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Showing posts from 2019

What means convergence?

[This is from a posting I made originally on Advogato Aug 18, 2003.] Have a picture of your mother in the shower?  Want one? What means convergence? There has been a lot of talk about 'convergence', but I think that it has been short of the mark for the most part. Convergence is something that has driven my company for more than five years now. The world has been slow to converge, but the infrastructure is slowly gaining momentum. Convergence as I describe it here will happen and it has important consequences for us all. First, let me explain what convergence means to me. Background Once upon a time, information flowed from word of mouth down through the generations. With the discovery of writing, this information could be kept in a more accurate form. With the invention of the printing press, this information could be widely disseminated to a large audience. Over the years, technology has allowed information to flow ever more quickly to ever wider audiences throu

MSYS2 broken install

Ugh. Every year, the non-workingness of released software gets worse. Problem: MSYS2 does not quite install properly. Error Message: error: mingw32: signature from "Alexey Pavlov (Alexpux) " is unknown trust User Workaround Fix:  Run the following commands: pacman-key --init pacman-key --populate pacman -Syu At the end of the various messages and prompts (choose default Y) you get: warning: terminate MSYS2 without returning to shell and check for updates again warning: for example close your terminal window instead of calling exit When you attempt to close you will get a new warning in a popup window about running processes. Close anyway. Open a new MSYS shell window and rerun pacman: pacman -Syu Wait until your brain explodes or you complete the re-installation/upgrade of packages (in my case 40). That was it for me. YYMV Developer Fix:  Release is broken: Fix Deployment Test to capture error before users see it. Fix Deployment, since

Privacy: We've heard of it.

I am a big fan of irony. I find it delicious that Firefox recommends that the way to 'protect your privacy' is to 'Join Firefox', thereby immediately sharing your email address to the world, and agree to a 'privacy policy' which promises to essentially collect every bit of information it possibly can and share it essentially to every corner of the Internet. Step one? Immediately pass your email address on to a 'partner' that will share it with anyone they wish. By default, Firefox collects and shares any and all data available from anywhere it can, including "data that identifies you or is otherwise sensitive to you" from an unlimited number of third and fourth parties. Data is sent to third parties, each of which has its own privacy policy. Each in turn confesses to acquiring anything they can, storing it, and further sharing it on to fourth parties. Third parties are not limited to, but explicitly include: Pocket Recommendations, Adzerk, G

Standard Directory System

STD -- Standard Directory Overview The 'Standard Directory System' has been in use in various forms for more than 30 years. The principal aim of the system was to avoid collisions. That is, it was intended to allow files that are different from one another to never overwrite one another. This was accomplished by having conventions for the names that are used for various common programs. As the system has developed, the system is made to organize things so that they are easier to find. This is accomplished by having conventions as above for particular programs and general conventions for particular types of programs and conventions for standardized directory structures. The standard anticipates various types of common requirements and assigns standard names to those requirements. Standard Directory Names Where possible, conventions that already exist have been followed. In some instances, such as the 'usr' directory under UNIX, it has been decided to deviate fro

Gun control

People with guns are definitely killing people.  The U.S. second amendment is clearly, should you look at its historical context, meant to guarantee citizens the right to bear arms precisely to resist an over-reaching state. Emphasis mine: "In a 5-4 decision, the [United States Supreme] Court,  meticulously detailing the history and tradition of the Second Amendment at the time of the Constitutional Convention , proclaimed that the Second Amendment established an individual right for U.S. citizens to possess firearms and struck down the D.C. handgun ban as violative of that right. " -- The U.S. Constitution is the instrument whereby the Citizens of the United States delegate the partial exercise of *their* sovereign power. That instrument specifically forbids disarming the citizenry. The interpretation that 'militia' somehow puts that power right back in the hands of the state is without merit.  Because

Biotechnology Malfeasance

Below is a submission that I made to CBAC. This was a cynical process that was dressed up as a public consultation but was in fact a 'pro-forma' exercise to rubber-stamp a decision already made without public input. As it turned out, public consultation showed that the public was near universally opposed to the legislation contemplated and ultimately passed.  Comments on the document: Interim Report of the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee to the Biotechnology Ministerial Coordinating Committee The original source of the document reviewed was here: . This has since been removed. However, I found what appears to be the same document archive here: About me: I make my living as a software developer and researcher. I have a Bachelor of Science degree (major in Biology). I have no particular vested interest here, other than as a member of the

The Network Endgame

I believe that Facebook remains a significant threat to not only Google, but most of the other players in cyberspace as well. In fact, right now, Facebook is *the* significant threat. If I were in charge of Google I would be working furiously to contain this threat while there is still some chance. We may be past that point already. In the absence of any real competition and barring any serious misstep on their part, Facebook will swallow its competition on all sides. There will be one dominant player in cyberspace and it will be a social network. Right now, Facebook is the one to beat. It reached critical mass at least around the 500 MAU mark or so. This is an inevitable outcome of the mathematics of 'Group Forming Networks'. The compounded force of the interlocking networks makes Facebook extraordinarily sticky. In fact, mathematically, the acceleration toward the center of such a network exceeds that of gravity. For Facebook, the battle has been all but won and it

Facebook vs Google

Facebook presents unique challenges to Google. In my opinion the game has gone to Facebook. The only thing that can stop it is some combination of: 1) Government interference 2) Aggressive action by big players like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. 3) Big missteps by Facebook management 4) Dramatic sabotage 5) An aggressive, disruptive competitor Many appear to underestimate the threat presented by Facebook. People are motivated to 'act' when they use a search engine looking to buy something. They will be more receptive to specific relevant advertising. However, Facebook is increasingly in a better position to know who will buy and when. Search engines have a query string and perhaps a little history. As they refine the system, Facebook will have much more. They will only put ads where they will be most effective. An advertisement on Facebook will ultimately anticipate the search before it even happens. You will eventually not be able to present you