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Comment Re:Nope, and missing the point (Score 1) 77

... However, to make a profit, your production cost must be lower than your selling cost. There is no one to pay for the time and energy it costs to create petroleum, no one can pretend to ask someone to pay that cost.

Sure there is.

You are taking a finite resource that is part of the natural features of the land. While you may "own" the land, that only applies to permission to use the surface for improvement; it does not automatically include taking resources out of the ground.

Since we already have laws on the books that mandate considering the public and use of the land (it starts with the EPA, which lists something like 13 different specific areas), it is well within reason for the government to say that there is a cost -- a fee, a charge, etc -- to withdraw some resource from the ground for private commercial usage.

There is very little difference between a fee based on pollution, and the need to clean up the carbon pollution of the oil, and a fee based on the rarity of the oil, and the fact that you are denying the future people an opportunity to make use of the resource.

And once you've established that the government can impose a fee on taking the oil out of the ground, what restricts the amount of that fee?

Comment Re:Capitalism! (Score 1) 173

The cost of Helium depends not on how rare it is, but how much it costs to extract it from the ground.

The price point in economics depends on *many* things, but to a first approximation, it depends on supply and demand.

Supply, to a first approximation, depends on expected demand, expected selling price, and production cost.

If the expected selling price is higher than "the cost of separating it from the methane, storage, and transport", then there will be all the helium you want at that price. And the increase in supply will both lower the selling price and increase usage, until a stable point is reached.

If, however, a government reserve is being sold off for cheap, then the expected selling price is deflated, and the cost of producing more is too much; at that point, no new supply occurs until the reserve stops selling cheaply.

Someone who knows econ really really well can go into a lot more details. But basically, you want to compare "the cost of separating it from the methane, storage, and transport" to "what I think I can sell it for given the amount people are currently paying".

"Capitalism" is not "free market". "Free market" is all about finding the most efficient use of resources. "Capitalism" is all about controlling access to the market to those with the capital to access the market. (Again: First approximations. Not intended to start a flame/troll war).

Comment Re:Yes, because optical is READ ONLY. (Score 1) 385

The polar opposite would be cloud storage, which is about as 'volatile' as you can get; ... if they're being bad actors, futz with your data or delete it.

One thing I've considered: If there's anything important that I want to put into the cloud, put it into git first, and just put the git repository into the cloud. If anything gets altered, git has a security hash to let me know that the file is corrupted.

Comment Re:Queue the fracture (Score 1) 155

Fracturing the Internet is a lot harder than you might think. You might want to look up something called, "Internet protocol version 8". The basic idea of IPv8 is that the results of the call to getHostByName() is not actually the address of the machine in question. Instead, it is a magic cookie that can be used to reach the machine in question. The entire Internet is actually divided at special routers, called Stargates; if you are talking to a machine on the other side of a Stargate, then the magic cookie in question will reach the Stargate, and the Stargate knows how to forward it onto the next destination (either the actual machine or yet another Stargate).

Within a given subsection of the Internet, you have a full set of IP addresses available. The address might reach Google's DNS server from within the United States, but if the great firewall of China has Stargates isolating it, then within China the address will refer to some other machine. Of course, from within China, asking the name servers for "" will not return; instead, the query will trigger the Stargates such that the address returned will cross the Stargate boundary and reach Google with a return address that will also cross the boundary.

IPv8 was never finished; I have no clue what the current status is, but I believe it would be abandoned. The code for what was written is probably available somewhere.

If the API for network communication was sane, and did not expose struct sockaddr or require you to pass a cookie from getHostByName to struct sockaddr, v8 probably would have been finished, or at least a lot further along.

Comment Re:Hmmmm (Score 1) 240

Oh, and the Galactic Empire are the good guys. Suck it!

It's not that the Galactic Empire is the good guys. It's that the rebels are causing more damage than their cause is worth.

Even if their claim to be guerilla fighters trying to overthrow a corrupt and unconstitutional government, restoring the representative senate is accurate, the amount of carnage done puts them well into the terrorist category.

Yes, the popular support for the G.E. is low. But that doesn't mean support for the rebellion is high among college educated people, and if you look at the people that do support it, what do you see? Bearded outcasts on desert planets with strange religious beliefs?

Comment Re:GPL Problem (Score 1) 146

Oh, I thought Apple had made it "All server versions from now on can be vitualized".

Only the 10.6.8? Not 10.7.5?

Well, at least you can have a virtual Rosetta :-).


As for discarded Enterprise-level stuff: Microsoft, for all it's ... behavior, manages to keep things in Windows long past any reasonable expiration date, because there are things out there that depend on it.

Linux? What part of the OS (and we're talking about distributions at this point) contains enterprise-level tools that cannot be installed on a current system?


EOF: EOF used to be a standard part of the operating system. Then, it was bundled as part of Web Objects, again part of the operating system. Then it was moved to Java, and Java was a 'first-class language'. Then the toll-free bridge died, Java became less than first class, and EOF/WO became a pure java library. Then it just ... died.

Later, there came out a Core Data system, which had most of EOF for non-database apps. But ... well, apparently there was no way to actually implement persistent storage, despite Apple providing an API that should have permitted it, but after a couple of years, several developers said it was demonstrably not possible in a real-world application. It isn't clear that Apple ever provided a sample, working, tested usage of that API.

Comment Re:GPL Problem (Score 1) 146


While there is nothing wrong with using Apple's systems to work on, develop, and deploy your systems, *do not use any Apple technology in your system*.

Apple is full of discarded/dead enterprise-level technologies. Just look at Web Objects/EOF. Now consider what came before it. Now consider that you cannot even run those older OS's/systems inside virtual machines -- I think 10.7 was the first one that you could legally license for use in a virtual machine, and every Apple-specific technology was dead by then.

Now, to address the parent:

BTW, this is why Apple never uses the GPL to license it's own F/OSS Projects (of which they have several).

No, it is because of the changes in GPL 3.

In GPL 2, it was possible to have full access to the source code, and the ability to compile it, but be unable to install the new version on the device. This was called "tivoing", after it was discovered that Tivo did this -- the software to be installed had to be signed and approved by the firmware in the box. Since it was not possible to replace the system and update the software, this was technically compliant, but against the spirit of the license.

GPL3 made changes for two major reasons: one, some of the terms used in 2 had legal definitions in some jurisdictions that did not match the intent of the Gnu team (solution: new terms with precise definitions in the license), and two: *making sure that you can actually change the software on a device if that device is using GPL software*. This is the part that Apple, and others, cannot stand.

Comment Re:GPL Problem (Score 1) 146

... It was brought to our attention that Linux is copyrighted under something called the GPL, or the Gnu Protective License. Part of this license states that any changes to the kernel are to be made freely available. Unfortunately for us, this meant that the great deal of time and money we spent "touching up" Linux to work for this investment firm would now be available at no cost to our competitors.

Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released. This was simply unacceptable.

Your Lawyer got one thing right. Yes, if you are using the work done by Torvalds and many, many other people, you are doing so on the condition that your improvements are shared with them, just as their work and improvements are shared with you.

It is a "common work" system. Everyone works together to make the whole thing a little better. If you really improved Linux? Then lots of people around the world -- not just your competitors, but everyone who uses Linux -- will benefit from this.

That's not a "Gnu Protective License", that's a "Gnu Public License".

Now, not only did you get the title wrong, but the whole "it was compiled by gcc, therefore must be made public" is false. If your lawyer told you that, then your lawyer is an idiot.

It simply is not true.

Your improvements to Linux must be shared with everyone else; that's the condition of a no-cost, relatively bug-free, operating system with access to the source.

Your personal programs, even if compiled with Linux tools, are your personal programs.

Recently however, a top online investment firm asked us to do some work using Linux. ... Unfortunately for us, this meant that the great deal of time and money we spent "touching up" Linux to work for this investment firm would now be available at no cost to our competitors.

YES! That is exactly it.

You were asked by this firm to use Linux.
You did so.
Now your improvements benefit both this firm *and the rest of the world*.

Bill your client for the work that includes helping others. That is the nature of Linux.

Comment The real problem is bad/unwanted ads. (Score 1) 426

A long time ago, I used gmail. GMail had a wonderful little bar: combination of RSS reader (80% of the time) and text one-line ad (20% of the time). That got my eyeball, because the 80% useful rate (this was back when I could use a customized RSS feed/selection).

Later, it dropped to 20%; then it went to non-customizable, one size fits all. Then 0% news, all ads.

Around that time, I installed a webmail blocker.

Well, it happened -- system reinstall, webmail blocker didn't work, wasn't available for download. But there was a way at the time to tell Google that I didn't want to see a given ad.

Now, I won't say it was easy to do. But it was doable.

After something like 150 blocked ads, guess what happened? I saw stuff I actually wanted to see.

Yea, how about that? Some targeted combinations of keywords and what I was reading actually matched my interests. But they were way, way down on the list of how much they were willing to pay google, so they were not shown until I blocked all of the big money spenders.

Sadly, Google has made it really hard again to block ads, or at least they did the last time I used Gmail. Now, gmail is nothing more than another imap source for me.


** Make it easy for people to say "I don't want to see an ad for ". Make it easy for people to see what other stuff is being pushed by the cheaper people.

Chances are, it's more likely to be of interest.
It might be much more personal / close to home.

In general, the smaller the target audience, the more likely it is to be what you want, and the more likely to be cheap. But it will be a clicked cheap link.

Comment Re:Next up for debunking (Score 1) 330

1. Trump doesn't want to win the election for some unknown reason: wouldn't like the (pressure of the) job, thinks the White House is a shitty place to live, etc.

I have believed this to be true ever since his "I could kill someone and my ratings would go up" line. I think he is totally befuddled by just how ... "easy to sway" (sorry, I don't have a better word that isn't an insult) the American People turn out to be. It's like he is getting a lesson in just how far he can go -- farther than he ever thought possible, so far that it scares and surprises him.

Comment Re:Next up for debunking (Score 1) 330

... US law does currently allow the president by proclamation to deny any group entry into the US the president believes would be detrimental to the United States. ... The Muslim ban would be both Constitutional and legal under US as its generally understood today.

Actually, while it might be *legal* (compliant with the law), it would permit the law to be challenged for constitutional reasons. Specifically, even if the President does have the right to prohibit some people, it may not do so for religious beliefs.

That would make the "Muslim ban" legal and unconstitutional. The courts would be right to overturn it on the grounds of denying freedom of religion.

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