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Comment A possible solution (Score 2) 299

The article reports that Raiu conducts his online activities under the assumption that his movements are being monitored by government hackers.

I recommend you begin to conduct all your online activities in such an empty, sugary sweet, and flavorless way that who have regularly surveilled you for years completely lose all interest in you and instead begin focusing their attention on other online targets. Let's call this strategy...I dunno..."Security by New Coke".

Comment Re:One day.... (Score 1) 179

I got a different reading out of the GP's post. The cost being referred to was for Windows-only applications, which can easily be a lot more expensive than Windows itself.

After a careful re-reading of it, I think you're right. I guess he's looking to save the $140 or so cost of Windows itself to help with the overall software budget.

Comment Re:One day.... (Score 4, Interesting) 179

leaving Windows as a memory as the ReactOS community take the best parts of OSS development and apply it to making my very expensive Windows software run.

I honestly don't understand how anybody could think Windows is expensive. I really think it's cheap considering what an extremely complex piece of software it is. It's probably cheaper per byte than any other software, unless you consider free (as in beer) software. For example, I recently paid about $140 for it, but I paid $40 yesterday for a mere music program. If you think of Windows as a major component of a computer like an HDD or processor or whatever, its cost is about on the same scale.

I certainly wish the ReactOS folks well, but I'm not sure what problem ReactOS solves. Folks who are enamored with being able to customize their OS already have Linux and several other open-source choices. So, at best, ReactOS just saves me $140. I wouldn't turn that down with all things being equal, but otherwise, I would much rather pay $140 for an HDD or processor that works well than get one for free that doesn't.

Comment Re:Right on time (Score 0) 379

It fascinates me that anything that stimulates discussion here is now a Troll. The term "Troll" is even a bit strange in the Slashdot context since the main purpose of the site is (or used to be) to have a discussion. Isn't that the essence of trolling? We see this in terms of recurring articles about hot-button issues like NSA, free software, bitcoin, etc. It looks to me like trolling is allowed and encourage, even as editorial policy, so long as it's the right kind of trolling.

Anyway, I thought I'd get in as much of my style of trolling as possible today and then relieve the poor folks (or scripts) who moderate here next week from any further suffering they may experience from my efforts to stimulate the discussion. Fact is, they did just fine without my input during my many years as a lurker here, and they'll do fine without me next week, and maybe beyond.

Comment Dictatorships with hyper-inflation (Score 4, Interesting) 121

Imagine a digital currency in the form of news articles posted on a website. This currency can be minted out at will by the benevolent dictator who runs the site. As in all healthy economies, currency has been supplied at a rate that matches demand in order to keep the economy stable. On the weekends, for example, demand typically has gone down. Thus, the weekend currency supply typically has been reduced to match.

Imagine, though, that the dictator enacts a new policy that makes The People mad. Grumbling and other political unrest ensue. Noticing this, the dictator tells himself, "The People are revolting." So, he dictator issues a soothing message. That works to some extent but ultimately isn't completely effective, primarily because he doesn't explicitly reverse the unwelcome policy; worse, if one reads his statement carefully, it actually states that the unwelcome policy will remain. Still, the dictator finds The People revolting.

So, in order to distract The People and make them feel richer, the benevolent dictator who runs the site suddenly begins minting out lots of new currency on the weekend. Notably, weekend demand has not increased but has actually decreased due to disruption of the economy caused by the new policy. Yet supply goes through the roof.

As in all such cases where supply of a currency greatly outpaces demand, hyperinflation results. The currency is inevitably devalued. Of course, The People notice this. Rather than feeling richer, hyperinflation makes them feel even poorer, and, ironically, actually contributes to the economic disruption that the benevolent dictator was hoping to ameliorate. The People begin to question the benevolence of their beloved dictator even further.

The dictator soon recognizes the hyperinflation he has created, and realizes that minting out currency is the cause of it. (As Milton Friedman said, "Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.") Yet he keeps minting out currency. Worse, he stubbornly sticks to the bad policy that caused his whole little economy to spiral out of control.

After all, what's the use of being a dictator if you aren't always right?

Comment Re:Bizarre Personal Cult (Score 1) 279

I've read many Edison biographies over the years, and it's true that the things he gets full credit for had some roots in work others were doing. I know of two exceptions: the phonograph and the carbon microphone (for telephones). Both were completely original and were important innovations.

In the case of RMS, it's striking that the also has done very little original work. In fact, the whole basis of the GNU was to replicate UNIX. Now that's something to be proud of - especially when the hardest part of imitating UNIX, the kernel, was done by a kid from Finland. The only truly original major thing RMS has ever done that I'm aware of is create the GPL. That may explain why he now devotes all his energy to that single idea. Either that, or he truly believes in it. The most successful hucksters always believe in their own snake oil.

Although the GPL is original, I agree with the AC above that "free software" either isn't all that significant, or if it is, would have been invented by somebody else. ("Necessity is the mother of invention.) And even though the phonograph was original to Edison, it's hard to imagine that we would not have sound recording today if he had never been born.

Comment Build compatibility (Score 4, Interesting) 279

Having read TFA, this collaboration appears to be partly about build compatibility. So far, it sounds like LLVM/Clang has been imitating GCC options. But what happens when one or the other of them adds a new option or feature? That might break builds designed for the other one. So, it sounds like the two groups would like to start communicating and coordinating so that both systems can be compatible at a build level in the future. Implicit in this is that both would continue to exist as independent entities and that build compatibility would be a primary goal for both. Perhaps some deeper form of technical collaboration might even be possible in the future.

Then again, I may have that all wrong. I know nothing about it except what I learned from reading TFA. If that causes a problem, I'll try not to do it again.

Comment Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (Score 1) 252

I see that my parent post got marked as a Troll. If trying to further the discussion here on Slashdot with some interesting (I thought) points that others have subsequently elected to respond to in an interesting way constitutes Trolling, then I'm guilty as charged. Please forgive me. I think I'll take next week off from commenting as penance to pay for my Trolling sins here.

Comment Re:Twice nothing is still nothing. (Score 0) 252

If Slashdot really has no commercial value, I guess anything the "audience" says doesn't actually matter. Anyway, if the boycott actually happens next week, at least it will eliminate all of the f* beta posts, and the value of Slashdot suddenly will climb back up to zero.

Comment Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (Score 0, Troll) 252

Please realize that Beta will not have the features that we want, because it goes against Dice's plans for Slashdot.

You make some good points, but the thing I don't understand about this idea that Dice is intentionally repurposing Slashdot is that if they do so, they lose almost all the value of the existing site, leaving only a well known domain name and some sort of "brand". The former is easy to come by, and the latter is of no value if all its previous "audience" becomes disillusioned with it. So, can someone please explain to me why the deliberate destruction of Slashdot would be in Dice's business interest? Also, if that's what they wanted to do, why bother with a transition to a new format at all? Why not just pull the plug on the old site if you don't care about alienating the existing "audience" because you'll be doing something completely different with the domain?

It seems far more logical to me that they would try to retain the current "audience" as much as possible, which is where most of the value of the site is. If we assume they're losing money with the current format, it might be logical to for them to change formats, though there's a significant risk of alienating the current "audience" if they change it too much too fast, or otherwise handle the transition badly - as they've clearly done. As the old saying goes, "Don't ascribe to conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence."

So, personally, I think they want to restore profitability via a change in format (which may or may not work - probably not), while somehow retaining as much of the current "audience" as they can. That may be an impossible task, but if we assume they're currently losing money on Slashdot, they don't have much to lose by trying. At the very worst, they could make it break even by just shutting it down, then make a modest profit by selling the domain name for $100K or whatever.

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