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Submission + - Linux desktops, stand up and be counted! (dudalibre.com)

LandruBek writes: There's yet another attempt afoot to show that Linux-based desktop systems are not as rare as purported. These folks want to demonstrate that the the penguin sits on at least 1% of desktops worldwide:

With this initiative, we intend to refute the statistics of certain press organizations that ensure [sic] that the use of GNU/Linux does not exceed 1% and has not advanced in recent years at the desktop. If you want to help us accomplish this goal, please participate in our statistics!

They're trying to do this by collecting ten million email addresses of desktop Linux users. If you're in that group, and you're ok with their privacy policy and want to be counted too, then why not sign up?

Comment Re:Credit Google for Being Open (Score 1) 265

You've got a good point -- Google gets a nod of credit for attempting to answer its critics -- but I disagree that they're doing the best they can at non-evildoing. I admit, not doing evil is damn expensive, and it's unsurprising that they're hesitant to pay that price, especially now that they're established, publicly traded, they advertise during the Superbowl TM, and basically have found their niche in the fantastically evil machine that is the modern multinational, corporate Borg which drives the upper third of the world's economy. So I'm not shocked, but I'm not such a determinist that I think they're doing the best they can.

Comment Re: my MIT classmates do software; none majored in (Score 1) 150

My physician gets all huffy when I treat my kids with DIY pediatrics at home. His medical certification doesn't mean he can treat people! In fact he gets so wrapped up in terminology like "distal sassafras obliquity glomerulus" that he can't even get my Chi aligned and balance my four bodily humours.

Comment Re: my MIT classmates do software; none majored in (Score 4, Insightful) 150

  • Since none of you majored in CS, how do you know the "vice versa" part?
  • CS isn't just about software development. (Admittedly, a BSCS mostly is.)
  • I've seen what non-CS people call software "competency" and I think we might disagree on what that term means.

(Sorry if this sounds a little bit gruff.)

Comment Re:Cretin != Cretan (Score 1) 402

I'm well aware of the Epimenides paradox, and I tried to work it into an earlier version of my post. (It was "Cretins have nothing to do with Crete, so why don't you just admit you're lying." Not funny enough.) Nevertheless, despite the lying nature of Cretans, that has nothing to do with the deformed humanity of Cretins.

Comment I think I know what you mean. (Score 1) 431

Well said! -- although a lot of people seem to be confused about what you mean. Even those who are trying to defend you seem to misunderstand you.

Let me take a stab at restating this:

Defenders of draconian copyright enforcement are always complaining about how expensive it is to develop their creative works. They've invested soooo much! (Or they cite the money they project they could make -- from an economic standpoint, it's the same thing.) They paint a picture of a huge pile of money, invested in their art. And all that money, that mountain of cash, is regarded as the justification for strict laws against those 'stealing' their MPEGs or MP3s: 'We've invested a lot, so we are entitled to a lot of protection.' What skywire is pointing out is that, per se, a massive investment doesn't entitle you to anything. Ideally the rule of law exists only for the good of society, and if it protects material investment sometimes, it does so only as a means to the end of guarding society.

  • If you spend a ton of money on developing a music business, that doesn't entitle you to warp copyright law and abuse the judicial system to save your business from drowning in red ink.
  • If you invest a ton of money in opening a coal mine and hiring miners, that doesn't entitle you to disregard safety laws, even if fulfilling them would bankrupt your mining company.
  • Maybe you spend your money financing a militia and propping up a South American dictator so that your banana company can pay low wages and stay profitable, but you're not entitled to anything but disapprobation.
  • Maybe you spend good money buying children to work your cacao plantations in Cote d'Ivoire, but if I had anything to do with it, you would forfeit your entire investment and spend the rest of your life in prison.

The 'but I paid good money' argument is spurious -- yet it is cited as justification for legal and moral outrages both large and small. In fact, the law should serve the people, not just the investors.

Comment Re:Odd and Misleading Summary (Score 1) 220

I think you are giving the Goog too much credit. Were they not sniffing wifi packets, like wardrivers? To their credit, they weren't caught: they turned themselves in. But what they were doing involved no TOS -- the traffic they intercepted and recorded (which might have been encrypted, for all you and I know) simply wasn't theirs, and they should not have been recording it.

Lame analogy: if I don't lock my front door when I go to the store, I'm pretty stupid but it still doesn't give a passerby the right to come in and photograph my belongings.

Comment Re:We just need legislation (Score 1) 220

it's a losing battle as long as the public awareness of the importance of privacy is nonexistent.

Well, I hope you are wrong. One good thing about Facebook's recent spastic blunders is that at a few, at least, have realized that privacy is something fragile that deserves some protection. If those of us who care will beat the drum from time to time, others just might wake up. In other words, I'm not yet willing to call it a hopeless battle.

Comment Re:We just need legislation (Score 5, Interesting) 220

"Making everyone happy" was never on my to-do list. "Not get reamed by the corporatocracy" is on my list and remains there. As much as others might enjoy the familiarity of having complete strangers call them by name, and the convenience of having merchandise instantly charged to their accounts, *I* am selfish enough to sacrifice all those pleasures just so that I might exert a little bit of control over what others know about me.

This is a job for government regulation. We don't trust the free market with important things like ensuring food safety, protecting the environment, or verifying whether pharmaceuticals are effective. Why should we trust the free market with personal privacy?

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