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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

stikves What would possibly happen (611 comments)

What would possibly happen is that they will charge you $250 (+20 for various fees), and then still find a way to incorporate ads in the future. Remember how cable subscription you already pay for includes ads in the programming? In fact it already started, even large news outlets are including "adveterials" (sponsored stories), which are even worse than ads (it takes a second to realize they are not in fact real editorial content).

about 2 months ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

stikves Re:Silly argument (529 comments)

Exactly. They are different skills, and in fact most of the people laid off are foreigners (i.e.: Nokia).

Even though I am not a huge Microsoft fan, I do have a friend there, who was actually laid off with this wave. He was a US citizen, but he will not be replaced with an H1B worker, since the entire project was cancelled.In fact this seems to be his only regret, because not only they gave him a good severance package, he is skillful, and I believe he'll have no difficulty finding another job (even at Microsoft is he wanted to).

about 3 months ago
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US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

stikves Misconceptions (903 comments)

Contrary to common belief, Insurance is *not* healthcare. It's a way of distributing risk. For example, your car insurance will not cover oil changes, or regular maintenance. H*ck, even extended warranties will not cover those. This is because the cost structure is very well known (so and so much every 6 months).

Thus -- ignoring what these churches ask -- the only reason for including contraception would be reducing future risk. I.e.: the cost of these pills are well known, and the insurance would normally prefer not to cover them, as they do not cover aspirin, or baby diapers. However by including cheap contraception pill they mitigate a more costly future risk (a "cheap" delivery will cost 10K+ these days, and God forbid if there is anything wrong probably in the 100ks). So for insurance it makes sense to include these pills (still no aspirin).

However the church -- or whatever organization that does not want to provide these, just needs to have a separate pool of insurants, so that the cost of delivering a baby is only distributed among them. (I'm assuming they would also like to have more babies in general, but this might not necessarily be true for all religions).

about 10 months ago
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The College-Loan Scandal

stikves Re:the real problem.. (827 comments)

I'm sorry, but doing this will kill the universities, they already have problems keeping talent inside.

There are already too few academic jobs, and maybe one percent of the phd's will find a tenure track position without a postdoc. Now actually it has became more like two post docs, and several years of non-tenured temporary teaching assignments. This turns off many people from academia, and pushed them into the industry jobs.

The professors employed also have too much workload, and need to juggle between teaching classes, doing their own research, advising graduate students, and finally finding money to do all these through grants. The average attention professors can give to students is diminishing fast (this actually means there are just too many students, and too little professors).

And your third point shows what is wrong with the approach to universities. They are not vocational schools for finding a job. A university "is supposed" to provide higher education, giving you tools to learn and improve yourself. (Unfortunately this is what's called "masters" now). Not everybody needs a college education, however if the high schools cannot even produce graduates with sufficient math and grammar skills, then employers will ask for a higher form of education, which puts even more pressure on universities.

Btw, all these were about computer science departments. If you're talking about a field which has a lower "prospective salary" -- like education, everything will be even worse.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Node.js vs. JEE/C/C++/.NET In the Enterprise?

stikves It depends on what you have and what you need (304 comments)

The short answer is: it depends. The longer answer is slightly more complex. It depends on the problem you have, the knowledge of your programmers, and the server environment you'll deploy.

If most of the developers in your house are web developers, and have extensive knowledge on JavaScript, then node seems to be a more organic solution. However as others pointed, JavaScript has been abused to code everything from databases to ray tracers, but you should keep real world performance in mind. For most tasks node (backed by Google's V8 engine) will be 2x to 10x slower than an optimized C/C++ program in the real world. You're basically trading developer performance for runtime performance.

Additionally using a dynamic language, especially modern JavaScript requires discipline. If you do not have a proper packaging or testing systems you'll run into problems. Fortunately node community already prefers doing things the modern way, so this should not be a concern for most (sane) people.

On the other hand, one should never discount the performance benefits of C++. For our latest project we converted one of the smaller, but very CPU intensive services from PHP into C++. This offered an order of magnitude performance increase (going from a minute to a few seconds). So use your common sense, and all available tools on hand depending on situation.

As for Java, and C#, you'll have a performance similar to C++ (same to 2x slow), as long as you have sufficient amount of RAM (a recent paper I read cited 6x RAM requirement for a GC to function properly). The only concern is that for C#, you'll most likely want to stick to Microsoft ecosystem (Visual Studio is a great development environment, but you'll have to deploy to Asure, whereas you have more choices with Java, including Amazon and Google Linux clouds).

The bottom line is: look at the task at hand, and the people you have to choose the tools. And do not be afraid to experiment -- especially early on in the project.

about a year ago
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Boxee Sold To Samsung

stikves Re:Oh, by the way... (128 comments)

Yes, that's one of the reasons I'm still keeping my Windows Media Center. My shows are mine, and I can keep/delete/watch them in any way I want. I can share them across PCs, or use MCEBuddy to gut commercials, and put them on XBMC (lately Plex).

I'll be sad when they finally pull the plug (MS tried to do so during Win 8 development, but kept it for one more release).

about a year ago
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Turning a Kindle Fire HD Into a Power Tablet

stikves Re:Nook HD+ make more sense? (81 comments)

I had tried both devices (nook hd, and kindle hd) in succession, and even with an extra $50 off promotion from staples, I returned the nook hd the next day.

While it is a much greater hardware, they botched up on software setup. It could not keep connection to my brand new 300Mbit wifi router, and I had no intention to go back to 50mbit (or whatever the older one was). On the other hand kindle was connecting fine, even at 5GHz band. Without connectivity neither of these devices are useful.

And while searching for a solution to my problem, I ran into many other complaints from nook hd users. Apparently they pushed updates without checking, and the latest update - at that time - was causing data corruption on sd card. the solution they suggested (since downgrade was not an available option thanks to lockin), was taking off the sd card.

And while the resolution was much much higher, it was obvious that the cpu/gpu was not able to keep up. Both devices were sluggish, but nook much more so.

And finally there was no front facing camera. I could care less about a back camera on a tablet, but if I'm getting a nice screen and a wireless device, I expect to call my folks on it. No camera = no go.

So after one and a half day of struggle, I returned the nook, and kept the kindle. (I had a very tight budget, and could not purchase nexus at that time).

about a year and a half ago
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The Decreasing Impact of Death In Sci-fi

stikves Harry Potter was better on this (373 comments)

Ironically, J K Rowling was very strict on keeping dead people dead in Harry Potter. Being a series aimed for children, it's much more serious than adult literature, which liberally resurrect dead ones with cheap reasons.

(OK, there is an exception, but not going into spoilers, he was not really dead in the first place).

more than 3 years ago
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Xbox Live Indie Games Rating Manipulation

stikves Re:The solution (49 comments)

Yes this is a more balanced approach.

Although it can still be manipulated, but at least you'll have to wait to the download to finish, and game to launch.

more than 3 years ago
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Red Hat Nears $1 Billion In Revenues, Closing Door On Clones

stikves Do not panic (201 comments)

I believe they have no beef against CentOS, actually I've seen at least one Red Hat employee encouraging the use of CentOS, since Red Had is the "de facto upgrade path" (not the exact words, but something along this way). So you freely enlarge the customer base, which will go to Red Hat when they need higher level commercial support. And for the free ones, even Microsoft has recognized they cannot sell to students, and are giving away the software anyways.

However Oracle is another deal. They just slap Oracle logo on Red Hat, do not acknowledge the source, and sell is as "unbreakable Linux". This would make a regular person ashamed of himself. They benefit a lot from open source but not giving back much in return. Do not start me with what they're doing to Solaris, Java, and OpenOffice...

So I'm with Red Hat on this one, at least until they do something directly bad to CentOS.

more than 3 years ago
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LotR Rewritten From a Mordor Perspective

stikves Re:Better Idea (583 comments)

This would actually be BAD for open-source. Many of the projects which are protected by GPL2 and similar licenses, with no additional cost to usually "not so rich" programmers, would need a payment in order to be protected.

That would either stop students from posting their source code, or create small caesars which has the money (e.g.: your school, or FSF) to copyright them, and require assignment of ownership.

more than 3 years ago
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Stargate Universe Cancelled

stikves Re:good (762 comments)

Well, they can be, and they actually are (in real life). We know that there is at least one military shuttle orbiting earth for several months, nobody in the public knows what's its mission is.

The initial SG1 spaceships where X101, which are retrofitted F-series fighters with alien tech. It's very similar (I'm not saying it actually is an alien hybrid space ship, but the concept is plausible).

more than 3 years ago
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UK Games Retailers Threaten Boycott of Steam Games

stikves Re:Depends on the game and your perspective (443 comments)

One thing I can add is their prices, especially during holiday promotions.

They really go low with so many titles, it's bad for the consumers. I think I have over 50+ games I purchased, but never had a chance to download - let alone play.

It's especially better for out of print titles, where publishers won't make physically available any longer. Instead of paying a stranger astronomical numbers for a used game, I can have it on Steam for an acceptable price. Unless of course I can get in on GOG - which has an additional bonus of being DRM-free.

Anyways Steam is one of the better DRMs, one being done "right", where benefits outweight inconveniences.

more than 3 years ago
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.Net On Android Is Safe, Says Microsoft

stikves Re:Et tu brute? (377 comments)

(Going against my rule, and replying even though it will risk my karma a lot)...

