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Comments

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Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

Eli Gottlieb Re:Money can't buy you intelligence (113 comments)

Go read about the founders of DeepMind. These are not kooks, they are people with publication lists a mile long coming out of academia.

You know how industry always gets things later than academia? Well guess what academia's been working on for the past decade or so...

about 8 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

Eli Gottlieb Re:A century ago, Progressives (926 comments)

Are you living in another universe? You said precisely nothing that applies to the world I live in.

100 years of Progress shall have achieved the unwinding of the Civil War, affording us velvet entitlement handcuffs that are far more stylish than the metal affairs of chattel slavery.

What does this even mean?

about 10 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

Eli Gottlieb Re:The Fine Article is about Freedom (926 comments)

He compares 3 countries with what he defines as cultures of fear based in freedom myth as the root of their anti-democratic evils: the US, Israel and Apartheid South Africa.

So he just lumps together the countries the European Left loves to hate with no regard for their actual political and ideological orientations?

US: ultra-capitalist oligarchy pretending to be a two-party democracy
Israel: military rule in one area with sectionalist social democracy in the other area.
South Africa: EXTREME sectionalism based on actual tribal affiliation, coupled to a legacy of extreme racism.

If I was going to make an analysis, I would call sectionalism the common factor between these countries' problems, not a "fear based in freedom-myth". That, however, requires that we actually admit the United States has factions and sectionalism at all, which the dominant factions in the US refuse to admit (because by doing so they can cast themselves as the One True Representative Faction of all Americans rather than as a two-party system representing what are increasingly two separate nations).

about 10 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

Eli Gottlieb Re:A century ago, Progressives (926 comments)

The original intent was to have the government composed of a white, male, Protestant, landowning aristocracy "of merit" (ie: they did manage to own land, they must be competent rulers!).

Fuck the original intent, we should do something that's actually good!

about 10 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

Eli Gottlieb Re:A century ago, Progressives (926 comments)

When the cost of a resource increases, and the pay doesn't increase in about proportion, that's inflation.

No, actually, that's not inflation. That's just redistribution of wealth from labor to capital. Inflation means that salaries rise too.

about 10 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

Eli Gottlieb Re: Control... (926 comments)

In Europe you can reach another country in which to practice an nth language by driving for three hours or taking a train, and you don't even need to bring a passport within the Schengen Zone.

about 10 months ago
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Math and Science Popular With Students Until They Realize They're Hard

Eli Gottlieb Re:like anything else.. (580 comments)

It's really much simpler than that. Any translation in N dimensions can be viewed as rotation around the appropriately-oriented axis of an N+1'st dimension.

about a year ago
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Yahoo Pinkie-Swears It Won't Ruin Tumblr

Eli Gottlieb Re:Let's hold on a sec. I see what's she's doing. (162 comments)

Honestly, you know we're in for it the instant you start seeing names of so-called movements that outright refuse to provide coherent definitions of themselves.

Actually, looking at you, Occupy Wall Street.

about a year ago
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California's Surreal Retroactive Tax On Tech Startup Investors

Eli Gottlieb Re:Exodus floodgates open just a little wider (514 comments)

My family lives upstate, but let's be frank: upstate has little to no economy outside of state spending sponsored by NYC tax dollars. The city is paying for you, not the other way around.

about a year and a half ago
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Israel To Get Massive Countrywide Optical Upgrade

Eli Gottlieb Re:New glasses (157 comments)

You think Israel is actually going to get this fiber system built on-time, in-budget, and to-capacity?

You don't know shit about this country if you actually believe that, but we'll get it eventually.

about a year and a half ago
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China Set To Surpass US In R&D Spending In 10 Years

Eli Gottlieb Re:Can't Compare (233 comments)

Is "the world" going to give me a post-doc?

about a year and a half ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Eli Gottlieb Re:tech is a fairly broad category (660 comments)

Subtle? It's not all that subtle, dude. Boston has some evil opposite of New York's ethnic neighborhoods. New York is proud of Little Italy, of Harlem, of the Lower East Side, of Queens! Boston... is proud of Southie, Beacon Hill, and the suburbs, where the white working class and white professional elite live. Boston blatantly disdains, Jamaica Plains, Mattapan, Dorchester, and East Boston where most of the city's residents actually live, and GOD HELP YOU if you live in a student area like Allston, Brighton, or Fenway. Cambridge disdains Boston in the same way that monied/industrial classes and academic/technological classes hate each other worldwide. Brookline is too good for Boston and Boston is too good for Brookline at the same time, in a way that I'm officially told has absolutely nothing to do with Brookline being heavily Jewish. Only the people of Somerville seem to care about Somerville, which is ironically, in my opinion, the nicest actual town in the whole damn area.

Food is expensive, it's impossible to find a doctor when you need one (I literally had a nervous breakdown and could not get a damn doctor's appointment despite having work-supplied insurance), rent is expensive, the weather is crap (particularly because you can't really enjoy the winter weather without going to the countryside). For all they did to encourage biking, I still got flat tires from broken glass when I actually attempted to ride my bike the 3 miles to work straight down Massachusetts Ave instead of taking the bus. The primary social activity of the metro area was going to your favorite pub and getting smashed, which I wouldn't even object to except that the pub "system" of Boston relies on intricate local knowledge of the precise social scene you want to attend and crowd you want to attract. Actually, I do object because I like to go clubbing rather than just get drunk. Even the "geek" activities for non-students largely consisted of "go watch a guy talk about technology while you eat bar appetizers and drink beer". The T also shuts down its various lines at times ranging from 11:30PM to 1AM, making you either go home early every time you go out, find some place to stay, or only go out near where you live anyway.

And Anime Boston got wrecked last year by someone drunk and someone stoned fighting during the rave while hundreds of overcrowded fellow nerds waited to even get in. The cops got called and the party broke up. GOOD JOB BOSTON!

Wow, now was that ever a rant to get off my chest. AND DESPITE ALL THIS, native Bostonians will continually insist that they live in "the Hub of the Universe", which is obviously far superior to crappy cities like New York, especially New York, or San Francisco, or anyplace other than Boston or maybe Seattle.

Obviously these are all First World problems, but boy is Boston ever a depressing place to live outside its 3-4 months of summer.

about 2 years ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Eli Gottlieb Re:Do you guys really make that much? (660 comments)

Your problem is that you live in the Boston area, one of the sector-segregated, non-fluid labor markets in the country with a high cost of living to boot. Get the hell out of there.

about 2 years ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Eli Gottlieb Re:tech is a fairly broad category (660 comments)

Completely agreed on the Boston front. Probably the most miserable 5 months of my life, when I lived in Boston.

$1400 for a basement-floor one-bedroom apartment that hasn't been repaired since the Great Depression? Oh wow, sign me up for that again!

about 2 years ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Eli Gottlieb Re:tech is a fairly broad category (660 comments)

What on Earth are you trying to say? You mean to tell me that overproduction leads to a steady fall in the rate of profit until capitalism goes into crisis and the excess capacity is consumed or destroyed in a great crashing conflagration?

WHY, NOBODY HAS EVER FIGURED THAT OUT BEFORE! Surely and certainly not some messed-up 19th century German economist, journalist and activist named Karl Marx. Definitely probably not.

about 2 years ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Eli Gottlieb Re:tech is a fairly broad category (660 comments)

How did you afford $17,000/year in rent while living on a grad-student stipend?

about 2 years ago
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Amid Fiscal Uncertainty, Venture Capital Is Way Down In Silicon Valley

Eli Gottlieb Re:Who could have foreseen it? (421 comments)

Technically, government is capable of generating a profit. it just never captures the profit for itself. The profit instead becomes an externality, absorbed by society as a whole.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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"Real Superheroes" Take to Streets to Figh

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "In a case of reality-imitating-Watchmen, many cities and towns across America have witnessed the rise of so-called "real superheroes". These people actually dress up in elaborate costumes, often including real body armor, and take superhero-style names such as "Mr Xtreme" or "Dark Guardian" so that they can roam the streets stopping crimes-in-progress or even just helping out with the recycling. Apparently, the economic recession has made people, "realize that money is fleeting, it's in fact imaginary." They even organize on MySpace and their own website for the NYC area, Superheroes Anonymous.

No word on the presence or absence of blue glowing men with actual powers."

Link to Original Source
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Barack Obama Inaugurated

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "Today, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. He swore his Oath of Office on the same Christian Bible used by Abraham Lincoln, and delivered an inaugural address worthy of that association. The address was both a celebration of everything accomplished to make Obama President, and a call to action on such issues as the War on Terror and the collapsing American economy — showing an understanding that "[greatness] must be earned" and that hard work will be necessary to revive the American health care system and regain its lead in science and technology. Can Obama accomplish the tasks he has set before himself?"
Link to Original Source
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Does Science Suck?

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  about 6 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "Over the past several years the entire United States has been hearing one repeated chorus from universities and industry: there aren't enough scientists. The phenomenon has been attributed from everything to the teaching of Creationism to a failed secondary education system to grade inflation at colleges to the sheer laziness of American youth. But what if the actual cause is a lack of career paths for new scientists? After all, the last time anyone really checked it seems as though the United States is producing record numbers of science PhDs and record numbers of bachelors of science, so how can anyone complain of a shortage?"
Link to Original Source
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Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "Researchers report that they may have found a new state of matter, called a "string-net liquid". Xiao-Gang Wen's theory designed to explain the fractional quantum hall effect eventually predicted "string-net liquid" state of matter, along with predicting most standard fundamental particles and Maxwell's equations for light. A mineral named Herbertsmithite seems to exhibit many of the predicted properties of the "string-net liquid" stage, such as having its electrons lined up in a triangular lattice. Experiments on the rare (but naturally occurring) substance continue, and appear encouraging.

If the theory stands up to experimentation, Herbertsmithite (and any other string-net liquid materials) could be used in building quantum computers."
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Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "Over on OSNews I have written an introduction to the Extensible Driver Interface.

I noticed a year ago that "fringe" operating system projects never seem to grow to a point where they can even appeal to a market, much less penetrate one. One of the major reasons seemed to be a lack of portable drivers, requiring each OS developer or team of developers to rewrite hardware drivers for devices that everyone had long since taken for granted — the floppy driver or keyboard, for example.

Like a fool, I asked for people to implement the "Uniform Driver Interface" hawked by SCO after only a perfunctory look at their specifications. Worse yet, I pledged to implement it myself.

When I read the specs, I resolved to try and invent a more practical approach to portable drivers with which people could really work. EDI is the result of that attempt, and if you read the OSNews comments (Sourceforge likes to CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP on tarballs) you can download C headers and documentation in HTML and LATEX for my "standard". It has no backers and can only win support, implementation or use by its merits, which you shall no doubt find utterly lacking.

Torvalds posted to the Minix mailing list. I post to OSNews and Slashdot. Oh, how far we have fallen."
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Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "In what surely comes as a complete and utter surprise to everyone on Slashdot, a new calculation shows that only one percent of web pages contain pornography.
While the calculations were performed using data forced from Google's and Microsoft's search indices by the government, they will help the American Civil Liberties Union to keep enforcement of the Children's Online Protection Act of 1998 banned. A loss for business privacy has become a victory for free speech, even though netizens lose a beloved old proverb."
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Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "Dear ,
        I feel appalled that the "Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act", known by most people for legalizing the NSA's tyrannical spying program, has made it out of committee. In a free America, that would not have happened.

        This repugnant and fascist bill will not aid in securing America, its people or its liberties. Instead, it merely enables the government to obtain warrants it uses for Orwellian fishing expeditions which, under just law not maimed to win political games, they could never justify. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts can already grant warrants, even retroactively, to wiretap foreign nationals, and normal courts grant warrants to wiretap American citizens suspected of crimes. In a free America, government searches for perpetrators of crimes already committed using evidence, instead of lying in wait for an easy case against an unfortunate citizen.

        But the Bushivik regime has not sought warrants. Instead, they spy on Americans without justification of law or morality, and now try to retroactively legalize their transgressions. They have no real concern for safety from crime, terrorism or any other scourge - else they would emulate the good example of nations like Israel that deal with such issues constantly and well. In a free America, the government protects the liberties of the people instead of trying to become Thought Police draped in a flag and holding a cross.

        The only way for you to win my money or my vote in the future is to struggle for the return of civil liberties in general, and vote this bill down in specific. This bill not only removes the need for real Probable Cause to issue a warrant - a legal standard written into the Fourth Amendment - but it allows the executive branch to monitor any man's, woman's or child's communications for 90 days with no warrant whatsoever, as long as they call that 90 day period "after a terrorist attack". In a free America, we do not tolerate the destruction of our liberties, especially those we enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

Election time draws ever nearer. Vote this bill down, or I will vote you down, and you will never see one cent from my wallet in donations. In a free America, officials who vote away civil liberties don't keep their offices.

Vote "no" on the Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act, and vote "yes" to restoring the Bill of Rights,"
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Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  about 8 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "Dear Representative [Name],
I, personally, feel appalled to learn that the "Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act", known among common folk for legalizing the NSA's vile and tyrannical spying program, has made it out of commitee.

This repugnant and fascist bill will only allow the government to obtain warrants for cheap fishing expeditions which, under just law not maimed to win political games, they could never justify. The FISA courts could already grant warrants for wiretapping on foreigners and normal federal courts could grant them to tap everyday Americans suspected of crimes. But the Bushivik Regime has not sought warrants. Instead, they illegally spy on Americans with no justification, and now try to retroactively legalize their transgressions. They simply want to spy on American citizens; they want to become Thought Police draped in an American flag and holding a cross.

I [have/have not] voted for you in the past, [but/and] I assure you the only way to win my vote or my money in the future is to vote this bill down. This bill not only removes the need for real Probable Cause to issue a warrant - a legal standard written into the Fourth Amendment - but it allows the government to monitor any man's, woman's or child's communications for 90 days with no warrant whatsoever, as long as they can call that 90 day period "after a terrorist attack". True Americans will not tolerate the destruction of our liberties, especially those we enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Vote this bill down, or I will vote you down.

In a truly free country I could threaten more seriously.

Vote NO on the Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act,
[Constituent's Name here]"
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Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  about 8 years ago

Eli Gottlieb writes "I've got new headers and documentation up for EDI, the Extensible Driver Interface. Its aim is to be a uniform, kernel-portable API for programming device drivers. Everyone who reads this, please take a look and maybe even contact me to help! I can be reached by my email address, or in #edi on WyldRyde IRC network.

The EDI framework wraps kernel and driver functionality in "classes", which can actually be written in any language capable of ecompiling functions to machine code. A standard set of classes exist for the kernel to supply to the driver, drivers will (RSN) be able to implement one of a standard set of classes representing driver types, and either kernel or driver can expose any other class they like. This means that non-standard functionality can be added or required of any kernel or driver as long as standard functionality is exposed, freeing OS and driver developers to code what they damn well want to.

Note that this is a pure API, it doesn't care what kind of environment drivers run in. It only cares that the correct function calls are accessible, so it can be used under a micro- or macro- kernel.

A better overview of EDI itself is available in the documentation part of the tarball. Happy hacking!

[edit]The new version of EDI communicates via classes and includes an example driver.[/edit]"

Journals

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Good Reading on the H1-B Issue

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

This Slashdot comment and these numbers go a long way towards explaining the highly divergent views we see on the American H1-B visa program designed for bringing highly-paid, highly-educated professionals to work in the United States to supplement an American lack of such people.

The common opinion among Slashdotters is that H1-Bs are used to bring in code monkeys who work for low wages, thereby suppressing IT, computing, and science wages. The common opinion among certain prominent American businessmen is that America doesn't produce enough highly-educated professionals of its own. The cited Wikipedia page shows why these two views, which so strongly diverge, are both actually true.

