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Comment Re:Non-freedom is bad for society. (Score 1) 393

I shouldn't feed this argument since it's pointless, but I'll offer one last response, then feel free to consign me to oblivion.

First, hyperbole is not mischaracterization.Exaggeration? Sure. I'll take that criticism.

For your examples of loss of freedom, you're right. Using Kindles, etc. changes the game of book ownership into rental. But your freedom is not diminished, since you can still buy and lend an actual book. If an author or creator of content wants to put their work out there under a restrictive licensing scheme, you and I will likely agree it's limiting and stupid, but it's theirs so they're free to make that choice, just as you and I are free to choose not to make use of their creation. We are also free to create and give away whatever we wish. The freedom is there.

Taking this back to the original post, let's say you're using the Chrome OS and only storing stuff in the cloud. You are still free, even with one of Google's laptops, to save your work in formats and on sites that are free. If you choose rights restricting formats and storage points, then the concern is valid, but you don't have to do that. Google isn't restricting you from using free methods, even if they want you to do everything in their cloud. For that matter, Google isn't taking away everyone's hardware and forcing the world to use their stuff. Just don't use it if it bugs you that much.

Getting back to my snarky chicken little comment, it can be taken two ways. One can take it as attacking someone for making false claims, or one can take it at the more abstract level of ignoring someone for so repeatedly saying something that you don't want to listen anymore. It is the latter sense in which I look at Mr. Stallman. That is not an attack on him or his character. It is a perception. Period. And from the converstaion in this thread, it appears to be a perception that is held by many. So in that sense, Stallman can be right in his statments 100% of the time, but if his way of delivery gets on people's nerves, they'll write him off. And in that sense, my qualification about the validity of his concerns is hardly meaningless, as it simply makes it plain that I have no animosity for the guy.

Still with me this far? If you still disagree, fine. We're all capable enough around here of offering our own interpretations and thoughts on the post.

Comment Re:News Flash! Water is wet! (Score 1) 393

My characterization of his concerns, right or wrong, is that if you don't keep every little thing you do, every tool you use, etc., all free all the time, then the universe will implode.

It hasn't happened. Free tools exist, and they're wonderful. Non-free tools exist. Some are fine, some are crap, and some I don't touch. But their existence hasn't hampered my access to my data or anything I've created one bit.

That's my reaction against him, and it isn't one with animosity. People who want to remind me how often he's been right seem to ignore what I said, "not that his concerns are never valid."

He's a great guy for digital freedom and free tools, but the nay-saying against non-free, AS VALID AS IT IS, has not been a problem for people who are careful with where they keep their own digital stuff. That's all.

Comment Re:"Progress" (Score 1) 393

Not at all. In theory changes are said to be about progress, but we all know some changes fail in practice. Others are more about making a buck than improving things. Others still are valuable. All of them are progressing from where we are to somewhere else.

IOW, we may make changes that look good now, and later we realize what an awful mess it was. Or, we may make changes now that turn out to be awesome.

That's why I put progress in scare quotes.

Comment Re:"Progress" (Score 2) 393

Perhaps, but in this case the "progress" may simply represent a step from one place to another. In this case, local copies to cloud only, with a probable balance down the road. Where we're at isn't necessarily better, just forward from where we were. (i.e. progress doesn't necessarily mean superior)

We'll see where it shakes out when the gee whiz factor of it all goes away. :)

Digg In the Future 54

jamie writes "A new site called Digg In The Future - created by 17-year-old high-school student Raj Vir as a research project - says that its algorithm can predict with 63-percent accuracy what shared links are going to make it to the front page of the Digg website. (Does it allow for brigades?)"

Comment technology for other apps (Score 4, Interesting) 179

I think this is one instance where Google's limited release method failed spectacularly. When they started to release Wave, I had a bunch of people in mind to collaborate with, but only one or two of us had it. By the time it was available to the majority of us, we had already gone back to using other means of communication, including Google's own docs. For all its potential, we ended up only having two active waves of substance. Hopefully they'll be able to incorporate some of the more interesting concepts into Gmail or Gtalk, and I think Docs already has some simultaneous editing features. So wave may live on, just not as wave.

Geologists Might Be Charged For Not Predicting Quake 375

mmmscience writes "In 2009, a series of small earthquakes shook the region of L'Aquila, Italy. Seismologists investigated the tremors, but concluded that there was no direct indication of a big quake on the horizon. Less than a month later, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 people. Now, the chief prosecutor of L'Aquila is looking to charge the scientists with gross negligent manslaughter for not predicting the quake."

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."

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