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Comment Re:We love you, mr. Torvalds (Score 1) 216

Um yeah a competitor won't use it? bahaha. They rip off Linux code all the time which is why the point of lawyers are brought up.

Actually, given the vast usage of Linux worldwide, it's astonishing how rare such abuses are.

Shoot some companies like banks have ANTI GNU policies to protect themselves.

Some companies are still clueless enough to do that, yes.

Linux can not be used as a simple link to GPL infects the whole program making it viral.

Poppycock. Programs running on Linux do not link to Linux. It's well-accepted that the GPL does not affect programs that merely make syscalls.

I am not a troll here.

Interesting that you feel the need to make that statement.

GNU geeks do not know the difference between GPL and LGPL and assume anyone can use their API. It is not true and it pisses me off.

Also nonsense. Most F/LOSS software developers understand perfectly the distinction between GPL and LGPL, and choose appropriately based on whether they want to allow their code to be linked to non-GPL code. Personally, I've used both licenses for libraries I wrote. Though for programs I tend to choose GPL and for libraries I tend to choose Apache2 or BSD. I think the use case for LGPL is pretty narrow.

Investors agree and so the lawyers that [BSD] is the best option

Only if your lawyers haven't bothered to think about patents. The BSD license has a severe flaw in that it doesn't include a patent grant. If you're incorporating someone else's code into your product and you aren't absolutely certain they don't hold any patents on it, you may be setting yourself up for a patent lawsuit. Apache2 is often a better choice for that reason.

Comment Re:BSDL vs GPL (Score 1) 216

I don't see how the GPL forces you to push your contributions upstream.

"Forces" is too strong, but there's a powerful incentive to upstream changes. Not upstreaming them means that you end up maintaining a library of patches that you have to port to each new version that's released. Over time this gets to be really difficult and expensive.

Note that this is also true for BSD code... except that in the BSD world there are some legal counter-incentives that discourage you from upstreaming. Too many people will argue that because the license allows you to keep your code to yourself, you should, which leads you into a patch-maintenance hell that the business and legal types don't appreciate or understand. So, the GPL helps the technical staff by eliminating the secrecy argument and encouraging upstreaming, which eliminates patch-maintenance hell.

Also, the upstream argument is something that's been compellingly disproven in the case of BSD.

No, it hasn't. You're right that smart BSD projects do upstream changes to avoid patch maintenance hell, but it takes a particularly enlightened organization to do it. The GPL helps be eliminating the option of keeping your changes secret. In a very few cases, this is a problem because the code in question has crucial competitive value *and* can't be run effectively in userspace. But those cases are rare, and the tendency is for organizations to vastly overestimate the value of their proprietary code.

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 528

If you're a Ron Paul supporter voting for Trump, I fear that "confused" is rather an understatement of your mental state.

I think not so much "confused" as "shallow". I can see a very surface correspondence between Paul and Trump: They both like to buck the establishment. The fact that the do so in very different ways and for very different reasons requires looking past the top millimeter of each. I suppose a vote for Obama (in his first presidential campaign) could fit as well if the same incredibly shallow analysis just focused on the "Hope and Change" slogan.

Comment Google does something like this (Score 1) 174

Google does something like this, on a selective basis.

I think it started as something done only for special cases, but I know a few people who arranged it. One woman I know works three days per week instead of five, for 60% of her normal salary. She has also taken a large chunk of her 18-week maternity leave and uses it one day per week, so she actually works two days per week but gets paid for three, until the maternity leave runs out. Her husband has arranged a similar structure with his employer (not Google), working three days per week so one of them is always home with the kids. She's a fairly special case, though, because she's a freakishly brilliant software engineer who any smart company would bend over backwards to accommodate.

However, it's now been expanded to be made generally available to full-time employees. It requires management approval, but the descriptions I've seen make it clear that management is expected to agree unless there are specific reasons why it can't work. Salary, bonuses and stock are pro-rated based on the percentage of a normal schedule that is worked. Most commonly, people work 60% or 80% schedules (i.e. three or four days per week instead of five). Other benefits, such as health care, etc., are not pro-rated, but either provided or not, depending on the percentage of normal hours worked.

I could see myself going to a 60% work week in a few years, having a four-day weekend every week in exchange for a 40% pay cut.

Comment Re:Yep. (Score 1) 169

One part of your experience that rings false to me is the level of support required for Windows machines vs Macs. My experience is narrower than yours, because I'm a programmer not an IT support guy, but I do get used as an IT support guy by friends and family because, you know, I "do computers". With that caveat, my experience is that the single biggest thing I can do to reduce my support burden is to get them to trade in their Windows laptop for something else. The very best alternative is a Chromebook, then a Macbook. Installing Ubuntu instead of Windows is also a good support-reducer, but not as many have gone that route.

As far as mobile devices go, I do more Android support than iOS support, but I think that's mostly because all of my immediate family, and most of my extended family, uses Android. Plus the Apple users are a little less likely to come to me for help because they know I'm an Android guy (because I work on Android system development).

Comment Re:Insufficiently Realistic (Score 1) 306

Until the dolls literally spray genuine, authentic baby shit and vomit on you in the middle of the night, they are going to be inadequate to the task of dissuading girls from wanting to make babies.

If you can't actually fill them with a truly realistic substitute for unwanted infant fluids, they're worthless.

I don't think that has anything to do with it.

I've raised four kids (youngest is now 15, oldest is 23), and the bad parts of having children, and babies, really have nothing to do with the icky body fluids. I've changed more than a few "blowout" diapers, and even had a couple of kids puke into my mouth and that's really not the bad/difficult part of having and raising children. The bad/difficult part is the commitment required. Kids require very close to 24/7 effort for years, and a lower level of focus and attention for decades. They're financially expensive, emotionally and physically demanding and they require you to be able to deal with your life so you can also deal with theirs.

On the surface, caring for a robo-baby for a few months should be a reasonable approximation of that. Where it falls down is not the lack of body fluids, I think, but the knowledge that (a) it's only a grade, not a life and (b) it is only a few months. (a) means that if you screw it up, it's not so terrible, and (b) means that you know there's an end in sight. Both of those probably significantly reduce the impact.

The schools in my area do something similar, but they don't use a robot, they use a bag of flour. That's not as good in that it won't rat them out for failing to care for it, but it may have another advantage (besides the low cost): It's not cute. I wonder if the robo-babies don't backfire because they get girls thinking about how cool it would be to have a cute little baby all their own.

Comment Advise you get a "throwdown phone" (Score 2) 42

Because putting your phone number out there will probably pollute it and soon you'll be getting telemarketing calls 24x7 effectively killing the number.

They'll promise to take care of your number but they'll sell it to a "business partner" or they'll lose the list due to poor security or when they go bankrupt it will be sold as an asset.

I've had multiple email and one phone number polluted like this so far. I don't trust'em any more.

Comment Re:massive parallel processing=limited application (Score 1) 112

Also, there is caching, and also, some loads are heavy on longish FPU operations.

So... it doesn't quite work out that way. Also, multicore designs can have separate memory.

One example of multicore design that's both interesting and functional are the various vector processor graphics cores. Lots of em in there; and they get to do a lot of useful work you couldn't really do any other way with similar clock speeds and process tech.

Comment Re:AI needs some improvement (Score 1) 54

I just won a game of Tic-Tac-Toe for the first time ever.

Since it's trivial to write an algorithm that plays optimally and since a player using an optimal strategy will never lose, Google clearly did not try to create an "AI" whose focus is winning. Instead, they appear to have created an algorithm that is a fairly decent novice player. Which, actually is a good deal harder than optimal play.

Well, maybe not. It wouldn't be too difficult to take an optimal play implementation and randomly cause it to choose a bad move. For example, if it's playing X you could have it select a move at random, rather than always taking a corner. And at each subsequent move you could give it a smallish chance of making a bad move. That approach might simulate a decent novice well enough.

Perhaps a better approach would be to use machine learning and have it learn from novice games, or even from well-played games, but leave it incompletely trained. That might make it more "human-like".

Comment Re:Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 2) 681

The trend towards war is down.

But as we run out of non-renewable resources over the next 100 years, global warming won't matter.

The loss of pesticides, fertilizers, stainless steel, etc. all will limit our growth, lead to population declines, and possibly pretty terrible war (we have a lot of ugly stuff we agree not to use but as history shows, we will use during total war).

80 years from now, we may be at 12 billion and 80% likely to still be rising.

200 years from now, the earth is more likely to have a population of 3 billion than 20 billion. To avoid that we'll have to invent a lot of new technologies really fast as we hit multiple limits. Consumption of non-renewable resources by a population of 12 billion will be terrific.

I think most of the breakdown happens after I die. But I think we do have a breakdown- things have gotten visibly more brittle over the last 20 years. There's not as much slack in the system as their used to be. Which is fine until you have a problem.

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