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Comment Welcome to the club.. (Score 1) 151

Norway (the promised land of freedom and liberty, my ass) enacted a similar law last april, and we're implementing it this very monent.

We've already seen mass-dna-screening using phone based location data (before the law was even in legislation; seems the police already had access to this kind of data..), and lobbying for making retained data accessible to rights holder organizations without a court process (our law lumps cell phone tracking and internet access tracking together).

Comment How to 'mine' bitcoins (Score 1) 280

Thought I'd write up a quick 'getting started' guide for anyone that wants to give bitcoin mining a go:

#1 - Download the bitcoin application from, install and fire it up. It will connect and sync with the p2p network, downloading approximately 114700 blocks.

#2 - Download and install the OpenCL driver for your graphics card / OS.
You might also need the full SDK, my drivers were supposed to include OpenCL support, but the GPU miner still didn't work. For AMD/ATI cards, this link should work:

#3 - Download and unpack "PyOpenCL bitcoin miner" somewhere. You'll find windows binaries here (7zip-compressed):

#4 - Using the bitcoin client, create a new 'receiving address' which you call 'mining income' to track payments.

#5 - Sign up for a mining pool. You'd rather have a few cents an hour than wait months for a random shot at 50 BTC. I'd go with:
as they're free, while the others charge a fee of 2-3%. Wallet ID is the thing you created in step 4.

You'll find the other pools here:

#6 - Stuff the following into a .bat file and run it. Might want to try from the console first, to make sure all is ok.

start /DD:\bin\bitcoin\poclbm poclbm.exe -f 60 --port=8334 --user=username --pass=password -d0 -v -w 128

This of course assumes you're on windows, and installed to a directory named d:\bin\bitcoin\poclbm..

Setting the f options to a higher value will cause less stress on your system. 30 is the default, shoot for 120 if your screen is lagging too much.

The d option is the device id of your graphics card. Mine's device 0, it could also be 1, 2 or whatever.

If the above worked, you should see a console window containing output like this:

23/03/2011 17:18:55, long poll: new block
23/03/2011 17:19:27, b15bbc4d, accepted
23/03/2011 17:19:47, 97f98213, accepted
23/03/2011 17:20:04, 2a8d658f, accepted
23/03/2011 17:20:15, 96fd6e6e, accepted
160772 khash/s

Comment Re:"Theft increases sales" (Score 1) 305

You never hear stories about piracy hurting anything.

Sure you do.. I've seen several threads in the last couple of weeks about open source being marginalized by unlicensed MS software. ;)

PC gaming is far from dead, the revenue was $13 billion in 2009, up from $11 bn in 2008. Has it ever been healthier, despite an ever-increasing range of activities (and consoles) competing for our time?

Go read the wikipedia pages on software-as-a-service, and I doubt you'll see piracy even mentioned. It's all about cutting costs through reduced overheads and specialization.
While businesses can afford to pay for their software, 13-year old kids might not, but they still wouldn't be able to if the pirate bay wasn't an option. I simply don't buy the argument that copyright infringement equates to lost sales.

The way IP holders and their lobbyists are pushing us towards a totalitarian society, in an effort to keep their antiquated business model, is such a threat to our free society that I'm in favor of major revision/relaxation of our IP laws. Their stated purpose is to provide an incentive for creating art and driving research, but people would, and do, these things regardless of profit.

Comment Re:That does it (Score 1) 589

Because PostgreSQL's performance is not enough for large websites and transaction numbers (it will need many times more hardware). We have a website with 2 million members and 200 million page views a month (10,000 concurrent users sometimes). We tried to convert to PostgreSQL but it just did not provide even near to the MySQL's performance on the same hardware.

From my experience Postgres beats MySQL on single-query performance and is significantly better for high concurrency workloads. You must have been doing something wrong, or been depending on some mysql-ism like it's lower-overhead connections or the query result cache. Don't expect stellar results when your architecture clashes with the RDBMS..

And even if PG is faster, that's not why I use it. I choose PG because it's a mature, well-behaving, solid piece of engineering, that I can trust with my data.

Comment Re:"Great leap forward" (Score 1) 344

There is no feature parity. MySQL does have decent range of features these days, but they are often tied to some specific storage engine, which means a lot of them are mutually exclusive.

Want full-text search and GIS? Sure, but you lose ACID and are stuck with table level locking..

Comment Re:I think Oracle is right (Score 1) 341

To be honest I don't mind Oracle pushing this because I personally believe we'd see Google using Python to replace Java and I'd prefer that.

Let's just ignore the fact that most, if not all, of those patents would still apply to a Dalvik VM running Python..

The Almighty Buck

RIAA Paid $16M+ In Legal Fees To Collect $391K 387

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a rare outburst of subjectivity, I commenced my blog post 'Ha ha ha ha ha' when reporting that, based upon the RIAA's disclosure form for 2008, it had paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 to recover $391,000. If they were doing it to 'send a message,' the messages have been received loud & clear: (1) the big four record labels are managed by idiots; (2) the RIAA's law firms have as much compassion for their client as they do for the lawsuit victims; (3) suing end users, or alleged end users, is a losing game. I don't know why begrudges the RIAA's boss his big compensation; he did a good job... for the lawyers."

Comment Re:Funny thing about these trades (Score 1) 525

Your observations on how the market moves are pretty much spot-on, but aren't specific to automated trading systems.

The market worked exactly the same back in the 20s [1], only a fair bit slower; You'd never see accenture drop to 1 cent in less than a minute back then.

[1] -

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Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.