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Comment Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 1) 165

An aspect of Nazism managed to seep into the British Empire precisely because they were mortal enemies

I think you might have some of this the wrong way around. The British Empire had institutionalised racism and concentration camps in its colonies long before the Nazis existed.

Comment Re:House of Lords? (Score 1) 282

Who whips up that fervor, the war on drugs wasn't started as a grass roots campaign, for sure, it came from the top

Most often, it's the people who either need A Cause to get elected, or want to use a particular mob cry to funnel money to businesses in their constituency and get kickbacks (sorry, campaign contributions). The old hereditary House of Lords (before they abolished most of them and stuffed the house with Labour cronies followed by Tory cronies) had the advantage that, aside from a few issues like inheritance tax and fox hunting, the members didn't really have much of a vested interest in anything. If you watched the debates, the contrast between the two houses was astonishing. The Commons was full of people trying to score points against the other party, the Lords was almost empty, but those there were having an intelligent debate on the issues in the legislation.

Comment Re:All the happy (Score 3, Informative) 136

OpenVMS has run on Itanium since Itanium was launched. This isn't a port to a new OS, it's just updating the existing support for the newer chips.

The x86 port story is quite funny though. The 80386 launched with four protection rings specifically to make porting VMS from VAX easy. DEC never did the port (or, if they did, never released it publicly) and instead designed their own chip, the Alpha as the successor to the VAX. The Alpha just had two protection rings, which required a little bit of restructuring of the VMS design. Now, x86-64 has only two protection rings (unless you count HVM and SMC modes as rings), and is being considered as a porting target for VMS...

Comment Re:It's not a marketplace.. (Score 1) 258

Are you really that obtuse? A marketplace that someone is saying is large is significantly smaller than a single company that sells products in that market. Your argument is equivalent to saying 'this big shop has a huge profit and sells thousands of products!' and then mocking people who point out that there are individual suppliers of single products in that shop that have an order of magnitude higher profit nationwide than the total profit from all sales in the shop.

Comment Re:where's the money?! (Score 1) 213

Communications of the ACM has changed a lot over the last few years. They're trying to make it a lot more relevant and also raise the impact. This means that the Practitioners section is now managed by the team behind ACM Queue and contains stuff that people doing exciting things in industry are doing and the rest has a higher standard of peer review. The Research Highlights section often points to papers that I want to read. Most of the top-tier conferences and journals for computer science are ACM-sponsored.

Comment Re:It's not a marketplace.. (Score 1) 258

Yeah, lets compare a 40 year old monopoly company (making money w large contracts) to a bunch of small upstart developers (making money $0.99 at a time) and laugh.

Let's not. Let's compare the mobile app market to one company. The mobile app market has a number of small upstart developers making $0.99 at a time, but it also includes companies like IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and a large number of software houses that are 20-40 years old, several of which have been on the receiving end of antitrust lawsuits.

Comment Re:where's the money?! (Score 2) 213

This is, unfortunately, the case with a number of funding bodies in academia. For example, DARPA won't pay for my membership, but will pay for the conference. My institution decided to pay for membership out of a different pot of money that doesn't have these restrictions, which ends up with a saving of a few hundred dollars on one account and a cost of a hundred dollars on another.

Comment Re:Thankfully those will be patched right in a jif (Score 1) 127

Ah, you're in the USA? Here, most people have pre-pay plans (being locked into a contract is generally seen as negative, unless it comes with some really good deals) and so get the phone that they bought along with their SIM and then hang onto it until it breaks or someone gives them a new one. I don't think I know anyone who pays close to $40/month on a phone bill (a fifth to a tenth of that is common and it's hard for a contract that comes with a new phone to be that cheap). At that price, I'd probably do without a mobile.

Comment Re:uh, get rid of the "top X" ranking? (Score 2) 258

Amazon's app store is a bit better, because they're good at correlating things you've bought with things you might want to buy, so have recommendations that don't totally suck. The only reason I actually have it installed though is their free app of the day (which isn't necessarily a good thing - there are a couple of games that it's given me that have wasted a lot of my time...)

Comment Re:It's not a marketplace.. (Score 3, Informative) 258

$13b is a big-sounding number. But it's not that big in comparison to some other numbers. For example, there were 75b downloads from the Apple App Store last month, so even if that $13b were just for the last month, not for the lifetime of the App Store, it would amount to less than 20 for each download. There are 1.2m apps available, so $13b means just over $10K per app. That's quite a lot for a week's work, but it's a pittance compared to the cost of developing a typical program, especially when you consider the earnings per year.

Oh, and for reference, Microsoft's revenue for the last quarter was about $20b. Which makes $13b spread between 1.2m apps seem very, very small. (I'm assuming that your $13b number is just for developers selling through the Apple App Store. If it also includes Android then it's an even more laughable number).

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