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Dell Demos 5K Display

swilly Re:In other news: Are 4K displays worth getting ye (204 comments)

Most Linux desktop environments are DPI independent for fonts and toolkit controls, but it can be a bit hard to change as such things are often tied to your system theme. Of course, that doesn't help with scaling things like images. For many years now you could get desktop scaling using Compiz, but that requires hardware with good OpenGL support so few distributions use it. The current standard for things like 4K monitors is HiDPI (which Apple is calling Retina for marketing reasons).

The only Linux distribution I know with good support for HiDPI is Linux Mint Cinnamon. It even selects it automatically if it detects that your monitor exceeds a certain number of pixels per inch. The setting is in Settings -> General -> Desktop Scaling. I find that with HiDPI and a some tweaks to the default fonts, only web browsers don't display how I want them to (I prefer a 110% zoom for my web browser). Fortunately, changing the default zoom in Chrome works very well, it can even scale Flash content properly.

Other desktop environments that use Gnome libraries like Unity and Gnome Shell should have HiDPI working soon (if they don't already). It looks like KDE has HiDPI support, but they still have some issues to resolve. I'd expect the new KDE 5 desktop to work well.

about a month ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

swilly Re:Bitcoin credibility? (267 comments)

Make sure that form is stamped five times, otherwise the head bureaucrat will summon the guards to bring him the form to fill out to have you taken away.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

swilly Re:First World Problems (154 comments)

The definition of First, Second, and Third World are not based on wealth, but on ideology. Second World countries are those that are industrialized and socialist (though in practice it referred only to communist governments).

You don't hear much about them because back in the early 90's there was this series of events that resulted in the collapse of most of the Second World. The independence of the Baltic states and the Ukraine, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. You may have heard of some of these, as they were a big deal at the time.

The major Second World country to survive these events is China, but North Korea would also be considered a Second World nation. I've heard of a proposal that we repurpose the term Second World to refer to developing nations, which works well since it's the natural term for nations moving from Third to First World status, but this hasn't been adopted yet (probably because developing countries don't want to be associated with the old Soviet Union).

about a month and a half ago

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

swilly Re:Only 100 mph? (443 comments)

How convenient that Harry's Automotive and Collision Center is right there!

about 3 months ago

A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet

swilly Re:Um.... (120 comments)

According to Wikipedia, this is not quite true. Chinese did discover the practice in the 10th century, and reports on the practice were given to the Royal Society in 1700, but no action was taken.

The Ottomans learned it before the early 18th century, but we don't know for certain how or when it got there. They also reported on it to the Royal Society in 1714 and 1716, but nobody paid much attention until the wife of the British Ambassador to the Ottomans witnessed it and introduced it to Europe's ruling elite. It was introduced to America in 1721 by the Puritan minister Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials fame). He had heard of it from a Sudanese slave, but he was also familiar with the Royal Society reports and had been trying to get physicians to attempt the procedure.

We don't know when the procedure was introduced to Africa, but it was introduced via the Muslim world. We also don't know when it was introduced to India, who may have discovered it independently (but probably not).

What did we do before Wikipedia?

about 3 months ago

US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

swilly Re:51? (176 comments)

Maldives isn't a US territory. They used to be a UK one before they got their independence in 1965. Perhaps you were thinking of the Mariana Islands?

about 3 months ago

The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

swilly Re:you can't judge a theory by its quacks (339 comments)

Jules Verne wrote Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea in 1870. Submarines had been under development since the 17th century. The first military sub is usually credited to an American sub that failed to attach explosives to British ships during the American Revolutionary War. The first sub to sink another ship was a Confederate sub during the American Civil War, which was apparently too close to the explosion, causing it to sink as well.

The Confederate sub had ballast tanks, screw propulsion, and used a "torpedo" that was towed behind it. Everything was human powered, but very much recognizable as a precursor to modern submersibles.

I don't want to take away from Verne's accomplishments, but he didn't invent the sub, all he did was extrapolate and determine what a futuristic model might look like.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

swilly Re:If you haven't read The Myythical Man-Month... (352 comments)

If you you do is write code, then you aren't a Software Engineer, you are a Programmer. An engineer is involved in requirements, specifications, design, and testing. On a good team, the experienced Software Engineers should also be consulted for process improvement, QA, and DevOps.

about 5 months ago

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability: A Technical Remediation

swilly Re:Situation is a Shambles (239 comments)

This has little to do with any C-specific. If you were re-using a buffer in some managed runtime, you would still see the same problem.

Most managed runtimes perform bounds checks, C does not. As a result, the same bug couldn't happen in Java or C#. Of course, bounds checks come with a cost, and one that most people wouldn't want from low level code, which means that C/C++ developers must be extra vigilant.

about 6 months ago

Book Review: Sudo Mastery: User Access Control For Real People

swilly Re:Is sudo broken or its audience? (83 comments)

man setfacl

Linux can use ACLs, they just aren't the default. Simple permissions work most of the time, only use ACLs for those rare occasions where they are needed.

about 7 months ago

The Neuroscience of Computer Programming

swilly Re:I found they were for me (161 comments)

The problem is probably with lexical analysis, when you break the stream of sounds or letters into words. When a language is fluently spoken there are few if any pauses between words, your brain adds those. It's possible to be familiar enough with a languages grammar and vocabulary to read without difficulty, but not yet familiar enough for your brain to subconsciously break sounds into words.

about 7 months ago

1.5 Million Pages of Ancient Manuscripts Online

swilly Re:In the name of "Allah" ... (79 comments)

The Library of Alexandria caught fire several times.

The first may have been when the Romans conquered Egypt. The Romans burned their own ships and much of the city caught fire, and the library may have been partially destroyed at this time.

A branch of the library may have been burned with the destruction of pagan temples when the Roman Empire outlawed paganism, but nobody knows how many (if any) books were lost. The main building was apparently not affected. And by the time paganism was made illegal in the Roman Empire, a concerted effort had been made to have copies of important documents in other libraries, including the worlds largest library at Constantinople. These other libraries were not burned (though it's entirely possible that some books in them were destroyed).

And it was finally destroyed by the Muslim army. There is a story that the Caliph ordered the burning of books stating that if they contradicted the Quran they are heretical, and if they did not then they are redundant. There are no contemporary sources for this story, so most historians doubt it. Whether or not this burning was deliberate, the destruction was complete and library was lost to history.

about 10 months ago

Debian To Replace SysVinit, Switch To Systemd Or Upstart

swilly Re:Really? (362 comments)

EDIT.COM is bloated and inefficient. I'll stick with EDLINE thank you very much.

about a year ago

Why Does Windows Have Terrible Battery Life?

swilly Re: Historically inefficient OS is Inefficient (558 comments)

What model Zenbook do you have? I have a UX31A, and Linux gets about the same battery life as vanilla Windows 7, which is much worse than Windows 7 after installing all the ASUS drivers. I suspect that ASUS is doing something proprietary in regards to power savings, and I would love to get Linux Mint to have similar battery life.

about a year ago

Your Next Network Operating System Is Linux

swilly Re:2013 Year of the Linux Network (192 comments)

sudo rm -rf / won't delete anything.

POSIX rules state that you cannot remove any parent of the current directory. The GNU rm command doesn't fully check this, but it does make sure that you don't remove / or .. (but if you give the path to any other parent directory, it will let you remove that). Try it for yourself and see (in a VM of course).

about a year ago

SSD Annual Failure Rates Around 1.5%, HDDs About 5%

swilly Just lost my first SSD (512 comments)

Talk about timing. I'm right now recovering data from my first SSD failure (an almost three year old OCZ Vertex 2). As failures go, this couldn't have gone better. I'm able to read the drive, but I can't write to it. I wish all drive failures were this nice. I'm having Newegg overnight me a Samsung 480GB SSD as a replacement. I should probably think about replacing the two SSDs that are older than the one that failed, just in case.

Just this year I've lost two 1TB hard drives, and one of them somehow corrupted my (thankfully backed up) RAID 5 making it unrecoverable. So, I decided to replace the older consumer grade 1TB drives with 3TB WD Red drives (supposedly enterprise grade), and what do you know? One of them is dead on arrival. WD replaced it with a "recertified" drive, which is annoying, but at least it works.

I also lost a Blu-ray drive, so it hasn't been a good year for my storage devices, but so far my anecdotal experience has SSDs with better reliability than mechanical drives. YMMV.

1 year,18 days

What's Causing the Rise In Obesity? Everything.

swilly Re:Games and Beer (926 comments)

This deserves some Funny mods, but I seem to be out of them at the moment.

about a year ago

Asus CEO On Windows RT: "We're Out."

swilly Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (246 comments)

I saddened there is no knock off brand called Anus. :(

There is, however, a Chinese brand called Ainol, which is almost as funny.

Insert joke about whether it's better to give their products then recive them.

about a year ago

"Feline Herd" Offers Easier Package Management For Emacs

swilly Re:An Honest Question: (142 comments)

What's the EMACS' relevance nowadays?

Sometimes a task is too hard and repetitive in a traditional editor, but too trivial to require a script. For such tasks, an editor with good macro support is a must, and nothing comes close to Emacs or vim for macro support.

I still prefer writing code in Emacs, though some tasks are much better done in an IDE. I tend to use both, and I have Emacs and the IDE detect when a file has changed and revert to the filesystem version. This way I can switch between them depending on what I'm trying to do.

about a year ago

"Feline Herd" Offers Easier Package Management For Emacs

swilly Re:Yawn (142 comments)

Okay, I have a really stupid question - what do Emacs aficionados use for the "Meta" key?

Emacs will usually use either the Super key (usually called the Windows key) or the Alt key with the Esc key as a fallback (Esc doesn't use cording). I prefer the Super key but in the last few years distributions have been reserving that key for the window manager, so they intercept the key before it gets to Emacs. The real problem with Alt is with the terminal, where Alt+F opens the file menu instead of moving forward one word, which forces me to turn off the menu bar to use Emacs mode in bash. It isn't a big deal, and it is a lot easier to adjust to than wrestling with the WM and xmodmap.

Alt isn't the ideal key to be chording, but after a little practice it becomes second nature. I have to say, I have seen people buy vi friendly keyboards with the Esc key above the tab, but I've never seen anyone actually use Ctrl-[ when they didn't have to.

about a year ago


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