OK, no blot yesterday. FD SCP had me engaged in tasks that could not be denied. So I have a bit of tomato condiment today since we have crept into full blown week out.
First, the big news seems to be articles about the possible observation at CERN of neutrinos traveling in excess of the speed-of-light. [Link] This is rather a hot topic since it would immediately make NASA’s day. There are all sorts of articles, of the journalistic persuasion, arguing all sorts of interpretations [Link][Link] so I may as well put my one-fiftieth of a Yankee dollar into the discussion.
First, let us recall that the constancy of the speed of light is a postulate that Albert Einstein made to get the maths to coagulate for special relativity. There are several measurements that support the postulate but we have to remember that it is after all a postulate. Second, since we are dealing with basic (I resist the urge to use the word ‘fundamental’ lest I be proven wrong decades hence, so much for confidence in the stability of the standard model) particles here, we are dealing at the boundary of quantum mechanics and general relativity for which, despite the mumblings and chest beatings of string and quantum loop gravity theorists, we do not yet have a combined theory of reasonably demonstrated validity.
So at least two things need to occur before we can move forward looking for a way to get to Alpha Centaurus in a day. First, the data from the CERN experiment needs to be scrubbed for any errors or inaccuracies. And then the experiment needs to be repeated somewhere else. Independent replication is necessary no matter what the Madison Avenue wonks claim. And that is going to take time. So Waiting Is.
Meanwhile, the discussion on the nature of Linux seems to be getting much more dense. Article n the subject this week have varied between brutal and strange, and not in the quark sense. First, a article on the desktop [Link] that rather puts one in mind of a journalistic drunkard’s walk. Parts of it I heartily agree with, not that the author cares or it actually matters, in particular that Linux is going to vanquish either Winders or AppleOS. I have to rather suspect that matter had become the analog of the level of interest in small town Amerika of cricket scores.
The fact is that the keyboarded computer is an endangered animal. It will not go extinct I expect, but it will once more become a tool of work and cease to be an appliance of entertainment, replaced in that arena by cellular telephones and tablets. But as both the author and Torvalds have noted a division of the way needs to occur. The future of the desktop cannot remain wedded to the shackles of a GUI designed for those entertainment appliances. It’s rather like making a machinist work with gauntlets on all the time.
But the hope of those tools has to be Linux. We cannot expect MegaHard nor Apple to continue to build desktop OS when the entertainment revenue is elsewhere. So the only way we are going to have a viable OS for those who still toil is via Linux.
Not that the future is assured. It seems that MegaHard is trying to do a shutout of Linux. [Link] Seems that for W8 MegaHard is abandoning BIOS and going to UEFI which will only work with signed software. The plan is actually quite crafty. MegaHard will get the computer manufacturers to do the dirty so they can claim themselves innocent, a trick practiced by almost all genocides throughout history. I fear however, that I have confidence that the Linux community will find a workaround the megalomania of the planet’s leading paranoiacs.
And lastly, an essay [Link] from our old acquaintance Matt Asay that Linux is secular. Well said but not for the religionist bog.