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Comments

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Epic and Mozilla Bring HTML5 OpenGL Demo To the Browser

kripkenstein Re:Useless until (77 comments)

The difference between asm.js with and without special optimizations is not necessarily that big. See benchmarks here, showing it can be anywhere from 1x (almost no change) to 5x. It depends a lot on the benchmark. And in a demo like this, the GPU matters a lot too, which makes asm.js matter less.
So all modern browsers should already work on this demo. But this is a very large codebase (over 1M lines of C++ compiled to JS), and it pushes the limit of what browsers have tested on. Now that this demo is public, that should make it easier for other browsers to fix what they need so the demo can work on them.

about a year ago
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Epic and Mozilla Bring HTML5 OpenGL Demo To the Browser

kripkenstein Re:Plain Crap (77 comments)

This requieres Mozilla JS enhancements (asm.js) currently on nightly builds, It can work on other browsers but without the performance tuning made for the JS subset that is asm.js it will run slow. Chromium bug proposing to add support for asm.js http://code.google.com/p/v8/issues/detail?id=2599

It doesn't require special asm.js optimizations (asm.js is a subset of JavaScript, so it already runs properly in all modern browsers). The demo works fine in the stable release of Firefox for example, which has no special asm.js optimizations. It is faster in Firefox nightly though which does have those optimizations. But how much faster depends on the CPU and GPU, it might matter a lot or it might matter a little. In this demo a lot of time is spent in WebGL, so a fast GPU and good WebGL implementation matters a lot too.

The demo should work in any browser with WebGL and JavaScript support. For example the only reason it currently fails in Chrome is due to a bug related to memory use. Hopefully that will be fixed soon.

about a year ago
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Adobe Releases Last Linux Version of Flash Player

kripkenstein Re:Good Riddance (426 comments)

Linux, NVidia drivers. 3D games and WebGL work perfectly here, so it isn't a problem with the hardware or drivers, must be something with their support I guess as you said.

Even if this ran, it took 600MB. That's huge, if it's ported from an iOS game it must take much less memory there. So I am very unimpressed by the quality of this port.

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Releases Last Linux Version of Flash Player

kripkenstein Re:Good Riddance (426 comments)

Looks broken. Takes very long to load, then takes 600MB and something seems to happen, but no polygons are rendered. Looks like just one ugly repeating texture for the ground, and a few bushes. I can pan around though but there is nothing to actually see no matter how long I wait. http://imagebin.org/206217 This port doesn't look very successful.

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Releases Last Linux Version of Flash Player

kripkenstein Re:Good Riddance (426 comments)

Do I need to remind you that Epic recently ported the latest version of Unreal Engine to Flash [unrealengine.com]? WebGL can't touch what is being done in Flash.

They ported it, but how well does it run? Until we see the demo in the wild, so we can test it ourselves, I am skeptical. Their demo machine is likely not a typical one.

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Makes Flash on GNU/Linux Chrome-Only

kripkenstein Re:You're wrong about PPAPI and wrong about NaCl (404 comments)

The important bit is "eventual". Right now, NaCl is CPU specific, and it is indeed fast. But making it portable may diminish the speed, it is not clear how fast PNaCl will be when it is finished, there are numerous challenges - for example, the LLVM bitcode that is shipped is very large (bitcode is much larger than object code because it contains higher-level information), and it takes time to optimize before it is run.

Supporting NaCl now when it is CPU specific, in the hopes of it fixing its problems some time in the future, is a big leap of faith.

As for PPAPI, yes, it is BSD licensed. But open source doesn't mean it is an open standard, nor does it mean it is usable without an extreme amount of engineering; for practical purposes, it isn't in its current state - it's tied to Chrome internals, and cannot just be dropped in Firefox or Opera; worse, it is constantly changing to fit Google's needs (mainly driven by NaCl and Flash) - it's a moving target with no spec.

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Makes Flash on GNU/Linux Chrome-Only

kripkenstein Re:Why no PPAPI? (404 comments)

If it is, I'd like to see that pointed out on their Wiki pages. Right now, it simply mentions that they're not going to implement Pepper with no further explanation. When I go to the Pepper web site, I see all kinds of reasons why one would want to implement Pepper. If the Mozilla people just wrote a few words explaining the situation, it would make the situation much easier for confused users like me.

There has been a lot of talk about this in the past, the main issues that I recall are

  • Pepper's goal is to enable plugins to do more things. But all web browsers except for Chrome are moving away from plugins and towards HTML5, there are no plugins in iOS nor in Windows 8 Metro for example. Implementing Pepper would take a lot of effort, other browsers prefer to look to the future and optimize HTML5 technologies. Even WebKit doesn't want Pepper in it.
  • Pepper has a single implementation and no formal standardization documentation. Trying to implement it now means reproducing whatever behavior Pepper has in Chrome. Since Pepper has lots of methods and is quite complex, this would be a very hard and perhaps impossible task (since Chrome can keep changing Pepper when it needs/wants to).
  • Pepper has been driven by two main use cases: Flash and Native Client. Both are technologies that only Google supports, all other browsers prefer HTML5 over Flash and oppose Native Client because it is CPU arch specific. With those two use cases out of the way, it isn't clear there is a reason for other browsers to implement Pepper at all

more than 2 years ago
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Firefox 10 Released

kripkenstein Re:How does it compare to Chrome? (364 comments)

Well, if Firefox slimmed down enough

Actually if you download the Chrome and Firefox installers, you will see that Chrome is twice as large.

There are various definitions of "slimness", each browser wins on some, unsurprising because both of these are good browsers.

about 2 years ago
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Firefox 10 Released

kripkenstein And FF10 also makes addons compatible by default (364 comments)

Firefox has launched a new version release system, creating an ESR for enterprises, organizations, etc. which is released once in 7 Firefox usual releases (Firefox 10, 17, 24, etc.), so that they don't have so much trouble (it must be horrible to find that two new versions have appeared as you are updating...). See a submission which didn't get to the front page for more details.

In addition to the ESR Firefox (which is basically like an Ubuntu LTS in how it works), Firefox 10 also marks addons as compatible by default. These two things solve much of the update annoyances.

FF11 will remove the UAC prompt on Windows, which will be a further improvement in 6 weeks from now.

about 2 years ago
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Mozilla Releases Rust 0.1

kripkenstein Re:A tag labeled "end" (232 comments)

So what's the difference between a tag labeled "end" and a null?

A null pointer, if you dereference it, leads to a crash or possibly to a security vulnerability (imagine if you access a structure element, so it is an offset from 0). Whereas an actual, complete object who is treated as "the end" will not cause such problems.

Without null pointers, you avoid a lot of security risks and runtime failures, which are why null pointers are called "the billion $ mistake".

more than 2 years ago
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MAME Running In Chrome

kripkenstein Re:Is Google trying to fragment web? (165 comments)

It's not a plugin. It's integrated in chrome. It's called NaCl aka native client.

NaCl works through the Pepper plugin interface, which is a plugin API just like NPAPI is. So NaCl is most definitely a plugin, even if it is bundled in Chrome. For comparison, Flash is also bundled in Chrome, but it is of course still a plugin (it works through NPAPI).

Finally please note that you can't currently run NaCl properly on tablet devices.

You can't run them on anything that isn't x86 or x86_64, and it isn't clear whether we ever will.

about 2 years ago
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MAME Running In Chrome

kripkenstein NaCl and ActiveX are both *not* CPU-portable (165 comments)

NaCl is designed to be portable to different browsers and OSes

But it is *not* designed to be portable to different CPUs. Try running NaCl MAME on your ARM or MIPS phone or on your PowerPC game console's browser - it won't work. This by itself makes NaCl unsuitable for the web. Not only can't we run it on non-x86 hardware now, it would make life harder for new CPU archs in the future.

