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Comment Re:A boon to open source (Score 2, Insightful) 526

To make decisions out of fear can kill you.

This is soundbite-y but not really meaningful. Being afraid to walk into a cage with a hungry lion in it will keep you alive.

The parent post seem to make a lot of sense, and even if what you're saying is true, it doesn't really answer. That there were a "portion of engineers" who felt that way doesn't necessarily mean that was the final reason why they did it.

And I'm not sure I agree with the "Sun ought to have put everything into the GPL" thing. Why? The GPL and the FSF movement is a wonderful thing, but *Sun* does not *owe* their code to the movement such that they ought to do everything for the benefit of it, without considering other ramifications to things they may also care about.

Comment Re:pests (Score 1) 354

heh :-)

well, I'm thinking human populations are more effectively limited by other humans (whether chaotically, via war, or through progress, which tends to lead to family planning), the "contribution" of malaria et al seems minimal in comparison. plus its not like ALL mosquitos carry malaria, there are plenty of geographical zones where they're just pests and won't kill you?

Comment Re:pests (Score 1) 354

actually, when I wrote my original post I did think about smallpox. but as a virus does it count as a "species"?

also, smallpox just affects us, but getting rid of mosquitos would also make things better for other mammals; exterminating smallpox, all the benefits accrue to us. what about mosquitos?

Comment Re:pests (Score 1) 354

actually, I already know. that's why I said "generally". and, if it whooshed over your head, what I'm curious about is, would it be safe to just exterminate any/all parasites (beginning with the mosquito)?

Comment pests (Score 1) 354


generally, every life form slots in somewhere in the ecosystem "in balance" - it either keeps something else from overrunning the place (rabbits becoming a pest in Australia due to lack of predators), or is, say, a food supply for something else (rabbits in places where there ARE predators)

what I want to know is, is there such a slot for the mosquito? what "purpose" do they serve? are they a food supply for anybody, or do they just make life miserable for everything else? would there be problems for the ecosystem if the mosquito becomes extinct? because if there isn't, I can't think of a better candidate for extermination than the mosquito. if we could get rid of them, would they be the first species humanity exterminated AND made the world a better place by doing so?

(yes, i know, it's gonna take a LOT of laser-shooting robot drones to rid the planet of 'em... hrm, maybe that's how skynet REALLY comes about :-)

Comment Re:Everyone hates congress too (Score 1) 327

this is a guy you'd know, otherwise you wouldn't have his phone number (and in any case, he wouldn't want to get your MMS if he doesn't know you). if it's an MMS worth sending, why not just call/message him and ask him for his email address? And once you've got it you don't need to ask him again (same as how you got his phone number in the first place)

(there's actually a practical problem here in the iPhone's lack of copy-paste, but that's another matter :-)

Yes, but then if your phone has a well designed address book (like the iPhone) then all you need is one piece â" their name.

That's not what he means. If you know someone's number, but not their email (either on your phone, or at all), then even with the best address book ever (like the Motorola V980), it won't help you.

Comment Re:BeOS: still my favorite UI (Score 1) 448

right; IIRC this was one of the reasons the army's web servers were running on Macs (I don't know if they still are?). you could maybe take them down, but you certainly couldn't penetrate them and deface their sites, since without a command shell there's no way to make code bomb and drop you back to it.

a command shell is only a feature if there're things you WANT to do in it; almost by definition, the people who wanted Macs didn't want to do things with a command line. Automation/etc. tasks were done with hypercard, or (non-command-line) scripting

Comment Re:A confession, of sorts (Score 1) 238

I loved Caldera OpenLinux.

And, I think its clear their developers did too - they certainly went "over and above the call of duty" for their installer (Lizard?):

for v3.1, I remember, during the stage where other installers would just have a progress bar run through all the files being copied, it launched a solitaire game so you could have something other to do, if you had to sit in front of the terminal during file copy.

This was right before mcbride and gang waltzed in and tore it all down.

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You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page