Re: No words: (Score: 1)

by in Favorite Magic Phrase on 2014-09-28 23:49 (#2T01)

I feel comfortable. You're an anonymous coward though :)

Re: mksh workalike (Score: 1)

by in Vulnerability in Bash Shell widespread and serious on 2014-09-28 09:03 (#2SZV)

Hmm. I don't know the code but suspect the fix will involve ACs being able to edit their own posts ...

Re: Some glaring security holes? (Score: 1)

by in Debian Security Advisory - DSA-3025-1 apt - security update on 2014-09-27 20:39 (#2SZN)

Hmm, that's useful to know. I'll still have to think about it since I connect to the machine from 3 or 4 desktops over the course of a week (desktop, laptop, work machine, etc.). I'll look into it, because this bullshit is making me tired.

Sure wish there were a legal framework that allowed you to electrocute script kiddies and 'net douchebags.

Re: Economics Still Not Quite There? (Score: 1)

by in California Basking in Record Amount of Electricity from Solar on 2014-09-27 20:37 (#2SZM)

Make sure to steal the garden gnomes too, then - great way to decorate your place.

Re: as usual (Score: 3, Funny)

by in Friday Distro: Trisquel GNU/Linux on 2014-09-27 20:35 (#2SZK)

Arrr, you may walk the plank then, matey.

Re: Ignore Corruption?? (Score: 1)

by in uselessd - a fork of systemd on 2014-09-27 20:32 (#2SZJ)

Ha ha! I just "recovered" this week: installed PC-BSD (FreeBSD) on my work machine. No more systemd! (Unfortunately, no VMWare, either - haven't decided what to do about that yet, especially since I paid for it).

Finally, the modern age (Score: 3, Funny)

by in The golden age of credit card fraud is drawing to a close on 2014-09-27 20:23 (#2SZH)

I traveled extensively in Europe this year and bumped into a lot of ATMs where my non-chipped American credit card was totally worthless. About time the Americans joined the modern world. As for the golden age of credit card fraud coming to an end, I'm not so sure. They can't make a carbon copy of my credit card at the restaurant anymore, but now they can camp onto my wireless, hack my router, decrypt my HTTPS connection, steal my identity, post revenge porn of me all over 4chan, trash my email, steal my bank password, and transfer my bank balance to an undisclosed location in the Cayman Islands. While they're at it they can see if I reused passwords, hack my server, and use my Yahoo account to tell all my friends I got kidnapped in Greece and will they please wire some money to that account I never mentioned in the Cayman Islands?

I kind of feel like we're out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Been there (Score: 2)

by in Packing for two years, off the grid in the Himalayas... on 2014-09-27 20:18 (#2SZG)

Great article, great question - thanks for posting, Evil V. Also, I didn't know about SWLing, so thanks for linking to it.

I had to ask myself that very question when I joined a volunteer service that sent me to the wilds of rural Central America back in '98 (ie, sort of before the Internet was a thing). I brought a couple of toys to keep entertained - binoculars, bird books, guitar, some writing projects - plus a walkman, a dozen very carefully chosen cassettes, and a shortwave. To this day I like shortwave, but was starting to come to grips with the fact it's a largely dead medium. Even with a decent antenna these days I struggle to get much of anything better than evangelical preachers, China, some Arabic, and megahertz after megahertz of static. It's a wasteland out there even by the standards of 1998.

Went the other route then and got myself one of these this year. I love it, there's tons of stuff to listen to, and the reception is flawless until my wifi connection cuts out. That doesn't answer the question these guys are asking though.

Got to say I'd still bring the binocs, bird books, guitar, and a (reluctantly) a shortwave. I'd probably also bring a netbook and external harddrive, and hook myself up with a POP3 account and maybe an instance of leafnode running on the netbook, so I could sync mail and news. You're going back to the age of sporadic connections and doing most of your work offline, then uploading it. That said, the GSM revolution has made a lot of places phenomenally accessible all of a sudden, and I wouldn't be surprised if Nepal and the like have benefitted from it. I wrote this piece about my surprise at being able to connect to the internet from a remote location in the Sahel, and this piece called Life in 56K about how easy it is to live on low bandwidth.

As for these radio buffs obsessed with longevity, I'd simply use the money to buy a radio and two spares, a solar charger for double A batteries, and enough flannel to make them two or three little protective baggies. With the remaining money I'd purchase a two year supply of scotch, a couple cases of cigars, and enough weed to live well. Actually, sounds marginally better than my current lifestyle. I kind of feel when you're headed out to rural Bhutan, the question isn't how to maintain your current tech needs, it's how to adapt to a tech-free lifestyle. Bring a sack of books, some pens and notebooks for writing, aforementioned scotch, some star maps, and an open mind. Would be nice to not be glaring at the glowing, square screen for a while. Read some Peter Matthiessen to get into the spirit of zen-living.

Re: Watching the sausage getting made, doesn't really help (Score: 1)

by in What Linux users should know about open hardware on 2014-09-27 20:02 (#2SZF)

You're absolutely right. But it does go a long way in setting expectations for FOSS evangelists rallying for a totally free hardware platform that they can run TrisquelGNU/Linux on and satisfy their philosophical requirements. You're not going to get that kind of hardware easily unless you can whip up demand for a healthy volume of the product, or you're willing to pay some seriously higher margins. That's instructive.

I buy my Linux laptops from either ZAReason or System76 these days. I'm not really saving any money, but it gives me the confidence that the hardware will work perfectly with Linux, and often that's what I'm looking for the most. As I mentioned on the Bodhi article, I'd love a Linux tablet. But I'm not holding my breath, and this article makes it clear why.

Ironically, you get the best 'open' hardware out of China these days. What's that Longsoon machine Richard M. Stallman uses? And isn't it a MIPS chip on the inside? That's a pretty interesting set of circumstances.

Re: No words: (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Favorite Magic Phrase on 2014-09-26 17:33 (#2SZ4)

Mmm, that was nice. She had a very cute nose.

Re: ZSH (Score: 1)

by in Friday distro: Grml Linux on 2014-09-26 12:41 (#2SYW)

I was forced to break the habit when I started running FreeBSD systems, which default to csh (and are therefore mostly immune to shellshock: nyah, nyah!). CSH is different in ways that matter. I don't like it as much, but being forced to learn and use it helped break me out of my bash comfort zone. So it's not impossible.

minor point releases? (Score: 1)

by in TAILS Linux 1.1.2 is out (September 25th, 2014) on 2014-09-26 12:02 (#2SYR)

Are we going to cover every point release? We published the announcement for 1.1.1 not long ago. Not sure this is interesting.

Re: ZSH (Score: 1)

by in Friday distro: Grml Linux on 2014-09-26 11:55 (#2SYQ)

I keep going back to it because it's so intriguing and so powerful. And I keep giving up either because the manual is too long, the refcard is not enough, or I just don't have the time to make the sustained effort to learn it properly. Was just looking at "From Bash to Zsh" book, written by the guys behind frombsh2zsh website. Might be worth it!

Re: Growing skepticism (Score: 1)

by in Nanotechnology could lead to better, cheaper LEDs on 2014-09-25 23:03 (#2SY6)

The short answer to your last point is "editor fail." A lot of sites run JavaScript that insert an attribution link and some text if you copy it from the article. It gets pasted with the rest.

Fixed. Sorry!

Debian (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Gnome 3.14 has been released on 2014-09-25 21:35 (#2SXZ)

Debian, on the other hand, has just gone back to standardizing on Gnome. It's like they're on a kick to piss you off at all costs these days.

Saw this link on

not much news (Score: 1)

by in Bodhi Linux Bounces Back! on 2014-09-25 20:49 (#2SXV)

I'm a Bodhi fan but this really deserves little more than a comment attached to the previous post. Anyone want to see it published? Vote it up.

