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Comment So what? (Score 1) 184

I don't see how this affects anyone, even Oracle.

To be honest, I wonder why it took them that long. I have been doing RPM packages for quite some time and have always hated 1000+-patches source RPMs such as Red Hat's kernel source package. This is a welcome change.

I guess they use git internally, so that would just be a git archive --prefix=linux/ | gzip >linux-src.tar.gz. I haven't looked at the package yet, but the really good stuff would be if they provided a link to the git repos and the SHA1 for the commit ID used to generate the archive: this way, RH derived kernels would have quite an easy time rolling their own if needed.

Comment Re:I agree with one thing: fragmentation (Score 1) 1348

The short version: Qt is an excellent toolkit. KDE is a not equally great as a DE. Many people simply prefer GNOME and would need a GNOME/Qt to switch. Since GNOME is C and KDE is C++ there is a holy war and a lot of work do be done to merge it into one system where "KDE" or "GNOME" is simply a set of user preferences.

No, this is not the short version. If anything, this is a short-*sighted* version.

Look: had I been convinced by Gnome, the first part of my discourse would have argued against the very existence of KDE. As to the language? C, C++, ocaml, LISP, forth, you name it... This barely has any importance - you can do Qt in C, you can do GTK in C++.

What I really mean, and WANT, is: have ONE API, whether it be for widgets, sound, video, input device management, packaging (not the least of things, that), and... Name something desktop related here.

And if you think about it, provided you have achieved this, you can then phase X out. That dreaded X, which has caused so many headaches just to program basic toolkits, which prompted the Unix Haters Handbook to say: "Programming X Windows [sic] is like figuring out the decimals of pi using Roman numerals".

Comment I agree with one thing: fragmentation (Score 2, Insightful) 1348

For goodness' sake, since Qt had gone LGPL (thanks no Nokia, admittedly), why does Gnome still exist at all??

KDE has proven superior for many years, has started unifying some desktop components, but the progress is SLOW. Why tens of sound APIs? Why tens of imaging APIs? Why tens of video APIs? Why less than ten, but still more than one, packaging format?

Choice is good - until a certain extent. And as far as the desktop is concerned, non open source application developers will want ONE api to work with ALL Linux distros out there. That's a fact. Live with it.

Comment Just a guess (Score 1) 483

If Faceboook were just a startup, without a worldwide recognition, would they have sued anyone that way? Obvious answer: no.

Obvious consequence: being rich and recognized makes you more stupid. How sad.

Comment Re:How will large SSDs effect databases? (Score 1) 228

SSD is already in many places (see smartphones). In fact, the first hard drive design was, in essence, an SSD, see here.

The big thing is, SSD can do whatever you want it to do by design (capacity, speed or both), but it is only fairly recently that the compromise between capacity and speed has become acceptable to desktop and/or server machines. And, to be fair, only with NAND chips.

This is one part of the answer. The other is, even the notion of a "database" itself is changing: RDBMSes (CA wrt CAP) are not the "be all and end all" of databases anymore, see for instance Cassandra (AP wrt CAP). [CAP: Consistency, Availability, Partition tolerance - lookup "CAP theorem" on Wikipedia]

So, your question really is a twofold question, and there is no definite answer. Just consider the angle which is of most interest to you.

Comment Cats have an extraordinary recovery potential (Score 1) 225

I can witness it personally...

50 days ago, one of my two cats (both aged 8 months old at the time - they are brothers) was hit by a car. Cadfael (that's his name - he's a male with all his "attributes" and I have no intention to change that) crawled to our neighbour's doors (100 meters away) in spite of his having a broken basin on one side and a broken leg on the other!

After a heavy-duty surgery and a 3-week antibiotic-based post-operation treatment (causing diarrhea in the process) (along with an enforced "no you won't go outside" policy), the X-ray showed that he was close to fully recover from both his leg and pelvis injury - and he doesn't have diarrhea anymore. As of today, he just runs and jumps like nothing happened!

Having witnessed that blitz of a recovery, I surmise that cats are able to "consume" their supposedly nine lives by fractions... He had his accident not even a month and a half ago!

Comment A very promising engine (Score 1) 269

Not only is it a two-stroke engine, which are inherently more efficient than four-stroke engines, but it also limits the moving parts to a minimum. And Lotus never boasts about something it cannot do. However, I'd like to see a multicylinder version of it.

And that's no mean feature when you see the number of moving parts in today's engines fitted with variable valve timing/lift systems (which, of course, the switch to electric propulsion will avoid altogether).

The question is, however, is it too late? And imho, there is a "yes" and a "no".

Yes, the electric motors have been long proven to work.

No, the weight/energy ratio of electricity sucks. No, other (really!) "CO2 clean" fuels already exist, with engines already able to run on them (this particular engine included).

The future looks promising anyway. Now, I just wish that the car manufacturers turned more effort into removing weight. Even if that means stepping back on safety features - after all, nothing has been done yet on the driver training front.

Comment Re:What if, for a start... (Score 1) 265

The look and feel of Microsoft Office is horrible, while that of OpenOffice is standard, familiar, unobtrusive and very functional. It outweights that of Microsoft Office by (hudreds of) miles.

See how that works? Opinions are like haemorrhoids, every asshole has them.

I use both. I have to use both. I've had to use both for three years. I've had to user PowerPoint vs Impress, Excel vs Calc, to produce workable documents for the Higher People Out There(tm). Can you say the same?

Fact is, I had to resort to MS Office every time I had to produce documents readable, manageable, by upper management. OpenOffice just doesn't cut it.

So please, don't comment unless you have at least some experience on the matter at hand.

Comment Re:What if, for a start... (Score 1) 265

Even if it is a joke, this is "man hours" (well, I hope "man minutes" in this case, really) that could have been better spent elsewhere.

For that matter, I don't even see the motivation behind an OOo conference at all at this stage (of the software and community around it). From my point of view, OOo is shipped with the vast majority of user oriented distributions for lack of a better choice, and while I praise Sun for the initial effort, the time has long come since they should have let the child (OOo) loose and adorn it with better clothing (a better license), so that others can take over its education (growth). Even if it means slashing it to pieces (rendering engine, user interface).

Comment What if, for a start... (Score 3, Insightful) 265

the OpenOffice "effort" split into the (clumsy) user interface and (not that good) underlying render library? And make the whole thing available in a more free license?

Instead of coming up with such an ergonomical disaster?

While I resent using Microsoft Office because of its sheer cost (its business model being but a nail in the coffin), I have to admit that the look and feel of the Great Evil(tm) outweighs that of OpenOffice by (hundreds of) miles. Such a pointless effort from the OO staff just makes me wonder whether Sun (or is that Oracle?) just want to ditch OpenOffice altogether. Well, fine, but they could just ditch it by dropping support for it and changing its license so that a real, motivated community take it over and make something really useful out of it.

Submission + - FOSS License Compliance for Companies (

An anonymous reader writes: Armijn Hemel (Loohuis Consulting, and Shane Coughlan (Opendawn) complete a trilogy of articles examining FOSS licensing issues and best practice on with an outline of FOSS license compliance for companies. Readers may also be interested in part one, describing what developers can do to protect their rights in the consumer electronics market, and part two, examining the field of embedded device compliance engineering.

Comment Back to individual components (Score 1) 697

* you want lots of RAM (high buffer cache);
* you want a CPU with good cpufreq support (any ACPI-compliant CPU will do);
* you want SSD (yes, they're expensive, but the cost of a simple seek is far less than rotating platter disks, and in case your machine just wakes up, SSD has close to zero seek time);
* you want a kernel compiled with "ondemand" CPU frequency governor as the default;
* you DO NOT want "drowsy ACPI states" (sure, it saves power, but you want to SSH in: if the machine's not there, what's the point? WOL won't help, that's my experience with it - either the machine is constantly up or it's down long enough before it answers that it turns out highly frustrating);
* you want a hardware router in front of your machine, with packet filtering ability (this router will do preliminary packet filtering before said packets even reach your machine - and see above).

Data Storage

Submission + - SPAM: Zurich loses data of 641,000 customers on tape 1

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes: Insurance firm Zurich has lost the sensitive personal account details of 641,000 customers held on backup tape, including the details of 51,000 UK customers. The firm admitted the tape had been missing for over a year in South Africa, after it was lost en route to a secure storage unit in August 2008. But it has only just noticed the loss, and launched an investigation. Its entire South African customer base of 550,000 clients was also lost, alongside the details of 40,000 customers in Botswana.
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