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Comment Re:Futurologists and transportation. (Score 1) 252 252

The "1/hr" argument is in my "quantization". The larger the quantization, the larger the margins have to be to make sure you catch the bus. When I have an appointment in Rotterdam, I take the train to Schiedam and then the underground to the center. When I try to be at the station 5 minutes before the train leaves, two minutes extra "margin" make me catch the train earlier. I've given up on schedules and just go there and take the first train. When a train or bus goes once every 15 minutes you get there with 3-5 minutes to spare. If it goes every hour, you need about 5-10 minutes, and if it goes once a day you need to aim for being there 15 minutes before it leaves, because getting stuck in traffic for 5-10 minutes should be tolerable....

Self driving cars would still be an option in the country as long as you tolerate having a slightly longer lead time.

Comment Futurologists and transportation. (Score 2) 252 252

What is it that notorious car-drivers hate about public transport, so that they end up spending like 5-10 times more money than what public transport would have cost them?

That is the question that you need to answer before you can make predictions like in the slashdot summary.

Public transport has "quantization noise". If you leave for work 3 minutes later, you'll miss the bus, and end up at work 15 minutes later. Sure you can prevent that. Just be at the bus stop 5 minutes before the bus. This means you invest 5 minutes every day to prevent a 15 minute occasional delay.

Second: when you use public transport, you don't have "your own space". This means that if you leave your wallet, ipad or whatever lying around when you step out of the vehicle, barring exceptions, it is gone. If you have your own "transport space", you can also stock it with stuff you might need while travelling (e.g. my brother has mints in his car), of that you might end up needing at the destination (e.g. umbrella).

Third there is a cost issue. If you see the cost to you every time you move, that makes you consider it more. People ignore the: "the car needs xx petrol to drive this far, so it costs me at the least yy to make this trip". They see the filing up and paying whatever that takes as something that must be done, and then they pretend driving the car is free.

Those are the things the car-drivers will need to have satisfied before they can be converted. And if you don't convert the car-drivers you will not have the economy of scale to have "leaving out the steering column" make a difference.

The current topic will "solve" the quantization noise. You hit a button in your house a few minutes before you leave, and the system will get a self-drving-car on your driveway before you close the door. It does not solve the other problem. You cannot leave the umbrella in the car "in case it rains when I get there". You forget your stuff and the next occupant might take it. (or at least "where is my presentation" is not solved with a run to the car park).

The "self driving" and "semi-public-transport" ideas will only work if everybody gets to keep their private module. Those could be powered with say a small 1kW motor and have a 40km/h (25mph) speed limit. Then when they end up at the freeway, a bunch of them group together with a "power-unit" and they can travel on the freeway at high speed. (Pay more and the "maximum grouping delay" goes down).

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 618 618

Oh, wait, you didn't need to pass a test for that.

I'm just trying to think how that would have been possible. I think back then there was a medical exception you could plead for. I didn't. I passed the 20 WPM test fair and square and got K6BP as a vanity call, long before there was any way to get that call without passing a 20 WPM test.

Unfortunately, ARRL did fight to keep those code speeds in place, and to keep code requirements, for the last several decades that I know of and probably continuously since 1936. Of course there was all of the regulation around incentive licensing, where code speeds were given a primary role. Just a few years ago, they sent Rod Stafford to the final IARU meeting on the code issue with one mission: preventing an international vote for removal of S25.5 . They lost.

I am not blaming this on ARRL staff and officers. Many of them have privately told me of their support, including some directors and their First VP, now SK. It's the membership that has been the problem.

I am having a lot of trouble believing the government agency and NGO thing, as well. I talked with some corporate emergency managers as part of my opposition to the encryption proceeding (we won that too, by the way, and I dragged an unwilling ARRL, who had said they would not comment, into the fight). Big hospitals, etc.

What I got from the corporate folks was that their management was resistant to using Radio Amateurs regardless of what the law was. Not that they were chomping at the bit waiting to be able to carry HIPAA-protected emergency information via encrypted Amateur radio. Indeed, if you read the encryption proceeding, public agencies and corporations hardly commented at all. That point was made very clearly in FCC's statement - the agencies that were theorized by Amateurs to want encryption didn't show any interest in the proceeding.

So, I am having trouble believing that the federal agency and NGO thing is real because of that.

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 618 618

The Technican Element 3 test wasn't more difficult than the Novice Element 1 and 2 together, so Technican became the lowest license class when they stopped having to take Element 1.

The change to 13 WPM was in 1936, and was specifically to reduce the number of Amateur applicants. It was 10 WPM before that. ARRL asked for 12.5 WPM in their filing, FCC rounded the number because they felt it would be difficult to set 12.5 on the Instructograph and other equipment available for code practice at the time.

It was meant to keep otherwise-worthy hams out of the hobby. And then we let that requirement keep going for 60 years.

The Indianapolis cop episode was back in 2009. It wasn't the first time we've had intruders, and won't be the last, and if you have to reach back that long for an example, the situation can't be that bad. It had nothing to do with code rules or NGOs getting their operators licenses.

A satphone is less expensive than a trained HF operator. Iridium costs $30 per month and $0.89 per minute to call another Iridium phone. That's the over-the-counter rate. Government agencies get a better rate than that. And the phone costs $1100, again that's retail not the government rate, less than an HF rig with antenna and tower will cost any public agency to install.

You think it's a big deal to lobby against paid operators because there will be objections? How difficult do you think it was to reform the code regulations? Don't you think there were lots of opposing comments?

And you don't care about young people getting into Amateur Radio. That's non-survival thinking.

Fortunately, when the real hams go to get something done, folks like you aren't hard to fight, because you don't really do much other than whine and send in the occassional FCC comment. Do you know I even spoke in Iceland when I was lobbying against the code rules? Their IARU vote had the same power as that of the U.S., and half of the hams in the country came to see me. That's how you make real change.

Comment Re:GnuTLS (Score 1) 250 250

OpenSSL has first-to-market advantage, and anyone who hasn't evaluated the quality differences will choose the simpler license. Plus there are other alternatives, like Amazon's new SSL-in-5000-lines which is also gift-licensed.

The time for OpenSSL to dual-license was when it was the only available alternative to entirely proprietary implementations. That might indeed have funded a quality improvement.

I don't know a thing about the quality of GnuTLS or the Amazon thing. I've seen enough of the insides of OpenSSL to know it's not pretty, but am not a crypto guy and this don't work on it.

Comment Re:Few people understand the economics (Score 1) 250 250

Maintaining FIPS compliance did not make anything easier. It's essentially a prohibition on bug repair, as you have to recertify afterward. But the people who wanted FIPS were the only ones who were actually paying for someone to work on OpenSSL.

I don't think any of the other Free Software projects ever tried to be FIPS certified.

Comment Re:Lawsuits and licenses are not the problem (Score 1) 250 250

If you are one of the infringed parties, I'd be happy to talk with you about what your options are. bruce at perens dot com or +1 510-4PERENS (I'm not there today, but it will take a message). I am not a lawyer but I work with the good ones and can bring them into the conversation if necessary.

Comment Re:Few people understand the economics (Score 1) 250 250

As a community we've managed to almost completely ignore that because of their use of dual-licensing, MySQL made 1.1 Billion dollars after 9 years in business, and that for a database that was written by one person, and the code base remained available under the GPL.

IMO, 1.1 Billion dollars is pretty damn impressive. Especially if you get paid that to make Free Software. Heck, sign me up!

Oracle was a bad actor, and Monty is now leading further development of that same code base under the GPL. But it did not have to be that way.

Comment Re:Few people understand the economics (Score 1) 250 250

How do you prove damages or have the right to settle violations if you don't have copyright?

If you have been doing enough work to justify getting paid for the software, you have an ample amount of your own copyrighted work to base your claim upon. If you haven't done that much work, what are you suing for?

You can also get a grant of the right to sue from your contributors. You can include in the agreement how you will apportion damages: for example you could take the ratio of your lines of modified code checked in vs. that of contributed code checked in, and give that portion of damages to FSF.

"Why waste negative entropy on comments, when you could use the same entropy to create bugs instead?" -- Steve Elias