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Comment: Re:Real porpose of the road (Score 1) 226

by rkhalloran (#49348523) Attached to: Russian Official Proposes Road That Could Connect London To NYC
Given what happened in Sochi, the *primary* purpose of a project like this would be to siphon off unholy amounts of construction funds into the pockets of Putin's inner circle of supporters. The idea of driving "the long way around" from UK to US is ludicrous at face value, and I'm not aware of any particular resource areas that would be opened up with this.

Comment: Re:IBM should put SCO out of misery (Score 5, Insightful) 170

by rkhalloran (#49282595) Attached to: Not Quite Dead: SCO Linux Suit Against IBM Stirs In Utah
This was obviously what SCOXQ.BK wanted to begin with, a nice payout to STFU and go away. Problem is, given IBMs deep pockets, it would encourage all the other trolls to come out of the woodwork looking for a similar deal. IBM is making them the latest Horrible Warning about frivolous lawsuits against them. The other issue, that I honestly think the SCOundrels didn't take into account, was that charging IBM with stealing code, when their consulting arm works with any number of Fortune 100 companies, was a charge they couldn't let stand. Buying them off gives that charge credibility, where reducing them to a greasestain on the Utah sands proves the baseless nature of the case (the millions-for-defense-not-one-cent-in-tribute argument). SCO's lawyers took a flat fee for handling the case through all appeals; at this point they're running up time they can't bill for. IBM can post a couple of interns on the case and wait until what little cash SCOX has left is burned out, then graciously propose a settlement involving the public flogging of all current and former SCOX execs and a full-page ad in the SLC Tribune calling SCOX out as a malicious copyright troll. [ Disclaimer: 12 years at ATT; seeing these vermin trying to troll based on the legacy UNIX source code has pissed me off to no end, and wrapping them in bacon and trolling them through a school of great whites would be less than they deserve. ]

Comment: Re:new argument to undo copyright extension (Score 1) 99

by rkhalloran (#49180787) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?
The extensions to copyright haven't revoked the public-domain status of any material where the copyright has expired; what is *HAS* done is delay, again and again, the point at which existing copyrighted material falls into public-domain. This is popularly attributed to Hollywood, especially Disney, not wanting to see their properties fall out of copyright. It's believed, for example, that the inclusion of the legacy Oswald Rabbit character in the Epic Mickey videogames was a deliberate attempt to 'refresh' the copyright to avoid it falling into PD status. Sadly, the arguments to SCOTUS have failed to produce any improvement on this; the Justices have basically said that setting copyright terms falls to Congress, and that "securing for limited times" theoretically means eternity-minus-one-day if they so choose. Practically speaking, someone with an interest in bringing material out of copyright is going to have to out-spend/lobby Hollywood to overcome the MAFIAA wishes to keep extending terms.

Comment: Re:Does that explain 2 origins? (Score 1) 98

by rkhalloran (#49028825) Attached to: Spider-Man Finally Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The "explanation" is that Sony had to keep producing Spider-Man movies or lose rights to the character back to Marvel/Disney, as recently happened with Fox & Daredevil, and IMHO should have happened with Fantastic Four. Sony's answer was a reboot, with just enough tweak to the storyline to avoid a complete duplication of the Tobey Macguire films. Given the comparably lukewarm reception of the new ones, Sony is hooking themselves to the MCU money machine to presumably get some promotion for whatever they do next to maintain their rights to the character. Just *please* don't do Yet Another Origin in Cap 3; just have Peter (yes, Peter, not Miles Morales) show up in NYC as if he's always been around. Now if they can only get a similar deal with Fox, at least for Wanda & Pietro.

Comment: Attempts at validation (Score 1) 1007

by rkhalloran (#48243497) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease
What's obvious from this is that the campus religious group was played by the creationist organization, getting space at a public university vs. some random Baptist church hall in Alabama, to spout their nonsense. They'll then turn around in their next round of PR blather and claim these views were debated, successfully (since I doubt they'll accept any counter-arguments) at said university, so clearly they're valid. The problem is a) the lack of actual debate vs. simply getting up and talking b) the appropriation of the University's name for their future publicity. If I were MSU's front office, I'd be very watchful of the latter for the near future.

Comment: Disappointment (Score 1) 211

Obama campaigned as something of a techie, promising more government transparency, promised to uphold net neutrality, reel in the troops committed to the Land War in Asia, and has ended up having a shill for the media cartels as his Veep, actively supporting the NSA collect-it-all mentality, has appointed a former cable exec to chair the FCC, has slammed the press for calling him on his flip-flops, and generally shown an attitude of intellectual superiority and/or played the race card in criticizing his opponents. And now is apparently looking to book a Pharma rep as his PTO chief after Hatch (remember, the SCO Group apologist?) whined about it. I didn't vote for him either time, but he hasn't lived up to his PR by any stretch.

Comment: walked away from 'buntu (Score 0) 155

by rkhalloran (#46585649) Attached to: Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community
After the Unity GUI issues (didn't the Windows 8 One GUI to Rule Them All FUBAR show them anything?), the Mir/Wayland disputes, etc etc, I shifted over to Fedora 20 late last year and haven't looked back. I haven't had any problems finding any desktop packages I wanted to install as RPMs, and it Just Damn Works, which is why I run a Linux desktop to begin with. With the upsurge in interest in both Mint and Fedora, I think Shuttleworth/Ubuntu should be feeling a little pressure to return to the fold rather than continue pushing their own solitary agenda.

Comment: Re: Open government = open standards (Score 4, Insightful) 89

by rkhalloran (#46306113) Attached to: Microsoft Circles the Wagons To Defeat ODF In the UK
A citizen wanting to interact with their government should not be compelled to purchase a particular company's product to do so. If I choose to mail in my tax forms, it should not require purchasing Official Government Printing Stock to do it. If I file electronically, it should not be locked in to, say, Turbotax. An open format (ODF, PDF) should be acceptable. This also frankly makes sense financially: if MS is the only company supporting OOXML (arguable, since at last check they don't even meet their own standard), then there's no possibility of price competition. If you're on an *open* format where many vendors can compete, the govt can go for best price and properly spend the money they screw us out of annually.

Comment: Backwards thinking (Score 1) 271

by rkhalloran (#45965129) Attached to: Give Us More H-1B Visas Or the Kids Get Hurt
The problem with increasing H-1B numbers is that it swamps the domestic market with offshore workers, likely at lower rates than domestic talent (ref the Oracle lawsuit filed yesterday), making STEM training less desirable for US students as they won't be able to find jobs when they hit the workforce. Now you want to push H-1Bs into the academic market too?

Waiting for the teachers' unions to start raising bloody hell about the impact to their livelihoods. Hmmm, given the clout they have with politicos, this may actually work to all our favor.

Comment: Re:Bold Move (Score 5, Interesting) 37

by rkhalloran (#45877719) Attached to: Bruce Schneier Becomes CTO of Co3 Systems
While he's denying it for the record, he *is* one of the people helping the Guardian/NYT review the Snowden documents, and given the pressure put on the Guardian by British authorities, the timing of his departure from BT does seem a bit suspicious (sorry, Bruce).

I expect between whatever lump-sum he got when BT bought Counterpane, his actual salary at BT, and his writing and speaking engagements, he's not particularly worried about the next mortgage payment.

Comment: Re:Amazing ... (Score 1) 212

by rkhalloran (#44564829) Attached to: Class-action Suit Filed Against Microsoft Over Surface Write Off
As usual, Microsoft held back as new technologies surfaced (smartphones & tablets), then jumped in, assuming that anything with their name on it would overtake the early entrants. In this case, though, because of the GUI change in Win 8, they hit resistance in the PC market from both users and OEMs, and the smartphone and tablet markets were already well-entrenched with iOS & Android and saw little need for a third platform (also see: RIM). There was little innovative in Surface (Asus Transformer has had a keyboard dock for ages), the price points were relatively high, and the app portfolio for WinPhone and tablet remains thin by comparison. Gates' comments about tablet users wanting "real Office" was magical thinking at best. Microsoft is hardly going under, but they're increasingly becoming an enterprise-only company as consumers do the bulk of their work on non-PC devices.

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek