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Comment Kinda sorta sad (Score 1) 240

Palm had a niche market in PDAs and always the genius gap in technology; there are other CTOs whose knowledge of engineering is second-hand at best, but at least they make sure the products have no apparent flaws. With Palm, it kinda sorta works, it ships.

This approach does not kinda sorta work when you're in competition with the entire world trying to make money off of cell phones - or when you design in a slide out keyboard that's way too small because it kinda sorta looks like the earlier models.

Plus I don't need a cell phone for a little while yet and my PalmOS PDAs still work okay and I don't feel like learning another set of APIs just right now. But hang in there, Palm.

Comment When fun is outlawed, only outlaws will have fun (Score 1) 419

If it's okay for the trained police force to communicate in any manner while driving then what makes it dangerous for the ordinary citizen to do so?

Who was it mentioned that this trained police force has an average IQ of 95. And you trust them to remember just how that gun went off.

Just another example of political sharks creating their own feeding frenzy. We wouldn't want someone in a car talking about the police would we.

Of course, I used a headset on the cell phone - until the phone's plug stopped working - but common sense is one thing and spinning the opposite from fear, uncertainty and doubt into a criminal penalty is, um, not what a 'free' country should be about.

Comment Vanity, thy name is paranoia (Score 1) 711

If you've ever written software, you know there are times you have to build your own tools.

If you've ever taken that CD and copied it to, say, an iPod, you just stepped out of what the music company says you can - but fair use allows it.

So you buy this electronic device with a general purpose computer in it - and get told oh, you aren't allowed to use it as a general purpose computer and, say, create your own set of class libraries with overloaded operators that doesn't look close enough to C++ for us - and now that such fantasyland ideas have actually been published, you know there's a deep deep streak of paranoia at work.

It is well past time to draw this particular line. I am sad that anyone would support such as strike at free and open software.

Also, the extreme and practically universal applause for Apple this week has to jar one to attention. Nobody is that good, or who is paying whom...

Comment Re:Sidestep? (Score 3, Insightful) 238

...and I quote (from gpl-faq

        The GPL does not require you to release your modified version, or any part of it. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.

        But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL.

        Thus, the GPL gives permission to release the modified program in certain ways, and not in other ways; but the decision of whether to release it is up to you. ...and...

If you commercially distribute binaries not accompanied with source code, the GPL says you must provide a written offer to distribute the source code later. When users non-commercially redistribute the binaries they received from you, they must pass along a copy of this written offer. This means that people who did not get the binaries directly from you can still receive copies of the source code, along with the written offer.

The reason we require the offer to be valid for any third party is so that people who receive the binaries indirectly in that way can order the source code from you.

Comment Free as in Free Links Please (OH MY A FREE LINK!) (Score 1) 75

Is Slashdot not about open access? I read enough complaints from scientist bloggers about having to be on-campus in-the-office or-else-pay for articles they have a subscription to.

A little research back to the researchers could doubtless second-source the information; I regularly see the authors post the articles themselves or at least an informative link:

Comment Re:Why On Earth Do People Still Use Window? (Score 1) 658

Systems are supposed to get MORE stable as they age, not get worse or show no improvement over time.

No, it is basic knowledge that software becomes less maintainable as it is updated and eventually a change takes more time than a rewrite.

The earlier code is eventually based on assumptions that the later code is inconsistent with.

However, if the feature set is static, your statement is correct. The computer manufacturers and hence the system software developers such as Microsoft are under pressure to sell new system and therefore add to the feature sets constantly.

Then there's the question of competence. XP handles dual processors adequately. Apparently Vista has some issues. oops. The DRM is enough reason for me to pull any disk on a Vista machine and install a fresh one to run Linux on. Windows 7 takes a fresh approach to multiple cores but to do it Microsoft had to replace much of the kernel code and then work outwards to ensure compatibility.

There's still the DRM. I don't download music or copyrighted files but I won't pay for someone to tell me I can't even have my fair use rights. In this case, it's the functional requirements themselves that have made the system worse.

Comment Not if you said NO to Genuine Advantage? (Score 1) 658

No problems here - but I declined to let Microsoft take "Advantage" of me. Three XP machines...where did that Vista sticker go - it came with this laptop running Linux.

If accepting WIndows Genuine Advantage leads to the Blue Screen of Death...I would say it's time for another class action lawsuit!

Comment All the Chinese trying to break it (Score 1) 319

I was wondering just why I didn't know anyone using IE 8 and then it dawned on me.

With the way they run their metrics it is the number of web accesses and nothing churns up the pot more than pushing those browsers' buttons as fast as possible to see what fails.

Or it could be Microsoft QA doing it. They do have QA, don't they?

Comment Free-As-In-BBC (Score 2, Interesting) 169

I thought publication copyright expires someday, when the publication goes into the public domain - as in, free - but apparently following that law does not work for the copyright holders, or the government offices doing the broadcasting to the public.

I'm sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Citizenry, your copyright law has expired.

Good thing the stuff they show on TV is tailored to be of interest to the widest (read: dumbest) audience and a waste of time to those who enjoy writing computer software or, say, reading.

Comment Shouldn't the Government need a reason? (Score 1) 174

In order for a search to be 'reasonable' I think the Amendment should be interpreted to require a good reason to have a search. It says, 'probable cause', after all, and requires a sworn affidavit.

It is not good enough just because the Government can tax the people to raise funds and use those funds to spy on everything they do. Then everyone is a suspect, and since nobody is perfect, everyone is a criminal.

Sorry, I spend my time trying to do good for the world. I do not feel like a criminal and deeply resent being treated like one.

Comment Updated link (Score 1) 494 - the posted link having been removed.

"Within days, it had been downloaded for free more than 100,000 times". And I thought 95.5565% of statistics were made up on the spot.

I've also been known to read the books on the bookstore shelves. One summer I decided to spend my lunch hours that way - if the comfy chair was empty, that is. Oh, I bought a few for my shelves or as gifts, too.

But Open Source is about telling Microsoft and Apple etc. not to steal from academic or public-minded engineers. It only stands to reason that one of the big players will take the chance to stick in a slur that is totally wrong but might sway an uninformed opinion. What Open Source does is keep the source code from vanishing when the software support disappears. This is what is good for everybody about it - everybody except for that company that does not want you to use this year what they sold you last year, but instead to purchase this year's product that comes with this year's strings attached - and still no source code. Open Source totally allows a company to license, from the author, software to be used in a commercial project.

Copyright for authors gives them a similar reward. Once you publish, you get your reward, and once the copyright expires, the public gets to keep your work, in the open, for everybody.

Comment Re:Time a truly anonymous network for P2P (Score 1) 165

Heaven help you if you pick up an Internet Radio shoutcast and it turns out not to be licensed after all. Or if someone slips you an expose of the Prime Minister's latest liason.

Government exists to try and control whatever it can and especially whatever the people behind it can't quite understand.

As far as the kiddie porn thing, since it is so easy to track down who sends out files, why do you only hear of one or two arrests each year? Do you really think it is not more government sponsored hysteria? When I was growing up everyone had their baby pictures, brought out just at the wrong times, like the first time you visit your girlfriend's family. None here - hmm, did I ever really like that sister or ex-wife?

How did this become the world's worst felony? You would think that government could rest with their mission to help people live their lives - but there always have to be power-grabbers who have to figure out some way to punish people or threaten to - to make their own political mileage.

Comment Re:I've always had the greatest confidence in TSA (Score 1) 605

John Gilmore ( could have saved all that trouble suing the TSA all the way to the US Supreme Court to get a look at this document - he should have known that if he had just waited they would have given it to him. 'Outdated copy' - nah, you don't think someone leaked the one they wouldn't show him on purpose just so he could see that there was nothing in it all along?

Why shouldn't the US Citizens have a right to see how their government works, anyway? Now, I hate being treated like a criminal just so I can take a plane ride, but being told that I do not need to know how the "democracy" works is a lot worse, especially by TSA screeners who are far from being brain surgeons, or even able to design and build the machines they use. I mean, their idea of rocket science involves Bullwinkle - if they really intended to redact with an method that is known to fail, that is.

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