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Comments

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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

1 year,2 days
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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

about 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

about 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.

more than 3 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.

more than 3 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

more than 3 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.

more than 3 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.

more than 3 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 :-)

more than 3 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
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$1 Trillion In Minerals Found In Afghanistan

paai Why do American minerals... (688 comments)

Why do American minerals always end up in the soil of other countries?

paai

more than 4 years ago
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Some Early Adopters Stung By Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

paai wlan stopped working (1231 comments)

I upgraded from 9.04 to 9.10 on two desktop machines, a laptop and a netbook.

* On the laptop, the wlan (rt61-based) stopped working. After searching the bug database and Google, this appeared a known issue, but the laptop is unuseable for work untill I buy myself an USB dongle. I really was upset about this.

* On one dektop several graphic features of the KDE destop stopped working, such as the revolving cube.

* There are unresolved issues with the fonts of thunderbird. This seems to be related to the use of KDE over an NX connection.

There are some bugs that I hoped/expected to be solved after the upgrade, but still are not working satisfactorily:

* syncing Evolution with a Palm Treo is not yet without problems, like the duplication of entries and having to reconfigure bluetooth after every sync.

* kpilot still a mess, Actually I consider it a total loss that cannot be salvaged any more.

* scrolling of firefox still too slow. This is a problem over a NX connection.

more than 4 years ago
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Shuttleworth Suggests 1-Way Valve For User Experience Testing

paai priority number one: pda support (757 comments)

I would expect one of the most important features for a good desktop, the ability to use all functions of the PDA from the desktop, before all, effortless syncing of calendar, contacts and memos.

As far as I know, there is only a single line of PDAs that more or less can sync with Linux: the PALM based ones. Even then, there are all kinds of problems. Kpilot did work after a fashion with KDE3, but it is hopelessly broken with KDE4 because of the Akonadi disaster. Evolution does sync, even with bluetooth, but there still are some bugs. Jpilot works fine, but only over a serial link, and it is a stand-alone application.

If you don't have a Palm (and they are really old fashioned nowadays), the situation is worse. I know of no modern PDA, that is guaranteed to sync with the Linux desktop. Sometimes, partial succes is reported, but even then we are not talking out-of-the-box solutions. There is always a fair amount fiddling with libraries, (re)compiling, much burning of incense and never 100% functionality.

Somebody tell that to marc shuttleworth...

Hans Paijmans
 

about 5 years ago
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New York Times Site Pop-Up Says Your Computer Is Infected

paai also at least one dutch site with this problem (403 comments)

yesterday I got this fake when visiting www.tvgids.nl. As I use Linux, for me it is of academic interest only, but I thought it dangerous enough to inform the administrator of that site.

Paai

more than 5 years ago
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Science, Technology, Natural History Museums?

paai Deutsches Museum at Munich (435 comments)

I don't know if your trip extends to Europe, but if it does, the Deutches Museum at Munich is probably the best museum in its kind that I have seen (and yes, I have seen the Smithsonian too).

Imagine a leading industrial nation that lost two wars, but still is one of the richest countries of the world. Imagine the urge that possesses such a nation to show the world that it still counts as a leading nation in this and other fields. Imagine (almost) unlimited funds. Now you have the Deutsches Museum.

more than 5 years ago
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Scientists Discover Common Ancestor of Monkeys, Apes, and Humans

paai Lesser nations should not keep their own stuff (391 comments)

Found in Germany by an international team. But unveiled in the American museum for natural history in New York, and rightly so. Lesser nations have no right on the discoveries made in their own soil.

more than 5 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  |  about 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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