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Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights

hedronist RIP /. (187 comments)

I've been looking at /. less and less because it just isn't as useful / relevant for me as it was years ago.

But I couldn't sleep, it's 0 Dark 30, and I thought, Why not look at what's happening on /.?


I won't mourn the passing of /. like I did Groklaw, because even on it's best day /. was never as good as PJ on a bad one. As long as you're on a roll, why not invite Larry "Yes, I am an asshole" Ellison to give us instruction in the care and feeding of an Open Source project?

But seriously ... Florian Mueller? On patents and copyright?
I mean, Florian. Fucking. Mueller?

about 3 months ago

Second SFO Disaster Avoided Seconds Before Crash

hedronist Re:NO (248 comments)

My understanding is that the visual aid for 28L is PAPI, not VASI. Unfortunately, it and the ILS have been out of service since early June because they are moving the threshold for 28L northward, farther away from the seawall. With both ILS and PAPI out, you truly are making a "visual approach".

Speaking as an old Army ATC, I cannot imagine why they didn't move the PAPI at the same time they moved the threshold. It doesn't take that long to recalibrate it. ILS does take longer, but an in-place PAPI is a powerful aid to staying on-path and on-slope.

about a year and a half ago

News Worth Buying On Paper

hedronist We still read the local paper ... (106 comments)

My wife and I still read the local rag (The Press Democrat) because, although we've read most of the national and international news online 1 or 2 (or sometimes even 3) days before, there are stories in Sonoma County (and parts north) that simply don't show up anywhere else. It used to be owned by the NY Times organization, but it was recently bought by a group of local investors who are emphasizing the Local News aspect.

We might switch to the electronic version of it, but we will not lose our need to know what's happening in our own community.

about a year and a half ago

Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner

hedronist Re:Down-market is Oracle too (154 comments)

Yes, Larry's minions may have their hands on the old MySQL code, but there's this little project called MariaDB that is MySQL++++. It is a direct, bit-for-bit drop-in, and it's faster and has more features and they even do bug fixes for (gasp!) free. Admittedly it's run by a guy who probably doesn't know that much about MySQL, but he seems to be muddling through.

Oh, and there's a company called Percona that actually does support for MariaDB, adds features, and then feeds them back to the MariaDB community, but that's clearly an unsustainable model.

There are also a few people out there who would suggest that moving "downmarket" from Oracle to Postgres will actually feel like upmarket. And it's supported by professional groups on six continents.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Start Reading Other's Code?

hedronist Since this is an OSS project ... (254 comments)

Since this is an OSS project, can you suggest any tools similar to Understand that don't cost $995?

The only thing I could find was source navigator NG, but I have zero experience with it.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do When Another Dev Steals Your Work and Adds Their Name?

hedronist Re:Clear your name, don't give up! (480 comments)

Actually, it was "Working Girl" (Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver). Apparently Abraham stole it and put his name on it.

Reference needed. Saying that someone "stole" something is a fairly strong statement.

The story concept of one person's idea being stolen by someone else is not exactly new with Kevin Wade's 1988 script.
It's been a while since I've seen either of these movies, but the connection between them seems thin at best.

about a year and a half ago

Network Engineering Q&A Site Launched

hedronist Re:Not what it used to be (29 comments)

Ah. We seem to have a StackExchange Moderator in our midst.

I note that, just like the mods that delete 4 year-old, highly viewed/rated posts, this one chooses to act as an AC.

about a year and a half ago

Network Engineering Q&A Site Launched

hedronist Re:Not what it used to be (29 comments)

Agreed. I haven't closed my account, but I stopped contributing months ago.

Some of the well-asked open ended questions led to answers that were useful and thought provoking. Now it's turned into "How do I add 2+2 in <insert language>?".

about a year and a half ago

Can Older Software Developers Still Learn New Tricks?

hedronist Re:Older workers cost more. (365 comments)

Heck, these days performance seems to be dominated by lock contention, given the distributed nature of everything.

This, totally this.

I just rolled 40 years in this ridiculous industry, and the one thing that keeps coming up over ... and over ... and over again is that the total throughput of a system is often controlled by one or two locks / blocks (thread/process, disk, network, ear wax, etc.) buried deep, deep inside. You can micro-optimize code to your heart's content, but when you finally get around to profiling what's actually happening in the system that didn't scale from 100 hits/sec to 1000 hits/sec (or whatever) you arrive at an "Oh, shit!" moment when you realize that an assumption you made 6 months ago (Hey! This will never be a problem.) is now biting you in the ass.

about a year and a half ago

Apple Bans Sale of Comic Book On All iOS Apps Over Gay Sex Images - Update

hedronist Re:OmG! Gay Rights vs Apple Worship! What 2 Do? (299 comments)

mellow dramatic twist of fate!

I don't know if this was deliberate or not, but it is now in my Phrase List and I hunger for a chance to use it.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Unwanted But Official Security Probes?

hedronist Oh for some mod points ... (238 comments)


I checked the codes and they actually do mean that.
Elegant, classic, subtle, in-your-face.


about 2 years ago

Google Patents Staple of '70s Mainframe Computing

hedronist Re:big deal (333 comments)

ROFLCOPTER! Being the Geezer Geek® in our family/neighborhood I get the calls for ... almost everything. I had one woman (who shall remain nameless (except she's my older sister)) who complained of all sorts of horrible things happening. Turns out it was an out-of-disk and there was a huge number of ~whatever files all over her filesystem. Cleaning them all up gave her about 40% free disk.

about 2 years ago

Site Copies Content and Uses the DMCA to Take Down the Original Articles

hedronist Re:If this can happen ... (241 comments)

Automated software, random idiots ... same thing really.

Shouldn't that be: Automattic software?

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Which OSS Database Project To Help?

hedronist Re:With shared hosting (287 comments)

Webfaction.com - $9.95 monthly (cheaper with longer commitment).

Run by serious techies. Nginx as a frontend-server, Apache/whatever you want on the backend. MySQL, Postgres, whatever for a DB. Python (Django is a one-click install), Ruby, whatever. Long-running processes. Cron jobs. Better-than-average admin panel.

All in all, a great hosting company for smaller sites.

I'm not a shill, just a happy customer. I have several customers' websites there.

more than 2 years ago

Unredacted Filings Reveal Claims of Juror Misconduct in Apple vs Samsung Trial

hedronist Re:How does the rest of the jury feel? (282 comments)

A little more specifically: if there was prior art pertaining to Apple's patent, then the patent itself can be held to be invalid. If the patent is invalid, then there cannot be infringement. That extra step in the middle is important.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?

hedronist Re:Enough copper in the walls... (422 comments)

When we bought our house (2003) the guy helping me thought I was insane to pull dual CAT5e to each room for phone/data (we have a great crawl space) and 8(!) CAT5e to my new, detached office. But we're in Sebastopol, CA (in Russian, Sebastopol means "gopher") and the little f*ckers have already chewed into the Schedule 40 PVC conduit and destroyed 4 of the 8 CATe cables.

You can never have too many extra cables / conduits. Cable is cheap, retrenching is expensive.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Options For FOSS Remote Support Software?

hedronist Re:Reverse VNC (247 comments)

One step beyond this: Use Ultra VNC's Single Click mode (free). Set up the config file to automatically connect to your listening VNC port. I've fixed email in Paris, my sister (and her machine) in Tucson, and a niece in Sydney, Australia. All they do is download a 200KB EXE file from my website. I even have Office 1 and Office 2, so if I'm in my wife's office they just click on that. The whole thing takes less than ab out 30 minutes to setup and no one else ever has to deal with anything complicated.

more than 2 years ago

Executive Order Grants US Gov't New Powers Over Communication Systems

hedronist ECOMCON (513 comments)

The first thing that came to mind was a classic Cold War movie called Seven Days in May (1964). There was a shadowy group within the Pentagon called ECOMCON. Watched the movie and see if any parallels jump out at you.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Securely Store Private Information For Posterity?

hedronist Re:Unneeded/wanted for some if not most (257 comments)


My wife and I have dealt with all 4 of our parents passing away, and the one thing that is certain is that as soon as the bank/brokerage/whatever knows that the primary account holder is dead, they go hypervigilant. Either have the various accounts and safety deposit boxes in joint ownership, with rights of survivorship, or have unambiguous beneficiaries set for all for your/their accounts.

The courts can take months or years to get things straightened out, but if you need the money to keep paying the mortgage on their house you may not have that much time.

One last thing, make sure that they have given Medical Power of Attorney and Full Power of Attorney to one(!) trusted child / friend while they are still legally competent to do so! Almost worse than losing your parents altogether is watching a 6-way train wreck happen as people begin fighting over the spoils ... before there are any spoils to fight over.

It can get ugly. Be prepared.

more than 2 years ago

MemSQL Makers Say They've Created the Fastest Database On the Planet

hedronist Ahhhh, Pick! (377 comments)

The most over-the-top DB God I know started in Pick-land (ca 1972?). Although he does (is forced to?) use SQL nowadays, he thinks in ways that do not come out of any SQL DBA handbook. As a result he gets DBMSs to do things that are ... unnatural.

He is currently doing some data-cubing stuff for us that I didn't think could be done with something less than a DOD budget. He says his touchstone is thinking in Pick and then 'translating' to SQL.

I still think that the 2 missing courses from any CS degree program are 1) how to debug, and 2) history of computing.

more than 2 years ago



Slashdot now a Google News news source!

hedronist hedronist writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hedronist (233240) writes "As unbelievable as it might seem, Google News now considers Slashdot as a source of news. The /. story on "Using Sun's Energy to Split Water Means Solar Power All Night" is currently the top two sources on the list of news sources on this topic.

Will they start considering individual comments as news sources?
Does this mean mod points can now be used on other Google News stories?
Is this the end of civilization as we know it?

The mind boggles."

Link to Original Source


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