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Comments

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NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect

RPoet Re:Hey New Zealand... (329 comments)

Oh America, when will you ever learn the difference between "your" and "you're"?

more than 2 years ago
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So Long, CmdrTaco, and Thanks For All The Posts

RPoet Re:fixes? (238 comments)

Please, when are you going to fix this cutoff? It's so annoying. Firefox 6 on latest Ubuntu.

more than 2 years ago
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KDE 4.6.3 Released

RPoet Re:Dedicated to: (105 comments)

It's happened before, but very rarely. Notably it happened for KDE 4.1.

more than 3 years ago
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What’s the Internet? (on 1994's Today Show)

RPoet Re:John Boehner: Solved (262 comments)

As an Orange-American, I find that highly offensive.

more than 3 years ago
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What’s the Internet? (on 1994's Today Show)

RPoet Re:h-t-t-p colon slash slash (262 comments)

Even today, people force themselves through the painful pronunciation of "double you double you double you dot" when it's completely unnecessary for almost all sites.

more than 3 years ago
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Slashdot Launches Re-Design

RPoet Re:Best /. yet! (2254 comments)

Can you help a poor guy out? What were the suggestions?

more than 3 years ago
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Sarah Palin 'Target WikiLeaks Like Taliban'

RPoet Re:You Gonna Do the Job Yourself Sarah? (1425 comments)

This would have been a decent post without all the "sweetheart" bullshit. Hard to take a sexist seriously.

more than 3 years ago
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Vint Cerf Calls For IPv6 Incentives In UK

RPoet God-father of the web (164 comments)

I wonder if Berners-Lee cringes when he sees Cerf described as "the Godfather of the web" :-)

more than 3 years ago
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Onion Story Gets Blown Out of Proportion

RPoet Re:The best argument against democracy... (641 comments)

He then later followed up with "SHABOOM!" and slapped his wife on the ass, before immediately pounding a 40.

about 4 years ago
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Java's Backup Plan If Oracle Fumbles

RPoet Re:Scala (276 comments)

Scala is multiparadigmal; you can use the functional features when you want, and ignore them and program Java-style when you want.

about 4 years ago
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Java's Backup Plan If Oracle Fumbles

RPoet Re:Paying for Oracle Java? (276 comments)

How could you "corner the market" like that? Java has an incredibly strong free software culture around it; making the compiler proprietary (it's free software today) and then even charging for it, would be Oracle Java's death knell and a free fork would take over.

about 4 years ago
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ICANN Approves .xxx Suffix For Porn Websites

RPoet Re:Wtf is xxx? (273 comments)

Heck, Amsterdam even has it in their flag.

more than 4 years ago
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The PalmPilots That Never Were

RPoet Re:Oh yeah. (56 comments)

Ah! I had an M100 as well. It was great for its time. I later got a Tungsten, which was even better. Have both of them around here somewhere.

more than 4 years ago
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Oz Pirate Party Tells the Elderly How To Bypass the Net Filter

RPoet Re:In related news ... (275 comments)

I suspect and hope that your post is a hoax. I have not been able to find any news coverage.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

RPoet hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Excellent PJ article, and Mono

RPoet RPoet writes  |  more than 10 years ago

PJ has another excellent article over at Groklaw, summarizing why Free software "wins" and why proprietary is bad. Preaching to the choir, sure, but PJ's writing style is just a breath of fresh air, very engaging. And perhaps more optimistic than I, which is why I find her writings reassuring.

Meanwhile, I'm spending Easter playing with Mono, Ximian's free .Net/C# implementation. I am wary about potential IP issues, but with Microsoft's "RAND+Royalty Free" licensing and ECMA standardization, it just feels safe. And unlike SUN's Java, which I've been using, Mono is free. There's one cognitive dissonance off my shoulders! And as a language, C# is way nicer than Java. It draws more on C/C++ than Java; It has enums, structs, operator overloading, and classes that are not filename oriented as in Java. And where Java's class libraries are over-engineered and full of deprecated legacy, the .Net libraries learned from this and is clean and logical from the get-go. Generics support are already implemented as a prototype in Mono too. I'm currently writing a little project in C#, which I will not speak of yet.

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I worry about the future of free software.

RPoet RPoet writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I worry about the future of free software. For years, the free software movement has been untouchable. As Microsoft swept every competitor off the scene by dumping and bundling, or just buying them out and shutting them down, free software has been immune against this. There is no price tag on an army of hackers spending their free time on writing free software that breaks the chains of dependency on the major software companies. Sure, they've tried to label free software as costly (the whole bogus TCO argument), unamerican and even cancerous. It just blew up in their faces, and free software adoption continues to grow in companies and homes.

And don't think only Microsoft wants to stop this. There are a number of companies that are unable or unwilling to adapt to freer times, and have huge stakes in technologies that are rapidly becoming irrelevant. SUN is one of these. It really must be tough to try to sell Solaris in a field where the advantages of free software are so obvious. SUN has no culture for free software either, as is shown by the continuing refusals to "set Java free", and their half-hearted attempts to earn a buck on their "Java Desktop System" which is really a Linux distribution but not sold as such. Jonathan Schwartz, just-promoted President of the company, has publicly stated that SUN "has no Linux strategy". If customers ask for Linux they'll get it, but SUN will not recommend it. There's no question the higher-ups at SUN simply wish the free software movement would just go away and never come back again.

I'm starting to fear that our movement may not be as untouchable as I have used to think. SUN and Microsoft, once bitter enemies, are best friends now. Their new covenant ensures the creation of a "patent regime" (term used by Microsoft's Ballmer), sharing software patents freely with each other and each agreeing never to sue the other. Among them, they probably own a majority of the software patents in the world, second only to IBM and Apple.

Microsoft's use of their SCO hand-puppet to destroy the free software movement has been largely a failure. Once SCO dies, the Microsoft and SUN coalition will probably start enforcing their vast collection of patents against free software. Their goal will be to make it too risky or costly for any company to contribute to free software, or even use it. They will not stop until Linux is but a geeky hobbyist toy again.

Microsoft and SUN will then share this new market of previous-free-software users among themselves, Microsoft pushing Windows and SUN pushing Unix, not stepping on each other's toes at all.

We will need our friends at IBM, Novell and others more than ever, in an all-out patent war. The weapons will be the usual senseless and obvious software patents. It will be the golden age for IP lawyers.

Changing the American patent system into something sane is perhaps intractable in the short term. We can make the biggest difference by continuing to fight software patents in Europe.

SCO is making its own death bed now, but once it dies, let's not calm and forget. SCO is nothing compared to what's in store. And as always, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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