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Comment: Re:Hypocracy (Score 2) 573

by IcyHando'Death (#42119131) Attached to: Ask Richard Stallman Anything

The parent comment is an obvious troll... but the question at the link is a good one. It asks:

is there a reason for not making the front ends dynamic libraries which could be linked by any program that wants to parse source code?

I'd like to know if RMS has any further comments on this. I.e., has there been any progress on finding other ways to prevent non-free software from being combined with gcc code, so that offering such dynamic libraries would be possible? If the GPL is not considered sufficient protection, would a stricter license be an option? What avenues are being explored?


+ - Writer Behind Happy Days' "Jump the Shark" Episode Dies

Submitted by IcyHando'Death
IcyHando'Death (239387) writes "Bob Brunner, a writer and producer for the TV show Happy Days, died of a heart attack on October 28 at the age of 78. Various websites credit (or blame?) Brunner for the infamous original "Jump the Shark" moment, in which Happy Days character "Fonzie", on water-skis, jumps over a shark. I remember watching this episode when it first aired, and like many historic moments (Martin Luther's 95 theses, killing of the last dodo), the true significance of the event was only apparent later on."

Comment: Re:Einen moment, bitte. (Score 1) 301

by IcyHando'Death (#41866087) Attached to: European Central Bank Casts Wary Eye Toward Bitcoin

... it will consider those attempts to be damage and, like the Internet, route around them.

The nineties called; they want their argument back (they're probably looking to get this put-down back too).

What we've seen in the last decade and more is that regulation of the digital realm is absolutely possible (think "Great Firewall of China") and can shut down or marginalize targeted activities quite effectively. Not perfectly, mind you, but law enforcement has never been perfect in the analog world either.

Time to update our thinking.

Comment: Re:Linus's preferences are irrelevant. (Score 5, Insightful) 289

by IcyHando'Death (#41865919) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Tries KDE, Likes It So Far
Yes, Linus has played an important role in the ascendency of Linux over FreeBSD, but I think the GPL ought to get even more credit. Stallman is and always has been right about the BSD license. Apple is just one of many companies who have shown how easily a thriving BSD software project can essentially be taken private. Just take your wad of cash and buy out the core developers. Set them to work on your proprietary, extended version with all the security bug fixes, the slick new UI and the closed-source installer. Then get your SEO guys going and soon Google won't even be able to find the so-called "free" version. In three years, anybody who can find the BSD licensed version won't dare to use it anyway because it's so far out of date. RIP "free" version.

Comment: Re:Genetic diversity... (Score 1) 213

by IcyHando'Death (#41610399) Attached to: Geneticists And Economists Clash Over "Genoeconomics" Paper
Culture, by definition, is not genetically transmitted. Behavior is influenced by both culture and genetics and teasing out which cause has what effect is a very, very tricky business. Merely observing a correlation between race and food stamp use is likely to get you labelled a racist because only a racist (or an ignoramus) would find it at all interesting. Carefully conducted research on the subject has demonstrated much better correlation with family income than with race for a host of societal ills that are typically ascribed to race in the USA.

Comment: These researchers were courting disaster (Score 1) 213

by IcyHando'Death (#41610097) Attached to: Geneticists And Economists Clash Over "Genoeconomics" Paper
It doesn't take a genius to foresee the sort of controversy this study might raise in the hands of the media. I'm sure the researchers themselves were very careful and conservative with their conclusions, but using race or genetic data as a proxy for something as easily obtainable as immigration history is just inviting trouble.

Comment: Join the club (Score 3, Insightful) 395

by IcyHando'Death (#41181671) Attached to: Can the UK Create Something To Rival Silicon Valley?

The world is full of urban centres that are trying to emulate the success of Silicon Valley. Ever heard of Silicon Valley North? No, I don't mean San Francisco. It's a term my home town, Ottawa, Canada, has adopted for itself. It's also been applied to Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo, Calgary, and Montreal. But the truth is that none of them have a decent claim on the title -- they can't touch the real Silicon Valley in terms of scale, depth of expertise or level of innovation.

There's a big barrier to anyone trying to be the new Silicon Valley and it has nothing to do with corporate tax rates or research incentives. Those are all easy to measure and copy. It's the network effect -- the same one that makes eBay, the QWERTY keyboard and Microsoft Office so hard to displace. The smart people want to go to Silicon Valley because that's where the smart people are. After all, being with other smart people is not only more interesting, but more likely to lead to your own success. It's easy to see in a place like Ottawa, where the cream of the tech community are frequent targets for Silicon Valley head-hunters. They go, not (just) for the money, but to be part of that scene.

So good luck East London, but maybe you should have a plan B, just in case.

Comment: Betteridge's Law (Score 3, Insightful) 193

by IcyHando'Death (#40922723) Attached to: Will Online Learning Disrupt Programming Language Adoption?'s_Law_of_Headlines

So, no.

Nobody will learn a new language unless it offers a big advantage over the existing popular languages. In the last 2 decades, that has meant having a particularly useful library or framework (such as CGI for Perl or Rails for Ruby). Why else would anybody invest the time. New languages are a dime a dozen (actually, that's too generous).

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.