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Comment You Can't Push a String (Score 3) 1154

The problem with Linux on the desktop is seen in a microcosim with the question asked. The post suggests that we need more apps and that we should make it easier to build them. That is only half right. Sure, more apps would help a lot. Sure, making them easier to build would be nice. However, even if they are enormously hard to build, developers will flock to Linx in droves if it is PROFITABLE to build apps for it.

So, does making it hard to build apps cut into profit? Sure. But what really cuts into profit is the fact that there are so many different versions of Linux out there. Think back to the bad old days of CP/M. There where lots of flavors. Then along comes MS and creates DOS, of which there was essentially one flavor. The functionality of MS-DOS was not a lot greater than CP/M, but it sure garnered a lot of interest from developers.

So, to make people write apps for Linux, thereby driving the adoption of the Linux for the desktop, you must solve the economic problem. Making it easier is a small component of the economic problem, but making Linux uniform is the bigger issue. If you make Linux simple to install, and uniform from a developers point of view, then it has a chance. If you have a million different libraries, you are dead in the water.

Comment Re:meh (Score 1) 286

The real question is "Why did IBM even think Bill gates, a schoolboy at the time, might have an OS worth actually paying for without seeing it first, and why did they sign the most stupid license agreement since records began, if there was no corruption involved?"

IBM signed the license agreement because of an old antitrust lawsuit regarding the bundling of their OS with their hardware (mainframes at the time). Had they done otherwise, they would have opened up a whole new can of worms. Besides, this was back in the days when people thought the real money was in hardware.

Comment Trade Secrets and dongles (Score 1) 577

For those pieces of intellectual property that are inherently hidden, you could expect that trade secrets would rise sharply. For example, the secret formula for Coke.

For IP like software, where you can see the code, I would also expect that companies would try to use technical means to lock you in, such as dongles. There may even be a rise in the need to buy signed software to run on a particular computer, a la xBox. Perhaps Apple or MS would require that you have an active Internet conenction had have continuous permission granted by a central server. Said permission being contingent on upon payment of a fee.

Even so, it may not be a bad idea.

Comment Re:ask a mechanic (Score 1) 672

Modern cars are more reliable, and not to mention worlds safer and cleaner than anything made 30 years ago.

This is exactly right. Twenty years ago I was a firefighter/EMT and went on my fair share of auto accidents. About 3 months ago, I stopped to help out at an offset head-on collision. Both drivers walked away without injury eventhough the cars were unrecognizable. I know for sure that if the accident had happened in cars that were made 20 years ago, they would both be dead. I'll take that anyday, even if the car won't last 200K, though I note that my wife's Saab is at 185K with no major engine or transmission service, and is still on the original turbo.

Comment Re:Could the article be more wrong? (Score 1) 356

What is dangerous: if the ignition lock on the steering column activates and you need to steer. This is why you should turn the key to the accessory-only position.

Not exactly. You can turn the key all the way off, but DO NOT remove it. Next time you turn off your car, try turning the wheel. Then pull out the key and try again. You should hear a click, and then only get a few degrees of movement. Having said that, if you don't think you can change the muscle memory to not pull the key out, then just try turning it to the accessory position.

Comment Eminent Domain (Score 1) 123

The preditors will not have to stop flying based on a ruling that the intellectual property of IISI was stolen. See the last clause of the fifth amendment to our Constitution: "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." This means the CIA doesn't need a license, it just needs to be willing to pay just compensation.

Of course, what constitutes "just compensation" tends to be considerably less than fair market value in practice. Fortunately for the tax payors, CIA might have a breach of contract claim against Netezza if the facts are as reported.

Yes, IAAL, but I am not YOUR L.

Comment Re:Indifference towards real life? (Score 1) 779

How on earth did this get modded insightful? Ignorant is more like it.

I guess I shouldn't presume that an institution made up of people is better than the people that make it up? Slashdot, that is.

The Church REQUIRES that instances of paedophilia be reported to the responsible civil authorities. Ratzinger is the one who issued this rule, long before he became Pope, back when he was the head of the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As for long ago, do you blame the church for trying to counsel (read "fix") priests with problems, when that was what all the EXPERTS were telling civil authorities to do? Surely there are problem priests in the Church, but that is not an indictment of the Church itself anymore than bad cops are an indictment of the Police Department. I challange you to actually investigate the FACTS, not just the pontificating (love the irony of that word) of the talking heads and self interested plantiff's counsel, and still come to the conclusion that the Pope has done anything but act in the best interest of the children.


Happy Towel Day 122

An anonymous reader writes "While Douglas Adams continues his attempt to set a new record for the longest extended lunch break, geeks all over the universe pay tribute to the beloved author by celebrating the tenth edition of Towel Day. Towel Day is more alive than ever. This year Richard Dawkins, one of Adams' best friends, has tweeted a Towel Day reminder to his numerous followers. The CERN Bulletin has published an article on Towel Day. There has been TV coverage and there will be a radio interview. The Military Republic of the Deltan Imperium, a newly formed micronation, has recognized Towel Day as an official holiday. In Hungary several hundreds of hitchhiker fans want to have a picnic together in a park. And there's a concert, a free downloadable nerdrap album, a free game being released, the list goes on and on."

OLED Film Could Provide Cheap Night Vision For Cars 120

thecarchik writes "Night vision systems are already available in the higher-end luxury sedans from companies like Toyota, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It's expensive technology that few drivers can afford, and at $4,000 for the system without a display, it's a pricey upgrade. That may all change soon, as DARPA-funded scientists have developed a cheap way to turn any infrared light into visible light with a thin film."

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