(Yes, there is a research project trying to make NaCl portable to different CPUs. It is too early to tell if it will succeed, and what tradeoffs it will have in terms of speed, portability, code size, etc.)

about 2 years ago
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Google Demonstrates Chrome Native Client With Bastion

kripkenstein Re:bad idea (154 comments)

NaCl is not portable. NaCl apps only run on x86 and x86_64, not ARM or PowerPC or anything else.

Which is why there is PNaCl

Which is an interesting research project, but it's too early to say if it will achieve the goals of complete portability and full performance.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Demonstrates Chrome Native Client With Bastion

kripkenstein Re:bad idea (154 comments)

There is a fat nexe for x64 and x64_64, but nothing else. That still isn't portable.

Portability is important on the web. People expect to visit websites from their web browser, and for them to work regardless of their OS and CPU. NaCl doesn't work like that.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Demonstrates Chrome Native Client With Bastion

kripkenstein Re:bad idea (154 comments)

It's open source, but it still is not portable not standardized.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Demonstrates Chrome Native Client With Bastion

kripkenstein Re:bad idea (154 comments)

To me [NaCl] seems like a reasonable way to move the web forward without subverting it (or even altering it much).

There are a few big problems with that:

  • NaCl is not portable. NaCl apps only run on x86 and x86_64, not ARM or PowerPC or anything else.
  • NaCl is not a standard or even a proposed standard, and all other browser vendors are opposed to it (because of the previous issue, and because it is controlled by Google). As a consequence, NaCl apps only run on Chrome (and on x86 and x86_64).

The web is all about open standards, viewing the same web from any browser or any OS, and so forth. So NaCl, that only runs on two archs and on one browser, is a step backwards.

more than 2 years ago
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Chrome Becoming World's Second Most Popular Web Browser

kripkenstein Re:Complete lack of surprise (511 comments)

How difficult is it to set a stable extensions API, make extension developers aware of it, and then making the browser get out of the way?

It's very difficult, with certain types of extension APIs.

We could just drop the current extension API entirely and replace it with one like Chrome has. That would make things much simpler, it could be stable, there would be no way for extensions to leak memory or slow down the browser, and the browser could auto-update very easily. However, that means throwing out all the current extensions that Firefox has. Worse, that new extension API would not allow recreating all the current extensions either - stable, safe extension APIs are necessarily more limiting: They are stable and safe because they don't let extensions do everything. The upside is safety and stability, the downside is the addons are less powerful, that is they can do less. As one example, Firefox addons can radically change how the browser looks, Chrome addons cannot. There is a tradeoff here, I am not saying one approach is better than the other, but just that you can't have everything.

Firefox is taking two paths here: First, we are adding a new, safe&stable extension API (Jetpack addons). But we are also keeping the existing one, and making a lot of complex changes to the browser to allow those addons to be updated automatically etc., so the current downsides are less troublesome. That takes time, but each release is an improvement (in the number of addons that can auto-update, for example).

more than 2 years ago
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Chrome Becoming World's Second Most Popular Web Browser

kripkenstein Re:Complete lack of surprise (511 comments)

What happened? My guess is they either stopped caring about anybody actually using firefox for anything reliable and began toying with the source

Hi, I'm a developer at Mozilla. That part is certainly not true - but it is an amusing thought ;) All of our meeting notes are open (for example), you can see our discussions on IRC, etc., so you don't need to speculate on this or to just take my word for it. You can read everything we say as we build Firefox.

or senior developers left the project

Also definitely not true.

and were replaced by monkeys.

I'm pretty sure that one is not true either ;)

I actually had a chat on slashdot with a developer of ff. The guy was so disillusioned towards why would people ever have expectations of an open source project and he can do wtf he wants cause he's not getting paid to do it. Well he's right, but what will he do when nobody is using firefox anymore?

There are a lot of people that do get paid to work on Firefox. The Firefox dev community is an interesting mix between paid people and volunteers. It's different from say WebKit, which is almost all paid (Google and Apple, mainly), or at the other extreme a typical community open source project that is 100% volunteer.

As to "what happened to Firefox" - two parts. Regarding market share, Firefox is not gaining and perhaps losing a little. That isn't surprising - the browser market is extremely competitive now. Firefox has also made a mistake with addons and the rapid release schedule, we are working to fix it (and have been for a while - it's a complex problem), and the top people at Mozilla admitted the problem. Aside from that, we are constantly improving performance and responsiveness, and latest benchmarks and reviews are quite positive, so I think we are doing a good job. But again, the market is now (thankfully!) very competitive. I don't expect Firefox, which has far fewer resources than Google, Apple and Microsoft, to easily gain market share like before when IE was a monopoly. Even competing on the same level with those companies (the biggest in the tech industry), when Mozilla is a nonprofit, is a nice achievement in my opinion.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Open Source 3D on the Web?

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 4 years ago

kripkenstein (913150) writes "3D games are becoming more popular on the web. But are we going to end up with another Flash situation, where a proprietary product from a single vendor becomes the de-facto standard? That is what might happen. While we have some interesting technologies in development, they don't appear to allow multiplayer action games (due to performance and networking issues). An alternative is to make a FOSS browser plugin, one such project was previously discussed here, however, development on it has ceased.

But another approach is being worked on, as the open source Intensity Engine (itself based on Cube 2/Sauerbraten) has a proof of concept browser plugin (which is a perfect fit, as the Intensity Engine already uses web-related technologies like Google V8 and Django, and has a web interface for managing assets and servers). Since the Intensity Engine is already stable (it's used in production in Syntensity), this would give the open source community a complete solution for all kinds of 3D games, from co-op FPSes to platformers, both inside browsers and out. Feedback and help is welcome!

Disclaimer: The relationship between Syntensity and the Intensity Engine is like the relationship between StatusNet and identi.ca, or WordPress and WordPress.com. In other words, all the code is open source, and we thought to make a profit off of services somehow — but no idea if it will work out, feedback about that is also welcome!"
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Thomson Reuters Sues FOSS Research Tool Zotero

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 5 years ago

kripken (913150) writes "Media giant Thomson Reuters has sued George Mason University, the academic institution that is home to the directors of Zotero, a free, open source Firefox extension that helps researchers collect, manage, and cite their sources:

Thomson makes the proprietary bibliography software EndNote, and claims that Zotero is causing its commercial business "irreparable harm" and is wilfully and intentionally destroying Thomson's customer base. In particular, Thomson is demanding that GMU stop distributing the newer beta-version of Zotero that allegedly allows EndNote's proprietary data format for storing journal citation styles to be converted into an open-standard format readable by Zotero and other software. Thomson claims that Zotero "reverse engineered or decompiled" not only the format, but also the EndNote software itself. [...] The company is seeking a minimum of US$10 million in damages annually until GMU halts distribution of Zotero's new feature.
[...]
Thomson is claiming on the grounds that GMU has a site licence to EndNote, and that Zotero's actions breach the terms of the licensing contract.

Is there any legitimacy in protecting a business by suing those that interoperate with your data format? Especially if the sued party is a public university?"
Link to Original Source

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OpenOffice.org 3.0 to be LGPL 3.0

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kripkenstein writes "Starting with the beta version of OpenOffice.org 3.0 later this year, Sun will upgrade the license of OpenOffice.org from the LGPL 2.1 to the LGPL 3.0:

Sun is changing the license for the OpenOffice.org codebase to the more flexible and protective LGPL v3 [0], effective with the beta of OpenOffice.org 3.0 which is due later this year. This change is supported by the OpenOffice.org Community Council.

This move forward is the natural evolutionary step to take for a codebase using a license from the FSF license family. The drafting process for the license involved substantial FOSS community input and we will benefit from this work. In particular, the new license includes additional protections for the community against software patents.
Sun is also changing the terms under which code contributions can be made, to the Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA), which puts such code under joint ownership of the original writer and Sun. Interestingly, such an approach appears to be more lenient than that of the FSF, which requires copyright assignment, since the FSF stresses the need for single ownership of the code, whereas Sun does not. Further comparing the two, both the FSF and Sun are committed to keeping the code and the project to which it was contributed under a free and open source license, while Sun is open about it also having the option to sell a non-FOSS version (StarOffice)."

