Archive | Uncategorized RSS for this section

TGSoc.org

We just registered a shorter URL for ourselves: TGSoc.org. This will make emailing simpler.

The format is simple HTML/CSS with a little JavaScripting. We will be bringing in more scripting as we work in functionality for membership, registered reading, and such.

Recently, we met and agreed to keep with our own VM (rental) rather than use the cloud. Of course, the blog and FB are still cloud.

We are working on the next issue of The Gardner Annals. One feature will be The Massachusetts Magazine. We’ll go over Volumes VI through XI.

Technology’s impact

Even the IEEE Spectrum had an article referring to the zombies with their little mobile devices. “Doing what?” is always my question, especially when I, as a pedestrian, almost get run over by one who is behind the wheel. We see these folks everywhere; they are an increasing danger.

But, technology as a whole has always been a problem. NASA, famously, always picked the older technology. We can really discuss that.

So, I have been at this since 2009 and have accumulated a whole lot of stuff. Some of it has been transcribed to articles (see What’s New 03/19/2017 for reprints). A lot has been used for applications for various persons and several organizations. A lot is pending further analysis.

One thing is that some framework has to be chosen. Everyone has gone to the cloud. That is not smart for many reasons. You do see some re-thinking this and defining personal clouds. I want the TGS to have its own server. We have to discuss all of this.

But, the Windows 10 deal, of late, has helped hone focus on some of the issues. I picked it in order to get up to speed on the current, but, in my research, I noticed that many people who “compute” (as in, real stuff) are still at Windows 7. Well, I see that as a proper way to go for many reasons, though I will limp along with Windows 10 (MS is now releasing something that is a scaled down Windows 10 with more web friendliness – as if that is what real work needs).

You see, an update occurred. So, the wifi goes. I got that restarted. Mind you, that type of thing took away from my getting done what I had planned. Then, the printer wouldn’t work. Here, Windows 10 sees the thing as a scanner only. So, it will read a page, but it will not print. Drivers are not available. Not yet. Well, fortunately, I have an older laptop that I’m using until I decide on a printer.

One bit of the deal is that things have to be addressable. Oh Lord, IoE will kill us if AI doesn’t ;-).

Now, as the Windows 10 post mentions, I spent a little time getting familiar and configuring the system. Then, I slowly started to go through files and get things up to date. That forced me to come up with encryption strategies (in the works as well as forcing a rethink of processes, such as backup). All of this, side issues.

So, I’m rolling along. Too, I became quite enamored of the breadth and depth of what I had gathered. Too, I was impressed by how much I could do normally. Yet, we do power-using at the beck and call of the system. Lose the trace, and one has to rebuild, essentially, the process.

This will be a huge problem for robots; deep learning is a panacea (silver bullet).

BTW, the transition from Windows Vista to Windows 7 was a piece of cake. With Windows 10, they want too much control; so far, I have been able to circumvent that. I am not sure that letting them have control would make it better; in my mind, I would worry even if things seemed to work.

Ah, if only we could go back 15 years and do this over, folks.

Windows 10

I just went through the transition to Windows 10 and wanted to share some thoughts on the matter. I am running it like Windows 7, using a laptop and mouse. Our website is Linux based, so I can still keep up the maintenance using this method. We were, earlier, under the MS realm and had to transition for various reasons. Perhaps, at some point, we’ll try that type of ISP arrangement, again. But, it was nice to find Linux which then allowed me to use what I already knew from working with Unix web-servers for so long.

And, so, Win10 being seen as Win7. If you look at the offerings, say by Dell, in the business world (as in, systems that do something to support a business practice), you will see Win7 still being in the mix. Why? MS said that they would support the thing to 2020. But, why haven’t people switched?

Well, functionality is always more important than flash. That is, there is always a style versus substance trade off. And, believe me, when things get going, you want functionality. The first two or three days were spent setting up the look and feel; too, all sorts of crazy (stupid?) stuff had to be removed (say, shopping – commercialization ruined our web).

So, to the point. 12 years ago, I got a new laptop. Back then, Windows Vista was the new thing. And, Windows XP had shown its moxie. So, I ran Vistas as XP and was happy until the inevitable hardware failing. At that point, Windows 7 was ready. So, I had two laptops with that.

In the meantime, I tried two options. One was a small little portable (the mobile variety). Android was nice. But, that did not work out. Then, I tried something a little larger. They were both touch screen capable.

Which brings up another issue. I remember going to a store and seeing people play with Windows 8. Oh yes, touch with its new interface protocol. I looked inside. Same old stuff, though one excited sales guy talked about new metaphors, and such. Oh sure. Thankfully, MS did come out with Win010. My first introduction was a year ago, but I went back to my laptop which failed earlier this month. It’s faster, a little cleaner.

Still, the old adage probably applies: when you type Win, you lose (you have to be a Linux nerd to get that). Yet, functionality? MS Office is great, mainly for Excel and Word. I experienced advanced Excel work in the engineering environment. You would be surprised how that group put Excel through its paces.

Yet, 10 years ago, I found a bug. Didn’t report it, just wrote my own code. It did take the bloom off the rose.

Back to the point, we use computing for more than mere entertainment. It has to work and provide expected results. So, that is a continuing game. Dell, at least, is being proactive in supporting the business user, even more so now that they have EMC. But, the edge keeps advancing which forces continued support for things far beyond what the provider would like to be the case.

The jury is still out here, as I need to look at doing my own web hosting. Now, whether that is via a cloud provider or not is one choice. However, the whole issue of interface, mobility, and such, will need to be tweaked. The IOT, and other initiatives are pushing the envelope, yet we have underlying issues that need attention. Well, the next few years will be interesting.

BTW, webhostinghub has done a good support job. The whole  bit of decisions about CMS are still open, though.

The Gardner Annals

This is our third volume with only one issue, however it is twice the size of the other issues. So, page count is the same. The content is more toward status than before, as there is a lot of ongoing research.

See this post for the Table of Contents: The Gardner Annals, Vol. III, No. 1. In summary, the topics were Whence Gardner, Westward Migration, The Massachusetts Magazine, Magna Carta, and About Genes.

The last one was the topic of our last post (Genome and more). This time, we look at the theme of an article in the Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machines). The ACM is an old organization dating from the origins of attempting to compute via electronics.

The article: Sex as an Algorithm: The Theory of Evolution Under the Lens of Computation.

Thankfully, the article is available in full text, so no on-line account at the ACM is required. There is some discussion in the TGA. For now, let’s end with a quote from the article.

Gene: A unit of heredity and a region of the DNA that encodes a functional product. It is thought that humans have more than 20,000 of these. However, now that coding is known to be far more complex than originally thought, it is no longer clear how to define these units and their boundaries.

Genome and more

One purpose for this blog is to look at things technical. So, we have looked at code, CMS, and more. The scope will run down the whole axis of technology.

And, of late, we got involved with DNA. The TGS blog has two posts that are of interest: DNA and genealogy plus Admissibility. The former started a list of references. One focus has been to find early papers dealing with motivations and approach. The latter looks at issues related to the admissibility of scientific evidence into the legal process. One thing of real concern would be black box handling of data with results that were not amenable to analysis.

Come to think of it. We see all sorts of genealogical software about which we do not know much. But, then, many of these thrusts are more oriented to making money than to our desires to honor our ancestors.

Be that as it may, we also have an issue of wholesale adoption of DNA as the latest truth wizardry. Recently, the NEHGS periodical used the correct language. In the sense of a study, a relationship was marked as predicted. You see, that recognizes the statistical nature of a lot of the processing. Too, assuming that averages are given is not what we need in our modern, complicated world.

The below image comes from an article (The Atlantic) titled “Genes are Overrated.” In the same issue, there is an article that explores the question: Is there free will? If your genes determine your self and your actions, what ought we think about our future? Good point. Dark matter of DNA

Genealogy’s use of DNA deals with a simple matching. But, one can well imagine more involved uses that are under consideration. This is not unlike the growing interest in predicting genetic propensity for disease or madness or whatever. Yet, we are pushing this awful fast.

For me, the underlying analysis is sure making use of computational advances that are poorly understood. Everywhere I look, I see issues albeit we have had people making oodles of money. At the same time, problems have become more troublesome. Lots to discuss with this.

For this article, the author used “DNA dark matter” in an attempt to suggest that we know a whole lot more than the press tells us. But, then, when are they really believable? One obvious error would be to find strong causal links when there are many other genetic factors involved with some observable trait.

But, that type of wrong thinking is prevalent in business with its process minimization that tries to reduce down to some small set of contributors in situations that have way more nuances than are allowed into the scope of things.

 

 

Leap Day, 2016

This blog started in 2014. So, this will be our first leap day. We like to have these cycles that close and re-open as they give us a chance to review things and, perhaps, learn something. Given that it’s the Leap Year, we have, in the U.S., the Presidential Election. Is it fun, yet?

We will continue to have a technical focus, here. However, the whole area of interest has broadened.

 

Annual Report, 2015

Our stats helper monkeys have been busy putting together a personalized report detailing how your blog did in 2015!

Click here for the review.