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Comment: Re:Lasers and deformable mirrors arnt expensive (Score 5, Interesting) 150

If it was for base connectivity I would be very surprised if fiber wasn't laid. I am more likely to believe the military use for this was designed for something which can be setup quickly in forward operating locations. Fiber takes time and substantially more infrastructure to install. Theoretically this could be run off a steerable pop-up mast which could be setup in minutes.

Comment: Apples and Oranges (Score 4, Insightful) 81

by BenFranske (#48046873) Attached to: Xen Cloud Fix Shows the Right Way To Patch Open-Source Flaws

Sure, it's an ideal situation where a bug was identified, fixed quickly and a patch pushed out and applied by large users quickly but Xen is a program which is much more centrally controlled than BASH or OpenSSL. BASH and OpenSSL are more key infrastructure bits than Xen is. What I mean is that they are integrated into FAR more devices and systems making a silent patch nearly impossible.

Comment: Re:Copyright seems weird (Score 3, Informative) 72

by BenFranske (#47927295) Attached to: Commander Keen: Keen Dreams Source Code Released

IANAL but just to complete a minor lesson in authorship and copyright in the US. By default copyright is assigned to the original author of something...except is the work is done "for hire" in which case the hiring individual or company will own the copyright independent of whomever wrote the work. At any point the owner of a copyright (which is really a set of rights they are allowed) can sell some or all of those rights (or otherwise license the work) on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis. If the copyright is sold wholesale than the new copyright owner would typically change the copyright notices to indicate that. To further complicate things with game franchises such as this there are additional trademark issues and rights issues surrounding the character, spin-off (derivative) works, etc. which may or may not have been included in the sale which is why the binary files (presumably containing the art) may not be licensed under the GPL.

Bottom line is the IP rights are a messy thing.

Comment: Re:Copyright seems weird (Score 1) 72

by BenFranske (#47927043) Attached to: Commander Keen: Keen Dreams Source Code Released

Not that I'm aware of, I think it says that because he's the one who owns the copyright. The whole point of giving him money on indiegogo seems to be to allow him to purchase the copyright which he apparently did. Hence, he is now the copyright holder. As owner of the copyright he has decided to release the source under the GPL.

Comment: Re:Alternatives (Score 4, Informative) 242

by BenFranske (#46684315) Attached to: Ends Free Dynamic DNS

I know it's not very slashdot-like to do some research before posting but if you're not familiar with IPv6 please do yourself a favor and check it out thoroughly before spreading FUD. Yes, IPs are (most frequently) tied to MAC addresses _BUT_ you almost always will have 3 IPv6 addresses... a link-local address for communication just on the local subnet, a globally public one tied to your MAC (which you can distribute to people who you WANT to reach you), and a global public "temporary" IP address which you can use for outgoing connections but which will change periodically and will not be tied to your MAC. Of course this all depends a little on your IPv6 stack in your OS but this is how it's typically being handled.

Comment: Re:I grew up in Atlanta... (Score 1) 723

by BenFranske (#46113727) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

We're going to agree to disagree about 4 wheel drive having any substantial assistance for stopping. If you need to use it to stop you're either following too closely or going too quickly. There is no question that 4wd is an advantage in certain circumstances and when used appropriately. My farm truck has 4wd and I wouldn't have it any other way out there. I have never had 4wd on a daily driver though and seriously doubt the few times it might come in handy outweigh the reduction in gas mileage year round. Also do you really think all those SUV drivers from some suburb barreling down the highway are using engine braking? I suspect that in most cases 4wd is just causing them to be unnecessarily reckless. Streets are almost always plowed within 12 hours of snowfall at the latest. I just don't see that there's any justification for 4wd for the vast majority of people who have it in Minneapolis/St. Paul and like I said it probably causes them to be reckless.

I am firmly in the camp that you can learn appropriate winter driving skills in a sedan and be much better at getting around than all the idiots with fancy SUVs who don't know how to use them. I also believe that's the majority of SUV drivers.

Comment: Re:I grew up in Atlanta... (Score 1) 723

by BenFranske (#46111477) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

Bingo. My problem is that we are getting more residents moving in from out of state who are not familiar with how to navigate in winter weather and they are causing more and more problems. It also probably compounds the issue that we've had some weak winters for at least the last decade or so. What you need to do is to allow adequate stopping distances, moderate your speed as needed, and be prepared to correct for inevitable minor fishtailing (which is actually quite fun once you're good at being prepared and correcting for it).

I really suspect that this mess in Atlanta comes down to driver skill. I think that drivers going to fast and not allowing appropriate stopping distances caused accidents which plugged roads basically. It's not plowing equipment (for 2 inches, HAH) or even salting/sanding/brining (again, like we don't get icy roads up here?) or vehicle equipment, tires, etc. Most of us up here drive with regular year round tires all the time. Don't even get me started on how unnecessary 4 wheel drive is, you can do 6+ inches of snow in 2 wheel drive just fine and 4 wheel drive does nothing to help you stop any faster which is really what the problem is 99% of the time, not needing more traction to get going.

Comment: Re:MuseScore? (Score 2) 299

by BenFranske (#46088299) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Open Source PC Music Studio?

Parent is correct. Clearly, a lot of slashdotters don't know the difference between notation and DAW software. No, Reaper, Ardour, and Audacity are not notation programs. If notation is what you want the best F/OSS solution I've seen is MuseScore. I have completely replace Finale/Sibelius with this for my notation needs. Note that my needs are strictly for notation for printing though. I am not doing any MIDI creation from it so I can't speak to that. I don't believe it supports playing back with soundfonts (it includes the nasty MIDI patches mentioned in the OP). As an aside if you're really serious about making printed music look nice you should take a look at LilyPond though it doesn't have an editing GUI so it's more for your magnum opus rather than the quick and dirty song development more typical.

Comment: Re:Miranda (Score 2) 768

by BenFranske (#43940059) Attached to: Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

Bingo. This is what I was thinking too. All the rules put in place DO eliminate pretty much every reason for a 5th Amendment but they also eliminate the usefulness of many other rights. For example, requiring police to have a warrant before searching absolutely benefits the guilty more than the innocent but you're not arguing to do away with search warrants. Almost all the restrictions on police power benefit the guilty disproportionately but they DO benefit the innocent as well and so that is the price we pay. If you want to create a set of rules like that you can basically justify unlimited police power, the "if it saves even one life we should do it" argument. See for example, the massive data collection being undertaken by the government.

Comment: Re:Can't agree (Score 1) 384

by BenFranske (#43039743) Attached to: Is Too Soulless To Make an Impact?

I do agree that documents for widespread consumption should take the path you suggested with content and design separate. Let's be honest though, word processing software is not about creating beautiful documents and is not supposed to be real publishing software (which DOES usually separate the two). Word processing software is really a replacement for the typewriter, and viewed in that light it offers marvelous advantages. Documents done on a typewriter were quite ugly and misaligned as well. The problem is that some people, usually those on a tight budget of time and/or money, mistakenly use a word processor as a replacement for a graphic designer and publishing software. You are simply never going to get people to write every informal document in a program which separates content and design. While it admittedly makes for a higher quality end product it also takes longer or at least more skill (and thus is more expensive). For some jobs the only need is to get the information onto the page, presentation is of little concern.

Comment: Re:Will it be adequate training for Cisco cert exa (Score 1) 128

by BenFranske (#41580361) Attached to: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford
That is typical of what you get when computer science people teach networking classes. It is certainly not the case that all computer scientists and programmers look down on infrastructure people and concepts...but a lot of them'll find that the case on Slashdot as well. People who program don't see the level of training in theory and practice that is important for network engineers and (good) system administrators. They just don't see low level protocols as interesting. Of course, my experience is that these people are often responsible for some horrible networks lacking redundancy, full of inefficiency, etc. The ability to set up a really good enterprise class network is not something that is simple or intuitive, it is programming and design in it's own right. I respect your ability to write software but I find it tedious myself but you don't see me looking down on you...

Comment: Re:Will it be adequate training for Cisco cert exa (Score 2) 128

by BenFranske (#41578355) Attached to: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford
I really dislike that argument. The truth is that to really tech you useful skills I have to show you how to do it using somebody's thing. To a large extent it doesn't matter who's stuff I use but I can't really just talk about it abstractly and expect you to be able to actually do anything when you're done. An analogous situation in computer science is that you should be taught ONLY general concepts and no particular programming language...ever...that would be up to you to figure out by yourself. The truth is that you probably need to be shown how to do it in at least one language by someone and then you can translate the concepts to other languages. The same is true for the networking area. If I explain the concepts and then show you how to do it on Cisco equipment you can probably figure out how to do it on just about any equipment. This is also why we don't just explain literary concepts abstractly, almost all literature teachers will use particular books as examples of the concept. Most people learn much better if there is an example...whether it's networking or literature. If that's not you great, but you're in the minority.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson