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All GPLed Code Removed From MonoDevelop

grotgrot Re:Whining little babies. (443 comments)

The internet was basically built on the GPL, and most of the code that makes it go was built using the GPL.

Exactly which planet are you referring to, because it isn't this one. GPL v1 is from 1989. Depending on exactly what you want to count as "The Internet" you can put the start date as early as 1969 or as late as 1983. Commercialization and ISPs arrived in 1988 in the US. Cisco provided many of the routers used (started 1984). BSD was the main OS used for TCP/IP development and research. BBN had the "reference implementation". Every single one of these things predates the GPL. The BSD TCP/IP stack was ported to many other platforms, including Windows. One thing is categorically certain - the Internet was not built on the GPL. If anything it was built on BSD licensed software.

For one thing, making you pay for all of our code you are secretly using for free.

The GPL is not and has never been about price. It is about freedom to share, modify and use. You can charge whatever you want. You can even charge people a small reasonable fee to get the source code. It also depends on copyright law. Someone "secretly using" anyone's code without permission is violating copyright.

I for one have had enough of the whining about the GPL and how restrictive it is.

The GPL is restrictive because you cannot change the terms under which the code can be redistributed. It also applies to the whole program. For example if you add one line of GPL code to a 20 million line program then the whole program has to become GPL compatible. Note I use the GPL for most of my stuff and consider that the cost if you want to use my code. But it certainly is more restrictive. There is the LGPL which mitigates this but its use is discouraged.

It seems to me, its only restrictions is you can't rip people off.

"Ripping people off" is usually a financial thing. Google have built a multi-billion dollar empire using lots of other people's GPL code (eg Linux kernel) and have not paid them. The GPL allows you to use GPL code within a company and providing you do not distribute outside of the company you can use code as you see fit, so the original author gets "ripped off".

Your view of the GPL is just plain wrong. It is about freedom and the restrictions are largely that you have to provide the same freedoms on the code you receive to others if you pass the code or derivatives on to others.

more than 4 years ago
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Who Installs the Most Crapware?

grotgrot Re:Lenovo (583 comments)

What you are probably unaware of is that Lenovo provides the Base Software Administrator which lets you define exactly what goes on in a system software recovery. Behind the scenes it merely places a text file in the recovery partition that sets what components are installed during a recovery. You can exclude all of what you consider crapware. They also have software on that page to make your own packages so they can be placed in the recovery partition. Finally they provide the means to run your own software update servers.

more than 4 years ago
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Low-Power Home Linux Server?

grotgrot Get a netbook (697 comments)

Netbooks currently go for $300 and are low power. As a bonus they have a builtin screen and keyboard (obviating the need for a KVM) and also have a builtin UPS (aka battery). Use small bus powered external USB drives for extra storage. You can even make them a router/firewall/access point since they have wired and wireless interfaces.

more than 4 years ago
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Tim Berners-Lee Is Sorry About the Slashes

grotgrot Re:DNS (620 comments)

The UK academic network JANET was originally setup to have domain names in reverse and although it may seem to make logical sense it wasn't human friendly. Also look at how we address snail mail - same order as current DNS. For completion you can make things more intelligent pretty much like how the Firefox address bar works. You'll also find that most DNS servers do not allow zone transfers - for example neither .edu nor wustl.edu allow it.

more than 4 years ago
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Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

grotgrot Re:Bad for Permanent Residents too (1040 comments)

Are you sure? I was just there last month. I am talking about the many immigration desks that are on the same floor as all the shops in T2 and T3 (and just a few metres away from the shops). Maybe you are thinking of customs?

more than 4 years ago
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Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

grotgrot Re:Bad for Permanent Residents too (1040 comments)

Not to mention that the immigration desks at Singapore airport never have queues, don't have specific lines for locals/residents vs foreigners and are usually handing out candy!

more than 4 years ago
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Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

grotgrot Re:"The most ridiculous interview..." (1040 comments)

When I came through SFO last time their computers read my British passport and Green Card and then decided that meant I was American which resulted in ever increasing numbers of supervisors being called over. At some point one of them started arguing with me as I was born in an African country but was only there for one month after my birth. He was insisting I must have a passport from there as well. No amount of pointing out that the US is one of the few countries with a policy of being born there means automatic citizenship appeased him. (They eventually worked out the computer system was being stupid.)

BTW the time limit for outside visits with a Green Card is 6 months. You can go for up to a year if you fill out lots of paper work in advance.

more than 4 years ago
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Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

grotgrot Re:I'm sure it didn't help. (1040 comments)

With all the security proposals, is anyone actually getting protected?

Given they can't keep drugs, weapons and other stuff out of prison where they have the right to do almost any kind of search and take their time about it, why would airports and other borders be any better? In answer to your question, they'll have a small chance of catching truly stupid bad guys. Anyone determined will find many ways through the system. And when they do, the people who put up those stupid proposals will be the ones "protected" claiming they did everything they could.

more than 4 years ago
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Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

grotgrot Re:I'm sure it didn't help. (1040 comments)

I am a British citizen and legal permanent resident of the US (almost a decade). The last time I came through San Francisco Airport (a month ago) they scanned all ten of my fingerprints and did a retinal scan (I don't remember if it was one or both eyes).

more than 4 years ago
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The PS3's "Yellow Light of Death"

grotgrot Re:How about Nintendo? (292 comments)

When SSBB came out it was the first dual layer disc. My Wii was one of those having disc reading issues. Nintendo replaced the drive at their expense very quickly and added some more time to the warranty (I was out of warranty by about 3 months). At no point did I feel it was my fault or that Nintendo didn't like me. There was a minor concern over save games etc should the whole unit need replacing (their webpages of the time basically said "bad luck"). You can copy some savegames to SD card, but some prevent you which does make me angry. I only have 3 downloaded titles as I decided I wanted to own not rent them (ie I am only paying for stuff I can move to new systems at my choice.)

more than 4 years ago
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Skype Kills Extras Program

grotgrot Re:Never write a plug-in (104 comments)

Starting with a plug-in is a good idea. There is existing infra-structure for you to fit in with and typically some sort of app store. You can then have some idea as to how popular your concept is and how much people are prepared to pay for it, as well as what the competition looks like. Then you can branch out to being standalone and remove the dependence on the framework vendor.

more than 4 years ago
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Garbage Collection Algorithms Coming For SSDs

grotgrot Re:Filesystem info (156 comments)

Wouldn't the drive benefit from a real understanding of the filesystem for this sort of thing?

There is no need as a standard ATA TRIM command exists by which the OS can tell the device when a block is no longer in use. LWN wrote about this almost a year ago.

more than 4 years ago
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The Irksome Cellphone Industry

grotgrot Re:Double billing also happens in Europe (272 comments)

In non-US countries cellphones have their own area codes. Calls to those area codes cost more than calls to regular area codes. In the US cell phones do not have their own area codes hence the extra cost of cell calls is borne by the recipient. In both cases cell calls cost more.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Announces Chrome OS, For Release Mid-2010

grotgrot Re:Competition is good, baby! (1089 comments)

Any legacy code in X is also very lean. 15 years ago my ~40 person office ran a server on HP/UX (proprietary hardware, not Intel stuff). It was the DNS nameserver (internal and external), mail server (external facing), usenet server and who knows what else. It ran X for the gui with the various programs all being statically linked as a single binary (switching on argv to decide which program to be). All of this was done in 4MB of RAM (yes megabytes). The CPU in my current computer has a 4MB cache!

about 5 years ago
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London Stock Exchange To Abandon Windows

grotgrot Accenture (438 comments)

Andersen Consulting split from Arthur Andersen (mainly accounting/auditing) years ago. The reason for the rename from Andersen Consulting to Accenture was to completely remove the ambiguity about relations between the two companies. (Incidentally the remaining Arthur Andersen also started up a consulting group!) The people involved with Enron were Arthur Andersen (accounting/auditing) and they did go bust afterwards because no one would do business with them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accenture

about 5 years ago
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EXT4, Btrfs, NILFS2 Performance Compared

grotgrot Dubious (102 comments)

I suspect their test methodology isn't very good, in particular the SQLite tests. SQLite performance is largely based on when commits happen as at that point fsync is called at least twice and sometimes more (the database, journals and containing directory need to be consistent). The disk has to rotate to the relevant point and write outstanding data to the platters before returning. This takes a considerable amount of time relative to normal disk writing which is cached and write behind. If you don't use the same partition for testing then the differing amount of sectors per physical track will affect performance. Similarly a drive that lies about data being on the platters will seem to be faster, but is not safe should there be a power failure or similar abrupt stop.

