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Comment Copyright terms are immoral (Score 4, Interesting) 148

I'll have some respect for copyright when the terms aren't life of the author plus 75 years. That's ridiculous. If someone makes a work today, I'll have been dead 50 odd years before it's in the public domain - assuming, a big assumption, that the shill maximalists don't get the terms extended even more towards perpetuity.

Current terms are also theft: they are the theft of things that could have been. If terms were 20 years then at that mark new works could be created by anyone who would wish and their work would then get 20 years. You want to see an explosion of culture? Look at that right there. Creative works that take ideas in ways the original author couldn't conceive of or didn't think was worth the money. 20 year term: and I will never infringe again, unjust terms bring all of copyright into contempt.

For a free (pdf download) of a book which explains the issue in detail, see: The Public Domain.

Comment 26 BILLION Dollars! (Score 1) 27

I still can't believe they spent 26 BILLION dollars on Linkedin. Like seriously, whatever they're smoking I want some too. That amount of money is so astronomical that even if they blew the budget by 10 times they could have seriously built their own Linkedin 5 times over. Whoever approved that dollar figure is fucking insane, stupid, trying to sink the company, or all of the above.

Comment Post-Scarcity Star Trek Economy (Score 5, Interesting) 260

Currency is an abstraction of labor, we use it to manage the effort put into things during trade - it's a lot more convenient than carrying around four cows and a goat. So, robots come along and take all the jobs? Well, no more scarcity of labor. And the systems of currency and capitalism we have grown so far get upended. They won't go out the window but they will see massive restructurings. If labor is not scarce, want a house? Go pick one down the street where the machines built fifty of them. Free. Because there was no scarce labor involved. Capitalism? Well, in a post scarcity economy the invisible hand that makes it go remains to be seen how that adapts. In the short term however, say ten to thirty years, a transition system where perhaps everyone gets a guaranteed minimum income until our society fully adapts to machines could help to minimize social upheaval over the machines taking all the jobs.

Comment Oracle wants us to have crappy computers. (Score 4, Interesting) 357

This is plain double-speak. If Oracle had their way they'd kill GPL software. Innovation revolves around an application programming interface. The API is the "shape" of the program. The code inside the shape is the implementation. The GPL revolves around the implementation and has nothing to say about the shape. If shapes were always copyrightable then that would absolutely kill innovation. All of a sudden if you used someone else's shape in a way they didn't like they could totally shut you down with just the threat of a lawsuit - not everyone has deep pockets to fight that. Copyrighted API's would become just another kind of currency much in the way software patents already are. If you can't beat them with money then beat them, forced licensing, with other kinds of currency. In the Oracle world we wouldn't even enjoy the powerful computers we have today. Decades ago Phoenix clean-room reverse-engineered IBM's BIOS and made the same shape with a different implementation. If that shape had never been open we would have never experienced the rapid advancement of a bazaar that component manufacturers can revolve around. We would have been stuck with IBM's will and computing would have stagnated because they would not necessarily have had an interest in advancing it as much as competition does. At the time IBM's BIOS was reverse-engineered they weren't even the best computers. There were others that were much better like the Commodore Amiga, however, when the ecosystem around an open BIOS happened then the feedback effects from that made it win. Without a doubt.

Comment Re:Stop using Java (Score 1) 243

How about Django, PHP, Ruby, Python, Wordpress, ASP, etc? Oracle has now demonstrated that Java is a toxic brand: they will try to extract money out of you by force if you use it. For existing projects you may have little choice to stick with Java for the time being. For new projects however you'd be a fool to trust the devil.

Comment Re:Stop using Java (Score 4, Insightful) 243

So, you're saying: "keep taking it up the ass because I can't imagine changing my tool chain?"

There are plenty of alternatives to Java, .Net is a valid one despite your claim, and others like Python or C/C++ are equally valid. The trick with C/C++ is to use an abstraction layer between your code and the operating system. Like GUI toolkits and such. Let the GUI toolkit implement the different back-ends, your code calls it the same on all platforms.

Comment Re:Substrate does not need to be what we're made o (Score 1) 73

Another illustration from fiction is Dragon's Egg.

Really though, what matters for "life" is that whatever the substrate is is able to store information - DNA in our case - and have an ecosystem of related ways to raise and lower energy states in appropriate materials. If both those conditions are met then the process a specific set of material changes with can be called "alive."

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