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Comment Re:It could work. (Score 0) 686

It's not a theory, it's the truth.

In fact the mkLinux you mention was originally a port done by two guys named Mark and Karl, hence "mk".

Steve Jobs saw Slackware on a CD and, being that he wanted to see the floppy disk die, he chose that distro to port as Mac OSX. Most other distros at that point were still on floppy disk. Woz and Seymour Cray were drinking buddies so when they needed some high performance multi-threading support from Cray's UNICOS system, Woz tapped his pal and got access to the necessary code for a handshake rather than the usual multi-million dollar licensing fees.

The whole "NeXTSTEP" thing was to fool investors into thinking they had a solid product, not something they hacked out over a few weeks. In fact if you do any development on Mac OSX or iOS, you will see "ns_____" things called all the time. The "ns" does not mean "NextStep" as many people think. It means "Nice Seymour" as a tip of the hat to the man that made all that code available for free.

I remember all this like it was yesterday.

Comment Re:It could work. (Score 0) 686

Nope. OSX is a fork/mix of early Slackware Linux with some earlier Cray UNICOS multi-threading library support.

NeXTSTEP is based on AT&T SysV UNIX with graphical libraries borrowed from Ashton-Tate's (ahead of its time) Framework suite. If memory serves I think they also uses some of CP/M's successor MP/M 86 for some sweet multiuser stuff.

I remember it all like it was yesterday!

Comment Re:It could work. (Score 2) 686

Good thing you mentioned Apple's OSX, I forgot about that one in my well-researched history.

OSX is a fork of Linux, Slackware specifically, which itself is some original old Linux code with some Cray UNICOS bolted on for what was then some decent HPC.

Comment It could work. (Score 5, Funny) 686

Remember that forks sometimes do succeed.

Take Linux. It forked from OpenBSD which itself was forked from QNX with smatterings of FreeBSD code.

QNX programmed itself from vacuum tubes and trace wires left on the ground at Quantum Software in Ottawa one evening. Dan Hildebrand (RIP) apparently had something to do with this metamorphosis.

Meanwhile across the ocean, FreeBSD was forked from Windows 95 which itself came from the unholy union of MS-DOS and the GEM environment. MS-DOS was bought from a company in Washington State and was a fork of CP/M. GEM was a stand alone thing and should never have been born.

Where was I? Oh yeah, CP/M. CP/M was a copy of Apple's SOS used in the Apple /// series of super-powerful business computers. The source code was left at an airport where Gary Kildall read it when his plane was on auto-pilot.

Apple SOS was a mix/fork of Apple ProDOS and TRS-80's OS; I forget the name, not important. Radio Shack forked their TRS-80 OS from some source code they saw in Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition.


Comment Re:Re-what? (Score 1) 139

Slashdot is one of the few paces that routinely publishes "summaries" that are 100% content-free. I always marvel at how they do it- you'd think that a stray bit of info would find its way into the summary by chance once in a while but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

It wasn't always like this. Slashdot seems to wield a universal bike shed field only instead of everything tasting like chicken everything tastes like bike shed. Useless summary is the universal chicken sauce of click to view.

Comment meet a lick-bait Milquetoast of metaphor selection (Score 1) 103

Isn't it just perfect to compare the leading top coder to the world's most recognizable figure from team sports?

He first began freaking people out in second grade, at age 8, when he took second place in a major Belarusian coding competition.

So how about Nadia Comaneci?

Comaneci came in 13th in her first Romanian National Championships in 1969, at the age of just 8.

Well, if we eliminate Nadia (either because we can't properly spell her surname on Slashdot, or because none of the 8-digit UIDs know who the fuck she is) then who are we left with, from an individual sport?

I don't think Tiger was ever accused of being perma-virgin material (ditto for Nadal). Pancho Gonzales seems a bit too troubled, but (despite being an elite athlete) he did share the tournaments general disregard for healthy living:

Pancho had no idea how to live or take care of himself. He was a hamburger-and-hot-dog guy to start with and had no concept of diet in training... On the court Gorgo would swig Cokes through a match... Also Gorgo was a pretty heavy cigarette smoker. He had terrible sleeping habits made even worse by the reality of a tour.

So I'm going to have to go with Rod Laver, the most impressive specimen most people who use the internet have barely heard of.

Laver was very quick and had a strong left forearm.

(I tried to add the 'c' onto 'lick' but /.'s subject length limit prevented me from doing so.)

Comment Re:That's OK (Score 2) 85

I was thinking I might read this book. Then I looked up the authors (you left out National Post columnist Andrew Coyne). I still might read this book, though a freshly Windexed critical lens.

I only had to read a few of his pieces on supply management (which I know something about) to discover that Coyne has a few things clear in his head.

Basically, he's a class act with the framing effect.

I won't bore people with the gospel according to Daniel Kahneman. Instead we'll ignore the eminent literature and just cut to the chase.

Here's how it works in practice. You start talking about "the consumer" (embedded in hot-button phrases such as "if politician X really cared about the consumer"—magic tricks always work best with a flourish of misdirection) and everyone automatically puts on their "good consumer" face, which for carnivores, is bringing home the bacon at the best possible price. Seriously, no-one wants to be left off Santa Claus's "good consumer" list. So it's immediately clear that Canadian consumers want American prices, right?

How about we start the conversation differently?

Who here kicks their dog? Who here would use an electric cattle prod to cut another $0.02 of the price of sirloin steak? This time the reaction is a little different—no-one wants to make Santa's permanent record under "cruelty to animals".

So where's the conflict? The conflict here is that these are the same fucking people.

Call them a consumer, they want a low price. Mention the dog beater down the street, then they give a shit about animal welfare, even if it hits them in the pocket book (to a degree).

The Canadian system is pretty much the worst system for achieving the lowest possible price. The American system is pretty much the worst system for achieving animal welfare and certain other controls over the quality of the food supply. (Mention listeria or ebola and you'll quickly discover that all the same people want to make yet a third Santa Claus list—just so long as we're on whatever list Santa is presently examining, it's all good).

The American system isn't even a "free" market by how the average person images any kind of "free" thing anywhere actually works.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Chickens

Before anyone dumps me on their mental list of the short moment, I found the following equally interesting:

Greg Page on Food, Agriculture, and Cargill

It's a complex world out there. Even Harper deserves a critic with two eyes.

Comment Re:And by emergency they mean (Score 1) 48

You got it. There has been hardly any wage increases. Shortages always lead to higher prices. If there are no higher prices, the shortage is a lie.

Whats the rate of growth for salaries? A good rule of thumb is that there isn't' a shortage until nominal prices have doubled.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison