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Silk Road Journal Found On Ulbricht's Laptop: "Everyone Knows Too Much"

rdnetto Re:What an idiot (180 comments)

That would be injecting noise on to the power lines, which means either it screws with the rest of the grid, or it's small enough that other devices could swamp it with noise. There's been some interesting work done on hiding signals below the noise floor using frequency hopping, but that's excessively complex.

2 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

rdnetto Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (801 comments)

At low speeds such as would be encountered in a parking lot or congested city street the engine noise is dominant, particularly because the car is doing a lot of accelerating and decelerating. At those speeds I think a modest synthesized engine sound is a very good idea, especially when you consider blind people and even more especially service dogs

My experience is that in car parks, you can hear the tire noise easily. If the only problem is the visually impaired, why not put the synthesized sound above the range of human hearing, so that only guide dogs and assistive devices can detect it?

2 days ago
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User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

rdnetto Re:The end of an era. (188 comments)

There is quite a bit of object oriented C code in the wild, that request just shows that the guy had no idea what he was talking about. While there are a lot of nice (and not so nice) things you can get from C++ if object orientation is all you want its overkill.

Amusingly, the kernel is probably one of the better examples of how to do OOP in C - the VFS code is a good example of this. (The file_operations struct is basically a vtable.) So given that they already had a working solution, they wouldn't have gained anything from C++ except additional complexity.

2 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

rdnetto Re:From the outside... (666 comments)

The problem is that it is not a sane choice. This is ENTIRELY based on fear. If all you do is label something as GMO that tells you nothing at all. This does not help you make any kind of informed decision at all.

Was the GMO done to make the plant drought resistance? does it resist cold? was it modified to be less carcinogenic? was it modified to make a certain companies fertilizer more profitable? etc

Just saying something is GMO is worthless.

I agree entirely. That's what using a GMO identifier would enable - the database of what changes they correspond to and when they were approved should be publicly accessible. If you think about it, that's basically the same level of transparency we currently have with various additives.

4 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

rdnetto Re:From the outside... (666 comments)

Look at the EU and their policy on GMO. It is ENTIRELY fear based. They just label something as GMO which is completely useless and people are taught that GMO is bad period. Even research into GMO has almost entirely ended in Europe. It doesn't matter that their own studies show the ones they have tested are safe they continue to be against it not just in the EU but world wide. The EU is a pretty major factor in stopping the usage of golden rice.

What would you propose instead? Given that GMO is relatively new, I think it is important that GMO foods be labelled as such, so that consumers can make an informed choice. Of course, some consumers are idiots, but that's never been a strong argument against depriving the rest of us.

I'm not an expert on the topic, but it seems to me that since there is already infrastructure in place for demonstrating that the GMO product in question is safe for human consumption (which no doubt assigns it some kind of UID), simply adding the identifier to the ingredients list should be enough. It conveys to the consumer that not all GMOs are the same, while still informing them. It also makes it easy for people to google a specific strain/variant and see if any one else has reported issues.

4 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:Should be, but it isn't. (382 comments)

All in all I just didn't consider it interesting enough to study even. I'm more interested in a true paradigm shift rather than another iteration of C++ which already is good enough for my taste. So I still have haskell overlay and actually do learn haskell :P

I'll agree with you there - D is the sort of language that tries to copy as many features as possible from other languages, rather than one which tries to do anything truly revolutionary. (I think UFCS is the only novel feature it has, and it's nothing more than a nicety.)

Haskell is definitely a much more interesting language - I spent the entirety of last year working with it and don't feel like I even scratched the surface. There are some applications imperative languages are better for though, so it is nice to see languages like Rust and D providing support for both.

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:D has problems, and not just a few (382 comments)

- Huge portions of the standard library are missing attributes like 'pure' and 'nothrow', which directly impacts user code that attempts to include them

Could you explain why adding pure/nothrow is considered a breaking change? I would have thought it only increases the contexts from which the function could be called.

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:Why D isn't more popular (382 comments)

D works quite well with C-based interfaces - you just annotate the function definitions and link against the binaries. (C++ support is a bit more incomplete.)
That said, at 264 kLOC, I don't think you're going to be switching to any new languages, except maybe newer revisions of C/C++.
New languages are only ever feasible for new systems, rewrites, or loosely coupled modules of existing systems. Anything else just causes more headaches than its worth.

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:I tried it (382 comments)

Given that DMD, etc. statically link the standard library by default, the resulting executable won't be significantly difficult from one produced by a C compiler. My guess is you either ran into issues with dub, [1] or you dynamically linked something opengl-related and had trouble due to that on the other systems.

[1] Minor rant: why does language popularised in the last decade need their own, language-specific package management? What's wrong with make or cmake?

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:Should be, but it isn't. (382 comments)

I've been using the overlay, and while I don't like how they've put everything in /opt, I haven't had any problems with it. The ebuilds for gdc, etc. are properly bootstrapped.

(The separate directories in /opt are apparently the result of the lack of a stable ABI between compilers, or even between different versions of the same compiler. AIUI, C++ has the same problem, but most distros just treat GCC as the official compiler instead of treating them all equally.)

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:Perl, my favorite language is rated higher... (382 comments)

I have two main gripes with it on that front. D has a horrid GC (though no GC provides the latency requirements we need), and though it claims you can do without it, you really can't. At least, not without giving up on much of the language features and almost all of the standard library. When comparing to C++'s ability to use custom allocators with the standard library, D's phobos seems deathly pale.

Not sure if you know this, but the GC was recently / is being rewritten, which should hopefully improve things. There's also the new std.allocator interface.

That said, I don't think anyone can seriously claim D has good non-GC support, and it sounds like you definitely need a non-GC language given your latency requirements. Rust would probably work better, but it has its own quirks.

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:Cute specs, call me when you turn 18. (382 comments)

"D offers compilers for all three platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux) as well as FreeBSD."

Note that two of those compilers use GCC and LLVM as their back-ends. In practice, this means that you can use D on any architecture they support. For example, here's a patch that adds D support to buildroot toolchains.

I do agree that the third-party libraries available are pretty limited though.

5 days ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

rdnetto Re:Lower Level != "Complex" (643 comments)

Oh, and I also forgot to mention that functions fail silently if you don't check their error codes, compared to languages which use exceptions. Silent failures can be immensely confusing to newbies.

5 days ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

rdnetto Re:Lower Level != "Complex" (643 comments)

Because even if you're doing simple things, you need to:
- manually manage memory (compared to GC'd languages)
- manually store the length of buffers/arrays
- preallocate arrays for strings, etc. before copying data to them

C is low-level, which makes sense if you want to learn about what the computer is actually doing. But computer architecture is not something that belongs in an introductory computer science course - control structures and basic data structures are far more important, and C just gets in the way of those.

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:COBOL (382 comments)

I said C/C++ because they both use same preprocessor. While I'm sure you could do some interesting things with C++ templates, I haven't seen any use of them that goes beyond generics while still being easy to comprehend. This could be due to my own inexperience though.

about a week ago
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Why Run Linux On Macs?

rdnetto Re:a better question (590 comments)

It was a long time ago, so I could be misremembering it or confusing it with another model, assuming they haven't changed it since then.

As for the keyboard, I ended up getting a Thinkpad T440p, so that should tell you what my standards are. :P

about a week ago
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Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

rdnetto Re:Nope (241 comments)

And this attempt to make a modular phone seems more like a technology demonstration then a product role out. Does anyone think they will try and make a business line out of it? I doubt it.

I think the idea behind Project Ara is the same as the idea behind their Nexus line - they're not interested in being manufacturers, they just want to raise the bar for devices running their software. They'll (hopefully) establish some critical mass, a few other manufacturers will start making parts, and eventually Google won't need to do anything for the system to be self-sustaining, except maybe push for better specs on Ara 2.0...

about a week ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

rdnetto Re:One thing right in my book (Package management) (489 comments)

It's not like you can't add a third party repository with the latest stable (or development) version of Firefox.
Besides, even if you're going to download it somewhere else, would it be good if the OS could check that somewhere else for updates instead of each program have its own auto-update daemon run at startup?

about a week ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

rdnetto Re:Problems in C++ (382 comments)

3. C++ isn't an interpreted language; of course it won't have much reflection.

While reflection is much easier to implement in interpreted languages, there are compiled languages that support it. e.g. D

about a week ago

Submissions

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Debian to Adopt New Init System

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  about a year ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "Debian developers have been in a very polarized discussion recently about replacing their default SysVinit system with a more modern init system; namely, Debian developers are evaluating whether to use systemd or Upstart.

Debian wants to switch a modern event-based init system that is more robust and provides more features, provides stable support for advanced environments (e.g. SAN), being more similar to the likes of Ubuntu and RHEL, and modern open-source packages like GNOME 3.x are easier to package. Among other reasons, Debian hasn't been quick to switch init systems over lots of work needing to be accomplished.

In one of the latest init system discussions, it was stated "since the init system strongly shapes many other packages, there has to be only one and no other supported options.""

Link to Original Source
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Australian Govt re-kindles office file format war Australian Govt re-kindles of

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "The Australian Government’s peak IT strategy group has issued a cautious updated appraisal of currently available office productivity suite file formats, in what appears to be an attempt to more fully explain its thinking about the merits of open standards such as OpenDocument versus more proprietary file formats promulgated by vendors like Microsoft.
Though a move away from a clear pro-Microsoft stance, a clear bias towards them remains present."

Link to Original Source
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AI Releases Linux-based Hybrid Netboot/Tablet/MID

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 4 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "After 6 months of delays, AlwaysInnovating has released their newest device, a netbook with a touchscreen and detachable wireless keyboard. The screen also houses a secondary screen that can be removed and used as a mobile internet device. The device uses the TI Cortex A8, has 768 MB of RAM, and 19.5 Ah of batteries."
Link to Original Source
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Software is Licensed, Not Sold

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 4 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "In a major blow to user rights, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a decision that will go a long way toward ensuring that software buyers will rarely be software owners.
In a triumph of legal formalism over reality, the Court held that the copyright’s first sale doctrine – the law that allows you to resell books and that protects libraries and archives from claims of copyright infringement – doesn’t apply to software (and possibly DVDs, CDs and other “licensed” content) as long as the vendor saddles the transfer with enough restrictions to transform what the buyer may think is sale into a mere license."

Link to Original Source
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EFF Wins New DMCA Exceptions

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 4 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions today, carving out new legal protections for consumers who modify their cell phones and artists who remix videos — people who, until now, could have been sued for their non-infringing or fair use activities."
Link to Original Source
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Pirate Party to Run Pirate Bay from Parliament

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 4 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "After their former hosting provider received an injunction telling it to stop providing bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, the worlds most resilient BitTorrent site switched to a new ISP. That host, the Swedish Pirate Party, made a stand on principle. Now they aim to take things further by running the site from inside the Swedish Parliament.

The party has announced today that they intend to use part of the Swedish Constitution to further these goals, specifically Parliamentary Immunity from prosecution or lawsuit for things done as part of their political mandate. They intend to push the non-commercial sharing part of their manifesto, by running The Pirate Bay from ‘inside’ the Parliament, by Members of Parliament."

Link to Original Source
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POLL: Which continent do you live in?

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 4 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "POLL: Which continent do you live in?
        North America
        South America
        Antarctica
        Africa
        Europe
        Asia
        Australia
        I don't live on Earth, you insensitive clod!"
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Pirate Bay Judge Accused of Bias

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "One of the biggest cases in file-sharing history ended last week with The Pirate Bay Four sentenced to huge fines and jail time. Today it is revealed that far from being impartial, the judge in the case is a member of pro-copyright lobby groups — along with Henrik Pontén, Monique Wadsted and Peter Danowsky. There are loud calls for a retrial.
http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-lawyer-is-biased-calls-for-a-retrial-090423/"
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Part of Copyright Act Ruled Unconstitutional

rdnetto rdnetto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

rdnetto (955205) writes "From http://techdirt.com/articles/20090403/1619494384.shtml:
A year and a half ago, we were quite surprised when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals actually sided with Larry Lessig, concerning how a part of copyright law that pulled foreign works out of the public domain was potentially unconstitutional. This was in the "Golan case," the third of three big copyright cases Lessig had championed. The appeals court had sent the case back to the lower court, and that lower court has now decided that, indeed, a trade agreement (URAA) that pulled foreign content out of the public domain is unconstitutional as it violates the First Amendment. While it may seem narrowly focused, this is the first case that has successfully challenged a part of copyright law as being unconstitutional. The ruling will almost certainly be appealed, so it's not over yet — but it's still a rare and important win for those who are fighting to keep copyright law from destroying the public domain."

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