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Comment: FOP? (Score 2) 132

by sgrover (#47628221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Not sure how current it is, but when I was looking for the same a few years back all that was really available for PHP was HTML->PDF libraries which were not sufficient for anything but the most basic forms. A decent invoice form was hard to get right with these tools. Then I came across FOP. Or more specifically XML-FOP. Combine that with a little XSL and the output was amazing, and could do more than the HTML converters. The only problem is that the FOP tool was a Java based program so PHP would need to execute a shell command to call it. With tight control of what info was passed to that shell command, it seemed an appropriate trade-off for the job at hand. You can still get FOP in the ubuntu repos - apt-get install fop. The learning curve for FOP is a little steep to begin, but no more than any other XML dialect. And being XML, you have a lot of options in building the required FOP file. I opted to put my data into my own XML file, then utilize an XSL file to convert it if/when needed. More details here:

Comment: Re:At least it wasn't an Aztek (Score 1) 94

by sgrover (#46103697) Attached to: Slashdot PT Cruiser Spotted In the Wild

I was told something similar about Ford/Mercury Sables a few years back. I think it has a lot to do with how many of the cars were sold in a given year, and how long that model can expect before a break down. If there were a LOT of PT Cruisers sold in a given year, and we could expect a 5 year average (for example) before a significant malfunction, then in that 5th year tow truck drivers would see a significant number of PT Cruisers on their hoists - regardless of the quality of the vehicle.

Comment: What kind of tree? (Score 2) 692

by sgrover (#46011279) Attached to: Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview

Back when location services were just ramping up, I was interviewed for a position on a team building such services. By the WHOLE 15 person team (warning #1). After a few rapid fire questions they hit me out of the blue with "What kind of tree would you be, if you could be a tree?". My response was "Who'd the fuck want to be a TREE!!??!!" Needless to say I didn't get the job. Been thankful ever since - that company was not there less than a year later.

Comment: Partly BS (Score 1, Informative) 100

by sgrover (#45557697) Attached to: Open Source In the Datacenter: It Was Never About Innovation

Some of your premise is correct - charging for "copyrighted works" is perfectly fine, and even supported by the idea of Open Source. But, your GPL Violations list and general dis'ing of GPL is BS, IMO.

1. GPL does not prohibit commercial use of software. GPL simply states "respect the applicable licenses".
2. Making use of a GPL library does NOT automatically make my code assume a GPL license. If I use libraryX that is GPL'd, then yes, I need to respect the license for that library and ensure I include the source code for that library with my package. Any changes I may feel I need to make to that library fall under the license for the library and needs to be included in the source code. However, the rest of MY code get's whatever license I want to give it - I just can't override the license for the library itself.
3. Given point 2, then your point three is utterly wrong. If I can set the license for my app as I choose, while respecting the licenses of any sub-systems I may use, I can still charge what I want for my app.
4. Apply your point 4 to Microsoft. After all, you can't say they don't keep the license gun to your head and they clearly benefit nicely. But then apply the same to Red Hat, who is a billion dollar company built using GPL based software. Nobody benefits - yeah right.

You need to understand the licensing quagmire better rather than just spewing out someone else's story. Yes, that is someone else's story - I've heard this one too many times over the past 20 years and every instance has proven to be crappy propaganda put out by those whose bottom line is threatened by Open Source and Free software.

Comment: Re:PR Spin (Score 3, Interesting) 201

by sgrover (#45028915) Attached to: Apple and Nokia Outraged That Samsung Lawyers Leaked Patent License Terms

That's a pretty one sided summary. Where's the comments that the auto-deleting emails was done by apple as well? Where's the comments that apple was investigated for price fixing wrt ebooks? Or the details that the jury that awarded billions to Apple is under scrutiny for improprieties. This response is so one sided it has to be an Apple fanboi (at best) or an outright shill that wrote that article. BTW, if it is Florian Muller, then yes a known and outright shill for the anti-open source agenda. The truth is not found at the extremes of a topic like this.

Comment: PR Spin (Score 1) 201

by sgrover (#45027747) Attached to: Apple and Nokia Outraged That Samsung Lawyers Leaked Patent License Terms

Why does this read like a PR document written by Apple to sway public opinion? Both parties have come close or outright crossed the ethical lines in their various legal battles. Finger waving or sanctioning a lawyer here or there does not change the core issues. Rather is distracts from the core issues and gains sentiment (or attempts to).

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 348

by sgrover (#43571933) Attached to: What's Holding Back 3-D Printing

If you follow that logic, then simple milling machines would be outlawed too. After all, with a milling machine one could make a gun from plastic just as easily as metal. The genie is out of the bottle and there is no way to put it back in with regards to 3D Printing, and even printing a gun. But, personal responsibility still applies - if you actually print a gun and then use it illicitly, you are still subject to all the laws involved. While you are doing that, 99.9% of the others who own 3D Printers will continue their lives and likely never have a need to print a gun.

Comment: Re:Nice, but incremental (Score 2) 91

by sgrover (#42344637) Attached to: 3D Printer Round-Up: Cube 3D, Up! Mini, and Solidoodle

So close yet so far. Your two complaints would seem to be a reflection of your own limited experiences. A properly tuned Replicator 1 prints ABS with little or no smell. Or just slapping on side panels and a hood does wonders to minimize that particular effect (not to mention it keeps the chamber air more stable and minimizes peeling). As for overhangs, I've seen up to 2cm with only a little issue, 1cm is about as smooth as you'd get with 2mm - depending on the model and tuning.

PLA is starch based, not corn based. In the US it just happens that corn is a cheap/easy source for starch. In New Zealand they use goats milk. So in a sense you are only partially correct about the corn. MBI has not abandoned ABS - the Rep2 removed the elements of the Rep1 that was most troublesome - i.e. a heated platform that has had electrical issues and levelling it properly (for both extruders at once) has proven to be a stumbling block for more novice users, getting rid of the second extruder also removes a bunch of headaches - some again related to levelling. Moving to PLA means they could get rid of the troublesome platform and operate at lower temperatures. But the Rep2X has already been announced which restores the heated platform and second extruder. ABS is not going away anytime soon.

Comment: Re:ubunutu is for noobs and lamers (Score 1) 280

by sgrover (#41612727) Attached to: Ubuntu Asks Users To Pay What They Want

noobs and lamers, sure. But also businesses, non-profits, and other organizations looking for a low cost solution to their computing needs - including the maintenance side of the equation.

Go back a year or two, and anyone who wanted a low maintenance system was considering Ubuntu, if not outright installing/using it. Now-a-days though, that "low maintenance" target is slowly disappearing. KDE/Gnome do wonders for the low maintenance thing (maybe not Gnome so much these days), but the underlying system is starting to need more effort than I'd care to spend. My day job is to write code - not maintain systems. So the less time I can spend doing system maintenance, or learning yet another distro in the hopes of finding the low maintenance nirvana, the more time I have to actually be making money for the work I get paid for (i.e. writing code). In that context Ubuntu is still a valid option. But only considering that I immediately ditch unity and install Kubuntu desktop environment (mixed luck installing Kubuntu directly over the years) and have semi-scripted setting up my dev environment. But with the push for cash - amazon and now the "show us some love/cash" efforts, I'm fairly certain that I'm looking at Red Hat/Fedora for my next install. Or maybe Debian, though it seems to need more effort to set up right...)

Comment: Re:Do beef cows have rights? (Score 1) 288

by sgrover (#41228583) Attached to: Social Robots May Gain Legal Rights, Says MIT Researcher

children, mentally/physically impaired people, etc. inherit the rights that we "humans" have fought for. They are after all human as well. "Pets" have collectively found some rights - mostly via compassion (that's a Good Thing!) and some by the fact that they fight to avoid doing things they don't want to do.

As for whether society agrees with this, ask women's rights activists, gay rights activists, the slaves, etc. In the end, they all had to stand up and fight for their rights in one way or another (physically or legally) before society recognized those rights. (that's a bit of a broad brush I know, but the point still stands, I think.)

For me, if a robot fights for it's rights - physically or legally - and is not just exercising a finite program (i.e. was not specifically programmed to do so, but rather makes generalizations), then I have no problem granting robots rights. The tricky part is the same divide between simulated intelligence and actual intelligence.

Comment: Re:Do beef cows have rights? (Score 1) 288

by sgrover (#41227349) Attached to: Social Robots May Gain Legal Rights, Says MIT Researcher

Only those who fight for their rights have rights. Ever try to put a cat in a cage it didn't want to go into? That cat has rights. Robots that are not programmed to know about rights, and therefore cannot fight to protect them, do not. If cows were to start fighting for their rights, then we'd need to find another food source. :)

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.