whbboyd's recent activity

  1. Comment on The Monty Hall problem in ~science

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    I have an extremely clear visualization in my head when I use that example, which maybe helps to illustrate. To start, let's say there are ten doors (to keep my table-art at a reasonable width): 1...

    I have an extremely clear visualization in my head when I use that example, which maybe helps to illustrate.

    To start, let's say there are ten doors (to keep my table-art at a reasonable width):

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    . . . . . . . . . .

    Arbitrarily, you select door 2.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    . * . . . . . . . .

    Then Monty opens eight other doors, revealing eight goats.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    g * g g g . g g g g

    …Why didn't Monty open door 6?

    Various mathematical explanations have been done to death, but the mental image of that array of open doors with one left closed I find really evocative of the reasoning: Monty knows which door has the car behind it, and—constrained by the rules of the game—he's showing you that door by opening all the other ones.

    13 votes
  2. Comment on Statically linking libraries is arguably better than dynamic linking in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    What? i.e., it is incorrect to conclude that shared libraries are "not really" shared when the median shared-ness is 4 and the mean is 50. i.e., symbol count is only vaguely correlated with code...

    What?

    It’s unclear to me that this supports a general conclusion that shared libraries aren’t.

    i.e., it is incorrect to conclude that shared libraries are "not really" shared when the median shared-ness is 4 and the mean is 50.

    I don’t really want to get into measuring the sizes of these symbols, particularly since I can’t get them from the source, but that sounds like at least a few full copies of libc to me.

    i.e., symbol count is only vaguely correlated with code size, and so it is incorrect to conclude that static binaries are "not really" meaningfully larger than their dynamic counterparts on the basis of symbol counts.

    (printf is an example of a single symbol with a very outsize amount of code behind it. And hey, literally everyone uses that one!)

    the bigger problem here is that it’ll be harder to find the dependents of statically linked libraries

    i.e., it is incorrect to conclude that security updates of statically-linked binaries are "not really" unmanageable—indeed, they're impossible in general! If you restrict yourself to applications distributed by your vendor, you've completely eliminated one of the major benefits to static linking, i.e. the ability to run software for which a matching version of a given library is not easily available.

    (Also, Drew's computation of update size is incorrect. 3.9GB would be the update if you left all your software vulnerable until an end-of-year wrap-up. If you update as fixes are released—something which you must do if you're taking any action on security at all—you'll download many of those binaries multiple times, as various fixes to their dependencies are released. Additionally, failing to compare to the size of shipping dynamic library updates also kills this conclusion. If, by my best guess/ass-pull, updating just the vulnerable libraries would take a few hundred megabytes, that difference is immense no matter the time period it's over.)

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Statically linking libraries is arguably better than dynamic linking in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link
    Most of the arguments in this article are wrong. This comment on lobste.rs rebuts it well. (I started researching and writing up virtually the same comment, but, well, it would have been virtually...

    Most of the arguments in this article are wrong. This comment on lobste.rs rebuts it well. (I started researching and writing up virtually the same comment, but, well, it would have been virtually the same.) As an added bonus, Drew responds, in case you want to follow the discussion. I don't think he does a good job of rebutting the rebuttals, but you can judge for yourself.

    The one thing I'll add is, regarding performance: dynamic loading is significantly slower than static loading due to the linking time, but static loading is already fairly slow, so anyone trying to load either kind of binary in a performance-sensitive context will get bit either way.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Construction begins on world’s biggest liquid air battery in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    For comparison, the Tom Sauk pumped storage facility (essentially a hydroelectric power station whose reservoir is filled by pumps, rather than natural water flow) has a capacity of 3,600MWh, and...

    The Highview battery will store 250MWh of energy

    For comparison, the Tom Sauk pumped storage facility (essentially a hydroelectric power station whose reservoir is filled by pumps, rather than natural water flow) has a capacity of 3,600MWh, and is roughly 70% efficient (compared to cryo energy storage, which is apparently closer to 50% efficient overall). There are significant siting considerations for pumped energy storage (and Tom Sauk in particular had a very bad accident), but it's dirt-simple and scales up to as big as you care to make your reservoir. IMO, pumped storage is tough to compete with.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Time to upgrade your monitor - Optimizing a display setup for programming in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    It sounds like you've used a 27" 4K monitor before. Have you tried it with no scaling? My monitor is a 28" 3840x2160 that I run unscaled with no real issues. (Literally every coworker who walks by...

    It sounds like you've used a 27" 4K monitor before. Have you tried it with no scaling? My monitor is a 28" 3840x2160 that I run unscaled with no real issues. (Literally every coworker who walks by comments on it, though.)

    I also feel the (mostly nonconstructive) need to snark about:

    The idea of a 4k monitor is NOT to get more pixels

    I mean, this is just obviously false. The author is just advocating for using those pixels on rendering text at larger pixel sizes, rather than fitting more text.

    6 votes
  6. Comment on Jepsen: PostgreSQL 12.3 in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link
    For those unfamiliar, Jepsen is a database/distributed system testing tool, and the author (aphyr on lobste.rs and reddit) regularly performs analyses of various applicable systems. Jepsen is...

    For those unfamiliar, Jepsen is a database/distributed system testing tool, and the author (aphyr on lobste.rs and reddit) regularly performs analyses of various applicable systems. Jepsen is well-known for finding serious issues with MongoDB's claimed consistency guarantees.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on The educational standardization trap in ~life

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    For what it's worth, Hacker's book (and several op eds he wrote on the same general topic) were shredded by the mathematical and mathematical education communities. Here's an example rebuttal by...

    For what it's worth, Hacker's book (and several op eds he wrote on the same general topic) were shredded by the mathematical and mathematical education communities.

    Here's an example rebuttal by Evelyn Lamb, a math columnist for Scientific American, which also references a number of other critical responses.

    9 votes
  8. Comment on Seven years later, I bought a new Macbook. For the first time, I don't love it in ~tech

  9. Comment on Police didn’t spend millions on awesome tank just to let protests stay peaceful in ~misc

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    They've been at this since 2001, at the latest. Choice quote: "During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton,...

    They've been at this since 2001, at the latest. Choice quote: "During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years. "

    10 votes
  10. Comment on Seven years later, I bought a new Macbook. For the first time, I don't love it in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    He's referring to this cord (compare to the flip-out plug connected to the adapter in that image). The cord has a ground pin; the flip-out plug does not.

    He's referring to this cord (compare to the flip-out plug connected to the adapter in that image). The cord has a ground pin; the flip-out plug does not.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    whbboyd
    Link
    Mowed my lawn, which was miserable and I hated it, because the city sent me a nastygram about it getting too deep. Hiring lawn care is definitely in the cards; it would be worth a fair amount of...

    Mowed my lawn, which was miserable and I hated it, because the city sent me a nastygram about it getting too deep. Hiring lawn care is definitely in the cards; it would be worth a fair amount of money for me to never have to think about or do this stupid, thankless chore again.

    (If I were planning more than a few more years in this house, the grass would go. It's a performative emulation of conspicuous consumption among European nobility, showing off that they had the wealth to employ groundskeepers, and it's bad for biodiversity and—when you give it the care it theoretically needs, instead of semi-monthly hacking it to the ground like I do—the environment.)

    11 votes
  12. Comment on How video finally proved that cops lie in ~misc

    whbboyd
    Link
    It may be worth noting that this article was written in 2017, so if (like me), you feel like you've read it before, you probably have.

    It may be worth noting that this article was written in 2017, so if (like me), you feel like you've read it before, you probably have.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Results from the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    IBM is certainly hated (or at least "not loved") among the Stack Overflow set, but I don't find it credible that it's more hated than Oracle—Oracle is universally despised among every developer...

    IBM is certainly hated (or at least "not loved") among the Stack Overflow set, but I don't find it credible that it's more hated than Oracle—Oracle is universally despised among every developer I've ever discussed it with, and essentially always has been.

    The love/hate values are normalized by use, which probably explains why DB2 is so high despite not being as widely used.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Sublime Merge 2 - Features and Flexibility in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Ah; I find that unlabeled icons are incomprehensible anyway, so I don't experience a usability difference between "incomprehensible pictogram" and "irrelevant letter". (Both are completely, 100%...

    Ah; I find that unlabeled icons are incomprehensible anyway, so I don't experience a usability difference between "incomprehensible pictogram" and "irrelevant letter". (Both are completely, 100% unusable.) Some sites use ligatures on icon names, which serves the purpose of alt-text (and makes the missing-glyph experience much superior to just the icon).

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Sublime Merge 2 - Features and Flexibility in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    …Can you explain? I've had them universally disabled for years with no discernible downside. (Upsides include not exposing font parsing/rendering code—much of which was written in the '80s, was...

    remote fonts are mandatory

    …Can you explain? I've had them universally disabled for years with no discernible downside. (Upsides include not exposing font parsing/rendering code—much of which was written in the '80s, was never intended to accept arbitrary inputs, and is effectively untested—to anything the Internet wants to throw at it; preventing sites from choosing ugly or illegible fonts; and cutting out some stupidly massive downloads.) The closest thing to an "issue" is that it breaks the hell out of glyphicons, but I literally couldn't care less.

    Of course I agree wholeheartedly with your general complaint.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Don't fall for Bloomberg's effusive Elon Musk profile in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    I dunno, maybe he is, in the karmic sense…

    "No, He Absolutely Isn't"

    I dunno, maybe he is, in the karmic sense…

    6 votes
  17. Comment on Patent case against GNOME resolved in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Cribbing off a more informed comment on lobste.rs, they didn't get their patents invalidated by an actual court case. Patent trolls are rarely in a position to win the troll suits they bring; they...

    Cribbing off a more informed comment on lobste.rs, they didn't get their patents invalidated by an actual court case. Patent trolls are rarely in a position to win the troll suits they bring; they rely on defendants comparing the cost of a settlement to the cost of a court battle (even if they win) and choosing to settle.

    6 votes