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Comment: Re:Where to draw the line (Score 1) 326

by Grishnakh (#47852769) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

I don't think Stallman wants any software to be open-source but free software. He's FSF, not OSI, goals differ.

Yes, I know; as I said before, he's a bit of an extremist (some might disagree with the "a bit" part). I mistakenly said "open source" instead of "Free sotware" though.

Anyway, if some random application is closed-source and proprietary, you're locked in by the vendor as well, it's output is usually closed-source and proprietary as well, so you can be blocked out of the work you've done using this proprietary software, it can have bugs you can't debug or fix, you can be blocked from upgrading programs the software interacts with, libraries the software depends on, and even the OS version it is using.

Yes, that's all true, but it's still not nearly as bad as the platform and infrastructure being closed-source and proprietary. Usually, applications only have library dependencies anyway (at least on *nix systems), so upgrading the OS shouldn't be that much of a problem as long as you keep compatible libraries in place. The main problem with proprietary programs is the closed file formats/output. But again, this isn't nearly as bad as having a platform that's proprietary and has bugs you can't debug or fix. Cue the analogy about houses with bad foundations.

Comment: Re:Where to draw the line (Score 1) 326

by Grishnakh (#47850437) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Those are applications which do not have viable free alternatives. Running Windows does not require that you run Exchange or Sharepoint and running Exchange or Sharepoint on your Windows server does not require that your clients run Windows. You're creating a false dependency to try and justify using Microsoft everywhere.

Wrong. I'm not trying to justify MS, I'd like to see the company collapse and disappear and most of its technologies go by the wayside. I'm just pointing out the stark reality. No, running Windows does not require Exchange or SharePoint, but please find me a company of any size which doesn't run Outlook and Exchange. It's a de-facto standard in corporations. No, your typical home user doesn't use it, obviously, but every company out there bigger than 30 employees does. That's what I'm talking about with the "platform". It's not just Windows OS, it's the whole MS IT infrastructure that goes along with it in any corporation: Outlook/Exchange, SharePoint, AD, and lots more (don't forget Office). Linux/FOSS can't replace all that, there's still too many missing or broken bits.

Even if you do actually need Exchange for whatever reason that is only one server, the damn thing can be virtualized too if you really want, that creates no dependency on other parts of your infrastructure or workstations.

Corporations "need" Exchange because it provides them email + calendaring, which is pretty important for scheduling meetings so managers can sit around and waste time doing nothing. There's no Free alternatives to this that I'm aware of (I've heard of some other proprietary alternatives, but nothing that's ever gotten any serious marketshare). In theory, it's not really a hard problem, unlike, for instance, stitching together photos to create a panorama (lots of math involved there); it's just a little database work and some specially-formatted emails. But for some reason no one in FOSS has created fully compatible replacements for both the server and client; in fact, the FOSS community seems to have mostly given up on email clients these days thanks to webmail.

But anyway, using Exchange means also using Outlook, and Outlook only runs on Windows. (Yes, it's possible to use OWS in Linux/Firefox; I've done it, but it doesn't work very well. It needs to run on IE to get full functionality, including seeing new emails pop up, as is normal with Gmail.)

Like what? You talk about not needing to create FOSS applications because we need to focus on controlling the "platform" yet now you tell me that the problem isn't the platform but the applications, which is precisely what I told you.

Different applications. You (or was it someone else?) were talking about things like engineering, CAD, etc. applications. Those are usually standalone. They're not part of any kind of "infrastructure". (There are some exceptions, like DOORS and ClearCase, which need central servers.) Outlook/Exchange are, from a corporate point-of-view, infrastructure. As far as they're concerned, the company simply cannot run without Outlook and Exchange, because they rely on those for email communications and scheduling. That's what makes Outlook "infrastructure"; it's a necessary application, and it has a hard dependency on a backend server. Other networked applications have the potential to be like this; for instance, many companies (for some idiotic reason) depend on ClearCase for version control, and that too has a client that runs on the desktop, and a server. (I'm not going to suggest that anyone make a ClearCase clone (client or server), since git, Mercurial, Subversion, etc. are all available and work far better, but it's another example of the same thing but which isn't from MS.) There might be some similar stuff out there I haven't encountered.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1) 811

There's a difference between not being lounge-chair comfortable, and simply not fitting in there at all (or having to have you legs pushed up against the seatback). I'm 6'1" (but thin) and I generally don't have much trouble, but then again I haven't flown in a couple of years, and it sounds like the airlines have reduced the space between rows since then. No one's expecting coach class to be spacious, but they are expecting to be able to fit in there without physical pain. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Comment: Re:Where to draw the line (Score 1) 326

by Grishnakh (#47850013) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

No it doesn't.

Yes, it does. Go to any big corporation and look at their IT department. It's dominated by Windows in the server room. Exchange, probably the most prominent example, only runs on Windows Server. Same with Active Directory. Yes, it's possible to use openldap or whatever, but no one actually does that with a Windows environment.

You don't need Windows Servers to interoperate with them, I'm not sure why you're saying that. What specifically is the problem you are having that you cannot overcome?

Try running Exchange or SharePoint on Linux.

We already can do that,

No, we can't. There's too many parts of the IT infrastructure that just aren't easily replaced by Linux/FOSS. Exchange is the biggest one, since just about every corporation out there relies on it (rightly or wrongly). Other networked applications frequently have the same problem, where they're made to only run on MS infrastructure, but MS components are of course the worst.

Comment: Re:Where to draw the line (Score 1) 326

by Grishnakh (#47849799) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

What'd be better is to focus instead on taking over the platform, rather than trying to make Free alternatives to every single proprietary program out there. It's a much smaller and more manageable task, and the benefits are far greater. It really doesn't matter that much if your engineering design program is proprietary; yeah, it'd be better if it were Free or at least open-source, it'd be nice if they used open file formats, etc., but that one program only affects that one function you do on your computer, it doesn't lock you into an entire IT ecosystem you may not want. The platform being proprietary, however, does; just look at what a lock Microsoft has in the enterprise space. You can't easily mix-and-match different components from different vendors (proprietary and/or Free/open-source), because MS's platform software doesn't play well with others. One day, you might decide to switch from your engineering design program to a competing program, and doing so probably won't be a big deal at all (except for the file format problem), as it'll all run on the same platform, and won't require you to change out your desktop computers, OSes, servers, storage subsystems, etc. But your use of a proprietary platform (Windows) has a huge effect on your IT systems.

What's more, we already have a Free platform with Linux (running on both servers and desktops), it just isn't in widespread use on desktops yet (and by extension, because Windows is used on corporate desktops almost exclusively, they also run Windows servers heavily to interoperate with them). Sure, Linux is dominating in webservers because it's cheap and fast (and good), but that's because webservers don't need to tie into corporate desktops or other MS programs like Outlook.

So forget simulations and manufacturing programs; you're not going to find a bunch of volunteers to work on that stuff for free, and if you did, they wouldn't have the domain knowledge necessary to do so anyway (there are some exceptions out there, but they're exceptions). We should concentrate on taking over the infrastructure, not the applications. The applications will be ported by their vendors when there's enough demand.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1) 811

Yes, when you start talking about metro areas, it does get really fuzzy. NYC is a bit of a special area because it annexed many of its outlying cities back in the 1800s, and calls them "boroughs" now (previously, Manhattan was "NYC"), so all the crime city-wide is part of that one city's statistics. Most cities don't do that. But even there, NYC has a larger metro area beyond its boroughs. Newark, one city I mentioned several times, is really just part of NYC's metro area; in fact, most of northern NJ is part of the NYC metro area, plus a large chunk of Long Island (beyond Queens and Brooklyn). There's trains running to Summit and Morristown NJ and beyond, with people commuting back and forth to NYC every day, so those cities are part of the metro area, but should they be lumped in with NYC's crime stats? Honestly, I don't know, it's really debateable. Same goes for LA: if you look at that crime stat list, a bunch of cities there are really just parts of LA. Should they all be lumped together? You could argue it either way. On one hand, they're kinda part of the same "city", even though the "city" is divided into separate municipalities. On the other hand, Morristown NJ and Bronx NY are really different places with totally different demographics, and it really takes a long time to commute between the two (Manhattan is kinda central to them, so people commute from both to Manhattan, plus the transit links are set up to make that more efficient whereas going between the outlying areas is a real PITA sometimes), so it's not like crime in the Bronx is going to affect you in Morristown.

