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Comment An observation about using the GPL for Libraries (Score 1) 250 250

This is NOT a complaint about the GPL, or any other license. An author of a work is free to choose whatever license they want to offer their work under, including a closed source license. Merely an observation.

IMO . . . when someone offers a Library, that is, a black box of code with well defined API that offers some useful capability, and offers it under the GPL, the author is deliberately trying to RESTRICT what the users of that library can do with their own code. The author is effectively saying that I only want authors of other GPL applications to use my library. If the library author were only trying to protect the freedom of his library and nothing more, then he would have used the LGPL. The LGPL protects the freedom of the library, as well as protects the freedom of the user of a closed source application to be able to re-link the application against a newer version of the library without access to the source code of the application.

I'm not saying this is right, or wrong, or anything else. It is merely an observation.

A library author that offers a library under GPL license has an ulterior motive. Usually a commercial motive to ensure they can make money from users of applications that are not under the GPL. This seems to be exactly the opposite of what the GPL was intended to do in spirit. A library offered under the GPL typically offers a "Commercial License" for applications that are not under the GPL.

Comment Do you understand what Insurance actually is? (Score 3, Interesting) 204 204

It spreads the risk. That's all. My house probably is not going to burn down this year. But SOMEBODY's house DEFINITELY will. Insurance spreads the risk among policy holders.

How many rocket launch policy holders are there to spread the risk among?

I suppose an insurance underwriter could spread the rocket launch risk (and cost) among their auto and home policy holders. That will make them uncompetitive in the auto and home insurance market. So they'll have to keep the risk amongst similar policy holders for rocket launches.

Ultimately, just like houses burning down, some rocket launches WILL fail.

If NASA is forced (maybe by ignorant Congress who must "do something!") to buy insurance, then the cost of failure is still passed to the policy holders (eg, mostly taxpayers). Plus now you've got another industry (insurance) getting their fingers in the pie and making a profit. If Congress or NASA forces SpaceX to get insurance, then SpaceX will pass the cost of insurance on to NASA and ultimately taxpayers in the form of higher launch prices.

No matter how you slice it, the customers of rocket launches WILL bear the costs of inevitable failure. There's not that many customers to spread the costs amongst like there are for homeowners.

Comment Re:Insurance? (Score 5, Insightful) 204 204

This will cost the taxpayers no matter how you slice it. Either the taxpayer eats it, like now. Or NASA gets insurance, which costs the taxpayer. The insurer WILL make a profit and will pass the cost of failure to the policy holder through increased premiums. So NASA could make SpaceX get the insurance. All that does is mean that SpaceX will increase its prices to NASA to account for the cost of insurance (eg, the cost of inevitable failures).

By making either NASA or SpaceX get insurance, you add in another greedy industry (insurance) that get their fingers in the pie and make a profit. Great way to save the taxpayer money.

Comment Re:Insurance? (Score 1) 204 204

Yes, that is what I came to say. Not only does SpaceX pass the cost of insurance on to the taxpayers, but the insurance company passes the cost of failure through to SpaceX as high premiums. So ultimately the shipper (NASA, therefore taxpayer) pays for failed launches.

But making SpaceX get insurance means you're "doing something". (eg, Creating more paperwork, and adding the inefficiency of the insurance industry getting its fingers in the pie. Insurers also make a profit.) Ultimately this hurts the taxpayer, not helps.

Comment NASA cannot compete (Score 1) 141 141

NASA was a great, even fantastic thing back when there was no commercial motivation to do research on space and powerful rockets. Back when there was little to no commercial launch market.

Now NASA is full of pork.. You cannot kill it because . . . pork. In every congressional district.

NASA is not and never has been efficient. At one time that was irrelevant because of the nature of what they did. Now is is more about letting bureaucrats CYA when something blows up. And to make sure money flows freely to as many congressional districts as possible. The traditional contractors are not designed to be efficient either, except at maximizing how much they can suck from the government teat.

One way NASA might end is that with lower and lower budgets NASA simply cannot do anything. Alternately, they might end because they get budgets big enough to actually do something, making the real inefficiency clear for all to see.

NASA must be held to the same safety standards that commercial providers are held to. Otherwise, a culture of evading or ignoring those safety standards will creep in.

The only role that NASA might have left is projects that require large investment to overcome a lack of commercial motives. For example, going to Mars. Maybe for operating a space station. Probably not for mining asteroids.

Comment Re:How is this news for nerds? (Score 2, Funny) 1083 1083

It seems unlikely that there are any gay nerds. Nerds are a fraction of the general population. Gay people are an even smaller fraction of the general population. This would make the existence gay nerds seem highly unlikely.

Similarly, the odds that in the vastness of space, an asteroid could just happen to strike our moon seems so incredibly remote that one could safely conclude that there are no craters on the moon.

Comment Re:Too late. (Score 1) 124 124

SourceForge could start it again, but make it much less obvious. Simply pre-infect all of the downloads with malware. If caught, claim it was a hack, or that it 'somehow' got uploaded that way from the author. Then offer to fix it. The first few times everyone would believe it.

However, at this point, SourceForge has burned whatever trust it ever had. Soon the only people left are those gullible enough to believe SourceForge.

Something this face palm worthy can only be accomplished by a manager or someone higher up* in the organization.

*Note that everyone except the engineers perceive the value hierarchy to be inverted.

Comment This is a great idea! (Score 1) 1067 1067

But instead of a system-wide setting, as you suggest, I would propose an Organization-Wide setting so that by gope policy, all computers in the organization could bet set such that div by zero results in zero! Bravo! (Or maybe a country-wide setting dictated by congress? Or a world wide global setting dictated by congress?)

In addition, I am tired of checking for File Not Found errors. When the file can't be found, why not just reformat the drive and create the file for me automatically!

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir