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Comment: Block all? No. Block a lot? Yes (Score 1) 311

by blarkon (#44349387) Attached to: British Prime Minister Promises Default On Porn Blocking
The not unreasonable assumption is that if a child can find porn, then an ISP can automate the process of finding it and blocking it. To the layperson, the idea that all these clever people can come up with a way to search the internet and classify content and even rate the quality of that content but are suddenly flummoxed by coming up with a way of reliably blocking porn that kids can find sounds more like "well, we don't want to block porn, so we'll tell you it's impossible and tell you that you don't understand the internet".

Comment: Great graphic from Information is Beautiful (Score 4, Informative) 301

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/

I believe since the graphic was made, there has been extensive lobbying for royalties per play to be reduced from the figures shown in this picture. There's something to the original musician's case if it takes more than 4 million plays per month to get to one individual's *minimum wage* of $1160 per month (and that's with the *generous* current pay per play rate).

Comment: XP - 37% with less than a year of support (Score 5, Interesting) 285

by blarkon (#44151925) Attached to: Windows 8 Passes Vista, Hits 5.1% Market Share
The real news here is that an OS that has less than a year of support left is at around 37% market share. XP is falling at about 1% per month - but will still be a substantial part of the market (probably at least 25%) when Microsoft stops releasing software updates.

Comment: Humanities can't explain the need for humanities (Score 4, Interesting) 564

by blarkon (#44109685) Attached to: Why Engineering Freshmen Should Take Humanities Courses

In general, advocates of the humanities have done a poor job of explaining why they are necessary. Which is problematic given that one of the things one would hope that someone in the humanities could do was come up with excellent persuasive arguments about things.

Comment: Shuttleworth on Azure (Score 2, Interesting) 82

by blarkon (#44084271) Attached to: Oracle and Microsoft To Announce Cloud Partnership Monday
Microsoft has built an impressive new entrant to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, and Ubuntu is there for customers who want to run workloads on Azure that are best suited to Linux. Windows Azure was built for the enterprise market, an audience which is increasingly comfortable with Ubuntu as a workhorse for scale-out workloads; in short, it's a good fit for both of us, and it's been interesting to do the work to bring Ubuntu to the platform.

Given that it's normal for us to spin up 2,000-node Hadoop clusters with Juju, it will be very valuable to have a new enterprise-oriented cloud with which to evaluate performance, latency, reliability, scalability and many other key metrics for production deployment scenarios.

As IAAS grows in recognition as a standard part of the enterprise toolkit, it will be important to have a wide range of infrastructures that are addressable, with diverse strengths. In the case of Windows Azure, there is clearly a deep connection between Windows-based IT and the new IAAS. But I think Microsoft has set their sights on a bigger story, which is high-quality enterprise-oriented infrastructure that is generally useful. That's why Ubuntu is important to them, and why it was worthwhile for us to work together despite our differences. Just as we need to ensure that customers can run Ubuntu and Windows together inside their data centre and on the LAN, we want to ensure that cloud workloads play nicely.

The team leading Azure has a sophisticated understanding of Ubuntu and Linux in general. They are taking a pragmatic approach that will raise eyebrows around the Redmond campus, but is exactly what customers want to see. We have taken a similar view. I know there will be members of the free software community that will leap at the chance to berate Microsoft for its very existence, but it's not very Ubuntu to do so: let's argue our perspective, work towards our goals, be open to those who are open to us, and build great stuff. There is nothing proprietary in Ubuntu-for-Azure, and no about-turn from us on long-held values. This is us making sure our audience, and especially the enterprise audience, can benefit from the work our community and Canonical do no matter where they want to do it.

From: http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/1158

Comment: Good article on MOOCs here (Score 2) 284

by blarkon (#43994757) Attached to: Professors Say Massive Open Online Courses Threaten Academic Freedom
http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/the-mooc-moment-and-the-end-of-reform/ - discusses that MOOCs haven't really been tested in terms of how good they are at educating people. The article also suggests that the push for MOOCs is coming because governments can no longer afford to provide college education, so by pushing to an online model, they can shrink the college sector. They still fulfill their responsibility of "educating people" - but they don't have to pay for all those expensive bits like college buildings and academics. The article suggests that a small number of people will get a "traditional premium education" which costs an arm and a leg and where they get to interact with an academic directly. The majority of people though will get their education in a way similar to how IT vendors do certification today. Students self study from MOOCs and then book themselves in for exams taken at authorized testing centers. Anyway the article is a lot more detailed - but the push for this stuff is coming because it's a quick way for governments to cut a lot of spending whilst claiming to be embracing "the revolution in education".

Comment: Get Your Space Lizard Snacks! (Score 1) 196

by blarkon (#43990903) Attached to: Crowd-Funded Radio Beacon Will Message Aliens
The reason there aren't a whole lot of beacons detected by SETI is pretty clear. Every time someone lights up a beacon, the Space Lizard Starfleet turns up in orbit and it's buffet time. Beacons are like an evolutionary test. The races that send them out end up as lunch. The races that keep quiet get to live another day.

Comment: Re:Murrica (Score 1) 955

by blarkon (#43960859) Attached to: USA Calling For the Extradition of Snowden
SOPA et all gives the EFF something "important" to do as a distraction from doing things that are important. Get nerds excited about copyright protection for a bunch of Hollywood elites and they don't excited about their data being sifted by three letter agencies. It's the same strategy that the right uses - get voters wound up about abortion and same sex marriage and they'll ignore the other stuff that may be detrimental to them and have an actual impact on their lives.

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