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Comment Opinions are like... (Score 1) 376

Opinions are like assholes, every body has one. As art critics (in fact, all critics) are only heard when expressing their opinions, it kind of stands to reason that the reaction stinks.
Having said that, the majority of artists who today are considered the real greats, responsible for some of the finest art works in history, were either completely unappreciated during their lifetime and died penniless and destitute, or they were appreciated for things other than their artwork and derived income from sources other than their artistic endeavours.

Granted, George Lucas is never going to die penniless (but if he wants to give me all his money 5 minutes before he dies, just to prove me wrong, I am not going to complain), so he does not fall into the penniless category. Equally, he is not appreciated for anything he has done outside of the Star Wars franchise, unless you count the setting up of Industrial Light & Magic and similar business ventures, so he can hardly fall into the "artistic genius who earned money in other ways, with his artistic genius only being appreciated after his death" category, even allowing for the fact that he is not dead.

Personally, I can come up with a list of potential "Best artist of our generation" candidates that is longer than the credits for all 3 Star Wars prequels put together and which would not contain the name "George Lucas", but that is going to be my opinion, which is no more valid than Ms Paglia's effort.

Comment What is your goal with helping? (Score 1) 287

Taking the OP's post at face value, there are two obvious messages that I can take away from the discussion:
1. That OP wants to help on an OSS database project, and
2. The OP wants their help on the OSS database project to be useful with future job prospects.

PostresSQL is probably an order of magnitude better than MySQL as a database product, which to me would suggest that it is less in need of help than MySQL is. On that basis, point 1 would suggest MySQL.
As the OP himself points out, the popularity of MySQL is vastly larger than PostgresSQL, so point 2 would also suggest MySQL.
Looking good for MySQL...

My philosophy on OSS projects that are not dead (or terminally dying with no hope of rescue) is to find the one I can contribute most to, where my input with both add meaningful value to the project and also avoid fragmenting the community too much. Coding to fix bugs in a crappy codebase with inherent design and structural flaws that are not addressed because the community throws a collective fit if you dare to criticise their beautiful work is like beating your head against a barbed-wire-covered brick wall, and I would definitely not recommend that. My suggestion might count against MySQL, but it seems to fit a lot of the OSS projects I have looked at so the problem there might be with my lack of diplomatic skills too :-)

Comment Best of the best, please. (Score 1) 343

Personally, if I am attending a conference I want to know that the speakers booked to the conference are the best people in their field who were willing to take the time to prepare a presentation and stand up in front of a large group of people to impart their knowledge.
I do not want to see a speaker who is there because of affirmative action and who is nowhere near as good as the best candidate, but was chosen to satisfy some spurious diversity guidelines or to give some random diversity campaigner a warm fuzzy feeling that they have "made a difference" by getting a second or third-rate speaker up on stage for a presentation.

Ditto with just about every other instance of affirmative action I can think of - if I am investing in a company, I want my money to be in the best possible hands. If I am going under the knife for an operation, I want to be damned sure that my surgeon is the best, not that they are there because of their gender or the colour of their skin.

Comment Investigative power for non-investigative agencies (Score 1) 403

I can understand giving the FBI or other investigative agencies more power to snoop on American citizens' digital communications - I do not agree with it, ESPECIALLY if there is no need to get a judicial warrant before starting the snooping, but I can understand the desire for that level of snooping ability.
But why give that ability to agencies line FCC or SEC? What possible reason is there for the Securities & Exchange Commission to need access to my email? Same question for the Federal Communication Commission?

Comment Probably not possible without end-user consent (Score 1) 227

Sorry Zoë, but the way that I read the Pandora ToS and Privacy Policy, demographically sliced analytics are not covered by the existing Pandora legal agreements with the service users, although it might be a grey area because of the clauses about providing anonymized usage data for royalty calculation purposes.
If it is not covered by the existing agreements, then inclusion in Zoë's analytic data would require an opt-in from every Pandora user who listens to her music (not me, as personally I prefer Pablo Casals even though it is impossible to go to any of his live performances any more..., Jacqueline du Pré, or Mstislav Rostropovich).

Comment Retaliation against electronic Breaking & Ente (Score 1) 182

In the meatspace world, if someone breaks into your home or place of business, and you retaliate by breaking into their home, then you are both guilty of breaking and entering. I tend to apply the same rules to the online world, so my advice to people affected by this would be to report the problem to the police, credit card companies (your card details are insecure, so lock the cards and get new ones with different numbers), and your antivirus/computer security provider (even if only to let them know that their product failed to keep you safe, either due to their failure or because you installed some dodgy software).

Having said that, tracing back to the C&C hub used to get into your system should be fairly easy, but even if you manage to hack that hub, all you will find is a compromised computer whose owner either doesn't know or doesn't care that the computer is running slow. You may find an uplink to another system, but given the sophistication of botnets today, determining the address of the computers that instigate the C&C network will be outside the scope of the vast majority of people, especially someone whose system is configured to allow it to be hacked in the first place...

Comment Encourage positive behaviour from your politicians (Score 4, Insightful) 102

My spelling gives it away, probably... I am a Brit living outside the US. But Congresswoman Lofgren's approach is one that would go a long way to winning my vote, if I was living in San Jose and was eligible to vote.
If you are in her Congressional District and you agree with her stance, I would suggest sending her a message of support (let her know that she is doing a Good Thing... she is not a mind-reader, and positive feedback is always welcomed).
If you are not in her Congressional District, I would suggest sending your Congress-person a request to get behind her proposal, and also sending her a letter to say that you support her stance, and you have asked your Congress-person to do the same.

Comment Re:Cuts (Score 1) 473

This is simple.
1. Cut deliveries to three per week -- MWF and TThSa.
2. Raise rates to cover costs.
3. Close local post offices and replace them with contractors where required.

Cannot do point 1, because cutting costs there would require the firing/disposal of postal delivery staff who are probably Unionized.
Point 2 would be doable, but any increase in rates pushes more organisations to use FedEx and UPS as alternative carriers in profitable areas, leaving USPS with responsibility for less profitable/loss-making delivery services, such as those to rural or less-densely populated urban areas, where USPS delivery services would be effectively subsidized by revenue generated from delivery to the major urban centres.
See the response to point 1, for the response to point 3. There is also a legal aspect, because competing services are not allowed to deliver non-urgent letters and may not directly ship to U.S. Mail boxes at residential and commercial destinations. This requires transit agreements with USPS in which an item can be dropped off with either FedEx or UPS who will then provide shipment up to the destination post office serving the intended recipient where it will be transferred for delivery to the U.S. Mail destination, including Post Office Box destinations. Effectively, USPS provides "pickup" and "last mile" services, which for any postal service are the highest cost and most labor-intensive parts of the postal delivery service, with the bulk transport that UPS and FedEx perform being the low cost part.

With the decline in physical mail volumes in general, due to the increasing use of electronic mail, USPS is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (2006) mandates additional healthcare payments that commercial mail carriers and other government departments are not required to account for, so USPS is getting it from both ends at the same time.

Comment Re:Come on! (Score 1) 207

Those parents who are not aware of what the sons are doing, are doubly liable.
This is one of the parents duties: watching over the sons!

Not really... these are parents who either do not know the first thing about computers, know that they know nothing about computers, and know that their son knows far more than they do, or who believe that his right to privacy in his bedroom is more important than the need to get him used to living in a surveillance state.
(As a hint, privacy in Germany is given a much higher priority than it is in some other parts of Europe, or the US).

Comment Re:Why not just buy someone? (Score 1) 151

Buying a network in a market where there are already very few viable competitors, in addition to Google's vertical integration, would see Google's actions flagged as a monopolistic/anti-competitive move.
Setting up a new network, even with the capital infrastructure costs involved, would probably be of the same order of magnitude as the cost of buying a competitor while also allowing Google free reign to implement the infrastructure their way. Bearing in mind that the smartphone market is driving mobile bandwidth usage, and the smartphone/tablets are basically small computers, Google's interpretation of a cellular network is probably closer to a WAN for mobile devices with VoIP/voice as a carrier service as an aside, while the existing carriers have networks structured for voice, to which they are trying to add smartphone data services.

Comment Re:Samsung's accusations (Score 1) 208

He introduced his opinions (which happen to be incorrect interpretations of the law in this instance) as facts, during behind-closed-doors jury deliberation. This counts as additional evidence.
Presentation of evidence is the purview of the defending and prosecuting attourneys, with the judge (among other tasks she has) being required to take a view on that evidence and determine at the point of presentation whether it is legally admissible or not.
The task of the jury is to evaluate the evidence and arguments presented by the lawyers. The jurors are not there to present information or opinions gained outside the courtroom. The ideal juror is one who leaves all their preconceptions outside, and when deliberating on the case only gives weight to the information presented in the courtroom by the lawyers, elicited from witnesses, and informed by the judge. While jurors are human, that ideal is not going to happen but the intention is for them to get as close as possible, and the original purpose of the jury selection process was to allow for the jurors who are most obviously going to fall short of that ideal to be excluded from the process.

So, while he should not be shot, introducing his opinions in the way that he did would present grounds for a mistrial/retrial, to say nothing of any personal sanction against Hogan brought by the judge.

Comment 3rd party auditor ftw... (Score 1) 394

So RTS develop a chunk of code under gpl for the Linux kernel, and (presumably) at that point fork the project under which that code was developed, into two - their own proprietary version that they continue proprietary development on, and a static copy of what was provided under gpl, with the Linux community providing contributions to the gpl version.
Now, RH suspect that RTS have taken some of those contributions from the gpl version and incorporated them into the proprietary version, and are demanding the proprietary source code to be able to audit that.

From my layman's standpoint, the onus is on RH to provide reasoning behind their suspicions and demands (they need something more than "we think it might have happened, and we are curious to see what is in the code"), and then the gpl and proprietary code and change logs both need to be submitted for a 3rd party audit, with the auditors signing a NDA.

Comment VMs, or enabling PAE support via BCDEdit in Win2k8 (Score 1) 313

Some really old apps will not run correctly, even in a compatibility mode for the newer OSes. Generally, I find that VMs running the older OS so that the apps have the OS they were originally designed for is the best option, but there are sometimes reasons why this is not economically or technically viable.

If you really want to try 32-bit Windows Server 2008 variants with more than 4GB of available RAM, you will need to enable PAE, but in 2008 the method for enabling PAE is a bit different to the older OSes:
1. Right-click on a shortcut to your Command Prompt, and select "Run as Administrator".
2. Type "Bcdedit /set PAE forceenable" (without the quotes).
3. Restart the server.

The system should then recognize the fully installed RAM quantity.

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