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Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

paai are you serious? (221 comments)

Are you serious? Just get a small smartphone and clip to a strap on your underarm when you enter the clean room. I do it under similar circumstances (not a clean room, quite the opposite)

Paai

2 days ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

paai Re:C++ is C (641 comments)

I was and still am a pretty accomplished C prorammer, and can find my way in assembly. Then C++ came along and everybody seemed to jump on that bandwagon. I couldn't and many of my collegues either. When you have progressed to far along the procedural path, it seems to be impossible to wrap your head around the object oriented paradigma. That is why I also never got into Java.

Paai

about two weeks ago
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A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?

paai Re:I understand but I also don't (274 comments)

WTF is David Hasselhof? Should I know?
(short visit to Google)
Oh, some american actor.

about three weeks ago
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Ukraine's IT Brigade Supports the Troops

paai no propaganda at slashdot (140 comments)

I feel that this is just Ukrainian propaganda and has no place in Slashdot.

Paai

about a month ago
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Entrepreneur Injects Bitcoin Wallets Into Hands

paai Hacking hands (77 comments)

The phrase "hacking hands" suddenly acquires a lot more meaning...

Paai

about a month ago
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A Library For Survival Knowledge

paai catch 22 (272 comments)

If we fall back to the technological level of the middle ages, kickstarting a new 20th-century like civilization is impossible. To create such a civilization, you need energy. Almost all resources like coal and oil have depleted to the point that you need a very complex society to win them. But to exploit sun or wind energy on a sufficient scale, you also need the resources of a large technology pyramid.

Again, if you want to keep individuals to try and recreate our technology, you need a society with a certain level of sophistication so that you can afford people that do not directly work for food prodution.

Catch 22.

Finally, if you want to cut all possible corners in research and production, you need a very strong central governement that keeps the focus on those developments. That will not be possible without a fascistoid state.

Perhaps we should take care to avoid bringing our civilization down.

Paai

about 2 months ago
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Has Flow-Based Programming's Time Arrived?

paai We already have this. It is called "Unix" (268 comments)

As some other people already remarked, on the face of it this looks like the venerable Unix approach of small tools in a script. My point is that the real world outside, that you are trying to capture in a programming language, can be very complicated. For some domains, e.g. logic or arithmetics, the language can be pretty complicated too - see APL, LISP or Prolog.

But in thirty years of programming (computational linguistiscs), I have found that Unix scripts, awk and plain C covered pretty much 90% of (my) programming needs. If and when necessary I tacked on a larger database system. Of course I tried the new (well, in the nineties they were new) OO systems, but I rapidly got lost in a jungle of libraries and methods and even more documentation. Compare that to the almost ascetic (and aesthetic) clarity of the Unix environment.

Yes, I feel that Unix still has a lot of mileage in it and intentionally or not, this item and the reactions on it, confirm me in this view

Paai

about a year ago
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Notification UI Overhauled in KDE 4.10 (And a Plan For Modernized Notifications)

paai Re:Don't repeat Akonadi (67 comments)

I agree 150%. Much as I like KDE and Kubuntu, my strong advice would be a complete feature freeze an concentrate on all the bugs. Every new distribution has dozens of applications unexpectedly misbehaving, many of them are not fixed after updates that themselves introduce other problems again...for gods sake first fix all the broken stuff. I more than once mailed this to the K-people, but they do not even answer.

Paai

more than 2 years ago
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Stanford Researchers Discover the 'Anternet'

paai pratchett? (133 comments)

Does nobody read discworld any more? Where ants act as bits in a magical computer?
Paai

more than 2 years ago
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Nicholas Carr Foresees Brains Optimized For Browsing

paai Macluhan revisited (110 comments)

Excuse me, but isn't this just a rehash of what Macluhan already stated some fifty years ago?
Paai

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

paai the space merchants (1244 comments)

So far nobody mentioned 'the space merchants' by Pohl and Kornbluth, somewhere late fifties early suxties. Convincing story about consumerism and marketing run wild.

Paai

more than 2 years ago
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Oldest Submerged City Visualized With CGI

paai mary renault... (84 comments)

Since nobody mentioned 'the king must die' as yet, I will.
Paai

more than 3 years ago
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Sony, Universal Hope To Beat Piracy With 'Instant Pop'

paai Even faster obsolence. (369 comments)

Western culture, including the pop culture has long suffered from the idea that 'new is good'. This idea naturally was fostered by commercial empires, that depended on this idea to rapidly dismiss old music, movies, clothes for new items, regardless of the intrinsic value of the old products.

It seems that Sony and Universal have pursued this idea to the next step.

Paai

more than 3 years ago
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Statistical Analysis of Terrorism

paai Re:not enough data for such conclusions (265 comments)

No, I really am a computational linguist with a great interest in power laws as applicable to communication.

about 4 years ago
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Statistical Analysis of Terrorism

paai Re:not enough data for such conclusions (265 comments)

Well, I plead guilty to being a computational linguist... but inspired by Zipf and Mandelbrot, I have messed around a lot with all kinds of communication data and generally you need a hundred thousand or more.

about 4 years ago
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Statistical Analysis of Terrorism

paai not enough data for such conclusions (265 comments)

I doubt very much that there is enough terrorism-related data to have much confidence in this analysis. You need quantities lijke the number of words in a book to extract with any confidence Zipfs law or most other power laws. Even then, there are enough deviations from the straight line (on logscale, of course) to make the drawing of conclusions a very interesting job indeed.

Paai

about 4 years ago
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Next Generation of Algorithms Inspired by Ants

paai Re:"Anthill Inside" (106 comments)

To begin with, a sucessor/collaborator for Pratchett would have to be sixtyish, like Pratchett himself (and yours truly). That is because he draws so heavily from his experiences as an very intelligent observer of the second half of the 20th century, including the fifties and sixties. I *know* that my 25 and 28 years old daughters are Pratchett adepts, and I always wonder in how far they get the allusions, and if not, why they can enjoy the books so much.

You mentioned Good Omens, which certainly is one of the best (and which incidentally depends very much on biblical knowledge), but ithat book certainly is not the result of a slick writer taking over from a dead or retiring author.

about 4 years ago
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Next Generation of Algorithms Inspired by Ants

paai Re:"Anthill Inside" (106 comments)

"Terry Pratchetts Diskworld, in association with X" is a possibility that I did not yet even consider. Some things are too horrific even to think about.

But the day that people so completely lost their cultural roots that Salomon is forgotten, will be a black day indeed.

about 4 years ago
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Next Generation of Algorithms Inspired by Ants

paai Re:"Anthill Inside" (106 comments)

I *like* Pratchett, but Salomon came first :-)

about 4 years ago
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Knuth Plans 'Earthshaking Announcement' Wednesday

paai Somebody found a bug in TeX? (701 comments)

Hasn't Knuth an award out for everybody who found a bug in TeX? Somebody must have found one :-)

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Microsoft problems hit dutch police force

paai paai writes  |  more than 4 years ago

paai (162289) writes "The dutch police departments north of the great rivers, which covers somewhat more than half of the country have been struggling for weeks with really serious network problems. The cause has been found in a malfunction during the installation of a Microsoft service pack. The police says that it will be weeks before the network will be functioning again. See http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/65040/politie--netwerkstoring-duurt-nog-weken.html (dutch)
This is bad enough in itself, as it effectively cuts out half of the connections, so that officers will have to do their administration on their home computers, or even by hand. It also means that statistical processing of incidents is impossible.
What worries me even more is that police data typically contain sensitive information that you would not want to fall in wrong hands and we all know the track record of Microsoft when it comes to security."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft-only submissions to conferences.

paai paai writes  |  more than 6 years ago

paai writes "A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work with the scholarly community of Cultural Heritage, as opposed to the Artificial Intelligence crowd that I normally associate with. But whereas conferences on AI as a matter of fact accept papers in LaTeX or PDF, the conferences on cultural heritage seem to be Microsoft only, and I really get problems when I submit my papers in PDF, ODT or even in the DOC format that is generated by Openoffice.

As a matter of fact it seems that if I do not use Word, I often cannot publish my papers. I cannot even blame the organizers of the conferences, because they have to comply with the guidelines of the publishers, and they just do not accept papers that are not written in Word.
Walk away from such conferences really is no option, because in academia you live or die with the number of publications and I just cannot afford to ignore Microsoft-only conferences.
My question to the slashdot community is NOT whether I should publish or perish. What I should like to know is if there is a central forum or organization that is attended by the organizers of conferences in general and where I can draw attention to this problem.

Paai"

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