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Comment Re:Cry more nerds! (Score 1) 204

I've often commented to friends that gradually banks will come up with a bank-authenticated blockchain system, where instead of requiring hundreds of gigawatts per day, the banks simply dictate a set of machines which are allowed to do the authenticating. The need for the computational pissing contest is the weak link of bitcoin. It's an interesting experiment, and something that should be seen and watched as just that: a financial, computational, and sociological experiment.

Comment Delayed Open Source (Score 1) 167

The complaint is that if Flash is available, people will not migrate away. What needs to happen is for the source to be prepped for open sourcing, but held in escrow for a time until migration away from flash is largely complete. It is critical that an open source Flash does not compete with migration away from it. So migration away must be a prerequisite.

Comment Python and LLVM (Score 1) 304

Being able to represent the sort of thing you'd use C or C++ for as a data structure within Python, and then turn into binary via LLVM is something I've been wishing for for a long time. I imagine I'll need to keep wishing for a while longer, but things like numba (in python), and application of LLVM like LLVMPipe, and the Synthesis OS project from a few years back suggest the pieces for doing this are gradually appearing.

Comment Hmmm (Score 2) 213

Reminds me of a religious conservative taking the age-at-death of a number of porn stars, taking its average, and comparing that with the average age-of-death in the US, totally oblivious to those pornstars who are still alive and the contribution of their ages-at-death, which are presently unknown.

From an epidemiology perspective, the 99% is, of course, useless. It's like saying that 99% of people who had terminal cancer died of cancer.

On the other hand, (and why the fuck isn't this angle being spelt out more??), you have a reasonable number of brains to look at, from which you can infer ways to recognise where the brain injuries come from, and use this to better understand how often these problems occur in general. For example the questions that should be asked are about what sort of tests can we come up with to detect this sort of brain injury sooner.

Comment Where I caught the Linux bug from (Score 3, Interesting) 70

I had read about UNIX, had a fascination with it from the start of the 90s, first got to see it for real when I started university in 1995, and Slackware 3.0 appeared on the PCW April 1996 issue. (I think it was this issue and version: google isn't much help here, and neither is the rest of the web.)

Took me a week to work out rm deletes files. My usual solution to finding myself in vi was exiting via ctrl-z followed by jobs -l followed by kill -9. Until I'd learned rm and mv, if I created problems by creating a file, I'd reinstall. I figure out many things I could type by reinstalling and watching the package names. Learned the basics of TeX via a gentle introduction document, and basically taught myself by reverse engineering the gobbledigook one found in .sty packages. (I found out rm via a hint inferred from the openlook file manager asking 'do you want to remove this file', rather than 'delete' or 'erase', which were the two synonyms I knew from DOS. At first, the only UNIX command I knew was ls, since the UNIX column in PCW mentioned it somewhere. cd worked the same way as DOS, and from DOS I recalled that md and mkdir were synonyms, so tried md and mkdir and found the latter worked.)

In those days there were no online howtos (or at least, no easy way to even know such things existed, and no easy way to find out about ways to find stuff -- these were the days when some industry commentators were suggesting that Microsoft Network would make the internet obsolete :-)) ).

Comment Consider Windows (Score 5, Interesting) 48

Microsoft Windows is a legal operating system you can run on your PC, but it is possible to install add-ons which permit the user to download pirated content. Indeed Microsoft Windows is the most popular platform amongst software and media pirates. In addition, Microsoft does essentially nothing to prevent its operating system being used for piracy.

Comment A few things (Score 1) 298

Do less, but more reliably. Let spins like ubuntustudio or kubuntu add the packages. Have metapackages corresponding to them on the installer, with a simple choice (think of the chooser in Noobs), with some spins requiring a network connection. Have an install tab creator which lets you easily choose defaults.

Then have a very minimal default desktop and an easy way to choose bundles. Put GNOME and LXDE on the standard I so, use GNOME as the default choice. Put Firefox and chromium on as browsers by default. I generally have Firefox as default.

Those are my thoughts. For now I use ubuntustudio with a script and a tar of my usual convenience scripts (so install from iso, copy script and tarball over, run script as root, leave to simmer for 30 minutes, or until well cooked). I do have a big pile of cheap laptops, and the creative, writing and python stuff are what I want out of the box.

I've started exploring debootstrap. Being able to image a drive you can then stick in a machine is something I'd love.

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