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Comment $5 Arduino (Score 1) 228

I've used the Picaxe, which I really liked, bate pics, the Basic Stamp and the Arduino. I'd suggest the Arduino for most people. Largely because of the community around it.

However, if you're on a budget like me, I'd only buy one Arduino board. Any "permanent" projects get the Arduino board replaced by a bare chip with the Arduino bootloader, which sells for about $5. That $5 chip + 5volts is an Arduino, minus the unused headers, LEDs etc.

Comment That might be a really good idea (Score 2) 259

I hadn't heard that idea before. I wish I could mod you up. The innovator gets paid for their investment, and the patent ends up public domain. That's similar to a bounty for open source software, except with your idea the first X licensees pay, not just the first one.

I'm sure a couple tweaks to the idea would be needed. One tweak is that probably the price would go down with each purchase, so someone who wants to be the first to market would pay more than the last. That would almost be required since it becomes free after the last license is purchased. Noone would buy the last license unless it was really cheap. Instead they would just wait for it to be free.

Comment Knowing someone who is infected is the condition (Score 1) 171

The bad guys only had to compromise one machine, then the trojan spreads. Say for example my co-worker Jeff has him home machine infected. He uses ssh to connect from home to his office. The bad guys now haveaccess to infect his office machine. Jeff is a sysadmin at the office, so from his office desktop he logs into various servers. That spreads the infection to the servers. I then use scp (ssh file copy) to pull some files on to a server from my work desktop. Now my desktop is infected. Later, I ssh from work to my home office. Now my home office is infected.

For this reason, we have a rule. Always ssh FROM the more trusted machine TO the less trusted one, never the other way around. For scp and rsync, that means always PUSH files to a client's machine or any server on the public internet, never PULL to a less trusted machine from a more trusted one.

Comment You are missing the point. Install doesn't matter (Score 1) 171

The trojaned ssh isn't the one installed from the repo, it's installed later by the bad guy, so it doesn't matter how you installed . Again, the trojaned ssh isn't the one you installed. The ONLY difference between source vs. binary packages in this case is that people who installed binaries could be alerted that the hash of the existing file doesn't match the correct binary. So binary installs are SAFER as far as this trojan.

How does the bad guy get the trojan on your system, if not from the repo, you ask? He gets access when someone else who is infected logs into your machine - your sysadmin, your hosting company, a vendor, etc.

Comment Not mistaken. 99.9% power savings (Score 1) 242

Updated every 15 seconds. ... should save a fair chunk of power. That is, of course, I'm mistaken about the energy usage of e-ink dislays.

You are not mistaken. E-ink only uses power when it updates, so for something updated every 15 minutes, that would be 99.9% power savings.

In one type of e-ink display, each pixel is a ball, white on one side, black on the other. The balls sit in grease / oil. Power is used only to turn the balls the right direction, black-side-up or white-side-up. You could unplug it / remove the battery and the display would stay.

Comment That's why SSH - most compromised by the trojan (Score 2) 171

That's why ssh is trojaned - it's how they got in. Once they get into one box some other way, the trojan gets them into every box a user connects to via ssh. So it spreads like a virus. At some point, an admin with access to a lot of machines, like a hosting company admin, uses ssh to rsync / scp to their main machine. Then the bad guys get access to every machine hosted there.

Comment Ideas are a dime a dozen. 4000 prototypes (Score 2) 330

Edison stole some ideas. The ideas weren't where the greatness was, though. Most people here have had several great ideas. How many of us have had any noticeable impact on the world?
Edison designed and hand built about a THOUSAND different lightbulb designs that didn't work before finding one that did work well. That effort made changed the world. Lots of people had ideas, Edison had determination and worked like crazy to turn an idea into an immensely useful product.

Similarly Jobs. I'll never buy an Apple prodict because I value freedom, but I'll give credit where credit is due. Xerox had decided not to pursue the GUI idea because it was unusable. Apple, led by Jobs, turned an unusable concept into a case study on usability.

I have plenty of good ideas. If a Jobs or Edison would come along and go through 1,200 protypes to turn my idea into a great, highly useful product we'd all be better off.

The comparison to Tesla is kind of silly because although Tesla did some good work, he was more like PT Barnum or Ripley - more hype than anything. A lot of his "inventions" were of the tinfoil hat variety, while Edison was producing working products for our day-to-day lives.

Comment Marketing: driving customers to your product (Score 1) 214

s also not mainly marketing driven, its mainly customer driven. Period.

Marketing: efforts to drive customers.
People judge success by MARKET share. Does more customers mean better quality? Eat at McDonald's while watching any of the popular entertainment, like "reality" TV and tell me that the quest for more customers is all about a quality product, not about marketing.

Comment Linux kernel, Apache, PowerDNS ... (Score 1) 458

Please tell me what projects are you working with, I don't want to "freeload" your shit. Seriously.

As noted higher in the thread, the Linux kernel, Apache and PowerDNS are a few examples. See also Eric S. Raymond's body of work - he has said pretty much the same thing I'm saying - that's great if you find our work useful. We give it to you so it'll be useful to YOU, though. Having you use it isn't generally helpful to US, so being a user doesn't mean you have a leash on me and can demand that I help you with your problem, on your timetable.

Comment RMS is a wing tip, a radical extremist (Score 1) 458

Most leaders of open source software, like Linus Torvalds and Eric S. Raymond, think RMS is "out there", an extremist. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but always extreme. RMS most certainly does not represent most OSS programmers.

I am not speaking on behalf of ALL programmers, of course, but I think a) I represent a large portion (see ESR smart questions, which says the same things I said) and b) most of what I'm saying is simply fact. I said having a lot of non-contributors use my software does not BENEFIT me. That's true whether or not someone WANTS people to use my software. I could WANT it, but still it provides me no benefit - I can't eat download counts, I can't fill my gas tank with lusers.

Only in a very few extreme cases (perhaps a dozen programmers in the world), software that becomes radically popular might help the author achieve a level of popularity that will help them get a nice job. They still have to work the job to get the benefits of it, though. The popularity is only a help, and only in the rarest of cases, less than 1 programmer per million.

Comment Re:Google sold ads before FOSS (Score 1) 95

Artificial constraints prevent a lot of software from becoming a commodity and being devalued. This forces business to waste money that they could better spend elsewhere. ... Redhat seeks to devalue the entire server market.

Agreed, RedHat specifically and Linux in general HAVE in fact made it possible, and in fact made it the most common case, that people spend zero dollars on server software. Does that not prove false the idea that "Artificial constraints prevent a lot of software from becoming a commodity"? In fact, is it not true that the only software you ca't get at no charge is special, non-commodity software, those cases where there are not enough interested users to support a free project? The only type of software I can think of that I can't get free falls into one of two categories. Either a), it's highly specialized, not a common commodity, or b) while I can get lots of free games, I might prefer one specific game, because I think that company does a better job than all others.

Payware software more than anything else is a drain on the economy.

You may be tricking yourself into believing something you want to believe.
If paid software is creating software (games?) so good that you insist on having their brand rather than use a free one, than they must be producing something you value, just like any other profession.
Similarly, if they produce something that's very valuable to only a narrow market, so there is not enough interest to support a free one, certainly having something available is better than having nothing available, so it's better to have the proprietary software. In short, if the company wasn't making something you really want, you wouldn't buy it, and won't care. Again, if you didn't think the software had value, you would pay it no mind, just like you don't take time posting about brownie pans, which are actually worthless.

So why WOULD someone get worked up, and be posting saying that something for sale is just "a drain on the economy .. to waste money"? Either a) you buy it, because you think it's great, but you wish you could get it for free, perhaps by letting the people who make it simply starve to death, or b) you like it, you recognize it's worth having (and therefore worth making), but you're a cheapskate leach who steals it and you need an excuse for doing so.

Comment Same guy for 22 years. Not "take ball go home" (Score 3, Interesting) 214

He was at the top of the Linux structure for TWENTY TWO YEARS and now he's taking a break. That does exactly look like a bunch of people who "Every time... they disagree take their ball and go home". I'm looking around at this company where most of what they do is proprietary. I don't see ANYONE who has been here, doing the same thing, for twenty-two years like Alan Cox was.

but it make OSS feel like it's in a constant state of half-assed/never-finished/abandoned, as opposed to commercial software--where a central leadership maintains control (and controls people's salaries and the IP).

There is a difference between proprietary and OSS there. OSS tends to not have less useful features like eye candy because people author the features they use. Proprietary software, on the other hand, is marketing driven, so it tends to have a pretty GUI for many features that don't actually work.

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