Godwin’s Law

Posted July 5, 2009 by Joseph Smidt
Categories: Humor

Tags: , , , , ,

From the Wikipedia:

Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies)[1] is a humorous observation coined by Mike Godwin in 1990, and which has become an Internet adage. It states: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”[2][3]

So basically, if you are in an argument, given enough time someone will make a comparison to either Hitler or Nazis. One of these days I should time it. :)

Tesla Motors: Looking Impressive

Posted July 5, 2009 by Joseph Smidt
Categories: Politics and Economics

While America’s gas car industry is falling apart, there are some “green” start ups with some impressive potential. One in particular is Tesla Motors. Look at their new video for their electric car that will go up to 300 miles between recharging, one model that will go 0-60 in less than 5 seconds, have more storage space than other sedans and controls as slick as an iPhone:

For ~$50,000 starting in 2012, Tesla is showing that great new car designs can be both green and come out of the United States. Can you say new exports anyone?

Big Thanks To The SELinux Team

Posted June 30, 2009 by Joseph Smidt
Categories: Linux

Tags: , ,

I started using Fedora back in the Fedora 8 days.  I’ve always tried to run SELinux in enforcing mode and back in the Fedora 8-9 days that seemed to mean I’d have some SELinux issue every few days.  It wasn’t a big deal, but it was annoying and very tempting to turn it off completely.

Starting with Fedora 10, at least for me, the SELinux hiccups seemed to only happen every few weeks and I was very impressed with the improvement.

I’ve now been running Fedora 11 for three weeks and haven’t had a single SELinux issue at all.  Maybe I am unique, but from what I can tell SELinux with Fedora 11 no longer has any annoying issues while running in enforcing mode.

Thanks a lot SELinux team!  I now feel a great degree of security without a hint of discomfort.

Please Report Bugs Upstream

Posted June 21, 2009 by Joseph Smidt
Categories: Linux

Tags: , , , , , ,

This applies to all Linux distributions, I am not trying in any way to pick on Ubuntu. They are just keeping statistics in a way I can put some numbers behind my rant.

Many were excited when Ubuntu announced they were going to fix at least one hundred little bugs called papercuts that will help improve the overall Linux experience.  Here is a simple suggestion that will also lead to at least 100 extra bugs fixed over the next six months:  Report your bugs upstream!

There are at least ~800 known bugs in Ubuntu where it is confirmed the bug is related to upstream but nobody has taken the time to notify upstream about it.   People triaging the bug reports say “this bug also effects upstream project X” but it is never actually reported to upstream.  I’m guessing that list would be over 1000 if all such bugs that have slipped through the cracks were accounted for.

Now, assuming each  major Linux distribution has hundreds of bugs where the bug triager knows it is an issue with upstream but fails to report it, if all these bugs would get reported I am sure an extra 100 bugs will get fixed over the next six months because of simple things like this.

The developers behind the major Linux distributions are great, but more bugs will get fixed if upstream is involved.  Now, “to put my money where my mouth is”, I spent several hours this weekend submitting some if these bugs upstream.  I’m sure I didn’t do a perfect job, but at least upstream now knows about these bugs and some have already been confirmed by upstream and work has begun fixing them.  It was that easy.

So there you go. There’s my formula to get an extra 100 bugs fixed over the next six months.  It is as simple as: Report your bugs upstream!

Ubuntu: I Hope AppStore Rumor True

Posted May 26, 2009 by Joseph Smidt
Categories: Linux

Tags: , , , ,

Ubuntu is currently having their semi-annual developer summit and will be discussing their new AppCenter tomorrow.  There is a rumor/total guess that this AppCenter will also integrate with an Ubuntu AppStore secretly in development.

I honestly hope this rumor/total guess is true.  There is a large demographic of people who would be benefited by this.  This would help Linux adoption among such people.  Second, it would be a great source of revenue for Canonical which would also be great for Ubuntu.

Not that my vote matters to anyone, but I hope it happens.

Comment For Mark’s “Meta-cycles” post

Posted April 17, 2009 by Joseph Smidt
Categories: Linux

Tags: , , ,

I left this as a comment on Mark Shuttleworth’s recent blog post.  I am only posting it here because I was told it was removed as spam.  Perhaps too long?  Anyways, I hope Mark can see it now.

Mark,

I always enjoy your blog posts. This is my unifying philosophy:

1. 6 Month Cycles: These are best for getting the best of free software out quickly for immediate testing and or contributor feedback.  This is the release that should be based on energizing your contributor community. I honestly don’t think the 6-month release can ever become the bedrock of mainstream use. Here you need to have the “release early, release often” mentality.

2. LTS Cycle: This is best for providing a “final” product which the mainstream world can build upon and rapidly support and promote. This release is best for users who do not care about the latest new features in Linux, just want something that works well. Here you need the “release when it’s ready” mentality. (Though I would confine yourself to a 2-3 year window so you don’t pull a Perl 6.)

I think releasing alongside Debian is a very smart move. You really would be shooting your developers in the foot by taking away a great opportunity to collaborate with Debian and share code.

Also, I’m interested in your new UI ideas, but frankly they seem to be trickling in very slowly. (Only notifications). This isn’t trying to be a criticism, it just seems this UI work takes time to do it properly and having it all rock hard stable in a year, where the majority hasn’t even started to be tested I think is a stretch.

Lastly, Gnome 3.0 may not be the best release to base an LTS on. There may be some small “KDE 4.0″ effects that would be nice to have an extra 6 months to iron out. Your end users would like to have a polished Gnome 3.X version.

So, again, I like your post and applaud your idea to move the LTS back to 10.10. That is when I believe it will “be ready”.

Three Generations of Quarks are Needed To Avoid Anti-Matter

Posted April 14, 2009 by Joseph Smidt
Categories: Physics, Theory

Tags: , , , ,

As we have already discussed, the reason we have particles without anti-particles is because of CP violation. CP-violation caused slightly more particles to be produced in the big bang then anti-particles. Then all the anti-particles annihilated with a particle leaving only the excess of particles we observe today.

However, it takes 3 generations of quarks to have CP violation. CP violation is encoded in the CKM Matrix, a 3 by 3 matrix. (N=3 for 3 generations of quarks). You need a overall phase in the CKM matrix to have cp-violation. If there were less then 3 generations of quarks, say 2, then the new 2 by 2 CKM matrix would have no overall phase and hence no CP-violation.

It was not too long ago when scientists had not suspected there were three generations of quarks. If there weren’t, we would have no CP-violation and no matter. It would have all been annihilated with the equal abundance of anti-matter.

By the way, in case you don’t know, the CKM matrix people won the Nobel Prize in physics last year.


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