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Comments

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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

whitroth Another way of looking at it (100 comments)

In fact, this makes perfect sense. Consider that we *know* black holes evaporate via Hawking radiation. I haven't read the paper, but unless I miss my guess, what he's effectively suggesting is that the evaporation starts as the star collapses, and becomes stronger as it grows more dense, to the point where a balance is reached, *above* the Schwartschild Radius.

                  mark

12 minutes ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

whitroth Resources... (98 comments)

I saw someone suggesting that the users should play nice. That'd be great... and maybe they did, 30 years ago. (We'll ignore the late 80's early 90's stealing of someone else in the lab's xterm....)

I had a user last year - an intern - like everyone, NFS-mounted home directory. It was, of course, shared with a good number of other users. He ran a job that dumped a logfile in his home directory. MANY gigs of logfile, enough to blow out the filesystem. Users were not amused. *I* was NOT AMUSED, as my home directory was on this system, and my login was screwed up, as well as my firefox bookmarks.....

My question is what order of magnitude number of users - tens? hundreds? more? If Sometimes, human to human works.

ulimit might help, too. So might putting the abusers' home directories on the same filesystem, and let them duke it out....

                    mark

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

whitroth Re:Good grief (98 comments)

Do you still have the box your computer came in?
Good, please turn off your computer, disconnect it, and ship it back.
Why?
Becuase you're too fscking stupid and ignorant to use one. And as to why you even thought you should comment on something that you have no clue about, other than to display your gross ignorance in public, like a baboon's ass, I have no idea.

                    mark

yesterday
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Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

whitroth Let me get this straight... (89 comments)

*Microsoft* is working on intrusive software to predict buggy code? I can do that without software - just point at the Microsoft campus, and any and all products....

                        mark

yesterday
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

whitroth Destroying it all is a bad idea (188 comments)

Is making any species extinct a good idea? If so, why?

I mean, if it had been destroyed in '86, we'd never have sequenced it. What more info can we get from it 10 or 20 years from now?

Also, this whole "debacle" is massively overblown. Note that a) the amules were all still securely sealed, and in appropriate storage... it's just that they should have been known, and put in recorded storage.

For that matter, where's whatever you were looking for at home? Or when was the last time your boss asked you to find something that you spend hours, or weeks, on and off, looking for? Now let's talk about the NIH campus in Bethesda, with (depending on your sources) somewhere betwwn 18,000 and 35,000 people who work there every day, and sixty or eighty buildings, including a large hospital. That is *not* a small place to misplace something.

Oh, and I've yet to see or hear *anything* as to *why* it was left there. Was the team that was working on it laid off, or reorganized somewhere else?

No, destroying it all's a bad idea.

            mark

yesterday
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China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

whitroth But it's going to be built by a ... GOVERNMENT!!! (207 comments)

It can't work. I mean, no collider or supercollider can work, if they're built by a GOVERNMENT! Only private industry can build a working one...*

Oh, that's right, all of them were build by governments. No company's going to do it, because there's no ROI, or if there is, it may not be for decades....

                  mark

* Satire of libertarians, for libertarians, and others who aren't familiar with satire....

yesterday
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

whitroth This is a "study"? (604 comments)

a) At least two of the three authors are from business schools. They don't appear to be social scientists or psychologists.
b) Read the summary, and tell me that isn't showing outright bias and intent to find results to match preconceptions.

This isn't even vaguely science, it's propaganda. For extra credit, do the same study with people of East German origin and hedge fund managers and traders.

                  mark

2 days ago
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Average American Cable Subscriber Gets 189 Channels and Views 17

whitroth Less (340 comments)

757 channels and nothing's on....

And even between myself and my wife, who's much more of a tv addict, I have grave doubts that we watch 12 channels. Unfortunately, one or two of them are part of a bundle (except on DirecTV), or we could get by for less $$.

Cafe choice of channels? That's too hard for the cable companies.... (Hell, give me BBCA and you can take away *every* ESPN channel there is, but I have no choice, I have to pay for them in the bundle.)

                  mark

about 3 months ago
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Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked

whitroth And how reliable is this report? (557 comments)

Given the total one-sidedness of western media on coverage of the Ukraine. "Oooh, he said 'fascist', we've got the cooties!", when one of the three groups of the current government *are* outright right-wing fascists.

Oh, and while you're at it, can someone explain to me how the current government making a military assault on the seperatists is different than the previous *elected* government's use of snipers and the police forces? Oh, that's right, this government's using the military against its own people....

            mark

about 3 months ago
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US Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

whitroth Who *doesn't* want to do something about it? (627 comments)

I mean, other than the big money in the petrochemical industry, and their suckers on their teat, who pretends it's not real, nor human-caused?

And for you suckers who aren't getting money from them, let me ask you this: are you saying that we're *NOT* good enough to work out other sources of energy, and that we're too *dumb* to be able to reengineer the way we do things to cut carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions? Or maybe that you can't wrap your heads around the tech, and so won't be able to make the big bucks from investing in, and inventing, that tech?

So, sorry. Your kids will hate your guts for not doing something... oh, that's right, you don't have any.

Btw, I read that the last quarter, I think, Texas generated 35% of it's *total* electircal use by wind power.

                  mark

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Offers FCC a Net Neutrality Plan With a Twist

whitroth They *used* to be legally common carriers (123 comments)

Up into the oughts, ISPs were legally common carriers, not liable for the contents of what you put up/sent. This would just be a return to that status... and would be a hell of a lot better for 'Net freedom.

          mark

about 3 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

whitroth Re:If not... (865 comments)

Or more. Our VW key mostly stopped working. We had the battery changed at the dealers (was that $60?)... and it still wasn't working. They couldn't promise anything else would work, short of going into the receiver in the car, with no estimate on how much *that* might cost.

At least it *does* have a physical key, and they hit us up for another $60? $120? to "reprogram" the car so that we could lock it with the physical key.

Cost of physical key lock: probably $5 for the quantities they buy in.
Cost of radio and computer: probably more than a Raspberry Pi.
Cost of repairs: don't ask.

            mark

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

whitroth Re:Translation (589 comments)

Really? I work for a (civilian sector) US gov't agency. Several years ago, one of our Sun/Oracle servers had motherboard problems. It was still under warranty. It took a MONTH for their FE to get out and replace the m/b, and that includes two *weeks* of exchanging emails with a technical support in Chile, who was working on a number of other things, and I couldn't call the guy.... Then there was the in-country engineer... who *ONLY* worked 3rd shift, and the "I'm the manager, I'm taking ownership" that I got, three days in a row, from three different managers.

The US gov't ain't big enough for Larry?

Some companies just don't care. Anyone trying to claim M$ cares?

                mark

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

whitroth Be careful... . (274 comments)

...and remember, sometimes, "Go home, go home" (consider the Muppet characters) is the answer.

In my mid-forties, I worked for about two years with a former Baby Bell (now eaten). We were a startup division, meant to be their entry in the long-distance sweepstakes. Management *very* frequently was running on the the apparent idea that you write all this stuff the way they do in the movies, and I heard "whatever it takes" *FAR* too fucking often. And it wasn't my manager, or even my director, it was upper management. I swore I'd never do that again, the week I broke 70 hours; my dba said the same thing the week he broke 80.

After about a year of this, my late wife made semi-serious jokes about suing the company for alienation of affection. Consider your family.

But we were just pikers. Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) treats their folks like consumables/disposable. One young guy - a lot of them, this was their first job out of college, and we had a *LOT* of them - on week did, and I kid you not, he told me 119 hours in one week. They had him in a motel down the road.... He was working for a different, and better, consulting company a year later.

That's crazy. You'll be vastly more productive if you go home and get a night's sleep, and DON'T THINK about work - your subconscious will do a better job of it that way.

Oh, and for the young fools who think this is the way things should be... my "normal" day was 9.5 - 10 hours/day (not counting lunch) - I did that crazy bunch of hours after the architecture team gave a Pronouncement that everyone had to get their prototype makefile modified so that they could do the nightly rebuild of everything, and when I asked where they were going to get the resources for that, they said they'd find it. Now, some teams were building manually, and some with shell scripts, and...so this was a good idea. But from their prototype?. A week later, all our managers got a letter wanting their senior tech person for a week to do it. This was the end of October. The second week in January, I stood up in the every morning meeting, and announced that I had validated their build.

I was the *very* *first* person to get it working. Experience *does* count, kiddies and CEOs, and you get what you pay for.

Oh, and the summer before I left, a friend who's a degreed praticing psychologist said it was her professional opinion that I was that close to clinical burnout... so, seriously, watch yourself, and keep open the option of saying goodbye.

                    mark

about 3 months ago
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Physics Students Devise Concept For Star Wars-Style Deflector Shields

whitroth Re:You mean Star Trek? No, we don't (179 comments)

I know you don't do anything so twentietch-century as "reading novels", but certainly Doc Smith had force fields in the Skylark of Space, published 1928.

                mark

about 3 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

whitroth Re:so? - hey, slashdot (1198 comments)

So, tell me why it is that you can't at least filter this crap? This *ain;t* the way slashdot was even five years ago, much less 10 or 15.

And as for this anon coward: boy, what is this? Your folks aren't reading this, so who are you trying to shock... or are you just going to point out "look what I posted" to the rest of your 15 yr old stupid buddies, who are so tough my cat would send you to the hospital, and you'd never touch him.

Or are you on something that oine of your "cool" buddies got you? You'll probably die before you're 23, having ingested something with, oh, drain cleaner.

Actually, that wouldn't be bad - it would get you out of the shallow end of the gene pool.

Go away, kid, you bother us.

                  mark

about 3 months ago
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

whitroth That's... weird. (230 comments)

Let's see, when I got hired as a programmer in '80, we punched our own cards, and handed them in. As many times as we needed to. By '81? '82? We had time-shared terminals, and entered them online.

And this was a community college in the US.

          mark

about 3 months ago
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Yahoo To Produce Sci-Fi Streaming Sitcom

whitroth Just what we need: *another* bright idea... (121 comments)

Let's see, there's at least tens of thousands of SF anf Fantasy novels out there, maybe hundreds of thousands, and some have won awards as being well worth reading.

But we'll go come up with something that Hollywood producers (IQ == belt size) will understand, who will approach it with the following ideas
    1. We've got Names! We've got SPECIAL EFFECTS! Why would we need plot, continuity, stories worth watching?
                  All we need is EXPLOSIONS!!!
    2. All geeks are all stupid, and they'll watch anything we film, esp. if there's sexy babes and EXPLOSIONS!

            mark "so, when are they going to do, say Bujold's Miles series, or Robinson's Mars series, or...."

about 3 months ago
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Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

whitroth Re:Old people can't do physical labor (331 comments)

Please define "old people". Please define "physical labor".

And please define it in the context of Pete Seeger, a couple of years ago, at 93, splitting his own firewood. Or me, in my sixties, changing my own oil under the vehicle (I know, you don't know *how* to change your oil....)

                mark

about 3 months ago
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WRT54G Successor Falls Flat On Promises

whitroth related: DD-WRT (113 comments)

I've got that on my router. Let me start by saying this is *NOT* the poster child for F/OSS. In fact, if you aren't seriously into hardware, or systems administration, DON'T! Never in my decades of professional work have I ever seen a project where people would talk about their "favorite builds"... in fact, I'd never *ever* thought of putting those two words together.

I wanted one thing besides gigabit routing: the ASUS I have says it can serve as a prntserver for USB printers. Call ASUS, "oh, not that printer". So three? four? debrickings later, and a month of trying, and asking, and finding by googling, not onlist, I found a build that works.

Most of the time. After somewhere between a day and a couple of weeks of not printing, it forgets about the printer, and I have to reset USB on it (and that was what I found after months of fighting).

I want to upgrade, to make sure I don't have heartbleed on it (but I do have no remote admin, so it should be ok)... but WHAT THE HELL DO I UPGRADE TO? Multiple builders, apparently no regression testing, no formal releases....

                    mark, putting up with it

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Bacteria that eat electricity

whitroth whitroth writes  |  2 days ago

whitroth (9367) writes "There's a story in New Scientist about them: STICK an electrode in the ground, pump electrons down it, and they will come: living cells that eat electricity. We have known bacteria to survive on a variety of energy sources, but none as weird as this. Think of Frankenstein's monster, brought to life by galvanic energy, except these "electric bacteria" are very real and are popping up all over the place.

Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. We already knew about two types, Shewanella and Geobacter. Now, biologists are showing that they can entice many more out of rocks and marine mud by tempting them with a bit of electrical juice. Experiments growing bacteria on battery electrodes demonstrate that these novel, mind-boggling forms of life are essentially eating and excreting electricity.

My first thought is to wonder if mammals generate enough electricity for them to be able to infect us... and if so, what problems they might cause, such as cardiac arrythmia?

                      mark"

Link to Original Source
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De-Liberator, the plastic gun

whitroth whitroth writes  |  about a year ago

whitroth (9367) writes "Lewis Page, of The Register, writes, "When the nail hits the cap in the cartridge base in a Liberator, the expanding gas likewise pushes the lead bullet off the end of the cartridge and down the "barrel" pipe. Much of the gas leaks past due to the loose fit and soft material of the "barrel". The lump of plastic with the nail (probably) stops the cartridge case spitting out of the back, which is pretty easy as the bullet pops out of the extremely short, basically smooth* "barrel" almost immediately with very little push from the gas required. Most of the cartridge's hot gas spills out of the muzzle without getting a chance to do any work on the bullet, which is the main reason the cruddy "barrel" doesn't (always) come to bits on the first shot and the cartridge case (probably) doesn't just spit backward into the user's face.

The Liberator's bullet emerges going very slowly and wobbling or tumbling due to lack of spin. It might go almost anywhere, though not very far, and is unlikely to do much damage to anything it manages to hit."

Back to making zip guns with *real* steel pipes, kiddies, until you have a 3D printer that can print with steel, or something that strong.

                  mark"

Link to Original Source
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Bad software runs the world

whitroth whitroth writes  |  about 2 years ago

whitroth writes "Excerpt:
What do most people think of when they think of software? A decade ago, probably Microsoft Word and Excel. Today, it's more likely to be Gmail, Twitter, or Angry Birds. But the software that does the heavy lifting for the global economy isn't the apps on your smartphone. It's the huge, creaky applications that run Walmart's supply chain or United's reservation system or a Toyota production line.

And perhaps the most mission-critical of all mission-critical applications are the ones that underpin the securities markets a large share of the world's wealth is locked up. Those systems have been in the news a lot recently, and not for good reasons. In March, BATS, an electronic exchange, pulled its IPO because of problems with its own trading systems. During the Facebook IPO in May, NASDAQ was unable to confirm orders for hours. The giant Swiss bank UBS lost more than $350 million that day when its systems kept re-sending buy orders, eventually adding up to 40 million shares that it would later sell at a loss. Then last week Knight Capital — which handled 11 percent of all U. S. stock trading this year — lost $440 million when its systems accidentally bought too much stock that it had to unload at a loss.* (Earlier this year, a bad risk management model was also fingered in JP Morgan's $N billion trading loss, where N = an ever-escalating digit.)

The underlying problem here is that most software is not very good. Writing good software is hard.
--- end excerpt ---"

Link to Original Source
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What's wrong with slashdot recently?

whitroth whitroth writes  |  about 2 years ago

whitroth writes "I've been reading slashdot since the late nineties. We always had the libertarian idiots, but you got *some* rational comments out of them sometimes.

In the last few months, it seems, I'm suddenly seeing blatant racists rants, and the kind of idiot cascades that contributed to usenet's downward trend. Just look, for example, at the comments following the huge Indian power failure: one thread of nieve wind power comments, a racists rant, and no real discussion of what happened or why, or what realistically needs to be done (cut corruption? have outside inspectors? power consideration?).

So here's an ask slashdot: how can we go back to actual nerdy conversations about how to actually do things in the real world?

                  mark"
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Why There Are Too Many Patents in America

whitroth whitroth writes  |  about 2 years ago

whitroth writes "The judge who just dismissed the lawsuit between Apple and Motorola writes a column explaining what he considers to be a resonable use of patents, and unreasonable ones. One of his thoughts would be to require a patent holder to produce the patented item within a certain time, to cut out patent trolls."
Link to Original Source
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Time for a new movement: Ugly Email

whitroth whitroth writes  |  more than 2 years ago

whitroth writes "I just finished my annual (idiotic) security refresher, with its usual explanation of phishing, etc., and I think it's time for a new movement, one that might actually gain traction in companies if enough of us push it: the Ugly Email movement.

Simply enough: plain text, only. All pics, spreadsheets, etc *not* inline, but attachments. How complicated is that, Barbie?

It would shove in everyone's face that "Click here to contact your company/security/bank/offshore account" is going to gotyourinfonow.com

Opinions? Alternate names? Locations for demonstrations?

                    mark"
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How to get providers to drop dnsbl.manitu.net?

whitroth whitroth writes  |  more than 2 years ago

whitroth writes "I'm fed up, and I'm sure tens of thousands you slashdotters are, too. dnsbl.manitu.net has been offering their "service" to block spammers for a long time... and using an "algorithm" that would have worked 15 years ago, but these days is hostile to non-spammers, and useless.

He appears to target mailhosts of spammers. In these days, however, where hosting providers support tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of domains (many running Windows, and so infected), and all the mail goes through one mailhost, this means many of us get unfairly blocked. And it's not like the hosting providers don't try to stop spam going out.

This has been going on for a long time, Years ago, Cogeco in Canada used him, and I was blocked, on and off, for months from emailing a friend. Right now, I'm being blocked from a CentOS mailing list, even though I did a remove.

So, suggestions as to how we can get this hostile force dropped by most providers?

                    mark"
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What's with slashdot's javascript?

whitroth whitroth writes  |  more than 5 years ago

whitroth writes "Folks,

      What's with slashdot's javascripting? As of a few weeks ago, I pull up slashdot, and I'm watching my browser peg my CPU. Just today, I went to a story, and fired up top before I did so (openSuSE 10.3), firefox 2.0.0.11), and watched top report about 30 seconds or more with firefox running over 93% CPU usage.

      This never used to happen. slashdot *used* to load fast....

              mark"
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whitroth whitroth writes  |  more than 7 years ago

whitroth writes "Ten years ago, Received Wisdom said that virtual memory should be, on the average, two to two-and-a-half times real memory. In these days, where 2G RAM is not unusual, and many times that not that uncommon, is this unreasonable? What's the sense of the community as to what is a reasonable size for swap these days? mark"

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