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Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

whitroth Re:Regulation? (333 comments)

Jealous, you poor stupid fool? Of what? Of, say, the Koch's, who have just announced almost a billion USD to do their best to *buy* not only who runs on the GOP side, but the elections? Who, along with friends like Murdoch (Faux News), have brainwashed you to hate democracy, and believe that it's not worth voting, that they're al the same (right, W and Gore were the same; so is Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Mitch McConnel.)

Oh, and sucker? Together, my wife and I are probably in the top 5% (which is a lot less income then you think it is).

              mark, who'd like his kids and his friends to have good paying jobs, and not wind up jobless

yesterday
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

whitroth Re:Urban legend? (303 comments)

http : //www.theatlantic.com/ politics/archive/2014/04/the-irony-of-cliven-bundys-unconstitutional-stand/360587/

2 days ago
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Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

whitroth Re:Regulation? (333 comments)

This is insightful? I suppose, if you're a libertarian.

Reality check: in the US, Congress almost *never*, sitting around in the room, decides, "hey, let's make a new regulation, we ain't doin' anything else anyway, and we need to look like we're working." This seems to be what the poster I'm replying to thinks.

Let's see: St. Ronnie and the Republicans push through banking and s&l "reform", and cut the budget for the regulators. Several years later, the S&L disaster, of which, according to the papers at the time, 30% was internal, white collar crime.
Deregulate telecoms*, and several years later, the tech bubble bursts, wiping out many retirement investments, and causing a recession.

Bush & co cut regulation of banking and stocks; and we get the current Lesser Depression.

Anyone else notice a pattern here? Sort of like less regulation and regulators, and the majority of us get screwed, and loose money, while the top 1% keep going up?

And I *do* have something against "people being rich". How 'bout we just have a 100% tax on all wealth above $1G? Or maybe above $500M? What', a hundred million dollars isn't enough incentive, people will just fraudulently get themselves on welfare, and sit back and drink light beer and watch tv? Don't bother talking about job creators, either: they've been getting richer and richer... WHERE ARE THE JOBS? (Other than the ones in Pakistan, and China, and India, and ....).

*And as for "coercion", is that like, oh, in the mid-nineties, when I worked for Ameritech, and we were ORDERED by our division president to write our Congresscritter and Senators to tell them to support deregulation, *and* he wanted copies of our letters (nice job you got dere, be a shame if somet'in' were to happen' to it)?

                  mark

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

whitroth What do you actually want to do with it? (109 comments)

That's really the question. Are you using the GPU for heavy-duty computing, or graphics, or...?

We've got money around here (we're a civilian-sector US gov't agency) using NVidia Tesla cards - in several servers, *two* of 'em - for heavy lifting with things like R. We do use the installable proprietary drives, and they work.

                    mark

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

whitroth Someone's still using it? (488 comments)

I haven't heard of anyone using it in, oh, 20 years or so.

And yes, in '89-'90, I used it (along with C) at work.

Why would you *want* to use it? I mean, for one thing, it was invented as a teaching language, and didn't even have i/o (really!) - that was bolted on afterwards. For another, didn't it become java (I mean, can you say writeln, boys and grrls?)?

                    mark

3 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

whitroth Bab-5 (476 comments)

Was arguably *the* best *real* sf that has ever been on TV. (coming from a base of 99.999% of all sf is *written*, and has *nothing* to do with *anything* ever filmed).

DS-9.... um, sorry, Roddenberry was probably generating a *lot* of electricity, rolling over in his grave.
      DS-9, second season: yeah, we've been stranded on the planet for 10 years, and they kept us here stranded,
                                and I just lost my wife who medicine could have saved, and I used to be a starship engineer, but
                                now I'm a blacksmith, but they were right, this is so fulfilling....

      B-5: alien refugees wind on on B-5, kid needs medical attention, doc does it in spite of parents' refusal,
                              parents help kid die, because by cutting him open, his soul's left him. Then the Council meeting
                              religious leaders from Earth (here's a priest, and a rabbi, and a minister, and a monk, and....)

                        mark

3 days ago
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IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

whitroth Re:One has to wonder (253 comments)

Daily Caller - extremist right wing source
Forbes: the magazine of the ultra-wealthy

Got *anything* that isn't right wing extremist... oh, I know, all the media lies... except that on the extreme right.

            mark

about a week ago
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Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

whitroth Say the "F" word: (418 comments)

NeoFascists is what they are (except for the "Tea Party", who are racist neoConfederate traitors).

And did you think all fascists in the world disappeared with a *poof* (or by hanging) at the end of WWII?

Let's check with someone who speaks with more authority on fascism than any of you here, Mussolini, first fascist dictator, who liked to quote that "fascism is more properly called corporatism, since it's the merger of state and corporate power."

Quick example: Dick Cheney, for the first five years of his two terms as VP, was receiving millions in his golden parachute from Halliburton, who was awarded billions in no-bid contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now we *know* that the GOP Whip is a KKK sympathizer, if not an outright member. Or, as they used to say about the other side, a "fellow traveller".

                  mark "you're entitled to your opinions, you are *not* entitled to your own facts"

about a week ago
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SOTU: Community Colleges, Employers To Train Workers For High-Paying Coding Jobs

whitroth Re:Paradox (200 comments)

Bull, as they say, shit. I got my AA in data processing in '85. In fact, I'd taken about all the programming courses by '80, and got my first job as a programmer in '80.

And I'll put down $5 that my code's better, more readable, more maintinable, and more easily enhanced than anything you've ever written, in any of the languages I've used.

                  mark

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

whitroth This is allegedly a CS prof? (647 comments)

"I would be forced to rely on C (which is incredibly complex for a junior developer)"

Really? That's how he thinks? Can we move him to teaching HR, where he'd fit right in with the other utter incompetents?

The first two course I took in programming, lo, these many decades ago, was a pseudo-assembly language with 13 instructions (including add and subtract), and then next was BAL (IBM mainframe assembler).

C, "complex"? I taught myself from K&R. I *really* don't want to contemplate working with this idiot's code, or his students' code.

                mark

about two weeks ago
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Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

whitroth Re:Hypocrites, liars and communists. (441 comments)

Dear asshole,

      Planted trees. Bought house close to work. Use public transit 9 days out of 10.

      Unfortunately, it's not going to make up for you and your friends using any excess power you can for the fuck of it. It's like you're the jerks who toss their empty drink and food containers out of the car window in our street, for us to clean up.

              mark

about two weeks ago
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Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

whitroth "We listen to users" (551 comments)

Bullshit.

You're not listening to Linux, you're not listening to the folks who forked Debian, you're not listening to all the sysadmins who work for a living in organizations, and have enough trouble getting the users to accept updates.

In addition to which, you replace it with something that requires more typing, and does not give any feedback.
service nfs restart
stopping nfsd
starting nfsd
etc.

systemctl restart nfs

And the entire concept of *BINARY* logfiles, when you're trying to fix a broken system is insanely stupid, as are xml configuration files when X won't run, or isn't installed (like on a server). And telling me that oh, it boots up *so* much faster means something *only* if I'm on a laptop. Anything else, hell, an fsck takes *far* longer.

It's a pain in the neck, and you won't make *any* accommodation to the 99% of us that have been doing it the way we have all along. Arrogance and solipsism, that's you, Poettering.

                mark

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

whitroth But that relies on HR departments (479 comments)

Come *on*, you expect HR departments to *find*, much less hire qualified women? Most hiring managers have a hard enough time finding *any* qualified candidates, since about 80% or more of HR departments are completely staffed by people who have NO IDEA of what the company actually does, NO IDEA of what they're hiring for, and DON'T CARE TO LEARN.

Come on - for anyone working for any medium to large size, do *you* think HR knows their ass from a hole in the ground? When I was last looking, around '09, Grumman wanted you to upload your resume (Word format only, please), and not even a cover letter, and they said that they found "qualified candidates" by DOING DATABASE SEARCHES. So, you with the six years of Oracle, you're not qualified to work on MySql, or Sybase. And oh, you haven't done this, and don't have that certification, never mind how many years you've been doing it, you're not qualified.

Come the Revolution, we're going to lead HR departments into the parking lot, throw asphalt on them, and PAVE THEM INTO THE ROADWAY, and *then*, and only then, will they have any social or corporate utility....

                    mark

PS: and for those of you who think women aren't good enough, I'd suggest that one of my daughters who's a programmer and tester for a major aerospace firm is a *hell* of a lot better than you are at her job.

about two weeks ago
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The Mainframe Is Dead! Long Live the Mainframe!

whitroth Every 10-15 years, I hear the same thing (164 comments)

"Mainframe declared dead, film at 11".

And within a year or two, IBM announces that they're shipping more mainframes that year than they've ever sold before.

Datapoint: around 2001 or so, some crazy at IBM, using VM (IBM tech first developed in the seventies), maxed out a good-sized mainframe... running 48,000 *seperarate* instances of Linux, and it ran happy as a clam with "only" 32,000.

How many VMs you got on your server?

*I* have a nice toolbox in my head, with hammers and wrenches and screwdrivers, on how to program on everything from MS DOS to mainframes to Linux. I also know how to admin all but the mainframe, but know something of that. What, Ah say, what do you have to compare, Boy? One ballpeen hammer that only works in Windows?

                    mark, who prefers to use the right tool for the job

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

whitroth A good start (703 comments)

It'd be nice to see a lot of the people who would really *like* to go be able to go... again. "Again", because the GOP has been hacking at the Pell grants for decades. When I worked for a major city community college in the early eighties as a programmer, one of my jobs was the tape exchange with the feds, part of the grant process. Therefore, I knew from direct data that better than 80% of the students were there on Pell grants.

These days, from what I read, it's a fraction of that.

We keep hearing how education is the key to a better job... but the folks who don't have it can't afford it, because all they can get are part-time jobs flipping burgers and working in big box stores (while the owners of them, the Waltons, etc, are seeing increased billions of dollars for the few of them). More people with better jobs means a bigger economy... but the GOP and the billionaires paying them are running on two rules: 1, if you're not a billionaire, you're not working hard enough, and c) he who dies with the most money wins.

                mark

about three weeks ago
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HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

whitroth HOAs should die (320 comments)

I consider them unAmerican, at least. And btw, when I was looking for my current house, I told my agent that if there was an HOA, I wouldn't even look at it.

Had a friend whose carriage lamp on the front of her house, which was really *cheap* aluminum, died, she had it replaced with a better one... and the HOA demanded she replace that with another cheap one. And then there was the time that someone from the HOA got her given a ticket for dogshit in her back yard (the one with the 5'+ high fence around it, and it was a bit after a snowstorm, and it was all melting. (The judge tore up the complaint).

No, they all are run by tin-plated petty dictators, with delusions of godhood. Unfuck 'em (no fucks for any of 'em).

                          mark

about three weeks ago
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FBI: North Korean Hackers "Got Sloppy", Leaked IP Addresses

whitroth Horse hockey (219 comments)

Like I believe the FBI, that the hackers "got sloppy". They did that good a job, *then* got sloppy? There's no chance, of course, that whoever actually did it *delberately* put those false trails in, no, no....

                mark

about three weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

whitroth what, no one with ideas on /.? (300 comments)

How 'bout a civilization that disassembles a solar system and rebuilds it into a Dyson sphere? Doesn't that count?

              mark "I won't say 'bigger than Galactus, I won't...."

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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About the teacher busted for self-published novels

whitroth whitroth writes  |  about 5 months ago

whitroth (9367) writes "I was waiting for an actual news story, not just tweets. Here's the real story:
Excerpt:
In fact, McLaw has not been arrested. No warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Concerns about McLaw were raised after he sent a four-page letter to officials in Dorchester County. Those concerns brought together authorities from multiple jurisdictions, including health authorities.

McLaw's attorney, David Moore, tells The Times that his client was taken in for a mental health evaluation. "He is receiving treatment," Moore said.

Because of federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations mandating privacy around healthcare issues, he was unable to say whether McLaw has been released.

McLaw's letter was of primary concern to healthcare officials, Maciarello says. It, combined with complaints of alleged harassment and an alleged possible crime from various jurisdictions led to his suspension. Maciarello cautions that these allegations are still being investigated; authorities, he says, "proceeded with great restraint."
— end excerpt —

In other words, the guy has real issues, and they're not related to the books, which one assumes he gave those themes to, so as to gain popularity due to current shootings — a PR decision.

And a side note: the president of a local sf club has read at least one of the books, and reports that it's material that wouldn't get past a slushpile reader....
mark"

Link to Original Source
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Bacteria that eat electricity

whitroth whitroth writes  |  about 6 months 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 and a half 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  |  more than 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  |  more than 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  |  more than 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 3 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 8 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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