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Nature Publisher Requires Authors To Waive "Moral Rights" To Works

Improv Best solution (82 comments)

A bit of contract law that would:
1) Mark these rights as unwaivable
2) Mark as unenforcable or nonactionable any part of any contract that would bar or establish consequences for asserting these rights

about three weeks ago
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Could Earth's Infrared Emissions Be a New Renewable Energy Source?

Improv Cue the bad sci-fi movies... (78 comments)

It'd be amazing if there were a hollywood blockbuster that theorises that doing this will make the Earth run out of rotational energy and fall into the Sun.

about a month ago
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GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

Improv Brain damaged project (134 comments)

I like how they place an emphasis on it being small, but they require you to link the whole damned thing into your app. And of c ourse that doesn't help you write correct software, because you won't figure out if you really need -lm unless you also test your app on a more correct libc.

Lightweight and correct indeed.

about a month ago
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GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

Improv Re:Either gnu libc is hideously slow and bloated.. (134 comments)

Steps to a useless comment:
1) Speculate on the features of something
2) Note that that speculated feature set doesn't include something you want
3) Criticise based on your speculation

about a month ago
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Flash Is Dead; Long Live OpenFL!

Improv Re:Native Targets? (166 comments)

My point is that with modern VMs and JITs and partial nativisation and other systems/PL technologies, you no longer should care whether something "runs native", and that that's a distinction that is so blurred anyhow that it barely makes sense to talk about it. It may have once been important and simple, but nowadays it is neither.

about a month ago
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Flash Is Dead; Long Live OpenFL!

Improv Re:Native Targets? (166 comments)

(I missed part of a sentence in there ; windows apps can compile "to native" as well using WINE)

about a month ago
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Flash Is Dead; Long Live OpenFL!

Improv Re:Native Targets? (166 comments)

So what? Perl can compile to C too, by bundling the interpreter into your target binary. Windows apps can compile "to native" as well. Neither makes it exactly native, similarly to having your app interpreted by a native HTML5 engine is.

The most native way something can be for a platform is to be written directly for its platform, bound directly to its APIs. Anything but that gets very conceptually fuzzy. And if you're worried about this for performance reasons, you should look at the Quakelikes that have been ported to HTML5.

about a month ago
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Flash Is Dead; Long Live OpenFL!

Improv Native Targets? (166 comments)

Flash is no more native than HTML5. At this point it doesn't make sense to "place bets" on Flash at all, unless like the article author you've spent many years on Flash and are not interested in change.

about a month ago
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Confirmed: Earth's Oldest Rock In Australia

Improv Re:Ken Ham issues statement (74 comments)

How do you think these dating methods came to be devised and then trusted by the scientific community?

about 2 months ago
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Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

Improv Maybe they could delay them more? (204 comments)

Say, forever? MATE with Xorg is much more suitable than either Gnome or Wayland.

about 2 months ago
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Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

Improv Re:I'm sorry I'm an idiot (204 comments)

It is in fact an intended replacement for X11. It'd be hard to talk about the differences in much detail if you're not particularly technical.

about 2 months ago
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California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

Improv All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong questions.. (374 comments)

So, what does compliance involve? That's the first question we should be asking.

If your local libertarian hot dog stand guy rages at you about maybe being shut down because the health department is on his back, instead of saying "fuck guvment", maybe you should figure out if it's something as simple as them having hygiene standards for how he cooks, and some small fee for a license. I mean, maybe there is something unreasonable or crazy, and there are some industries that corrupt government and do rent-seeking in order to limit competition, but these details matter.

about 3 months ago
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Kernel DBus Now Boots With Systemd On Fedora

Improv Re:So this is the thing killing portability (341 comments)

Then we should turn away from GNOME3. Because they're taking compatibility lightly. Because they're wrongheaded. We should make sure that no distros ship GNOME3 or systemd as default. Sure, they're not serfs, they're just people promoting an inferiour solution that damages Unix.

about 4 months ago
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Kernel DBus Now Boots With Systemd On Fedora

Improv So this is the thing killing portability (341 comments)

The corruption of GNOME and other opensource projects by tying it specifically to Linux comes with this; it represents giving up on being cross-platform, giving up on the BSDs and other Unices, and giving up on openness. No thanks.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: DIY Computational Neuroscience?

Improv Good start, now.... (90 comments)

Good start, now go do some formal study and get a degree. There's too great a risk, with self-taught people, for them to only expose themselves to the ideas that are appealing to them. Academic fields recognise this; you're not going to be ready to contribute to the cutting edge unless you put your ideas in the field up for reshaping by people who know more than you do, and that's a good thing.

about 5 months ago
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Code.org Wants Participating Students' Data For 7 Years

Improv Re:It's only a proposed contract... (90 comments)

If we think we might object to provisions we wouldn't like in the final contract, we'd better start objecting now. The end effect of such protests can only be positive for us, particularly because we often lack a direct input into terms and in the end are left with a thumbs-up-or-down; making a fuss early gives us some of the only kind of leverage we really can get.

about 5 months ago
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U.S. Will Not Provide Financing For New International Coal-Fired Power Plants

Improv Emissions (329 comments)

If they contribute the least to global emissions now, their development should take the form where they remain contributing little to global emissions. Hopefully more advanced nations will be able to reduce their dependency on coal in the meantime.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are We Witnessing the Decline of Ubuntu?

Improv Ubuntu is suffering the same problems as GNOME (631 comments)

In the last few years, Ubuntu and GNOME stepped beyond the useful compromise Unix made between suitability for technical people and suitability for average people, and leaned towards the latter with generally no good reason. Sure, Ubuntu was pushing for an alternative to the X Window System, but so were the Wayland folk, supported by GNOME. The GNOME folk have been toying with the idea of making systemd a requirement for GNOME, making GNOME infeasible on other platforms.... because apparently your window manager should have a dependency on your init scripts? GNOME has removed all the options that make it usable in GNOME3, while at the same time embracing unreasonable defaults and suggesting the community write extensions to make it usable again? And so on.

I suppose if we want everyone eventually running KDE on FreeBSD, we're well on our way there.

about 7 months ago
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Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor

Improv Re:"Almost" is an interesting word (214 comments)

Imperfect doesn't mean worthless. If someone were to create a treatment that would cure almost all the people suffering from deafness, that'd be pretty great. Doesn't mean we should stop caring about the rest, of course.

about 6 months ago
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Time For a Hobbyist Smartphone?

Improv Disallow apps that can't be scripted? (207 comments)

Sorry to be the pedant, but that "disallow apps that can't be scripted" line seems kneejerk and fairly stupid. Scriptability is not a yes/no thing, it's a measure for how good an API is. If you just want apps that are minimally scripted, I'm sure you could make a platform where every app accepts a hello() message, and does a popup with that, but that doesn't get you close to being able to do neat things.

I suspect what we'd really like is more choice in programming languages on the phone and a cleaner split between UI and API.

I wonder how many people would write apps for such a device for free. I might, and the opensource community might too, but is that enough?

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Hi there

Improv Improv writes  |  more than 5 years ago

There's no designated place for a self-description, so this'll do.
My name is Pat Gunn (on the net I'm often known as Improv, after the old Lotus spreadsheet for NeXTStep) and I'm a Unix geek.

IRL, You might know me from Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), or possibly before that in Brecksville, Ohio or Dallas, Texas.
Online, you might've seen me on Wikipedia (as Pgunn/Improv), the Mozilla project, NoWonder, the XFree86 project, PernAngband, Usenet, PerlMonks, or dozens of other places. I also play DOFUS, Kingdom of Loathing, Urban Dad, and a few other online games.

My politics are liberal-socialist, my interests broad, my job interests academic, my cats cute, and my eating habits practically vegetarian.

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Old Timer

Improv Improv writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Apparently, having a userid of 2467 makes me an old-timer in Slashdot-land. Hmm.

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