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Comment: Re:Old proverb (Score 0) 391

America learned once why it can't let dictators like Putin just invade their neighbors with impunity.

Well then maybe they should stop putting people like Putin in power. The current political system in Russia is the direct result of the disastrous neo-liberal economic policies imposed by the West after the collapse of the USSR.

Let's stop fucking up other parts of the world and then fucking them up further by using military intervention to clean up our previous fuck ups. How quickly we forget where this all goes.

Comment: Re:I miss Groklaw :-( (Score 1) 128

by DrJimbo (#46773121) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

Umm, she shut up shop because of Snowden.

Blame the messenger much? Her decision to stop working on Groklaw was triggered by an announcement by the owner of Lavabit:

The owner of Lavabit tells us that he's stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we'd stop too.

There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.

The reason she stopped was the invasive and Unconstitutional spying by the NSA.

Comment: Re:The best the SCOTUS could do is wipe software p (Score 1) 192

by DrJimbo (#46631915) Attached to: Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

Really? How many times are you going to spend years of your life creating something awesome ... only to have someone else like Facebook or Zynga copy it, market it, and put you out of business?

Exactly! The current patent system gives all the power to large corporations who own lots of expensive lawyers. Independent developers are screwed, blued, and tattooed.

Software patents are most dangerous to creative, independent developers. You could spend all of your time just researching patents that might cover what you are working on. And as Linus said, all you get for this effort is the threat of treble damages for willful infringement.

The current patent system is completely incapable of separating the obvious from the non-obvious in the realm of software. That is because the patent system is filled with non-practitioners. Nowadays even someone who is an expert in one field of software may not know enough about other areas to separate the obvious from the non. [This is not an endorsement for patents on non-obvious software but that is a separate issue].

If you are a creative and productive software designer then you are probably creating code that infringes software patents on a weekly or monthly basis. Not because you are stealing ideas but because you are developing them independently. Since the presumption of validity is given to the patent holder, even one totally bogus software patent can put you out of business.

Comment: Don't ban it, just tax it (Score 1) 246

HFT should be banned, there is nothing these robo-traders contribute to society except for profit for themselves.

Exactly! But instead of banning, it should just be taxed. They are basically imposing a tax on society that makes them filthy rich while providing no benefit to society. Yet these are the same people who scream bloody murder whenever someone proposes a bona fide tax on stock transactions. If they insist on acting like spoiled young brats then we need to treat them as such.

At its heart, this corruption is similar to the *IAA corruption. In both cases technological advances that should have made the middle-men obsolete are flipped around to provide a disservice to society while enriching the unscrupulous.

Comment: Re:Duff's Device (Score 1) 373

by DrJimbo (#46582447) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

According to the reference, the reason for the speed improvement had to do with the vastly different CPU architecture and specifically with getting more cache misses due to an increase in the size of the code base because of the unrolled loops.

It seems rather silly to imply that Duff's device is no longer elegant merely because it does not apply to current CPU architectures.

Comment: Re:Sour grapes (Score 4, Insightful) 381

by DrJimbo (#46501653) Attached to: <em>Sons of Anarchy</em> Creator On Google Copyright Anarchy

Historically, the arts have been funded by patronage. The commercialization of the arts is a fairly recent phenomenon. Yes, many great artists have died penniless with their genius unrecognized. But that means they created out of love for their art and the need to express their genius not out of a desire for financial renumeration. In addition, original works of art are far more valuable than reproductions. So not only is there an innate desire in true creators to create, there is also an innate desire in others to reward this creation, after the fact. There is joy in the act of creation and there is joy in others when they appreciate what was created. I've been in movie theaters where the audience stood up and gave the movie standing ovation even though none of the creators were there to hear the applause. There is no doubt that at that point in time many people would have paid generously if making a payment was as easy as tapping a button on their phone. Films that moved people would be rewarded.

The notion that patronage does not work is only in the context of a world where the arts have been bastardized and exploited for monetary gain. Of course people who are embedded in the commercialization model will have a difficult time making the transition. This is a feature not a bug. It would be a benefit to have the exploiters weeded out so more genuine creation and genius can flourish. It is insane to for us to give the role of story-teller to Hollywood writers. They are not the people who should be teaching our children about relationships. Sex sells. Violence sells. But these are not the stories and myths we want our children to be raised on. The information we pass on to the next generation should not be based primarily on what is most titillating.

As the cost to copy, store, and transmit information continues to plummet, the commercialization model becomes less and less tenable, requiring draconian measure to give content owners more and more control over all aspects of information transfer and processing. It would require a fascist dictatorship over information.

OTOH, the patronage model becomes easier as information technology advances. It can be fueled by instant micropayments so everyone who chooses to can participate and vote with their wallets. In the long run it is the only sensible approach. But even in the short term, it is the only way I know of to stem the tide of cultural exploitation and destruction that the commercialization of the arts has caused.

Culture belongs to everybody. It is our birthright and it is the lifeblood of our civilization. It is crazy to lock it up tightly due to the fact that the cost of information transfer and storage is getting close to zero. The cost to our society and to our civilization for this lock-up is enormous because we are denying our children and our children's children their birthright. It is a form of cultural and societal suicide. The miracle of life is based on passing genetic information from one generation to the next. Human beings were able to supercharge this passing on of information by creating side-channels: art, language, history, science and the humanities, even religion. Evolution in these side-channel information transfers was staggeringly fast compared to genetic evolution. Stifling this form of evolution is the ultimate triumph of mediocrity over genius.

Comment: Re:Sour grapes (Score 0) 381

by DrJimbo (#46500601) Attached to: <em>Sons of Anarchy</em> Creator On Google Copyright Anarchy

Devalued content helps the consumer all the way up until the flow of new content stops, ...

Devaluing content until mercenary content creation gets starved out would be a great service to our culture and to humanity in general. Right now a bunch of ass-hats are raping our culture based on the ridiculous notion that anything that makes a buck is good and virtuous.

For example, imagine if people paid for films (or other content) after having experienced it. Micopayments could be seen as a form of applause. There would be much less demand for massive misleading advertising campaigns since misleading consumers would result in lowering revenue. In addition, these payments would be a form of voting for what future content gets created. If some people choose to take a free ride and never pay for anything, that's perfectly fine. It does not harm anyone else and it removes the freeloaders from the content creation gene pool. It is a win win.

The real evil of these copyright extremist is not that they are ripping us all off (which they are) the real evil is they are destroying our culture, replacing things made from love with things made solely (or mostly) to exploit others. They thrive in an unfair and unfree market where consumers have to buy their products like buying a pig in a poke. When it comes down to it, what they are afraid of and what they are fighting against is to have their products evaluated based on merit instead of a rigged system that brain washes people with massive advertising campaigns. In our totally upside down society, advertising is a business expense so we are subsidizing corporations to gobble up our limited time and attention.

It should be the other way around. If corporations want a piece of my limited time and attention then they should have to pay me to get it, just like I would pay a lawyer or a doctor to get their time and attention. There is no reason for corporations to have free access to these valuable resources. Your time and attention are limited and valuable. It is ridiculous that we are subsidizing corporations to consume them.

Comment: GKrellm or other system monitor (Score 5, Insightful) 531

by DrJimbo (#46380895) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

The first thing I install is a system monitor.

I like to keep a close eye on CPU usage, memory usage, disk usage, and network usage. Without that information it feels like I'm flying blind. It is often important on a new system when I don't know what is running and consuming resources.

Comment: I posted about this back in April 2011 (Score 1) 167

by DrJimbo (#46374025) Attached to: How To Take Apart Fukushima's 3 Melted-Down Reactors

I talked about the problem of highly radioactive water spewing from Fukushima back in April 2011:

The radioactivity released at Chernobyl escaped upward into the air. This made it easier to get a handle on the magnitude of the total amount of radioactivity released. The release at the light water reactors at Fukushima is for the most part traveling downward, to basements, tunnels, ground water, and the ocean. This makes it extremely difficult to get a handle on the total amount of radioactivity that has been released. They really don't know [if] the bulk of it is in the thousands of tons they have already discovered or if that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Of course I was called an alarmist and other things for bringing this up back then.

Clearly what they had discovered by April 1 2011 was just the tip of the iceberg. As I had predicted, it is the radioactive water that is the main cause for concern.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings