Comments

High Res Monitor (Score: 2, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in My next big purchase will be: on 2014-07-28 18:07 (#2P9)

I'm looking forward to getting a 4k computer monitor. My phone and tablet both have sexy screens, why does my monitor have fewerpixels than it did 10 years ago? (was 1920x1200 now 1920x1080)

Both ASUS and Samsung now have reasonably priced models (under $600), but they are still TN and 27". The nice IPS 30" models are still in the thousands, so I'm eagerly waiting for their prices to drop a bit more.

Re: battery life? (Score: 3, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Intel is paying tablet manufacturers to use its chips on 2014-07-26 01:31 (#2NG)

The battery life seems to be comparable to that of other contenders, too. Asus claims run times up to nine hours on a single charge, which matches my subjective impressions based on casual use.
iPad mini Retina: 9.8 hours, 23.8 Wh battery
Memo Pad ME176C: ~9 hours, 15 Wh battery

Mainly due to Intel's lithography advantage. Bay trail at 22 nm vs Apple A5 at 32 nm

Re: Availability (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Bruce Byfield: KDE5 Plasma is the best desktop on 2014-07-25 19:03 (#2MX)

Also interesting blog on upcoming wayland support in KDE.

Availability (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Bruce Byfield: KDE5 Plasma is the best desktop on 2014-07-25 18:49 (#2MW)

So is KDE5 available in the default package sources of Ubuntu based distros? Or do you have to wait until October? Or go through some exotic manual installation? Or maybe a PPA?

Not worth it (Score: 2, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Here's what happens when you blend Debian and Android on 2014-07-23 00:26 (#2MK)

MicroXwin is a non-free kernel module. Here is the LICENSE file:
Following files :
libX11.so.6.3.0
libXcursor.so.1.0.2
libXext.so.6.4.0
libXrender.so.1.3.0
x11.ko
are the intellectual property of VolksPC LLC, CA, USA (http://www.volkspc.org).
These are made available for evaluation purpose or non-commercial use.
For commercial use please contact info@volkspc.org.

About time... (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Japan's Robot Revolution and the Uncanny Valley on 2014-07-21 19:15 (#2M0)

With all the emphasis they get in sci-fi movies and tv shows, I really thought we'd have more robots by now. But as a marketable product, there just aren't that many things that they can actually do today.

Robotic maid? Not quite there yet - unless you count Roomba. Unfortunately, the Roomba products haven't progressed at all. They are the same designs from 15 years ago with hardly any computational or mechanical advances. If they followed the same Moore's Law curve as the rest of the computer industry, they should have been bipedal androids that can walk and talk by now. Instead, they are the same dumb "Drive forward until you hit something, then backup, take a slight turn, and try again" that they have always been. Although the company claims to have sold over 10 million of the devices, they have almost nothing to show for it.

Maybe Intel can shake things up a little with their Jimmy robot.

Re: What can you do? (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Researchers demonstrate health risks posed by 'third hand' tobacco smoke on 2014-07-21 18:14 (#2KY)

When a coworker that works in the same room as you comes in reeking of smoke, you suffer because of their habit.

Unfortunately, speaking from experience.

Will Apple be around in 5-10 years? (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Looking for programming work in 5-10 years? You'd better learn on 2014-07-21 17:50 (#2KX)

Seems like both Objective C and Swift are missing from the poll.

Re: Nissan Leaf (Score: 2, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Tesla Model 3 on 2014-07-20 20:58 (#2KF)

Batteries last longer if they are charged slowly. I used to be a fan of radio controlled cars (the enthusiast kind, not the ones you find at Toys'r'Us.) You realize, quite early, that battery packs that you charge with the “quick 15 minute” charger loose potency much faster than the packs that you charge with the “slow overnight” charger. The same applies to the full scale electric vehicle batteries. In fact, the manual even warns that frequently using the extra quick charge ports that you find at 3rd party charging stations will degrade your battery.

Lithium Ion batteries also last longer if you do not constantly bring them to 100% and 0%. Ideally, just like in your cellphone or your laptop, you keep the charge in the nice middle area. The Leaf has a convenient “80%” button that stops the charge before the battery gets too full. The first low range warning beeps occur at around 16 miles remaining mark. Keeping the battery within the 20-70 mile zone limits the range a bit, but increases the life expectancy of the battery.

Re: alive? (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in "Kerbal Space Program: First Contract" is now live on 2014-07-20 20:25 (#2KD)

That would be the <pre> tag that ACs on slashdot abuse a lot too. Although it does tend to make the post stand out, it is not the ideal use of the tag. I kept it as an allowed tag mainly from tradition with slashcode and possibly for formatting short blocks of source code inside a comment.

Looks like I might need to break with tradition.

Re: Current, small (Score: 3, Insightful)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Friday Distro: Alpine Linux on 2014-07-18 22:38 (#2JP)

system that could be booted from a floppy disk and run from memory
Not long from now, in fact it may have happened already, a substantial portion of the population will have never used or even seen a floppy disk.

Re: KDE Is Just The Best (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in KDE 5 has been released on 2014-07-18 18:15 (#2JJ)

On the next *ubntu release (14.10), I'll have to retry KDE again. I'll admit that it's been many years since I last played with it.

I fondly remember the math department at my university running KDE version 1 off a dual core 400Mhz Hershey Bar Pentium connected to several hundred X thin clients. I probably spent more time tinkering with the KDE desktop than learning whatever math program they where trying to make us use in that lab.

The numbers are in (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Axe about to drop at Microsoft on 2014-07-18 00:39 (#2J2)

So they are cutting 18,000 jobs, mostly from Nokia divisions not working on Microsoft compatible products.

Re: Out of the flames arises ... something (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Axe about to drop at Microsoft on 2014-07-17 20:40 (#2HY)

Errr... seems the Developers! chant was from another video clip. Monkey dance still a monkey dance though.

Re: Out of the flames arises ... something (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Axe about to drop at Microsoft on 2014-07-17 20:37 (#2HX)

Ballmer's nickname arose from his infamous monkey dance video where he screams Developers! Developers! Developers! while dancing like a (rather chubby) monkey on stage at a Microsoft event.

Formatting (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Tesla Model 3 on 2014-07-16 18:29 (#2HB)

Sorry, didn't have time to write up a proper article.

Re: Too late (Score: 5, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Pipedot: let's make this site fly on 2014-07-12 23:29 (#2FX)

I've always struggled with the subtle differences between the slash-style moderation ratings. I mean, how much difference is there between "Insightful" and "Interesting" anyway - and, since it's the integer score that determines the comments visibility, does it really matter?

TL;DR; Use "Underrated" and "Overrated" - These are the generic "+" and "-" options. Articles will never be tagged with either of these two strings but will increase/decrease its score by one point.

3D chips (Score: 2, Insightful)

by bryan@pipedot.org in The Post-Silicon future on 2014-07-12 22:54 (#2FV)

It's only a matter of time before needing to go in the 3rd dimension like they've already started doing with NAND flash. In fact, during the last few years, semiconductor companies have tested out new process nodes with NAND flash before atempting them with complex structures like CPU cores. With rows and rows of identical gates lined up in a perfect grid, this makes sense as it's probably a lot easier to spot defects and implement improvements.

So, if you want a preview of what CPU process nodes will be like in a few years, simply look at what NAND flash is doing today.

Got root? (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in The Internet of Things has already been rooted on 2014-07-10 18:45 (#2EK)

Being able to root your tablet or smart watch is often a good thing. You gain more control over the device that the manufacturer greedily stole from you whilst trying to cage you in their walled garden. Of course, these devices almost always act as clients and do not have server-like services "listening" on a network port.

A router or light bulb, however, do listen to a port on the network. Being able to remotely root these types of devices are definitively a bad thing and an obvious security vulnerability that needs to be patched.

Re: KDE / Qt Always Better (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in The Future of GTK+ on 2014-07-10 00:30 (#2DZ)

I agree with the GNOME sentiment, but one of the strengths of the GTK+ toolkit was that it wasn't limited to just GNOME - it was a standalone library that an alternative DE could easily use. XFCE and LXDE are example desktops, while a rather large majority of GTK+ applications didn't touch the GNOME libraries at all.

Energy vs Energy Storage (Score: 2, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Enough smartphones! I'd like to see more scientific progress in the field of: on 2014-07-09 23:50 (#2DT)

Scientific progress on producing energy is already a relatively solved problem. Our major hurdle now, is storing energy.

If every building covered their roofs with solar panels, we'd have plenty of free renewable energy. At least until the sun went down or a cloud comes out. We desperately need a reliable and cost effective way of storing surplus electricity to cover these coverage gaps.

Re: Could we just fork it? (Score: 2, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in The Future of GTK+ on 2014-07-09 23:34 (#2DS)

The code is easy enough to fork, but the trick is to have an active developer team that can then continue its development. GTK has traditionally been developed by paid Redhat employees who also work on Gnome.

Mate is a project to maintain and continue development of Gnome 2 (including GTK2) and seems like the most likely place for such a task.

Re: Yep (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Enough smartphones! I'd like to see more scientific progress in the field of: on 2014-07-09 18:08 (#2D5)

There is a stupidly long video on youtube about the infeasibility of solar roadways. Although there are a few good points, I'm not really sure why the video goes on to poo-poo the idea for 30 minutes. Or why the dissenters insist that it's a project to convert every inch of asphalt in the world to solar instead of just a few private parking lots. Or why they don't give constructive criticism instead of essentially calling the creators idiots.

Regardless, I can see why people have such a negative view on the solar roadway fund-raiser after sitting through that video.

Re: NAND (Score: 2)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Samsung releases 3D solid state drive on 2014-07-02 20:58 (#2AQ)

32 layers at 40 nanometers per layer is still very thin. :)

Re: I'm a hoarder (Score: 2, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in My home backup/archive system involves: on 2014-07-01 06:00 (#2A7)

The most common model of this type of hard drive dock is the Thermaltake BlacX line. The original models all have over 600 reviews at newegg. The updated USB3 version has fewer favorable reviews, but many other manufacturers have now come out with similar products.

I'm a hoarder (Score: 4, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in My home backup/archive system involves: on 2014-06-30 21:13 (#2A1)

Twenty years ago, I began saving videos and clips that I downloaded from the Internet. Back then, dial-up modems and crappy video codecs meant that anything you downloaded took days and was a great accomplishment once successfully transferred. Obviously, I wanted to save the downloads, so I started looking for archiving options.

Hard drives back then where far too small, so I started to burn the videos off to CD media. The blank CDRs where cheap and could be bought by the spindle. A few years later, DVD burners became available and were a welcome upgrade (1 DVD could hold about 7 CDs worth of data) All in all, I burned approximately 600 CDs and 400 DVDs. Many of the CDs have started to deteriorate - the thin foil on the top of the disk just flakes off. The DVD media has protective plastic layers on both sides and have endured a little better, but read errors still occur on all of these 10+ year old optical disks.

Spinning 3.5" hard drives are the new best bet for large archives. I could store an entire spindle-worth of CDR disks on a single large capacity hard drive. Of course, loosing one of these hard drives to a failure made relying on a single copy a significant risk. Nearly 100% of all hard drives (around 20 drives) that I purchased with capacities between 80GB and 1TB failed within 5 years. I recovered from nearly all failures by simply storing 2 copies of all the data. Each drive was purchased in pairs - one drive as the master while the other was an offline full copy backup.

I tried creating large arrays of hard drives, but there are significant limitations and costs to doing this in a single system. After experimenting with a number of different setups with large 3ware raid cards as well smaller consumer raid cards, I've come to the conclusion that an ideal system should not include more than about 8 hard drives per computer. Trying to find which "bad disk" is spewing SATA errors to the console in a 16 drive array is just not fun. Scaling storage beyond 8 drives should involve a second computer and a network filesystem over Ethernet.

But what if you don't need all of the data online all the time? Instead of keeping all the disks spinning all the time, why not place the drives into external USB enclosures and only turn them on when needed? This system worked great for me - up to about 20 drives. You see, USB doesn't have enough power to run a 3.5" hard drive. So 20 external USB enclosures + 20 wall wart power adapters + 20 power cables + 20 USB cables + daisy chaining multiple USB hubs and their associated power adapters = one giant rats nest of wires. I tried to salvage this system with a custom made wooden cabinet with 18 front mounted switches, an series of internal USB hubs, and individual cubby-holes for each drive. It worked, but the low speed of USB2 (less than 20MB/s) as well as incompatibility of the external USB enclosures on drives larger than 2TB has caused me to abandon this system.

My latest attempt at archival is simply storing caddy-less hard drives on the shelf. It's so simple, I have to wonder why I bothered with any of the other approaches. Now that hard drives have ditched the IDE ribbon cable for SATA connectors, a new breed of USB enclosures have sprung up. These devices are USB3 (nearly as fast as the drive itself), can easily be upgraded (to support multi-terabyte drives), and simply accept a bare drive into its slot at the top of the unit. Increasing storage capacity is simply a matter of buying another drive or two. I did, however, end up purchasing several dozen hard drive sleeves (just a few dollars each) to protect the drives from dust and minor vibrations while on the shelf.

Maybe more popular in India and Brazil? (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Google pulls the plug on Orkut on 2014-06-30 19:17 (#29Z)

Hmm, I had never even heard of Orkut. The webpage, of course, is now just a redirect to a support.google.com page about the shutdown notice. A quick trip to the wayback machine shows a standard looking google login dialog and not much else.

Re: C (Score: 3, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Programming languages: where to begin? on 2014-06-30 19:06 (#29Y)

For desktop:
  1. C
  2. C++
For web:
  1. Javascript
  2. PHP or Python
For mobile:
  1. Java (Android)
  2. Swift (iOS)

Ohloh (Score: 2, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in R.I.P Freshmeat on 2014-06-24 20:48 (#292)

There is a similar site called Ohloh that has been active for a few years now: https://www.ohloh.net/
Ohloh is a free, public directory of Free and Open Source Software and the contributors who create and maintain it. Ohloh Code is a publicly available, free code search site that indexes most of the projects in Ohloh.

Ohloh is editable by everyone, like a wiki. All are welcome to join and add new projects, and to make corrections to existing project pages. This public review helps to make Ohloh one of the largest, most accurate, and up-to-date FOSS software directories available. We encourage contributors to join Ohloh and claim their commits on existing projects and add projects not yet on Ohloh, to assemble a complete profile of all their FOSS code contributions.

Ohloh is not a forge — it does not host projects and code. Ohloh is a directory, a community, and analytics and search services. By connecting to project source code repositories, analyzing both the code’s history and ongoing updates, and attributing those updates to specific contributors, Ohloh can provide reports about the composition and activity of project code bases, and aggregate this data to track the changing demographics of the FOSS world.

Nice level (Score: 2, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Synology NAS Remotely Hacked To Mine $620K In DogeCoin on 2014-06-20 23:02 (#27D)

So, if you "borow" other people's computers for cryptocoin mining, make sure to set the processes to run at a lower priority as to not affect the system's legitimate users.

Now if you could only hide their electric bill and somehow silence the squealing little fans that come on most of those little NAS boxes...

More like $1858 (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Amazon Fire Phone on 2014-06-20 19:09 (#279)

From: http://www.benzinga.com/news/14/06/4647356/underlying-tech-and-pricing-concerns-scorch-amazons-fire-phone
Assuming the purchase of the recommended 1GB Plan for the 32GB Fire phone, and not including taxes and additional fees, the cost for the phone equals $199.00 + ($65.00 x 24 months) + $99.00 for 1 year of prime membership (using the current promotion of one year free) = $1858.00.

Re: LWN (Score: 2, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Mozilla to develop New York Times' new comment/contribution system on 2014-06-19 23:12 (#26N)

LWN (Score: 2, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Mozilla to develop New York Times' new comment/contribution system on 2014-06-19 23:11 (#26M)

I like the approach taken by LWN. Offer a subscription (starting at $3.50 per month) for full access to all articles. Once an article is over 2 weeks old, allow access to everyone.

Slashdot (Score: 4, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in R.I.P Freshmeat on 2014-06-19 12:43 (#267)

I guess this also means that Dice will trim off Slashdot when the page views get too low. The comment counts of Slashdot stories have been steadily dropping for the past few years, even before the beta and alt-slashdot thing from earlier this year. One could probably plot a graph and get a pretty good end time estimation.

SourceForge will pass the mark first, though. Ever since they've allowed obnoxious ads that look like download buttons on their download pages and malware to their hosted packages, that site seems to be universally hated. Most sane projects have moved to GitHub and I expect that transfer to continue.

Re: They Could Produce Some Good Software (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in post-Eich, Mozilla still has no CEO. Now what? on 2014-06-17 22:20 (#254)

The new Firefox OS is actually pretty neat, development wise. Instead of having to learn custom languages and tool kits, they use standards-based web technologies. Anyone familiar with current web development will immediately go: "Hey, I know this!" when looking at how to make an app for their new phone. Or, at least that's how I felt when I thumbed through it.

Re: Old and incorrect (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Amazon AWS continues to use TrueCrypt despite project's demise on 2014-06-16 19:10 (#249)

Plus some projects, like TrueCrypt.ch , are set to continue forward with TrueCrypt - even if the original developers are no longer taking part.

Insightful Graph (Score: 2, Insightful)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Blogger: Newspapers Can't Succeed By Repackaging Old Goods on 2014-06-16 10:03 (#23Y)

That survey graph is, to me, the greatest tell-tell of the article. The young age groups value smart phones (48%) and computer (18%) sources while nearly skipping more traditional media like tv (13%) and print (0%)

If that trend continues, old school media will definitely need to look into some refactoring.

Re: Coastal change and flood risk assessment (Score: 2, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Google buys satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million on 2014-06-12 02:22 (#226)

I was half-expecting that they would use their fleet of street view cards to start launching quadrocopters with aerial cameras. With satelites, even the expensive ones can only go down to a foot or so of resoultion while a fleet of quadrocopters with megapixel cameras could map every last inch of everyone's backyard.

Re: Mighty Big Headshot (Score: 3, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Secret of Short Intense Workouts Revealed on 2014-06-10 17:48 (#21P)

Settings -> Story Image Style -> Icon :)

Re: Mighty Big Headshot (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Secret of Short Intense Workouts Revealed on 2014-06-10 03:07 (#21G)

It is the picture of Michael Conkright, PhD, the TSRI assistant professor who led the study of the article in question. At least it's more relevant than the broken window stock photo from a few stories back.

Re: Fahrenheit 451 (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in When dystopia comes, it will look like: on 2014-06-06 05:40 (#210)

Ok, the Catching Fire bluray finally reached the top of my Netflix queue and now I have to take back most of what I said about Hunger Games. I still think the first movie sucked (they are fighting the wrong enemy), but the 2nd movie did a decent job of recovering the series. I might even go see the 3rd movie while it's recent. :)

Packages (Score: 3, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in New GnuTLS buffer overflow on 2014-06-04 22:05 (#20R)

Exim (mail server) and CUPS (print server) are on the list.

LUKS was a better alternative anyway (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in TrueCrypt Project Problems on 2014-05-30 22:42 (#1ZE)

LUKS encrypted file systems have been natively supported in most Linux distros for 5+ years. These encrypted file systems can be easily created on the command line or with a GUI tool like "gnome-disks". If you, for example, insert a thumb drive formated as a LUKS, the desktop environment pops up a password dialog to automatically mount the file system for you.

TrueCrypt mainly catered to Windows users. Also, the TrueCrypt license was incompatible with both the free-software and the Open Source Initiative philosophies.

Defacement? (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in FalseCrypt? on 2014-05-30 01:01 (#1YW)

Ya, I've been waiting on a more official reply from the maintainers. The current homepage on SF really looks like a web-defacement and not something that is official.

To make things worse, the "new release" of the software is signed using the official key. Does that mean that they were able to deface the site and nab the private keys at the same time?

Re: It depends (Score: 3, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Favorite story image style: on 2014-05-29 02:33 (#1YF)

Err, no need to resort to a browser extension to remove the images. The site allows you to pick "None" for story image type on the settings page.

Re: Methinks (Score: 2, Funny)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Preorders start for the Firefox OS Phone on 2014-05-28 22:40 (#1YD)

What gave it away? The rounded corners?

Checklist (Score: 0)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Appeals Court Halts Copyright Abuse Case on 2014-05-28 11:24 (#1XV)

  • Internet - Check
  • Porn - Check
  • Unauthorized copying of a licensed work and getting away with it - Check

Waa waa (Score: 3, Insightful)

by bryan@pipedot.org in S & P sets Tesla's credit rating to B- on 2014-05-28 11:21 (#1XS)

Sounds like someone got butt-hurt about not being included. How dare they successfully raise money without getting one of our credit reports!

Touchpad (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org in Android and the Race to the Bottom on 2014-05-22 21:37 (#1VW)

Wasn't $99 the same price as the HP Touchpad firesale? (After initially launching at $500-600 one month prior)

Re: Fahrenheit 451 (Score: 2, Insightful)

by bryan@pipedot.org in When dystopia comes, it will look like: on 2014-05-22 02:53 (#1V1)

I never understood that movie. Granted, I haven't seen the 2nd movie (not released on Netflix yet)
  • The "Happy Ending" is when all but one (or two) of the kids are dead? (That's a pretty f**ked up plot resolution)
  • Everyone seems content on playing "the game" instead of fixing the real problem
  • No one ever seems to be hungry
Then again, I hated both Battle Royal movies just as much.
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