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Comment Re:I'm old enough to remember (Score 1) 165

Taking that a step further, IIRC, the ability to run a Java applet directly from within a browser was one of the original primary selling points of Java. In fact, I think it was originally promoted as an applet language that you can write full-fledged programs in, rather than as a full-fledged programming language that you can (could) write applets in.

Of course, times change. If the flying car ever becomes a big success, I predict that its primary selling point will eventually become that it can drive on roads, and its flying capability will be deprecated.

Comment Vertical Landing Rocket Economics 101 (Score 1) 132

I'm assuming that any rocket which lands vertically must carry twice the fuel to achieve a given altitude: one dose to accelerate to the altitude and a second dose to decelerate back to zero. This is in contrast to a space plane design like the Space Shuttle which dissipated the deceleration energy as heat and radiation. So, a vertically landing rocket would have to be much larger than its space-plane equivalent to carry the same payload to the same altitude.

Presumably, this would counteract some of the economics of rocket reuse - though perhaps it might still be cheaper overall due to the reuse of the (twice as large?) engine. Therefore, it isn't the panacea that it would at first appear. In fact, I suspect that the reason it wasn't done in the past was primarily that the economics wasn't actually all that compelling compared to one-time-use rockets, though it is also undoubtedly technically difficult.

Have I got all that right, or am I missing something?

Comment Re:Two steps forward, one step back (Score 1) 141

Doesn't MacOS ultimately derive from the BSD kernel? Meanwhile, the folks who buy Macs running a proprietary OS are perfectly happy, and the folks that run (and still develop) open source BSD are perfectly happy. So, what's wrong with that? And why can't that sort of thing work just as well in cases like Chakra and Microsoft's other recent forays into open source?

I've thought for many years that copyleft was unnecessary because if the benefits of open source are as compelling as purported, there isn't much benefit to closing the source, except for cases like MacOS/BSD in which a dual proprietary/open model is actually the most efficient in the aggregate because both communities can get what they want.

Coincidentally, I was thinking the other day about writing a GPL-licensed cookbook: if you give someone food that is derived from one of the recipes, you are also obligated to give them a copy of the new recipe. That way, I can ensure that no one else gets to eat improved food without also being able to make that same food myself. Otherwise, someone might improve the recipe, start a restaurant selling the new dish, and make a fortune. Now, that's fine as far as it goes - as you say, we all have to eat, even restauranteurs. But I would then loose the freedom to start my own restaurant using that same improved recipe. And losing the freedom to eat improved food...well, now there's the fundamental problem.

Comment Re:Two steps forward, one step back (Score 1) 141

Maybe this doesn't bother you, because you're satisfied to be a wealthy corporate drone. Me, I don't like it.

Quite satisfied, thank you. In fact, I own a number of corporate stocks (some more wealthy than others...) Heck, I even owned stock for awhile in the evil Corporation-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named. I also work for a wealthy corporation. Oh, and I also run a not-so-wealthy one-man corporation from my home in my spare time.

Man cannot live on toe jam alone.

Comment Re:Two steps forward, one step back (Score 1) 141

But further, I think it's crystal clear that Microsoft is playing nice with open source licenses, the HTML standard, the Javascript/ECMAScript standard, HTTP 2.0, etc... etc... because it doesn't have a sufficient monopoly to force the world into its proprietary technologies.

Not only has the business climate changed since the "bad old days" of the Microsoft monopoly, there's also that little thing about it being run by different people now.

I continue to be fascinated by the fact that so many folks still read E-V-I-L into everything Microsoft does. Are we to conclude that a corporation (or some other entity) can so evil-to-the-core that it can never reform, even if reform is in their best business interest?

BTW, as a member of the FSF, I'm sure you noticed that they used the MIT license rather than the GPL for Chakra. We can only conclude that the ostensible "freedom" they give us via the MIT license to use their software in any way we chose is actually part of their evil plan to enslave us all...

I, for one, welcome our new MIT-licensing open source Microsoft overlords. It's better than eating toe-jam. ;-)

Comment Re:Two steps forward, one step back (Score 1) 141

It seems to me that a truly enlightened software company would find the right combination of open source and proprietary to optimize business in the long term. If we take the premise that Microsoft is enlightened (to at least some extent, if not truly), then they're trying to find the best combination for them. I'm not sure if that makes them "a complete friend" - probably not. But it also doesn't make them any sort of real enemy.

In simplest form, the business calculus for open source amounts to, "Do we gain more or lose more by making this open source?" Evidently, they think they gain more in this case and in their other forays into open source - which seems to be something they're doing more and more of. In more concrete terms, the business calculus often becomes, "Would the money we lose by giving this away be greater than the value we gain by getting wider adoption and/or free help from the open source community?" Since they're giving away their Edge browser in Windows 10, there's a pretty good business case to be made for also giving away its Javascript engine.

In short, enlightened self-interest doesn't mean you can't make friends. :-)

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