Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:SFLC Sues 14 Companies for Copyright Violations (Score 1) 309

It would amount to free software developers giving away their code as charity to proprietary shops, who would then sell it for a profit.

Who would buy it? One guy so he could rip out the license enforcement malware and share the result with everyone else?

Sure, lots of people would have a bunch of binary blobs on their computer until people realized that releasing blobs was a waste of time, but if any of them were actually important it wouldn't be that hard to re-create source for them.

Comment Re:Oh much the same way, HOWEVER (Score 1) 380

Right now China has a per-capita GDP of about $6000, while the corresponding figure in the USA is more like $50,000. The per-capita GDP of the USA + China is about $14,000 - about the same as Mexico.

So... when everyone in china "gets rich" we can all live like Mexicans?

That's also ignoring the increasing divide between the rich and the poor. In an economy based on "intellectual property", it's not people who work for a living who get rich. It's people who invest in the correct government-granted monopolies. Only entities with money will make a ton of money.

And, just to be clear, you're better off buying scratch tickets than hoping "luck out" and be the next Bill Gates.

Comment Re:"Zombie nukes?" Puh-leaze (Score 1) 260

Are you seriously suggesting that the only time for concern is AFTER we get the significant releases of radioactivity, or worker deaths?

You don't seem to realize how crazy a figure of zero deaths is in a major industry like nuclear power. Coal plants? People die. Natural gas plants? People die. Making facial tissues? People die.

Comment Re:If I understand it right (Score 1) 260

You are really missing the point.

1970's era reactors were somewhat dangerous. If you set the knobs in the control room wrong, they'd melt down. The plant would be completely destroyed. People standing nearby might even get a dangerous dose of radiation. Probably there wouldn't be any radioactive materials released because of the containment domes, but it'd still be bad news.

Modern designs largely don't have that sort of problem. You set the knobs wrong, and the plant mechanically and chemically tends towards a safe state. There's no meltdown because the system isn't unstable.

Comment Re:Monopoly (Score 3, Interesting) 330

The world "monopoly" here is being used to mean "market power". This is common usage.

A firm having market power means that the market is broken. Firms abusing market power in one market to create market power in another market is a serious problem.

Whether simply having market power due to lucking out with the network effect is something that anyone should be given shit over is arguable. On the other hand, market power gained through abuse of government regulation is a serious issue that needs to be fixed.

Google's power seems to come mostly from economies of scale, somewhat from network effects, and hardly at all from government regulation.

Comment Re:BS: "tip of the iceberg" (Score 1) 549

With multiple binaries in a tar/deb/rpm you end up with multiple binaries and end users randomly trying them in the hopes that one will be the right one for their computer. A lot of users don't know their chip architecture or if it is 32 or 64 bit.

No you don't. The package has "binary.x86", "binary.x86_64", "binary.ppc", etc. The post-install script detects the architecture, installs it to the name "binary", and deletes the rest.

Comment Re:Ubuntu Bleeding Edge Features Ready for Prime T (Score 1) 744

If you chose not to have a separate /home and use upgrades rather than fresh installs, that should work reasonably well.

That doesn't mean there aren't significant advantages to using a separate /home partition if you want to put in the effort. All you have to do is remember to move your user directory (e.g. to user-old) before doing the clean install, and you have all the advantages of a clean install without having to backup and restore your files.

Comment Re:And don't forget the NVidia non-user base (Score 4, Insightful) 317

You're so convinced that preference for open source software is a question of "dogma" espoused by "purists" that you haven't stopped to consider the practicalities of the issue. When it comes to drivers on Linux, proper open source releases have huge practical advantages:

  • They can be distributed with distros without anyone needing to jump through weird hoops.
  • They can be maintained in-kernel, so they work with new kernel releases automatically.
  • They can be fixed by the community, so they have fast turnaround on annoying bugs and favorite features.
  • If the device manufacturer doesn't keep up with them, they don't instantly code rot.
  • They can be integrated with other standard code, so they do all the normal stuff without anyone needing to re-invent the wheel.

When it comes to graphics drivers, these issues are mitigated to a large extent by the fact that Nvidia and ATI have very active driver teams that keep up with things. There are still some advantage to Intel graphics from open source drivers: you'll never have to worry about picking "old" or "new" driver packages like Nvidia for example. Having the option to one day run OpenBSD is another. But, in general, using Nvidia or ATI blobs on Linux is reasonably painless.

The same is absolutely not true for any other kind of hardware. Proprietary network drivers, RAID drivers, printer drivers, or webcam drivers are simply a nightmare - much better to get something with in-kernel drivers that will just work out of the box. The manufacturer *will* forget about you and leave you stuck on random old kernel revisions limping along with an unsupported driver.

Comment Re:A bad comparison (Score 3, Interesting) 180

In fact, Google's whole business model largely depends on it closely guarding the search engine's algorithms.

Not really. What do you think would happen if they published their algorithms? Hint: Nothing. It's not 1999 where Google's results are drastically better than Webcrawler's or whatever. Everyone uses Google. Everyone would keep using Google if someone else popped up and said they had Google's algorithms and a much worse database of sites.

Hell, for all we know Cuil or Bing has the greatest algorithm ever. No one will ever know because they don't go there.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a multipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer, as amended by Jeff Daiell, a Libertarian