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Comments

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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

malkavian Re:But are they being forced? (213 comments)

Nice when you get the time to develop every system from scratch, and don't have multiple departments saying "We need this now". And actually meaning it.
Then having to ensure that what you've put in place stays up with a 24x7x365 uptime requirement, and recoverability to the last transaction.
Oh, and hey, this thing that some department has purchased because they couldn't wait for the system to created, it only runs on another version of Linux (or on Windows with SQL Server!).. They need that put in there too.. You say no? The execs say yes, as they're already bought into it.
And the regular programming load while you're setting this in? Not getting any lighter.
Building things back to initial point in time is simple; any full fledged config management system can do that at the press of a button. Keeping it running, tuned, and error free.. That's the interesting bit.

yesterday
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

malkavian DevOps that work.. (213 comments)

A working DevOps group should be an amalgamation of the Dev team and Ops teams.
Trying to forge one team where everyone knows everything simply sets a level of mediocrity; you can research so far down an avenue in a given time, and get only so good at it.
I've learned from the ground up (i.e. electronics, basics of VLSI, board design, basic OS design, all layers of the stack programming), and went from there on to system admin. Then did a stint as a developer using the knowledge that I had from my earlier history, and found that the sysop area of my knowledge atrophied in the detail (and the devil is _always_ in the detail) the more I concentrated on being a better dev.
Went back to more of the operator/business side of things, and lo and behold, the more I go into systems and how to put together a proper reliable, recoverable infrastructure, the more my dev is atrophying. I'm half management these days, which means the ops side _and_ the dev side are both atrophying. The guys that do it in a dedicated fashion are more familiar with the latest tech than I am..

You can be a jack of all trades.. But I seriously hope a company doesn't rely on you to get them out of trouble when the fecal matter hits the fan.. If you've been spending most of your time developing, with the nod to tuning the servers so your app runs better, you're not likely to have been able to put the time in to develop the wider infrastructure to support things going fubar, or had the time and concentration to really work out what is likely to get you.

Having a few people marked as DevOps would be useful when you need to populate a middle ground.. They can work with both dedicated ops, and dedicated dev to ensure that scalability is baked in, and resilience is baked in to the apps. When it comes to ensuring the boxes are kept in tidy order for everyone, and get to be able to recover from the smoking ruins.. That's where the dedicated ops shine. When you really want that app to do something really slick, that's when a dedicated dev shines.

Small scale, a DevOps person would work. The larger you scale, the less appropriate it becomes (as the only solution; a big company with the techs being solely a DevOps team would scare me).

yesterday
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

malkavian Re:Quid pro quo here. (1109 comments)

True, but if you really disagreed with it sufficiently, then you'd certainly not be donating money to them. At most, it would be an irrelevance. Except, of course, if you can use it against someone else to your advantage..

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

malkavian Re:The Re-Hate Campaign (1109 comments)

You know, it's practically impossible to do anything these days without supporting someone, or something that'll supress the rights of others..
Ever bought anything made in China? If you have, congratulations. You've funded the suppression of rights on a massive scale.

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

malkavian Re:i don't understand (564 comments)

Where, oh where does he epouse the views that Gays are inferior to non-gay? You're setting up a straw man argument right there.
This is nothing to do with that at all. What's actually happened as an extension of all the racism laws is that if you're an ethnic minority, you actually get to be recist to everybody, and that's legally ok (affirmative action anyone? It's not positive discrimination of a small group, it's negative discrimination against a majority).
It seems that everyone seems to be saying "You're white, therefore you're racist".. Yet if your skin isn't white, you can throw around racial epithets and people fight your corner.. After being up in front of a tribunal for calling a co-councilor in Bristol "A coconunt" (brown on the outside, white on the inside, which is apparently a standard parlance in the Black/Ethnic Minority groups, and perfectly acceptable in their eyes, one councillor brown said in her defence, shocked that she was charged with being racist "I can't be racist because I'm black".
That's the view in the political factions all to often..
So perhaps that is what's happening with the LGBT scene these days.. They're generally socially accepted these days, the same as anyone else (actually, probably more so than me, because I'm an introvert by nature).. Just when someone isn't happy with it, they get a huge spitting mob behind them.
Another great example, a Gay couple wanted to stop in a B&B. When they said they wanted a double room together, the old lady running it said no.. She didn't want unmarried people sharing beds under her roof. There was a national scandal, and the landlady was hauled through the courts, and had the national newpapers hounding her (and making her quite ill). What came out at the end of this was that she didn't let _any_ unmarried people, gay, straight, whatever share beds (officially) under her roof as it made her uncomfortable. Everyone else was ok with this, or went elsewhere (she provided alternative places very locally that would cater to this quite happily).. Gay people stayed there and were happy (and she never had objection to that, or asked, or batted an eyelid if it was brought up). It was a Gay couple that decided that her wishes about unmarried sexual behaviour didn't apply to them. They made it all a political showcase, dragging her through the mud, even when it was made plain to them it was about anything but their being gay or not.
That's the problem with this focussed "anti-homophobia", "anti-racist" thing. It's gone from being a way of stopping very serious discrimination into being a weapon of discrimination against those you have a personal problem with.

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

malkavian Re:And where is the news? (564 comments)

"The articles just points out how much damage the bigot views of Mr. Eich could have caused Mozilla and the employees of Mozilla were more then justified to call for his resignation. If you believes and actions are damaging the company you are suppose to represent, then you are not fit to be the CEO."

His views weren't bigot views. He's very friendly with the LGBT community in general, but his views on marriage don't happen to coincide. He didn't go hounding them out of jobs etc. He just expressed a view, and put his money where his mouth is. You know, freedom of speech and all that. And freedom of religion (hey, Jesus is recorded in the Bible as being against gay marriage, so is it unsurprising that a religious guy would listen to that, and also go on record that he 'believes' in the teachings of his religion)?
So, harm to his employees? Not so much.
His actions (inventing JavaScript, founding the Mozilla foundation, attending talks and seriously doing a lot of good in the developer and open world) are what he should be judged by in terms of his fitness to run the company, and I find those credentials a lot better than the mob howling for blood.

So, if you think Google are perfectly in the right to withhold money from Mozilla because of someone's personal opinion, then is it also fine to start withholding money for pro LGBT organisations because they say things that you think may be damaging? Really? You're opening that Pandora's box?

By all means, consider the guy as having had a dickish moment in supporting the organisations. But considering that as something that makes him unworthy to run an organisation? Wow..

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

malkavian Re:And yet they supported Obama (564 comments)

Well, Jesus was apparently against it too.. Doesn't stop any pro-gay marriage people saying Jesus was great and hanging off his every word.. Apart from that bit of course because lalalalalalalala..

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

malkavian Re:The new Hitlers (564 comments)

Apart from it being a Religious term (in the Bible, it mentions that marriage is between a husband and wife, being man and woman).
That's part of the base scripture. Apparently the word of God.
So, you get people turning up and saying "I believe in the word of God, but I don't like that word of God, so I'm going to have the whole lot of you change your beliefs so I can feel happier".
Not saying that shouldn't happen, but when there are civil ceremonies around, it does seem very hypocritical.
Basically, what you're saying is "I want to get married in the eye of God", when God has put down that it is really not very happy with that happening at all. So by the belief system, what you're saying is "I wan't to flaunt this in front of you and there's sod all you can do about it".

A possibly less confrontational way round this is to just start a religion that does't have the figures that have said things in conflict with what you want to happen, and go with that, and its marriage systems and so on.

about two weeks ago
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More On the Disposable Tech Worker

malkavian Re:Recycle! (323 comments)

Also, this guy hasn't been educated in hard tech. So by his argument, he has no knowledge of it, as it deviates massively from his education.
Given that he has no knowledge of how it operates, dictating how it is going to operate is extremely likely to be entirely incorrect.
This is another example of "Everyone knows the sun and stars revolve around the earth" type thinking.

about a month ago
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Ex-Head of Troubled Health Insurance Site May Sue, Citing 'Cover-Up'

malkavian Believable.. (162 comments)

I can pretty much believe it..
In the Govenmental areas, there are so many people that are used to being able to say "Yes, but wouldn't it be a great idea if...".. And when they're told no, it's not possible in the current scope, they bring in all kinds of political manoeuvers to make life extremely difficult unless it gets added (and these manoeuvers can extend time drastically). So, more gets added that they should have identified initially. Or it can be a 'clarification'. "Oh, we meant this.. In this context.. Sort of. Until we change our minds."
They aren't used to thinking critically. They aren't used to doing specifications (and they actively resist attempts to perform a full specification gather, as "they don't have time for all those useless questions". They have "things to do,don't you know").
That's when it starts out as a big project.. Some smaller ones can actually start with a well defined set of requirements, and be entirely achievable. They other people hear that there's funding attached to a project, so they want a slice of the pie.. Get themselves on the steering groups, have the "bright ideas that weren't there originally that just _have_ to be put in there now", and move things in an entirely different direction. Or at least pull in it, as there are usually a whole bunch of people pulling in different directions, getting opposing things added to the requirements.

Sometimes you get lucky and find that there's someone with clout who is also technically savvy, and they can stamp on internal rubbish and let a project go properly.. Unfortunately, they're reasonably rare, and the voices that understand the reality of it are drowned out by the higher management that haven't touched tech, don't understand it, don't want to understand it, and believe if they have a bright idea, someone will wave a magic wand and the solution will magically appear.

about a month ago
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Enlightenment E19 To Have Full Wayland Support

malkavian Re:This is a shame (140 comments)

Think you're confusing the acronym.. DRM in this context is Direct Rendering Manager.

about a month ago
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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

malkavian Ok.. (529 comments)

So it's good for the individual. I suspect that for the society as a whole, it wouldn't be good for everyone to have that marker.
So sometimes people get to be more optimistic about things.. Great.. It's nice when I meet people like that, who pull me into their happy world (and yes, I appreciate it).. My own.. Well, I see the world without the niceties. I'm prone to depression. But there again, I get to use it in work, and in life. Out of the larger group, I'm usually the one who adds in the dose of reality when people need the hard advice, or a plan that has the greatest chance of succeeding. I prep them to get through tough times without sugar coating. I pick up on loads of things that people with a brighter mindset miss.
The disadvantage is that I'm not a happy-go-lucky person most of the time.
That's where the strength of real diversity comes in. A mix of mindsets covers all angles, and has a good chance of working more comfortably in the long haul. The group can play to the strengths of the individuals. The problems start when people start decreeing that their viewpoint is the only valid one in all cases. Unfortunately, religion has a lot of that in it. Not a problem for the individual, but perhaps a huge one for those around.

about a month ago
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Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

malkavian Re:Learn some algebra first (313 comments)

For very basic programming, the core is functional decomposition (breaking things down into manageable components). This is a hearty part of critical thinking, and problem solving.
Having more people familiar with that would help solve a lot of things.

about a month and a half ago
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Scottish Independence Campaign Battles Over BBC Weather Forecast

malkavian Re:Like nails on a chalk board (286 comments)

Subtle does not have the biggest effect on a person's view of the world. Obvious does.
Subtle is if I try to get your attention by tapping you on the shoulder gently.
Obvious is if I whack you round the head with a cricket bat to gain your attention.
There are points when subtle does not matter one jot. It's used for delicacy and very minute adjustments (thus, subtle).

about a month and a half ago
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Windows 8 Metro: The Good Kind of Market Segmentation?

malkavian Re:Really?!?! (389 comments)

Depends on the scale of the data center.
If somewhere has the big bucks to spend on the high end, and shells out the big bucks to get great people, then sure. Core and powershell is the way to go.
However, there are a huge amount of places that still need a gui (hell, external vendors doing installs can be a problem on core, as they usually need GUIs to do config work).
GUI is still useful, though becoming deprecated on a server. Doesn't mean we're there yet.
But nothing needs metro on the server desktop. That's adding cruft to an established utility for no gain whatsoever. None. It shouldn't be there.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

malkavian Depends on what you really want to do with it. (876 comments)

There are graphics languages starting to appear (like Scratch), which let you build blocks of code up, without really understanding what code is. There's also a shot at converting natural language requests to SQL.
It will be suitable for some thing, but there will be a definite limit. And that's part of what you need to define very early on.
If you're trying to work on something that just needs to work out simple cycles, and get some very basic, and pretty general work done, then sure. You can do that, but your mathematical error bars increase in size for all the parts that you don't consider.
If you just work at a high level, sure.. But the chance for error/misunderstanding creeps in massively, the closer to spoken/natural language, or the closer the program is to a set of building blocks you can add together.
The reason code is textual, is so you can specify, in the language that a computer will understand, exactly what you want it to do. The same as when you're writing a project document that you really want a business to get right, the specification for it is in incredibly dry language (not normally spoken), and absolutely full of technical jargon to do with the subject matter at hand. That's precisely so you remove all ambiguity (or as much as you're capable of anyway).
Any task in life you want to complete well, you need to understand deeply, and in detail. If you're not willing to dive in, and expect things to be very simple, so you can just sit down and do it anytime, tabula rasa, then you'll eternally be stuck at a very amateur level.
That may be all you need, in which case, fine.. Go for it.
But the real code is there for the same reason as formal methods are still used in design (there's no ambiguity).

about 2 months ago
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Creationism In Texas Public Schools

malkavian Those who don't learn from History.. (770 comments)

There's a historical analogy to all this going on: Until the rennaissance, the middle east was vastly more advanced than the West (it had medicine, mathematics and so on that just weren't known in the west until scholars studied there). Arabic was the language of trade, commerce and learning during the centuries of its pre-eminence as a cultural and scholarly center.
People would come from all areas of the 'civilised world' (this didn't really include Europe at this point, apart from maybe Italy) to study.

