Phyllis Fox, saving Lisp history
HAIGH: So you say that you wrote the first LISP manual?
FOX: Now, this was not because I was a great LISP programmer, but they never documented or wrote down anything, especially McCarthy. Nobody in that group ever wrote down anything. McCarthy was furious that they didn’t document the code, but he wouldn’t do it, either. So I learned enough LISP that I could write it and ask them questions and write some more. One of the people in the group was a student named Jim Slagel, who was blind. He learned LISP sort of from me, because I would read him what I had written and he would tell me about LISP and I would write some more. His mind was incredible. He could give lectures. Have you ever seen a blind person lecture?
FOX: They write on a black (or white) board, and then they put a finger on the board at the point they have stopped to keep the place. Then they talk some more and then they go on writing. His mind was remarkable. He was very helpful to me. But I wrote those manuals. I would ask questions from Minsky or McCarthy, and I got it done. I think it was helpful for people to have it. I guess, essentially I’m a documenter. If you’re looking for it, that’s what I am.
Phyllis Fox did a lot more than that, but as a Lisp enthusiast, thank you to Dr. Fox for preserving our programming knowledge!If you'd like to see that documentation: http://history.siam.org/sup/Fox_1960_LISP.pdf and there is P Fox on the front cover. (This document is probably in the public domain due to the lack of copyright notice, which was a requirement of U.S. copyright law at that time, so yay to it also being Free.)
AMD Coreboot/Libreboot support
AMD to consider Coreboot/Libreboot support. Contact AMD!!! Let them know there is demand.
In AMD’s AMA here https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/5x4hxu/we_are_amd_creators_of_athlon_radeon_and_other/ , they say they will seriously consider releasing their Platform Security Processor (PSP) source code. This is their equivalent of the Intel Management Engine and would make AMD processors compatible with coreboot/libreboot.
This would be massive. It would make it possible to have a truly open-source machine, with all the security and privacy benefits that entails. At the moment secure boot relies primarily on aging Intel processors from nearly a decade ago.
In 2011, AMD began supporting coreboot, but stopped in 2013 and introduced the PSP. Why? Because they didn’t think it was economically worthwhile.
Don’t let that happen again! Let’s tell AMD there is demand for this. Get into that thread and comment. And – more importantly – message them! If you’re reading this after the AMA has ended, contact them anyway!
AMD’s Twitter https://twitter.com/amd?lang=en
AMD’s contact page (You can find details on AMD in your country) https://www.amd.com/en-us/who-we-are/contact
Call me synical.. But I'm considering this as marketing double speak until they make a statement that they will "definitely" release on date X or until they actually realease it.
"considering" it means nothing to me. They can consider it for a decade and a half. And then decide not to. I've seen "considering it" use to string customers along far too often to get excited about this.
(I'm not saying I'm the guilty party! But the emotion is the same for advocating federated systems and also fearing the problems unsolved in that space. I still believe it's due to a lack of resources though, and I can only be so much of a resource. Doesn't change guilt-feeling though.)
So I've been listening to a lot of weird podcasts while working on typeface design the past few weeks (stay with me; this goes somewhere).
Problem is, I have about 20–25 hours a week to fill that way (although I don't max out of course), which means I have a tendency to run out of podcasts.
Which means I look around for more, which means I read recommendations. And a LOT of the recommended podcasts that aren't currently in active production just vanish completely. No archive. Sometimes it's produced by a commercial broadcaster and it disappears behind a paywall, but for the most part, independent sites just go offline; the feed URLs vanish and the sites (and, often, domains) shut down. Sometimes the Wayback Machine folks archive the pages and the RSS, but that doesn't capture the media files.
I don't think we've learned anything from the days when broadcast radio, TV, music, and printed material was just thrown away under the assumption that it was no longer current therefore it was no longer of any importance.
@firstname.lastname@example.org archive.org does have large media archives as well... maybe an opportunity to avoid losses there with auto-chasing of RSS feeds?
It would be better, perhaps, if something like Freenet/ipfs/zeronet would gain traction and become the default. I'd like to have the older media that I've created or accessed kept around by default as long as there's a modicum of interest in it.
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You would think so. I suppose there is some general caution to be exercised regarding copyright; I don't know necessarily what standard redistribution licenses on podcast content are, but I do suspect that licensed music would pose a bigger problem for IA than does the text content of web pages on Wayback.
But I still personally think such an archive ought to exist, objections from advertisers / royalty-collection agencies or no.
firstname.lastname@example.org ❌ likes this.
Someday, when I find Acme Inc. offering a new wonderful free service, I read their terms of service: "...General Public Terms of Service, Version 1, 3 March 2018, Copyright © 2018..." and I say: "Yes! I know this. I know what I can expect from them, and I know what they can expect from me. I can accept that."
CRISPR gene drive as a thompson hack?
I listened to this episode of Radiolab on CRISPR last night, and I couldn't stop thinking about this part discussed at the end of the episode about a "CRISPR gene drive"... the idea is, you might want to replace some gene in a population, so you might use CRISPR to edit the gene of a single parent. Then that parent might reproduce, and there's a chance that its child might have it in the population. Natural selection whether it stays or not... it could, very well, peter out of a population.
But then they talked about this idea, which apparently worked on yeast "on the first try", which was to have the parent modify the yeast of the child during reproduction. The parent includes the instructions so that in reproduction, it goes through and edits its new child's DNA, and inserts the instructions on how to have that editor in the child's DNA too.
Holy crap, am I wrong or is that a Thompson hack in DNA form?
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warning: spoiler of Vinge Zone of Thought novels
Also suddenly realizing that I had a conversation with @Bradley M. Kuhn about the Skrode riders in A Fire Upon the Deep as effectively being victims of a Thompson hack. Now realizing that this would be one way to pull that off, assuming the Skrode Riders have DNA!
joeyh likes this.
I care too.. But since IANAL I'm waiting for people more versed in such things to wade in, such as an official statement from the #FSF of #SFLC, etc.
That said I have never, nor will I ever host code on GitHub. Nor have I or would I ever suggest anyone do so. For many, many reasons. I have long held that having so many important software projects under one companies control is a horrible idea and doomed to problems (shuttered, blocked, hacked, or even changing TOS it seems).
I suspect that a lot of people care but are unsure of the situation. And also having no clear and easy alternative will add to the inertia that most people have in areas like this.
If the people that have posted/blogged so far are correct and if the TOS trumps and alters the GPL or other copyright licenses (in a clear and legally applicable way) then this is HUGE. Not just because it means we have a hair on fire situation WRT GitHub. but it also means that anyone hosting any software could use the same legal trick to un-copyleft software and other works. It would mean that any carriers TOS could potentially un-copyleft stuff..
That would also means that places like Google/Microsoft/Apple could claim ownership of everything in their app store by simply changing their TOS. So if we are in a "TOS alters/trumps authors license" world we have a serious problem because the system is very broken.
- From Twitter:
RT @claranellist: Saw this sign at my sister's lab today. The only one I don't agree with is the second down on the right. https://twitter.com/claranellist/status/833762576127447040/photo/1
[Blog] Comfort Code(http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/kzKuFArtzCc/)
Last week I found myself doing something I haven't done in a while.
For some reason I got it in my head that I needed some comfort. And part of that comfort was re-learning the C language. Now, I have no immediate reason to learn C. None of my job prospects seem to want C (at least not at the dabbler level) but here I was pulling out my C books to give it a whirl again.
Part of the reason is because there was a sense of comfort to me in sitting with just a compiler and a debugger looking at code flying by. I wasn't doing anything strenuous (just some Fibonacci sequences, or variable passing) but watching gdb change values and looking at the stack frame gave me a sense that I was in control. That I was changing something.
Too often I think developers sit back and take code for granted. Not that our thoughts become code without effort (Lord knows there's a handful of developers who have ever had something work the first time without wondering what the hell went wrong). No, I mean that we just assume that the building blocks that we piece together will always work and we won't have to think too deeply about what goes on under the abstraction layers. I think pulling back the abstractions and peeking in to see what's happening can be a comforting experience. It's a gentle reminder that no matter how convoluted the outside world gets that we have the ability to pause and see that there are still some rules that apply. That there are places where we can derive joy from seeing an integer variable increment from a 1 to a 2.
Maybe I'm crazy for finding comfort in this, but I can't deny that it works.
- https://jmp.chat/ has launched! A beta service I built that lets you send/receive #SMS/MMS from your #XMPP account, all AGPLv3+. #JMP
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- Why is no one pointing out that exact photographs of public domain images are themselves public domain? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeman_Art_Library_v._Corel_Corp.
So the real news is: The Met isn't committing copyfraud by attempting to invoke a nonexistent copyright over public domain images. In other news, no one picks up on or comments about this aspect. News at 11...
- Pretty cool: "Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, known by many as the Met, announced that it is placing more than 375,000 images of public-domain works in the museum’s collection under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) dedication."
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/02/07/the-met-public-art-creative-commons/Show all 11 replies
Ha ha, I've finally out-vagued @Mike Linksvayer on a joke!
Admittedly I misread the original joke and thought the joke was 375k years of copyrighted works liberated, but my vaguely-a-joke was about maybe that number being much larger than reality because much was in the public domain anyway. But upon re-reading the original joke I don't understand how the number of years of art history was reduced by the length of copyright either.
Perhaps the real vaguejoke is how vague of foundation the jokes are sitting on in the first place.
- Related: Creative Commons announces the beta launch of their CC Search: https://creativecommons.org/2017/02/07/new-cc-search/