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Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches' 257

Posted by timothy
from the hi-cousin-barry dept.
merbs (2708203) writes Across drought-stricken California, farmers are desperate for water. Now, many of them are calling dowsers. These "water witches," draped in dubious pseudoscience or self-assembled mythologies—or both—typically use divining rods and some sort of practiced intuition to "find" water. The professional variety do so for a fee. And business is booming. They're just part of a storied tradition of pseudoscientific hucksters exploiting our thirst for water, with everything from cloudbusters to rainmachines to New Age rituals.

Comment: Re:Is Debian/Hurd not an Operating System ? (Score 1) 726

by Tough Love (#47721859) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Actually I have a background in writing low level kernels, in porting c runtime environments to these custom environments. I know about memory management from the hardware up.

Then how could you possibly have confused operating system level memory management with garbage collecting? I am not sure that I would want you working on the Linux kernel, certainly not on the core.

What I don't have is an overly narrow concept of operating systems, a viewpoint stuck on some quiz once taken in an operating system class that expected a student to regurgitate a 1970s list of OS components.

The term "operating system" was recently coopted by marketdroids and PHBs who have not got the faintest clue of what a timer wheel is, to mean something convenient for Apple and Google's respective business plans. Please go get any operating system text, including a recent one, and you will find that the classic meaning of "operating system" is still the only one taught in the schools that produce our kernel engineers.

Android is no less of an OS for delegating some low level operations to the host linux kernel than a microkernel based OS that delegates some low level functions to its microkernel.

You seem not to grasp the scale, power or subtlty of "some low level operations" that Android relies on the operating system for.

Debian no longer an OS when it delegates low level functions to HURD?

Debian is referred to by Debian developers as a "distribution". That is exactly what Android is, nothing more and nothing less.

Comment: Re:Android is not Linux ... (Score 1) 726

by Tough Love (#47721213) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Your definition of an OS is quite narrow, overly so.

manage memory

Check. Android's Java runtime environment does this for applications.

It is a safe bet that you have never had anything to do with operating system design or implementation. Apparently, you do not understand even elementary principles of operating system memory management. So... according to you, how does Java manage the process page tables?

It is people like you who make the world save for marketdroids.

Comment: Re:Android is not Linux ... (Score 2) 726

by Tough Love (#47718351) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Android is not based on Linux. Android is **hosted** on Linux, it is really its own operating system.

Complete nonsense. Android is an "operating system" only in market speak. In fact, Android is an application platform, not an operating system. If you doubt me then you need to get an operating system textbook and read for yourself what an operating system actually does. Hint: manage hardware at a low level, presenting a uniform interface for applications; manage memory; schedule execution; enforce security constraints; etc. All of this done by Linux, and not the Android libraries, and much more besides.

Comment: Re:Torvalds is true to form.... (Score 1) 726

by Tough Love (#47718343) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Linus is blaming somebody else for Linux not taking the desktop, this is not to say he's not right, it's just amusing that he would blame others and tells me he's not interested in helping with the solution.

Good thing too. Linus is arguable one of the worst user interface designers on the planet.

Comment: Re:Why focus on the desktop? (Score 2) 726

by Tough Love (#47718335) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Well, Gnome always was a piece of crap in terms of internal structure and finally that project is imploding. About time. KDE/QT always was the technically superior approach and with Gnome fading it does look like we are heading in the right direction. Of course, we a monoculture would be horribly counterproductive for long term evolution, but there is obviously no danger of that.

Comment: Re:Buy a chromebook and install Linux on it ... (Score 1) 726

by Tough Love (#47718323) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

I've been using Linux part-time for twenty years. I build my own desktops so its been easy to build systems that are compatible between windows and linux. However laptops have always been very troublesome. I have figured out a solution. Buy a chromebook and install Linux on it.

Lately, I have found that laptops are working very well under Linux, including reliable suspend/resume.

Comment: Re:Infrastructure? (Score 1) 726

by Tough Love (#47718317) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

I will second that. I use both Windows and KDE desktops, and KDE is just a lot smoother and easier to forget about when you're working, which is really the main thing you want from a desktop. It also some very nice features that Windows lacks, such as providing fine grained persisent control over window geometry for given applications. And there are just an endless number of annoyances that Windows has that KDE does not. Reboot in the middle of your work, to name just one.


Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars 276

Posted by Soulskill
from the start-what-you-finnish dept.
New submitter NBSCALIDBA writes: Eeva Haaramo reports on Helsinki's ambitious plan to transform city transportation. From on-demand buses to city bikes to Kutsuplus mini-transport vans, the Finnish capital is trying to change the whole concept of getting around in a city. "Under the plan, all these services will be accessed through a single online platform. People will be able to buy their transport in service packages that work like mobile phone tariffs: either as a complete monthly deal or pay as you go options based on individual usage. Any number of companies can use the platform to offer transport packages, and if users find their travel needs change, they'll be able to switch packages or moved to a rival with a better deal."

+ - How patent trolls destroy innovation->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "A new study by researchers at Harvard and the University of Texas provides some insight on this question. Drawing from data on litigation, R&D spending, and patent citations, the researchers find that firms that are forced to pay NPEs (either because they lost a lawsuit or settled out of court) dramatically reduce R&D spending: losing firms spent $211 million less on R&D, on average, than firms that won a lawsuit against a troll.

"After losing to NPEs, firms significantly reduce R&D spending — both projects inside the firm and acquiring innovative R&D outside the firm," the authors write. "Our evidence suggests that it really is the NPE litigation event that causes this decrease in innovation."

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"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer