German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring
I live in Austria and for the past decade there has been a steady stream of news indicating that several European governments have on going programing which are similar and/or complementary to those the Americans are running.
Moreover, as is the case with reports dealing with American programs, when they say "will soon implement", "working on", or "future programs" it's most often the case that such programs are already in place and now what is being worked on is mechanism to use the data they produce in the prosecution regular domestic crimes.
Torrentz.eu Domain Name Suspended
I just now went there and it looks up to me.
European Commission Launches $12 Billion Chip Support Campaign
Not every pursuit of man must be directly profitable... and demanding that they all be so, creates failure and market distortion.
European Commission Launches $12 Billion Chip Support Campaign
I suspect that if the results of this effort were released with an appropriate hybrid Open-Source license, as well as providing both the Open-Source contributors & corporate funders /contributors with some sort of tax break, that more European people and firms would see more benefits, than if the results were locked up in some sort of Airbus-esque version of Intel. Comparing the business strategy that Intel pursued with Itanium to ARM's, I become more certain in this line of thinking.
Or to put it another way, an entity which was more like ARM than Intel or AMD but which did not have a foundational priority to maximize shareholder returns (i.e. not a Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH)) but instead with the priority to remain non-profit by folding all profits back into development efforts. And which produced and sold IP in similar ways as ARM but with hybrid licensing schemes, Open Source & non commercial projects could have access to certain parts of the IP, while commercial & proprietary projects would be required to buy a license or somehow contribute in kind. If the tax breaks for contributions were designed skilfully enough, then corporations inside the EU and paying taxes to the EU could, in a sense, spend less on R&D than it would cost to develop a new chip, by working on this EU wide collaboration and receive a commercial licence of similar value in return. The EU could protect cases of a 3rd party mass producing these chips as a commercial enterprise without a commercial license, with existing IP, contractual, and tax laws. So all corporations with EU subsidiaries would be obliged to follow these licenses, if they wished to use the chips and all chips or devices with chips would require the correct licensing to be sold in the EU.
In this way, any company could produce, or have a 3rd party produce, chips based on this IP and include them in their commercial offerings all over the world. However, EU companies who vigorously participated in the development could have advantages when it comes to providing chips to the EU market, while at the time encouraging lower costs for EU consumers by allowing for non-commercial licenses.
Naturally, this leaves open the possibility of a foreign group making unlicensed chips & devices for markets outside the EU. Essentially, this is a similar problem which ARM faces, but I am not familiar with any large examples of this kind of abuse... but I live in the EU, so it's possible that in various places around the world there are such things... but I guess, if they do exist, they've never become a big enough problem to make the news. Presumably this is due to the limitations that ARM places on their licensing in regards to 3rd party Fabs.
Federal Judge Says No Right To Secret Ballot, OKs Barcoded Ballots
For over 40 years I've been hearing people say "If voting was it would be made illegal" and just laughed it off. Just reading the news for 2012, I'm beginning to suspect voting to be more effective than I've been giving it credit for.
Would You Pay an Internet Broadband Tax?
If we are going to acknowledge that the market has failed to provide Americans with internet service roughly similar to what other people have at similar costs and begin spending public funds on communication infrastructure (again) it's essential that we take steps to make sure that this does not once again become a mechanism to transfer public funds to corporations. This means not only removing all barriers to municipalities and other small communities from forming competitive last mile public ISP's but we also should get some sort of clawback program to go after the corporations which benifited so much from the last round of public funds and *did not deliver as promised*.
Diesel-Like Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy By 50%
Reminds me of the variable combustion chamber geometry engines that were a fad back in the early '90s. With electronic control it is possible to run a gasoline engine mostly on single event pre-detonation (which used to be called "pinking") which allowing things to get completely out of control and creating the damaging pre-detonation commonly called "knocking".
Ask Slashdot: Changing Passwords For the New Year?
Besides complex passwords don't forget about usernames. I used to use just one username for all my online accounts but then I read some research paper outlining how much information an advertiser or attacker could gather from just comparing the same username across different websites. So now besides changing my passwords I also, where practical and possible, delete old accounts and create new ones with random usernames from a collection of username generators I've found.
Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source License For Guitar?
You need to talk to Bruce Parens. He's easy to find.
Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling
For my entire adult life I worked in the medical diagnostic device industry and somewhere in the late late 80's and electronic documentation & email really started to take over. Then following a series of lawsuits the corporate SOP began to change. We went from loose organization in directories to using versioning tools for documents. And we went from what was essentially unlimited email storage to smaller and smaller... eventually ending up in 2005 with mandated culling policies. (mostly as a proactive defensive legal strategy).
By my nature, I am digital packrat. I still have all the email I have ever received or sent, in curated archives. I still have all the documents I have created. I still have all the code I have ever written. I still have all the design docs I have ever created. And I still have the knowledge management system I created to curate all of that data.
So, my nature and corporate policy really began to conflict more and more strongly. For about 12 years I used my own hardware for backups with my management looking the other way. Eventually I was told the backup strategy had to go and to take all my stuff home. That was replaced by corporate supplied laptop which I routinely took home to backup.
I took early retirement in 2009 and in late 2010 was asked back to resolve a thorny problem with some of the in-house equipment I had a hand designing. The current site manager, who I have a lot of disagreements with but is a nice guy, assessed the parts of my personal archive that I brought in with me as "The largest and most frightening example of industrial espionage he had ever seen"... and wanted to buy it from me so he could destroy it.
Ask Slashdot: Parallel Cluster In a Box?
Just because you mentioned ARM, perhaps you should look into Calxeda. I have no idea if their solution is well suited for your problem, it is a whole bunch of 32bit cores in one box. Someone else already has a similar arrangement using Intel Atom.
Open Hardware Journal
I'm still disappointed Technocrat is no longer. It wasn't perfect and I completely understand your reasons for shutting it down. Still, it's disappointing.
I'm glad you've started to do something more public, I'm looking forward to see more of this. Open Source Software has really proven the importance of the existence of things with an alternative to the most restrictive copyrights. In fact that success has enabled me to successfully argue that the firm I worked for should abandon those restrictive copyrights for certain projects where we released source code to our customers for free. Open Source Hardware is the obvious next step, yet despite these obvious advantages I don't have the impression that the idea has really generated the kind of critical mass that we need for the wider adoption needed to be self sustaining. Hopefully this journal can be the positive influence we all need.
Also, I think the idea of publishing a journal instead of blogging, tweeting, or just using your facebook page is very smart and sets the whole enterprise up on a great direction.
Intel and AMD May Both Delay Next-Generation CPUs
I have to wonder how much of this is due to the stagnating economy in much of the developed nations. My recollection is that the last time the economy went south, all sorts of projects were either postponed, put on hold, or simply ended.
NY Post Goes App-Only For iPad Users
Not the New York Times, the New York Post. It's a Rupert Murdoch, Enquireresque, Gotham City mashup.
Open Source Alternative To Dropbox?
This is an incomplete solution because it makes it very difficult to share files to unskilled users.
Open Source Alternative To Dropbox?
Asking what is an alternative to dropbox is only part of the question.
The whole question is what is an personal & private alternative to "the cloud".
Eben Moglen's FreedomBox effort is part of the answer but I am not aware of a more complete solution.
AMD Details Upcoming Bulldozer Architecture
Outside of the benchmark you have listed, how much time does the average business user really use those 12 logical cores? All other things being equal (including price) wouldn't most folks be better off buying few but faster coares?
Linux Wall Warts Small On Size, Big On Possibilities
I don't think there is an ARM port for puppy. So you'd be setting yourself up for a fair bit of work.
Creative Uses For Extra Drive Bays?
That is precisely why I remembered it!
Creative Uses For Extra Drive Bays?
Not that I know of... I buy it if there was. There is a lot of development that could be done for a variety of niche processors using that idea.
bhima hasn't submitted any stories.
Stop Pouring Hot Water Down the Drain!
I first heard this from the curmudgeon at Technocrat and were the site still in existence I would post it there.
It's a great idea.
Revenge of the Wingnuts
Well this morning I an interesting experience Slashdot. Some right wing extremist took offense to some comment I made... which odd because I have not made any politically charged comments recently. Anyway he made me his "foe" and then down modded a handfull of my comments from weeks ago. I don't get this much and right now I have a lot of mod points... so I was tempted to reciprocate. So I looked at some of his comments:
"Who needs gas for a car when you're getting your very own Skittles-shitting unicorn?"
"It kinda surprises me that any Dim would've ever been in favor of offshore drilling...they seem to have a phobia about it."
"The only "change" you're going to get from Obummer is what's left in your wallet when he's done raping it."
On Ermächtigungsgesetz: "I wouldn't be at all surprised if Dear Leader was given an opportunity by his pals in Congress to sign one into law."
Wow, That's some pretty crazy commentary. Just writing in this journal has convinced me to just ignore this twat. Digging around old comments and moderating them is not particularly useful to improve the single to noise ratio of the conversation.
Real Climate: 2008 Year in review
What I found most amusing: The S. Fred Singer award for the most dizzying turn-around of a climate pseudo-skeptic.
What I found most interesting: Most puzzling finding from 2006 that has yet to be convincingly replicated
What found most illuminating in climate science in 2008 are: in the corporate arena the parallels between the tactics of professional obstructionists to climate change mitigation and the tobacco company's campaign to hide fact the tobacco contains carcinogens. And in the public / government arena the parallels between the tactics of obstructionists to climate change mitigation and the tactics of the christian reconstructionists in their campaign to promote creationism... which I suppose is simply a part in their wider war on Science.
The End of Technocrat
So Bruce pulled the plug on Technocrat.Net last night. It's a real shame but I can't say I blame him... actually I agree with him. I'm morbidly curious as to the comment that broke the camel's back but I guess we'll never know.
So best of luck to Bruce and his ongoing project.
Remembrance of Kristallnacht
Earlier this week remembrance of Kristallnacht was observed here in Austria. Overnight just under 100 Jews were murdered and about 30,000 were arrested and deported to concentration camps. Coincidently (perhaps) a talk given by Samantha Power at Ted 2008 about Genocide and the life and death of Sergio Vieira de Mello called "Shaking Hands with the Devil". This reminded me of book with a similar title: "Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda" by the Canadian Senator, Lieutenant-General Roméo Antonius Dallaire.
The culmination of these thoughts has me reaching a few conclusions: The common Western mythology of the solemn pledge of "Never Again" is an impossibility and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide a farce. The vast body of humanity absolutely does not care about Genocidal events in places even modestly distant from their homes; involving people who they do not share a common heritage or language or skin colour or even religious or political ideology. More over, a substantial portion of humanity holds the capacity to revel in incitement of and to participate in the execution of genocide.
I read the political news of several countries: Austria, United States, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe and I am routinely amazed at the language which is commonly used in the political arena. It's as if the absence of violence creates a pressure which must eventually be relieved. I have many friends in the US and the UK and to a man they have a confidence, in the fact that the social unrest or military action which creates the possibility of genocide can not happen to them or by them or their proxies, which is absolute.
I can't decide which I find more alarming the people who agitate for it or the people who do not believe such things are even remotely possible.