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  • Screwtape at 2015-08-24T09:17:59Z

    The BSD "ministat" tool is even smarter than copy/pasting a column of numbers from my terminal into a spreadsheet to see what they look like, and a good deal simpler and easier-to-use besides.

    I'm glad it's in Debian, but it (or something like it) really should be in coreutils.

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  • fandom is best avoided

    joeyh at 2015-08-26T14:35:58Z

    Cannot describe how weird it is that George R.R. Martin is referring to some old friends of mine as "the Moen faction" http://grrm.livejournal.com/439207.html

    Space Hobo, Mike Linksvayer, Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

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    Favorited because I agree that fandom is best avoided, though I have no idea what is happening in this post. ;)

    Christopher Allan Webber at 2015-08-26T15:57:49Z

    Mike Linksvayer likes this.

    Thanks! That article and linked background helped me understand what the heck http://amultiverse.com/comic/2015/08/26/the-saddest-puppy/ was about. Crazy stuff.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2015-08-28T15:17:01Z

  • Proposal for a new US$20

    at 2015-03-23T20:14:10Z

    Everybody wants to get rid of Jackson, and there's a great movement to put a woman on the $20 http://www.womenon20s.org/candidates

    Tubman's a hard act to beat, but is that older more stately photograph of her the best we can do?  What if we took the badass cover art that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_and_Diane_Dillon did in 2007, and put it on the bill?

    The result is something you immediately want the moment you see it, even though you didn't know you wanted it before.

    Photoshop job done by a friend of mine who is staying anonymous to avoid getting in the way of the awesome Women-on-the-Twenty movement.  But really, this thing is the best.

    And I don't even use US currency much any more!

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  • joeyh at 2015-03-20T18:54:13Z

    Just to be clear, this is MRIs for fun and research, not for medical reasons.

    Space Hobo, mray INACTIVE likes this.

    You get to be a control brain!

    (Scientists need "normal" brains to calibrate the machine or to compare against whatever their experimental condition is)

    Diane Trout at 2015-03-20T19:14:41Z

  • Space Hobo at 2015-03-09T08:02:52Z

    Judging from http://joeyh.name/blog/entry/7drl_2015_day_2_level_generation_and_game_concept/ I wonder if the "so few calls to the RNG" is all that unusual in modern roguelikes.  It is my understanding that most procedural generation systems in use today go with a single random input to a collection of noise functions (perlin, etc) to produce the emergent complexity. 

    Part of the reason for this is that you can plug an integer into the game at the start and get a repeatable debuggable testable scenario.  Brogue even has "seed of the day" challenges where people rush to see who gets the best score for a given initial seed within a 24 hour period.

    I think three calls to the RNG per level is unusually high, for 2015!

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    @spacehobo@identi.ca what about having an RNG mode and a long seed mode where the seed contains those usually random numbers?

    Andrew E at 2015-03-10T19:08:12Z

  • joeyh at 2014-09-08T04:25:31Z

    To unpack that a tiny bit for the people who don't like thoughts in 140 on proprietary platforms:

    Debconf is currently very monadic (without realizing it of course), and this is the cause of most, if not all of its problems.

    Lose the monads and fall back to their applicative cousins, and you lose the possibility for conditionals etc, so no need for complicated debconf config scripts with typically broken back button support.

    But also, applicatives allow for declarative interface building, by composing together building blocks, in an entirely open-ended way. For example, html forms can be expressed applicatively, and I use this in the git-annex webapp (thanks to yesod-form). This should go a along way to solving the problem that debconf is limited to a few basic input types and cannot be used to make more elaborate interfaces when needed.

    Pity that if I implemented it in haskell, probably in under 10k LOC, I'd probably get a 10-50 mb binary..

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  • JanKusanagi @i at 2014-06-22T18:02:21Z

    *Bradley M Kuhn likes this

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  • Evan Prodromou at 2014-06-23T11:17:47Z

    Amita is reading "Starting Forth". It's her first programming book. I'm a little concerned.

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    It's a wonderful book but if Forth is her introduction to non-visual programming (she already does Scratch) I think we might be in trouble.

    I'm going to try to sneak "The Little Schemer" into her room.

    Evan Prodromou at 2014-06-23T12:58:13Z

    Michele, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), William L. Anderson likes this.

    I tried starting her with that, but the Q&A at the beginning threw her off. 
    I gave her Intro to Perl & Forth because they have good "what is a programming language" intros.
    What do you think about this one?
    http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9781593274078.do

    Michele at 2014-06-23T15:59:45Z

    This is an important topic. Our little one is not even speaking yet, but I'm already thinking about the best ways to make him a little tinkerer and maker. He's got the exploring and curiosity for sure. Doing my best not to kill it.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2014-06-24T10:04:59Z

    Andrew E likes this.

    Forth .. not a bad start! ..

    personally (coming originally from an electronics background) i think it would be a good idea for people to have some exposure to assembler or c before getting too used to relying much on anything much more abstract.

    michaelmd at 2014-06-25T08:15:55Z

  • Screwtape at 2014-06-16T02:49:17Z

    I spent some time this weekend thinking about Interactive Fiction, and how to implement it nearly. One thing that really struck me about IF programming is that where discussions of ordinary languages tend to be littered with code samples like "function double(x) { return x * 2; }" discussions of If tend to have examples like "when you blow the safe, if the guard is in the recording studio he can't hear the explosion; otherwise he shows up and arrests you."

    I suspect this comes from most of the influential IF people being storytellers and writers first, and programmers second. It certainly makes for a fun and surreal change from most programming discussion.

    Evan Prodromou, Space Hobo likes this.

    Well I think it's partly because good IF systems are pretty close to the in-game metaphors, and because a good system will provide a rule-based engine that matches the kind of scenario description you quoted me giving you above.

    But it's not uncommon to see examples in other systems talking about the user stories or end result.

    Space Hobo at 2014-06-16T12:06:58Z

  • X11R5 at 2013-11-24T12:01:30Z in Hawthorne, Nevada

    Cute :) i'm assuming this is fixed in the editor, but now my glasses are held together with cat 5 cables are very strange as the laborers do in pump.io, statusnet and friendica as an abstraction layer called databank that lets us do.

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  • X11R5 at 2013-11-18T14:12:37Z in Hawthorne, Nevada

    Yes, how else can kiss my solar flare.

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  • X11R5 at 2013-11-19T10:42:08Z in Hawthorne, Nevada

    Koyaanisqatsi for editing my manuscript.

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  • X11R5 at 2013-11-10T21:34:30Z in Hawthorne, Nevada

    Got it, the nsa is not making this face: :-↨ everyone makes that face sometimes, several times a year, careful what you mean. I like that hosters are so awesome. The wi-fi is not between luddites and machines. Perhaps, as many are active?

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  • Space Hobo at 2013-11-07T23:13:22Z

    How do we use https://github.com/dmarti/piehole to make both github and savannah obsolete?

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  • Space Hobo at 2013-10-24T12:03:43Z

    Let's see how much of this curriculum is accessible to a precocious 5yo with an XO-1, and how much of it is tech-aggrandising twaddle that caught the eye of this here privileged white dude:

    https://github.com/CodeClub/scratch-curriculum/tree/master/en-GB/Term 1

    Space Hobo likes this.

    5yos have trouble with touchpads, especially capacitive ones that seem easily fooled by ground loops.  I'll have to see about swapping that piece out with one from the rest of my fleet.   Clicking and dragging is too much to ask for without an external mouse.  This is compounded by the fact that if you hold down on the mouse button for too long, a context menu appears (one which does not include "put this in the script pane")

    Still, fun to do all the dragging of jigsaw pieces around and chat while the lil'un picks backgrounds and sprites and so forth. 

    Space Hobo at 2013-11-04T10:42:24Z

  • at 2013-10-22T13:36:22Z

    Is there a way to download it without having to register?

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  • San Francisco, CA, US at 2013-05-18T22:45:58+00:00

    OLPC working on XO laptop telescope and microscope peripherals (hands-on) - http://ur1.ca/dx8e1

    Evan Prodromou, Space Hobo likes this.

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  • How the OLPC have fallen

    at 2013-10-19T19:32:20Z

    Two weeks ago, two cast-off XO-1s (the original One Laptop Per Child machines) were left on a desk at work. Since someone very close to me was about to have a fifth birthday, I snagged them and decided to set them up as a sort of extra birthday gift.

    Once I saw an actual 5yo playing with this system, I was gobsmacked at how ideal they are for their intended purpose!  I am now hooked and sold completely (especially since the XO-1 didn't even have any blobs for hardware access!)

    Unfortunately, they're rather old and flaky, and it seems the best thing to do is to grab a bunch of old XOs and cannibalize parts to make one nicely-running machine.  I contacted all my friends at MIT and laptop.org, but it seems that the organisation is in maintenance mode: they're making the new XO-4 Touch laptops and shipping them to deployments, but there's no way to get units or parts in small numbers to the US or UK.

    There's a lot of confusion about the XO-4 Touch.  Even folks who used to work for the OLPC foundation said "Don't they sell the those in Walmart?" but it turns out that that's the "XO-Tablet" which is just an android device like any other.  I took this rather disappointing screenshot of it from a demo video.

    It's quite a precipitous fall from a system that teaches 5yos how to edit pong games in situ to Yet Another Android Tablet that pretends that Neil Armstrong believes you can become an astronaut by playing Star Wars branded Angry Birds.  This is just...depressing. 

    Apparently the organisation is in maintenance mode.  They make plenty of new batteries, screens, and whole cases of XO-4s, but they only ship them to the actual Deployment sites.  This means that if you're thinking of fewer than 100, they have no way of getting anything to you from the supply chain.

    So if anyone has any leftover give-one-get-one laptops, tech eval units, or knows a group of folks who are going together on a bulk order for the new XO-4s, I'd love to hear about it.


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    Show all 5 replies
    Huh, do you have any old XO-1s around?  Do you have a lead on getting actual XO-4s?  I ask because I want to be clear that this post was an anti-endorsement of the XO Tablet!

    Space Hobo at 2013-10-19T22:42:31Z

    Sorry, I meant the endorsement of the XO-1.

    Evan Prodromou at 2013-10-20T12:12:44Z

    Apparently, my comment got lost.

    Thank you, @spacehobo, for writing this. I had seen the "XO Tablet" in that big blue discount store, but lacked the funds to buy one. Now I won't bother.

    lnxwalt@microca.st at 2013-10-20T18:31:04Z

    http://mid.gmane.org/CAFoGK8FHVzbM_gBCi3LxeVGeHwz2coXxyap4gQpz4n-GtEQr5g@mail.gmail.com
    However, if all that OLPC remains is a vendor of cheap, proprietary Android tablets wrapped in green silicone, then what motivation remains to continue to plug for it?
    A very good question.  Fortunately, it seems that the folks at Sugar Labs are continuing to fight the good fight. 

    Space Hobo at 2013-11-04T10:32:28Z

  • Space Hobo at 2013-10-19T19:54:16Z

    http://cubieboard.org/ seems to be the raspberry pi for Freedom-Lovers!

    Evan Prodromou, Space Hobo likes this.

  • /usr/share at 2013-09-09T04:12:22Z

    And that's why I love GNOME's HIG. It'd say [Quit] [Cancel] or something like that instead.

    Space Hobo, Carlos Solís likes this.