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Comment: Re:Lift the gag order first... (Score 1) 381

Why hasn't it been released? Because two FCC commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly (the Republican ones) are refusing to submit their comments of record.

Can you provide some source for this claim? I tried googling for the guys' names, and while a lot of stuff in the context of net neutrality comes up, I didn't see anything specifically about this particular thing.

Comment: Re:Reader (Score 3, Interesting) 84

by tlambert (#49200337) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Too bad you didn't step up to the plate and become the maintainer, when Google offered to give the source code away to anyone who wanted to run their own "Google Reader" service.

It is not a problem of code, it is a problem of providing the service

When Google originally offered the code, they offered to host it on Google's hosted infrastructure service for a year, at no charge, until the project got up on its feet. There were no takers.

This will probably be moderated down as well... however, yes, "providing the service" is *exactly* the problem, and it's *exactly* why Google cancelled the thing when the back end hosting infrastructure APIs changed out from under the (unmaintained) Reader codebase. The maintainers had moved onto other projects.

And while Google could have either brought them back (the ones who wanted to revisit their old code), or they could have put new hires on the porting problem, and gotten Reader back on its feet on the new hosting infrastructure, it wouldn't have solved the basic problem.

The basic problem is that there was no sustainable revenue model for the service. Google's Reader service allowed the use of any client that someone cared to write, and a heck of a lot of people wanted to write clients that excluded advertising as a means of supporting the costs of running the service. Which would be fine, if there were any way to charge for it, *other* than advertising, which didn't break the client/back-end-service model, which is what people *liked most* about Reader in the first place.

So Google didn't throw good money after bad, and no one else stepped up to throw good money after bad, and (possibly) figure out some other way to monetize the service, such as changing the over the wire representation such that advertising was indistinguishable from content. Which wouldn't have worked, since that would just trigger an arms race for clever advertising exclusionary filtering in the display services, instead of at the protocol level.

So you're right: "it is a problem of providing the service", and the specific problem is "no one wanted to pay to do that".

Comment: Re:Android 4.3 (Score 1) 84

by tlambert (#49200117) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Abandoned while new devices with those versions are still being sold.

Those aren't "new devices", those are "old devices, still being manufactured by vendors who are unable to come up with new devices in a timely fashion", or they are "old devices that used to live in a warehouse, and which are now being sold at a discount, because no one would buy them otherwise".

Comment: Re:They do what they're paid to do... (Score 1) 381

Yeah it's amazing how clueless Congressional boiler plate responses can be. I've sent emails to my Congressman in favor of a particular new project and EVERY TIME I get back emails thanking me for sharing my opposition to it, with a long list of things he intends to do to prevent the project from ever happening.

It's almost like they don't care about the little people's views...

Comment: Re:sun? maybe, but who cares. (Score 1) 254

by m.dillon (#49198259) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Well, I think it was a combination of things, and Linux was certainly a part of the reason. But not the whole reason. There are several reasons why Sun finally died:

(1) Sun hardware just couldn't keep up with Intel. The many-threads model really only worked well for parallelization of database operations and not much else. Each individual cpu thread simply became too slow. And people stopped caring about database benchmarks because they were more a function of rapidly improving storage and networking technology than anything else. CPU performance stopped mattering so much and Sun's super-optimized core hardware advantage went right out the door along with it.

(2) Sun's utility software quickly fell behind linux and the BSDs. I began noticing this long before Sun actually sold out to Oracle. Sun's kernel stayed fairly relevant, Solaris wasn't bad... very solid in fact. But competing operating systems were also becoming more solid. But, OMG, the utililties were all 80s crap. Nobody growing up in today's world (or even the world of a decade ago) would be happy with a base Solaris install.

(3) Sun basically became like IBM... corporate only sales and screw making anything that could be bought by up-and-coming students. Solaris for x86 was never taken seriously by Sun, and thus never taken seriously by people outside of Sun. With students growing up on Linux (the younger age group) and the BSDs (my age group), Sun started losing market power as these generational shifts began moving into the workplace. Also, system needs by the web began changing. Sure there are still huge backend databases, but most of the services (and the related hardware) were becoming heavily distributed and Sun's hardware just didn't fit the model.

In fact, this is similar to the problems that SGI had. They were married to their hardware (don't get me started on Solaris for x86), the hardware became non-competitive and unpurchasable by smaller businesses or individuals, and the base software was locked into an 80's snapshot of hell. The system programmers lost sight of what people wanted and got tunnel vision, super-optimizing database paths and ignoring everything else. Problem is, people were more interested in the 'everything else' part.

It might be fine for the older IT types, but all the newcomers had grown up on Linux and the middle-agers had grown up on the BSDs. Their rotation into the workplace spelled Sun's death in very loud, clear terms that Sun pretty much ignored.

-Matt

Comment: Some things have improve, mostly gotten worse (Score 1) 254

by m.dillon (#49197869) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

While some things have improved in Firefox, much of the browser has gotten worse over time. Simple illustration... it leaks huge amounts of memory. After only 3 days of sitting around:

    UID PID PPID CPU PRI NI VSZ RSS WCHAN STAT TT TIME COMMAND
    101 164892 1738 128 230 0 1.45G 1.02G - R2L ?? 3d09:44 firefox -geometry +2820+80

After around 2 weeks the machine starts to swap. I've seen the image grow to over 6GB (with 4GB *active*) before I've had to kill it and start a fresh copy. WTF is firefox using all that memory for? It makes no sense whatsoever.

Other problems include severe instability, particularly with the file requestor (when uploading files), which results in seg-faults. And even with all the threading there seem to be severe interdependencies between tabs running javascript, so if one tab is javascript-heavy, it messes up the performance of other tabs.

The menu system is in a complete shambles, and I was really unhappy when the last upgrade changed my default search preferences to Yahoo without so much as a by-your-leave.

-Matt

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 182

The internet is certainly better off without the 50% which is complete bullshit.

50%? You're way under-estimating, especially if you go on a straight SNR ratio. One stupid auto-playing video that should have been a brief essay (happens on Yahoo all the time) is enough to make a page almost 100% pure bullshit.

Comment: Re:Ok then... (Score 5, Insightful) 229

by khasim (#49194899) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

It's just not the immediate end of the world as they may view it, but is being more sensitive to such things being crazy?

Their claims are what identify them as crazy.

From the summary:

Today, Lumsdaine views the thread connecting GPS and drones as part of a longer-term movement by military powers toward automated systems and compared today's conditions to the opening sequence of Terminator 2, where Sarah Connor laments that the survivors of Skynet's nuclear apocalypse "lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines."

When they start comparing reality to sci-fi apocalypse movies then there is a problem.

And when they start destroying things because of it, they've gone into "crazy" territory.

Comment: Re:If I can make it here I can make it anywhere... (Score 1) 680

by shutdown -p now (#49194729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I know so, so, so many Chinese people (both PRC and Taiwan, Malaysia, etc.) killing themselves to get their kids in the US because it has the best school and the top jobs.

The reason why they do it is because US citizenship is much more beneficial than their original one.

For someone who is already a citizen of a developed, stable Western European country, it's not anywhere near as one-sided as that.

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