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Comment Rooting is over-rated (Score 2) 81 81

"It can only be fixed by a rooted device or a software update to replace the broken library."

"Rooting" (or allowing runtime access to root-level functions) is unnecessary for fixing any Android OS-level problem. However an unlocked bootloader will allow you to install an unofficial update or patch (unfortunately also allowing you to install a malware). A "rooted" device is actually even more of a security risk, especially if you have to trust a closed-sourced "superuser" binary.

Note that I distinguish between "rooted" Android systems that allow you to gain root level access on demand and those setups that allow for off-line root access via special recovery or debug modes that require a reboot and so is not available when running the system normally.

Comment Re:Republicans have always said... (Score 1) 283 283

... "we have these convenient, near-magical devices called computers, and more to the point, .pdf files, which make the cost of 'publishing' such a reference work near zero, and the cost of updating it also, relatively speaking, near zero. "

I get your point. However, PDF files are difficult as hell to update. Now I don't know what proprietary/open source/web-based desktop publishing and/or word processing software the state of Georgia uses, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't chew PDF files for breakfast.

Comment Wrong title then (Score 2) 85 85

The goal as I see it is not to build an OPEN SOURCE community but to build a large end USER community around the project. An open-source community would want, by most implied meanings of the term, the ability to modify the product and to share the changes. Of course, strictly speaking, open source is simply allowing others to view the source code. But that's the peep show definition, useful only to software voyeurs not developers/modders.

Comment Re:Here's the problem (Score 1) 249 249

"Well... two wrongs don't make a right. When you talk about getting sued by supposedly "free" software projects... it doesn't make you look too good."

That is a problem. The solution would be a copyleft license that gives the copyleft violator the option not to pay damages provided that they (1) release the source within a reasonable period from the time they're notified of the infringement (no, 1000 emails before compliance) and (2) don't initiate the court proceedings.

A problem with #1 is how to ascertain the notice has been received. With #2, in case the alleged violator loses the case, compensation should be provided the software authors with regard to time and lawyers' fee. Howver I find it defeats the spiritual purpose of copyleft to impose hefty damages for a GPL violation except perhaps in the case of repeat offenders, but mainly as a deterrent and not a money-making extortion scheme. Apparently the GPL has a provision where if you don't accept the GPL you can get sued for any amount allowed under NORMAL copyright law, and in certain jurisdictions that can be very high indeed.

Comment Get rid of patents in mature fields (Score 1) 101 101

Most of them anyway. Rather find fields where a gold rush type of mentality can actually spur innovation, maybe the fields of fusion hot and cold or space transportations. Not in fields where garage or basement inventors can "make" new things. I doubt backyard rocket scientists are going to make much of difference in producing the next SSTO space vehicle (if ever that's a feasible concept).

Comment Re:India?? (Score 1) 77 77

Not an Indian. But looking at the income numbers you mentioned, it seems that this is the market that can best be served by tablets, unless you happen to be a poor software developer who needs a full-blown Intel-based PC to do your stuff. Developers are the minority of minorities. I'm probably being economically biased here, but the more successful developers probably come from background that can afford to buy $300 computers (since developing good software requires some good education that requires $$$ as well).

If the goal is to provide up-to-date information/education to the masses then a tablet or even a mid-range smartphone is the way to go. And the problem isn't so much about personal hardware but telecommunications infrastructure (presence of wifi hotspots or reliable but fairly cheap 3g/4g).

Comment Truck factor of Github? (Score 2) 79 79

Maybe we should be asking what's the truck factor (or is that nuclear strike factor?) of Github. What's the effect of developers centralizing on on the ONE opensource hosting site? Seriously what happens when Github is incapacitated by say a malicious state actor (put your favorite cyberbaddy here)? I know it's git, so there should be "mirrors" everywhere for the big projects (which have a high truck factor to begin with). So TF has to be divided further by the resiliency of the host site.

Comment Re:The song of the Lotus-Eaters (Score 1) 503 503

"When everything is "free", children will not be a financial liability anymore, leaving many folks to breed like rabbits."

Ah, my son, you've never had children? Children aren't just a financial liability, they're an emotional burden as well, just like your wife or your best friend. So unless you're thinking of children you collect like Facebook friends, I don't think normal people would want a collection of relations they can't divorce or unfriend. And really, does 24 children bring 12 x the emotional satisfaction of having 2 children?

Of course people's behaviour might change, and having a harem of mass-produced (artificially cloned/wombed) children might become the new status symbol, but I'm not sure about that.

Comment Cultural differences (Score 1) 107 107

Americans tend to be more open than Europeans, at least within the EU where you have to navigate a minefield of different national/culural sensibilities. An NSA-like scandal wouldn't be possible in Europe or would die down quickly. So within the context of a less open (or more discreet, depending on your perspective) society, private corruption is practically the same as well-publicized corruption, aka lobbying.

Comment Science the shit (Score 1) 843 843

The budget for this dwarfs even the most bloated estimate of a mission to Mars. Or a permanent moon base with a focus on research on possible space resources (water, metals, maybe even He3). Pie in the sky projects that have possibility of bearing fruit.

I agree the article seems dodgy at best. But this is still precious dollars devoted to a dubious goal. On the other hand if I were a military hawk, I'd insist on advanced drone development with pilots sitting in a heavy-bomber sized mothership (I don't want a totally autonomous Skynet system).

Comment Re: You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 2) 359 359

Besides, gold has never been a good money substitute except for the very rich, and they probably already have their wealth stashed away some place abroad. Gold's value comes from having lots of it. If you want to buy a house having a few pounds could help you. But if you have just a few ounces of gold, how would you spend it? Shave it to buy a loaf of bread?

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?