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Comment: article summary didn't really summarize... (Score 0) 52

by smoothnorman (#47462077) Attached to: Telcos Move Net Neutrality Fight To Congress

let's imagine that a majority of Slashdot readers is in favor of net neutrality -and- typically doesn't want to click to grind through to get the gist.

"House members plan to try and add an amendment to H.R. 5016 the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to block funding of FCC network neutrality rules. so since the "FCC's (current proposed) network neutrality rules" suck, then we -want- this plan to add an amendment to succeed? or... since "Public Knowledge is asking citizens to tell Congress to stop meddling with net neutrality." we should instead want congress to leave the FCC alone (and its current commissioner, Tom Wheeler, fresh from the telecom industry)

please explain, in simple terms, on which side we "news for nerds" ought to feel about this news item!

Comment: Re:immigrant taxi owner? (Score 2) 139

by smoothnorman (#47402925) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

They do in Seattle and SF and Chicago at least (often, but not always Sikhs). they started as drivers and now own a medallion. often they are paying off loans for it. and along comes Bezos backed Uber...

the cities demanded that they buy them to do business. now some of these cities are negotiating with Uber. how does your trusting immigrant business owner feel now?

Comment: Fight fire with a camouflage conflagration (Score 1) 148

Establish a side-line where you manufacture credible 'DMOA' legalistic take-down threats to -all- users of a hosting service (for you know every "thief doth fear each bush an officer") and, of course, copy the host's office themselves. Hide ye in the vast underbrush of your own making; because, really that's all the DMCA is, is a bully for hire.

Comment: a fair price for a biased product... (Score 5, Insightful) 270

...is not a worthy goal. Robert McMillen is essentially saying "the market is historically uncompetitive" (and thus broken) "but that's not the point" (i always love it when people tell me that their point is the point) "you should be able to receive [only] that broken product at a fair price". If he actually believes and understands what he's saying then he's promoting a system of government supported monopolistic and anti-capitalistic cronyism. (i'll leave it to Godwin to apply a label to that system)

Comment: i'm so *old* i recall when hacking meant... (Score 1) 56

by smoothnorman (#47094813) Attached to: Book Review: Hacking Point of Sale

...making something functional with less than optimum resources (cf MacGyver, bodge-up, gerryrig, uzw). which preceded the notion of "one who gains unauthorized access to computers" by oh... perhaps a whole !@#n seven years.

here's another current worthy tome which supports that earlier notion, and thus causes undue confusion: Hacker's Delight, which gets down to the hardware bits with some amazing cycle optimizations

Comment: Re:yes really (Score 1) 634

by smoothnorman (#46964145) Attached to: Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

yep. along with all the rest of the BLAS, EISPACK, CERNLAB, MINPACK, SOFA, ATLAS, EIGEN, ... and even the comparatively more recent Bioinformatics cores.. BLAST, BLAT, ...

I really don't understand the "scientific computing .. almost all new software is written in C++" comes from. It's all become Python (and Perl before that) calling old libraries at the scientific meetings i've attended. (but i suppose YMMV)

Comment: Re:It's the right tool for the job (Score 5, Insightful) 634

by smoothnorman (#46963951) Attached to: Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014
mod the above up please (i'm fresh out of mod points), because that's it in a nutshell. Fortran was designed for science/engineering work. And here's something that a majority of computer-science mavins never seem to grasp. In academia, at least, the use of a program is often relatively ad-hoc, and for the life of the publication. they need to have lots of numerical stuff down by easily references libraries, then handed off to their (poor) dost-docs/grad-students to study for their own one-off programming purposes. That is, the next vital program will have little to do with the previous except for those same well referenced peer-reviewed linked-to numerical libraries. Does that sound like a perfect use (model) of Clojure or Haskell to you? (yes yes you in the back, i know you brush your teeth with monads, but you're the rare case). Haskell and friends force you to think a lot up front for gains at the rear-end, but with much of academic programming there's no rear-end.

Comment: functional programming catch-22 (Score 3, Interesting) 237

by smoothnorman (#46855609) Attached to: Erik Meijer: The Curse of the Excluded Middle
to interact with an imperfect world one needs monads. to have monads is to compromise functional programming. ipso-facto-quod-splut: i always did rarther fancy Fortran. (hsst: don't tell anyone, but Forth is the -only- way to go, (and by 'go' i don't mean "Go" (or "Dart")))

Comment: Re:In plain English, what's a FreedomBox? (Score 2) 54

by smoothnorman (#46771531) Attached to: All Packages Needed For FreedomBox Now In Debian

this is what it does: It provides the necessary software to support a private, possibly semi-secure, social network. Think: Facebook, but small and secret, presumably to protect your membership from an oppressive large authority.

(this post is a traditional trick to get someone who actually can answer this sensible question to become so enraged by this incorrect reply that their activation energy is achieved and we get a good answer. so take what i've written up there as false bait. (this works particularly well when one wants a clear definition to obscure technical terms. just get yourself on a Haskell board, and write: "monads? simple! they're factory objects that provide closures for a formal lambda expression" then watch the horror and outrage and eventually you get the correct answer from the former lurker class))

Comment: be there, done that, barely survived... (Score 1) 452

by smoothnorman (#46716449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

If your boss has any basic science education try to sell them on the "a monoculture is at more risk to attack" approach. that's not entirely false, but mostly it sounds good and pointy-hairs tend to swallow it.

Then choose some version of Ubuntu or Red-Hat, but be ready to suffer all the horrors of dealing with the document, spreadsheet, calendar exchange formats. Those issues, more than any other, will spell failure. (just one middle-level moron who can't open your LibreOffice 'power-point' stack and you're toast) So, far more important than distribution is to be ready (practice!) your corporate compatibility two-step. (once saved my bacon by showing that my 'beamer' stack made everyone's powerpoint stack look like crap)

Beware of the vindictive IT staff who don't want to learn one more thing beyond their 'microsoft certification' merit badge. They will make your life a living hell. good luck!

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