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Education

Journal: On The Landmark Forum (Landmark Education) 2

Journal by darkonc
I'd be inclined to go with the later (although I was extremely sceptical when I went in -- I was actually going on the presumption that they were a cult (due to a key misunderstanding on my part), I was trying to get enough information to get my mom 'out'. Needless to say, I've changed my mind -- bigtime. That was more than 10 years ago. I still think it's great, and would encourage people to take it (at the very least, go to an intro session. They're 3 hours, free, and most people get value out of them...
One of cousin kept going to the intro sessions but he never signed up. One time I invited him to another intro session, and he was "yeah... I think it's time to go to another one". I was like "hunh??". Turns out he was getting enough value out of the intro sessions, that he didn't see the need to actually sign up. I suggested that, if he was getting that much out of 3 hours, how much would he get out of the whole weekend?

On the sunday of the course, he was like: "How come you didn't make me sign up sooner?"

The vast majority of people who actually take (and complete) the course find it very worthwhile. About the worst review I'v gotten was "It's the best thing I've ever done in my life, but I'm not going to do it again". Since the crux of the course is in the last few hours, people who leave in the middle, may be a bit wierded out about the purpose of the whole thing.

Bottom line, I'd say 'do it'. If you haven't been to an intro, at least go to one, then decide for yourself. If you have any more questions, I'm thinking a private email might be a bit better (( bcgreen.com!spamuel , if you understand the old usenet email protocol )), but either location's fine with me.

Now there's this Journal entry where we can chat 'in private', so to speak.

User Journal

Journal: Support and Open Source 1

Journal by darkonc
... there will still be some 25 year old flunky sitting in his parents basement who would just love to send you patches to the firmware running on your fuel injection microprocessor.

That's more likely to be a description of closed source support, except that he'd be siting in his parent company's basement. The difference with Open source is that it might be (substantially) the same flunky, but with the addition of anybody with enough interest to download a copy of the source code -- most likely people with a good deal of training in the area.

Would you rather get that patch from some 25 year old who couldn't get asigned anyththing better than 'supporting' a piece of 10-year-old dead-end software, or a PhD in real-time systems who just haappens to have the same fuel injector?

Open source doesn't automatically mean good support, but it does mean that nobody can absolutely deny you support. You always have the resources and option to do the support yourself. With closed source, the EULA often seems to make it illegal for you to create your own patches for a program -- if you can even figure out where to patch without source.

When Iceland (I think it was Iceland) offered to pay Microsoft to translate Windows for them, and Microsoft refused the request, all that whole country could do was fume about the snub -- until someone suggested moving to Linux for their standard OS.

Windows for Workgroups (WFW) 3.1 is barely 10 years old now. How much would it take to get MS to do a s simple bugfix for that software? I think you'd have an easier time running end-to-end through Baghdad wearing nothing but a US flag and a 'Bomb Iraq" button.

Technology

Journal: AudioGalaxy solution

Journal by darkonc
This is a possible solution to the AudioGalaxy dilema:
Positive Song identification.

Before submitting a song to AudioGalaxy, a user has to 'appropriately identify' themselves. Once a user is identified, they can submit songs to the AudioGalaxy universe to be authenticated for distribution.
When an identified user submits a song for use, the song is fingerprinted, and identified as 'good'. A properly identified song is the responsibility of it's submitter. AudioGalaxy is simply a tranmission medium. If a copyright holder feels that their song is improperly submitted, then they can go to the person responsible for the song for the 'publishing' of it. If a user is identified as consistently submitting unauthorized copyright material, then their entire set of authentications can be revoked.

user authentication

Users can be authenticated by any of a set of means -- eg:

  • A credit card authorization (should appear on credit card summaries as something obvious like "ID verification audogalaxy-id.com" with the domain (and www.domain) pointing to a page that precisely describs what the ID was for and about and what the associated person would be responsible for [[in case the ID was the result of a credit card theft]]).
  • Thawte (www.thawte.com) allows all sorts of ways to authenticate the identify a person -- including their 'web of trust' system which is free, and various paid methods.
  • Persons who don't have access to (or don't want to use) other methods, could mail in a notarized copy of personal ID,
  • Pick your favorite other method of verification.

Once a user is verified, they would be issued an SSL certificate that would allow them to submit songs (automatedly) for authentication.

SSL certificates allow for repudiation, so if someone's ID was used inappropriately, they would be able to issue repudiation.. It should be possible to issue repudiation starting from a specific date (when the certificate was compromised), generally (e.g. if the identity was issued improperly), or even for specific songs (if a publishing authorization turns out to have been mistaken, or the publisher has second thoughts.).

Sharing would then be checked for authentication of a song, rather than a record company claim (after the fact) of copyright infringement. If a record company claims copyright on a song, they would identify it by fingerprint (or a fingerprint summary) then DMCA procedures for notifying the 'owner' of the impugned song would follow.

Microsoft

Journal: My proposed MS remedy

Journal by darkonc
Looking at the history of MS, I'm thinking that one way around the whole mess would be to allow MS to put anything they want on the desktop, or in their office suite. There would, however, be one caveat:
they must document and freely license everything -- including APIs, communication protocols and file formats.

If it's added to windows, then we need to be able to see how it's put in there, and there has to be a way to pull it out, and replace it with something else. Microsoft needs to provide to documentation to do so.

The intent here is to provide competitors with the ability to produce competing software that has the ability to co-operate with Wintendos.

MS is allowed to innovate as they wish, but they would have two choices:

  • market it as a separate product
  • open the protocol to the general public

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