed. And for the computationally intensive tasks, it uses numpy and theano. Theano is general symbolic computation framework that will automatically accelerate your vector computations on a nearby GPU, etc.

I don't know how it compares with (likely Lua, torch-based) deepmind's implementation. But assuming that scientific python programs actually do their expensive computations in the Python VM is really rather silly.

about 3 months ago
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Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

paskie Re:Full Disclosure can be found on oss-security... (399 comments)

And now it turns out that even patched bash still carries some related security bugs. (Not really a surprise since the parser is complex and bound to, seems like running it on arbitrary environment variables really isn't the best idea...)

So, if you think you are safe,

export X='() { (a)=>\'
bash -c 'brm date'
cat brm

(N.B. the backslash is not inhibiting the apostrophe in shell syntax.)

That is, by crafter environment variables you can still overwrite files and run commands that were supposed to be parameters instead. This is still very dangerous, but thankfully the attack surface is smaller than before, for example $SSH_ORIGINAL_COMMAND is frequently not an issue anymore (at least in case of gitolite I couldn't *quickly* figure out a way to exploit this), etc.

No patch for this available yet.

Today is a fun day for linux! Think about switching your /bin/sh to dash and maybe login shell of non-interactive users too!

about 3 months ago
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Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

paskie Re:Already fixed in Debian... (399 comments)

On repo.or.cz, as login shell for all git user accounts we use a shell script that does some verifications, shows nice error messages etc. Thankfully, #!/bin/sh is at the top of the script and that's dash on the Debian server; otherwise, we would have been vulnerable. (Only getting into a chroot as non-root, but still...)

about 3 months ago
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Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

paskie git@ shell accounts using gitolite and gitosis (399 comments)

You can get shell on git@ accounts set up with gitolite and gitosis, at least some of their versions will use /bin/bash as the login shell (and only use ~/.ssh/authorized_keys to restrict the commands). One easy way to check whether your git server account is vulnerable:

ssh git@yourgitserver '() { echo $1; }; /usr/bin/id'

about 3 months ago
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Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

paskie Re: How many of you are still using Gnome? (403 comments)

Because a desktop environment ties into a lot of the rest of the system infrastructure - from volume controls to disk mounting to power management - and the system infrastructure keeps moving forward. Therefore, you need to maintain the desktop environment in order for it to keep working well. A typical case is that xfce + new upower tends to suspend twice when you close the lid (i.e. when you open the notebook lid, it re-suspends right away). This is because noone updated xfce's power manager to a new upower API that was announced >6 months before it appeared in a release. (AFAIK xfce update finally happenned and is now fighting its way into Debian unstable.)

Desktop environment is not maintenance free. The rest of the infrastructure evolves (for real reasons - better hardware support, security fixes, usability, ...) and the DEs need to keep pace.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

paskie Re:Job market does not like PhDs (479 comments)

If you don't actually care about having friends, just having an income for work, a possible alternative is to be damn technically excellent, spend a few months getting creds for working on high profile open source projects, and make your money via remote work on Elance or such. (Especially at the beginning, it helps a lot if your living cost isn't high, but with well groomed profile, you can get high above $50/hour after a few months.)

Well, but now I realize that at least 50% of the success as a contractor is again great communication (well, especially being open+regular about it even when things are looking down and always being polite). And getting your work included in open source projects requires the same. Unless you are physically repulsive, maybe bad communication was the cause everyone is blowing you off. In that case, see the sibling posters.

about 3 months ago
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Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

paskie Re:Simple set of pipelined utilties! (385 comments)

But it's not actually clear why is it critical that PID 1 is simple (and if situation is so much worse with systemd).

Xorg, which on desktop is as critical as init to keep running, is not really simple.

kernel, which is also as critical as init to keep running, and it is *much* *much* more complex than systemd. systemd is not at the "bottom layer" of the system, there's the whole of kernel underneath still.

