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Comments

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The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

chthon Re:Lawn Dart Alert! (364 comments)

The people involved learned certainly nothing from history.

While Germany was dabbling with all kinds of expensive new tank designs, the Russians built only one kind (with incremental improvements) but in large quantities. Guess which one made the difference? Actually, the same goes for the English and the Americans. While inferior, the Sherman tanks could be made in much larger quantities.

about three weeks ago
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HUGO Winning Author Daniel Keyes Has Died

chthon Re:Sad, but... (66 comments)

I discovered 'The Hobbit' on my Speccy in 1984. The first adventure game I ever played. I then tried to solve it with a cousin of mine who had the book.

In order to stay on topic, I read the story when I was 11 yrs old in another book (for Dutch and Belgian Slashdotters: Het Bonte Boeketboek), a kind of single-topic book, but with the topic seen from different angles. This one was about the human body, and this story was part of the chapters about the brain and the nervous system. I must say that it did made an impression, but due it being written in the first person I did not completely understand it at the time. But I always felt sad after reading it.

about a month ago
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Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

chthon Re:The cloud (387 comments)

Your insurance agent would like a word with you.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

chthon Re:I'll get flak for this (552 comments)

Yes.

The scientific method was invented/discovered and honed in Europe. There are no other people who have created the same.

There might be other *technical* or *mathematical* accomplishments by other peoples and cultures, but not science.

about 2 months ago
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Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS

chthon Re:Shut up..... (522 comments)

It seems that George R.R. Martin is a comic book writer, without the comics.

about 2 months ago
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Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

chthon Re:It's the right tool for the job (634 comments)

Please choose your examples well.

Although son of a well to-do farmer, Newton was not nobility, and could only study because of recognition of his talent. Gauss was the son of really poor people.

about 3 months ago
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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

chthon Re:Err, no really (384 comments)

The victors always write history. Caligula and Nero were not so crazy as is often told. However, they both were contemptuous of the Roman Senate, which is what brought them down in the end, and which is why the historic writings about them paint them in the light of craziness.

about 3 months ago
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Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

chthon Follow the money (397 comments)

We should try to follow the money more when such rules are implemented.

Who benefits the most from this? Big, big breweries who feel probably threatened by people who brew good beer (as a Dutch colleague of me said, they make Heineken by pumping the Maas water into the bottles).

This is a US problem. What company bought (more or less recently) a US brewery? Those Brasilian pump-and-dumpers do not know anything about beer, only about making money by selling something that resembles beer and manipulating the stock market, and since it is rather easy in the US to bribe officials, this really looks a move from their side.

We are not here to decide if we are paranoid, but to decide if we are paranoid enough.

about 3 months ago
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Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

chthon Bad figures (226 comments)

Yeah, 1,000,000,000 lines of code. And it takes 9 women just 1 month to create 1 baby.

about 4 months ago
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Intel Releases $99 'MinnowBoard Max,' an Open-Source Single-Board Computer

chthon Re:"Open source computer"???? (97 comments)

Please mod this up.

There is also a whole lot of papers, theses and doctorates about dynamically reconfiguring FPGA's, showing that obtaining information about their structure is very possible (the most advanced of this is IMHO, the work of Dirk Koch).

about 4 months ago
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The Brief Rise and Long Fall of Russia's Robot Tank

chthon Re:Tubepunk? (79 comments)

Tuberpunk?

about 5 months ago
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Wolfram Language Demo Impresses

chthon Re:Not so sure about the language... (216 comments)

Even this integration with a massive database is not new. I remember reading about development of such systems in the beginning of the eighties (in Readers' Digest, ffs). The only thing changed since then is the speed of CPU, the size of memory and the size of databases.

about 5 months ago
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"Microsoft Killed My Pappy"

chthon Distrust (742 comments)

Me: distrusting Microsoft since 1990.

Of all signs warning not to trust MS stands out for me the following.

I was at my first job, PC technician and we installed Macs for the graphical sector, and Compaq servers for Netware installation, also for the same.

For Apple and Compaq, I had to follow courses so that the company could get its preferenced dealer status.

In the income of the building, there hung a small plaque, Authorised Microsoft Dealer with Gates' signature. At first I thought that my boss had also done a course for MS to get this plaque.

However, in the course of time I saw that companies did not need to do much to get this plaque from MS. That's the day I realised the extent of Gates' snake oil dealership. Never trusted 'em from that day onward.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

chthon Anything I can play in DOSBox (669 comments)

and which does not take too much time

  1. Railroad Tycoon
  2. A-Train
  3. Master of Magic
  4. SSG Battlefront games

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

chthon Re:Labview (876 comments)

Yes. The thing about Simulink and the places where I have seen it used is very domain specific, e.g. transmission systems. These have to handle torque, acceleration and speed, three well-understood and relatively simple things.

Business software is much more complex in the kinds of things it needs to handle, and one fool can ask more questions than a thousand wise men can answer.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

chthon Re:The more simple you make it the less complex it (876 comments)

Hardware is relatively simple: there is only one kind of signal, a boolean. All properties of electronics, in relationship with this, are more or less known.

Now, most programs do not process simple boolean values, but characters, numbers, strings and combinations thereof. The way these things are processed, depends on their semantic values, something that must first be put into the computer before it becomes possible to even try to build a program generator (because that is what is done by graphical environments).

I have worked with different environments which generate code, and they are good for starting, but not good for building everything.

In code, the main mantra is: one fool can raise more questions than a thousand wise men can answer.

Software is limited by GÃdel's theorem: with one kind of consistent program it is possible to do what you want, but there will always be some wetware which asks something which cannot be implemented by such a program.

about 6 months ago
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Pirate Bay Block Lifted In the Netherlands

chthon Stupid organisations (118 comments)

Dutch BREIN and Belgium's BAF, two stupid vampyric, leaching organisations, with obnoxious music and an idiot commercial at the beginning of all DVD's sold here in Holland and Belgium.

I find it heartening that BREIN needs to pay the legal costs.

about 6 months ago
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GNU Octave Gets a GUI

chthon Re:Who the fuck wants to use GNU trash? (166 comments)

From experience, when doing my thesis:

For my thesis, I had to implement something (DSP) which was part of my advisor's doctorate. This entailed computing a whole lot of constants for a FIR filter. My advisor had implemented this using symbolic computation, which apparently worked up to MATLAB 2007, but not any more on more recent versions. When I tried his code on the school computers, I got no answers, or the code kept on running, so I could not obtain implementation constants for this filter.

Well, symbolic computation did not work either on Octave, but I could install it on all my computers, so I did not need to either buy a version, run with an illegal version or only do my computations in school.

I solved the problem, by the way, using convolution, which was much faster, and always worked.

I suppose that the main reason for people using MATLAB professionally, is in the more advanced tools which are built on top of the basic layer, like Simulink and model-based design, which are missing in Octave. Anyone know how SciLab stacks up in this region against MATLAB?

about 7 months ago

Submissions

chthon hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Suiker

chthon chthon writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Suiker! Een voedingsstof die niet tot ons basisvoedsel behoort en die allerlei negatieve effecten heeft op de volksgezondheid van de westerse, geindustrialiseerde landen.

Vooraleer Amerika werd ontdekt en de Engelsen het suikerriet begonnen te ontginnen op de Caraiben, bestond suiker eenvoudigweg niet. Om dingen te zoeten werd honing gebruikt. In het begin van de negentiende eeuw zochten geleerden op het Europese vasteland een andere bron van suiker omdat de Engelsen alles in handen hadden en Napoleon boycotten. Zij vonden de suikerbiet en de moderne suikerindustrie was geboren.

Europees commissaris voor Landbouw Fischler zou graag hebben dat de suikerprijzen dalen.

Wat is de reden hiervoor eigenlijk ? Hij wil de markt vrijer maken zodat er meer concurrentie is, en hij wil ook allerhande subsidies afschaffen.

Het gevolg is dat overal ter wereld de suikerprijzen zullen dalen, en daar wordt niemand goed van, noch de ACP landen, noch de Europese suikerbietentelers, maar ook de bevolking niet.

Als de prijzen van de suiker dalen, dan zullen er minder mensen hun inkomen halen uit suiker, dit betekent meer armoede.

Als de prijzen van suiker dalen, dan zal dit ook een extra negatief effect hebben op de volksgezondheid, die toch al niet te best is.

Men zou juist zijn best moeten doen over de ganse wereld om de prijs van de suiker omhoog te drijven, zodat er minder suiker gegeten wordt en de daarbij behorende welvaartsziekten verminderen.

Ik heb niets tegen Europa, ik ben blij dat het er is, want het garandeert vrede in een grote regio, het heeft economische voordelen en het vrij verkeer door gans de Unie van personen en goederen vereenvoudigt heel wat.

Het grote probleem met de EU is evenwel de schizofrenie die is ontstaan tussen de Europese Commissie en het Europees Parlement.

Als ik het mij goed herinner zijn ministers er om besluiten genomen door het parlement uit te voeren, niet om zelf besluiten te nemen.

Het feit dat de heer Fischler een maatregel wil introduceren die in feite niets dan negatieve gevolgen heeft, is voor mij een duidelijk voorbeeld van de stompzinnige kortzichtigheid die op dit ogenblik overal heerst op de ganse wereld op alle niveaus van leidinggevenden.

Het lijkt mij dat de mensen die voordien de Europese Unie hebben opgericht zich veel meer lieten bijstaan door specialisten om hen raad te geven, terwijl het tegenwoordig meer bon-ton is om autoritair op te treden vanuit de gedachte 'ik zit hier op mijn hoge post, dus alles wat ik zeg zal wel juist zijn, ik wens geen tegenspraak'.

Het web is in feite de ideale plaats om het verzet tegen deze maatregel te organiseren. Iedereen die zijn geld verdient met suikergewassen te verbouwen kan wederzijdse contacten leggen, maar dit kan aangevuld worden met raad van specialisten die voorspellingen kunnen doen voor de volksgezondheid en wat dit gaat kosten aan extra ziekteverzekering als suiker en alle daarvan afgeleide producten goedkoper zullen worden.

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chthon chthon writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It's probably two years since I registered as chthon on Slashdot. I have never used the journal before, although I have opinions on many things. My problem is that before long, my opinion becomes a rant which goes on in all directions.

I thought about it some time, and the advantage of this Slashdot journal is that I do not need a real website, nor that I have to go through the trouble to install blogging software.

It is on the Web, I can use it if I want to.

My personal goals in using this journal are :

  • Clear up my mind around a whole lot of topics that are waiting.
  • Learn to write creatively.
  • Try to write as writers that I like, with different purposes for different writers (want some names ? Vance for his eloquence, Voltaire for his nasty pen, Demosthenes to learn how to convince people).

I will also write some times in Dutch, because there are some topics here in Europe that must be discussed. If I have time I will translate them, which is also a good exercise (it is easier for me to write in English than to translate from Dutch to English).

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