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Comment Re:Surviving off the GPL (Score 1) 480

It seems he has a smal business or is a self emplyed developer. You are tellling him to quit it and instead get a job at a company and become an employee (like a journalist) or become a freelancer for companies or individuals (like a plumber).

Im am not sure if these are valid options for this guy: he wants to keep his small business, and asks if he can develop free software instead of closed softare – and still make a living.

Comment One semester of humanities... for the parties! (Score 1) 564

Engineers could benefit enormously with one semester or two of humanities. A little knowledge of sociology, anthropology, psychology or economics can open the minds of engineers. And, let`s be honest, engineers are very intelligent, but could go farther on their careers and theirs lifes with better inter-personal skills.

For myself, I am doing the other inverse route. I have always been a nerd, but made a very unwise decision to go for a major on Communication studies, to become a journalist. I began using Linux during college, around 1998, as a hobby. When I started working, I wrote for a newspaper about (surprise!) computers and the interwebs. That was when I met Slashdot.

Unhappy with my career choice, I pursued another major, on Economics, and my favorite courses were calculus and econometrics. Now I work on the financial department of an engineer firm, and spend much of my time analyzing data and writing small VBS scripts (we use Oracle Hyperion to retrieve data from a database to MS Excel).

And for the title of the post... yes, 80% the parties on humanities majors are better than the parties on technological courses. (I have just created this statistic, of course)

Comment Re:O que? ("what?" in Portuguese) (Score 1) 126

It is not illegal. But the Intelligence Agencies are monitoring these types of communication because they need to know the itinerary of the riot, to prevent looting of shops and banks, burning of public and private buildings and aggressions against policemen. On Tuesday on Rio de Janeiro there were more policemen wounded than protesters. On Thursday the police of Rio de Janeiro had to use all its force to prevent the invasion of the City Hall, the working place of the mayor, but there were 37 shops os buildings looted - in only one avenue! This is NOT like "Occupy Wall Street". It is violent. Ugly.

Comment Thin margins (Score 3, Informative) 217

Contrary to what some might expect, not everycompany in the oil industry is making a lot of money these days. With the spike in the Brent crude price, the refineries have, in fact, seen their margins getting thinner every day. As some refineries are in the brink of losing money, dont expext much investment on security or enviroment from them. The only possible solution? The regulator could tighten security requirements, forcing the bad refineries out of business and making the others have a better security performance. The downside? Gasoline prices will go out, as the gasoline from the old refineries will no longer go to the market. I don't know if the american government is willing to pay this price.

Comment Re:First Pedobear (Score 1) 515

Pardon me, marriages of adult with 9 year old girls are NOT something that has occurred "in the past". If the man in question lives in Saudi Arabia, it is PERFECTLY LEGAL for him to marry such a young girl.

In fact, muslims are NOT ashamed of their prophet has been married to a girl. If you don`t believe, just read the wikipedia entry about Aisha, or the one about child marriage.

Truth is, many more child marriages occur in India, but there the government is trying to stop it. On Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, it is considered absolutely normal and holy to marry a child. A movie depicting the relationship of Muhammad and Aisha would be considered disgusting in the west, and would not raise much controversy on the islamic countries.

Every time I learn a little more about Saudi Arabia or the Islam, I get a little more nauseated.


Submission + - New proof-of-concept bootkit targets UEFI and Windows 8 (

KingofGnG writes: "The UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) platform is the “next-gen” technology designed to replace the ancient BIOS contained within the most basic layer of hardware logic in PCs, bringing not only a more flexible environment but strong security features as well. The fact is that the UEFI platform has been already “cracked” open by a new bootkit created by Italian security researchers."

Comment Re:Common sense (Score 1) 505

Syria has been a de facto "gun-included" country for the past months. Everybody, and their brother, carries a weapon there, and on June more than 2,5 thousand people died there (an average of more than 90 people per day). To put things in perspective: for every fatal victim of this shooting, 7 syrians died EVERY DAY. And this was repeated for several months, and the killings there are still happening. Sorry, but this teorethical cenario is not convincing to me, considering current events and historical examples, on United States and other countries.

Comment Re:No good news in that (Score 1) 350

Are you sure that european companies are benefiting from the current economic downturn? Companies are selling less, and earnings are going downhill. It will take some times for european companies to benefit from the depreciation of the euro against the dollar (with an increase in exports), but the negative effects are felt immediatly: suplies get more expensive, and the purchasing power of consumers diminish.

Comment Re:The world keeps turning (Score 1) 869

That is exactly what Marshall McLuhan wrote about in the seventies, but people didn't understand then. The "global village" is like a village where you find only people that think like you, but are dispersed around the globe. In fact, there are thousands of global villages, with populations that can from 10 (you obscure blog of choice) to hundred thousands (Slashdot or Facebook), and all these villages have little connections between them. If you can out for too much time in one particular village, chances are that your views will become increasingly extreme and diverge from the “mainstream”.

Comment Jacques Cousteau (Score 1) 614

He was not exactly a scientist, but was very close to what you would call a "science hero". He helped to improve the aqualung, used by every diver (including for scientific research), and did a pretty good job of science communication for a broad audience. Much before Myth Busters, Costeau was making nature documentaries that were broadcasted on National TV. He also raised public awareness of human impacts on the sea, and of the ecology in general. That is a hero!

Comment Re:It's for 'Statistical' computing (Score 1) 91

I have used two programs for Statistical Analysis that have one advantage of R: both are free, nad part of the GNU project. Of course, both have disadvantages.

1) PSPP - a free alternative to SPSS. It does not have every option as SPSS, but in my opinion is fairly complete and has a lot of power. It is just like "click click. There is the average, the median, the standard deviaton, my null hypothesis cannot be rejected, let`s go back to work".

2) Gretl - Gnu Regression, Econometrics and Time-series Library - a great tool for econometric analysis. If you are interested only in econometrics, I find it much more powerful than PSPP. If you are an R guru, you can use Gretl (which can be operated from a GUI or a CLI) for most calculations and, whenever you find a dead end, send the data to R.

For me, R is an incredible beast that I would like to tame. But programs like PSPP or Gretl (and SPSS, eViews, etc) can help me in so many situations that I don`t find myself needing R that much.

Comment Re:The Internet is less free... in Brazil. (Score 1) 484

You are right, is not freedom of speech, but of press. And to have a "legal" newspaper you should have at least one person with a journalism registry in the Labor Ministry, and you should send one copy of the newspaper to the National Library. There are not much safeguards to freedom of speech online, if a dictator get the presidency.

But foreigners, don’t be alarmed. No one follow these laws in Brasil nowadays. No one follow any law in Brazil anyway, and that’s why this country is not in the position it should be.

Comment Re:The Internet is less free... in Brazil. (Score 3, Interesting) 484

You will probably read some comments bellow “defending” Brazil against an “offense” made by an American. As a brazilian, this sort of attitude only embarrass me.

Brazilian libel and slander laws suck. Period. As a country, we don’t value that much freedom of speech (although we speak on the contrary). When you read the brazilian constitution you can find an article that states: “Freedom of speech is guaranteed in our country”. With an addendum: “But anonymity is forbidden”.

The decision of the judge only reflects this doctrine that bans anonymity and makes difficult the job of whistleblowers.

This has some interesting consequences. For instance, brazilian companies that have stock options in the NY Stock Exchange have great difficulties to comply to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Sox). Sox says the company MUST have procedures to allow anonymous complaints, but brazilian laws says that you are NOW ALLOWED to make anonymous complaints. Talk about Cath 66, he?

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