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Category: Computer Science

Gaming Laptops – your recommendations?

The current vacation is hard on me, because I hardly get to use my own computer – the best wife of all and the Schnuppel both compete for time on my machine in order to play Transport Fever and Cities: Skylines. That’s an annoyance not only because I can’t get the keyboard, but also because a MacBook pro apparently sucks as a gaming machine.

So this website lists a bunch of relatively recent laptops with proper graphics cards, and household peace seems to require a premade machine and a transportable device (not a desktop device).

What would be your recommendation (see above, and maybe Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky), and why?

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BFQ is coming…

LWN reports that the 4.11 merge window opens. Among other things, Maik Zumstrull reminds us, we get

The multiqueue block layer finally has support for I/O scheduling. That is useful in its own right, but the real news is that it enables the merging of the long-awaited BFQ I/O scheduler. That, says block maintainer Jens Axboe, “should be ready for 4.12”.

Of course, if you are on a LTS release of a Linux kernel, it’s unlikely that you will profit from this any time soon.

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OMG, our cybervaccines are failing

Dark Reading is scared: All new malware is “zero-day”, for an interesting and wrong definition of zero-day, because then the article reads much more impressive.

The actual definition of a Zero Day is a previously unknown exploit that is being used by some party to compromise a machine. In the article, the term is used differently, meaning a file that is a known malware, but has changed itself so that it has a checksum that is not in currently distributed signature catalogs of known malware.

That is of course neither correct, nor new.

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FOSDEM: The coming Radio Lockdown

The European Radio Equipment Directive requires all devices that are able to send and receive radio signals to be locked down. Without further specification of exceptions, which has not yet been done, this will affect all devices, including pure receivers such as GPS receivers and car radios, but also mobile phones and amateur radio operators and of course almost all Internet of Trash (IoT) devices.

Hardware manufacturers are required to “install technical measurements to protect the devices from being flashed with ‘non-compliant software'”.

The talk by Max Mehl is available on the FOSDEM site.

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Containers 101

It is helpful to remember that containers are just normal Unix processes with two special tricks.

Normal Unix Processes

Unix starts processes by performing a fork() system call to create a new child process. The child process still contains the same program as the parent process, so the parent processes program still has control over the child. It usually performs a number of operations within the context of the new child, preparing the environment for the new program, from within.

PID 17 forks, and creates a new process with PID 18. This process executes a copy of the original program.

Then, after the environment is complete, the parent program within the child processes context replaces itself by calling execve(). This system call unloads the current program in a process and reuses the process to load a new program into it.

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Load, Load Testing and Benchmarking

(In order to be able to give up the test blog at blogspot.nl, I am moving content over)

So you have a new system and want to know what the load limits are. For that you want to run a benchmark.

Basic Benchmarking

The main plan looks like this:

The basic idea: Find a box, offer load, see what happens, learn.

You grab a box and find a method to generate load. Eventually the box will be fully loaded and you will notice this somehow.

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What will become of Hangouts?

Last year in August we got the news that Google is hating us all. And by that I do not just mean the new and “improved” Google plus sans Hangout integration and Search, but also their announcement to kill Chrome Apps for no reason at all instead of fixing the independent restart and focus problems.

For Hangouts, that means we are left with hangouts.google.com. Which looks half Material Design and Half Gmail-Retro-Industrial. Also, the chat window is narrow, cannot be resized, and generally manages to transmit the vibe that Google has fired all UX and UI designers they never managed to talk to in the first place.

You can reach me on WhatsApp.

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