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Comment Re:"Fix security at any cost." (Score 0) 232

Most computer users don't want a Wild West computer experience. They want a safe, functional one where the computer interface is as inobtrusive as possible. They want as little burden on their consciousness as possible, so they can focus on what they want to use the computer to do in the first place.

This must be why Debian Stable is the world's most popular desktop oerating system.

Comment Re:Oblig XKCD (Score 1) 1002

if you produce something you should be paid for your efforts

Then housewives should be getting salaries. Humanity and society is much too complex for your simplistic notion to be true, that monetary compensation inevitably follows work.

if someone steals that work and is caught doing it

Careful now. The choice of words does matter a lot. No one can steal a song.No one can steal an e-book. These things may be copied without the necessary authorisation for example, but information is never stolen.

I don't think you should be charged hundreds of thousands of dollars over a $2 piece of music

I personally agree, but that is highly subjective and therefore adds nothing to the discussion. Rockefeller might have thought Beethoven's fifth was worth at least a thousand dollars, easily. I might pay 2 dollars for a song I think is OK (maybe 10 for one I really like a lot).

Comment Re:Experimental "Smart Town" to be built... (Score 1) 91

It's a young field and one consequence is it's still lacking clear direction and an established body of knowledge. using the term "smart" does of course smell a bit, but there's a reason for it.

The main impetus behind being "green" at this level isn't so much save the planet as it is "we're heading for a time where energy and its distribution genuinely becomes a problem". So, the objective is energy efficiency for the sake of stability of supply.

One point most people agree on at this point is that a key is going to be employment of technology to reduce our exposure to energy supply fluctuation. In many cases, this is information technology (e.g. smarter algorithms for HVAC) and in other cases it's going to be changing the technology in the field (smarter energy meters in homes, that can report back and come with a web UI so the homeowner can assume greater responsibility for how they are using energy) and in some cases, it is fundamental rethinks of how energy is distributed (e.g. more decentralised energy grids, harmonisation of energy transfer protocols and technology across national buondaries, and accounting for the emerging option of individual contribution of surplus energy back into the grid).

So there's a lot of Lego blocks most of which are quite sensible and no one's quite sure how they all fit together just yet. So when we're talking about how all of that works together, we tend to use the term "smart city" to denote an overarching context. This context is necessary because it helps keep the big picture in mind. A practical example is, the energy meter manufacturers' association as they standardise what protocols a smart energy meter employs, they need to include the people working on smarter intelligent HVAC. The public transit people might be working on concepts for unattended light rail systems which the traffic planners need to be aware of.

I'm not saying that the expression "smart city" is not unnecessarily vague, but it's useful to the people working on reducing vulnerability to energy crises because it helps them remember that it's a larger complex canvas than the little square inches they're individually working on.

Comment is this what it's come to? (Score 1) 233

"You can use this software and not worry about us suing you."

You just can't look at that sentence and not think the whole industry needs to be torn down and rebuilt on new principles. Whether it's the fact that Microsoft and Novell are glad to make such a proclamation, or the fact that someone can be sued for using software to begin with, or the fact that I can get sued by company Y for using company X's product or even if that isn't possible the fact that anyone might think it might be possible.

What kind of industry is this? I think I just grew a gland that secretes RMS ideology in my brain just from digesting that headline.

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For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken