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Comment: Re:Dave Cutler's work lives on (Score 1) 336

by softcoder (#44053989) Attached to: PDP-11 Still Working In Nuclear Plants - For 37 More Years

I remember it that Cutler left DEC when DEC would not develop a 32 bit real time OS, or a 32 bit PDP-11.
MS hired him partly to rescue NT development, which was in trouble, and partly because they wanted an Alpha ( the next great DEC chip) port of NT.
But I would sure like to know if Anonymous' post has any truth to it.
Sad to say MS's ethics are so bad that one cannot dismiss it out of hand.

Comment: How Does Apple Control This? (Score 1) 451

by softcoder (#42782593) Attached to: Apple Angers Mac Users With Silent Shutdown of Java 7

My wife has an an Apple MAC OS/X. I don't recall ever giving Apple permission to modify my machine. Does Apple have a back door built into all OS/X systems that allows them to disable whatever they want at will without me knowing? What else can they do? Should I be encrypting all my disk partitions?

Comment: Fool Me Twice? (Score 1) 913

by softcoder (#42710409) Attached to: Microsoft Blames PC Makers For Windows Failure

Maybe the reason that the H/w mfgs didn't commit heavily to Windows 8, is that they learned from the Novell WordPerfect disaster that you are a fool if you trust MS advance info. I can just see a mfg committing big money to a Windows 8 based touch machine, only to find out that MS had to change the API at the last minute to accomodate their own Surface Product. MS are perfectly capable of getting the industry to ramp up the hype for a Windows 8 based tablet, and then try to scoop the market by a) releasing their own competing tablet, and b) crippling those mfgs credulous enough to believe their advance specs by changing the API at lhe last minute. They have done it before.

Comment: FRAND Patents? (Score 1) 211

by softcoder (#40962469) Attached to: Microsoft Picks Another Web Standards Fight

Given Microsof'ts history I would be very leary of adopting any standard they proposed. There have been several standards that were adopted before people realized that they contained submarine patents. Microsoft typically proposes FRAND terms for their patents, and FRAND terms are incompatible with the GPL among other things. Any standard that requires FRAND licenses cannot in practice be used by FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).

Comment: Legal Problems. (Score 3, Insightful) 304

by softcoder (#40962435) Attached to: Rootbeer GPU Compiler Lets Almost Any Java Code Run On the GPU

Considering the approach that Oracle is taking of trying to copyright and charge license fees just for using the Java API's (see Oracle vs Google) I cant see any sane person developing on a non-Oracle provided Java platform. If they can sue Google for Dalvik they can certainly sue whoever deploys Rootbeer if they feel like it.

Comment: And the OS it runs is??? (Score 1) 185

by softcoder (#37904498) Attached to: China Builds 1-Petaflop Homegrown Supercomputer

Once again we have an article about a supercomputer going nuts over a bunch of hardware, without mentioning the software.
A supercomputer is made out of multiple chips the way a house is made from bricks, but a pile of chips is no more a supercomputer than
a pile of bricks is a house.
So what software makes the supercomputer useful?

Comment: Unix Copyrighted Code in Linux? Not likely. (Score 2, Interesting) 578

by softcoder (#32871422) Attached to: Claimed Proof That UNIX Code Was Copied Into Linux

Just because Linux and Unix have some of the same lines of code, does NOT mean that linux copied the code from unix.
The code could have come from BSD for example and in fact there are several instances where linux and Unix share (or shared) the same BSD code.

The code could also have come from implementing the Posix Standard. The PDF linked to seems to be an implementation of errno.h which I believe is part of the POSIX standard.
So again just because the code appears in Unix, does NOT mean that Unix had copyright ownership of that code.

To prove its case SCO would have had to prove that:
a) Linux had lines of code that were substantially similar to Unix. (some minor examples provided but even that was not definitive)
In fact the judge who supervised the discovery kept asking for details and at the end of the multi year discovery process, said, "Is this all you've got?"

b) Unix had copyrights to the code in question (again not proven)

c) SCO owned the Unix copyrights (again not proven)

d) SCO never granted the rights to use that code in any way. In fact Caldera (aka SCO) distributed a version of Linux under the GPL which in effect granted GPL license to any of their code that happened to be in Linux.

So even if all of a, b, and c were true,
they STILL did not have a case for infringement.
I almost wish that SCO had owned the UNIX copyrights, because then this whole issue would have been resolved by now, instead of relying on Novell.


Comment: Books on DB Design (Score 1) 291

by softcoder (#32869690) Attached to: Good Database Design Books?

James Martin used to be considered an authority on this stuff back in the days of Big Iron.
He has written a couple of books on DB design, including relational DB design.
Having said that, there has been a huge advance in technology, and in the SQL language since his day.
The principles remain sound, especially for Relational DB's but the implementations may be different.

There is one other thing to consider. What type of queries will you be making against the million row tables?
OLTP queries where you expect to get one or two records back, or Decision Management queries where you will get several hundred or thousand rows back that
will then be summarized in some sort of report/spreadsheet/graph?

In the first case traditional relational DB design with SQL is probably still OK. In the second case there are new ways to approach this, with the table designs being based on columns
and not on rows.

Comment: Lenski's answer is good. Jones' is not. (Score 4, Interesting) 701

by softcoder (#32869554) Attached to: Climategate and the Need For Greater Scientific Openness

Jones should take a lesson from Richard Lenski (see)

There is an answer that makes a lot of sense. He too has spent 20+ years generating data.

There is legitimate concern that the data would be 'misquoted'. However Jones' answer leaves a lot to be desired.
Compare to Lenski's answer where he does agree to provide data (and perhaps samples?) to legitimate requests.
Even if the request is from a news organization you suspect is out to disprove your conclusions, that is not in itself a valid reason to refuse. If you want your conclusions to be put into action in the real world (i.e. political decisions regarding car emissions, carbon taxes etc.) you should be prepared to go through the political process. Messy perhaps, but necessary.

Comment: Re:Formal recognition of PJ's contribution to law (Score 1) 123

by softcoder (#26353933) Attached to: Groklaw Shifts Gears, Now Stressing Preservation

Second the motion!
It is true that PJ's original intent was to document the SCO case for posterity. Initially she did not have a real opinion about SCO. She was looking forward to the trial and observing the tactics of two sets of high profile lawyers. That changed pretty quick of course once SCO and their lawyers showed their true colors.
But still the original mission of Groklaw - to document in depth the SCO trial - is accomplished.
In the process she has also shown the power of harnessing the FOSS methodology to other fields.
There is nothing stopping the ACLU, or the EFF, or anyone else from doing the same about issues that matter to them, but we cant really expect PJ to be the one to do it.
An honorary doctorate in LAW for PJ sounds like an excellent idea. Maybe at the next OSCON? Tell Tim O'Reilly to start promoting it!

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.