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Comment Another approach - prior art (Score 3) 60

I think it is probably a bad idea to rely on the expensive patent process to protect open source. Isn't it better to make the software available and visible so that it can be clearly established that it is prior art, i.e. already known by all, when someone tries to patent drawing rectangles on the screen, or whatever? I'm probably ignorant, but what's wrong with that approach? Is it less certain to succeed in a court, or is it possible to patent something that someone else has already done and explained how to do?

Comment Re:His idea seemed bad to me (Score 2, Interesting) 236

Net result is that you and only you know who you voted for, and you can verify that your vote was counted.

Sorry for being dense, but how does that verify that my vote is affecting the the announced result of the election? Couldn't they just announce "X got 60% of the votes" anyway? (By jamming in a lot of false ballots, or by just lying?)

Comment Easy 100% car performance increase (Score 1) 570

It's easy: car pool!
With two people in the car, the amount of useful work* is doubled!
* = hauling people around, as opposed to hauling a large heavy metal box around
A fundamental problem about cars and energy efficiency is not about the engine, or how to improve its efficiency with 20% or so, it is about how we construct our societies, roads, public and goods transportation. When we build ourselves into a car centric, there is really isn't that much we can do to reduce our energy consumption.

Comment Re:Link to the orginal article (Score 1) 140

This very useful comment was found in TFA.

This story was part of "The Transformation Age", a pubic TV documentary with Robert X Cringely back in 2008 from MPT and the Univ of MD. The whole Kodak segment is available to watch online at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/transformationage/download/kodak.mov Steve Sasson was a really nice guy. Alas, the first digital photo was lost forever. It was a pic of a co-worker, and was 10,000 pixels – .01 megapixels.

Comment Re:We promise we won't hurt you. (Score 1) 628

If you sign a non-disclosure agreement that he had to have to have access to classified, he is no hero. You do not get to decide when classified data should be released, regardless of how it makes you feel. There are proper channels for complaining about things and he could have availed himself of those, if he had a problem with what was happening around him.

Actually, your idea that he shouldn't reveal atrocities because he was ordered not to has not been in vogue since the Nuremberg trials.

Comment Re:freedom of expression (Score 0) 665

They are free to express themselves. Just not over here on this privately run website

Thinking of Wikipedia as simply any privately run website that the owner can censor as s/he sees fit, misses the point.

You are technically correct, but Wikipedia is used by us all to collect our common knowledge. If we can't find a way to do that in collaboration in a democratic way, without resorting to censorship by some arbitrary guy, then we must find another medium.

It is almost as bad as if some company claimed ownership or copyright on the contents of Wikipedia and prevented everyone else from using (copying/pasting) the information.

But I may be wrong. The idea of a democratic encyclopedia with essentially anonymous contributors maybe is a pipe dream. Perhaps there actually has to be an identifiable publisher/censor for all information, in order to reveal the bias exists in all articles.

Perhaps the author tag should be made more explicit on wikipedia, like a source code "blame" mark.

Operating Systems

Submission + - SPAM: Europe Funds Secure Operating System Research

narramissic writes: "A Dutch university has received a 2.5 million (US$3.3 million) grant from the European Research Council to fund 5 more years of work on a Unix-type operating system, called Minix, that aims to be more reliable and secure than Linux or Windows. The latest grant will enable the three researchers and two programmers on the project to further their research into a making Minix capable of fixing itself when a bug is detected, said Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer science professor at Vrije Universiteit. 'It irritates me to no end when software doesn't work,' Tanenbaum said. 'Having to reboot your computer is just a pain. The question is 'Can you make a system that actually works very well?''"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: 7 burning IT security questions answered

alphadogg writes: Network World interviews more than 2 dozen experts to get the lowdown on these questions: Can you no longer avoid closely monitoring employees? Can security processes finally be automated? Should you choose a strategic security vendor or shoot for best-in-breed? How scared should you be about security statistics? Are security issues delaying adoption of cloud computing? Is mobile computing the Achilles' heel in your organization's IT security scheme? How can you handle risks that come with social networking?
Link to Original Source
Wireless Networking

Submission + - SPAM: How Bluetooth got as fast as Wi-Fi

alphadogg writes: Bluetooth last week stopped being chained to the low-power, low-throughput radio that has been both its strength and its weakness. New code lets Bluetooth applications now run over 802.11g wireless connections in the 2.4GHz, with a throughput jump to 20M to 24Mbps, from 1M to 3Mbps. Here's a Q&A with one of the key creators of this bit of wizardy: Kevin Hayes, a technical fellow with Atheros Communications, who has worked in more than a dozen task groups around the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard, and in Wi-Fi Alliance projects such as Wi-Fi Protected Access.
Link to Original Source

Lone Programmer Writes 352 Webcam Drivers For Linux 450

mrneutron2004 writes "A French physician and ardent Linux supporter is the one man you can all thank for adding support for 352 webcams in Linux. The Open Source OS world may still be a bit of a mess when competing with the ease of Windows, but efforts like this make you wonder. One man with drive, tenacity, and no funding does what no one else can do. And none of the major Linux distributions back this guy's efforts, even the big players dipping into the corporate world's coffers."

Comment FreeNet==Freedom of speach? (Score 1) 541

Freedom of speach (FoS) is about being able to express opinions. It is not about being able to transfer files anonymously. If there is FoS, one should be able to post opinions and ideas in one's own name, without fear of punishment. A move to strictly annonymous communication is actually a step away from FoS.

Defending FoS means fighting against the powers that try to prevent that right, like governments, or self-proclaimed "guardians of morality".

Although FreeNet could be useful for groups that need guerilla methods to defend FoS, FreeNet itself does not defend FoS.

Sadly, it seems like many people think that FoS is a technical problem, and they then stop thinking about how to really defend it.

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Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in here?