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Comment: Re:they've been trying to "join" for a while (Score 1) 69

by Trepidity (#49549085) Attached to: German Intelligence Helped NSA Spy On EU Politicians and Companies

That's more or less what West Germany has been founded on since the late '40s. Germany traded its sovereignty for an end to denazification. The deal was: 1) a bunch of ex-Nazis would be allowed to remain in the FRG government; but 2) in return, they would work for the USA.

Comment: Re:You got it all backwards ... (Score 1) 289

RMS himself has said that he would only be okay with getting rid of copyright (and hence the basis on which GPL and its copyleft protection stands), if copyleft itself is written into law - i.e. if redistributing binaries without access to the code becomes illegal.

Comment: murder mystery analogy with chickens (Score 5, Funny) 133

by goombah99 (#49546833) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

Imagine a chicken's butt. picture it. Okay hang onto that thought because we'll come back to that later.
There's a house made of rubber with a lot of rooms. While all the guests including the butler are gathered in the living room, the guests hear the sound of the master of the house being murdered in his bedroom which is at the end of a distant series of hallways. They also notice that at that moment the butler is missing, but a moment later he's back. It's too far from the dining room to the bedroom for the Butler to have walked there and walks back, so he's not a suspect. But we have two mysteries
1) how did the butler vanish and re-appear. Very suscipicious. could he teleport?
2) how did they hear the scream of the master in his distant bedroom.

The second fact seems to clear the butler since no one wants to believe in teleportation.

Then they discover the house is U-shaped and there's a secret passage directly connecting the bedroom to the living room. The spooky actions and effects at a distance are explained by a wormhole. Also it's the secret passage way that holds the rubber house in a U-shape.

Now remember that chicken butt? I thought so. See if you can get it out of your mind.

Comment: they've been trying to "join" for a while (Score 4, Insightful) 69

by Trepidity (#49546727) Attached to: German Intelligence Helped NSA Spy On EU Politicians and Companies

German intelligence has been interested in a closer alliance with the "Five Eyes" group of US-led intelligence agencies, which originally consisted of the main anglophone countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand). When it was expanded in 2009 to "nine eyes" with the addition of Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Norway, there was supposedly some grumbling from Germany about being left out.

Comment: Re:So, where's IBM in all of this? (Score 2) 76

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49546641) Attached to: Amazon's Profits Are Floating On a Cloud (Computing)
They've been trying(in part by developing, in part by buying, they ate Softlayer and Cloudant fairly recently); but they've been finding it a bit tricky.

IBM wants to sell you some sort of unique, value-added, hardware and/or software feature that makes going with them worth it over going with the commodity product(presumably, this is why they sold of PCs and low-end servers). Some customers do want this; but it's a very, very, different offering from the more commodified cloud providers(Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all differ a bit in where they are on the spectrum from 'what you do with them is your problem; but our VMs are cheaper than you can believe' to 'we can provide automagic email accounts and SQL server instances abstracted from the host OS'; but all of them are very much on the 'we aren't going to hold your hand; but look at how cheap this stuff is' side, an area where IBM has no obvious advantages.)

Comment: MS is a "distant" #2? (Score 2) 76

by turp182 (#49546619) Attached to: Amazon's Profits Are Floating On a Cloud (Computing)

The summary appears incorrect. The linked article says that MS has annualized revenue of $6.3 billion from "cloud" business.

Google's $1.57 billion translates to an annual number of $6.28 billion from Amazon Web Services.

I'm not sure how either company defines what is included in those numbers.

Does anyone have better information or metrics?

Comment: Re:It is a cycle. (Score 4, Insightful) 76

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49546567) Attached to: Amazon's Profits Are Floating On a Cloud (Computing)
The one other element in the cycle you identify is arguably 'management/administration'.

This can work both for and against both local and remote/cloud options: Back when anything that touched the mainframe needed 6 signatures and a blessing; but you could classify an IBM-compatible as an 'office supply' and just have it on your desk and doing stuff, part of the virtue was in cutting through red tape, not in enjoying DOS on a slow machine with virtually no RAM. These days, especially for individuals or small outfits, without technical expertise available, 'the cloud' wins not so much because local computers are expensive(since they aren't, they've never been cheaper, either absolutely or per unit power); but because 'the cloud' is something you can use just by plugging in a URL and following directions. IT geeks are correct to point out that 'the cloud' is neither impregnable nor as well-backed-up as it likes to pretend to be; but for a non-techie user who will lose all their data as soon as their HDD dies or they lose their phone, it's still a step up.

For larger outfits, who have technical expertise available(and whose needs are complex enough that they will need IT and/or developers whether they go 'cloud', local, or some combination of the two), it is much more a straight battle on cost, security, and reliability; but ease of use and ease(or nonexistence) of management is huge for the consumer side.

Comment: Re:Amazon has really been a stealth company (Score 3, Insightful) 76

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49546481) Attached to: Amazon's Profits Are Floating On a Cloud (Computing)
Amazon is a bit tepid when they try anything too novel(their phone went from flagship pricing to free-after-contract how fast?); but they have three basic virtues that make them a terrifying force to be reckoned with:

1. Cultural disinhibition: They started selling books; but never seemed to have fossilized into the 'We are a bookstore. I can see maybe expanding into selling some bookmarks, or paperweights; but hand tools? How absurd!' model. 'Books' was merely a special case of more or less rectangular objects that are legal to send through the mail. They've since expanded into an ever larger collection of more or less rectangular objects that are legal to send through the mail, without much concern about what they are.

2. Adequately competent implementation: Remember 'Microsoft PlaysForSure', the killer ecosystem of hardware, software, and a competitive marketplace of music sellers(almost always cheaper than iTunes)? No? That's not very surprising, they don't really deserve to be remembered. How about 'Ultraviolet', the 'cloud-based digital rights library' that is somehow associated with blu-ray, some media players and streamers, and various retailers; but is so dysfunctional that I can't actually summarize exactly what the hell it is? No? I can't imagine why.

Amazon, though, while they don't lead the pack, knows how to get the job done well enough (their Kindle e-readers and 'FireOS' tablets all have at least adequate industrial design and build quality, and 'FireOS' is arguably nicer than some Google-blessed-but-vendor-skinned versions of Android, despite being a hostile fork; and their media-streamer hardware and software are both more or less painless). You don't necessarily go to them for the premium gear; but they are definitely good enough that they don't actively sabotage the appeal of the low prices.

3. Logistics. I don't know how they do it(if I did, I'd probably be a whole hell of a lot wealthier); but when they decide to sell something, they know how to make it impressively cheap compared to the competition, whether it be books or VM time.

"I have just one word for you, my boy...plastics." - from "The Graduate"