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Comment: Re:Why two separate procs? (Score 1) 147

by the donner party (#29624741) Attached to: ARM and Dual-Atom Processors in New Portables

Considering the Nokia N810 and N900, and the Atom netbook they recently launched, there is potential that Nokia might come up with an ARM based cheap netbook one day. Dell is also a potential contender, they have made moves towards both Linux and ARM, but maybe they are still too wedded to Intel & WIndows to make a push to a new market.

Comment: Re:On open source (Score 1) 275

by the donner party (#29567175) Attached to: How To Save $1 Trillion a Year With Open Source

Doctors, lawyers, engineers and even construction workers get paid for doing their work once, as a service, for someone who needs expertise on their specific problem. They don't wait around to get paid in perpetuity for work they did once a long time ago, as is the custom in considerable parts of the software industry. Is it so unbelievable that the same model as used by other professionals could also work for software development?

You'll also notice that lawyers, who are uniquely qualified to lobby for new kinds of government regulation, are quite happy with the status quo. In particular, they could lobby for patents for legal strategies, or stronger copyrights for legal opinions. On the contrary, what lawyers do is much closer to open source software in that they share common arguments and legal strategies with no compensation whatsoever for the original inventor.

Comment: Re:"the NPG's taxpayer-funded mission" (Score 1) 526

I really have a hard time understanding this idea that investing a lot of effort into making a good reproduction should give the copier rights over the work. Why should the legal status of the end result depend on how it was created?

In all fields of endeavour, what takes little effort for one person can take enormous effort for another, and can even be entirely out of the reach of others of lesser skill, yet the end results are treated the same, legally. And surely the mere presence of effort cannot justify protection, unless the end result is something that is worthy of protection in itself?

Comment: Re:LaTeX (Score 1) 338

by the donner party (#28568673) Attached to: HTML Tags For Academic Printing?
Interestingly, Acrobat Reader v9 contains an option to reflow the PDF text for easier reading. (Of course standard PDF doesn't contain enough information to do a good job: the one time I tried it on a LaTeX-generated PDF, it mixed up the lines from two columns, and even missed a lot of inter-word spaces. Maybe it works better on simpler one-column PDFs, or maybe it needs some new extensions to the PDF standard to work properly.)

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 140

by the donner party (#28218889) Attached to: Arrington's Web Tablet Nearly Ready For Launch?
A would-be enterpreneur with a realistic view of his prospects is far less likely to take the leap and start a company than someone who thinks he is smarter and more business-savvy than anyone else around. And god knows there is no shortage of the latter sort of people, especially in the blogging circles.

Comment: Re:Duh! (Score 1) 309

by the donner party (#27714811) Attached to: Digital Schwarzenegger Set For New 'Terminator'
Well, way back when even terminal connections could be implemented in multiple incompatible ways and you had to configure each end properly to get the text interface to work without glitches. If you got some setting wrong, pressing backspace could result in the letters ^H appearing on screen, instead of deleting the previous character. That's what the inside joke is about. In a 1990 usenet discussion you could actually expect everyone involved to have at one time or another encountered problems like that, so the joke didn't need explaining.

Comment: Re:I have an easier solution: (Score 1) 354

by the donner party (#27553293) Attached to: Can rev="canonical" Replace URL-Shortening Services?
Concatenating messages is actually a standard GSM SMS feature and has been for a decade now: you write a message longer than 160 characters, the phone sends it as multiple messages and the recipient's phone assembles the messages back together. The only point where you notice something odd going on is at the receiving end, when there can be a couple of seconds delay before you can read more than the first 160 characters. Is the problem that they don't support this on US carriers?

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.

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