1. 24

    12 short sentences of consumer news is probably a better fit on other sites. A more in-depth analysis with information on how this changes development practices, how devs can target new platforms, or even what CVEs are not going to get covered would be better–this short article is basically clickbait for the next hysterical news cycle.

    1. 5

      I’m dubious about this. We are standing on too many levels of abstraction but the good old days weren’t. From people who worked in the 50s and 60s running a program on a different computer used to mean rewriting the whole thing and ending up with something that was 60% similar to the original, either because if hardware limitations or because someone thought up new data structures.

      1. 3

        I’m of two minds about it…

        • On the one hand, someone said that Jon Blow forgot about the BSOD in the 90’s. I agree, since I learned how to use computers on Microsoft OS’s in that era, and yes it was pretty damn unreilable.
        • On the other hand, to use some old hardware, I occasionally use Windows XP in a Macbook Air under Virtualbox. This thing boots fast! And I’m only giving it 256 MB of RAM? The XP RAM requirements were 128 MB or something? And it has a fast low-latency GUI! It’s kinda crazy.

        So yeah the experience of using Windows XP is a bit startling (because I used it for around a decade, but switched off around 2009 or 2010). It’s certainly more tightly coded than the Ubuntu desktop or even the OS X desktop. (I haven’t used modern Windows in a long time, but it looks pretty bad …)

        Honest question: What does OS X or Ubuntu desktop do for me that Windows XP didn’t? I think very little. Windows XP was the first time I used ant-aliased fonts, and I think that was the last real improvement :-) FWIW the reason I use Ubuntu is because of CLI, and because it has good hardware support. It’s definitely not because of the GUI.

        I guess what I would say that there has been progress, but it hasn’t been consistent or evenly distributed, and occasionally we go backward.

        (I haven’t watched the video yet, but I plan to.)

        1. 4

          There were a lot of problems with Windows XP, which have been addressed to varying degrees by later versions of Windows and other operating systems. For example:

          • The GDI (Graphics Device Interface), including such complex things as text rendering and font file parsing, was in the kernel, along with all display driver code, for performance. BTW, you may be surprised to learn that in those bad old days, most screen readers for the blind would install their own fake display driver in order to find out what was on the screen – not at the level of pixels, but text and some shapes. (The fake display driver would then call into the real display driver, a practice we called driver chaining. It could get messy if you installed more than one screen reader.) They couldn’t get quite all of the information they wanted by hooking/patching GDI in user space because…

          • In the same vain, window management and the default window decorations were in the kernel. Need I say more?

          • There was no per-application sandboxing. If it had even been attempted, there probably would have been no end of privilege escalation exploits, because all of the stuff that ran in the kernel (described above) presented a huge attack surface.

          • Security in general was weak, especially pre-SP2, but even after. Remember the Sony CD rootkit?

          And there’s probably a lot more. My point is that sometimes we have to give up low resource consumption for more important things like robustness and security.

          1. 6

            And there’s probably a lot more. My point is that sometimes we have to give up low resource consumption for more important things like robustness and security.

            Pretty sure that’s a false dichotomy.

            1. 1

              As I said here, the fact that sharing is required for high performance will typically increase the size and energy use of anything using isolation and parallelism to achieve similar throughput. If that’s even possible given some things share by necessity. Then, the fact that security may require runtime checks or inefficient layouts further reduces performance of secure things vs insecure things. The schemes to mathematically verify absence of many problems often require simplifications of the program that can negatively impact performance. Whereas, many things that increase performance are harder or impossible to verify with current tooling. Finally, defeating many hardware-induced problems might require old, process nodes that use vastly more energy and resources to do same amount of work as today’s nodes. Maybe also fewer power management techniques that can affect correct execution and/or cause leaks.

              So, that’s true to a large degree. That doesn’t even consider monitoring/management, redundancy, and recovery mechanisms that usually come with “robustness.” That would make the counterpoint too easy.

              1. 1

                I’m more than “pretty sure”:

                The point of the talk is that a decrease in complexity typically increases robustness, not decreases. Fewer moving parts means fewer places where problems can occur and spread. “Low complexity” and “Low resource usage” usually get along well, but there will be a point where you’ll have to give up on one to increase the other. This is pretty much inevitable when optimizing for more than one variable. Does this mean it’s futile and everyone should just switch to Electron? Not exactly, because that ‘branching’ point is usually quite far down the road, as I’ve learned from experience.

                Let’s say you want to optimize for program size on disk. The first thing you should do, is to implement the program in the most direct way possible, without layers of abstraction the code has to go through. (This also helps with performance, as fewer cycles would be wasted on that as well.) The second step is to strip the executable, which is still a decrease in complexity, although a smaller one, because you’re simply removing useless information from the binary. If you then want to continue, you’ll have to use some kind of executable code compression, optimizing dynamic linker, etc. Only here is where the complexity starts to increase.

                Equating “reduced complexity” to simply going back to the past, with all its problems, is quite naive, as described in this essay by viznut:

                When I mentioned “the 1996 level”, many readers probably envisioned a world where we would be “stuck in the year 1996” in all computing-related aspects. Noisy desktop Pentiums running Windows 95s and Netscape Navigators, with users staring in awe at rainbow-colored, static, GIF-animation-plagued websites over landline dialup connections. This tells about mainstream views about computer culture: everything is so one-dimensionally techno-determinist that even progress in purely software- and culture-related aspects is difficult to envision without their supposed hardware prequisities.

                (Emphasis mine.)

              2. 1

                Those are all things that excite developers but almost no end users care about.

          1. 1

            Getting settled into the friendlyFOB in NYC.

            1. 11

              On Saturday, I’m probably going to do a whole lot of nothing. On Sunday a friend will visit and we’re going to the cinema to watch John Wick 3. Looking forward to it!

              1. 3

                I’ve been interested in the series, would you recommend watching the first two?

                1. 7

                  If you like over the top violent and grim revenge action flicks that sometimes go to the point of seeming tongue in cheek unbelievable, you’ll love it. The fighting choreography is absolutely brilliant and the cinematography and visuals are, too. The second one is even more crazy (in a good way).

                  1. 3

                    What I really like is that the fighting is a tad more realistic than in your average action movie. There are even realistic judo throws at opportune moments.

                  2. 3

                    I loved the first one, which is as close to a video game sensibility as I’ve experienced in a movie theatre. There is something of a diminishing return to the second one; most of the joy of the first was in the lack of exposition, and there is more of that in the second movie.

                    It’s not a movie that bears thinking about overmuch, but as a visual experience, as a movie – it’s wonderful.

                    1. 4

                      If you’re looking for a video game feel in a movie, let me suggest Hardcore Henry.

                      1. 2

                        I found that one unwatchable due to being filmed entirely in first person. Crank reminded me a bit of video game too, and I enjoyed it thoroughly for what it was (trashy over the top action comedy). There are bits filmed in first person, but not so much that it becomes annoying.

                        1. 1

                          That one pretty much seems like the rock band (NSFW) behind it got to make a movie featuring stuff from their favorite movies and games, esp Call of Duty. There’s even a CoD character in it haha.

                    2. 2

                      The film is incredible. 100% worth it.

                    1. 11

                      Can you please not use Lobsters for self-promotion?

                      1. 5

                        What’s wrong with self-promotion? I’m not arguing one way or the other, I’m genuinely curious.

                        1. 2

                          The occasional link to your own blog or projects isn’t so bad–hell, I’ve posted my own writing from time to time.

                          The problem, as here, is when somebody mostly or only posts their own stuff. That sort of behavior is exactly indistinguishable from being used as a marketing outlet, and that in turn tends to tank our signal-to-noise ratio and attract the sort of behavior that has resulted in issues for places like the orange site.

                          Again, self-promotion isn’t terrible–it’s self-promotion without sufficient effort to give something back to the community that’s the problem.

                          1. 3

                            Links with the “authored by” attribute are the ones that I click on the most. Please stop framing your personal taste as the community’s taste. While I’m not personally interested in this link, I respect that at least 29 (at the time I’m writing this comment) other people have given it an upvote. Meanwhile, 3 users have hidden this link, 1 has marked it as already posted, 1 has marked it as off-topic, 4 have marked it as spam, and your first comment has received 10 upvotes. Taken together, that’s 19 indications of disapproval for this post compared to 29 indications of approval. I might also hide this link but I will not indulge an egotistic urge to impose my taste on others, as you so often do. Please stop.

                            1. 1

                              i see no indication that he’s speaking for the community or doing so out of egoism; seems like you’re reading that in

                        2. 2

                          people post their blogs here all the time don’t they?

                        1. 0

                          Here’s a much simpler more intuitive way…

                          Take a bucket (cylindrical / vertical walls).

                          Make a small hole in the bottom.

                          Pour water into the bucket, (just don’t overflow it) at a varying rate.

                          The rate that water flows out is proportional to the water level in the bucket.

                          Low and behold you have a kalman filter.

                          If your input is a dirac delta…. (ie, take another bucket, dump the whole bucket all at once into your leaky bucket), the output flow rate is a decreasing exponential.

                          When somebody says “Kalman filter” at you, shrug and say “leaky bucket” back at them.

                          1. 3

                            Not relevant to Kalman filters at all, but I got nerd-sniped by:

                            The rate that water flows out is proportional to the water level in the bucket.

                            That’s intuitively how it works, but surprisingly not true once you have more than a little bit of water pressure - more pressure will not make the water flow faster.

                            The outflow rate is governed by the speed of sound in your medium (water, in this case) and the size of the hole, and no amount of pressure will increase it (until it tears a bigger hole in the bucket).

                            As the maximum flow rate is reached, water molecules hitting the side of the outflow hole and bouncing back create a standing wave with an equal (sans the maximum flow pressure), opposite force to that exerted by the internal pressure.

                            1. 3

                              Certainly it’s a “linear approximation” to reality…. and you can as you observe, easily wander out of that linear region (higher pressures, bucket overflowing, different shaped buckets….)

                              …but the main appeal of Kalman filters is their simplicity and the hence their amenability to analysis.

                              ie. We don’t necessarily use them because they are an accurate representation of reality, but because they’re sufficiently simple we can reason about them.

                              The other very common place they are using is in analyzing resistor / capacitor circuits… but again at too high a voltage or too high a frequency or for low quality components…. you rapidly get out of the linear region and shit happens.

                              (Partly that’s a recursive definition… a “Good” component is one that has a “largish” linear region not because it’s better, but because we know how to reason about it.)

                              All of which is why I like the “leaky bucket” analogy… it makes it clear that this is not deep magic worthy of arcane jargon. It’s the simplest thing we can make headway reasoning about.

                              1. 1

                                Oh yeah, wasn’t trying to argue about kalman filters, just reminded me of a fascinating (to me) bit of physics.

                                1. 1

                                  No problem…

                                  I remember my fluid mechanics lecturer talking about “dry” water….

                                  Incompressible, irrotational laminar flow…..

                                  Completely unlike real water… but the stuff we could make some progress on analyzing!

                                  Real fluids have all kinds of weird and exotic (and fun) behaviours.

                            2. 2

                              Post author here, could you elaborate on this ? I fail to see the link between the two.

                              1. 2

                                You are right to not see the link, there isn’t one in any meaningful sense, the grandparent has made an analogy to a single-pole low pass filter (an RC filter), not a Kalman Filter. It will only confuse you if you’re trying to understand the Kalman Filter.

                                1. 1

                                  From the wikipedia article….

                                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalman_filter#Underlying_dynamical_system_model

                                  Kalman filter model assumes the true state at time k is evolved from the state at (k − 1) according to

                                  x_k = F_k x_(k − 1) + B_k u_k + w_k 
                                  

                                  where

                                  Fk is the state transition model which is applied to the previous state x_(k−1);
                                  Bk is the control-input model which is applied to the control vector uk;
                                  wk is the process noise which is assumed to be drawn from a zero mean multivariate normal distribution, N
                                  

                                  Now let’s pare that way way down to the basics….

                                  Assume the system we’re looking at isn’t changing, just the inputs and the outputs…

                                  So now F doesn’t depend on k.

                                  Assume we’re just dealing with one dimension now, so these are just plain values not vectors and matrices. (I’d argue making it multidimensional doesn’t alter the intuition, merely the complexity.

                                  Now call the “Bk is the control-input model which is applied to the control vector uk”, “the amount of water we put into the bucket” at step k

                                  Now call F x_(k-1) the amount we’d have in the next step assuming we didn’t add any water.

                                  If F is 1… we’re steady state the hole is plugged.

                                  Obviously if F is > 1 water is coming in the hole and the bucket is going to get exponentially fuller. In dynamical control situations we’d say this thing is unstable “She’s gonna Blow!”.

                                  Obviously if F is < 1 water is leaking out the hole and the bucket is going to get exponentially emptier.

                                  If F is < 0…. things are pretty weird, oscillating on each step.

                                  So how much is leaking out in each step (x_(k-1) - x_k) = delta = x_(k-1) - F x_(k-1) = (1-F) x(k-1)

                                  ie. as I said, the amount leaking out of the bucket is proportional to the amount inside the bucket.

                                2. 1

                                  Pour water into the bucket, (just don’t overflow it) at a varying rate.

                                  Presumably the varying rate bit is there to be an analogy for noise in the system state estimation?

                                  1. 2

                                    If you thinking in terms of signal processing… the rate at which you pour water in is your input signal, the rate it comes out is your output signal.

                                    If your input signal is noisy, it’s going to get smoothed out.

                                    1. 2

                                      The point of the Kalman filters isn’t smoothing I thought…isn’t it improved modeling of a system with noisy measurements?

                                      1. 1

                                        Ok, I will note a lack of accuracy in what I said….

                                        The leaky bucket describes the Kalman Filter dynamic model. The Kalman Filter would be what you’d choose to use to control a tap to keep the bucket filled to some desired level.

                                1. 8

                                  Please stop spamming newsletters. It makes search less useful and harms discussion.

                                  1. 1

                                    noted

                                  1. 4

                                    I think this is maybe a little more networking than web, since it’s lower in the stack.

                                    1. 6

                                      I miss a very utilitarian business-oriented group. My code is valuable as long as it generates business value. The means are secondary.

                                      1. 4

                                        As a wise K sage once told me, “I like money.”

                                      1. 16

                                        You already posted this.

                                        Marketing spam on Lobsters seems to me as something that dilutes the value of the site beyond what the orange site or other places has.

                                        1. 7

                                          To be fair, last time I posted this was over a year ago and I also tagged it as “show”. I wouldn’t really call that “spamming”. But, I will respect the community if I’m asked to delete this or is automatically deleted.

                                        1. 1

                                          Generated text from this method can be found here.

                                          1. 3

                                            Suggest correcting Depreciation to Deprecation.

                                            Suggest correcting to Amazon S3 Path Deprecation Plan – The Rest of the Story to match the exact title (as michrider points out nicely.)

                                            1. 2

                                              Also it’s only S3 paths being deprecated, not S3 entirely.

                                              1. 2

                                                Folks please consider clicking the “Suggest” link right below the title above and making your suggested changes :)

                                                1. 2

                                                  The way I interpret these “Suggest” comments going is I make a suggestion through that link, and readers who agree take my hint and also go through the “Suggest”

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Indeed. And for something like tags, it serves as an opportunity to help educate new users. :)

                                                    1. 1

                                                      I thought the suggestions went to the moderators who then either make the changes or not.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Not sure. My impression was if several people make the suggestion, it was applied automatically – but I have no idea.

                                                        edit: https://lobste.rs/moderations you can see some changes are automatic.

