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Why Facebook Really Shut Down Parse (medium.com) 39

New submitter isisilik writes: For those working in the 'aaS' business the Parse shutdown was the main topic of conversation this weekend. So why did Facebook decide to shut down their developer platform? The author claims that Facebook never wanted to host apps to begin with, they just wanted developers to use Facebook login. And he builds up a good case.

Comment stars (Score 1) 89

Probably massively distorted by stars who accept all friend requests and serve as hubs.

Basically, when you make such a rule, you should have some kind of minimum standard for what qualifies as a "connection". If you bring it down to FB standards, which basically is "I once saw you from afar on the street", the distance is minimal. In real-world terms, if you actually would use "once saw you on the street", I'm fairly sure even for large cities the average would be something like 1.8

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 134

Similar solution, yes. See my comment above - a working model should be included in any patent application. And I can take your model and use it if I pay you, or I can invent my own without paying you. That was the whole idea of the patent system, wasn't it?

Software patents make the "I can invent my own" impossible. And that is where they went wrong.

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 134

The problem (or, if you prefer, great part) with this line of reasoning is that if you follow it to its logical conclusion, it strongly suggests that what you would need to submit as a "software patent" is, in fact, the source code, at least for the portion of the program that you wish to patent.

Correct.

Wasn't it that to get a patent you had to submit a working prototype or model? The same should be required for software.

Of course, we already have intellectual property protection for source code: copyright. So should there be software patents at all? Or should software patents replace copyrightable source code? Or should there be some kind of hybrid system, where you can have your source code patented, or copyrighted, but not both...?

I don't care, really. But if you claim the protection of two completely different laws with different time periods, intentions and consequences for the same thing, then there's something wrong.

Comment Re: Militant Slashdot (Score 1) 295

history tells us that bombing and shelling cities full of your own civilians doesn't exactly instill a sense of gratitude and acceptance toward the government.

Even the most oppressive and tyrannical governments on the planet very, very rarely need to do that.

Look at tyrannies around the globe. You don't see tanks on every corner. You just need to have them, and bring them in once a decade to remind people.

Rebellions rarely have a whole city rising up in unison. They usually start small and if the government can ROFLstomp the whole thing before it has more than a hundred or so people in it - remember Waco? They probably thought the rest of the US would rally in their support, defend their freedoms and get out the guns. What makes you think your "freedom fighters" group will be different?

Comment Re: Militant Slashdot (Score 1) 295

All the high tech tanks and planes of the USA military proved useless against a determined insurgency in Vietnam. The Russians encountered the same thing in Afghanistan, as did the Israelis in their occupation of Lebanon.

I don't need a book to know that.

Now look at Vietnam, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Would you like to live there? The Vietnam war ended around the time I was born, and they still are suffering through its aftermath. Afghanistan and Lebanon will not be rebuilt for at least two generations.

If the USA government can't defeat a few thousand lightly armed insurgents in a country the size of Afghanistan, how are they going to fight a few million similarly armed U.S. citizens in a country 12x (lower 48 states) the size?

If you seriously think that lazy americans who freak out completely when 3000 people die in a terror attack would stand 10% of an Afghan war equivalent, you are seriously deluded.

Comment Re: Militant Slashdot (Score 1) 295

Actually, nations with lawfully armed populaces that are subjected to such social engineering for political desires by the ruling elites... tend to shoot the ruling elites and elect or coronate new ones.

You appear to have missed the part about the governments that attempt to enact such social engineering having tanks and planes to kill you with before your guns have a chance to mean a damn thing.

So it's more or less necessary, in such a situation, to have the army (or at least a substantial part of it) on your side. At which point having a lawfully armed populace becomes redundant, because you've got the bloody army on your side.

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 134

The problem (or, if you prefer, great part) with this line of reasoning is that if you follow it to its logical conclusion, it strongly suggests that what you would need to submit as a "software patent" is, in fact, the source code, at least for the portion of the program that you wish to patent.

Of course, we already have intellectual property protection for source code: copyright. So should there be software patents at all? Or should software patents replace copyrightable source code? Or should there be some kind of hybrid system, where you can have your source code patented, or copyrighted, but not both...?

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 5, Insightful) 134

Most patents on software are fundamentally wrong the way they are being issued.

A patent should be about your brilliant invention of how to do something, in detail, that nobody else could figure out. It should not be about what to do, without any details on the how.

The patent on the steam engine did not read "a machine that produces torque". Everyone could see that such a machine would be useful, the devil is in figuring out how to build it. But a lot of software (and design) patents are of the "a button that makes you do this cool thing" kind. They leave out the actual technical details, which is why they are so broad and abusable.

Comment Re: Militant Slashdot (Score 3, Interesting) 295

The ideology of civilian disarmament depends on constantly keeping people terrified of sensationalized emotional and irrational fallacies.

Nonsense. The ideology of political control depends on that, with or without guns. Just look around the world, and you see governments using this very strategy in all countries, all government types and irrespective of gun controls or not.

The only difference is that people without guns react with demonstrations and civil unrest, while people with guns react with mass shootings and conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile the government doesn't care because if it comes to it, you have your guns, but they have tanks and planes.

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