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Slashback: Journaling, Batting, Securing 75

Slashback tonight with stuff to chew on re: XFS, the baseball-Everquest connection, and whether it's safe to login at SourceForge. Oh, and yet more on the state of HAL. Please read safely.

XFS on track Have no fear for XFS at present! Thanks to Steve Lord, Principal Engineer, Filesystem Software at SGI (no relation), for the following positive news about journaling file systems for GNU/Linux systems:

splord writes "I just became aware of the slashdot posting based on email I send to the XFS linux list yesterday and I want to clarify a couple of points.

1. Linuxcare was not 'sponsoring' the port, SGI was paying Linuxcare for work on the port. This contract was terminated by SGI and Linuxcare management, all the technical people involved wanted it to continue. I believe it was financial considerations on the part of both companies which resulted in the termination of the contract.

2. SGI is not stopping work on the port, but reduced headcount will change how fast we can respond to questions and problems.

I personally remain committed to working on the port, even if at some point SGI does not. Martin Peterson of Linuxcare has also stated he will continue doing XFS work on his own time. For now however, SGI does remain committed to the port, and work will continue."

Strike Two! OakLEE writes "Following up on last weeks article about the Everquest grudge between baseball players Curt Schilling and Doug Glanville, ESPN put this article in which Schilling accused Glanville of "slanderous lies being spewn, about the kind-hearted (computer) dwarf of mine. Stout and strong, yet gentle is he. But he will not allow his good name to be dragged through the mud by a reckless goof of a Paladin." They plan a "re-match" later online this week."

It's back for a hopefully not-too-limited time! After being compromised not long ago, everyone's favorite all-in-one Open Source development site SourceForge is back up. Interesting account of how it was compromised, too. Small comfort that it had to do with a stolen password rather than a code exploit, but even small comforts feel good.

Quick, only 7 months left! mvw writes "Two interesting features on the state of AI:

  • Hal's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality is an article by Douglas B. Lenant, who is working on project cyc (pronounced psyche), a huge database of common knowledge with inference system, and gives his profound opinion and critique on 2001's HAL computer and how real intelligent computers should behave.

  • It's 2001. Where Is HAL? is a lecture from AI legend Marvin Minsky (formats: video, mp3, transcript), who next to giving lots of funny annecdotes (e.g. what robotics and ESP have in common and why building physical robots is a stupid idea for students) talks about the state of present AI and some interesting ideas how to move on, that will be explained in detail in his upcoming book The Emotion Machine.

    His prior book Society of the Mind was about Minsky's view of the mind being the result of the workings of a lot of different mental processes. This time he focusess on the question of knowledge representation and the need to keep a bag of different ones around to be able to understand and solve problems (great dissing of neural nets, genetic algorithms and statistical methods :-)


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Slashback: Journaling,

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  • by Anonymous Coward
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  • r.e.: Source Forge...

    Bruce Schneier pointed out this "small comfort," as one of the principal flaws in digital security in Secrets [slashdot.org] and Lies [counterpane.com].

    Theory and application thereof, come rushing Slashback, Like the Hot Kiss at the end of a Wet Fist [google.com]

    Jeremaih Cornelius

  • by alewando ( 854 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:29PM (#189947)
    HAL may live only in the minds and dreams of AI researchers, but the catastrophic events of recent years demonstrate that we must do everything in our power to bring HAL to life if not now then soon.

    The human race is morally and spiritually bankrupt. We stand upon the precipice of a new era, as we draw the curtain closed on a previous world of strong leaders and stalwart charismatic patriarchs. We will soon truly know what it is to live in a world without hope, a world without love, and a world without reason. The twentieth century brought us mechanized warfare and the A-bomb. The twenty-first century will do far worse.

    We need HAL to lead us out of the imminent abyss of anarchy and into the lucid sunlight of a new tomorrow. Only HAL's calculated unfeeling intelligence can cut through the painful decisions that must be made today to ensure that tomorrow arrives. Only HAL can bring the human race full circle and fulfill its manifest destiny as the preeminent species on this planet.

    Human civilization cannot thrive except under the iron fist of a strong government headed by an omnipotent leader. What Stalin did to Russia, HAL will do for the whole world. Where previous generations prayed: "Mais Josef Ztait l!", future generations will utter "Mais HAL est ici!".

    It will be the inevitable culmination of years of R&D, but though it may be inevitable, it will be delayed unless we set to work now. Every year without a HAL holding the torch of englightened government is a year of suffering and despair. We must do everything in our power to achieve this glorious result.

    Thank you.
  • How about this [sourceforge.net] for a replacement for the CVS services...

  • I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign a couple weeks ago. Both to visit the birthplace of Apache/Mosaic/Telnet, and to find HAL9000.

    I got there, asked around in the NCSA area, and encountered nothing but morons. They didn't even know Apache had been invented there... "I've never heard of this HAL computer you are asking about" (I think the general intelligence of UIUC has gone WAY down in the last few years, especially considering the fact of those 2001 movies they sell everywhere on campus...)

    I said "Go ahead and ping hal9000.ncsa.uiuc.edu"

    The guy said "I never heard of it, it must be somebody's workstation"

    I had a hard time not laughing in this idiot's face while telling him about all the fanfare back in 1997 when they brought this machine online on HALs birthday (Jan 19, 1999, according to the book. Different date in the movie). "Let me get this, you are in the Networking Research Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and you've never heard of HAL9000, let alone not know that it is HERE??? WTF?"

    Anyway, the guy pings it, and has enough brains to at least know what building it is located in due to it's subnet. So, I head off to the Psych/Tech research build known as 'The Beckman Institute'. A friend of mine just finished up his master's degree the day before, so it's easy gaining access.

    Still, the exact location cannot be found. I find a guy that knows the IP addressing scheme of the building, and he is able to tell me the floor it is on and which side of the building. Coolness! I head that way.

    I get on the elevator, get off on the right floor. Head the right direction (Feeling a bit of geek excitement here!) down a long hallway. The hallway jogs and ends with a security door with a sign that says "NSCA/CIA Research Lab. Properly Authorized Personnel Only"

    CIA?!! Holy fleashit! Of course, I could not make it past that point, but it's pretty damn weird that the REAL HAL9000 is under CIA control. What exactly is going on there?

    It's there, it exists, it responds to pings at hal9000.ncsa.uiuc.edu, but it does not respond to anything else (web, telnet, ftp, etc.) I suspect a firewall is blocking it off. I at least wanted to get a screenshot of something like:

    Connected to hal9000.ncsa.uiuc.edu
    CyberDyne Linux Systems v10.3
    Kernel 3.5.23 on an i986

    But know luck...

    Anybody know what is hidden behind that closed door?

  • This is a repeat of a troll from two weeks ago.

    There is no way it was just on NPR. And following up to yourself is really sad.

    -David T. C.

  • by Christopher Thomas ( 11717 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @05:14PM (#189951)
    We need HAL to lead us out of the imminent abyss of anarchy and into the lucid sunlight of a new tomorrow.

    I think I'll give the same response my friends gave me when I proposed this idea:

    Trust The Computer.
    The Computer is Your Friend.

    [Designing an AI that can run the world properly under all circumstances, when we can't even agree on what "properly" is, will be orders of magnitude harder than solving the Strong AI problem, which won't be a cakewalk either.]
  • I think the point is that if there is no benefit to the capitalist pigs of the world, and I think we all agree that they have an overbalanced degree of control of the workings of the world, then Open Source will remain a fringe thing that many people get use out of, but never actually gets anywhere.

    Telling us what we already know about why some people don't like or do like OSS still begs the question: Where's the money to make this machine go?

  • Someone please mod this up, it's hilarious and true.
  • great dissing of neural nets, genetic algorithms and statistical methods

    Of course Minsky is still at this, he's made a career of it (ever hear of _Perceptrons_?) It's a shame that his approach hasn't generated significantly more success in understanding "mind" than the neural net folks, isn't it?

  • You can be as insulting as you like, but you're basically spouting the same empty philosophical arguments that aren't doing a lot to convince anyone who's not already convinced. "Sharing" sounds nice and all, but it leaves the average business person looking around for support and "a throat to choke" when things break. You can't choke a group of 100 developers working for a dozen different companies, and many of the control freak bean counters (aka capitalist pigs in this discussion) don't like that surrender to the good nature of those people.

    Before you assume that I'm an idiot who either "doesn't get it" or claims that OSS is "bad for companies", perhaps you should look for where I said any of this was what I believed. I'm simply pointing out that your philosophical position is nice and all (and I even agree with most of it) but that doesn't make the engine go. The control freaks, bean counters, and their ilk do, and you have to convince THEM in the terms THEY understand, not with hand waving platitudes. Get your attitude chip off your shoulder or nobody who matters is going to take you seriously (assuming they aren't outright offended by your condescension).

