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Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

molarmass192 Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (307 comments)

I agree, he's not an idiot ... but he sure as hell thinks the rest of us are idiots enough to buy his spin.

5 days ago

Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

molarmass192 Re:Tier 5 in California is... (461 comments)

Didn't know there was a fifth tier, at least PG&E doesn't mention it. I almost always hit tier 4 which is $0.32/kwh and the bills starts to add up very fast at that point (high 3 digits). At $0.50/kwh it would cost almost $40 to run a 100w bulb 24/7, I'd entertain any possible alternatives at that rate.

about 2 months ago

Which Programming Language Pays the Best? Probably Python

molarmass192 Re:Assembler! (277 comments)

Wish I had mod points. Learn the underlying concepts and best approaches. The language is just the tool. It's akin to someone asking "I want to build houses for a living, which brand of hammer will let me build houses?".

about 2 months ago

New Book Argues Automation Is Making Software Developers Less Capable

molarmass192 Re:sounds a lot like an argument I hear a lot (212 comments)

... and just what do you think this managed code and garbage collection is written in? Yes you've moved on, but you've only moved up the stack, you're now an end user of what the low level folks write. There will ALWAYS be a need for folks who code in assembler / C, but eventually Java, C#, will be superseded and fade away into obscurity. Don't get me wrong, I kind of like that people don't learn C anymore, more job security for me and some uncomfortable questions for folks I get to interview. Ask any Basic / Pascal people how secure those higher level language programming jobs are in the long run.

about 3 months ago

The Death of the US-Mexico Virtual Fence

molarmass192 Re:This project was not about building a fence (467 comments)

"... there will be other mufti-million dollar projects coming up that will"

Millions are soooooo 1990s, chump change is now measured in billions, and apparently, if you want people to even notice, you have to spend in trillions.

more than 4 years ago

IdeaPad U1, What We Wanted the iPad To Be

molarmass192 Re:But what did Apple want? (401 comments)

I personally agree with the webcam, but show me the Kindle and/or Nook webcams, that's right, there are none. Also, we have to keep in mind that this is first gen hardware. As for the USB port, open this and scroll to the bottom, connector kits are available:


more than 4 years ago

Apple's Trend Away From Tinkering

molarmass192 Re:I knew there was a reason I disliked Apple (965 comments)

Stagnating their own products? I can think of at least 140K ways to prove you wrong there. Also, on your DRM quip, show me 1 thing the MS or Linux camps have done to convince the media companies to drop DRM. MS is busy pushing their own patent and DRM encumbered WMA/WMV, while Linux has no relationship with any of the media companies. Could Apple do more? Perhaps. However, they were instrumental in getting DRM removed from online music sales and (with a bit of time) maybe the same thing will happen to online video sales. Also, just so you know, Apple provides their compiler and IDE for free on the Mac, and there are zero / zip / no restrictions on what you can build there. In fact OS X offers Perl, Ruby, Python, and Java runtimes as well as the GNU toolchains. Also, if you cough up $100 (1/3 the cost of Visual Studio alone), you can get your own cert to do WHATEVER the hell you want on your iPod / iPhone / iPad and 100 of your closest friends devices. If what you want to do falls within some guidelines, you can go beyond your 100 friends and give that app to 60 million of your closest friends.

more than 4 years ago

MSI Will Launch iPad Alternative

molarmass192 Re:Not really (756 comments)

Ignoring the fact that a netbook isn't a tablet, there's still a great deal of difference between the two beyond the similar price point:

3 lbs
6 hour battery life
8 in x 11.2 in x 1.18 in
No touchscreen
Plastic case with lower coefficient of friction

1.6 lbs
10 hour battery life
7.5 x 9.5 in x 0.5 in
Aluminum case with higher coefficient of friction

The fact that the iPad is half the weight, half the thickness, and has almost 2x the battery life is not something you can easily ignore in a device who's primary goal is to be portable. To setup a litmus test, try to argue that using a netbook to reply to an email while walking through an airport is less awkward than using a touchscreen tablet in the same situation.

more than 4 years ago

Best Filesystem For External Back-Up Drives?

molarmass192 Re:The solution.. (484 comments)

You're words are truthy enough, but your assuming that synergistic words like irregardless don't have impacts on english as we know it. The facts is that people will use words like that wether we like it or not. This is truely, the case when it comes to American's use of language. Sadly, theirs very little we, as people far more litterate than the average people, can really do about that. If people used grammer checkers, then you and me would not see so many people authoring bad words and having a negative affect on english as it is known and practised today but should be editted and spokened tomorrow.

more than 5 years ago

Large-Scale Mac Deployment?

molarmass192 Re:Have you looked at the features.. (460 comments)

Spoken like someone who's obviously never seen, much less used, OS X Server. OS X server is built around standards based enterprise tools like Apache, LDAP, CalDAV, and IMAP. You know, ISP grade stuff like this:

What standards is your Windows Server / gaming platform, based on?

more than 5 years ago

IE8 Beats Other Browsers In Laptop Battery Life

molarmass192 Re:2% difference... big deal. (263 comments)

I'd say that the difference is about how many page loads completed and how fast. IE8 is the slowest of all the browsers compared, so if less page loads completed, then it would probably use less power. I can make my battery last far longer if I only load 6 pages a minute as opposed to 10. The fact that the results essentially lists the browsers from slowest to fastest belies that hidden truth.

more than 5 years ago

What Free IDE Do You Use?

molarmass192 Re:Quite (1055 comments)

I see you haven't used NetBeans. XCode isn't bad, it's far better then the MS IDEs. I think my fave is Eclipse, not because it's a great editor, but because the plugin ecosystem is very good. I give XCode props because the code completion and refactoring are some of the best I've come across. However, most "hard" programmers still fall back to the terminal for building / testing.

more than 5 years ago

Apple Plans $1 Billion iDataCenter

molarmass192 Re:let me guess (260 comments)

You have to twist it a bit and say that you're editing your latest production for Universal Pictures on that MacBook or writing the screenplay for book X on that MacBook. If you data mine the Playboy archives for hottie turn ons, computers, MacBooks included, appear exactly 0 times.

more than 5 years ago

Microsoft Releases New Concurrent Programming Language

molarmass192 Re:WTF is a "Concurrent Programming Language"? (297 comments)

Oh, you mean like C, C++, and BASIC? The reality is the most popular languages for MS platforms were not MS inventions.

more than 5 years ago

Oracle Won't Abandon SPARC, Says Ellison

molarmass192 Re:Designing chips (280 comments)

Apple makes the best consumer hardware out there, bar none. Screw the OS, you cannot get better hardware from ANY major manufacturer. So take your plastic, 4 hour battery, 2.5" inch thick, 10 pound piece of shit and shove it where the sun don't shine. Leave the serious toys for the big boys and go back to playing WoW while the rest of us work on moving technology forward.

more than 5 years ago

Borland Being Purchased By Micro Focus

molarmass192 Re:Who is Micro Focus? (351 comments)

Love it ... hillarious! You tell that to kids these days and they won't believe you! I think I liked the orange ones best, but the Matrix series made the green ones cool again, and that was the final nail in the orange CRT's coffin. :D

more than 5 years ago

The Problem With Estimating Linux Desktop Market Share

molarmass192 Re:Guesstimates? (409 comments)

Well, I can't speak for the entire world, but I can tell you that there are plenty of Mac users in Canada, England, France, and the Netherlands. I'd say it's only slightly less than the US from casual observations.

more than 5 years ago


molarmass192 hasn't submitted any stories.



molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 11 years ago Sometimes I manage to make valid points and things are good, but hardly worth remembering. My favorites are the times I manage to nail a solid response to common Slashdot drivel. This is where I'm going to start tracking my favs in perpetuity. Here we goes:

MS Doesn't Brainwash PHBs


molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 11 years ago Getting anything onto a handset takes a very close relationship with the handset maker. That real estate is extremely limited and every bit is accounted for. From MS's financials, they are subsidizing their phone OS to gain traction and that's a dangerous gift for the handset makers to fall for. If MS does manage to capture a majority of the handset market, handset makers can expect them to raise prices and eat into their profit margins.

That said, Nokia is the big fish to contend with in handsets. Due to Symbian, MS won't get Nokia to buy in unless they can get everybody else to buy in first. MS has gotten Samsung, Siemens and now Motorola to at least try their OS. They've even gotten Ericsson to dabble in portions of it. Although they've yet to make quantifiable inroads, the relationships required to turn up the heat are well established and cannot be taken lightly by the remaining of the Big 8, namely Nokia, LGE, Panasonic, and NEC. Keep you eye on the Japanese handset market, they (not Europe or the Americas) dictate the direction of the handset market. If the Embedded Linux Consortium holds together, it could pose the single most significant barrier to the MS Smartphone ever gaining traction.


molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 10 years ago The current darth of business method patents can all be traced back to the State Street Bank vs. Signature Financial Group case heard before the Supreme Court in 1996. More information on the case is available here.

This article is a WIP ...


molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 11 years ago Looks like SCO's case against Linux had yet another leg kicked out from under it. Due to some craft detective work, it appears that basis of virtually all of the infringing code SCO claims is in Linux was actually contributed by SCO developers post-Caldera acquisition.

This particular link details many submissions by Chris Hellwig while employed by SCO. These submissions appear to center around ABI and JFS, both points of infringement according to SCO.

This second link details the submissions of Tigran Aivazian which center on the Kernel core and microcode.

If these developers contributed code to Linux, it's entirely likely that they used that same code back in the SCO product line. In this case, there was no misappropriation as SCO currently claims and the issue is effectively moot.

With regards to the GPL and copyrights, there is a Copyright notice in the Linux kernel code from Caldera. Remember, Linux is the "program/work" released under the GPL, each individual file need not bear a copyright notice. Also, a quick grep reveals that there are many contributions from "sco.com", "caldera.com", and "caldera.de" email addresses. That said, SCO has stated that the 2.2 kernel is not infringing, this means that the infringing code was inserted in the 2.4 timeframe which dates to January 30, 2001. The oldest development release of 2.4 I could locate was dated August 11, 2000. Not so ironically, Caldera purchased SCO on August 2, 2000, so code donated by Caldera from the SCO code base to 2.4.0 would fall under the GPL. All that time between August and January was available for Caldera (ie. ex-SCO) developers to donate SCO code to Linux.


molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 11 years ago This is just a discussion piece. The idea is to list the top reasons why many hardware vendors do not provide Linux drivers for their hardware. Although there is no blanket answer for this question, the following list is my first crack at it:

1) There are already open source drivers for the chipsets used in the products

2) They have no Linux trained engineers to write and support the drivers in the first place

3) They are afraid of the GPL'd nature of Linux

4) The drivers contain 3rd party code and the 3rd party will not approve a Linux platform release.

5) They don't believe that providing a Linux driver will have a material impact on sales

6) They don't want to risk angering MS and risk loosing access to driver bundling and/or early software releases

7) The drivers rely heavily on infrastructure built into Windows (ie. Win-Modem drivers)

8) They are reselling rebranded 3rd party hardware

9) They prefer to release technical specifcations and let the community build open source drivers that can be directly incorporated into the kernel source tree

10) They are working on drivers but have not released them to the public

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list but I believe it covers most of the reasons I've heard either in person or via postings. I didn't want to get into rebuffing any of these points since that could get very verbose. These points are just here for discussion purposes.


molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 11 years ago I've put A and B together and have a near bullet proof argument that SCO has released any "copied" code under the GPL intentionally or not.

The crux of this case is that SCO knew about the "copied" code in March, yet they continued to distribute the software until May, and even as late as July. Normally, this would not appear to be a cause for concern. However, when we combine section 4 of the GPL with public comments by Mr. Chris Sontag, VP of SCO Source, we have a concrete statement of absolution. As per section 4 of the GPL:

4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

Now, a quote from Mr. Sontag, SCO will continue to support SCO Linux users and "hold them harmless from any SCO intellectual property issues regarding SCO Linux and Caldera OpenLinux products,". The statement is repeated in question 8 in a document on the Caldera site here. Long story short, this is a breach of the GPL. They cannot only absolve Caldera Linux users under the GPL, so SCOs license under the GPL was effectively terminated, and as a result they've unwittingly freed the infringing code to the GPL in the process as per section 4 of the GPL.

Mr. Sontag should have kept quiet because beyond the IBM suit, this case now has a near 0% chance of succeeding, even if code was copied verbatim. The only remaining possibility, assuming code was copied verbatim, would be for SCO to have the GPL itself completely discredited.


molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 11 years ago Binary-only drivers are acceptable but they cannot be part of a "distribution" which includes the kernel. The key word here is "distribution" since the GPL prohibits redistribution of GPL'd work without source code. As a distributor, you can get around that limitation by either making the binary-only drivers separate downloads or place them on separate physical media from the kernel.

Let me try to explain why this is acceptable as I understand it. Almost all bin-only drivers use GPL'd wrappers. A GPL'd wrapper is simply a kernel module that is open source and which interfaces with the kernel for a binary-only driver. If the binary only driver then communicates solely via the API presented by it's wrapper then there is no violation of the GPL. This is tricky to explain but the concept is that since the author of the GPL'd wrapper and the bin-only module are one and the same, there is no GPL conflict since the copyright owner is free to redistribute without regards to the terms of the GPL.


molarmass192 molarmass192 writes  |  more than 11 years ago A particular comment that I have finally grown tired of hearing is that Linux is somehow driven by communistic tendencies. These ill informed comments always make me pause to wonder where these individuals draw such assumptions from.

A capitalistic society is one that values free and open competition. Such societies are characterized by many sellers selling closely related goods to many buyers. On the other hand, a communistic society is one in which goods are owned in common and as such there is no concept of trade. Linux is fully owned by the copyright holders. The GNU General Public License is exactly that, a license. There is no transfer of ownership ever mentioned in the GNU. Since there is no transfer of ownership and much less any common ownership, it cannot be communistic in nature.

Reverting back to the subject of capitalism, the GNU GPL fully supports the right to charge for the act of distributing Linux. This means you are free to charge $1,000,000,000 for your Linux distribution if you care to try. However, you are highly unlikely to actually get $1,000,000,000 for your distribution when a competitor can sell the same Linux software for $50. In this sense, it's a prefect free market product, many people can sell their distributions containing Linux to many buyers. Contrast this with Microsoft which operates in a monopolistic market.

In monopolistic markets the fundamental mechanics of capitalism and free markets no longer exist since barriers to entry are insurmountable to any competitors. Those who seek to protect such monopolies, by preventing the state from restoring a free and open market, are in effect advocating a form of fascism which has as a central tenet the forceful suppression of competition.

This is why I simply cannot reconcile the view of those who think Linux is communism in disguise. To this end, I have three possible explanations: either the individual is ingorant of the provisions of the GNU GPL, the individual is ignorant of the tenets of capitalism/communism, or the individual is in effect exposing fascism over capitalism. Personally, the fact that Linux, via the GNU GPL, encourages free and open competition means that it is an expression of the truest form of capitalism.

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