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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

theVarangian Re:Great (151 comments)

Oh, you want to be pedantic? Let's be pedantic, then!

Scandinavian languages don't have "umlauts". "Umlaut" is a concept from German, where vowels are modified into different forms and marked with an umlaut mark. Other languages, however, just borrow these typographical forms to represent vowels with similar sounds. However, while German considers the vowels a and ä to be variations on the same letter, Scandinavian languages consider these to be separate letters entirely, and place them differently in alphabetical orderings.

Thus, there is no "umlaut" in Eyjafjallajökull, there is merely an "ö" rather than an "o".

In Icelandic 'o' and 'ö' are fairly subtle variations on the same sound, the difference betwee 'o' and 'ö' is only a matter of moving your tongue about 4-5mm forward. Icelandic is near near-isomorphic with with Ancient Norse to the point where some Icelanders can actually stumble their way through inscriptions transcribed into modern alphabet from rune stones over a thousand years old and many can read 12-13th century manuscripts similarly transcribed to modern alphabet pretty clearly, in fact teenagers in Iceland are sometimes required to read portions of sagas in the original medieval Icelandic in secondary school. You can consider Icelandic as something akin to a modern dialect of Ancient Norse whereas the modern Scandinavian languages on the other hand have evolved very far from the original Ancient Norse. The difference is about the same as between modern English and the language spoken in the UK in the 10-13 century. Come to think of it an Icelander would probably have much better luck reading early medieval English than a modern English person. Try getting a Norwegian, Swede or Dane to read a 13th century Icelandic saga manuscript and you'd not have much luck either.

about two weeks ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

theVarangian Re:Great (151 comments)

I'm leaving for Tokyo later this month. At least is easier to pronounce than Eyjafjallajokull.

Eyjafjallajökull let's not forget the umlaut...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Postgres On Par With Oracle?

theVarangian Re:The sorts of things you get (372 comments)

Oracle's complexity and vendor lock-in is a minus to the extent that if there is *any* other way to solve the problem, including using MS-SQL, Sybase, or even DB2, use the alternative.

My employer has been using AIX for stability reasons for a long time (since the very early 90s). At the moment neither MySQL nor Postgres guarantee AIX ODBC driver support. Only DB2 (obviously), Oracle and Sybase (IIRC) do that so there you are, another reason on to keep dealing with these companies. Whether you use MS-SQL, Sybase, or even DB2 is really irrelevant, they all force a degree of vendor locking, they are expensive and come to think of it, if you want support, MySQL is merely somewhat less expensive than the rest. I will agree that Oracle's pricing is armed robbery but they are not alone. I had a one third party driver vendor ask more money for a MySQL ODBC driver license for AIX (that allowed us to connect to one MySQL instance) than it cost to get a MySQL enterprise license. It was cheaper to migrate to DB2.

1 year,16 days
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Edward Snowden Leaves Hong Kong

theVarangian Re:BBC and NYT confirm this news (536 comments)

Others speculate that he's only going to Moscow in transit to Iceland (which has offered him asylum) or some other place.

AFAIK Iceland has not offered him asylum. The Icelanders just changed to a fiercely right wing government which has already refused to consider asylum unless Snowden actually lands in Reykjavik and hands in an asylum request in person. That does not exactly indicate much enthusiasm for pissing off Obama and the US Republicans. I'd say Snowden is unlikely to receive much sympathy with the current Icelandic Govt. unless the Icelandic population gets together and to forces them to reconsider by protesting or gathering enough names on a petition. Given the size of the country and the close knit nature of Icelandic society it is actually surprisingly easy to get up to 25-30% of the electorate to sign such a petition if you can stir up enough support.

about a year ago
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How often do friends/family call you for tech support?

theVarangian Re:Never (255 comments)

I totally agree. My father decided to get a iMac. I thought great then I have to keep explaining, finding software and the NAS never worked correctly ! Personally I'm grateful after 7 long years to get him back on Windows 7.

