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Comment: Re:Ireland is a tax haven for corporations (Score 1) 192 192

Your argument would hold more water if it wasn't the US government's idea for Ireland to become a tax haven in the first place:

Nonsense. Just because a US consultant in Ireland mentioned Puerto Rico's economic successes in passing, does not equal an endorsement of US tax evasion by the American government. And even if the US government agrees with the "Double Irish" (actually this loophole is being closed in a few years), it doesn't mean that the American people would endorse having their money funneled into private corporations that don't even pay taxes. There are plenty of other small countries getting rich through economic injustices and obfuscation as well (e.g. Switzerland).

Comment: Ireland is a tax haven for corporations (Score 1) 192 192

Ireland is used by the big tech companies as a tax haven so they do not have to actually contribute back to the US economy that has enriched them. Apple also bases itself in Ireland so they can avoid paying taxes in the US, so they basically pay nothing in taxes to any government. That's right, they contribute back nothing to schools, parks, libraries, etc. They are the "takers" in modern society. In China, the government is starting to go after Microsoft because they basically pay no taxes anywhere.

It's amazing to me how American society will look with suspicion at anything the federal government does, but give corporations a pass for taking and giving nothing back at all. Google does the exact same stuff, and yet people still take them seriously as "doing no evil." Next time you pass through an impoverished neighborhood, think of Google's huge datacenters, and how it pays nothing back to society despite its absurd profits. It's no wonder that more American people are falling into poverty with when they let huge corporations take advantage of their system. The Microsofts of the world are the true robber barons, squatting on American soil and enjoying use of its infrastructure while dodging the bill.

Comment: Seeking Cheaper Coders (Score 2) 105 105

FTFY... Duh, supply and demand. If we were lacking programmers, SALARIES WOULD GO UP. Instead, salaries have stayed the same or gone down. What we have is not a lack of programmers, but a lack of cheap programmers that can be treated like interchangeable cogs in a machine. "Buy one for $15,000 a year, fluent in the latest version of Flub!"

Comment: Here in China... (Score 1) 613 613

In China, there is one single time zone (Beijing Time, UTC+8), and there is no daylight savings time. This means that for all of China, throughout the entire year, everyone is on the same time and never has to monkey around with adjusting the time. Coming from the U.S. where we have multiple time zones plus daylight savings time, I feel like the simplicity of time here in China is a nice little luxury. The only time I ever have to worry about time changes or time zones are when I'm contacting people in foreign countries.

For the extreme west, Tibet and Xinjiang, there is an unofficial time zone (UTC+6), but this is just a common local practice, and Beijing Time is always the official time. During the Republic era, China actually had 5 time zones, but they learned their lesson and realized simplicity is a virtue.

Comment: Re:Silly season much (Score 2) 131 131

It depends on who you are and where you are. Ethnic minorities can have more than one child, so their ethnic group and culture do not become diminished. Rural villagers can also have more than one child sometimes, especially if their first child is not a boy. In some cases, they can keep having children until they get a boy. That is thought to reduce the incentive to engage in infanticide of female babies. Doctors are also not allowed to tell prospective parents whether their child will be a boy or a girl -- that is forbidden because it could also lead to infanticide. Finally, if the parents are wealthy, then they can simply pay the fine for extra children, and then it doesn't matter.

Comment: Re:Does this mean the death of Minix3? (Score 4, Interesting) 136 136

Minix 3 will probably keep going as an open-source project, and maybe he will be even more involved?

I feel it necessary to point out, though, that OS X is not a microkernel system comparable to Minix. OS X is largely monolithic, so if one part of the core system crashes, the whole system crashes. Minix 3 is far more ambitious because everything that is not in the (truly tiny) microkernel runs as a separate server process. For example, drivers are running in their own process, so if a driver crashes, the rest of the system can continue running.

To manage the system, Minix has a so-called "reincarnation server" that restarts core system daemons if they go down unexpectedly. It's totally modular and redundant -- far more ambitious and advanced in its design than Linux or OS X. Minix is designed from the beginning to never go down. There is nothing else like that in the Unix world.

This talk by Tanenbaum describes the Minix 3 design in much greater detail:

Youtube: MINIX 3: a Modular, Self-Healing POSIX-compatible Operating System

Comment: Re:What American goods would China buy? (Score 1) 348 348

China buys many American cars, as well as European and Japanese cars. Chinese cars are generally held in disdain, as their quality is regarded as inferior. And in China, a car is a status symbol more than anything. You should try visiting China before claiming utter nonsense about purchasing habits. There is a lot of money in China, most of it held by a large upper-class that has more than enough cash to buy a Ford.

Comment: Re:One of these things is not like the others... (Score 1) 166 166

The Big Bang Theory is hugely popular among young people in China. It's one of the most famous American TV shows there, and it is (was) very widely circulated. There are many jokes they don't really "get," but they still really like it.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 117 117

You know, an idle kernel doesn't use much of your battery life. Bulky programs that crunch and munch on the CPU do. Saying, "Linux this" and "OS X that" doesn't make sense unless you know that it boils down to the kernel and kernel drivers. Have you run powertop to examine exactly which processes and drivers are responsible for draining your battery? Have you followed the recommendations given by powertop?

Finally, have you considered the possibility that your battery might be crap, and that a higher capacity battery that works properly may be the solution, rather than abandoning your entire operating system, or abandoning the entire computer?

Comment: Elegant code is... (Score 2) 373 373

Elegant code is...

  • Simple -- leveraging the "natural" way to use the programming language
  • Compact -- not cluttered with special cases and boilerplate
  • Logical -- like secondary documentation, acting as a clear description of how to solve a problem
  • Modular -- functions or classes should be clearly grouped as modules
  • Easy to understand -- not full of stupid hacks and "clever" tricks
  • Reasonably efficient -- performing reasonably well, not at the expense of simplicity
  • Maintainable -- any decent programmer could pick up the code without fear and trepidation
  • Commented -- some comments should be present, but not too much
  • Correct -- it should do what it is meant to do, and only this

There are also some languages that I view as inherently elegant, and others that I consider not to be so. C, Python, and Ruby all allow breathtaking elegance in their own way. C with its spartan manner of managing the machine, Python with its ridiculously readable pseudocode-like syntax, and Ruby with its pure object system and powers of abstraction. On the other hand, some other languages like C++, Java, Haskell, Javascript, PHP, BASIC, and Erlang will never be languages that lend themselves to true beauty and elegance. All of those languages either have serious flaws, or they do not allow programmers to express their ideas eloquently in code. In a good language, your ideas should pop out as the most important thing, not the language itself.

+ - Einstein's 'Lost' Model Of the Universe Discovered 'Hiding in Plain Sight'

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Dick Ahlstrom reports that Irish researchers have discovered a previously unknown model of the universe written in 1931 by physicist Albert Einstein that had been misfiled and effectively “lost” until its discovery last August while researchers been searching through a collection of Einstein’s papers put online by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “I was looking through drafts, but then slowly realised it was a draft of something very different,” says Dr O’Raifeartaigh. “I nearly fell off my chair. It was hidden in perfect plain sight. This particular manuscript was misfiled as a draft of something else.” In his paper, radically different from his previously known models of the universe, Einstein speculated the expanding universe could remain unchanged and in a “ steady state” because new matter was being continuously created from space. “It is what Einstein is attempting to do that would surprise most historians, because nobody had known this idea. It was later proposed by Fred Hoyle in 1948 and became controversial in the 1950s, the steady state model of the cosmos,” says O’Raifeartaigh. Hoyle argued that space could be expanding eternally and keeping a roughly constant density. It could do this by continually adding new matter, with elementary particles spontaneously popping up from space. Particles would then coalesce to form galaxies and stars, and these would appear at just the right rate to take up the extra room created by the expansion of space. Hoyle’s Universe was always infinite, so its size did not change as it expanded. It was in a ‘steady state’. “This finding confirms that Hoyle was not a crank,” says Simon Mitton. “If only Hoyle had known, he would certainly have used it to punch his opponents." Although Hoyle’s model was eventually ruled out by astronomical observations, it was at least mathematically consistent, tweaking the equations of Einstein’s general theory of relativity to provide a possible mechanism for the spontaneous generation of matter. Einstein's paper attracted no attention because Einstein abandoned it after he spotted a mistake and then didn’t publish it but the fact that Einstein experimented with the steady-state concept demonstrates Einstein's continued resistance to the idea of a Big Bang, which he at first found “abominable”, even though other theoreticians had shown it to be a natural consequence of his general theory of relativity.

+ - Russians Suspected Of Uroburos Spy Malware->

judgecorp writes: While Russia's political activity is centre stage, its cyber-espionage apparently continues Russian intelligence is strongly suspected of being behind the Urburos malware which is targetting Western governments and commercial organisations. There are Russian-language strings in the code, and it searches its victims' systems for Agent BTZ, malware used in previous attacks believed to have been carried out by Russia.
Link to Original Source

+ - Mark Shuttleworth blasts OSS FUD

An anonymous reader writes: In a Google+ posting, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, announces that Ubuntu is sticking with MySQL in the upcoming Trusty Tahr (14.04) release. In response to a followup question from ZDNet's Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Shuttleworth offers some pointed comments on the OSS FUD culture: "As for phobias, the real pitchforks have been those agitating against Oracle. I think Oracle have been an excellent steward of MySQL, with real investment and great quality. Appreciating and celebrating that doesn't detract from our willingness to engage elsewhere. I think the tendency to imagine conspiracies and malfeasance is one of the sadder aspects of OSS culture. Don't feed it."

Comment: Classic Unix desktop (Score 1) 1 1

Great news for anyone who is interested in classic Unix desktop software. For many years, CDE was the standard Unix desktop environment, but one that was always missing from Linux and BSD. Having CDE as open source brings one of the last few pieces of proprietary software into the free Unixes, and it's nice to see that developers are hard at work fixing bugs and improving portability. Congrats to the CDE team for this release.

+ - CDE 2.2.1 is released.-> 1 1

idunham writes: Version 2.2.1 of the Common Desktop Environment was released on March 1, featuring several bugfixes/warning fixes/portability improvements, localization, and a new port. UTF8 support has been greatly improved, to go with a new Greek UTF8 translation; an en_US.UTF8 locale was also added. dtinfo now builds and works (at least on Linux and FreeBSD). The new NetBSD port expands the BSD support to the big 3: FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.
Link to Original Source

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke