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Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

sylvandb Re:Riiiiight. (233 comments)

You are very correct re. the difference between a RT operating system and not RT. That has nothing to do with Sync specifically or infotainment in general.

Sync does not have any control over engine management, traction control or any other safety critical system (and neither does any other infotainment system). Not sure about Sync, but typically you cannot even update safety critical systems from the infotainment system. An infotainment system may have read-only access to report "interesting" data, but that's all.

There is no need for your infotainment system beyond responding to the UI and performing the tasks you need, just like your phone, etc.

about a month and a half ago

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

sylvandb No immunity! (515 comments)

The individual officer(s) involved cannot be immune from civil lawsuits!

The individual officer(s) involved cannot be immune from criminal prosecution!

In addition to facing EXACTLY the same criminal charges that any other individual who performed the same actions would face, the officer(s) should be individually subject to a civil suit just like any other individual. Once a few officers have been bankrupted and are facing garnished wages and liens to settle court judgments then they will suddenly find a way to avoid taking the offensive and illegal actions.

And should those in charge persist, they will find their tacit acceptance and hints (never orders, because that would be wrong) are falling on deaf ears.

about a month and a half ago

Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

sylvandb Re:If you can't write in cursive (523 comments)

How do you "sign your name" is the same thing my "luddite" teacher in 9th grade asked when I was the first person in the school to turn in a paper from a word processor. I "printed" my signature and he didn't like it, but he didn't have to.

He, and now you, are the only ones to ever care.

So who is the luddite? Have you ever used a word processor?

about 2 months ago

Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

sylvandb Re:Style? Speed? Seriously? (523 comments)

Cursive was invented to optimize writing with a quill. A quill is fragile, so you want to put it down carefully. Even then, it tends to blob at the beginning of a stroke. Cursive minimizes lift up and put down and the number of separate strokes.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

sylvandb Re:Why dislike something you know nothing about? (928 comments)

Definitely a system-wide approach VS a semi-random collection of various ways to do things all tacked together (which is, frankly, what most Unix and Unixlike systems are, through survival of the fittest).

And you assume that nothing like systemd has ever been tried during that survival contest?

The systemd approach has always failed to survived. Multiple times.

Through "survival of the fittest' that collection has proven to be the fittest. It is just painful that we have to try a failed approach, again.

Henry Spencer: Those who don't understand Unix are doomed to reimplement it, poorly.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

sylvandb Pelican case, water cooled, external radiator (202 comments)

Somebody mentioned a pelican case. That (or similar eg NEMA 4 or 4x) is a good start. But if you cannot get the heat out of the case it doesn't take much power to cook a PC even at -5C exterior temperature and at 30C it takes very little added power.

It sounds like you are talking hundreds of watts. So you need to make it entirely liquid cooled. This means everything that would normally have a fan -- processor, video card, chipset, and power supply. In addition you will likely need a fan in the enclosure to prevent hot spots, and if that isn't enough you'll need to liquid cool those hot spots.

At this point you should be thinking about submerging all the electronics in an oil tank and circulating the oil thru the radiator as your coolant. (Use light mineral oil, because it will get thick at -5C and you may have to heat it so it will flow thru the lines!) Mineral oil submersion will also protect the electronics against condensation.

The radiator will need to be outside the pelican case. It will most likely need a fan at 30C, so you should use an automotive or similar fan with a proper temperature rating range. Also mount the coolant reservoir externally so you can check the level and fill without opening the enclosure.

If not mineral oil, the cooling system will need to be filled with something to provide freeze protection below your lowest low temperature. (Antifreeze, various alcohols, sugar water, etc.)

The pump will likely need to be controlled to run very slowly when temperatures are cold. But -5C should be okay for everything except perhaps fans and mechanical hard disk (so use SSD). For a less power hungry PC or colder temperatures you might need to insulate the case. If the PC must start when cold -5C is probably okay but you may need to provide auxiliary heating to warm it up to maybe 10C before powering the PC (almost certainly required if using mineral oil or at temperatures colder than -40C, but perhaps at -10C or even at -5C depending on your equipment). You can heat the air in the enclosure but heating the liquid in the cooling system is more efficient if it will thermosiphon within the enclosure. You don't want to pump coolant thru the radiator while trying to heat it.

Mount the equipment without penetrating the case. Keep all electric stuff up as high as possible off the bottom of the case. Condensation or leaks will puddle at the bottom and you want to keep the gear out of that puddle.

Make the cooling, power and connectivity lines come out the bottom of the case (to prevent puddles from slowly seeping in) thru liquid-tite cable glands (to keep out bugs and lightly pressured water). A drop tube around the exit (or each exit) will help protect against high pressure water jets except for a direct stream into the end of the tube. You might also like a valve in the bottom of the case. You can open the valve and if liquid runs out you need to take down and service the system. Do not make any other case penetrations.

about 3 months ago

The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

sylvandb Re:Amusing (350 comments)

I find it amusing how people continuously claim to "know" what is and isn't possible based on our infinitesimally short stint into the sciences.


When I see articles like this, and especially with a "[likely] always will be" clincher I like to imagine how the exact same tone could be (and often was) applied prior to previous breakthru advances. Such as traveling several times faster than a horse could run. (Breathing would be impossible at such speeds!) Such as heavier than air flight. (A bird can fly because its body is optimized for flight but no matter what heavier substance you add to the body of a man it only makes him heavier and thus less able to fly.) Such as supersonic flight. (The "sound barrier" isn't called that for nothing!) and etcetera.

Until we really are omniscient any claim which depends on "we didn't know then but now we know" just shows the laughable hubris of the claimant.

about 3 months ago

End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

sylvandb Re:And yet IBM soldiers on... (156 comments)

The PowerPC line, They were doing good until the Gigahertz range was common in Intel, Power PC was still in MHZ. Intel started to make much faster chips and PowerPC couldn't get caught up.

of course PowerPC was RISC and Intel CPUs were CISC.

Yet that makes what happened even more strange. A long touted advantage of RISC was that because of its simplicity it could be clocked so much faster than CISC that doing less per instruction would still be faster net throughput. Yet what happened was that CISC (in the hands of Intel) could and did do and even outdo all the optimizations of RISC, including clock speed.

Now ARM has been making hay with a new RISC advantage, power efficiency. We'll see...

about 4 months ago

What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?

sylvandb Re:Sit and watch my automated scripts and read (228 comments)


Then as you monitor the automation you improve the scripts and your active involvement lessens over time, leaving more time for other things.

Maybe automate other parts of your job?

Self-improvement (training, education, experimentation, etc)?

Being available to consult or assist others, improving your "team player" metric?

Sell your ideas for automation, demonstrate the prototype (before it is perfected, of course)?

Entertainment? (Anything so long as it doesn't get you fired, which in a good company should be primarily based on job performance which is already covered, right?)

Just do it already...

about 6 months ago

US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

sylvandb Re:What about my rights? (172 comments)

Never said all exchanges. Nice of you to put words in my mouth to build a strawman and shoot it down.

Some exchanges were. Maybe some still are.

Fractional-reserve banking is the practice whereby a bank holds reserves (to satisfy demands for withdrawals) that are less than the amount of its customers' deposits.

from wikipedia seems like a good definition for fractional reserve banking.

A bank is a financial intermediary that accepts deposits and channels those deposits into lending activities...

ibid seems fine also.

And those definitely meet what has happened in the world of BTC exchanges. Were they officially lending? Probably not. But as soon as they start dipping into "deposits" and later reimbursing those deposits, somebody is making money by borrowing the "excess" reserves.

MtGox specifically:

Financial institution? Check.
People deposit financial assets? Check.
Fractional reserves? Check.
Lending of those assets? Check.

Sure sounds like it meets at least one public definition of fractional reserve banking.

about 6 months ago

US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

sylvandb Re:What about my rights? (172 comments)

I said "operate" and "will fail eventually." I did not say "legitimate" and neither did the original statement. I do not know how you define legitimate, and frankly don't care about your addition of an illegitimate qualifier. The original request said the system did not allow fractional reserve, and you cannot believe that in light of the evidence that fractional reserve did exist.

MtGox was operating with a fractional reserve for some time. Either intentionally (criminal) or not (negligent).

Many other BTC exchanges have been in similar state. Most have failed. As per my original, I expect them to fail. One, I don't recall the name, has either repaid or is close to final repayment bringing reserves back to 100%. That is a failure of fractional reserve I appreciate.

There is at least one bitcoin "bank" currently offering to pay interest on bitcoin deposits. I don't believe they are any more legitimate than MtGox or any other failed/failing fractional reserve business.

about 6 months ago

US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

sylvandb Re:What about my rights? (172 comments)

You can't use bitcoin for fractional reserve banking; the system itself doesn't support it. Legislation banning fractional reserve banking in BTC is like legislation banning the sun from rising in the west.

You could say the same about gold or any commodity currency.

And most definitely gold and bitcoin have both been used in fractional reserve situations.

Any system where you can take a deposit and issue a receipt can be operated as fractional reserve. Without the ability to print money on demand it will fail eventually. But eventually might be a long way off, and in the meantime that fractional reserve is very profitable and that provides all the necessary incentive.

I still claim there is no need for regulation specific to bitcoin (or gold). If you promise to deliver my X units of anything and fail to do so, you are guilty of at least breach of contract and quite possibly fraud or even theft.

about 6 months ago

US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

sylvandb Re:How to regulate something that is unregulateabl (172 comments)

Most stores "taking" cryptocurrency are not actually taking it. Their payment processor is taking the crypto payment and converting it for the store.

Similar to someone who sells on ebay and takes paypal. You can pay with a credit card, but the seller is not taking a credit card payment. The seller is not bound by any of the credit card regulations, instead the payment processor (paypal) is bound by them, and the seller is bound by paypal's user agreement.

about 6 months ago

New Raspberry Pi Model B+

sylvandb Re:Micro SD (202 comments)

Can get 'short' micro-SD to SD adapters that barely protrude. I use them with the R-Pi, Chromebook, MacBook, and several other devices which do not need a full-length SD.

FYI the micro-SD goes in the side so is not removable while the adapter is plugged in.

about 7 months ago

Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

sylvandb Re:syntax (132 comments)

rubbish. ...if you took any language and converted it to a set of machine-readable numbers, they'd all look the same. The difference is that you want something humans can understand. Perl manages this - _but_ you have to take the time to learn what those symbols mean. In more wordy languages, you get the understanding from the English names they use instead. The trouble with that is that many people read the English words and assume they fully know what they mean, when they don't necessarily do.

Rubbish is a great word.

Your squiggles idea has been thought, tested and practically failed decades ago.

APL much?

Learn the squiggles


about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

sylvandb Re:Why do distros so often change the way they ini (533 comments)

Billy, three suggestions:

Quit calling it "inet" when you mean "init".

None of what you mention has anything to do with inet or init and so my laptops have done very well in your scenarios using the traditional sysvinit and now with upstart.

If you want to sell systemd, figure out what it does that was not done before, not just what was not done before by init.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

sylvandb Re:Privilege to start a service (533 comments)

And no, Linus, adding a printer is not "an everyday task."

You don't know college. A student is likely to be close to five different printers in a day.

And if you are "close to five different printers in a day" why would you want to add them to your system? There is no need to "add" a printer in order to print to it. The only reason to "add" a printer is if you regularly print to the same one.

Thinking you need to "add" every printer near you is a broken mindset spawned by Windows.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

sylvandb Re:No... (533 comments)

Can you help me out here? I would love to know what the crux of this little flamewar that's going on around here actually is. Near as I can tell:

1) init is pretty much just a bunch of shell scripts that are used to start & stop services. It, IMHO, qualifies as an unmitigated hack
2) systemd is... what? Something sensible that at least attempts to start & stop services in a standard way?

I mean, forgive me, but it seems that this is a vast improvement. Who wants a system that's basically a collection of scripts? That just seems so fragile and un-documentable.


I really seems to me that getting rid of that horrible kludge of shellscripts and moving towards a standardised and sensible startup process is a big step forwards in Linux land.

Those who don't know Unix are doomed to re-create it, poorly.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

sylvandb Re:No... (533 comments)

If you think sysv init is not broken, then you must not have been using unix systems in earnest.



"Sheesh" is right.

Funny how I've been "using unix systems in earnest," and Linux systems in particular for over 20 years, and never needed systemd to solve the problems you point out. That usage includes desktops, servers and laptops so I really don't know what impediment you and lennart suffer from that causes you such problems that you think systemd is the solution.

about 9 months ago

Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

sylvandb Re:I admire their spunk, but... (275 comments)

I think it would have been better to encourage inflation. In an inflationary system, currency essentially expires. The longer you hold it, the less value it holds. This is an excellent feature because it encourages the use of the currency, ... I would encourage Bitcoin developers to look at modern economics with a more critical eye. I think many people are unwisely discarding a lot of economic theory without really understanding it properly.

You are obviously the one who needs to "look at modern economics with a more critical eye" especially re. that thoroughly debunked view of inflation.

The view of inflation espoused by modern Keynesian economics is wrong and benefits primarily the issuers of money and those nearest to them. Inflation hurts everybody else.

If all you see are the economic papers supporting your view of inflation, you need to broaden your horizons -- try a different school.

about 10 months ago


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