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Comment Re:Why have that in colleges at all? (Score 1) 177

Let me clarify -- why is this allowed? Colleges have shitloads of government funding and regulation behind them, why are they allowed to engage in business that is clearly at odds with their primary purpose? And if sports are OK then why not, say, strip clubs?

Money. Just like everything else.

Football brings in multiple tens of millions of dollars per year in income (after expenses) at traditional football powers. A total of over $1 billion this year amongst all schools.

Strip clubs, not so much cash, and worse yet, they might turn off alumni donors.

Also football is NOT "clearly at odds with the primary purpose" of a university. It's an entertainment function for students and alumni, and there are careers in the industry for which the university is preparing students. If you ban football, you better kick out all the Drama majors, Fine Arts majors, literature majors, and fuck just about everything else that wasn't hard science, business, or engineering. You could call it... Purdue.

Comment Re:The Volume WILL return (Score 1) 263

if you can cut off the funding to the spammers (from the owners of the spamvertised domains) you will see spam finally whither and die

If only it were so easy. First, finding the owner of a just-registered-with-a-stolen-card domain isn't exactly trivial and costs time and money. Secondly, a spamming business can always claim to be the victim of a "Joe Job" by their competition. Unless the actual money changing hands between spamvertiser and spammer is nailed down by law enforcement, there's really no way to prove spamming. Since law enforcement most likely can't get a warrant based soley on the contents of an unauthenticated SMTP message, there's no way to subpoena those records.

The way to "solve" email spam is to replace SMTP entirely with a system where the sender is authenticated and "pays" for the message with their own network/storage/compute resources. But SMTP is too entrenched for that to happen in any time-frame shorter than decades. Facebook, Twitter, and other messaging formats may ultimately challenge the ubiquity of SMTP, but they have other problems (centralized infrastructure in private hands being a major one). Protocols such as IM2000 and DomainKeys have seen basically zero adoption, even 10 years after introduction. SPF is in use, but has done little to stem the tide.

In short, because of an understandable lack of foresight on the part of a few engineers during the 1970s, we're screwed for a long while, and dealing with SPAM will be part of your daily life.

Submission + - Apple installs Safari by default again

Thundersnatch writes: It appears that Apple is once again making its Safari 5 web browser and MobileMe software install by default via Apple Software Update on Windows, even if users had previously deselected these options in their preferences. They've been down this road before and faced significant backlash. If Microsoft did something like this people would be calling for a DOJ investigation.

Comment Re:Good enough? (Score 1) 245

Apparently you missed my Vorbis/MP3 comparison. MP3 was "dead in the water" on free software platforms, too. But that didn't matter at all, and Vorbis never seriously threatened MP3 as the de-facto audio file format standard.

What will continue to happen is that free software users will download open source H.264 software as they already do, and not pay any licensing fees (even if they are required to in their jurisdiction). This is the same situation as with MP3 and audio, except the "free" video solution is far worse in terms of technical quality compared with the patented solution. So there is even less incentive to use the unencumbered solution. So H.264 will still dominate.

Unless there is a VP9 or something that leapfrogs H.264 in quality, this will not change. The MPEG-LA is smart enough to know that keeping reasonably low fees will prevent other solutions from taking hold in the marketplace. For example, they made it free to transmit H.264 to end-users who aren't paying, and have caps so that the costs for big players aren't a concern.

Comment Re:Good enough? (Score 1) 245

...specifically to prevent license/royalty issues with proprietary codecs to let the little guys compete, I'm rooting for Google.

The problem is, Google brought a knife to a gun fight. The latest VP8 encoder still needs at least 50% more bits than the best H.264 encoders to achieve the same quality. I don't know of too many content producers willing to increase their CDN bill by 50% each month to save on H.264 license fees. H.264 is an open standard, widely deployed, has hardware support, and is technically superior to VP8. It will always be better, as i don't expect a 50% improvement feom VP8 encoders as they evolve. That's tough to overcome. Vorbis could not overcome the popularity of MP3 even though it was at least as good at a technical level.

Comment Re:Funny you mention it... (Score 1) 121

What isn't on Netflix or Hulu can be found elsewhere

Not live sports. Some of us went to engineering schools that had football teams.

There is no reasonable HD online source for live sports. Microsoft's Smooth Streaming demo/broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics is the only truly HD-and-live sporting event I can recall being available at any sort of scale. (Quality for the downhill was fantastic on a 10 Mbps link, thanks to LimeLight I suppose). ESPN3 quality and selection sucks.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 163

Right now just about every TOS type document has "we reserve the right to alter this agreement without notice at any time" clauses. It is time to test that, though. Just because you were arbitrarily forced to agree to something to use a service, doesn't mean it will stand up in court.

Such a clause should never exist in a business-to-business contract. It's the first thing we negotiate away, fixing the terms of the deal into the document itself. Including copies of the AUP in effect at the time of contract signing.

