Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Easy Solution (Score 3, Insightful) 386

Simple Solution:

  1. Copyright lasts for some period of time (say 20 years)
  2. An single individual copyright can be extended perpetually by paying an annual fee (say $10,000)

That way, Disney can keep Mickey Mouse copyrighted forever, but anything that isn't generating more than 10k of revenue a year is cheaper to let lapse. Plus, it's another source of revenue for the government.

Of course, simple solutions never survive politics.

Comment The pendulum... (Score 2, Funny) 620

The pendulum swings one way, then back the other...

Side 1: "If I can't wear sweat pants, bring my dog to work, have my own office, telecommute when I feel like it, and drink company-provided beer every day starting at 3:00, then I won't work here."

Side 2: "You're 35 and you haven't had a heart attack yet? Perhaps I should replace you with someone who actually works hard."

Comment Re:Whining little babies. (Score 5, Informative) 443

The internet was basically built on the GPL, and most of the code that makes it go was built using the GPL

You mean built on things like TCP/IP (BSD 4-clause) and Unix (ATT License) that enabled communication between networks?

Or like sendmail (BSD Licensed) that facilitated adoption of user@example.com email addresses, instead of the dominant mixed!bang!and!right%associative!email addresses and the X.400 C=US;A=IBMX400;P=EMAIL;G=firstname;S=lastname;O=engineering;OU=email;OU=internet-connectivity style of addresses?

Or like Usenet (various parts under various BSD licenses) that facilitated the exchange of information, software, and porn before the web even existed? The one that Linus posted his early Linux sources to?

Or like FTP (BSD license, and/or ATT License) that allowed archiving and known-distribution-points of software way before google made it easy to find things?

Or like web browsers (all derived, more or less from NCSA Mosaic) which was never open-source, but required paying license fees?

Or like web servers, like Apache, which had (has) a license that isn't GPL compatable?

Can you even name any important GPL software (other than emacs) that is in wide use, is important, and is non-derivitive of something already existing under a BSD or proprietatry license?

gcc: derivitive. Every company around provided c compilers.

linux: derivitive. Ever hear of Unix?

Comment Moral: (Score 1) 779

The moral of this story is that if, in an interview, you're asked "have you ever enslaved a civilization?", you probably don't want to work there, regardless of whether or not they're affiliated with scientology.

Of course, unless they're game developers or recruiting Bond villains.

Comment Aim Higher. (Score 1) 517

If performance is your goal, don't look at the "buy-it-at-Frys" level of NAS, or at "roll-your-own."

If you build your own, you'll end up bottle-necked by the performance of the particular OS you use, plus SAMBA or NFS (depending on your needs.) Plus, there's the time factor in putting it together, tuning it, and maintaining it. Granted, this isn't a lot if you're already a tech-head, but your time isn't free.

If you buy one of the consumer-level NAS boxes, what you're getting is the equivalent of building your own, without the ability to tune it, since most are based on the same open-source software you would use yourself. Pretty much every NAS device I've ever seen has the same cyclical bursty transfer profile as a build-it-yourself.

If you want better performance and buzzwords, every major PC vendor now has a SAN solution. You get the benefit of a team of people whose job it is to maximize disk performance, and a nice management system. However, your system head still has the same problems as before - using a general purpose OS and/or open-source software.

If you want pure performance, look at Network Appliance. They've been in the game for a long time, and their hardware/software combination allows them to control/tune the whole environment. To a first approximation, all the cool things in ZFS were done ten years ago by NetApp. You get the benefit of a whole company whose job it is to maximize disk and network performance. You can look at a performance review from earlier this year showing about 30k SPC-1 IOPS.

Personal anecdotes:

  1. Several years ago, we did a benchmark for ClearCase between a Sun hardware head with a (a) directly connected, fibrechannel SCSI RAID array, and (b) a 100G ethernet connection to a NetApp. The performance of the NetApp was about 20% higher than directly connected disk.
  2. NetApp service is incredible. We came in one morning, and there was an email from Network Appliance that basically said "Hello; your NetApp notified us that one of its disks has failed. We have shipped a replacement. Here's your UPS tracking number."
  3. The above also holds for software. There's nothing like "Hello; your NetApp had a software failure. From analyzing the crash dump it sent us, we recommend you install patch xxyyzzz."

Note: My only relation with NetApp is being a very satisfied customer.


Submission + - Digital Cameras: Red changes the game

dghcasp writes: It's been an interesting year in the world of digital cameras. Just over a year ago, Canon advanced the SLR megapixel race to 21 MP with its $8k 1Ds Mark III. Around six months ago, a resurgent Nikon brought forth the $1000 D90, a 12 MP full-frame SLR that could shoot 1440x1080 video. Four months ago, Phase One announced a digital medium format back with 65 MP resolution at 1-fps in the $50k+ price range. Just over a month ago, Canon introduced their 5D Mark II a sub-$3,000 full frame camera with 21 MP that shot 1920x1080 video. And today, Red said "Enough with the incremental improvements — let's just get it over with" and finally published information on their upcoming convergence cameras, the Epic and Scarlet [warning: huge JPEG brochure.] Interchangeable sensor backs with resolutions between 4 and 261 MP (not a typo!) Shoot video at up to 120 frames per second and resolution up to 28 MP (that's 14 x Hi Definition.) Full interchangeability between components (think medium format.) And a price for entry (sensor only) of only $2,500.

Comment Re:Useful tricks. (Score 1) 2362

Don't use anything not in Bourne shell, for example $(), lest you someday have to fix a problem on an older system that predates bash and you are unable to remember how to do it properly.

I could also say "Don't use any command not available in a miniroot," but then I'm really dating myself... either that, or opening up more "stupid unix tricks," like Identify 3 ways to get a directory listing where the only commands you have available are shell builtins, echo, and dd

Comment File under "tricks" (Score 1) 2362

I once was a sysadmin at a company where official policy was "every user has the root password."

Since I didn't want people wandering through my pr0n^H^H^H^H work directory, my home directory was empty except for a single directory: "my/directory". Yes, a single directory with a slash embedded in the name.

Only one other user at the company was smart enough to figure out how to cd(1) into the directory. Fortunately, he doubled the size of it.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan