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posted by mrpg on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the #! dept.

Lifehacker has an Interview with Brian Fox, the author of the Bash shell.

Brian Fox is a titan of open source software. As the first employee of Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation, he wrote several core GNU components, including the GNU Bash shell. Now he’s a board member of the National Association of Voting Officials and co-founder of Orchid Labs, which delivers uncensored and private internet access to users like those behind China’s firewall. We talked to him about his career and how he works.

[...] I first recall being interested in technology at the age of 6. My father, a physicist at Bolt, Beranek and Newman, had a teletype machine in the basement of the house we were living in. It connected to BBN via a modem. The baud rate was probably around 110bps—quite low. I used to hold down the CTRL key while pressing “G”, which would cause the bell to ring.

[...] I joined with my other 4 co-founders in 2017 to create the Orchid Protocol for a truly decentralized, surveillance-free internet.


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Justin Case on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:04PM (20 children)

    by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:04PM (#610712) Journal

    Holy crap, that Lifehacker page is a bloatload of inscrutable scripts and CSS with a microscopic bit of content buried among tons of garbage. In other words, part of the growing tide of shameless dark-gray-hats who stop at nothing to exploit every eyeball and click.

    I'm surprised that "a titan of open source software [and] the first employee of Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation" would allow his words to appear on such a scummy, malicious site.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Informative=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:12PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:12PM (#610715)

    I don't mind OT comments like this because it is true that a smaller and smaller percentage of websites contain a reasonable content/junk ratio. This is a big problem that needs to be dealt with somehow (perhaps the web needs to be forked or something, can we just put all crap like that directly on Facebook?).

    However, I will say that I've removed soylent from my favorites due to too much political content and will probably slowly forget about it. Even many non-political topics get turned toxic by political commentators now.

    The final straw for me was my post (the FP) here: https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/12/10/2256224 [soylentnews.org]

    There was a response that "FTF[me]" using a quote that had nothing to do with what I was saying. Then a pointless political debate ensued. It is like these political posts are made by bots...

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by requerdanos on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:29PM (5 children)

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:29PM (#610718) Journal

      Even many non-political topics get turned toxic by political commentators now.

      This is very, very annoying; I'd love to see a "-10 Pointlessly Political" mod similar to but perhaps not quite as penalizing as the "spam" mod.

      I really view the "Yeah, well [current story] is all because [a politician i do not like] is such an [insult deliberately and childishly misspelled], and you are an [insult to intelligence] if you say you don't see it!!!eleventy-one!" posts as a more pernicious form of spam, because they falsely claim to be on-topic, and a certain percentage of commenters actually fall for the premise that they are on-topic instead of just trolling garbage, and reply to them, derailing discussions into pointless political sewage as you note.

      That said, I believe that GP is on-topic because Stallman actually does object to his words and images being presented in such an environment; he says things like "if you're recording a video of me, please don't encode it in em pee anything, and please don't post it to youtube." With Fox being the author of Bash, one of GNU's flagship applications, I do think it's interesting that their views seem to differ on things like that.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Justin Case on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:33PM (4 children)

        by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:33PM (#610721) Journal

        I'd love to see a "-10 Pointlessly Political" mod

        Would you settle for "Offtopic"?

        More to the (offtopic) point, perhaps we could have a "Political" mod understood to have the same applicability as "Offtopic" but with an option so you could filter such posts in or out of your "Soylent experience (TM)".

        • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:39PM (3 children)

          by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:39PM (#610724) Journal

          I'd love to see a "-10 Pointlessly Political" mod

          Would you settle for "Offtopic"?

          No; I see "offtopic" as a mild frown, compared to what I would rather see, "heavy munitions."

          More to the (offtopic) point, perhaps we could have a "Political" mod understood to have the same applicability as "Offtopic" but with an option so you could filter such posts in or out of your "Soylent experience (TM)".

          This wouldn't do what I am thinking about here, because taking it out of the stream just for those who choose to ignore it would not prevent it from pretending to be ontopic just enough to derail discussion. Your post and my reply here are offtopic, sure, but are not likely to degenerate into a pointless flame war about which unrelated political group "sucks" or "rocks" more, and that's the difference that concerns me.

          • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:43PM (2 children)

            by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:43PM (#610726) Journal

            Controlling your own behavior is much easier than controlling everyone else. What's the difference to you if you don't see it vs. nobody can see it?

            Maybe you would like it better if your personal setting that filters out comments with the "Political" mod would also trickle down (not trying to get political here!) to all child posts.

            • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:55PM (1 child)

              by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:55PM (#610731) Journal

              Maybe you would like it better if your personal setting that filters out comments with the "Political" mod would also trickle down (not trying to get political here!) to all child posts.

              That's actually not too bad an idea, but it still fails to discourage the pointless-political-posturing-posts from siphoning energy and comments away from the community and into pointless-political-posturing-pisspots.

              Discouraging that sort of derailing of the conversation is effective even if I personally never see it, and failing to discourage it is ineffective even if I am somehow able to personally read everything but the problem 24/7.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @04:46PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @04:46PM (#611449)

                You are seeking a technological solution to a problem based on the nature of humans.
                All I can say is nobody has yet succeeded with that. People talk about what they want to talk about. Add really heavy moderation and that becomes a problem in itself with power tripping a-hole types.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by requerdanos on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:22PM (6 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:22PM (#610717) Journal

    I'm surprised that "a titan of open source software [and] the first employee of Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation" would allow his words to appear on such a scummy, malicious site.

    Well, I'm sure Stallman himself would object to such. But you'll notice that Fox says that he uses an iPhone (prohibits GPL in their app store) and a Macintosh (proprietary OS + bash + emacs) in his daily workflow, and he's an "open source" booster, not a free software activist, so I can't see, given that, why he'd so much as notice, much less complain.

    Besides, the page may not be quite the content-free hell you're describing. I downloaded it with wget and read it in dillo 3 with cookies disabled without issue, which is a good sign.

    • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:29PM

      by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:29PM (#610719) Journal

      Thank you for mentioning dillo! I've just installed it and it might be the browser I've been looking for. Or even threatening to write myself, as soon as I have that elusive free time.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:46PM (2 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:46PM (#610729)

      Fairly restrictive uMatrix (nothing but cookies, css and images regardless of domain) + uBlock works fine.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 1) by Crash on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:16PM (1 child)

        by Crash (1335) on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:16PM (#610776)

        The only thing I needed uBlock for was the prior (new) Yahoo Mail - which replaced Classic (non-ajaxified), except they renamed the new Yahoo as Classic...

        Other than that, uMatrix's default settings works for most sites, with some whitelisting for YouTube and what not.

        I turn off all uMatrix's subscription block lists, as they are overkill that just slows your browser down and eats ram like candy.

        Even NYT's and the Washington Post's paywall can be obviated by turning off first party scripting heh.

        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday December 17 2017, @06:46PM

          by RamiK (1813) on Sunday December 17 2017, @06:46PM (#611037)

          Even NYT's and the Washington Post's paywall can be obviated by turning off first party scripting heh.

          "restrictive uMatrix...regardless of domain" meant I've disabled first party scripting by default:


          https-strict: behind-the-scene false
          matrix-off: about-scheme true
          matrix-off: behind-the-scene true
          matrix-off: chrome-extension-scheme true
          matrix-off: chrome-scheme true
          matrix-off: localhost true
          matrix-off: moz-extension-scheme true
          matrix-off: opera-scheme true
          referrer-spoof: behind-the-scene false
          * * * block
          * * cookie allow
          * * css allow
          * * frame block
          * * image allow
          * * xhr block

          --
          compiling...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:46PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:46PM (#610759)

      That is a ridiculous way to read a web page though just because it's possible to circumvent stupidity doesn't mean it should be accepted as standard.

      • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:31PM

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:31PM (#610766) Journal

        That is a ridiculous way to read a web page though just because it's possible to circumvent stupidity doesn't mean it should be accepted as standard.

        It isn't standard for anyone except perhaps rms himself, and shouldn't be, because it would be a serious pain and defeats the purpose of the www.

        I didn't download the file and look at it in dillo until I wanted to see how well it worked without scripting and responsive whatnot. The article looked fine. No comments at the end though, I now notice.

  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:41PM (2 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:41PM (#610725) Journal
    "Holy crap, that Lifehacker page is a bloatload of inscrutable scripts and CSS with a microscopic bit of content buried among tons of garbage."

    That's not how I experienced it, however I took a look and count 9 different domains it's trying to load code from, so it appears you are not entirely wrong. I still would not agree with microscopic, the text is taking up 6 pages for me, properly formatted it would still be 3 or 4 pages, for a casual interview it's reasonable.

    He's also using a Mac and an iPhone these days. Sad.

    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Justin Case on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:25PM (1 child)

      by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:25PM (#610737) Journal

      I still would not agree with microscopic, the text is taking up 6 pages for me

      By my quick approximations, the interview text is 1/158 of the page content, not counting included scripts and CSS from other files which I suppose would make the ratio much worse.

      So, maybe not microscopic, but still a horrible signal-to-noise ratio.

      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:13PM

        by Arik (4543) on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:13PM (#610751) Journal
        Can't really disagree there. 1/158th? I got more like 7/102nd. That's only including what's boiled into the initial file and ignored by the browser, since it ignores the includes I don't know how large they would swell the total. But yeah, about 7/300th if you count the image files I *did* download. But I could turn those off if I was worried about the bandwidth at least.

        Which prompted me to look at it more closely. That really is a mess. The actual text begins and ends on line 106 of a 117 line file. That's 26,260 columns and 117 lines.

        One of the more monstrous piles I've seen passed off as a webpage, but then again I've really quit looking at them, it's just depressing.

        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:32PM (2 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:32PM (#610741) Journal

    "The food here is horrible, and such small portions"

    the growing tide of shameless dark-gray-hats

    Well, if they at least used dark gray text, I might might even be able to read the damn thing.

    --
    Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:05PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:05PM (#610748)

      "The food here is horrible, and such small portions"

      Allow me to explain something to you. When the food is of low quality then you need to eat more to have adequate nutrition. Haven't you ever wondered why those poor people you glimpse from the top of your ivory tower are always eating desperately trying to stay alive while you sit back and watch leisurely as your big piles of money grow bigger.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:23PM (#610753)

        Where's the "Say whaaa?" mod?