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Space

Paul Allen Launches Commercial Spaceship Project 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the fly-me-to-the-moon dept.
smitty777 writes "The phrase 'Where do you want to go today?' takes on a whole new meaning as Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and the world's 57th richest man in the world, looks to create a new spaceship company. Stratolaunch Systems plans to bring 'airport like operations' to the world of private space travel. Partnering with Burt Rutan, the plan is to field a test within five years and commercially available flights within ten. Spacecraft will be air-launched from a giant, six-engined aircraft. There is more information available on the Stratolaunch homepage."

Comment: Re:Pot calling kettle (Score 2) 34

by atomic-penguin (#37608126) Attached to: Red Hat Acquiring Cloud Storage Company Gluster

So OpenStack is a hypervisor independent private cloud API. Its corporate backers include Rackspace, NASA, and Dell. There is a similar competing product called CloudStack, by Citrix. The Citrix CloudStack team has integrated a number of OpenStack components into their own product, and have contributed code back to OpenStack as well.

As far as I know, RHEV does not compete with either of those products head on. RHEV is for managing kvm, and maybe xen, hypervisor(s). It is primarily a management frontend for RedHat's supported hypervisors. While CloudStack and OpenStack are Amazon-like private cloud APIs which support a number of different vendors' hypervisors.

Security

FBI Arrests LulzSec and Anonymous Hackers 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the long-cyber-arm-of-the-law dept.
Velcroman1 writes "The FBI arrested two alleged members of the hacking collectives LulzSec and Anonymous on Thursday morning in San Francisco and Phoenix. Search warrants were also being executed in New Jersey, Minnesota and Montana, an FBI official told FoxNews.com. A document purported to come from the FBI leaked online earlier this month called these hacker groups a national security threat. One individual was described as part of the LulzSec group, the other belongs to the group that calls itself Anonymous, the official said. The suspected hacker arrested in California is homeless and alleged to have been involved in the hacking of Santa Cruz County government websites."

Comment: Re:Private Property (Score 1) 380

by atomic-penguin (#37029518) Attached to: Science Fair Entry Shuts Down Airport Terminal

I think that is a rather narrow view of libertarianism. It really has nothing to do with the central point of the parent's or grandparent's post. Neither poster ever brought up libertarianism to begin with.

The parent post was countering the grandparent's point using extreme hyperbole.

As it has been pointed out by, both you and I, the airports in question are public property.

Please, try not to over-generalize and lump an entire political movement in with the ignorant viewpoints of the grandparent poster.

Comment: Re:Private Property (Score 1) 380

by atomic-penguin (#37028068) Attached to: Science Fair Entry Shuts Down Airport Terminal

Airplanes are private property. If you don't like what they do, don't set foot on their property.

Airports that deal with commercial travel, are public property. Those public airports may be owned by the state or other municipalities, and make up the largest percentage of airports. These public airports are where the constitutional rights are being surrendered by US citizens to US government officials, whom the citizens are supposed to be expressly protected from in their constitutionally granted rights. There are privatized airports and chartered commercial flights, that is not what we're talking about.

The airlines are not suing the government to stop the TSA, so by implication they are happy with the arrangement.

The airlines are not the victims. The state of Texas tried to do something about it, and the Department of Justice threatened to make Texas a federal "no-fly" zone (See: TSA vs Texas).

You don't HAVE to fly. There are other means of transportation.

Its the most reasonable form of long distance inter-state and international travel. Certain people who travel for work may only be able to travel in a reasonable amount of time by flight, not because it is a matter of personal choice.

When you board an airplane, you trade your constitutional rights away in exchange for the convenience.

There is no provision or asterisk, in the letter of the law, that one shall only have their constitutional rights some of the time, or when its deemed convenient.

You do the same thing when you drive a car, you trade away many constitutional rights when you climb behind the wheel and go out on the public roadway. Again we do it out of convenience, the loss of rights has much lower value than the utility of transportation. For example, the police can ask you to get out of your car and take a sobriety test. There is no way that the police could do this to you if your were in your own home.

Probable cause does not mean you waive your constitutional rights upon entering/operating a car, its a reasonable discretionary stipulation in the law. Many states even have laws in place to pre-announce holiday sobriety checkpoints to the public, so as to not egregiously violate constitutional rights.

Comment: Re:How do you physically do it? (Score 1) 376

by atomic-penguin (#36956238) Attached to: Massachusetts Lottery Broken

The gamblers involved have companies set up to split the pot and probably to pay the taxes on the winnings. So the accomplices (ticket buyers) each have some quota to buy from some lottery vendor. The company, or individual ticket buyers, may have an agreement with a lottery vendor so they can monopolize the lottery machines once a quarter. Likely the more tickets they can buy at once in the beginning of the exploitation period, then the better the odds for their high payout. The odds are most in your favor by getting a bulk of unique numbers all at once.

The company selling tickets takes a 5% cut of the ticket price. So how many of those companies are going to turn down several thousands in profit today, to let me tie up their machine for a few hours to print 100,000 tickets? In the article they refer to a couple who bought 614,000 tickets over a three day period from a couple liquor stores, a profit of $5,000 per day for each liquor store at $2 a pop. One of the liquor stores sold only $47 worth of tickets the day before that couple arrived.

The gambling company has access to public information about the lottery so they could re-model how many tickets to buy based on the payout they expected, and how many lottery vendors will cooperate.

The Internet

Better Copyright Through Fair Use and Ponies 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the omg-fair-use dept.
Balinares writes "With even harmless parody sites like Peanutweeter now getting shut down by twitchy lawyers in the name of brand dilution concerns, the situation with fair use has become bleak. Yet some companies are learning at last. Variery reports that when parodies of their latest production started popping up online, Hasbro not only allowed it to happen, but started contributing some of their own. Now their My Little Pony reboot has gained a huge following and reached cult status. Fair use does make everything better. That, or it's the ponies."

Comment: Re:Linux users the least cheap? (Score 1) 158

by atomic-penguin (#36898872) Attached to: The Humble Indie Bundle 3 Released

I think thats the crux of it. As a Linux IT professional, I spend a great deal of time writing complex software. A lot of the Mac crowd I personally know are either in the same Sysadmin specialization as myself, or are proficient in graphic design and web development. Either way, that type of user is a completely different demographic than the casual Windows user who likely has no interest in software, or the system itself.

As far as digital entertainment goes, I'd say the average Mac user is better served with the Apple store and the introduction of Steam to their platform than the average Linux user. I mean, sure we have games on Linux and have for years. However, its still a vastly under-served market by comparison to Windows/Mac users despite Linux making up a smaller percentage of desktop computer use. The original organizers of the Humble Bundle, Wolfire games, have a couple interesting blog posts about the effective size of these under-served markets. What I find interesting is seeing nearly the same purchasing stats for *each* humble bundle when the only advertising is word-of-mouth blogs and social media.

Comment: Re:Linux users the least cheap? (Score 2) 158

by atomic-penguin (#36890626) Attached to: The Humble Indie Bundle 3 Released

Its called an over-served market, that is Windows gaming.

Does it not make logical sense that an over-served market with millions of mediocre games would pay less dollars? As opposed to under-served markets whose only choices are either, just a few natively developed games, or games known to work with the assistance of wine.

Is that not the basic gist of supply and demand? There is an over supply of Windows "PC" games, the over-served market can only afford to buy some of the entertainment available to them. There must be something like a hundred new games on Steam, available for Windows only, every month. On the other hand, you have an under-served market of highly technical users who likely make a professional living from their primary OS of choice (Mac or Linux). The demand in that particular corner of the under-served market is greater than the supply of quality entertainment.

Comment: Re:Dalvik VM - clean-room? (Score 3, Informative) 204

by atomic-penguin (#36885934) Attached to: Sun CEO Explicitly Endorsed Java's Use In Android

Well there was two issues initially.

First of all, the source file contents/code has nothing to do with patents. A patent with regards to software covers the function of the software, not the code itself. There is no alternate way to describe a function to sidestep a patent. Oracle initially submitted 132 patent claims, and Google brought hundreds of prior art references to counter these. The judge whittled the number of claims down to 3 and allowed Google 8 prior art references, so as to have a more reasonable number of trial claims. Clean room implementation won't sidestep patent infringement. The only outcome is whether, or not, these 3 patent claims are in fact valid. Also Google could potentially get a ruling that this was "willfull" infringement meaning the damages would be increased just by Google knowingly infringing upon said patents.

So the other issue was copyright infringement. The story is that some unit tests to verify whether some given code is compliant/compatible with the Java standard, were accidentally committed to the public Android repository. Sun rightfully had a restrictive copyright on this code, so there is really no question about infringement on this issue. It really doesn't even matter that the code never shipped to a production Android device. Its a clear-cut case of unauthorized re-distribution of copyrighted material. Google couldn't get out of this one, and will pay a minor damages fee. I think the maximum is $30,000 if it was unintentional, or $150,000 if it was willful infringement. Really, this thing happens all the time. Especially within Open Source, infringing parties are given a chance to correct such mishaps before it ever sees a court room. Most of the time this kind of thing is dealt with in an amicable manner, because it rarely is intentional by the infringing party or damaging to the copyright holder.

Education

Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's? 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the controlling-the-rate-of-eduflation dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Laura Pappano writes that the master's degree, once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D., or as a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, is now the fastest-growing degree, with 657,000 awarded in 2009, more than double the level in the 1980s. Today nearly two in 25 people age 25 and over have a master's, about the same proportion that had a bachelor's or higher in 1960. 'Several years ago it became very clear to us that master's education was moving very rapidly to become the entry degree in many professions,' says Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. 'There is definitely some devaluing of the college degree going on,' adds Eric A. Hanushek, an education economist at the Hoover Institution. 'We are going deeper into the pool of high school graduates for college attendance,' making a bachelor's no longer an adequate screening measure of achievement for employers. But some wonder if a master's is worth the extra effort. 'In some fields, such as business or engineering, a graduate degree typically boosted income by more than enough to justify the cost,' says Liz Pulliam Weston. 'In others — the liberal arts and social sciences, in particular — master's degrees didn't appear to produce much if any earnings advantage.'"

If you would know the value of money, go try to borrow some. -- Ben Franklin

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