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Comment Re:He crazy but necessary (Score 4, Insightful) 529

Well, that's your point of view.
What I see is that the GPL is one of the most used software licenses in the world, and it represents exacly his idea.
RMS has had great, awesome partial successes. His philosophy is shared by a lot of people, in practice, and his work has been key to us having real, viable, modern, free software platforms today. Without his work particularly and him been so "political", I don't think we could have gone this far.

Comment Re:God bless the free market! (Score 1) 386

I believe there is a false dichotomy here. You are making my point.
My point was that, for this case, markets _could_ solve it. Remember, the first option was: buy locally.
What I wanted to say was that markets do work, but some times you don't want the people to get exactly what they ask for, or what they pay for, you want to force them to choose the Right Thing (TM).
If you leave it to the markets, people will buy stuff with shit if it's cheaper, that is their choice, so they will force retailers to sell it. Traceability is possible, you can put an RFID in a living cow, and trace their whole lives, until they are BBQed, but markets won't pay for that. People will buy the cheapest, no matter what. I see that as markets working to give people what they want.

Comment Re:God bless the free market! (Score 1) 386

Consumers do have a way of knowing.
The can buy locally, and see whether fish are fed shit. Or they could only use brands that are well known for not feeding their fish shit. Even without a brand police, it could be done with badges that are difficult to reproduce, for example, like RFID.
Of course, that would be more expensive than buying whatever Walmart sells, and just hope there is no shit in it.
In the end, what I believe is that people prefer to buy cheaper and easier, even if there is a possibility of shit in their food.

Comment Re:God bless the free market! (Score 1) 386

Free markets are not designed, they just are.
Most of the time, free markets are not possible, and you get highly regulated markets, oligopolies or monopolies.
But in the cases where there is a somewhat free market, it works.

In this case, it's a free market.
If enough people stop buying this kind of fish, sellers will have to come up with a "shit free" badge, so they start buying again. If they do not stop buying, it's because shit does not taste that bad.
About hearing about it, it's the same thing. Papers will inform about shit in fish, only if enough people care about that kind of information.
In this case, markets are working.

Comment Re:Have you seen the tobacco packaging in Australi (Score 2, Informative) 1199

You are right. They let them keep their logos, the only prohibition on brands is that they can't have "modifiers" like a Light version and stuff, they need to sell each version with a new brand name. Of course, they can't advertise on tv, on the streets, and inside the shops all signs also have the ugly images.

They were talking on tv last week about a decrease of more than half of teenage smokers. When al this started I thought it was nonsense, but it's funny how it works. Smokers tend to hide their boxes, because they are unpleasant, and they don't keep them in sight of kids. They even tend to smoke more privately. It should come naturally, without the offensive images, but they seem to work.

Comment Re:Have you seen the tobacco packaging in Australi (Score 3, Interesting) 1199

Here in Uruguay, we've had that for a couple of years, I think. A quick google images search of "uruguay paquetes de cigarrillos" will show you what that will look like (only the ones in Spanish are Uruguayan: paquetes de cigarrillos&tbm=isch).

They say that, in conjunction with a broad prohibition of smoking everywhere inside, it's working very well, esp. with young people

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Does Open-Source "Donationware" work?

An anonymous reader writes: We've been developing an algorithm for 3 years that could be useful to a lot of different people working in a variety of fields. Our attempts to commercialize it, however haven't been successful. No corporate entity that we have contacted to date has agreed to invest in it, or to participate in commercializing it. We are sitting on something really useful, but industry doesn't seem to understand its usage potential fully. Now we are thinking "How about if we Open Source the algorithm?". We would put our source code online for anybody to use, and place a "Please Donate Money if this is useful to you" link on the website. Has anybody does this in the past? Do people donate to you if you give them something useful for free? Or are most people natural-born "Free Riders", who use your software with gusto, but clam up when it comes to donating some Dollars in return for that? We have spent over 140,000 Dollars developing this algorithm, so if no money comes our way, we'd have to pick up the financial tab for that. Any help or advice on this from Slashdotters would be most welcome!

Comment Re:Inertia (Score 1) 557

It's like I say about GUIs - rather than trying to force everyone into a menu model or a ribbon model, include both. The people who like menus can use the menus, the people who like the ribbon can use the ribbon, and if a menu-user sits at a ribbon-user's computer (or vice versa), a single configuration option should let you switch between the two. We should be adapting computers to match the way we (as individuals) like to work, not expecting individuals to adapt how they work to match one monolithic way all computers work.

Interesting, but wrong. One way is better than the other. Choose the better way and stick with it.
If the transition from the worse election to the better one is too hard, stick with the old. If there is a new, better way to do things, it needs to come in a new package, a new product. that's not a problem, we change devices very often.
Configurability works for less than 5% of people. Regular people like to use whatever is the default, all efforts should be focused on good defaults.

Comment Re:It's from Microsoft and this is Slashdot... (Score 2) 1027

Good post. But just to clarify: you can't "steal IP".
First, there is no IP, there are copyrights, patents, trademarks and secret stuff.
You might screw people with those things, but none of them is similar to "stealing", with involves taking something from someone, with the result of them not having it in the end.

Comment Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (Score 2) 329

They copied a European village! Shame on them!

This is a good example why "Intellectual Property" has nothing to do with actual property.

Europeans stole tombs, temples, villages, cities, and even a couple hundred meters of a mountains height (í ) from Africa, América, Asia. That _is_ theft, but it's called "civilization".

Then, the Chinese copy the looks of a city, steal nothing tangible, and they are "pirates".

That's the difference between "Intellectual property" and real property. Depending on whether you detent the dominant culture, one can be a great thing, and the other shameful.

Comment Re:GPL is poison to business (Score 1) 1264

It's a bad analogy.
In your example, the GPL says nothing about your "garden".
The users are not limited in _any_ way. Distributors are limited, in that they need to provide source for the original code, and the improvements, _if_ they distribute the original code.

You can use GPLd software, improve it, and never share anything. The only thing you can't do is distribute GPLd software and keep the source to yourself.

Comment Re:Somewhat ironically (Score 1) 577

No way.
RMS already warned of the Java trap, and anyone could see that is had issues, ten years ago.
Also, there is not a lot of GNU Java stuff around, so it's not a big issue. Might be for Apache, though.
After all, this is getting irrelevant as we speak. Next generation software is not going to be written in Java, or C#. I don't see trends going that way, but a lot more towards dynamic typed languages, and just plain Javascript.

Comment Re:Why just OUR government? (Score 1) 194

You sound like a troll, but I will respond anyhow, because there are people who actually think what you say.
I DO IT WITH MY MONEY. I don't live in the US. You can read that in the GP. I don't care that the US falls behind. Living under the US rule, or under the Chinese rule, or the Russian rule makes little difference to Latin America.
About academics, if the US doesn't fund them, someone else will. I was just pointing out the consequences.
Where I live, there is little investment in R&D, it's slowly increasing due to our economy growing steadily for the past 10 years.
The global crisis is good for us in that our exports are more expensive, and we can start industrializing our country. I hope we start investing more in R&D, and I would happily pay a lot more taxes for that. This is already a great country to live in, I would love for it to become more industrialized so it's a great place to work also.

Comment Re:Why just OUR government? (Score 3, Insightful) 194

The country that builds the large labs is the country that willl get the super smart scientists to tinker with it.
The world doesn't need the US to fund big science. China will do it, eventually. The thing is that it would give them a competitive advantadge over you, meaning better scientists, better universities and stuff. I wouldn't want to lose my edge if I was the US.

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We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it. -- Saul Alinsky