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The Isoblog. Posts

Linux, from before the war…

Seth Kenlon from RedHat has been finding old Linux distros from before the war and installed them. How bad is this old shit, from todays POV?

Slackware 1.01 (1993): It does not even have package management. But:

Over all, Slackware 1.01 feels a lot like a fairly modern UNIX—or more appropriately, it feels like modern UNIX might feel to a Linux user. Most everything is familiar, but there are differences here and there. Not nearly as much a difference as you might expect from an operating system released in 1993!

And it continues like that – much of the old stuff works and feels a lot like stuff today. So besides systemd, there has hardly been any progress at all.

For example, some people’s desktop looks like this, even today:

SUSE 5.1 (1998) – I know people how are using a desktop that looks like this, even today.
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Vattenfall electrifies their own cars

Vattenfall is letting us know (article in german), that they will be chaning their fleet to electric drive – all in all 3500 cars.

Makes a lot of sense if you are in the business of producing electricity. They also will build chargers, they say.

They quote 1700 cars in Sweden, 1100 in Germany and 750 in the Netherlands, to be converted within the coming 5 years.

Vattenfall hat im Januar 2017 mit der über fünf Jahre geplanten schrittweisen Umstellung seines Fuhrparks mit 1700 Fahrzeugen in Schweden, 1100 in Deutschland und 750 in den Niederlanden begonnen. Dies umfasst alle Fahrzeugtypen vom PKW bis zu Technik- und Wartungsfahrzeugen. Die Entwicklung des Marktes für Elektroautos und speziell für leichte E-Nutzfahrzeuge wird für das Erreichen dieses Ziels entscheidend sein.

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Fast and forceful gel robots

[These] robots are made entirely of hydrogel — a tough, rubbery, nearly transparent material that’s composed mostly of water. Each robot is an assemblage of hollow, precisely designed hydrogel structures, connected to rubbery tubes. When the researchers pump water into the hydrogel robots, the structures quickly inflate in orientations that enable the bots to curl up or stretch out.

(MIT News)

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Maya empire remains

Lidar Image

Two articles about the Maya civilization:

Seeker article about LiDAR being used to reveal ancient structures on the Jungle ground: A network of 150km of prehistoric Autobahn ran through the Jungle, binding the Mayan Empire together.

“These causeways are 130 feet wide, up to 20 feet high and in some cases they extend as far as 25 miles,” Hansen said.

A causeway is a raised road across difficult, often wet or unstable ground. Because of the raised structure LiDAR can find these roads even today.

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Traffic in Berlin

Symbol picture

Earlier this year, Berliner Newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported in Berliner Grundschule kapituliert vor Rasern (article in German) about schools in Berlin Schöneberg taking down their school patrols because the job became too dangerous. Apparently parents bringing their children to schoolby car because traffic in Berlin is dangerous are driving so recklessly that traffic in Berlin too dangerous. Also, said parents were giving a shit about school patrols orders and signage, speed limits or other traffic rules.

The saga continued with a second article (article in German) about schools in Spandau having the same problem. Because of the situation, parents instead of pupils have been employed as school patrol, but to no effect.

First reactions from politics are in (article in German) – now the police are posting speed cams in front of schools, and are doing school patrol work in some particularly affected schools. Also, temporary road blocks (1/2 hour before school begins) are being suggested.

Not just in front of schools, but throughout the city, cycleways are often blocked (article in German, many pics) by parked cars in an extremely dangerous fashion.


Deutsche See vs Volkswagen

A reminder of better times?

Die Zeit reports in German language about Fisch-Supplier Deutsche See suing Volkswagen over Dieselgate, for 12 million Euro in damages.

Deutsche See has dieselfied their fleet in 2010, using Volkswagen cars with BlueMotion. Volkswagen got the contract specifically because they claimed to be greener than the competition, which turned out to be a lie. They now want leasing fees and support cost back, for a fleet of 500 Volkswagen cars.

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Unlearning Descriptive Statistics

Anscombe’s Quartet by Schutz

Unlearning Descriptive Statistics explains many things you should know about working with Numbers that your Statistics Class in University probably did not explain properly.

If they did, maybe Graphite would not hurt so much, with all the Averaging going on where it shouldn’t, and maybe Gill Tene would not have had to give talks like How NOT to measure latency (which is awesome, by the way and if you haven’t seen this talk, do it right now).

From the Intro of Unlearning:

If you’ve ever used an arithmetic mean, a Pearson correlation or a standard deviation to describe a dataset, I’m writing this for you. Better numbers exist to summarize location, association and spread: numbers that are easier to interpret and that don’t act up with wonky data and outliers.

Statistics professors tend to gloss over basic descriptive statistics because they want to spend as much time as possible on margins of error and t-tests and regression. Fair enough, but the result is that it’s easier to find a machine learning expert than someone who can talk about numbers. Forget what you think you know about descriptives and let me give you a whirlwind tour of the real stuff.

Go, read the rest.

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