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Comment: If Oracle wins, Bell Labs owns the world. (Score 5, Interesting) 146

by emil (#48103635) Attached to: Google Takes the Fight With Oracle To the Supreme Court

The full source code of the UNIX v6 kernel, as published in the Lions commentary, bore prominent copyright notices from AT&T Bell Labs.

If the system call and C library API interface is thus still owned by Bell Labs, then that covers Oracle Linux, the POSIX standard, commercial UNIX, as well as all the phones (including QNX), routers, UNIX/Linux/BSD servers/workstations, and likely much more.

Oracle had better pray that they lose.

Comment: Nobody deserves death threats. (Score 5, Insightful) 771

by emil (#48096295) Attached to: Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

systemd managed to replace init, inetd, and some of cron in what appears to be a stable environment. This allowed systemd to work in docker and drastically improve Linux virtualization to leapfrog Solaris zones.

What systemd did not do was provide reasonable documentation. RedHat's v7 inittab has a website for a blog post that sucks. There is no general intro for users attempting to create crontabs executed by systemd, inetd entries for common services, and runlevels that control groups of processes.

systemd fell down hard on documentation, and the first blush with the unix admin crowd has not been kind.

These developers delivered working code in a radically new environment, but without documentation the architecture appears to discriminate against people who have been doing things the same way for 30 years. The authors, and their software, appeared cliquish and discriminatory. Had the software and the documentation enabled a gradual migration into a more powerful architecture, things would have been quite different.

In any case, this is no justification for people to be vile. The old crowd needs help into the new environment. This help needs to happen, and the insults and threats need to stop. Both sides need to work together to get us where we need to be.

Comment: Linux? Secure? Towelroot? (Score 1) 385

by emil (#47930819) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

I am sure that, if you have a talk about Linux security with Samsung/HTC/LG... you will hear some unprintable commentary on Linux security.

To a great extent, it's correct. While a lot of phones have been broken wide open, the same flaw can be used by a hostile app to own your phone (to say nothing of what could be done to a vulnerable enterprise system).

Comment: systemd is objectionable because: (Score 3, Interesting) 385

by emil (#47930571) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd
  • - UNIX admins have been able to ply their trade for the last 40-odd years with a stable set of userland utilities, which systemd consigns to the trash heap.
  • - systemd has removed the old userland (init, inetd) without providing good documentation and examples for doing the old things with the new tools (seriously, the top systemd-inetd example uses ssh, which nobody does - how about ftp or pop3?).

It seems that there are lots of new capabilities with systemd, but it has come to market with lousy documentation. The purveyors are receiving a thorough flogging at the hands of the greybeards, which they richly deserve.

Comment: "What's coming out of our high schools." (Score 1) 528

by emil (#47767637) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Recent comments by Alan Greenspan paint a dire picture of primary education in the United States:

"We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools."

"If we're not going to educate our kids, bring in other people who want to become Americans."

Under such dire circumstances and an existential threat, now is not the time for bias.

Comment: If we're poking holes in the accepted dogma... (Score 1) 109

by emil (#47684709) Attached to: Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

...then how about this one?

One mystery which has not been solved as of 2009 is the absence of red dwarfs with no metals. (In astronomy, a metal is any element heavier than hydrogen or helium.) The Big Bang model predicts the first generation of stars should have only hydrogen, helium, and trace amounts of lithium. If such stars included red dwarfs, they should still be observable today, but none have yet been identified. The preferred explanation is that without heavy elements only large and not yet observed population III stars can form, and these rapidly burn out, leaving heavy elements which then allow for the formation of red dwarfs. Alternative explanations, such as the idea that zero-metal red dwarfs are dim and could be few in number, are considered much less likely as they seem to conflict with stellar evolution models.

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