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Comment: Mozilla Foundation now works for Microsoft? (Score 1) 113 113

"remember back when Google used to be behind Firefox?"

Google paid Mozilla Foundation $300 million each year.

Now, I understand, Mozilla Foundation now gets most of its money from Microsoft. Microsoft pays Yahoo. Yahoo pays Mozilla Foundation to make "Yahoo search" (actually mostly Microsoft Bing search) the default search engine in Firefox. Most people don't have the technical knowledge to know how they've been manipulated, or how to restore the default search engine to Google search.

The Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Composer GUIs have been damaged, apparently deliberately. Every time you do a file save, the newer versions of both ask for a new file name, and don't suggest the last one chosen. The damage was reported several months ago, but has not been fixed. Is that another example of Microsoft's Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? People who feel forced away from Thunderbird may choose Microsoft software to replace it. Is that something Microsoft is trying to accomplish?

Comment: Go back to school and learn to read (Score 1) 168 168

I'm unique - there are a dozen OS that I don't like. I don't complain about them, I just don't use them. You're like the majority of people. Really.

You are unique. Uniquely stupid and unable to pass basic reading comprehension.

The GP felt dismayed that Linus has drunk the systemd coolaid, and wants to switch to FreeBSD. I pointed out that not everyone has been taken in by the systemd nonsense, and that their are distros available that remain untainted, that if he wants to switch to *BSD I've found Dragonfly to be quite nice, but that there are a number of Linux choices he has available if he doesn't want to switch.

But go ahead and label that whining, since I don't love the excrement you find so appealing. And feel free to demand I spend my free time writing a competing pile of excrement for having the audacity to prefer existing init systems, such as those used by the *BSDs, and OpenRC, and to mischaracterize my contentment with OpenRC and other superior-to-systemd init systems as "doing nothing."

Feel free to say whatever nonsense you like. It reveals far more about yourself and other systemd astroturfers on this site than it does those of us who prefer the alternatives. And yes, it does reveal you as a bully as well as an idiot.

Techdirt: Amnesty International Told That GCHQ Spied On Its Communications->

Amnesty International has been heavily engaged in fights against mass surveillance, recognizing that many of the people it communicates with need an expectation of privacy in their communications with the group. Last year, Ed Snowden revealed that the NSA specifically spied on Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. And, while Amnesty International was unable to gain standing by the US Supreme Court, since it couldn't prove that the NSA had spied on its communications, the story appears to be somewhat different over in the UK.

Last year a legal challenge was filed in the UK via the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) concerning Amnesty International. And now, the group has been informed that, yes, it was spied on by GCHQ in the UK.

In a shocking revelation, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today notified Amnesty International that UK government agencies had spied on the organization by intercepting, accessing and storing its communications.

In an email sent today, the Tribunal informed Amnesty International its 22 June ruling had mistakenly identified one of two NGOs which it found had been subjected to unlawful surveillance by the UK government. Today’s communication makes clear that it was actually Amnesty International Ltd, and not the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) that was spied on in addition to the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa.
As you may recall, a little over a week ago, the IPT had ruled that the GCHQ had erred in holding onto emails too long -- but had named that Egyptian organization as the one whose emails were held. However, that's now been corrected to Amnesty International.

The actual email sent by the IPT basically says that GCHQ told them that the IPT made a mistake. What you won't see anywhere is an apology from GCHQ. Amnesty is rightfully incensed about the whole thing:

“How can we be expected to carry out our crucial work around the world if human rights defenders and victims of abuses can now credibly believe their confidential correspondence with us is likely to end up in the hands of governments?

“The revelation that the UK government has been spying on Amnesty International highlights the gross inadequacies in the UK’s surveillance legislation. If they hadn’t stored our communications for longer than they were allowed to by internal guidelines, we would never even have known. What’s worse, this would have been considered perfectly lawful.”
Both issues raised here are significant. The only reason Amnesty now knows about this is because GCHQ held onto the emails too long. If it had done its usual purge, then the IPT likely would never have revealed that, and Amnesty's communications would have continued to go on being compromised without anyone knowing.

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Comment: Dragonfly BSD, Funtoo, and (for now) Gentoo (Score 1) 168 168

I'm happy to see that you don't hate systemd. That was the last shoe to drop. I'll complete the switch to BSD now!

Dragonfly BSD works quite well on the desktop, as does Funtoo Linux, which is systemd-free. Gentoo also works and still uses OpenRC by default, although there is growing concern some of the devs are quietly preparing to push a systemd agenda (kdbus patches in the kernel, one of the devs commenting he hopes systemd would become the Gentoo default, and a habit of the moderators in the Gentoo forums to shut down any discussions critical of systemd).

