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Comment Re:no need for malware (Score 4, Informative) 40

It is also more effective on smart phones, tablets, and on multiple operating systems than most other voice tools. It's used regularly for business planning meetings when a telephone call is notably more expensive, especially for international teleconferences, and it's used for remote conferencing when a landline or cell reception does not work well. I've found it very effective noisy rooms, with a good pair of headphones and careful use of the "mute" button.

Comment Re:fast growth (Score 1) 256

The failure the other night was a real problem. I'm aware of a number of automated continuous integration systems that had problems with it.That brought github's reliabllity down to about "4 9's", which is still very good compared to most running systems.

I agree you _can_ use git with Sourceforge. The difficulty is the number of projects that continue to rely on the centralized, single canonical source code approach of CVS and Subversion. It makes independent development much less safe, and far more difficult to merge safely. I'm afraid that in modern development, I see little excuse to support Subversion except for locked, legacy repositories.

Comment Re:fast growth (Score 4, Interesting) 256

Sourceforge lost track of what they were doing. They pursued ad revenue on their web pages, rather than quality of service and the business model of converting free open source and freeware software authors into paying customers.

So far, github has done very well at doing so and providing "5 9's" of reliable service. They've definitely been far more reliable than the in-house wikis and source repositories I've worked with in house and working with partner companies.And as much as I appreciate that Sourceforge has long-running CVS and Subversion projects, I genuinely wish they'd simply migrate and discard that technology. They're not reliable enough to use for the necessary 24x7 access to publish updates in a Subversion or CVS repository.

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 1) 1305

As do I. They provide invaluable protection for comments that might be politically unsafe tied to your own name in a public venue, but nonetheless vital to the conversation. Even the US Supreme Court has agreed that anonymity is an invaluable right, grounded in the free speech rights of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Comment Re:Decentralized source control (Score 1) 117

I've worked with source control since RCS very shortly after RCS was first published in 1982. If you don't have an admin, to at least ensure backups, consistent merging practices, and cleanups when someone stores huge binaries accidentally, your source control is in real danger. I'm afraid those are all typically human usage issues that require at least a slice of someone's time.

Debugging corrupt content on the back end of the service is its own issue. It's happened with every major source control system I've seen and used in more than 30 years. It can, and does, happen with git and mercurial and the other distributed systems, usually but not always due to human error.

Comment Re:Decentralized source control (Score 1) 117

No ability to use the automated build system that pulls updates or source code exports from git tags at github. No configuration publication or web content updates with github based branches. Sharing code between repositories locally is still feasible, but loses the insurance that the code submitted to production has been submitted somewhere accessible to other programmers.

Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 1) 645

Yes, the ropes or ties would be very long. They'd also have to be extremely lightweight, in order to reduce the mass of the solar sail apparatus. I'd expect the solar sail to have a mesh of of light reels with space capable monofilament or extremely fine wires. And yes, indeed, I'd expect to be able to release or reel in and reel back out at least some of the leads for the combination solar sail and solar mirror.

It might be much easier and safer to do with smaller satellites, say 100 sails each 100 meters wide, rather than a single kilometer wide sail. That could reduce the complexity of managing kilometer long leads, at the expense of having to manage 100 times more sails..But in theory, this might be much safer.

Comment Re:That, and with contractual agreement not to use (Score 1) 127

> And in much of Europe the employer would be breaking the law (wiretapping) if they did such monitoring.

There was a fairly clear recent EU case about just this sort of use of work resources for private communications.

Quoting the article:

        But on Tuesday the court ruled that it was not "unreasonable for an employer to want to verify that the employees are completing their professional tasks during working hours"

I'm afraid that EU privacy laws and practices are widely misunderstood. They are not absolute, and they certainly do not protect employees from workplace monitoring of workpace resources.

Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 1) 645

The orbital maintenance is subtle, but feasible. There are many papers on it, including . One has to "tack" the solar wind, using the consistent thrust from the sun, and manipulate the angle of the solar sail to the solar wind. With a relatively heavy satellite to which the sail is tethered, you can theoretically shorten the leads that connect one side of the sail to help create that slight angle. I'd also suggest keeping a slight electrical charge on the sail, to help it stay fully deployed even if it happens to orbit behind the Earth's shadow. But that kind of orbital maneuvering is vital to both earth-orbiting solar sails, and to asteroid mining solar sails, and it's reasonably well understood.

Note that this is all very gentle orbital control. No depletable thrusters would be needed in active service except, very possibly, for urgent emergencies such as time-sensitive decommissioning. The maneuvering is extremely low acceleration, and the entire structure except for the power transmitting central body is very light, very flimsy, and very cheap.

Comment Re:That, and with contractual agreement not to use (Score 3, Interesting) 127

Most international and US domestic employees include clauses in the employee contract that explicitly permit company monitoring of content on work owned or devices, including work owned telephones and networks. There is effectively no "private communication" on your corporate laptop or machines you use for work.

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