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Comment Easy Solution (Score 3, Insightful) 386

Simple Solution:

  1. Copyright lasts for some period of time (say 20 years)
  2. An single individual copyright can be extended perpetually by paying an annual fee (say $10,000)

That way, Disney can keep Mickey Mouse copyrighted forever, but anything that isn't generating more than 10k of revenue a year is cheaper to let lapse. Plus, it's another source of revenue for the government.

Of course, simple solutions never survive politics.

Comment The pendulum... (Score 2, Funny) 620

The pendulum swings one way, then back the other...

Side 1: "If I can't wear sweat pants, bring my dog to work, have my own office, telecommute when I feel like it, and drink company-provided beer every day starting at 3:00, then I won't work here."

Side 2: "You're 35 and you haven't had a heart attack yet? Perhaps I should replace you with someone who actually works hard."

Comment Re:Whining little babies. (Score 5, Informative) 443

The internet was basically built on the GPL, and most of the code that makes it go was built using the GPL

You mean built on things like TCP/IP (BSD 4-clause) and Unix (ATT License) that enabled communication between networks?

Or like sendmail (BSD Licensed) that facilitated adoption of email addresses, instead of the dominant mixed!bang!and!right%associative!email addresses and the X.400 C=US;A=IBMX400;P=EMAIL;G=firstname;S=lastname;O=engineering;OU=email;OU=internet-connectivity style of addresses?

Or like Usenet (various parts under various BSD licenses) that facilitated the exchange of information, software, and porn before the web even existed? The one that Linus posted his early Linux sources to?

Or like FTP (BSD license, and/or ATT License) that allowed archiving and known-distribution-points of software way before google made it easy to find things?

Or like web browsers (all derived, more or less from NCSA Mosaic) which was never open-source, but required paying license fees?

Or like web servers, like Apache, which had (has) a license that isn't GPL compatable?

Can you even name any important GPL software (other than emacs) that is in wide use, is important, and is non-derivitive of something already existing under a BSD or proprietatry license?

gcc: derivitive. Every company around provided c compilers.

linux: derivitive. Ever hear of Unix?

Comment Moral: (Score 1) 779

The moral of this story is that if, in an interview, you're asked "have you ever enslaved a civilization?", you probably don't want to work there, regardless of whether or not they're affiliated with scientology.

Of course, unless they're game developers or recruiting Bond villains.

Comment Aim Higher. (Score 1) 517

If performance is your goal, don't look at the "buy-it-at-Frys" level of NAS, or at "roll-your-own."

If you build your own, you'll end up bottle-necked by the performance of the particular OS you use, plus SAMBA or NFS (depending on your needs.) Plus, there's the time factor in putting it together, tuning it, and maintaining it. Granted, this isn't a lot if you're already a tech-head, but your time isn't free.

If you buy one of the consumer-level NAS boxes, what you're getting is the equivalent of building your own, without the ability to tune it, since most are based on the same open-source software you would use yourself. Pretty much every NAS device I've ever seen has the same cyclical bursty transfer profile as a build-it-yourself.

If you want better performance and buzzwords, every major PC vendor now has a SAN solution. You get the benefit of a team of people whose job it is to maximize disk performance, and a nice management system. However, your system head still has the same problems as before - using a general purpose OS and/or open-source software.

If you want pure performance, look at Network Appliance. They've been in the game for a long time, and their hardware/software combination allows them to control/tune the whole environment. To a first approximation, all the cool things in ZFS were done ten years ago by NetApp. You get the benefit of a whole company whose job it is to maximize disk and network performance. You can look at a performance review from earlier this year showing about 30k SPC-1 IOPS.

Personal anecdotes:

  1. Several years ago, we did a benchmark for ClearCase between a Sun hardware head with a (a) directly connected, fibrechannel SCSI RAID array, and (b) a 100G ethernet connection to a NetApp. The performance of the NetApp was about 20% higher than directly connected disk.
  2. NetApp service is incredible. We came in one morning, and there was an email from Network Appliance that basically said "Hello; your NetApp notified us that one of its disks has failed. We have shipped a replacement. Here's your UPS tracking number."
  3. The above also holds for software. There's nothing like "Hello; your NetApp had a software failure. From analyzing the crash dump it sent us, we recommend you install patch xxyyzzz."

Note: My only relation with NetApp is being a very satisfied customer.

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