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Comment Re: I feel that lone sysadmin's pain (Score 1) 356

> The only thing I'm not sure how well unsquashfs handles the extraction of sparse files.

If the file is stored as a sparse file in the Squashfs filesystem (normally the case), then Unsquashfs will create it as a sparse file when extracting it. It doesn't need any more filesystem space than the filled parts of the file when doing so.

I wrote the code and so I should know :-)

Comment Squashfs creates deduped and compressed archives (Score 2) 306

Try Squashfs which creates deduplicated and compressed filesystem archives (http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7357/ for a good journal article).

If you're using Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora Squashfs will be already built into your distro kernel, and the squashfs-tools will also already be available in your distro repository.

Comment Re:monday morning's grammar lesson. (Score 1) 62

Oh wow, a little Englander on slashdot, I thought you'd all be at the Tory conference in Manchester.

I describe myself first as British, secondly as a (proud) European, and lastly and hardly ever as English, for all the negative connotations people like you have given it.

Britain is a European country, it has a proud history of involvement (for the better too) with the other countries in Europe, and it is a European culture.

Education

Monkeys Exhibit the Same Economic Irrationality As Us 254

grrlscientist writes "Laurie Santos is trying to find the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primates make decisions. This video documents a clever series of experiments in 'monkeynomics' and shows that some of the stupid decisions we make are made by our primate relatives too."
Image

Massive EU Program To Study Three-legged Dogs 85

DMandPenfold writes "A multi-billion dollar European Union IT research fund will help study the behavior of three-legged dogs, it has been revealed. The fund will support extensive studies into how three-legged dogs move. There is a particular focus on how the dogs balance and function, given their missing limb."

Comment Re:Umm, so what? (Score 1) 377

Complete twaddle. Do you really think that these jobs are going to the hundreds of thousands of Indians surviving on less than a dollar a day? They'll be going to the rich English speaking Indian middle class who could afford to go to university. You never know, but, some of those American workers may have pulled themselves out of (American levels of) poverty by getting their IT qualifications and career. It's too easy to say America rich, India poor and therefore this always justifies outsourcing American jobs.

No, I'm not American.
 

Comment Re:Users should expect to have a say if they pay (Score 1) 542

Besides someone's needless continuity breakage/stability disruption is often another's necessary innovation. Often I've been begged by some users to implement something which they badly need, but then got criticised by others for yet another incompatible version. You can't please everyone all of the time.

Innovation doesn't need to be the evil twin of stability, it unfortunately often feels that way in free software IMO due to lack of resources. I, for example, as a free software developer only have the time to support the latest (and 'greatest') version, and so all users are forced to use it whether or not they want the latest features. If I made enough money from the software to pay developers, I could support the last couple of versions or when adding features I could implement a backwards compatibility option. However, I can't do this.

Comment Users should expect to have a say if they pay (Score 1) 542

Free software is still driven by developers working on what interests or concerns them.

If it is being developed in the developer's free time then this should be expected, The software is effectively a hobby which the developer enjoys and users benefit from. Innovation is enjoyable, maintenance isn't, and users if they aren't paying should expect this. If they want reliable long term maintenance (or any other "boring" issues) they should consider playing for support, like in any normal business relationship,

If I (as a spare-time software developer) gets asked to do something I'm not interested in, I may not refuse, but it gets placed at the end of a priority sorted list, and it can stay there for a long time. However, If I can see that it is of use to a large amount of users I will usually do it, but it is as a favour and it shouldn't be expected (I get annoyed when I feel this is the case).

Why should a developer be expected to do something users want, if the developer has no interest in it, and the users aren't willing to pay or at least make a donation? It's not expected in other aspects of life, and so I don't understand why it is increasingly being expected in free software.

Patents

Amazon Sneaks One-Click Past the Patent System 104

theodp writes "By changing the word 'a' to 'the' and adding the phrase 'purchasable through a shopping cart model,' lawyers for Amazon.com have apparently managed to reinstate two of CEO Jeff Bezos' 1-Click Patent claims that were rejected a month earlier. 'Patent Owner's Rep was informed that the proposed addition to the claims appear to place the claims in condition of patentability,' writes the USPTO in its Ex Parte Reexamination Interview Summary of the 11-15 conference call that was held with five representatives of the USPTO and patent reformer Amazon."

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