* Posts by Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

24 posts • joined 13 Aug 2006

Facebook's inflection point: Now everyone knows this greedy mass surveillance operation for what it is

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Copyright

Absent explicit "work for hire" agreement in advance, copyright for performance art belongs to the performer (not the idiot behind the camera). And for performing my life, I am the performer.

Why should not all this aggregation of my life be massive copyright violation for commercial gain, a criminal offense?

You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Example in today's news: Unimpressed by Gnome

GNOME 3.28 Removes Option to Put Icons on the Desktop --

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/01/gnome-desktop-icons-removed-3-28

No, the cops can't get a search warrant to just seize all devices in sight – US appeals court

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: Mess

A better solution to

I do believe that it sucks that positive evidence is being thrown out.

I also believe that it sucks more that police are just pawing through

everyone's lives without respecting that little niggle called "due process".

Get rid of that pernicious "sovreign immunity" doctrine,and go ahead and convict the guy, but let him sue all those involved for the illegal warrant. That way, the real offenders on both sides of "the law" get punished.

The cloud is great for HPC: Discuss

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

On those virtualization overheads

Consider how AWS behaves relative to an HPC application compiled with "-xAVX" on a SandyBridge or later AWS node (this causes the compiler to use the "AVX" vector instruction set in building the executable program). Here are some notes from my own experience:

When running "on the bare metal", well-written CFD applications typically see an 80% or better performance boost. The WRF weather model only sees about a 30% improvement with "-xAVX", showing that the design and/or coding is rather sloppy.

However, on AWS, WRF compiled with or without "-xAVX" causes virtually identical performance (within 2%) -- performance that is significantly worse than the "bare metal" performance, by the way. This indicates that the virtualization is killing the potential improvement from the more powerful processor and its (more-powerful) instruction set.

FWIW.

Init freedom declared as systemd-free Devuan hits stable 1.0.0 status

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: Already have it running.

"Personally, I thought that it was a problem that didn't need fixing but what do I know eh?"

My experience is that I have as many systemd-related troubles in any given month since installng it as I'd had in the previous _decade_. And almost as many as I had running Linux the decade before that.

The problem does need fixing.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

"Why do you _NOT WANT SYSTEMD_ out of interest? "

Because I've had more trouble with that kudzu-spreading infection systemd over the last year

than I had with SysV init over the previous two decades. That's why

Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: You have to remember that Linus is not the manager of any of these people.

The fact that Linux is by far the hugest successful collaborative project in history would seem to indicate that Linus' personality _is_ a help. Without that no-compromise attitude, it would have failed long ago.

Your wget is broken and should DIE, dev tells Microsoft

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: If only ...

Back many years ago, at their press conference where they introduced Windows NT, the Microsof marketroids doing the presentation claimed, "It complies with POSIX. In particular, it has the Korn shell, 'ksh'."

When one of the audience claimed, "No, you've got ksh semantics wrong", the marketroid replied, "No I assure you that it is correct."

"No, it isn't."

"Sir, I assure that our experts have looked at it, and..."

Interruption from another member of the audience, "Look, asshole -- that's David Korn himself!"

So this broken wget is typical Microsoft.

Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Time-enshrined behavior

It is a matter of record that Thomas Jefferson was involved with the creation of encryption devices (the"Jefferson Wheel"), and that a number of the Founders, including Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, routinely used encryption to protect their correspondence.

Did they give the FBI back-door access? Or did they try to forbid that in the Constitution they wrote?

Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Evaporating black holes

"...if you waited a sufficiently ridiculous number of billions of years, the black hole itself would boil away into space."

This is not in general correct; the smaller the black hole, the faster it will evaporate by this mechanism. In the limit, a tiny black hole would evaporate in a small fraction of a second, in a ridiculously large explosion.

FWIW

Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

sizeof --> size_t

Because "sizeof" gives a "size_t", the entirety of "hlen + sizeof(struct frag_hdr) + 8" should also be "size_t" and the comparison should be of "size_t".

Assuming a 32-bit system, you're in trouble with networking code for which this overflows.

And if it does, then (it's unsigned, remember), the overflow will be to a small value

and the test will fail for that reason.

If it's a 64-bit system and there is any danger of trouble, your network has long since gone past what it can deal with. And you're requiring far larger messages than either the OS or any conceivable hardware (for at least the next decade) can deal with.

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: The FORTRAN FEMA trailer has stopped nearby....

And a good lisp programmer can write lisp in any language -- including Fortran. :-)

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: Line length - actually, 60-72

Actually, the human-factors people tell us that line-length in the range 60:72 is best; readability is (slightly) degraded at 80. (By this I mean line-length exclusive of indentation: a line using columns 24-84 is basically as readable as one using columns 0-60.)

And I REALLY HATE web-presentation that forces lines longer than 120: their stuff is TOTALLY unreadable. (Some of IBM's documentation fails this way; they should know better ;-( )

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: The FORTRAN FEMA trailer has stopped nearby....

You should see Ph.d.-candidate C++. It's much worse.

Or Java written by someone who belives "structure is good. The more structure the better, no matter whether it is relevant or not to the situation at hand." I've seen so-called scientific visualization stuff with more *files* than there are lines of code in my C package.

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: Goto has some niches.

It can also be proven that in the worst case, code length grows exponentially in the number of GOTO's eliminated.

FWIW

AT&T accused of Wi-Fi interception, ad injection

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: Legality?

My take on it is this: modifying web pages by insertling those ads is creating an unauthorized derivative work for commercial gain. In the US, that's criminal copyright infringement (US Code Title 17 Section 506; see https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/506).

If I catch them doing this to my web pages, I want someone at AT&T to do jail time.

Amazon's new EC2 compute instances run on SECRET INTEL CHIPS

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

VM interference with AVX2?

Note to Crazy Operations Guy: the Intel compilers already support AVX2.

However. I have experience running the WRF meteorology model on the previous-edition SandyBridge cores, and found that the performance increment from using the SandyBridge AVX instruction set (as opposed to the Nehalem SSE4.2) was negligible. This is as opposed to "real" hardware, where AVX gives WRF a 30% boos over SSE4.2 on SandyBridge, and where it gives a 70% boost to well-coded computational fluid dynamics apps. Given the Amazon VM environment, I still have the question: does Haswell-EP help _in_this_VM_environment_ ??

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

at least half a decade??

My desktop, 1993: SPARC-2, OLVWM, 6 desktops, virtual=physical=1280x1024 screen sizes

1996, RedHat-4.1, FVWM, 8 desktops: 1600x1200 physical, 2048x1600 virtual.

Today: Mageia/KDE4, 10 desktops: 2560x1440 physical, 3200x2048 virtual.

Win9 _still_ doesn't do virtual > physical...

Who loves office space? Dell does: Virtualization to banish workstations from under desks

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re: Oddly content free

Actually, for "real" interactivity you're being very generous in allowing 40 ms.

And "workstation" is definitely higher-resolution than 1080P -- probably 2560x1600, and maybe _multiple_ such panels.

FWIW

Who OWNS data generated by 'connected cars' sensor slurpers?

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Copyright Issues

Let's look at what the Berne Copyright treaty says: it's a copyright work as soon as it is "fixed in a medium", i.e., as soon as it's recorded. And unless it is a "work for hire" or the subject of an explicit, specific written copyright assignment (which fails, unless there is such an assingment naming each specific trip), then the copyright belongs to the performer -- i.e., the driver. In the US, at least, there is precedent for seizing all the computers of the infringer for investigation :-)

Note that the Berne Treaty has long been implemented by all of Europe, North America, and most of Asia...

Apple vs Amazon in ereader format smackdown

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

taxes and paper-based books

With my paper based books, I go through my collection every year and donate most of them to charity for a tax write-off -- something I can't do with e-books. This benefits the public at large, not just the publisher. And the write-off is typically worth as much as Amazon's e-book price-discount. [I don't "do" Apple.]

So why go for DRM that locks things into "me-only"?

Freedom means allowing secondary markets. Preventing secondary markets, for the benefit of politically connected corporations, is within the technical definition of "fascism."

Choice breeds complexity for Linux desktop

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Re "hi there, i'm a software engineer"

And I'm a software systems architect. I don't want your narrowmindedness working on any of my projects.

How to counter premature optimisation

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

But get data structures and algorithms right

Far too many codes are developed according to the developer's first idea:

he/she blindly goes ahead with the first idea that probably works.

They don't stop to think about what data structures are appropriate, nor what algorithms.

For modern (deeply pipelined) processors, there are two primary performance inhibitors: dependencies and memory access.

Particularly, deeply nested logic or deeply linked data structures have big costs, as do huge data structures.

I just finished re-writing an environmental-simulation code, which (for a primary operational case) went from a working-set

size of 3.4 GB to 640 MB, and a run-time of 130 CPU-minutes/simulation-day to 7 CPU-minutes/simulation-day. The primary optimization was the elimination of several huge scratch-arrays (with their associated memory traffic), and the replacement of "dumb" run-time searches with setup-time sparse matrix construction. *Not* rocket science.

In another example fifteen years ago, went from a more extreme 12 Cray-hours to 163 SPARC2-seconds, replacing dumb array

searches with sparse matrix arithmetic...

And in both these cases, the results are simpler, clearer, and more maintainable than the originals.

"Think (alternatives for data structures and algorithms) before you code" should be Principle Zero.

The ODF debate: A real world view

Carlie J. Coats, Jr.

Documents held hostage

*BELIEVE* that Microsoft *will* hold your documents hostage. Two weeks ago, while out of town for the week, my wife found it happening to her: she had planned to use "remote desktop" software to continue with urgent work that needed to be done. But M$ so-called Windows Genuine Advantage suddenly kicked in and locked her out of her own desk-top machine (yet another "false positive"). And she was 1000 miles away from the installation disks M$ demands to know about for re-activation (not mentioning the hours on the phone it takes to convince them of anything). She was *hosed*. Partly because of an "urgent uppgrade" to which she never consented.

Microsoft's OpenXML is so complex a format -- and so dependent upon the (Microsoft) proprietary sub-formats for "legacy" document BLOBs (binary large-objects) it contains that you can be quite certain *no*one* except Microsoft will be able to use it. So OpenXML is open in name only.

Her lost time for that one incident (she is an attorney; her hourly rate is a bit more than mine!) crosses the US$ 5000 threshold for the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: as far as I am concerned, Microsoft are a bunch of felons who have bought off the Bush administration via their agent Abrahamoff. And you should *never* trust your documents to them.

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