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Comment Re:GPL requires no DRM? (Score 1) 717

and Best Buy would clearly be responsible for making sure the source code was available

Uh, no. For example, CompUSA used to sell various Linux distributions. They, of course, had a store in Boston that was within walking distance of FSF headquarters. They were not required to provide the source code.


NASA Creates an Alien's Eye View of Solar System 53

Flash Modin writes "Using the Discover supercomputer — which is capable of 67 trillion calculations per second — astronomers at NASA Goddard have created a series of images of what our solar system would look like to an alien astronomer at various points in time. Their simulations track the interactions of 75,000 dust grains in the Kuiper Belt, and show that while the planets would be too dim to detect directly, aliens could deduce the presence of Neptune from its effects on the icy region. Strikingly, the images resemble one taken by Hubble of the star Fomalhaut. NASA has put out a cute video to go with the announcement as well."

Comment Re:Pointless battles (Score 4, Interesting) 360

neither you nor I fixed those bugs, either.

Have you tried fixing any Mozilla bugs? I have and it's a royal pain in the ass. You first post your patch to the bug itself, which is simple enough. Then the main cabal of developers critique your patch, and if it doesn't exactly conform in every possible way to what they would have coded themselves, they will reject it with little, if any, explanation. After you finally get an explanation out of someone, you can continue to submit changes to see if any will appease them. Of course, you will have accidentally violated a minor style guideline, but this won't be pointed out to you until you've submitted changes for their other critiques six times. After you've fixed that issue, they'll think of some other hoop that you'll have to jump through even though the patch fixes all aspects of the defect at this point. After another 16 edits of the three line patch that doesn't have any security implications and doesn't change any portion of the API, they'll ask you for a unit test that wouldn't test anything but the API for which they already have unit tests.

I'm all for being careful and making a stable, secure product, but I expect people to not be completely retarded about the process of writing software. Not even the system that delivers EAMs has a process this annoying for fixing trivial defects.

And *that* is why Mozilla defects don't get fixed for years.


What Went Wrong At Yahoo 162

kjh1 writes "Paul Graham writes about what he felt went wrong at Yahoo. He has first-hand experience — his company, Viaweb, was bought by Yahoo and he worked there for a while. In a nutshell, he felt that Yahoo was too conflicted about whether they were a technology company or a media company. 'If anyone at Yahoo considered the idea that they should be a technology company, the next thought would have been that Microsoft would crush them.' This in part led to hiring bad programmers, or at least not going single-mindedly after the very best ones. They also lacked the 'hacker' culture that Google and Facebook still seem to have, and that is found in many startup tech companies. 'As long as customers were writing big checks for banner ads, it was hard to take search seriously. Google didn't have that to distract them.'"

Comment Not an issue (Score 5, Informative) 300

One has to wonder if this is another imperial/metric snafu.

Probably not. From the article:

The $27 million, Italian-built observation deck sports the biggest window ever flown in space. In all, there are seven windows that will offer 360-degree views.

The 11 astronauts aboard the shuttle-station complex opened the door Friday to the $380 million Tranquility, also made in Italy for the European Space Agency. The door leading from Tranquility into the observation deck was opened soon afterward, and that's when shuttle pilot Terry Virts and Kay Hire encountered the cover problem.

So, now even submitters aren't reading the article? Damn...


Chinese Man Gets 30 Months For Fake Cisco Sales 161

alphadogg writes "A Chinese man was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a US prison this week for trafficking in counterfeit Cisco Systems gear. Yongcai Li, 33, will also have to pay the networking company nearly $800,000 in restitution after being the conduit for hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of counterfeit computer hardware, the FBI said Friday. Prosecutors said he procured the fake gear in China and then sent it to co-conspirators in the US. His alleged co-conspirators have not been charged. Li was arrested by FBI agents on Jan. 9, 2009, in Las Vegas — while the annual Consumer Electronics Show was taking place there. Two years ago, the FBI claimed to have seized more than $78 million worth of counterfeit equipment in more than 400 seizures."

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"