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Comment Re:Huge presumption (Score 2) 146

Yes, their infographic lists "Dronecode" whatever that is, alongside node.js

The other problem with trying to calculate the value of the Linux kernel specifically is that it counts the costs of all the drivers as well and you end up concluding that building a kernel is infeasibly expensive (reality check: there are quite a few of them out there, made by non-huge companies). If Linux was developed from scratch commercially you wouldn't attempt to develop drivers for every piece of hardware known to man all in the same source tree. You'd do what Microsoft do and define a driver API. Then the costs of hardware support are spread out across industry and no one entity ends up paying the entire cost.

The Linux kernel guys don't do that because they prefer being able to refactor/redesign any part of the kernel at whim, even at the huge cost of having all driver development be centralised. But that's not the only way to do it.

Comment Re:There's an even greater flaw here. (Score 5, Insightful) 66


Gatekeeper is not meant to block any unsigned code execution. It's meant to stop you accidentally running malware. If you want to bypass it you can just right click on a .app and click "open", or you can disable it in System Preferences. The "attack" you just described is no attack at all.

It's not even clear to me that what's being described in the article is even an attack. OK, you can bypass Gatekeeper by finding an app that blindly runs code it knows nothing about. That's like complaining that if you run a signed browser and then it executes a malicious web page, bad things happen. That's not a bug in Gatekeeper. That's a bug in the browser.

Comment Re:What is the point of this article? (Score 2) 164

Need I remind you that had the U.S. signed up for the GSM standard, CDMA would've been stillborn and we would likely have 50-200 kbps data speeds today

Um, wat? You think the designers of UMTS were incapable of understanding the different radio technologies because they weren't born in America? CDMA was invented by the Soviets, you know.

GSM and its upgrades stomped the mobile phone system called CDMA for all kinds of reasons, one of them being that GSM had the concept of a SIM card and CDMA did not, so GSM users could pick their own phones and trade them. Another is that GSM was developed by an actual international standards process and industry consortium, whereas cdmaONE was basically an attempt to standardise a Qualcomm internal project and it showed. It was expensive, single vendor, etc. Wikipedia refers to the "immature style" of the cdmaONE standards documents. GSM had first mover advantage and international adoption.

Comment Re:How dare they! (Score 1) 166

ISDS doesn't do what you're claiming it does.

The point of ISDS is to handle the case where a company invests in a country and the country then changes its laws such that the investment is invalidated. This has a habit of occurring in some less well run parts of the world as part of e.g. attempting to advantage home grown companies, or appropriating their assets.

ISDS cannot force a country to change its laws. It's a voluntary mechanism by which countries agree to pay compensation to the investors that they just screwed. Whether the screwing is justified or unjustified doesn't matter, the point is to make the investors whole and therefore to reduce the risk of making foreign investments thus increasing their number.

Comment Re:Garbage collected virtual machines! (Score 5, Informative) 341

The headline is rather misleading. This isn't just a plain port of the code from Java to C++ to get a magical 10x speedup. Amongst other things they appear to be running an entire TCP stack in userspace and using special kernel drivers to avoid interrupts. This is the same team that produced OSv, an entirely new kernel written in C++ that gets massive speedups over Linux ..... partly by doing things like not using memory virtualisation at all. Fast but unsafe. These guys are hard core in a way more advanced way than just "hey let's switch languages".

Comment Re:Bug still in Web interface? (Score 2) 67

WhatsApp is one of the worlds most popular chat networks. It has nearly a billion users globally and dominates mobile chat/SMS replacement everywhere outside of the USA and China (possibly Japan).

WhatsApp has a very interesting security design. It uses end to end encryption for messages (at least between some clients). As a result the web (really: desktop) version can't work in the way most normal web apps work. What it actually does is build a connection to your actual phone and remotely controls it. If your phone is off you can't use the web version. The reason is; only the phone has the encryption keys. WhatsApp doesn't provide message backups etc for this sort of reason also.

I don't know why the web app has a user-triggered update process, but it would not surprise me if it's related to that: for instance, the web app checks digital signatures on the new version before re-caching it locally.

Comment Lessig is hard to listen to (Score 4, Insightful) 281

I watched the TV interview. I'm not American but US politics has a way of affecting everyone, so I think it's cool what he's trying to do.

That said, I think he needs to practice his TV interviewing style a bit. He spoke VERY fast, sounded kind of shrill, and the tumble of words didn't communicate as much as I expected given their quantity. There were a lot of things that sounded like generic political soundbites any candidate might say. The basic ideas of political reform are solid - he could slow down, hit one or two points solidly and then stop.

There are a few other issues I don't really understand.

The main one is that he's strongly Democrat. For reasons I don't fully understand (electoral college mumble mumble) it seems US candidates cannot ever be independent, they have to pick a side. So that's going to cause issues right there. Reform of Washington should be a bi-partisan issue: I had expected him to run as an independent and then resign and trigger fresh elections once his platform was passed. That way anyone could feel secure voting for him. But I guess that sort of thing isn't possible.

The other is that surely he it takes more than one man to deliver the reforms he wants. Why isn't he creating a political party rather than running for President? This must be the only-two-parties rule again? I heard once that there are more than just Dems and Reps in the US political system but I never hear much about them.

Comment Re:A free search engine (Score 1) 152

In many countries, it is illegal for a company to unfairly exploit its dominance in one market to gain advantage in another market.

But Google aren't doing that.

The argument of these complaining companies boils down to "our business is so crappy and generic that we have no customer loyalty at all, and as such our customers simply click on whatever result comes first when they search". Therefore they argue "we should be first because otherwise it's not faaaaaaaair".

If the only justification for your existence is that hapless customers end up at your website due to an accident of ranking, why should anyone care about your business? Facebook, for most of its history, wasn't crawlable at all - the entire site was behind the login screen. Literally the only search term they showed up for was Facebook. Guess what - it didn't hurt them at all, because their customers wanted to go there.

Comment Re:In Theory - Thor (Score 1) 87

I'm an implementer of OIM (10 years now). OIM is an excellent framework for a provisioning tool, but the connectors are terrible (fortunately easy to build your own against the API) and the UI is useless. The most successful OIM implementations I've come across (or built) have been ones that used a custom UI and/or just made everything scriptable. The API is really the saving grace of OIM. It's confusing, but it is powerful.

Sadly, I'm watching the product spiral downhill as of the last several versions.

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.