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Comment Re:that's it. the end game. (Score 1) 387

> Only because working for somebody else was not the norm

While it may not have been the norm, it was certainly common. Apprentices at a craft, or journeyman, worked for the masters of their craft. Children worked for their parents. Guards worked for local landowners or nobility, and anyone who sold goods or services worked for their clients. Standing armies were far more rare, but existed, and merceneries also had employees. Out of work mercenaries were also a very _dangerous_ unemployment problem.

Comment Re:'Schizophrenia' is a normal reaction... (Score 1) 89

> Yes, I like that very much. Then again, what's on an FPGA (or in any other circuit) can be written down in terms of a software program.

This is demonstrably untrue for brains. Part of the key to a digital circuit, and program, is that it is deterministic. The same program run twice with the same nputs will produce the same output, and most of them can be modeled as Turing machines, so that they can be run on other hardware with sufficient resources.

I'm afraid that nerves are _analog_, with triggered changes of state that cannot be reliably predicted. And there are indeterminacy issues, where the effect of applying a probe or measuring tool to record one neural pattern actually modifies the neural pattern. Writing that as a software program is quite difficult.

Comment Re: but but but (Score 1) 557

I'm afraid that specs are not source code, nor are they a working application. Smalltalk itself was proprietary, and the free or open source re-implementations have been even more limited and unuseful for ordinary content publication. They were conceptually useful for people fascinated by the architecture, but their actual ability to publish and display desired content was profoundly hindered by the need to manually program the actual display.

Comment Re: but but but (Score 1) 557

> Interactivity in PDFs is problematic, though. Personally, I'd go for something like a Smalltalk virtual image instead.

Smalltalk was proprietary with a quite expensive license. It had a small user base, was unavailable for free university use, and required one to learn a scripting language rather than displaying content in a viable "What You See Is What You Get" format for new users. With dozens of distinct, subtly incompatible commercial implementations, it suffered deeply from the intellectually exciting but software destabilizing practices of excessive unnecessary recursion and undefined behavior from user created and not fully specified API's, API's which the author was philosophically and actively discouraged from examining.

Comment Re:Copenhagen Interpretation (Score 2) 82

One difficulty is that the observation of the interference patterns of double slit experiments with even single photons demonstrates the superposition of quantum states in a macroscopically observable way. It's very difficult to explain or understand the interference patterns of single photons fired through a double-slat experimental array without assuming that the individual photons do, in fact, have multiple locations.

The mathematics is fascinating: I've not explored for decades, but remember well my surprise that such logically confusing quantum effects were so easily measurable.

Comment Re:"What if?" (Score 1) 118

Keeping an eye open on SSH port probes from Estonia, China, and various parts of the USSR is a pretty good hint that foreign crackers attack US based systems constantly.Tracing it to a foreign security is more difficult. "The Cuckoo's Egg", written by Cliff Stoll, gives a fascinating view into the very real difficulties of tracking, reporting, and getting attacks against government and military operations by Markus Hess, who was apparently working for the KGB at the time.

I wouldn't claim that all the crackers around the world are working for intelligence and military agencies. But governments, especially intelligence departments, understandably grant immunity and resources to crackers doing what they cannot do publicly or officially. This can be especially helpful to provide plausible deniability if such crackers _do_ get exposed.

Comment Re: but but but (Score 1) 557

There are too many possible reasons for the DNS name resolution issues. Many of them may be local caching for services that use DHCP but do not use DHCP reservations. Another is hostnames that violate RFC standards with mixed case or non-permitted symbols. Another is the consistent use of the same short hostname for different services in different domains, such as "" and "", where those are two different services, and only one of those domains is in your domain search path. This is compounded when your default search path has a wildcard: I've actually seen "" resolved as the wildcard address for "*" when "" was the default domain, found as "". I was compelled to configure client software to use "" to avoid the confusion.

Other problems can also occur when the reverse DNS does not match the forward DNS. Some security tools, like SSH, can throw alerts for this.

Comment Re: I predict (Score 1) 557

As someone over 45, I appreciate those tickets. They let me, and my peers, know what the _users_ need the system to do, not what we wish the users wanted to do with our systems. And their requests are very good early warning signs of very real bugs, or of user documentation that needs to be improved.

Comment Re:This is why companies patent stupid things (Score 1) 94

> This is why you see big companies constantly patenting little things that are seemingly obvious or otherwise inane.

It's not the only reason. Having a broad suite of patents, even if they are unenforceable or easily blocked in court, can drain the resource of other plaintiffs who do _not_ have such a patent suite, whether or not their patents are legitimate.

Comment Re:Ignore them (Score 1) 477

>> If I found such behavior in use on a forum I frequented, I would feel compelled to leave

> So the system works exactly as intended? I'm all for censorship if it means that people don't need to put up with arsehats

Does it? Is _my_ opinion that of the "asshat" you wish to discourage, and censor? Then you'd lose my technical input on the forum you've selected.

> By the way this isn't "censorship"

It seems to fit, very precisely, the most common definitions of the term. From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "censorship" is the practice of censoring. In In that same dictionary, the first definition of "censor" is::

*: a person who supervises conduct and morals: such as
a : an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter
b : an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful

Comment Re:Ignore them (Score 4, Insightful) 477

Please be clear. What you were doing was not merely moderation, it was bureaucratic censorship. It can feel very powerful to control communications this way, but it's very dangerous because it encourages such clandestine abuse of clients, colleagues, and customers by example. It's very gratifying to be one of the "in" crowd that can enforce such arbitrary standards, but it leaves the lesson that such secretive, unannounced abuse by moderators is typical and should be accepted.

If I found such behavior in use on a forum I frequented, I would feel compelled to leave, even if the remaining content were of notabily better quality with this moderation in place. I would not feel able to trust the administrators of the forum because of such secretive censorship.

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