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Comment Re:A Question (Score 1) 128

This is true, but the key difference is that people aren't mucking about with the latest installation of their airbag, and criminals aren't gaining access to peoples' cars without their knowledge and tampering with the airbag; in other words, if the airbag fails it's very likely the manufacturer's fault, they exercise almost total control over the system in the vast majority of cars.

Contrast this to computer security problems, which are sometimes the fault of the security provider (in this case Microsoft) but just as often (if not more often) is the result of user interference (people misunderstanding how the security system works or disabling security altogether) and malicious intent.

The real culprit isn't Microsoft, but the people who write malware; for some reason we don't spend much time blaming the criminal and we heap all our discontent on Microsoft. Maybe because they're the easy target here. At any rate, hopefully this shows why a lawsuit against Microsoft is illogical; they do not have sufficient control over the situation to prosecute them.

Comment Here's a problem (Score 1) 409

The problem I have with it is that the Sun shareholders own something of value - namely the brands, technology, and organizational structure (that is, they don't own the employees of course, but the do 'own' existing business relationships with those employees which could be transferred, and those relationships have value). Even if the company is not worth what it once was, shouldn't the shareholders have the freedom to sell off the assets of value which they own to an interested buyer?

Capitalism is, first and foremost, about freedom - that people should have the freedom to do business without undo interference by the government. The great economic tragedy of the current political climate is that all the people who are hating on capitalism right now forget that the *reason* the USA has traditionally chosen a mostly capitalist economy (I say mostly because, it definitely hasn't been a 'pure' capitalist business system in a long time) is because that is the most Free system of business.

There must be a very compelling reason, indeed, to impinge on the freedom of others. Sun shareholders should have the right to sell what is left of the company to a willing buyer.


Submission + - SPAM: NASA teams to build pod-like tranportation system

coondoggie writes: "It looks a little like the Jetson's flying car but it travels on magnetically levitated highways. That's one vision of a future commuter system that could be developed by a marriage of NASA robot-control software and car-like pods from Unimodal Systems. Specifically, per an agreement announced today between Unimodal and NASA, Unimodal will contribute its SkyTran vehicle and its advanced transportation technology while NASA will provide its Plan Execution Interchange Language (PLEXIL) and Universal Executive (UE) robot control software to control the vehicle. SkyTran will use small vehicles running on elevated, magnetically levitated (maglev) guideways, which distinguishes it from other railed systems. The vehicles are lightweight, personal compartments that can transport up to three passengers, according to [spam URL stripped]."
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Put's the lie to their open source claims (Score 1) 284

Also, IBM has been a good friend to the open source community now for many years, just like Sun. They may have valid corporate-profit driven motives, but heck, who cares? They've been great for a lot of projects. They contribute their patents to the pool to defend open-source, rather than trying to kill Linux, like Microsoft.

Anyway, IBM is right. Software patents have been huge for open source. Open source projects only come about when the authors can't make any money selling the things. Software patents have made it far harder to actually sell a viable software product, resulting a huge boom on open source.

Comment Re:FUD article (Score 5, Insightful) 409

It isn't AIX from IBM that's burying Solaris, it's Linux.

At the fortune 100 companies I've worked with, AIX was legacy and stagnant, and being retired as quickly as possible. Solaris was losing servers to Linux starting with the web/application servers and moving into the Database space (replacing Oracle and DB2, in some cases with Mysql for smaller databases). Applications that could be run on virtualization were the next big thing to move to Linux. If they could replace large sun boxes (and expensive sun hardware/software service contracts) with a bunch of 1Us or Blades connected to a SAN, it was done.

At one financial institution it was even mandated that Linux be tested before any other Unix because of the cost savings.


Submission + - Criminals prefer Firefox, Opera web browsers. ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Security researchers at Purewire have leveraged vulnerabilities in malware infrastructure to track the criminals behind it. In a three-month long project, they used security flaws in exploit kits to get operators to expose themselves when they access the kits' admin control panels. Data collected shows that 50% of those tracked use Firefox, while 25% use Opera.

Submission + - NYT claims Wikipedia steals its content (

David Gerard writes: "Noam Cohen of the New York Times, who regularly covers the Wikipedia beat, writing about Wikipedia links in Google News results, slips in a note from his employer: "So, in essence, many Wikipedia articles are another way that the work of news publications is quickly condensed and reused without compensation." I do press for Wikipedia in the UK, and every journalist I've spoken to in the past four years uses Wikipedia as their handy universal backgrounder. But there's a curious lack of donations from the NYT to Wikimedia for their use of Wikipedia. And look at the Maurice Jarre example. So what does the NYT expect to gain from this? Sympathy? Buckets of cash? A large bill from WMF?"

Submission + - Verizon Wants To Re-Intermediate Web 3.0 (

Michael_Curator writes: "The early success of the Internet was built on the premise that customers could cut themselves better deals on everything from hotel rooms to PCs by eliminating the middleman — aka "disintermediation." But Verizon wants to ensure it's smack-dab in the middle of the Internet's mobile evolution by positioning itself as the primary intermediary for the sale of mobile applications and other online transactions. Today, it announced faster upload and download speeds for its FiOS service, but the most important part of the announcement is that it's giving away a mobile device as part of the deal. With mobile payment systems vendors like Obopay, Boku and PayPal proliferating, Verizon is looking to introduce itself as the mobile payment facilitator of choice. It's in a great position to do so."

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