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Comment Re:American Medical Horrors Dwarf the NHS' Issues (Score 1) 419

The plural of anecdote is not data. The problem with American health care is not the care itself, it's the payment. Health insurance in the US is a problem but healthcare is not. Yes, there are cases of bad doctors (there are always a few cases of bad doctors) but the US has the most stringent and difficult medical certification in the world. In fact, the cases of malpractice in the United States are widely panned among the medical community as not being based on sound medicine but by posturing and inflation by lawyers in order to engender a larger settlement for a lawsuit.

I come from a family of physicians and they are all very well respected in the medical community. My grandfather received his MD from Columbia and still gives grand rounds at medical schools across the country. My mother is a well respected private practice pathologist in Baltimore after her MD from the University of Rochester. My father studied at Princeton and Stanford and now teaches as an associate professor at Johns Hopkins. An American MD requires years more training than that of almost every other country and, for the most part, it shows. Don't mistake sensationalism for truth -- we actually have very very good care, but also pay far more than we should for it.

Comment Re:Software engineering is not a new concept. (Score 1) 436

I completely agree - you are right, software engineering can be difficult. Actually, I would consider professional software development to often be quite hard. Definitely harder than HR or one of the more "customer service" oriented positions.

However, I think an important distinction needs to be made here. I would rather treat computer science as an academic discipline and software development as a professional one. It's not a perfect analogy, but I tend to think of computer science as the "electrical engineer" to the "electrician." Being an electrician is not easy and there are a number of codes and regulations that you have to follow, etc, etc, but you go to a professional school to be an electrician, not a university. Computer science, much like EE, should more appropriately be considered an academic discipline. A computer scientist can program, yes, but to quote Edsger Dijkstra, "Computer science is as much about computers as astronomy is about telescopes." Computer science teaches you to use programming as a tool to achieve your goal, which should be less about fulfilling a list of requirements and more about designing or architecting a system.

In essence, pure "software developers" would use a database to store information exactly like it says on his/her spec sheet. The computer scientist would be designing the database.

Comment When? (Score 4, Insightful) 470

When is the right time for project members to fork when their chief maintainer does not respond anymore or pursues an adverse commercial agenda?

I think you may have your answer. If a couple people agree with you, why don't you draft an email to the project maintainer with your concerns and the signatures of the other people? If he doesn't answer or you're not satisfied with his answer, I think forking the project should definitely be on the table.

Comment Re:French died fighting while the Yanks made excus (Score 1) 503

Yes, that means we sit idly by while the Germans put up concentration camps. Yes, that means watching the slaughter occur in various places in Africa. Yes, that get the picture.

Let genocide happen so we can... what? Eat more ice cream?

The more I read about history, the more I believe that a major issue we have in the US is taking sides in wars that do not involve us.

Keep reading. The wars that have been problems for the United States have been those based on our foreign political interests. No one thinks that it was bad that we intervened in WWII, no one would think it bad if we interfered in the Sudan or had done so in Cambodia.

I'm sorry but your need for a traditional cushy American life doesn't abrogate your responsibility as a human being to prevent crimes against humanity. This is not an American responsibility, it is a human responsibility. It just so happens that we have the most power and "with great power comes great responsibility."

Comment Re:only works with (Score 1) 240


Because Vuze is the name that they have given their useless adware overlay to the Azureus/Aeltis transfer core. Azureus was and is the name given to the kernel in the source code.

also, utorrent is the way to go. it has most of the features of azureus/vuze and is about 40 times smaller than azureus/vuze. its sad when people support open source without considering quality.

If you are worried about privacy, certainly not. You can never trust closed source code. Some would go so far as to say that you can never trust compiled binaries, although I only follow that rule for things such as libssl and other crypto libraries. uTorrent may be superior quality code, but license is never about code quality. I specifically mentioned that uTorrent is not Free Software, which is troubling for both the closed source aspect and ethical considerations.

its very important that we focus on efficiency and quality of open code.

Correct. I always prefer good open code to bad open code.

you should always encourage adoption of code which is better, regardless of whether it is open source, or it runs only on windows or not.

Wrong. You should always encourage code that is ethically the best choice for the job. If you are doing something unimportant, perhaps you can make do with a closed source piece of software, but you can never trust it. A copyleft license is also a big bonus, but not necessarily required for every project. Although if there are two similar choices, the Free Software choice is the better one.

Although I previously disregarded the features of the software itself, when designing your own software you should always attempt to incorporate maximum portability according to your limitations. Those who can and don't are not just bad programmers, but harmful to the software community.

the first step for vuze developers would be to accept that utorrent is not "some closed source Windows piece of crap", quoting you.

The first step would be for vuze/azureus developers to indeed recognize that uTorrent is a closed source Windows piece of crap from a license standpoint - one that they should not attempt to emulate. The second step is to realize that, while uTorrent code is not a good code model, the idea of a small footprint client is a good idea, at which point they should ditch Vuze entirely and throw out most of the cruft that has been incorporated into Azureus in the past 2 years.

remember that close-minded comments like yours inhibit wide-spread adoption of linux, despite it being much better in some ways than windows.

1) In some ways it is better, yes. In most ways they are simply different. I have no animosity towards Windows and only believe that a POSIX development environment is more amenable to my coding style. I don't even believe that the closed source license is terribly bad for much of the operating system - pragmatically I am only very worried about parts that I rely on for security or privacy.
2) I don't care about wide-spread adoption of Linux. If people like it, fine - good for them. I am never looking forward to the "year of the linux desktop." I will simply continue to use what I use and everyone else can make their own choice. I will continue to use the license to make what I use better, though (which is often not Linux, but a form of BSD or Mac).

people like you are convinced that any code, if open source is better than any other closed source code. which is plainly wrong.

I don't know if this is plainly anything. This is certainly what Richard Stallman believes. I do not agree with him for a variety of pragmatic reasons, but I can definitely see where he is coming from. For him, it is a matter of personal ethics.

However, anyone who thinks that using a closed source encryption program of firewall is better than using a really bad open source program is simply ignorant. Security through obscurity is not security.

Comment Re:only works with (Score 1) 240

I know that people don't read articles on Slashdot but that's seriously about half way down the list:

Why use the Vuze/Azureus BitTorrent client? For one, it's probably the most popular client in terms of use, so targeting Vuze gives us the greatest potential impact. Additionally, Vuze is Java-based, meaning anyone can run their software (and ours). Finally, Vuze offers a convenient plugin feature, requiring no changes to your existing Vuze client. And once you're running SwarmScreen, it will automatically search for new versions and update itself for you!

In addition, Java plugins are trivially ported to other systems. Azureus (I refuse to call it Vuze) also has some useful debugging tools.

Not to mention that ÂTorrent is not Free Software, so it is definitely not the "way to go." I mean, seriously, the thing is Windows only, what's happening to Slashdot that some closed source Windows piece of crap is "the way to go?"

Disclaimer: I am a computer science major at Northwestern. I did not participate in this research, though.

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