top Emacs Needs To Move To GitHub, Says ESR
Is there still any prospect at all? I left 5 years ago because they stopped improving anything for a decade.
Emacs still has plenty of awesome projects going on, just that they're bloody haphazardly organised. You need to really go look for them and sometimes some minor assembly is required.
For example, the single most awesome Emacs package right now is
Org-Mode, which especially speaks to me as a writer (a lot of writers swear by Scrivener, but screw it, we have a better open source alternative in Org). You'll note that it's developed outside of Emacs proper with its own release schedule. You'll note that if you want the newer versions (which aren't always required, the ones shipped with Emacs itself are usually pretty decent) you need to get the git version or use the one from Emacs ELPA package manager, which in itself is still kind of in early stages and not many projects make themselves available through it (translation: I use a whole bunch of emacs extensions, but none of them are available through ELPA). If you want nifty extensions for Org, you really need to hunt random files all around the interwebs and pray they actually work in current version of Org.
This sort of disorganisation is actually just what Emacs has been all about for decades. The core Emacs devs don't innovate that much (well, at least they do add cool new features in major releases, which is a good thing), and just package the outside contributions whenever they can. There's all sorts of cool shit going on, but you just wouldn't always know where to find them.
(That said, if you want to develop Java or C++, NetBeans just blows Emacs off the water.)
top NYT: Healthcare.gov Project Chaos Due Partly To Unorthodox Database Choice
Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.
To me, this sounds like a pretty open and shut case of "Hey, I've heard that these 'NoSQL' database thingies are
trendy these days. Let's use one of those!"
There's a difference between using fun, exciting new technologies and learning something new while doing that... and doing a project which stays in schedule and budget, is based on technology you already know thoroughly, and on which people's lives can depend (well, indirectly).
top Pwnie Awards 2013 Winners: Barnaby Jack, Edward Snowden, Hakin9, Evad3rs
Hakin9 is a magazine that's
not exactly too reputable.
It looks like someone took a paper "written" using
SciGen and submitted it to them. Because they didn't read the paper at all, they didn't notice it was absolute bullshit courtesy of finest context-free grammars people could code.
Brilliant work - not only is SciGen great for busting less than reputable scientific publications that don't exactly value this "peer review" thing, but now it has busted security magazines too.
top Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...
My first computer: Spectravideo SV-318: 16 KB.
Current computer: A not exactly a new PC, way behind the curve even after a few bits of RAM added: 2 GB.
So 125000x the memory, I guess.
top North Korean Missile Raised To Firing Position, Says US Official
Why am I reminded of Star Wreck 4½? Can't remember the exact quote, but...
"Alert the enemies, that we're about to warm up the twinkler banks...
"Alert the enemies, that we're about to warm up the twinkler banks...
(Several hours later)
"All right, if you want it. So be it. We will not make any more warnings. All light balls and twinkler banks...
(The ensuing fight consists mostly of dodging maneuvers of "turn right very slowly" variety)
top U.S. ISBN Monopoly Denies Threat From Digital Self-Publishing
On a broader level, one of most baffling things to me has been how little people are willing to invest in their own futures. They'll spend $1,500 on an HDTV, but spend $125 for an ISBN -- when publishing their novel is presumably one of their lifelong dreams -- hell no! I can't afford it! It's so much money!
Yog's Law: The money flows toward the writer. If it doesn't, then you're
pretty obviously doing it wrong. Just how many people in other lines of work are paying to do their work? Silly me, I thought that people are usually paid to do their job.
The publishing industry has existed for a long time and has found a way to enable people to pay the authors, without any of the parties along the way screwing themselves over. The reason why publishers pay for ISBNs is that they're the risk-takers, and this arrangement works for all parties involved in normal publishing.
It's silly to assume that this arrangement would be most benefical for all parties in self-publishing scenario. It's silly to assume that ISBN authorities would be somehow entitled to do this same thing with self-publishing authors. And it's silly to assume that authors should be taking the exact same risks as commercial publishers do right now. The right solution would be to offer new mutually benefical arrangements and new approaches. In short, if publishing something requires an ISBN and self-publishers need it for minimal or no cost,
offer them at that price. Otherwise, it's just an artificial barrier and it's plain as day that someone's screwing over someone. about a year and a half ago
top Why Does a Voting Machine Need Calibration?
Okay. Voting machines with a miscalibrated screen, coupled with a dumb user interface that causes wrong choices to be made and doesn't allow the voters to be certain what they voted for.
Scroll to comments.
That’s why the Marxist-in-Chief will be re-selected.
OF COURSE it's a frigging Obama conspiracy! I mean, Obama did Hurricane Sandy, messing with a few voting machines is easy in comparison, right?
Seriously, though, this is kind of like an inverse of the common-sense conclusion. Normally, one flaw is a glitch, two is a conspiracy. In voting machines, one election with screwy results is enough to suggest a conspiracy, but when
all elections that use voting machines have more or less screwy results, maybe that suggests that the technology just isn't there yet.
top Sandy Sinks HMS Bounty, Knocks Off Gawker Websites
I wonder what sea water flooding implies for the financial district.
1. A brisk day of trading in derivatives based on underwater mortgages.
2. A vindication of the Saltwater school of economics.
3. People who thought studying Economics is nothing but underwater basket-weaving thought "damn, I wish I had
actually studied underwater basket-weaving instead".
top BBC Turns Off CEEFAX Service After 38 Years
It is still alive in Norway (and I guess a lot of countries) as well.
In what form? According to Wikipedia analogue TV was turned off in Norway in 2009.
DVB standard, which is used in digital broadcasting almost everywhere except North America, still supports teletext. It's just that some of the most commonly used features, like subtitles, have made their way into separate features.
top Free Font Helps People With Dyslexia
So the font itself is under
Creative Commons Attribution. Not bad. But then:
The only way you'll make me unhappy is if you charge others for the font itself. That is all.
...in other words, it's simultaneously just an Attribution license, with a tacked-on Non-Commercial clause
aside of the common CC licence.
It's not a standard licence, which adds another layer of complications. And because it has a commercial distribution prohibition, it's definitely not an "open source" project.
If you use Creative Commons licenses, go with the strictest license that describes your project to avoid unnecessary confusion. If you have a non-commercial clause, use the NC variants of licenses! Because nothing infuriates people more than seeing "it's under CC licence with no NC clause, cool" and then discovering that the actual license
does prohibit commercial use to some extent.
top Patent Troll Claims
Github is crowd funding now? Why did you tards mod this up to +5?
It's for the cover-up project! You
need a Ruby on Rails software project to get donations these days. ...or maybe not RoR these days. Node.js, then. Gotta be trendy. Just make sure you add enough obscure dependencies that no one can be bothered to actually install and run your project. Then watch the money roll in!
top Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't You Running KDE?
really couldn't care less about all of the "power" features? All of the "power user" tools worth their salt are CLI tools, anyway.
X11 is a system that lets you display applications in windows. Gnome just happens to do that, reasonably conveniently, and doesn't look half bad. Gnome 3 shell is perhaps a bit dumbed down and not particularly powerful, but it gets its job done. The reason I'm not using a lighter desktop environment is that Gnome 3 is also a reasonably modern choice, so I won't be having headaches about applications being dumbfounded by WindowMaker's peculiarities (or the other way around).
also a system that lets you show a ton of xterms at once. Gnome just calls those Gnome Terminals. Simple enough.
All I usually really need to do to get through my day are Firefox/Iceweasel, Emacs, and some graphics/video apps (MyPaint/GIMP/Inkscape/Blender/Synfig/Kdenlive). And then there's mpd for playing music in nicely Unixy way.
top Copyright Infringer Tries To Shut Down Reporting On Her Infringement
Candice Leonard Schwager
Zzzzzzz... huh? Oh, it ended already? Okay, that wasn't so bad. Oh wait, the entry has tags...
Oh, so "Bottomfeeder" is still a respectful term? As I understand it, lawyers are no longer allowed to call other people "scumbags", because that technical and accurate term is no longer considered politically correct. "Bottomfeeder" is still okay, though?
top Statisticians Investigate Political Bias On Wikipedia
My first thought was "Gee, they're using 'democrat' and 'republican' keywords - I wonder if they're making use of Conservapedia's
Best New Conservative Words? Andy Schlafly has already charted this linguistic ocean, and obviously every scientist should follow his superior conservative insights! ...and they probably should only use conservative terms, because 'republican' terms may include RINO terms."
top Bitcoin Mining Startup Gets $500k In Venture Capital
tapping the GPU mining potential of gamers, more specifically gamers of free-to-play games
So people buy gaming hardware, and then play F2P games that... don't actually utilise the hardware to run
games, but for other purposes?
Consider the alternative: firing up a Bitcoin miner on background and running some other game that doesn't require a sophisticated GPU. The gamer can keep the profit all to themselves. The only upside is that the mining company can give the gamers different games. But the fundamental problem is that people think they're buying gaming hardware, you're saying they have gaming hardware... while downplaying the fact that they're not actually using the gaming hardware for gaming at all.
Ye gods, it's like 1999 again, people get venture capital for
only slightly retarded business plans
top Jack Tramiel, Founder of Commodore Business Machines, Dies At Age 83
I bet Jack Tramel's death won't get the kind of coverage that Steve Jobs got.
Funny. I opened up
a prominent Finnish technology news site that seems to worship the ground upon which modern-time gadget makers walk on - sure enough, no mention of Tramiel yet.
Open up the news from the
national broadcasting company? Boom. That's in the foreign news section, so that's fairly prominent. Dennis M. Ritchie's death was relegated to the "science and technology" section. Oh boo hoo.
(Yes, they covered Steve Jobs too. Who didn't?)
I was only half-heartedly hoping Tramiel's death would be reported in national news, but I was not surprised that they actually did that. Commodore computers were pretty damn popular here back in the day.
top The Phantoms of Google+
I have a G+ profile, but I don't post that much there.
If they'd just let me stick the RSS feeds from my blogs there, the profile just might be a little bit more useful, you know? Simple and effective. (Perhaps even integrate to Google Reader somehow. Let people see what I post. Let people see what I liked.)
Wait, such a brilliantly obvious idea is not
patentable and Facebook already bought FriendFeed. *sigh*
top Hackers Can Easily Lift Credit Card Info From a Used Xbox
Yeah, I thought the same. XBL purchases come out of your MSPoints wallet, which is (logically enough) stored in XBL, not the console - you can purchase stuff through the xbox.com website too, and stuff gets downloaded when you turn the console on again. Credit card info is stored on XBL too, as far as I can boundlessly speculate. Wouldn't make much sense to store it on the console, especially since the XBL account is not tied to a specific console.
However, as far as I can tell you
can have multiple 360s logged in at the same time, and the console stores authorisation cookies, not passwords; you can change the Windows Live account password and the console will still happily log you on. You can change your privacy settings to only allow your One Holy Console(tm) in without passwords. Still, theoretically, you could (somehow) let your hard drive slip to someone else, thus allowing them to log in as you, and have someone charging stuff for your credit card, but all those points would go to your account anyway. All the more reason to set the password asking on.
top Teacher Suspended For Reading
Ender's Game To Students
personal treatment of individuals [...] Christ treated them with compassion -- as long as they confessed that their sin was a sin.
Oh, so that clears that up, then. He's not.
Yeah, all he says is that as long as gay people accept that God created them as abominations, they can continue to exist in the abominable state and not be totally nuked off the face of the planet collectively. Totally not homophobia.
top Google Unifies Media, Apps Into Google Play
Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps.
And I don't have an Android device.
Way to go! Get us excited about an awesome new service that does everything we've ever wanted, then tell me that basically it does
nothing. Just because you live in a country the big media people forgot. And not some third-world country either - a perfectly normal and highly technological European country. Birthplace of the Android kernel, by the way. This is how they repay us?
I usually have nothing but good things to say about Google, and I know that for many parts this stuff is not really their fault, but god
damn this stuff is always depressing.