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Comments

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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

the_womble Re:Except much of the time they're right... (408 comments)

Wrong, its not anti-capitalist, it is anti-free markets.

It fits in perfectly with coporate welfare, crony capitalism or mercantilism.

about 4 months ago
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OpenSSL Bug Allows Attackers To Read Memory In 64k Chunks

the_womble Re:Things are starting to turn around (303 comments)

The SSL core team all appear to be professionals.

I have not checked, but most of the contributors probably are too.

The same is true of most big open source projects (like the Linux Kernel).

The differences are:

1) There is better disclosure of bugs in open source
2) some bugs can be discovered by third party audit (as the GNUTLS bug was)

about 4 months ago
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What You Eat Affects Your Genes

the_womble Re:Truly Remarkable (249 comments)

Most people have only read the intro-level stuff. What those in the field know needs wider circulation.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Too Big For the Dow Jones Industrial Average

the_womble Re:So? (218 comments)

An index is not exactly doing a good job of selection if whether a company wants to be in can influence whether it is in.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Too Big For the Dow Jones Industrial Average

the_womble Re:Who really looks at the DJIA? (218 comments)

The headline is misleading: its "high share price", not "too big". Its perfectly possible for a small company to have a high share price.

Share prices can be much higher, Berkshire Hathaway has a price of 103,000

The main reason the Dow is used by the media, is because ignorant financial journalists think its the best measure - it is in their terms, where "best" means most brand recognition.

The only legitimate reason for using it is for long term comparisons: it has existed a lot longer than the S & P 500, or any properly constructed index.

Full explanation here http://moneyterms.co.uk/dow-jones/

more than 2 years ago
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How Microsoft Can Lock Linux Off Windows 8 PCs

the_womble Re:What an over sensationalist title (899 comments)

The device manufacturers will almost certainly provide OEM Window's pre-installs, signed with their own keys, which will be changed at intervals.

That way, you will not be able to upgrade to a new version of Windows, reducing product life cycle, increasing hardware sales. Very bad for the environment.

more than 2 years ago
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Another Android Device Maker Signs Patent Agreement With Microsoft

the_womble Re:See. Modern age Feudalism. (203 comments)

No they are antithetical to free market capitalism.

You could argue that they are a return to mercantilism.

about 3 years ago
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Is Your Antivirus Made By the Chinese Government?

the_womble Re:We'd never do such a thing (196 comments)

Are other governments crazy to use proprietary software from American companies, given that the US would be crazy not to use it to spy on them?

more than 3 years ago
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Armenia Makes Chess Compulsory In Schools

the_womble Re:Brilliant! (300 comments)

I am not quite sure how to compare the two meaningfully, but Wesnoth is quite complex and hard to learn. As evidence look at the number of newbies who appear on the Wesnoth forums to complain about how hard it is, accuse the AI of cheating, etc.

more than 3 years ago
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Swedish File-Sharers File For Religious Status

the_womble Re:Why be such morons? (420 comments)

What exemptions?

Are the same tax breaks not available to secular charities?

As far as tax breaks go, the basic principle should be that if it is an organisation that is supported by donations rather than commercial activity, or to which you can reasonably expect people to make donations, and it is structured to put all its profits/excess money into furthering its aims rather than making a profit for someone, then it should get tax breaks.

more than 3 years ago
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Swedish File-Sharers File For Religious Status

the_womble Re:Why be such morons? (420 comments)

Where do secular non-profits not get tax breaks? IN every country I know of, there is some kind of registered charity system that gives all kinds of organisations with tax breaks.

more than 3 years ago
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Swedish File-Sharers File For Religious Status

the_womble Re:Why be such morons? (420 comments)

It is equally unfair when you get situations (as in Britain) where the rules for religious non-profits to get tax breaks are tougher than for non-religious ones (but educational ones get the toughest because the "benefit the rich").

more than 3 years ago
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Swedish File-Sharers File For Religious Status

the_womble Re:This has gone too far (420 comments)

If content producers know that anything they produce is "up for grabs", what incentive do they have to keep producing?

Exactly the same incentives they had before copyright was introduced.

There is absolutely no evidence that the benefits of the extra incentive provided by copyright outweighs its costs.

It is also obvious that the reason for copyright is not to provide an incentive. There is a negligible difference in incentive between a thirty year fixed copyright term and life plus seventy - but the latter hugely shrinks the public domain and increases costs to consumers in order to benefit professional descendants like Christopher Tolkein.

more than 3 years ago
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Red Hat Uncloaks 'Java Killer': the Ceylon Project

the_womble Re:Ceylon? (623 comments)

Java and Ceylon are used as alternates in a line from a hymn:

"What though the spicy breezes Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle Where every prospect pleases And only man is vile"

Probably not a deliberate reference, unless someone only knows the first sentence of it. That said, a language that pleases will attract some vile developers so it may be inappropriate.

Ceylon has a bit of an old fashioned ring to it - at least as seen from here in Ceylon.

more than 3 years ago
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Forget Space Travel, It's Just a Dream

the_womble Re:Von Braun does not agree (542 comments)

Quite a lot of what is happening at the moment reminds me of the Foundation series or the decline of the Roman Empire - slowing technological advances, loss of interest in science, weakening governance.....

Roman civilisation never disappeared entirely. The Eastern Roman lasted until after the Renaissance started.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?

the_womble Re:No. (1486 comments)

The author of the article makes a huge mistake about the nature of science and does not understand what religious people mean by faith .

The Slashdot comments above are slightly better in that they understand that science is testable: there is quite a lot of it you can test yourself easily enough (and a fair bit that is tested by children if you paid attention in school).

The Slashdot comments still do not understand what faith means in a religious context. It does not mean "believing without evidence". It is an attitude that only makes sense if you believe. "I have faith in God" is a very similar statement to "I have faith in Fred". The difference is that there is usually no controversy over Fred's existence, whereas there is over God's so the statement becomes a statement of belief in God's existence AS WELL.

In fact, people are convinced of the existence of God for one, or a combination of, a comparatively small number of reasons: philosophical argument, experience of God's presence ("religious experiences") and other people's and historical accounts of the latter. There is plenty of room to argue about the validity of these, but that does not make it "belief without evidence".

Of course there are people who believe in any given religion without having considered the evidence - but the same is true about belief in the truth of almost any contestable statement whether religious, scientific, or something else (the guilt of an alleged criminal, the validity of a political cause, etc.). Think of all the people who think Obama is not American by birth, or that homoeopathy works (placebo effect aside), of that all the world's problems would be solved if the proletariat owned the means of production. That some people believe something for inadequate reasons does not disprove it: it is irrelevant to proof.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook, Zuckerberg Sued For $1 Billion Over Intifada Page

the_womble Re:Fail (350 comments)

They seemed to do quite fine for all those years we didnt support them.[/url]

When was that? Israel has always been a major recipient of US aid and was the largest recipient of US aid (something like a third of total foreign aid) for about 30 years.

You DO realize they are a first world country, with an incredible military, right?

An incredible military certainly, but a population barely larger than Hong Kong and an economy smaller than Ireland or Egypt. In comparison the UAE alone has a bigger economy and a bigger population.

There is no way Israel could have sustained its military without massive outside assistance.

more than 3 years ago
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Vatican To Digitize Prohibited Archives

the_womble Re:April Fools (121 comments)

There is an interesting point though. The Vatican does own some porn.

1) They cannot destroy it because its historically valuable.
2) They cannot sell it because it would not exactly be appropriate to profit from selling porn.

Obviously serious scholars need access, which needs to be free (no taking money from porn), so the best solution would be to digitise it and release it for others to redistribute.

more than 3 years ago
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Things Get Worse at Fukushima

the_womble Re:Nuclear technologies (1122 comments)

I have a problem with irradiated food because it is a way of making food safe to eat despite a lack of proper handling.

It no longer carries an infection, but it is a sign of low quality, and may contain the products of the bacteria killed by irradiation.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose a Windows Laptop?

the_womble Re:Just use the hardware you have (898 comments)

the laptop is 2.5 years old. The battery will be almost gone and there will likely be other HW issues developing.

The same age as my cheap consumer laptop (Lenovo 3000 N200). I bought a new (bigger battery) and there are no signs of any other hardware problems. GSmartcontrol says the hard drive is fine (although I might upgrade that as well) apart from two reallocations.

Why chuck money away as long as your old hardware does the job?

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Uzbeck billionaire silences British blogs

the_womble the_womble writes  |  more than 6 years ago

the_womble writes "Alisher Usmanov is a Uzbeck billionaire with increasing interests in the UK. According to Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, he is a crook and a criminal. Usmanov Usmanov has had Murray's blog taken down, along with others that shared the same server. The other blogs affected include that of a candidate for mayor of London.

Of course copies of the offending article remain available. It still shows how badly the UK needs to reform it libel laws, and stop hosts being a soft target.

What I want to know is why the UK's strict immigration laws, which often require fingerprinting, police checks and interviews to get just a tourist visa, cannot stop someone as obviously undesirable as this from regularly entering the country. Are billionaires automatically respectable?"

Link to Original Source
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the_womble the_womble writes  |  more than 7 years ago

the_womble writes "It looks as though Indian resellers have found out the hard way how the Microsoft monopoly works. After decades of being tacitly encouraged to sell pirated copies of Windows, they now find themselves being forced to pay up.

Are people dependent enough on MS for this to work in countries where the cost of a Windows license relative to incomes is several time higher than in developed countries? Will this open more opportunities for FOSS? I live in Sri Lanka, a country where MS backed off from a planned crackdown because even corporate users threatened to switch if they had to pay."
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the_womble the_womble writes  |  more than 7 years ago

the_womble writes "I am never going to be a developer, but I write a little bit of code occasionally. A simple CMS written in TCL a few years ago, a few Wordpress plugins, things like that. I am now thinking of more ambitious projects.

I am most interested in websites and CMSs, but it would be useful to be able to whip up a simple GUI as well. What languages and tools should I learn. Programming only occasionally needs a language with a clear syntax and a small core language — so I do not forget it all between times. Development tools also need to be simple. Libraries need to be well documented. Finally, it should be fun to work with.

So, what should I learn? My own research has not got me further than "Ruby and Scheme look nice". What do you think?"

Journals

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Surprises

the_womble the_womble writes  |  more than 9 years ago I looked at my fans and freaks list for the first time in months and found three entries.

I have also discovered that my blog which has little content and very few incoming links has a higher front page Google pagerank than my investment website which has dozens of incoming links including from high PR sites like Yahoo. I do not think this is the toolbar PR being misleading either - the blog seems to do better in Google rankings as well.

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