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Comment: You Want to Help? Paid Development (Score 1) 37

by Bob9113 (#47917193) Attached to: Industry-Based ToDo Alliance Wants To Guide FOSS Development

"an open group of companies who run open source programs" who are seeking to "committed to working together in order to overcome" the challenges of using FOSS

If the megacorps want to get involved in the advancement of FOSS, they have an incredibly clear path to do so: Paid Development. They can fund it themselves, if they want to decide what gets built next. Or, to get a little creative, how about this: Put together some training materials for corporate legal departments explaining that companies can legally, safely, contribute code developed on company time back to FOSS projects. Put together a promotional campaign to convince corporate bean counters that contributing code back to FOSS is a worthwhile investement of company resources.

In short; help channel money into FOSS, either directly or by clearing the red tape that keeps us from creating and kicking back enhancements built for the benefit of our companies. Hey, maybe lobby congress for a tax write-off for code contributions to 501c3s.

Developers contribute to FOSS by giving of their greatest strength, development. If megacorps want to help, they should give of their greatest strengths; money and bureaucracy.

(and yes, I know, they think telling people what to do is their greatest strength, but they've got another think coming when it comes to telling FOSS developers what to do)

Comment: Satre was an embittered multiplayer game player (Score 1) 209

by idontgno (#47917125) Attached to: The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

"Hell is other people."

My current game addiction is WoW. It's explicitly multiplayer, although you can pretend ("the illusion of single-player") that you're playing by yourself for a lot of the play. Until someone ganks you, or starts spamming inane bullshit in the yell channel, or you have to go into a pick-up raid to accomplish something (damn legendary cloak quests).

In that latter case, you run into the worst of people, all in a little 10-player or 25-player microcosm. Narcissistic douchbags, trolls (some of whom are actually trolls), lazy asses who expect you to carry them, clueless weiners who don't understand the fight and can't be troubled to learn...

Too bad for me I actually enjoy the game, except for the parts where the "multiplayer" part ruins the rest.

Comment: Re:Your post is a non-sequitur. (Score 3, Interesting) 121

by putaro (#47916031) Attached to: Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

The point being that Apple didn't adopt Objective-C just to be weird. Next used Objective-C to build NextStep and there's certain things in Objective-C that made NextStep moderately cool.

I actually worked at Apple, on the operating systems team, around that time. Apple was in no position to be arrogant in 1997 and wasn't actively looking for ways to be incompatible. Today, that's a very different story.

Comment: Re:What ? That's not biologically possible (Score 2) 97

Editorial responsibility one step above basic spelling, grammar, and sense* would have eliminated any submission citing IBTimes as source material. It's right up there with "Nothing submitted by Bennett Haselton" or "Nothing posted by Samzenpus**" or "Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line."

*Which is to say, two steps above what we have now

**Except that I notice that Samzenpus seems to be the only editor on duty lately. What an odd coincidence.

Comment: Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (Score 1) 165

The laws of war generally oppose weapons intentionally intended to maim rather than kill. Mostly dates to popular revulsion around the WW1 era over weapons designed to inflict nonlethal but gruesome casualties to hobble the other side by flooding their hospitals and supply chains. As a result, countries agreed to a ban on various chemical weapons, expanding bullets, weapons designed to blind people, etc.

Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 2) 566

FWIW, some people weren't really ready for the arrogance of Apple deciding you really really really wanted this album. Those are people who clearly haven't been paying attention. As long as Apple is calling the shots, they know better than you, and they can prove it.

As to the "auto download not the default" setting, sure, the user had to switch it. If they were trusting enough to assume that THEY would be the ones who decided what music is in their own collection, that's a legitimate convenience decision. The mistake was in naively they controlled their music selection. I imagine they won't make that mistake again.

I, for one, welcome this event. Apple's customers need to be reminded of who's in charge. That way they can take the appropriate defensive measure when welcoming our fruit-themed entertainment overlords.

Comment: Re:Locked doors (Score 2) 382

by idontgno (#47909537) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

Did you know that the bodies of every criminal, unindicted, indicted, convicted, ALL OF THEM, are riddled with dihydrogen monoxide? ALL OF THEM. Their bodies are so heavily contaminated with the stuff that around 50% of their weight is this insidious substance!

We must BAN this potion of malefaction, this great insanity drug, this terrible criminal enabler!

If you're not a criminal, you have no need to pollute your body with this stuff. If your body is already polluted, purify yourself before it's too late!

Comment: Because William Binney and Thomas Drake (Score 5, Informative) 189

by Bob9113 (#47907717) Attached to: New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

In 2001, William Binney, an NSA investigator, began blowing the whistle on NSA warrantless surveillance. He went through official channels to his superiors, then to Congress, then to the major media. He was harrassed and prosecuted by the government, and ignored and maginalized by the major media. He has kept at it for the past thirteen years.

In 2010, Thomas Drake started blowing the whistle. He was also prosecuted, harrassed, ignored, and marginalized.

In 2011, Ron Wyden began warning the public about the secret interpretation of the PATRIOT Act, as loudly as he could without violating his clearance to be on the Intelligence Committee. The major media ignored him.

In 2013, when Snowden released his docs, the major media finally started listening to Binney, Drake, and Wyden. The establishment's treatment of Binney, Drake, and Wyden is why Snowden had to follow the path he did.

The President of the United States has said that these programs should change. Programs that Binney, Drake, and Wyden tried to warn us about through official channels. Programs that we still would not know about if Snowden had gone through official channels.

Comment: Classrooms Are A Bug, Not a Feature (Score 1) 181

by Bob9113 (#47905817) Attached to: Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

Education? ... Yes! Why it's great for education! In fact, it's the future of the classroom! And don't forget, Oculus Rift is both a floor wax and a dessert topping!

But seriously:

And if we can make virtual reality every bit as good as real reality in terms of communications and the sense of shared presence with others, you can now educate people in virtual classrooms, you can now educate people with virtual objects, and we can all be in a classroom together [virtually], we can all be present, we can have relationships and communication that are just as good as the real classroom

Classroom teaching is a bug, not a feature. It is a side effect of the fact that our earholes and eyeballs are connected to our skulls, and until recently we had to put them in the same meatspace where the teacher was talking and showing pictures. Once you step into the no-physical-presence-required realm of using a VR headset, you can release the restrictions imposed by the simultaneous physical presence requirement.

One simple example: Lecture halls, with their tiered seating -- those are designed that way because we can't see through each other, not because it is better to be sixty feet away and at a thirty degree angle from the teacher.

And how about discussions? Hierarchical, collaboratively moderated, store-and-forward discussion threads are much better than "realtime whoever gets the teacher's attention before the bell rings." We've been using the latter because that's the best we had for thousands of years.

Comment: Re:Spurious Claim (Score 1) 227

by Bob9113 (#47903099) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

It certainly less risky than walking around the streets with huge money clip

Did you not even read the links about Home Depot, Supervalu, and Albertson's? It is not certainly less risky. For example, it is more risky if you live in an area that has very little threat of mugging, or if you are perceived as a bad target for muggers. I generally have a few hundred dollars in my pocket, and have never been mugged; but my card is for sale on the Russian markets right now because I used Home Depot.

You are as stubbornly ignorant as people who say self-driving cars will automatically be safer. Computers aren't magically endowed with perfection. Believe me; I'm a software engineer, and I've seen some really heinous bugs. I'm not saying electronic payments (or autonomous vehicles) are bad -- I'm saying software and networks have risks just like meatware and meatspace.

Comment: Re:Can't or don't want? (Score 2) 138

by the gnat (#47902817) Attached to: If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

If cancer was insta-kill instead of the slow-death-money-milking disease that it is

This ignores a basic fact about cancer treatment: standard chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery aren't very profitable for pharmaceutical companies, and for many cancers, that's all we have. They may be profitable for other sectors of the medical system, but these are also a huge drain on the economies of rich-world countries, who have a big incentive to keep costs down. If you get one of the cancers for which there isn't a $100,000/year drug, your only option is a quick course of debilitating treatment aimed at eliminating metastases, which will either work and leave you cancer free (if you're "lucky" and have one of the less aggressive types of cancer, and/or catch it early), or not work, and you'll die in a relatively short time. Or, if you're especially unlucky, the therapy itself will kill you. No pharma company is getting rich off these patients.

If you do get to take the $100,000/year drug, there's a good chance you'll only add a few years to your lifespan anyway. Which is part of the reason why these drugs are so expensive, of course. On the other hand, a drug that could either a) eliminate cancer outright, or b) suppress cancer permanently for as long as it's taken, would be worth an incredible amount of money, either up-front or over the course of decades. And insurance companies and governments would be much happier shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a treatment that might actually "cure" the patient in some meaningful sense (and enable him or her to keep paying taxes and/or insurance premiums!), rather than a treatment that probably isn't going to work over the long term.

Comment: Re:just prepay for food (Score 0) 227

by Bob9113 (#47902809) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

in my kid's school in the USA the only way to pay for school lunch is to send a check once a month... no tracking

Interesting difference, there. There must be tracking in your kid's school's system, otherwise they wouldn't know who paid for lunch, but the tracking data probably doesn't get appropriated by an outside company. Presumably, this biometric company is not just making a buck on the scanners, software, and cloud-based management contract -- presumably they also have a plan for monetizing the data they are collecting about the kids.

Comment: Spurious Claim (Score 1) 227

by Bob9113 (#47902755) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

The benefits are that pupils are less likely to lose [money stored in the fingerprint system than money carried in their pockets]

That is a spurious claim. The security on money stored in pockets and exchanged by physical transfer of a monetary token is fallible, but so is the security on the cafeteria electronic wallet system. Home Depot, Supervalu, and Albertson's are very recent examples of major compromises, and the number of small scale compromises is enormous.

Fingerprints can be faked, networks can be cracked, databases can crash. Merely moving from physical currency to electronic currency does not make it more secure -- just ask Mt. Gox.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken