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Comment Law, not profit Re:You're not dealing with this... (Score 1) 272

I agree that the profit incentive is powerful, but this misses the fact that corporations are constructs of the law, and are
bound by it.  A corporation that violates its charter, or violates the law, should expect the "death penalty" in the form of
bankruptcy, or losing its right to do business in my state.

A business isn't a natural person, and corporations require approval (in the form of a charter or articles of incorporation) to exist.
Charters ARE revokable.  It doesn't happen often, but I expect a business to follow the law, and if that law says
"corporation must pay taxes", or "corporation must give 10% of its profits to a charitable 501(c)3", then I'm not concerned
about undue putting a burden on them, since every other corporation is expected to play by the same rules.

Comment Recommend server-based Apps (Score 1) 434

The "computer lab" is something your students won't encounter in grad school or the "real world".  They will use a network-based resources, and redirect the display to their personal laptop, in most instances.  So your CAD "lab" actually runs on servers, and students just need to run a display client to interact with it.

The future is portable, and multiplatform, with a mix of Windows, Linux, Mac.  That's actually a good thing, as computer monocultures are bad for a number of reasons.

You may be driven to Windows (and Windows 7) by CAD software requirements, if nothing else.  But that doesn't mean you have to install Windows on the desktop PCs, you just need something that allows screen sharing.  If needed, use the Macs in the publication department for the "Mac Lab", for apps that need it.

My Son's school is considering Google Mail and Google Apps, because of onerous MS license renewal costs.  My daughter's college switched to gmail in 2008.

Another way to consider the problem - what software would you choose if your students were bringing their own hardware?  If they bring their own hardware, you certainly wouldn't waste time in a cat-and-mouse game of trying to restrict their actitivies, and you'd focus on preserving network access.  By the time they are in high school, you want the combination of an acceptable use policy and computer ethics to have the students manage their behavior appropriately.  If the AUP calls for a failing grade in a classes based on "cracking" into other systems, the problem will be self-correcting. 99% of the challenge is gone when the students use their own hardware.

As for grad school compatibility, you will find that Linux is more dominant there than in current elementary and secondary schools, especially in the schools your math and science geeks aspire to.  SAGE, System R, and other Math/Computer Algebra packages are something they should be exposed to early.

Lost Northwest Pilots Were Trying Out New Software 518

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that two Northwest Airlines pilots who flew about 110 miles past their destination to the skies over Wisconsin as more than a dozen air-traffic controllers in three locations tried to get the plane's attention had taken out their personal laptops in the cockpit, a violation of airline policy, so the first officer could tutor the captain in a new scheduling system put in place by Delta Air Lines, which acquired Northwest last fall. 'Both said they lost track of time,' said an interim report from the National Transportation Safety Board countering theories in aviation circles that the two pilots might have fallen asleep or were arguing in the cockpit. 'Using laptops or engaging in activity unrelated to the pilots' command of the aircraft during flight,' said a statement from Delta Airlines, 'is strictly against the airline's flight deck policies and violations of that policy will result in termination.' Industry executives and analysts said the pilots' behavior was a striking lapse for such veteran airmen who have a total of 31,000 flying hours of experience between them. In the case of Flight 188, 'Neither pilot was aware of the airplane's position until a flight attendant called about five minutes before they were scheduled to land and asked what was their estimated time of arrival,' the interim report said."

Comment Re:I'm already paying a recurring fee (Score 1) 348

You forgot

c) When the cloud provider says you must.

Apple wants me to replace a 4-year old Mac Mini just to run "Snow Leopard" on it?
I don't believe I will do that.  However, I don't always get that choice with cell phones.

Both computing models will remain because consumers want the choice.

We have this wonderful things called "Moore's law", and disk drive technology is on it, too.  I've paid less for storage every year, and now I can get a 1TB drive for $100.

- Ralph

Clouds are unstable because people are making choices about when to upgrade the OS, how many machines to do it.

It's a monopolists's dream
The Internet

Doctorow On What Cloud Computing Is Really For 348

Diabolus Advocatus alerts us to an article Cory Doctorow has up on, addressing what cloud computing really means for the average consumer: "The tech press is full of people who want to tell you how completely awesome life is going to be when everything moves to 'the cloud' — that is, when all your important storage, processing and other needs are handled by vast, professionally managed data-centers. Here's something you won't see mentioned, though: the main attraction of the cloud to investors and entrepreneurs is the idea of making money from you, on a recurring, perpetual basis, for something you currently get for a flat rate or for free without having to give up the money or privacy that cloud companies hope to leverage into fortunes."

Comment Re:Then a driver blows it all up.. (Score 1) 517

Which is EXACTLY why you don't let device drivers run in the same ring/priviledge space as the OS kernel.
Microkernels (in the early days) didn't have device drivers build in - they just provided a message passing layer
that ran in the priviledged space, while other systems services (file systems, the BSD operating system services, etc)
ran in user space.

Nice try, though.

Comment Re:Gas (Score 1) 874

You mean "the mass transit I have access to".

My children have two methods of getting to school:

* walk to school (neighborhood schools for elementary kids, they live
* ride the taxpayer-funded school bus. These can also take children to after-school day care.


IBM Releases Open Source Machine Learning Compiler 146

sheepweevil writes "IBM just released Milepost GCC, 'the world's first open source machine learning compiler.' The compiler analyses the software and determines which code optimizations will be most effective during compilation using machine learning techniques. Experiments carried out with the compiler achieved an average 18% performance improvement. The compiler is expected to significantly reduce time-to-market of new software, because lengthy manual optimization can now be carried out by the compiler. A new code tuning website has been launched to coincide with the compiler release. The website features collaborative performance tuning and sharing of interesting optimization cases."

The Open Source Design Conundrum 322

Matt Asay writes "Walk the halls of any open-source conference and you'll see a large percentage of attendees with ironically non-open-source Apple laptops and iPhones. One reason for this seeming contradiction can be found in reading Matthew Thomas' classic 'Why free software usability tends to suck.' Open-source advocates like good design as much as anyone, but the open-source development process is often not the best way to achieve it. Open-source projects have tended to be great commoditizers, but not necessarily the best innovators. Hence, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst recently stated that Red Hat is "focused on commoditizing important layers in the stack." This is fine, but for those that want open source to push the envelope on innovation, it may be unavoidable to introduce a bit more cathedral into the bazaar. Without an IBM, Red Hat, or Mozilla bringing cash and discipline to an open-source project, including paying people to do the 'dirt work' that no one would otherwise do, can open source hope to thrive?"

Comment Xerox (Score 1) 402

>>You like OS X and Cocoa?
>>That was the kind of platform that Xerox PARC had developed in the 1970's,
>>only what PARC had was even easier to develop for and better integrated.

>Troll please. I'm not even reading the rest of this comment.

That's a shame, because the new generations keep repeating the mistakes of the old. If re-use was really happening, how many versions of Unix would we need?

As Santyana said: "'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

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