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Scientists Study Getting an Unwanted Tune Out of Your Head

udin How I get a tune out of my head (219 comments)

I hum or whistle something complicated requiring full attention (the one I usually use is a Bach piece), in other words, something a little too complicated for getting stuck in my head. This usually unsticks whatever was going around in my head without replacing it.

about 2 years ago

UK Court: MPAA Not Entitled To Profits From Piracy

udin Re:Profiting from criminal acts (159 comments)

You may not be allowed to profit from your own criminal behavior, but the 'criminal' is the person making the copy of the copyrighted material (once upon a time this was a tort, i.e. a wrong against someone that one could be sued for, not a crime against the state or general public; that's what these guys are always trying to do: turn torts into crimes so they can sic the government on you), not the specialized search engine or directory of links. The Usenet-indexers are profiting in the same way that Truman Capote profited when he wrote a book about a notorious murder.

about 2 years ago

What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?

udin Re:The original UNIX source code (704 comments)

Even more so because AT&T decided to market licenses for Unix instead of just distributing, pissing off Stallman, who went and started the Free Software Movement in response.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Gifts For a 90-Year-Old, Tech-Savvy Dad?

udin Re:Maybe a 3d printer? (211 comments)

Yeah, but in a year or two whatever you get him will be obsolete...

more than 2 years ago

How Statistics Can Foul the Meaning of DNA Evidence

udin And if the people are relatives? (215 comments)

I served on a jury in which DNA evidence was presented, along with the expert witness' estimation of probability that two random people would have the same number of matching points of comparison (DNA is only matched at a relatively small number of points in the strand).

In this case, however, there were many people present at the discovery of the object from which the DNA was taken for analysis. As it happens, several of these people were relatives (brother, mother) of the person the prosecution were trying to persuade us was the person that possessed (in legal terms) the object.

The question that I kept hoping the defense attorney would ask was "what are the probabilities of an erroneous match if the people are relatives, not just two random people off the street"? Unfortunately, he didn't.

As it happened, there were so many other peculiarities in this case as well as some pretty bizarre testimony from prosecution witnesses that we voted to acquit without making much of the DNA evidence.

more than 4 years ago

EPA Reaches Goal On Data Center Study

udin Re: no plans... (75 comments)

I share your natural skepticism of public officials' pronouncements, but there is another factor: it is in the data centers' own best interest to analyze their energy use, since it's their biggest cost by far. Since there's a relatively rapid turnover in gear (compared to, say, power plants), the data centers are going to be very interested in energy use best practices and best gear even without a government mandate. And so are the manufacturers of said gear--they also have a fairly short product cycle. They might be a little cranky if the government pushes them, but their customers are already pushing them by looking at instructions/watt as well as instructions/second.

more than 6 years ago



udin udin writes  |  more than 8 years ago

udin (30514) writes "David A. Wheeler, in an article on his blog argues 'I think there is one primary reason Linux-based systems completely dominate the *BSDs' market share — Linux uses the protective GPL license, and the *BSDs use the permissive ("BSD-style") licenses...Every few years, for many years, someone has said, "Let's start a company based on this BSD code!"...They pull the *BSD code in, and some of the best BSD developers, and write a proprietary derivative. But as a proprietary vendor, their fork becomes expensive to self-maintain, and eventually the company founders or loses interest in that codebase (BSD/OS is gone; Sun switched to Solaris). All that company work is then lost forever, and good developers were sucked away during that period. Repeat, repeat, repeat. That's enough by itself to explain why the BSDs don't maintain the pace of Linux kernel development. But wait — it gets worse..'"


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