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The Crazed Approach to the Internet: what's driving it?

Posted 30 Oct 2009 at 22:07 UTC by lkcl

The Internet is a tool to connect people, to empower them to share information and knowledge. Through increased communication, one person's contribution becomes everyone's gain. Through the power of collaboration, many minds can achieve what one person alone could not. It sounds like either a recipe for a Utopia or for a nightmare, which starkly reminds us that with great power comes great responsibility. And it's our right to be given the choice, to take advantage of the opportunity that the Internet represents. But there is something happening to the "InterWeb": the tracks are being ripped up. Mandelson in the UK. "3 Strikes" in France. Fascist Censorship in Australia. Phorm. Net Neutrality. The Pirate Bay attacks. The RIAA. The DMCA. There's a recurring and accelerating theme of attacks, which have accelerated over the past ten years, to attempt to control what can and cannot be done with the Internet, that is beginning to blur with Science Fiction predictions from well-renowed authors. The question is: why? What's the driving force, and what motivates these attacks, when, mathematically and statistically, they are simply impossible, leaving an alienated populace feeling threatened by and distrusting their Governments, just like in China, Iran and other "Regimes" which we believe that we are "better than"?

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Any FOSS Java scanner?

Posted 17 Oct 2009 at 12:58 UTC (updated 18 Oct 2009 at 08:09 UTC) by audriusa

In relation to the Wikipedia applet proposal, I am currently moving through the web in the hopeless search of some FOSS project that would show at least weak interest in scanning of Java source code for bad intents. One of the huge advantages Wikipedia or other public server could provide is that we have the applet sources and can compile on a server side. Among other things this allows to strip the signature easily, maybe we could do more.

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Sci-Fi Masterworks and more

Posted 6 Oct 2009 at 16:59 UTC (updated 7 Oct 2009 at 14:25 UTC) by lkcl

flogger asks on slashdot what sci-fi stories are recommended for reading as part of a teaching class about sci-fi. As I've read over 500 sci-fi and fantasy books, and own over 300, I've written up some of the best. Covering history, politics and the best and worst of human nature, science fiction's freedom opens doors which remain firmly closed to traditional fiction. It just has to be done well enough to be believable.
(updated 7oct2009 with fantasy list)
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The Pyramids and the Bazaar

Posted 18 Sep 2009 at 05:08 UTC by KlausWuestefeld

Eric Raymond's software bazaar is a fantasy.

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New tendentions with C popularity: returning to the roots?

Posted 2 Sep 2009 at 09:05 UTC by audriusa

The look into Tiobe index may give quite a surprising results if we pay attention into that is happening during the latest year. Java seems no longer declining, Python and C# are also kind of stable but we clearly observe the growth of C language popularity. It is even not C++ but a plain C.

I wonder it this is just some transient event or the reliable shift.

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Finding conferences

Posted 31 Aug 2009 at 01:30 UTC by pjf

Want to find more technical conferences? Here's my hotlist.

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Java applets in Wikipedia - that do you think?

Posted 23 Aug 2009 at 17:54 UTC (updated 23 Aug 2009 at 18:32 UTC) by audriusa

Wikipedia recently posted a call for strategic proposals, and one subset of them looks quite interesting for me - it is a bunch of proposals to support some kind of the client side scripting. They have a choice between JavaScript, Flash, Java and Silverlight. After all that at the end happened with FOSS Java implementation, Java applets seem an interesting option so let's propose.

To be heard by needed people, this proposal have been uploaded to Wikipedia Strategic Projects space so it can also be viewed there. It is up to you where to make the comments.

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Open Source Licences Wars

Posted 21 Aug 2009 at 19:39 UTC by shlomif

There's a new article on my homepage titled "FOSS Licences Wars", which explains about the legal aspects, features and differences between various open-source licences and their categories, and then gives some recommendations for which licences to avoid using.

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A smarter CLI - Innovation by Simplicity

Posted 3 Aug 2009 at 06:56 UTC (updated 3 Aug 2009 at 08:35 UTC) by tschwall

Good command line tools are more important than ever and not just a relict of ancient times in comparison to RIA or GUI applications. Experienced system administrators appreciate their power in sophisticated shell scripts and could probably not manage their environments without them. The question is how can we make command line tools smarter and more powerful than today? This article discusses some ideas and potential implementations always keeping in mind "Do not reinvent the wheel" and "keep it simple".

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Python XPCOM and Hulahop: declarative XULrunner programming

Posted 26 Jul 2009 at 13:10 UTC by lkcl

XULrunner, the technology behind projects such as Firefox, is both powerful and obscure. Even getting started with XULrunner is tricky, and even more so from dynamic languages such as python. pyxpcomext addresses these issues, and does so from the perspective where the developer creates a "bundle" which is registered with XULrunner. XULrunner is then started by the user, and the user opens a magic URL which triggers loading of the pyxpcomext-based application.

Thanks to the OLPC Sugar team, there is now another way, starting from the python prompt. "import hulahop" is where it begins. This article will show and explain the voodoo magic incantations necessary to bring up a window where you can begin to gain access to the DOM model of the XULrunner technology. In this way, you can begin to use technology which was designed for web browsers but has become something much much more powerful than originally intended by its designers.

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Microsoft's next operating system may start from BSD

Posted 14 Jul 2009 at 20:32 UTC (updated 18 Jul 2009 at 12:44 UTC) by audriusa

Barelfish. Have anybody heard such a beast?

Not somewhere behind the steel walls - in the academic silence of ETH university Microsoft is building the next generation of its operating system. Maybe this single department is not the only place where it is trying – I am more toward thinking this is happening it at least ten places worldwide.

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Taking a Principled Position on Software Freedom

Posted 14 Jul 2009 at 15:26 UTC by mako

Those of us in the free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) community know the routine by now. Despite the fact that "free software" and "open source" refer to the same software and the same communities, supporters of "free software" like the FSF would have us advocate for FLOSS by talking about users' rights to use, modify, share, and cooperate; open source supporters like the Open Source Initiative would have us advocate for software by talking about how securing these rights produces software with "better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility [and] lower cost."

One reason I tend to stay away from "open source" claims in my own advocacy is that I'm worried by the way that these arguments rely on a set of often dubious empirical claims of superiority. Free software, on the other hand, can be seen as statement of principles. Regardless of whether we say "free software" or "open source," I've found that a focus on principled statements is both more robust against counter-arguments and does a better job of describing the motivations of most contributors.

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Industrial Espionage Target: Artificial Intelligence

Posted 12 Jul 2009 at 15:08 UTC by mentifex

Abstract: Because AI technology is so life-or-death valuable, not only for corporations but also for nations and for civilization itself, we must assume that the most advanced AI projects are being conducted in secret. In such an environment of presumed secrecy, an OpenSource AI project like MindForth may have special value in contrast with proprietary and secret AI.

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You'll go waltzing Matilda with me

Posted 21 Jun 2009 at 14:38 UTC (updated 21 Jun 2009 at 17:47 UTC) by badvogato

Y'ALL - Happy Father's day.

Playing Tom Traubert's 'Waltzing Matilda with me'

Wasted and wounded
And it ain't what the moon did
I got what I paid for now
See you tomorrow
Hey Frank can I borrow
A couple of bucks from you
To go waltzing Matilda waltzing Matilda
You'll go waltzing Matilda with me
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Monster Shrek song

Posted 10 Jun 2009 at 14:21 UTC (updated 10 Jun 2009 at 20:26 UTC) by badvogato

Splendid! crowed the witch. "Here's your fortune."

Otchky-potchky, itchky-pitch
pay attention to this witch
a donkey takes you to a knight
him you conquer in a fight
then you wed a princess who 
is even unglier than you
HAHAHA... cockadoodle
the magic words are "apple strudel"
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Why Python is not my favorite language

Posted 17 Apr 2009 at 12:01 UTC by audriusa

I recently had an opportunity to develop a project in Python. I have previously had a largely neutral opinion about this language. However after more serious development I would like to share some doubts.

I will not be talking about the implementation - related issues. Also, Python do has positive, advanced features that are worth noting. Python code for the same task is really shorter: you need more C or even Java code to write something like a = b[:3], and especially b[-1] looks nicer then b.get(b.size()-1). But when line number rolls over the first thousand, more things began to matter.

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CodeCon 2009 Program Announced

Posted 23 Mar 2009 at 19:46 UTC by Bram

The Program to CodeCon 2009 is now up, and registration is at the early rate of $75 for all three days until April 1st, after which the cost goes up.

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intellaSys - inventive to the core

Posted 15 Mar 2009 at 20:25 UTC (updated 22 Mar 2009 at 15:01 UTC) by badvogato

happened to surf on Chuck H. Moore's new company IntellaSys.

I am browsing these whitepapers. Eash one seems to be a rare pearl by the SEA.

Extreme Forth by Steven Pelc on Sept. 2008 Dr. Dobb

IMHO, Chuck has deviced a simple yet holistic way to see that the power of language and the power of circuit wouldn't cancel each other out in the process of solving complex machine-human problems.

The stick + the word + the floor plan

IntellaSys’ 40C Processor Technology Creates Benchmark

ThinkingForth in Chinese

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Massively-Distributed Real-time Video Broadcasting

Posted 9 Mar 2009 at 16:37 UTC (updated 10 Mar 2009 at 15:20 UTC) by lkcl

The British Broadcasting Company has made a request for contributions to an open standard to be made, for the distribution of audio and video, both offline and real-time broadcasting. Their plan is effectively to act as the mediator between box manufacturers and content producers, with themselves as one of the content producers, but definitely not as set-top box manufacturers.

Challenges faced include an assumption that it is reasonable to expect ISPs to insert cacheing boxes on their premises, and an assumption that "downloading" - especially at high speed - is "the way to go". Also, there is yet again the risk of some idiot content producers trying to DRM an open standard.

This article will provide some answers to these tricky issues, and they're not all "Technical" answers. For the most part, the solutions are psychological, and take comfort in the fact that most users are ordinary people not interested in blatant copyright theft, they just want to watch stuff. Ultimately, content producers are going to have to get used to the fact that they are simply going to have to trust people.

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Pyjamas Javascript Compiler: Dynamic Module Loading

Posted 9 Mar 2009 at 13:10 UTC by lkcl

As part of a reorganisation of Pyjamas, best known as a python port of GWT, dynamic module loading using AJAX has been added. The deployment of dynamic module loading results in over a 60% reduction in the amount of javascript cache file sizes, as the modules can be shared across multiple platforms (GAE pyjamas users are hitting the app engine limit even with the simplest of apps, due to the old one-cache-file-per-platform design).

This article describes how the standard technique for dynamic loading of javascript scripts was used as a basis for bring python "import" semantics to a javascript compiler. The advantages of individual module loading - including third party javascript modules - should be clear.

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