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Comment: Thanks for the Memory (Score 1) 70

by TheloniousToady (#46207803) Attached to: LinkedIn Ditches Feature That Was a 'Dream For Attackers'

Thanks for the memory
Of Taco in command
Establishing his brand
Of News for Nerds
Both gems and turds
Distracting us as planned
How lovely it was

Thanks for the memory
Of Slashdot in its prime
With articles sublime
Before the corporate suits
In search of low hung fruits
Had lost a single dime
How lovely it was

Thanks for the memory
When commenters would jest
Inform, or interest
With points bestown
Or karma blown
Such fun - who would have guessed?
How lovely it was

Good night, and God bless.

Comment: Re:A possible solution (Score 1) 299

by TheloniousToady (#46207543) Attached to: Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

Darn, it looks like my circuitous slam on beta was a bit too subtle. I've been trying the artistic approach rather than the much more popular explicit/profane approach, which now seems a bit...shall we say..."overdone".

That said, I think the New Coke analogy is apt. I remember when New Coke was first foisted on us. I felt that something which was "mine" (old Coke) had been stolen from me, even though it legally belonged to someone else, who had every right to withdraw their highly popular product from the market, strange as that seemed.

Much the same feeling seems to be going on here. During the dark days of New Coke, we had no reason to believe that Old Coke would ever be given back to us by the Coke Gods. It now seems obvious that they had to, but it was far from obvious at the time.

By analogy, at the dark moment that Old Slashdot gets withdrawn, we'll hope - yet not actually know - that the Slashdot Gods soon will see the light and restore it to us. However, the difference seems to be - and this is where the analogy breaks down - that Old Coke was wildly profitable but Old Slashdot isn't.

[sigh]

Comment: A possible solution (Score 2) 299

by TheloniousToady (#46206745) Attached to: Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

The article reports that Raiu conducts his online activities under the assumption that his movements are being monitored by government hackers.

I recommend you begin to conduct all your online activities in such an empty, sugary sweet, and flavorless way that who have regularly surveilled you for years completely lose all interest in you and instead begin focusing their attention on other online targets. Let's call this strategy...I dunno..."Security by New Coke".

Comment: Re:One day.... (Score 1) 179

I got a different reading out of the GP's post. The cost being referred to was for Windows-only applications, which can easily be a lot more expensive than Windows itself.

After a careful re-reading of it, I think you're right. I guess he's looking to save the $140 or so cost of Windows itself to help with the overall software budget.

Comment: Re:One day.... (Score 4, Interesting) 179

leaving Windows as a memory as the ReactOS community take the best parts of OSS development and apply it to making my very expensive Windows software run.

I honestly don't understand how anybody could think Windows is expensive. I really think it's cheap considering what an extremely complex piece of software it is. It's probably cheaper per byte than any other software, unless you consider free (as in beer) software. For example, I recently paid about $140 for it, but I paid $40 yesterday for a mere music program. If you think of Windows as a major component of a computer like an HDD or processor or whatever, its cost is about on the same scale.

I certainly wish the ReactOS folks well, but I'm not sure what problem ReactOS solves. Folks who are enamored with being able to customize their OS already have Linux and several other open-source choices. So, at best, ReactOS just saves me $140. I wouldn't turn that down with all things being equal, but otherwise, I would much rather pay $140 for an HDD or processor that works well than get one for free that doesn't.

Comment: Re:Right on time (Score 0) 379

by TheloniousToady (#46204863) Attached to: Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

It fascinates me that anything that stimulates discussion here is now a Troll. The term "Troll" is even a bit strange in the Slashdot context since the main purpose of the site is (or used to be) to have a discussion. Isn't that the essence of trolling? We see this in terms of recurring articles about hot-button issues like NSA, free software, bitcoin, etc. It looks to me like trolling is allowed and encourage, even as editorial policy, so long as it's the right kind of trolling.

Anyway, I thought I'd get in as much of my style of trolling as possible today and then relieve the poor folks (or scripts) who moderate here next week from any further suffering they may experience from my efforts to stimulate the discussion. Fact is, they did just fine without my input during my many years as a lurker here, and they'll do fine without me next week, and maybe beyond.

Comment: Dictatorships with hyper-inflation (Score 4, Interesting) 121

by TheloniousToady (#46202633) Attached to: On the Practicalities of Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

Imagine a digital currency in the form of news articles posted on a website. This currency can be minted out at will by the benevolent dictator who runs the site. As in all healthy economies, currency has been supplied at a rate that matches demand in order to keep the economy stable. On the weekends, for example, demand typically has gone down. Thus, the weekend currency supply typically has been reduced to match.

Imagine, though, that the dictator enacts a new policy that makes The People mad. Grumbling and other political unrest ensue. Noticing this, the dictator tells himself, "The People are revolting." So, he dictator issues a soothing message. That works to some extent but ultimately isn't completely effective, primarily because he doesn't explicitly reverse the unwelcome policy; worse, if one reads his statement carefully, it actually states that the unwelcome policy will remain. Still, the dictator finds The People revolting.

So, in order to distract The People and make them feel richer, the benevolent dictator who runs the site suddenly begins minting out lots of new currency on the weekend. Notably, weekend demand has not increased but has actually decreased due to disruption of the economy caused by the new policy. Yet supply goes through the roof.

As in all such cases where supply of a currency greatly outpaces demand, hyperinflation results. The currency is inevitably devalued. Of course, The People notice this. Rather than feeling richer, hyperinflation makes them feel even poorer, and, ironically, actually contributes to the economic disruption that the benevolent dictator was hoping to ameliorate. The People begin to question the benevolence of their beloved dictator even further.

The dictator soon recognizes the hyperinflation he has created, and realizes that minting out currency is the cause of it. (As Milton Friedman said, "Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.") Yet he keeps minting out currency. Worse, he stubbornly sticks to the bad policy that caused his whole little economy to spiral out of control.

After all, what's the use of being a dictator if you aren't always right?

Comment: Re:Bizarre Personal Cult (Score 1) 279

by TheloniousToady (#46202213) Attached to: LLVM & GCC Compiler Developers To Begin Collaborating

I've read many Edison biographies over the years, and it's true that the things he gets full credit for had some roots in work others were doing. I know of two exceptions: the phonograph and the carbon microphone (for telephones). Both were completely original and were important innovations.

In the case of RMS, it's striking that the also has done very little original work. In fact, the whole basis of the GNU was to replicate UNIX. Now that's something to be proud of - especially when the hardest part of imitating UNIX, the kernel, was done by a kid from Finland. The only truly original major thing RMS has ever done that I'm aware of is create the GPL. That may explain why he now devotes all his energy to that single idea. Either that, or he truly believes in it. The most successful hucksters always believe in their own snake oil.

Although the GPL is original, I agree with the AC above that "free software" either isn't all that significant, or if it is, would have been invented by somebody else. ("Necessity is the mother of invention.) And even though the phonograph was original to Edison, it's hard to imagine that we would not have sound recording today if he had never been born.

Comment: Build compatibility (Score 4, Interesting) 279

by TheloniousToady (#46199079) Attached to: LLVM & GCC Compiler Developers To Begin Collaborating

Having read TFA, this collaboration appears to be partly about build compatibility. So far, it sounds like LLVM/Clang has been imitating GCC options. But what happens when one or the other of them adds a new option or feature? That might break builds designed for the other one. So, it sounds like the two groups would like to start communicating and coordinating so that both systems can be compatible at a build level in the future. Implicit in this is that both would continue to exist as independent entities and that build compatibility would be a primary goal for both. Perhaps some deeper form of technical collaboration might even be possible in the future.

Then again, I may have that all wrong. I know nothing about it except what I learned from reading TFA. If that causes a problem, I'll try not to do it again.

Comment: Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (Score 1) 252

I see that my parent post got marked as a Troll. If trying to further the discussion here on Slashdot with some interesting (I thought) points that others have subsequently elected to respond to in an interesting way constitutes Trolling, then I'm guilty as charged. Please forgive me. I think I'll take next week off from commenting as penance to pay for my Trolling sins here.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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