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Comment Re:NZ was smart enough to do this... (Score 1) 166 166

Yeah - hope so. We could create an antipodean enclave of innovation without the dead weight of patents hanging over our heads. The other response to your post notwithstanding, I wrote to Simon Power (the Minister in charge) and recieved a kind of encouraging response, so I hope that software patents will be no more in NZ. The really funny thing is, having got some hope that NZ would stop software patents, I put on my devil's advocate hat and tried to come up with ways in which I could shaft those overseas patent holders and exploit their IP in NZ. I drew a complete blank.

Comment Re:Use a disposable laptop (Score 1) 249 249

Not to belittle your environmental challenges, but we treat our own laptops as operating in a hostile environment. Statistically most of them will be stolen, lost of suffer catastrophic failure within 3 years. Mostly stolen.

While you do still want a rugged laptop, ultimately it is better to make sure you have a fantastic recovery plan for when shit happens.

One way is to go fully virtualised. Treat your host operating system as a basic shell, and instead install yoru real software on a VM. We use VMWare Workstation, Virtual box or others would work too.

Now fix your backup/recovery strategy. Backup your entire VM frequently - daily is ideal. A good way is to make use linux for the host, and keep the VM itself on an LVM volume - then you can read-consistent copies using LVM snaphots in the background with no impact on the guest - no pausing, no shutdown needed. You might also want to do a file-level back from within the VM of your very important files as a double safeguard.

Now you are sorted. Your machine will die, and when it does, you simply buy new one, re-install a host, then recover your VM onto the new one.

This also gives you an excuse to get a fairly grunty laptop - running VMs gives it a real good workout.


iPhone App Causes Google To Shut Down SMS Service 420 420

An anonymous reader writes "A few days ago, Inner Fence released a paid iPhone app called Infinite SMS, which let iPhone users employ Google's free SMS gateway to send SMS messages without paying their service providers. The resulting surge in traffic on Google's SMS gateway forced Google to block all third-party applications from using the free SMS feature — including Google's own GTalk client."

Comment Re:Ask for Revenue Sharing and Shares (Score 5, Insightful) 315 315

This is very complex and most likely the business owners haven't thought it all out.
  1. Waiting until 5 years is up is not a good idea (and I assume they don't want to give it to you up front). Who knows what will happen. Ask for it one year at a time - or even better one month at a time - in advance.
  2. Get tax advice. You are in dangerous territory.
  3. Asking for 10% of the profits is interesting but theres an old saying in business that the 20% owner gets paid what the 80% owner wants them to. Its hard to stop the owner (say) takinga big salary and depleting the profits that way.
  4. Consider a "roulette clause". With this, either party can offer to buy the other one out. The trick is that if they refuse, then you can demand they buy you out. This avoids stalemate, which is very destructive in this situation.
  5. Good luck!

Trojan Hides In Pirated Copies of Apple iWork '09 431 431

CWmike writes "Pirated copies of Apple's new iWork '09 suite that are now available on file-sharing sites contain a Trojan horse that hijacks Macs and leaves them open to further attack, a security company said yesterday. The 'iServices.a' Trojan hitchhikes on iWork '09's installer, said Intego, which makes Mac security software. 'The installer for the Trojan horse is launched as soon as a user begins the installation of iWork, following the installer's request of an administrator password,' Intego said in a warning. Once installed, the Trojan "phones home" to a malicious server to notify the hacker that the Mac has been compromised, and to await instructions."

NASA's IBEX Ready For Launch 28 28

dj writes "NASA has designed a mission to map the boundary of the solar system. The mission is called IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) and it is ready to launch. The data collected by IBEX will allow scientists to understand the interaction between our Sun and the galaxy for the first time. Understanding this interaction will help us protect future astronauts from the danger of galactic cosmic rays." The IBEX Launch Blog will go active "about 2 hours before launch scheduled for 1:48 p.m. EDT," and the Southwest Research Institute will be running webcasts of the event. The IBEX fact sheet provides more details about the mission (PDF). IBEX will reach space via a Pegasus rocket launched from an L-1011 "Stargazer" carrier plane. You can see the launch countdown schedule at NASA's site.

Comment Re:Logging to a database (Score 2, Interesting) 225 225

IMO database logging has good points and bad points: On the good side, its easy to manipulate (query, purge, transform, summarise) the log entries. Also you can access the log entries remotely using the database tools you already know. On the bad side, its undoubtedly slower and more resource-intensive. Also, unless you have multiple DB connections (which itself raises complexity and overhead), then committing a log entry to the database will also commit your unit of work. It seems to work well for "user logging", i.e. where the end user of your application (rather than just the dev team) would want to read the messages.

Submission + - MIT Sues Frank Gehry Over Buggy $300M CS Building

theodp writes: "MIT has filed a negligence suit against world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, charging that flaws in his design of the $300 million Stata Center, one of the most celebrated works of architecture unveiled in years, caused leaks to spring, masonry to crack, mold to grow, and drainage to back up. The complex, which houses a Who's Who of Computing including Tim Berners-Lee and Richard Stallman, includes the William H. Gates Building."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Inaugural Entry

Wow, a journal. What shall I write? I think I'll try using it as a venting place for things I want to put on slashdot but can't find the right post to attach them too. Or which the stupid-ass moderators decide is nat as witty/insightful as I absolutely know that it is.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"