Link to Original Source
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FOSS & Math Career Ideas After Ph.D?

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 6 years ago

steve_jobless (913150) writes "Perhaps Slashdot readers will have an idea for me. I'm just now finishing a Ph.D in a machine-learning/statistics related area — mostly theoretical work, i.e., math, but also some practical aspects — and starting to look for employment. Thing is, I'm not sure I want to work at a conventional job doing data analysis of some sort and making a lot of money (which is basically all I see when I search in the standard places online). Now, aside from my Ph.D, the thing that excites me is free and open source software, I find myself doing quite a bit of that sort of thing in my spare time. What would be great is some sort of career related to FOSS that requires Ph.Ds like me, that is, that are good at math and not just programming. Money isn't an issue, as long as it's enough to live off of, so nonprofits are a welcome idea.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions."
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Over 1,500 Customers Using Oracle's Linux

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kripkenstein (913150) writes "Oracle has released a press release stating that in a short 9 months it has signed up over 1,500 paying customers to its Linux offering, Oracle Unbreakable Linux, which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and has previously been covered on Slashdot.

Oracle's press release stresses Oracle's various contributions to FOSS. Given that Oracle is now the largest corporation selling and and contributing to Linux (in terms of overall revenue at least; not Linux-specific), the FOSS community's reaction to Oracle's Linux moves is becoming increasingly important. Will Oracle be welcomed, or scorned?"

Link to Original Source
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Skype Releases Beta with Video Calling on Linux

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kripkenstein (913150) writes "After years in which many in the Linux community criticized Skype for lack of development of their Linux client, Skype has released a beta version of its popular application for Linux which, for the first time, supports video calling.

While open-source video calling applications exist, such as Ekiga, they lack the features and reliability of Skype (a FOSS fan myself, I admit this with sorrow). Now that the lack of a good video calling application seems to be solved, has another obstacle in the way of Linux on the desktop been removed?"

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Tax is 1/3 Price of French Laptop

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kripkenstein (913150) writes "According to a recent court case in France, almost one third of the cost of a particular Acer laptop goes to Microsoft, while another portion goes to other software vendors:

The total of 311.85 euros of the overall purchase price of the notebook of 599 euros [...] was made up of 135.20 euros for Windows XP Home, 60 euros for Microsoft Works, 40.99 euros for PowerDVD, 38.66 euros for Norton Antivirus and 37 euros for NTI CD Maker.
In the ruling, Acer was forced to refund the cost of the software, which the purchaser returned and did not want. If this price ratio is representative of other computers, is the 'Windows Tax' even worse than previously speculated, especially with more expensive Microsoft OSes such as XP Professional or Vista Home Premium and above?"

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SCO Fiasco Over for Linux, Starting For Solaris?

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kripkenstein writes "We have just heard that the SCO fiasco is finally going to end for Linux. But Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at DesktopLinux.com points out that the favorable result for Linux may cause unpleasant consequences for rival open-source operating system OpenSolaris:

At one time, Sun was an SCO supporter. [...] Sun's Jonathan Schwartz — then Sun VP of software and today Sun's president and CEO — said in 2003 that Sun had bought "rights equivalent to ownership" to Unix.

SCO agreed. In 2005, SCO CEO Darl McBride said that SCO had no problem with Sun open-sourcing Unix code in what would become OpenSolaris. "We have seen what Sun plans to do with OpenSolaris and we have no problem with it," McBride said. "What they're doing protects our Unix intellectual property rights."

Sun now has a little problem, which might become a giant one: SCO never had any Unix IP to sell. Therefore, it seems likely that Solaris and OpenSolaris contains Novell's Unix IP.
It should be noted that we have no idea if Sun doesn't already have an appropriate license from Novell (if they even need one at all). But, if not, we may see some messy business between Sun and Novell, and correspondingly OpenSolaris and Linux."

Link to Original Source
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Linux Foundation Calls for 'Respect for Microsoft'

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kripkenstein writes "Jim Zemlin (executive director for the Linux Foundation) has said at LinuxWorld that the open source community should stop poking fun at Microsoft:

Open source vendors have to recognise that Windows is here to stay and that together with Microsoft it will form a duopoly in the market for operating systems. This also requires that the Linux community respects Microsoft rather than ridicule it.

"There are some things that Windows does pretty well," Zemlin said. Microsoft for instance has excelled in marketing the operating system, and has a good track record in fending off competition.
An interesting perspective, but saying Microsoft has "a good track record in fending off competition" is like saying Muhammad Ali was "good at hitting his opponents in the ring"."

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How Microsoft beat Linux in China

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  about 7 years ago

kripkenstein (913150) writes "An analysis on TechRepublic details how Microsoft beat Linux in China, and the consequences of that victory:

Linux has turned out to be little more than a key bargaining chip in a high stakes game of commerce between the Chinese government and the world's largest software maker
[...]
The fact that [...] Linux failed to gain a major foothold in China is yet another blow to desktop Linux. After nearly eight years of being on the verge of a breakthrough, Linux seems more destined than ever to be a force in the server room but little more than a narrow niche and an anomaly on the desktop.
With the soon-to-be largest economy standardized on Windows desktops, desktop Linux does seem to have an uphill battle ahead of it."

Link to Original Source
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Canonical Begins to Open-Source Launchpad

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  about 7 years ago

kripkenstein writes "Canonical, the corporation behind Ubuntu, has begun to open-source Launchpad. Canonical has been criticized for not doing so earlier.

The first component of Launchpad to be open-sourced is Storm, described as an "object-relational mapper (ORM) for Python". A tutorial with many examples is available. The license for storm is the LGPL 2.1 (inspection of the several source files shows they contain the common "either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version", implying that Storm is LGPLv3-compatible)."

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Open-Source Biology?

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein (913150) writes "In an interesting article by the physicist Freeman Dyson, he discusses the history and future of biology in terms that many Slashdotters would be familiar with,

[We can speculate about] a golden age [...] when horizontal gene transfer was universal and separate species did not yet exist. Life was then a community of cells of various kinds, sharing their genetic information [...] Evolution could be rapid, as new chemical devices could be evolved simultaneously by cells of different kinds working in parallel and then reassembled in a single cell by horizontal gene transfer.

But then, one evil day, a cell resembling a primitive bacterium happened to find itself one jump ahead of its neighbors in efficiency. That cell, anticipating Bill Gates by three billion years, separated itself from the community and refused to share. Its offspring became the first species [...] reserving their intellectual property for their own private use. With their superior efficiency, the bacteria continued to prosper and to evolve separately, while the rest of the community continued its communal life. [...] And so it went on, until nothing was left of the community and all life was divided into species.

[This period] has lasted for two or three billion years. It probably slowed down the pace of evolution considerably.

[But] now, as Homo sapiens domesticates the new biotechnology, we are reviving the ancient [...] practice of horizontal gene transfer, moving genes easily from microbes to plants and animals, blurring the boundaries between species. We are moving rapidly into the post-Darwinian era, when [...] the rules of Open Source sharing will be extended from the exchange of software to the exchange of genes. Then the evolution of life will once again be communal, as it was in the good old days before separate species and intellectual property were invented.
Certainly an unexpected context in which to see Open Source and Bill Gates mentioned in. Are biology and software more similar than we might think? And if so, what does the history of biology portend for the longevity of Microsoft's dominance?"

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Microsoft to sell PCs, starting in India

kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein (913150) writes "According to an Ars Technica report, Microsoft will for the first time start selling complete PCs. The program takes place in India. Details include

Dubbed the IQ PC, the machines will cost RS21,000 (about $525), are manufactured in partnership with Zenith, and will sport AMD Athlon CPUs.
[...]
In some ways, the move to sell hardware is a natural extension of Microsoft's low-cost Windows initiative. [...] It may also be a response to projects like Intel's Classmate PC and the OLPC XO.
The Ars Technica summary is careful to state that they seriously doubt this will lead to Microsoft selling PCs in the US, yet the question must be asked: After Microsoft mice and keyboards, then the XBOX and Zune, Microsoft is increasingly becoming a hardware vendor. Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?"

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kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein writes "openSUSE 10.2 no longer enables ClearType (which improves the appearance of fonts). The reason given on the openSUSE mailing list for not enabling it is:

Note that this feature is covered by several Microsoft patents and should not be activated in any default build of the library.
As reported on and discussed here and here, this matter may be connected to the Microsoft-Novell deal. If so, Novell should have received a license for the Microsoft patents, assuming the deal covered all relevant patents. Does the license therefore extend only to SUSE, but not openSUSE?"
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kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein writes "Ben Galbraith reports from a recent talk by Sam Ramji, in charge of Open Source Technical Strategy at Microsoft. Ramji is quoted as saying,

"Would I like to contribute to Samba? You bet. Am I constrained by the fact [Jeremy Allision] testified against us in the EU and the general politics between Steve [Ballmer] and Jeremy [Allison]? Yes. My hands are tied. That sucks.
(Jeremy Allison is part of the Samba project.) Ramji's approach to the connection between Microsoft and FOSS seems to by crystallized by quotes such as these:

If someone upgrades to Vista because they hear that Firefox runs better on Vista than on WinXP, I'm happy with that.
[...]
In 1995, Microsoft was the company that missed the Internet. In 2005, I don't think you could say that. [In 2005 it] was the company that missed open-source. In 2015, I don't think you're going to be able to say that.
So, by 2015, will FOSS have been Embraced and Extended by Microsoft?"
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kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein writes "A seemingly minor change in Ubuntu Edgy — making /bin/sh point to dash instead of bash — has caused a lot of breakage. Ubuntu stand by their decision to use the faster dash, which complies with standards but not with existing practice. However, as can be seen by the numerous comments on the bug report, many opportunities for Ubuntu to be deployed in server settings appear to have been lost. For example, one comment states

I have already moved away from [Ubuntu], stopped deploying it on server systems. I am glad this [happened] before i started using it on production servers here at work.
Ubuntu is a popular desktop OS among Linux users, but is the decision to use dash costing it its credibility in the server arena?"
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kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein writes "According to a quoted intern's comment during the recent Ubucon at Google NY, Google uses Google Docs & Spreadsheets internally and thus avoids document interoperability issues between Windows and Linux PCs:

A funny moment near the beginning was when we were asking a Google intern questions. Apparently only the engineers all get Ubuntu on their machines, and other staff have windows because it's "easier." Somebody asked how they deal with interoperability between OO.o and MS Office, and he said "Well, you know we have this product called Google Docs..."
I guess in the case of Google itself, using Google Docs & Spreadsheets means you are still saving your data in-house. Also interesting in the quote is that Google engineers apparently use Ubuntu, while other staff use Windows."
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kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein writes "In an interview, Jeremy Allison (of the Samba project) implies that Microsoft is secretly getting paid for patent licenses on Linux-related products:

[Interviewer:] One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.[...]

Allison: Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record.
If true, is this slowing down Linux adoption? Or are these just rumors — which may accomplish much the same effect?"
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kripkenstein kripkenstein writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kripkenstein writes "The big media companies immediately assume you are guilty by your mere presence on a Bittorrent swarm, an interesting report reveals. Turns out companies like BayTSP will send shutdown notices to ISPs without any evidence of copyright infringment; all they feel they need in the form of evidence is that you are reported by the tracker to be in the swarm. As the report states,

For my investigation, I wrote a very simple BitTorrent client. My client sent a request to the tracker, and generally acted like a normal Bittorrent client up to sharing files. The client refused to accept downloads of, or upload copyrighted content. It obeyed the law. [...] With just this, completely legal, BitTorrent client, I was able to get notices from BayTSP.

To put this in to perspective, if BayTSP were trying to bust me for doing drugs, it'd be like getting arrested because I was hanging out with some dealers, but they never saw me using, buying, or selling any drugs.
The report also has other interesting details about how companies like BayTSP operate."

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