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Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 146

by Sri Ramkrishna (#47955937) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

I would say that is a fair reaction, if you are thinking about Gnome. The more we compare, the more we sometimes drive things that way. We bash gnome now, defenders come out and defend it, and now we've really got a war on our hands. This happens often life.

Naw, us GNOME folks are going to stay out of this one. I will say that it's cool that KDE is looking seriously at design. I've been following their design group that posts something almost every week, quite diligently. Good stuff.

I hope none of the other GNOME supporters jump in either. This seems like something y'all need to deal with yourselves.

Comment: Re:A miracle of modern diplomacy (Score 3, Informative) 190

by metlin (#47942413) Attached to: On Independence for Scotland:

Hell, even India got its independence peacefully, though the peace ended moments after independence.

You have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

The west idolizes Gandhi and completely ignores historical truths in the process. Gandhi waged a political war of attrition on the British, and a weakened Britain from WW2 caved in. But the truth is, Gandhi's role was the proverbial straw -- violent protests against the British were underway long before he was even born.

The first Indian battle of independence was in 1857, and was violent. There have been many, many violent conflicts with the British, up until the point of independence. In 1919, the British massacred thousands of non-violent protestors in Jhalianwala Bagh.

And from the hanging of the likes of Bhagat Singh (who was a socialist revolutionary) in 1931 to Subhas Chandra Bose's alliance with the Japanese and the Germans to fight the British, there were many militant freedom fighters who caused tangible hardship on the British.

Only someone ignorant of history would call the Indian independence movement peaceful. There's a reason Gandhi was shot dead -- he may have been a martyr in his death, but he waged a political battle with bitter consequences whose effects continue to be felt to this day.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 950

by Sri Ramkrishna (#47930527) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
The current plight of Islam is a directly attributed to the poor economies of the Middle East and a prevalent culture where men must find jobs before they can continue on with life. The poor economy comes from the fact that the middle east isn't diversified, and are not investing in new sectors. The oil they possess is a curse not a blessing. An all corrupting influence that is the seed of everything that has gone wrong in the middle east. Oil is what is killing Islam.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 0) 950

by Sri Ramkrishna (#47930477) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
uh no, dude. The Crusades was nothing more than a blatant land grab. Those guys were there fora long time. If you had to wait 400 years to stop "Islamic expansion" then you'er doing it wrong. Also, wherever the muslims took over was a lot better than the goddam savages from Europe. Let's not paper over the behavior of these people in the Crusades. Whatever the reason, religion was not the reason they went after Jerusalem.

Comment: Re: Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 950

by Sri Ramkrishna (#47930375) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
The irony is, given my exposure to open source/free software developers they tend to be progressive/liberal. After all, you are giving away for free, your hard work and expertise. Devops/sysadmin/unix gray beards tend to be libertarians, and generally consume open source/free software. Which totally fits libertarian mindset of freedom to do what you want. The problem of course is that it took a liberal mindset to actually make open source happen. Otherwise, they are probably just as happy with a number of proprietary unix solutions since they are free to use the underlying technology anyway they want.

+ - A Problem With Teacher Begfunding: $56,742 for One Class, $258 for Another 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Google's "flash-funding" of teachers' projects via DonorsChoose continues to draw kudos, this time from grateful mayors in Seattle and Los Angeles. And some of the teachers seem to be getting pretty good at playing the begfunding game. In L.A., for instance, almost 6% of the $977,281 Google and DonorsChoose awarded is being used to take 34 kids on "The Trip of a Lifetime." And while the good news over at Alliance Burton Tech Academy High School is that Google is ponying up $56,742 to send Mr. Hermosillo's 34 students to London and Paris, the sad news is that Ms. Garcia's 150 students missed the Google gravy train and will have to settle for $258.93 worth of markers and glue from the Gates Foundation and DonorsChoose."

Comment: Farmers != Farm Workers (Score 0, Troll) 122

The headline says farmers. The text says farm workers. Very much not the same thing. A farmer is the owner of the farm. A farm worker is generally a hired hand, often (though not always) a migrant, and if so typically from Mexico or farther south.

The story suggests that the multi-drug-resistant bacteria are the result of antibiotic treatment of the animals at the farm. This misses another possibility:

In Mexico, most antibiotics are over-the-counter, much like asprin here in the US. People who feel ill or have some infection often buy and take them. Typically they use them until they no longer show symptoms - then stop, rather than taking a full regimin and killing off all the bacteria. (Why take more of the non-free drug once the symptoms are gone? Waste of money, right?) This is a recipe for creating drug-resistant bacteria.

Of course if an infection is resistant to one antibiotic, a paitent is likely to try another, and another, and so on until they find one that works. THAT's a recipe for maintaining and improving the bug's resistance to the front line antibiotics while breeding resistance to others.

As a result, a substantial fraction of the workers arriving from south of the Mexican border are carriers of multi-drug-resistant baceria.

Meanwhile, a farming operation is likely to give a limited number of antibiotics continuously, so non-resistant infections are wiped out before they can develop resistance, and if they do develop resistance it will be to the particular drugs used, rather than the universe of antibiotics.

Of course, infected workers can infect livestock, just as livestock can infect workers. And infected workers can trade infections around, just as livestock can. (More so, since the livestock tends to be kept separated, to reduce both disease spread and breeding by unintended pairings, limitations that farmers can't impose on their workers - and would be unlikely to try even if they could.)

So it seems to me that responsible researchers would go a bit farther before reporting: Like by doing genetic testing on the strains of bug in the various workers and the livestock, and running models on the results to try to identfy whether the bugs are from the herd or the workers.

I don't see any such work alluded to in this popularized reporting. It seems to just assume that the bugs were developed on the farm and spread to the workers. I hope this is a disconnect between the actual research and the report, rather than an accurate characterization of the research.

Comment: Re:I, Robot from a programmers perspective (Score 1) 164

by lkcl (#47923389) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

Don't get me started on Asimov's work. He tried to write allot about how robots would function with these laws that he invented, but really just ended up writing about a bunch of horrendously programmed robots who underwent 0 testing and predictably and catastrophically failed at every single edge case. I do not think there is a single robot in any of his stories that would not not self destruct within 5 minutes of entering the real world.

hooray. someone who actually finally understands the point of the asimov stories. many people reading asimov's work do not understand that it was only in the later works commissioned by the asimov foundation (when Caliban - a Zero-Law Robot - is introduced; or it is finally revealed that Daneel - the robot that Giskard psychically impressed with the Zeroth Law to protect *humanity* onto - is over 30,000 years old and is the silent architect of the Foundation) that the failure of the Three Laws of Robotics is finally explicitly spelled out in actual words instead of being illustrated indirectly through many different stories, just as you describe, wisnoskij.

in the asimov series there _are_ actually robots that are successful. the New Law Robots (those that are permitted to *cooperate* with humans; these actually have some spark of creativity). Caliban - who had a Gravitonic brain - was a Zero Law Robot: an experiment to see if a robot would derive its own laws under free will (it did). and Daneel, whose telepathic ability and the Zeroth Law were given to him by Giskard. these robots are the exception. the three law robots are basically intelligent but entirely devoid of creativity.

you have to think: how can anything that has hundreds of millions of copies of the three laws be anything *but* a danger to human development, by preventing and prohibiting any kind of risk-taking?? we already have enough stupid laws on the planet (mostly thanks to america's sue-happy culture and the abusive patent system). we DON'T need idiots trying to implement the failed three laws of robotics.

Comment: Hmmm. (Score 0) 72

by jd (#47921793) Attached to: Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

If Kip Thorne can win a year's worth of Playboys for his bet that Cygnus X1 was a Black Hole, when current theory from Professor Hawking says Black Holes don't really exist, then can Professor Thorne please give me a year's subscription to the porno of my choice due to the non-existent bet that this wasn't such a star?

Comment: COM (MSRPC), Objective-C/J and Software Libre (Score 2) 54

by lkcl (#47917061) Attached to: Industry-Based ToDo Alliance Wants To Guide FOSS Development

in looking at why both apple and microsoft have been overwhelmingly successful i came to the conclusion that it is because both companies are using dynamic object-orientated paradigms that can allow components from disparate programming languages to be accessible at runtime. COM is the reason why, after 20 years, you can find a random Active-X component written two decades ago, plug it into a modern windows computer and it will *work*.

Objective-C is the OO concept taken to the extreme: it's actually built-in to the programming language. COM is a bit more sensible: it's a series of rules (based ultimately on the flattening of data structures into a stream that can be sent over a socket, or via shared memory) which may be implemented in userspace: the c++ implementation has some classes whilst the c implementation has macros, but ultimately you could implement COM in any programming language you cared to.

the first amazing thing about COM (which is based on MSRPC which in turn was originally the OpenGroup's BSD-licensed DCE/RPC source code) is that because it is on top of DCE/RPC (ok MSRPC) you have version-control at the interface layer. the second amazing thing is that they have "co-classes" meaning that an "object" may be "merged" with another (multiple inheritance). when you combine this with the version-control capabilities of DCERPC/MSRPC you get not only binary-interoperability between client and server regardless of how many revisions there are to an API but also you can use co-classes to create "optional parameters" (by combining a function with 3 parameters in one IDL file with another same-named function with 4 parameters in another IDL file, 5 in another and so on).

the thing is that:

a) to create such infrastructure in the first place takes a hell of a lot of vision, committment and guts.

b) to mandate the use of such infrastructure, for the good of the company, the users, and the developers, also takes a lot of committment and guts. when people actually knew what COM was it was *very* unpopular, but unfortunately at the time things like python-comtypes (which makes COM so transparent it has the *opposite* problem - that of being so easy that programmers go "what's all the fuss about???" and don't realise quite how powerful what they are doing really is)

both microsoft and apple were - are - companies where it was possible to make such top-down decisions and say "This Is The Way It's Gonna Go Down".

now let's take a look at the GNU/Linux community.

the GNU/Linux community does have XPIDL and XPCOM, written by the Mozilla Foundation. XPCOM is "based on" COM. XPCOM has a registry. it has the same API, the same macros, and it even has an IDL compiler (XPIDL). however what it *does not* have is co-classes. co-classes are the absolute, absolute bed-rock of COM and because XPCOM does not have co-classes there have been TEN YEARS of complaints from developers - mostly java developers but also c++ developers - attempting to use Mozilla technology (embedding Gecko is the usual one) and being driven UP THE F******G WALL by binary ABI incompatibility on pretty much every single damn release of the mozilla binaries. one single change to an IDL file results, sadly, in a broken system for these third party developers.

the GNU/Linux community does have CORBA, thanks to Olivetti Labs who released their implementation of CORBA some time back in 1997. CORBA was the competitor to COM, and it was nowhere near as good. Gnome adopted it... but nobody else did.

the GNU/Linux community does have an RPC mechanism in KDE. its first implementation is known famously for having been written in 20 minutes. not much more needs to be said.

the GNU/Linux community does have gobject. gobject is, after nearly fifteen years, beginning to get introspection, and this is beginning to bubble up to the dynamic programming languages such as python. gobject does not have interface revision control.

the GNU/Linux community does actually have a (near full) implementation of MSRPC and COM: it's part of the Wine Project. the project named TangramCOM did make an attempt to separate COM from Wine: if it had succeeded it would be maintained as a cut-down fork of the Wine Project. The Wine Project developer's answer - if you ask - to making a GNU/Linux application use COM is that you should convert it to a Wine (i.e. a Win32) application. this is not very satisfactory.

in other words, the GNU/Linux community has a set of individuals who are completely discoordinated, getting on with the very important task - and i mean that absolutely genuinely - the very important task of maintaining the code for which they are responsible.

the problems that they deal with are *not* those of coordinating - at a top level - with *other projects*.

now, whilst this "Alliance" may wish to "guide" the development of the GNU/Linux community, ultimately it comes down to money. do these companies have the guts to say - in a nice way of course - "here's a wad of cash, this is a list of tasks, any takers?"

but, also, does this "Alliance" have the guts to ask "what is actually needed"? would it be nice, for example, rather than them saying "this is what you need to do, now get on with it", which would pretty much guarantee to have no takers at all, would it be nice for them to actually get onto various mailing lists (hundreds if necessary) and actually canvas the developers in the software libre world, to ask them "hey, we have $NNN million available, we'd like to coordinate something that's cross-project that would make a difference, and we'd like *you* to tell *us* what you think is the best way to spend that money".

where the kinds of ideas floated around could be something as big and ambitious as "converting both KDE and Gnome to use the same runtime-capable object-orientated RPC mechanism so that both desktops work nicely together and one set of configuration tools from one desktop environment could actually be used to manage the other... even over a network with severely limited bandwidth [1]".

or, another idea would be: ensure that things like heartbleed never happen again, because the people responsible for the code - on which these and many companies are making MILLIONS - are actually being PAID.

but the primary question that immediately needs answering: is this group of companies acting genuinely altruistically, or are they self-serving? an immediate read of the web site, at face value, it does actually look like they are genuine.

however, time will tell. we'll see when they actually start interacting with software libre developers rather than just being a web site that doesn't even have a public mailing list.

[1] i mention that because the last time i suggested this idea people said "what's wrong with using X11?? problem solved... so what are you talking about?? i'm talking about binary-compatible APIs that stem ultimately from IDL files". *sigh*...

The amount of weight an evangelist carries with the almighty is measured in billigrahams.