@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar



gatherer of network lint, occasional potsmaster, he/him, though I should switch to they/them just to make the usage more familiar to people

(profile images: a butterfly among leaf litter; mouse sculpture (with seed offerings) at a Kyoto shrine; don’t know how to add alt. text to these images)

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niconiconi, to random

Literally me, except I'm not a cute anime girl...

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar


Of course the flip side is a brightly lit “are you awake?” with a sunlit “Zzzzzz” in response.

cstross, (edited ) to random
@cstross@wandering.shop avatar

Can anyone recommend a decent iTerm2 replacement for macOS now that iTerm2 has jumped the shark and is pushing ChatGPT integration down my throat? (Preferably one that is (a) free and (b) doesn't require hand-editing JSON files to change the font size and typeface.)

EDIT: hint: point (b) is crucial—if I have to hand-edit a config file that's an automatic fail. Life is too short to be forced to futz around to configure a basic tool.

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar


I’m probably going to get smacked down for this, but I’ve been using Emacs as my terminal for about forty years across many OSes, including MacOS (30 of those 40 years).

I guess configuring in Lisp violates your second criterion, but that’s not necessary, as there’s configure-via-menu.

toddo, to random
@toddo@sfba.social avatar

<social scientist rant> For the love of god, stop saying “correlation is not causation” as if it’s a grand revelatory statement that invalidates everything. Of course correlation isn’t causation. It’s CORRELATION. Correlation is its own thing; it can manifest in a full range between strong and weak; and opens up key questions about why two (or more) things are correlated. If things are correlated that means they are hooked together in some way for some reason statistically. And that matters in its own way. If X and Y are correlated, but X doesn’t cause Y, who cares? They’re CORRELATED. So the next question is Why? How? Causation is not the only thing that matters. </social scientist rant>

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@toddo @stevegis_ssg

Well, skirt hem height and stock prices. But, I get your point.


lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

The EV charging problem is enormous. So many people can't charge at home. And even if they find public chargers that are available and actually working, and have the time to wait around while they're charging, the COST at those chargers is usually far higher than home charging would have been. Just doesn't make sense.

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

You’re taking automobiles, of course. Around Boston, there are now tons of other electric vehicles — bikes (some of which approach small delivery vehicles), scooters (both the Vespa and the kick-board variety), unicycles — the sort of transportation revolution it was thought Segways might become. With Boston and surrounding communities adding bike lanes and bike paths, it even feels pretty safe. Those have a much simpler recharging story.

zoom_earth, to random
@zoom_earth@mapstodon.space avatar

Mount in Indonesia erupts again 🌋


@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar


If you zoom out, you’ll see there are several circular cloud formations popping up north of the volcano simultaneously, almost as though there were five more eruption going on. Perhaps they’re some sort of echo of the volcano’s shockwave

lain_7, to random
@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar
jonny, to random
@jonny@neuromatch.social avatar

Wikipedia is already an LLM except you chat into the search bar and Ctrl+f box and instead of it being a organized by nothing its organized by "topic"

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@jonny So is answering "citation needed"

ronanmcd, to random
@ronanmcd@mastodon.green avatar

I have made more purchases due to exposure to makers and small businesses on Mastodon than any other platform. I don't buy much, but in the last year I bought handprinted clothing, a painting, several fonts and two chairs. It's not a selling platform, and shouldn't be, but it's a community noticeboard

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@ronanmcd @slothrop For me, it’s primarily been books (borrowed from library where possible, but often purchased). Plus a few hand-crafted things

lain_7, to random
@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar
whitequark, to random
@whitequark@mastodon.social avatar

I just went digging for why Ethernet jumbo frame size is typically 9000, and found out that the reasoning is "until equipment supports much more than 9000 byte frames, we can use 9000, because it is an easy number to remember" https://docs.globalnoc.iu.edu/i2network//jumbo-frames/rrsum-almes-mtu.html

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@whitequark well, the traditional (and true for all but my loopback interface) 1500 byte MTU on Ethernet comes from the fact that MTU plus Ethernet header is about 1536 bytes, which is 12288 bits, which takes 2^12 microseconds to transmit at 3Mb/second.

Why 3Mb? Because the Alto computer (for which Ethernet was invented) had a data path that ran at 3Mhz. This meant the Alto Ethernet interface could just write the bits into the Alto’s memory as they arrived (memory was really expensive then, and couldn’t be wasted on a device interface).

Also, at that rate, a bit took 300 ns to send on the coaxial cable, so it was about 300 feet long, a decent size for collision detection on a local area network.

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@brouhaha @whitequark


Wikipedia says the clock rate was 5.88 Mhz, but goes on to say:

Ethernet is likewise supported by minimal hardware, with a shift register that acts bidirectionally to serialize output words and deserialize input words. Its speed was designed to be 3 Mbit/s because the microcode engine can not go faster and continue to support the video display, disk activity, and memory refresh.
(end quote)


lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

There's lots of things about China to be concerned about, but the bipartisan "national security threats" attacks on TikTok are just political grandstanding and are fundamentally nuts.

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@lauren While what you say about privacy concerns about TikTok are probably overblown in context, there’s a plausible fear of TikTok’s algorithm selectively feeding and promoting one perspective over anothe — especially when, as I gather it is with TikTok, it’s all algorithm, not a matter of users selecting topics.

Imagine Fox News under the control of the Chinese Communist Party.

Of course, these concerns being directed solely at TIkTok and not other platforms seems to naively presume a benevolence on the part of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, or Rupert Murdoch (or their advertising departments).

ugurcan, to random
@ugurcan@mastodon.gamedev.place avatar

So true for every technological breakthrough, including the latest one with Generative AI.

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@ugurcan @paninid Well, maybe not bicycles.

@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar
alcinnz, to random
@alcinnz@floss.social avatar

I believe in the value of files, but I'm not convinced that folders are the best way to organize them.

Files (in open-standard formats) are our most powerful weapon against walled gardens! If you can take your things effortlessly from app to app! Allowing you to switch apps at a whim or combine multiple apps together.

There can be great business risk in not recognizing how mission-critical your files are. How you want them to outlast any particular service or software.

Ooooo, idea!


@lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

@alcinnz I have heard that CS-100 professors find that the file metaphor doesn’t work for students raised on phones, where things like photo apps organize data using tags — metadata, if you will. It makes a lot of sense, since a lot of things belong in multiple places for a hypothetical tree-like filesystem. This caused me to rethink my own mental habits about filesystems.

So, I think you’re on to something.

(For that matter, Mike Stonebraker is going around talking about his project that puts the database under the operating system — operating systems are, to a degree, basically managing tables (of processes, I/O channels, memory maps, ….) so maybe it’s an idea worth kicking around.

GhostOnTheHalfShell, to random
@GhostOnTheHalfShell@masto.ai avatar


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  • lain_7,
    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar
    niconiconi, to til

    The floor(x) and ceil(x) functions and their symbols ⌊x⌋ and ⌈x⌉ were invented by Kenneth E. Iverson in 1962 for APL programming. Thankfully, it was soon accepted in math and made the ambiguous symbol [x] obsolete.

    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

    @niconiconi Iverson actually invented them — and much of the rest of APL — as mathematical notation for use on blackboards. Only later did “Iverson notation” become a programming language.


    lain_7, to random
    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar


    Just finished Cory Doctorow’s second Martin Hench novel, The Bezzle.

    Doctorow’s Hench novels are like Robin Hood caper stories, only with the focus on how to bring the scammers to a form of justice. It’s got that same breathless excitement as the complex mechanics of the deal come together.

    The Bezzle starts with taking down a ponzi scheme that’s roping in the residents of a small, tight-knit community of townies in a tourist destination to the benefit of a few of the “from away” people, who are just happy to take “the rubes”, then grows out into an indictment of the prison-industrial complex, as Doctorow details the ways that prisoners are screwed by fees for phone calls, books, mail, and other forms of contact with the outside world.

    The book is great fun. The audio book is read by Wil Wheaton, who does a great job. Doctorow rebels at Audible’s insistence on DRM, so is releasing his audiobooks through Libro, a competing service (and one that funnels a share of your purchases to the bookshop of your choice). Getting introduced to Libro is one of the benefits of backing Doctorow’s kickstarters.

    larsbrinkhoff, to random
    @larsbrinkhoff@mastodon.sdf.org avatar

    45 years ago, the MIT
    AI Lab PDP-10 magic switch was removed.

    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

    @larsbrinkhoff @niconiconi

    I worked with a KA10 that had an oscilloscope probe hanging from one of its cards, with a note warning against removal. TENEX ran with the probe in place, and didn't with the probe removed.

    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

    @niconiconi @larsbrinkhoff I'm guessing it came after a long frustrating session of debugging and they just never got around to it. Plus I, I think it secretly amused them. Like an Easter egg.

    LoneLocust, to random
    @LoneLocust@mastodon.social avatar

    In 1998, I wrote down my travels in physical journals.
    By 2005, I was blogging them instead of writing them
    By 2011, I was tweeting them instead of blogging them

    In 2024, I'm lucky to have the archive I downloaded from Twitter before I deleted that shit-show. Even still, that is a completely discombobulated hot mess.

    My written journals are still tangible and easily accessible (to me.) The rest may have been pissing in the wind.

    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

    @LoneLocust @KeithDevlin hope you used archival ink. I have sketchbooks full of drawings where time has faded the ink

    niconiconi, to random

    What Every Programmer Should Know About The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Memes, "Considered Harmful" is All You Need!

    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar


    Back in the mid-morning of time Guy Steele and Gerry Sussman tried very hard to get a "Lambda, the ultimate...." meme started

    Lambda, the ultimate....

    • op-code ("finite memories considered harmful")
    • imperative
    • declarative


    lain_7, to random
    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

    Let's launch a cloud of tiny (measured-in-single-digits-of-grams) payloads to Proxima Centauri, driven by light sails using a laser to accelerate to 0.2c.

    A cloud of probes gives you redundancy, and let's you be confident some of them will pass near enough to Proxima Centauri's planets to get decent images (no way to slow them down, after all).


    lauren, to random
    @lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

    Biden: Forgets stuff.

    Trump: Constantly lies and adoringly quotes Hitler. And forgets stuff.

    Not a difficult choice.

    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

    @lauren @seb321 @tseitr
    One could ask "Which one would Netanyahu (Putin, Orban) vote for?" And vote for the other one.

    cstross, to random
    @cstross@wandering.shop avatar

    So, does anyone have any insights about how Apple vIsion
    Pro™ compares with that Meta™-branded apple
    Vision pro VR headseat?

    Asking for a friend^Wtrademark lawyer

    @lain_7@tldr.nettime.org avatar

    @SteveBellovin @woody @sergedroz @jonathankoren @mithriltabby @cstross @wordshaper

    I got the dirtiest looks from a lineup of X developers the time I jokingly suggested putting a Scheme interpreter into the X display server at an early design meeting (I was riffing on News).

    Sun was rather taken with the idea of programmable servers -- wasn't there a version of NFS with Postscript embedded? Run grep by doing the pattern matching in your fileserver, return only matching lines.

    I suppose the only place it stuck was the plug-and-play device driver system they had for a while.

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