Linus may not be showing good leadership in this instance, but not everyone has drunk the urine just yet, and there are others stepping up to the plate to maintain or create alternatives.

Comment: Re:Copyright Law (Score 3, Insightful) 190 190

They must defend their trademark, and unfortunately, a lawsuit is the only way that the courts will recognize it. If they didn't, then anyone could use their non-response to the workbetter domain name as evidence to take their trademark.

It seems to me that if someone else was using the same name for 16 years prior to them and they claim that it's confusingly similar, they're effectively arguing that their trademark is invalid. Either they had a trademark and spent 16 years not enforcing it, or they failed to notice/mention prior art when they applied for it.

+ - ITER won't be ready until 2027->

Taco Cowboy writes: Started back in 1985, the ITER, (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project has suffered repeated delays and cost overruns, so much so that the first plasma originally scheduled for 2019 is "clearly not feasible", according to Dr. Bernard Bigot, the newly appointed director general

Part of the reason for the slow progress is down to the way the project is structured. The European Union, as host party, will contribute up to about 50% of the costs and the other parties 10% each. However, technical decisions require consensus and because those relating to the design of components will inevitably impact some parties more than others, it is difficult to reach. In one case discussions dragged on for six years without a definitive answer. Without that decision work did not progress

Dr. Bigot decides that ITER must gear up to take a more decisive role in the project. “What was plaguing the project before is that there was confusion between the best technical solution and sharing of the cost," said Bigot. “Now I want just the best technical decision. The cost will be covered according to the share of the parties, reflecting the spirit of the ITER agreement"

Dr. Bigot's current aim is to accomplish the deuterium-tritium plasma (previously planned for March 2027), to a more realistic date. “We are now considering the best way to move on from the first plasma and rush as much as possible to the DT plasma, which will please the scientific community," Bigot said

ITER intends to step up to the plate whenever some parties face difficulties complying with the schedule for delivery of equipment by putting the interests of the project first, and redistribute tasks. For example, the organization has already taken charge of procurement of some components on behalf of domestic agencies, although they still remain responsible for the costs

Dr. Bigot stresses that the project is too far advanced for design changes, with more than €7 billion of procurement contracts in place and over 1000 companies at work

“You could not just change [the scope] in the middle...you have to go, or stop." He concluded: "The time has come for the ITER Organization to demonstrate it is serious. The biggest risk is that we lose trust of the political leaders and public opinion, then the project would be dead"

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Comment: Weak-minded officials == corruption (Score 1) 226 226

Weak-minded government officials are an example of government corruption.

Anyone who accepted the idea, "not allowing parking lots was to push people into not having cars", was weak-minded. The idea was always to save the builders money, and have residents use the surrounding streets instead. The resulting lack of parking reduced the values of surrounding houses, because, for example, house owners could not have parties if their guests could not find a place to park.

Comment: Re:I use bing because I don't want there to be one (Score 1) 133 133

Google became better than everyone else but that only happened AFTER they became popular. Altavista was initially as good or better.

From what I recall at the time, Google was initially a good quality engine, but Altavista had a huge lead in the size of their index. At the time, the size of your web page index was considered the biggest factor in search quality and ranking algorithms were... important, but considered secondary. Once Google's bots reached a critical mass, their algorithms won.

Comment: Re:Kids don't understand sparse arrays (Score 1) 128 128

What happens to your 'standard' linked lists solution when you have ten values scattered over an array which is 1000! (factorial 1000) in each dimension? For most genuinely sparse arrays, a hashmap is a better approximation of an efficient implementation. Of course, there will be corner cases where you want to do something different, but linked lists strike me as an extremely poor solution except in arrays where more than about 10% of cells have data.

Comment: Re:TRWTF: List is used instead of Map (Score 1) 128 128

I should have read the linked questions before replying...

Stupid, stupid, STUPID! Why have numRows and numCols in a sparse array? Things with unnecessary, arbitrary bounds annoy me. My implementation of Conway's Game of Life runs on a sparse array precisely because that allows the world to stretch arbitrarily in any direction a glider goes, limited only by the capacity of the bignum library and the total store available to the program.

And this is how we teach computer science?

Sigh.

Comment: Re:TRWTF: List is used instead of Map (Score 1) 128 128

Sparse array entries, in general, are not necessarily immutable, although they may be so in this case. Most spreadsheets are implemented as sparse arrays, for example. But your point about the benefit of a map is well made.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce

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