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Comment Copyleft licenses vs BSD/MIT (Score 1) 359

The overall impression I have of the recent relative popularity of open source licenses is that copyleft has faced a steady barrage of criticism from people favouring a BSD/MIT approach. Copyleft seems to be losing a bit of ground lately. Is my impression wrong? How can the FSF and other people who see the benefits of copyleft do a better job of explaining its benefits, and a better job of refuting some of the criticism coming from BSD/MIT advocates?

Comment Farhad Manjoo has always been an Apple fanboi (Score 2) 344

,.. so this is just more of the same from him. One of the most overrated people in the tech journalism echo chamber. While these blowhards are all busy singing off the same page, no one is pointing out the obvious fact that we've ended up in another huge tech bubble and we're overdue for a correction as severe as the one that took place in 2000.

Comment Turkey is heading in a very bad direction (Score 4, Interesting) 104

I think Erdogan and his so-called "moderate Islamist" party, the AKP, are fast heading for totalitarian rule. I can't imagine the Euros accepting Turkey into their club under these circumstances. Turkey has more journalists in jail than anybody. It is now illegal for medical personnel to give medical attention to people who were injured while demonstrating against the government. And now this - Turkey is joining China, Iran, North Korea and other heavy-handed countries in clamping down on the Internet.

Meanwhile, another group of Islamists loyal to an expatriate named Fetullah Gulen who is resident in the US and is widely believed to be a CIA asset, heretofore loyal to Erdogan and the AKP, has apparently turned on them, possibly at the behest of Gulen's US hosts. These two groups of Islamists, both equally reprehensible, are now fighting it out to see in which wrong direction Turkey will head.

And the lingering rump of secularists on the political left are left to watch the Islamist infighting. They are increasingly irrelevant.

Comment The appeal of this thing escapes me (Score 2) 104

I understand why Canonical wants to do this product. The Linux desktop is, along with all desktops including Windows and Mac OS, declining in importance. Canonical needs to establish their presence on mobile and Edge us their best hope. But I don't understand why any user who is less than wealthy would want to pledge $700-$800 for a first-time device from Ubuntu. It's somewhat analogous to people wanting to pay $1500 for the Google Glass Explorer Edition, but at least Google Glass is in new territory, wearable technology. Ubuntu Edge is going to be compared to all the smartphone systems that have come before it, and I don't think very many people are going to find the case for running it very compelling.

Yes, Edge is supposed to be one device that does it all, but that has been tried before, most notably by Motorola and Asus, and their devices turned out to be expensive and didn't sell especially well. I don't think substituting Ubuntu's phone system for the Moto/Asus devices' Android would have made much difference. Solving all the hardware problems of the do-everything Edge is going to be the hard part, no matter what OS it runs. And there's the biggest hurdle. Ubuntu is not a hardware company. They are a comparatively small software distributor for desktop Linux with no known experience in hardware, mobile or otherwise. They are a big fish in the desktop Linux pond, but that's a very, very small pond.

What seems to appeal most about the Edge is that nifty slide-from-the-left launcher. I think instead of going all in with a new device with very difficult to solve hardware design problems, Ubuntu could have set their sights lower by offering their user interface design as an add-on launcher on Android. If that went well, they could fork Android the way Amazon has, to offer their own user experience, development environment and app market.

By trying to do the difficult-to-design hardware of the Edge along with selling people on their software, I think Canonical is trying to do much too much at once, and unless they get very lucky with the hardware, the odds have to be heavily against them.

Comment Re:Both Sides are Wrong (Score 1) 497

Cedega was _not_ done by the same people who contribute to Wine. They forked their code from Wine when Wine was under a more liberal license that didn't require contributing your code back. Therefore their proprietary mouse driver fix died with them. The commercial outfit that DOES contribute - and contribute a great deal - to Wine is Codeweavers, who sell their commercial version of wine as various versions of CrossOver. Generally, bleeding edge code goes into Wine first and appears in a subsequent CrossOver if it stands the test of time. I don't think you're being at all fair in characterizing Linux people as being unwilling to pay for stuff. I think every Humble Bundle with Linux support has seen Linux users pay appreciably more than Windows and Mac users. I think our problem with Nvidia is one of educating the company's management to see the benefits of going open source. Thus far we've failed. Linus's "outburst" might get their attention, although the Nvidia response shows that they still don't get it. We have to keep trying. We'll persuade them yet.

