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Comment: Re:In plain English, what's a FreedomBox? (Score 2) 53

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) 451

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!

Comment: Re:Evolution at BYU (Score 1) 100

by smoothnorman (#46019315) Attached to: New Object Recognition Algorithm Learns On the Fly
that reply is of the "but Einstein believed in God" sort. whereas i stated that religion is based on faith and faith is inconsistent with science. i did not state that someone who currently is willing to believe that a god is possible (even probable) cannot do good science; just that they cannot hold this belief in the face of contrary evidence, which is to say faith. faith accepts no evidence and cannot be placed aside for evidence. so "real science" (as you introduce the term) is entirely inconsistent with "real faith" (as you introduce the term). they are philosophically orthogonal concepts.

Comment: Re:Evolution at BYU (Score 1) 100

by smoothnorman (#46018211) Attached to: New Object Recognition Algorithm Learns On the Fly
"testimonies"? that some specialized mormon terminology like being 'sealed' rather than married? i've read endless screeds about how one can make religion and science happily co-exist. but in the final analysis, it can't happen; at least not with standard faith-based religions. science essentially demands that nothing can be taken on faith; and religion essentially demands that anything important (the root of one's philosophical tree, if you will) must be taken on faith. if you're a faithful you cannot be a clear-minded scientist. i know this will be tediously countered, but faith is anti-science, and faith is the basis of religion.

Comment: shape at the end of the recursive series (Score 2) 87

by smoothnorman (#45956335) Attached to: CES 2014: 3-D Scanners are a Logical Next Step After 3-D Printers
so if one scanned what was printed, printed that, scanned that and printed for N cycles (optionally including a grind-it-up for media source for the next generation) then the series convergence no matter if one started with the venus-de-milo or a sierpinski-tetrahedron would be a sphere?

Comment: should've tried Twisted (Score 2) 186

by smoothnorman (#45946207) Attached to: How Reactive Programming Differs From Procedural Programming

what it takes to implement business logic using Reactive Programming versus two different conventional procedural Programming models: Java with Hibernate and MySQL triggers,'

...Twisted/python is perhaps a more sensible established comparison for event-driven, or not. besides... "business logic"?

Comment: matryoshka dolls (Score 1) 715

by smoothnorman (#45940211) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?
"now even the charter schools are broken! we need to create a safe learning environment that takes a step away from the current entrenched system!" this is paraphrased, but that exact sentiment was shouted at a recent county meeting in my area. in short: we need to charter school the charter schools. so what was begun as an external effort to break the teachers' union (which may, or may not have got a bit too powerful; but i'll tell-ya, their salaries sure doesn't reflect that) is now a enfeebling case of: if i don't like something about the system, lets fork it -- each child in their own school system! one superintendent per student! this is hyperbole of course, but i'd council fixing the system at large rather than running from it to create a new system to screw up.

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 1) 510

by smoothnorman (#45873091) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island
that wouldn't be a category error (as it's typically defined) and no one here are assuming that not "killing outright" is a sign of harmlessness. sometimes all that requires is a persistent form of ignorance. ("..the boy as Ignorance and the girl as Want. The spirit warns Scrooge, "Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased")

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 2) 510

by smoothnorman (#45873057) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island
you have that backwards. cross-breeding is more "shot-gun" than selectively inserting genes (which many here would equate with GMO'ing). when Lord Snagglebottom wanted to cross-breed his sheep to get a longer coat, he didn't let any of the offspring breed that didn't have the desired trait. and he had to do a helluva lot of that until -and *if*- he ever got something like he wanted. whereas if he could isolate the gene for long coat he'd get a much more immediate and direct result *if* it's possible (with a single gene product).

in terms of cross-breeding the most direct approach was to -wait- until nature fortuitously produced the variant and then breed that "true". like the Dachshund dog or the "Golden delicious" apple. but you see, we humans, we don't like to wait, and that's why we're on top of the "gene pool". technology is neither good or evil, but impatience is part of its motivator.

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 1, Insightful) 510

by smoothnorman (#45872951) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island
how about cows bearing the genetic material of a snake? pretty scifi, eh? almost certainly the product of an eeevil mad scientist? nope:

the first category error in this whole imbroglio is presuming that the word "natural" has any clear meaning.

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 0) 510

by smoothnorman (#45872863) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island
i wasn't conflating hybridization with genetic modification. that tomato strain was genetically modified, by plasmid insertion, -then- cross-pollinated with most other major strains. or... are you willing to say generation 1 of GMO is GMO whereas generation 3 isn't? what if the wind blows a GMO crop's pollen to a non-GMO? (as has been provably happened) does everywhere the GMO crop touches become GMO... and forever-after in all germ lines? it's complicated. there is no single definition of GMO, legal (as opposed to scientifically based), or otherwise, even in Europe where most folks think the matter is somehow perfectly resolved. as for "unchecked fashion" you're already too late, you're alive in a sea of GMO and you'll never be able to point to where it is and where it isn't. and it's by *nature* an expanding influence - such is evolution.

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 2, Insightful) 510

by smoothnorman (#45872629) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island
Every last thing you eat could be credibly labeled as GMO. even that tomato you grew yourself in your yard has been genetically modified (there was a genetically modified fugal resistant strain produced in the late 1980s which has been cross-pollinated to most others, so most seed stock carries the advantage) Therefore, please, slap a GMO label on everything you eat, before you eat it. but it would be far more informative, for example, to stick an "M" for Monsanto on just their products.

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.