Unfortunately what you said is only partially true.

For example:

OS/2: Originally Microsoft developed Windows NT as OS/2 - a microkernel which was OS/2 on the front backward compatible with DOS and Windows, and switched to Windows, only after IBM started to show less and less interest in coding, and more interest in their process.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT)

Mosaic: Mosaic was open source originated at NCSA labs, and IE was developed by original Mosaic staff.

Java: Microsoft did not develop .Net, until Sun sued them for license issues, effectively stopping them developing on Java. ... and others.

A story is rarely single sided, but it's very hip to hit on MS on Slashdot...

more than 4 years ago
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Oracle Sues Google For Infringing Java Patents

stikves Re:Oracle will win (510 comments)

I did not want to go into details. The missing parts (from open source release) are the TCP/IP stack and crypto routines:
http://port25.technet.com/archive/2009/11/16/microsoft-to-open-source-the-net-micro-framework.aspx

TCP/IP stack code was licensed from another company, thus MS does not have the right to open it. Crypto has all sorts of export regulations, thus they did not want to go there (you can always find replacement from somewhere else).

On the patent side, the community promise is pretty clear:
http://port25.technet.com/archive/2009/07/06/the-ecma-c-and-cli-standards.aspx

MS cannot sue you for implementing core C#/.Net. The only risk (almost part) is either if you sue them (when you lose the license), or another totally irrelevant party claims patents on the code (e.g.: Alcatel mp3 issue). But this risk is on any language. You can never know Borland (or whatever is called right now) will not sue you for using gcc c++ compiler, since they might have a patent on a specific optimization.

more than 4 years ago
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Oracle Sues Google For Infringing Java Patents

stikves Re:Oracle will win (510 comments)

A few days ago, I was checking the .Net Micro Framework (for embedded systems, not the regular one). Apparently (almost) the entire stack is open source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Micro_Framework

"available along with the source code as a free download under the Apache 2.0 license at the Microsoft Download Center.."

And Microsoft is actually encouraging people to port it (thus .Net is used on more platforms). Given their patent pledge (which is now more open than Java's) there is almost no risk.

Oh the irony!

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft says 74 percent of work PCs still use Windows XP, extends downgrade rights until 2020

stikves A Bad Move (1 comments)

It reminds me the last years digital TV conversion hassle. People will continue to use the software as long as you support it. The only way to move from the (almost) 10 years old OS (which is an antique in today's standards) is Microsoft killing its support.

That would open way for Windows 7 for capable PCs, or Linux and other alternative OSes for older ones.

more than 4 years ago
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Volume Shadow Copy For Linux?

stikves Re:hey retard: (300 comments)

Easy on the language...

But LVM is *the* solution on Linux. It's not very difficult to set up, and is very stable. As an additional bonus it supports all file system types (as long as they can exist on LVM volumes).

more than 4 years ago
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Turkey Has Reportedly Banned Google

stikves Re:As Someone from Turkey there is more to it (531 comments)

I'll try to answer some of the questions in the follow ups. Sorry for the self reply.

First, governing party cannot change the law in a day. It's more complicated. Not going into political details (everything is politicized in Turkey), there is also a theoretical law issue.

We need such a law. However much more abused, you can see it as the DMCA of Turkey. Turkey (like many European - Old World - countries), adapts a variation of Roman Law, which is in contract to US's Common Law. In US courts do actually make up the law, and decide on their on. In Turkey, there must be a written code for prosecution.

For example in US, if I see my copyrighted work on YouTube, I send a takedown notice, and they comply. (There is a process that everyone knows). In Turkey, I have to go to a PA (prosecuting attorney/state prosecutor), then if he/she finds my complaint worthy, will open a court case. Court will have to decide based on the written law, and send a takedown notice. There is a 30 days period for compliance. This is used to handle cases for copyright/trademark infringement, child pornography, defamation, etc.

Normally this process is more restricted than DMCA, however it all falls apart due to people involved writing and applying the laws (also international websites not caring about Turkish court orders).

Due to my best knowledge, the law in question is adapted from TV broadcast regulations. (This is why I want it completely abolished), and many prosecutors/judges are illiterate on the subject. Furthermore there are some who has an agenda of taking down everything they don't like. So an older angry citizen can go to a court saying YouTube has a video defaming Turkey. Normally this is no big deal (one video in millions). But since the law is broad, the complaint causes the takedown.

The final situation is embarrassing, hope they somehow manage to take down the law itself (and maybe replace it with a much restricted one, as I said unfortunately such a written code is necessary).

more than 4 years ago

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