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Comment: Re:It's not a kernel problem (Score 1) 300

by swillden (#47716485) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

The problem is the GUI. People don't like X

Non-sequiteur. X has nothing to do with the GUI, at least not any part of the GUI users care about. X is merely the tool used to draw stuff on the screen; it says nothing about what gets drawn. Everything users care about, including what windows, buttons, fonts, etc., look like, how applications interact with one another, and whether or not all of the above is nicely integrated and looks like it belongs together has nothing to do with X.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 1) 200

by swillden (#47715307) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

count me out... this sort of stuff just makes me want to live on a remote tropical island and spend my days fishing.

Do you also insist on owning your own elevator?

I insist on living and working in locations where I don't need an elevator... a remote tropical island would work well for this.

Comment: Re:Apple as a model (Score 1) 300

by jedidiah (#47715229) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Apple's success is hardly a good model for Linux. Despite a great deal of effort, having a GUI platform that nearly predates MS-DOS, having a BRAND that does predate MS-DOS, lots of focused resources, effective advertising, Super Bowl ads, and even dedicated stores they still only managed to eek out a small minority of the market.

Apple's current success is based on NOT being a computing company.

If anything, Apple is a pretty conclusive demonstration of how "doing everything right" will really get you nowhere in the desktop market.

As far as non-technical users go. Apple products are just quirky enough to be annoying and off putting.

Comment: Re:It's not a kernel problem (Score 1, Insightful) 300

by jedidiah (#47715137) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

> The problem is the GUI. People don't like X

A stupid noisy minority of techno-hipsters don't like X. For the rest of us it's invisible and no more bothersome than the graphics subsystem on any other platform.

The problem with your rant is that the still marginal market share of Apple refutes it. Linux in other forms was able to gain traction because of lack of an entrenched monopoly (or being the monopoly).

Apple demonstrates that applying the "one true way" approach to the desktop won't help you get away from Microsoft.

So there's no real point in sabotaging Linux just to suit some delusion that ignores reality on the ground.

Comment: Re:Torvalds is true to form.... (Score 1) 300

by jedidiah (#47714939) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

> A stable binary driver interface would help for starters.

No. Probably not. Lack of stable interfaces never harmed the WinDOS market. That's because these kinds of things are driven by market share and have little to do with "platform quality". Either a vendor thinks the market is large enough to bother with or not. The "level of bother" factor is largely irrelevant.

That's why much software is still Windows-only despite there being a mythical commercial platform that's supposed to do everything right.

Comment: Re:or they could just NOT do it (Score 1) 130

by swillden (#47714911) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

The DMCA doesn'y say anything at all about search results. It's about hosting allegedly infringing material.

Courts in the US have held that linking directly to infringing content constitutes contributory infringement. Linking to another site isn't infringement just because the other site doesn't want you to link and benefit from their material (Tickemaster v established that), but linking to infringing material on another site does.

(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor am I a Google spokesperson.)

Comment: Re:Google should be wary (Score 1) 130

by swillden (#47714817) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

While that may be true, the shareholders would riot in a damned hurry if the stock price were to tank because Google becomes less relevant.

Which would be relevant only if Larry, Sergey and Eric decided to allow it to be. As long as the three of them stay united, they outvote the rest of the shareholders combined.

Comment: Re:Google should be wary (Score 2) 130

by swillden (#47714799) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

These monopolies have billions in cash reserves to run them profitless for a very long time. Like decades.

Aside from the rather questionable assertion that Google is a monopoly, the company's cash reserves are nowhere near that large, or, rather, the company's expenses are much larger than you believe. Last I heard, Google has cash reserves of ~$60B (which, note, aren't actually cash; you don't leave that much capital sitting idle), and annual operational costs of about $40B. How long Google could continue to operate with hugely decreased revenues depends on just how far the revenues declined, and how much economizing the company could do, but I strongly doubt that it would be "decades". If all advertising revenue derived from the search engine disappeared and Google didn't economize at all, it would be bankrupt in maybe three years.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but I don't speak for Google. Everything in this post is derived from public information.)

Comment: Re:Its been done (Score 1) 459

by swillden (#47714525) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Yes. Traffic jams happen because interchanges/intersections get saturated.

Actually, the study in question was on freeways, and it didn't necessarily have anything to do with interchanges, which are all rate-controlled in the area. One spot they found regularly jammed was just a rise in the road. The partially obstructed vision was enough to cause a few drivers to slow just a bit, which snowballed and then created a jam which moved backwards from the rise at a fairly constant rate of precession, two or three mph, IIRC. So after the jam moved away from the rise, there was *no* cause for it. It just self-sustained as drivers bunched up when approaching the jam.

There was a /. article on it. It was fascinating.

Comment: Re:NIMBYs? Crackpots? (Score 1) 428

by Lumpy (#47711121) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Black tanks in greenhouses are used as thermal storage to heat the greenhouse during cold days. 55 gallons of water in a black tank that the sun hits all day long, holds enough heat to keep a small greenhouse at or above 40 degrees for almost an entire winter day where it is bitter cold outside. IT will actually keep it above freezing for over 3 days.

We used to fill 55 gallon drums full of water and paint them black to hold up shelving, we had a small 10X20 greenhouse and 4 barrels of water kept the greenhouse warm for a week during a bitter cold snap. Water is an awesome heat storage medium.

The degree of technical confidence is inversely proportional to the level of management.