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Comment: Re:Licenses sold... (Score 1) 536

by cshirky (#43659675) Attached to: Microsoft Prepares Rethink On Windows 8

Ok, so let's see, that's 99,999,999 licenses then...

You could add up all the Ubuntu-wielding moms in the world, along with all the Ubuntu-wielding offspring, and it won't move that needle in the slightest.

I use Mac, Ubuntu, and ChromeOS, so no love for Microsoft here, but this belief that somehow Linux marks any kind of threat to MS on the desktop or laptop is silly. Most of the world runs Windows on those machines, and always will.

The thing that will shift that is not your mom, or even your mom times 1 million. The thing that will shift that is the move away from those devices, to Android. But Microsoft will still see incredible income from Windows during that shift.

Comment: Re:Good Kids (Score 1) 454

by cshirky (#41022199) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Best Setup a School Internet Filter?

It's worth noting that there's not a psychologist in the world that would agree with this assessment. People aren't 'good' or 'bad' like there some global variable that's been set. Behavior varies by circumstance; many of those girls who were 'good' in circumstances where they were being observed were doubtless 'bad' when they were alone, or only with peers.

It only takes one "Two Girls One Cup" to upset someone, especially a child, and the blithe assumption that 'Good kids will know to do the right thing, and all our girls are good' sounds like a flavor of the No true Scotsman... fallacy, and one that allows her to equate "No one has come to me" with "There is no problem here."

Comment: Re:So, let them die. (Score 5, Insightful) 200

by cshirky (#39177681) Attached to: Reasons Behind the Demise of Kodak

But this assumes that the natural lifespan of a company is infinite. What I think Geoffrey is saying is that when Kodak went out of business, the answer to "what exactly went wrong?" is that nothing went wrong.

Here's an analogy: Imagine I offered you one of two things: 200 millions tons of granite rubble, or a cathedral. Which would you pick?

The cathedral is the obvious choice -- the stone in its raw state is fairly dull, while a cathedral is a spectacular work of architecture, the fruit of countless hours of skilled human effort. The cathedral has value right now, while the rubble isn't good for much without an enormous amount of additional labor.

What if labor was part of the equation, though? What if I gave you a choice between the beautiful cathedral and the chaotic rubble, with the stipulation that, after you chose, it was your job to build a bridge.

Now you want the rubble. Though the cathedral and the rubble are made up of about the same amount of stone, building the bridge out of the rubble will consume all the energy required to build a bridge, but building the bridge out of the cathedral will require all the energy needed to build a bridge plus all the energy required to dismantle the cathedral. For some tasks, it's simpler to start with raw material than with a beautiful structure that has to be dramatically altered to serve your purpose.

Now imagine I offered you one of two things: You have to build a digital photography business, and you can start with Sony, or Kodak. Which would you choose?

The problem Kodak faced wasn't that they couldn't have become a digital photography business. The problem Kodak faced was that the digital business was so different from what they are good at that the restructuring costs were crippling, *precisely because they were perfectly adapted to the previous era.*

Software

+ - The Music Customer as Store

Submitted by
Manifest
Manifest writes "Researchers in the group of Andrew Tanenbaum at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, have released the source code (BSD license) of a prototype implementation of a system, named 'DRM Paradiso', which allows consumers to buy music (or other digital content) along with the right to resell it to their friends a limited number of times without having to contact the online music store. The system allows the content owner to specify the resale rules and the system enforces these rules. They have implemented the system using Neuros OSD developer boards after adding wireless support to it. Eat that, Zune!"
PC Games (Games)

+ - Copyright Gone Awry in Second Life

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Someone has created a tool to copy in-game creations of other users of Second Life. For those not in the know, many artists make real money selling their in-game creations in Second Life. CopyBot, created by the group LibSL, allows any user to copy anything and everything in Second Life. This has very significant implications for the content creators worrying about their business, as another user could copy their work and sell it themselves. If left unchecked the Second Life economy might come crashing down as copies of everything float around.
There seems to be quite a bit of talk in SL blogs, but I couldn't find any 'real' news source.
http://blog.secondlife.com/2006/11/13/copyrights-a nd-content-creation-in-second-life/#more-511
http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/11/bots_b ack_in_th.html
http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/11/clones _pwnd.html"

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