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Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

Florian Weimer Re:Ask the project community (155 comments)

It also makes sense to raise the issue with downstreams such as Debian, OpenSuse, or Fedora (assuming they exist for the project). Or if it is in one of the enterprise GNU/Linux distributions, approach those vendors.

about 2 months ago

Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

Florian Weimer Re:FYI: remove from Youtube not from 'Google' (364 comments)

If the video is only hosted on Youtube (and I suspect many such videos are, otherwise the uploaders wouldn't make such a fuss), it will be gone from the Google search engine as well, so the net effect is the same.

about 6 months ago

R Throwdown Challenge

Florian Weimer Bad analogy (185 comments)

An Argentinian chef is more likely to make great sushi than a Japanese automotive engineer.

You generally want to use programming languages designed by experienced programmers (even better, experienced language designers) who work closely with subject matter experts. Left to their own devices, experts are likely to get a lot of things wrong, and if the language is sufficiently popular, you are stuck with their mistakes for a long time to come.

about 7 months ago

Shuttleworth Wants To Get Rid of Proprietary Firmware

Florian Weimer Re:Precisely how... (147 comments)

The reference implementation of UEFI is open source, and some vendors use it as a basis for their firmware.

Unfortunately, most Coreboot-using devices are tied down and do not allow non-interactive booting with custom firmware (if they allow custom firmware at all).

about 9 months ago

Elsevier Opens Its Papers To Text-Mining

Florian Weimer Google spamming (52 comments)

Isn't this called search engine spamming, and several publishing outfits have been doing it for about a decade, with varying degree of success?

about 10 months ago

Chrome Is the New C Runtime

Florian Weimer Re:Mozilla NSPR (196 comments)

And Apache has the Apache Portable Runtime, with similar goals, but probably geared more towards writing server code.

about a year ago

A Review of the "Mental Illness" Definition Might Prevent Crime

Florian Weimer Re:Need more mental health centers not prisons (260 comments)

The trouble with mental health is that there isn't any kind of magic bullet treatment like there can be with just about any other disease.

Pulling those people out of poverty should help a lot (as it does with a lot of illnesses).

1 year,17 days

Cisco Releases Open Source "Binary Module" For H.264 In WebRTC

Florian Weimer Re:Open source still requires license fees (95 comments)

That's actually missing a key piece of information. Patent licenses can be very narrow in scope, which allows an owner to charge different parties for different aspects how a device uses a patented technology.

Does anybody know why I wouldn't need a separate licensing deal with MPEG LA if I built a web application using WebRTC? Their typical licensing agreement (as used in Windows and Flash, for instance) does not extend to third-party applications that use the codecs through APIs.

about a year ago

The Most WTF-y Programming Languages

Florian Weimer Re:What's wrong with Lua? (254 comments)

Bingo. I agree that's the most likely explanation.

about a year ago

The Most WTF-y Programming Languages

Florian Weimer What's wrong with Lua? (254 comments)

Is there any indication why Lua scores so highly here? It seems a rather benign little language to me. Certainly, nil-terminated arrays are can be tricky, and a missing local keyword can ruin your day, but that seem minor annoyances. And for the local-vs-global issue, there are now editors with semantics highlighting that clearly disambiguate the two cases.

about a year ago

Will Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Stay With MySQL?

Florian Weimer Re:Enterprise? (245 comments)

And the article confirms the large-scaler users aren't part of that elusive group, either:

Many of the largest MySQL users — Twitter included — do not currently pay Oracle for an enterprise licence. Twitter, like Facebook, prefers to build their own extensions and customisations off the community version.

about a year ago

How Amateurs Destroyed the Professional Music Business

Florian Weimer Re:Old Codger Reveals All (617 comments)

With classical, it's worse because current performers are directly competing with the big names from the past. Glenn Gould's original recording of the Goldberg variations even went out of copyright in some European countries (and has been re-copyrighted in others).

about a year ago

Quantum Cryptography Is Safe Again

Florian Weimer Re: so-called summary (34 comments)

The relays in that networking protocol are decrypt-and-encrypt, so it enables even more (undetectable) eavesdropping.

Quantum key distribution has a strange security model where it is assumed that someone inside the network cannot run two instances of the protocol and give the two parties in a communication the illusion of talking directly to each other, when they in fact talk each to the attacker. In other words, it is assumed that there is confidentiality without authentication. All kinds of strange things follow if you make that kind of a mistake.

about a year ago

FiOS User Finds Limit of 'Unlimited' Data Plan: 77 TB/Month

Florian Weimer Re:Truth in advertising? (573 comments)

77 TB per month is an average bandwidth usage of around 230 Mbps (more if the TB are actually TiB). That's not too bad for someone who has 365 Mbps of nominal bandwidth available.

about a year and a half ago

The Data That Drove Yahoo's Telecommuting Ban

Florian Weimer Re:I can slack off anywhere (529 comments)

Not necessary. Google apparently has a similar work-from-home policy (that is, not for the general populace), so the change of policy at Yahoo just reflects her background.

about 2 years ago

One Cool Day Job: Building Algorithms For Elevators

Florian Weimer Re:Mathematician? (203 comments)

Isn't making the elevator go faster a job for an engineer? Does one really need to be a mathematician to know that a faster elevator moves people faster?

If the elevator can make stops along the way, it probably refers to mean travel time, and it's an entirely different problem.

That being said, the "surfboard feature" is really, really, old. A lot of elevators have on-demand overrides which prevent intermediate stops. So the article might just be an infomercial for the elevator company after all.

about 2 years ago

Mathematician Predicts Wave of Violence In 2020

Florian Weimer Re:Title gets it wrong (397 comments)

Sure, you have to ignore the decline in violence (simply looking at absolute numbers would help in a few cases). But there could still be periodic patterns against the general backdrop of decline. However, there is little evidence for that.

Now all kinds of things could go wrong and lead to rising violence levels in the next years (global financial meltdown followed by a drop in international trade, countries trying to collect on their debts by military force etc., which would eventually have an effect on personal violence as well), but if these things happen exactly in 2020 (and not earlier or later, or not at all), it will be coincidence, and not related to some recurring societal patterns. Our world is already very, very different from the 1970, and no matter what happens, there are so many things which are quite irreversible, at least in the course of a decade or two (the global rise in English literacy, for instance).

more than 2 years ago

Mathematician Predicts Wave of Violence In 2020

Florian Weimer Title gets it wrong (397 comments)

The guy isn't a mathematician, he's an ecologist. And I find it hard to believe that by 2020, social acceptance of domestic violence (say) rises again to mid-20th century levels. The reporter's suggestion that the precise moment in time of the Egyptian revolution was predictable is likely based on a misunderstanding of Turchin's work.

By the way, the field isn't as new as the article suggests. Steven Pinker's recent book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, collects quite a bit of quantitative research in this area, most of which does not support the existence of stable cycles.

more than 2 years ago

Joe Cornish To Write and Direct Snow Crash Movie

Florian Weimer Re:new ending? (256 comments)

I think the ending was fine at the time it was written. Nowadays, selling AV software doesn't seem a better job than high-speed pizza delivery, but that's not Stephenson's fault.

more than 2 years ago


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