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Comment Re:Not really surprising (Score 2, Informative) 203

Well, don't delude yourself. Removing the human factor from the equation; nothing has value, intrinsic or otherwise. Gold is perhaps the only material known to man that has, since the beginning of recorded history, maintained a value. Many times during our history this value was greater than that of other men's lives. Just sayin'.

That's mostly because gold does a good job at possessing the characteristics of a medium of exchange:

1. transportability
2. divisibility
3. high market value in relation to volume and weight
4. recognizability
5. resistance to counterfeiting
6. memory

Other materials with similar characteristics have "maintained a value" the same way gold has--not because of any intrinsic store of value.

Comment Re:This must have had the endorsement of.... (Score 1) 350

Who cares about the rest of the speech? I am only talking about the series of tubes comment. It's not the whole speech people make fun of, but just that comment.

The use of the phrase "series of tubes" to mock Stevens is just shorthand for referring to the surrounding context of the speech where he made it painfully clear that he had no idea how the Internet worked. Nobody's actually making fun of him for the series of tubes comment itself.

Comment Re:No Denial Here But What Are the Reasons? (Score 4, Insightful) 1255

There's also a big difference between "no better than the rest of the world" and "correlation between FOSS and sexism". The first I can certainly believe--there's no reason to believe that the FOSS community is any less sexist than the rest of the world. You're going to find a lot of sexist individuals just because that's the status quo in society today.

But there's no reason to harp on FOSS developers in particular unless there's evidence that the FOSS community is more sexist than the rest of the world (which I, at least, haven't seen). If that evidence isn't there, then keep on fighting the good fight against sexist pigs in general, wherever you find them.


Submission + - Amazon, MS and Yahoo against Google's Library ( 1

anonymousNR writes:

Three technology heavyweights are joining a coalition to fight Google's attempt to create what could be the world's largest virtual library. Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo will sign up to the Open Book Alliance being spearheaded by the Internet Archive. They oppose a legal settlement that could make Google the main source for many online works. "Google is trying to monopolise the library system," the Internet Archive's founder Brewster Kahle told BBC News.

The article criticizes the approach that is being taken by Google.

Comment Re:Giving away taxpayer money causes inflation. (Score 1) 594

Yes but what about those who DO save money (like me). The Federal Reserve is de-valuing my paper investment that's stored in the bank. Yeah I get interest of about 1% but it doesn't offset the constant 4% devaluation.

I certainly hope you're not saving your money in a checking account. If you are, I must admit I have very little sympathy for the constant devaluation of your "savings".

Comment Re:Giving away taxpayer money causes inflation. (Score 3, Insightful) 594

Comments, criticism (including flamebait and trolls), etc., are welcomed. I am not a "professional economist", just a nerd that's been thinking and reading, and I know that I've grossly simplified many things, but think that I've captured their essence. I've no problem with others proving me wrong, so long as they actually do so.

I think the part you're missing is the reason for the move from gold (or silver) backed currency to fiat currency. The reason wasn't because the "supply of goods and services outstripped the availability of money"; the reason was the boom-and-bust cycle. The idea was that by manipulating the money supply, the Federal Reserve would be able to soften and smooth the boom-and-bust cycle, making the "busts" much less severe. (It's no coincidence that the Federal Reserve was created shortly after the Panic of 1907, and subsequent reforms have happened after every "bust" since then [like the Great Depression].)

Now, there is no small debate about whether this manipulation of the money supply has actually done anything at all to quell the boom-and-bust cycle. Some have suggested that these boom-and-busts are inevitable, and by delaying when they happen through manipulation of the money supply, it simply makes the inevitable bust that much worse. (Personally I think it is possible to smooth out the bumps, but that requires minimizing the economic good times as well, which I think historically hasn't been a very popular Federal policy.)

Of course, there are also others who assert that the purported reason for fiat currency is a lie, and that the real reason behind fiat currency is to "print money" on demand, inflating the currency and enabling the government to pocket the difference--but when you look at the amount of revenue gained by "printing money" compared to the usual methods governments have of raising revenue (plain old-fashioned taxes), it seems unlikely that this is anything but a fringe benefit of fiat currency. In any case, I don't think there's any debate about at least the purported reason for the Federal Reserve and fiat money.

Comment Re:Velcro strips (Score 1) 323

Ditto to this. I've tried a lot of other cable management solutions, and none of them have worked as consistently well as a bunch of simple velcro strips. (Get lots of them, because once you discover how useful and versatile they are you'll be putting them everywhere.)

Comment Re:local community colleges (Score 1) 195

I've been interested for a while in setting up some sort of system for people to find a "supportive mentor" to help them learn a new programming language or a new software development skill, etc. If anyone's interested in collaborating on the project, leave me a comment or send me an email (username at domain name in my URL).

Comment Re:I hope the wrong lesson isn't drawn... (Score 1) 313

I'm sure there actually is some firmware, like 'Read this file off the CD' and whatnot. Obviously, the system has to be able to boot. But, like, the little 'Mii' interface, and 'Here's how you load a texture into the renderer.' and stuff like that, I suspect, is run off the CD.

I'm not sure how the Wii SDK works, if it's part of the firmware or part of the CD--I was just talking about the Windows DLL scenario. In any case, AFAICT, the ScummVM distribution is still a GPL violation even if the Wii SDK is completely in firmware, because Nintendo does not allow the source code of the game to be distributed as part of their licensing agreement--so Atari cannot fulfill both their licensing agreement with Nintento and their licensing agreement (the GPL) with the ScummVM folks.

Comment Re:Slashdot defaults (Score 1) 339

Not so. Nothing prevents you from treating HTML the exact same way you treat BBcode. Parse it into an internal representation that can't represent dangerous code, and then output fresh new HTML which just accidentally happens to be the exact same for valid input.

Yeah, but a brain-dead bbcode parser can: (a) remove all angle brackets from the post, (b) replace all known bbcode with the proper html tags. Any unrecognized bbcode tags simply are left alone. You can't get that brain-dead simple with an HTML parser.

Comment Re:I hope the wrong lesson isn't drawn... (Score 1) 313

What's more, I think you're wrong. GPL programs can link to Windows DLLs because Windows DLLs do not have restrictive licensing on them. They're commercial, yes, but they have no restrictions on who can link to them, as long as you own a legal copy of them. (Which you got with Windows.)

Nope. From the GPLv2: "For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a
special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable."

That means that normally, you would have to provide the source code to the Windows DLLs, because they are required to execute your program. However, this clause grants a special exception to "major components of the operating system", so you are not required to provide the source code to the Windows DLLs in order to distribute the GPLv2 program.

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