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Comment: Re:NSA can recruit Patriots! (Score 5, Insightful) 204

by HiThere (#49383637) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

If you actually ARE a Greek, then this sense.

If you believe in the values of the US Constitution, then Snowden is NOT a traitor (which is explicitly defined). And also his acts were in support of the Constitution, which is supposed to be the entire basis of the Federal government. That he revealed the current officeholders to be liars and oathbreakers is *not* a strike against him. I won't go into just how unconstitutional I believe the actions of the current and immediately prior government to be, but the only way they've been able to justify their actions are by requiring you to believe, essentially, that blue was yellow.

Comment: Re:So, should I just read reddit? (Score 1) 109

by HiThere (#49383565) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA

The thing is, that salve was intended for external use only. You *don't* put garlic, e.g., into your body, except for your digestive tract. And brass is a pretty good germicide all on its own, so perhaps some of the other parts of the mixture were to make the brass biologically available. The wine is probably to thin the mixture so that its penetrating (and alcohol is a pretty good germicide). Etc.

As an external salve this probably has some pretty reasonable uses...thick enough to be sticky, thin enough to be penetrating, and quite germicidal in multiple ways. It's also likely to give you heavy metal poisoning if you use too much of it too frequently, so dosage will be important. I don't know what the leeks do for the mixture, but they probably add texture while also being a yet different form of germicide.

It clearly isn't a mixture I would have thought of, but when pointed out it seems quite an external ointment for very occasional use. You could probably improve it by adding a bit of iodine or bromine...but that might cause the dissolved metallic salts I'm presuming to be present to percipitate, so maybe not.

As for this being the basis for a new class of drugs...I doubt that. It sounds rather like a mixuter of drugs already known to be effective, and one that's just a bit dangerous to use (though not as dangerous as MRSA).

Comment: Re:Just use Python. (Score 1) 191

IIUC, TIOBE measures amount of discussion rather than use, applications, or anything objectively useful. So, OK, I can agree that a lot of people are talking about .NET. I'm talking about it, and I have ZERO interest in using it until it's included in the Debian package repository (which will mean I'm willing to trust its license). OTOH, I actively develop in 3-4 languaes, not all of which are from the Debian repository, but all of which I have reasonable trust in. And I occasionally dip my fingers in 3-4 more languages, which means I am willing to install them. Because they have licenses that I have reason to trust. (I'm not saying a reasonable license is the only requirement, but it's one of the set of minimal features before I'll even look at it.)

FWIW, my top 3 languages are D, Python, and Java. Ruby is in 4th place. I also occasionally look at Fortran, Haxe, Eiffel, Racket Scheme, SBCL, Squeak, etc. So my not being willing to look at C# is a strong indictment of the license. This doesn't mean my assessment is correct, but if MS issues a license that has ANY uncertain questions about it, I won't trust the license. Twice bitten, thrice shy.

Comment: Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 191

I don't know about the Java that you're using, but the one that I'm using uses the GPL license. I find that *much* closer to what I want. (The AGPL3 license is pretty near exactly what I want.)

OTOH, there are Java Libraries from Oracle that are more restricted. I don't use them.
Well, to be honest I've currently switched development from Java to D, but it's not because of licensing issues.

Comment: Re:The future is now. (Score 1) 149

by HiThere (#49381249) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

That's not at all clear. Mammals still get viruses and infections, and they've been fighting that battle for millions of years. In fact one arguement justifying the existence of sex is that it's to allow multicellular creatures to evolve fast enough to stave off most parasites. I'm not sure I believe it, but it's true that when asexual multicellular creatures evolve they generally go extinct fairly quickly. (Except for bdelloid rotifers...which are pretty small, and have rapid generations, and also engage in gene sharing in a manner analogous to that used by bacteria.)

But the evidence from analogy is that this war cannot be won. By either side. If one side took to using only ROM of OS code, and that of standard applications (and not allowing any others), somebody would figure out how to infect the factory that was buring the ROMs.

Comment: Re: It's stupid (Score 1) 191

The first version of either C or C++ I worked with used a Borland development environment. It doesn't matter that Borland is long gone, I suspect that anything I wrote back then would compile either without issue or with only minor correction on a modern compiler. Admittedly my stuff was very simple as it was student code, but I expect that many of the libraries available from Borland had equivalents from other developers.

Comment: Re:And how far would of them gone to shutdown (Score 2) 81

by TWX (#49380271) Attached to: Microsoft Considered Giving Away Original Xbox
So you're saying that they learned from Digital:Convergence and the Cue Cat Scanner debacle?

Once the thing is no longer in one's possession there's a loss of a certain amount of control. Microsoft avoided this becoming epidemic by not handing out Xboxes for free, as most people weren't going to pay several hundred dollars to immediately wipe and install a different OS on it, but absolutely would have if they'd been free. People would have convinced anyone and everyone they knew to get a free one to give to them.

This would have made the Cue Cat fight look like nothing.

Comment: Re:No one ever got fired for buying IBM (Score 1) 215

by TWX (#49380111) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology
Huge technical companies used to run incubator programs in-house to do this kind of development. Most of our now-stable development tools and platforms originated in just such incubators. Palo Alto, Bell Labs, IBM Research, all paved the way for robust tech without forcing it on the public before it had at least been Alpha-tested.

Now Alpha versions are released as something to try to use, and Beta versions are sold. That's just not right.

Comment: Re:Same question as I had more than a decade ago (Score 1) 191

It seems Microsoft can no longer step into the field and copy what others have done with the assumption that just by being from Microsoft, their copy will become the new standard - even if it's marginally better than the original. And that's a good thing, IMO.

IBM went through this in the eighties and nineties, when they ultimately lost the PC market. Obviously PCs if we include all devices that run PC operating systems are still going strong despite this. If we include things that aren't considered PCs like keyboard-lacking tablets and phones, then it's absolutely roaring.

Computing will survive Microsoft losing its dominance over multiple simultaneous markets.

Comment: Re:Same question as I had more than a decade ago (Score 3, Insightful) 191

Clothing produced in Vietnam is a good, once it's sold the original producer has no say over what happens to it.

Software produced by a corporation is intellectual property. It is not usually sold, it is licensed. The original producer usually retains some say over what happens to it, far beyond the realm of simply protecting it from unlicensed duplication.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo