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Comment Re:Open.... (Score 1) 285

open system


(Computer Science) computing an operating system that is not specific to a particular supplier, but conforms to more widely compatible standards

Bingo! - The key word in that definition is 'compatible' - which is not the case when you're talking about Microsoft Windows.

More on 'Open Systems' can be found here:

The definition of "open system" can be said to have become more formalized in the 1990s with the emergence of independently administered software standards such as The Open Group's Single UNIX Specification.

Although computer users today are used to a high degree of both hardware and software interoperability, in the 20th century the open systems concept could be promoted by Unix vendors as a significant differentiator. IBM and other companies resisted the trend for decades, exemplified by a now-famous warning in 1991 by an IBM account executive that one should be "careful about getting locked into open systems".

However, in the first part of the 21st century many of these same legacy system vendors, particularly IBM and Hewlett-Packard, began to adopt Linux as part of their overall sales strategy, with "open source" marketed as trumping "open system". Consequently, an IBM mainframe with Linux on z Systems is marketed as being more of an open system than commodity computers using closed-source Microsoft Windows—or even those using Unix, despite its open systems heritage. In response, more companies are opening the source code to their products, with a notable example being Sun Microsystems and their creation of the and OpenSolaris projects, based on their formerly closed-source StarOffice and Solaris software products.

Comment Re:huh? (Score 1) 146

A decade or two ago (I'm not really sure when he wrote it)) Brad Templeton suggested something like this as a fix for various problems, especially trademark. My take is that the basic idea is that TLDs are already meaningless, so diversifying them into increased meaninglessness does no damage while offering some benefits. (e.g. makes monopolizing certain words harder, makes it easier to try out new registration policies, etc)

Comment There is little reason to sink (Score 1) 894

The comments here fall into two primary all-or-nothing buckets that seem to be on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Yet when you look closely, it is plain to see that both sides are really talking about the same thing: fear of the unknown resulting from change.

This fear arises because we don't take the time to actually use our minds to think critically from all points of view. Fear paralyzes us - and we take the easy way out - resorting to regurgitating dogma from sources that we identify with our own world-view. We do ourselves and the people around us a disservice when we substitute dogma for thought.

Here is a simple rule to live by - and help you determine if your dogma is in the best interests of everyone. The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and cultures the world over. Now - put yourself in the shoes of the people you are considering in the discussion - and assuming it is you who has to live with the outcome apply the dogma/position that you align with.

Now after doing that thought exercise, if you can honestly say that your position/dogma will not adversely impact others, then it is worthy of consideration. If it cannot, then you need to think about a new dogma.

Comment Re:Does anybody ... (Score 1) 474

how do you cut off *his* internet connection without cutting off the entire Ecuadorian Embassy's internet connection?

Go to the rack and unplug the ethernet cable whose other end is in Assange's room. Change the wifi password and only tell people the new one along with the instructions "don't share your password, especially with that Assange guy."

The "state actor" was Ecuador, or else it didn't happen. That's the only government capable of doing it.

Comment Re:Logical (Score 1) 365

Who is responsable in the case your AI-autonomous car decides to kill some pedestrians ?

I don't know. Tell me more about what happened right before that.

Was the pedestrian running out into traffic for laughs, to see all the cars crash into each other as some other threads here suggest? Was the occupant aiming it toward crowds to impress his friend with how it suddenly swerves away from the crowd when he takes his hands off the wheel? Did it just suddenly "randomly" turn off the street into a crowd as a result of a bug?

By the time someone or something decides "hit this or hit that" you already have a huge failure. That is way more important and common than the hit-this-or-that question itself.

Comment Re:Logical (Score 1) 365

If you're worried to the point of stupidity/paralysis ("be prepared to be sued out of existence") then you've already chosen to never drive even a manually-operated car, because you were overwhelmed by your fears. Most people don't have that attitude going on, so they already drive cars anyway, where they face constant daily risk of injuring or even killing pedestrians.

And some of them end up occasionally doing it, to many peoples' grief. For whatever reason, society didn't give up and decide the existence of cars was just too dangerous to allow. It's over a hundred years too late for to advocate against cars. By the time your grandparents were born, this argument (that we're having today) had already been settled.

How the vehicle got to be out of control is what everyone trying to establish liability will be asking. That it killed a pedestrian or driver is merely the motivation for asking.

Comment Re:A web browser rewriting web pages is good thing (Score 2) 76

Doesn't that seem counter-intuitive for a web browser to be rewriting the contents on a web page?

Speaking as someone who goes to extra trouble to add various extensions (e.g. ublock origin, privacy badger, tampermonkey, etc) to fix web pages because the browser still doesn't do enough, and who used proxies (squid-with-sleezeball, privoxy) before we had good browser extensions: no, it doesn't seem even slightly counter-intuitive. Why would it be counter-intuitive? I totally don't get it.

Shouldn't it be rendering it exactly as the developers intended it?

It should be rendering it however the user intends to see it.

Isn't this the browser equivalent of a compiler that inserts malicious code in programs that it compiles?

Yes, it is, if you look at it loosely enough. But then, it's also the browser equivalent of a program loader than removes malicious code from the programs it loads, or a linker that binds symbolic references to addresses, or a program that compresses data, or an image resizer, or good ol' awk and sed, or ... it's the browser equivalent of the web browser itself (rendering pages instead of showing HTML tags)! Gee, filtering data is like a lot of things!

Sorry you've had so many bad experiences that the first analogy that came to your mind was something unpleasant. Do you use a lot of malware? Maybe cut back on that.

Comment Re:Maybe Ted was right (Score 1) 131

You might as well say "power is evil." It's not. The problem is that your adversaries have more than you.

If the shoe were on the other foot, you'd be in favor of people having the ability to do more things easier. And then you'd be saying "Maybe Conan was right. Crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women is best in life!"

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