But you do have a good point here: if you're looking at which city is safe to live in, you have to consider where in that area you would likely be living, and if that's included in the crime stats or not.

However, my other analysis of demographs in each city (in response to another poster trying to blame it all on black people) is still correct, because my demographic information was from those cities proper, not their metro areas.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1) 811

As for degree of violence (i.e. emotionality) it tends to be higher among those who grow up not being exposed to "foreign ideas". They tend to form a ridgid mind-set that's especially favorable to us-vs-them thinking, and to not caring about what happens to "them". .... People who grow up in cities tend to be exposed to people living and believing in lots of different ways. They may not like it, but they're used to it.

One problem I have with this assertion is that, in the rural areas, there really aren't any "thems". In the small rural communties, everyone knows everyone else, and there usually aren't many outsiders. It's not like most of the crime in rural areas is directed at outsiders who just moved in.

Rural isn't particularly safe, because of poor enforcement (for fairly obvious reasons).

Yes, but on the other hand, people in rural areas tend to be well-armed, unlike city-dwellers. Break into some random trailer home in the country and you're very likely to get shot. Rural people rely less on law enforcement and tend exercise self-defense more. (This gun culture might also contribute more to accidental shootings and the like, but that's beside the point, we're talking about crime rates here.)

The highest-crime areas seem to be cities where there's a lot of poverty, and especially a drug problem (just like violent crime was a big problem in the 20s with Prohibition). Stick a bunch of people into a small area, give them no opportunity, no hope, no jobs, a poor education, all adding up to no future, give them one avenue for employment which is extremely profitable (unlike anything else they can do) but also illegal and overly enforced (compared to every other crime), and it all adds up to a recipe for violence, and then make it so these people all rely on money to survive and it's even worse. At least in rural areas, the cost of living is dirt cheap and you can grow your own food if you want, and you can even buy your own home on poverty-level wages.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1, Interesting) 811

Newark is majority black; I was just there for something and I stuck out like a sore thumb downtown. I wouldn't feel comfortable there at night. But the part that kinda disproves you is the rape stats: Newark is near the top for murders, but it's near the bottom for rapes. The top 6 cities for rapes (per capita of course) are Minneapolis, Anchorage, Cleveland, CO Springs, Tulsa, and Lincoln NE. I'm pretty sure 5 of those 6 have very few black people: Lincoln is 86% white and only 3.8% black. Tulsa has more blacks at 15.6%, but still nowhere near a majority. Cleveland is majority black at 53.3% (and 37.3% white), but it's the exception here. Anchorage is 5.6% black (actually higher than I expected), Minneapolis 18.6%, and CO Springs 6.3% (78.8% white). So it appears from this list that cities with lots of white people are the ones where you're more likely to get raped, though perhaps you're less likely to be murdered.

BTW, Newark is 52.4% black, and only 11.6% non-Hispanic white (and 33.8% Hispanic of any race). What'd be really interesting is to see who actually commits the most of each type of crime, in every metro area, since it isn't necessarily the majority group that commits the majority of any particular crime. But still, it does appear that there is no correlation between black concentration in a city and its standing in the rape rankings, which I find quite interesting. (And before you think of it, it doesn't correlate to how many Hispanics there are either; the cities with tons of Hispanics like Miami, San Diego, LA, and El Paso are pretty low in the rape rankings.)

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1) 811

Interesting. But isn't CO Springs also a tech hub? (Not saying that tech hubs are rape-fests; San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Austin, and SanFran are much farther down in the rape rankings.) And what about Lincoln NE?

Also interesting is that Newark NJ (which I happen to live not far from) is near the top of the murder stats, but it's near the bottom of the rape stats, right next to Plano and Seattle. Same goes for New Orleans; it's #2 in murders, but it's only in the middle for rapes (and if you look at the numbers, only a little over 1/3 as many rapes per capita as the rape capitals Minneapolis and Anchorage). I guess poor black people just aren't that interested in rape compared to poor white people.

Comment: Re:Yup (Score 1) 811

Being tall has advantages and disadvantages, you might not fit well in a cheaper small car and have to pay more for a bigger car with more legroom.

Wrong. This used to be true back in the 80s, when many cars really were pretty small, but these days even economy cars are generally well-designed for legroom and can fit taller passengers/drivers. There might be a few crappily-designed cars still out there, but you don't need to go to a bigger car for more legroom, just a better car. I'm over 6' with long legs, and I've tried out various lower-end cars in recent years with no issues at all. Back in the 80s and 90s, however, I had a lot of problems with various cars, including a giant Caprice Classic I had to ride in once in the front passenger seat, as well as the C4 Corvette where I couldn't fit in the driver's seat comfortably. My experience (back then) was generally that American cars were terrible for legroom. But all the rental cars (American & Japanese) I've driven in the last 5 years have been just fine.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1) 811

No, it's not decreasing. Ask anyone in Detroit or St. Louis.

Yes, nationwide, on average, it is decreasing. Not everywhere. Cities with strong economies do enjoy reducing crime rates, such as NYC. Detroit is not like NYC.

The real problem is poverty and a ruined economy, coupled with high density. Rural areas with poverty don't have the crime levels that Detroit does.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 1) 811

Violent crime is down on average, yes, but that doesn't mean that it's down everywhere. Detroit and St. Louis are still extremely dangerous cities to visit, and probably even more dangerous than they were 30-50 years ago. Yes, other places are a lot safer (like Manhattan; it was a pit in the 80s, but now is extremely safe), but there's still plenty of extremely dangerous cities, especially in the Rust Belt.

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 3, Interesting) 811

Depends on the city. Some cities are very safe, others are not. Manhattan is very safe generally, other parts of NYC (like the Bronx) are less so. St. Louis, Oakland, and Detroit are the most dangerous cities, while Plano, Virginia Beach, and Henderson have very low violent crime rates.

There's a lot of interesting info in that link. For instance, WTF is going on in Colorado Springs? It's one of the safest cities for murder, however it's one of the most dangerous cities for rape. Same goes for Anchorage, though maybe that has something to do with Alaska's highly skewed male/female ratio. Lincoln NE is also the same.

Anyway, aside from some oddities like that, if you look through the rankings for various crime categories, you'll generally see the same cities topping the charts for crime: St. Louis, Oakland, Detroit, Memphis, Cleveland, Toledo, Newark NJ, Atlanta, etc. The common factor in all these is poverty: these cities have terrible economies, their industries left decades ago, they're just burned-out shells really and all the people who could afford to leave have left. Some of them do have some industry still left (Atlanta is home to CNN, Newark has some financial industry that spilled over from Manhattan and Jersey City in search of cheaper real estate), but not nearly enough to keep the economy in good shape. The cities that are the safest are either bedroom communities (like Henderson NV) for nearby larger cities (Las Vegas in that case) (Jersey City is like this too, a lot of Manhattanites have moved there in search of cheaper rent), tourist destinations (VA Beach), or have strong economies due to strong industries (San Jose, Portland, Seattle, with tech industry). However, many of the safest cities are smaller cities with less than 500k people, like Plano, Lexington KY, Fort Wayne IN, Lincoln NE, and Mobile AL, which would lend support to the idea that higher density creates more crime.

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