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Slashback: Franklin, Head-Mounting, Timing

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the eligible-bachelor dept.

Slashback 202

Slashback tonight with more on clockless computing; Benjamin Franklin on patents (!); and early notice to evacuate Zurich in advance of the ISWC Borg. (Read more below.)

I've broken two Timexes this month, this is just old hat now. Pete Brubaker writes: "A few days ago this story was posted to /. pointing to a NYTimes article about Sun's new asynchronous processor. The article, though informative, lacked detail. EE Times comes through and discusses this technology in quite a bit more detail."

If it won't fit in your overhead bin, it probably isn't wearable. If you were intrigued by the wearable computers mentioned in October, you can thankjoeboy4h for pointing out that "the 5th International Symposium on Wearable Computers will be in Zurich this October. Aside from being an excellent academic conference this is also the ultimate hack fest; lots of cool people all interested in hacking both hardware and software, most wearing their wearables, and some really incredible presentations. The call for papers is out now; it would be an excellent place for slashdoters to strut their stuff."

I hope they can webcast a stroll in the Alps with a well-outfitted wearables party ... now that would be a Linuxbierwanderung.

But for the record, would you say you're a "real American," Mr. Franklin? Ovidius writes "Need a historical precedent to argue in favor of open source and against the rash of insane technology patents? Tell people how Ben Franklin valued innovation over profits--in 1742 he not only published the details of his newly conceived Franklin Stove, but refused a patent on it on the principle that "as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."

Even when a London entrepreneur took out a patent on a poorly modified version of his stove, Franklin still did not pursue the matter, though maybe he would have if he had known where the use of patents in business would be headed 250 or so years later. The account is from chapter 10 of his Autobiography (which is available at the esteemed Project Gutenberg) :

In order of time, I should have mentioned before, that having, in 1742, invented an open stove for the better warming of rooms, and at the same time saving fuel, as the fresh air admitted was warmed in entering, I made a present of the model to Mr. Robert Grace, one of my early friends, who, having an iron-furnace, found the casting of the plates for these stoves a profitable thing, as they were growing in demand.
To promote that demand, I wrote and published a pamphlet, entitled "An Account of the new-invented Pennsylvania Fireplaces; wherein their Construction and Manner of Operation is particularly explained; their Advantages above every other Method of warming Rooms demonstrated; and all Objections that have been raised against the Use of them answered and obviated," etc.
This pamphlet had a good effect. Gov'r. Thomas was so pleas'd with the construction of this stove, as described in it, that he offered to give me a patent for the sole vending of them for a term of years; but I declin'd it from a principle which has ever weighed with me on such occasions, viz., That, as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.
An ironmonger in London however, assuming a good deal of my pamphlet, and working it up into his own, and making some small changes in the machine, which rather hurt its operation, got a patent for it there, and made, as I was told, a little fortune by it. And this is not the only instance of patents taken out for my inventions by others, tho' not always with the same success, which I never contested, as having no desire of profiting by patents myself, and hating disputes. The use of these fireplaces in very many houses, both of this and the neighbouring colonies, has been, and is, a great saving of wood to the inhabitants.

So who is more American, Ben Franklin or Bill Gates?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

geees, technology these days. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#353037)

Clockless computing... im falling behind already. I thought it was getting in-depth when they brought out the atom sized transistor or the plastic semi-conductor. The next on the list is ESP Computing(TM), where all components know exactly whats happening all the time. Ill trademark it now just in case!

Westinghouse / Edison (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#353039)

I beleive a similar thing happened with Tesla who had pioneered the use of AC (alternating current). Basically he licensed it to Westinghouse. Westinghouse would pay Tesla an amount per person connected to the system.

At one point Nikola Tesla could have put Westinghouse out of business by insisting they paid him what he was owed. Instead he ripped the contract up with some suitably chosen words to the effect "it is better that the world has AC than I become a rich man"...

I think he died peniless :-)

Regards
X

kphonecenter (1)

Pauly (382) | more than 13 years ago | (#353040)

kphonecenter [kde.com] is all this minus the multiple voice mail options (I believe).
It claims to be based on Rapidcom Voice for Windows.

While it's no Nautilus plugin, it is a KDE application that is usable now.
I personally think that's two pluses instead of just one.

interesting (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#353043)

Posted by replicataur:

Since I can't code, but I have a good app idea, I'll toss it out here.

Linux needs a GUI frontend to control everything that modern voice/fax/modems can do.

This frontend should allow the user to configure all aspects of the voice/fax/modem from one interface. This means configuring the ability to:

- Send/Recieve Faxes
- Dial out/Dial in
- Configure an Answering machine

And if made properly modular, this program could become a boom. Imagine the capabilities of this frontend if when you configured your answering machine, it could do the following:

- multiple voice-mail boxes
- send you an email/page noting the time of the call and any Caller ID information
- encode the message using either mp3 or ogg format (low mono bitrate - perfect for this) and email the message

The more modular this program is made, the more flexible this could be, allowing other implementations to be included.

For all the focus on the whiz-bang of video and audio, Linux is severely lacking in easy control of thhe modern voice/fax/modem in a GUI environment.

Any other ideas to flesh this out?
Microsoft and McDonalds are alike. They don't make the best, but they make the most.

Franklin (5)

nerdin (1330) | more than 13 years ago | (#353047)

Have you Americans ever been aware that if Franklin, Jefferson or any other of your founding fathers were alive today, they would be under continuous surveilance from NSA, FBI and who knows who else? And worst: for a good reason.

Those guys were, you guess it, revolutionaires. With clear ideas about freedom, call it freedom of speech, to innovate or from tyrans.

Do you imagine George Washington being lobbied by RIAA, Microsoft or any other company? Can you imagine his response to those guys?

Do you imagine Jackson taking bribes^H^H^H^H^H^H donations from interest groups?

Wake up!
If they were alive, they'd die again of sadness, just looking what America is now.

A small difference (4)

jafac (1449) | more than 13 years ago | (#353048)

Franklin wrote that the reason why he didn't want to patent the idea was to encourage demand for the iron parts his buddy was making.

We have a different situation here in the 21st century; manufacturing is no longer profitable, competition cuts margins, unless you have a monopoly. It's information that's in demand - and the patent system as it stands today, gives companies a monopoly on the information. RAM manufacturers are fucked as it is, competing for razon thin margins. Then RAMBUS comes along, and decides to strap on the extra LARGE toy. . . What's more valuable? A $3 billion fab? or a patent on SDRAM?

Re:Multimedia App Idea (2)

Enahs (1606) | more than 13 years ago | (#353049)

Maybe you could post it to kuro5hin.org [kuro5hin.org] , but then 10 people would rip it apart for being too short, and if you left that last line on, a couple of people would rip you apart for asking them to do your research for them, maybe a couple of people could rip you apart for seeing your idea as an attempt to tell them what they should want on Linux, one or two could rip you apart for being a mindless Linux cheerleader, some could point out the extra "h" in one of your "the"s, someone could rip it apart for the "voice/fax/modems" bit, and of course one or two people could have possibly seen your comment here, and flame you because kuro5hin is "not Slashdot".

Re:As usual, slashdot ignores bad news about itsel (2)

Enahs (1606) | more than 13 years ago | (#353050)

Well, you could always post a summary to kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] , but of course 5 people would shoot it down for being negative about Open Source companies, two for it being a possible troll, and the rest out of some odd, xenophobic fear, a paranoid need for kuro5hin to be Not Slashdot [notslashdot.org] (which, btw, is held by Sig11 himself.)

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

Phillip Birmingham (2066) | more than 13 years ago | (#353051)

(you ain't lived til you tried some real New York Pizza)

And after that, when you're ready for some real food you can come to Chicago.(heh, heh)

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

Phillip Birmingham (2066) | more than 13 years ago | (#353052)

Trust me, if you've seen Bangor, Maine, and anywhere outside the US (except canada), anything in the US is going to look nine times more like Bangor than that anywhere.

In a word, "duh." Name any nation where the local culture varies more than between, say, the fishing towns of Maine and the plantation towns of Mississippi. Nuernberg looked a lot like Muenich to me, which looked a lot like Schwangau, but you don't hear me making sweeping statements about the homogeneity of German culture. I just figure that I probably missed something, because it was all so different to me. I do know that growing up in Arkansas was different from living in Chicago -- much more different than these German cities seemed during my brief visit there.

Re:ripper?! (2)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 13 years ago | (#353053)

preferably one which doesn't require winelib dll hacks, since dad doesn't want to know about that sort of thing.

Yeah, it sucks when my dad has to hex edit a binary dll. The DivX player should also not be written in C/C++ either, since my mom doesn't know how to use a compiler.

Ben Franklin never owned slaves! (5)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 13 years ago | (#353055)

The vast majority of his ideas can be put down to him being a memeber of the landed gentry in america, with considerable assets (many slaves) and the time and ability to be scholarly.


I think you are confusing Franklin with Thomas Jefferson. Franklin never owned any slaves, and in fact was the president of the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. It is widely believed that this cost him the chance to ever be nominated for the President of the United States as it of course made him extremely unpopular in the South

Probably 'twas Mr. Franklin ... (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 13 years ago | (#353056)

Or else they wouldn't be right.

Right?

--

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

Y2K is bogus (7647) | more than 13 years ago | (#353057)

You're a tactless prick, go piss off.

ripper?! (4)

Phexro (9814) | more than 13 years ago | (#353063)

how about an easy-for-dad divx player first? preferably one which doesn't require winelib dll hacks, since dad doesn't want to know about that sort of thing.
--

Re:Next Slashdot Poll: (2)

redled (10595) | more than 13 years ago | (#353066)

E - CowboyNeal smells

--

Re:Americanism (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 13 years ago | (#353070)

Incentive? You a republican? Things will be invented and created, wether or not there is some sort of incentive. I think being alive in itself is an incentive. That little dribble in the constitution is just big money speaking (and no, big money hasnt changed much since the late 1700s, its just managed to come up with new ways that hurt We The People).

-=Gargoyle_sNake
-=-=-=-

Re:Franklin (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 13 years ago | (#353072)

> Do you imagine Jackson taking bribes^H^H^H^H^H^H donations from interest groups?

Maybe from the NRA...

--

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

ermita2 (19741) | more than 13 years ago | (#353073)

I guess learning about American History is important, but you also must learn more about current America itself. If you believe that what you see in Bangor, Maine is a complete representation of American culture, then I'm sorry but you don't have the whole picture.

I don't want to sound defesinve, but you should take ride down to NYC or maybe further south to where I live, Miami. You would see that America culture is more outward looking and global than you think.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (3)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#353076)

Bangor is no milestone by which to judge America, not by any means. Part of the beauty of America's melting pot is that wherever you go in America, the people are as different as the scenery. Here in Texas, where it's just as hot as Maine is dreary, the nightlife and culture is as thick as the humidity. Over in Miami, it's another scene altogether, with fiery Cuban clubs being a real night out. And over in LA, the Asian scene is amazing.

In Bangor, frankly, it's a bunch of white retirees. You're looking at the original immigrants there, and they haven't gotten any livelier in the last two hundred years.

Franklin's wisdom lost on current companies (5)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#353077)

Yeah, well, Franklin is also credited with saying that "A penny saved is a penny earned," and it isn't like companies have been paying attention to that one either. Somehow I doubt the fact that one of the founding fathers liked Open Source is going to jump-start any patent debates. My boss is more likely to say, "Well, the guy also flew kites during thunderstorms."

Clockless Computing (4)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 13 years ago | (#353084)

My only real annoyance at this article is that they make it out as if Sun invented the goddamn thing.

Wanna see who did? Go to:
The Amulet Group [man.ac.uk] .

It's an offshoot of the ARM team.

Simon

Re:Please moderate this thread UP (1)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 13 years ago | (#353086)

Research the history of bleach - common household bleach.

Re:But the cynic says... (2)

jefftp (35835) | more than 13 years ago | (#353089)

Eli Whitney didn't die penniless by far. He next big invention was something that started the Age of Mass Production: Interchangable Parts. At the time, gunsmiths hand crafted guns. Each gun was unique, and if your gun broke, you'd have to usually go to the gunsmith who made it to fix it.

Eli Whitney realized that guns were composed of components that could be manufactured as exact duplicates. Assemble the components and you have a finished product. This reduced the time required to repair a broken firearm.

The idea took off, and Eli Whitney profited greatly. Not because he patented it, but because the firearms produced by this method were superior to the competition.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (2)

Zurk (37028) | more than 13 years ago | (#353090)

the us is a big country. maine is a backwater..maybe you should try living in a real city instead ? texans for example are quite different from people living in boston or new york... its true that most american cities are becoming pretty much like one another but american "culture" still varies from state to state.

Re:Gee, I wonder what OS Ben Franklin would use... (1)

HerrNewton (39310) | more than 13 years ago | (#353094)

The AC might have intended that as a troll, but I gotta agree with him. Why? Franklin was a printer as well ;-)

----

Re:In a word, Yes (3)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 13 years ago | (#353097)

America isn't a dynasty. It's a democratic republic. That is, it's a government 'for the people, by the people' with a head of state which is generally a president. (Or at least, that's how it is conceptually. Sadly, that's not what it has become, is it?)

Contrast that to the succession of rulers from one generation to the next of the same family, which is what a dynasty is.

However, IIRC, America is the longest lasting republic, as it stands now.

-------
CAIMLAS

Sun Labs Async papers (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#353100)

If you'd all stop blabin' about franklin for 5 minutes, you might want to read about the Async work by Sun directly from the source:
here [sun.com] . God I hate articles that are written offline and then just cut and pasted online. It should be a rule, unless you have a link in your story, it's not a news item suitable to be linked to on Slashdot.

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

commbat (50622) | more than 13 years ago | (#353101)

Hi, your argument appears to be; Whitney was a bad guy because the history books made him out to be a bad guy, and Franklin was a good guy because the history books made him out to be a good guy.

You are clearly of superior intellect.


What research material would you use? Outside of science and math, at some point we have to agree on some authority... these history books seem OK to me.

async (1)

eric17 (53263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353102)

The PIV has a tree of clock generaters with adjustable delays to handle clock skewing problems..this must have been a nightmare to design. Sounds like you almost have to go asyncronous in some fashion just to get the complexity down as the # of transisters heads toward the billions.

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 13 years ago | (#353106)

Hi, your attitude that you are smarter than everyone on Slashdot is getting rather annoying.

Have a nice day.
--
Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.

Next Slashdot Poll: (4)

ostiguy (63618) | more than 13 years ago | (#353107)

How many days until ThinkGeek has a t-shirt with the aforementioned Franklin quote?

A - 1
B - 2
C - 7
D - .0625

Re:and big on freedom (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#353108)

That's my .sig, feel free to overuse it!

Re:Arthur C. Clarke (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#353109)


I believe the title was "The Exploration of Space". I used to own it, years ago, but it got lost in a move. Highly prescient book.

In a word, Yes (2)

Ted V (67691) | more than 13 years ago | (#353111)

The simple fact is that America rules the world's culture, economics, politics, communications, and education. There are many countries out there that hate this, with good reason. It's the reason America is seen as a great evil among most of the Middle East, instead of "just another powerful country" like England or Germany. America acts like it owns the world, and to a large extent, it does. America might not have complete dictatorial control over each and every country in the world, but even the President doesn't control the American State governments, and so on. So despite the civil unrest all around the world, it is undoubtably America who's calling the shots. When a ruler starts abusing the country's subjects, who settles the dispute? Witness American troops in Bosnia.

Again... I didn't create the world. This is just the way things are. I wonder how long the American empire will last? No Dynasty has lasted longer than 500 years, to my knowledge. America seems to be in its prime.

-Ted

But the cynic says... (4)

Ted V (67691) | more than 13 years ago | (#353112)

But the cynic says that patents were much more difficult to enforce in those days. Witness the number of patent infringements on the Cotton Gin-- its owner died penniless, despite inventing a machine that made cotton harvesting far, far more efficient. Perhaps Franklin, ever charismatic, realized he would look nobler without a patent, and realized that a patent wouldn't be worth much to him anyway.

-Ted

Bangor, Maine vs. New York, New York (4)

Ted V (67691) | more than 13 years ago | (#353113)

Much of rural America is inward looking, much like rural China/Russia/France/Britain/Wherever. Bangor has perhaps 35,000 people living in it. Sizable for a local culture, but certainly not the million people needed for a true global culture.

Culture is a reflection of the population. It's only natural that a smaller population is more inward looking-- there are fewer people from other cultures to provide new views on life. If you'd enjoy a more cosmopolitan life, visit Boston or New York.

That said, I agree that most Americans are "Americentric", even those in larger cities. But that doesn't mean they eschew other cultures. Americans merely claim other cultural phenomenons and absorb them into American Culture.

I believe the reason is that Americans have no reason to depend on other countries in the world (unlike even the first world countries, much less the third world). American politics does not depend as much on, say, the Middle East as the Middle East does on America.

Um, welcome to the world we live in, I guess...

-Ted

Re:ripper?! (2)

Nailer (69468) | more than 13 years ago | (#353115)

Yeah, it sucks when my dad has to hex edit a binary dll. The DivX player should also not be written in C/C++ either, since my mom doesn't
know how to use a compiler.


This is a troll, but to spell it out: developers aren't end users. The post roystgnr replies to wants his parents to be able to play films, rather than hack the source code.

Mr. Franklin ... (4)

dougmc (70836) | more than 13 years ago | (#353116)

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them that Benjamin Franklin said it first.
Not sure who said that, but they're certainly right ...

On Franklin. (2)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 13 years ago | (#353119)

Franklin was a great man, gentleman and scholar. He started the first newspaper and the first fire department in the US. Nice to see that he was also quite the humanitarian. I have admired him all of my life.

Of course, he did all of those things because he was helping to start a country run by a bunch of guys that didn't like their taxes. They only let white men vote or own land. Slavery was allowed for blacks, and most of their wives were treated like slaves.

So just remember, as great a guy as Franklin was, do not forget to take what he said in the context of his own time.

Re:Please. (1)

nublord (88026) | more than 13 years ago | (#353122)

Hey now, don't judge the rest of Slashdot based on what he says.

Just like you shouldn't judge the USA based on what Bangor, ME has to offer.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

ahde (95143) | more than 13 years ago | (#353125)

Trust me, if you've seen Bangor, Maine, and anywhere outside the US (except canada), anything in the US is going to look nine times more like Bangor than that anywhere.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

ahde (95143) | more than 13 years ago | (#353126)

not to single you out, but the fact that you can't pick a single place (and all the places you all have picked in common) is a pretty good indicator how homogenous America is.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

ahde (95143) | more than 13 years ago | (#353127)

Heh. indians running chain teriyaki and thai fast food.

Not to nitpick, but... (4)

curunir (98273) | more than 13 years ago | (#353131)

So who is more American, Ben Franklin or Bill Gates?

1) Bill Gates was born in the US, Franklin was not...Franklin was born a British Citizen.
2) The present tense of the verb to be is used, so Franklin technically *isn't* any more
3) Bill Gates represents what it is to be American pretty darn well. He is capitalistic and greedy. Franklin represents what it *was* to be American, idealistic and capable of creative thought.

So...maybe the question should have been phrased, "Who is more what we'd like to believe an American is?"

Re:That could be the official motto of the FSF (1)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 13 years ago | (#353133)

It's a good quote, but if you suggest it to him and use Free Software and Open Source as if they were the same thing like that, you're in for a tongue lashing. ;)

Lettuce is American (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 13 years ago | (#353136)

So who is more American, Ben Franklin or Bill Gates?
I don't know... Ben Franklin is on the $100 bill so he must be more American, right?

Re:Without a monopoly who will innovate? (1)

L. J. Beauregard (111334) | more than 13 years ago | (#353137)

17 years is the old law. New patents get 20 years from filing. Patents filed before 8 Jan 1995 get the longer of 17 years from issue or 20 years from filing.
--
Ooh, moderator points! Five more idjits go to Minus One Hell!
Delenda est Windoze

Re:Arthur C. Clarke (2)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 13 years ago | (#353138)

Not really. He had published the idea before it occured to anyone it was patentable, thus invalidating any attempt to patent it. Furthermore, had he patented it when he published the idea (around 1948 I think) the patent would have expired I think 17 years latter (1965) before it was a major business.

Incidentally, in the semi-recent spate of documentary series about the early space program, they made a big deal about how one rogue engineer at NASA pushed the revolutionary lunar orbit rendezvous idea. While not taking away from that engineer's determination and rightness, this was also thought of by Clarke in around 1948. I have a book by him from this time about the science and engineering of spaceflight. (I can't remember if this is where the geostationary satellite idea was published.)

altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 13 years ago | (#353139)

and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. whitney tried to hog his invention and failed anyway.
Franklin shared the wealth and did well anyway.
They both made it into the history books, but who looks like the nicer guy?

Re:Multimedia App Idea (1)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 13 years ago | (#353140)

For all the focus on the whiz-bang of video and audio, Linux is severely lacking in easy control of thhe modern voice/fax/modem in a GUI environment.

How about we worry about getting most instances of "the modern voice/fax/modem" supported under linux, first, ie. Winmodems. *Then* worry about a fancy frontend for using them.

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (2)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 13 years ago | (#353141)

Hi, I'm not sure where you got that. What history books did you read? The ones I had put Ben Franklin on fairly even ground with Eli Whitney; both were dead white guys who invented stuff and neither was made out to be good or bad in the history books, as I recall.

My point had something to do with the futility of patents. Both had successful inventions, one patented, one didn't, and they ended up the same stature in the "neutral" gaze of the historians.
However, now that we have this free software movement, we look up to Ben Franklin as having a superior character.

There. I've fleshed out my argument a little more for you, though its probably no more eloquent.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

Master Bait (115103) | more than 13 years ago | (#353142)

Well, I saw Train Spotting

and can tell you that Bangor isn't at all like Glasgow. So head down to New Jersey... maybe Newark. Lots of culture and cuisine and stuff like that!


blessings,

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 13 years ago | (#353144)

Whoa! Please don't judge American society by Bangor, Maine!

Take a driving tour throughout the US this summer. (Get some ideas from Philip Greenspun's [greenspun.com] travelogues). There's a lot more to the US (good and bad -- for the latter, be sure to visit where I live: Los Angeles) than Bangor.

My brother in law is currently in Spain, having travelled through most of Europe over the past year. If he decried the culture of Europe based on his initial impressions of Malaga, would you complain a bit? Sure.

Re:That Post is a Fraud (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 13 years ago | (#353145)

Thank you for your service. It won't change the poster, but it will help preserve the proper memory of Ben Franklin -- for if he DID speak against the Jews that would be a blight on his person.

Re:Eazel slashed, etc. (2)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 13 years ago | (#353147)

since they laid off those developers

They did lay off developers. They laid off marketing driods and the like.

Please read more than titles of news events...

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

Grahf666 (118413) | more than 13 years ago | (#353148)

To clarify core10k's slightly cryptic post... (for those who don't know what the terms melting pot and tossed salad mean in this cultural context)

Melting pot is where a large number of cultures all blend together to produce something well, unique. US-ians started out as just brits, but after millions of immigrants brought their own cultural traditions to the US, we now think of ourselves as Americans.

Tossed salad refers to having all the same cultures coexist, but retain their individuality. In the US this hasn't happened as much, though I suppose in big cities a lot of people live in pretty ethnic-specific areas (chinatown, the italian section, german section, etc).

Ya see?

ask the cubans about our 1890s era inwardness (2)

StandardDeviant (122674) | more than 13 years ago | (#353150)

I'd say the Spanish-American war was pretty outwardly directed foreign policy. ;-) Not that I'm saying it was right, but it was outward...

Sweetie, you're living in a city that is in no way cosmopolitan. Not even close. Live in LA or NYC or Houston before you decide all of america is comprised of close-minded, mom-and-apple-pie hicks. There are places in Houston where the street signs are in 3 languages, and english is last on the list...

As far as american culture as a whole, well I agree most of it is pretty homogenized. Why most people here like that pap (*NSUCK, BACKDOOR BOYS, McFuckingDonalds, or any of the 1,001 romantic comedies (all of which are as funny as a root canal and about as romantic as a sandpaper dildo), etc. ad nauseum) is beyond me. Why the rest of the world is so enamored of that crap is even further beyond me. I think that basically, most people are stupid. The genius of american mainstream culture is that they learned how to sell stuff to idiots, cretins, and slack-jawed droolers of all stripes as efficiently as possible, and this works as well with Scottish retards as it does American or Japanese or ($COUNTRY) ones... Why bother being creative when you can capture 90% of the global market with cheap, tawdry, talentless crap?

Oh well, at least for every ten (thousand) boy bands we have a Hemingway or Poe.


--
News for geeks in Austin: www.geekaustin.org [geekaustin.org]

Re:On Franklin. (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#353151)

Don't forget that he liked having older women as mistresses because they wouldn't go off and tell their friends.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

clyons (126664) | more than 13 years ago | (#353154)

As a Scottish girl used to the pleasures of my native Glasgow, I was very dissappointed in the variety of cuisine, nightlife and people here in Bangor, Maine when I first arrived. It seems that the melting pot is producing a terrible monoculture here in America!

As holes have been shot in many of the "facts" presented in this comment's parent, (i.e., Franklin owning slaves, and others), I think it's probably a troll.

But then there's the Maine reference, which begs the question: When did Stephen King become a Slashdot troll? :)

--

Re:But the cynic says... (1)

Chagrin (128939) | more than 13 years ago | (#353156)

From http://www.nara.gov/education/cc/whitney.html [nara.gov] :
  • But patenting an invention and making a profit from it are two different things. After considering possible options, Whitney and his business partner, Phineas Miller, opted to produce as many gins as possible, install them throughout Georgia and the South, and charge farmers a fee for doing the ginning for them. Their charge was two-fifths of the profit -- paid to them in cotton itself.
Whereas you claim Franklin tried to appear "noble", it seems that Whitney did his best to appear "ignoble": Whitney's price for the use of his invention is a little more than excessive, wouldn't you think?

You need a better apples-to-apples comparison before you try to defame Franklin for his choices in not patenting his stove. Whitney did lose his rights to his patent due to problems with patent law at that time; perhaps if he had been a bit more gracious in his marketing of the invention he would have fared better!

and big on freedom (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 13 years ago | (#353158)

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

--Dr. Benjamin Franklin

Re:But the cynic says... (1)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 13 years ago | (#353160)

Whitney did lose his rights to his patent due to problems with patent law at that time; perhaps if he had been a bit more gracious in his marketing of the invention he would have fared better!

It's important to point out that the conventional High School History picture of Whitney inventing the cotton gin from scratch is not really accurate. There were existing tools that did the same job, but they did it badly. Whitney developed an improved version of an existing device, not a totally new invention. As your source quotes Whitney from a letter to his father:

"One man and a horse will do more than fifty men with the old machines,"

Something like that which is an improved version of an older device is always much tougher to protect effectively by patent than something completely novel.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

Demonix (140379) | more than 13 years ago | (#353163)

-begin quote- As a Scottish girl used to the pleasures of my native Glasgow, I was very dissappointed in the variety of cuisine, nightlife and people here in Bangor, Maine when I first arrived. It seems that the melting pot is producing a terrible monoculture here in America! -end quote- ok, I see the problem...yer in MAINE! Try spending some time in NYC or DC if you want variety... Just a helpful tip :)

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 13 years ago | (#353165)

Oh yes, I defintly see how a state that is renowned nation wide for using illegial immigrants as slave labor is so much more modern and innovative then a state which known for being laid back and relaxed.

I myself like the pacific northwest, we own ALL you bastads, w00t! I have a half a dozen different cultures sitting around within a one block radius of me and I can walk to a zillion different types of ethnic food stores and eat to my hearts content. Heh, now THIS is living the best of all the cultures! Go food!

Re:Franklin warned against the Jews (1)

king_ (143380) | more than 13 years ago | (#353169)

Not only is this offtopic, its irrelivant and extremly offending. How does ones religion dictate how they will affect any society. Christianity is based on judaism, and guess what!! CHRIST WAS A JEW! Your mindless propaganda isnt wanted in an open minded community like slashdot.

Hitler was also a political virtuoso, and he WAS wrong, so is Franklin

Re:Mr. Franklin ... (2)

spezz (150943) | more than 13 years ago | (#353172)

They accept them even more readily if you slip a few Benjamin Franklins into their pocket.

Re:Multimedia App Idea (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 13 years ago | (#353173)

Add a "net2phone" or similar feature for easy Phone Pranks [williambova.net]

Re:Please. (1)

wmaheriv (160149) | more than 13 years ago | (#353176)

Please don't think the rest of /. is uniformely as tactless and boring as this one. Some of us are actually quite the romantic type, myself included.

Seriously, and I say this with no disguised ulteriour motives, if you'd like to chat about American culture, let me know. I, too, was once a relative outsider, and judging from your URL, UID, and posts, I think we'd have quite a bit in common. Remember, no ulteriour motives, just neighbourly good cheer and conversation.


~wmaheriv

Take some lessons people!! (1)

MR.Gates (161769) | more than 13 years ago | (#353178)

To bad more companys don't think like this

"as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."

"That is the stupidest fucking signature I have ever seen"

Franklin was a classic Deist (4)

proxima (165692) | more than 13 years ago | (#353179)

Benjamin Franklin was a well-known Deist of his time. Basically, the Deists believed that human nature and the universe was inherently good, which differed greatly from the concurrently-popular Puritan view.

Through this belief that the universe was inherently good, the Deists believed that the best way to worship God was to do good and service others. Franklin demonstrated his wish to help others through the establishment of the University of Pennsylvania and the first American library (excellent way to promote free knowledge). He also improved the quality of living in his favored city of Philadelphia by improving street lighting and sewage systems.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Franklin would not want to patent his useful stove invention - doing so would only hamper competition to provide cheap availability of his useful stove. Benjamin Franklin helped early American society in so many ways that he easily became the classic American hero we know today.

Re:Take some lessons people!! (1)

David P (170482) | more than 13 years ago | (#353180)

Then again, Ben Franklin didn't need the money from his new stove; he was probably already a pretty wealthy man. Check out this timeline [fi.edu] to see where his stove invention fits in. He already had Poor Richy's Almanac and the Pennsylvania Gazette going for him; by this point he was probably more interested in benevolent pursuits (such as his electricity experiments a few years later), not profit.

Had he been some poor schmoe working in a forge and invented this new stove, I don't think the Open Source community would have this bit of evidence to back up their utopian beliefs.

---------------

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

ShaggusMacHaggis (178339) | more than 13 years ago | (#353183)

The problem is that you are in Bangor, Maine. I mean, say , if i went to Roxburgh, Scotland, do you think i would find some great wealth of culture?, on the other hand, if i went to New York City, or Washington DC, or San Francisco, there would be a great wealth of culture. It seems to be that America is damned if it doesn't, and damned if it does. Case in point, Iraq and Bosnia. People say that we are doing too much in Iraq, but not enough in Bosnia. wtf? Personally, I don't think America should be the global police.

100 %use = slow (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#353184)

The article about asynch processing also goes into the whine about not making 100% usage of the resources, the cpu cycles.

I do not know that I even want 100% use of the CPU 100% of the time. Just look at a regular desktop unit, and see how slow the response time gets as you get closer to 100% usage of the resources, cpu cycles and the like.

100% usage is great for monster crunching of big things and complex equations, etc. But if you want a faster reaction time you cannot be 100% committed.

Of course, you could increase the efficiencies of the response time etc, but this is not the same as 100% utilization of ram, processor, etc. Fast reaction means you got to have somethings sitting idle waiting for imput.

Re:Eazel slashed, etc. (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#353185)

it has been one hell of a week, it has... things are blurry before the weekend

Eazel slashed, etc. (3)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#353186)

Let's see:

First, Eazel launched Nautilus [eazel.com] ; Later the same day they laid off / slashed [slashdot.org] a bunch of folks, now they have "Contest Ware" to promote and generate development since they laid off those developers.

I suppose, but I wish there was a better way to do business.

Re:Eazel slashed, etc. (2)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#353188)

promote and generate development since they laid off those developers.

If you read the articles related to Eazal's layoffs you'll see they canned the markatroids - no developers were sacked. Your offbase Cpt.Fud-O-Tron.

You're not ill... Just the subject of some play =) (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#353189)

I would hesitate a guess that the afore-posted poster was feigning the whole thing =)

If that was the case, I'm not sure what was more amusing, his posts or your reactions =) Lighten up, the whole word isnt out to get you (or take you, be it as it may).

There's a lighter and funnier side to life. And its rather fun to share.

---

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353191)

Hi, you have absolutely no clue whatsoever what "melting pot" means. So sorry, 'merican boy.

Compare and contrast with "tossed salad," which is what you are referring to, and which America is a terrible example to give for.

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353192)

Hi, your argument appears to be; Whitney was a bad guy because the history books made him out to be a bad guy, and Franklin was a good guy because the history books made him out to be a good guy.

You are clearly of superior intellect.

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353193)

No, actually, that was *exactly* the argument you were making. Can't you see that?

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353194)

Nice blank website, jackass.

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353195)

My point was about logical fallacies. I'd use a logical fallacy called an 'ad hominum' fallacy right now but I have enough restraint not too.

Suffice it to say that your follow-up fails to acknowledge my point(which was rather obvious), completel.

And yes, I realize my grammar isn't perfect, so don't even bother.

Re:altruism is simply "the higher selfishness" (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353196)

> They both made it into the history books, but who looks like the nicer guy? That's what I was going on, to make my point didn't actually require knowing their personal details.

Without a monopoly who will innovate? (3)

jdb8167 (204116) | more than 13 years ago | (#353200)

I'm sure that Ben Franklin just didn't understand that he would stop innovating if he couldn't have a 17 year monopoly. </irony>

That's what patent proponents keep saying anyway.

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (2)

Phil Eschio (210602) | more than 13 years ago | (#353203)

Damn right man, I'm Italian :)


"The most fortunate of persons is he who has the most means to satisfy his vagaries."

Gee, I wonder what OS Ben Franklin would use... (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#353206)

...is there even any debate as to the answer to that question?

Or Abraham Lincoln ... (2)

charvolant (224858) | more than 13 years ago | (#353207)

So who is more American, Ben Franklin or Bill Gates?"

Or Abraham Lincoln, who was awarded patent 6469 for a device to lift boats over shoals?

"[patent laws have] secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things."

http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/ed ucation/patent.htm [netins.net]

Better than Slashdot's motto these days... (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 13 years ago | (#353210)

All your Beowulf-clustered Scientologist are non-patentable to us!

Heck, my karma was getting too high anyway...

Re:Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (1)

zhensel (228891) | more than 13 years ago | (#353211)

I think the main issue here (pun intended) is that you are in Bangor. Though a congressman from Maine may have attempted to get it to be part of Nixon's city modernization program, it isn't exactly a thriving metropolis. I'd imagine that there are far more homogeneous communities in Scotland than there are diverse metroplexes as well.

That said, the spread of "urban sprawl" throughout America sickens me. Though it is possible to occasionally find non-franchised establishments in most suburban areas (which is, essentially, what America is now outside of deep rural and high-density urban areas), multi-national chains are taking over every town in America.

Yeah, Ben Franklin was a great visionary, but it should be noted that his "worldliness" was quite selfish. He was always disappointed to head over to Britain and not be included in the whole aristocracy deal and that could probably explain a lot of his efforts. Maybe he thought that by giving away his stove he could rise in ye ole status ladder. I suppose many things haven't changed in 230 years.

As far as creativity in America - it's what you make of it. I'm not all too up on force feeding internationalism down the collective throat America. People seem to be catching on to popular world culture (see popularity of movies like Run Lola Run and Crouching Tiger and of euro music like Moby, etc) - sure, this is a relatively mild interest, but it seems to be gaining ground. Eventually with the Internet, et al, Americans will realize that the world has more to offer than N'Sync and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Timexes (3)

byronbussey (238252) | more than 13 years ago | (#353214)

I've broken two Timexes this month, this is just old hat now

How the hell do you break two watches that 'take a licking and keep on ticking' in 1 month? What could you possibly be doing in your spare time that creates such a watch dangerous enviroment?? I mean yeah, I fell into my rock tumbler once and ruined my Timex and my glasses, but don't tell me you did it twice in one month!!!


Re:async (1)

RagingTarrasque (250663) | more than 13 years ago | (#353217)

Well, that just seems a stopgap measure to me; binaries/dualities are becoming passé. We need something with, say, sixteen states (a hex computer) to do our computing. Wouldn't that be nice! There is just too much complexity and too many transistors in the semiconductor today. True, size is going down always (in accordance with Moore's Law), and the same with power consumption, but the next generation of supercomputers needs to work ot the principle that more than two states are available for use.

Americanism (2)

RagingTarrasque (250663) | more than 13 years ago | (#353218)

Where would we be without intellectual property?
I mean, to a point, we need a some incentive to do one's own work.

Think of the freeloader concept from your high school Economics class.
Anyway, I'm not gonna say anything not already hashed and rehashed here on /., so I'm just gonna say this:
Balance in all things.

But: I wonder who's gonna bitch about DivX-- MPAA has begun to embrace it. Don't we need somebody to create controversy and give the /. community something to complain about? :-) Anyway, just a half- serious comment.. no flames, please.

Re:Arthur C. Clarke (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#353220)

He had published the idea before it occured to anyone it was patentable, thus invalidating any attempt to patent it.

Exactly -- he had the opportunity to publish it as a patent rather than as a science-fiction short story. Despite your other point...

had he patented it when he published the idea (around 1948 I think) the patent would have expired I think 17 years latter (1965) before it was a major business

...I think he would have made rather more money from the patent than from the short story. I'm also not sure your timing is right; I seem to recall the story being from the 50's. In any case while I'm not familiar with the details this is an oft-cited example of the Patent That Might Have Been.

Oh, and for the other poster: The idea most certainly was patentable, even if it was in 1948. There is nothing "abstract" about it at all, it can be perfectly described within the confines of a patent application. Get a copy of Patent It Yourself and learn how these things really work.

Arthur C. Clarke (5)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#353221)

...could have patented the geosynchronous satellite, but apparently didn't think it worth bothering. He wasn't exactly impoverished by this oversight, but he would have made Bill Gates look like the poor boy from across the tracks by comparison if he'd done it.

Incidentally, Clarke introduced the modern communication satellite to his readers by postulating a Soviet plan to put one above Middle America and bombard us with an endless and unjammable stream of propaganda and morals-degenerating quasi-porn ... kinda like what the American broadcast companies actually did :-)

That could be the official motto of the FSF (5)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 13 years ago | (#353222)

That, as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.

I think Richard Stallman should consider using this as the motto of the Free Software Foundation. Heck, any open source endeavor!

Re:ripper?! (1)

AOLgurl69 (262977) | more than 13 years ago | (#353224)

my dad got a divx machine a coupla years ago and now it dosnt play his movies my mom said he was stupid anthe divx machine is a piece of junk an he shoulda bought a new dvd machine instead i don't know about dill hacks but u shouldn by a divx machine bacause they are bads1

Ben Franklin - A great globalist. (4)

Lover's Arrival, The (267435) | more than 13 years ago | (#353225)

It is funny, but when I applied for my green card here in america I was told that it might be a good idea if I study some american history. One of the things I have been reading about is Ben Franklin, which has been made easy for me by some books my ex-boyfriend left lying around my house when he left.

It turns out that Ben Franklin was a great believer in globalisdation and Information exchange across the world. The vast majority of his ideas can be put down to him being a memeber of the landed gentry in america, with considerable assets (many slaves) and the time and ability to be scholarly.

Most of all, it is thanks to him being able to travel to London and partake in the enlightenment occurring in Europe at the time. Being from a backwater at the time, it was fortunate for america that there were such people with a global outlook.

Now, the funny thing is that soon after, motivated by the 1812 war with Britain and britain's victory in said war, america became isolationist and inward looking, even unto the highest levels of government.

Only in 1942 did America's foriegn policy at last become outward directed, but unfortunately its culture is still very inward looking.

As a Scottish girl used to the pleasures of my native Glasgow, I was very dissappointed in the variety of cuisine, nightlife and people here in Bangor, Maine when I first arrived. It seems that the melting pot is producing a terrible monoculture here in America!

Well, I think it is about time that American *culture*, and not just its government, became outward looking. This wouyld increase creativity and receptiveness to new ideas, and create a new renaissance of learning. The world is such a big place, and so varied! It seems a shame to ignore it. As an article earlier today was moaning about creativity in America, I feel justified in this.

Just think of Franklin. The Founding Fathers, who's ideals and lives I have been studying as an immigrant, would have been for it. I think we should do as they would.

Re:Arthur C. Clarke (1)

dhovis (303725) | more than 13 years ago | (#353230)

This is in fact correct. Arthur C. Clarke has said as much in interviews. He did come up with the idea of putting a geosynchronous satalite [lsi.usp.br] in orbit and using it for communications. He himself points out that he could have pattented it, but Telstar (the first such satalite) was launched about the time the pattent would have expired, so he doesn't feel put out by it.
--

Something way more advanced came on my compaq 486 (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 13 years ago | (#353237)

This idea is heavily needed but I can't help laugh as my compaq persario (circa 1994) came with a little program that did everything you just described. Not only that but when the phone would ring you could click answer and there would be a slight pause as the computer determined whether it was a fax or a phone call (fucking awesome feature for people who don't have a fax/voice line). Anyway, if anyone begins work on a frontend like this make sure to include said feature.

--
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