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Cory Schmunsler
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R.I.P. Ian Murdock

It is a tragedy that your warning falls mostly on deaf ears.

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Little over an hour left and they're blasting through stretch goals. I'm curious if they even have a goal to put up if they hit 4 million. (at least 90 thousand has been pledged outside kickstarter)

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Seriously python. I don't even.

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Should Linux users consider buying a Mac? No. Why? Because of the pyramids in Egypt*.

... I feel that I may need to back up here a bit to explain that odd pairing of answer to question.

When MacOS was still relatively new, Apple started taking out full page ads in magazines that UNIX users would often read touting how it was the user friendly UNIX ... but those magazines were actually read, by that point in time, mostly by Linux folk.

In the years since, I've seen many Free software using folk start using Apple products because, to them, they were one or more of the following: usable, pretty/stylish, trendy.

I remember one pub argument from many years with my friend and fellow Free software hacker +Mirko Boehm about the relative merits of Mac, wherein he espoused how great it was from a technology POV and how Linux was unlikely to break into the masses like MacOS was looking to do. My counter point was that none of that mattered because of the freedom aspect, and that if we focused on MacOS as the saviour of UNIX-like operating systems for the masses we'd just be shifting influence from one closed company (Microsoft) to another (Apple) while undermining the eyeballs and fingers that should be improving the Free software stacks on operating systems such as Linux. We parted ways that evening still disagreeing .. but I remember the discussion vividly, down to the wood the bar was made of.

So when I read articles like the one linked below, I feel we still haven't quite figured it out.

It is not about utility first, it is about freedom first. Freedom informs utility, though it may take longer to do so.

Think of every great technology from the past that was proprietary whose company changed direction or simply folded up shop. Each of those technologies was either freed and allowed to live on or disappeared into the aether. No matter how good a proprietary technology is, its life span is limited by its lack of freedom.

While every Free/Libre technology may not live forever, this is not a property of it being free. An inevitable end point to the life of proprietary technologies is, indeed, a property of their lack of freedom.

So the question becomes not is the audio stack on Linux good enough for video editing, but do we wish to have a tool for video editing today that will not exist by the time our children are grown up. Or would we rather have a great tool that matures like fine wine and cheese does and which we can enjoy for a lifetime.

Example: EMACS and vi. Those two tools are, in computing industry terms, ancient. Yet they are widely used and are both fantastic tools. (Though every programmer truly worth their salt knows that vim is the better of them ... </flamebait> ;)

During the time EMACS and vi have flourished endlessly, we've witnessed the coming and going and a remarkable number of proprietary text editing tools. Many of those tools were better than EMACS and vi were in their infancy, but that certainly did not save them.

This pattern repeats in many other software categories.

So if we fickle-minded, attention-span-challenged, shiny-things-distract-us-like-a-3-year-old-baboon technology enthusiasts could learn from history and stick to the tools that promise longevity, we would find that problems in the Linux audio stack (e.g.) would resolve themselves quicker and we'd have something wonderful to pass on to both our older future selves as well as the generations that will follow us.

This, by the way, is yet another product of the practice of thinking not only of right now but casting our eyes forward into the middle future while thinking of the right now. If that seems unrealistic to you (perhaps because people seem not to do so), consider that we humans have a couple hundred thousand years of history stretching behind us, admittedly with most of the interesting parts being in the last ten thousand or so. If we are the product of an exciting adventure stretched out over 10,000 years of unbroken, if complex and not always pleasant, narrative, it becomes obvious and evident that viewing our current actions within the context of the next measly ten or twenty years should be no great stretch. Being informed of our shared deep past, we begin to understand that "the now" is measured in decades not months or years. And so many people in various disciplines have been shifting their eyes upwards from their feet to the horizon.

When we do so with technology, it is self-evident that technologies based in freedom are the only investment worth making.

So, no, you shouldn't consider buying a Mac. Because the pyramids*.

* To pick an arbitrary reminder of our deeper past.

The way KDE/Dolphin's html thumbnails have no problem playing audio is almost as impressive as it is annoying.

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While making another WebP animation, I found a frame where it would've been highly beneficial to separate it into two much smaller frames and have them display at the same time. I remember I used to harp on (pretty much all) gif implementations for setting arbitrary lower bounds on the frame delay, while if they followed the spec you'd be able to use a 0 delay to display two frames simultaneously.

Simultaneous display would be useful because the frames can be on different parts of the image since frame dimensions and offsets can be specified, saving you from having to encode everything between the actual changes. The pathological case would be two pixels on opposite corners changing at the same time. With simultaneous display of separate frames, you encode only two pixels. Without it you encode every pixel in the image. Considering I'm working with images with over two million pixels, that's kind of a big deal.

So I wondered if maybe the WebP implementation got it right. It was hard to tell with the anim I was working on, so I made a test image (modified the old offset test) to make it easy to tell.

It seems there is a lower bound in Chrome's implementation. Any delay below 11ms is treated as being 100ms. This is consistent with how they treat gifs, so I wouldn't be surprised if they just reused that code. Would be nice if they actually followed the spec for their own format though. It's not too late to change it now.

Updated Chrome. New tabs stopped loading. Closed the window. Couldn't relaunch.

Apparently the Debian package for Unstable is finally acting like it does everywhere else (completely separate from any Stable or Beta install). Since google-chrome-unstable stopped providing google-chrome, all calls to google-chrome failed.

Back on beta now just so I wouldn't have to move my profile over.

Dreams are weird. Just woke up from a really unique one. Despite it being so unique, during it I had the distinct feeling that this was not my first time experiencing it. Not the same as deja vu, but more like a feeling that I'd been to this particular attraction before (it was kind of like a stage play with extensive audience participation), so it felt completely natural that I knew what would happen and I could even affect the flow somewhat while being aware of other possible flows.

The really strange part is that even upon waking and realizing it was a dream, the feeling didn't go away. I just felt like maybe I'd seen the same dream before. Like I'd fallen into this particular dream world a second time and the memories of each dream world are regained upon reentry. (It wouldn't be the first time I've had dreams that connect to each other.) But while rerunning the details of the dream in my head so as not to forget them, I realized that many aspects of it were clearly inspired by things I experienced yesterday.

One particular contributor to the unique quality of it was no doubt the playthrough of Mystical Ninja starring Goemon I watched. I hadn't played or seen the game played in at least 12 years, so I suppose it's entirely possible I saw a similarly inspired dream way back then (it did seem more geared toward the me of that age, and it almost felt like I was that age during it) which was just buried deep in my memories and was dug up in the process of storing this new related experience.

But then I have had dreams in which I have prior knowledge that (to my waking self) seems to come from nothing, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is a case of that, with the entire previous "dream" (a real experience in the context of the dream) being one of these implanted memories.

Perhaps it's changed since I was last informed, but I heard that we dream during the process of transferring short-term memory to long-term memory, the dream itself being a story constructed by the part of the brain that tries to make sense of the world as these unrelated fragments flow through it. If that's the case then I suppose it's not at all strange that dreams have an intricate relationship with memory which might manifest in very strange ways. It's just usually not this explicit.

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I must have a psychic link to Randall Munroe who is apparently not on G+ anymore because I was thinking of this exact same thing earlier.

When you tell someone your room is a mess, especially if you know theirs is much worse, it's like calling them a slob to their face.

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"force is the universal substitute for truth."
"In Kohn's other great book Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community, he explains how all punishments called logical or natural consequences, destroy any respectful, loving relationship between adult and child and impede the process of ethical development. (Need I mention Enron, Martha Stewart, the Iraqi Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal or certain car repairmen?) Any type of coercion, whether it is the seduction of rewards or the humiliation of punishment, creates a tear in the fabric of relational connection between adults and children. Then adults become simply dispensers of goodies and authoritarian dispensers of controlling punishments. The atmosphere of fear and scarcity grows as the sense of connectedness that fosters true and generous cooperation, giving from the heart, withers. Using punishments and rewards is like drinking salt water. It does create a short-term relief, but long-term it makes matters worse. This desert of emotional connectedness is fertile ground for actin-out to get attention. Punishment is a use of force, in the negative sense of that word, not an expression of true power or strength. David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. author of the book Power v. Force writes 'force is the universal substitute for truth. The need to control others stems from lack of power, just as vanity stems from lack of self-esteem. Punishment is a form of violence, an ineffective substitute for power.'

"Sadly though parents are afraid not to hit an punish their children for fear they will turn out to be bank-robbers. But the truth may well be the opposite. Research shows that virtually all felony offenders were harshly punished as children. Besides children learn thru modeling. Punishment models the tactic of deliberately creating pain for another to get something you want to happen. Punishment does not teach children to care about how their actions might create pain for another, it teaches them it is ok to create pain for another if you have the power to get away with it. Basically might makes right. Punishment gets children to focus on themselves an what is happening to them instead of developing empathy for how their behavior affects another."

"One of the most popular discipline programs in American schools is called Assertive Discipline. It teaches teachers to inflict the old "obey or suffer" method of control on students. Here you disguise the threat of punishment by calling it a choice the child is making. As in, 'You have a choice, you can either finish your homework or miss the outing this weekend.' Then when the child chooses to try tot protect his dignity against this form of terrorism, by refusing to do his homework, you tell him his has chosen his logical, natural consequence of being excluded from the outing. Putting it this way helps the parent or teacher mitigate against the bad feelings and guilt that would otherwise arise to tell adult that they are operating outside the principles of compassionate relating. This insidious method is even worse than out-and-out punishing, where you can at least rebel against your punisher. The use of this mind game teaches the child the false, crazy-making belief that they wanted something bad or painful to happen to them. These programs also have the stated intention of getting the child to be angry with himself for making a poor choice. In this smoke and mirrors game, the children are 'causing' everything to happen and the teachers are the puppets of the children's choices. The only ones who are not taking responsibility for their actions are the adults."

~Kelly Bryson
Don't Be Nice, Be Real

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