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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Are Linux Desktop Users More Pragmatic Now Or Is It Inertia?

David W. White Re:A long time ago (503 comments)

I was thinking along the same lines. This should be modded up insightfull AC - oh wait, this is slashdot!

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Linux Desktop Users More Pragmatic Now Or Is It Inertia?

David W. White Re:Classic Desktop (503 comments)

hilarious!

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Linux Desktop Users More Pragmatic Now Or Is It Inertia?

David W. White Re:Classic Desktop (503 comments)

No mention of OS/2's workplace shell? Just saying...

about 8 months ago
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Cybersecurity and the Internet Economy

David W. White Re:Only voluntary for a few days .. (32 comments)

Dweller: I've done a lot of research in this area. Some time ago I was exploring the idea of using laws and financial incentives to coerce or "force" developers/companies to implement best practices and canvassed a few hundred firms to get their take. The overwhelming response was that they didn't think it was a good idea, some thought it would drive them out of business, stifle competition, etc. Then I came across the full green paper from Dept of Comm. before reading this on /. In light of what happened to Sony etc, I wonder what would be the response now, if I asked the same questions again?

more than 3 years ago
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Compiz Project Releases C++ Based v0.9.0

David W. White Re:So.. what is it? (237 comments)

bacuun - its a window manager with some real cool visual effects like rotating cube, wobbly windows, etc.

more than 4 years ago
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Compiz Project Releases C++ Based v0.9.0

David W. White Re:Speed (237 comments)

Wowsers, on the face of things, I would doubt that, since C is by design faster that C++. I guess over time though with a little optimization here and there we might gain speed improvement in Compiz. I used to use Beryl with Knoppix years ago before it became stable. I had to manually configure conf files a couple of time. I changed to Compiz when I switched distros. Compiz used to crash at first but its pretty stable on my system now.

more than 4 years ago
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Compiz Project Releases C++ Based v0.9.0

David W. White Re:Objects... (237 comments)

I understand, but for speed I expect that C++ still outperforms Java, and while C should outperform both of them, C doesn't feature encapsulation, polymorphism and all the other goodies that OOP provides. Why would you want to break encapsulation? Apart from one article I saw in the ACM journal about a year or so ago, every other paper I have read showed that OOP programming was more effective that programming without it (except for those few highly specialized areas where you have to use specialized languages).

more than 4 years ago
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Next Ubuntu Linux To Be a Maverick

David W. White 10.04 - Best Ubuntu Yet! (319 comments)

I went against my earlier decision to wait a few weeks after the official release, and upgraded the night 10.04 came out. For the first time since I'm using Ubuntu from 7.04, nothing broke! I mean - network, virtual box, mail everything still worked. My only problem was getting use to the placement of the control box on the left instead of on the right. In terms of speed, I haven't seen any visible improvement in startup, but shutdown occurs in way less time than 9.10. This is the best Ubuntu yet!

more than 4 years ago
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The Big Technical Mistakes of History

David W. White Re:Digital watches. (244 comments)

[That the world is round has been known since antiquity. "The world is flat" is sort of a meta-myth: a mythical belief that people used to believe a myth, when in fact they didn't.] Yes, you're correct. This was written approx. 2163 years before Christopher Columbus was even born (c.712 BC)- Isaiah 40:22 states "KJV: Isaiah 40:22. It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
" in my bible.

more than 4 years ago
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All the Best Games May Be NP-Hard

David W. White Re:No. (322 comments)

If you build an AI which has emotions and is functionally indistinguishable from a human in terms of emotional response, I will be very impressed. You haven't done that, though, have you? Nor has anyone else. Call me when you do. (Better give your great-great-grandson my phone number.) This is what the turing test is hoping to determine, but so far no (AI creation) has been able to pass it though some have reportedly come close. When considering if passing the Turing test is proof that "computers can think and reason in exactly the same way people do", it interesting to note Searle's conclusion compared to Turing's in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test. And by the way, I'm a real human, not an AI.

more than 4 years ago
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All the Best Games May Be NP-Hard

David W. White Re:Just to throw this out there (322 comments)

[The "no polynomial-time algorithm" bit is only true if P!=NP. And to the best of human knowledge, it happens to be the case that P!=NP.] Actually, we don't know for sure if P!=NP (though most experts in the field of computational complexity beleive this is the case), and no one has been able to prove or disprove that P==NP.

more than 4 years ago
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All the Best Games May Be NP-Hard

David W. White Re:The fun is in the simplicity (322 comments)

-- Have you played pac man C.E.? best pacman ever. I've played countless pac man variants but the best pac man ever is Neil Roy's Deluxe Packman. Great sound and game play. My kids and I spend hours competing against each other, and sometimes my wife joins in too.

more than 4 years ago
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NASA Launches Giant Magnifying Glass Into Space

David W. White Re:NO, please do not stop (115 comments)

"01110101 01110010 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100111 01100101 01100101 01101011" = "ur a geek" in ASCII, "75 72 20 61 20 67 65 65 6b" in hexadecimal, and "117 114 32 97 32 103 101 101 107" in decimal.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Are the Best and Brightest Not Flooding DARPA?

David W. White would Einstein work for darpa? (597 comments)

A Mr. Don Bright emailed me to ask if I really thought that Einstein would have worked for Darpa. My response is below:
Yes, I think Einstein would have worked for DARPA (if he was given the security clearance). Please note that Edward Teller (who was directly involved in the Manhattan Project) was also a friend of Einstein and was consulted by Einstein's team about the necessity and urgency to develop the nuclear bomb. Discover states "Despite helping to spur Roosevelt into action, Einstein never worked directly on the bomb project. J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI even back then, wrote a letter to General Sherman Miles, who initially organized the efforts, that described Einstein's pacifist activities and suggested that he was a security risk. In the end, Einstein played only a small role in the Manhattan Project. He was asked by Vannevar Bush, one of the project's scientific overseers, to help on a specific problem involving the separation of isotopes that shared chemical traits. Einstein was happy to comply. Drawing on his old expertise in osmosis and diffusion, he worked for two days on a process of gaseous diffusion in which uranium was converted into a gas and forced through filters." Taken from http://discovermagazine.com/2008/mar/18-chain-reaction-from-einstein-to-the-atomic-bomb/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C=
Note that the article says "Einstein was happy to comply" to work for the Govt/Military on this aspect of the project, and it could be implied that it was just because he was not given the necessary security clearance why he did not become more directly involved in the larger Manhattan Project.
Regards.
David W. White

--- On Fri, 6/20/08, don bright wrote:
From: don bright
Subject: Re: your question on slashdot
To: David W. White
Date: Friday, June 20, 2008, 12:42 PM
yes but would Einstein work for darpa? You did not ask "where are all
the Edward Tellers"

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Linux desktop users more pragmatic now or just demonstrating inertia?

David W. White David W. White writes  |  about 7 months ago

David W. White (1241890) writes "Years ago ago those of us who used any *nix desktop (“every morning when you wake up, the house is a little different”) were seen as willing to embrace change and spend hours tinkering and configuring until we got new desktop versions to work the way we wanted, while there was an opposite perception of desktop users over in the Mac world (“it just works”) and the Windows world (“its a familiar interface”). However, a recent article in Datamation concludes that “for better or worse, they [Linux desktop users] know what they want — a classic desktop — and the figures consistently show that is what they are choosing in far greater numbers than GNOME, KDE, or any other single graphical interface.” Has the profile of the Linux desktop user changed to a more pragmatic one? Or is it just the psychology of user inertia at work, when one considers the revolt against changes in the KDE, GNOME, UNITY and Windows 8 interface in recent times?"
Link to Original Source
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Ignore geeks if you'll want to go mainstream?

David W. White David W. White writes  |  more than 4 years ago

David W. White (1241890) writes "In his May 5, 2010 article in Wired, Charlie Sorrel discusses "How to Make an iPad-Beating Tablet" and states that what Apple created in the form of the iPad was a device that ordinary people could use. He implied that what users want in a tablet is a good OS built around the tablet and not just an extension of OSes previously written for mouse/keyboard support, and hardware that focuses on supporting apps and preserving battery life. In the comments following the article, several posters suggested that "building a better tablet than the iPad" would involve creating a device running a tablet os and apps that just work, even if the nerds and geeks hate it, since they are just a small portion in the market.

Earlier on /., some posters observed that Ubuntu used to be a favorite among nerds when it was fairly new and geeky, but as it gained mainstream adoption, some nerds/geeks started to hate it because using it no longer put them in an exclusive elite.

In order to be successful, should developers of future device/os/apps ignore the opinions of nerds/geeks and instead pander to the needs of the wider (non-geek) population, or are geeks/nerds still are a force to be reckoned with? On the other hand, aren't geeks/nerds at the very root of the success of the many open source projects and the open community that support them?

The wired article is at http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/05/how-to-make-an-ipad-beating-tablet/#ixzz0n6339Kmq"
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Classic games forever an allure for modern gamers?

David W. White David W. White writes  |  more than 4 years ago

David W. White (1241890) writes "Ben Silverman has an article on yahoo games http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/legendary-asteroids-record-smashed/1396032 that states that at least three long standing class arcade video game records have been broken so far this year — Asteroids, Donkey Kong and Frogger, three of my favorites. Its amazing that people are still playing these games and for the duration it takes to set new records — it took 58 hours of continuous play to break the Asteroids record. What drives video games fans to be so obsessed with these classic games. Is is because they potentially fall in the NP-Hard category as discussed recently on Slashdot?"
Link to Original Source
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Commercial bug free software ever?

David W. White David W. White writes  |  more than 3 years ago

David W. White (1241890) writes "At the university where I work, I spend a lot of time researching bugs in complex software. Notwithstanding the separate works of Turing, Sipser and Aorora and Barack in showing that software assurance is undecidable, the debate still rages on as to whether companies can ever develop commercial bug free software. On the one hand there is Fishman's article here (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/06/writestuff.html), as well as http://www.sigpwned.com/content/economics-perfect-software, and on the other hand there are the recent articles like http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2006/may/25/insideit.guardianweeklytechnologysection, and http://www.sigpwned.com/content/economics-perfect-software. Slashdoters even join the debate again last December as in here http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/12/23/157215/Is-Code-Auditing-of-Open-Source-Apps-Necessary. What are your views? Can we ever practically develop bug free commercial software? David White"
Link to Original Source
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Landscape for software dev. companies changing?

David W. White David W. White writes  |  more than 6 years ago

David W. White writes "I read an article by Jeff James in Virtualisation update yesterday (http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/100013/) where he says "Microsoft is a kinder, gentler software giant than it was a few short years ago. Sure, it's still a haven for the hyper-competitive, but would the Microsoft of old have turned the other cheek — for nearly two years — while Apple gleefully defined Windows Vista as a crash-prone, resource-hogging golden turkey only used by nerds? Pigs also must be flying over Redmond, as earlier this year Microsoft announced cross-platform extensions for Microsoft System Center 2007 that let IT pros more effectively manage Linux, UNIX, and other non-Windows environments existing next to their Windows infrastructures." Does this mean that the landscape is finally changing? /.ers is this for real or is this just another gimmick — what do you think?"
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Darpa steps up its drive for Mad Science Chief

David W. White David W. White writes  |  more than 6 years ago

David W. White writes "About a week ago I submitted at story http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/06/18/2225222 enquiring why the best and brightest minds weren't flooding DARPA. The responses were very interesting, ranging from relatively low salaries compared to the rest of the industry, to the stringent security clearances required, to the perception that employees at the agency would be mired into too much bureaucracy, to moral arguments about not wanting to be involved with anything to do with war. Now DARPA has hit back, inviting applications for the position of Director, Defence Services Office. Here http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=73106886&brd=3876&AVSDM=2008-06-20+16%3A05%3A24&q=darpa&sort=rv&vw=d&Logo=0&FedPub=Y&FedEmp=N&SUBMIT1.x=0&SUBMIT1.y=0&ss=0&SUBMIT1=Search+for+Jobs&TabNum=1&rc=7 , it paints a pretty rosy picture of the position which pays USD $114K to $172K, requires the successful applicant to provide technical oversight and management for the DSO's R&D programs, and offers the usual health and life insurance benefits. Wired describes this as "Darpa Hunts for Mad Science Chief" http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/06/darpa-hunts-for.html and speaks of projects such as artificial limbs controlled by the mind.

Do you think the "brightest and the best" should now flock to Arlington, Virginia?"
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Why the brightest and best not flooding DARPA?

David W. White David W. White writes  |  more than 6 years ago

David W. White writes "Wired mag's Danger Room carried an article today that highlighted how desperate the US Military's DARPA has become in its attempts to bring in additional brain power. The tactics include filmed testimonials, folders and even playing cards all screaming join DARPA, join DARPA! Where are all the Einsteins who want to be on the cutting edge for the Government? Where are they?

The wired article is at http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/06/the-us-military.html"
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Bill Gates shakes up SOA,says MS Oslo will use UML

David W. White David W. White writes  |  more than 6 years ago

David W. White writes "Searchsoa.com carried an article yesterday entitled "Bill Gates shakes up SOA — Oslo embraces UML". The article stated that Microsoft has finally decided to embrace UML in Visual Studio instead of DSL. Good move Microsoft. Hope we wont see any "Microsoft UML" though, but that things will remain universal. David White NB: article taken from http://soa-talk.blogs.techtarget.com/2008/06/09/bill-gates-shakes-up-soa-oslo-embraces-uml/?track=NL-130&ad=644219&asrc=EM_USC_3802258&uid=4874611"

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