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Comment: Re: Options... (Score 2) 155

by markhb (#48205245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

SourceForge was open-source in its earliest days, and then they stopped open-sourcing later releases as they added more features that were intended to generate revenue. There was indeed a lot of coverage of SourceForge's failings here, even though both Sourceforge and /. were owned by (I think) VA Software at the time.

Comment: Re:Awesome quote (Score 1) 232

by markhb (#48159269) Attached to: Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

As was said below, cable TV is a natural monopoly: in all but a few very densely-populated areas (as in, parts of Manhattan dense) there isn't enough potential profit to make it worth their while to set up a competing cable plant. Forget TW and Comcast for the moment, in how many parts of the country are there ANY localities with competing cable companies where one of them isn't government-owned, even when the franchises are specifically non-exclusive (as they are in my state)? That's not a result of illegal collusion, that's a result of the fact that competing for anything other than the initial franchise agreement is a stupid business decision.

Plus, you appear to have misrepresented what the NYT article said: the sentence "Under conventional antitrust standards, it's pretty much an open-and-shut case" is actually saying that it's an open-and-shut case that the merger would not affect competition, and would be approved. The people raising the "potential competition" issue are the opponents of the merger!

Incidentally, the "guy they got to comment for the story" is a woman named Susan, who is actually a professor of IP law, and in fact a former member of the board of directors of ICANN, so by /. standards doesn't that make her evil?

Comment: Re:"Microsoft's long love of BASIC...." (Score 2) 547

by markhb (#48104061) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

If the WP article is accurate, Commodore's PET BASIC was a licensed Microsoft product, and as I mentioned so was the version in the TRS-80. So other than Apple's, I would say that the parent's statement that "the BASICs for most early PCs and home computers came from Microsoft", regardless of the fact that any other OS layer may or may not have, is accurate. And as others have pointed out, the first MS BASIC was in 1975 with the Altair, but I never used one of those so I went with "at least" as old as the TRS-80.

Comment: "Microsoft's long love of BASIC...." (Score 3, Insightful) 547

by markhb (#48102911) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

From TFA:

Microsoft’s long love of the BASIC programming language extends all the way back to 1991, when the company purchased a pretty awesome (for its time) visual programming designer from Alan Cooper.

I'd say that MS's love of BASIC goes back at least a decade before that; they wrote the ROM BASIC for the TRS-80 (as I found when doing a PEEK scan through it).

Comment: Re:It's more than the tie (Score 1) 166

That's a distinction without a difference. The people in the private sector are wasting the investors / suppliers / customers money.

The difference is that the investors / suppliers / customers have a choice when dealing with a particular private company. We have no real choice regarding paying our taxes (assuming one doesn't want to wind up in a courtroom over it).

Nothing will dispel enthusiasm like a small admission fee. -- Kim Hubbard

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