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Comment: Re:Gold Finger (Score 2) 71

by The Snowman (#47301279) Attached to: Oracle Buying Micros Systems For $5.3 Billion

Oracle is like the gold finger, everything they touch turns to gold and dies

As an ex-employee of Micros' retail division in Solon, Ohio, I can honestly say they do not need the help here. Micros (Retail) is already rotting from the inside out.

I do not expect Oracle coming in to save the day. There has already been too much brain drain and customers are already dropping them as a vendor. Big customers. Think $10 million and larger contracts, poof, like a fart in the wind.

Micros has some really good products, it is the services that kill them. While profitable, they add an exponential amount of work to the delivery and open them up to liabilities. Oracle will likely come in and say "one size (ours) will fit all." And that would probably be the best for everyone.

Comment: Re:What whas the problem in the first place? (Score 1) 250

by The Snowman (#47285085) Attached to: TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

There is also the fact that if someone decided to take all of TC's code, cut and paste it, and make it BSD licensed or GPL licensed, there is nobody that will step up to enforce TC's license. Is there a person that the code belongs to? Will the TC Foundation have the resources to get lawyers for it, even if it is just for a DMCA takedown notice?

Regardless, that would be a bad idea. There are enough doubts about the security of the product now. Ideally there will be an OpenCrypt cleanroom clone of the product that is truly open source (not the almost open source license of TrueCrypt). There should be structure to the product: open code audits and security reviews, not some vague promise that it is secure.

Another critical feature of the new product should be a geographically diverse set of developers. The last thing we need is the FBI or NSA silencing the project. Maybe U.S.-based developers would be gagged, but with developers in multiple countries and well-placed canaries, that should be designed to backfire relatively quickly.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 4, Informative) 275

by The Snowman (#47270617) Attached to: Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

You can't - as I understand it - legally IPO to only those sharing your vision. You are going to get pension funds and hedge funds and ... purchasing slices of your company to diversify their portfolios.

These may then not want you to go spending money on wild unprofitable in the next 10 years crap, but to make next years dividend larger.

This is part of the reason why every IPO files a prospectus with the SEC. SpaceX is what I would call "high risk" from an investment perspective. It could multiply my stock investment a thousand-fold, I could lose everything. This is not the sort of stock that most mutual and other funds would invest in. I believe the risk of going public is the stock market can be very fickle at times, especially with high risk, unproven technology: which describes SpaceX.

Staying private for now while the risk is higher means more stability for SpaceX. Elon Musk can still acquire capital and can still sell shares of the company, just not on a public market. Example: he could sell 25% of his company to a VC in return for a bucket of money, then pay it back in stock or cash after the IPO. But the company will not be subject to some of the market forces that govern publicly-traded corporations, which is a good thing in the short-term.

Comment: Re:Trust but verify (Score 4, Informative) 211

by The Snowman (#47226241) Attached to: Tesla Releases Electric Car Patents To the Public

Of course what Elon Musk is offering here is not a license or a promise, but a vaguely worded statement:

It's a trap.

Not really. It is a blanket contract with the public at large. This was a public statement made in a public forum, and it carries with it the full force of contract law. If he tries to sue anyone who acted "in good faith" this statement could be used as evidence against him in a court of law.

Comment: Re:Apple better switch suppliers... (Score 1) 38

by The Snowman (#47226195) Attached to: Synaptics Buys Key Apple Supplier

I've NEVER used a Synaptic touch pad that worked worth a shit... they are all terrible... and then you have to use their shitty drivers on top of it in Windows...meh, stay away.

In general they are VERY touchy. Typing on my laptop, not touching the touchpad, causes the mouse cursor to jump all over the place and sometimes even click. I always plug in a mouse and set the driver to disable the touchpad when a mouse is connected, which there normally is at either my home or work desk. I will even take my mouse with me to meetings just so I do not have to deal with the Synaptic touchpad.

That being said, my personal laptop is one of the better Synaptic touchpads I have used. It is not as bad as either of the cheaper work laptops I have used in the past year.

Comment: Re:Meh. (Score 3, Interesting) 116

by The Snowman (#47218995) Attached to: Physical Media: Down, But Maybe Not Out

I'm spontaneous enough that I almost always stream. I can't imagine others are far behind.

I buy Blu-rays using Amazon Prime for less than $10 each. It gets here in two days, and if it costs $10 or more, it is not a good value and I do not watch it. Plus, I have physical media that stick around in case the cloud blows away in a breeze. Internet is down? I can still watch it. Cloud provider goes out of business due to lousy sales or MPAA greed or malfeasance? I still have the media. Sure, this means I do not get new releases right away, but why should I care?

Comment: Re:Faster than the global average? (Score 1) 182

I would also add that the Moon is a factor. Its gravity is the reason for the tides: and with so much of the Earth's surface covered by water, it is reasonable that whatever ocean is facing the Moon at any given time will have a higher water level (tide) than the oceans not facing the Moon.

Comment: Re:Speculation (Score 1) 475

by The Snowman (#47143865) Attached to: The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

Which is all well and good... except for the facts that A) the NSA doesn't seem to be constrained by what is legal or not, and B) whistleblower protections aren't doing people who blow the whistle on this sort of level a whole lot of good.

Don't forget that the GP's 1st amendment comment assumes TrueCrypt was developed by U.S. citizens. Being that the domain was registered in Antarctica and the developers are rumored to be European, that could be another blow: the NSA then has full authority under U.S. law to do whatever they want to the project.

Comment: Re:Who gives a shit? (Score 2) 593

What happened to hiring the best person for the job?

The problem with that is if you are Jessie Jackson and the best people for the job are Asian and not black, you will look like a fool. Rather than trying to get your race to pull up its pants and go to school, you want free handouts while the Asians are working their asses off for those Google jobs.

It is really sad that 1% of their workforce is black. That tells me that Bill Cosby said it right: it is a cultural problem and he is right to be ashamed of it. There should be more black Google employees because more blacks should aspire to be engineers, physicians, scientists: not rappers or basketball players. Yes there are successful blacks in this country and plenty of them: but historically there have also been a lot of unsuccessful ones. Today in 2014 there is no excuse for that. Jim Crow is ancient history. Segregation is ancient history.

I would really be curious to know how many Asians they have, because of the positive stereotype of Asians working their asses off to succeed: and Latinos, which are now the #2 demographic in the U.S. behind whites.

Comment: Re:Hard copy (Score 3, Insightful) 339

by The Snowman (#47124621) Attached to: The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

You joke, but I always wanted to know what happens when the cloud blows away? A hard copy will still play. My Blu-ray player has but does not require network access. I can play Blu-rays and DVDs during a cable outage. I can (legally) play games that do not phone home without net access.

And that does not even get into the question of what happens when a cloud provider goes out of business or decides to end their service for whatever reason.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS