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Comment Re:Of course not. (Score 1) 307 307

I remember as a very young kid in the 70's hearing about the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment and wondering how they managed to aim and point the laser correctly and get it to return properly and all that. It still blows my mind today when I understand much more than I did back then, when I delve into even a cursory overview of the techniques the ongoing experiment uses to aim, point, and collect the photons to generate the experimental results.

Comment Re:And if they really want to make nice (Score 1) 229 229

If Tilak Mandadi (LinkedIn profile not updated yet to reflect his Disney CIO/Parks position) did not actually orchestrate the restructuring himself (perhaps he was instructed from further up the executive chain), then he certainly did himself no favors by how he executed it (at least the announcement if not the actual restructuring logistics itself), oversaw the execution of it, and responded to it. If he's being muzzled by Disney from getting out in front of this story now with some spin control, then it is possible Disney has done so to keep him in their back pocket to throw under the bus if the legal and/or financial blow back from the story gets too hot.

So even if you see a "direct the termination of the executive responsible", it is entirely possible that the real architect(s) of the in-all-but-name layoff remain untouched, and you are only seeing the sacking of a scapegoat, even if they have a "CIO" in their title (he's CIO of a large division, but not over all of Disney). If instead something happened along the lines of Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and HCL America (the contractors identified in the story) get their H1-B allotments catastrophically cut back (like 75-80%) with a maximum absolute cap set to the cut back level based on the 2014 allotment, for 7 years, then you would see very extreme avoidance of these kinds of restructurings in the future. Even if the H1-B program continues to exist, and even if American companies solicit for this kind of restructuring, there isn't a sales manager in the world who would allow that kind of deal through. Also effective would be to change the H1-B legislation so allotments become a granted privilege served at the pleasure of politics, not a protected right enjoying contractual legal protection, to nullify legal challenges to allotment changes, and let the executive (agency or President) or legislative branches alter the allotments by company. This would give the contracting companies a much greater incentive to solicit for more creatively value-added business, rather than extractive displacement-heavy business, as the political optics for any displacements (real or perceived) are just too much of a headache to deal with.

Comment Re:TFA (Score 1) 229 229

What I haven't seen commented upon is the combined form factor and upgradeable, maximum RAM capacity.

There isn't another laptop I'm aware of on the current market with similar physical dimensions and is upgradeable to 32 GB RAM. For those who run VMs on the road and want to cram as much as possible into a small footprint, the Librem is a unique solution in more ways than the free software/hardware aspects. It could be more free with respect to the BIOS, but incremental baby steps will get us there; we first need to convince manufacturers a viable market for freedom-oriented products exists.

Android

De-escalating the Android Patent War 63 63

In 2011, a consortium formed from Microsoft, Apple, Sony, BlackBerry, and others spent $4.5 billion acquiring Nortel's patent portfolio, which contained a great deal of ammunition that could be used against Android. That threat has now been reduced. Today, 4,000 of the patents were purchased by a corporation called RPX, which has licensing agreements from Google, Cisco, and dozens more companies. [RPX is] a company that collects a bunch of patents with the goal of using those patents for member companies for defensive purposes. Even though RPX has generally been "good," the business model basically lives because of patent trolling. Its very existence is because of all the patent trolling and abuse out there. In this case, though, it's making sure that basically anyone can license these patents under FRAND (fair and reasonable, non-discriminatory) rates. The price being paid is approximately $900 million. While that article points out that this is considerably less than the $4.5 billion Microsoft and Apple paid originally, again, this is only 4,000 of the 6,000 patents, and you have to assume the 2,000 the other companies kept were the really valuable patents. In short, this is basically Google and Cisco (with some help from a few others) licensing these patents to stop the majority of the lawsuits -- while also making sure that others can pay in as well should they feel threatened. Of course, Microsoft, Apple and the others still have control over the really good patents they kept for themselves, rather than give to Rockstar. And the whole thing does nothing for innovation other than shift around some money.

Comment Smarthost out via SMTP.Comcast.net on 465 or 587 (Score 2) 405 405

You're being blocked because any mail leaving Comcast's IP spaces is expected to come from Comcast's mailservers only.

Configure your mailserver with a "smarthost" option, have it deliver using Authenticated SMTP (with your Comcast account's username and password hardcoded, yes) over SSL on 465, or if you can't do SSL, use 587.

Source: Am currently running Postfix on Comcast successfully delivering to Yahoo Mail with no spamfolder problem via this method. (Am using SPF, no DomainKeys yet.)

More from Comcast on this: http://corporate.comcast.com/c...

Comment Google & ISC have MeasurementLab.NET (Score 2) 294 294

The Network Diagnostic Test was able to see performance problems on my cablemodem connection that Ookla's speedtests did not.

http://www.measurementlab.net/...

Unfortunately, the number of ridiculous hoops you need to go through to let an unsigned Java applet run an arbitrary network I/O makes it much less useful.

Comment Re:Graphics appear to be closed/proprietary. (Score 2) 106 106

From the Matchstick SDK download agreement: (abridged)

4. Restrictions. You agree not to exploit ... content provided to you as a Registered Matchstick Developer, in any unauthorized way ... other than for authorized purposes. Copyright and other intellectual property laws protect ... content provided to you, and you agree to abide by and maintain all notices, license information, and restrictions contained therein. You may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of any software or software components of the Matchstick software including the Matchstick SDK software.

"Open Source Hardware" ?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. — Inigo Montoya

Comment Graphics appear to be closed/proprietary. (Score 5, Informative) 106 106

The Rockchip 3066 appears to use ARM's proprietary Mali T-series graphics. No, thanks.

Quote from the dev lead on the Mali graphics:

"I really do understand your frustration and I'm sorry that this makes life harder for you and similar developers. We are genuinely not against Open Source, as I hope I've tried to explain. I myself spent a long time working on the Linux kernel in the past and I wish I could give you a simple answer. Unfortunately, it is a genuinely complex problem, with a lot of trade-offs and judgements to be made as well as economic and legal issues. Ultimately I cannot easily reduce this to an answer here, and probably not to one that will satisfy you. Rest assured that you are not being ignored. However, as a relatively small company with a business model that is Partner driven, the resources that we have, need to be applied to projects in ways that meet Partner requirements."
(2014-09) ARM Still Not Doing Open Drivers

Comment Proprietary firmware blob? (Score 5, Informative) 106 106

From the Kickstarter page, the computer they are trying to fund is going to be based around a Rockchip 3066 SoC.

Will this have the same proprietary blob required to function / use video like the various Broadcom (Videocore in Raspberry Pi) / Marvell chips are stuck with?

If so, it's not actually Free/Open hardware, because that mystery embedded RTOS can do anything to my system at any time. If Mozilla and/or Matchstick are working with Rockchip (or whomever Rockchip licenses their cores from) to fully document the toolchain, I'd be delighted. (I'm not holding my breath.)

I don't just want a Free and open-source graphics device driver, I want the full documented toolchain for everything on the chip.

Comment Re:What if there isn't any truth out there? (Score 1) 93 93

The numbers work out for habitat-stealing if interstellar travel involved some quirk of technology that made dropping back into a gravity well somehow attractive at the end of the trip.

From what we can extrapolate given our current rudimentary state of technology, we think that if you can work out interstellar travel, then Iain Banks' popularized Culture series take on the matter is probably correct: that is, interstellar travel necessarily solves space habitat issues as a precondition. And once you have an interstellar-travel-grade space habitat, it is only the eccentrics who want to drop back down a gravity well.

Comment School Missed An Opportunity Here (Score 1) 1010 1010

The school could have stepped in and said they have informally allowed it (thus graciously letting this guy off the hook), but now that it has become a big deal, they'll print up $30 per year tags to hang on the rear view mirror that gives parents the right to charge during school operating hours. Win for the school: they get to tap a small revenue source (but every little bit helps), and get to look progressive with parents that have the disposable income to choose EV's. Win for the parents: they get to top off during school events that they attend.

Comment Re:But that wouldn't have had the leverage (Score 0) 293 293

Oh but they tried that in the past -- those products had a consistent result of killing the whole market segment then themselves.

1. Windows CE PDAs -- almost completely replaced healthy PDA-oriented OS due to Windows name, then wiped out the first generation of non-phone PDAs due to being absolutely inadequate in all ways possible. Survivors were iPAQ (Windows CE/Mobile), Palm (PalmOS), Visor (PalmOS), Blackberry (Blackberry OS, a phone but from PDA generation).

2. Windows Mobile phones -- sold to carriers, disappointed users, lost all market to dumbphones and Symbian-based Nokia, then completely wiped out by iPhone.

3. Windows Phone phones -- Survive by being produced by zombified Nokia, can't get any presence on the market due to iPhone and Android competition.

4. Windows RT tablets -- No one bought them in the first place.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. -- Emerson

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