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Comment 1984 (Score 3, Insightful) 221

paired together with computer-based/automated facial recognition, all this monitoring is going to make life really hard for dissidents eventually. at some point they're really going to be forced to live/hide out in the sewers, if they're going to remain in built-up areas.

considering Orwell was British (and the widespread deployment of CCTVs seems to have begun there), it makes sense that resistance to this pervasive monitoring began there, but even with these (generally fringe) groups, it's still happening. You've got to wonder if the reason the totalitarian regimes we've had crumble, is because the technology wasn't available yet. What happens when it IS available?

Comment Re:I know you slashdotters hate to hear it (Score 1) 316

The reason for that is that Sun had? has? an explicit "binary forwards compatibility" guarantee in that the binary you have now is supposed to run on the next/future versions of Solaris. This doesn't always work out 100% (there are always changes in things that will cause issues for any non-trivial app).

Comment Re:I know you slashdotters hate to hear it (Score 1) 316

Just to play devil's advocate, linux runs any X11 app and that goes back decades and decades ... there are other operating systems that achieve similar or greater (in the case of linux) backwards compatibility to their predecessors.

in my experience it's not quite that straightforward, in that even if you want to run older apps, you can run into all sorts of library/dependency issues. it wouldn't be a problem if that app was the ONLY thing you wanted to run, but it's a real bitch if an old app wants a particular library version while a newer app that you want to live on the same machine, doesn't

there are often little inconsistencies between behaviour of different versions...

Comment Re:I know you slashdotters hate to hear it (Score 1) 316

I've been told by a friend that this is also one of the reasons why Sun was losing customers - they EOL-ed Solaris 8, and (Sun's forwards-binary-compatibility-guarantee notwithstanding) the customers decided if they weren't going to be able to just "keep the old stuff going" (what with new SPARC hardware not being able to run older versions of Solaris), and were going to have to move off Solaris 8 (or even 7), they may as well move to linux/windows/anything-other-than-Solaris.

this makes a big difference because of the number of Sun customers during the Solaris 7-8 days...

Comment Re:I doubt it (Score 5, Insightful) 906

MySQL is in a very different niche than Oracle.

I'd think MySQL is one of the reasons Oracle bought Sun. Whatever its failings, MySQL is the "default" choice for most new (small) deployments (I mean, to the extent there's the LAMP acronym for it), the ones that are too small for Oracle to care about.

Now that Oracle has it, they're in a position to "upsell" them once they get far enough. They now control both the high end AND the low end ("... the horizontal and the vertical..."). I'd expect an upper limit to the effort put into scaling MySQL up ("we already have a high-end DB, why waste the effort?"), but I don't see them abandoning it.

Comment Re:What about MySQL? (Score 1) 906

Being able to sell a complete vertical solution, with their own CPU, OS, and DB system is probably quite appealing to Oracle.

and now, IBM execs are starting to wonder if maybe they shouldn't have walked away

Comment Re:Java is safe, mysql is safe... (Score 1) 906

Why would you buy Sun if you didn't want their hardware? It would be a questionable move at best.

Agreed. I think what this means is that Oracle DOES want Sun's hardware. Maybe not SPARC (which I guess they could hive off completely to Fujitsu), but they now can provide every single item in the checklist.

and let's not forget Larry Ellison's foray into network computing...

Comment Re:Wow (Score 5, Insightful) 906

Actually. I think it might well go the other way. That Oracle decided to fork/clone Red Hat shows one thing - Oracle WANTS to have an OS.

Now they have one.

Comment Re:YRO? Seriously? (Score 1) 440

We're nerds. This is about the functioning of the justice system; law and order. In a society where there are no rules, the ones who will be getting oppressed and exploited are going to be us. The ones who'll be having the rules bent their way are going to be the thugs, not us. News about law and order and freedom, their functioning or lack thereof, is news for nerds.

Comment Re:That's a big leap (Score 1) 626

Now, imagine if you could fetch that 100% oomph when needed from a server farm instead of your own computer...

I think that just shifts the problem from CPU power to bandwidth (which is already a problem area).

this is why PCs evolved in the first place - mainframes were essentially a server with ... very poor, very high latency bandwidth (driving to the office to get punched cards... that's a 1 day ping time).

the raw performance figures keep going up, but the relationship shifts back and forth. putting all the smarts in the cloud just makes bandwidth that much more critical. if you can't have the bandwidth, maybe it makes sense to have the smarts at the end nodes.

Comment Re:This is a bad idea, contrary to your opinion (Score 1) 848

Second, Creationism is currently operating under the idea that there is no such thing as bad publicity. They don't actually want to be 'accepted', they just want to grab as many headlines as possible. They want big, showy, and silly public debates with well-respected scientists.

I'd second that. Creationism seems to appeal to the segment of the religio-fundies that thrive on a "siege mentality", that "everybody is against us". What's useful to them is a large number of people "attacking" them, they don't (and won't) care about the legitimacy or quality of the criticisms of their ideas.

The third, and biggest problem with Creationism is that it is a concept, not a field of study. You don't grant degrees in 'ideas'. We don't have a degree for perpetual motion machines, proving Goldbach's conjecture, or any other crackpottery you can imagine. A degree is rewarded for a field of study. What exactly are Creationists going to study?

Does anybody offer a "degree in evolution"?

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