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HTML 5 should support ...

twisty Languages structured by Model (392 comments)

Too much focus seems to be spent on some binary yes/no vote for a codec of choice, when the subject is the HTML Language. For HTML 5 to evolve with forward momentum, I think it needs to increase support for the objects it models...

LSL, the Linden Scripting Language used in Second Life, greatly impressed me by how it structures the language very closely to the models it controls. As an object branches into a hierarchy of model elements, the methods controlling those elements follows much the same hierarchy.

HTML currently treats video, and thus codeces, with utter agnosticism... Something of a certain size fits the page, and its function is ignored. If the language, however, were crafted to fit the model of video frames and their playback functions over time, there could be far more interactivity programmed in HTML. More importantly, "HTML 6" or later progeny could heap on more methods for human input to interact with video output... or even other input/output combinations. (If the CANVAS tag in HTML can read 3D gestures like a Wii controller, why not webcam gestures?)

In order for HTML documents to properly support the use of the data, I think it ought to provide some support for its standard formats. The result should allow greater interactivity, and I find that a high priority.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Causes Internal Family Strife

twisty Commercials about Nothing (543 comments)

What I got from the first commercial was:
Jerry represents a brainless Microsoft customer who is destined to take first place in the Darwin Awards. His head is so full of idiotic ideas that when Bill Gates wants to sell him a "sweet and chewy" PC, he's first in line to break his teeth.

The second commercial seemed well summed up by this article. A cost/benefit analysis of a Seinfeld/Gates stay is like my experience installing XP: You can explicitly tell them twice to stay off the internet and use an assigned address, but they have no respect for social mores. They will fill your resources with their aging disfunctional bloat.

more than 6 years ago

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Carbon Emmissions

twisty twisty writes  |  more than 6 years ago

It's not the Warming of the planet that worries me, because that's just a symptom of how we've been changing the composition of our atmosphere. On a drive to a meeting a while back, I did a little armchair math to guess how much tonnage of CO2 we contribute to the warming effect.

The USA burns a daily habit of 360 million gallons of gasoline every day on average. That's about 6.3 pounds per gallon, so that's about 2.268 billion pounds burned per day.

The hydrocarbons in gas are roughly at 1:1 ratio of H:C (of three types in the mix, some chains are 2 carbons extra, others are two carbon short, but most are equal.) That means the ratios of atomic mass are roughly 1 part Hydrogen by weight to every 12 parts Carbon.

Being generous, we might guesstimate that for every 13 parts Hydrocarbon there are two parts other additives. (e.g. Regulations in California require 2% Oxygen by weight in order to reduce carbon monoxide.) So each 12 out of 15 parts is carbon burning with external oxygen, which will add weight to the CO2 from out of the air intake. Even counting just 11 of those 15 parts by weight as burning into CO2 (and probably failing tailpipe emissions tests), that's still 4.62 pounds of carbon burning into CO2 per each gallon.

If carbon's atomic weight is 12, and is combined with 2 oxygen at a weight of 16 each, that means CO2 has an atomic weight of roughly 44, expelling roughly 17 pounds of CO2 per gallon, on a bad day. (Later reading reveals the government isn't as generous and claims 20 pounds CO2 per gallon gasoline burned. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/co2.shtml )

*So* our gas burning contribution to greenhouse gases amounts to more than 6 billion pounds CO2 per day, or 3 Million TONS of CO2 daily, just from our gasoline habit alone, just in the USA.

That doesn't include other countries, nor the USA contribution by the coal and natural gas which fuel our heat and electrical plants. It's not even the deisel and related fuels used by our airliner fleets and trucking fleets. 3 million tons CO2, just from gasoline, just from the USA, every freakin' day.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Out of the blue i got the following email. I can only guess he either read this journal or some similare aspect of my website.

craig pribil wrote:

Wake up and smell the coffee mr. child-like mentality. If Gore carried his own state, Gore wins. If FL voters punch Gore instead of Buchanan, Gore wins. If FL voters punch chads off, Gore wins. Bush's win was Heaven sent.....you atheist you (Archie Bunker said to the Meathead). Don't be a meathead by presuming you can possibly figure out the whole "TRUTH" about the universe. This would be horribly arrogant. We are in the child-like stage of our development. Have faith in the larger powers that be.

To which I replied:

Speaking of arrogant child-like presumptions... Faith in the larger powers that be? There was a time when faith meant holding up your end of a contract, as in "faithful to the deal" or "faithful to marriage." There is nothing responsible about blind belief, in the sense you use the word "faith."
Bush has an established criminal record, and is turning our country from the leadership of the free world into the laughingstock of real democracies.
Know you not of Dubbya's Drunk driving arrest in Heimlich county TX? his cocaine possession arrest in Connecticut? his AWOL from being a Lt. in the Air Force reserves?
While the institution of the US Presidency has dirty laundry for everyone's "regime," I'm more worried about his active destruction of the Judicial checks and balances, and him filling his coffers at the expense of all future American taxpayers. What he calls medicare, AIDS research and Energy programs, has so far been nothing but a ploy to boost Pharmecutical and Big Oil investments, billed to future federal deficits our tax dollars pay for. Have you ever looked up the historic definition of "scallywag?"

  - joel

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twisty twisty writes  |  about 11 years ago

This Slashdot Article already picked the amazingly shocking line for its inline:

If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

So what is there for me to add? The Republican win in California? The wide publicity about their machines insecurity? Perhaps enough has been said... but to enough people? If there didn't exist open source software as an example of post-scarcity economics, I'd doubt there is freedom left in life.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 10 years ago

There's little about the Bush administration that bugs me more than its broad and deep affiliation with crime. The more a company violates federal law, the more our current administration seems to reward it with government contracts. While Bush's selfish misdirection of federal spending into his own investments bugs me nearly as much, you occassionally catch some news that says there may still be hope.

This AP news article points out charges against the former CEO of WorldCom (now MCI). Oklahoma is one among other states bringing criminal charges against Bernard Ebbers, for the accounting scandle that has presently grown to $11 Billion.

So even if Bush fails to get impeached for his lies to congress or other crimes, there may yet be a glimmering hope of Justice still in our country. Assuming he doesn't further destroy the checks and balances the Judicial Branch was supposed to hold.
Now if only Microsoft would taste the similar fruits of their actions...

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago

This Story on C-Net news is one of the better pieces I've seen for summarizing the issues at the crux of the SCO v. IBM lawsuit. IBM's counterclaims, and C-Net, help detail the nature of the contracts in question.

The best SCO could do in response is call the claims of IBM, and Red Hat, "groundless." Yet what is groundless about objecting to what SCO has been saying publicly?

LWN.net has just added the text of IBM's couterclaims.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago

While this link might possibly be nearly as debatable as other SCO originated statements, it bears further examination. It was pointed out by "Bobcat" in this ZDnet post.

Points of interest are:

  • Linux receives no more hereditary Unix code than BSD, which courts have cleared as nonderivative
  • UnixWare actually seems to take GPLed code from Linux 2.2.26
  • this makes a football playbook look infantile. ;-)

SCO's NDA arguement of "sameness" might just be the smoking gun that does themselves in.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Philosophers of Ancient Greece would often take discussion of morals to the marketplace... After all, how many other places demonstrate such great need?

The marketplace is a unique place set apart for men to decieve each other.

SCO seems to be in such a business of late. They are protesting some alleged breach of contract with IBM, and alleged (and uncharged!) violation of copyright with Red Hat, yet who are they threatening? The Linux user base!

The user base is the party who is least likely to worry about either violation. SCO doesn't have contracts with most Linux users, so "breach of contract" would be impossible in such cases. Copyright effects distribution and not possession or use, so such cases are likewise immune. So why target Linux users? To deceive potential customers, of course!

As SuSE has stopped SCO in Germany, so has Red Hat moved to stop SCO in the US. This is action, versus SCO doubletalk, and it marks a great relief to the global Linux community.

So what is the worst that might happen? SCO might somehow convince weakminded Bush appointees that they do own the alleged code, and that IBM's owned work, which obviously works in multiple OSes, would somehow be construed as "derivative works" of the separate, older SysV Unix code. SCO might then argue that they were under contractual obligation with Novell to pursue this to the fullest prosecution. If the judges believe that IBM was therefore breaching contract, and that Red Hat does contain Novell/SCO controlled code, it would damage both parties, but less than one might expect. IBM faces the greatest risk, but only a fraction of the $3 billion SCO seeks, since it all hinges on arguably different interperatations of "derivative works." Red Hat would at worst be asked to change their code, but could prove that SCO didn't protect their own copyright, as SCO distribute Linux themselves for months after alleging violations.

The best that can happen is that SCO would be sentanced, fined huge sums of money for their reckless allegations, and ruined as a company. Better still if McBride were to testify that Microsoft put them up to it, and the Antitrust settlement were to be thrown out for further (theoretical) criminal behavior of an anticompetitive nature.

Contracts must never supercede the laws of the land.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago

To Red Hat's new charges, SCO has responded with their usual defensive doubletalk and unsubstantiated attacks.

SCO claims Red Hat could have proceded in "good faith talks." They can pretend that they themselves sued IBM, and wrote to groups of the Fortune 1000 businesses and another (probably overlapping in part) Global 500 companies, as being "good faith," but they clearly broke that when discussing their IBM suit by expanding their public allegations to the press to include Red Hat. Further, their requirement for an NDA contradicts any so-called "good faith" they pretend to extend.

On the offensive, they also call Linux "an unauthorized derivative of UNIX," although that defies historic record. They misstate: "Linux includes source code that is a verbatim copy of UNIX and carries with it no warranty or indemnification." Perhaps they meant to say Linux includes code copied verbatim from UNIX, but even if that were true as opposed to both being copied from a common (BSD) source, it doesn't mean they have propriety of said code. Their warranty comment was irrelevant to the suit, except that the GPL actually does assure owners that 'no one can take this from you.' That makes SCO's own action of continuing to publicly distribute Linux themselves, months after decrying such "betraying of secrets," all the more contradictory and self defeating.

Yet the most absurd part of their claims is that it is "a crime against SCO" to distribute Linux code, yet they themselves have been continuing to offer linux-source on their FTP for months after declaring it a violation. That's the dumbest approach to business I've ever heard.
Update 8-8-2003:Alright, so they're not entirely as dumb as they look. The RPMs on their site at present represent non-source patches for 2.4.19 kernels, and pre-2.4.13 kernels.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Earlier today, Red Hat has stormed the news with two significant announcements, regarding the SCO v. IBM contraversy, both rolled into a single press release. It was news I wasn't expecting.... but it is better news than I could have anticipated.

Red Hat has filed complaint against SCO for the broad and irresponsible claims they've made against major distributions of Linux. The courts of Germany and Australia have already taken similar actions, with questionable levels of cooperation from SCO. But now, Red Hat has put it in American court, where a court order can more effectively halt the prattle factory of SCO's absurd, self contradictory slander.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Another speech from George W. Bush, another case of him trying to recreate the Universe in his own distorted image.

Usually I expect his speech to talk of how more government spending needs to be directed to his investments in Oil or Pharmecuticals. You know, Research dollars for hydrogen fuels (where Universities have succeeded, the Oil infrastructure needs more push), AIDS research, demands for a Senate bill that will make government pay more medicare prescription drugs. But this time he adds an unexpected gem in the topic of gay marriage.

Don't get me wrong, I've been married to my wife six years. We've been totally faithful to each other and loving the partnership without stop. But Bush's jab in replying "we're all sinners" brings a unamerican spin to the issue.

If there is separation of Church and State, how can he make such an unrepresentative statement? How many Americans are unafflicted by Sin, this 'barrier between God and Man?' Atheists obviously find no God to contend with. A good Buddhist would see no barrier, as the ego-identity illusion dissolves, leaving only oneness. There are even gay Christians who would contend that scripture doesn't factually prohibit same sex relationships.

If Bush is allowed to turn marriage into a religious issue, where does it stop? Carol and I were married by a Justice of the Peace... Would we start obligating non-Christians to costlier Church weddings? Ban atheists from wedding?

Bush makes for an unfit president over our diverse Land of the Free. While he's busy drilling the US to benefit his personal economy, he has yet to defend America's rights. By subverting the courts, he just makes it easier for corporate and goverment criminals to further violate us.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago

A few months ago, I filled out a survey for Microsoft on the condition that they'd repay me with a product of my choice. Sounds like a cushy deal... have them produce and deliver a potentially expensive item to me, at the minor cost of my time as an IT Professional. I completed the survey and requested Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Within four weeks, give or take, it arrived at my door.

I waited a few weeks before even deciding what to do with it. If I were to install it, I'd have about a month from then to activate it. But my other systems at home are running Linux... do I really want Microsoft's recent license terms applying to my equipment? Perhaps I should enjoy burning it instead, knowing that I've cost them the manufacturing cost* of Windows XP Pro. So the question becomes: Do I LEARN it, or BURN it?

Thinking a little outside the box, I decided to do both. I'm not a Luddite, so I should not waste an opportunity to expand my professional learning. On the other hand, which would you tell your grandkids you did; Learn or Burn? I can hardly imagine their excitement as I tell the young (hypothetical proverbial) tykes, "Yes, I remember the day I installed Windows XP, Whewwee!" Somehow, that lacks the sparkle you see in a kid's eye when they picture something burning.

So with a plan in mind, I partitioned a place for Windows XP Professional... and learned more than I expected. Twice the install asked me about networking. I don't want my Microsoft OS accessing the Internet without my authorization, so I told it not to get it IP automatically from DHCP, but instead to use a static IP with no available gateway. So twice I entered those settings, once in the main course of the install, and again under custom settings. So after two reboots, and an hour of wasted time, that sonofabitch Microsoft Windows XP Professional was grabbing pages from the web it was instructed not to access. It had grabbed a DHCP IP address and gateway against my repeated and explicit orders. There's your damned Trustworthy Computing in action.

Needless to say I didn't wait a month, or a week, before uninstalling it. I wasn't about to register and activate this product with a mind of its own. I reformatted the partition as FAT32 so I could use it as storage in other OSes.

So finally the eleventh annual Year Games came upon us and I brought along the full box and CD for Windows. On Saturday Night, I stood first in line to compete in an event called "The Great Lies of Battle," which requires the entrant to deliver an entertaining tale around the fire. I told of how I was terminated from the Salvation Army after testifying in the Microsoft Antitrust trial, and the improbable story of how my battle with two hackers on my server pointed me to the answers that connected it all. (Both hackers were, for one company or another, former coworkers who got curious about me.)

For the final polish on my camp fire tale, I cerimonially burned Windows XP Professional in the camp fire. To be honest, I was halfway expecting it not to burn, like the legends of the Ouiji boards. ;-) However, it proved to be very flamable, to the delight and warmth of my listening audience.

I wish I had pictures.

* There's a huge markup, of course, in the retail price of Windows over its manufacturing cost. Microsoft often uses this to fabricate huge "contributions" (entrenchments, more like it) to charity, claiming millions of dollars in donations where the actual cost to them was a tiny fraction thereof.

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twisty twisty writes  |  more than 11 years ago It's always great to discover the arsenal of tools available to us all in the Information Age. I didn't realize until today that I have a journal on Slashdot, waiting for entries.

But where to start? Do I enumerate the crimes that George W. Bush has committed for the selfish benefit of himself and his 41 appointees owned and operated by Big Oil? Do I decry the theft of our judicial system which used to keep checks and balances against this mad abuse of power?

Do I illustrate the anti-competitive behaviors of Microsoft? Demonstrate their adversarial stances against their own customers and partners? Show their role in the wrongful termination of my ten year career, after I sent testimony in their Antitrust trial?

I prefer to be more forward-looking when afforded the chance. With any luck, I want the balance of these entries to lean toward positive developments in the Open Source community, the Science Fiction & Fantasy community, and the landscape of the nonfiction future.

Be seein' ya!

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