APLawrence.com -  Resources for Unix and Linux Systems, Bloggers and the self-employed


I, Robot

The first "conscious" AI machine came into being over three years ago. As some of you will remember, there was a good deal of argument within your human community as to whether I really was conscious as you understand it.



Title Last Comment
The Future of Notebooks   2011/05/04 TonyLawrence
- Are all-in-one machines in our future: I was talking with my son-in-law yesterday about his iPhone and the future of mobile computing. We disagreed slightly: I said that my holy grail is an all in one device that would serve all my needs: something iPhone-like when I'm out, but able to use a wireless keyboard, connect to a real display (and probably a wired network too) when I want it to, and of course sacrificing nothing in computing capabilities and access. He seemed to feel there won't be enough consumer demand to justify such devices, while I remain hopeful. -

Buying Votes  
- Microsoft buys Swedish Open XML vote - this company seems to have no shame whatsoever. -

Sell that removable media stock  
- Fast and unlimited remote storage signals end of backup -

Please say it's over   2010/03/30 TonyLawrence
- So what did SCO buy if they didn't buy Unix? The court says Novell owns Unix. That would certainly seem to take the wind out of SCO's case. -

Cry me a river  
- File sharing felon forced to install windows: Poor "sk0t". Last year he was sentenced to five months in jail for copyright theft of Star Wars III. He also got five months of probation, and if he wants to use a computer during that time, our mean evil government is telling him that he can't run Linux because they want to monitor his on-line activities, and their monitoring software, alas, only runs on Windows. -

Google Earth Street View   2011/10/14 bchopper
- I'm sorry. The ACLU will probably want their card back, but I just don't see cameras as a privacy problem. -

Your data are silly   2011/05/04 TonyLawrence
- Techfusion: Where data are still is. We don't speak latin in IT: Ok, I get it. I took four years of Latin and have been around more than a few math and stat geeks over the years. Datum, data. Fine. -

Killer Robots  
- Intelligence isn't anything to fear: I was watching something on Discovery about "Ten Ways the World Will End". I only caught part of it, but number six or seven had us threatened by super-intelligent machines. -

Man vs. Machine  
- Can humans really do better than Google? I really do not think so - machine intelligence will win out. -

The future of computer techs  
- Is there any future for service techs? The decreasing cost of systems and the difficulty of fixing rather than swapping does not help. -

Resurrection  
- If the survival of your long term descendants is of any importance to you, then - duh - of course we need to become multi-planet. -

Isn't it time to really punish Microsoft?  
- Hasn't Microsoft's abuse of power gone on long enough? -

Will NNTP fade away?  
- Will Google Groups kill NNTP? My bet is that in a few years nobody but a few die-hards will use NNTP. -

Getting near to the end?  
- SCO lawsuit nears end after dragging on longer than any of us thought it should. -

More on Patents  
- Microsoft patents: Well so people understand the extent of the software patent problem I will point out one now-defunct, but famous patent.. The so-called 'Giff' patent. -

Time to turn it around?  
- Is Linux strong enough to stand firm? With all the flap about the Microsoft/Novell patent deal, one question seems to be consistently avoided: just what could Linux be infringing upon? -

More reasons to love Unix/Linux  
- Changing this websites layouts shows value of Unix philosophy - small tools that work well together. -

Pseudo Science  
- Review of 'What the Bleep do we Know?': In essence, this film wants to reconcile science and spirituality. Aside from the utter nonsense you can read about at the Wikipedia article (link above), what always annoys me about the attempts to do this is that in actuality, science is tossed out the window and ignored the moment some supposed link is observed. -

Shim-sham  
- Is the GPL really that scary?: Call me crazy, but I think people worry way too much about their source code. -

 
 
 
 
msie701.exe slows machine  
- Slow Windows caused by spyware trojan? I initiated a 'chat' session with a representative from Earthlink, and got the usual 'We don't support Linux' line. -

Electronic Fraud  
- Concerns about voting fraud increase with electronic voting machines: if the software is compromised, it could be much harder to spot the problem. -

Microsoft Demos with Virtual Machines  
- Microsoft offers several virtual appliances: The problem, of course, is the underlying OS: even if the appliance app was something they'd happily give away, they can't give you the underlying OS that services that app. That's going to continue to hamper any wide spread use of Microsoft virtual appliances. I don't see that there's much they can do about it: I suppose they could try to put out something crippled that they could use as a base, but any attempt like that would seem to let the horses out of the barn and invite abuse by those who would want to piggy-back their own apps on such a platform. The problem seems intractable. -

The Patent Ploy  
- Novell marries into the Redmond gang after being escorted to the altar by a shotgun toting Microsoft. -

Linux|Unix vs. Mac   2010/01/20 anonymous
- Microsoft pays close attention to what people want. They may do a horrible, botched job of providing it initially, and at the next revision, and so on, but eventually they do provide decent products. -

Virtualization and Microsoft  
- Microsoft makes virtualization moves but restricts home versions of Vista from virtualization. -

It's all connected  
- The coming merger of biology, physics, computing and everything -

Oracle Linux  
- Why should Oracle do its own distro?: At "Larry Ellison's Linux nears release", Ashlee Vance is unsure why Oracle would want its own Linux distro. Actually, it makes a lot of sense. It's not the direct revenue of selling the OS with the database: that's almost completely unimportant. What is important is having control of the OS - tuning and tweaking it to be a home for their database. That's where the advantage for Oracle lives. By tightly controlling the OS environment, they can gain performance, increase reliability, and decrease their support costs. -

The psyche of PC owners  
- Well, I think Macs are great too, and with Google now providing on-line word processing and spreadsheets, I have no hesitation in recommending a Mac to current PC owners looking for improvement. The relative lack of worries from virii doesn't hurt the concept, but I'd still push Macs even if that wasn't an issue -

Grokking the Source  
- Is source code all that valuable? It's often easier to write anew than to spend the time necessary to understand someone else's code. -

Sloppy data presentation  
- Griping about Government Data, its sloppy presentation and their practice of changing interfaces willy-nilly. -

Linux|Unix will never beat Windows?  
- Linux WILL beat Windows: Microsoft will maintain its dominant position among operating system providers even if Linux achieves technical superiority in the future, due to Microsoft's legacy hold on not only computing users, but also the larger industry. -

What makes a geek?  
- Why are geeks geeks and why do geeks like Linux? If you made Linux likable for non-geeks, would the geeks hate it? -

Social Grooming  
- Social rooming in the Internet Age is a matter of ever tighter niches and far less commonality with physical neighbors. -

More Microsoft Patents  
- When Bill conflates patents with innovation, he does so out of necessity: having nothing else to work with, patents must fill the void. -

Rigged Deal?  
- Do poker sites rig the deal for excitement? Random shuffling and fast play may lead to that impression. -

The Great Gates-by  
- Is Bill Gates a Saint?: During coffee break at my weekly poker game, the conversation turned to the munificence of the Gates Foundation and its founder. Of course I had to be the naysayer, pointing out that Bill never seemed to have much interest in giving away anything until he got in trouble with the Justice Department. I also suggested that at least some of the money being given away had unpleasant origins in terms of ruthless business deals and so on. -

Lessons learned from Digg  
- Our first Digged article points up some important lessons: As Diggs go, it wasn't much: five hundred digg points and a hundred or so comments. However, in one day it brought over 10,000 visitors to one article: Death of the command line. As this site typically gets less than 7,000 visitors a day spread over thousands of articles, that's a big visitation. -

Microsoft Promises  
- Microsoft posts 12 commandments - no doubt these will get plenty of lip service and little else. -

Terms of Service  
- Have you ever read your ISP's terms of service? You might find that you are technically in violation. -

Death of a thousand cuts  
- More Vista cuts - 'It's just a flesh wound', says Microsoft - oops, I mean the Black Night. -

Impugnment of Character  
- In this scenario, Bill is stepping aside so that his recently acquired halo won't be spattered with brown flecks as Microsoft returns to its street fighting roots. -

Waiting for the future  
- Frustration at the suoermarket: Someday, they say, this will all be the kind of thing Grampa tells to wide eyed innocents who can't imagine life without a kitchen that keeps track of what you need and notifies the supermarket of what you'll be shopping for. The grocery cart of the future will have your list and will lead you to what you need or make suggestions for substitutes when they are out of stock. How wonderful. I don't think it's going to happen all that soon.

-

The real value of Google  
- The real value of google is speed and association. hose answers can raise other questions, and those just might lead us to something important, useful or even brand new and patentable. -

Uncharitable  
- Setting limits for free work - especially when it's work that you really dislike. -

No Docs?  
- Is Windows more reliable because of documentation? Not when it is sponsored studies that say so, I think. -

Freebies  
- There is a recessed reset button in the back. I stuck a pen in it, and seconds later the Comcast modem was happy to talk on its Ethernet port. -

Invent like Microsoft   2011/05/04 TonyLawrence
- Did Microsoft invent anything?: Anyway, this morning I had asked if things had gotten any better, and he shrugged and said "Not much" and then added "I guess I need to invent something like Bill Gates did" Of course I laughed. I'm used to this: most of the world thinks Microsoft invented all sorts of things. The reality is more than a bit different, but people don't know these things. So I educated him a little bit about Microsoft's history and general business practices. -

Time to fix the bugs?  
- More problems from the seamy side of Linux: Andrew Morton asserts that the Linux kernel is 'getting buggier' and that part of the reason may be from the strong influence of corporate money. -

I want it all  
- The future of computing - Linux, Windows or Mac? All of us would buy an all-in-one if it could do the job for us -

Tiered Internet  
- Charging more for internet access causes some people to freak out. That's not necessarily the right reaction. -

 
 
LOD Communications, Inc.
 
 
Can technology save us?  
- We should have run out of food already. Advances in agriculture and plant genetics saved us (though at the cost of using much more water). -

Should 'halt' call 'shutdown'?  
- Usage of halt vs. reboot and shutdown. Should traditional commands be perverted to prevent naive users from damaging systems? -

VMware's threat to Microsoft  
- VMware is threatening Microsoft on several fronts: First off, I'm not suggesting VMware is gunning for Microsoft. However, recent developments in their product line aren't exactly favorable to Microsoft. -

Autodidacts and computers   2013/03/13 anonymous
- Will autodidacts survive?: The computer field is full of high school and college drop-outs. Or at least it was: Wikipedia feels the need to distinguish between noteworthy college dropouts and their high school brethren but doesn't begin to cover the subject (simply because most of the computer folks aren't famous). However, a Google search for "autodidact programmer" or "dropout programmer" turns up a lot of evidence that many programmers disliked traditional educational systems. -

Tired and stressed  
- Greedy employers demand more and more while offering less, and even those who would like to offer reasonable working conditions are themselves stressed. -

A regulated Internet?  
- Do we need a regulated Internet?: I heard the author of Without a Net interviewed on my local NPR station, and I didn't like what I heard. -

Bandwidth costs  
- Is bandwidth cheap or not? Playing games with bandwidth is nothing new, and politics and corporate greed of course play into it. -

Why don't we just legislate ourselves back to the Stone Age?  
- Stifling innovation with legislation: I would like to think that the proposed law mentioned at New Senate Broadcast Flag Bill Would Freeze Fair Use will immediately be recognized as idiotic and tossed out, but I'm not sure we can count on that: our politicians seem to love big business and are often willing to sacrifice just about anything to keep corporate money flowing steadily. -

Religion and Open Source  
- I'm not a fan of religion, but I would like to think that its positive effects at least cancel out the negative and damaging aspects. While fundamentalist religious teaching is, I believe, dangerous and detrimental to society, the loftier and less dogmatic beliefs can be force for desirable social change. -



More Opinion articles

Previous Opinion articles