Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

sixoh1 Re:Unconstitutinal (376 comments)

While its nice to think that the Constitution prevents this kind of thing, it is generally ONLY applicable to criminal defense. You can still be indicted, arrested and jailed awaiting trial, and until you enter the courtroom this presumption of innocence doesn't event matter. You only get the benefit from this Constitutional right _AFTER_ you have been through all of the previous steps, so don't expect to pull out your laminated copy of the Bill of Rights as a shield.

In a civil matters, particularly a trial, you are not entitled to automatic presumption of innocence as a defense, and not even a tiny amount of deference is due to you in the exercise and enforcement of a contract you might have with your ISP.

About the only legal protection an individual might have is a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud against the ISP, and that's something that takes years to work its way up to the pain threshold of settlement or trial.

about a month ago
top

Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

sixoh1 Re:"Hard redirect" (376 comments)

IANAL but this definitely seems to fall within Tortious Interference or similar acts which would serve to break the contract between you and your ISP. Then again there is probably a clause in your ToS which they will attempt to use to allow this based on their "need" to charge Netflix extra for network peering.

Don't forget to read your contract and notifications of change!

about a month ago
top

Blackberry Moves Non-Handset Divisions Into New Business Unit

sixoh1 Re:Looks like some editorializing by the submitter (89 comments)

Ehh, a bit adhomenim for my tastes. TFA makes a bit point about how important "IP" is to the new outfit. In the CEO's own words "...people don't give us credit..." which is code for - we're not making enough money from selling hardware, and lookie here at all these wonderful patents we can use to generate licenses fees or sell as an asset.

about a month ago
top

Blackberry Moves Non-Handset Divisions Into New Business Unit

sixoh1 RIM is dead, long live RIM's patents (89 comments)

Let the race to purchase their Patent portfolio begin!

Who might have enough cash to purchase the biggest stick in the phone wars? Apple or Samsung. Like the highlander it seems there can be only one... then again the Highlander kept having sequels so we might see this fight again and again (yuck).

about a month ago
top

Project Aims To Build a Fully Open SoC and Dev Board

sixoh1 Re:Where are those chips baked? (47 comments)

From the article they are using TSMC, which is one of the largest silicon foundries (ASIC manufacturing) in the world.

As for the all out open-source, they also make clear on the project page that hardware patents on the chipset instruction is supposedly strangling innovation for processors. I'm not sure I buy that, ARM, Intel and IBM have moved their architectures along pretty well. Even poor little MIPS has made strides despite losing market share.

about a month ago
top

Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

sixoh1 Re:Much as it pains the Slashdot editors.... (299 comments)

No moderation system is perfect, but audience curation (whether intentional or not) does seem to channel the activity into a relatively benign community. While there are plenty of Trolls here, most often these are either bad nerd jokes, or Apple/Microsoft/Linux haters - notice the common theme? Even more importantly however, even our /. trolls are likeminded, and (mostly) tolerated.

The problem I see with Jackson's "solution" is that the Jezabel audience (not the trolls) will lose any voice they had, which in retrospect is probably EXACTLY what the trolls want.

about a month ago
top

Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

sixoh1 Re:Settle out of court (191 comments)

Yes, people get very confused by the fact that nearly all of the headline grabbing GPL enforcement actions to date have "settled" for coming into compliance, with occasional "donations" to GPL enforcement bodies. Remember, a settlement is usually an out of court agreement between the parties to terminate or withdraw legal action, and never involves actually settling the law at hand, and a settlement generally doesn't need to comply the law.

The best way to understand this difference is to realize that if you run off the road and break my fence, and I sue you but settle for $20 instead of the $200 repair bill for whatever reason, you can still be sued by my neighbor for his part of the fence, and he is under no obligation to settle for $20 as I have done.

about a month ago
top

Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

sixoh1 Re:What if it were Microsoft code (191 comments)

+1 - A lot of folks are playing amateur lawyer and making claims about what the GPL "does", but you should defer to Rosen here since he actually is a practicing lawyer who has actually been at a Plaintiff's table and enforced the GPL. He is very explicit that the GPL does not create new obligations upon authors who combine original works with GPL works. Your code is always your code, regardless of whether it is in a separate C file, or patched into an existing file licensed to you under the GPL. Go back and re-read the GPL, look for the words "distribution" and "distribute" which are the _ACTS_ that invoke the GPL terms of the upstream author.

The fact that we're still dealing with the "virus" meme suggests that Microsoft's dirty FUD war lives on long beyond it's usefulness to them. I only hope someday that karma pays them back when we have enough solid case law to make GPL the better legal framework for business and that we can repay their little FUD bomb one kick in the proprietary wall at a time.

about a month ago
top

How 3D Printer Maker Aleph Objects Pushes the Open Source Envelope

sixoh1 Re:The Basement (51 comments)

Thanks for the check in Jeff - sorry for the trolls....

Back to the original OP topic of patents - Do you think that Colorado's congressional delegation is any more informed about the destructive effect of poor patents on this market? I know they have certainly made hay of having you in their districts as a sign of their super-fantastic "stewardship" of Colorado's industrial relevance.

about 6 months ago
top

How 3D Printer Maker Aleph Objects Pushes the Open Source Envelope

sixoh1 Re:3D printing very old (51 comments)

While the concept is "old", the actual technology in use here is hardly "old hat". FDM/FFF itself was stillborn as a product from Stratasys mostly due to the extremely high cost of entry - I have clients that purchased systems from Stratasys 15 years ago, and they are far more excited and anxious to use the capabilities of the new-market FFF systems because the vibrant and competitive market from non-commercial RepRap and all of the commercial spin offs like Aleph is putting a significant number of new eyeballs and creative developers into the mix.

The point is precisely that any technology, no matter how capable, will be under utilized and see limited functionality if it is only allowed to be used by a single company - think Unix at AT&T/Bell in 1960 vs. *Nix in 2010 in phones, cars, elevators, watches, glasses, power plants, airplanes, battle tanks, space craft, and 3D printers.

about 6 months ago
top

How 3D Printer Maker Aleph Objects Pushes the Open Source Envelope

sixoh1 Re:There isn't much to 'patent' available (51 comments)

"Important" is meaningless in the eyes of the law - think "swipe to unlock" lawsuits between Apple and Samsung. ANY infringement can bollox your nice little innovative startup and crush novel products. Component costs are not now, nor have they ever been the barrier to innovation, if that was the case then we should be seeing a massive wave of innovation coming from China, Thiland and Maylasia. Instead most of it is still coming from Taiwan and California.

Capital (human and cash) is the real driver, and currently capital is captive to the legal fiction of the value and necessity of Patents - aka "IP Rights". The OP and Aleph's CEO's comments above are very nice to see efforts to break the stranglehold, but its pretty thin gruel to assume one company in Loveland Colorado is going to topple the billions of IPO dollars sloshing around SFO/SJC area chasing and perpetuating the artificial monopolies created by the USPTO.

about 6 months ago
top

How 3D Printer Maker Aleph Objects Pushes the Open Source Envelope

sixoh1 Re:years (51 comments)

If you have ever been to the HP (now Agilent) facility here in Colorado Springs, you can walk the graveyard of literally bulldozed cubicles, behind the remaining old cube farm walls. On the walkways are thousands of plaques with US Patent numbers and inventors. The inventors are gone, their cubes are piled like trash, and the shell of the old company exists as not much more than a US based front for a Penang Maylasia based manufacturing outfit with an ever shrinking number of US "engineers" designing more and more expensive systems for fewer and fewer clients every year.

I don't think the Patents have actually resulted in real "advancement of human progress"...

about 6 months ago
top

How 3D Printer Maker Aleph Objects Pushes the Open Source Envelope

sixoh1 Re:More please! (51 comments)

Nope, US based. While the "CEO"s are usually MBAs, in many companies from Intel on down the real decision makers of whether things get open sourced are engineers who have climbed the ladder. Think "VP of Engineering", "VP of Product Development" - these are the folks that usually crush open source movements within established firms... "because". They don't understand open source, they didn't do it that way in the 80s, and no amount of argument will convince them otherwise. Add in a corporate legal counsel who wants to be a CFO or CEO and you get "opinions" that GPL is unenforceable and contrary to shareholder interest.

MBAs are actually _easier_ to convince that open source can work since they are more likely to be swayed by graphs and slide ware - tell them "RedHat is doing it" or "Google does it" and they queue up to join the party...

about 6 months ago
top

How 3D Printer Maker Aleph Objects Pushes the Open Source Envelope

sixoh1 More please! (51 comments)

It certainly helps Aleph that the original FDM patent has expired so at least they aren't under immediate assault. On the other hand it is worrisome that they have to think so hard about the "prior art" aspect - is that really what the open source actions is about? If so I'm skeptical that this is a valid solution since the current regime of patentability (I'm looking at you software patents) means there is plenty of danger for them in the dependent/follow-on patents that Stratasys has filed. Lots of necessary and related improvements to the FFF/FDM process are "obvious" if you are building a machine to be useful for additive manufacturing, but USPTO does not use that approach to determining patentability. The worse bit is that if one takes the time to actually dig into the PTO database looking for other's patents, and trying to "work around" - you might be open to contributory infringement (at least stateside), so most folks actively ignore the PTO database to prevent such skeletons. That means LESS information sharing rather than more...

On the gripping hand, I'm happy to see Aleph using the lessons of the software world as a viable business model - forget the 3D printer part. All electronics hardware businesses should be able to follow this model if they are willing - the end result for human productivity, creativity and technological advancement seems inevitable. Assuming Patents are somehow overcome as an obstacle (and for example here we can assume that BRICS nations will take up the flags if US based companies like Aleph are strangled by patents), what else stands in the way of getting more hardware companies to act like Aleph?

My suspicion, having worked in electronics manufacturing for 20+ years is that hardware companies are mostly run by old-line (80s and 90s era) engineers, who cling to privacy, NDAs, trade-secret, etc. by force of habit and comfort. Having spent years coaching my last company about the benefits of open-source (both hardware and software) to naught, I'm betting we won't see more of these kinds of firms until more CEOs die and retire...

about 6 months ago
top

SpaceX Resupply Mission To Launch March 30

sixoh1 Re:Iff the Republicans allow it (48 comments)

Ockham's razor applied here might do you a bit of good.

It appears that nearly every single member of Congress, both House and Senate, have been effectively co-opted by personal interest in porkbarrel. While we no longer have William Proxmire posting the outlandish and downright shameful pork projects, a fairly casual search on Bing/Yahoo/Google brings up quite a few articles about various "Waste" programs. There a programs like the NEA and NPR/CPB championed by "progressives" and F35/M1A1 and the perennial favorite "Bridge to Nowhere" of Sen. Stevens fame. Neither the DNC nor RNC can claim innocence, nor do any of the NGO/SuperPac/504 groups get a clean bill of health based on their own lobbying for everything from money to build the Mexico border wall, to petitions for the HHS Secretary to start allowing the sale of human organs (Kidneys). Every single one of these people has at least one axe to grind, maybe more.

Dont confuse the actual "Taxed Enough Already" fiscal refuseniks for your assumed evil "other" Koch funded secret cabal that is running the world at the behest of the jews. Most who marched in 2011, and remain allied with the formal TEA organizations such as PACs/504s and ThinkTanks are hostile to quite a broad variety of Federal spending, INCLUDING aerospace/NASA spending, but also sweeping up the Department of Education, Agriculture Department, and the Federal Reserve. If there is unequal pain to be endured from a uniform cut of the Federal piggy bank, then perhaps that only highlights the extent to which our collective polity has distorted ordinary arithmetic and common sense.

Assuming that Rand Paul and/or crazy uncle Ron Paul is an official spokesman for anything other than themselves is a convenient way for you to simply ignore the fact that NASA's current total expenditures are less than one second's activity by the US Treasury in any given fiscal year September-to-September. Want to make sure Congress doesn't get out their knives for the ISS, Webb Space Telescope and other worthy projects, then tell us what other department should be cut? Milk subsidies for hipster Vermont "gentlemen farmers"? Bullet and MRAP purchases for the US Department of Education? Salary for IRS agents that have already retired, and lied to their superiors for 10 years about being in the CIA? There are plenty of bad expenditures in a government with 4.3 MILLION employees.

