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Comment: Re: Altough I agree (Score 1) 51 51

Also consider that in most markets, Windows Phone is closer in phone marketshare to iOS than iOS is to Android. That's not saying a lot. But WP is definitely at the #3 spot, and the way this market is... if they can find that itch to scratch, things could change within the course of two or three years.

Which is like bragging about Pluto because it's closer to the Sun than to Proxima Centauri.

Third place in the mobile market is a dubious distinction, at best. In reality, Windows phones are irrelevant, but only slightly less irrelevant than, say, BlackBerry.

Comment: Re:C# Java; MSFT Oracle (Score 1) 165 165

Because moving from one proprietary language/library ecosystem to another proprietary language/library ecosystem is somehow an improvement.

Fuck them both. We have truly open ecosystems like C++, and I would encourage any sensible developer going forward to move away from the likes of Java and the .NET ecosystems, now that the Supreme Court has essentially turned them into perpetual litigation machines.

Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 165 165

But cleanroom implementations are meaningless if copyright can be asserted over the API. Clean room implementations only work because it has been generally understood that an API itself is essentially a directory listing, like a phone book, that in and of itself does not constitute some sort of creative work. Before the Oracle case, it was assumed that it was the code itself that constituted the intellectual property. But that is now apparently no longer true, and thus the Win32 API has gained the same level of protection as the source code.

If this stands, and is not corrected either by a lower court or by Congress, no one will every try a clean room implementation of any non-free library again, because there's a real likelihood that you would find yourself sued into oblivion for breach of copyright.

Wine may be safe because MS is being constrained by future potential anti-competitive suits, and of course Samba is protected because of a deal cut with the EU. But from this day foreward, clean room implementation of proprietary APIs, and I assume any other software spec (document format, communications protocol, etc.) will have absolutely no protection under the law.

Comment: Re: Oracle is GPLd now, then. (Score 1) 165 165

It certainly is looking that way, but there is the whole notion that what amount to call tables can be copyrighted. What the supreme Court has done here is basically unravel the common understanding of the difference between spec and implementation, and if Java is the most obviously vulnerable, in a very real way it means any number of APIs that have been re-implemented (like the standard *nix set of system calls) could suddenly be plunged into a purgatory-like nether world. I made vulgar jokes about using stdio.h in C programs, but that's the real question. Considering that in many cases header files and libraries whose origins go back decades in many different languages and on many different architectures could become low-hanging fruit, and since copyrights are in most industrialized countries are essentially perpetual now, big software houses now have a far better club to beat competitors with than patents.

Do you think another Samba or Wine project could happen if the lower courts rule for Oracle? Who would be crazy enough to even try?

Comment: Re:Bell Labs (Score 1) 165 165

Fucking hell, I guess I'm utterly fucked, because pretty much every C program I've ever written includes #include <stdio>. Here I thought I was invoking a free and open set of library functions passed on down since the 1970s, and now it turns out I've been stealing someone's hard work in creating a standard set of functional calls. I'm dirty fucking thief.

Comment: Re:External influences (Score 1) 109 109

All the early games I played were very "crunchy"; D&D, AD&D, Palladium, Twilight 2000 and Traveler 2300. The inelegance of such systems really began to drive me nuts, and I ended up going with Fudge and its variants like Fate. I never really played Gurps very much, but as I recall it was the middle ground between the kind of ultra-loose systems like Fudge and the very complex systems like AD&D. Now, I run a couple of PBeMs; a Palladium Rifts one and a home-brew heavily narrative game in the Harn universe, and dice are rarely used in the Palladium game, and not even part of the Harn game

Comment: Re:Another great Scalia line (Score 1) 1069 1069

From Bagehot's The English Constitution:

Generally speaking, in an electioneering country (I mean in a country full of political life, and used to the manipulation of popular institutions), the election of candidates to elect candidates is a farce. The Electoral College of America is so. It was intended that the deputies when assembled should exercise a real discretion, and by independent choice select the President. But the primary electors take too much interest. They only elect a deputy to vote for Mr. Lincoln or Mr. Breckenridge, and the deputy only takes a ticket, and drops that ticket in an urn. He never chooses or thinks of choosing. He is but a messenger—a transmitter; the real decision is in those who choose him—who chose him because they knew what he would do.

One can see the logic of an electoral college that functions as a sort of independent assembly to choose an executive, but the problem is that it long ago, with the development of the notion of the Faithless Elector, became little more than a mindless formality.

The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of space and time. -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge