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Comment Re:It can be fixed (Score 1) 202

Even outside the area of software and genetics patents, it's hard to make a case that patents meet the requirements of the Constitution, which states that they must exist to encourage invention for the betterment of culture and society. Patents do not engender innovation (invention does happen without patents), and the monopoly protection they afford does not improve culture and society, and in fact results in lower quality, higher prices, and less innovation (since no one is truly permitted to improve on an invention).

Comment Re:Still playing catch-up to C#. (Score 1) 385

What's the patent FUD, specifically? I'm not talking about some obscure part of the Winforms API, I mean in the core language itself.

Microsoft made some veiled threats a few years ago, intimating that their deal with Novell for Mono was exclusive. No one is really privy to the terms of that arrangement, but it made a lot of people really nervous.

And you forget that C++ has a giant environment to install as well, but due to age, that is generally part of the OS as is.

C++ is quite capable of operating entirely without a run-time environment. It depends only on the C++ standard library and the C standard library, which, while implemented by the OS, are completely optional.

In time, modern generation languages will end up in the same category. In fact, Windows Vista and 7 already come with .NET pre-installed, so there's no need to download anything to run a .NET app.

But this is not the case on non-Windows platforms.

Comment Re:Design by Committee (Score 1) 385

The FQA gives the word "disingenuous" a bad name. The author spends a lot of time with red herrings, straw men, and minutiae, and never actually seems to have a point. Worse, many of his claims and assertions are flat-out wrong, or at the very least, badly misleading.

Calling it a "pack of lies" would be unfair to packs of lies.


Hidden Debug Mode Found In AMD Processors 154

An anonymous reader writes "A hidden (and hardware password protected, by means of required special values in processor registers) debug mode has been found in AMD processors, and documented by a reverse engineer called Czernobyl on the RCE Forums community today. It enables powerful hardware debugging features long longed for by reverse engineers, such as hardware data-aware conditional breakpoints, and direct hardware 'page guard'-style breakpoints. And the best part is, it's sitting right there in your processor already, just read the details and off you go with the debugging ninja powers!"
Operating Systems

Can Windows, OS X and Fedora All Work Together? 375

greymond writes "In my ever growing job responsibilities, I've recently been tasked with documenting our organization's IT infrastructure, primarily focusing on cost analysis of our hardware leases and software purchases. This is something that has never been done in our organization before and while it's moving along slowly, I'm already seeing some places where we could make improvements. Once completed, I see this as an opportunity to bring up the topic of migrating the majority of our office from Windows 7 to Linux and from Exchange to Gmail. However, this would result in three departments each running a different system: Windows, OS X, and most likely Fedora. Has anyone worked in or tried to set up an environment like this? What roadblocks did you run into? Is this really feasible or should I just continue to focus on the cutbacks that don't require OS changes? (The requirement for having three different systems is that the vast majority of our administration, who rely solely on an install of Microsoft Windows, Word and Excel, are savvy enough that if they came in and saw Gnome running on Fedora with Open Office they'd pick it up fast. However, our marketing department is composed entirely of Apple systems, and the latest Adobe Creative Suite doesn't seem to all work under Wine. The biggest issue is with the Sales department though, as they rely on a proprietary sales platform that is Windows only — and generally, sales personal give the biggest push back when it comes to organizational changes.)"
Input Devices

Kinect Hacked, Adafruit Bounty Won 262

scharkalvin writes "Adafruit has announced a winner to their bounty for an open source driver for the MS Kinect. From the article: 'We have verified that it works and have a screenshot from another member in the hacking community (thanks qdot!) who was also able to use the code. Congrats to Hector! He's running all this on a Linux laptop (his code works with OpenGL) and doesn't even have an Xbox!'" We talked about Adafruit's bounty yesterday.

Submission + - Cable companies screwing us again (businessinsider.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: If Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-itv-metered-broadband-2010-8 is too be believed, cable companies are frothing at the mouth just waiting to pull the trigger on charging more for giving less. They want to use the excuse that Hulu, YouTube, et al are straining their systems? How can watching one video on Netflix use more bandwidth than the 60 TV channels I receive simultaneously 24 hours a day, whether I watch them or not. It's all coming through my coax. Can the internet side of that cable really put more strain on Comcast?

Submission + - Leap Seconds May Be Eliminated (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: The International Telecommunications Union is seeking input through October on a potentially revised definition of Coordinated Universal Time that does not include leap seconds, an idea that has been under consideration for the past decade. Since their introduction in 1971, leap seconds have proved problematic for at least a few software programs. The leap second added on to the end of 2008, for instance, caused Oracle cluster software to reboot unexpectedly in some cases. Some computer professionals argue, however, that abolishing the leap second at this point will just cause another set of difficulties. The revision 'would cause more trouble than it naively claims to circumvent,' wrote programmer Rob Seaman, on the Leap Seconds mailing list.
Open Source

Submission + - Caanoo Released - Open Source Homebrew Console

An anonymous reader writes: Gamepark have released their update to the GP2X Wiz, which is a Linux based homebrew handheld console. The Caanoo is a CPU ARM9 533MHz + 3D GPU powered console with 128megs of ram (full specs) which should be good for Playstation and Nintendo 64 Emulation on the handheld. The File Archive for the Caanoo is open and taking homebrew submissions and already the likes of Quake and more are being ported to the console. Sites like DCEmu carry the latest news on the console for those interested.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Pay the builder every time you sell your house (cnn.com) 5

innocent_white_lamb writes: "You don't pay your builder every time you sell your house" comes up in almost every discussion of intellectual property, royalties and the like.

New houses are now being sold with a condition that you must pay the builder 1% of the purchase price every time the house is sold over the next 99 years.


Submission + - Google Tests 'Instant Search' (computerworld.com)

pickens writes: Computerworld reports that Google has been testing an instant search feature using ajax so that search results start popping up as the user types, changing dynamically as the user continues typing. According to industry observers the test is being run on a limited basis and that there's no telling whether the experiment will become a new feature offered to all Google users. Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala notes that an instant search feature would put a lot of strain on Google's system. "I think it would initially [add a lot of system stress] so they might face some short-term pain to get to the longer-term gain," Kerravala says. "Google has built out a tremendously robust infrastructure. And my guess is that with their resources, though, if [the new feature] became a big hit, other search engines would have a hard time keeping up."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Why GNU Grep Is Fast As Comapre To BSD Version

An anonymous reader writes: There is some flamage currently going on regarding BSD grep vs GNU grep performance. Mike Haertel, the original author of GNU grep added some interesting information regarding its performance — "#1 trick: GNU grep is fast because it AVOIDS LOOKING AT EVERY INPUT BYTE. #2 trick: GNU grep is fast because it EXECUTES VERY FEW INSTRUCTIONS FOR EACH BYTE that it *does* look at. Moreover, GNU grep AVOIDS BREAKING THE INPUT INTO LINES. Looking for newlines would slow grep down by a factor of several times, because to find the newlines it would have to look at every byte!

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