Blind anger and blame will not restore comity amongst the citizens of the US, but its just slightly possible that an army of concerned citizens taking sensible, cautious, and incremental action to peek and poke our way around the budget looking for waste and standing up to it (even when that waste is in your hometown!) might chip away at the bloated machine enough to keep leviathan running through our lifetimes. Or we could just take Venezuela's lead and blame whomever is today's convenient scapegoat for every failed attempt to violate physics, causality, and microeconomics.

about 6 months ago
top

SpaceX Resupply Mission To Launch March 30

sixoh1 Re:Huh? (48 comments)

The amount of practical metallurgy knowledge we have under microgravity conditions falls in the "Not A Number" section of a floating-point unit calculation result.

Assuming you have some "dust' - you have to purify it, and then convert the refined ore into a chemically neutral granular material that is compatible with electron-beam or infared laser spot heating/sintering. On earth, buy the refined metal from Grainger in whatever format its available (screws, bar stock, etc.) - reformulate it as a powder (preferably something very chemically stable, uniform, and with particle sizes compatible with the resolution of the final use). None of these have been performed on-orbit that I am aware of.

Second, its a leaky system, volatile chemicals (water and Nitrogen come to mind) are needed for many of these stages for buffering and chemical conversion (reduction/oxidation), transport, lubrication, mixing, heat-treating and quenching, etc. etc.

Also, we don't yet know the true relative abundance of the important ores vs. locations for collection, Lunar surface? Lunar drilling? Trojan "asteroids"? NEO objects? Or do we have to go beyond Mars to get any decent quantities of these raw materials.

One more item - if you do have a perfect NEO rock with a nice mix of Iron, Aluminum, Titanium, Cobolt, Copper, and Silicon, first you will need to break this up into manageable chunks. A hand pick and a canvas bag won't work. Jackhammer and auger drills will also fail if they cannot be anchored to something in order to generate force on an ore vein. Once its in small chunks, how do you refine it? Chemical refining, gas/vapor distillation, electric arc furnaces, and other standard tools for metallurgy are used in the presence of 1 standard G. Will the use of a centrifuge to approximate 1G conditions work - think tidal forces, shear forces, and other non-linear effects that will pop up to create inconsistencies in the local environment around the refining process.

All of the above can and should be solved, but won't unless we are _there_ and there to stay.

about 6 months ago
top

SpaceX Resupply Mission To Launch March 30

sixoh1 Faster please (48 comments)

Also per Rand Simberg and others, it appears that Space X is going to launch their 54-ton capable heavy launch vehicle THIS year - thats something like 6 years ahead of NASA's porkbarrel SLS.

Lets cross our fingers and hope that Elon's engine of creative destruction will blow up the market for government directed launch vehicle technology, and start using the Billions allocated for 1960s rocket technology for something like permanent cis-Lunar habitation, asteroid visits, and/or experimenting with off-planet manufacturing so we can start learning how to build and stay beyond LEO.

about 6 months ago
top

Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

sixoh1 Re: The day before Fukashima happened (166 comments)

From human perception, there is no difference between these statements, and that's the problem addressed. The fact that something is statistically likely to "someone" (i.e.: not you) does not make something "probable" for you, which is included in the SA summary of the book.

about 7 months ago
top

Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

sixoh1 Re:Oblig XKCD (166 comments)

Same information, but the visual aspect of the animated GIF is somehow much more accessible. One more data point on how the human brain is so poorly adapted to statistical inference as compared to our natural abilities with visual information like "is that tiger going to eat me", or "can I make it across the gap between this tree and that tree when I jump".

about 7 months ago
top

Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

sixoh1 Re: The day before Fukashima happened (166 comments)

When the core is "shut-down" to prevent accidental thermal runaway (aka meltdown, or "china-syndrome") the system still contains a rather significant amount of heat for quite a while due to the secondary radioactive products, but this heat is not nearly enough to drive the normal steam turbine dynamos which generate the utility load - it takes a rather large amount of torque to generate megawatts of electric current. Until the heat is removed and the reactor core, fuel rods, and associated secondary decay radio-nucleotides reach a lower level, something needs to provide the power for the cooling pumps, and to ensure that the trapped hydrogen gas (byproduct of fission) is recycled and contained. There are various schemes to create "fail-proof" nuclear reactors, one of which happened to be the Chernobyl design (and we all know how well that one worked). It was supposedly "impossible!" for Cherynobyl to melt down because of the built-in systems, and the smart, but not smart-enough, engineers wanted to test those "fail-proof" systems...

about 7 months ago

Submissions

top

Eliminating comments on publication websites?

sixoh1 sixoh1 writes  |  about a month ago

sixoh1 (996418) writes "Nicholas Jackson at Pacific Standard suggests that internet comments are permanently broken (in response to an issue Jezebel is having with violent misogynist GIFs and other inappropriate commentary). He argues that blogs are a good-enough solution to commentary and dialog across the internet.

This seems to hold true for most broad-interest sites like newspapers and magazines where comments can be downright awful, as opposed to sites like Slashdot with a self-selected and somewhat homogenous audience. It seems unlikely that using only blogs for responsive dialog with authors and peers could come close to matching the feedback and community feel of comments such as we see here.

Is there a technical solution, or is this a biological problem imposed on the internet..."

Link to Original Source
top

Joe Armstrong on Why Programming is Hard

sixoh1 sixoh1 writes  |  about 7 months ago

sixoh1 (996418) writes "From the blog of Joe Armstrong (author of the book "Programming Erlang") a nifty bit of summarizing the 'little' constraints that turn programming from something easy into what really happens:

Many years ago I used to think that programming was easy, as the years have passed I have have realized that programming is not easy. This is due to a slow perceptual shift in what I think programming is and what it is that a programmer does. At first I thought programming just involved telling a computer what to do, this part of programming is relatively easy. After practicing for twenty odd years I reckoned that this part of programming was pretty easy.

"

Link to Original Source
top

Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

sixoh1 sixoh1 writes  |  about 6 months ago

sixoh1 (996418) writes "Scientific American has an excellent summary of a new book "The Improbabilty Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day" by David J. Hand. The summary offers a quick way to relate statistical math (something that's really hard to intuit) to our daily experiences with unlikely events. The simple equations here make it easier to understand that improbable things really are not so improbable, which Hand call the "Improbability Principle":

How can a huge number of opportunities occur without people realizing they are there? The law of combinations, a related strand of the Improbability Principle, points the way. It says: the number of combinations of interacting elements increases exponentially with the number of elements. The “birthday problem” is a well-known example.

Now if only we could harness this to make an infinite improbability drive!"
Link to Original Source

top

FCC said to be considering monitoring radio and TV news content

sixoh1 sixoh1 writes  |  about 7 months ago

sixoh1 (996418) writes "According to an op-ed in today's WSJ (tiered subscription model) by Ajit Pai (current FCC commissioner, nominated by Obama):

Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

Don't rush to the tin-foil hats, but at the same time we're seeing a fight over Net-Neutrality, do we want to see a precedent set that allows the FCC to select favored content?"
Link to Original Source

top

Can XML save the US Credit Markets?

sixoh1 sixoh1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sixoh1 (996418) writes "The Wall Street Journal Opinion pages have a very interesting tidbit today about the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) — can XML be used to improve transparency in the jumbled financial markets and help fix the mortgage market mess by making all of the information searchable? The director of Edgar Online thinks so: 'Philip Moyer, who runs the Edgar Online service that distributes SEC data, studied more than 500 mortgage-backed securities priced between 2006 and mid-2008. He found there were only 600 relevant data points needed to assess the risk of a mortgage, which is many fewer than the tens of thousands of factors used to report on stocks. "This crisis has proven that lack of transparency ultimately destroys a market," Mr. Moyers said.'"
Link to Original Source
top

Obama putting lobbying activity on the web

sixoh1 sixoh1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sixoh1 (996418) writes "Barak Obama wants to ensure that "lobbyists do not stand in the way of our recovery," so it seems that he is trying to get every bit of communications with them online.

It's no secret that President Obama has made lobbyists one of his favorite punching bags. Even today, Obama announced unprecedented restrictions on contacts between his administration staff and lobbyists. If they want to talk to each other about the $787 billion economic stimulus package, they have to do it in writing, which then will be posted on the web. And if they want to meet in person, that meeting will be on the Internet too. The move will ensure "lobbyists do not stand in the way of our recovery," he said."

Link to Original Source

Journals

sixoh1 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>