                                                      2. 1

                                                        Uh, personally, I didn’t even know/realize there’s a “suggest” link/button! :/ TIL; that said, for education of others like me, @grahamc what would you think about e.g. linkifying the “Suggest” word in future? Say, something like: “Suggest correcting…” — or, as @feoh elaborated, “Folks please consider clicking “Suggest” and correcting to…”

                                                  1. 6

                                                    See also the linked Who Killed Prolog? article.

                                                    1. 18

                                                      I think they mean

                                                      ?- killed(prolog, X).

                                                      1. 6

                                                        No

                                                    1. 2

                                                      I use a VPN running on my Synology NAS and couldn’t be happier. Dual bonded GigE to my router then gigabit fiber from there out to the world. It was dead simple point-and-click to set up a couple flavors of VPN. I know you didn’t mention needing additional storage, but QNap and Synology are crushing it with turnkey solutions in this space. Heck, it even runs Docker containers if you can’t find a server/service pre-packaged.

                                                      If you don’t like the built-in VPN options there are packages like https://github.com/runfalk/synology-wireguard

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Synologys are great just a little more than I’d like to spend.

                                                        1. 1

                                                          What’s your budget?

                                                          1. 1

                                                            < $100.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Sorry to hear Synology is out of range. I use mine as a VPN as well and it works great.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Maybe a good candidate for the culture tag, and the ellision of the trailing | Linux Journal.

                                                        1. 5

                                                          This is paywalled.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            The cache link seems to have the full article.

                                                          1. 8

                                                            Is this anything other than marketing copy?

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Anything with the word “5G” so far seems to be marketing copy.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                The useful information is from Delivering Functionality on downward. This describes some of what it takes to sell to and collaborate with enterprises. It’s a path that might lead quite a few FOSS projects to profitability. Most just don’t know what it takes to get there or even have resources to get there. Knowing what it takes is a good start, though.

                                                                1. 5

                                                                  So to be really honest, one goal of this article was indeed share this knowledge, what does it take to sell to big enterprises. How can you make money with open source? Well, not with the software. A great article about sales to big enterprise is https://techcrunch.com/2010/11/13/new-enterprise-customer/?guccounter=1

                                                                  Secondly, this article practices what it preaches - it tells people within large enterprises “we get it, we know how your company works, please buy from us”. So Friendlysock has a valid point. But I hope the educational part on FOSS sales was worth it.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Thanks for the article. It’s a good intro to the problems. I might share it with folks. I do want to address a potential myth:

                                                                    “ How can you make money with open source? Well, not with the software.”

                                                                    When arguing about licensing, I said that to folks on Hacker News. A few countered me that you can in fact sell GPL software. Stallman even encouraged it. Two examples were interesting. One said his company licensed tens of millions a year in GPL software to enterprises. That turned out to be SUSE, which maybe outlier like Red Hat. The other built custom software for mid-sized businesses which wasn’t necessarily a competitive advantage or secret sauce: just smoothed over internal processes. With company’s permission, he always licensed the apps as GPL since there’s potential benefits but no harm. There were also dual-licensed offerings but I’m focusing on F/OSS specifically.

                                                                    They gave me a few reasons companies would buy FOSS. Primary one is someone to blame for problems. You mentioned that in your article but maybe overlooked how it carries onto selling FOSS. Some other people said licensing and support are looked at differently in many enterprise. One is a justifiable operational expense adding value with support something that’s considered a liability to minimize. I have little data on this claim past anecdotal experience of non-FOSS projects that did fit that pattern. Yet another was long-term viability with a vendor that had been around for a while and would be around for a while. That kind of fits in with support but is also risk management issue. That’s my list of reasons an enterprise might license F/OSS software that they could get for free with or without support.

                                                                    What’s your thoughts or experiences on those?

                                                              1. 4

                                                                Maybe could be merged with an earlier posting?

                                                                1. 14

                                                                  I submitted this story because I think it’s important to understand how open source projects are funded and how services like Patreon profit from that exchange, which I believe is on-topic for Lobsters.

                                                                  I removed this article because it’s about a commercial service, not computing

                                                                  A change to a commercial service which has important consequences on many open-source projects, which naturally risks having a chilling effect on computing as a whole.

                                                                  This submission has been removed from Lobsters, /r/linux (off-topic), and /r/patreon (self-promotion). How do you keep services like Patreon accountable if the communities affected by their decision making reject articles explaining those decisions?

                                                                  This isn’t my first frustrating run-in with the moderation on Lobsters, and previous interactions had soured my tastes enough for me to resign from the service entirely. I came back because the community here deserves better than that, and so I could interact with people commenting on my blog posts and software, at first limiting myself to discussions there. After a while of not having to deal with pushcx, I became somewhat more comfortable submitting again. Today I was reminded of why I find the moderation here frustrating. It seems like it’s done at pushcx’s whims, and there’s no hope for appeal.

                                                                  1. 6

                                                                    it is interesting that I’ve seen the exact opposite sentiment expressed on this forum many times as well, that the moderation team doesn’t do enough to make sure that content on this board is purely technical or related. a question I’d ask, and this is purely meant to spark thought, not troll: do you think there’s a trend of heavy-handed moderation on Lobsters or are you upset because of your piece being blocked from the platform?

                                                                    just to make my position clear: IMO, I’d love to see more non-technical content posted here, including what you’ve just posted, but the community has decided otherwise, which is fine with me.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      This is a fair question to ask. Naturally, I can only speak to my experiences, which have only been negative, and each time I have spoken about my experiences I’ve heard from a few others who have faced similar problems. I think I’ve made a pretty good argument for this post, and even better arguments for other incidents in the past. For example, a link to an article of mine was once posted, then merged into another post which was by then 2 days old. By then, anyone who wanted to click the link would have, and wouldn’t have seen my article. And my article was only tangentally related to the discussion it was merged into - a more distant relation than, for example, the link between today’s post and open source. In the ensuing discussions for this, today’s, and previous incidents, as well as conversations with other moderators, I’ve come to the conclusion that pushcx doesn’t posess the capacity to question his own decisions, other moderators lack the authority to override each other’s decisions, and thus there’s no reasonable route for appealing a moderator’s decision.

                                                                      1. 6

                                                                        I’ve come to the conclusion that pushcx doesn’t posess the capacity to question his own decisions, other moderators lack the authority to override each other’s decisions, and thus there’s no reasonable route for appealing a moderator’s decision.

                                                                        Well we all get to be wrong about something I suppose.

                                                                        The usual route for appealing moderator decisions is to start a meta thread, which is exactly what @tedu has done.

                                                                        My observation of Lobsters has been that moderation in the specific case may not have an appeal but in general will follow the established “case law” of community norms from meta threads and similar posts.

                                                                    2. 2

                                                                      “This submission has been removed from Lobsters, /r/linux (off-topic), and /r/patreon (self-promotion).”

                                                                      Well, that kind of tells you that it doesn’t fit those specific forums. Most articles about commercial services, supporting FOSS or not, get killed off before they hit the front page. I used to see this a lot when I looked at Recent regularly. When I saw that, I’d sometimes send them a message suggesting a forum like Hacker News or Barnacles where the content is sometimes better received. HN moves so fast that a lot of stuff disappears before anyone can upvote it. So, I caution against thinking failure there means anything.

                                                                      I’m actually not sure even Barnacles would be good fit given most of them are pushing proprietary offerings. They may or may not know much about FOSS or care about its sustainability. I will say you’ll find some good stuff there about marketing, pricing, and so on which might help your business. If you want to grow it, you’ll be doing a lot more marketing than coding at some point since the former drives sales. Indie Hackers and Failory also have interesting case studies which can contain important wisdom.

                                                                      Hope some of that helps you. I like the ethics and FOSS focus of your business. I hope it succeeds.

                                                                    1. 12

                                                                      I have no idea why this has an off-topic flag so far, but I submitted this because it is a survey of the operating expenses for a large image service and how that’s broken out across different aspects.

                                                                      If cost isn’t a factor, you’re not doing engineering.