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Comment Re:Can big Oil be weaned off USGovernment Support? (Score 0) 270

Sorry for the bad link. I copied it right out of my browser; I blame the Forbes site.

This is a good URL, I tested it:

P.S. If this link somehow fails, search for "Debunking Myths About Federal Oil & Gas Subsidies by Len Tesoro"

Comment Re:Can big Oil be weaned off USGovernment Support? (Score 0) 270

Could you please provide a list of the "special tax and other benefits" given to oil companies every single year? Since you are saying that there are billions of dollars worth per year, it should be pretty easy to find an example or two.

I keep reading web pages debunking the idea that oil companies get special subsidies, and I haven't ever seen an actual list of the special subsidies, so I'm curious what they are.

Comment 4 languages (Score 3, Interesting) 239

gedit is written in C. There is a little bit of Objective-C for Mac OS X support. Then plugins are written in Vala or Python.

Why is this rant-worthy? IMHO Python is a great choice for writing plugins. And for a while GNOME was pushing Vala so that is not a shock.

Seems like Sebastien Wilmet is nakedly trying to encourage people to want gedit to die. After the language rant he says that helping gedit also helps some guy who sells gedit on the Mac. He also rants that gedit ought to be a super-thin shell around his new project Tepl, libraries for text editor features. This is a weird and barely-concealed agenda.

I am not going to volunteer for this, but it's because I am busy, not because I am scared of a project with 4 languages.

Comment Re:Ubuntu will implement Unity in GNOME (Score 1) 171

Wow. I'm using a browser plugin that blocks JavaScript by default, and so the caption didn't appear for me. When I enable scripts the caption appears, exactly as you described it, and of course it appears in the page source.

So, I thank you for the correction. I don't know what Ubuntu 17.10 will look like in the end.

Also, re-reading that web page he does say that "global menu" is one of the things that won't be present; I didn't recognize the term "global menu" but that is what Ubuntu calls the menu at the top of the screen. So I guess this is actually confirmation that the menus will be per-window like GNOME Shell, and I had it exactly wrong. Sorry, everyone.

Comment Window button controls vs. "windicators" (Score 5, Informative) 171

The buttons were moved from the right side of the window to the left side because Ubuntu was planning an amazing new feature called "windicators" ("window indicators") which were going to go on the right side of the window bar. These would show, for example, a progress bar for a background task in an app, online/offline indicator for server connection status, etc. My favorite idea: they were supposed to also provide convenient per-app volume control or mute. (PulseAudio does allow per-app volume controls but there isn't any window chrome for it; you have to go to the audio control panel, find the list of running audio apps, and control from there.)

Windicators... never happened.

This announcement, that the window buttons are going back to the right side, indicates to me that Ubuntu has officially given up on ever implementing "windicators".

Comment Ubuntu will implement Unity in GNOME (Score 3, Interesting) 171

I had thought that Ubuntu was planning to just adopt the GNOME Shell, but that's not their plan. Reading TFS I found out: their plan is to use extensions to change the GNOME Shell experience so that the desktop works more similarly to Unity.

Famously, the GNOME Shell got rid of minimize and maximize buttons completely, opting to keep only the close button.[1] To maximize you snap a window to the top of the screen. There is no minimize, but you can make any number of virtual workspaces and the equivalent of minimize is to send a window to a workspace that is not currently displayed. It's not necessarily a bad way to go, but it's really different from any other desktop environment ever.

The new Ubuntu is going to have a dock, and minimize will make the window disappear the way it does now in Unity, and you will use the dock to re-open the window just as now in Unity.

What about menus... will they be per-window or Mac OS X style? One screenshot (see it here) shows them at the top of the window. Just like Unity.

So the Ubuntu team is going to avoid the needless duplication of effort of making a complete desktop environment, but they will be customizing their GNOME Shell to work pretty much like Ubuntu works today.

I guess I should have expected it but this was surprising news for me. Personally I am still using MATE on my own computers, but I'd rather use a Unity clone than native GNOME Shell.

[1] Note that back in the GNOME 2.x days at Sun Microsystems, Sun paid for usability studies. For GNOME 3.x, a developer made the giant change of removing the minimize button by... thinking about it and talking to two other people on the GNOME 3.x development team. Who needs usability studies? Not the GNOME devs, apparently.

Actual quote: "In the end, I think with GNOME 3 we need to emphasize design coherency and slickness - what is different and better, and that actually is more important than being 100% sure we perfectly meet everybody's workflow." Personally I think the emphasis on "coherency and slickness" vs. "workflow" was a mistake, which is why I'm still using MATE. I just want to get my work done with minimal distractions.

Comment Re:So avoid commercial fonts then (Score 2) 142

there are countless Fonts on 'free' websites that aren't really free, but merely have the copyright info stripped from the headers and been republished countless of times on 'free font' cd collections over the past 25 years, shrouding their true origins

That's extremely interesting and a problem. Now it make more sense to me why someone would license a commercial font.

It seems that someone should make a project similar to Project Gutenberg but for fonts: provide a central clearing-house of free fonts, but have staff that actually traces the origins of the fonts to establish the actual free status of the fonts.

A company could also charge for a collection of vetted fonts that are free for all uses, but it might be hard to charge money in a cluttered field with so many free font sources (of dubious provenance, but how many font users are careful about that?), so it would likely be better to have a Project Gutenberg sort of thing that just runs on contributions.

Comment So avoid commercial fonts then (Score 2) 142

This seems to me like a compelling argument for never licensing a commercial font, and just using the large and growing pool of free fonts.

Much as my personal policy for software is that if there is FOSS that can solve my problem, I try to use that even if there is something better that costs money. I don't even want to have to keep track of how many copies I have installed, how many backups I have made, etc.

That "Vamps" logo is pretty straightforward, and I'll bet it wouldn't be that hard to find some free font that would look about as nice.

Another good option: pay a free-lance artist (or even an art-college student) to design the logo, with a clear contract saying there will be no royalties.

As others have noted, the music labels are in the business of charging royalties and it's stupid for one to step on a licensing landmine like this.

Comment Re:What is the interpreter written in? (Score 4, Informative) 372

Even the Python folks tell you to write your high performance code in C or C++.

True, but one of the smartest things Guido van Rossum did early on was to make it easy to interface C and C++ code to Python. It's why SciPy is winning so big in the sciences; it's the convenience of Python with the performance of Fortran. The libraries that do the work for SciPy are old numerical libraries that are very well optimized, very well debugged, very well understood, and very very useful. So, you can work in Fortran... or you can work in Python, enjoying the much friendlier interpreted language, and barely give up any performance vs. the pure Fortran. The hard work is done in Fortran, and the overhead of using Python to set up your calculations is trivial compared to the work of the calculations themselves.

Python also provides a "lab notebook" environment through the Jupyter project. Nobody is going to try to use Fortran or C directly in the notebook.

And pretty much every library you might want to use has already been glued into Python by someone. Computer vision? Running code on a GPU? Signal processing? Solving equations? Whatever you need to do, you can do it conveniently in Python and it will be fast.

So yeah, if you write your own matrix multiply in pure Python it will be roughly 50x slower than compiled C. But nobody does that, and in the real world Python is fast enough to do real work.

Comment Larry Garfield's side of the story (Score 5, Interesting) 95

Briefly: this fiasco went on for weeks without anyone mentioning any concern about the female autistic housemate, so Larry Garfield doesn't believe this current statement. He believes that the actual reason at the core of this is intolerance for his "alternative" lifestyle. And he is severing all ties with Drupal:

At this point, I cannot in good conscience continue to be an advocate for Drupal in the broader tech community. Though it pains me to say it after 12 years with this project, to be stabbed in the back by so many, even if they're a minority, is unbearable. Doubly so when it's by the project lead, a man whom I had considered a friend.

It's difficult for me, as a total outsider, to decide whom to believe in this he said/they said situation. But I'm inclined to believe Garfield because of this part of his blog posting:

...I don't know what "authorities" Megan refers to, but two autism specialists, a social worker, and three police officers all agreed that nothing illicit, immoral, or illegal was happening, and everything was entirely fine and consensual. I would consider them reasonable "authorities".

Note that therapists and social workers are "mandatory reporters", and would have been legally required to report to the police if they felt the situation was abusive.

Given that the police and social workers had already focused their attention on Larry Garfield's personal life and his situation with the autistic female housemate, and nobody threw any red flags that the situation was abusive, it's difficult to believe that the Drupal project's lawyers ordered the Drupal leadership to eject Garfield over suspicions of abuse. It's easier to believe that this is cover for a decision already made for other reasons.

P.S. Garfield racked up some points with me for this blog post:

Responding to cyberstalking, prejudice, and blackmail with... cyberstalking, threats, and blackmail? No. NO! Even if you're trying to support me, NO! I do not want any such support.

(bolding and italics in the original)

Comment Re:From my HPC days (Score 2) 85

And naturally, right after I posted the parent, I found the cache sizes.

These are for a 16-core Threadripper 1950X:

L1 instruction cache: 32 KB x 16
L1 data cache: 64 KB x 16
L2 cache: 512 KB x 16
L3: 32 MB x 4

I'm not a CPU expert but it seems clear that L1 and L2 cache is per-core (makes sense) but L3 cache is shared... I'm going to guess that a group of 4 cores shares one 32 MB cache, since 4 * 4 is 16.

Comment Re:From my HPC days (Score 1) 85

The bottleneck for most problems isn't CPU cycles/second, it's the bandwidth of getting data to/from those CPUs. Adding CPUs does nothing to improve performance unless you also give it a much wider I/O path to memory.

Threadripper parts have quite a lot of bandwidth. The pro parts ("Epyc") will have even more.

Threadripper is intended for the PC enthusiast market, not so much for data centers. Frankly I don't think that for even an enthusiast home user memory bandwidth will be a major differentiating point. CPU speed, number of cores, and cache size will likely matter more. (I'm not worried about any of the above. I can't find L1 or L2 cache size numbers but I found that the L3 cache is 32 MB and since AMD was very focused on instructions-per-clock I am confident they didn't skimp on the cache.)

For data centers AMD will be selling the Epyc chips, and those can support up to 2 TB of RAM per socket (i.e. a dual-socket server would max out at 4 TB of RAM). In contrast, Intel tops out at 1.5 TB, and to get that you now have to buy their special and more-expensive chips with the "M" suffix; the non-M chips top out at 768 GB of RAM.

Threadripper also has a really large number of PCI-E lanes (64) so in theory you also could set up a really wide-bandwidth SSD or RAMdisk or something.

Comment Re:Laptops and servers (Score 4, Informative) 85

AMD has nothing for the Laptop Market in the Zen Class Architecture.

Coming in Q3. In other words, 2-4 months from now.

Laptops refresh twice a year, and the Ryzen launch wasn't in time for the last laptop refresh. No big deal; they're coming.

While Zen Server parts (Epyc) look good on paper, it reamis to be seen if there will be Adoption from server makers, and demand from server purcharsers...

Well, sure. But unless the paper is a lie, those chips will do well. They will offer much-improved price/performance compared to Intel's server chips, they offer some tasty new security features (like VMs running with the in-RAM data encrypted so that there's no way for one VM to spy on another's memory), and they are doing it right when Intel is jacking their server customers on price.

corporate parts without IGP? Really? I mean, REALLY?!?!?

Does "IGP" mean integrated graphics? AMD is all over integrated graphics, they call such products "APUs" and the mobile lineup will be pretty much all APUs. So my guess is Q3 for corporate products with APUs as well. (I hope AMD supports ECC RAM on APUs, finally.)

Comment Re:This lawsuit cannot be allowed (Score 1) 430

In summary: I think violence, such as the events in Berkeley when Milo Yiannopolous was scheduled to speak, comes more often from the left than from the right. You disagree with this. I hope we can agree that violence is bad and we disapprove of it from either left or right, and leave it at that.

I think violence is not warranted to prevent words. I'm actually not sure whether you disagree with this, or not. But I hope you agree.

I see no point in further discussion; I believe it would be a waste of time for both of us. Have a nice life!

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