We're a small company, and even our major vendors know that the "we can change terms whenever" thing doesn't fly in B2B contracts. Our contracts with Microsoft, Rackspace, and Adobe all have fixed terms.

Now, if SimpleCDN had a fixed-terms contract with their datacenter vendors in force, then they're getting screwed and should sue those vendors. If they didn't have a fixed-trerms contract, they're still getting screwed, but should sue their own lawyers for negligence instead.

Comment Re:After reading you comment three times (Score 2, Insightful) 163

Do you have a copy of the contract that SimpleCDN and their providers?

Well that is clearly the problem. SimpleCDN had no such contract, other than un-negotiated, one-sided, "we can change this at any time" terms of service you get with cheap-ass hosting accounts.

Honestly, that's no way to run a business. Even if you had a fuckton of redundancy, and used three separate cheap-ass hosting providers for each of your POPs, you're still running a huge amount of risk having no contract with your primary suppliers, especially when they merge with each other and shoot your redundancy all to hell.

SimpleCDN was basically an arbitrage operation, reselling under-priced bandwidth. They started a game of musical chairs, and they lost, just like the options traders who were long on GM's stock or mortgage-backed securities a few years ago.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 375

No other open source, commercial, or web mail client from the late-2002 era had full-text indexing/search features either as far as I can recall. Gmail didn't exist yet. Thunderbird was far from a 0.1 release. Lotus Notes was and still is a piece of shit.

If you were stuck on Lotus Notes 6.0 or Netscape Mail 4.5 you'd be even more pissed.

Comment Re:I don't understand it (Score 1) 609

PowerPoint. Excel. Word. Exchange. Even Access. SQL Server. All innovative because they improved greatly on what was already the de-facto leader in their market space, and all quite successful as a result. Innovation doesn't just mean "something nobody else has done before", it can mean "doing a thing better, cheaper, or easier than anyone else has done before". People forget that Microsoft was once a tiny company who made an awkward little joke of an OS, and then the hired some really talented people and created products that were really just better in some way than what came before.

Comment Re:+1 million, insightful (Score 1) 375

But on the other hand, with FOSS you don't have the "tens of thousands of dollars" spent for each upgrade

Yes you do, it's just that the costs are staff (sysadmin, developer, testing) time rather than software licenses + staff time. Open source software is 'free as in beer' only if your time has no value. In general, we've found that we trade increased overall staff time for license fees with most FOSS solutions. Sometimes this turns out to be a good trade: we use nginx and Tomcat heavily. Sometimes not so much: dealing with Samba is far more expensive in terms of staff time than just buying Windows Server licenses.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 375

You're just plain wrong. Outlook 2007 and 2010 have Instant Search, which integrates with the Microsoft desktop search service, availble for XP and installed by default on Vista and Win7. I search for "bunny", and it finds all emails with "bunny" and "bunnies" in the headers, content, or even inside most file attachments. Operators like "from:", "subject:", etc. are also available.

Comment Re:+1 million, insightful (Score 1, Interesting) 375

Sounds good, until you have that old application running on an old OS that doesn't work with any of your new management frameworks, procedures, new clients apps, etc. Then you're really screwed and a migration is much more painful and costly than it needs to be.

Actually, I believe the FOSS world is much WORSE than Microsoft in this area. Microsoft is a slave to backwards compatibility. With many FOSS applicaitons/frameworks/whatever, if you're not running a very current release, you're basically hosed when it comes to security patches, interoperability, community support, etc. One only has to visit the forums of any popular FOSS software solution to see this in action:

Q: I'm seeing this bug on version 2.3.34 of foozywhatzit. Anybody know of a workaround?

A: 2.3.34? That's ancient. It was released more than three months ago! Download the latest source tree, apply these seventeen patches found in random places all over the internet, hand-edit makefiles to allow compilation on Tuesdays on systems with SATA hard disks, and then recompile, and then fix the install scripts for your environment, and then run make install. Noob.

In reality, it's a lot cheaper to stay on the upgrade path for both commercial and FOSS software, skipping a version here or there but not falling more than two years or so behind.

Comment Re:Backroom deals killed Linux on the Desktop. (Score 1) 1348

Why did Dell despite pretty decent figures refuse to sell their Linux desktops in the open?

As I recall they showed up right next to the windows boxes in the little grid thingy. How is that hidden?

Why was it only avaliable in a very limited amount of countries?

Because they were testing the market. You don't spend millions launching a product line worldwide without a very good idea it will succeed.

Why did a computer with Linux cost more than one without an OS or FreeDos, or Windows?

Clearly because Dell believed they would cost more to support than Windows boxes. Probably because of driver issues, returns from clueless cheapskates, and separate low-volume licensing deals for the non-free bits they had to add to make a usable Linux desktop (e.g. DVD/MPEG stuff).

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