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Submission + - TiVo to brick all remaining UK PVRs on June 1 3

handelaar writes: Perhaps in order to 'encourage' existing users of UK Tivo units to change their TV service to Virgin Media, pay £149 for a new "Virgin Tivo" that they won't actually own, plus £34.50 per month in service charges, Tivo is to cancel all EPG data service to all the Tivos still in use in the country — and existing units will become basically nonfunctional at that time. The faithful aren't amused", having stuck by the company for several years, and mostly paying £120 per annum for service until now. 50% of UK residents aren't able to avail of this generous upgrade offer even if they want to — the cable company in question only covers about half the country.

Comment Re:Democracy? (Score 1) 865

I'm disinclined to agree here. Literacy tests for political participation have a very nasty history. Even if they could be administered fairly, they still disenfranchise people who need representation within the system.

Here's how I'd do it. Scrap the current system and replace it with an acyclical directed graph for each individual decision to come before the government.

Now, if I like, I can decide for myself whether my vote will be in the "yay" or "nay" column. Or, I can point my vote toward some other person or organization. If a million people want the ACLU to represent them in all their votes, they would effectively be a voting block unto themselves. If your neighbor decides to give you her vote because she doesn't care about politics, but thinks you can be trusted to represent her convictions, then she can.

You could elaborate the system by allowing multiple pointers based on the type of issue. I might assign my votes on copyright law to Cory Doctorow, who might assign his votes to the EFF. The trick would be categorizing things in a concrete way, since many bills might touch on multiple subjects.

The system is much more flexible and responsive than the current American system, where all our votes are assigned to whoever won our congressional district, for a set period of 2 years. Under my system, if your representative isn't going to vote your way, you can immediately nerf them.

I haven't really thought about how legislation actually gets created, or how the decision is made to bring a particular bill to a vote at a particular time. But I'm imagining that bills could be created by anyone; you could put your vote(s) on the pile at any time, and a formal vote might be triggered whenever the yea votes reached some threshold (say, 40M votes).

You could argue that this will give too much power to those who are too lazy to get involved and study the issues. Perhaps. But I think that knowing that you can put your decisions into effect immediately would make it more rewarding to be involved in the political process.

You could also argue that Glenn Beck would be swinging a million votes around. I have no answer to this argument, as it is absolutely devastating. Seriously, though, it's possible that some dangerous forms of populism would emerge. But I'm intrigued by the idea of letting coalitions emerge and dissipate.

Hmm... I haven't really given much thought to ballot secrecy either. That could really put a spanner in things.

Comment Re:Per-core licensing? (Score 1) 217

While untactful, the AC has a point - you don't run production DB servers on Gentoo.

Second, you ALSO don't run production DB servers on unsupported versions of the software. For development use? Sure. Download PostgreSQL and have fun. It's actually a very good DB that I've been using a lot lately.

HOWEVER, if you plan on putting into use for any important customer? Go to It's PostgreSQL with commercial support. It's not free, but a support is pretty much a requirement for serious work. These are scenario's where if the system goes down unscheduled AT ALL everyone is pissed. If it's down unscheduled for more than 5 minutes you're getting angry phone calls. If it goes down unscheduled for more than an hour you're looking for a new job. It's a different league.


Submission + - What My Manager Doesn't Know Can Hurt Me

evil_slacks writes: I work at a medium sized company doing software development primarily in Java. Our company develops a significant amount of software for internal use, but it is not our product. Recently I was asked to put together some training materials for first line and mid level managers covering the basics of software development. With the exception of a few engineers that jumped to the management track, our managers are decent at project management but know relatively little about the fundamental drivers of engineering. I once had one ask me if we could just "search for all the NullPointerExceptions" in order to avoid them in the future. I started a course outline, however I seriously doubt many people are going to come running up to tell me what they don't know. I am wondering if anyone out there knows of articles, other trainings, or has a perspective on what I ought to be covering for the most fundamental aspects of successful (Java) development. I'm not thinking of "good requirements"; rather how would it help you if your manager knew the definition or theory of encapsulation or row level locking? Assuming they are a good project manager and capable of operating successfully from a political point of view, what three key factors for producing quality software should they know?

Submission + - Debian dropping support for 2.4 kernels??

An anonymous reader writes: I have been a carefree user of debian-unstable for more than a decade now, upgrading sporadically and enjoying its incredible robustness. In the last year, suddenly there are issues everywhere I turn. The excessive version dependency has made untangling apt-get messes nigh-impossible (try to install mysql 4, I dare you). But it seems to have reached a new low: this bug report indicates that debian-unstable no longer runs on 2.4 kernels because of a poor decision made by the glibc team. Why has debian turned into a fragile incompatibility nightmare so quickly? Or has this been a long time coming?

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