On the one hand, it appears that most H1-Bs *ARE*, in fact, used by Indian outsourcing and consulting firms to bring in wage-slaved trained monkeys. The issue is that the small but significant number of visas that American companies can obtain for themselves may well go towards exactly what Bill Gates says they go to: bringing in highly-educated people who will work for high wages in research and development.

Given this kind of environment, it has occurred to me that computing has become a lot like the fine arts. If one starts learning at a very young age and has talent, one can still "climb to the top" and become one of the few who get well-paying, interesting jobs in R&D or a secure position in academic computer science. However, the majority who try to enter the field, particularly those without top talent or who discovered their interest too late in life (perhaps late high school or early college years), will ultimately end up in badly-paying, insecure, IT or "code-monkey" jobs.

In my opinion, such a hypothesis explains and predicts the exact patterns of educational enrollment and entrance to the computing professions we currently see. The fine arts show a similar pattern; nobody who decides on a whim to take up a musical instrument in college ever becomes a highly-payed musical star.

The counterpoint lies in the "popular" arts, wherein stars make money that the rest of us can only dream about while thousands of "wannabes" flock to the field to ultimately fail harder than any code-monkey ever will. The explanation for this is, of course, that the popular arts have been deemed as having sex appeal.

So to have more people enter computing, we can either increase the rewards of an average computing career rather than merely a top one, or we can add sex appeal.

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Follow the Money

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Re: Laughing and Crying

Thomas Friedman thinks America doesn't educate enough native students
through graduate school. He claims that the lack of native-born Ph.D
students shows this trend.

I must respectfully disagree. American-born students don't go to
graduate school because they know what's good for their wallet. A
report by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that, in
the 2004-2005 school year, 75% of full-time, first-time undergraduate
students at 4-year institutions (also known as college kids) had
financial aid of some sort. Now that the federal government has cut
back on grants and scholarships, the most common financial aid is the
student loan.

So with three-quarters of college students in college on someone else's
dime, should it surprise anyone that they want to join the job market
and make money immediately after school? When you have loan payments
due each month, going back to graduate school for a tiny stipend and an
academic career track simply looks repulsive.

American students are not stupid or uneducated, they simply know what's
good for them.

But foreign students receive all kinds of scholarships not open to
native-born Americans (search CollegeBoard.com if unsure). They also
find that going to graduate school brings them more respect and a higher
income back home than returning with merely a bachelor's degree, and
they find that graduate school provides a good road to stay here if they
so wish. So most graduate students come from abroad.

Can we get more American-born students in graduate school? Yes. We
just need to lower the economic cost of graduate and/or undergraduate
education. Therefore, I propose the establishment of a charitable
nonprofit organization dedicated to providing scholarships to science
and engineering undergraduates on the basis of "more money for better
grades", starting at nothing for F's and scaling up to full tuition for A's.

I would proudly donate to such an organization.

With their educational funds back in their pockets, more science and
engineering students will have the ability to afford graduate school.
Even those who don't attend graduate school will swell the ranks of the
scientifically educated Americans.

-- Eli Z. Gottlieb

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Revised letter to Congressman/Senator

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dear ,
        I feel appalled that the "Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act", known by most people for legalizing the NSA's tyrannical spying program, has made it out of committee. In a free America, that would not have happened.

        This repugnant and fascist bill will not aid in securing America, its people or its liberties. Instead, it merely enables the government to obtain warrants it uses for Orwellian fishing expeditions which, under just law not maimed to win political games, they could never justify. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts can already grant warrants, even retroactively, to wiretap foreign nationals, and normal courts grant warrants to wiretap American citizens suspected of crimes. In a free America, government searches for perpetrators of crimes already committed using evidence, instead of lying in wait for an easy case against an unfortunate citizen.

        But the Bushivik regime has not sought warrants. Instead, they spy on Americans without justification of law or morality, and now try to retroactively legalize their transgressions. They have no real concern for safety from crime, terrorism or any other scourge - else they would emulate the good example of nations like Israel that deal with such issues constantly and well. In a free America, the government protects the liberties of the people instead of trying to become Thought Police draped in a flag and holding a cross.

        The only way for you to win my money or my vote in the future is to struggle for the return of civil liberties in general, and vote this bill down in specific. This bill not only removes the need for real Probable Cause to issue a warrant - a legal standard written into the Fourth Amendment - but it allows the executive branch to monitor any man's, woman's or child's communications for 90 days with no warrant whatsoever, as long as they call that 90 day period "after a terrorist attack". In a free America, we do not tolerate the destruction of our liberties, especially those we enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

Election time draws ever nearer. Vote this bill down, or I will vote you down, and you will never see one cent from my wallet in donations. In a free America, officials who vote away civil liberties don't keep their offices.

Vote "no" on the Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act, and vote "yes" to restoring the Bill of Rights,

top

The Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act Sucks

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  about 8 years ago

Dear Representative [Name],
I, personally, feel appalled to learn that the "Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act", known among common folk for legalizing the NSA's vile and tyrannical spying program, has made it out of commitee.

This repugnant and fascist bill will only allow the government to obtain warrants for cheap fishing expeditions which, under just law not maimed to win political games, they could never justify. The FISA courts could already grant warrants for wiretapping on foreigners and normal federal courts could grant them to tap everyday Americans suspected of crimes. But the Bushivik Regime has not sought warrants. Instead, they illegally spy on Americans with no justification, and now try to retroactively legalize their transgressions. They simply want to spy on American citizens; they want to become Thought Police draped in an American flag and holding a cross.

I [have/have not] voted for you in the past, [but/and] I assure you the only way to win my vote or my money in the future is to vote this bill down. This bill not only removes the need for real Probable Cause to issue a warrant - a legal standard written into the Fourth Amendment - but it allows the government to monitor any man's, woman's or child's communications for 90 days with no warrant whatsoever, as long as they can call that 90 day period "after a terrorist attack". True Americans will not tolerate the destruction of our liberties, especially those we enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Vote this bill down, or I will vote you down.

In a truly free country I could threaten more seriously.

Vote NO on the Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act,
[Constituent's Name here]

top

Recent EDI headers and documentation

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  about 8 years ago

I've got new headers and documentation up for EDI, the Extensible Driver Interface. Its aim is to be a uniform, kernel-portable API for programming device drivers. Everyone who reads this, please take a look and maybe even contact me to help! I can be reached by my email address, or in #edi on WyldRyde IRC network.

The EDI framework wraps kernel and driver functionality in "classes", which can actually be written in any language capable of ecompiling functions to machine code. A standard set of classes exist for the kernel to supply to the driver, drivers will (RSN) be able to implement one of a standard set of classes representing driver types, and either kernel or driver can expose any other class they like. This means that non-standard functionality can be added or required of any kernel or driver as long as standard functionality is exposed, freeing OS and driver developers to code what they damn well want to.

Note that this is a pure API, it doesn't care what kind of environment drivers run in. It only cares that the correct function calls are accessible, so it can be used under a micro- or macro- kernel.

A better overview of EDI itself is available in the documentation part of the tarball. Happy hacking!

[edit]The new version of EDI communicates via classes and includes an example driver.[/edit]

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Driver Protocol Idea?

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I'm designing a driver interface for a little bunch of hobbyist operating systems, including my own. It's goals are to be small, easy to comprehend and implement, portable across multiple operating systems, and extensible. A small class/object system has been created to allow drivers and kernels to implement and request extensions and standardized functionality with one mechanism.

Most of how the driver interacts with the hardware via the kernel is finished; what's still needed as a protocol for driver I/O via streams. To help keep the standards from becoming dependent on one kernel design standard input, output and error streams are the only standardized link to the outside world beyond the driver interface itself, and some protocol for using those streams is therefore needed.

Simply writing error strings to the error stream makes sense, but what about the other two? What kind of communications protocol design would be able to communicate real content, control data, possibly extension data, and the meaning/context of all of them to the outside world? Neither I nor the hobby operating system community have been able to come up with anything real so far.

And if you've got a fundamentally better idea than communicating via two or three streams, that'd be good to hear, too.

The entire standard (as embodied by the PDF docs about it) is currently under the GNU Free Documentation License. Anyone who wants to fork it, add to it, or whatever is free to do so. Anyone who implements it or a fork can license their implementation how they please. Basically, EDI needs good ideas and good implementors more than licensing issues at this point, so there's absolutely no chance anything commented here will ever get you or me sued.

Yes, I reposted a rejected "Ask Slashdot" submission as a journal entry.

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Common Lisp Code to Terrorist-ize Given Text

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 8 years ago

;This maker of food for the NSA Line Eater is copyright (C) Eli Gottlieb, December 26 2005. ;It's under the GNU General Public License version 2.0.
(defvar *dictionary* '("assasinate" "kill" "suicide bomb" "dirty bomb" "nuclear device"
                              "Al-Quaeda" "insurgency" "Hamas" "Baath"
                              "jihad" "Allah" "Islam"
                              "Sears Tower" "Empire State Building" "White House" "Golden Gate Bridge" "New York City subway"
                              "Iraq" "Afghanistan" "Palestine" "Iran" "Saudi Arabia"
                              "Israel" "America" "England"
                              "infidels"
                              "Usama bin Laden"
                              "London"))

(defun terroristize (lines)
    (if (not (equalp lines nil))
        (append
            (if (equalp (cdr lines) nil)
        (list (car lines))
        (list (car lines) (nth (random (length *dictionary*)) *dictionary*)))
            (terroristize (cdr lines)))
        nil))

(defun equal-to-any (value any)
    (cond
        ((equalp value (car any)) (car any))
        ((cdr any) (equal-to-any value (cdr any)))
        ('t nil)))

(defun all-whitespace-before-p (the-string start-index end-index)
    (do ((index start-index (- index 1)))
            ((equalp index end-index) T)
        (if (not (equalp (elt the-string index) #\ ))
            (return nil))))

(defun token-delimited-p (token-beginning index-of-char string-data delimiters)
    (and
        (equal-to-any (elt string-data index-of-char) delimiters)
        (not (all-whitespace-before-p string-data index-of-char token-beginning))))

(defun tokenize (string-input delimiters &optional (inclusive nil))
    (setf tokens nil)
    (setf token-beginning 0)
    (dotimes (c (length string-input))
        (if (token-delimited-p token-beginning c string-input delimiters)
            (progn
        (setf tokens (append tokens (list (subseq string-input token-beginning (if inclusive (+ c 1) c)))))
        (setf token-beginning (+ c 1)))))
    (if ( token-beginning (length string-input))
        (append tokens (list (subseq string-input token-beginning)))
        tokens))

(defun parse-for-words (sentence)
    (tokenize sentence '(#\ )))

(defun parse-for-sentences (message)
    (tokenize message '(#\. #\? #\!) T))

(defun string-reglue (str1 str2 delimiter)
    (concatenate 'string (concatenate 'string str1 (string delimiter)) str2))

(defun list-to-string (list-input)
    (if (stringp (car list-input))
        (if (cdr list-input)
            (string-reglue (car list-input) (list-to-string (cdr list-input)) #\ )
            (car list-input))
        nil)) ;This is the main function. Hand it an arbitrary string to be sprinkled with "terrorist lingo" ;-).
(defun feed-echelon (message)
    (setf sentences (mapcar 'parse-for-words (parse-for-sentences message)))
    (dotimes (sentence (length sentences))
        (setf (elt sentences sentence) (terroristize (elt sentences sentence)))
        )
    (list-to-string (mapcar 'list-to-string sentences))
    )

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Slashdot rendition of "Blame Canada"

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 8 years ago

This is a repost of a recent comment of mine. I thought it funny enough to save for posterity. Anyone who's seen "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" should know the melody. If not I recommend you see the film and then download the song itself off of P2P somewheres.

Times have changed,
People are getting worse.
They won't obey FOX News, and
They just want to hack and blog.
Should we blame the media?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the RIAA's lawsuits? NO!
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

With their beady little eyes,
Their flapping heads so full of lies.
Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
We need to form a full assault, it's Canada's fault!

