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Comment Re:Biased and misleading summary - read TFA (Score 1) 91

They accuse Google of dropping them out of their search results (or at least lowering their pagerank) if they ask Google to remove their articles from Google News. So the accusation is abuse of a dominant position.

As far as the newspapers are concerned, news search and web search are separate business, but I doubt google should be forced to folllow the same definition. Abuse of dominant position requires one to have monopoly power (granted, google has it on web search and plausibly also on news search) but also deliberately using that power to somehow hinder competitors. I am not sure that google should be required to keep newspapers on one index while removing it from other or to prevent changes on one index to be reflected on another (why should a company be required to keep completed isolated indexes?).

Comment Re:anonymous? (Score 1) 382

I want to know where these "computer ID numbers" all of a sudden appeared from because if they are MAC or IP addresses, either can be spoofed easily.

Well, most computers have a CPUID nowadays. You remember, the ones that were supposed not to be used for identification against the user but to help e-commerce more secure. Yep. Of course, also not incredibaly hard to disable, at least on current motherboards.

Comment Re:anonymous? (Score 1) 382

The data would be anonymous, but serious repeat infringers would be tracked down through their computer ID numbers.

This must be some definition of the word 'anonymous' that I was not previously aware of.

The correct term would be pseudonymous, I guess. It is not directly personably identifiable information, but stands for it. Idealy it would not be reversible by itself, but could allow for identification upon further downloads. Think of a one-way hash.

Comment Re:Python then C/C++ (Score 1) 634


As long as:

  1. the language (and the associated tools) are available
  2. it has all of the fundamentals of programming (looping, flow control, data structures, variables, etc)
  3. and it grabs their interest

who cares what languages they learn? If they enjoy it and it allows them to learn how to program why should it matter what language they start out with?

Well, I do have some experience (more than 20 years, actually) in teaching programming. I would agree that ANY language can be used to teach programming, but it DOES MATTER which one is used. The reason is, people will go to (and only learn) what's easier to use on each language. On most (all?) languages, all the components are available for people to learn effective programming, but on some of them, the constructs people will use most are not enough to create a full understanding of programming. You create "paper programmers" that can solve (mostly by boilerplate copying) easy or familiar problems, but cannot think outside using those "pre-built" tools. Sure, you can ignore some constructs and just teach the basic components, but then, why are you using that particular language?

Another question to consider is the "initial steps" required to start doing something. On many languages (and mostly on "powerfull" programming languages), to be able to create something requires either the use of specialized IDEs that take you away from the actual code or lots and lots of complex syntax that is hard to explain to a neophyte other than saying "its required, you'll learn about it later". Neither is ideal.

Comment Again, this one is mostly to benefit MS (Score 1) 218

AFAIK, it looks like a moodle plugin to allow the use of the "live" services in Moodle, including to allow single sign in.

Obviously this is to help locking the users since early on to MS services. Not evil in itself (and I suppose that either google has the same thing or is thinking in doing the same). But it mostly benefits MS, not Moodle.

Comment DRM is dead? Lets bury it! (Score 0) 154

Now is the time to pass a bill requiring that all the digital goods encumbered by DRM should be made available without such restrictions (and free of charge) to those who bought them.

Since even RIAA acknowledges that DRM is dead, there should be no objections to such a common sense measure, right?

Comment Delaying the RTS may not be the best idea... (Score 1) 320

The idea of delaying the RTS release to 10.10 instead of 10.4 may not be the best one (although I can see the advantages of Ubuntu/Debian release synch).

The RTS is supported 3 years on the desktop,so if they make the next RTS 10.10, it will mean that the orgs that are running RTS will have just 6 months to upgrade to next RTS before the previous is EOLed. I know most people don't really care about that, but for large deployments, to force that kind of change schedule is not really nice.


Submission + - Brazilian President Lula da Silva stumps for FOSS (worldlabel.com)

christian.einfeldt writes: "Brazilian President Lula da Silva recently attended the FISL 10 Free Open Source Software conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he reaffirmed Brazil's support for unencumbered document formats and for Free Open Source Software. President da Silva toured the conference hall, packed with media, where he donned at various times a red Fedora hat, a Java ring, and an ODF baseball cap. In his 15 minute address to the general conference, President da Silva stressed that Free Open Source Software helps Brazil maintain control over its IT future, and supports Brazil's goal of widening digital inclusion among disadvantaged Brazilians. Brazil is the world's fifth most populous nation, and the world's fifth larges nation by land mass."

Comment Re:I wouldn't publish on Kindle if it was Open (Score 1) 315

DRM is a restriction but sadly its a reality that most publishers and authors would want it.

In principle, why wouldn't they want it? It increases their control over the work at the expense of the public, who is (mostly) ignorant they aren't buying the same thing when they buy a DRM infected work than when they buy something DRM-free. The only way to defeat DRM really is to educate people that something "bought" that uses DRM is not really bought, just rented at the whim of the publisher (and people will value it accordingly). "Selling" goods using DRM is really false advertising.

Comment Re:I wouldn't publish on Kindle if it was Open (Score 1) 315

That's not quite true, pirates are much more likely to win than that. It's a matter of will, and if you get enough people cracking the protection schemes quickly enough at launch, DRM will eventually go away. DRM is about control and profit, if the schemes are broken fast enough there's definitely a question of why spend many thousands of dollars locking something down that'll be cracked within a few weeks. Sure it does help with sales initially, but you're typically having to sell a hell of a lot of copies in order to break even and it does put one at a competitive disadvantage to those that don't need to sell those extra copies. Not to mention the fact that there's a surprising number of people that don't pirate software that doesn't have DRM incorporated into it.

It just will give the publishers reasons to create business models where most of the profit is extracted from users while the DRM hasn't been cracked yet (or if it has, the work is not sufficiently disseminated to most users to be able to access it) all the while decrying the "evil pirates". I would assume it will still be (financially, at least on the short term) better for those publishers to follow that path than to adapt their business models to a world where the competition is must greater (because you must fight all the other works at near zero cost).

Comment Re:Artists deserve to get paid. (Score 1) 315

Until the Copyright Term Extension Act is rescinded, I consider all media produced by "artists" affiliated with the companies/guilds/unions that bought the law, to be free.

So, how will you feel when someone else considers anything you produce to be free?

Free to make copies of? I would assume he feels OK with that.

Comment I don't think piracy is their main concern here (Score 1) 737

I don't think piracy is their main concern here. I believe this may be a (somewhat misguided) idea to get a subscription of SCII players, like they got used with WoW. Sure, they said they would allow all bought copies to play on bnet, but they haven't precluded some options (like e.g. a subscription allows you to have pre-made groups, or bigger battles, or something like that). If people buy the game and don't log on bnet, some carrots and sticks will be missing on their options.

Comment Re:When liberal isn't liberal (Score 1) 1359

Perhaps "liberal" refers to freedom in some countries. But in the United States, it has come to mean "socialist" since the New Deal. And in order to support socialist ideals like universal health care, many socialist regimes limit the personal freedom to experiment with substances such as cannabis.

Stangely enough, I believe drug-offense laws are much more prevalent in conservative-led countries (like the US), not the socialist-inclined (and less still in social-democrat - in the European tradition - countries - see, e.g. The Netherlands). They are much more liable to limit personal freedom on the economic level, though.

Comment Re:They hit the nail on the head (Score 4, Interesting) 241

we need to be careful that politicians do not get talked into putting legislation in place that, in the end, ends up looking stupid.

or even worse, introduces new problems without solving the intended ones.

Trouble is, some of the new problems it introduces (namely overbearing policing of actions online, bordering on a police state) are not usually seen as problems by the politicians (at least those in power or which hope to achieve it soon), but rather goals that they date not describe publicly...

Comment Re:Everybody pile on Microsoft... (Score 4, Interesting) 627

Self-replying, I know, but I just thought of something else.

According to TFS, Office fails to load ODF files created by any other application. If those files are compliant with ODF standards, the blame for this lies squarely on Microsoft. They fail to open standards-compliant ODF files.

Conversely, if the files produced by MS Office are valid standards-compliant ODF files (which they may be according to the letter of the standard) we should also blame the other apps if they fail to use them, isn't so? They will also fail to open standards-compliant ODF files.

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Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson