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Comments

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IAB Urges People To Stop "Mozilla From Hijacking the Internet"

rawler Good-Guy advertisers. (499 comments)

First paragraph of the actual ad:

Finding stuff you’re interested in on the Internet is easy these days. That’s because advertisers can tailor ads to specic interests through the responsible and transparent use of cookies.

Oh, I think I can stop reading here.

about a year ago
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British Foreign Secretary on Surveillance Worries: '"Law Abiding Citizens Have Nothing To Fear"

rawler 'Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear' (404 comments)

Interestingly, this statement could just as well come from Teheran, Damascus, or Tripoli before the regime fell.

I guess the interesting point is the definition of "law abiding citizen", now and in the future.

about a year ago
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Dao, a New Programming Language Supporting Advanced Features With Small Runtime

rawler Re:There's a reason nobody talks about it (404 comments)

Tried D 1.0? I reasoned the same way, and spent a lot of time coding D. In the end, I had to admit that a staggering percentage of bugs in my code came from just this. Deleting objects where a reference had leaked somewhere, deleting objects from the GC-called destructor of an object, mixing manage and non-managed objects a bit too freely ...

For D 2.0 I think most of that is rewritten, but I haven't bothered due to some sour experiences in D 1.0, and a slight dislike for some Phobos API:s and project management.

Basically IMHO for non-GC, simple memory management, I think language features for tracking ownership and the mindset that comes with it is necessary. For example, just like you have argument-modifiers for immutable arguments in some languages (C++ const), so I think you should have an argument modifier saying "you do not own this referenced object, and you are obliged to not remember the reference after return;".

Rust seems to have some interesting ideas regarding this, but I haven't really tried it for anything non-trivial.

In the end, I do most of my systems-level coding in C++ again. It's far from ideal, but it works, and with the smart-ptr classes available now, it's lack of GC is mostly a non-issue.

An interesting side-effect of the C++ helpers for deterministic object lifetimes, is the ability to tie resources (more scare than RAM) to the lifetimes of the objects. For example, keeping a file-struct as a member in a class will hold the file open for the lifetime of the class, but automatically ensure it is closed when the class is. In for example Java, you may very well run out of file-handles before the GC even kicks in and looks for objects to kill.

about a year ago
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In Nothing We Trust

rawler Re:Two Party Democracies are Bad (910 comments)

I have a long time wanted to see a democratic system built on "focus groups", instead of the more general systems that are now dominating most (all?) of the democratic world. I'm not sure exactly how such a system would be built, but in essence, it would put emphasis on the unique competences of each voting citizen, rather than blindly forcing citizens to block party politics.

For example; I would expect most Slashdotters to be more than averagely informed in technology topics, while on average much less skilled in, say, childcare. In the kind of system I envision, each citizen would only be allowed to vote for representatives for one (or a few) "focus groups". (Economy, technology, military, environmental, judicial, infrastructure...) Which focus groups to vote for, I guess would be up to each citizen.

Of course there are things to be resolved, for example which focus-group would balance the budget etc. Perhaps overall governance would be a focus-group of it's own.

The point of it all would be to make people vote in areas they actually KNOW something about, rather than being encouraged/forced to vote for some person/party who you happen to agree with in one or a few points, and above that has a nice image, but you really know nothing about, or even disagree with in many other questions.

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists Say People Aren't Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish

rawler Self-assigned expert (1276 comments)

I've long advocated a form of governement still controlled by the citizens BUT with the limitation that the citizens can only vote in a self-chosen limited amount of topics. For example, a citizen could apply one "expert" position at a time, and only elect a representative for those topics.

I guess most Slashdotters feel most related to IT, so Slashdotters would probably be the ones electing the IT-representatives of government. If you're a health-worker, the health-minister is probably the post you care most about assigning, and so on and so forth.

Let people have their voice heard in the questions they think care about and think they now, without simultaneously endorsing aspects of a political party they don't have a chance to educate themselves enough about.

more than 2 years ago
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LibreOffice 3.5 Released

rawler Re:Visio import FTW (205 comments)

Try http://www.lucidchart.com/. Yeah, it's a webapp, but I've found it highly usable, and solves my diagramming needs. (In some cases much quicker and easier than Visio)

more than 2 years ago
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Mozilla Releases Rust 0.1

rawler Re:Wonderful! (232 comments)

I would consider null-pointers/seg-faults an existing, and important problem. If someone wants to research a solution, I think it's a worthy cause. (Though the language is enough similar to Go for the duplicated effort to be a concern)

more than 2 years ago
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Leaked Memo Says Apple Provides Backdoor To Governments

rawler Re:... well that's one reason open source is super (582 comments)

I bought the OS. I bought the machine.

Technically, while you bought the hardware, you did not buy the OS.

With the machine, you've got the right to do whatever you please with. (Modify, lease ...) Not so with the OS you believe you purchased.

Typically with proprietary software, you only buy a license to use it as-is, and you are not even entitled to study how it works, or even look for backdoors.

IMHO, this is the major problem with proprietary software, and an outrage that such agreements have any legal stance in a free-market society.

more than 2 years ago
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What Could Have Been In the Public Domain Today, But Isn't

rawler Re:Strange Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution (412 comments)

I, like many here, is a systems developer, and my daily income comes from the worth of my intellectual work. The main 2 problems with current copyright law as I see it, are the facts that

A) It doesn't _really_ protect the author/inventor, since it allows (which is then more or less enforced by the industry in large) the copyright to be exclusively transferable. The core reason why middlemen get most of the money for most of the artists/inventors/creators is because they've managed to create a controllable chokepoint, and forces the creators to give away the right to their work for it to reach a large part of the market. If one could pass a law invalidating all contracts where an individual gives up their copyright (much like contracts about selling your body is invalid), I think the market would very quickly find ways around the middlemen, or at least let new middlemen compete fairly. If the law is really intended to protect the creator, make sure it protects them, not the middlemen.

B) It lasts practically forever. In many cases, it lasts longer than the original creator. In this case, the middlemen, and heirs of the creator keeps getting paid. Imagine the roofer getting a small tick for every roof he's put down, every time it rains for the next 70 years, and then the heirs, and the manager, etc. Completely ridiculous. Why should some intellectual work pay off in so completely different ways than other work? If your work didn't pay off in, say 3 years, maybe you should have been better at gauging the demand for it beforehand. There is no human right to create whatever you feel like, and force people to pay for it (through paying some other appreciated work you did 8 years ago and are still living from), and the law IMHO should not protect this lifestyle at the cost of other actual human rights.

more than 2 years ago
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Clothier Slammed For Using 'Perfect' Virtual Model

rawler Not really specific to female models. (471 comments)

To be fair, the same apply for the male models. It's just perceived more unfair for women, since they seem to care more about not matching the body-ideal.

It was highlighted by a recent study, that while men on average are significantly more overweight, women on average are significantly more unhappy about their weight.

more than 2 years ago
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Domain Theft-for-Ransom Hits css-tricks.com and Others

rawler Re:For the curious (147 comments)

Address: Austria
Phone: +61 (Australia)

Looks legit.

more than 2 years ago
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British Police Accused of Stealing Software

rawler Strike 1 (76 comments)

Didn't the UK adopt the infamous three-strikes policy?

more than 2 years ago
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Monthly Ubuntu Releases Proposed

rawler Yearly overlapping, if it means better stability. (284 comments)

IMHO, Yearly releases would be ok, if it means they're actually stable. Above all, please keep developers working on fixing problems AFTER the release, or keep it longer in RC if necessary. Above all, don't uphold freezes, if it renders related components unusable or severely broken.

One of my personal examples was the QBzr package in Jaunty. The Bzr-package were upgraded since the previous release, but the QBzr package wasn't, leaving it at a broken API. When I noticed it, the freeze were already in place, and the end-result was that QBzr were mostly unusable during Jaunty. (Better having unusable packages than making an exception)

about 3 years ago
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European Firms Assisted Gaddafi's Internet Monitoring Regime

rawler Interesting Google Tech Talk (112 comments)

http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleTechTalks#p/search/0/SSYXw87BWXo Look especially 08:32 and a few minutes onwards.

For the impatient: Privacy International reflects on the point that these dictatorship-friendly features aren't originally ordered by dictators. From the beginning it was demanded by western governments, and once available, not explicitly disabled to the next customer. (In this case, Iran)

about 3 years ago
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Wikileaks Reveals BitTorrent Lawsuit Background

rawler Re:Dinosaurs (209 comments)

Q: Why does a dog lick his balls?
A: Because they can

They need no reason other than that. Fix the legal system and they'd have to shape up, but as long as RIAA/MPAA is allowed to heavily influence the WTO, I think they'll prefer to adapt the legal systems rather than their business models.

about 3 years ago
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Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel Using Sunlight

rawler Social justice must come from economic models (360 comments)

In the free market, the customer-base with the most money usually rule. Technological developments are usually targeted and priced for the wealthy, simply because there aren't much money in poor people.

Only after saturating the upper- and middle-class markets, there might be leftover-scrapes for the lower-class, either by lowering the price closer to manufacturing costs, or simply through resale of used devices. At that point though, the upper- and middle-classes are on the next cool thing, while the lower-class is left with 5-years-old technology.

The reality is sad.

about 3 years ago
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Bing More Effective Than Google?

rawler User-expectations (385 comments)

I wonder if there might, in addition to other contributing factors mentioned here, be a difference in user-segmentation and corresponding expectations.

I often see non-tech users searching for things like "facebook" in a search-engine instead of typing it in the location-bar, of course with great success. My prejudice tells me Bing might have a much larger share of those easy searches than other engines.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Looking for a network filesystem

rawler rawler writes  |  more than 6 years ago

rawler writes "I've been researching network filesystems for a while now, attempting to build a distributed content delivery system for relatively large content. I've still not found the perfect filesystem, and/or not found enough details about certain filesystem, such as success stories for, for instance, Coda.

The main requirement is to keep high availability, and keep bandwidth-requirements low. Due to the task, content distribution, the filesystem need only be read-only, simplifying cache implementations.

The main characteristics of the desired filesystem is:
  • Heavy client-side caching to reduce bandwidth requirements
    • Ability to handle large active sets and moderately large main repositories. The filesystem must handle a full repository of at least 25TB, and an active set (cache size) of 4TB.
    • Big blocksize is an option to scale on-disk. 16 MB blocks is not a problem, since the smallest files stored will be ~50mb.
    • However, latency on network must be kept down. The maximum allowed bitrate for all streamed assets ~100 mbit, with a nominal bitrate of 4 mbit. 16MB blocks on the wire would require 1.28 seconds to pre-cache, which is not acceptable. Pain threshold is ~200msec.
    • Live-changing content is a plus (I.E. distributing while recording)
  • Cascading
    • Since the main repository must not be overloaded in network bandwidth, cascading nodes is a must
    • Topology-reconfiguration in case of intermediary nodes down is desirable.
  • High availability
    • Offline operation, in case networking fails, the cached content must remain available.
      • Prefetching of currently accessed files is a plus.
    • Native mirroring of master-repositories is desired, preferably a distributed central storage-model with mirroring/parity.
    • Re-distributing 25TB worth of data takes a looong time. Solution must be proven data-safe.
  • Manageability
    • The connected ordering system must be able to extract information about the network flow and active resources used between nodes, and deny access if there's no available bandwidth left for new content.
    • May very well be implemented on the side, but a plus if the filesystem facilitates, by i.e. offering good data on used remote resources, and current topology.


All the characteristics and the solution are just ideas and estimates, and may very well be changed or altered in almost every way, as long as content reach the customer. Right now the storage-size-requirements are almost 10 times the actual requirements in use in the existing system, but must be able to grow up to this limit in the future.

Now I'm asking the Slashdot crowd. What are your experiences around this? Have you built something similar? Is the whole concept flawed? Heat up your keyboards and give me your thoughts. :)"

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