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Comment: The good ol' days (Score 1) 141

by jandersen (#49757093) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

25 years, you say? It feels longer, somehow. Don't worry, I can see everybody's eyes glaze over, so I won't go too far down memory lane, except to say that there was actually a time when when Windows was cool and fun to work with. By gods, it was a load of crap, back then, but fun to code for, for that very reason. I used to spend 90% of my time commenting out code sections until the latest, spectacular error went away; that was how I learned to program properly in C. There is nothing like having to debug Windows running in real mode to bring home the idea that you must always initialise variable and check returned pointers. I sometimes miss the "hardship" in a perverse sort of way.

Comment: Re:For me it's Windows NT 3.1 (Score 1) 141

by dbIII (#49756995) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Windows was not a true OS until Windows 95

That ran on MSDOS as well, all the way up to Win ME. WinNT was the cut down VMS inspired thing that finally got us off the cut down CP/M clone.
Microsoft have always been a "me too" company, which is a description not a criticism since it was often about doing something involved on far cheaper hardware than the competition.

Comment: Re:More than PR (Score 1) 345

by dbIII (#49756793) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?
I just can't see why so many people think of her in an American context when she knew fuck-all about the west. If Stalin had parachuted a writer into the USA with instructions on writing something to undermine democracy it wouldn't have been as effective as the damage that Rand did with her rants about anything that wasn't aristocracy.
It's "twilight" for people who think they were born to rule.

Comment: Re:Effect? (Score 1) 345

by dbIII (#49756767) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?
Translation for the slow - name dropping tells me nothing especially since what you have referred to has nothing to do with paralysis of government.
So, instead of hiding behind name dropping that has nothing to do with the topic please let us know why you think a government that is unable to function, thus letting the unelected run things, is such a good thing?

Until you have, there is no possibility of having a rational discussion.

Pretending to take offence and be too stupid to get the point is cowardice.

Comment: Re:EA (Score 1) 64

by schnell (#49756521) Attached to: How Cities: Skylines Beat SimCity At Its Own Game

Is there actually a way for US businesses to prevent themselves from hostile takeover? Like, can they be "private limited companies" and just refuse to merge?

Oh yes indeed - it all depends on what type of company it is. I am oversimplifying here, but there are (at least in the US four (and a half) types of companies based on ownership structure:

  • Sole proprietorship : There is a dude named Bob Smith (BS) who owns Bob Smith Plumbing (BSP). BS and BSP are separate entities for tax purposes, but BS can do whatever the f**k he wants to with BSP - sell it, keep it, use its finances to expense hookers. The downside to Bob is that if BSP goes bankrupt, there is no barrier for creditors not to go after Bob personally.
  • Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership: There is a group of people who own Bob Smith Plumbing, which may include Bob Smith, a rich uncle who gave him the money to finance his startup costs, whatever. The partners who own shares in it control 100% of what the company does, and nobody can force them to do anything they don't want to. But if things go tits-up the partners who aren't involved in day-to-day operation of the business (e.g. Bob's uncle) may be shielded from some bankruptcy or lawsuit claims while those who ran the business daily (e.g. Bob) are not.
  • Corporation (private) : Here it gets interesting. Bob Smith Plumbing, Inc. is now legally separate from Bob or any of the owners - i.e., if BSP Inc. goes bankrupt, creditors can't come after Bob or the other owners. (In return for this legal separate personhood of the company, BSP Inc. must have independent board members, file quarterly reports and go through other legal oversight to prove that Bob isn't treating the corporation like a personal asset; if the books show that, creditors can "pierce the corporate veil" and hold Bob or the other shareholders personally liable.) Still, the owners are the owners and nobody can make them sell, not sell, or do anything else they don't want to. However, a large private corporation usually has a LOT of owners - founders, Venture Capitalists, etc. - and they all get to make big decisions based on the % of shares they own. If you get a buyout offer from $MEGACORP and the founders and employees (who own 49% of the shares) don't want to but the VCs (who own 51% of the shares) do, then you get bought out.
  • Corporation (public): Same as above, but you are no longer owned just by founders, employees, VCs, etc.; you have started selling your shares to anyone who wants to buy (ranging from jackasses like you or me with E*Trade accounts to hedge funds and institutional investors). Going public is a goal for most companies because it converts your shares of the company into actual, you know, money (think turning potential energy into kinetic energy). But going public means that (as above) not only does your company have to follow the will of the Board (as elected by shareholders based on their % of shares held) but you also are subject to lawsuits from those shareholders (or criminal prosecution by the FTC) if you run the company in a way (e.g. turn down a lucrative buyout offer) that is deliberately against the monetary interest of shareholders. On a side note, public corporations can create ways to avoid hostile takeovers like Poison Pill plans, too... but if more than 50% of shareholders don't like your way of running the company, you are out.

I say "four and a half" (despite there being other business entity forms) because the last "half" is a company that's in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Long story short, once you file, the previous owners of the company don't own s**t. The US government - in the form of a bankruptcy judge - now gets to decide what to do with the company, whether that means shutting it down, selling parts of it off at auction, or allowing the previous owners/managers to demonstrate that they have a plan to get the company back on its feet. Regardless, in bankruptcy nobody but the judge gets to decide what will happen to the company.

Comment: Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 1) 215

by hawguy (#49754829) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

I for one have *never* been afraid of asterisks.

It's good to have a healthy fear of asterisks -- there's a big difference between "rm -rf *.tmp" and "rm -rf * .tmp"

Asterisks are nothing compared to slashes. You should try "rm -rf * /", as root, of course.

That hasn't been a problem for quite some time... As long as you didn't do something like "touch ./--no-preserve-root" beforehand, all that will do is remove all of the non-hidden files from your current directory:


[user@test]$ sudo rm -rf * /
rm: it is dangerous to operate recursively on `/'
rm: use --no-preserve-root to override this failsafe

Comment: Re:Love it (Score 1) 138

by hawguy (#49753905) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

You would probably get a faster response when you provide dates, badges, etc.

Just a sweeping request of everything is a stupid stunt and of no benefit at all. Unless you really believe he is going to view all six years worth of data from hundreds of officers.

The problem is that not all abuse is reported so you don't always have dates, badges, etc.

If you can make a sweeping request and enlist volunteers (or even computer algorithms) to look for abuse, you may uncover actionable patterns that can be followed up by specific FOIA requests for original footage.

Comment: Re:This is the last fucking straw (Score 1) 475

by jopsen (#49753817) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

"Features" are in the eye of the beholder. If I need DRM to access a site, I just move on to something more interesting and/or important. I simply do not play that game. If I wanted to be digitally restricted, I could always get caught robbing a bank, and spend several years in prison, right?

Fact is mostly users have flash, silverlight or the vlc fork that hbo uses installed, and they will gladly install these "security holes"..
At least the FF DRM is a sandbox within which DRM content can run, the sandbox is open source (by FF) the module proprietary by adobe and only downloaded if you want to use it.

There's a whole WORLD in a mud puddle! -- Doug Clifford

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