Older blog entries for Zaitcev (starting at number 174)

Regarding Orkut, I am surprised that nobody noticed yet anything about its trust metrics or lack sucheof. I am fascinated with Raph's research, and indeed it's the only reason I stay with Advogato. So, it was natural for me to join Orkut, just to check it out. We all know that Google uses PageRank. So, I added two and two, and got ... zero? I am terribly disappointed so far.

It appears that Orkut does not perform ANY interesting computations. It is purely a database of nodes and edges. The welcome page displays a fractional number, captioned "Average Path", but there is no explanation anywhere how it is calculated and what it measures.

And they could have done so much more with it. A trivial thing to do (or, rather, a trivial application of non-trivial math), would be to calculate trust, using user as root, and sort membership lists in communities according to decreasing trust. I am talking about Raph's trust, rather than Orkut "trust". They reused the word for one of three local metrics they allow to enter.

In any case, even if Orkut developers decide to pull their heads from their asses and use their own company research, I highly doubt that they'll publish the code. In the same time, mod_virgilie is open source.


Yesterday, I carted all my sparcs to Keith Wesolowski, who is the new maintainer for sparc(32). This included such jewels as SPARCcenter-1000 which I obtained from Matt Jacob and my JavaStation-E - the only sparc(32) in existence with an IDE disk. Keith seems to have fun with this work and is off to a very strong start. GNU willing, we'll have SMP working again by 2.6.2.

I am not exactly sure what I'm going to do now. There's always Fedora.

I'm wondering if Jan Schaumann realizes that Linux ran on JavaStation for a couple of years before Valeriy Ushakov ported NetBSD to it. Jan's postings to OSnews, Slashdot and Advogato gave no hint of such realization, unless you consider a reference to Linux JavaStation HOWTO a small hint. How very amusing, trumpeting so much, something that Linux did first. Valeriy himself was above such cheap publicity.

Bram's proposal

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with a solar powered steam turbine, although Bram's description needs a pump between condenser and the boiler. Pressure in the boiler is higher than in condenser (this is why the turbine turns), and so a water pump is needed to counteract it. The pump can be mechanically driven by the turbine. The system looks like a perpetum-mobile, but it isn't, because it's not closed: energy is delivered into it by the Sun radiation.

A note regarding depressurizing the boiler is that any thermal cycle machine's efficiency is directly proportional to the temperature gradient. The temperature of the condenser in Bram's case cannot be lower than the temperature of the atmosphere, therefore it is advantageous to raise the temperature of the boiler (I think this is the primary reason why a plant's turbine is driven by superheated steam at 200 degrees Centigrade or more).

The DSL monopoly (in the U.S.)

For the benefit of deekayen, the following ways around the DSL monopoly exist:

  • Cable modem. You have to put up with filtering. $45/mo.
  • DirecWay. You must use a Windows based router/NAT. Satelline latencies. $75/mo if you're lucky.
  • Fixed wireless. In my locale, the fixed wireless provider WAC.com is retreating. I reckon they did not gather a critical mass and cannot continue operating at $40/mo. But I'm told it is booming in places like Santa Rosa, CA.
  • Community and government networks, often wireless. You have to be creative to tap into them.

Writing to senators and such is in vain. Find your local wireless provider and sign up instead, even if it costs more than DSL.

I have a different view from Pierre about the kernel drift of OLS. That view does not involve big companies like IBM or kernel being any "cooler". Simply put, userland is incomparably larger than the kernel, and it's well partitioned into applications. Therefore, userland hackers gravitate towards conventions where they can meet like-minded people, naturally. If one were a GNOME hacker who can only visit one conference in a year, would you go to OLS or GUADEC? Likewise, Andrew Hutton set out to create a gcc conference (OGS?). As application people are attracted to their own venues, kernel expands to fill OLS. Their program committee turns down competent papers every year, because they have no space.

What's up with rillian's Ghostscript? Not a peep from Raph as yet.

23 Mar 2003 (updated 28 Mar 2003 at 21:35 UTC) »

The Iraq campaign somehow made a lot of people much worse and disgusting than they were, to what Advogato recentlog is a bright evidence. A member wrote: "George Bush and his loathesome band of war criminals [...] lawlessly ravage Iraq, causing death and destruction in their wake." The guy knows about interogation with acid baths, dissidents in wood shredders, and refugees set on fire, but thinks it's all right. Putting an end to all that is "loathsome" and "criminal" to him.

[== Update 3/28:

Immediately, raph replied with the following.

    Zaitcev: passions are running high, on all sides. I ask you (and all Advogato posters) to be respectful of other people's opinions. There is no question that Bush is responsible for death and destruction on a large scale. Whether it's legal according to international law is one question. Whether it improves the situation for the Iraqi people is another (I honestly hope it does). Reasonable people can, and do, differ on these questions.
This is unbelievable. He is completely captured by the leftist propaganda and lies, but still pretends to "be nice".

I think it was a great shame that he was arrested for a non-violent protest. Apparently it did nothing to help his political and citizen's thinking. Remember the old saying that a liberal is a conservative who was arrested and a conservative is a liberal who was mugged?

Currently, Raph started to try to squeeze or off-load topics unrelated to free software manually, as his message above suggests. He also attempts to set an example with "the other blog", which is commendabe, but fails to mask the failure of his own creation, the trust web and metric, to deal with unwanted posters. At least the failure so far. One is to hope that he is thinking about a solution.

I decided to take his hint and leave, but let's see what he is going to do about rabid ravings of mglazer (obviously, rabid ravings of leftists are of no concern to him, even though he pretends to hand the niceness evenly left and right).


Funnily how the David Dawes made the ejection of Keith Packard from XFree86 to coincide with the begining of the next battle in the war with Islamists. Coincidence, no doublt.

I just wasted a perfectly good week on an s390x bug in recent kernels. If a 64 bit program executes a 31 bit program, load_elf_binary() uses TASK_UNMAPPED_BASE before it sets the mode bit, but on some platforms the former uses the latter. So, the /etc/ld.so cannot mmap anything. A whole week!!

165 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!