Someone did file a ticket at SQLite but from the comments in there you can see that what Phoronix did is not reproducible.

about 5 years ago
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Hackable In-Car GPS Unit?

grotgrot Re:It is the maps (208 comments)

TomTom already let you fix some errors. And of course the way you find out about errors is at the worst time and if routing in the worst way possible, such as if the unit tries to send you the wrong way up a round, a turn that doesn't exist, a road that is different etc.

I certainly believe that crowdsourced maps will be better just as Wikipedia is better than the paper encyclopedias. However it is going to take a while.

about 5 years ago
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Investigators Suspect Computers Doomed Air France Jet

grotgrot Re:A330 -- No Margin for Error (403 comments)

How can an airplane be allowed to carry passengers when the margin to airframe disintegration is so narrow?

There are certification bodies in the US, Europe and many other countries that define what that margin is. The greater the margin the heavier the plane will be, the more fuel it will need and the less load it will be able to carry. So your question really is asking if all these certification bodies are idiots. They are not and are definitely better at it than your armchair speculation. Simple evidence is looking at the rate of crashes and fatalities over time despite the increasing amount of air travel.

How come you don't walk around always wearing a bulletproof vest? Why aren't all your house doors, windows and walls armoured? Because there are costs and benefits and they all have to weighted together to come up with something appropriate.

but to be able to tear the airplane apart in level flight?

It would not tear apart in simple level flight within the normal speed range. It could be torn apart going too fast (ie beyond the certification limits imposed by those national bodies) but even then would not be in level flight but likely dropping. It was a massive thunderstorm with huge air currents they were going through. This is an example of what planes can survive where the plane looped, parts flew off and the wings got permanently bent. This is an example of a certification test for wing strength. FAA regulations require that wings survive 1.5 times (150 percent) of the highest aerodynamic load that the jet could ever be expected to encounter during flight for 3 seconds. That applies to all airliners. The pitot tubes keep being mentioned because they tell you how fast you are going relative to the surrounding air. If they iced over then you don't know and going to slow will result in a stall, going fast increases discomfort and going too fast can result in bits of the plane breaking off.

But to be clear it required abnormal circumstances to break apart. Way beyond anything normally or abnormally encountered. If the circumstances happened with any regularity then you would hear about this kind of accident more often.

If the airplane can send fault messages home, why don't blackbox data streams get sent as well? At least that way there would be some situation info available as opposed to none.

The fault messages are generally intended for maintenance so that when the plane arrives they can be repaired as quickly as possible and the plane turned around. They also help with long term tracking of wear and tear. Current blackbox recorders record a huge amount of data which would be infeasible to transmit, especially when it has to go via satellite such as when over oceans. Plane crashes are very rare (that is why they make the news) and it is even rarer to not find the blackboxes.

In some ways reliance on flight computers is like reliance on spreadsheets or calculators -- if you do not understand what is going on and are not capable of doing it yourself then you cannot tell if the software is correct. Essentially, if the computer says it is so then it is, and you either survive or not.

You overestimate the ability of humans. We are long gone from the days of the lonesome hero sweating it with the control stick. A flying plane is a complex mechanism. You have many control surfaces, air pressures and speeds, centre of gravity, fuel consumption, engine abilities, aerodynamics etc all to take into account. A computer program can do all of that so many times better than a human which includes being both more economical and reacting quicker. The people who make planes are not idiots. Ultimately you have to take the underlying tools you use as is. For example I don't see you insisting on design your own CPU - you just use whatever is in your computer. The airplane manufacturers have user (pilot) interaction teams to try and provide the best interfaces possible. For example the Airbus team decided that the computer could feasibly compute safe flight angles but humans are unlikely to, so a human can pull the stick bar as far as the want but the plane will only obey it as much as is safe. Boeing provide force feedback on their control sticks in the 777 but that information is synthesized (ie fake). They also have modes where the computer hands over more control to the pilot such as when the computer is unsure of the readings it is getting or the calculations do not make sense. (I believe pilots can also manually select these more control to them modes.)

But if you think humans are so much better look at how many managed to kill themselves in the earlier days of aviation, or at the way people "pilot" cars today.

If you genuinely care about this sort of stuff then I'd recommend studying and working for the regulators or design companies and seeing what difference you can make.

about 5 years ago
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Hackable In-Car GPS Unit?

grotgrot Re:It is the maps (208 comments)

Yes it can be good, just as the commercial maps can be. But all it takes is one area you happen to be driving through with less than correct mapping information for you to be guided in an unsuitable way. Those are what all the newspaper stories are derived from.

about 5 years ago

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