… and does it matter?
Most people probably don’t. Claire Evans on ScienceBlogs gives an overview with a look at how most of us relate to technology.
I often wonder whether technology can continue to progress at its current pace if less and less of us understand it. But perhaps it only requires a few … I don’t know!
Image via Wikipedia
This is probably an exceptionally rare cause for this problem, and once spotted, it’s incredibly obvious, but since it took me about a half an hour to find it, I thought I’d post a note. It might just save someone some time.
I found that suddenly I had no content in the RSS feed for one of my WordPress based sites. The feed had been working but suddenly stopped. I searched for various causes of this problem and even uploaded my WordPress files (other than wp-content).
It turned out to be incredibly simple. I’d created a directory “feeds” which, of course, overrode whatever WordPress wanted to provide using that permalink.
I would imagine that I intended the “feeds” directory for one of the other sites on the same account, but the why is less important than the solution – delete the offending directory!
Cory Doctorow is a very well known science fiction writer, journalist, and a commentator on technology and social issues. He is interviewed in about the first 15 minutes of the Canadian (CBC) program Spark 170. I think what he’s saying is both prescient and very important.
It would be worthwhile for American readers to listen to the second interview as well, which gives a bit of a view of SOPA/PIPA from outside this country.
Image via Wikipedia
This guess post at Greg Laden’s blog gives one man’s experience switching to Linux. It’s a repost from 2009, so the version numbers are a bit different (Ubuntu is at 11.10 now), but it still gives a pretty good idea of what to expect.
I would add the strong recommendation that when you switch operating systems you look at what you use carefully and check on the web for compatible options to use under the new system.
There is a learning curve for Ubuntu, but it can be especially valuable for people who need to have reasonable power at a low price. I use an Ubuntu machine as my main office work machine. I do some work on this Windows laptop as well, but almost everything I do is best done on the Linux box.
Popular Mechanics has a tremendously interesting article based on a recent book that provided transcripts of the black box recordings of this flight as it went down over the Atlantic Ocean.
For someone who is not a pilot, but has read something about it, it seems hard to believe that a professional pilot of any level of experience would keep pulling back on the stick through a number of minutes of a stall alarm. Nifty flight simulator programs teach you that much. In the comfort of your own home. With nothing but virtual skill on the line.
Well, maybe not so much. I think this is an excellent illustration of how hard it is for us to change course when things are going wrong. We stick with familiar habits and look for obvious solutions. The greater the pressure, the more likely (as the article notes) we are to cling to the familiar.
Perhaps there’s a lesson for all us non-pilots in this. Besides not saying something you haven’t had to do yourself is simple, perhaps we all have habits of mind that we might need to work on if we’re going to be up to responding to a fast moving world.
Linux.com reports on the progress in just under a year of The Ada Initiative, which has this mission:
“A world in which women are equal and welcome participants in open technology, open data, and open culture. We want women writing free software, women editing Wikipedia, women creating the Internet and women shaping the future of global society.”
This was the first I had heard of this initiative. It looks like a commendable set of goals.
SmartPlanet has a list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011. It’s good to read the comments as well.
Computer people tend to make the error of thinking that any password that’s hard to guess is good, and the harder the better. But the fact is that people tend to write down passwords that are hard to remember. I’ve often gotten the “how did you guess?” look of awe from a client when I log directly into their machine. They think I pulled some sort of magic, when I’m actually reading their password off a note they left near the monitor.
If you can come up with a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers, involving both upper and lower case that you can remember well, then it’s good. But you might have to back off a bit so you can remember it rather than making it available near your workstation.
Dennis Ritchie, the ‘R’ in K&R so familiar to any C programmer, has passed away.
I learned C fairly early, though I passed on to C++ as well. I haven’t done any work in C for some time, but my copy of K&R is well-worn.
(HT: Greg Laden)
Posted in C++
Tagged C, Dennis Ritchie