Re: Their outlook
>Not going a way mad, just going away where you can not find me.
Hah, joke's on you. They can find you anywhere.
68 posts • joined 27 Oct 2016
>Sell the software for £0 and charge for support, retraining and consultancy
I think this business model creates all the wrong incentives.
- in order to sell support, the product must *need* support - if the software is stable and rock solid, companies will see that and save on support they never need to use.
- to make money from retraining users, the software must change so much between versions that normal users can't just install the new version and become productive by themselves.
- if you want to sell consultancy services, the product must be difficult to use - or at least, difficult to use efficiently; that also discourages the developer from writing sufficient documentation and/or tools.
- if you want to sell tailored extensions to companies, you'll have to deal with other folks, who haven't invested any time or effort in writing the software but can take your code, study it, then declare themselves experts and undercut you in the extensions market. To maintain some competitive advantage over them, your code must be difficult and obfuscated enough that they can't discover all the details by simply examining it.
If you reverse the model, and take money upfront, but offer cheap or free support (maybe as a warranty), then all the incentives are reversed: support becomes a cost, so you want your product to be as solid as possible, easy to use, easy to upgrade and consistent over upgrades (because upgrades are the way you, the developer get more money). People to write extensions and plugins on top of your software are now driving more sales, so they become helpers, not competition.
>I skipped on MS Basic till VB5.
But did you really? If you used BASIC on a Commodore (PET all the way to the 128), an Apple (II+ forwards), a TRS-80, any of the MSX machines, a Thompson or Olivetti, or even an Altair 8080, then you used a BASIC written or licensed from Microsoft.
>What BSD makes it "freer" to do is steal code and falsely claim ownership of if.
Bullshit. Utter bullshit.
If developer A releases some code under a BSD license, nobody can claim ownership over that code. Developer B can modify or extend A's code, and may choose not to release his changes to all and sundry, but he can't claim ownership over A's code. A third party, C, can still use the original code released by A with no restrictions. What B gets is the freedom to choose how to release his code.
GPL advocates like you are the choosing beggar subset of third parties, bellyaching because A didn't force B to give them his (B's) code as well. To obfuscate the issue, they take a page from Orwell's book and redefine "freedom" to mean "more restrictions" and "free" as in "taking away choices".
You could perhaps argue that the GPL promotes sharing, or that it creates a more vibrant ecosystem - and that may be true. The kind of word games you're trying instead doesn't hold though.
>immediately after any head of government ended their tenure, a formal investigation were to be started as a matter of routine to determine whether any criminal offences were committed by their government whilst in power
Terry Pratchett has an even better solution:
“We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they’re elected. Don’t you?’
‘It saves time.”
My first job was in the data center of a building company, who had a PDP-11 clone, running RSX-11. The data center team consisted of a number of data input operators, and a couple of IT guys that handled system administration, running the accounting and inventory suites, and sometimes writing some small custom programs for the data input people. Having too much time on my hands, I went and studied PDP-11 assembly and the OS system calls. I thus discovered that, when the ABO (ABORT) command is issued for a program, the OS calls a particular entry point into the program - and, using assembly, one could hook into the system call and return a code that rejected the abort.
The evil plan was thus hatched; I wrote a small program that wrapped the "Dungeon" game; when the wrapper was run, it started the real game, but remained resident. Every few minutes, the program would write a line to the console ("Hello, this is the teaser") and would beep. When the operator tried to abort the teaser, it would reply with an angry message and refuse to quit. I was still a nice guy then, so I added a solution: if the operator ran ABO three times, the teaser would exit (after complaining bitterly about feeling unloved).
I gave the tape with the Dungeon game and my wrapper to a friend in a sister company; he ran the wrapper, and ended up beeped every few minutes. He didn't discover the 3 times ABORT trick; instead he turned off the console and went to play the game on a different one. Other folks in the team (his team was bigger then ours) saw him playing Dungeon, and tried it too, with the same result - my friend told me the afternoon ended up with all consoles beeping randomly ("it was like birds singing", he said), and they finally rebooted the computer to get rid of all the teaser instances.
> If the input data set is not carefully screened then obviously it will contain biases, which in turn will influence the models. Screening of the input dataset might not be an option because of the sheer volume of data required.
If you intentionally filter the input data to get a particular result, then you'll get the result you want to get - it's a tautology. However the resulting model will be useless.
The correct procedure is not to screen the input data at all - on the contrary, you should ensure your data collection procedure is as thorough and unbiased as possible, so that it doesn't unintentionally introduce bias. If the volume of data is large enough, outliers will be averaged out, and then your model has the best chance to match reality.
A colleague had set his desktop background to a photo of him with his wife, on a bridge. He left the machine unlocked once, so I replaced the photo with a photoshopped version, with his wife removed (the background being foliage, the clone tool did a pretty good job).
The next day, when he turned on his machine, we all assured him his wife was only gone to do some shopping and will be back soon.
>If you dont like it fuck off and never use a google service again
If only it were that simple... Unfortunately, Google will not stop tracking you, no matter whether you use their services or not. There is no way to opt out of the stalking - online or in real life.
Any number of non-Google web sites (such as, to pick a completely random example, theregister.co.uk) will call google-analytics.com, googletagservices.com, googleapis.com, gstatic.com, or who knows what other Google properties, and snitch on you. At least in the USA, Google buys or otherwise collects more than two thirds of the credit card transactions you make in brick and mortar stores. Any breath you take, any move you make, they'll be watching you.
The numbers I saw bandied around the internet put the difference between male and female wages between 10% and 30% (allegedly for the same work). Especially in labor-heavy businesses, having a 10 to 30 percent lower cost is a crushing advantage over the competition. So why don't all-female (including HR) companies simply out-compete the sexist ones?
Not much of a mammoth though. The law allows a maximum fine proportional to the company's income (up to 4%) - but 50 million is not even 0.05% of Google's annual income. They can find this much in their other pants.
As to the zoological classification, if a fine of 4% is the mammoth (weighing say 5 tons), then 0.05% corresponds to about 60 kg - so this is at most a small sheep fine.
>Windows spelled its end, because it couldn't adapt to the new GUI quickly enough.
I was a hardcore user of WordPerfect under DOS (I still believe WP 5.1 is the pinnacle of word processors), at the point where I had pretty much all key combinations (with Shift, Ctrl and Alt too) already burned down to muscle memory.
When I had to switch to Windows, I found, much to my surprise, that most of the key combos didn't work anymore in WP for Windows. However, they did work with the WP compatibility mode of Word for Windows! I had to switch to Word because, ironically, it was a better WordPerfect than WordPerfect.
>Kids today can still have all the joys of working constrained bare metal on the Raspberry Pi GPU
They could, but I don't think it's as interesting to young people anymore. Around the time of the ZX-81 there was a certain energy, a certain excitement in tinkering with microprocessors, which I don't think still exist. Now it's mostly a trade, not a passion.
It's the way of the world: building your own ham radio, or stereo amplifier, or getting some old broken car and rebuilding it in your backyard used to be fun activities, if you were geeky enough. They have become unfashionable, just like building your own computer, writing your own low level code or playing World of Warcraft.
AFAIK (please correct me if I'm wrong), since switching away from Yahoo as a default search provider last year, Mozilla gets a majority of its income from Google. I wonder: does this new tough anti-tracking policy also apply to Google trackers? If it does, will it still be worth it for Google to keep financing the Mozilla Foundation?
>First HD I had in my own PC was 20MB
God yes, same here. The version of DOS I had couldn't even conceive such a large volume could exist, so I had to split the disk in a 16 MB and a 4 MB partition.
And I managed to play "The Secret of Monkey Island" all the way through, even though my 8086 PC only had a CGA graphics card *and* a green on black monochrome monitor. At some point in the game, the player gets a list of ingredients he needs to collect, written with multicolored characters. On the 4 color CGA display, different colors were merged, so the writing wasn't recognizable - only a few pixels of each letter could be seen. I didn't even realize it was just an issue with my bottom of the barrel display. I thought it was another puzzle, and the list was intentionally written in some secret alphabet - and cheerfully spent some quality time decoding it.
>[Access not being available on Linux] may not be such a bad thing. [...] in so many cases the result far exceeds what Access was intended for, and really should been written as a "proper" application.
Agreed, but for each case where the business needs end up outgrowing Access, there must be tens or hundreds of cases where somebody who may not be a full-time developer was able to put together a small Access app that does what they need quickly and cheaply.
