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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

udippel Re:Is that really new? I don't think so! (418 comments)

Hi, its me again, it bugged me too much to let it slip. 2007, so, yes, bloody repeats and lousy editing. Dr. Google gives you a whole list at 'TGV speed'; for example this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

Now don't come and tell me 'Maglev' was different. On the contrary, without rails, it ought to go even faster. Plus, Maglev uses by definition more energy. Nothing against the Japanese here, but this is no more than an academic achievement. What's the point of using a system that consumes more energy for a lesser speed?

Oh, and don't come to me with the reduction of noise by avoiding the noise of the rails on a track. This has been debunked in the early 1980, when it was shown that the rolling of wheels on rails actually is the main noise component, but only for low speeds, beyond 180 or 250 km/h it is the displacement of air that produces the higher noise components.

I can only take guesses why the Japanese still try: to avoid the almost completely stonewalled intellectual property around the technological leader, the TGV. German Rail had tried to do exactly that: work around the patents used for the French TGV, at the loss of more than 100 lives at Eschede. I'll surely leave out the gory and sad details of that, however. Promised!

about a week ago
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Entrepreneur Injects Bitcoin Wallets Into Hands

udippel Re:2mm by 12mm (77 comments)

Expert? Are you? Fine, then. Can you specify, what 'relative' bio-compatible is supposed to mean, please?

about a week ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

udippel Is that really new? I don't think so! (418 comments)

Though I am too lazy and have better fish to fry in my spare time than running after questionable /.-eds: I do quite well remember having watched a clip of a French TGV running just above 500 km/h some three to four years ago.
So what's the heck here? I dunno. But we are on /., and 'bloody repeats!' are our staple diet here. alas.

about a week ago
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Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

udippel Re:DebianNoob (450 comments)

Huh, what's a monolith, then? Maybe you mean 'monopoly'?
systemd, though, is a monolith, like pulseaudio.

And nobody argues about creating alternative to essentials, like sysvinit. Not at all. But never with the declared intention to supplant one monopoly with another one. Freedom is the freedom to plug in an alternative; not to have it forced down one's throat. And with the declared intention of systemd, sysvînit will not be any compatible plug-in alternative any longer. And it will be a monolith.

Nobody argues against a declarative, parallel, daemon initiation. But surely against one that has wider reaching consequences; up to graphical applications in userland.

about two weeks ago
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Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

udippel Re:Gnome3, systemd etc. (450 comments)

You come across like a rather unthinking salesperson-type, sorry. Your nice words don't actually demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, sorry again.
You talk about features, documentation, and so forth. Would you know that the existing system init has been proven through more than one generation, fulfills its tasks splendidly, and has been without a glitch for me for the same time, is widely accepted, including by your perceived 'large community'. And then you equate a large number of people with quality, at least implicitly. I don't think you are a software engineer.

The start of the argument is silly, silly, silly. Why would system X be a good choice because there is a large developer community behind it? Then you must logically stick with Redmond. Or, even better, Android, with close to one million apps for download.

about two weeks ago
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Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

udippel Re:Gnome3, systemd etc. (450 comments)

Can nobody do anything about this chap on an ego trip?
First, he didn't do what was necessary for audio; but made a huge, convoluted "Eierlgende Wollmilchsau" from it (I guess, he knows what that is!) that pops up and tells me all the while that I have plugged in some headphone or some; but doesn't remember, ever, despite of all my efforts, that, no, I don't want the internal sound card after each reboot, thank you very much! So I have been telling my machine for the last 2 years, whenever I boot, exactly that, and again. After each reboot. Thank you very much!
He seems to like all the convoluted stuff - against all Unix philosophy, by the way - and the stuff that usurp the rest of the world. How can a maniac be such unstoppable?

about two weeks ago
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Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

udippel My favourite pub (450 comments)

has a rule, conceived close to two generations ago: "Whatever the menu is going to offer, never mind. But the menu has to have Nuremberg sausages on it." And the menu has changed, a lot. Still there are Nuremberg sausages on it!

OT?? No, beware! This is spot on! What Debian is missing, and what has been discussed above, also in the context of 'democracy', is a constitution. Exactly like the Nuremberg sausages. A constitution that no forum can override. In this case it would have to contain "No package shall ever become singular alternative to run another program. If one does, it needs to be deleted immediately from the tree. Any new package, any new technology devised, must comply to this rule. There must never be any substitution of one package by another that breaks backward compatibility." Or so, I am not a lawyer.
Like Wayland, I love it, I tried it and want it on my tablet! And heel will freeze over before I use it voluntarily on my desktop! - Don't ask why! That's what my freedom is about, I guess. And the freedom of the developers is, to come up with systemd, that has some great points to it, or to come up with Wayland. Welcome! I'll try, and decide I want X and sysinit. Out and over!
Democracy ought to have never been allowed to factually abolish freedom!
 

about two weeks ago
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Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

udippel Re:Unfortunate, but not surprising (450 comments)

Why AC? I would have liked to know who is behind such thoughtful lines.
And I have no mod points to make myself heard through your words.
Yours is an insightful and fully seconded message; since what we have been advocating from the early years of GNU onwards, was first and foremost freedom; and secondly modular architectures.
I have been teaching this to my students throughout the years, and I have poked fun at the 42 levels of dependencies gobbled together in Redmond. Today I'd blush if any of my students ever came back asking about freedom and modularity. When an oversized init is needed, this and none else, to use a drawing application. Good Lord! What has the early spawning of services to make with late applications!?!? And worse: There is zero - nil alternative as drop in. Welcome to the software Redmond V2.0! Okay, it is not from Redmond, but is intoxicated with its spirit.
The sad part is not, that it is; but that a bunch of people seemingly went crazy about this rotten philosophy. Like 'All your code are belong to us - because you can't run it without us!'. That's what I have been fighting for the last twenty years of my life: Applications not running on Linux as excuse to not run Linux. Now, in my graying years, applications don't run on Linux because of Linux. Do I need to carry on by drawing the next parallel, the one between DRM and systemd and Wayland?

about two weeks ago
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Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

udippel Good Bye, Joey, and it is a pity! (450 comments)

Being too busy to try to figure out what Joey had in mind, I sympathise with him. Had to do with him some moment in time, with some bug/feature, and he was most helpful; and he came across as someone who'd live and die for Debian.
If he was with systemd or against it; to me the difference is nihil.

I do in a number of projects see the seniors leave, abandon, and being replaced by kids from another generation; with sometimes almost opposite ideas, motivations, and approaches. We, the old, (formerly, at least) long-bearded, left-leaning, nerds of the earlier years are on the way out. No tears, we have been able to set down a foot, or only a grain of sand (in my case); and the youngsters have to carry on, have to shoulder what it takes.
That I am not always very content with what goes on, stands on another page. It probably has to make with age, too.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?

udippel Re:configuration profile (286 comments)

Though you're an AC, I reply because this is about the closest what I can find in this discussion and what I also experience. In my case on kubuntu. So far everyone has shifted the responsibility to everyone else. Slowly I am getting sick of FOSS, though I have used it happily for close to 20 years.
Alas, also me getting old, and the youngsters don't always follow the philosophy of the old days. So we have to endure the modern types as well, the Lennart Ps, Christoph Fs, Vishesh Hs, etc., for whom the FOSS-thing is closer to an ego trip than a community effort.
Though back to the topic: I run kubuntu almost exclusively on a number of boxes, 32-bit, 64-bit, always updated. And for the last years, none has ever been willing to store my audio settings; except of the volume.
One DELL-box has seen me setting the output to 'headphone' some 50 times, after each reboot. Another self-assembled box (MSI) with internal audio and extra sound card comes back on the internal sound card after each reboot, and graciously accepts me setting it to the extra sound card; only to revert to the built-in device after the next reboot. And, yes, I have saved the settings close to one hundred times by now. Then I stopped, giving up, and start by setting the audio system to use the add-on sound card.
In the old days the distros could know much better what angle they were responsible for; and what was upstream. With the more recent smudge-over of functionality (against the UNIX philosophy of small, modular, distributed) it is also more difficult for them to locate the trouble. And so more recent bug reports on kubuntu are returned with 'report to KDE', and from there 'report to [application]'.

Sad, just sad, very sad.

about a month ago
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KDE Releases Plasma 5.1

udippel Re:Does anyone still use Gnome? (60 comments)

Your ID is way too low to play on your alias.

I *think* you could understand how to use it; though you could not easily understand how to use all its features. Correct me if I am wrong. KDE unfortunately loves to pop in new concepts, or even old ones, with hitherto unknown labels. Activity is one of those, and its further development was kind of abandoned before it was actually ripe to harvest. I for one use it, and curse it for being incomplete. Was it complete, you'd have not 2, 4 or 8 (identical) desktops, but 2, 4 or 8 totally different desktops, according one's current needs. Imagine one for photos. Not cluttered with other crap; just optimised for photos. Another for search and search results. One for when you happen to have a touch screen monitor. Maybe a kiosk-type desktop, if you wanted your kids or some stranger to just use a single application and not see your personal stuff immediately. That's the potential, though a half-hearted and half-done implementation prevents this from happening. https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.... is an old, and inactive bug report on this misery. And then they want to compete with MS, the 'semantic desktop' and had some Nepomuk earlier, Akonadi, and since neither ever worked, now 'baloo', which is closer to the term that describes what it actually is. And impossible to deactivate, effectively.

To me all this is just sad; on the best desktop that I know. Aside of Windows XP. With some serious focus in the project's intestines, it could be the best desktop that I know, among all that I know.

about a month ago
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KDE Releases Plasma 5.1

udippel Re:Does anyone still use Gnome? (60 comments)

Some small things are annoying, for example when using the treeview in Kate, sometimes it has happened that I accidentally dragged a folder instead of clicking on it, and the editor loaded all the files inside, crashing in the process. Kate also has refused to open some files in write mode since it considers them to be too large, gEdit/Geany just open it and let me work.

High time for a bug report, or two. Don't you think so?
I can't, for these bugs, because I didn't run into them. And I prefer Kate compared to gEdit.

about a month ago
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Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

udippel Re:OpenBSD (265 comments)

I salute your resolve. Tell this to the unwashed masses how have been craving for the most recent cool software / gadget / widget / design / feature for the last 20 years. And offer 'security' as alternative, and close to 99 out of 100 will gladly take the earlier candy.

about a month ago
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Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

udippel Re:Cart before the horse. (265 comments)

You can't. But that's not the point at all.
But in one case one could, if only one wanted, to check the code quality and apply a patch; in the other case this door is totally shut. The first alternative is light-years ahead of the second, irrespective of the field. Because it leaves you the freedom of choice. Be it contributing to retirement benefits or invest your money at your own discretion, the decision to smoke certain substances or not, choice always has a connotation of freedom. The same choice that one has to buy this operating system or that one.
Once you decide for closed source, you are
1. totally dependent on the manufacturer
2. without a chance to check yourself
3. unable to analyze if the manufacturer has inserted some malicious code like a trapdoor, eventually on purpose
Now, where would be any advantage in using a system of closed source?

about a month ago
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Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

udippel Re:Cart before the horse. (265 comments)

Right. But the GP's formulation is less abstract and leaves less room for interpretation. No, did not mod you down nor do I have modpoints currently.
Never forget, we are at /.

about a month ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

udippel Re:LEDs should be date stamped (602 comments)

One day later I still think this is great business idea, that some company ought to pick up. Or, some individual.
In another thread, someone pointed out, that some organization does a 12.5 khour test. But that's unconvincing to me, since buying a lamp and let it run for close to 2 years, and then measure the light output is totally unrealistic, because it doesn't take ageing of the elements into account. I don't want a bulb that emits some 70% or 80% of the light after 2 years of continuous burning; I want a bulb that emits some 70% or 80% of the original light after I have been switching it on for 3 hours a day; after the accumulated 12.5 or 25 khour. You can't test that, you can at best artificially age the lamp.

In a nutshell, yes, I'd be prepared to pay considerable money for a LED bulb that is
1. date stamped, AND
2. has its output measured after manufactured, and documented, AND
3. where the manufacturer guarantees that this bulb will produce at least, e.g. 75% of the light after 5 years in service.

Remember those bulb testing equipment in shops, at least in Europe, where you could test your new bulb before going to the cashier? My suggestion in this respect is, to set up similar testing locations in future, where one can walk in and test the remaining light power of one's bulb(s). With a unique serial number, like stamped on the side, and the original value stored with the serial number, just bringing one's bulbs, one can easily test one bulb(s). With a reading of the serial number and the display of the remaining efficiency, everyone could check his/her bulbs. With an (almost) automatic exchange, if the performance of the bulb remains below a guaranteed efficiency.
As I said, that's what I'd call fair; and be prepared to pay extra for.

about 2 months ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

udippel Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 comments)

And I've worked in power generation stations. Almost 100% of America's power grid is AC.

I bow before this argument in shame and promise to never repeat my earlier assertion.

about 2 months ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

udippel Re:The Government also ruined my washer and dryer (602 comments)

Now you start talking!
We used to have a close to 40-year-old dish washer ('Constructa'), that still worked perfectly okay. Maybe some don't know the social pressure that Germans can exert? Almost no visitor failed to point out our 'serious shortcoming', our mistake, to 'waste water and energy' like there was no tomorrow. Call it group-think. I measured the consumption, and found that it consumed around 30 liters of water, and 1,7 kWh. Yep, that 's close to 50 cent here. A new, branded, modern, A+++ that we bought cost us a good € 500. With a consumption of close to 25 cent, this gives us a ROI after some 2000+ rounds of dish-washing. And we use it once per week, so it will balance out the investment in another 40 or 50 years. ;-)
Plus, I take bets of considerable amounts that the new one is not going to last that long. Additionally, the cleaning results of the new one are very good, and yet below those of the 40-year-old machine.

No, we haven't given in to the silly social pressure. We have totally voluntarily passed the old one on to our son, who's starting a household.

about 2 months ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

udippel Re: This idiocy again (602 comments)

Of course, but the latter implies an arbitrary effect introduced by the manufacturer to bring down the lifespan. The 1000 h, however, as GP pointed out so insightful, is already - aside from being a cartel - some technical optimum of efficiency versus lifetime. Because reducing the temperature quickly increases the lifespan; while increasing the optical efficiency quickly brings down lifespan. And the temperature is required to produce visible light. Don't forget that red is at the very edge of light being visible to humans. And the 2000K+ is needed to produce that light.

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  |  more than 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  |  more than 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  |  about 8 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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