Comment If anybody was in any doubt (Score 1) 765

that Obama and his Department of (In)Justice are more in the pockets of Dodd and his Hollywood masters than the most venal member of Congress, let those doubts disappear now. We can expect no more from a gutless president and a DOJ staffed from the RIAA and MPAA's "let's sue children for a living" legal teams.

Comment Just stop consuming Hollywood product (Score 1) 424

The best way to bring down Hollywood is to shrink their business by consuming less and less of their product. We're seeing this happen already - the hit TV shows of the past decade have included many cable series produced on a shoestring (compared to network TV) budget - Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Weeds, The Wire, etc. etc. Hollywood is already on the way down not because of filesharing but because of their own lack of creativity and aversion to risk. They would rather crank out a Cars 2 or a Transformers 3 than come up with compelling new ideas. We're already moving away from Hollywood - first to the current hit cable series and eventually to web based shows that let us leave cable TV behind altogether. The days of a mass audience are passing quickly, together with the big-budget (expensive production values and very higly paid actors) Hollywood system providing entertainment to that audience. Will the sitcom of the future be populated with computer-generated characters? We're not there yet (crossing the "Uncanny Valley"), but we will be soon. We can best hurry the process along by making a conscous decision to consume less mass market movies and more indie movies, or less network TV and more cable channel TV, less TV altogether and more web video and gaming, less Metallica and more indie music of all kinds - much of it produced and self-distributed by acts who don't have a record label deal and probably never will have. We're doing all this already, so we just have to consciously do a little more of it.

Comment It may be a dirty move, but it's definitely dumb (Score 1) 630

Surely any actual Democrat with a functioning brain stem (and that does exclude a number of them, admittedly) realizes that Newt Gingrich is a far more beatable opponent than many of the other Republican choices. If the people behind are really Democrats, they are doing something incredibly self-defeating by using their site to knock Gingrich down. They can save the smears for the actual election campaign - right now, it's in every Democrat's best interests to promote Gingrich's nomination, not prevent it. In fact, running an anti-Gingrich site would be so stupid for a Democrat that I think the people behind the site are actually closet supporters of Mitt Romney, or maybe Ron Paul. Wait - how about Michelle Bachmann supporters? Yean, Bachmann supporters - that's the ticket. I'll buy that conspiracy theory! :)

Submission + - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 GPU tested and reviewed (

Vigile writes: The new GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards is based on a new GPU from NVIDIA, the GF110. This revision of the Fermi architecture is the first to offer a full-performance design with 512 shader cores as opposed to being slightly crippled at 480 cores or less due to yield, power and heat issues. The GTX 580 not only increases processing power with more shaders but also increases the reference clock speeds and memory speeds over the GTX 480, easily making it the fastest single-GPU graphics card on the planet. It does have competition for the overall fastest CARD though, as the AMD Radeon HD 5970 dual-GPU offering still presents a challenge in PC Perspective's performance testing. Despite the sagging PC gaming sales it is good to see continued innovation and competition in the GPU market as this always trickles down from the $499 space to more affordable options.

Submission + - How Hollywood Generally Gets Tech Wrong

adeelarshad82 writes: For tech fans, feature films and TV shows are replete with laughable, forehead-smacking misrepresentations and misunderstandings of technology that we use every day. Some of these mistakes are so common that they have become conventions that filmmakers likely think they must include so the audience will understand what's going on, for instance the cell phone dial tones. In truth, conventions similar to CSI's famous infinite image zoom only serve to reinforce the bizarro rules of an alternate on-screen tech universe that is similar to our own, but oddly different.

Submission + - NVIDIA's New Flagship GeForce GTX 580 Tested (

MojoKid writes: "Even before NVIDIA's GF100 GPU-based GeForce GTX 480 officially arrived, there were a myriad of reports claiming the cards would be hot, loud, and consume a lot of power. Of course, NVIDIA knew that well before the first card ever hit store shelves, so the company got to work on a revision of the GPU and card itself that would attempt to address these concerns. Today the company has launched the GeForce GTX 580 and as its name suggests, it's a next-gen product, but the GF110 GPU powering the card is largely unchanged from the GF100 in terms of its features. However, refinements have been made to the design and manufacturing of the chip, along with its cooling solution and PCB. In short, the GeForce GTX 580 turned out to be the fastest, single-GPU on the market currently. It can put up in-game benchmark scores between 30% and 50% faster than AMD's current flagship single-GPU, the Radeon HD 5870. Take synthetic tests like Unigine into account and the GTX 580 can be up to twice as fast."

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