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Comment Any chance of working wifi on OPiLite? (Score 1) 55

I have two OrangePiLite's, have tried many distros, including the ones on the OrangePi website. The only built in network connection is the wifi, and it works on precisely zero of the distros I tried.

A distro where the wifi actually works, and where dragged windows don't sporadically vanish would be welcome.

Comment Re: Windows (Score 1) 224

I recall recently, from ESR's stuff hackers used to know article:

That property is still useful, and thus in 2017 the AT convention has survived in some interesting places. AT commands have been found to perform control functions on 3G and 4G cellular modems used in smartphones. On one widely deployed variety, "AT+QLINUXCMD=" is a prefix that passes commands to an instance of Linux running in firmware on the chip itself (separately from whatever OS might be running visibly on the phone).

As well as in TVs (e.g. my Bravia), synth workstations, etc. Once you take an interest in how stuff works, it is astonishing how ubiquitous Linux has become. Some point to the 'dont make money in those areas' arguments, but forget history and the consequences when cheap commodity and consumer goods become good enough in an area which was previously the preserve of high end equipment.

Comment Something that has to happen: (Score 2) 251

On Linux, something I find very annoying with apt-get is that everything goes into a single /usr hierarchy, rather than having multiple ones and overlaying. Right now, it is a hack at best to do stuff like this. But serious thought, on all OSs, needs to be given to the following:

The point is to make the core of the OS read-only at runtime, preferably read-only at a hardware level (that is, install the OS on a small SSD which even the kernel cannot write to during normal running, and which delegates what configuration settings can be overridden from the writable portion of the files).

Essentially the 'principle of least privilege' is something that OS designers need to give far more serious thought to, and also what privileges are actually needed during normal runtime. Updating the core OS should be done from a 'secondary OS' whose only purpose is updating the core OS, and is restricted in its nature so as to only be able to do this. (The ideal place for this is in PC firmware, where one should use the firmware to install the base OS, and once booted, the base OS is effectively immutable.)

(Yes, this is basically a coarse capability-based security system, partially enforced in hardware, in a way which leaves users in control.)

Comment Re: Software should have copyright - and nothing m (Score 1) 104

Software parents are akin to copyrighting e.g. stories using certain plot devices. Imagine if one author patented revealing the killer at the start, another revealing him at the end, another patenting revealing the doer-of-crime two thirds of the way in. Certainly abolishing software patents would not inhibit progress in software development, and without them more progress would be made.

Comment Original controller, hardware hacking, arduinos... (Score 1) 262

If you take an original controller, open it up, and solder in a few wires, and connect the other end to an arduino contraption, you can pretty much send whatever information to the console you like via an 'original controller'. Now people learning how to make stuff, modify stuff, and so on, is _way_ more important than console gaming. One has the capacity to allow people to solve interesting problems, the other is a recreation.

Comment Easy Peasy (Score 1) 309

For each natural number define a binary operation M_i such that for all x,y we have x M_i y = i. Basically an infinite family of trivial constant functions. Then for each i we have 4 M_i 4 + 4 - 4 = i. If you're allowed arbitrary operations it is this trivially easy. What is interesting is the interplay between what operations you are allowed, and what results are possible. Now if you work in reverse polish notation (like Forth), you write things as 4 4 4 4 A B C, where A, B and C are your choices of binary operations. If you have a choice of N binary operations, naturally you can produce at most N^3 distinct results. So really what you are studying is the function from the power set (set of all subsets) of the set of all binary operations on numbers (for some notion of number, e.g. real, complex, surreal, etc.), to the power set of the numbers (for some notion of number).

Comment Granular permissions (Score 1) 229

Something Android does, or tries to do at least, is to have a granular permissions system for apps. Chrome should do similar for websites, where by default those things capable of causing problems are switched off. For sites that genuinely make good use of Bluetooth (and where the user is happy with this), it should be easy enough to grant permissions. In addition, when it comes to granting permissions, there is the opportunity to add information, and to hide/detect more dangerous choices.

Comment Laughable (Score 1) 328

It is laughable that people talk of it being an 'either/or' thing. In the modern world, people need a grasp of foreign languages, since people need to talk to people; people need a grasp of programming, so that computers are not so much 'magic black boxes with flashing lights'; and people need to grasp the languages of maths and science. Figuring out how to teach people, and get across why grokking these things is a good idea, is a research project nobody at the top of the education seems to want to take fully take on.

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