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Comment: We eat our own (Score 4, Informative) 50

by robla (#44003647) Attached to: Red Hat Makes Supported OpenStack Release

So, to the Red Hat employees reading this: thank you! Red Hat does great work for the world. We as a community also tend to undervalue a $1B/year publicly traded company with a large sales force out explaining to every potential enterprise customer that will listen the virtues of free software.

The Dev Suite thing is kinda cool. Not that I'd buy it :-), but interesting to know that option exists.

Comment: Not a free-for-all (Score 3, Informative) 33

by robla (#39720395) Attached to: Wikimedia Treats Their Operations Like Their Projects

Any changes to the infrastructure need to get reviewed by someone in the Wikimedia Operations staff prior to actually going live, and they tend to be pretty careful about letting things through. Here's the list of changes awaiting review, along with discussion of each proposed change in many cases.

Comment: Classic disruptive techonology problem (Score 5, Insightful) 309

by robla (#38634948) Attached to: Kodak Failing, But Camera Phones Not To Blame

Even though Kodak saw digital photography coming, the problem was Kodak's whole financial structure was tied to film, and digital technology was disruptive technology. They might have been able to sustain the brand by merging with or buying the right company at the right time (e.g. Canon), but most companies have a hard time dealing with technology shifts that vaporize their main profit center. It's not as simple as just knowing what the next trend is; it's figuring out how to gracefully wind down the existing cash cow while giving the new technology the management attention and resources it needs to thrive. Even then, there still ends up being a lot of pain because you can just put all of the same people you had producing film to work in a digital camera business.

Comment: Webkit-based, too (and mod parent up) (Score 1) 182

by robla (#37079810) Attached to: Why Google Needs Firefox

Agreed, though I wouldn't go so far as to say that Google would be upset if Chrome marginalized Firefox through merit-based competition.

The main thing I would add is that it was only a matter of time before someone created a competitive Webkit-based browser for Windows, and there's no guarantee that whoever that was was going to be friendly to Google.

Comment: We had to pick a number (Score 1) 244

by robla (#32588046) Attached to: Wikipedia To Unlock Frequently Vandalized Pages
Hi there, I'm on the team that deployed Pending Changes. We picked 2000 rather arbitrarily, but it actually was a technical limitation driven by our need to limit possible load on the system rather than an editorial decision. Based on rough community consensus, it's actually in effect on far fewer articles as of this writing. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Pending_changes/Queue#Using_pending_changes for the community discussion of how and where to apply it.

Comment: Hydrogen leakage (Score 1) 326

by robla (#32189436) Attached to: Possible Breakthrough In Hydrogen Energy
From the Hydrogen economy article on Wikipedia:

There have also been some concerns over possible problems related to hydrogen gas leakage.[50] Molecular hydrogen leaks slowly from most containment vessels. It has been hypothesized that if significant amounts of hydrogen gas (H2) escape, hydrogen gas may, because of ultraviolet radiation, form free radicals (H) in the stratosphere. These free radicals would then be able to act as catalysts for ozone depletion. A large enough increase in stratospheric hydrogen from leaked H2 could exacerbate the depletion process. However, the effect of these leakage problems may not be significant. The amount of hydrogen that leaks today is much lower (by a factor of 10–100) than the estimated 10–20% figure conjectured by some researchers; for example, in Germany, the leakage rate is only 0.1% (less than the natural gas leak rate of 0.7%). At most, such leakage would likely be no more than 1–2% even with widespread hydrogen use, using present technology.[50]
...
[50] ^ a b "Assessing the Future Hydrogen Economy (letters)" (PDF). Science. 10 October 2003. Retrieved 2008-05-09.

The implication there is that even if leakage were a major problem, the gas doesn't escape the planet. Even if it did, and we switched entirely to hydrogen, and consumed 100 times the current rate of energy, I have a hard time believing we'd actually make a dent in the oceans. I'm going to guess that, by volume, the amount of oil that was ever on the planet is pretty trivial compared to the size of the oceans. Unlike what happens to oil when we burn it, most/all of the hydrogen would eventually be converted back into water.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 572

by robla (#32060378) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

If Mr. Sullivan needs [the fact that Jobs doesn't talk about the general problem with proprietary technology] explained to him then maybe he should hold his comments until he understands it. Does he actually expect *every* article, blog post or story to rehash this basic concept?

I think it's reasonable to expect an editorial that complains that Flash is "not open" as its first big bold bullet point would somehow address the reason why Jobs thinks we should care. I know why I care, but it's not at all clear why Jobs thinks I should care.

Programming

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

Posted by kdawson
from the non-obfuscated dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"

Comment: Gut feel matters (Score 1) 120

by robla (#26022095) Attached to: The Unforgettable Amnesiac
It's funny, there was just a RadioLab show on NPR on this subject. They talk about another guy who had a different type of brain damage (tumor removal) which seemed to leave him normal at first, but made him horribly indecisive. They figured out that his emotional response center was damaged. Without the emotional push to make a decision, he would never feel pressure or other emotional drive to make the decision, and couldn't do it. The emotional part is apparently just as important as the logical part in making a decision.
Mozilla

+ - Seamonkey 1.1 Released

Submitted by
stuuf
stuuf writes "Version 1.1 of the Seamonkey Internet Application Suite is now available, with quite a few improvements over the 1.0 series. Some of the new features include spell checking in form text areas, a new tagging system to classify email, a better indicator for secure web sites and preview images for browser tabs. This release also includes many of the updates that have gone into the Firefox 2 and Thunderbird 2 branches. Check out the release notes and download page for more."

Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser

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