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Comment: Re:Welp, (Score 1) 633

by Galois2 (#27648913) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station

I'm not sure you understand what you're looking at then :)

I guess I don't. What I see is a web page that contains a bunch of plots based on data from NOAA, updated daily, and therefore not going through any kind of peer-review process. I don't see any journal articles on that page.

Or, maybe you don't know what "peer reviewed research" is in reality.

"Peer-reviewed research" refers to journal articles and dissertations which have undergone a scholarly review process prior to publication.

Comment: Re:Welp, (Score 1) 633

by Galois2 (#27645655) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station
That is not a link to a peer-reviewed article, it is a link to a PNG image. Anyway, it is only for sea ice, which I agree may be growing. What causes ocean levels to rise, however, is glaciers melting and running into the ocean, which has been well-documented. You can look at the paper of Eric Rignot, for example, in Science 2006. The effect from Greenland alone is estimated to contribute 1/4 inch rise in ocean level per decade. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/311/5763/986

Comment: Re:Welp, (Score 1) 633

by Galois2 (#27633659) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station

He solved the issue of Global Warming? Already?

No, in fact the scientific consensus is that this kind of result is consistent with a growing global warming problem.

Here is the reason, in simple terms. Global warming leads to increased rates of evaporation from the ocean. Despite global warming, it is still freezing at the poles, and when the higher vapor levels reach the poles, it tends to snow more, leading to increased ice in those areas.

Overall, however, the amount of ice in the world is dramatically decreasing, and oceans are predicted to rise by up to three feet by the end of the century.

Comment: The bill author and journalist are both confused (Score 2, Interesting) 149

by Galois2 (#27272567) Attached to: Texas Legislature Considers Open Document Formats

Aside from my quibbles that multiple implementations or "uses XML" should not really be part of the definition of an open format, there is not a clear way to interpret the bill as excluding OOXML, the format MS rammed through as an ISO standard to compete with ODF. So if the intent is to support ODF and disallow OOXML, I don't see that this will do it. (The bill as written requires documents to be an open document format, which the bill defines as one that is XML, open, interoperable across platforms and applications, published without restrictions or royalties, independently implemented by multiple SW providers, controlled by an open industry organization -- could arguably apply to both ODF and OOXML.)

And boy oh boy, is Aman Batheja, the author of the Star Telegram article, confused. First of all, he confuses "open document formats" and "open source." He writes, "State Rep. Marc Veasey is pushing lawmakers to require all state agencies to create and share their electronic documents in open-source formats." The bill has nothing to do with open source, or programming of any kind! The bill simply states that the file format for DOCUMENTS should be open, like ODF (and unlike, .doc/.ppt).

He goes on, in his confusion, "It could also mean that many state workers may see familiar Microsoft products such as Word and Excel replaced with lesser-known competitors on their work computers." Again, wrong. MS Office 2007 already has an ODF plugin, so you can read and save to ODF formats from within MS Office if you want to keep using MS Office.

Comment: Re:Very fitting (Score 1) 459

by Galois2 (#27247233) Attached to: Linux Foundation Asks Who Says "I'm Linux" Best

And you wonder why people tune out the Linux crowd.

No, I don't wonder. I realize that MS has been effective as hoodwinking many people into believing they are a "good" monopoly.

Or were you talking about the other part, you know, where I stated some facts about the ad campains? Well, facts are pesky things. I'm sorry the "He's linux" commercial that debuted during the Superbowl in 2004 predates the "I'm a Mac" (2006-) and "I'm a PC" (2007-) series. Fine, tune that out. Good luck with that.

Comment: Re:Very fitting (Score 4, Insightful) 459

by Galois2 (#27246353) Attached to: Linux Foundation Asks Who Says "I'm Linux" Best

Well as usual with Linux, they show up late to the game

Not quite -- the "he's linux" commercial preceeded either the Mac or PC ad series. Perhaps the only usual thing is that Apple and MS take undeserved credit.

and produce a half ass working team that people find unbearable to watch while the hardcore crowd yells at them for being peons.

I found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwL0G9wK8j4 to be a fully working team, coached by Wooden no less.

But hey we can criticize MS/Apple all day, but when it comes to Linux we have to treat them with special care because they 'do it for free'.

No, we can criticize MS because we've proven in court they illegally use their monopoly to extinguish competition in other areas, and Apple because they lock down both their hardware and software. Linux is the best open source OS there is, and anyone who cares about software freedom ought to care about it.

Comment: Re:Didn't Novell already do this? (Score 3, Informative) 459

by Galois2 (#27246199) Attached to: Linux Foundation Asks Who Says "I'm Linux" Best

That is a funny reply to the Mac ad series, but have people already forgotten the great linux ad which *preceded* either the Mac or PC ad series? Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwL0G9wK8j4 It includes Mohommad Ali, Sylvia Nasar, Penny Marshall, and former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

Comment: Re:Ummm....Nope. (Score 1) 224

by Galois2 (#27237289) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2007 In Linux With WINE

Wouldn't it be lovely to have a nice, clean installation of Microsoft's Office 2007 Suite to run on your Ubuntu Linux Distribution?

Before trying to get a nice, clean installation of MS Office on linux, how about we wait until a nice, clean installation of MS Office is available for Windows? I haven't seen anything nice or clean yet. MS Office can't even open its own, older files securely (and so MS doesn't allow it to try), and file format isn't documented so any application that wants to interoperate resorts to reverse engineering. Did you see the piece of crap MS put together for their OOXML "standard"? It's an order of magnitude longer than ODF -- see, e.g., http://government.zdnet.com/images/ooxml.JPG

Comment: Re:Not Surprising (Score 1) 743

by Galois2 (#27157767) Attached to: Young People Prefer "Sizzle Sounds" of MP3 Format

This is not surprising at all. Talk with anyone who grew up listening to records and you'll hear a tale of music with character and soul. That "character" and "soul" is the pop and crack of dust, scratches, and whatnot that the record needle picked up - all the imperfections in the record player and record that we could hear. It's a comforting and familiar noise in the sound.

While there may be people like this, it is a very small minority. The vast majority of people who grew up with records moved to CD's and preferred the obvious quality improvement.

That people prefer MP3 indicates to me that they either have problems physically hearing (loss of high frequency hearing) or mentally they filter out imperfections of MP3. Hardly anyone explicitly likes distortion.

Anyway, I never understood why people, even young people, like a proprietary format like MP3 when OGG is free and at least as good. The success of the iPod, with it's non-support for OGG and its DRMed music, is a testimony that great marketing can convince people that lipstick on a pig turns it into a supermodel.

Comment: Re:nice (Score 5, Informative) 291

by Galois2 (#27015833) Attached to: Use Your iPhone To Get Out of a Ticket

I think the iPhone just became a positive ROI for many people in these areas.

Not really. From the article, in order to even start the process you have to pay parkingticket.com a deposit equal to 50% of the ticket fine. Here is what can happen:

  • If the ticket is dismissed, parkingticket.com keeps the 50% you paid them
  • If the ticket is reduced, parkingticket.com retains 50% of what you saved
  • If the ticket is dismissed, parkingticket.com will refund the deposit and pay 10% of the ticket

I guess if you're into paying a 50% fee for having someone fill out the paperwork, it's a good deal.

Comment: Re:Summary (Score 5, Informative) 225

by Galois2 (#26993805) Attached to: US Antitrust Judge Examining Windows 7 Documents

Can someone summarize exactly what we have achieved in this case?

Briefly, in the 1990's MS was found to have a monopoly in its OS, which is not illegal in and of itself, but that it also illegally used its monopoly OS to create barriers to entry in other competitive areas. Particularly, it illegaly tied its browser to the OS, making other browsers not function as well (e.g., for help file viewing) and more difficult to install. At trial, they were shown to be either liars or, if you are very generous, incompetent.

Detailed findings of fact found illegal anti-competitive behavior in multiple areas, and their punishment was to be broken up into several companies. On appeal, MS successfully got that ruling overturned, on the basis that the judge in the case had made some negative comments about MS prior to issuing his ruling. In the meantime, 15 separate cases against MS brought by state attorneys general were merged, and MS settled with them for something so trivial no one remembers what it was. California, New York, and maybe one or two other states held out and separately obtained billion dollar settlements.

Shortly after the break-up order was rescinded, George W. Bush came into office and all efforts to obtain a reasonable remedy were dropped. MS essentially got off scott-free, in the sense that they illegally transformed their OS monopoly into a browser monopoly, with all the due profit that entailed, and weren't punished at all except for what they had to pay their lawyers and a billion to California.

To summarize and answer your question: Not Much.

Comment: Re:The meaning of the article is unclear (Score 1) 192

by Galois2 (#26977419) Attached to: Red Hat Returns To the Linux Desktop

As someone who used RedHat on the desktop from 6 through 9 and actually had just bought "support" when they "left" just to show my support for them I assure you when they abandoned RH 7-9 it most definitely felt like they "left". Way back they were a company with a loyal customer base who bought their boxed distributions even when we didn't have to just to support them. Then they went "public" and suddenly the people that got them to where they were and helped them get rich when they IPO'ed were dirt, and the only people they cared about sat on Wall Street and in the Fortune 500.

They treated the people who got them where they were like kings. You must not have been one of the hundreds of people they invited into their mega-IPO who had nothing to do with RH other than that they happened to contribute to open source code that RH distributed. I've never seen any company with the ethics of RH, willing to give up money on the table to help the people who helped them.

Users who bought all those RH CD's from the early days and wanted to stick with a RH distribution simply moved on to Fedora Core 1. And if you were paying for support as you say, then RHEL would be no different than what you were doing under RHL 9. I don't see what anyone is complaining about.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

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