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Comments

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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Futurepower(R) Linus Torvalds criticizes himself. (387 comments)

In your response, you are showing exactly the kind of behavior that Linus Torvalds is criticizing in himself.

It often happens that people in the U.S. consider new information as an attack, or a possible attack, and feel that they need to defend themselves. What I said is not an attack, it is ideas about how to fix a problem Linus Torvalds says he has.

I don't find that cultural element in Brazil, for example. In Brazil, people are likely to consider anything that is said as just what it is, something someone else has said. They are not likely to feel attacked, especially when the statement was about someone else.

By being open about his shortcoming, Linus Torvalds gains 2 advantages: 1) People feel more friendly toward others who don't try to hide their problems, and 2) Linus gains the attention of those who might like to be helpful toward him. Someone may contribute ideas he finds helpful.

People gain advantages from being open and honest.

about a week ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Futurepower(R) Lack of social ability: Demonstrated. (387 comments)

It is interesting that trying to discuss lack of social ability caused a demonstration of exactly the lack of social ability Torvalds mentioned about himself.

about a week ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Futurepower(R) Git is an example of Linus Torvalds at his worst. (387 comments)

"... he gave us git."

Git uses poor naming, is poorly documented, and is, in my opinion, an example of the worst of the lack of social sophistication in programmers.

Functionally Git is advanced, but the Git interface is a mess created by someone who thinks, "You should just know what I mean. I don't have to be careful about communicating."

Effectively, Git is abusive. It drags every user through a steep learning curve. Git is an example of Linus Torvalds at his worst, in my opinion: Great ideas, sometimes a poor communicator.

A program is not finished until the user interface and documentation make using the program as easy as possible. If Torvalds fixed the difficulties that make Git hard to learn, as he did that he would have a chance to become more aware of his problems with communication. Facing that ugliness would take courage, but resolving the problems would make his entire life easier.

Yes, Torvalds deserves a lot of praise. If we care about him, and we should, we must help him become more socially capable. For example, he could recognize when his anger is caused by not getting enough caring in childhood, and not think that events in the present caused his anger, when events in the present only made him aware of his anger.

I'm writing a book about how people use their brains. I'm not saying I have a perfect understanding, but I have spent decades studying the issues. If you don't like my explanations, it is not sufficient to drop the subject or just complain; it is necessary to make your own theories about the problems.

about a week ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

Futurepower(R) Diodes get very hot... (395 comments)

Diodes get very hot because they are dissipating power.

about two weeks ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

Futurepower(R) The diode voltage drop would cause power loss. (395 comments)

I think there would be too much power loss in the diodes. Quote from Wikipedia about diodes:

"In a small silicon diode at rated currents, the voltage drop is about 0.6 to 0.7 volts. The value is different for other diode types -- Schottky diodes can be rated as low as 0.2 V, Germanium diodes 0.25 to 0.3 V, and red or blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can have values of 1.4 V and 4.0 V respectively.[16]

At higher currents the forward voltage drop of the diode increases. A drop of 1 V to 1.5 V is typical at full rated current for power diodes."


At 400 Amps, the power loss with a 1 volt drop is 400 Watts.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Puts Comcast and Time Warner Merger On Hold

Futurepower(R) Comcast is EXTREMELY ABUSIVE, in my experience. (132 comments)

Comcast: Most obviously abusive -- In my opinion, Comcast is apparently the most obviously abusive organization in the United States. (The financial system of the U.S. government is more abusive, in my opinion, but not as obvious.)

I've just started Comcast internet service. It took several hours of my time to get connected because of needing to avoid the dishonesty. I've been over-billed perhaps 7 times, spent hours protesting that, and my first bill is not due yet.

Comcast employees abuse Comcast. It's interesting to note that, when Comcast encourages employees to abuse customers, Comcast employees hear that as permission to also abuse Comcast. Comcast employees waste an enormous amount of time pretending to be friendly, apparently so they can get good results on surveys.

Comcast abuse discussion on Reddit -- The Comcast abuse Sub-Reddit is one place to voice complaints.

DSL Reports has information about Comcast. For example, Comcast High Speed Internet FAQ.

Reddit has many stories in other sub-reddits like this one: Comcast, without my permission and knowledge, adds services to my account and charges me extra for it.

The real internet connection speeds are much lower than the advertised speeds. Try the DSL Reports Flash Speed Test. There are other DSL Reports speed tests, also.

The Numion speed test is accurate, but requires the Java plug-in.

Most "speed tests" just show electrical connection speeds (the "line speed"), not actual data delivery speeds. They know what you want, and they lie.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

Futurepower(R) The larger question: (610 comments)

Is Apple CEO Tim Cook competent?

about a month ago
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Comcast Using JavaScript Injection To Serve Ads On Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Futurepower(R) Comcast: Least popular company in the U.S. (230 comments)

From the Wikipedia entry for Comcast:

"In April 2014, Comcast was awarded the 2014 "Worst Company in America" award; an annual contest by the consumer affairs blog The Consumerist that runs a series of reader polls to determine the least popular company in America."

More from the same Wikipedia article:

In 2004 and 2007, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey found that Comcast had the worst customer satisfaction rating of any company or government agency in the country, including the Internal Revenue Service.

about a month and a half ago
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Comcast Using JavaScript Injection To Serve Ads On Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Futurepower(R) Good advice. But the subject is abuse by Comcast. (230 comments)

Yes, use the NoScript add-on for Firefox.

But the subject is about Comcast abuse. Here is just one example, from Comcast's "Automatic Payment Terms & Conditions", retrieved a few minutes ago:

"6. COMCAST SHALL BEAR NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSSES OF ANY KIND THAT YOU MAY INCUR AS A RESULT OF A PAYMENT MADE ON ITEMS INCORRECTLY BILLED..."

Most people don't have time to read legal language. Many would not understand it fully. It is overly broad. And, in my experience, Comcast often tries to over-bill.

My opinion? Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts (The page jumps around if you move the mouse over the menu.), and Tom Karinshak, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Comcast (See the bottom of the page.), should be removed from office.

Another example: The Login page has a link at the bottom left, Contact Us. As of Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 4:18 am Pacific Time, it is a dead link.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

Futurepower(R) Exactly. (131 comments)

I really like your answer!

It is really, really difficult to protect ourselves from every abuse to which a corporation might subject us.

It's important in this conversation to understand that batteries have limited lifetimes, perhaps as little as 2 years, or less if defective.

I was standing in a store thinking of buying a top-of-the-line unlocked HTC phone for $750. Then the salesperson told me that the battery is not replaceable! That caused me to try to avoid buying anything from HTC. I don't like helping abusers.

I never would have guessed that an expensive phone would be considered a throwaway.

HTC CEO: If you learn that I have joined the board of directors of HTC, I will try to convince the other board members that abuse is bad practice. If I am successful, leave the building immediately. You are fired! It's unlikely I would be asked to join the board of directors, but that is a way of expressing the intensity of my dislike for abuse.

Why buy an unlocked phone? Travelers in other countries buy local SIM cards for GSM phones. That means anyone you meet can call you at a local number while you are in the area.

about 2 months ago
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3 Years In, a "B" For Tim Cook's Performance at Apple

Futurepower(R) The CEO must try new products... (90 comments)

It is the responsibility of the CEO to coordinate the work of all the employees. The CEO must try new products and reject them if they need improvements. Steve Jobs did that.

about 2 months ago
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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

Futurepower(R) Correction: (212 comments)

I should have said, "an enormous, extremely profitable business for those who control the government".

about 2 months ago
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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

Futurepower(R) Good answer! Fraud is their main source of profit? (212 comments)

Good answer: "... the Oregon attorney general doesn't have the technical ability to prove the fraud and lies. The state has already proven they don't understand what they're doing."

Also, Oracle has been through this perhaps thousands of times. Apparently the major profit center for companies like Oracle is being late and more expensive than predicted. For example, see this quote from the book, Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment:

"... a recent General Accounting Office report on U.S. military equipment procurement concluded that only 1% of major military purchases involving high technology were delivered on time and on budget."

That book says the problem is due to a sociological mistake. My understanding is that it is entirely intended, a way of making money from the largely hidden military purchases of the U.S. government. For the U.S. government, killing people is an enormous, extremely profitable business.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

Futurepower(R) Cell phones with non-replaceable batteries? (131 comments)

An even bigger issue than buying replacement batteries is replacing batteries in cell phones that are said to have batteries that aren't replaceable.

It shocks me that companies can be so hostile to their customers as to force them to buy new cell phones after the inevitable degradation of the batteries.

about 2 months ago
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Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence

Futurepower(R) Bezos asks for more U.S. government corruption? (136 comments)

I was wondering why the Washington Post was spamming me! How did the Washington Post get my email address? Now I know. Jeff Bezos is allowing his "personal purchase" to have the email address I gave to Amazon.

Bezos apparently bought the Washington Post so that he can use it to try to force legislators to give him attention. The U.S. is becoming even more a rich-get-richer country.

The subjects of the spam messages:

{SPECIAL PREVIEW} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

{24 HOURS ONLY} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

{EXTENDED} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

I think it is a very effective advertising campaign. The effect will be that people will try to avoid buying things from Amazon. Also, after the "Summer Sale", digital access to the Washington Post will cost $100 per year!

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Problems with Windows XP caused by Microsoft.

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  about 6 months ago

Futurepower(R) (558542) writes "We are seeing 4 kinds of problems with Windows XP today at 2 remote locations:

1) One kind of problem is similar to the one in this April 7, 2014 story about computers in Australia: Pop-ups irritate Windows XP's remaining users. Microsoft Security Essentials on computers in the United States give pop-up messages about the MSE service being stopped.

2) Computers are requiring far longer to start, perhaps 12 to 15 minutes. Then the MSE pop-up appears.

3) Microsoft Security Essentials now calls into question whether XP is genuine. These are all computers that have run without issues for several years. The customer bought licenses when Windows XP was first released.

4) We have seen problems with the Windows XP operating system detecting a key stuck down when no keys were pressed on the keyboard. That is a software problem, not a keyboard hardware problem. It causes the system to be un-responsive because the key being detected is not one actually pressed, but is actually a key combination. Again, that is happening on computers that have been trouble-free for years. That problem began happening after a Windows update.

Microsoft said it would support MSE on Windows XP for another year. See the Microsoft article, Microsoft antimalware support for Windows XP. Apparently that support is not happening in the normal way."
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Windows XP did not instantly become unsafe on April 8.

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  about 6 months ago

Futurepower(R) (558542) writes "Windows XP did not instantly become unsafe on April 8, 2014, the date Microsoft calls the "end of life" for Windows XP.

"End of life" is a way for Microsoft to make more money. Governments and big corporations are often influenced by people with no technical knowledge. Because of their ignorance, governments have already paid Microsoft probably more than it costs to fix the few security defects found each year. However, the taxpayers of those governments will not be allowed to have the fixes.

It's like Toyota told all owners of older Toyota vehicles that the vehicles are unsafe now and owners must buy new vehicles or pay millions of dollars to keep them. Except its worse: Software doesn't have mechanical wear.

This article contains tips about how to use any version of Microsoft Windows safely that can be shared with people you want to help. Unnecessary computer maintenance is an ugly way to make money."
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How to turn off Slashdot Auto-Refresh?

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  1 year,26 days

Futurepower(R) (558542) writes "Slashdot's Auto-Refresh is annoying. I go to another window to do something, and when I come back, what I was reading is not there!

How do I turn Auto-Refresh off?"
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Book software?

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "What is the best software to organize and print a book? The software must order and format all the chapters, generate the table of contents and the index, and allow HTML links inside PDF files. Good documentation and ease of use for non-technical operators would be a big plus."
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Mozilla Foundation should fix Firefox instability.

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Unfortunately, Mozilla Foundation suffers from poor management. The rapid unexplained major version changes are only the most visible evidence.

Mozilla Foundation is a rich, rich corporation. No one should make the mistake of thinking that work on Firefox is done mostly by volunteers.

Did you see $78.6 million worth of improvements in 2008?

Did you see improvements suggesting that Mozilla Foundation had $168 million in assets in 2010? (Official PDF file, see page 2. Numbers are in thousands, as it says at the top of the page.)

Firefox is a world-class asset. Firefox is extremely important partly because those who need to do a lot of research online depend on Firefox and Firefox add-ons such as Session Manager, Session Manager Export Tool, Mozilla Archive Format, Flashblock, Multi Links, and Tab Mix Plus. There is no substitute for the capabilities of Firefox together with Firefox Add-ons. (Add-ons are also known as extensions and plug-ins.) For those who do research, Firefox is simply the best browser. Firefox is literally a world-class asset.

Biggest flaw: Firefox is unstable. The first step in improving management would be to fix the instability of Firefox. There would be a huge additional advantage in doing that, as someone else mentioned. Investigating how Firefox can be so unstable under Microsoft Windows might reveal flaws in Microsoft Windows that make the OS so unstable when using Firefox.

Firefox instabilities are experienced most frequently by those who open many Firefox windows and tabs, and leave them open while putting the computer into standby or hibernation several times. That is the pattern of use of those who do a lot of online research.

An example of research: For example, in researching HDMI cables there are numerous manufacturers, distributors, online sellers, explanations of HDMI standards, explanations of the U.S. National Electrical Code, and online reviews. The research is made far more complicated by the many companies that try to take advantage of the ignorance of the average person about cables. Good research is important because HDMI cables are often embedded in the infrastructure of buildings. Poor cables may need to be replaced when video equipment is upgraded, sometimes requiring tearing walls apart. Equipment upgrades may be years away, but are almost certain to happen.

One condition of instability: Windows XP 32-bit with Service Pack 3, for example, becomes unstable when Firefox has taken all the available memory, and is beginning to require the OS to use virtual memory. It seems a reasonable guess that Microsoft will be slow to fix Windows instabilities since poor experiences encourage people to buy new versions. Microsoft requires payment of the full price for each new version of Windows. Microsoft does not allow upgrade pricing even when a previous version has had many flaws, as with Microsoft Windows Vista. The laws against unfair business practices of those who have virtual monopolies have had no effect on Microsoft, apparently.

Firefox crash info: Here are some links for those who want to discover more about the instabilities in Firefox.

about:crashes
Put about:crashes into your URL bar and press ENTER. Firefox will then show a list of crashes of the copy of Firefox on that computer.

Crash info for all users and all versions
https://crash-stats.mozilla.com/products/Firefox

Crashes per 100 active daily users, version 7.0.1, last week's version
https://crash-stats.mozilla.com/products/Firefox/versions/7.0.1

Top crashers, version 7.0.1
https://crash-stats.mozilla.com/topcrasher/byversion/Firefox/7.0.1/14

Notes:

1) The lists of crashes are ONLY the ones that Firefox caught. The lists do NOT include crashes that don't start the crash reporter.

2) Version 7.0.1 sometimes stays in memory even though the GUI was closed.

3) The crashes are often preceded by rapidly increasing memory use. Firefox often corrupts Microsoft Windows, so that Windows needs to be re-started. When Firefox corrupts Microsoft Windows it often damages operations in Windows that are not connected with browsing.

4) The crashes and memory gobbling have been reported for more than 10 years, since version 0.9 of Mozilla Suite, before Mozilla began using the name Firefox. Firefox is still unstable even though the change reports for every version say there have been "stability improvements".

5) Versions 4 to 7 of Firefox were more unstable than the Firefox 3.6.x versions. Version 7.0.1 is more stable than the others, but still unstable. So there has been some improvement. This week's version, 8.0, is too new to have extensive statistics."
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Western Digital buys Hitachi, Seagate buys Samsung

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  about 3 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Western Digital is buying the Hitachi hard drive division and Seagate is buying the Samsung hard drive division. So the major hard drive competitors will be reduced from 4 to 2.

Hitachi recently plead guilty in the U.S. to bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies. Samsung recently plead guilty in the U.S. to a price-fixing conspiracy.

The European Commission is investigating both the Western Digital-Hitachi and the Seagate-Samsung hard drive division mergers. Apparently there is no action by the U.S. government concerning the mergers.

Will having only two major makers of hard drives make it easier to raise prices?"
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Western Digital buys Hitachi, Seagate buys Samsung

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  about 3 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Western Digital is buying Hitachi and Seagate is buying Samsung. So the major hard drive competitors will be reduced from 4 to 2.

Hitachi has recently plead guilty in the U.S. to bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies. Samsung has also recently plead guilty in the U.S. to a price-fixing conspiracy.

The European Commission is investigating both the Western Digital-Hitachi merger and the Seagate-Samsung merger. Apparently there is no action by the U.S. government concerning the mergers.

Will having only two major makers of hard drives make it easier to raise prices?"

Link to Original Source
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Best framework for database programs?

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "We want to write an application that uses a database. What is the best C++ GUI framework?

Also, what open source database applications are good examples of coding using that framework? We are interested in the PostgreSQL v8.4 and/or SQLite v3.6 free databases.

The cross-platform Nokia Qt 4 framework is impressive, and the database classes look clean, but the license causes concern. The Qt 4 license says that if any work was done with the free version of Qt 4 it cannot be used in a commercial environment unless it is licensed as GPL. Technically that means that someone experimenting at home could corrupt an application written for commercial use. GUI design is done with Qt Designer.

WxWidgets is also cross-platform, free, and has database classes. Apparently there is no support for SQLite. There is a commercial application, WxDesigner, for designing GUIs.

Dabo looks helpful for desktop database applications.

SQLite Database Browser is an example of a open source SQLite database application using the Qt framework.

There is a extensive list at the The GUI Toolkit, Framework Page, but no indication if the frameworks have database classes, and the latest update to the page was in 2007.

An open source example of good coding for database access and good GUI design would help us avoid the usual hassles."
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Lessons from the Haiti earthquake

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Writing in the scientific journal Nature, seismologist Roger Bilham says, "Every possible mistake was evident: brittle steel, coarse non-angular aggregate, weak cement mixed with dirty or salty sand, and the widespread termination of steel reinforcement rods at the joints between columns and floors of buildings where earthquake stresses are highest."

About 15% of the more than 2.5 million people in Port-au-Prince were killed or injured and about 1.5 million people are now homeless, a consequence of many decades of unsupervised construction permitted by a government oblivious to its plate-boundary location.

"Calculations show a 1–2% chance of magnitude-7 earthquakes ... before 22 February [2010]. Such forecasts are not an exact science... Yet there is no doubt that the recent shock has enhanced the risk of another earthquake."

"The catastrophic earthquakes that have occurred since 1999, in Turkey, Taiwan, Sumatra, Kashmir and Sichuan, demonstrate that elementary engineering guidelines for earthquake resistance in crucial civil structures (schools, hospitals and fire stations,) have been alien concepts to local authorities, or have been ignored."
"

Link to Original Source
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What makes Windows slow and unreliable?

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Windows users often talk about re-loading Windows because it has become slow or unreliable. In your experience, what causes the problems?"
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Dave Chappelle show demonstrates Twitter's power.

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Dave Chappelle's surprise show demonstrated the power of social networking. Drawn by rumors on Twitter and Facebook of a free performance, a crowd estimated at 2,500 to 4,000 packed into a downtown Portland, Oregon square after midnight on Wednesday."
Link to Original Source
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Sun Microsystems: What are your theories?

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Why has Sun Microsystems not done particularly well in the last few years? Why are they finding it necessary to sell themselves to Oracle? My theory is that the highly reliable hardware Sun Microsystems sells is no longer popular because it is far cheaper to use consumer-grade hardware with software that is fault-tolerant. The excellent 2008 book Planet Google describes Google's experiences on page 54: "For about $278,000 in 2003, [Google] could assemble a rack with 176 microprocessors, 176 gigabytes of memory, and 7 terabytes of disk space. This compared favorably to a $758,000 server sold by the manufacturer of a well-known brand, which had only eight multiprocessors, one-third the memory, and about the same amount of disk space."

Why would Oracle buy Sun? Possibly because there are difficulties in making Oracle database products work with the new fault-tolerant technology. For example, fault-tolerant technology may require performing all database modifications on 4 computers at the same time, and Oracle may not want to sell 4 licenses for one application at the same price as the 1 license used with the more expensive high-reliability equipment.

What are your ideas about the sale of Sun, and Oracle's interest? There are many people with far more knowledge about this than I have."
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Moving money to and from other currencies?

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "We need to move money to and from U.S. dollars, Euros, and Brazilian Reais. It's obvious that the banks are in control; our banks charge a large fee, take a percentage, and decide the exchange rate themselves. Is there a fair way to move money?"
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CNN pushes this year's most abusive EULA.

Futurepower(R) Futurepower(R) writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Futurepower(R) writes "Windows Secrets has a story about CNN's use of software called Octoshape that presents an incredibly abusive EULA. If you agree to the EULA, you agree that CNN can use your bandwidth, and that you will pay any costs. Also, you lose the right to monitor your own network traffic. You can't even use information collected by your own firewall. Quoting the EULA:

"You may not collect any information about communication in the network of computers that are operating the Software or about the other users of the Software by monitoring, interdicting or intercepting any process of the Software. Octoshape recognizes that firewalls and anti-virus applications can collect such information, in which case you not are allowed to use or distribute such information."

Adobe is allowing the Octoshape company to use its Flash update install software.

What would YOU say to the CEOs of CNN and Adobe? Personally, I'm waiting for the time when all the CEOs with no appreciation of technological issues have retired."

Link to Original Source

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