Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).
It will suck when people get laid off, but you're not buying a huge quantity of equipment that you have to sell at rock-bottom prices. Or entire streets of homes which won't sell even if they are heavily discounted. You're probably ensuring that software is properly patched, hardware is not using default passwords and maybe some penetration testing. Apart from office furniture/computers, I don't see a great deal of capital investment. There may be investment in equipment, but that'll be for the client (government) to buy and maintain.
Hopefully it'll create some work for people who desperately need it.
I would rather front load the lawsuits. If a group of "industry leaders" with a "significant presence" in a field want a license-less standard, it shouldn't have hidden liability. A one year notification starts and anyone who states that the standard violates their patents can complain at the start. If someone makes a reasonable (as in a judge agrees) complaint of violation, the clock stops on the notification. The standard would have to be revised or the patent would have to be found to be invalid. Once the year long notification is over, you can't make a patent claim against the standard. Companies operating in a particular field with applicable patents will know what standards are coming out (I guarantee there would be at least a dozen websites related). And it's easier for them to nip a patent violating standard in the notification phase rather than sue a large number of unwary companies, unless patent trolling is in their business model.
There would be complications related to determining what constitutes "industry leaders" or a "significant presence", but there will be lawyers involved anyway. It's just better to bring them in at the start.
Not necessarily higher quality. Or more powerful. Or better features. But Apple's goods have an air of luxury around them (smells like hipster). And a price tag to match. Sure there are regular folks who will save their pennies and buy an Apple product, but the real market is in the upper class. Which limits them to fraction of the market, admittedly with a higher margin. You're probably paying $100 just for the Apple trademark on an iPad. Virtually nobody is choosing between an iPad and a value priced Linux/Windows netbook. I'd prefer a netbook (even a cheap one), so I can have a decent keyboard. Although I haven't handled an iPad myself, I've seen reviews that were quite negative about the touchscreen keyboard.
Whenever a religious figure speaks of fire and brimstone, I take it with a grain of salt. Whenever a politician makes the claim that anyone who speaks against them is racist/immoral/greedy/stupid, I tend to think they're frauds. Why would I let the scientists make claims without doubting them? I'm not calling climatologists liars; I'm saying that they're acting like liars.
Can anyone seriously say that evolution is as proven as Newton's Laws of Motion on the scale of billiard table? Or that our understanding of the Big Bang is as complete as our understanding of muscles contracting? So why choose evolution, the Big Bang and the age of the Earth? Don't get me wrong, I think that all three likely happened, but I wouldn't roll them out unless I had a political agenda. I've heard a variety of estimates for the age of the Universe, I haven't heard of anyone contesting the law of conservation of mass. Why not use photosynthesis and covalent bonds as established principles of science?
The central problem with the open letter is that they suggest that all scientists are apolitical and possess peerless moral character. That they can be trusted to police themselves and everyone else should just stay out of their business. Any organization or group that has been given the authority to police itself won't. Just because there's a witch hunt, doesn't mean there aren't witches. Given the trillions of dollars at stake, I'm perfectly happy to have a few annoyed PhDs to ensure public accountability. And government overreach is always a concern, remember that the Australian firewall was sold to the public by saying that it is protecting people from child porn. But somewhere there's a happy medium between anarchy and totalitarianism.
'As a nearly lifelong reader of The Post, I could not read this article in the paper I pay for and subscribe to; instead I came on it accidentally while scrolling online for business reasons.'
Who else thinks he came across it with a "gay polyamorous" Google search instead of "business reasons"?
It seems to me that the print media wants more eyeballs for greater ad revenue and it wants subscriptions at the same time. They pretty much have to choose one or the other. They can have a hybrid, but they have to put part of the website behind a paywall. And they'll have to give up some advertising money in exchange for subscription. With the Google lawsuits, it seems that a lot of newspapers expect Google to cover their red ink.
The MPAA has every intention of limiting your access so it can sell you it bit by bit. They want to sell you a different copy for each medium you use it in. If they can sell you more than one copy in a given medium (standard edition and then 2 years later director's cut), they certainly will. They want you to pay for a movie ticket, buy it on Blu-Ray, pay for DRM protected copy for your laptop and then pay for higher resolution DRM protected copy for your next laptop. Of course different countries will have different price scales.
It's not just piracy that threatens this, it's DRM free content. The reason they don't want the cable company to buffer content is that you should pay extra for that, preferably in a Blu-Ray box set. And then again for a DRM-protected version for portable use.
Open source is about the ability of the community to freely access and manipulate, as long as the changes are documented. Regulation is about the control of access and manipulation. Which special interest groups are allowed to look at it before the public? What idea offends which group? Does the example use gender neutral language? Restrictions, restrictions, restrictions...
If it was creationists who were the special interests groups, it would be in the article. If creationists go anywhere near science there are people screaming about it. Which special interest groups do you think are involved? Maybe the Scientologists will be able to write the text book on psychology?
How would Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, or FreeBSD pass such a test?
I'm not really recommending it, in fact I doubt regulation would accomplish what the government wants. It would be very difficult to enforce for users who could download a copy of FreeBSD from overseas. It would come to play when someone bought a computer. It would certainly penalize free versions of Linux in the same manner that you can't make your own free drugs and hand them out without FDA approval. A company would have to take a free version of Linux, pass it through the tests and sell it for a profit.
Let's say we have every single consumer operating system pass rigourous security tests before it is sold to the public. Will that decrease the number of infections or will the malware industry simply take longer to compromise the more secure systems? There is a concept about locks that no lock is fool proof, the better locks merely increase the time to compromise it.
I am deeply against penalizing the average citizen for having their computer run government approved security software. Most people barely understand their computer. The security within the operating system could lead an average user to believe that their system is secure. It's not someone having a gun stolen from their unlocked house and being sued by the victim shot by it. It's someone breaking into your house and using a blowtorch to get into your gun cabinet and then using that gun to shoot people.
I'm not an American, but I'm glad that ICANN is run by Americans. For the most part, the United States has a great deal of respect for different view points and allows for free thought. I can certainly imagine Europeans banning Internet websites for fear that they will anger Muslims, gays, atheists, Christians, animal rights activists, etc.. You can imagine European bureaucrats coming up with a handbook of acceptable thought and using that as a guide for website banning.
With Google losing half a billion a year, how long until they pull the plug on Youtube? I guess it could turn a profit, but when? My guess is the next downturn will cause shareholder pressure to force their hand.
It's not that I'm against scientific funding. But is he talking about private funding or public funding. It's seems that it's public funding. Ok, what is he willing to cut? Or will there be a science tax? Why didn't he spend the stimulus money on this? It doesn't just fund scientists, but engineers, technicians and the staff to support them. Obama seems to be full of fancy ill-formed ideas that go absolutely nowhere. I also think that George W. Bush's "Let's go to Mars" plan was ill-conceived.
Now if there is to be research done, I want fusion fully funded. There is too much of a drain on Western civilization's resources sending money to Saudi kleptocrats (who only remain in power by backing terrorists). It will also solve the energy to mass problem (enormous amounts of rocket fuel to put something in orbit) preventing a viable space program. I would rather money be spent on regenerating lost limbs with adult stem cells than focus on prosthetic replacements. I can guarantee that there are companies putting a lot of effort into reducing the cost of solar cells (think, a laptop which recharges by leaving it out in the sun because it has a cheap solar cover) and into educational software (or any software which has a market). These are all engineering projects as opposed to science projects.