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Revisiting Open Source Social Networking Alternatives

DuckDodgers Re:Nobody cares (85 comments)

People would switch if the open source, decentralized social networking technology was also easy to use, had a good user interface, and offered all of the features of the commercial centralized social networks except for advertising.

Getting al of that to work is difficult, but it's a worthwhile problem to solve.

yesterday
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Revisiting Open Source Social Networking Alternatives

DuckDodgers Re:Takes Two To Network (85 comments)

Look at the problems you're trying to solve if you want a viable Facebook or Twitter alternative that's distributed and private.
1. Any user has got to be able to get involved, the barrier to entry in terms of technical knowledge should be as low as possible.
2. All data should be stored encrypted and moved around encrypted, so a person has to hack your personal machine (laptop, desktop, phone) to decrypt anything you have hosted on the network or that has been shared with you by a friend.
3. Because there is no central hosting, the network should have some kind of builtin distributed backup system.

For a while it looked like a fundamentally unsolvable problem to me, but some groups have at least an idea of an answer and are working on it. There's crypto-currency (off hand I think "maidsafe", "quark", and "ethereum", but I could be remembering wrong) that is under development that lets users farm coins based on the resources they make available to the crypto-currency network: RAM, CPU, and storage. If you contribute more of those resources to the network than you consume, you accumulate extra currency you can use to buy real things. If you contribute less, you have to buy currency to cover your operating costs. All that seems tangential to a distributed social network, but you can link the two. Host the distributed social network on the computing resources made available by that crypto-currency. Your messages and data transfers to other users are tiny micro-transactions on the crypto-currency market. Your backups are micro-transactions on the crypto-currency market, and all of the redundant backups are encrypted. The same public/private key infrastructure governing transactions can be hooked into to make sure all data is encrypted in transit. Anyone that wants to participate can install the client on a phone, laptop, or desktop and get started.

Who knows if it will ever actually work. But as crazy as it is, it seems to have a more realistic chances of mainstream success than something like Diaspora. With Diaspora you need to trust your hosting provider or else have the technical knowhow and interest to host your own, and that absolutely won't scale large enough to make a dent in the established players.

yesterday
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Revisiting Open Source Social Networking Alternatives

DuckDodgers Re:Killer features? (85 comments)

Agreed. Even though Google had a few hiccups in which the Google plus interface was annoying, overall I like the site much more than Facebook. But I have nearly fifty fairly active friends and family members on Facebook. All of the friendships I made on Google plus are with people that share a common interest. And I like that, but it doesn't let me share photos of the kids with my extended family or discuss a holiday party with friends.

yesterday
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Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

DuckDodgers Re:Split last-mile from ISP (135 comments)

First of all, that payout isn't necessary. The federal government gave them a monopoly and they got filthy rich off of it. Consider that the payment for the last mile infrastructure. But even if you do give them a hefty payout, it's still profitable for taxpayers in the long run because we'll have a dozen providers in a price war to give us the best bandwidth and the best service instead of one company screwing us with a $60 monthly charge for something they could profitably sell us for $6 per month.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft To Open Source .NET and Take It Cross-Platform

DuckDodgers Re:Desparate Microsoft pulls a "Sun Microsystems" (525 comments)

Good points. There's also a Clojure port to .NET.

I understand NuGet is pretty good, and when I do use Windows I've had good experiences with Chocolatey. But I think my original point still stands - comparing C# to Java alone isn't as useful as comparing all of your options around the JVM versus all of your options around .NET. The two may well be evenly matched, considering the points you brought up.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:It was good while it lasted. (327 comments)

I would argue it is, in fact, more complicated than a Linux distribution or graphics editor. It's hard to compare source code between them because the Linux distribution managers are of course repackaging a lot of existing code with their changes. GIMP has 750,000 source lines of code, according to Ohloh.net. GNOME has 8.8 million lines of code. Firefox has 12.5 million. That's colossal. Not much is bigger.

about two weeks ago
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Five Years of the Go Programming Language

DuckDodgers Re:For those interested... (82 comments)

I think D is spectacular and I'm sorry it hasn't seen more adoption.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:Bastards ... (327 comments)

List them, please. List all of the 'bigger and more complex free and/or open source projects' that are larger than Firefox in terms of technical complexity and don't have a big source of corporate funding.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:It was good while it lasted. (327 comments)

Making a browser is more complicated than making a music player, or a blog engine, or a file-sharing application. That's why the only widely adopted open source browsers have been based on projects with big funding - Gecko and WebKit/Blink.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft To Open Source .NET and Take It Cross-Platform

DuckDodgers Re:Desparate Microsoft pulls a "Sun Microsystems" (525 comments)

C# > Java
Scala ? C#
Kotlin ? C#
Groovy ? C#
Clojure ? C#

NuGet ? Maven
NuGet ? Gradle
NuGet ? Leiningen
( NuGet > SBT because _ > SBT )

It's safe to say C# trumps Java. But even with .NET as open source under the excellent MIT license, I'm not sure .NET trumps the JVM and the JVM ecosystem.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft To Open Source .NET and Take It Cross-Platform

DuckDodgers Re:Desparate Microsoft pulls a "Sun Microsystems" (525 comments)

Even if Microsoft were 100% ethical today, they now have the reputation, the established position, and the financial resources to keep open source and proprietary competitors out of their desktop market due to the dirty tricks they pulled fifteen to thirty years ago. I won't ever forgive the company for that. To use a metaphor, if General Motors monopolizes the US car market by bombing all of the headquarters of the other automakers, even if GM takes the profits of its monopoly and uses it to create the best cars ever built I still wouldn't buy one. If Linux, or BeOS, or OS/2, or some other player had been able to establish a foothold in the US consumer PC market in the 1990s the competition between them and Microsoft would have made the world technology market look dramatically different than it does today.

But further, Microsoft still stifles innovation by wielding its patent portfolio offensively against other companies. Microsoft has more profits than Google, and Google - which is plenty evil in some other ways - only uses its patents defensively. Microsoft has also waged FUD campaigns against competitors as recently as earlier this year (Scroogled).

You can put a tuxedo on a gangster, but he's still just a crook.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:The Ads Can Be Disabled (327 comments)

Good posts, thanks for the discussion. I don't see how this is a surprise, or upsetting, to anyone that's paying attention. Mozilla gets most of its hundred-million-dollar funding from Google, and they have no guarantees Google will keep giving them money. What other realistic option do they have for generating revenue? They already accept user donations, how many people angry over this move give the Mozilla Foundation any money?

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:It was good while it lasted. (327 comments)

They need revenue to pay their developers. Most of their revenue comes from Google grants - hundreds of millions of dollars. If Google stops paying them, where do you expect them to get the money from? I'd cover the cost myself, but I just checked my bank balance and I don't have a quarter of a billion dollars handy.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:duckduckgo (327 comments)

Thank you. My internet service provider, cell phone provider, Costco Membership, and bank all have me as a paying customer, and I'm still the product to them.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:they are thinking Google has them by the balls (327 comments)

People are leaving Firefox because for a long time Chrome was flat out better (not counting add-ons) - faster, more stable. Firefox has been kicking ass in the last few browser comparisons at Tom's Hardware ( http://www.tomshardware.com/re... ) but I think public perception hasn't caught up.

And Mozilla is probably happy to take Google's money from the Google Ad Network instead of direct grants, if that's what it takes to keep the Mozilla Foundation open. What they can't do is survive on end user donations. The number of major open source projects with as many developers as Firefox that survive on that model is near zero.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

DuckDodgers Re:Bastards ... (327 comments)

The Mozilla Foundation needs revenue. If you're not willing to accept the ads, use another browser.

The only alternative is for them to offer a paid proprietary ad-free version, and I'd rather see open source + ads than taking one of the most prominent open source software projects in the world and making it proprietary.

about two weeks ago
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Trisquel 7 Released

DuckDodgers Re:make us care when $random version $ver released (39 comments)

I agree with you. I don't run Trisquel either, and for the same reasons. I want to live in a world where proprietary software is laughed at, but right now if I insist on fully open source software from top to bottom I'll be kneecapped with respect to what I can do. And if I want to insist on a job working on only fully open source software (ideally free-as-in-freedom software, GPL, AGPL, or MPL) I have to get good enough to attract the attention of someone at Red Hat or Mozilla Foundation, or maybe start my own company.

about three weeks ago
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Trisquel 7 Released

DuckDodgers Re:make us care when $random version $ver released (39 comments)

I think the notable part is that Trisquel is FSF-endorsed. Few Linux distributions are FSF-endorsed, because most support the use of proprietary firmware. If you care about that sort of thing, then a rare update to one of the totally free ones is notable.

about three weeks ago
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Google Announces Project Ara Developer Conference, Shows Off First Prototype

DuckDodgers Re: Use the technology on a chromebook (66 comments)

Okay, you're buying much higher end machines than I am, and you do less gaming than my kids do. So you're right, you don't get any room to upgrade.

I buy mid to low range parts, and then the upgrade options are excellent and I get six to eight years out of every machine. My wild guess is that the same thing will hold for modular smart phones - buy top end, and you've got to replace the whole thing to upgrade. Buy mid range or low range but based on the most modern core architecture, and you can get a lot of upgrades out of it for years.

I'm jealous of your machines. Nice. :)

about three weeks ago
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Google Announces Project Ara Developer Conference, Shows Off First Prototype

DuckDodgers Re:Use the technology on a chromebook (66 comments)

I don't know about a full desktop operating system - but it might have one - but what if it's got a 3GHz 64-bit octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, 3 days between charges, a 4K screen, speakers that don't suck and can be heard 30 feet away, and (maybe most of all in the eyes of the average consumer) an 80MP camera?

I think the Samsung Galaxy S3 and equivalent competing hardware hit a point where Android was fast enough in day to day use to not be annoying and the pictures were decent. So in that respect, no need to upgrade, period - just buy a new battery as needed and maybe reflash the ROM when bloatware and accumulated cruft gets annoying. But each new generation of phones adds some features consumers seem to be in a hurry to get.

But more seriously, I think the real thing Google wants is to make the super cheap commodity phones sold in India, rural areas, etc... to get even cheaper, so that they can open the market to another two billion customers. Americans might not care if a commodotized phone is $22 instead of $25 or $9.44 instead of $9.77, but it might make a big deal to someone scraping to get every rupee (or whatever).

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Potential database breakthrough

DuckDodgers DuckDodgers writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DuckDodgers writes "The database company Ingres announced a partnership with research firm Vectorwise to bring to market an efficiency breakthrough in databases. They assert that most complex queries run by a database engine can run over 100 times slower than a C++ program hand coded to get the same information from the files on disk. They're working on a database engine that closes the gap dramatically by using several methods, like batching tuples for processing in sizes that fit in the processor on-chip cache, other methods for minimizing back and forth between RAM and processor cache, and structuring the data to be processed in a way to make best use of CPU branch prediction. Their example in the whitepaper (unfortunately, it requires registration) is a moderate complexity aggregate query against 6 million rows of data that takes 16 seconds in the regular database engine, 0.04 seconds with a C++ application built to do the same thing, and about 0.2 seconds with their optimized database engine. The press release is here, and some of the technical details are discussed on this blog (no, not mine): Next Big Future. Is this impossible, impractical, or well within the realm of possibility? If it can be done, why haven't we seen it before?"

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