The problems arose with the ascendancy of a faction (Asharite) which was distinctly anti-rationalist. It gained increasing popularity over the Mutazilite faction (which had led the Islamic world to scientific ascendancy over centuries, epousing the Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, and following in those traditions).
As the power of the Asharites grew, scientific advancement in the middle east stagnated, and eventually it became a crime to copy philosophical texts, as they were an abhorrence in the eyes of God. These sins would eventually be punishable by executions, and the candle of scientific advancement was effectively snuffed out.

Compare this to today. From England grew a large empire (comparable effectively with the Islamic Caliphate) crossing many countries, and being quite the center of learning. People came from all over to study in England. This Empire has been largely disbanded, but the strings of learning have still carried on beyond it.
Over the last hundred years or so, the power and center of effective empire has shifted to America as the rationalist factions invested in learning, keeping church and state separate (as the founders would probably have been painfully aware of the problems of allowing them to merge), and ensuring minds could be kept open, and difficult questions asked.

However, there's now a growing push towards anti-rationalism. It hides itself within the main power structure, and has permeated the political strata to a huge extent (I believe the parts of the national pledge that mention god were only included in the 50s or 60s, never having been present before then), and seems to be getting ever more powerful. Parts of the population (and I've met them on travels) consider it taboo to "Trust science" as it's all God's Will. Exactly analogous to the Asharite faction of a thousand years ago.
We know what happens if that faction gains ascendancy. Scientific tradition fails, as being an intellectual makes you a threat to the religious theocrats, and they're very good at getting rid of threats, and making it 'acceptable', even desirable that these people are removed.
Arabic ceased to be the language of trade and learning once the Asharites gained ascendancy and the Islamic world was in their grip. They were overtaken by the West, which had learned from their teaching earlier, and took on the torch passed to them by the Greeks even earlier.

Nowadays, China is investing massively in education, and particularly science; their technological base has caught up with the Western World at a furious pace. This, quite possibly, is a saving grace; it means that there are definitely alternatives to keep learning alive, just in case the anti-rationalists that are gaining traction in America manage to topple it from within. It would likely mean that the language of trade and learning becomes Chinese, but hey, the world can survive that quite easily.
I guess we see if history does indeed repeat itself, or whether humanity, as a species, has got any brighter since the last time this rise and fall happened.

about 3 months ago
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Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

malkavian Re: Why so much butthurt? (399 comments)

Well, the most blatant occurrence of racism I've come across in recent years was in a council meeting in Bristol, UK... An Asian councillor was told in open session that she was "a coconut" (meaning brown on the outside, but white on the inside). This was applied in a very derogatory context. This was said on the record by another councillor.. You'd think they'd be reprimanded at the very least but no.. Entirely swept under the carpet, until the recipient of the slur called for an investigation into why a blatantly show of racism wasn't handled.
When questioned in the investigation why the offending councillor had made a racist comment on the record, she replied "I can't be racist, because I'm black.".
This does kind of point out what gets many people riled up; if you have a non-white skin, then it's strongly implied by many that the only part of racism they play a part in is as a victim, never as an attacker. This is blatantly untrue; whatever colour of skin you have, you're human, and that carries (in most, if not all cases), a bias towards the similar that's been wired into us over thousands (if not millions) of years. We're growing up as a species and overcoming that now, but it's entirely pointless to believe racism isn't universal. It is.

The point of all this though us that the original tweet was plain stupid (the implication that she couldn't get AIDS in Africa because she was white). Factually wrong, which makes her look stupid, and I. Pretty poor taste. The kind of thing that you can look at and say "you tit". Then you get in with life, and deal with real issues.

However, this mob frenzy every time there's even a whiff of the word "racism" or similar is what the author of the article is calling out as being thuggish and oppressive, and distinctly worrying.

There is no "right to be a bit of a dick", and when we are (face it, everyone is a dick sometimes; you, me, and everyone we know). Mostly, it's a momentary lapse in judgement, or an overreaction when we're emotionally slightly compromised..
However, it takes a monumentally idiotic, callous and narrow minded person to bay for blood and hound them out of a job, threaten them, harrass them and so on; all responses which seem "politically acceptable" these days.

That tacit acceptance of gross overreaction is just plain scary. It's the same conditioned reflex you see in religious zealots calling holy war because someone dared draw a picture of their prophet, or take the name of their deity in vain, or believe that science is wrong because it says something different to their couple of thousand year old holy writings.

This kind of behaviour is way beyond being a bit of a dick, and puts you squarely in the "scary wack job" category. The one that people get nervous around when they pick up the cutlery.

It's not about "defending racism" or such, it's about admitting we all have a lot of growing up to do.. Especially collectively as a species.

about 4 months ago
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A Review of the "Mental Illness" Definition Might Prevent Crime

malkavian Re:Talking about "put away" ... (260 comments)

Do note that the stress here that the GP was focussing on was the repeat offenders, who had known mental issues and "excuses" were made to try and ameliorate the sentence as they had "diminished responsibility" in form or another, as if that suddenly made it alright.
Clue; it doesn't make it alright.
It used to be (in the bad old days) that if you were said to be guilty (on easily trumped or minor charges), you were in a whole world of serious pain, and your survival could be uncertain.
These days, people readily leap to make excuses for the behaviour, and the rights of the offenders are treated as sacrosanct (despite the fact that the offenders will readily trample someone else's rights if and when it suits them without any thought at all), and they're treated with kid gloves.
When a psychological problem is identified as the root cause, why not protect society, and give someone room to recover from trauma in a safe, supportive environment until they're ready.. And come down hard on those that are just nasty scrotes by choice?

about 4 months ago
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Disabled Woman Denied Entrance To US Due To Private Medical Records

malkavian Re:While... (784 comments)

Depression _is_ an emotional problem.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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The rise of Copyfraud: Stealing the Public Domain.

malkavian malkavian writes  |  more than 4 years ago

malkavian writes "One of the largest complaints that arise time and again in many public forms, Slashdot especially, is the very much one sided approach to Copyright, and the not-so-slow erosion of the public domain.
On top of the Corporate lobbying to remove increasingly larger parts of the Public Domain, there is now a move that's becoming increasingly common, whereby works are directly taken from the Public Domain and effectively stolen by a single company leveraging protections provided under Copyright Law.
The register is carrying an article on this, based on a paper by Jason Mazzone at the Brookly Law School which details in a stark way the problems that are now becoming evident by an overly strong Copyright system, whereby the one that claims Copyright (no matter how falsely) is the one that gets control over a given resource. It also shows other power grabs (some being made with good intentions) that are being made over a resource which should have no governing entity, and and should belong freely, and with no encumberance, to all.
Rather than just provide problems, some possible solutions are also proposed, which should give everyone good food for debate as to their possible efficacy."
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RealNetworks sues the major US Movie Studios

malkavian malkavian writes  |  more than 4 years ago

malkavian (9512) writes "In an interesting turn of events, RealNetworks, who produced a product called "RealDVD" to back up a DVD complete with the encryption keys is baring its fangs at the major US Movie studios.
In essence, it is claiming that because the studios granted it a legal license to use the CSS decryption system, just because it is using that licence in an unexpected (but not explicitly denied) way, then the action taken by the movie studios against it to get the product taken off the market falls under the provision of the anti-trust laws."

Link to Original Source
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UK Government embraces Open Source software

malkavian malkavian writes  |  more than 5 years ago

malkavian (9512) writes "The BBC is reporting that in a rare outbreak of common sense, the UK Government is now taking a long overdue stance on the treatment of Open Source, and standards compliance of its systems.
The caveat to the article mentioned is still that the Open Source solution should be considered "when it delivers best value for money", which will still likely be an exercise in manipulations of statistics and "Total Cost of Ownership" figures.
It shows that there is now concern over licensing issues, ability to have software modified such that it may be able to perform tasks specific to the organisations, actually being able to communicate with everyone (rather than only people who have invested in a particular version of a proprietary application), getting true value for money in a competitive market, and being able to store information in a well understood and open format that will still be readable in years to come."
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Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy travels again.

malkavian malkavian writes  |  more than 5 years ago

malkavian (9512) writes "The BBC reports that the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is gaining a new instalment, despite the sad demise of its author Douglas Adams in 2001.
Adams's wife has given the approval for the continuation of more than slightly surreal adventures to Eoin Colfer, the author of the popular Artemis Fowl series of children's books.

While many fans of the series will likely be sceptical about the series being penned by a new author, surprisingly (or perhaps not) this is a sentiment that is echoed by Colfer himself, as another ardent fan of the series. Hopefully, this stance of a good author (personally, I really like Colfer's works, and his general offbeat and slightly surreal style) with a genuine passion for the subject will bring to life a new work that even Douglas Adams would have approved of.
In this world of increasingly restrictive Copyright Law, where everyone seems to be holding on to works for dear life (or grim cash), it seems good to see new life and new stories in a much respected setting by an enthusiastic, passionate, and genuinely fitting author."

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