Sounds like the issue may have been with the support person rather than OS X. I've seen a number of Windows people who just never manage to get past the fact that OS X simply doesn't behave like Windows.

When I switched from Windows to Mac - back in 2003 - I initially ran into a number of minor but irritating problems. Eventually a Mac-using friend advised me "Stop thinking about how something would work in Windows, or where you'd find some function in Windows. Think about how it should work, and look there - 90% of the time that will be the correct location."

He was right.

Ditto, a lot of the complaints I get about OS X boil down to it not working like Windows, Gnome, KDE, (name your poison).... The same goes for Gnome 3 haters, Gnome 3 is different, if you want Gnome 2 back get one of the numerous forks and move on. Just stop bothering the rest of us with long rants about how Gnome 3 isn't like Gnome 2.

about a year ago
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How often do friends/family call you for tech support?

theVarangian Re:Never (255 comments)

Moving the family to OSX however did. That was 3 years ago and there has not been a single tech support issue since then.

The question is whether this is because they have no problems, or because they're reluctant to call the person who inflicted OSX on them.

It's OS X not OSX, if you are going to troll this place with juvenile flaimbait, at least try to get your ancronyms right.

about a year ago
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BlackBerry CEO: Tablet Market Is Dying

theVarangian Re:I agree (564 comments)

Eh, I'm the complete opposite. My Nexus 7 has almost completely replaced my laptop and phone (Galaxy Nexus) in my home for "general" usage (web browsing, emailing, e-reading, and watching videos). Hell, I only use a laptop at home for gaming and programming now.

I mostly use my iPad for note taking at work, e-mail, games, movies and several hundred e-books and a pile of photos. A tablet won't replace my laptop any time soon. The virtual keyboards are no good for typing, there are no really good office suites, no proper image processing apps, and try coding on a tablet... yeah right...

about a year ago
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Icelandic Pirate Party Wins 3 seats In Parliament

theVarangian Re:EU looses. Iceland wins. (92 comments)

The WWI Western front is the point of Europe? That's what you said just then.

Yes, WWI and the Sequel WWII are some of the prime motivators behind the European Union. It has grown far beyond that but the people who originated the EU were partially motivated by the idea of preventing future wars by increasing economic integration to the point where war had become a sport that was to expensive to indulge in. and for what little it seems to be worth to conservative anti EU tossers these days, hundreds of thousands of those reasons that are buried in Flanders, and whom the GP spoke of, are British.

Where's Iceland fit into this?

Iceland exports in excess of 70% of it's manufactured goods to the EU. Iceland has enacted about 75-80% of the laws needed to join the EU and Icelandic politicians have proven them selves to be a bunch of incompetent nepotistic tosspots who cant keep the inflation graphs from looking like a set of sharks teeth. If you want to have a laugh compare the inflation graph for Iceland to that of Germany:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/iceland/inflation-cpi
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/germany/inflation-cpi

Notice how the German figure hovers between 0 and 5%, now compare it to the Icelandic graph. You would laugh even harder if you could see data from before 1989. Inflation in Iceland since 1944 fluctuated between ~3% to as high as 25-30% and occasionally topped 100%. In 1979, these wankers that make up the Icelandic political class, finally had to index-link loans to inflation to motivate capital owners to start loaning money. What that means is that if your loan carries 6% interest and there is 8% inflation you are effectively paying 14% interests. Now try to imagine what happens when inflation hits 20% and you will understand why Icelanders are so angry they are spitting acid. Joining the EU would force their brainless politicos to... well... behave. And additionally when you export 70% of your manufactured goods to the EU it's kind of dumb to want to have no say in how the EU's inner market evolves which makes me wonder why the British, who depend on the EU for 50% or so of their exports want to leave the EU. It's kind of like robbing yourself of the ability to influence how your country is begin governed by voluntarily relinquishing your right to vote.

about a year ago
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Israel Airport Security Allowed To Read Tourists' Email

theVarangian Re:Article has Anti-Semitic Purpose (438 comments)

To generate some sense of outrage against Israel and Jews for doing something that every other country on the planet does

Citation needed. What other counties demand access to tourists' e-mail?

