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Comment: Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (Score 1) 103

by swillden (#47717329) Attached to: Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

It's not a popularity contest.

You missed the point. You can make such a license if you like, indeed many people have made them. But it is a popularity contest in that unless a significant number of people agree with your priorities and therefore choose to adopt your license, you won't have accomplished anything.

And, of course, the GP disagrees with your priorities and wouldn't use your license. I see both sides, but I think I'd probably shy away from a license with such vague and potentially far-reaching restrictions.

Comment: Re:Good questions - interesting answers (Score 1) 93

by swillden (#47717073) Attached to: Interviews: Bjarne Stroustrup Answers Your Questions

Maybe that's the problem? Can't we have the power of the sharp kitchen knife without the four years of training from Tibetan monks?

Sure. What we can't have is the power of the sharp kitchen knife, plus the compatibility with existing code and libraries without the four years of training.

I can teach a novice to use a nice, pleasant, safe and very powerful subset of modern C++ in a fairly short period of time... as long as the novice is only working on code written in that subset. If the novice starts looking at and modifying other code, though, all bets are off until he's done his years on the mountain top.

The way I see it, C++14 is a very nice language with a bunch of baggage you should just ignore... except when you have to use because you're working with code that already does. This means given a clean, modern codebase you should be able to hire a bunch of smart novices and get them productive fairly quickly. Just keep an old salt around who can answer their questions when they step outside of the nice subset.

Comment: Re:It's not a kernel problem (Score 1) 551

by swillden (#47716485) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

The problem is the GUI. People don't like X

Non-sequiteur. X has nothing to do with the GUI, at least not any part of the GUI users care about. X is merely the tool used to draw stuff on the screen; it says nothing about what gets drawn. Everything users care about, including what windows, buttons, fonts, etc., look like, how applications interact with one another, and whether or not all of the above is nicely integrated and looks like it belongs together has nothing to do with X.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 1) 261

by swillden (#47715307) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

count me out... this sort of stuff just makes me want to live on a remote tropical island and spend my days fishing.

Do you also insist on owning your own elevator?

I insist on living and working in locations where I don't need an elevator... a remote tropical island would work well for this.

Comment: Re:or they could just NOT do it (Score 1) 146

by swillden (#47714911) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

The DMCA doesn'y say anything at all about search results. It's about hosting allegedly infringing material.

Courts in the US have held that linking directly to infringing content constitutes contributory infringement. Linking to another site isn't infringement just because the other site doesn't want you to link and benefit from their material (Tickemaster v Tickets.com established that), but linking to infringing material on another site does.

(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor am I a Google spokesperson.)

Comment: Re:Google should be wary (Score 1) 146

by swillden (#47714817) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

While that may be true, the shareholders would riot in a damned hurry if the stock price were to tank because Google becomes less relevant.

Which would be relevant only if Larry, Sergey and Eric decided to allow it to be. As long as the three of them stay united, they outvote the rest of the shareholders combined.

Comment: Re:Google should be wary (Score 2) 146

by swillden (#47714799) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

These monopolies have billions in cash reserves to run them profitless for a very long time. Like decades.

Aside from the rather questionable assertion that Google is a monopoly, the company's cash reserves are nowhere near that large, or, rather, the company's expenses are much larger than you believe. Last I heard, Google has cash reserves of ~$60B (which, note, aren't actually cash; you don't leave that much capital sitting idle), and annual operational costs of about $40B. How long Google could continue to operate with hugely decreased revenues depends on just how far the revenues declined, and how much economizing the company could do, but I strongly doubt that it would be "decades". If all advertising revenue derived from the search engine disappeared and Google didn't economize at all, it would be bankrupt in maybe three years.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but I don't speak for Google. Everything in this post is derived from public information.)

Comment: Re:Its been done (Score 1) 464

by swillden (#47714525) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Yes. Traffic jams happen because interchanges/intersections get saturated.

Actually, the study in question was on freeways, and it didn't necessarily have anything to do with interchanges, which are all rate-controlled in the area. One spot they found regularly jammed was just a rise in the road. The partially obstructed vision was enough to cause a few drivers to slow just a bit, which snowballed and then created a jam which moved backwards from the rise at a fairly constant rate of precession, two or three mph, IIRC. So after the jam moved away from the rise, there was *no* cause for it. It just self-sustained as drivers bunched up when approaching the jam.

There was a /. article on it. It was fascinating.

Comment: Not a single link (Score 4, Insightful) 261

by visionsofmcskill (#47713957) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

No links, Really? in many years of reading his site daily i'm not sure i recall when a story was posted without a single f*cking link to the source material or supporting info.

Perhaps this thing is entirely made up... i think ill start submitting stories now - or is this a Beta story?

Come on guys!!

Comment: Re:Its been done (Score 1) 464

by swillden (#47709115) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

I don't have a link handy, but a group (from Stanford, IIRC) did it as a study, rather than to make a point. They found that by driving slow (perhaps even below the speed limit) in a line, they could fix traffic jams. Not because of anything to do with speed limits, but rather just the dynamics of heavy traffic which can cause self-perpetuating jams, even though there is actually plenty of road capacity, no obstructions, etc. By creating a moving roadblock for a few miles and creating a gap that allowed the jam to unjam, they could quickly get traffic flowing smoothly.

Comment: Re:you must not have done well in math class (Score 1) 212

by swillden (#47707713) Attached to: Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

Maybe because places that don't have a problem with crime in the first place don't care about making laws to restrict access to weapons?

Perhaps. Assuming you're right, it leaves open the question of whether the restrictions actually affect the level of violence and in what direction. The assumption of the cities with high violence and tight restrictions is that the restrictions reduce violence. Though that assumption seems logical, history calls it into question. For example, both DC and Chicago saw massive increases in violence after they enacted their draconian restrictions. The rest of the country also saw rising violence at the same time, but nowhere near in the same degree. So perhaps the city leaders were prescient, saw the coming wave of violence and acted to mitigate it, or perhaps their action actually exacerbated it. Or maybe the restrictions made no difference at all.

My money is on restrictions increasing the violence, mainly because the restrictions only affect the law-abiding, which gives criminals an advantage, and eliminates their single biggest worry (per FBI studies, in which violent criminals overwhelmingly report that their biggest fear when committing a crime is that the target might be armed). We'll get a chance to see over the next few years, since DC and Chicago have been forced by the courts to loosen their restrictions dramatically.

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 4, Interesting) 435

by swillden (#47695381) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

The misogyny arises from the implied assumption that the woman is just the object of men's desire, that she has no will of her own or ability to act, except to comply with the wishes of whichever man reaches her. The story doesn't actually say any of that, but it is pretty strongly implied. There's also the implication that the physicist and engineer are male, but that's the lesser issue.

It's interesting to note that merely reversing the gender roles in the story causes the perceived problem to disappear, but doesn't address the real issue. This is because it's not the story itself that implies the misogyny, but the cultural subtext, and since that subtext assumes that men are actors and initiators that the man has decided to go along with the game. You can truly eliminate the problem by modifying the story to make the woman the organizer of the little game, which puts all three on equal footing. She's acting by setting the scenario up, the men are acting by deciding whether or not they wish to participate and if so, how.

The difference is subtle, but such subtle, unconscious biases in many different areas can and do often combine into significant -- though often completely unintentional -- bias against women.

As an aside, when we speak of the "objectification" of women, the original use of that word in that context means not object as in "thing", but object as in "direct object", from grammatical structure. The objectified person is one who is always acted upon rather than acting upon others. This story clearly indicates both meanings of the word: The woman in the story is an object of desire, in this case sexual. That's actually perfectly fine. Men and women both can be objects of sexual desire, and as long as the desire doesn't translate into unwelcome advances or into other negative effects, everyone appreciates being thought desirable. But the woman is also and object upon which the physicist or engineer will get to enact their will, and her will isn't relevant. That is the way in which objectification is negative.

Revising the story to make the woman the initiator of the game, while not removing the ability of the physicist and engineer to choose, makes all of the participants actors and none of them pure objects.

Comment: Re:Actually... (Score 1) 118

by swillden (#47692791) Attached to: No, a Huge Asteroid Is Not "Set To Wipe Out Life On Earth In 2880"

Everything I've read said it's very unlikely to hit Earth in 2880. One chance in three hundred does not "likely" make.

On the other hand, 1 in 300 is pretty close to the chance of a Straight coming up without a Draw....

If we can't figure out a way to reduce that probability to approximately zero sometime in the next 866 years, we deserve to get smashed.

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