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Comment That sucks (Score 1) 11

My sister's kids had some respiratory problems a few years back, which the doctors treated with this thing called a "nebulizer" (I think). Apparently it's some sort of miraculous device because it solved all their problems and she can't stop talking about how great it is.

Not sure if that would help you. By her descriptions I gather it's just a high-tech version of the breathe-VicksVapoRub-in-hot-water thing my parents used to afflict us with when we were kids, but there's some sort of actual medication involved.

Hope you get better.

Comment Conspiracy theories and where are you guys headed? (Score 1, Insightful) 77

What do you say to the inevitable flood of "advocates" who claim Microsoft is doing this sort of thing to subvert FOSS?

Bonus points: Do you see Microsoft headed in the same general direction as Google and IBM where the core products and IP are held close to the chest while some of the more peripheral stuff (not key to revenue) is released under open licenses? Recent news like the open sourcing of one of the versions of the .NET framework make it seem that way.

Double bonus points: Do you see Microsoft ever releasing the whole of .NET itself under a non-restrictive license? Do you think there would be some benefit to Microsoft in pulling something akin to Sun GPL'ing Java and still retaining control over its direction? I ask this because it would end a lot of problems (imagined and real) with Mono, for example. But that would imply a lot of work with things like WinForms, ASP.NET and parts of the data client stack, without which any .NET implementation cannot help but be seen as a interesting experiment rather than as a valid enterprise-ready alternative.

To be clear, I would love to see Codeplex lead the way in facilitating a truly cross-platform alternative to .NET on the Windows platform. If that's Mono, great. Perhaps within Microsoft something like this is seen as a threat, but you guys need to get past that mindset. How come I can robustly host PHP or Python apps on Server 2003 today but I can't do the same with .NET in BSD? The Mono team has already done most of the heavy lifting, all you guys need to do is clear up the air around it!

(sorry for the multiple questions, these are things I've been thinking about lately a lot)

Comment Re:So what (Score 1) 212

The GPL places restrictions on distribution of derivatives of the work. It does not restrict in any way shape or form what users can do with the software, or even derivative works, so long as those never leave their hard drives.

Further, FOSS licenses grant you ownership rights over the work.

Proprietary software licenses on the other hand (I assume you're talking about EULAs and such) place restrictions on usage and distribution, and they only grant you licensee (not ownership) rights, which can be revoked at any point for any reason by the company you're getting the software from.

I might not be a big fan of Stallman and his philosophies, but if you're going to make a point like this about him, at least get the basic legalese right.

Comment Re:shared set of fictions (Score 1) 18

If you think about it, any religion that could be "proved", wouldn't then require faith.

No, I understand that. It's a basic premise of religious belief. My mother is a devout catholic. I was raised as a catholic. I understand Christian theology better than most self-proclaimed atheists. As with technology, I intensely dislike people who attack things they haven't taken the time to understand.

Now... I do not agree with it, but I will gladly go to war to defend your right to exercise your beliefs in peace and tranquility :)

or the natural (like Darwinism).

I don't have to believe in evolutionary theory. It does not require faith, so it's not a religion. I can look at the existing evidence and decide if I agree with the scientific methodology that produces its basic theoretical basis. I can challenge it if I have a differing conjecture or even conflicting evidence. Last time I looked the Vatican did not allow for any of that.

Still, I do not think it's appropriate to apply the scientific method to religious beliefs. That's just a clever cop-out tactic cooked up by people who are hostile to religion. Just don't tell me 'Darwinism' is a religion and we'll be OK :)

Comment Don't worry (Score 5, Interesting) 138

The US power grid is so ancient, convoluted and in such a massive state of disrepair that we can be sure we're safe from terrorists. They wouldn't even know where to begin to find a point in the system that could be used to trigger a catastrophic cascading failure like the one in the East Coast a few years ago.

Trees on the other hand... trees are truly evil.

Comment Well (Score 1) 23

My sister had reservations about this at first, mostly from the retarded propaganda around the whole thing. But in the end she didn't have a problem with my nephews and niece showing up at school and hearing this.

Too much noise around this I think. There was no agenda as far as I could see, which I would have objected to even if I happened to agree with it. I don't have a problem with the President addressing kids with a positive, non-propaganda message.

And keep in mind they attend a private catholic school :)

Comment Re:shared set of fictions (Score 1) 18

Truly religious people (those who are honest about their value system) don't operate on the assumption that their beliefs are fiction. They believe that the guy in the sky is real and that his influence on our reality can be successfully measured and quantified.

They are as convinced of that as much as a particle physicist is of the existence and measurable, observable behavior of a proton or electron.

That doesn't make it any better of course, nor does it make it any less fictional. But not all religious [nuts] are hypocritical like that.

Comment Re:Inflated Numbers (Score 3, Insightful) 374

This is a fav argument as always - the problem is that when you look at OS share collected by online data aggregators like NetApps it seems someone is actually connecting these mythical warehoused copies of Vista to the internet.

Personally, I think it's amazing Microsoft found a way to make unsold boxed DVDs of Vista to the internet. They might struggle to make Aero run on older hardware, but they're brilliant at wireless networking and power management.

By the way, 30% of roughly a billion PCs in the world... I'd like to have me a "complete failure" like that one every two or three decades.

Comment OK but (Score 1) 451

Number of people who use Magnatune < people who download the latest Britney Spears wreck from LimeWire.

Yes, this is wrong. But government employees are adults and I don't think they're being indoctrinated by this. And it makes no difference, because people who download crappy pop or rap music from P2P networks are the last ones who would ever even think of looking into freely-licensed music (and I'd agree with them since most of it is crappy, in my opinion).

Also, of course it ignores things like iTunes and Amazon MP3 sales, for example.

But let's cut down on the outrage here, please. This is not the way to communicate the problems with illegal vs legal content sharing, it's just more hand waving at dumb policies that make no difference either way. Ultimately the only thing the government and companies are trying to do is inoculate themselves from liability. The policy could have been worded better to reflect that instead of piling on legitimate file sharing, but again, Magnatune users are the least of their problems, and we all know that very well.

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