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DARPA Publishes Tons of Open Source Code, Data

KC1P Public domain? (39 comments)

I seriously don't get how this is possible. Weren't we all told that works by the federal government automatically fall into the public domain (except classified works) since the federal government *can't* hold copyrights? How is having a university create the work with federal money any different from the feds doing it themselves? (It would be a "work for hire" if it *were* copyrightable.) And the whole concept of copyleft licenses depends on copyrights, ironically, so you can't release something under GPL etc. if you don't hold the copyright.

So this all sounds as if we're supposed to be happy about the government actually doing much less than it was supposed to do, or overreaching and doing what it can't do, depending on how you look at it. Every single line of code they've ever written is ours ours ours, no strings attached, unless it's classified.

OK rip me to pieces.

about 6 months ago
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HP Discontinue OpenVMS

KC1P Re:Great feature - File versions (238 comments)

If you mean TSS/8, it didn't have file versions, and neither did RSTS/E (and actually I don't remember it on T10 either but I barely used that). But yeah T20 definitely had versions and was the inspiration for the later systems (RSX/VMS quietly accept T20 filename syntax too -- <dir>file.ext.ver instead of [dir]file.ext;ver). Very very useful feature -- saved my ass plenty of times.

about a year ago
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I paid attention to news of the Marathon bomb ...

KC1P Re:Old News (317 comments)

Just reacting to what seems to be hinted at here: I grew up in Boston in the 70s and 80s and Boston has an even larger NON-Irish community which was definitely not backing the IRA. Plus I wouldn't think the IRA was automatically universally popular in the Irish-American community either. So any implication that Boston deserves payback for crap the IRA did is way off.

about a year ago
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Roadkill Forcing Cliff Swallows To Evolve

KC1P Re:Saw a Chipmunk Up In the Mountains (387 comments)

I'm wondering the same thing about moths. In the last few years I've really started noticing that when I'm driving my car at night on a quiet road with no traffic, moths that are fluttering over the lane will suddenly drop to the pavement as my headlights hit them.

Sort of like a fainting goat, only more useful -- moths who have mini-seizures when they see headlights must have a higher survival rate because now all they have to worry about (besides being bashed up a bit by the fall) is my tires, which are a lot less likely to cream them than the windshield/grill.

about a year ago
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Can You Potty Train a Cow?

KC1P What training? (214 comments)

From the abstract, it sounds as if they made no attempt at all to train the cows -- they were just seeing what would stimulate a cow to poop with no training at all. Or, they were seeing what's the least that counts as a master's thesis! A much more interesting question.

about a year and a half ago
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Sony To Make Its Last MiniDisc System Next Month

KC1P Actually pretty decent (263 comments)

These seemed to be marketed to people who wanted to make mini-disc mix tapes, which seemed weirdly specific and obviously didn't catch on. But they were really good for recording live music and sucking it into a computer. Flash is obviously much better, but MD was around for eons before flash got cheap...

about a year and a half ago
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How Do You Backup Your Data?

KC1P 3.5" Magneto-optical (212 comments)

I *love* these things! Mundane unimportant crap gets backed up on second hard drives, but the huge many-year projects go on MO disks that I periodically swap out for the ones in a safe-deposit box at the bank. $25/year is a really sweet deal to have it not matter if my house burns down.

about a year ago
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Should Inventions Be Automatically Owned By Your Employer?

KC1P Depends on how much of your life they buy (291 comments)

Your employer absolutely should be entitled to any IP you produce ... *if* they're paying you for 168/hours a week. If it's only 40 hours/week then there has to be room for you to do your thing on the time that belongs to you. I hate it (and refuse to sign -- cost me a great job once) when they try to just stick a catchall into your employee contract. Contracts are supposed to be quid pro quo deals, not quid pro nothing.

about a year and a half ago
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Valve's Big Picture Could Be a Linux Game Console

KC1P Re:MAME / Arcade ROMs - legally obtaining them (272 comments)

For about two seconds a few years ago, starroms.com had a bunch of classic ROM images for sale, all nice and legal-like, and reasonably priced too. But then Atari/etc. sat on it for some reason (they didn't like getting royalties from zero additional effort?). It was a real shame -- that's *exactly* what should happen to abandonware...

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Rectifying Nerd Arrogance?

KC1P Smaller world (823 comments)

This has always baffled me too, especially among programmers, because programming involves endless iterations of writing code and then having the computer laugh in your face. How can you think you're such a genius when a zillion times a day, a machine tells you you're not?

With college students it makes sense though. Because they don't really notice things which haven't happened to catch their interest, they live in a tiny subset of the real world, and they've largely mastered that subset, so as far as they know they ARE geniuses. It takes them an annoyingly long time to realize that the 95% of the universe that they don't care about matters too.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?

KC1P What was Linus's own? (867 comments)

It didn't have a name -- kernel 0.13 plus a wad of basic utils, around 1991. Booting from floppy only (LILO came later) and you had to patch the boot disk with DEBUG.COM to set the root. No networking (Taylor UUCP came soon, TCP/IP later). I was actually pretty offended when distributions came along and started charging $$$ for balling up stuff they got for free from Linus and GNU, but it quickly became the most reasonable way to get Linux as it became enormous. I forget whether I tried SLS briefly before switching to Slackware which is what I've used up until now. Even when it was N floppies you didn't really use N floppies -- for most of them you could rewrite the disk with the next image as soon as the installer spat it out since it wouldn't ask for it back. Very long evening, each time.

about 2 years ago
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If I could print 1 replacement organ ...

KC1P Face (544 comments)

Seems to be the main problem!

about 2 years ago
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To get me to switch jobs, it'd take ...

KC1P The job itself (374 comments)

Are we such a bunch of whores that $$$ and insurance are all we care about?

about 2 years ago
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At my place of employ, we track business data ...

KC1P Re:I know this is /., but... (185 comments)

Totally! I *wish* I had more business than I could handle on paper ... but sadly it isn't even a pain in the neck.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Planning To Build Private Restaurant

KC1P Re:Sounds like self-aggrandization (234 comments)

I did a summer internship at Apple in the late 80s and I'm sure things have changed quite a bit since then, but still one thing I thought was pretty clever of them as out-in-the-open evil schemes go was that they made it very very easy for employees to have no life outside of work. There was *tons* of social stuff built into work (happy hour every Friday afternoon, off-site stuff like going to a ball game or an amusement park with your group during work hours), and there were showers in the building and sleeping in your cube was tolerated. Adding a nice restaurant seems obvious -- one more thing covered that might otherwise make you leave work.

more than 2 years ago
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Who Is Your Favorite Fictional Robot or Android?

KC1P Twiki (608 comments)

From Buck Rogers!

more than 2 years ago
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Who Is Your Favorite Fictional Robot or Android?

KC1P Re:Sexist Much? (608 comments)

Obviously you mean Dot Matrix!

more than 2 years ago
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Raspberry Pi Gets a Red-Tape Delay; Awaits CE Certificate

KC1P Re:Seriously? (135 comments)

Actually, the Arduino (or at least, the Arduino Uno I'm holding in my hand right now) does have a CE mark on the back. Now this is making me paranoid about some of my own projects! What does CE testing cost?

more than 2 years ago
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I am, at present, from the place of my birth ...

KC1P Flat Earth? (332 comments)

Why are we talking about the circumference when you can't be any more than one diameter away from any other point on Earth? It's not as if the poll is actually asking you to drill the tunnel, it just wants its length.

more than 2 years ago
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The oldest hard drive I'm still using is ...

KC1P RL01 (272 comments)

Depends how often it takes to count as really using it ... but my DEC RL01 (14" 5 megabyte cartridge drive) still works whenever I spin it up. Those things are built like tanks!

more than 2 years ago

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