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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

wild_berry Re:Can we have a [credible] MS Access equivalent? (185 comments)

No real comparable thing exists, and to expect it is to think in the MS single-microcomputer-on-every-desk mindset. We're networked and clouded these days, so every program is a server which can interact with any other program (or should be) and a single-lump tool is limited to its black box. In the Free/Open Source world, you can get full SQL DB's or NoSQL storage engines free-at-point-of-use, so why would you grab a single solution when you can pick the components which best fit your needs?

I think you've condemned your many clients to no scalability and little flexibility. When it comes to cope with larger numbers of records, more complicated business logic or increased concurrent access, there's nothing like Access in the Free/Open Source world because the big-boy DB's are free-at-point-of-use. You then have the freedom to implement a web UI or a GTK+ UI or a QT UI talking a standard protocol and standard DB query language, and with that comes the architectural freedom to divorce the back-end from the business logic from the user interface -- which makes maintenance and ongoing improvements easy.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

wild_berry Re:No problem (423 comments)

Another one runs NT Server, because porting 100,000+ part numbers to a new database isn't worth the upgrade.

Can you name and shame your customer*, so I don't get delayed by parts from that DB when it goes pear-shaped? Data should be transferrable; migration -- like backups and disaster recovery -- should be a thing we expect as normal for digital information.

*: well, no you won't, this request is hyperbole on Slashdot.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Ahead of Phone Tracking ?

wild_berry Bruce Schneier says we've already lost (259 comments)

But... if I were going to try and confound the system which can correlate almost all of your electronic records, you'd need to have a rolling list of sock-puppets who supply proxy identifying information to the cell towers. You'd need to have a bundle of SIM cards in the handset to do this, or to have electronics which fake the same data. Then, to make sure you can actually be contacted, you need to have a call redirection system sending you SIP calls (though if you're designing the hardware for this, you can encrypt the data streams carrying your voice over the existing cell transports - note that Skype may be encrypted but we don't know how well or who has a back door key). To avoid that being a single point of obfuscation failure, it probably needs to be a distributed network of TOR-like relays across hardware and cloud providers, and even then, it will probably need to be steganographically hidden in ordinary-looking traffic.

Not impossible, but still a pipe-dream since 1993.

about a year and a half ago

California's Unspoken Health Problem: Brain Parasites

wild_berry Re:Cost/Benefit Analysis (313 comments)

How extensive is the undiagnosed population, and how fast is that population growing, and how much will they cost to treat?

You have a 1 in 100,000 of a 20+year ailment giving you symptoms which cause its diagnosis and treatment. Most carriers are asymptomatic, and the article states that no-one knows how many people are carriers or how many more infections they cause.

I'll suggest that the undiagnosed population is a few million, but it's not growing fast because most people wash their hands after pooping and before preparing food. Your fiscal choice is to wait until it becomes a problem (cost:billions, using your number above) or to pay for preventative work which studies the problem and works to diagnose and lower the asymptomatic-yet-parasitised population (cost:millions). Your call.

about 2 years ago

Steam For Linux Will Launch In 2012

wild_berry Which Linux Platform: Desktop or Android? (299 comments)

May I add my contribution to the many elucidatory and finely-expressed commentary as is usual here at Slashdot?

I've not seen anyone ask which Linux platform Steam is going to arrive on. There's desktop Linux, which may make a fine foundation for a 'Punk' or 'Boiler' Steam box*, or there's Android, which will help Steam sell to casual, mobile and hand-held users. Steam games on either would be quite welcome.

*: Steam Punk variety has ornamental gears and intricate woodwork (I'm sure you could see that one coming).

more than 2 years ago

Book Review: Occupy World Street

wild_berry "not sufficient to affect change" (284 comments)

"Being intellectually sound, however, is not sufficient to affect change"

Can we have the argument about affect and effect here? I would have used 'effect change' here, unless OP means that change, in some way, is to be altered.

Also, there an enormous issue about how invested we all are in the existing system, with jobs and housing provided by it. That makes it very costly to change - but it's quite costly to stay paying a mortgage which supports the lifestyles of the people who sold created and sold CDOs and which is also rescuing the present situation.

more than 2 years ago

What Does a Software Tester's Job Constitute?

wild_berry Re:Avoid it. (228 comments)

I'm a software tester in an organisation which has clear delineation between manual testers, software test engineers who build automated tests and developers (I gotta say that I speak for me and not them here - that's the policy out of the way). The first two of that list need to have a 'question everything' testers' mentality; the last two need to have a technical grasp of how the whole thing works, from the core OS, servers and transports to the libraries used and the UI.

A manual tester is concerned with the human experience of your software. Typically there will be a script of the exact actions or the class of actions the manual tester is expected to cover. Some firms roll regression testing and new feature testing into the manual tester's role, others have a separate user-acceptance testing team who stand between released software and deployment.

The automation tester's role is to make the computer test the software, by building a framework around the program and its installed environment to check the system as-a-whole does the intended job. Some automation testers also write unit tests in the core program code; mostly this is left to the developers, who are increasingly being asked to show that their code works - and doesn't break the existing code - before check-in. Some places operate a Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) process where client needs are expressed in testable ways - so that the evidence that your software does what a client wants is written down clearly for the client to see, the tester to test and the developer to build. Some BDD systems even build tests which show that these goals are met, and are known as Test-Driven because the proof of rightness is shown by the tests.

Preparing for an telephone screening or interview about software test engineer, you will need to show that you're technically-minded, that you've worked engineered a test system before, that you understand the benefits and shortcomings of building such a system (such as knowing when to build tests and when to leave low-hanging test fruit to manual testers), and that you're concerned for the quality of the product more than for building a new toy test rig.

I disagree with nearly every point made above, but I know this as a tester: there are a lot of people who shuffle into testing because it's the gateway to working in software. That's no bad thing. But mix it with the lack of confidence to apply for and get developer roles, and you will probably harm your sanity and your career. In every job, you need to be competent and confident. On top of that, you need to be personable so, for example, you don't make bug reports critical of the developers who made them (and know how to calm down a dev who's got that idea).

To be a good tester is genuine hard work requiring the best of your technical insight, pedantry and commitment to high standards, but to be a great tester will call for charisma, kindness, honesty, good working relationships, and the skills to help make a dysfunctional team work right.

If you're only a tester for a short while and move on to a developer role, you can either blame the economy for not having enough dev jobs (so you compromised in order to fulfill your passion for making software), or you can say that you wanted to improve your developer skills by learning what it's like to be on the other side of the fence as a tester. It's not a black mark if working as a tester makes it a benefit to you and a prospective employer.

more than 2 years ago

Y Combinator Wants To Kill Hollywood

wild_berry Re:"Kill" is hyperbole (424 comments)

Content too? I think that you could easily co-opt this by supplying a farm of content-producing people for Y-Combinator to invest in, making them subject to the same market forces -- or putting them in the same boat -- that the movie studios and record companies are.

The fix requires more and better entertainment, more and better news reporting, more better-aware citizens and more and better political engagement. Make reading up on news get you points in some kind of alternate-reality game (ARG), discussing news and being politically active gets you points, too. Perhaps points to make your shopping or recreation cheaper (but there's probably other incentives).

more than 2 years ago

UK University Creates First Inkjet-Printed Graphene Circuit

wild_berry Re:Really? (60 comments)

You like your OLED display? That's inkjet-printed. I figure that Cambridge University has tamed the Inkjet -- the OLED was discovered there, too.

more than 2 years ago

News of the World Investigation Expanded to 9/11 Victims

wild_berry Re:Press charges against Murdoch and Brooks (135 comments)

Can I ask someone in the US to get the Feds on to this? News International's staff are alleged to have bribed UK Police, which is a federal crime under your Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Please get it investigated, and get New International prosecuted for perverting justice.

more than 3 years ago

KDE 4.7 – a First Look At Beta 1

wild_berry Re:The interface doesn't need to be changed much (264 comments)

We would definitely herald 2012 as the Year Of Linux On The Desktop if we had a UI which used a 20-dimensional hypercube. Redmond's Photocopiers couldn't keep up with that kind of innovation!

more than 3 years ago

Why IT Needs To Change for Gen Z

wild_berry Re:The users have to change too (443 comments)

Can I bring my laptop to you and you install a hypervisor and partition it up with some virtual machines so I have one partition for your work environment and one for my stuff? You can pick the hypervisor...

Nice dream, but this can never be a win because, soon as I have access to the hardware and run my instrumenting hypervisor, your disk encryption is compromised and any secrets you might want to keep -- and that's no matter how obscure the notion of a secret: logins, handshakes, keyfiles, and onward to company confidential or technical know-how -- those secrets are now theirs to leak.

more than 3 years ago

Writing Linux Kernel Functions In CUDA With KGPU

wild_berry Re:Wow (101 comments)

They're racking their brains as to what to do next.

I would aim for kernel threads running directly through CUDA and the Scheduler knowing the performance profile of suitable work for the GPU and the message-passing cost of moving work to the GPU^H^H^H parallelism co-processor. Make the interface right and you should be able to shift tasks across heterogeneous processing units. Do it perfectly and you can have a Linux Virtual Processor model which allows you to start running a task on your desktop, shuffle it to a laptop for transit, pare it down to use on your mobile phone, buy some CPU time from an internet cluster to grind through some calculations before transferring it home. Choose x86: there's already enough x86 junk in other trees, and it might fix up the ARM shenanigans too!

more than 3 years ago

Expensify CEO On 'Why We Won't Hire .NET Developers'

wild_berry Re:Never used dotNet, but this guy is an idiot. (758 comments)

Expensify's got 7 people total in their huddle but they want more. They've trolled successfully to get your and my attention -- and got worldwide press for this. For a company at 7 seats, everyone has to pitch in at everything: 'not my job' and 'not my skillset' are unacceptable and only 'what can I do to help us get the win?' is the only thing that will get this company to success.

Maybe you didn't like the style and wouldn't work there. It reminded me that I enjoy being the sort of person who uses any skill and the best tool to do what I've chosen to get into. And it's good to know that there are other people out there who will celebrate and encourage that.

(But still, I've been trolled and this is a post in a troll thread.)

more than 3 years ago

Apple's App Store Accepts 'Gay Cure' App

wild_berry Re:There really is an app for everything :P (794 comments)

You aren't a mainstream Christian if you think that*. Penal Atonement is a minority view of what the Cross does for mankind's relationship with God. It makes sense to a human but it can't be the true explanation because it requires God to make humanity susceptible to fail God's rules, then have God step in and sacrifice God to God to break those rules and 'satisfy' God of something when most of it is breaking God's rules.

Any idea how unfair it seems of God has to hold you or me to God's rules? Or that we must 'adore' or 'worship' such a deity in such a setup?

*: Penal atonement, that Jesus on the cross is a sacrifice which satisfies God's need to have someone pay for the sins of the world.

more than 3 years ago

GNU Free Call Announced, SIP-based VoIP

wild_berry Re:Unfortunately... (145 comments)

Perhaps we need to add steganographic noise to the other elements on your photo-sharing sites, just so that your messages don't stick out like a sore thumb.

more than 3 years ago

Book Review: jBPM Developer Guide

wild_berry Re:Define your terms! (39 comments)

That was added after (in response to?) my comment post. The mods can do that, and thumbs up to them for improving this content-free front-page post.

more than 3 years ago



Debian 6.0 'Squeeze' released

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "After 2 years of preparation and 3 months of freeze time, the Debian project announced that Debian 6.0, aka 'Squeeze' has been released. New to The Universal Operating system is a FreeBSD kernel for the Debian/GNU userland, as well as a Linux kernel without firmware for easy redistribution. It brings long-term stabilized versions of the Linux Kernel (2.6.32), GCC (4.4.5), X.Org (7.5), GNOME (2.30), KDE (4.4.5) as well as XFCE 4.6 and LXDE 0.5.0. These come from the usual high-quality app repository which now counts 29,000 binary packages from 15,000 source code sets, across the now-standard 8 CPU architectures (i386, amd64, powerpc, sparc, mips / mipsel, ia64, s390 and armel)."
Link to Original Source

Oracle sues Google for using Java in Android

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "Oracle have filed a suit against Google for patent and copyright infringement, claiming that "In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property." The full text of Oracle's legal complaint is available at VentureBeat. This is puzzling — who goes after Google? — but perhaps this is about the use of Android's use of Apache Harmony."
Link to Original Source

BBC HD's Christmas gift: an HD calibration guide

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "Andy Quested at the BBC Internet Blog has a detailed description of the BBC HD calibration tools available on the BBC HD Channel. There is a new BBC test picture, the descendant of many famous BBC test card images, and an Audio/Video synchronisation test. Both are fully explained so that you can get the best out of the BBC HD Channel when used with a Dolby Digital suround sound system. And, like most BBC transmissions not yet available abroad, expect to see it on your nearest Torrent site soon!"
Link to Original Source

Apple Recommends Anti-Virus for Mac OS X

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "The BBC's Technology News is reporting that Apple are taking steps to educate their users about anti-virus products. With a rise in malware attacking non-core software such as Adobe's Acrobat Reader and Flash plugin coupled with the rising popularity of Apple's computers, it seems that malicious software will soon be running alongside your Delicious software. Does this bust the claim that Mac OS X is inherently more secure? Are Apple fans vindicated because their platform has been noticed by the bad guys?"
Link to Original Source

Yahoo's Build your Own Search Service revealed

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 6 years ago

K3ninho (448019) writes "Yahoo have revealed plans to provide an API to their search results to allow anyone to build an enterprise-level web search platform using the Yahoo! web data and additional processing rules. Vik Singh's blog post ("An insider's view of Boss") describes the initial pitch for the project: that the intent of the search user is captured using more than just one small letterbox on an otherwise blank page. Given that the Google web-crawled database coupled to Google results algorithms provide for a lot of the Google advertising money — and there are plans to allow people to make money from searches using BOSS — is this a radical change in the game by Yahoo! or have they conceded that the talent at Sunnyvale can't catch Google?"

nVidia preview 'Tegra' MID platform

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "BBC Technology News is reporting that nVidia have previewed their Mobile Internet Device platform which will be officially unveiled at Computex in the next few days. The platform features CPU's named Tegra paired with nVidia chipset and graphics technology. Tegra is a system-on-a-chip featuring an ARM 11 core and nVidia's graphics technologies permitting 1080p HiDef television decode and OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics. Engadget's page has more details, such as the low expected price ($199-249), huge battery life (up to 130 hours audio/30 hours HD video) and enough graphics power to render Quake3 anti-aliased at 40FPS."
Link to Original Source

Avoid gridlock: flying cars are the future!

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "BBC News are reporting on the 2008 Electric Aircraft Symposium, where flying cars are proposed as a future means of everyday transportation. NASA's Mark Moore is quoted: "If such an aircraft can achieve greater efficiencies than being stuck in gridlock or even on commercial airlines then we will have something to get excited about." Larry Page of Google was at the event, so expect to see Flying Car (beta) on the Google homepage soon."
Link to Original Source

Windows Server 2008 to begin life as 'SP1'

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "Iain McDonald records that Windows Server 2008 is to be "called SP1" (from his MSDN blog: Server 2008 is called SP1. Adventures in doing things right?). The label is intended to make it easier for MCSE's to know that their Windows Vista SP1 is on a par with Windows Server SP1. It's not only that: McDonald admits "in retrospect i (sic.) should just say its (sic.) called that so you don't have to wait for SP1 for it to be right like people have before. The first Service Pack for [Windows Server 2008] will be called SP2". I agree with Ars Technica that the improvements and real-world testing of a product with a service pack are what appeals to companies, not that it's got a magic 'SP1' sticker."

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "Mark Hammill and George Lucas are working together again, and on Star Wars. Better than that, a Star Wars spoof. The London Times is reporting that the unusually-long 30-minute episode of Robot Chicken for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim grew from discussions about a Star Wars-themed Robot Chicken sketch on Also, has more details of other cast members, including the unusual combination of Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan and James Van Der Beek. There's no mention of the roles, so we can only hope for The Hulk voicing Greedo, perhaps slain by Malcolm McDowell's replicant Han Solo."

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "The latest edition of Bob Cringely's column at, entitled Shameless Self-Promotion: Bob's Disk Drive is up. He's talking about replacing the glass or metal platters in present hard disk drives with foil platters in order to save energy. Apparently, it's a technology that's been patented for years but the lack of a marketed product makes me suspicious: is it snake oil? And is Cringely just talking up some crazy futurology once again?"

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "Ben Kuchera flew into Rockstar Games' New York office to spend a couple of hours with a game that is controversial simply because of its title ( Bully ) and the developers' past works, which include the Grand Theft Auto series. The write up allows the game to speak for itself amid the hype generated by litigation overlord Jack Thompson and others."

wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  about 8 years ago

wild_berry (448019) writes "The BBC reports that Universal Music has signed a deal to make its music available for a free and legally-licensed download. Available from a new music site called SpiralFrog, the deal will allow users in the USA and Canada to listen to Universal's music, which Reuters' news site reveals is paid for by targetted advertising, but no details of possible community or playlist sharing features of the SpiralFrog service. Is the immunity from litigation enough to make up for having targetted advertising on each page and not being able to write the music to CD or a portable player?"



wild_berry wild_berry writes  |  more than 8 years ago

There's been some fuss made over multiple submissions by people doing spamming links for Google pagerank (or something else that disgusts the general Slash Community, such as putting cats in glass jars and taking photos...).

This is my disclosure: I've submitted two articles today because I thought people would be interested. There aren't sites linked to my articles (save this explanation) and no advertisers benefit, save for those normally on Slashdot. And I'm sorry if that upsets you.

Take care.

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