Jan 05, 2012 GMTI was four years old when Alan Turing died At the age of four I never knew I would become involved with computers, in fact I did not know what a computer was.It was only when I entered university in 1968 and started studying what was then “computer black magic” that I heard about the man who conceived of the theory of the Turing Machine, and later the classic test for artificial intelligence, the Turing Test.When I worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, we had conference rooms named after great computer scientists, and of course the “Turing Room” was one of them.This year I will be 62. I will have lived twenty years longer than Alan Turing, and despite many things I am proud of...
Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog
Jan 03, 2012 GMTSince I have written about Project Cauã before, most of the readers of this blog know that Project Cauã is about using Free Software to create jobs for Systems Administrator/Entrepreneurs (SA/Es), both selling and supporting services that utilize Free Software.In implementing Project Cauã we decided to take a half-step and create a demonstration unit that people could use in their homes as a home theater, store pictures and store music. From there we would expand Project Cauã to the full vision of the home unit, adding items like home security and home automation.We have selected xbmc as the media project on which to base Project Cauã, and we are now putting together a reasonable set...
Jan 01, 2012 GMTJust when you think the copyright and patent laws have reached their peak, more atrocities whack you in the face. After all these years I find out that according to US patent law (35 U.S.C. 161 Patents for Plants) my grandmother was a thief! My grandmother loved plants. Every year seed catalogs would appear in our mailbox, and grand-mom would pour through them for hours. A couple of weeks later small packages would appear in the mail and a few weeks after that flowers would start to bloom around the yard. Of course some plants you do not grow from seed. They are propagated asexually, usually by a cutting being taken from one plant and either “rooted” (by putting it in...
Nov 16, 2011 GMTThose of you who know me also know that I like a little beer every once in a while. Some of you also know that I often brew my own beer at an establishment called Incredibrew in Nashua, New Hampshire very close to my home, and sometimes use this beer at various Free Software events. Incredibrew is known as a “brew-on-premises” or “BOP” for short. At a BOP you will find all the materials and equipment necessary to brew, label and bottle significant quantities of your own beer without all of the mess and clean-up necessary if you brew the beer in your own house. Recently a friend of mine, Michel Grando, took me under his wing along with his friend Flavia and a mutual...
Nov 15, 2011 GMTI had heard, of course, of the Diaspora* project some time ago. It is a project to create a decentralized social network that would allow the users to have complete control over their data and their privacy. Started by four college students, they had the audacity to take on a project that would be daunting to programmers with many more years of experience and many dollars of corporate investment behind them.....reminding me of another young friend of mine who started a small project in 1991 called “Linux”....When Diaspora* was first pointed out to me I received a login account, but the early functionality was not enough to keep me using it, so my account languished.In July of 2011 I...
Nov 15, 2011 GMTIt all started ten years ago, at a beach party called (appropriately enough) “Open Beach”. A young programmer named Douglas Conrad had discovered Free Software about two years before, and dreamed of having his own company devoted to Free Software, making a living from the use and production of Free Software. Douglas started his company “OpenS Tecnologia” a year later in 2002, but still did not have a good idea for a sustainable business plan. In the years between 2002 and 2006, his company grew slowly while Douglas investigated different parts of Free Software, until the year 2008. In 2008 Douglas created a business plan revolving around VoIP, utilizing software...
Oct 13, 2011 GMTOver the weekend of October 8th a giant of computer science died. Like a lot of really great people in the field, he died without a lot of fanfare, most of his friends and colleagues finding out about his death several days later. I heard about his death last night from a post by Rob Pike, and while I wanted to blog about it last night, I found I could not, so I waited until this morning. I sit here typing with tears streaming down my face.Dr. Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, known as “Dennis” to many people and “dmr” to many more, passed away the weekend of October 8th after a long illness. I will not discuss here the many accomplishments of the man, as there will be much discussion...
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced an even smaller version of the tiny computer that will fit into a DIMM slot.
A new class of problems lets a malicious app pre-configure an invisible privilege update.
New Hack language adds static typing and other conveniences.
New crypto policy system will offer easier configuration and more uniform security.
Ubuntu founder denounces insecurity in proprietary, close-source software blobs.
Vulnerability affects many Linux web servers
The Bavarian capital shuns Microsoft, Google, and other alternatives to implement an open source groupware solution.
Phone vendor partnerships bring Mark Shuttleworth's dream of Ubuntu on a phone a step closer to reality.
Donors will get to vote on new features for the free video editor.
Debian project puts init out to pasture and says no to Ubuntu's Upstart.