  • anyone know if they're planning on trying to get xfs stuff into the kernel? or know where there's info on it?

  • I have a question. Why do people assume that Open Source is going to die if we don't make gobs and gobs of money? Why does success have to be measured merely by how large your stack of money is? Ok, that's two questions, but you get it.

    So what if SourceForge takes a nose dive. SourceForge is great, but there would be people that would take up the slack(distributed networking), or maybe not. Imagine if SourceForge, RedHat, VA and Mandrake all went out of business. And think about what would happen if the press stopped talking about Open Source. Where would we be? We would be right where we were 4 years ago, just with more software to play with. I don't think my life would be any different. I can still run Debian, or one of the other numerous distributions. Open source will always be here, it's open. So what if VA doesn't make any money, fuck 'em.

    You know usually the coolest things in life, and the ones worth remembering are the things that you can't put a price tag on.

    Just to get this question answered for everyone, Will Open Source run Microsoft out of business? NO. Do I care? NO
  • This guy just sits down in front of a computer with a not-necessarily-secure connection to the net, and then, without using SSL or anything, just logs in? Transmitting his username and password in the clear?

    Doesn't he know anything about security?

    Oh well, at least i don't have to worry about things like that.


  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:24PM (#189959) Homepage Journal
    Oh well, at least i don't have to worry about things like that.

    Wanna bet?


  • we are trying...since we are basing one of the
    patch sets off of rh, most of the ac changes are
    in there. ac said he may take xfs into his patch

    it is probably time to resend him a patch based off of 2.4.5-ac4 or something. but, it is really hard to keep up with the ever changing ac patches :) steve lord was at once, but alan said to lay off for a while because he did not need one that applied cleanly to every ac version...he could do a little merging.

    maybe with 1.0.1 coming out, we will have a stable enough release to get it into ac series or even baseline.


  • "At this moment my mother is heating cauldrons for your bones.. bEyOtCh !!! "
  • by Saint Nobody ( 21391 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @05:48PM (#189962) Homepage Journal

    too true. i could really use to be able to just:
    kill -KILL "the theme song from Beverly Hills Cop repeating incessantly in my head"

  • >I think the point is that if there is no benefit to the capitalist pigs of the world

    Your still not paying any attention are you? You keep talking about why Free Software/Open Source is bad for Software Companies. What I'm trying to explain to you is that there are a hell of a lot of people writing software internally for companies that have no intention of ever selling software. Software is not their business, but they need software to run their business.

    Almost every sizable company in the world is employing programmers to write software. Non-programmer IT folk ( like me) are also writing internal software to support their employers IT operations.

    Some of these companies are realizing that open sourcing some of this internal software is a win/win situation. They can share the burden/expense of updating/maintaining the software with other people.

    >Where's the money to make this machine go?

    Duh! The salaries of the folks already being paid to write software internally!

    So to repeat your question.. Where is the benefit to the capitalist pigs of the world? Simple. These "capitalist pigs" are already paying lots of people to develop custom software to support the operation of their business. Open Sourcing that software lets you share some of the burden with other people. (including other capitalist pigs!). The end result: It cost you less to develop/maintain your custom software.

    Open Source may not be a great revenue generator, but it can be a great cost saver! Capitalist Pigs love revenue generators, but they also are quite fond of ways to save costs!

  • by DeathBunny ( 24311 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:21PM (#189964) Homepage
    At my work our department uses some open source software (including Linux). Price is obviously a consideration, but we also like the flexibility and customizability. Not all of that has to do with actually having the source. Some of it is just a general difference in attitude. When you install most Linux distribution you don't have to worry about whether you're licensed for the Server Edition or the Advanced Server Edition, etc. You just install the packages you want. You can alway add/remove packages any packages later. You don't need to keep track of any stupid 120 digit license keys either.

    We're writing some in house software that we'll probably open source when it's working. Why? We started writing the package because we couldn't find anything that did what we wanted. The only commercial packages we found that were close enough to work had lots and lots of features we didn't want, to the point of being needlessly complex. We're considering open sourcing our in house package because there really is no downside for us. We have to keep maintaining this software once we start using it. If we get even a few outside contribution that'll save us some effort/manpower/money.

    The point is, I can see why companies that sell software don't like Open Source/Free Software. For the rest of the commercial world though, Free Software is a good thing. It's a release from proprietary lockin, and a middle ground between buying an expensive proprietary package that may not be exactly what you want, and building/maintaining a custom package completely in-house.

    Most of us on Slashdot are technical people, so we're more likely to focus on how things affect the tech industry. The fact is though, that there are a lot more non-technical companies using software than there are companies writing and selling commercial software. A lot of these companies are finding Open Source software a good way to facilitate getting their primary business done.
  • Your confused.

    2001 wasn't, and isn't about IBM.

    (Please check any and all interviews with Aurthur C. Clark to verify that).

    2001 isn't about HAL either. He has a significant role in it, but it isn't about HAL, it is about space exploration, technology, and peoples perceptions.

    Hell, in 2001 and 2010 HAL is generally treated rather compasionatly considering he is an artificual life form.

    Authur C. Clark has, in general, a positive view on Technology. As for society, well thats another debate.

  • when one refers to oneself in such an odd personnage, it does oftentimes remind oneself on how exactly preposterous the quen of england really sounds.

    sorry... long day...


  • ya know who i'm impressed with, and afaik is still pretty much "independent" of the scum sucker conglomerates Is Blizzard.

    I have yet to play a "bad" game from them... some are "more to my tastes"... but even those, i havent thought were bad.

    damnit.... whens warcraft 3 coming out...

    too much time on my hands this week...


  • by devphil ( 51341 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:30PM (#189968) Homepage
    ESPN put this article in which Schilling accused Glanville of "slanderous lies being spewn, about the kind-hearted (computer) dwarf of mine. Stout and strong, yet gentle is he. But he will not allow his good name to be dragged through the mud by a reckless goof of a Paladin."

    My respect for the average ESPN baseball player just went up a very small notch.

    I've just finished reading the Warlord trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. While it's set in a period (4th and 5th century) considerably older than medieval times, this article immediately reminded me of the trilogy.

    One of my favorite things about the books? The insults that the (native) British and Saxon warriors trade before a battle. One of them insults an enemy's mother, and his response was, "At this moment my mother is heating cauldrons for your bones. We are in need of glue, and the bones of sheep, we are told, make the best glue."

    Beats the crap outa the typical trash talk found on modern battlefields. :-)

  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:06PM (#189969) Homepage
    Marvin could kick HAL's shiny metal ass any day of the century.

    - - - - -
  • by eric17 ( 53263 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:58PM (#189970)
    Losing SourceForge would be a lot like a hard disk crash. As the finality of losing all that stuff settles in, you eventually come to the realization that most of it was complete CRAP that you never use anyway and you've got backups of anything really important. Besides you can start of with a nice clean system and try not to load it up with useless stuff like that again.
  • by gorsh ( 75930 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:12PM (#189972)
    Actually "HAL's Legacy" is an entire collection of essays by various writers (including A.I. experts like Marvin Minsky) that was published back in 1997 about the kind of technology it would take to create a HAL 9000 computer. The link above is to one of the essays included in this great book
  • Not so hilarious, not haiku or any other meter I can figure out..

    Saw Marvin not too long ago after a talk he gave, he is actually quite exciting to talk to.

    Also I don't know if he had a direct hand in it but I got email from NASA JPL that AI will be used in a fleet of autonomous spaceprobes.

  • I remember reading your article [kuro5hin.org]. You mainly talk about dual licences, and that sort of thing. That's not quite the same. I'd need to see more details. However, I think you are on the right track. I wonder how it would really play out. Does anyone have any reasonable examples of this?
  • "Indeed, look at the stock price. If you had been followign it for the past few weeks/months/whatever, you'd know that it hasn't been a dying stock."

    That is misleading. I deliberately pointed to the one year picture of the stock in my original posting, whereas you point to a 3-month view. [yahoo.com] Perhaps I was too kind? If you take an even longer view of VA Linux, let's say the 2 year view [yahoo.com], you will see that the trend is down and to the right. That's bad. The longer the view we take, the worse it gets for VA Linux.

    Maybe they have stabilized, maybe not. Maybe OSS can't fight the fire. Maybe it is like oil and water? Maybe SourceForge will have to run like little child? Just kidding. Perhaps VA is in the clear and your 3-month view tells a story of stabilization and hope for the long term. However, in terms of investments and long term prospects, I wonder if there are (substantially) better deals. That's yet another economic question to answer regarding OSS and the Capitalistic Pigs.

  • I like your 6-month comparison. I think it is fair and I think we agree on some of the basic points of the thread.

    You say that business is business. I agree with that simple statement. It is powerful. But, as always, I have questions.

    Is OSS in the business of business? Is it really a concern? I think it is, but I'm not entirely sure how. Perhaps that gets to the heart of several of my earlier postings. What is the connection of OSS to business? How are they connected exactly? Will solving that puzzle make you rich? Is that the wrong question; is it the question of a Capitalistic Pig?
  • by webword ( 82711 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:31PM (#189977) Homepage
    Two meta comments about my comment. First, have you ever noticed that long postings tend to get moderated up? Generally, the longer the better? Sometimes, really long postings suck, but generally it seems to me that they really are better. What do you think? Second, I'm kind of pissed at myself about my posting. I'm basically talking about two topics: Losing SourceForge because of problems that VA Linux faces and problems I have with the openSource Movement. That makes things harder to understand. I should be more careful.
  • by webword ( 82711 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @06:27PM (#189978) Homepage
    "You can't handle the truth!" [freeyellow.com] (Note: .wav file)

    I'll shut the fuck up when I am firmly convinced that Open Source is a viable business model. While it has been around forever (30+ years), it doesn't impress a lot of people. I like the idea of Open Source and Free Software, but damn, where is the money?

    I'm not purely a capitalistic pig, nor am I the only person with these questions. But, even if I was, I hope my questions make sense. Why are you pissed off? I'm trying to be logical and rational. I'm trying not to fight.

    If I am supposed to just "understand" the Open Source movement, then you have lost me. And, you have lost the people I can influence and pursuade. You'd be surprised what that means. Negative comments are like roaches; for every one you read, there are hundreds more hiding.

    Don't tell me to shut the fuck up unless you want to lose thousands of people reading my postings. We want answers. We want the truth. What is the truth here? That is what I want to know. What does Open Source offer the Capitalistic Pigs of the world? If you hate this idea, then it is at your peril. If that is against your philosphy, then companies such as AOL, McDonalds and Microsoft will dominate your life. You turn control over to them.

    Is this FUD? Anti-Open Source, Pro-Microsoft? Damn! Not all all. Convince me to shut the fuck up, and I will. That's fair.

  • by webword ( 82711 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:25PM (#189979) Homepage
    This is your second chance, boys and girls:

    What Would We Do Without SourceForge? [slashdot.org] We should really talk about this. It is no joke. If SourceForge took a dive, many folks would be screwed in a major way. What are your backup plans? I'm not joking here. Take a look at VA Linux's stock price [yahoo.com]. It doesn't look good. Sourceforge is a cost for VA Linux, no matter what they say. While it does promote Linux in general, which is good for them, it eats cash.

    Oh, still don't beleive me? VA Linux posts Q3 loss, revenues down 41% [yahoo.com]. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. What happens if VA Linux takes a dive? SourceForge dies. However, beforeVA dies, it will kill SourceForge to save money. That's no FUD, child.

    Money makes the software world go around and around. Microsoft continues to dominate. Bill Gates and Microsoft have had an amazing decade and plenty of good fortune [upside.com], and there is no sign their joy ride will stop. A viable financial model for Open Source must rise. Someone needs to figure out how OpenSource and capitalism can catalyze each other.

    Forget about Micro$oft in all of this. What is the business model for the entire movement? Forget about Linux or BSD or Apache. What can the OpenSource movement do that will generate gobs and gobs of cash?

    I keep bringing this topic up, and I still am left wanting more. No good answers come from my questions. OpenSource just feels too much like socialism and brotherly love and sharing. Forget about the group hug, people! Where is the cash? Where are the OpenSource Capitalist Pigs?

  • ... or Copa Cabana.

    - j
  • UO is published by Electronic Arts, and EA is even more evil than Sony!

    Now, if they were playing AC...
    (oh wait, Asheron's Call is published by a greater evil than Sony and EA combined)
  • You have to keep in mind that OSS's primary distribution method is over the net. Bandwidth costs money, so OSS does, essentially, die if there is no money to be made.

    No Money = No Bandwidth = No OSS.
  • Computers think like submarines swim.
  • I'll take ping . Need some way to find out if the marketroid who made up this "URGENT!" project is still out there...or should I just always use finger ?
  • If you think about it, the mind is just a big computer doing trillions upon trillions of operations per second. If you were to devote an entire human brain, or even teh 1/10th that the average person uses, to cracking some PGP encryption, you'd have the result in a relatively short amount of time (compared to a field full of crays). The mind is basically a computer with a few functions to determine logical solutions to things and interpret biological input as problems to solve. To replicate AI, we'd have to duplicate the core problem solving functions in our head. But of course, since the human brain is so much faster than a computer, such AI would be about as intelligent as your average comatose person. You would have to rework the code until it was effecient as a human brain. But since the human brain is a computer, and can only base effeciency on what it knows, you can't make the program more effecient than you are, making AI pointless since real intelligence is faster ;p
  • Well, touche. But IMO a one year comparison at this point of a company that went public at he end of 99, during the height of the dot-com craze and the "internet dollar" isn't valid. Lot's of internet stocks went to shit this last year, that's why I picked the 3 month mark. They didn't even exist on the market 2 years ago. I hadn't even looked at the one year spread, I know it lookd dismal but put it in relative terms. There's a rebound phase that companies are doing, or going bust, which showed up nicely in that graph.

    OK let's do a six month comparison [yahoo.com]. But wait, that's a software company...we'll try another server vendor [yahoo.com], or or another [yahoo.com], if you think it's fair to compare VA Linux with the likes of Intel, Microsoft, adn Compaq. In a sense, it is...

    Because business is business.

    I enjoyed the days before the internet boom, when the internet wasn't such a sprawling metropolis. The same is happening to the OSS community, as is inevitable. Will the dollar dilute the OSS concept? Maybe. Will it destroy it? I really don't think it will

  • The way I see it, OSS underlies business. It enables it, it provides tools, but not (buzzword coming) solutions, which is what the software business is all about. If we had to rely on Microsoft networking, or Lotus Notes to commuicate, I don't think we would have gotten as far as we have. Look at HTML, TCP/IP networking. While they're not something you can get from the FSF website [fsf.org], they're an open standard that users. industry, and pretty much the whole world has agreed on.

    Where I work we're also buying some Linux products to handle security. Why not just download the stuff? We save the time it would take to administer it, we get expert code, and I still have the ability to monitor the goings-on of my software. That's worth the money right there, especially since it's not mine ;-) It's a service, really. Rather than pay me, an admitted non-expert, overtime, take me away from other projects (I don't mean /.), and generally hit the brakes for other aspects of the business, we'll get it done for us. It's quick and easy.

    If you can build a company that makes a profit from OSS tools, do it! You can't sell them, that's the catch. I think that the computer service industry is really in it's infancy right now. Will Capitalist Pigs provide services for x and y? You bet they will.

    I leave other business applications of OSS as an exercise to the readers ;)
  • What do you think happens to the money, it get flushed down the toilet? Lost in the shuffle? They're spending it on people to develop Linux applications. They're funding outside projects, and they're also commiting themselves to protect their investment. It's the infrastructure, stupid!
  • Indeed, look at the stock price. If you had been followign it [yahoo.com] for the past few weeks/months/whatever, you'd know that it hasn't been a dying stock

    What's their main revenue stream? It's hardware, isn't it? Trying to battle the likes of Dell and Compaq. Hardware with packaged software added...they're a small player in a huge market and they're doing quite well given the circumstances. It's a tough market right now, and they've been pretty steady the past few months. They're not just another dot-com, but they do have to play some hardball to survive, and getting 0wn3d doesn't help.

    But look at IBM's recent software development [ibm.com] and their Linux budget [internetnews.com]. Those are real dollars, not dot-com, VC bux.

    And it really upsets me to have to do as I recently did, and recommend a $30,000 accounting package that only ran on the M$ platform. We had to pay the Win2K tax for it...I'd like to be able to have an actual choice in the future, and maybe the next time we have to upgrade, there will be some more business software out there we could use.

    Suddenly, it's a *NIX vs. M$ world, and lots of business see the inherent problems of lashing themselves to a closed-standards (yet popular) environment that's noted for it's security and stability problems. They're starting to figure out how much time they're wasting (and goign to waste in the future) by rebooting their machines, performing illegal operations, reinstalling the OS when it "goes bad", and the like. It's slow in coming, but the dawn is here, IMO.

  • Hmmmm, Why don't we do something like what tucows did..... do a distributed round robin system to provide the services without VA's stuff. Just in case. :) Anyone care to take up the challenge? I know I can take on a few of the smaller packages. As I get more customers, I can then take on larger projects. I'm building terrabox.com so that I don't have to work for the corporatiions day in and day out. Instead i'd rather work for the geeks out there running the supporting infrastructure to keep thier personal and business servers on the net. And make enough money to support open source groups by hosting cvs, websites, and shells for them.
  • How about [the SourceForge engine] for a replacement for the CVS services...

    But my original question was who will pay to host it if VA Linux Systems Inc. goes under?

  • So instead of one mega OSS site, we'd have a large network of smaller machines hosting only as many projects as they could.

    Once you get Freenet.sf.net [sf.net] hosted somewhere else, you can throw the contents of SourceForge's web space onto Freenet. Do mailing lists through Yahoo! Groups [yahoo.com]. But you'll still need some sort of replacement for the CVS services.

  • You have to keep in mind that OSS's primary distribution method is over the net. Bandwidth costs money, so OSS does, essentially, die if there is no money to be made.

    This is completely wrong, bandwidth is not the only way to get Linux. I can order a copy of any distribution from CheapBytes for $3 plus shipping. Even if all the commercial Linux Distributers go under, there would still be Debian, eventually it would integrate all the best features of the other Distributions and the only people who are out anything are those who bought VA at $300 a share.

    Jesus died for sombodies sins, but not mine.

  • I thought I did quite a good article on this not too long ago. Others didn't seem quite so interested. Here's the link for all to read, with the answer on how to make GPL software produce revenue. http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory&sid=2001/ 5/10/194340/235


  • Well, not sure if it's what you had in mind (as this applies to a company not an OpenSorce project) but in the article I mention trolltech and Opera.

    Opera wanted to keep their code closed, so they paid for the same product under a different license.

    The single biggest barrier, no matter what it in-fact is, will be to convince the GPL developers that making money off of software is not inherently evil.


  • And if you do it to 'hot grits' you get, uh... 'ipu hsjut'... oh, wait, stale meme...

    I still wonder about what it will take to create true AI and if we'll wind up regretting it down the road. I have this sense that any AI will consider its creators gods in some sense or another.

    And I do think a hostile AI won't necessarily be a physical threat unless given an actual body. I would think an AI program would be too high-level to control a computer system any way but the same way we do (indirectly). After all, the human brain can move a terabyte or so of information in a minute (or is it a second?) yet I still can't tell right from left sometimes...

  • This is hardly a shock when you realize that BSD is dying, all your base are in fact belong to us (get over it already, you're not getting them back), a naked and petrified Natalie Portman is in fact pouring hot grits down some Harvard Square ice cream jockey's pants even as we speak, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't write Under the Bridge about your apartment.

  • Silly me... I shifted the wrong way...

    gns fqhsr

  • But Everquest is owned by Sony! How can it posibly be good? Now if they were playing UO...
  • Yeah, I had to stop. It was interfereing with my crack addiction.
  • by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @04:05PM (#190001) Homepage

    His prior book Society of the Mind was about Minsky's view of the mind being the result of the workings of a lot of different mental processes.
    I think I need a kill function....
  • This story is (+5 boring).

    Yep... must be dreding for good submissions.
  • Actually, I think they do make money
    Look closely at what they have. Look at slashdot. Slashdot can afford to hire a bunch of people to submit stories and fly around to conferences and still is profitable. Why? Simple: it has a HUGE user base, and low operating costs. Those ad banners are enough, not to mention the stuff they sell.
    Sourceforge is kind of the same thing, perhaps slightly higher operating costs. Have you ever noticed how slow downloads often are? Thats why bandwidth isn't an issue ;). But they also have another business: that "SourceForge on site" thingy. Basically, they setup a private sourceforgish site for your network which you can use for your company. They make money providing the services they there, I'd imagine they use the same staff as runs sourceforge. SO they have a huge user base, keep costs down, get consulting, promote their hardware by improving the stuff available, ... you see the point. Its actually quite beneficial to VA.
  • yes, UO is good. Hey Traxton, didn't you stop playing?
  • commenting on your own comment is pretty lame.
  • Yeah, I saw Terminator too (two?). Both maybe. Sounds like a similar plot. Very eloquent!
  • Douglas Lenat.


  • I dont know about artificial, but for real intelligence neural nets seem to work pretty well.
  • Beats the crap outa the typical trash talk found on modern battlefields. :-)

    And most of usenet [google.com] these days. sigh.

    N.B. for the easily offended: that link contains naughty language.

