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Microsoft Announces 'Surface' Tablet

znerk Re:Zune or Xbox? (712 comments)

UEFI and a locked-down BIOS (yes, in violation of their own terms) will make this a Windows-only device. Just watch.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Announces 'Surface' Tablet

znerk Re:Or a third way: (712 comments)

I'm thinking someone doesn't know how to do lots of things on an iPad...

Or that the 'vast majority of software' won't run on Windows RT.

I'm thinking someone didn't read the article (wherein it states that the pro version runs everything a standard windows box does) or is making a straw man by deliberately picking the ARM version of the tablet for the sake of argument.

Out of curiosity, what other ARM-based systems run Windows software?

more than 2 years ago
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Ethiopia Criminalizes VoIP Services

znerk Re:Looking through the wrong window (255 comments)

Mean Time To Libertarian on /. has fallen through the floor lately.

Depending on your definition of "libertarian", it's not just slashdot.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?

znerk Re:Fine, I'll bite (627 comments)

But hey, you seem to think I don't have a clue of what I'm talking about. I guess I'm pretty skilled for a dumb guy.

Not as skilled as you seem to think, which simply further reinforces the idea that you're none too bright. As TheLink pointed out here, you're probably just not enabling any verbosity in your logging. I'm even willing to bet you thought you were all kinds of smart, and disabled the default logging level, figuring it would save you some space on /var/log

--
It is wiser to remain silent and appear to be a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

about 2 years ago
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Free Desktop Software Development Dead In Windows 8

znerk Re:wish I understood this better (462 comments)

Funny you should mention a brain-level interface... check this out.

Hopefully, they'll allow consumer-grade datajack implants before I'm too old to be able to function with one.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?

znerk Re:Administering Linux is a nightmare (627 comments)

HE DID NOT SAY HE DID NOT INVESTIGATE DEPENDENCIES YOU CLUELESS FUCKING MORON.

Really? Then I completely misinterpreted his statement:

Then the compiler can't compile the source because it's missing some libraries.

Other systems don't have it, because they don't share the Linux obsession with a billion different "distributions", most just different enough from the rest that you cannot freely intermix software (the same software!) which has been "packaged" for one with another. I laugh whenever I see idiots like you claim that Linux package management is a unique strength for Linux. Yeah, sure, it is a unique strength, but it's also its greatest weakness. It is the reason why GP had to go through a ton of pain to install a compiler and track down dependencies in the first place.

Actually, I think the reason why GP had to track down dependencies and compile his/her own flavor of the app in question is because of SuSE, specifically. Ubuntu has very few issues handling packages from other operating systems; look into alien. Interestingly enough, I pointed out Ubuntu as a distribution that might be better suited to installing $APPLICATION, because the process would be much easier - especially considering that one possible reason the user was not able to install easily is that there ws no binary package for the selected distribution.

There are many books that might help you. Reading help files, man pages, and/or support websites for your operating system of choice might also help.

RTFM, the eternal cry of the stereotypically clueless basement dwelling Linux dweeb who will never understand why the whole world doesn't want to adopt Linux tomorrow.

Yes, I suggested further learning about a topic that the GP obviously does not possess enough knowledge of. Shame on me.

Shut the fuck up, stop looking for an excuse to be condescending, and listen.

I wasn't being condescending, I was attempting to help inform and educate the GP about how to resolve the issues s/he is experiencing. Again, shame on me.

I probably should not have closed with my statement that this uneducated poseur should not actually be working in the IT field, if I were trying to be polite.
Regardless, I stand behind all of the statements in my previous post.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?

znerk Re:Administering Linux is a nightmare (627 comments)

I'm an expert at getting around the Linux shell, but when it comes to installing software, I want to pull my hair out. They usually don't have binaries for the flavor we use at work (SuSE linux), so that means I have to download the source for the software I want to install. Then oh no, the server doesn't even have a compiler installed, so I have to install the compiler. Then the compiler can't compile the source because it's missing some libraries. So I have to go download those libraries (the source, since there aren't any pre-compiled binaries for SuSE), compile those (which will require me to download the source for even more prerequisite libraries...), and then finally get around to compiling the first thing I wanted to install.

If I understand you correctly, your root problem is that you are not, in fact, an expert at using/administering Linux, but think that you are. There are many books that might help you. Reading help files, man pages, and/or support websites for your operating system of choice might also help.

No binaries means compiling from source. No big deal, it's essentially one extra step.
Compiling requires a compiler and the requisite libraries. Not investigating dependencies is your fault, not the operating system's.
If SuSE is such an issue for you, but you insist on some flavor of *nix, I would recommend either picking up Gentoo (so as to learn the inner workings of absolutely every piece of software you would like to install), or picking up Ubuntu (eliminating the need for cognition in most cases).
If *nix is not a requirement, I recommend Windows, for much the same reason I would recommend Ubuntu.

You don't seem to be capable of administering any systems, and should hire someone to do that for you. If your job title contains any of the following words: "system", "network", "administrator", "technician", "operations", or "specialist", then your employer should fire you immediately.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?

znerk Re:Fine, I'll bite (627 comments)

So, I'd say you are probably a Linux administrator, and not a windows one. Windows also have logging facilities, and a pretty complete statistics monitor to help you diagnose/troubleshoot problems (and probably can gather metrics with far more detail than you would on a Linux system). That said, there are some issues an lot of badly designed software out there. But unfortunely (sic), that's not Windows-specific.

I'm a Windows administrator. Card-carrying Microsoft-Certified Geek Extraordinaire, as a matter of fact. For several years, I was the Network/Systems Admin for every other municipality from New Orleans to San Antonio. I also administer some Linux Systems.

Unfortunately, rev0lt, you haven't got a clue what you're talking about. Linux logging facilities give you specific, text-based error messages indicating what the problem is and when/where it occurred without needing to look up some esoteric (and numeric) error code on Microsoft's web site to even guess what the problem might be related to. To restate that concept: Linux error messages tend to be something intelligible without requiring internet access; Microsoft error "messages" tend to be strings of numbers that mean absolutely nothing without digging through support websites.

As an aside, I have never had a Linux system give me an error that included the text "The operation completed successfully". I'll leave that google search for you to laugh at.

more than 2 years ago
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Waterboarding Whistleblower Indicted Under Espionage Act

znerk Re:Hope and change (338 comments)

We were in a conflict with Iraq from the day they invaded Kuwait.

Funny you should bring that up, since they asked us for permission first. (see this wiki article)

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook On Collision Course With New EU Privacy Laws

znerk What power have laws, in this digital age? (195 comments)

'Companies must understand that if they want access to 500 million consumers in the EU, then they have to comply. This is not an option,'

The EU legislation needs to learn the same lesson that the US legislators haven't learned yet... The internet is a flexible, resilient system that will route around damage, and attempts to censor it only end up hurting the censor's pockets and/or public image. See the Google vs. China debacle last year, for one high-profile (and perhaps high-profit) example. Alternatively, type "SOPA" or "PIPA" into your favorite search engine, and see the raging fire of the responses.

Not only do I think the EU's new privacy laws will be (by and large) ignored, but I think FaceBook will only pay attention if their users band together in ridiculously large numbers to complain... by making a FaceBook page about it.

The problem here boils down to "we make more money with this scheme than your piddly little fines can ever hope to 'punish' us", and "we're not even based in your country, so your laws mean precisely as much as we allow them to" ... besides, it's not like these sites are providing a public service, or coercing people's "private" information. If you want to play the game, you gotta give your name. Wanna play some more? Give us your cell phone number. Don't like giving away your "private" info to just any website that asks? Be more selective about the stuff you do online, and only transact with sites you trust and/or don't actually care about the information they want. Or do what many are already doing, and simply lie.

At what point did everyone forget that old axiom "Knowledge is Power"? Or does no one make the connection between money, power, and knowledge? Does no one realize that it is just as easy to use the equation "Money = Power = Information"?

On to slightly unrelated, and yet completely relevant discussion:

We're at a strange place in a legal sense - there are thousands of unenforceable laws on the books, most of them about ridiculously convoluted methods of acquiring things/money/information in an illicit fashion, and yet there are literally billions of people who care so little about these "minor details" that they have "illegal" music on their portable audio devices. Even the copyright-enforcement people have been caught "stealing" music and video from the original artists. (Yeah, I know, the source would seem to be biased, but it was the second result for a google query "copyright agency caught stealing music", and the first actually relevant one... interestingly enough, this article about the Dutch having this issue wasn't even the one I was looking for - the first case I heard about was in Canada).

At some point, the laws aren't going to be worth the paper the warrants aren't even printed on anymore. It's fairly apparent that it's all about an outmoded system's power grab, just like the ??AA's money grab with the copyright legislation. The danger here is that the system is getting so absurd that no one will pay attention to any of the laws, because the only ones with any actual threat of punishment are ones that they can't enforce, due to the sheer number of people breaking them.

As an example, when this new American health-care reform thing goes through, and everyone is "required" to carry health insurance, I'm wondering what the response will be if someone refuses... will they arrest them for being sick and going to a hospital? If so, the American taxpayer will feed them, clothe them, house them, and pay for their healthcare - as "punishment" for not paying astronomical fees for what amounts to legalized gambling (and what else can you call insurance, really?)

The only upside to being a "good citizen" any more, obeying the ever-increasing (and ever-more-absurd) laws being generated by some guys in another state (which might as well be another country, for all that they have any idea what their "constituents" actually want) is being able to have a beer and play WoW... assuming you're over the legal age, of course, and agree to whatever is in that EULA and ToS they display after each major patch every month or so for you to scroll through without reading so you can click the "Accept" button and go play. Anything more than that might run you afoul of the law, and get you hauled in for reprocessing... err... renumeration... uhm... restitution... punishment!

Bad Netizen! You can't play flash games until you give us $300 and tie your cellphone's GPS to this website. Now go home, stay indoors, and behave like a good little tax-paying consumer...

more than 2 years ago
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Researchers Feel Pressure To Cite Superfluous Papers

znerk Re:Sample Size Errors (107 comments)

I did RTFA. The authors of the paper surveyed 54,000 academics, and about 1,300 responded to say, "Yes we felt pressured." That's 2.5%. Only 1/3 of those named a single journal that pressured them. Another 2.5% said, "We've heard that others have been pressured, but never us." 7.5% said, "We've never heard of it." And 87.5% didn't respond. The survey shows extreme self-selection as 7 of 8 academics did not respond. So before someone gets excited that 20% of academics are pressured, note that under 13% of academics responded.

... because the other ~87% were pressured to keep silent?

more than 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

znerk Re:"what if" game (212 comments)

Rather than being snarky, maybe you should have replied with a link to the movie, as I requested? This entire (off-topic) thread is about imdb's failure to play nice with the rest of the internet, and your failure to implement the workaround I supplied instructions for.

Any further replies from you in this thread without the link I asked for will be met with extreme contempt, complete with expressed and implied detrimental comments about your intellectual capacity, family lineage, etc.

We're already risking downmods by even having this conversation - don't be stupid and make it worse.

about 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

znerk Re:read the book (212 comments)

I mean that inside your computer, if you wanted to do all that we do with gears and wheels and such like, you would need a lot more energy than we currently use pushing electrons around.

... and I mean that energy requirements are constantly fluctuating, and the current value is always "a little more than we have".

I'm not disagreeing with your statement that moving mechanical parts around would require more energy than our current computer technology requires, I'm simply stating that it wouldn't make any difference to the end user.

To use a car analogy, your statement implies that vehicles such as the HumVee would not exist, because they require more energy to push their wastefully large frames down the interstate.

about 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

znerk Re:read the book (212 comments)

The energy issue hasn't changed - we'll always need "just a little bit" more than we currently have. We could actually have tapped quite a few sources of reliable, renewable energy, it's just not economically viable to do so (at least, not while fossil fuels are still available at such (artificially) cheap rates).

more than 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

znerk Re:"what if" game (212 comments)

All of which were set back about 1000 years by the dark ages and the mentality that still pervades.

To further your point: The US has shot itself in the foot by impeding the progress of medical science. All the vehement arguments about stem cell research that caused the US to outlaw accessing the best source of stem cells has resulted in Belgium coming up with a cure for AIDS, instead of the US.

Here's a link to the NYTimes story. Please keep in mind while reading it that the story seems to have a massive "sour grapes" slant, deeming the procedure "impractical" due in part to the fact that the patient's immune system must be destroyed prior to the procedure... which seems laughable to jeer about, since AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) destroys the patient's immune system, causing death from such agents as "the common cold". Doing the same thing in a controlled fashion, allowing the patient to be in a controlled environment for the duration of the procedure, seems a lot less "impractical".

The gist of the matter is that the American populace has been told "it's expensive, and might kill the patient" in lieu of telling them "it's expensive, and might kill the patient, but this will actually rid the body of HIV, instead of making the patient take dangerous drugs every day for the rest of their life".

Think of the lives that could have been saved if the American research facilities had come up with this idea first. If that doesn't motivate you enough, think of all the money that the US has just lost because they shortsightedly allowed the "moral implications" of acquiring research material from non-viable fetal tissue to justify outlawing an entire field of research that just panned out... for someone else.

more than 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

znerk Re:"what if" game (212 comments)

Unfortunately, the link you supplied is broken, due to the referrer being outside imdb.com's domain. Perhaps if you linked to the movie the image belongs to, instead, you would have at least gotten a "funny" mod, instead of being largely ignored because you didn't check your links in the preview pane.

Just saying.

more than 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

znerk Re:"what if" game (212 comments)

... as spoken by someone who obviously didn't read the article.

Your entire premise is flawed, in that had Babbage been able to fund the production of his machine, then he would have created "an actual machine to do it quickly, reliably, and cheaply." His Analytical Engine was a precursor to modern digital machines, and the article expresses how we might have been exactly where we are now, except 100 years earlier... and with a different power source.

It even postulates that something approximating the internet might have emerged, using the telegraph instead of the telephone - and we wouldn't have had to convert from digital to analog and back again, because the dots and dashes are digital to start with.

Babbage's Analytical Engine worked, he just never actually built it.

more than 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

znerk Re:We'd be all programming in Ada right now (212 comments)

But the Germans *did* have long range targeting, and weapons capable of using that data (indeed, the "Paris Gun" was the reason for discovering how the Coriolis Effect affected their targeting - at ranges of roughly 75 miles (120km), the rotation of the earth was enough to affect the projected 3-minute trajectory of the weapon's explosive projectiles).

In other words, your conclusion is based on a false premise. More information is always a good thing, when asking questions about possibilities.

more than 2 years ago
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Belgium Anti-Piracy Group Expands Attack On Access To the Pirate Bay

znerk Re:Alternative DNS (159 comments)

In addition to propagation delays the normal DNS infrastructure can't work as the ISP themselves can block lookups to a given domain name by putting entries in their own servers...

No, they can't. Or rather, that only works if you're using their servers. If you send a dns query packet to a specific IP address, you should only receive a response from the IP address you requested one from. Any firewall worth calling a firewall will block most spoofing attacks by default.

...which is why I was thinking alternate DNS with only a relatively short list of 'sensitive' name resolution entries allowing very few servers to serve the entire net, eliminating the propagation delay.

If you are sending DNS queries to a specific server, then your propagation delay is only as long as it takes for that server to update. In other words, if you're using a "darknet" DNS server, then as soon as the admin (or whatever automated process exists) updates the DNS records, that server begins sharing the new DNS records; without propagation, there can be no propagation delay.

I agree with you about the potential blocking of the alternate servers so perhaps a new mechanism is needed where the alternative DNS is tunneled in http(s) and thus can use any proxy to avoid being blocked. Should work anywhere a local proxy isn't forced I would think, and even then it would be easy enough to set up many mirrors to avoid local proxy blocking.

For a secure(ish) proxy, look into TOR (The Onion Router) - it can be configured to send DNS queries through the secure tunnel, although it does not do it by default (if I recall correctly - always double-check information you receive from random strangers on the internet). Of course, you may want to be aware that by running TOR, you are also volunteering to be an endpoint for lots of other people's traffic, so the cost may outweight the benefit in the final analysis.

Alternatively, there are literally thousands of websites out there that will perform a DNS lookup for you in your web browser - try "DNS lookup" as your search terms in your search engine of choice. That query on google gave me back "About 5,030,000 results (0.14 seconds)" - all of the ones on the first page of results looked relevant, at a glance.

To be completely honest, I think you're making this process out to be much more complicated than it actually is.

more than 2 years ago

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