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AMD Releases 2 Low-Power 64-bit Processors

whatnotever Re:servers (121 comments)

Low-power chips are great for low-load servers.

Yup. I've had my home server/access-point/router/stereo/whatever running on a K6-2 for years, now. The only time I notice it's slow is when aptitude takes its time reading or updating its database. Even an Atom would be a massive speed upgrade, but I just don't need it.

more than 4 years ago
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Universities Patenting More Student Ideas

whatnotever Re:Exploitation (383 comments)

... THE STUDENTS ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR USE OF THESE RESOURCES ...

Most students are not. Most of these inventions were produced by graduate students performing research. Most graduate students doing research in areas that have commercially valuable applications are paid to do that research.

So almost all of these patents and royalties are coming from the work of graduate students who were supported by research grants - employees of the university, essentially.

I'm a graduate student in computer science. I'm paid to do research. Honestly, I'm not even sure whether I am allowed to use the code I've written here after I graduate. But I can release it with an open license (at least open for research use) before I leave to get around that, I think. It's a fairly murky area, and I get the feeling most grad students don't understand the full implications. Most times, no one really cares. However, it is very clear that if there is money involved, the university gets a cut.

more than 5 years ago
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Gov't Computers Used to Find Info on "Joe the Plumber"

whatnotever Re:Is anybody seriously surprised? (793 comments)

Anybody? I'd think that the personal data of just about any news figure is combed over. This is certainly unfortunate but hardly surprising.

Here's the problem. The personal data of news figure should not be combed over by anyone. Please don't just throw up your hands and say "this is certainly unfortunate."

Do you know anyone who works in a government job with access to any sort of records? How about anyone in IT with access to the company's databases for HR, payroll, etc.? These people are just like the rest of us, with the same curiosity and the same failings. They're just as tempted to know interesting little details about other people as anyone else, but they have the power to see those details easily. Many will not be able to avoid the temptation. Most of those people are harmless. Some aren't. Think about how someone who doesn't like you could use personal details of your life against you. There are a *lot* of ways.

We do not live in the world of 1984, nor do we live in a police state with institutionalized, encouraged spying on one's neighbors. But privacy values are malleable, and they can and do shift over time. Your statement and others like it make me feel that we are shifting towards a culture with no expectations of privacy -- towards 1984. Please do what you can to prevent that; at the least, please consider your own views, how they apply to the rest of us, and how they affect the general culture of privacy we have now.

It's a tired analogy, but again, why do people send mail in sealed envelopes as opposed to on postcards or other readable-by-anyone methods? Even if they are doing nothing wrong? The knowledge can provide some power over us, and so there are things they simply don't want other people to know. And we respect that. We should respect that.

more than 5 years ago

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