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ExoLance: Shooting Darts At Mars To Find Life

rijrunner Well.. revived an idea (50 comments)

Just for clarification, the Russians and the US have launched penetrator missions before for Mars. They were unsuccessful. (The russians failed to achieve orbit insertion, IIRC and the US ones failed on impact).

about two weeks ago

Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

rijrunner Re:another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

Until the next java update..

java may be cross-platform compatible, but it seems to be one of the least compatible with itself over time.

about three weeks ago

Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower

rijrunner A slight misdirect (234 comments)

I did my time at IBM and learned this the hard way.

IBM does not favor hiring foreign applicants.

What they did at IBM Boulder was simple. At the beginning of LEAN in IBM e-Business, they laid off 1/3 of the staff. They moved from dedicated support for a pool of resources. And, as a result of the class action lawsuit, they cut everyone's pay 15%. After a lot of people left voluntarily, they fell well below the level of staff they needed to keep things running.

So, they decided to hire. Not regular employees, of course. Contractors. Only makes sense, yes? So, they opened up a number of junior admin positions at $12/hr. And a number of senior positions at $15/hr. When no one applied, they bumped it up slightly. Eventually, they were able to hire people in, but at a much lower rate than what the people who had left made. The nice thing about this from their perspective is that they also eliminated contracting companies that had things like paid vacation. (There might be a contracting company that still pays vacation, but I don't know what it is. There is one that still offers a small training budget).

Nationality of employee was completely irrelevant.

The color of the cog in the machine is irrelevant.

Cheap. Crappy. Brutal. That is the IBM Way now.

about 2 months ago

The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

rijrunner Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (240 comments)

We discussed the Y2K problem in my intro to comp science class in Jan 1982..

about 2 months ago

The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

rijrunner A systemic problem (240 comments)

There are two bleeding edges. One is the leading edge of cutting technology.

There other is the trailing edge where systems age out because they take a lot of effort to update.

One way the trailing edge can not be updated because the overall system is designed to where there are critical parts that can not be monkeyed with in a low risk scenario. (This does happen).

The other option on the trailing edge is where the systems are not worth the effort. Most of the Internet of Everything appliances really have zero income after the first few months and yet are expected to have a longer lifetime than many major IT infrastructure requirements.

about 2 months ago

Servo Stock 3D Printer Brings Closed-Loop Control To Reprap

rijrunner Re:Move along nothing to see here. (56 comments)

I would also argue that the cheaper (affordable) 3D printer lack enough structural rigidity to really push the servos to their limits.

But, the reality is what you describe. Unlike a CNC milling machine, there is no load being transferred to the head. It is just moving its own weight. Barring bad mechanical assembly, you can not miss steps in normal operation. On a milling machine, I have seen steps missed when making a rapid change of direction in a deep cutting operation. In that scenario, the correct thing to do is fix the g-code.

about 2 months ago

One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

rijrunner Yet another option (230 comments)

We preferred to use TTY paper consoles. (Don't recall the model number).

Instead of a screen, it was just paper. You type something in on the keyboard, it would print out. You run a program, it would print out.

Was generally a lot faster than typing in on a screen, then going to get printouts as you would immediately get printouts. Just tear off the stuff you needed.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

rijrunner Re:Make Magazine (285 comments)

The thing is, Byte, Datamation, and a few others quit being really must read for techs long before the Internet really hit.

In the IT field back in the late 80's through about 2000, the scariest thing to see would be an executive with a glossy magazine..

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

rijrunner Re:I make alcohol (737 comments)

It has been my experience that these are usually the same people..

Been doing tech for 30 years and it is amazing the skills sets the people I work with have... Naturally curious people pick up an odd assortment of skills.

about 3 months ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

rijrunner One problem with that (287 comments)

Except some companies, like HP, flat out will not hire unless you have a degree.

It is standard HR practice to use whether you have completed college as a criteria for hiring.

about 3 months ago

Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

rijrunner Re:BACK IN people BACK IN (352 comments)

Hmm. I could easily see commercial parking lots putting in these readers at their entrances if they could make money reporting the cars..

about 5 months ago

ABC Kills Next-Day Streaming For Non-Subscribers

rijrunner Re:Less ads please (169 comments)

I usually stack the shows, then binge-watch. Much easier to track serials this way.

about 7 months ago

Elon Musk Talks About the Importance of Physics, Criticizes the MBA

rijrunner Re:Phases of Evolution (343 comments)

Since it is the fuel source that burns in the car (Tesla or gasoline), is granite your fuel?

about 8 months ago

Project Seeks To Build Inexpensive 9-inch Monitor For Raspberry Pi

rijrunner Re:Gee, they're going to build an ARM-based comput (176 comments)

peek and poke..

Computers have gone downhill since they no longer have those programming calls. Sometimes, I just want to see what is in a specific memory location and other times, I just want to put something there. F**k pointers.

about 9 months ago

Silicon Valley's Loony Cheerleading Culture Is Out of Control

rijrunner Re:Dictator (175 comments)

well, the problem is that he has taken about 20 different groups and whatever and has combined them and then went wherever he imagined was his own reality...

    His overlap between Burning Man and startups is not really that supportable. Actually, this reads like just a long diatribe of "Things Milo Hates" more than anything coherent.

    seriously, go through that article and write down all the things he complains about and then draw a Venn Diagram of the items and how they overlap.

about a year ago

Yahoo! Sports Redesign Sparks Controversy, Disdain From Users

rijrunner Re:One word (172 comments)

I personally have trouble focusing on lettering when the background color/shade varies.

about a year ago

Don't Fly During Ramadan

rijrunner Re:Don't fly. (1233 comments)

500 miles one-way from Denver still puts you 500-1000 miles from major destinations. A 200 mile round trip is a day trip for the guys in my office to go between the Denver and Cheyenne offices.

You just happen to live and have a job that does not require significant travel.. Don't mistake that for being representative of much beyond that, or as to the feasibility of your solution.

about a year ago

US Gov't To Issue Secure Online IDs

rijrunner Government Efficiency (205 comments)

And the really wonderful thing is that they have already used your facebook password and profile as well as your google info to prefill in all your forms..

about a year ago

Comcast Allegedly Confirms That Prenda Planted Porn Torrents

rijrunner Re: no (175 comments)

The only thing you about torrent you need to consider is that there is no inherent billing mechanism. Anything made available is available without restriction.

There is no connection between items in torrent and their legality. They can be any file. Used a lot for stolen materials, but also legal distributions. Here in the US, you can not be prosecuted for theft unless a theft occurs. This is a civil matter, not a criminal one. If the rights holder distributed solely in this channel, then they made it available exclusive of any billing optionss.

The key point you are missing is that Prenda has been suing people for downloading these files. Files which Prenda uploaded with no restrictions or billing mechanisms.

In *none* of Prenda's filings or disclosures did they ever mention that themselves loaded those files. Their legal filings claimed a massive loss of money as a result of these files being downloaded via torrent rather than purchased. Even the kindest interpretation, this is fraud. Even when asked directly if they had anything to do with the upload, they denied it. Prenda's actions went from unethical to criminal.

about a year ago



A Victory for Open Source

rijrunner rijrunner writes  |  more than 5 years ago

rijrunner (263757) writes "A legal ruling yesterday backed an open source project over a commercial company that had used the open source software in a commercial product. The commercial company filed a patent using covering the open source products prior art, then tried to bill the open source developers for infringement.

From: PC Mag's article

DecoderPro files are available for free download via open source Web site SourceForge, which is maintained by Jacobsen. Anyone can download DecoderPro files, but if they use those files for another project, they must include a notice that says it was originally developed by JMRI and note any changes made to the files. Matthew Katzer and Kamind Associates offer a competing product known as the Decoder Commander. During its development, a former employee allegedly downloaded the DecoderPro files and used portions of it in the Decoder Commander software. Katzer and Kamind, however, did not comply with the DecoderPro licensing rules. Their product did not include the authors' names, the JMRI copyright notices, references to the copying file, a notice identifying SourceForge or JMRI as the original source of the definition files, or a description of how the files or computer code had been changed from the original. Jacobsen sued to get an injunction against the distribution of Decoder Commander because, he said, the company's lack of attribution constituted copyright infringement.

Here's JRMI's story
This whole situation raises some serious questions. On the patent side, how many patents are based off prior art and at what point do patents become issuable if they are based on prior art, but not to the full extent of the patent? Most patents do include prior art. Also, is every clause in a software license enforceable? Its almost like someone needs to do a sanity check on submitted patents and provide examples of prior art to the USTPO, especially from open source projects."


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