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Submission + - GPL Enforcement under threat. Support Conservancy fundraiser. (

Jeremy Allison - Sam writes: "Some companies have withdrawn from funding us and some have even successfully pressured conferences to cancel or prevent talks on our enforcement work. We do this work because we think that it is good for everyone in the long run, because we know it is the right thing to do, and because we know that we are in the best position to do it. But that's not enough — you have to think it's right too and show us by becoming a Supporter now."

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 121

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Submission + - Software Freedom Conservancy asks for supporters

paroneayea writes: Software Freedom Conservancy has is asking people to join as supporters to save both their basic work and GPL enforcement. Conservancy is the steward of projects like it, Samba, Wine, BusyBox, QEMU, Inkscape, Selenium, and many more. Conservancy also does much work around GPL enforcement and needs 2,500 members to join in order to save copyleft compliance work. You can join as a member here.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 175

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

Comment Re:Reward networks for not upgrading (Score 1) 75

What happens on eBay is just a market. It's fundamental that a properly working market works to determine the optimum price for whatever is being sold. A properly working market would have multiple sellers and multiple buyers, all with somewhat differing circumstances. Improperly working markets are dominated by a single vendor, etc. No market works perfectly, there are always factors that cause markets to be less efficient than they should be.

Demand pricing is something one vendor does deliberately and with calculation. In contrast, the market pricing is arrived at as the aggregate of the behavior of many people. The market's actually broken if the calculation of one person can influence it disproportionately.

Comment Re:Amazon Model (Score 1) 75

First, there's no shortage of interurban data links for these companies to use if they're willing to. A shortage of infrastructure is a myth.

Second, the customers will indeed abscond, but not to conventional telephone companies.

Anyone who is considering how to jack up voice call pricing is moving around deck chairs on the Titanic.

Comment Re:Reward networks for not upgrading (Score 1) 75

No definition of "surge pricing" could include eBay because it's an auction with multiple independent bidders. Uber, on the other hand, is one bidder with multiple operators who work through its pricing structure. Experienced Uber operators actually avoid areas with high dynamic pricing because there's too much traffic around them. It's more profitable to do three less expensive rides than one expensive one.

Uber dynamic pricing fails the riders, and fails the operators. Uber still makes its money, they don't particularly care that they aren't serving either bloc efficiently.

Comment Re:LOL ... (Score 1) 63

As I understand it, random bets should yield about the same outcome. You just get fewer, larger payouts. Either way, the house is taking its piece, and you share the rest with the other players.

Ideally, the stats that matter are matching your knowledge of the race against everybody else's. If you know that this horse does better than people expect, or you know that some horse is a sentimental favorite but isn't likely to perform well, you can beat the other players and walk away with more than your randomly-determined share of the money.

It would be interesting to see how well the bettors actually do. The outcome I described above only works if the odds are mostly equivalent to the true odds. If a lot of bettors are betting badly, it would be easy to beat the market. It's generally hard to beat the stock market, except under narrow circumstances where you really do have better information than most (without ticking over into inside trading). Are horse tracks mostly filled with knowledgeable people, or are they just a bunch of rubes waiting for smart people to take their money? (Besides the house, of course, which always wins.)

Comment Re:I'm not a runner, but... (Score 1) 169

Even without data to back it up, it does seem reasonable that a bike would be dangerous with headphones on. You're sharing the road with cars, and you've moving very fast. There's less room for error, and if you have to ditch, you hit the ground pretty hard.

It's tricky, since there's so much wind noise that it can be hard to hear cars coming anyway. Frankly, I just don't feel all that safe on a bike, and I prefer running. Worse, I find cycling duller than running, since I can't let my mind wander as much; I have to constantly pay attention for anything that might throw off my steering (glass in the road, cracks, objects, etc.). So I often put one headphone in as a compromise, though I'd like to try getting a mount that might let me listen through the external speaker.

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.