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Comment grammidity (Score 3, Interesting) 164

I've written a few genetic algorithm/programming things for "music" over the years. However, not being a musician, I approached it only from an algorithmic perspective. The last of these, called "grammidity" can attempt to evolve sequences of midi events based on a kind of grammar that evolves (loosely based on the ideas behind L-systems). I had it online for a couple of years, but it never evolved much of anything interesting. The source code (java) is on sourceforge and includes ways to evolve "plants" and a fuzzer that generates html and which worked quite nicely to break browsers a couple of years back.

Comment Re:Of course it is. (Score 1) 769

But, if you'd used unix first and used "ls", "dir" would not be intuitive at all. It is always interesting how many people equate "intuitive" to "I learned it already" even when that learning process was often far from intuitive itself.

Comment Re:Windows 8.. (Score 1) 374

They probably were working on Windows 8 when they put Windows 7 into freeze. I suspect they've been working on new ideas and features (and misfeatures) for a couple of years now. But the article says that they'll be focusing more on Windows 8 next year, which gives them time to put out the major Windows 7 fires and plan for the next release.

Comment Re:Bing vs Google (Score 4, Insightful) 468

Google has had competitors for as long as it has been around. If you compare Google's share of search to Microsoft's share of OS installs, you'll see the difference.

If Microsoft manages this, it won't take long before Microsoft does have an effective monopoly on search as well - between their making it hard to set Google as the default search provider in IE and perhaps taking over indexing of major news sites, it wouldn't take all that much to make Google a secondary player in the short run and potentially kill it in the longer term.

Comment Re:Being the new default doesn't hurt either (Score 4, Informative) 514

I had the same experience - it took some digging to figure out how to make Google the default search provider, and there were several Googles listed on the page where Google eventually showed up and no good information on which to choose. Worse yet, I was in the process of installing Windows 7 and it decided to install updates after I'd done this, and somehow managed to reset the default search provider to Bing in one of those.

Comment Re:A fresh start (Score 1) 859

I think that the US goes too far in the direction of making it tough for convicted criminals to reintegrate with normal society (way too far when it comes to sex offenders). But I don't think a law like this helps particularly - convictions should be a matter of public record and should be accessible to those who want to seek out that information.

More importantly, this raises all sorts of much weirder questions. If an online publication covers a trial, or prints a story about the crime, or even if an author writes a book about it, should that information then be erased when the criminals are released from jail? ("Winston Smith - paging Winston Smith...") Or will it become public policy to forbid writing about any crime ever in the expectation that the criminals will serve their time and eventually be released?

Comment Re:I am surprised (Score 1) 518

I did the same thing (essentially), but noticed and killed the "rm" process before it deleted too much stuff. Managed to recover all user files (it was a multi-user machine), and to restore system files without a complete os reinstall. 25 years ago or such and I still remember it. I suspect that most admins (or users who have root/administrator capabilities do something this bad at least once, and I think that it is sometimes a good experience in that it teaches you to double check potentially harmful commands.

On the whole it was a good learning experience, nothing important was lost and I gained from it. I think I agree that I'd rather these guys don't get fired, but instead they should spend some time on the ground thinking about what could have happened and they're likely to be much more careful in the future.

Comment Re:This is great ! (Score 1) 191

Good point. But since it wouldn't be hard to add this to /sys, (and I see some of that info already there) I suspect that nobody has really needed it in that format yet. Also, if you're going to get more than a couple pieces of that, /proc/cpuinfo has it nicely in one place and is far from hard to parse.

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