Math Proofs : Need Help

Every day I walk the dog a couple of miles to get her and me some fresh air and exercise.. it is usually the same route, meeting the same people, etc etc.. so I come up with things to keep my head busy. Sometimes its remembering as many elements and their isotopes, other times working out factors of numbers. Last week I started on the series (n^2+1) to see what their factors were. The first thing I realized was that while half of the numbers would be divisible by 2, around 40% would be divisible by 5 (because any number ending in 2,3,7,8 would square to a number that adding 1 would make it divisible by 5 (eg 13^2+1 = 169+1 = 170). Then after a lot of ticking off things I also realized that none of the numbers I could do (which isn't a lot .. I do this because math and me have a long bad history) were not divisible by 3.

Coming home I whipped up a python scriplet that basically did that for the first million digits and found that none of them were divisible by 3 (they weren't divisible by 7 either but I figured I would stick with 3 first). Now we know that n^2 is sometimes divisible by 3 (9, 36, 81 all being examples) and we know that a series that is always divisible by 3 is 3m (two series never divisible by three are 3m+1 and 3m+2). So from this I infer that the series n^2+1 only falls inside of the series 3m+1 and 3m+2 and never on 3m... and n^2 falls on 3m or 3m+1 (since if it fell on 3m+2 then n^2+1 would push those values to 3m). Ok but why?

Looking over the series I came up with the following:

n 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
n^2 1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 100
m{3m+1/3m} 0 1 3 5 8 12 16 21 27 33
diff between m 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 6

Ok now I just have more silly numbers and probably a wild goose chase but it is interesting that the series of 3m/3m+1 growth grows in a regular pattern. Anyway, just an odd thing non-fedora related (i hope).


Ada Lovelace Day

March 24th 2010 is Ada Lovelace Day. Augusta Ada Byron-King, Countess of Lovelace is one of my heroines (next to Jane Austen). She was one of the first programmers and was able to see potential in one of the geekiest people of the 18th century, Charles Babbage. She was also a strong willed lady who pushed way beyond the limited boundaries women had then. Sadly cancer took her life at the age of 36 or we would have probably had a finished Analytical machine (pooie to anyone who thinks it wasn't physically possible.. nothing can stop Steam).

For some historical truth (and a golly fun steam punk fantasy) please read about Charles Babbage and Ada Byron at 2D goggles. Here is a 'history' of Countess Lovelace

Ada was also a pretty cool language that I learned after Pascal (the progress being Heathkit assembly, Apple Basic, Apple Assembly, Apple Pascal, then Ada).

[edited: 2010-03-24 15:14:22 UTC] corrected spelling of names. sorry about that


Mailing Lists, Parties and Fear

This blog post is more about my reactions to some posts, and maybe explain why some other people may not feel too happy about the analogy. In the end however, I do think making mailing lists into a more social medium is desired for certain areas.. especially ones designed for collaboration.

When I read through Mairin's post and then Luis's post via LWN, my first gut reaction was the same feeling I had at my High School Prom. The part where a girl asked me to dance, and the next thing I knew it was 10 minutes later and I was driving up the Interstate at 90 mph.

Parties are things I dread. I am socially awkward if not blind.. and never know if I am talking too long or what social gaffe I have enacted this time (that 40 minute monologue on Social Growth of Organizations at FUDcon.. probably way too long.... and the conversation on the bus about why some pictures are art and others demeaning, awkward.)

I have also never understood how do people shut off all the conversations going on? My brain is constantly trying to figure out if people over at the pool really should be talking with the people in the kitchen since they seem to be talking the same things. And how am I supposed to know that even though they agree with each other, they hate each others guts.

Thankfully after walking the dog, I started to think about why I was afraid versus making some angry supposedly "witty" response. Why was I afraid? In the end it is because email and mailing lists make everyone else socially blind like me. Is Jack a jerk, or someone who only knows English from Quentin Tarantino films? On a mailing list, you can not tell and so have to lumber along. The only social ques you get are if people respond to you, and well even if its a long rant about everything you had wrong in your post.. it is a response.

But why should everyone be 'blind' because I am? Being socially 'blind' is rather unfair, but so is making everyone else be that way. Neuro-typical people are built to be social creatures wanting to build tribes, and without various ques will degrade into sociopathic forms as evidenced on Fedora about updates or Ubuntu about where your buttons are.

So the important question is, how can we make this better for people in general? I think that having some sort 'out-of-band' ques will help the majority of neuro-typical people. It might even help me if there is some way that it can give me feedback on how to do better.


The 80's remembered through your kids

This blog about serious Fedora things (*cough*), and will go into the fact that I currently have the MacGyver and A-Team songs stuck in my head. We got parts of Season 1 of each to watch this week.. and the kid has been sucking through them like pixie sticks.

But other than the bad synthesizer music, and painful first season plots that every show goes through... the shows weren't too bad.. ok I lie, they were painful at first until I started watching it through my kids eyes. Over the top explosions were his first attraction, but then I noticed what he really thought cool was all the things the A-Team and MacGyver did with common things. And how often things broke down or plans blew up in their faces. It was like this sudden realization in both our perfectionist minds that its ok to fail. You learn from the failure, and you keep going.

Wait, I guess I did end up talking about Fedora after all :)


If you have nothing nice to say...

So going through various posts today, I came to the conclusion that the most wearing of body and soul are the ones where the writer has nothing but critiques of an idea, a position, the implied criticism that the person who wrote the letter has no worth as a human being, and the fact that no part of the idea should ever be implemented, reviewed, added onto or listened to.

It is really depressing... because it implies
  • that unless you have a perfect plan, do nothing.
  • that failure is never an option
  • failure reflects upon the very character of the person who tried.
  • that to speak is to open yourself up to being abused.
Personally I am tired of it. bone tired. I think the wise saying my parents told me seems to be missing:

If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

Reply to a Reminder

Seth Vidal reminds us:

fedora is not a government nor a government body.

I often wonder about that. Why do so many of us (I have been under this delusion several times) make this mistake. What trappings of Fedora make it so we think that we have 'rights'? Is it because we have elections? Is it because of the words we use in the Five Foundations: "Freedom, Friends, First, Features, Failure"?

But even deeper than that we need to answer questions like:
  • What is a government?
  • What are rights?
  • What grants rights to us, and what takes them away from us?
  • What is politics?
  • What is bureaucracy? [And why can't I remember how to spell it correctly?]
The first definitions of government from good old Google comes from Princeton is:
  • the organization that is the governing authority of a political unit;
  • the act of governing; exercising authority;
  • (government) the system or form by which a community or other political unit is governed;
  • politics: the study of government of states and other political units
  • political unit: a unit with political responsibilities [whee circular definitions]
These would seem to cover various units like FESCO and the Fedora Board in that they exercise authority over things like the Fedora brand, what packages are in Fedora, how packages are built, etc.

However this still does not fit into the larger definitions of Government. Fedora can not start a war with something. It can not jail dissidents, any Legal issues would require local courts where the individual is located. Rights that a 'Government' can recognize and allow (Freedom of Press, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of PiDay) are not the same that Fedora can actually allow. Even if it were an independant foundation located in Switzerland, it would be bound by the laws of Switzerland, and each member would be bound by the laws of their own country. Anyway, I have probably completely missed the point here.. so I am going back to downloading an Alpha.


Hello Car Max (Customer Service done right)

So here is a good experience (again your mileage may vary, etc etc).

Yesterday we went to sell our 2000 Saturn SW1. It had been with us ever since the Red Hat IPO where I had used my stock to buy a nice practical car. It drove across country with me in 2002 so I could work in New Mexico, and it has carried the family around the state... however well it is a Saturn, and Saturn is no more. We have been cutting back expenses and such and we had decided something had to go. [The 1994 Saturn we are keeping.. its really too old to sell and well it got me to Red Hat back in 1997 :)]

After some research, we went to Car Max and had the most pleasant car buying experience since I bought my Saturn's last century :). We walked in and were greeted by a sales person. She asked us what we wanted and got us into a booth and the car to be inspected within 2 minutes. She got us coffee and asked some general questions but that was it. There was no pressure to walk the lot while we waited, there was no questions about cars we would like to replace the Saturn with, and there was no pushing. The car came back with a quote, and we sold the car. Smooth as silk.. we had spent more time getting the car cleaned that morning than we did at Car Max in Albuquerque NM. I can understand why my friends have been so happy with the place. When we go to replace the 1994 in the future, we will definately be using them.

Summary: Be friendly, be quick, state openly where I stand and what I can expect. Don't haggle with me. I hate it.

Goodbye smooge@mindspring.com (or How not to do customer service)

A long time ago (1995?), I had gotten married and my wife and I were moving to Champaign Illinois for her to go to graduate school and me to work for Spyglass, Inc. We needed to get email and such so she signed up with an ISP called Mindspring so that we could get dialup access. Years later (1997?) I would get a sub-mail account so that I could post to mailing lists and such without looking like I was a mouth of Spyglass or Red Hat. Years later Mindspring was bought by Earthlink, we went away from dialup to Cable or DSL, and the accounts were just used for various email accounts.

Later google mail came around, and I switched most of my stuff to there as it had a large buffer and it's mail interface was not as painful as the one Earthlink was using. We had been discussing stopping using Earthlink as it was an expense that really wasn't worth what we were getting out of it anymore. However, we kept going month to month until "the Incident" happened late last year. My folks who we had signed up with Earthlink DSL back in the early 2000's modem had died. My dad called up for what to do, and was told that they would only replace the modem if he signed up for an extra years of service. He couldn't even find out what modems he could buy if he wanted to do it himself. I found out about this finally this month, where it was too late to do anything about the problem...

So instead we decided to cancel service. Since my account was a sub-account of my wife's all I could do was delete smooge@mindspring.com and listen for 20 minutes while my wife tried to get the account deleted. First they said go to the online customer service system... only to be told when a real human showed up that service cancellation had to be done by phone. Then there was a long wait in the queue and then a long list of getting the "Would you like to think about this a bit more?", "We can give you a free month.", "Would you be interested in our DSL options instead?", "How about just keeping your email account for $10.00/month?" After the 8th (I was counting) "No sir I just want to cancel my account." we finally got to delete the account....

to get an email this morning saying that if we didn't want to do this they could reactivate it. Personally I am at the apoplectic stage... my wife just started giggling insanely so I think it broke her. Anyway long story short, I personally could not recommend Earthlink anymore. [Your Mileage May Vary.. we may have just had a string of problems.]


Things that make you go hmmmm

John Lasseter

Wikimedia picture of John Lasseter

Steve Jobs

Wikimedia picture of Steve Jobs

Paul "Stickster" Frields

Linux Planet picture of Paul Frields

Brought to you by the people who think I work for Pixar because they were sure this guy

was this guy