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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

udippel Re:Waning! (249 comments)

The next phase was replacing Office, and it came with a huge backlash. The chief complaints where not so much about OpenOffice funcionality (along with some "it's *UGLY*!"), but about compatibility with MS generated documents. As of yet, it has been impossible to take MSOffice away from the "higher-ups", as any single minor UI or functionality change is bitched about as if it was a sign of the Apocalypse.

Though definitely not an easy change, it can be done in small steps and with minimal disruption. YMMV, mostly on how dependent you are on MsOffice...

The first, compatibility, is still correct; and will never go away for technical reasons not to be discussed here.
The second, 'higher-ups' are the usual bore. They tend to feel threatened when a. they'd have to confess to a lack of ability, publicly, b. consider themselves to be too important to relearn a little bit. (My boss already yells when the attachment to a mail opened with Outlook fails to pop up on the correct one of his two monitors.)
Third, you missed this one, the last straw is always the fact, that these people can't install their own software any longer. They bring their IrfanView.exe from home, and it doesn't do at all what they think it should do.

about two weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

udippel Re:... and back again. (249 comments)

I guess, this is has made the sound of 'whoosh' over the mods' heads!
Because, if it was serious, you'd be a fool. Or someone who made some make, make install, etc. many years ago.

Update is much easier, and including all applications, contrary to MS Windows.
You don't have to restart and wait for 1,2,3,...% before you can actually use your system again.
You get all the updates in a single go (especially fresh Windows installs sometime take hours, and 3-4 reboots and reissues of the commands, until no further updates are popping up.

about two weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

udippel Re:... and back again. (249 comments)

"we Linux folks"? Who?
My experiences are different. usually I'm told 'how nice!', but what's missing is MS Office. 'Missing', of course. sorry. And when one was told by her publisher, that it 'would have to be' TeamViewer (because that's what the publisher knows), it was the - I agree - usual problem.
But I hate to see you calling it 'Desktop experience'!

Reminds me of the old and flogged into a dead state, horse; the old 'Tin Lizzy'. Imagine someone had offered to spraypaint her into a livid green! Everyone would be complaining until today, that 'A Tin Lizzy has to come in any colour, as long as it is black'.

MS Office must be sooo much better than OO/LO (my last 15 years prove it is not), and Teamviewer must be soo much better than, e.g. ssh/sftp (my last 15 years prove it is not). But, I concede, both are what Dick, Tom and Harry have as idea in their simpleton minds, when the topics 'Office Suite' or 'remote access' pop up.

about two weeks ago
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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

udippel Re:Absolutely correct; but what's the reason? (203 comments)

Second this! - When I started in academia, 1980, there were exactly 2 journals in our/my field worth reading. And, yes, they were worth reading; because the articles contained would often summarize the work of complete teams, mostly achieved over years of work. And nobody would be admonished for 'insufficient' publications. On the other hand, had someone at the age of 35 in those days told us, that she'd been 'doing some 135 peer-reviewed journal articles', we would have her failed the job interview. We would have said "that's the least we're interested in".
Few years ago, someone popping up in the interview and saying exactly that was set on a tenure-track professorship.
And today, there are around 70 journals in our/my field. And most articles are lousy enough to wipe one's dirty shoes. But i don't blame the authors. I blame the science community overall not to rebuke the bean counters, the MBAs, the admin people, when those became jealous, and insecure, having to somehow evaluate the 'return' of our work. We ought to have offered them a cold shower instead by pointing out that our work usually does not come in tangible returns. But in intellectual returns; something in the realms that those people were lacking in.

about two weeks ago
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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

udippel Re:Absolutely correct; but what's the reason? (203 comments)

I agree mostly, by the way, to what you say.

Alas, how to distinguish? Wasn't - and isn't still? - Quantum Theory esoteric? I guess, for the general public, for the layperson, it is usually considered as such. Is it for science? I'm sure you'll agree that it is not. Archaeology? Sumerian clay pots? No, I'm no archaeologist. Though I would always raise my hand for the usefulness of continuing unearthing the relics of former, ancient, civilizations. Einstein, anyone?
Or, maybe closer to /., von Neumann. What has he contributed? Years of teaching quantum science in the golden days of Berlin, before the Nazis came in, doing some math, doing some work in cryptography, in computer science. He wouldn't have made it, probably, in the pale copy that science has become in our days. Wittgenstein, he's even worse. In so-called modern terms, at least. One basic book, few articles. He'd be on the dole!

When you take money, you owe something in return.

Though we might agree here, I am afraid, we might not on its interpretation. What is 'return'? Something with an equivalent value in US$? Regular publications? Books? In a post-materialist society one tends to overlook non-tangible returns. In my current position, I have no teaching allocation, any yet I volunteer and enjoy it some hours per week, since it is possible within my duties for the relatively generous salary that the tax payer affords for me. Which is, by the way, surely more valuable in my case than forcing me to publish yet another article of no scientific relevance based on currently meager results.
Meaning, that I'm doing the best that I can, returning the most that I can, without necessarily tangible returns. And when I have material to publish, I'll do so. Which brings us back to trust. The public is entitled to 'something in return', but in order to get results that are beyond staple diet, the public must trust us, that we don't pilfer away their money in jewelry, furniture, nor in efforts to prove creationism.
I am afraid, there is more money available for the latter than for the analysis of dying spoken languages, by the way.

about two weeks ago
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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

udippel Re:evolution (203 comments)

Dear-o-dear-o-dear ...
Billions. Billions.
Not millions, no, not millions. And 4000-6000 years are right out of question.

about two weeks ago
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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

udippel Absolutely correct; but what's the reason? (203 comments)

This may sound strange, but it is a lack of trust.
In the old days, which were not always good, a brilliant scientist/academician/professor would be granted tax payers' monies to pursue her dreams in science, at least as far as basic funding was concerned; that is not including expensive apparatuses.
But then we, in the academic world, allowed the bean counters to take over. And they started to ask for ROI, at least in the number of patents, marketability, etc. Additionally, short funding terms made it into our world. 2 years, 3 years. Where I work, the latter is already the exemption. Therefore, as written by Lefkowitz, yes, we have to have results before we can ask for funding. Not only because the sponsors want to be on the safe side (of getting a return), but also not to embarrass ourselves by not being able to come up with what was envisaged. In the place were I used to be, the latter would give you a blacklisting.

Or, the other way round, if the public is not willing to trust us, but wants us to produce off-the-shelf academic results (numbers of publications included; publications that might take away from our genuine research time), that's what the public gets.

I only wished that the public was cognizant of this interdependence.
 

about two weeks ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

udippel Re:For some it was just a plain black screen (304 comments)

No astroturfing, please! ;-)

For me the free wine is doing just fine. sudo apt-get install wine; that is. For MS Office 2007, at least. And who needs newer?

about a month ago
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Processors and the Limits of Physics

udippel Re:This seems like a good time to meniton these (168 comments)

Yep, 'they' do. Where 'they' includes me. I was afraid that's what you'd thought; and that's fundamentally wrong. Propagation delay and processing time doesn't render a circuit asynchronous.
Following your logic, any circuit would be asynchronous, if only on the propagation delay induced by any non-infinitely short wire. Then we'd say that the whole world is asynchronous; and that'd be it. When we use these terms, however, it is common understanding that a synchronous circuit is 'guided', clocked, by a central clocking device. And all sub-circuits are controlled by that same device. Likewise, an asynchronous circuit is controlled by the actual occurrence of the signal, without a predefined time frame. Respectively by a pre-cursor (header) in the signal path.
One could as well focus on the number of signals: a synchronous circuit has a clock signal and payload signal(s), while the asynchronous circuit has only one signal: the payload. Eventually with a header.
 

about a month ago
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Processors and the Limits of Physics

udippel Re:can't cross chip in one clock. big deal. (168 comments)

Sure, throughput is what matters most for operations you can parallelize. However, as Amdahl's Law cruelly reminds us, there's always parts of the problem that remain serial, and they'll put an upper bound on performance. You can't parallelize the traversal of a linked list, no matter how hard you try. You have to invent new algorithms and programming techniques. (In the specific case of linked lists, there are other options that trade space for efficiency, such as skiplists.).

Not for forget, Amdahl's law is purely calculation; not speculation; like what Moore's law is. And you are right, certain items simply remain serial.

about a month ago
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Processors and the Limits of Physics

udippel Re:can't cross chip in one clock. big deal. (168 comments)

The best you AC know about is proverbs. An electrical engineer you are not, and neither a physicist. Your ideas on crosstalk and interference are basically vague.

about a month ago
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Processors and the Limits of Physics

udippel Re:This seems like a good time to meniton these (168 comments)

Every D-flip flop is an async circuit. W.

How's that then? Would you care to explain, please, what you mean?
My D-FFs here are totally synchronous: The D-input pops up at the output exactly with the rising clock edge + processing delay. And the latter is unavoidably indefinably.
.

about a month ago
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Processors and the Limits of Physics

udippel Is that really correct?? (168 comments)

Power use is proportional to the chip's operating voltage, and transistors simply cannot operate below a 200 milli-Volt level

Wow. To me it is like P~U^2. So proportional, but not linear.
And where would that 200 mV level come from? In my understanding it depends very much on the semiconductor used.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

udippel Re:Piheads are like the guy with a Hammer... (427 comments)

Seconded!

I've been running a Soekris Net48-something for the last 10 years. Porfect, with m0n0wall. In 2014, however, 100 Mbps and a Geode 486 *are* getting long in the tooth.

All those cheapo single-NIC versions cannot convince me; like the original WRT54.

Also, I can't make out why a dual- oder quad-ARM should cost a couple of hundred bucks? They come with design, casing, 3G, touchscreen, batteries, and stuff at below 100 as mobile phones.

about a month and a half ago
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Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology

udippel Actually, it does not 'turn out'! (275 comments)

Hey, this is not news! Of course, if you want to absorb waves with dampening material, you'd have to have a depth of the material of around a quarter of the wave length. This is know in acoustics as well as RF engineering.
So the news would be that some parties are developing radar systems with combined low- and high frequency excitation.

about a month and a half ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

udippel Re:What?!? (928 comments)

No rights were violated unless Southwest Airlines recently became government owned.

Also observe that nobody stopped the man in question from tweeting anything, it's just that the airline after reading the tweet decided it didn't want to transport this person. And that is fully legal.

4?? Insightful?? Who's the mods who are doing stuff like that; stuff that irritates?
Megol could be an employee (of SWA); a lawyer he probably isn't. Don't know about US law, but where I reside, this is not the case. Once the airline takes the booking, it also takes an obligation to transport you. (I really can't believe that the law in the land of the free would be that free!)
Megol has an ID that could be set up for astroturfing. But the 3+ mods who mod this 'Insightful'? Which allowances helped them to cast common sense aside?

about 2 months ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

I *think* you got the message: I am worried about the future bug-free, perfect, software.
The one that gets via Internet -of-things the number, age, gender, medical record of the passengers in another car/bus, to minimize casualties. What a brave new world, when we start to steer vehicles in problematic situations into a state of minimal loss to society.

about 2 months ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

I imagine it'd be program to slam on the breaks and stop, minimizing the damage. Don't give me that bullshit about swerving to the side. In that case it's program to kill whoever is in violation of it's right-of-way.

Did you get my argument? Minimizing whose damage??

Really, you think that the car is going to have some sort of morality judgement function. No.

Yes, it will. Not that I would like that, but it will have to be mandated. Imagine a car manufacturer who does not build in such a device! The hell will be sued out of him, for not programming a function minimizing human casualties. Because it becomes possible with this type of technology.

about 2 months ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

It's a numbers game, and the very rare cases you are excessively concerned about do not even come into consideration.

It's a numbers game, you write, and further up, to consider own safety first. I am not clear which you actually want to reason about. If it is just 'my survival first', a single passenger would be saved to the detriment of a group?
How does this come across? The car you are sitting in deliberately runs down 5 people to save you? So, in that logic, a pedestrian, e.g., is less valued than someone in a car?

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Which language for a beginner's course Procedural Programming for engineers?

udippel udippel writes  |  about 2 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "I have been tasked to develop a beginner's course titled 'Procedural Programming' for the faculty of engineering. The 'desired' language is C. While I see many reasons for everyone to know this language, I still feel — and know from earlier experience teaching it — that its imperative character down to the gory details (data types, declaration, lack of strings, difficult syntax, etc.) tends to get in the way of actually drilling down into the basic concepts of procedural (functional) programming.
I for one imagine that Python or even xxsh can significantly simplify the 'syntax hurdle' and instead offer much more space for the procedural aspects. How do you perceive these thoughts; can you provide arguments for or against C, respectively suggest another language?"
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Free alternatives for a Forefront Authentication ?

udippel udippel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "Working in a university, to me, it looks as if recently our bean-counters were convinced by some Microsoft-Sales-Drone that Forefront would finally be the answer to their prayers.
Since then, there is no Internet access to any student or staff, if not logged on to a Microsoft Domain of our institution, with NTLMv2, etc., blabla. Meaning, that we, the non-Microsofties, would not get any more software, be it Ubuntu, *BSD, or MAC. But even the users of Windows would not get updates or packages for, e.g. LaTex or R.
So what we have thought of, is to propose to the management a sensible alternative. We do understand the need to authenticate users one way or another; there are just too many crooks and free-riders around. Now my question to the crowd: What do you suggest to propose in order to authenticate users, but with a cross-platform authentication method? Radius, Kerberos, or ??. My question: How do the people of the Slashdot-community solve the problem of authenticating users across platforms? And not relying on plaintext, simple Myplace123-passwords?"
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FreeBSD trivial ROOT, first on 6.X, now on 7.X

udippel udippel writes  |  about 5 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "The Register made some headlines [theregister.co.uk] first, scary. There is a video [vimeo.com] that demos how to compile a small program; or upload it to your unprivileged shell, or exploit some scripting on a web server to get some shell, for example the one needed to send out mail, and off you go. Since it is the exploit of a race condition, the whole system could as well crash or hang. In its article, The Register still says "Versions 7.1 and and beyond are not vulnerable". Just one day later, the author uploaded another video [vimeo.com], demonstrating the whole process another time, this time for FreeBSD 7.2.
Scary. I start to question FOSS, and wonder, how few cold eyes have reviewed this code, overlooking a NULL-dereference plus a race condition.
Icing on the cake: Przemyslaw Frasunek, who discovered the misery, duly informed FreeBSD on August 29th; but his message, so the FreeBSD guys, "got lost in the slew".
Is this the kind of OS we will gladly recommend for security-related applications?"

Link to Original Source
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FreeBSD trivial ROOT, first on 6.X, now on 7.X, to

udippel udippel writes  |  about 5 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "The Register made some headlines first, scary. There is a video video that demos how to compile a small program; or upload it to your unprivileged shell, or exploit some scripting on a web server to get some shell, for example the one needed to send out mail, and off you go. Since it is the exploit of a race condition, the whole system could as well crash or hang. In the article, The register still says "Versions 7.1 and and beyond are not vulnerable". Just one day later, the author uploaded another video, demonstrating the whole process another time, this time for FreeBSD 7.2."
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Bio-Fuel for Jet(pod) from waste cooking oil

udippel udippel writes  |  more than 6 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "Some Boffins claim to have a process to turn waste palm-based cooking oil into bio-fuel to energise small aircraft of the type Jetpod. According to the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) has developed the new jet-fuel based on one of the major export commodities of Malaysia, palm oil, during the last 6 years. Avcen will try the new fuel within 3 months time. The production time from waste coking oil to jet-fuel takes less than 30 minutes, confirms the Vice-Chancellor of Uniten, Dr. Mashkuri. The Jetpod will be used as executive jet, military support aircraft, courier and air ambulance. It is estimated that more than two billion litres of palm-based vegetable cooking oil is consumed annually in Malaysia and the high volume is usually discarded into rivers, which eventually leads to environmental pollution and disruption in the eco-system. The biodiesel developed is said to fulfill the standard of the United States' National Biodiesel Board. "Uniten knows how to mass-produce the oil using the microwave technology and this is the technology we are interested in" said the inventor of the Jetpod

Sounds almost too good: fry your dinner and then pour the waste oil into your fly-machine for the way home, where you can take a swim in unpolluted waters in front of your home."
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "DELL has made up his / their minds: It is going to be Ubuntu, tells us The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/01/dell_linux _lives/ Nothing much to be added, except that I hope it will come out a great success; for Ubuntu as well as DELL. Hey, I also hope that the boxes then will be delivered with 100% Linux-kernel compatible hardware; able to run other distros just as well. And I wonder how DELL is going to sort the support nightmare that IMHO will creep up."
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The-Sun-is-shining-on-the-world-of-GPL (562132) writes "SUN implies the coming of a GPLv3-ed OpenSolaris. So reports eWEEK.
That can have wide implications in the world of Free Software. And in the world of Open Software as well.
Especially if Linus keeps insisting on 'hot air': http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/16/ 1446258
Will Paul Murphy http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/31/018 218 be proven correct at the end of 2007 ?

"Sun Microsystems is set to license OpenSolaris under the upcoming GNU General Public License Version 3 in addition to the existing Common Development and Distribution License, sources close to the company have told eWEEK.
OpenSolaris currently is licensed only under Sun's CDDL, but company executives have previously floated the idea of a dual license with GPLv3.
Sources told eWEEK that this is very likely to happen after the release of that version of the GPL, which currently is being rewritten and is expected to be made final soon."

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2084284,00.as p"
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Get-me-one-of-those-please-noooot ! (562132) writes "A bad apple — "You purchased a bad apple in the wrong country — bad luck for you !"
We have many fanboys of Apple and many fans of its services. Though, this might have more to do with being in the US and strict consumer satisfaction tradition. Elsewhere, they don't seem to take things so customer-friendly. Beware buying a rotten Apple in South-East-Asia ! You might as well get the confirmation from Apple that your machine has a 'manufacturing defect' and that they would undertake some effort to repair it — during the warranty period, that is. If this does not lead to a functional system, you've gambled — and lost.
Thus we can read from a very happy customer here: http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/61154"
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "Huh, for you to know. You'll reject this probably as usual; and actually, the honour to submit this news should be given to a developer. But at least, I'll do my duties as slashdot reader and so you may do yours and pull the flush. As usual."

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