Don't blame me, for my son Stan.
He saw the darn porno and now he's off to join a gang!
And my boy Eric once,
Had my wallpaper on desktop,
but now when I see him he tells me to fuck myself.

Well, Blame Canada!
It seems that everything's gone wrong since
Canada came along.
Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
They're not even a real country anyway.

My son could've been a doctor or a lawyer it's true!
Instead he burned out as an OSS evangelist.
Should we blame the keyboard?
Should we blame the screen?
Or the Slashdot which he read every day? Heck, no!

Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
With all their free-speech precedents and that bitch Anne Murray too. Blame Canada!
Shame on Canada!

The smut we must stop,
The trash we must smash,
Laughter and fun,
must all be undone.
We must blame them and cause a fuss,
Before somebody thinks of blaming us!

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Evolution/Creation Debate the Dumbest Thing Since...

Eli Gottlieb Eli Gottlieb writes  |  more than 8 years ago

the invention of synthetic oxytocin.

It really is horrendously stupid to see two religions have a pissing match over who gets to indoctrinate the children. If it weren't for the fact that those are future voters being indoctrinated, it would even be funny. However, the logic of science and education, as applied to this debate, can only lead to one conclusion: Evolvedism, Creationism, and Creationism's evolved offspring Intelligent Design have got to go from the classrooms of America.

On the dominant hand, we have Evolvedism. This is the pseudo-scientific, slightly-more-credible-than-science-fiction theory which states that we are able to use rocks to gain information about a time with no people to observe it or make records. Evolvedism applies the sound and tested Theory of Evolution to these rocks in order to come to its main article of faith: We and every other life form on Earth evolved from single-celled (possibly even non-celled) life forms that floated around in primordial goop over a period of 3 to 4 billion years. Their evidence for this is simply the same application of logic, scientific theory and Ocham's Razor that is used to presume that the milk spoiled while left in the fridge when we weren't looking, but with a flaw. Every experiment, be it leaving milk in the fridge or building a circuit board, has both a beginning and an end at which the operating Laws of the Universe are known, or at least approximated. In all such situations, the events of a middle period of time are extrapolated by applying the Laws known to operate at both the beginning and end. However, nobody was around to know if the Earth even existed 4 billion years ago, let alone to make sure the same Laws of the Universe that work today did then. Ergo, it is illogical to extrapolate today's Laws into a past during which there was no observer to check that they were in operation, and without being able to make this supposition Evolvedism can no longer stand as being a scientific theory of any value to anyone who doesn't lack an alternative view. Things evolve now and indefinitely into the future, but we cannot say so for the past.

Creationism, at least, is honest about the fact that it is a religious viewpoint held on faith and emotion, but its bastard child Intelligent Design isn't so virtuous. ID supporters claim that life is too "irreducibly complex" to have evolved spontaneously, and that it therefore must have been designed by an intelligent being. The identity of this being, of course, is left open to "speculation", or rather, to God. The problem with this view is that the only documented evidence of God is the revelations of His prophets, which even when written down are impossible to verify or distinguish from simple hallucination, and when the position of Intelligent Designer is left open there is no evidence of any intervention on its part that would distinguish it from the operation of Laws of the Universe. Therefore, a non-God Intelligent Designer becomes logically moot, and this so-called theory is revealed for what it is: an attempt to weedle God into the classrooms of a nation founded on the Freedom of Religion.

From this it is apparent that not one of the aforementioned theories are truly scientific, as each one lacks an essential component of that qualtiy. Evolvedism is untestable, Creationism grounded in naught but faith, and Intelligent Design indistinguishable from Evolvedism when it is not hiding Creationism's God in its Designer, so the best possible thing for our science classrooms is to teach none of them and have students learn their theology, be it of genetic selection or Christ, only if, when and how they actually wish to.

And no, the Flying Spaghetti Monster Theory is not seperate, as it is a form of Intelligent Design that still fails to distinguish the Designer from the operation of Laws of the Universe. That means that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the latest lies of the infidels, who will drown in their own blood for it ;-).

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