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You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

ptaff Re:Depends on what your goal is. (327 comments)

it would make sense to just charge the batteries at night

I'd like to know more about your solar panels that work at night.

about 2 months ago

Russia Moves From Summer Time To Standard Time

ptaff Re:News? (158 comments)

I'm a software developer, and dealing with unpredictable timezone changes is not fun. [...]

That's why you should never deal with dates/timezones yourself; use libraries and avoid lethal headaches. For instance, the good people taking care of tzdata are already working on it.

about 7 months ago

Ars Takes an Early Look At the Privacy-Centric Blackphone

ptaff Gimme a keyboard (67 comments)

All fine, but can they (or someone else) release such a device with a keyboard? the point'n'grunt interface just gets so annoying for serious stuff (ssh with a soft keyboard, you're kidding me, where's the other half of my screen?). I mean this phone is not aiming for the 8-year old brat crowd, unlike most of what's on the market today.

about 7 months ago

David Auerbach Explains the Inside Baseball of MSN Messenger vs. AIM

ptaff History repeats itself (86 comments)

Yeah, those long forgotten chat-silo days when you needed an ICQ account, an AIM account, a MSN account, a Yahoo account to reach all your friends... fortunately XMPP/Jabber would solve all of this, and even Google would embrace the open standard with their new GTalk.

Oh! wait... it was a bait and switch.

Don't be evil does not mean be good.

about 9 months ago

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Unix Admins

ptaff Automate everything using chef/puppet (136 comments)

Using anything like puppet or chef under version control to do all server ops will not only leave you with a full timestamped documentation, but will allow you to easily horizontally scale servers, rebuild them should disaster strike and protect you from stupid upstream package updates that b0rk your config files.

Have a staging and production environment? pushing your chef/puppet scripts to production after they're proven to work insures you have the same changes applied on both sides, and avoid manual operations on production.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How to convince Google Maps to use government data?

ptaff Forget Google Maps (1 comments)

Google Maps is Google's, not anybody else. Help improve Openstreetmap, and one day we won't need Google Maps anymore - just like we don't need Encarta anymore because of Wikipedia.

about 10 months ago

Hypervisor or Bare Metal

ptaff No ESXi (1 comments)

Install proxmox as a hypervisor. Free as in freedom. *You* decide what the box does.

about a year and a half ago

Hands On With Ubuntu For SmartPhones

ptaff Re:Love linux, but this is stupid (127 comments)

The ideal phone would be one so controllable that some hardcore dude would instantly cobble together a complete command line interface to the phone

GTalkSMS (for Android) can already do most of what you ask for, via XMPP.

about 2 years ago

The city of Edmonton invite hackers to crack their voting system

ptaff Re:Anyone in Canada can "vote" (6 comments)

they seem to have most all the bases covered

I don't see it like that.

  • Where's the source code?
  • Even with this current cracking test and source code, how can we be sure the systems we use are the same now and in 2013?
  • What's so hard about counting votes by hand?

more than 2 years ago

Meebo closing down

ptaff XMPP (1 comments)

Find a jabber server (or host your own) that runs over SSL and relays to the networks you want (Y!IM, MSN, Gmail, AOL, ...).

more than 2 years ago

Best Inexpensive VPS Provider?

ptaff Low End Box (2 comments)

lowendbox.com has hundred of such cheap VPS with customers comments. Pick your poison.

more than 3 years ago

Intel Drops MeeGo

ptaff Re:FAIL + FAIL = FAIL (121 comments)

Netscape failed. Then we got Firefox out of that failing project.

Chrome could get a noticeable part of the market-share and mind-share when there was too many web browsers already (MSIE, Firefox-and-XUL-brothers, Safari-and-KHTML-brothers, Opera).

It's not impossible that Tizen finds a niche large enough to become the libre software platform we all want; Android future doesn't seem promising, freedom-wise.

more than 3 years ago

Mozilla Lightning Calendar Nears 1.0

ptaff Re:Nerds have no clue (69 comments)

It's not as if there aren't words in the language which are related to calendar, from which to make a descriptive product name. How about "Mozailla Calendar"?

Yeah, much better in the proprietary world. As if Acrobat, Distiller, Excel, Skype, DreamWeaver, Outlook, Cubase, Visio, Shazam, Symphony were so out-of-this-world that they could not find any english words related to their functionality to name them.

People know that a Honda Civic is a car (and not toothpaste nor cooking oil nor guitar amplifier) even though the name has no relationship whatsoever with transportation.

more than 3 years ago

Fully metadata-redundant file system?

ptaff Wrap your filesystem in parchive (5 comments)

Instead of storing individual files in PAR2, create a filesystem in a single file and mount it as loopback when you need it, something similar to:

  1. # Create a 100 MB file
  2. dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/fakedevice bs=1048576 count=100
  3. # Create a filesystem on it (check for options that float your boat)
  4. mkfs.ext3 /tmp/fakedevice
  5. # Mount it
  6. mkdir -p /mnt/fakedevice
  7. mount -o loop /tmp/fakedevice /mnt/fakedevice
  8. # Write to it
  9. cp -a /my/pr0n/collection /mnt/fakedevice
  10. # Umount it
  11. umount /tmp/fakedevice
  12. # PAR it
  13. par2create -n1 -u -r25 /tmp/fakedevice.par2 /tmp/fakedevice
  14. # Need the filesystem?
  15. mount -o loop /tmp/fakedevice /mnt/fakedevice

more than 4 years ago

Canonical explains Ubuntu unfree video choice

ptaff Ubuntu isn't about freedom at all (2 comments)

Yet another proof Canonical doesn't care about the free software ideals. Yeah, you'll get a bigger marketshare, so bloody what? go work for Apple if you want to build a proprietary world on top of free software.

more than 4 years ago



Reducing distribution updates bandwidth?

ptaff ptaff writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ptaff writes "I recently upgraded a friend's computer from an old Windows to the latest Ubuntu LTS (so that I can avoid reinstalling for a while). As he gets online through a dial-up connection, he now complains that downloading updates takes forever, compared to his old Win box. I understand that GNU/Linux distributions update all installed software, but I wonder, does the update process need to use such bandwidth just to fix buffer overflows and fix input validation? At least, why aren't executables and libraries (possibly insecure) separate packages from the data, docs and multimedia? Why isn't there a system to simply fetch and apply the fixes to the original package? Are all this limitations of package manager's designs or is there a more subtle explanation? As reducing update bandwidth seems so simple at first sight, what do you think are the reasons we still have to download so much to keep a GNU/Linux system secure?"

ptaff ptaff writes  |  more than 8 years ago

ptaff writes "From the release notes "METRo is a program used on a operational basis since 1999 that together with the input of an atmospheric forecast, road composition and observations from a road weather station, produces a local road forecast for a 48-hour period"

As most countries develop their own environmental forecast models in closed quarters, this move by the canadian government might spur fecund collaboration between meteorological bodies around the world."


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