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Comment Re:Internet Explorer (Score 5, Insightful) 391

Yes, but how do you know that MS hasn't inserted a nice big back-door for the spooks?

From a "security" perspective, you'll have to go with an open-source browser -- but even that's not a guarantee.

To be sure, you'll have to compile it yourself from a set of source files that you have gone through with a fine-toothed comb, checking each line for any chance of hidden functionality.

Oh, come to think of it -- you'll also have to assemble all the libraries from similarly vetted sources -- oh, and that means you'll need to use a compiler you've built from vetted sources -- but hey, that would involve using another compiler that could already be compromised so...

You'll have to hand-code (from source to binary) every bite of the compiler you use and then type it in through a BIOS that you've also hand coded -- entering the BIOS code through a set of toggle switches on the front panel.

Bottom line -- you don't *know* for sure that *any* browser is going to be secure.

Comment Re:They're making friends like nobody's business! (Score 1) 243

What was the problem with unloading Symphony on consulting support based upon LibreOffice? Given that this is a business they want to be rid of, I would expect they would not need to bolt proprietary stuff on to it any longer.

Regarding MariaDB support, I think you're correct that they're treating it as a competitor. This wasn't really the case for MySQL. IBM provided a supported version of MySQL.

Comment Re:They're making friends like nobody's business! (Score 1) 243

IBM is most visible around Apache OpenOffice. What they are doing around MySQL v. MariaDB is tacit support through inaction. They didn't turn to supporting MariaDB or another MySQL version when Oracle de-supported MySQL on IBM platforms. They did something similar during Oracle v. Google - they chose just that time to abandon the Harmony project and commit to Oracle's JDK.

Comment Re:good (Score 3, Informative) 243

If they own the copyright, they are free to relicense a piece of data

Sorry to be pedantic, but replace "a piece of data" with "a work of authorship". If there isn't the creative work of a human being involved, it's not copyrightable. And then we get to this:

17 CFR 102(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

And that means that even when the hand of man is involved, a lot of things are still not copyrightable.

Comment They're making friends like nobody's business! (Score 3, Interesting) 243

Let's look at what Oracle is doing. I'll start the list of moves that appear to be intended to alienate the community around the very software they're promoting and cause the Open Source community to create viable forks that end up absconding with the product and its market. You guys contribute additional examples...

  • Oracle v. Google regarding Java and the premise that APIs are copyrightable.
  • Apache OpenOffice v. LibreOffice (which has a full-time negative publicity generator in Rob Weir).
  • MySQL v. MariaDB.

IBM isn't known for dumb moves, but partnering with Oracle on this sure is one.


Comment I remember when... (Score 5, Insightful) 134

I'm probably one of the older readers/posters here and I'll tell you why I hate TV.

Back when I was a kid, there was no TV.

People and communities were far different.

Everyone knew their neighbours and interacted with them on a daily basis.

We'd have card or board-game evenings on a Tuesday night, whereupon most everyone in the street would roll up at someone's house and enjoy a very social time together, enjoying each other's company and having fun. We kids would play out in the yard (in summer) or inside (in winter), sharing our comics and also playing games.

When Mrs Brown 5 doors down was ill, someone would go mow her lawns every weekend and the women would take turns making sure she had a nutritious meal three times a day.

Most Saturday nights the guy who lived next to us would get out his 16mm film projector and a movie would be screened on his garage door. The adults would all sit around watching and drinking beer -- while we kids also watched or just went and played ball in the yard out back.

Because of this tight bonding between neighbors, those were days when you could leave your car parked in the driveway (or on the road outside your house) with the keys in it and when folk went on vacation, they never bothered to lock their doors -- otherwise the people next door couldn't get in to water the plants while you were away.

Perhaps my glasses of retrospect are rose-tinted, but they were wonderful, carefree, crime-free days where I lived.

Then TV came along.

Once everyone had their own set, people no longer got together and socialised of an evening. Instead, they stayed in their own houses and after a few years (as some folk sold up and others moved in), it quickly became apparent that we didn't even know some of those who lived in the street.

A little later, after a few car-thefts and burglaries, people started locking their cars and doors.

You see, once the fabric of the community was torn by the isolating effect of television, most folk no longer had the close bond that once existed with the others in their neighborhood -- in fact people became anonymous. Once folk are anonymous their inhibitions tend to drop and they're far more likely to submit to temptation (such as theft or other crimes). Just look at how differently many people behave when they're on vacation in a different part of the country and you'll see the proof of that. If the people around you know who you are you tend to be far more conservative and circumspect in your behavior. Go somewhere where nobody knows you and it's easier to behave badly.

Anyway, TV has now become opiate of the masses. Far too many people spend a huge percentage of their life passively sitting in front of the box, soaking up everything that's thrown at them.

If you'd tried to describe why the Kardashians would be celebrities back when I was a kid, people would simply not understand -- and I have to admit, I still don't get it.

The best thing we could do for any nation is to switch off TV and show people that "reality" is a much better option than "reality TV".

Hell, imagine how much better off we'd all be if we spent an hour less each day watching TV and instead, used that time to improve our education, earn a little extra money -- or just spend quality time with our friends and families.

I doubt very much whether *anyone's* last words will ever be "Darn, I wish I'd spent more time watching TV".

But hey, I'm old enough to know I'm wrong more often than I'm right -- so feel free to ignore this rant :-)

Comment Re:Year of Linux is Finally Here (Score 1) 1215

I switched from Ubuntu 10.4 when the LTS was dropped for that version and I didn't want to fart around with a new UI, advertising (oops, sorry -- purchase recommendations), etc so I went to Mint.

Mint has some nice aspects when compared to U10.4 and some not so nice.

Still undecided at this stage which I prefer.

But both flavors of Linux are better than Windows (IMHO) which I only keep around for video rendering (with Vegas). If Sony did a version of Vegas for Linux (which they never will), I could toss my Windows box.

Comment Re:Cost (Score 2) 111

Now, if the citizens of NZ decided to sue their government for wasting so many resources on a personal vendetta against a single individual... THAT I can see making it to court.

Never going to happen.

NZers have a "she'll be right" attitude to everything.

No matter how shocking or horrifying the actions of their government, Kiwis just sit back and say "oh well, never mind" and then ask "what's for dinner, where's my beer?"

The government(s) of this country have forgotten that that their job is to *represent* the citizens, not rule over them like some despot dictator.

In just the past year or three we've had a raft of instances where the courts have ruled that the government or its agencies (such as the police or GCSB) have acted illegally/unlawfully.

In the case of Kim Dotcom, they raided the man's house, held him and his family at gunpoint then took away virtually everything he owned. The courts said "that was unlawful".

Now if *you* or *I* did such a thing it would be called armed robbery and we'd be playing "find the soap" with Bubba in the big house by now -- but when the government or its agencies do it -- they simply sweep the whole damned thing under the carpet and citizens are supposed to accept it.

We've also had armed police in black riot gear invade a small town, hold its people at gunpoint and carry out searches, interrogations and detainments which the courts have again ruled to be "unlawful". And yet again, nobody is held to account for this. Nobody is censured. Nobody is fined imprisoned or even loses their job.

The GCSB (our version of the NSA) was found to have unlawfully spied on over 80 NZ citizens or residents (including Kim Dotcom) in recent years, despite laws that prohibit such activities. The government's excuse was that people were apparently building weapons of mass destruction here and needed to be monitored. Really??? Nobody censured, nobody fined, nobody imprisoned for these breaches of the law.

In the latest fiasco, the courts have ruled that government moves to unilaterally change the way that accused citizens are entitled to legal aid (a public defender) is also illegal. So what was the government's response? "Too bad -- we're sticking with those changes anyway."

And they call this a free democracy?

Surely no government should be above the law and all must answer to the courts for their actions.

You may think that all the above is a horrible crime against the people -- but ultimately, the biggest crime of all is that the people of this country just sit back and take it. Aside from a few "radicals", nobody seems concerned that the government(s) of the day hold themselves and their agencies to be above the laws that have been created to control them. Unbelievable!

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