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Comment Re:FSF = not practical (Score 1) 125

the free software idealism has lost and will never win

It's becoming more popular in the biology / medical research community, as people start to understand the importance of reproducible and open research.

I though the whole idea of science was reproducible and open research. Also, having more of a natural science than CS background, I've always viewed FOSS as the application of scientific principles to software. Unfortunately, I've come across closed software in fields such as molecular modelling and fluid dynamics. It's an interesting turnaround if scientists have to learn the basics again from software guys.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 5, Interesting) 117

Yup, this sounds just like the reports of negative temperature. There, the distribution of particles was governed by a term like B*c*T, where B = external magnetic field strength and T = temperature. The field was suddenly reversed, but the particles didn't change their configuration immediately. The system looked like B*c*T for a while, but the field was now -B. So if you wrote the term as (-B)*c*(-T), it looked like the long-term equilibrium state at field -B and temperature -T. Of course, the system wasn't at equilibrium, so the math didn't really apply.

Comment Re:There is a part that is forever - bureaucracy (Score 1) 262

Politicians come and go and ideas are forever.

The problem is that while politicians may go, the bureaucracy they create does not.

Also, legislation (in case that wasn't implied already). For instance, the consensus on certain drugs seems to be that drugs are bad, because they're illegal, and they better stay illegal because they're bad. The same goes for things like copyright laws, with some people arguing that we shouldn't allow the Pirate Party in the parliament, because their agenda goes against current legislation. Because obviously the parliament should never do such a thing as change the law.

Comment Triumph-Adler Alphatronic PC (Score 1) 857

IOW, something with a Basic interpreter but none of those silly games of the Commodore machines some of my friends had (though it came with ROMs for chess and a Pacman-like game). Also, a manual in German which was great fun as in that year 1987 I had just started to study it as my second language.

Comment Linux still does this (Score 3, Insightful) 467

It presents you with a command prompt, ready to be programmed on. You can do things like shell one-liners to automate pieces of your work as you go on, without entering any special programming modes. And when you need to do more serious programming, there are no artificial barriers. In short, it doesn't enforce any unnecessary separation between users and developers.

Comment What's wrong with "algorist"? (Score 4, Informative) 116

Originally, the art of using algorithms was called algorism so the person in question would be an algorist. The -ithm in algorithm was apparently added due to words like arithmetic.

I've also seen "algorithmist" which follows the common logic of adding -ist to a known concept, so that too would be somewhat acceptable.

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