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GNU is Not Unix

Richard Stallman Interviewed By Bryan Lunduke (youtube.com) 165

Many Slashdot readers know Bryan Lunduke as the creator of the humorous "Linux Sucks" presentations at the annual Southern California Linux Exposition. He's now also a member of the OpenSUSE project board and an all-around open source guy. (In September, he released every one of his books, videos and comics under a Creative Commons license, while his Patreon page offers a tip jar and premiums for monthly patrons). But now he's also got a new "daily computing/nerd show" on YouTube, and last week -- using nothing but free software -- he interviewed the 64-year-old founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman. "We talk about everything from the W3C's stance on DRM to opinions on the movie Galaxy Quest," Lunduke explains in the show's notes.

Click through to read some of the highlights.

Comment 16 bits in 1979! (Score 2) 857

Proudly, my first was a TI-99/4A. And did I ever get every penny out of that thing, nursing it along until 1993 or so. Texas Instruments makes more chips (to this day?) than Frito-Lay. So of course their computer was something special. 16 bit TMS9900 CPU. Amazingly high quality parts and construction - literally cast aluminum around my 32k RAM expansion card. And they built-in owner loyalty by fostering and supporting users groups, even after they'd left the Home Computer market. TI knew how to sell to scientists and engineers; they clearly didn't know how to sell to the general public. And they kept the software model closed (any different from Apple today?). It was the very earliest days of the digital age; they failed in the market as much for social reasons as for design reasons. So, sadly, that machine becomes an evolutionary dead end. But what a machine. Look at TMS9900 Assembly Language.

Comment The reasons it won't die (Score 4, Insightful) 140

It's not hard to figure out why email isn't dying and won't die:

* It's not tied to a single provider. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, iMessage and all the others are.
* It's an open, federated system. Companies in particular can take charge of their own email servers if they wish.
* Installed base.
* It is available on all devices from phones to tablets to PCs without the need to install additional software.

Comment Re:I don't have any you insensitive clod! (Score 1) 197

There is a list.

If you apply for a visa waiver, you will be asked for your social media accounts right now but it is listed as OPTIONAL. There is a list on the visa waiver sites they want you to give details on accounts on, the list has about 30 sites on it as well as an "Other" where you can disclose information about anything else.

It is currently optional, but the question is already there even for visa-waiver countries.

Comment Re:"vacation" (Score 1) 197

All foreign journalists need a visa to go to the US.

Journalists do not qualify for visa free travel, even if they are from a visa waiver country, if they are going to the US for the purpose of journalism. (All other professions can go on business trips to the US visa-free - but journalists have always been excluded from this since the visa waiver program began).

Comment Re:Why the Spectrum? (Score 1) 42

I believe that the Spectrum hardware was very similar to the ZX81, with the (rather horrible) colour support and more RAM the only big differences. I say this because, decades later, someone managed to port the Spectrum ROM image to the ZX81, giving compatibility with at least some Spectrum software: https://groups.google.com/foru...

Comment Re:What if you dont care about power consumption? (Score 1) 193

It's not just the decoder, branch prediction is more complex (more scope for bugs), the pipeline has to be more complex due to the variable length instructions that can be one byte long up to 7 bytes long. It doesn't matter a lot in chips where you have few very powerful processors (traditional servers), but where you have many many low power processors it adds up.

Comment Re:Nope... (Score 1) 193

Because ARM is entrenched in that market.

Just like Intel is entrenched in servers/desktops (and therefore incredibly hard to displace, despite the fact you could make an ARM chip just as powerful), ARM is entrenched in low power even though Intel could make a low power chip. It's not worth the effort for those making low power devices to switch to Intel due to the massive investment in time and tools it would take for what would be very slight advantage (if any - after all, due to the insane x86 instruction set the decoder and pipeline for an x86 is bigger than a whole ARM execution core)

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