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Just-Announced X.Org Security Flaws Affect Code Dating Back To 1987

slimjim8094 Re:Wha?!?!!! (172 comments)

Yeah, but the WORD type hasn't had a relationship to the actual word size for 20 years. As you said upthread "The only reason it's called a WORD on Windows is because of legacy backwards-compatibility issues."

It was stupid for them to lock processor-dependent stuff into the API and it means you get these ridiculous anachronisms. Especially ridiculous that "WORD" is intended to mean a fixed-size value, when "word" is defined by its processor-dependence. The API is full of this nonsense - WPARAM and LPARAM originally referred to WORD- and LONG-length parameters, respectively, but now they're both 32 bit. LPCSTR - what the hell is a long pointer? So by now it's just random junk If they wanted a 16-bit value, they should've called it an int16 or a twobyte or... hell, something that described what it actually was. But no, they were intending to describe the actual word size, and then got caught with their pants down when it changed (as anybody could see it would).

Microsoft is to be commended for their backwards-compatibility, but it makes these poor design choices especially visible. By contrast, the POSIX API is almost completely free of anything machine-dependent, to the point that it can be a bit tricky to use sometimes "when the rubber meets the road". But at least it's consistent.

about two weeks ago
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Just-Announced X.Org Security Flaws Affect Code Dating Back To 1987

slimjim8094 Re:Wha?!?!!! (172 comments)

You know, 'word' actually means something, and it never referred to a particular number of bits - it was always a property of the architecture. Generally, word size == register size == memory address == unit of memory that can be operated on. 32-bit machines are 32-bit because they have 32 bit registers, and the size of a memory address is 32 bits long (=4GB), and you can't move less than 32 bits to/from RAM.

So, yeah, it absolutely depends on the CPU, because it's the fundamental unit of the CPU. It's actually hard to imagine a less useless specification...

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Adora Svitak Answers Your Questions

slimjim8094 Re:Where are your ancestors from? (107 comments)

So by analogy, if I every time I saw you I grabbed your crotch[1] you shouldn't get offended, because I never meant to offend you.

Probably not. I mean, it'd be a bit weird, but I'd set the boundary, explain that it made me uncomfortable, and expect it to not happen again. If it continued it would be something other than offense.

Honestly, I don't get offended very much because I consider "offense" to be intricately tied with intent. If someone spat at me or flipped me off or something, I'd take it as it was intended. There's lots of explicit ways various cultures have to indicate "I intend to offend you", and in my culture, those are two pretty good ones. But other cultures have different ones, and they generally don't apply to outsiders. A Frenchman wouldn't be offended if you shied away from a "faire la bise", unless it was your cultural norm as well. The Japanese have a very complex business card etiquette. Someone doing business in Japan regularly should make a point of getting to know this, but a one-off instance of a Japanese person interacting with someone from a different culture shouldn't be offended if somebody doesn't realize that just taking the card and pocketing it after a glance is considered offensive. Indian culture has a thing about shaking with the left hand since that's the ... "wiping hand" (gotta do something if you have no toilet paper). These are generally amusing tidbits shared later (by either party), not tense moments.

It's hard enough to get offense straight when it's entire cultures - when it's random individual's sensitivities it becomes impossible. I will behave in a way I believe to be appropriate - if it offends you, the onus is on you to realize that I didn't mean to offend, because that's how interpersonal relationships work. I will make a good faith effort to avoid doing that in the future - if it's reasonably accommodable - to avoid repeating it with you, but I expect you to forgive my lapses since this stuff is hard (especially for me).

Not to put too fine a point on it, but there's a lot of people who can't tolerate other people behaving in ways contrary to their exact wishes. We generally call them "two year olds".

I can't imagine being offended more than a few times a year. It sounds exhausting - that is, with my definition of offense. But since you're explicitly saying that intent doesn't count, clearly we disagree. I'd call your definition more like "mild irritation". And I don't think I can (and have so far failed to) really interact with you, or people like you - I mean that 100% seriously. I don't mean to presume to tell you when you or anybody else should be offended, but I think you, bible-thumpers w.r.t evolution, and the anti-gays have a lot in common when it comes to offense thresholds...

about three weeks ago
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Interviews: Adora Svitak Answers Your Questions

slimjim8094 Re:Where are your ancestors from? (107 comments)

Bull shit. Sorry, but as a pasty-white American I commonly get asked this - and in this exact form:

Someone: Where are you from?
Me: New Jersey, northern part
Someone: No, I mean your parents/ancestors/family/etc
Me: Oh, a bit Irish, a bit German, [family history]

You know why? It's because we're a nation of immigrants. Almost everybody here including me and her "comes from" somewhere else. The only reason I don't often get asked specifically about my parents is because I look further down the generations. I'm sure my great-great-grandmother (a German 'Weber' in Ohio) was asked about her parents' origin since she looked rather more German than I do.

If someone is interpreting this as a "microaggression" in the absence of any... you know, aggression - then they can not be interacted with because they have a worldview that everybody is out to get them. And that's really sad. It's a victimhood that's enforced - if you don't feel like a victim, it's just because you've internalized the attitudes or it's a "microaggression" you're missing or something. It's like no-true-Scotsman applied to feeling like crap. I mean, you're a woman/Asian/black/etc - you must be a victim somehow, right?

I'm not kidding. It's becoming increasingly dangerous to have conversations with people lest you slip off the cliff. It's a shame because frank conversations in good faith is the best way we know of to dispel prejudice... you know, friendships with people unlike yourself and so on.

about three weeks ago
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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

slimjim8094 Re:The FAA isn't doing jack (115 comments)

Sorry, that should have been "a very small fraction, like the amount you could stick a pole into" followed by the quote:

If you're a pilot, but not a crop duster, what are you doing flying at low altitudes when not around an airport?

--

Anyways, I just thought I'd add that I really don't have anything against drones or RC planes or anything as such, just their reckless operation. Just as the big jumboes tolerate me, I figure I should tolerate them. But my life is on the line, so I expect them to know the rules that keep us safe. I trained for 70 hours of flying time, and took a written, oral, and practical test to get my flying privileges. I know the FARs and so does everybody else in the sky, and we all follow them or people die. I'm not being melodramatic, people die all the time. Here's one from a few weeks ago where the guy likely (the report's not done) broke the rules and paid the price. The regulations are absolutely written in blood.

RC folks practice pretty hard as well, and they have a very good community that's interested in interoperating with "the system" and keeping everyone safe. The drone guys - as has been demonstrated - do not. The growing list of encounters that this article is about shows that self-policing isn't working. All I want is for people to know the rules and be held accountable to them - which is pretty much why the FAA is working their way up to requiring some sort of certification.

I cannot emphasize this enough - I consider the drone fliers to be the equivalent of a drunk driver, except worse since at least a drunk is also risking his own neck. They're going to kill someone, and it's only a matter of time.

about three weeks ago
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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

slimjim8094 Re:The FAA isn't doing jack (115 comments)

Did you read what I wrote? The vast majority of the airspace of this country - including lots of airspace that drones have been using - is regulated by the FAA. Inasmuch as "a fraction" is "a very small fraction, like If you're a pilot, but not a crop duster, what are you doing flying at low altitudes when not around an airport?

What? That's the regulation and I'm allowed to be there whether I'm a crop duster or not. What is the drone doing there, is the question. In any case, the vast majority of this country has no altitude restriction since it counts as "sparsely populated areas". Otherwise it's 500 feet - hence the RC limit of 400 feet (since they generally fly in "other than congested" but not "sparsely populated" areas).

Flying drones in [in approach paths] is already against the law. So what's the problem?

Exactly. Like I said, the FAA came up with rules in 1981 to have planes and RCers get along. The AMA is pretty careful about this, actually, and it works well. But these drones don't require any skill or investment (and hence limited likelihood of interacting with the community), and the self-regulation isn't working any more. Do you expect the guy buying a Phantom on Amazon to be able to read a sectional and figure out where planes are likely to be? If they all did, we wouldn't be having this problem! So we need tighter regulation to make sure the drone guys follow the rules... unfortunately for everybody who was getting along just fine.

about three weeks ago
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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

slimjim8094 Re:Drones versus Birds (115 comments)

Jet engines are designed to "ingest" a certain number of birds of a certain size. Not drones, which have pesky metal bits. And even then, it turns out that hitting birds can still ruin your day.

Not to mention that small GA planes aren't even rated for bird strikes. If I'm flying my Cessna 172 and I hit your drone and survive (which is pretty doubtful), I will be coming for you. Every pilot and person who "does" aviation feels the same way - and guess what/who the FAA is made of/for?

about three weeks ago
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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

slimjim8094 Re:How do they define a close call? (115 comments)

"A few feet" is probably "less than 50". But when even a boring plane like a Cessna 172 is going twice the speed of your car on the highway, and normally has nothing around it for miles, 50 feet is more than enough to make you change your pants. Hell, even 500 feet gets a pretty good pucker going.

And yes, generally pilots do report to the FAA (control towers) when they're near birds. It's a safety issue, and the tower will relay it to other pilots. You may recall a small issue with bird strikes a few years ago - it turned an Airbus with 150 people on it into a pretty lousy glider, so it's not something to mess with. The ATIS at my airport frequently says "birds on and in vicinity of the airport" as a warning, and it's also in the published airport information. Airports spend tremendous amounts of money on things like "population control" and more exotic measures like propane cannons to keep birds away.

Pilots report all kinds of things to the control tower, from birds to wind shear to problems with the runway lights. I definitely told tower when a drunk idiot on July 4th shot a bottle rocket into my wing on final approach...

about three weeks ago
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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

slimjim8094 Re:The FAA isn't doing jack (115 comments)

"Navigable airspace" actually has a definition, you know.

"Navigable airspace" is airspace at or above the minimum altitudes of flight prescribed by the Code of Federal Regulations, and must include airspace needed to ensure safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft. By policy, the term "airspace above minimum altitudes of flight" is interpreted to mean "airspace at or above minimum flight altitudes."

The referenced 14 CFR 91.119 defines minimum altitudes as altitudes allowing a safe emergency landing, and various other restrictions depending on whether you're over a "congested area", "other than congested area", or a "sparsely populated area".

So if you're over cornfields, the plains, a beach, or a lake (with no boats within 500 feet) it's perfectly legal to fly at 20 feet, and that counts as "navigable airspace". Hence the FAA purview. It's well established that the FAA has authority over all airspace in the country. The only rebuke the FAA has gotten in court has been "you have to go through rulemaking for this, you know" - which is precisely what they're doing.

Frankly, these drone idiots are ruining things for everybody. Model aircraft folks came to an understanding with the FAA something like 30 years ago, and the rules were quite sensible, and kept everybody safe and out of each other's way. But in comes Mr. Drone flying his just-bought Phantom out of sight at 1500 feet in an approach path, and now they have to regulate it.

I'm a pilot, and getting too close to birds gives me the willies. But birds don't have metal. If your toy puts a hole in my windshield with a closing speed of 230 MPH, it will probably kill me - what skin do you have in the game?

about three weeks ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

slimjim8094 Re:EU citisens are skeptic too (334 comments)

Citation really needed. I reject that integration is "promoting above everybody else". They're trying to provide the most relevant answers to their users, when they can. If you want to go off and do your own thing, the regular results aren't even below the fold! Try "sfo to jfk", which is clearly looking for specific flights - Google has a little box telling you the flights you can take, but immediately below that is a link to Kayak.com (for me). If you search the more generic "flights", there's a small widget indicating that you could've just searched the flight, but the first actual result is Kayak. I should note that the flight search stuff has a huge "Sponsored" text on it - if you don't want to use it, they could hardly make it easier to avoid especially since people are so hardwired to drill in on Google's real results. And if you do want to use it... well, what's the big deal? If somebody's literally just clicking on the first result anyway, and now they don't have to, that's a pretty mercurial and weak preference - would you say that a subtle algorithm change that happened to switch the first and second result was also worth breaking up the company? That's probably more damaging than Google launching its own thing. I imagine a lot of people skip right over the whole top block of "non-organic" results due to years of practice with the ads, but they still click the first organic result.

Let's use a less commercial example. Try searching for "triangle calculator" or "RFK mother" or "range of a cessna 172" or "how many bees are in a pound". They're obviously just trying to provide faster answers when they understand your query enough to do so. Do you really think they want to make money selling airline tickets? Or are they trying to put "ostermiller.org/calc/triangle.html" out of business as well?

about a month ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

slimjim8094 Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (334 comments)

And Google have an effective monopoly on search

Nope. First of all such a statement needs to be qualified - for instance, the 1.3+ billion people in China overwhelmingly prefer Baidu. It is clearly quite possible for people to avoid Google entirely, not just for search (which is, of course, even easier).

and are abusing it.

In what way? Because you don't think Google should use its other services to provide a more integrated experience? Without any sort of lock-in, don't pretend that's anything other than punishing success.

You're begging the question. If Google is a monopoly and they're integrating stuff, that's bad. And they must be a monopoly, because they're doing bad monopoly things like integrating stuff. But without being an actual monopoly with actual lock-in, there's no reason that integration is a problem at all - in fact it's quite the opposite, that's what they have to do to remain competitive. Changing search engines away from Google is as simple as typing a different URL or choosing something else from the drop-down, or even *not changing the default*. The idea that a high search marketshare can be anything other than direct user choice is ridiculous - and so what's the problem?

about a month ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

slimjim8094 Re:In an unrelated news item... (334 comments)

But this represents an existential threat - when viewed that way, it's a no-brainer to give up a market, even a huge market, if the price of admission is too high. Also, Google doesn't have to stop serving them, just stop doing business there.

Also, don't forget that Google pulled out of China, and China has a lot more population and will have the biggest GDP shortly. This is far more concerning than a little espionage.

about a month ago
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As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

slimjim8094 Re:Here we go again (496 comments)

Hi, I'm a white male. I believe strongly that women and men are capable of exactly the same amount of good and bad, and are equally responsible for their own decisions to do or not do things. I live my life like this - I'm a software engineer and I have an unusually high number of female coworkers, and they're as talented and respected as my male coworkers. We really don't think about gender at work - it's just not relevant.

Unfortunately, this is very much *not* feminism - at least any more. There is a certain kind of person who wants to control others, and modern ultrafeminism is overrun with them and their fans. I abhor the label "SJW" but... well, frankly, it does seem like a pretty apt description of some people. It's really sad for me, because there's probably going to be a big backlash soon - things like "shirtgate" really trouble people who haven't been tied into the echo chamber (they give you a blank look when you explain that people have a problem with it, and it changes to a horrified expression when you explain the scope and intensity).

But the only thin worse than a big backlash would be no backlash.

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask Adora Svitak About Education and Women In STEM and Politics

slimjim8094 Re:A message to Adora Svitak (155 comments)

You know, when I was a kid, people like you kept telling me that I didn't understand stuff and wasn't responsible. That was a long time ago - you know what? Damnit, I *was* right! I was as savvy and responsible then as I am now. The only thing I've learned as an adult is that "is an adult" has a weight of exactly 0. I used to think the people in newspapers saying stuff had some authority, but really they're just "a dude said some stuff".

One of the great lies adults like to tell and believe is that there's some fundamental difference between adulthood and childhood. Here's the dirty little secret: nothing changes when you become an adult other than running out of milestones to point to and say "see? I'm not an adult yet!"

If you think you're wiser simply because you're older - well, you're not very wise at all. Wisdom comes from experience and intelligence - neither of which depend on age. Age is a free, lengthy way to get a limited amount of narrow experience - but reading and education gets you much more at a younger age.

Do you think your average 50 year old can say anything particularly wise? Really? People are basically idiots at every age.

about a month ago
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Longtime Debian Developer Tollef Fog Heen Resigns From Systemd Maintainer Team

slimjim8094 Re: Not resigning from Debian (550 comments)

Ah, OK. I wasn't sure which meaning you had in mind, but given the situation I thought "up the hierarchy" made more sense. Though I suppose death threats are the other sort of escalation...

about a month ago
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Longtime Debian Developer Tollef Fog Heen Resigns From Systemd Maintainer Team

slimjim8094 Re: Not resigning from Debian (550 comments)

Death wishes are never cool.

But what do you think people should do instead of escalate? I think at this point it's pretty clear that there are fundamental (some might say philosophical) disagreements at play here that haven't been resolved yet - and may be unresolvable (people are talking seriously about forking Debian over this). Escalation seems like exactly the appropriate step. When I'm at work, if I don't agree with a decision I talk about it with my boss - but if we can't reach an agreement and I feel strongly that it's the wrong decision, I take it to his boss, and so on if necessary. I would be remiss if I didn't!

Honestly, many systemd proponents seem annoyed that people aren't accepting their decision without question, when what they propose is a pretty serious departure from a pretty fundamental system design philosophy. I don't know what to make of that.

about a month ago
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Longtime Debian Developer Tollef Fog Heen Resigns From Systemd Maintainer Team

slimjim8094 Re:Opposition is from a small elite (550 comments)

I honestly don't really care about this whole init debate, from a technical standpoint. I don't see a compelling reason to prefer systemd, and given the fact that it's changing a system that's worked fine (with a few tweaks) for more than 30 years, I'd just as soon stay with the old style.

But there's a few extremely troubling things I see from the systemd side:

- A complete disregard for precedent. Yes, it's good to be open to rethinking how we do things, but the fact is that Unix has worked for a very, very long time. There's many reasons for this, but the "Unix philosophy" is undoubtedly one of them. systemd is by no means "Unixy". Reading a directory of symlinks and executing shell scripts is simple, and minimizes the logic built into init - which a lot of people believe is a good guiding principle for pretty much the entire OS.
- An uncompelling value proposition. I don't much care about boot time (who reboots anymore, anyway?), and with Upstart my boot times were pretty quick anyway. If I'm running a server, I don't even care about boot time at all. What I do care about is simplicity of understanding and management. Systemd has failed to convince me that it does anything I want. Iin the absence of anything particularly valuable I'd just as soon stick with existing, robust, well-understood systems. I don't have my tonsils out for fun either - it's not change aversion to stick with things that worked fine in the absence of a compelling reason to change things.
- Poor architecture. The init system should be as simple as possible. Let it start things like dbus if the system needs it, don't build them in. Discrete components that are loosely-coupled, please - tight coupling is a black mark against virtually any multi-binary software package, but especially in the boot process. Building things into the startup process just reduces the number of things you're able to remove from a system that doesn't need them. DBus is a great example of this.
- Lack of concern for the server use case, and sysadmins in particular. People have raised concerns - many legitimate, some not - about systemd approaches, and the developers and (unusually rabid) community treat those concerns with indifference bordering on contempt. Here's a hint: when a group of competent professional acting in good faith doesn't understand why something is a good idea, it's your fault for having explained it poorly. Especially for an init system - the "average" user never did care about how his system booted! (Which, by the way, is something many systemd folk seem to disagree with - they say users are clamoring for it!) But the sysadmin does care, and has to manage it - best to treat him with respect, not contempt.
- Tying perfectly-good cross platform programs to Linux. systemd is, unabashedly, a virus. Why my window manager or graphics program has to depend on init, I don't know. But as long as it does and that package is systemd, it kills cross-platform compatibility. Compatibility is what got Linux off the ground, and with the exception of systemd it's not too hard to keep it going. Don't throw this away!
- Most importantly, the community is extremely toxic. What is Linux without community? Sure, there's bickering (since when is this bad, by the way?), but at the end of the day you have one of the most powerful and important pieces of software the world has ever seen. But the systemd mess feels like a Microsoft move, and the idea that there's a "Microsoft of Linux" able to move so unilaterally is extremely troubling. People voice concerns about systemd, and if they seem recycled it's because they haven't been well refuted! But the proponents are vicious, and vocal to an extent that makes one suspect astroturfing... which is even more troubling.

And the most troubling aspect of this toxic community are the attacks on opponents. The parent's comment is not the first, nor even the tenth, attack I've seen on a systemd opponent to claim that it's just someone afraid of losing their job and trying to set up some sort of medieval guild of sysadmins: "Therefore, Linux must be nearly impossible to use except for a very small elite few and must be made as difficult, convoluted to configure and use as it possibly can be".

Seriously, what the fuck. What the actual fuck. I wouldn't feel the need to respond to such a stupid accusation except that I've seen it dozens of times so far. I, and everybody else, learned new things when we moved from OSS to ALSA to PulseAudio, from devfs to udev, from /etc/network/interfaces to NetworkManager (which still sucks on servers). I don't know why systemd proponents pretend that this is the only change sysadmins have had to learn, as if that's the only reason for the outcry this time. No, there was outcry all those other times (in the PulseAudio case, quite rightly), but this is by far the most severe I've seen. And do any of these proponents think to ask - why? No, they decide it must just be change aversion and claim they're all just trying to set up a guild to keep their practices secret.

For the record, I am not now, nor have ever been, a sysadmin - though in the interest of full disclosure, I do have a Linux desktop and server at home. For the most part I don't have to think about booting - just like when I used to run Windows. But now when I have to, it's much, much easier than it was on Windows, because there's no complexity - it's just some folders with symlinks to shell scripts that get run! (And I don't have to write the shell script, it's part of the package.) Whereas on Windows, if something starts up - why did it start? Was it the registry, or the startup folder in the Start menu, or a service? And for each of those, is the entry in the "user" or "system" category? This is a step back from the Linux world - but here's somebody who doesn't think so is saying we should instead use systemd so that Linux is "as simple as Windows". What. The. Fuck.

All of you reading this: Think about it. I'm sure you've read attacks by each side about the other. But for the most part, I've seen systemd opponents attacking technical, philosophical, and architectural choices (which includes "we don't want to look like Windows with svchost.exe"), while systemd proponents are attacking their intended users. Which side seems more dangerous?

about a month ago
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Amazon's Echo Chamber

slimjim8094 Re:Amazon Echo - Living room idea finally realized (112 comments)

This is just google voice search, right? Try asking the distance to the moon, then ask "what is that in miles/kilometers" (whichever it didn't give to start)

about a month and a half ago
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Life Insurance Restrictions For Space Tourists

slimjim8094 Re:Quick tell the OP this applies to Skydiving too (68 comments)

Not even jumping out of a plane - just flying one! I'm a private pilot and I'm SOL for life insurance unless I get one that specifically doesn't exclude it. Annoying because flying isn't particularly dangerous - about as dangerous as riding a motorcycle, and it's easy to reduce your risk below even that, but there's an actuarial stigma to it.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Black Mesa: Source Actually Nearing Completion

slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "Black Mesa the long-in-the-running total-conversion mod recreating Half-Life 1 for the Source engine, has been discussed on Slashdot before. At the time it was described as "nearing completion" and "confirmed out in 2009", but now they've given a date: September 14th. The first part of the game (through Lambda Core) is apparently what's being released now; it looks like they're still finishing up the Xen and some other stuff for later release. The soundtrack is available for download over at the official announcement on the forums."
Link to Original Source
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Verizon to open network to all devices

slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  about 7 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "It appears that Verizon will open its network to all devices, similar to the way Google is pushing for with the 700MHz spectrum. There is "a lot of fine print", but essentially there will be two service levels — the regular, current model with subsidies and the like, and a free-for-all model for any device meeting "minimum technical standards". No word yet on what those will be.

Original press release: http://news.vzw.com/news/2007/11/pr2007-11-27.html"
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case, covered previously on Slashdot here.

The case forces the court to reconsider the line between a student's right to free expression and a principal's authority to limit what is said and done at school.

The message seemed designed to provoke Principal Deborah Morse, and it succeeded in doing so. She tore it down and sent Frederick to the office. She planned to suspend him for five days, but when he invoked Thomas Jefferson and the First Amendment, she doubled the suspension to 10 days.
Interestingly enough:

Several religious-rights groups filed briefs supporting the student's free-speech right in this case. Their lawyers worry that school officials might, for example, say it was inappropriate for a student to wear a T-shirt that praised Jesus Christ.
"
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "Jim Gray, a recipient of the A.M. Turing Award, has gone missing.

Gray, 63, of San Francisco, was last heard from on Sunday, the day he set out from San Francisco for the Farallon Islands, about 25 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. ... Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Amy Marrs called Gray's disappearance a mystery because the weather was good, he was in good health and the boat was equipped with radios and flares. There were no distress signals.
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  about 8 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "James Kim, a technology editor for C|NET, has been found dead in the wilderness of Oregon. He had been missing for nearly two weeks. He is survived by his wife and two daughters (Penelope, 4, and Sabine, 7 months).

James Kim was a senior editor covering digital audio who also co-hosted a weekly video podcast for the Crave gadgets blog. He had been writing a book on Microsoft's Zune MP3 player. Formerly, he was an on-air personality on the now-defunct cable television network TechTV.
"
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  about 8 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "Appearantly, Warner Music's CEO Edgar Bronfman's children have stolen music. The punishment? They got a talk about "not stealing". Now, when other people steal his copyright, shouldn't they just be allowed to listen to his lecture (instead of the big lawsuit and settlements)?"
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  about 8 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "There is a new Azureus client that is optimized for HD video, as described in this Wired article. Their idea is using the BitTorrent protocol to distribute movies. Appearantly, anyone with a 300K connection can enjoy this higher-quality video in realtime.

Unfortunately, the article is light on the details. While I am sure we all agree that higher-quality video is better, the resolution is not stated. It also mentions the possibility of DRM restrictions. But the concept seems sound."
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  about 8 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "A mechanical device from 150BC was found in a shipwreck. Upon examination with X-Rays, the device appears to be a revolutionary computer used to calculate lunar cycles. This device "is technically more complex than any known for at least a millennium afterward." The creation of the device is attributed to the Greeks. FTA:
The hand-operated mechanism, presumably used in preparing calendars for planting and harvesting and fixing religious festivals, had at least 30, possibly 37, hand-cut bronze gear-wheels, the researchers said. A pin-and-slot device connecting two gear-wheels induced variations in the representation of lunar motions according to the Hipparchos model of the Moon's elliptical orbit around Earth.
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "CBC news reports on a study done that shows that listening to higher volume levels for long periods of time will permanently damage hearing.
"If a person exceeds that on one particular day and happens not to use their headphones for the rest of the week, they're at no higher risk," Fligor told Reuters. "I'm talking about someone who's exceeding 80 per cent for 90 minutes day after day, month after month, for years."


How many have been sure of this for years?"
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "The Washington Post is reporting that the ozone hole over Antarctica is the largest ever recorded.
From the article:
"From Sept. 21 to 30, the average area of the ozone hole was the largest ever observed, at 10.6 million square miles," said Paul Newman, atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. That's larger than the area of North America.


However, the good news is that the CFCs that created it should disappear by 2065."
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slimjim8094 slimjim8094 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

slimjim8094 (941042) writes "In a full-page ad in the Financial Times, McAfee warns users that Vista is insecure
McAfee's chairman George Samenuk says,
"With its upcoming Vista operating system, Microsoft is embracing the flawed logic that computers will be more secure if it stops co-operating with the independent security firms".

McAfee's argument is that, with Microsoft securing the kernel, they will not be able to secure the operating system. The EU is also watching for anti-competitive behavior. Do security companies need to have an open kernel to be able to write their programs?"

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