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Comment: Re:So what GS is saying is.... (Score 1) 529

by btcoal (#34918828) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Says No Facebook Shares For US Investors

And, they probably -are- protecting the public in this case...companies should not be allowed to sell shares to the public without disclosing important information about themselves. Maybe this is the future growth export industry in the US: securities fraud of foreign nationals.

Really? Why is that? Give me a structural argument backed with empirical evidence in the costs vs benefits of public disclosure. It defies neat categorization as either good or bad.

And what kind of information is "important"? Investors who are offered a slice of the Facebook special purpose vehicle will most certainly be given material insider information. Do not assume just because you lack certain information that those with the opportunity to invest do so as well.

Comment: Re:In my yard (Score 1) 529

by btcoal (#34918730) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Says No Facebook Shares For US Investors
Hardly. You are forgetting the VC's that invested in FB. The employees. The people Zuckerberg may or may no thave screwed over early that still have shares in the company but not longer play any role in it. And all the other high-net-worth and "sophisticated" investors that have been buying FB shares on the private secondary market. It's quite possible that if anybody did the math they would find that there are already far more than 500 shareholders of FB stock.

Comment: Re:We should remember this next time (Score 1) 529

by btcoal (#34918684) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Says No Facebook Shares For US Investors

We should remember this next time these assholes want a bailout.

Get your f**king facts straight.

Goldman didn't want a bailout. TARP money was forced on all major banks by then Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson. Some of them absolutely needed the capital themselves. Goldman did not directly need extra capital, but had one of their competitors gone under it would have made it much more difficult for them to raise capital in future. In essence, they would have been guilty by association, even though their own balance sheet was very solid.

Moreover, the major banks were not just bailed out because Treasury just loved throwing money at their cronies. That is much to simple an explanation, however enticing. We should remember that these banks were too big to fail. Their failure would have brought down the entire US and global economy to a level much worse than the first Great Depression. Could more have been done to help individuals (homeowners, small business owners, generally broke Americans) sure? But that does not imply that giving the banks capital was in and of itself misguided

Comment: Re:Zuckerberg is so full of shit. (Score 5, Insightful) 217

by btcoal (#33945332) Attached to: Zuckerberg's Side of 'The Social Network'

I completely agree.

First, some claim Zuckerberg didn’t build Facebook. Zuckerberg was actually hired by fellow Harvard undergraduates to build a website similar to Facebook. The more accurate accusation as that he stole the idea of Facebook. All articles on the inception of the website clearly state that Zuckerberg wrote the code himself. No one is going to claim that Zuckerberg was the next Don Knuth, Facebook was mainly hacked together using PHP over a couple of nights.

Second, some claim Zuckerberg is just in it for the money. If that were true he could have sold out a LONG time ago for around $1 billion. I think the subtext about building things just because you like to build things is that Zuckerberg is building his company not just for the money. I seriously doubt most of the posters on Slashdot, at the age of 22 would not have taken $1billion for a side project they worked on at school. It takes a special kind of person to have that resolve. Those are the people we should venerate in this country not vilify.

Third, some claim Zuckerberg is a douche. This is largely irrelevant. Most of us geeks aren’t the nicest guys in the world, let’s be real. Borderline Asperger’s/autism is rampant as is narcissism and a complete lack of humility. Find me a geek without a major personality flaw and you haven’t found a geek.

Moreover, I find it ironic that men like Bill Gates and Zuckerberg are constantly shat on here, but Steve Jobs is lauded as the second coming of Christ. If you read about the early history of Apple, you could make perfect parallels between the criticisms leveled at Zuckerberg and Jobs’s rise and fall and rise. Steve Jobs is megalomaniac clearly demonstrated sociopathic tendencies, has questionable tech credentials and could not give two shits about his customers’ opinions. And Apple is all the better for it.

So why does /. hate Zuckerberg so much? I think it is largely a generational divide. Many of you come from the gold old days of tech (command lines, walking five miles in the snow to get your code to compile, etc) and don’t really understand that just because something wasn’t challenging in a technical sense it is still HUGELY useful to millions of people. I was basically part of the first generation to use Facebook in college. It has been a great service for keeping track of friends from high school and family on the other side of the country/world. I can share pictures, stories, articles, links, lolcats and memories on one unified platform. The interface has always been super user friendly and clean. For the vast majority of college students (and increasingly everyone else) Facebook is as essential and important as Wikipedia or YouTube (the latter’s founders sold out for around $165million to Google, I should remind you). So let’s chill with the hating on Zuckerberg’s success. It’s all just a bit tacky and hypocritical.

Comment: One other thing (Score 5, Insightful) 1348

by btcoal (#33931792) Attached to: Desktop Linux Is Dead
Linux is also the only major OS that cannot advertise. Ubuntu 10.10 has great copy on its website extolling the benefits and showing that you can do pretty much anything on Ubuntu that you can on a Mac or Windows based PC. But...you only see that if you're already on the Ubuntu landing page. Linux also doesnt come pre-installed on the vast majority of new PC's either.

Comment: Re:The iPad is not that bad (Score 1) 780

by btcoal (#33046196) Attached to: iPad Owners Are 'Selfish Elites'

Well yeah, considering that, for most of them (judging by the iPhone users and other macfans), that consists of "it's shiny and makes me look hip."

Sometimes I think these people would pay a grand for an Etch-A-Sketch if it was white and smoothly-rounded.

Based on your post, we can deduce you don't own an iPad (and probably not an iPhone), nor are you likely to ever have used one. Furthermore, you are likely an atheist or agnostic, have no children. Additionally, you are not one of the elites, and no one finds you sexy, although you wish someone did. Sorry, it's science.

Can't argue with science.

Businesses

WordPress Creator GPL Says WP Template Must Be GPL'd 571

Posted by timothy
from the several-sticky-wickets dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Matt Mullenweg (the creator of open source blog software WordPress), after review by various legal experts, is sticking to his guns that themes and plugins that 'extend' WordPress violate the GPL if they are not themselves distributed under the GPL. Matt has gone so far as to post this on Twitter. According to Matt, the premium template called Thesis should be under the GPL and the owner is not happy about it. WordPress is willing to sue the maker of Thesis theme for not following GPL licensing. The webmasters and Thesis owners are also confused with new development. Mark Jaquith wrote an excellent technical analysis of why WordPress themes inherit the GPL. This is why even if Thesis hadn't copy-and-pasted large swathes of code from WordPress (and GPL plugins) its PHP would still need to be under the GPL."
Image

Education Official Says Bad Teachers Can Be Good For Students 279 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the hiring-on-a-curve dept.
Zenna Atkins, the chairman of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), has raised some eyebrows by saying that, "every school should have a useless teacher." She stresses that schools shouldn't seek out or tolerate bad teaching, but thinks bad teachers provide a valuable life-lesson. From the article: "... on Sunday Ms Atkins told the BBC that schools needed to reflect society, especially at primary level. 'In society there are people you don't like, there are people who are incompetent and there are often people above you in authority who you think are incompetent, and learning that ability to deal with that and, actually surviving that environment can be an advantage.'"
Censorship

+ - China: US uses Facebook to spread political unrest-> 1

Submitted by crimeandpunishment
crimeandpunishment (1754306) writes "A Chinese government-backed think tank says the US and other western governments use Facebook and other social networking sites to spread political unrest. Their report says "We must pay attention to the potential risks and threats to state security as the popularity of social-networking sites continues to grow", and calls for increased scrutiny of the sites."
Link to Original Source

Comment: They can already do this (Score 1) 433

by btcoal (#32678852) Attached to: Say No To a Government Internet "Kill Switch"
A short primer on the liberty/security tradeoff... If the president and congress deem it necessary to do anything in the name of national security they can do it. Federal authorities can order ISP's to shut down access. They can also order universities that receive federal funding (i.e., all of them) and federal research labs (duh) to do likewise. This would effectively disable the internet for the vast majority of Americans.

But that is irrelevent. In the event of a major internet-based attack by a hostile nation or non-state actor (i.e. terrorist), the government will not have to ask for permission to impose restrictions on internet traffic, we will beg them to do it.

FACT: In the event of war or attack (e.g. 9/11) the government can and has shut down interstate travel, air travel and the port system.

FACT: In the event of war or attack the government can and has controlled radio and television broadcasts (as previously noted here)

FACT: In every case there was no sense of suppression of freedom. We, the people, viewed such measures as necessary and appropriate.

PREDICTION: When such a "cyber 9/11" (or cyber Pearl Harbor(!)) happens history will rhyme, if not repeat itself.

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