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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

theheadlessrabbit why not? (488 comments)

"Projects like OpenHatch will even help you match your skill set to a project in need. So what's holding you back? Time? Lack of interest? Difficulty getting started?"

Not knowing about OpenHatch until just now may be a part of it.

As an artist, I've contributed a fair amount of material to the creative commons ecosystem, and I've posted some tutorials for open source projects that have a small user base, but other than that, I have no way of knowing what skills of mine could be useful to anyone working on a project, or what holes they need filled.

about two weeks ago

A Conversation with Ubuntu's Jono Bacon (Video)

theheadlessrabbit Re:We don't do flash (53 comments)

As soon as the open source world produces something better than h.264, I'm sure everyone will rush to adopt it.

Lots of people just want a tool that works, not a tool that functions better as an ideological statement than as a media player.

I click the link, video looks decent enough, loads fast enough.

about 8 months ago

Why Competing For Tenure Is Like Trying To Become a Drug Lord

theheadlessrabbit Re:Just academia? (168 comments)

"So academia is just like the rest of the world, then."

Not exactly. The reports in academia are much more long-winded.

1 year,18 days

Calibre Version 1.0 Released After 7 Years of Development

theheadlessrabbit interesting timing (193 comments)

I purchased my first ebook reader just 8 days ago, (Sony PRS-T1 for $50) and installed calibre (0.9.18 is the version currently in the ubuntu repository) this morning, and I am very impressed with this piece of software, but a little intimidated by the interface, so I will look forward to testing out this new version.

about a year ago

Van Gogh Prints In 3D: Almost the Real Thing For $34,000

theheadlessrabbit Re:Oh, come on... (104 comments)

The original reason for limited-edition prints wasn't driven by marketing. The stone or wood block would physically degrade with each print, and after a certain number of runs, the drop in quality was clearly visible (why earlier editions tend to be worth more)

With digital reproduction, this just isn't a factor any more, and limiting the production run is pure marketing; creating an artificial scarcity to inflate the price.

Most of this announcement is just empty art jargon; the elite paying lip service to their vision of the unwashed masses, framing things so the academics won't slam them too harshly, while still walking away with bags of money.

about a year ago

New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

theheadlessrabbit Re:useless article (198 comments)

D'ho! looks like I got my "micro" and "milli" prefixes mixed up. Thanks for the correction.

(using 40uSv as a flight from NYC to LA from the XKCD chard as a refrence point)

about a year ago

New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

theheadlessrabbit useless article (198 comments)

"A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation"
Wow! that's slightly more radiation than you'd get from a flight over the ocean! Let's all freak out!

"In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea"
So...how contaminated is this water? the same as the puddles? More? Less? What is it contaminated by?

about a year ago

Cold War Plan Tried To Put a Copper Ring Around the Earth

theheadlessrabbit Re:Sooo.... (184 comments)

More like a broke billionaire who still spends like their wealth will never end.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Electronics Prototyping Platform?

theheadlessrabbit Wiring (228 comments)

The Wiring platform (from which Arduino is a fork of) is a great option for getting started.


Code wise, It's about 99% the same as Arduino, so all the libraries and code you can find out there is usable, (you just have to tweak the pin numbers)
You can program Arduino boards, wiring boards, AND Atmel chips with the wiring software.
The Wiring S board is slightly cheaper.

And, best of all, the help system is just a lot of commented out descriptions above the code - and it links to a schematic so you know EXACTLY what to build to make the code in the example work.

about 2 years ago

Unemployed Chinese Graduates Say No Thanks To Factory Jobs

theheadlessrabbit Re:It's the stigma (366 comments)

It's not that factory jobs are for stupid people, it's that factory jobs are boring as hell.

Given the chance, I would (and do) earn half as much doing something that I enjoy far more.

about 2 years ago

Open Source Software Licenses Versus Business Models

theheadlessrabbit Re:Homo Erotica (95 comments)

Perhaps you should try selling service or support on top of free software, instead of re-inventing the wheel each time?

"Open Source" is often called "Open Sores" for a reason.

about 2 years ago

Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

theheadlessrabbit Re:Trouble with that... (1387 comments)

As more countries adopt English as a second language, they are adopting not our convoluted ambiguous mess of a language, but a simplified, neater version of the language that is more suited for clearly expressing technical instructions - eg. close (not open) vs. close (adjacent too)

Unlike languages like French or Korean which have centralized linguistics planning authorities to determine what is and is not correct, English is more of an "anything goes" system where lexiconographers look at what words we use and how we use them, *then* put them in the dictionary.
When 1 billion Chinese, 1 Billion Indians and 1 Billion Africans all start using a standardized "Simple English" over the 350 million of us who speak what we think of as "real English", (and the 70-odd million who speak that odd variant of the language over in Britain) one side will have to make a change, and numbers aren't on our side.

about 2 years ago

Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

theheadlessrabbit Re:Never underestimate familiarity (1387 comments)

Could you pick up some robertson screwdrivers as well? Last time I shipped a crate to the US, they used crowbars to open it up.

Whenever I ship something big to the US, I make a point to attach a note to the outside of the crate warning them about the Robertson screws, and informing them that for their convenience, I have included a pack of Robertson bits inside the crate.

about 2 years ago

Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

theheadlessrabbit Re:Never underestimate familiarity (1387 comments)

It isn't just a simple matter of teaching metric either. All these industries and their supporting industries must switch or provide parallel measures (of course, the old timers will stick to imperial in that case, since it's there too). That's very, very, very expensive both in material and time.

That sounds like something that will require a lot of work, and will require hiring a lot of people to do that work.
If only there was an unemployment problem in America...

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Book Or Game To Introduce Kids To Programming?

theheadlessrabbit modding video games (246 comments)

Is there a video game he is particularly fond of?

Games that are easy to hack and mod are a great start - they are tweaking something they already love. I wasted many hours of my elementary school days tweaking the rules.ini file to make command and conquer's AI a more capable opponent. That lead to scripting one player levels in an attempt to make my own campaign. That lead to...nothing at all....but it might be a start.

The tools available today seem a lot more complex, but also a lot more open than they were when I was young.

Good luck.

more than 2 years ago

New Study Links Caffeinated Coffee To Vision Loss

theheadlessrabbit Re:Coffee is... (203 comments)

I've never used medicinal marijuana (or other prescription pain killers) first hand, but the general consensus I get from people who have is that when they are in genuine pain, the substances make them feel better. When the substances start making them feel high instead of better, they know they are on the road to recovery and can cut back the dosage until it hurts again.

Considering how overdosing on marijuana is impossible in practice, I don't see the lack of precision in dose measurements is a problem. Even if marijuana use turned out to be completely useless medically, it is harmless enough that it's use as a placebo should not be infringed upon.

more than 2 years ago

Study Finds New Pop Music Does All Sound the Same

theheadlessrabbit Re:9dB is ALOT (576 comments)

A 3dB increase represents twice as much "power", but the human ear does not perceive the increase in quite the same way. About 10 dB is perceived as "twice as loud."

Does this work backwards?

Does this mean that a 3db reduction in volume won't really be noticeably quieter, but would make the music about 8 times less damaging to my ears?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce Someone To Star Trek?

theheadlessrabbit Hugh (634 comments)

I'd start with the TNG episode I, Borg. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Borg)

Recap: The Enterprise adopts a stray young borgling and raises it aboard their ship, giving it a sense of individuality.

I've had 3 female roommates fall in love with this adorable character, and spark enough interest in them to watch a few more episodes - 2 of them are now hooked on Trek.

more than 2 years ago

Windows RT Browser Restrictions Draw Antitrust Attention

theheadlessrabbit Re:Where's the one on Apple? (375 comments)

I don't want to make this sound like I am disagreeing with you in principle, because I do value software freedom, but when I get a tablet or a smartphone, I expect it to just work out-of-the-box. These things excel at being consumption machines, not production machines.

The target audience isn't necessarily a tech savvy one. The more the user is allowed to do, the higher the potential for mishaps. When you promise a customer a fancy piece of shiny hardware and advertise it like a high-tech toaster - "press here, then magic happens" they aren't expecting a full blown PC with all the associated quirks, tweaks, gradual cluttering/slowing down/ buggyness, etc. They are expecting a magic little plastic box that does all the things that were printed on the outside of the big cardboard box it arrived in.

Every additional copy of whatever-it-is is more junk, more clutter, more slowdowns, and the device will not run as advertised for long, by locking things down, it lets the manufacturer ensure the device works the way they want it to until they make it obsolete.
If I want a device that works the way I want it to, I stay away from Apple, tablets and smart phones, and get a real computer.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Invests $300 Million In Nook e-Readers

theheadlessrabbit Re:Very Clever Long-Term Business Planning (197 comments)

You lost me at "On top of that Nokia will use Android on their lower end phones"

What about the part where he says Nokia is the largest phone manufacturer? Wasn't there just an article posted less than a week ago about Samsung taking the top spot from Nokia?

more than 2 years ago


theheadlessrabbit hasn't submitted any stories.



How big should my swap be?

theheadlessrabbit theheadlessrabbit writes  |  more than 6 years ago

For the last 10 years, I have been asking people more knowledgeable than I, "how big should my swap be?"
and the answer has always been "just set it to twice your RAM and forget about it".
In the old days, it wasn't much to think about, 128 megs of ram means 256 megs of swap.
Now that I have 4 gigs of RAM in my laptop, I find myself wondering, "is 8 gigs of swap really necessary?"

How much swap does the average desktop user really need?

Does the whole "twice your RAM rule still apply?
If so, for how much longer will it likely apply? or will it always apply?
or have i been consistently misinformed over the last 10 years?


Slashdot gave me a VD gift: Excellent Karma!

theheadlessrabbit theheadlessrabbit writes  |  more than 6 years ago

On Feb 14th, 2008, i made my first post that received a Karma bonus multiplier. yay!

i posted in response to universities giving the RIAA student information. the second post got the modifier. I feel special! after 6 years of reading /., i got me some good karma!


i'm spamming :) - a youtube video explaining sudo nautilus

theheadlessrabbit theheadlessrabbit writes  |  more than 6 years ago

a short video explaining how to modify files in your root directory in ubuntu.

I've hidden some slashdot memes in here for good measure. can you find them all?
if only i knew how to fix the damn screen going black after 10 minutes.


Am I the only person having troubble with Ubuntu 7.10

theheadlessrabbit theheadlessrabbit writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I reciently upgraded my laptop from feisty fawn to Ubuntu 7.10. 'Gutsy Gibbon' I believe.

The positive reviews had me really psyched about about the upgrade.

But I have been having several problems. the main one is the massave slowdown. my boot time is 6 minutes. shutting down takes 4 minutes. opening/closing windows takes several seconds, and some things (like changing my pasword) just go on forever.

When I boot up the WinXP partition, my boot time is less than 30 seconds, why is Ubuntu performing so much more slowly?

my laptop is a fugitsu.
the sticer on my laptop, and windows XP tells me i have a AMD Semphron processor, Ubuntu tell sme I have an Athelon 64-bit processor.
1 gb ram, 100 Gb HD divided into 4 partitons (10 gig each for ubuntu and xp, 2 gig swap partition, and the rest is shared)
and a 64 meg ATI radion xpress 1150 videocard (acording to windows)

the main reason i made the switch is because i heard of the dramaticaly improved boot time, and becase of work, I am switching between the OS's quite often.

Should I stick it out with 7.10 and see if i can do any tinkering, or jut go back to feisty?

I am a linux noob, by the way. my reason for switching was because my new laptop came with the vista virus

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