November 26th, 2019

Leif Gram: Mr. Fix


philg -- There is the image question. With today’s Teslas, one expects the driver to emerge and deliver a lecture on climate change, the merits of Elizabeth Warren, unions (except at Tesla itself), and a larger government, etc. What would the image be of someone who drives what looks like a high school kid’s first SolidWorks project?
(рекомендовал pgms@mokum)
Mr. Twister


Вот эту книгу прочитал:

     AT&T was effectively a monopoly, since it provided telephone service to most of the United States, but its ability to exploit its monopoly power was constrained. It was regulated by federal and state bodies that controlled the prices that it could charge for its various services, and it was not allowed to enter businesses that were not directly related to providing telephone services. This regulatory regime worked well for many years. AT&T was required to provide service to everyone ("universal service") no matter how remote or unprofitable. As compensation, it got a stable and predictable overall rate of return.
     As part of this arrangement, AT&T directed a small fraction of its revenue to Bell Labs, with the express purpose of improving communications services. In effect, Bell Labs was paid for by a modest tax on every phone call in the country. According to a paper by A. Michael Noll, AT&T spent about 2.8 percent of its revenues on research and development, with about 0.3 percent on basic research. I'm not sure how well this would work today, but for decades, the arrangement led to a steady flow of improvements to the phone system and a significant number of fundamental scientific discoveries.
     Stable funding was a crucial factor for research. It meant that AT&T could take a long-term view and Bell Labs researches had the freedom to explore areas that might not have a near-term payoff and perhaps never would. That's a contrast with today's world, in which planning often seems to look ahead only a few month, and much effort is spent on speculating about financial results for the next quarter.

T.e. проблема уже не в том, создало ли государство интернет (конечно да), а что оно же сперва создало транзисторы, электронику, компьютеры, Юникс, C и C++.

Вторая интересная особенность -- в книге есть отдельная глава про Торвальдса, с фотографией, но ни единого слова про Столлмана.
Leif Gram: Mr. Fix


Многие уже не догадываются, что буквальное значение слова подожди - это приглашение излиться дождём.
Leif Gram: Mr. Fix


Хорошо помню, что тридцать лет назад в Ленинграде незнакомые люди обращались друг к другу на улице словами мужчина! или женщина! Сохранился ли этот красивый обычай?