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Comment Re:Nice, but maybe irrelevant. (Score 1) 398

Arbitrary computations at compile time are not necessarily a bad thing. LISP had the advantage that regular code and data were notated and stored the same way, so writing macros to shovel code around was no harder than writing functions to shovel data around. Importantly, the language for the macros was the same as the language itself. The loop macro link you provided is a bad example; overall, LISP did macros right.

C++ templates are a byzantine language that shares nothing at all in common with C++ itself, which is fine if you're not trying to build a turing machine out of them. I want a C-based language with LISP-like macros so bad, but template metaprogramming has always seemed like an abuse to me. Code that convoluted could not have been intended.

Comment Re:"co-create" a language? (Score 1) 179

A very nice and thoughtful comment. Sometimes I come across more negative than I prefer, but a pet peeve of mine is speech designed to fold, spindle and mutilate the simple truth.

You might like this, then. From Neal Stephenson's Anathem:

Bulshytt: (1) In Fluccish of the late Praxic Age and early Reconstitution, a derogatory term for false speech in general, esp. knowing and deliberate falsehood or obfuscation. (2) In Orth, a more technical and clinical term denoting speech (typically but not necessarily commercial or political) that employs euphemism, convenient vagueness, numbing repetition, and other such rhetorical subterfuges to create the impression that something has been said.

Comment Re:JavaScript is client-side (Score 1) 413

Although it's not nearly as hard to read, saying GWT-generated JS is enough to examine source for trust is like saying binaries are enough to examine for trust. You can go through a binary and figure out what a certain program will do (after all, computers do this every time they run a program), but it's much more difficult.

Comment Re:Gonna be totally honest here... (Score 1) 207

I... uh... was not aware I though slashdotters were stupid? Huh. Sorry if it came off that way :D

Free software isn't ambiguous to a slashdotter, but you can probably see how "100% Free, Trisquel 4.5 STS 'Slaine' Released" is a more ambiguous headline than "100% Libre, Trisquel 4.5 STS 'Slaine' Released". The headline is horrible because nobody knows what Trisquel is, but by using libre you immediately know it's about free software. For people who haven't heard it used before, well, as you said, slashdotters are a smart crowd. It's an easy association.

Comment Re:Gonna be totally honest here... (Score 1) 207

Yes. That would be dumb! Telling people about how great free software is when they don't care is the worst thing to do to help the free software movement, as it's about the worst thing you can do for any idea. It'd be like telling someone "my phone is jailbroken!" when all they want to do is borrow it to make a quick call.

But when you're talking about free to people who do care (like, say, some slashdotters), it's useful to distinguish between the two very different definitions of free. Some software is neither, some is one but not the other, and some is both, and these distinctions matter if you're someone who cares about these things.

Comment Re:Gonna be totally honest here... (Score 5, Informative) 207

The only word in the summary that I recognise is "Release", but I can guess what "Libre" means. I don't know why you can't just use "free."?

In the open source community (and most of the larger computer nerd metacommunity) the term free software has a very specific meaning. Unfortunately, the english word free has two different meanings: free as in freedom, and free as in beer, as it's usually put. To anyone not in the know, free software is just software that can be obtained at no cost.

Using the words libre and gratis clarifies what you're talking about, and though it may not be a particularly useful distinction on slashdot, it's often used elsewhere. Most people can guess what they mean even if they've never heard them used in this context, because gratis is often used to say "this costs nothing", while libre sounds a lot like liberty.

Comment Re:Pressure From Above? (Score 1) 225

Totally out of my element here, but would it be possible to spoof an iPad into thinking it was on the network that was directly connected to the Time Warner cable subscriber while some place not in the household?

You could just set up a VPN at home (I do it through my DD-WRT router, it was simple enough) and then you literally are on the home network. Of course, then you have to deal with the slow VPN connection.

For a more tailor-made solution, you could use MobileSubstrate to hook whatever mechanism the app would use to check out the local network, and make it look like you're at home only to the TV app. Similar things have been done to make Apps think you're on wifi when you're really on 3G, so you can use Skype, etc. over wifi.

Comment Re:DHS (Score 1) 308

She has been bought and paid for by Corporate America, to keep the sheeples in line with their vision of the future.

I'm sorry, I read the word sheeples and I stopped reading. You might have had an important and well-defended point to make, but now I'll never read it; that word is too closely associated with snarky teenagers and tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists for me to take it seriously. It's like trying to use phonies in serious conversation. You may be using it correctly, but you're associating yourself with people who you probably don't want to be associated with.

Just some helpful advice: I'd avoid using it in the future.

Comment Re:Not buying. Not following Apple on this one. (Score 2) 346

The device looks cool, no doubt, but it is factually a step backwards in technology as it effectively is not a turing complete computer anymore.

I get what your trying to say, but this probably isn't the best way to say it. It's hard to argue something isn't Turing-complete when I can go and download a Turing machine app.

Comment Re:Xcode no longer free (Score 1) 346

While I'd readily agree that XCode is basically the best thing ever for coding in Objective C, I do take issue with your last comment.

I love working in Emacs, thank you very much. Just because you don't doesn't mean nobody else does. Given that OSX comes with many common Emacs keystrokes automatically enabled, I'm sure I'm not alone.

Comment Re:Good for Distributed Social Networks? (Score 1) 182

Yeah, that's my only major complaint with Diaspora so far. I'm a developer that's interested and would love to contribute, but I just do not have enough time to learn a whole new framework. Just installing all the stuff you need to run it takes almost too long for me, although it looks like it's gotten a lot better (smaller) since I looked at it last.

Comment Good for Distributed Social Networks? (Score 2) 182

I know people like to hate on Diaspora around here, but this would be an ideal platform for it. Run your diaspora seed for you and a few friends on a wall-wart server. You could even pre-install diaspora, and sell them online for the non-tech-minded. Just unwrap, plug in, and setup through a web browser.

This isn't a new idea, but I think it's a good one (that is, if Diaspora ever takes off...)

Comment Re:Terminal (Score 1) 467

Gentoo was probably what taught me how to use Linux properly, because the installation itself is an educational experience. You partition your drives with fdisk, format them with mke2fs (and friends), compile your own kernel, and write your own grub configuration, all with a fairly well-written guide for each step. There's very little magick going on in a Gentoo system, because you write most of the configuration yourself.

After a few installations of Gentoo (and about a year maintaining a Gentoo system) I knew about enough to build my own Linux system.

Comment Re:If no one is in charge (Score 2) 383

Your description is good, so I'll attempt to ride your coattails and tack on my own. It's not an original idea, but I think it's a good one.

Anonymous is a Stand Alone Complex, or a group of copycats with no original. Or, a sort of similar thinking (and action) caused by a confluence of similar media and the rapid exchange of ideas (such as over the internet). Particularly (from above link):

A Stand Alone Complex can be compared to the emergent copycat behavior that often occurs after incidents such as serial murders or terrorist attacks. An incident catches the public's attention and certain types of people "get on the bandwagon", so to speak. It is particularly apparent when the incident appears to be the result of well-known political or religious beliefs, but it can also occur in response to intense media attention. For example, a mere fire, no matter the number of deaths, is just a garden variety tragedy. However, if the right kind of people begin to believe it was arson, caused by deliberate action, the threat that more arsons will be committed increases drastically.

What separates the Stand Alone Complex from normal copycat behavior is that there is no real originator of the copied action, but merely a rumor or an illusion that supposedly performed the copied action. There may be real people who are labeled as the originator, but in reality, no one started the original behavior. And in Stand Alone Complex, the facade just has to exist in the minds of the public. In other words, a potential copycat just has to believe the copied behavior happened from an originator-when it really did not. The result is an epidemic of copied behavior having a net effect of purpose. One could say that the Stand Alone Complex is mass hysteria over nothing-yet causing an overall change in social structure.

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