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Comment The Army Had Some (Score 2) 31

I was in the XVIII Corps Automation Management Office in '83-'84 when we bought at least one of these things. They were militarized models with a different, more dust-proof, with fewer electronic emissions. Worked fine: although the GriD-OS was different, it was just as usable as PC-DOS and MS-DOS. The orange screen was different too, but quite usable. (Note the upper-case "D" in "GriD" .. the company was quite insistent on that and would have their feelings hurt if you didn't type it that way in correspondence.)

I seem to recall them costing about $5K back then, quite a bit of money, especially compared to the Apple II's we were using for other purposes. We even took one down to Grenada during the little expedition down there, where it promptly disappeared on its way back for trouble-shooting. (I'm still proud of my successful effort to track it down from Grenada to C-141 to "captured" Soviet truck cab to .. well, it ended up in the supply room of an infantry company in the 82d Airborne Division, where the first sergeant insisted he was just keeping it secure while he went on leave. Could be: he didn't take it home with him :-) I'd have called in El Cid if that had been the case, but as it was I accepted his explanation and just took the GriD back to the office.. Amazing what you can actually accomplish when you're a Special Forces sergeant major :-)

Whole idea was to "automate the Corps" and its subordinate unit headquarters. Very interesting times, and we weren't spending much money or resources at all compared to some other agencies we heard about. We actually got more practical use from the networked Apple II's than we did from the stand-alone (but NOT portable: no batteries) Grids. All history now, ancient history at that, but interesting times indeed.

Comment Re:We love you, mr. Torvalds (Score 1) 218

Um yeah a competitor won't use it? bahaha. They rip off Linux code all the time which is why the point of lawyers are brought up.

Actually, given the vast usage of Linux worldwide, it's astonishing how rare such abuses are.

Shoot some companies like banks have ANTI GNU policies to protect themselves.

Some companies are still clueless enough to do that, yes.

Linux can not be used as a simple link to GPL infects the whole program making it viral.

Poppycock. Programs running on Linux do not link to Linux. It's well-accepted that the GPL does not affect programs that merely make syscalls.

I am not a troll here.

Interesting that you feel the need to make that statement.

GNU geeks do not know the difference between GPL and LGPL and assume anyone can use their API. It is not true and it pisses me off.

Also nonsense. Most F/LOSS software developers understand perfectly the distinction between GPL and LGPL, and choose appropriately based on whether they want to allow their code to be linked to non-GPL code. Personally, I've used both licenses for libraries I wrote. Though for programs I tend to choose GPL and for libraries I tend to choose Apache2 or BSD. I think the use case for LGPL is pretty narrow.

Investors agree and so the lawyers that [BSD] is the best option

Only if your lawyers haven't bothered to think about patents. The BSD license has a severe flaw in that it doesn't include a patent grant. If you're incorporating someone else's code into your product and you aren't absolutely certain they don't hold any patents on it, you may be setting yourself up for a patent lawsuit. Apache2 is often a better choice for that reason.

Comment Re:BSDL vs GPL (Score 1) 218

I don't see how the GPL forces you to push your contributions upstream.

"Forces" is too strong, but there's a powerful incentive to upstream changes. Not upstreaming them means that you end up maintaining a library of patches that you have to port to each new version that's released. Over time this gets to be really difficult and expensive.

Note that this is also true for BSD code... except that in the BSD world there are some legal counter-incentives that discourage you from upstreaming. Too many people will argue that because the license allows you to keep your code to yourself, you should, which leads you into a patch-maintenance hell that the business and legal types don't appreciate or understand. So, the GPL helps the technical staff by eliminating the secrecy argument and encouraging upstreaming, which eliminates patch-maintenance hell.

Also, the upstream argument is something that's been compellingly disproven in the case of BSD.

No, it hasn't. You're right that smart BSD projects do upstream changes to avoid patch maintenance hell, but it takes a particularly enlightened organization to do it. The GPL helps be eliminating the option of keeping your changes secret. In a very few cases, this is a problem because the code in question has crucial competitive value *and* can't be run effectively in userspace. But those cases are rare, and the tendency is for organizations to vastly overestimate the value of their proprietary code.

Comment Re:Ensuring freedom requires enforcement (Score 1) 218

The fork of the Linux kernel Torvalds distributes contains the "fragmentation" he claims isn't viable—Torvalds' variant of Linux contains proprietary binaries in it. These blobs of code are removed in the fully-free GNU Linux-libre kernel.

Hold up now, mr. FSF.

The kernel that Linus distributes is the Linux kernel, by definition.

Linux-Libre is a fork for FSF puritans.

Comment Re: Don't Talk Back! (Score 1) 90

The Arch wiki is generally good (except for the outdated articles) and the forums can be very helpful.

But after the tenth or twentieth time your system just goes belly-up because of a borked update, and you have to reboot on a USB stick and manually try to rescue things, you get tired of their bleeding-edge package versions. This latest time, it was because a beta version of the Nvidia driver was marked as the newest stable version in the Arch repos, so Pacman cheerfully proceeded to install it. The end result upon the next reboot was a black screen and my graphics card's fan running at full tilt. I spent a couple of hours trying to fix things, but even rolling back the Nvidia driver and the kernel did nothing.

So I said "fuck it, I've had enough of being a mega-1337 Linux h4xx0r and toying around with Gentoo and Arch", and installed Linux Mint 18. Obviously I had to get used to a new system, and add a few PPAs for various applications where I needed the newest version. But so far, it's been absolutely wonderful. No fuss at all, very straight-forward and fast install process, sensible defaults for most things, very little tweaking needed.

I know there's Manjaro, which is a similarly desktop-oriented distro based on Arch instead of Ubuntu. But I felt like needed a clean break from the whole Arch thing. Besides, with my /home on a separate partition, it's not like I even had to mess around with any significant settings in any applications. Maybe I'll try Manjaro some day.

Comment Re:The losing side must automatically pay (Score 1) 242

No that's (of course!) not how it works here in loser pays-land. For exactly the reasons you mention. Instead, the winner can only claim reasonable fees, so burying the loser in lawyer's hours wont work. There are set scales and standards so you can actually pretty well know in advance what it'll cost you.

And also, if you win, but are awarded less than half of what you sought, that counts as "losing" from the perspective of fees. There's also middle ground where you're ordered to pay part (say 20%) of fees, depending on "how much" you lost. And no punitive damages. If the company needs to learn their lessen, they're fined.

But of course a system like this wouldn't work for the kinds of legal problems where ordinary people would actually see a court. So there are special courts for workplace/employment issues, a special renter's court, etc. where it is cheap (free) and easy to have your case heard. We also have a system of "ombudsman" where there are special government prosecutors that will act on your behalf. e.g. when it comes to consumer issues, or discrimination.

This means that the average Swede never sees the inside of a court, and doesn't even typically know anybody who has. Civil suits are almost unheard of. E.g. traffic accidents are handled by insurance companies, without any court involvement. And if you're unhappy with the insurance company, again, there's a special court for that.

Comment Re:Wikileaks absolutely does "vetting" ... (Score 1) 303

They did not lie

And again you're focusing on the wrong part of the video. I already said exactly what you said, i.e. it was a fluid and difficult to judge situation and shit happens. And again that's not what we're talking about.

What we're talking about is the van!. Once the firing has stopped they follow a wounded man on the ground crawling along the curb. They make comments along the lines of "Just pick up a gun budy so I can shoot you!" (paraphrase). (Gloating, but that's not the point). This demonstrates that they're well aware of the rules of engagement that prohibits the attacking of wounded and unarmed on the battle field.

Then the van comes around the corner. The father in the van immediately stops, goes out and renders aid. The helicopter crew is heard lying to their chain of command as they ask for permission to fire on the van telling their commander that they are "gathering weapons and bodies" (not exact quote). While the then current rules of engagement permitted attacking those that tried to remove weapons and the bodies of the fallen, they did of course not permit attacking someone who was giving aid to the unarmed wounded.

Given the wrong information of course their commander gives them permission to fire, and they do so, with disastrous results. (Again with the gloating, clear lack of professionalism there...).

That was beyond the pale, and a clear violation of not only international law, but also their own rules of engagement

. Since they were safe in a helicopter several thousand meters away, they don't get cut any slack from being in mortal peril themselves, and they also had a bit of time, and other options available, so no excuse there either.

Comment Re:Death to publishers (Score 2) 154

"You are not allowed to advertise our business without paying us for the privilege"
"Oh, and you are obliged to advertise our business"
Patently absurd when applied to any business, except publishing apparently. It's a brilliant plan, really. The EU values a healthy, independent press. Even though I use the term independent very lightly, it wouldn't be good if government were seen to subsidise the perss directly. So instead they give them the power to tax private parties with deep pockets.

Comment Re: It's research... (Score 1) 143

Tee hee! Back in the day, one of the points I made to the old farts was that I had passed the 20 WPM exam and had my K6BP call to show for it, but refused to use the code on the air until the requirement was gone. Nobody spat at me or punched me out, the worst that ever happened was a poor behaving slim using my call and a postcard from the ARRL observer who thouht it was me.

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