North Korea?

about a year ago
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Fedora 19 Alpha Released

theVarangian Re:Probabilistic distro (83 comments)

That was awesome. But not until I read it.

Right, until then it sucked and was awesome simultaneously.

about a year ago
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Fedora 19 Alpha Released

theVarangian Re:Probabilistic distro (83 comments)

You will not know if it will erase your disk until you try to boot it.

It's more like:

If the display on your Fedora19 box is in sleep mode and you know that the Fedora 19 kernel panics once a day because of a poorly written kernel module you cannot know whether it OS has panicked until you wake the display. Until then all you can do is calculate the probability that the kernel has panicked as the sleep time of the display approaches 24 hours. Thus your Fedora 19 box is both in a state of kernel panic and running normally at the same time until you wake the display and 'fix its state'. The interesting thing is what happens if you try to cheat by pinging your Fedora 19 box from your laptop. Assuming you have a perfect network connection you can only tell whether the system is up or not, you cannot tell whether it's lack of response is due to a kernel panic or a segfault in the network daemon. You can only calculate the probability of the lack of response being due to a panic since, on your badly broken Fedora 19 box, panics happen more frequently than segfaults in inetd do. So you get closer to inferring the state of your Fedora 19 box but you cannot be entirely sure by simply pinging it, you need more information but not so much that you fix the state.

about a year ago
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Wikipedia Moved To MariaDB 5.5

theVarangian Re:Information (133 comments)

AIX? Here's a nickle son, go get yourself a real operating system!

Young man, I'll have you know that I was using UNIX long before Linux was a 115 kB compressed tarball on the funet.fi FTP server.

If you're that old, a nickle should seem like a lot of money!

**Sigh** I'd explain the concept of inflation to you but I don't have the time. I'm busy loading shotgun shells with rock salt so I'll be prepared for the next time Larry Ellison makes the mistake of stepping onto my lawn.

about a year ago
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Wikipedia Moved To MariaDB 5.5

theVarangian Re:Information (133 comments)

AIX? Here's a nickle son, go get yourself a real operating system!

Young man, I'll have you know that I was using UNIX long before Linux was a 115 kB compressed tarball on the funet.fi FTP server.

about a year ago
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Wikipedia Moved To MariaDB 5.5

theVarangian Re:But... But... Why? (133 comments)

"Oracle may screw MySQL".

Is there a reason for this other than ifs, buts and maybes?

One definition of madness is to try the same thing again and again and keep expecting different results. It's Oracle. You will get screwed.

Amen!

about a year ago
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Wikipedia Moved To MariaDB 5.5

theVarangian Re:Information (133 comments)

What statement? It looks like an ordinary article to me.

As a fork of a leading open source software system, it is notable for being led by its original developers and triggered by concerns over [the] direction [taken] by an acquiring commercial company Oracle.

It may only be an article but it says all that needs to be said. Oracle bought up MySQL and immediately dropped support for a range of systems that had previously been supported, probably in the hope it would drive scores of customers into the open arms of the Oracle sales team and their extortionate license prices. I now have to migrate several MySQL databases that previously lived a happy life on AIX 5 to something else and MariaDB is a welcome alternative because I'm sure as [Expletive deleted] not going to shell out thousands of $ for overpriced Oracle DBs with a pile of features that I don't need.

about a year ago
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UK Gov To Investigate 'Aggressive' In-app Purchases

theVarangian Re:Your kid, spending your money . . . (152 comments)

Your kid, spending your money . . . . . . should not be the government's problem.

Ah, parents these days . . . and their children . . . most of the time they're somebody else's problem.

Why should predatory business practices be allowed behavior by default and the burden of guarding against them be placed on the consumer? Should real-estate fraud be allowed and should the onus of guarding against it be placed on the consumer? It's kind of convenient to have a police force who sees to it that the occurrence of real-estate fraud is minimized, even hard core free market fanatics admit that much. So if we can do something to crack down on people who have turned exploiting the economic naivete of children into a business model then we should do it. Suckering kids and teens into buying toys and other junk is one thing but some of these in-app game purchases are bordering on downright fraud.

about a year ago
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Google Fiber: Why Traditional ISPs Are Officially On Notice

theVarangian Re:Is this a troll? (408 comments)

Opec anyone? You know, the gas station you buy at doesn't make anything off the gas, right? I do agree on the gov't monopolies suck though. It's really just the gov't paying for the infrastructure and then handing it over to a private citizen for free. If we're gonna have socialism just keep is social. Internet is so useful and essential to better living it should be a public utility. Hell, there was just a story on cnn about how the worst crop yields of the last 10 years are better than the best of the last 50; and it was partially attributed to sharing better farming techniques. Communication is good.

Whether or not govt. 'monopolies' suck depends on what you mean by government monopoly. Is it the role of government to run an ISP? I'd say no unless it is to provide coverage to areas where private companies can't be bothered. Infrastructure is a different topic. Where I live we used to have a what you Yanks would call a 'socialist' ISP run by the govt. and this same ISP also owned and ran the infrastructure. They ended up getting caught using the pricing for access to their network infrastructure to make life hard for competitors. Eventually this company was split up into an ISP part that was privatised and the infrastructure part that is still owned by the government and municipalities and it is now relatively easy for small time ISPs to set up shop and compete with the bigger boys. The lesson is that the owner of infrastructure should have no economic ties to those that use it or you'll quickly start to see anti-competitive behaviour unless multiple competing infrastructure companies build their own duplicateinfrastructure which is wasteful and does not entirely solve the problem of anti-competitive activity. I'm fine with the current system we have here where governmnent builds infrastructure and ensures that everybody has truly equal access to it.

about a year ago
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Windows 8 Killing PC Sales

theVarangian Re:My theory (1010 comments)

Stripes? Stripes!!! We don't need no stinking stripes. We need FLAMES!!!! http://blog.cardomain.com/2008/10/17/pro-street-pi-1/ ...and a blower...

Pffft... Stripes? Flames? I covered my PC box with that newfangled paper thin screen material. Now I have ANIMATED flames, or anything else I want (including topless dancers). I even installed cameras in the PC box and now, when I leave the apartment, the computer goes into adaptive camouflage mode and melds into the furniture rendering it invisible to burglars. If they still find it, my fallback is a weapons grade laser. Mind you... that thing still has a few bugs, it fried the neighbours cat as it walked past the living-room window the other day.

about a year ago
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New Thunderbolt Revision Features 20 Gbps Throughput, 4K Video Support

theVarangian Re:Thunderbolt devices (301 comments)

mechanical disks go the way of the dodo

Lol, pfft. I was shopping recently in Akihabara. Just to pick a random example, in one shop the biggest available SSD was 256MB. The biggest real disk was 3TB.

256 *megabytes*? Are you kidding me?

SSD isn't going to take over from real disks unless and until they can make it bigger AND cheaper, and since real disks keep getting bigger, that doesn't look likely to happen any time soon.

Really? I've had SSDs in my machines for the last 3 years and I've never cast a nostalgic backward glance. My current laptop drive is a 480Gb SSD and I'm not going back to mechanical any time soon. If you really think mechanical disks are going to trump SSDs you should get together with the people that told me 15-20 years ago that digital photography would never push film cameras off the stage. I dunno about what pros have done in terms of digital vs film cameras but It's been a loooooooooooooooooooong time since I last saw a person with a film camera.

(not shedding any tears)

Whilst you're welcome to your own opinions, I personally won't be storing anything of any importance on an SSD until not only are they a viable option cost-wise cf. real disks, but also there's some hope of recovering data off them when they fail. Real disks are well-understood in terms of data-recovery, whereas all SSDs store data in extremely-proprietary ways.

Ditto :-) If data recovery after a catastrophic hard drive failure is your preferred backup strategy they you have a point. Myself I do regular backups to external storage so It's not an issue for me.

about a year ago

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