So you value their product and don't deem this worthy of discarding them. That is fine. Even worse, some of us have absolutely no choice (Verizon owns the local phone lines, there are no cable lines, so the *only* internet option for me is Verizon or satellite) because of the corrupt oligarchy surrounding infrastructure in the US. If I could dicard Version over this, I would, but I kind of need internet access to work.
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It is *not* stealing when you are arguing potential. Theft is taking someones physical possessions. You are talking about losing potential profits, and that is not theft in any definition of the term.
The problem is you are trying to limit the distribution of knowledge. It is the 21st century, and information transfer and replication is now free. Decades ago "pirates" would have to go out of their way to burn film to disk and redistribute it. That takes human effort and money. Seeding a copy of a movie costs a pirate effectively nothing besides minute amounts of electricity they willingly give to just pass around their music collection. Copyright works when the redistribution has an inherent cost, and it works to prevent others from redistribution it at a lower price while still profiteering off others work.
But piracy is not stealing in any form, unless the accuser can point to the physical good they are no longer in possession of because someone else took it. Because physical goods and information are completely different, one is tangible and one is intangible. One is physical objects, and one can be represented as a number you own. The fact we have technology to reinterpret information as something useful to us as moving lights and sound waves is only a testament to modern innovation.
I agree that the best programmer balances, but you just can't use templates in C, or smart pointers, or inheritance, and C doesn't have a standard supporting modern concepts like threading or regexes. It is always a tradeoff, but the fact that one of the best programmers wants to use C, where doing math on an aribtrary numeric value requires either 10 or 12 depending on platform functions or type coercion that creates unexpected behavior is bad because it is painful.
Also you seem to be setting your expectations too high for a C++ programmer. Every Java, C#, Python, etc -basically, every other language, is already doing virtual function calls in their loops. They create garbage objects all the time. Just because C++ focuses on performance doesn't mean that because performance is hard the average C++ developer is a retard while other language devs are geniuses. I bet 90% of Java developers don't even understand how virtual functions work because it is always on in their language of choice.
If I was writing something low level myself, I would always use C++ because it provides me much more productivity, clarity in code (if I write it properly and don't hack everything together with compiler exploits) and access to paradigms C can't emulate cleanly (OO at the least, but C++ lambdas do functional ok, I'd argue that without pure function enforcement it is lacking, but that is tangential) . If I was working with a development team of competant peers, I would still love C++ because their code will make more sense if they write in the feature set of C++ that promotes clean design and development. But if I was walking into complete strangers? Using C++ is insane, because it has a bottomless pit around every corner to snare a project and has glyphic compiler and runtime errors because the language itself is so hackneyed.
Linus is like Bill Nye or John Carmack. I can listen to what they have to say forever. I absolutely want him to do a ranting podcast or blog rants or something (Linus like Steve Yegge!)
They were sued out for internet explorer because they were using anti-competitive practices to stifle the entire internet ecosystem. MSE is only for Windows and can only be for Windows so Microsoft making it might as well have it considered a part of the OS since it is only there to solve the problem of bad user privileges that have plagued Windows for 20 years.
So don't browse Reddit, Slashdot, etc at -1. The comment rating system has evolved to counter the signal to noise ratio and keep communities going. It is exactly why Reddit does so well (besides the power of hive mind circlejerk and percieved exclusivisty and hipsterdom posting on a site with 15 million daily pageviews... ). Youtube has it, it is how the two top rated comments are picked using an algorithm that considers time since post against upvote count.
If they made it a full blown Reddit style comment system, they wouldn't need bandages like this. But this is not a bandage, it is to try to attach a comment trail to people for advertisers to consume.
I was a lurker on SD for ~5 years, finally decided to make an account, got excellent karma, etc - and realized I can't post in any discussion I do modding in. I find it impossible to spend mod points, because any topic I get engaged enough in to reasonably moderate posts I want to contribute to. I much prefer the reddit system to the SD system in that regard, especially since the quality of posts has fallen since so few people are actively spending their mod points it seems.
FOSS desktops were never meant to be competitive. The argument is flawed from the start because Microsoft sells Windows to make money on the consumer desktop, whereas the Gnome and KDE projects are groups of smart tinkerers building big things in their proverbial back yards. They take their projects the direction they want them in, and don't have to obey market forces because they are not invested in the market.
Of course, at that, Unity is an example of Canonical trying to make a financial gambit out of Linux - it falls flat on its face because it doesn't have the treasure chest to do what Apple did with OSX though to force their desktop style on everyone. I do agree though, Windows 8 is doomed, and I am actively trying to switch anyone in my family I can off the sinking M$ ship to Mint or Ubuntu asap. So far, so good, actually - my mothers eee PC runs Unity 2d just fine, and she actually finds it easier to get software by just clicking software center and searching.
Meanwhile, everybody of any age can learn the fastest and retain the most knowledge when at play, not work. Of course, that predates the most fundamental problem in education, that if the children themselves have no desire to learn and have no engagement with the environment or material, they might as well not be there, because everything you force feed them goes in one ear and usually out the other, and infrequently out onto a standardized test to be forgotten thereafter. And that is a psychological problem, because children today are either emotionally damaged by abusive or absent parents or spoiled into being the center of the universe with very few fitting between the extremes. (experience: around 15 cousins worth of exposure to both ends of the spectrum).
Intel is observably slowing down since AMD can't keep up. They are using thermal paste in their latest chips, for example, instead of metal solders to cut corners. Likewise, Nvidia is marketing a $300 graphics card on a 200mm die as a $500 top end product because AMD can't match the graphical horsepower of Kepler per square die area.