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Submission + - If UNIX Were a Religion 2

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Charles Stross has written a very clever article where he describes the religious metaphor he uses with non-technical folks to explain the relationship between Mac OS X and UNIX. There is one true religion in operating systems says Stross and it is UNIX although there's also an earlier, older, more arcane religion with far fewer followers, MULTICS, from which UNIX sprang as a stripped-down rules-deficient heresy. If MULTICS is Judaism then UNIX is Christianity. By the mid-1970s there were two main sects: AT&T UNIX, which we may liken unto the Roman Catholic Church, and BSD UNIX, which we may approximate to the Orthodox Churches. In an attempt to control the schisms, the faithful defined a common interoperating subset of the one true religion that all could agree on—the Nicene Creed of UNIX which is probably POSIX. Stross says that today the biggest church in the whole of UNIX is Mac OS X, which rests on the bedrock of Orthodox BSD but "has added an incredible, towering superstructure of fiercely guarded APIs and proprietary user interface stuff that renders it all but unrecognizable to followers of the Catholic AT&T path." But lo, in the late 1980s, UNIX succumbed to the sins of venality, demanding too much money from the faithful and so, in 1991 Linus Torvalds nailed his famous source code release to the cathedral door and kicked off the Reformation. "The Linux wars were brutal and unforgiving and Linux itself splintered into a myriad of fractious Protestant churches, from the Red Hat wearing Lutherans to the Ubuntu Baptists." More recently, a deviant faith has sprung from Linux. "Android is the Church of Latter Day Saints of UNIX: hard-working, sober, evangelizing the public, and growing at a ferocious rate. There are some strange fundamentalist Mormon Android churches living in walled communities under the banners of Samsung and Amazon, but for the most part the prosperous worship at the Church of Google." Stross notes that as with all religion, those sects with most in common are the ones who hold the most vicious grudges against one another. "Is that clear?"

Comment Are you for or against being for or against (Score 1) 15

Are you saying we need to exterminate homosexuality, divorce, and free trade? I don't understand if you stand for or against the topics you list. You're all over the place without ever actually asserting a concise stance on what you're arguing. "Gay marriage doesn't matter to me anymore. After all the attacks and vandalism, I wouldn't vote for those people if they were trying to save baby whales.", what attacks and vandalism? who wouldn't you vote for? Your frequent use of ambiguous pronouns with little or no context makes me feel you didn't really think through what you wanted to say. Instead, it seems, you simply started ranting without remaining aware of where you are in your own thought process, or to what you were actually trying to say.

Submission + - TSA Screener Makes Timothy McVeigh Joke On Duty (

CelticWhisper writes: "A traveler flying out of Boston Logan airport reports that a TSA screening clerk, upon finding no weapons or explosives on his person, quipped that he "wasn't part of the Timothy McVeigh Fan Club" and waved him on.

Given that any traveler making a similar joke about terrorism, bombings or hijackings within earshot of TSA employees would likely be pulled aside for police questioning, is it appropriate that the government workers we have tasked with protecting our airports feel that they can make such comments with impunity?"


Submission + - Biker Dies in Crash During Anti-Helmet Rally 3

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "AP reports that 55-year-old Philip A. Contos, riding bareheaded on one of about 550 motorcycles in an anti-helmet law rally lost control of his cycle, went over his handlebars, and hit his head on the pavement and died, in an accident he likely would have survived if he'd been wearing a helmet, state troopers say. Contos was driving a 1983 Harley-Davidson on a helmet protest ride organized by a chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education, or ABATE, an organization that encourages the voluntary use of helmets but opposes mandatory helmet laws. Contos hit his brakes, and his motorcycle fishtailed and went out of control, flipping him over the handlebars, police say. "He was one of the public who wanted to join in support of helmet freedom," says Thomas Alton, the statewide president of ABATE, adding that Contos wasn't a member of ABATE but was a motorcyclist with 30 years of experience. "I don't believe we've ever had a fatality on any group run of any kind." A helmet that meets federal standards reduces the wearer's chances of being killed in an accident by more than 40 percent (PDF), says safety consultant Jim Hedlund, of the Governors Highway Safety Association."

Submission + - US-CERT Warns Of Serious SCADA Flaw (

Trailrunner7 writes: The U.S.'s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) issued a warning to critical infrastructure firms on Wednesday about a serious security hole in products from Massachusetts firm Iconics that could leave critical systems vulnerable to remote attacks.

U.S. companies in the electricity, oil and gas, manufacturing and water treatment sectors have been warned about a flaw in an ActiveX control used in two products by Massachusetts-based Iconics. The software, Genesis32 and BizViz are Human-Machine Interface (HMI) products that provide a graphical user interface to various types of industrial control systems. The software can control industrial systems used for a variety of purposes including manufacturing, building automation, oil and gas, water and waste water treatment, among other applications.

Submission + - Harold Camping: Put Up or Shut Up ( 1

ZipK writes: As many already know, Dr. Harold Camping of Family Radio has predicted May 21 will be Judgment Day. Given that Dr. Camping and his organization will have no need of a terrestrial radio network after this date, I challenge him to deed his radio properties to me as of May 22nd. Dr. Camping, if you truly believe your own prediction, you should have no problem signing away the licenses for your vast radio network. Put up or shut up.

Submission + - Apple profit passes Microsoft's for the first time (

tripleevenfall writes: Apple edged out Microsoft by a cool $700 million in profits for the quarter ending March 31. While Apple had previously surpassed Microsoft in market cap and revenue in a quarter, but never before in profit.

The days when Ballmer said there was "no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share" seem so long ago.

Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Full AirPlay comes to Mac (

pratik77 writes: The wait is over. Complete AirPlay support, including audio, video, photo slideshow and streaming from 3rd party iOS apps is now available for $2.99. Given that this functionality should have been part of OS X, this is a small price to pay to add some magic to the Mac. Did I forget to mention that Mac PPC is also supported!

Submission + - SPAM: Android or iPhone? Surveys show smartphone users a

canon-mx870 writes: "Editor's note: Amy Gahran writes about mobile tech for She is a San Francisco Bay Area writer and media consultant whose blog,, explores how people communicate in the online age.

(CNN) — Is Android "the new black"? New research from Nielsen indicates that consumer tastes in smartphones may be as variable as fashion trends.

Way back in the summer of 2010 — ages ago in mobile-phone technology time — a third of U.S. consumers who were planning to purchase a new smartphone reported a preference for the Apple iPhone.

About one fourth planned to get an Android phone, and 13% planned to get a BlackBerry.

Today, Nielsen reports: "Those same surveys for January-March 2011 show just how much things have changed: According to the latest figures, 31% of consumers who plan to get a new smartphone indicated Android was now their preferred OS. Apple's iOS has slipped slightly in popularity to 30%, and RIM Blackberry is down to 11%."

Perhaps even more telling: "Almost 20% of consumers are unsure of [which smartphone] to choose next."

This variability makes one thing clear: It's difficult to predict with any level of certainty which mobile devices will be popular in the future.

So whenever you hear predictions such as International Data Corp's recent forecast that by 2015, Windows Phone 7 will be the #2 smartphone platform worldwide, take it with a huge grain of salt.

Because of this variability, it's likely that companies which develop mobile services and content will increasingly deliver their offerings via a mobile web browser, rather than via "native" mobile apps designed to run on a specific mobile platform.

Developing several versions of a native app is a big, costly software development and maintenance effort.

Browser-based experiences are inherently cross-platform. While such mobile "web apps" cannot deliver the full range of features as native apps, often they are good enough to get the job done for most mobile users, while substantially improving the economics of those offerings.

The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of Amy Gahran."

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