And one common myth is that systemd has these so many features and systemd is pid 1 therefore pid 1 is this huge bloated monster that does udev, logging and NTP, right? Wrong; actually, just the core bits of systemd run in pid 1 and the rest is compartmentalized in a bunch of separate daemon processes.

So, this "increased complexity" issue is not really as bad as it sounds, realistically.

about 3 months ago
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NVIDIAs 64-bit Tegra K1: The Ghost of Transmeta Rides Again, Out of Order

paskie Re:Is it better? (125 comments)

So in case of JVM, you'd think it's flaky for the JIT to happen on the same CPU as the one that is executing the code?

Bear in mind that nowadays, the CPUs don't anymore need to be designed to run even closed source, boxed version operating systems with top performance. The bootloader and kernel can be custom-compiled for the very specific CPU version and won't *necessarily* need the helper.

about 4 months ago
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Google's Project Zero Aims To Find Exploits Before Attackers Do

paskie Re:Faith in the Internet at an all-time low (62 comments)

Okay, but *eventually* I think they are bound to figure out that a better alternative to this situation is going back to a site-local webmail service instead of a third-party black-box cloud (even if they promise the data stays in your server room).

In this sense, I think it's not a risk but a good thing - people start to realize that giving data to third parties may not be smart.

about 5 months ago
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Google's Project Zero Aims To Find Exploits Before Attackers Do

paskie Re:Faith in the Internet at an all-time low (62 comments)

...abandoning it in favor of what? What real (or trending) alternatives do you think they'll pick? Phones and fax?

about 5 months ago
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Fixing Faulty Genes On the Cheap

paskie Re:Confused about how this works (105 comments)

CRISPR is a tool that allows you to cut the DNA in two disjoint pieces at a specific point (specification of this point is a parameter of a particular CRISPR instance). What happens then depends on your setup; bacteria will just insert some junk at that break point, or you can pack your custom DNA sequences along the CRISPRs and they will be spliced in, connecting to each of the two disjoint pieces by one end. Thanks to this, at that specific point, you can disable a gene or modify or add an extra sequence.

We had tools to do this before - restriction enzymes or TALENs. They weren't really usable for therapeutic purposes, though, due to much less reliable targetting, more laborous engineering (parametrizing your instance for a specific sequence) and low effectivity (the break happens only in a a few percents of cases). CRISPRs are easily parametrized, can be precisely taretted, and have effectivity in tens of percents (in general; can vary organism by organism). It's still a work in progress, but looks pretty promising!

about 6 months ago
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Turing Test Passed

paskie Re:The 'test' was fixed (432 comments)

+1 Insightful. :-) Now, this is something I completely agree on - we need a better test than the original immitation game, with some restrictions and incentives. Hmm, that actually almost sounds like a TV show!

Your proposal sounds fairly reasonable, though I think "exposing chatbots" is way too aggressive - we don't need Blade Runner style interrogations, that just doesn't seem like that sensible a goal. We just want to push the conversations to a higher, intellectual level to test the computers' ability to deduce and relate like a human; pick people accordingly and also offer incentives for winning against the computer.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Debian Votes not to Mandate Non-systemd Compatibility

paskie paskie writes  |  about a month ago

paskie (539112) writes "Voting on a Debian General Resolution that would require packagers to maintain support even for systems not running systemd ended tonight with the resolution failing to gather enough support.

This means that some Debian packages could require users to run systemd on their systems in theory — however, in practice Debian still works fine without systemd (even with e.g. GNOME) and this will certainly stay the case at least for the next stable release Jessie.

However, the controversial GR proposed late in the development cycle opened many wounds in the community, prompting some prominent developers to resign or leave altogether, stirring strong emotions — not due to adoption of systemd per se, but because of the emotional burn-out and shortcomings in the decision processes apparent in the wake of the systemd controversy.

Nevertheless, work on the next stable release is well underway and some developers are already trying to mend the community and soothe the wounds."

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