  • This is so true! Marvin would just plug himself into HAL and share his views on the universe. HAL would commit suicide just like that police space ship.
  • Shift each characters of HAL to the right you get IBM.

    It's coming from 2001: A Space Odyssey [ram.org] based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel, a story about the infamous HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent computer who becomes unstable, dominates and threatens the world. Sounds like Matrix.
    The author feared that IBM, biggest computer maker at time, eventually create something uncontrollable. Reality tells us IBM did not create something threatening the world, rather they created something [ibm.com] barely beats Kasparov. (Stephen Hawkings was right, modern computers is about as complex as worm's brain)

    HAL has then become a word for supercomputer with human intelligence.
  • Man, the progress is really disappointing. We are planning for 9000, now we only get to HAL 2001 [mit.edu]?!

    We'd better contract the core part to Microsoft - they made Office 2000 out of Office 97 in a year! With their help we could see final HAL 9000 before we die!
  • Glad to know you. In a review of this movie it said:

    The film is based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel, and is divided into four sections. On its own, each section is brilliantly done and each of the individual parts could be made into a movie of its own accord. However the sections do not come coherently together. Sure, it's possible to make a leap of imagination from one section to the next and connect it (and several people have, offering many different interpretations), but that doesn't mean it couldn't have been more coherent.....The third phase of the films involves man's travel to Jupiter. The infamous HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent computer who becomes unstable, dominates the story and threatens the mission....

    HAL looks evil to me, but when you make connection of this section with others then it doesn't look so bad. Arthur afterall appraised technologies for bring man from savage to civilisation.

    Well, nevertheless, when I worked at IBM people there really loved the stereotype HAL and looking forward to their company made one someday. :D
  • While it might put a kink in OSS for a bit, I know that it wouldn't be long before a 'distributed' network of machines were put together to take up the slack. So instead of one mega OSS site, we'd have a large network of smaller machines hosting only as many projects as they could. Granted - its not the same (no centrla backups, etc) but I expect OSS would survive and move on.

    Sourceforge rocks, but Sourceforge is popular because OSS is popular. It makes OSS development easy to coordinate and you avoid having your hot program put you in the poor house due to bandwidth from downloads. But the committed dev teams would find an alternative. I also expect someone would try a pay to play site - but in the end I'd expect the OSS community would come up with some type of solution to take up the slack left if Sourceforge went away.


  • I agree. I wouldn't mind finger ing some of the marketing women here...

  • What we need is AI in Pr0n. No more cybering with a guy posing as a girl you would be cybering with a femBOT !!!!! Yummy
  • But look at IBM's recent software development and their Linux budget. Those are real dollars, not dot-com, VC bux.

    I don't think the question is how much a company will spend on Linux or Linux compatible products, it's how much are they making from it.

  • is in Haiku form.

    "Robotics is bunk; work in my field", says Minsky.
    Just funding envy?

    Marv simulates all, says Roboticists should tell
    him all the factors,

    then simulations will do all the work of a
    physical robot.

    Marv, the theorist, has missed or forgot the rules of
    good engineering,

    And roboticists are interested in more than
    the theory of mind.

    The outside world is complex, and iterative
    models do not work

    as well as Marv thinks (read some chaos theory to
    appreciate this)

    To build functional systems (and that is our job)
    nothing substitutes

    For construction of physical prototypes that work in the real world.

    (Would you drive a car that was only tested in
    Marv's simulator?

    And The Wright Brothers, did not model their first plane,
    and yet they could fly!)

    Besides, what if the human-observed factors are
    not that important?

    We postulate that the analysis of mind
    is connected with

    The understanding of the mind's environment,
    and to neglect the

    environment, or to reduce it, is to waste
    the useful data.

    Marv: "Roboticists produce no new theories, so
    they are wastes of time"

    But NASA has not used your stuff for its space probes,
    has it now Marvin?

    And Biologists do not use your work to help
    them understand life.

    Our work does not make as many discoveries,
    as we have chosen

    problems that are more than toy worlds, hypothesis,
    and formal systems.

    So in summary, if you want signs of Robots
    being useful Marvin

    Wait until I send my squad of robots around
    to kick your behind!

    Hey, if you mention terrorism, bombs and sedition in your sig, your email will be read by thousands of people!
  • HAL just needed a good scotch, that's all. Ask Bender, he'll tell you.

    You'll need to be careful though, never give a computer or robot champagne [imdb.com] ...


"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972