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Comment: Re:Rather Than in more out (Score 1) 456 456

That's just packaging the same old wine in a new bottle. Linux is still way behind in hardware support, has only the most limited VST support and the DAWs are still nowhere near ready for prime time professional production.

It's getting there, but there's still a ways to go.

Every year for the past 10 at least, I've made a run at professional audio production on Linux, and every year I'm disappointed. It's not like Linux is not useful in the studio and post-production. In fact, after Cockos Reaper came out with ReaMote, allowing for off-loading of samples and streams and effects, there has always been at least one Linux box in my production chain. But as main production machine, the applications just are not there yet. And as long as kxstudio relies on Jack, it won't be there.

Comment: Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 5, Interesting) 68 68

Have you ever lived anywhere where there was a significant mob presence?

No, I live in Chicago.

Seriously though, growing up on Taylor Street in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood, we all knew who the mob guys were, and many of them were part of our extended families. I used to go fetch cigars for the old men who sat in front of the social club drinking espresso and they'd give me dollar bills and sage life advice. The barber and the tailor at Taylor and Loomis were both bookies.

Part of the mob's effectiveness is that it destroys trust in the normal functioning institutinos of society.

Actually, in the case of the Chicago mob, they didn't destroy trust in those institutions, they replaced trust in those institutions for people who were blocked from having access to them. Today, if you want to get a bet down, you just have to go online or buy a lottery scratch-off ticket. Back then, you had to go see the barber. If you needed a loan, you saw the loan shark (who actually charged less interest than today's payday loan joints). If you needed the pothole in your street fixed, you went to talk to the precinct captain (who could be found putting down a bet with the barber or drinking espresso at the social club).

So see, the mob didn't destroy trust in normal functioning institutions of society, it created trust in people where the institutions of society didn't function properly.

Today, those old mob guys are almost all dead, and their kids went to med school or law school and are living out in the suburbs or on the North Side. All the mob's wealth has been laundered through the "normal functioning institutions of society" and their kids and grandkids are paragons of those functioning institutions. The mob here has always been the way immigrant populations assimilate. Do you think the fortunes of any of the great families in the US were built very differently? From Rockefeller to Kennedy to Romney, the fortunes are always built on something a little sleazy.

This all may be different where you are. This story happens to be about "the mob" in Belgium, which I can't even imagine. Maybe they control the black market waffles or something.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 456 456

You know, you can just put Classic Shell on, and it looks and behaves almost identically to Win7. The only significant change I see in 8.1 once you get out of Metro is the task manager is a bit better.

I know that making one change is a significant hardship to most people. It's probably not as hard as explaining why they can't run Windows programs. Or at least trying to explain why particular programs don't work under Wine.

Comment: Re:Master key (Score 1) 80 80

True, but not for serious physical security. Combination locks in general are not high-security products, and Master locks usually have a number printed on the back that a lock smith can use to just look up the combination, simple as that. It's a fine solution for a locker room. (Heck, most keyed Master locks have a number printed on them that a locksmith can use to make a key.)

So, sure people still buy them, but physical security experts know the deal, and use something else where it matters. Computer security experts know the deal with crypto with backdoors, and know it's not appropriate anywhere it really matters.

Comment: Re:Drones on the ground (Score 1) 43 43

Airliners, especially Fedex and UPS, are already almost drones. Pilots rarely need to touch the controls, even for take-off and landing. They are mostly there for FAA reasons.

The first ground autonomous vehicles you are likely to actually see on the road will probably be either taxi cabs or big rig trucks. Both have economics that make absolute sense for autonomous vehicles, even at relatively expensive "first adopter" prices.

Comment: Re:Project Cancelled & Restarted (Score 1) 39 39

Ever had 6 months of application work flushed down the toilet, only to be restarted with a new manager who want's to do it "his way?" Yep. That's me.
Net progress in 1040+ man-hours? Nothing. Nada. But that's the engineering game, it happens to everyone.

Hey, it just happened to me too! Here's how you move past it, emotionally: recite the following magic words to yourself until they sink in: "I get paid the same either way".

My great disappointment for the past six months is that I was slacking on hobbies, and on working out. Don't let the important non-work stuff slide in your life while getting paid the same either way. I upgraded and further overclocked my gaming box over the long weekend, and already I feel better about having made some progress this year.

Comment: Re:When it has no value (Score 4, Insightful) 43 43

The best things to open source in this scenario are the things that you would buy from a third party, if you trusted the supplier enough. For proprietary software, a second source is almost always impossible. For hardware, it's often quite difficult, depending on the component. Switching from Intel to AMD is quite easy in a lot of cases, switching from a Qualcomm SoC to a Samsung one is more effort. Switching other components can be very hard. Service companies are a lot easier (switching from one law or accounting firm to another is much easier than retooling a production line).

Apple's involvement with LLVM is quite a good example here. Their ecosystem absolutely depends on high-quality compilers existing for OS X and iOS. With Classic MacOS and early versions of OS X, they outsourced this to Metrowerks, who produced quite a competent IDE and set of tools. Then Metrowerks, their sole supplier, was bought by Freescale and development on the Mac versions basically disappeared. They had some involvement in GCC development inherited from NeXT, but GCC was problematic for IDE integration (the parser is designed in such a way that it's impossible to use for syntax highlighting, for example - it does constant folding very early so you can't differentiate 4 and 2+2 in the source). They decided that they needed to bring compiler development in-house, but it was a lot cheaper to do so as part of an open source ecosystem. Apple now contributes something like 40% of the code to LLVM and that vast majority of what other people do directly benefits them, so they're effectively halving their costs. And, of course, giving away the IDE and compiler tools for free (rather than charging, as Metrowerks did) makes people more likely to start developing for Apple platforms.

Comment: Re:When you're not making money from it anymore (Score 2) 43 43

It's not always about spite, it's often defensive. If you're competing in one market and a competitor has a big advantage by having a near monopoly in a complementary market, then your best strategy is to commoditise their market and open source is usually a good way of doing this.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 456 456

Really? How does a shell script get notifications from the kernel that the swap space is almost full? Or are you suggesting that they should write a program that gets the notify(3) events, but then replace the three lines of C required to create a file and add it as swap with a shell script?

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.