Re: As Android sliders get harder to find... (Score: 1)

by in Blackberry's new Passport is unlike any other on 2014-09-25 13:23 (#2SXJ)

Android sliders are almost guaranteed to be running some ancient version of the OS - gingerbread even, so they're not a great purchase. They probably have an older and slower chip, too. Too bad, because I do prefer the physical keyboard.

I like my Samsung Note 3 quite a bit, but I agree we need more vendors out there and I would not want to see an Android-iOS duopoly any time soon. I don't even care if Microsoft stays in the game, just happy to see the two juggernauts called upon to look over their shoulders and continuing to innovate.

I've got a Blackberry 9900 Bold, and I'm pretty pleased with it, including the hardware. Getting Android apps to run on the Blackberry was a smart move - and helps consolidate my interest in buying one on these interesting devices. I'm also happy to see some interest in checking out alternative form factors. I'd gladly go back to a flip formfactor just because those old flipphones did a better job of protecting their screens without having to buy bulky 3rd party cases etc.

I'm really enjoying the "iphone 6 bends" fiasco at the moment, by the way. Ha ha!

Re: mksh workalike (Score: 1)

by in Vulnerability in Bash Shell widespread and serious on 2014-09-25 11:54 (#2SX6)

Yeah, I've seen that freak-out too, and it's annoying. Are you running term on blackbox, by the way? How wonderfully oldschool (and non-UTF). If Aterm had only gotten utf support I'd still be using it now.

Re: why do I need a subject to reply to this journal entry? (Score: 1)

by in Hello Journal! on 2014-09-25 11:12 (#2SX4)

Jeez, I never thought of that. Now I'll never forget it. Thanks, bud.

Gorgeous (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Gnome 3.14 has been released on 2014-09-25 11:09 (#2SX3)

I'll just go out there and say that the press release to me is indicative of the project: way too much time and effort going into polish and presentation and not enough into things that matter. Maybe that's a personal preference, but when I see a pig with too much makeup on I start to wonder if it's really just a pig.

That said, it feels mean to criticize them for spit and polish when so many people agree that Linux software needs more spit, polish, and attention to detail. Guess my complaint is that Gnome now consists of too many people working methodically on the color of the bikeshed and not enough people worrying about if the bike rides at all.

I have avoided Gnome3 like the plague. But I'm not hugely enamored of KDE4 this week either - it keeps crapping out on me. I find refuge in Windowmaker, the only environment that seems to be dependable and non-annoying.

Re: Incomplete patch (Score: 1)

by in Vulnerability in Bash Shell widespread and serious on 2014-09-25 11:06 (#2SX2)

Interesting - I didn't know about the zsh aspect of it and almost put in a wisecrack about upgrading to zsh to stay safe - glad I didn't!

BTW, if anyone knows a good tutorial for the zsh I'd be interested. There are lots of blogs but no great, single resource other than the manual, which is many pages too long.

C-64, mostly (Score: 1)

by in First computer system I used on 2014-09-23 20:36 (#2SV8)

It all happened pretty fast - a TRS80 in the classroom, I think, and a Sinclair at the neighbor's house on which I played some kind of flight simulator. I got permission to go to a special summer school and take a computer course. That meant programming BASIC on a Commodore Pet. A year or two later I mowed enough lawns to buy myself a C=64 and in the meantime, the school got some Apple IIs (and some clones: anyone remember the Franklin? A 100% knock-off, and byte-compatible, I think).

The C64 was the beginning of an obsession that's lasted to this day. Still remember the big day I went from the datasette cassette tape to the 1541 disk drive. Life was about as good as it was going to get.

Re: GUIs ruined school computer labs (Score: 1)

by in First computer system I used on 2014-09-23 15:17 (#2SV4)

It would be interesting to know what that machine in the corner was. A little minivax? Something Unixy, I suppose, if you were editing in vi? Something made by Sun and gifted to the school?

Re: Copyright? (Score: 2, Funny)

by in RedHat looks to mobile apps with purchase of FeedHenry on 2014-09-23 15:14 (#2SV3)

You mean convergeddigest? Yeah, that's a new one for me. Here's the SNL transcript for anyone who like me, hadn't seen it. Awesome stuff.
Dillon/Edwards Investments

Father.....Chris Parnell

[Scene of father helping son ride a bicycle for the first time, then, cut to the living room of their house]

Father: Trust, an important part of building a family, and an important part of building his future. That's why I rely on Dillon/Edwards and Company. For nearly a century, investors on Wall Street have trusted Dillon and Edwards with their financial future. And now all of the resources from America's oldest investment firm are available on-line. [Father is at the computer as the website appears, along with web address]Dillon and Edwards on the Internet, at www.clownpenis.fart. A lot of investment companies rushed onto the Internet, but Dillon and Edwards took their time. Sure, when they were ready, there was one web address left, but it's one you can count on.

Announcer #1: For mutual funds, count on...

Announcer #2: ...clownpenis.fart.

Announcer #1: Online brokerage...

Announcer #2: ...clownpenis.fart.

Announcer #1: Retirement and tuition planning...

Announcer #2: ...clownpenis.fart.

[Caption: Dillon/Edwards Investments-www.clownpenis.fart]

Announcer #1: Dillon and Edwards Investments...

Announcer #2: www.clownpenis.fart.

Re: Slashdot Beta (Score: 1)

by in Mysterious Mars Methane: Curiosity Sees No Sign on 2014-09-23 09:35 (#2STM)

I'm still getting the original site, which is nice. I still post there once in a while just cuz my sig has a link to here, Soylent, and comp.misc. Got to get the word out to those poor deck-class passengers still trapped on the sinking ship :)

Re: How much water / house? (Score: 2, Funny)

by in Largest Desalination Plant in the Hemisphere to Supply 7% of San Diego's Water on 2014-09-23 09:16 (#2STJ)

Swimming pools and automatic lawn-watering sprinkler systems ought to be the biggest culprit, I'd say, although having kids also raises your water bill in a noticeable way.

I personally lower mine by bathing infrequently :) Smells so ... "economical."

Re: Missing choice (Score: 2, Funny)

by in Monday poll: first computer system you used on 2014-09-23 08:52 (#2STH)

I'm sympathetic, but this poll was already getting pretty long. Here, you can have a refund of your purchase price!

Re: Young'ins (Score: 1)

by in First computer system I used on 2014-09-23 08:51 (#2STG)

And they'll add it telepathically, using their "Google Implant" nerve-ending module that takes thoughts right from the cerebral cortex and transmits them directly, triggered by a flinch of the right eyelid. And then they'll laugh themselves silly, about how previous generations actually had to type stuff, and there were 'spell checkers' and a key for each frikkin' letter.

Re: It's time for Perl 7! (Score: 1)

by in PHP6 abandoned, going straight to PHP7 on 2014-09-22 21:03 (#2SSH)

Ha ha! Hadn't even thought of that, but you're absolutely right. But more personally, I've had a hell of a time with some scripts just because of UTF8 issues. Annoying.

Re: Agreed (Score: 1)

by in KDE rumored to be focusing now on simplicity on 2014-09-22 15:25 (#2SS4)

Interesting - I hadn't realized who was behind Owncloud. That makes me look at it a bit more circumspect, though. Isn't the joke that the Gnome team is trying to reduce the entire interface down to one single button, and then disactivating the button by default because it confuses the users?

This is just a blog post, OK, but here's my warning to the devs at KDE: I use KDE because I like configurability and tweakability, and I'm more than intelligent enough to handle the system's supposed "complexity" all by myself. I'm a grown-up, in fact. Take away the tweakability and I stop using KDE, as simple as that. Concentrate your effort on promoting and creating better quality apps instead, and fix bugs, and reduce the resource requirements by making the code more efficient. Those are big challenges, obviously - not nearly as fun as pissing around with some widgets and color schemes in this endless masturbation cycle called UI development.

Pretty amazing stuff (Score: 1)

by in Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer aboard ISS reveals tantalizing hints of dark matter on 2014-09-22 11:14 (#2SR7)

Two good quotes from the article:
Because it detects particles as opposed to light, the way a telescope would, AMS may also be able to see other cosmic phenomena a telescope cannot.

The data released this week need more study, but at first glance, CERN says, what they have seen so far looks "tantalizingly consistent with dark matter particles."

If that's the case, the AMS may have begun to remove humanity's greatest blindfold.
Physicists believe that mental exercise in blindness reflects the reality of our universe, only about 4% of which manifests as the kind of matter and energy we can perceive.

More than 70% consists of so-called dark energy, physicists say, and more than 20% is dark matter, neither of which humans can directly detect so far.

But scientists feel certain it must exist, partly because of the gravity it exerts on the visible universe.

This week, CERN scientists published an analysis of data from the AMS, which detects subatomic particles constantly bombarding Earth. They include exceedingly rare antimatter particles that can result from the breakdown of dark matter.
I don't follow this field closely, but understand the whole dark matter conjecture remains subject to intense speculation, and though the idea of dark matter helps explain some otherwise confusing phenomena, it's not impossible that research of this type will debunk the hypothesis and a new theory will take form.

Interesting times - if "genius" politicians see fit to continue funding science of this sort. It has no immediate economic, military, or commercial effect, which means it scientists must constantly struggle to defend continued research in these fields.

Re: It's time for Perl 7! (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in PHP6 abandoned, going straight to PHP7 on 2014-09-22 11:02 (#2SR3)

If Perl 7 did nothing other than deal easily with UTF-8 characters, that would be good enough and well-worth it. Non unicode support is becoming a deathknell for a lot of applications, and perl should be smart enough to deal with things like this by now. I also wouldn't shed a tear if they decided to give up on some of the retrofit OO stuff they've added on - not sure it was ever a good fit or worth it, and if you want object oriented you can always use python instead.

Re: First Game System (Score: 1)

by in Your poll ideas! Please pipe up. on 2014-09-22 10:42 (#2SQX)

This one looks like it's popular. I'm not a gamer - can someone fill in the blanks for me? We can run it this week.

Intimidatingly great start to journaling (Score: 1)

by in TV antennas - OTA HDTV reception on 2014-09-21 22:50 (#2SQH)

Wow, between this and Bryan's thing on electrical generation, you may have scared off every other potential journaller, who is now home quivering in fear their own contributions will be inadequate ;)

Question - is this your own research, or cut and paste from other sites? It seems like it's your own work, which is extremely impressive!

Second question - I used to be a huge shortwave radio buff but now despite big investments in antennas, there's not much out there on the shortwaves. How is the trend going the other way in OTA television? I'd have thought for sure the content wouldn't be out there. You're making me think/realize that's not true! Is it mostly foreign content?

Re: Ignore Corruption?? (Score: 2, Funny)

by in uselessd - a fork of systemd on 2014-09-21 19:23 (#2SQ7)

Agreed, totally agreed. It's like the dev team has been invaded by aliens who have brought a totally different set of coding values with them, like "opacity isn't a problem" and "we love single points of failure."

I don't get it either.

Re: Some glaring security holes? (Score: 1)

by in Debian Security Advisory - DSA-3025-1 apt - security update on 2014-09-21 19:19 (#2SQ6)

That stops them from getting in, but doesn't stop them from flooding your system (and your logs) with hundreds of tries per second, right?

I'm glad there are no intruders in my apartment, but I'm also tired of them banging on the door. I need a system that paints a big "F U" on the front door and electrifies the doorknob, front walk, and maybe parts of the sidewalk :)

No really, for my front door. Although its parallel in code for my VPS would be nice, too :)

Re: I dare you to do better (Score: 3, Funny)

by in uselessd - a fork of systemd on 2014-09-21 00:27 (#2SP7)

Dice unleashes Slashdot Beta, everyone scatters. Pipedot born ...

Re: Why limit e-ink readers to those four brands? (Score: 1)

by in Mobile Devices I own/use on 2014-09-20 21:52 (#2SNZ)

OK, unfortunately we can't modify a poll once it's been published, but you're right. So, what's your device?

Re: fleshlight air drops (Score: 1)

by in Lead in recycled-metal cookware a health threat in Africa on 2014-09-20 21:04 (#2SNQ)

I'm imagining what that would look like: You're hanging out there with the family, a helicopter goes by. Suddenly, the sky is filled with sex toys attached to parachutes. Banzai! Not sure if it's the best solution, but it would be damned funny to see.

the economic trend (Score: 1)

by in IBM & GlobalFoundries: $2 billion deal to fab chips on 2014-09-20 16:39 (#2SNE)

remains for specialization and outsourcing, meaning Apple is still sort of the only vertical integrator around here, even if they rely on others for the manufacturing process. The risk of course is of over-specialization, where all the different chip manufacturers wind up waiting on line for the one foundry that has the tech and the equipment to actually fab the chips. Your average Joe doesn't just decide to throw his hat in the ring and start up a foundry, meaning the risk of overspecialization becomes a security risk.

Just thinking out loud here. Maybe it will lead to lowered prices for chips, which is a good thing, and would free up resources for innovation. Was just reading Ritchie's rant from 30 years ago that little innovation was happening anymore and Linux was simply a copy of Unix technology. I think he was deploring that we'd largely come away from investigation into things like alternative chip architectures, the Lisp machines, and similar experiments. He's right - I think that era died out a while ago, while we've decided to milk the current architecture to its eventual limits instead.

Re: Cost of removing the lead (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Lead in recycled-metal cookware a health threat in Africa on 2014-09-20 16:35 (#2SND)

It would have to be dead-simple tech, though. I've spent the past 25 years living in countries (half of that in Africa) where people steal manhole covers, melt them down over charcoal fires, and bang them into cooking pots. Just to point out that the level of tech here needs to be at around the level of people using charcoal as their fuel source.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 1)

by in Quietnet: a simple chat program using inaudible sounds on 2014-09-20 16:32 (#2SNC)

Hmm, you've either thought more deeply about this, or are way smarter than me, or probably both.

In that case, anyone want to buy a used Trendnet 56K dial-up modem, cheap? :)

Hang on, I've been planning on building either a BBS or a gophernet site. Maybe I'll hang onto it a bit longer.

as usual (Score: 5, Interesting)

by in Friday Distro: Trisquel GNU/Linux on 2014-09-19 19:45 (#2SME)

Ten hours later, a lot of name calling about the fact that I used pirate language, and no actual discussion about the distro. Kind of pathetic, actually. I'm getting better nerd conversation everywhere but here - a pity since everyone else's interface is not as nice as this one.

This place has tons of promise but writing and editing articles is a huge amount of work for very little return these days. You'd better believe the guys researching and submitting articles aren't doing it so they can have their spelling checked by the community.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 1)

by in Quietnet: a simple chat program using inaudible sounds on 2014-09-19 19:42 (#2SMD)

They seem to be around. A Speedster at 56K can still go for $100 on I bought a Trendnet for about $30 just to reduce my investment. I still have this nerd dream where we go back to the old days and only the truly neckbearded are prepared ... a fantasy, i know, but I know my Hayes command set just in case the revolution happens ... :)

Re: Economics Still Not Quite There? (Score: 1)

by in California Basking in Record Amount of Electricity from Solar on 2014-09-19 19:41 (#2SMC)

As usual, Germany doesn't screw around. Their rate of adoption of renewables should be the envy of the world, if anyone cared. And the reason no one cares is that the oil economy is still 'business as usual' and prices aren't so unreasonable that people are pinched.

Let's see the MiddleEast go up in flames, the price of petrol skyrocket, and then let's see if anyone is interested in solar.

Re: Economics Still Not Quite There? (Score: 1)

by in California Basking in Record Amount of Electricity from Solar on 2014-09-19 18:52 (#2SM8)

Interesting to have a solarcity guy with us. And Bryan has a working solar system at his place, if memory recalls. Looking forward to hearing more here. I'm absolutely getting ready to build a system when I get a chance. I'm at a higher latitude with a not-huge roof, but the hell with it, it's too interesting not to try, and I'm looking forward to those 16 years of lowered electrical bills. There are apparently some tax credits too.

Glad those Californians are basking in solar, since they seem to be low on water this year. Can't have it all?

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 1)

by in Quietnet: a simple chat program using inaudible sounds on 2014-09-19 18:49 (#2SM7)

Hmm, hadn't thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, yes, perhaps! It's still an interesting project that has ramifications elsewhere, like packet networks transmitted over audio, or equivalent. Perhaps it's not that useful, unless you want to annoy the cat. I was glad to hear of those other projects though - minimodem and numpy, since I hadn't heard of them.

I spent the better part of Feb-March playing around with an old Pentium 4 I wanted to turn into a dial-up machine. I got way into the details of serial connections, modems, Getty, ttys, PPP, and the like, and never even really got it working before I finally gave up and admitted defeat. I used a program called minicom for a long while to chat with the modem, and was impressed by just how hard the days of modems and SLIP/PPP connections really were, how much magic really went into negotiating a PPP chat session. Seems like minimodem would be fun to play with too, if only for the change.

Nvidia & Nouveau (Score: 1)

by in Friday Distro: Trisquel GNU/Linux on 2014-09-19 14:08 (#2SKY)

I wasn't sure myself, since my machine has an integrated Intel video card (which isn't spectacular but meets my needs, and is fully supported). But I googled "nvidia nouveau problem" and came up with a bunch of hits. More telling, Google helpfully suggested I also try this other search phrase: "replace nouveau with nvidia driver".

That search turns up many, many hits. Offhand, I'd say nouveau isn't quite there yet. But Gnash on the other hand, seems to work pretty well.

I did a quick search in the repos for the stuff I use: mutt, slrn, vim, emacs, alpine, calligra, openoffice, and they were all there. Forgot to look for jedit, my favorite java-based graphical text editor, but I know for a fact it runs fine on IcedTea, so I'd bet that it works on Trisquel. I'd think proprietary drivers are the big show-stopper here. A lot of what you find on a typical Linux install is already there, and since it's based on Ubuntu the installation is really easy.

Some glaring security holes? (Score: 1)

by in Debian Security Advisory - DSA-3025-1 apt - security update on 2014-09-19 14:01 (#2SKX)

I don't code, so am unqualified to comment. But I'll do so anyway :) Seems like these are some pretty glaring security holes; I'm surprised they weren't caught before. Maybe apt works so well that developers don't feel a need to look further into it. Given the number of asshat crackers out there looking for ways to break into VPS boxes and - do what? I don't even know - cracking apt would seem like a clever point of entry.

My VPS registers hundreds and hundreds of brute-force hits every day. Even sshguard fails to stop them as they now bounce your server from multiple IPs simultaneously. Let's say they finally get my server - what would they do with it? Pump out Chinese stock tips and erectile dysfunction spam? Compile themselves a new kernel? What?

Meanwhile, I'm glad people look into this code and fix vulnerabilities like this. Given the number of Ubuntu and Debian servers out there serving webpages, it would seem like a weakness with the potential to do some serious harm.

testing via physics (Score: 1)

by in How the Ear Tunes Out Sounds Before They Reach Your Brain on 2014-09-19 11:03 (#2SKG)

This is cool science, and useful. I wouldn't be surprised if better research in this area didn't unlock hearing for people born without it, for example. Cool quote from the article:
For the brain to interpret sounds, it needs nerves to bring it signals from the ear. But it is not just a one-way street. The auditory system also includes so-called efferent nerves, which carry signals from the brain back to the ear. This creates a feedback loop within the auditory system, which may play a role in selective attention.

"It's very hard, physiologically, to test that idea though," pointed out Jonathan Ashmore, a professor of biophysics at the University College London's Ear Institute. "And even harder to think about the mechanisms that might implement the idea."

Rather than attempting to solve this problem by looking at the biological auditory system, researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland tackled the issue from another angle: physics. They tested the cocktail party effect on a digital model of the cochlea.