I sometimes need to fix something small in the house - I'm not a professional plumber, and I don't have a set of professional tools; this doesn't stop me from replacing the occasional gasket, using some generic screwdriver or wrench I happen to have around. And I disagree with the idea that wrenches shouldn't be available to non-professional plumbers because they're sometimes not the right tool for the job.
From a Romanian friend, here's a catastrophically bad Google translation: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ro&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gustos.ro%2Fretete-culinare%2Fchec-cu-nuci-si-rahat.html&edit-text=
"Rahat" is the Romanian word for Turkish delight. It is also an euphemism for excrement. Google chooses the idiom instead of the main meaning, with hilarious results.
On the same page, Google's advice to " do the dick test to check if it's baking" should instead suggest to "do the toothpick test"..
Context doesn't matter to the offence culture. You can even get sacked if you don't use the N word at all, but say something that sounds similar to uneducated ears - see not one, but repeated examples here . I can understand why somebody would be wary.
>They literally asked for feedback on their diversity and hiring policies following a training session.
"I want someone to tell me", Lieutenant Scheisskopf beseeched to them all prayerfully. "If any of it is my fault, I want to be told."
"He wants someone to tell him," Clevinger said.
"He wants everyone to keep still, idiot," Yossarian answered.
"Didn't you hear him?" Clevinger argued.
"I heard him," Yossarian replied. "I heard him say very loudly and very distinctly that he wants every one of us to keep our mouths shut if we know what's good for us."
"I won't punish you", Lieutenant Scheisskopf swore.
"He says he won't punish me", said Clevinger.
"He'll castrate you," said Yosarrian.
"I swear I won't punish you," said Lieutenant Scheisskopf. "I'll be grateful to the man who tells me the truth."
"He'll hate you", said Yossarian. "To his dying day he'll hate you."
>For the simple reason that Google et al are American companies, and if they got broken up it would mean the US would lose real dominance of the Internet.
That would imply that congresscritters care about America. Watching their activities, it doesn't seem to be the case. You're right however that it won't happen, but for a different reason. Google, well aware its whole business model is based on shaky moral and legal grounds, are on track to become the biggest spender on lobbying in the USA. As long as they keep their shopping bag full of congressmen, Google is in no danger of legislative action.
>The GPL, unlike the MIT license, protects against people adding a small thing to an open-source program that might become necessary to use it - thus taking it out of being usable in its open-source form.
What are you talking about? If party A releases something under a MIT license, and party B adds some small thing to it, do you honestly believe party C can't use A's code anymore? If so, you have absolutely no understanding of how things work.
Don't assume Google doesn't know about you just because searches for your name come up with nothing. You have no access to their internal databases . If you could search those, you may find a lot of stuff under your Google Advertising ID. You might find out it's correlated to your home computer's MAC address, to your phone UDID and phone number, to your credit card transactions, probably your travel history (from locations of IP addresses or cell phone towers) and web access history (from Google's DNS servers) - plus who knows what else.
From the images, it passed very close to the Sun - deep within the orbit of Mercury. Statistically, given the size of the Universe, that looks really unlikely. If it was an alien spacecraft, it may have used the close passage for a gravity assist maneuver - keep into a mind we only saw it on its way out, and the incoming path is extrapolated. If it was just a space rock, either we were really lucky, or there are orders of magnitude more such objects passing through the Solar system, but somehow we failed to see any until now.
>The phrase "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should" is obviously lost on these scientists.
"Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow."
— Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein
>Need to log in to a user's workstation? The password is 1: Under the keyboard, 2: On a post-it stuck to the monitor or, if you're very lucky, written on a notepad in the top drawer under the desk.
And this can be fine, if you understand your security threat; if your attacker has physical access to your office, you have bigger problems. Passwords under keyboards can't be read by hackers in Russia or China, which are in most cases the bigger risk.
Add the fact that many companies with bad understanding of security require passwords to be at least 75 characters long, contain mixed case letters, digits, and at least two wingdings, and be changed every full moon and you can't reasonably expect users to memorize them.
>I think Dirk Gently was the best book Adams wrote.
I agree - and I believe it shows Adams' evolution as a writer paralleled Pratchett's in some ways. They both started with gag-driven works, with little or no characterization, and with no plot to speak of beyond a flimsy framework to hang gags to - that's particularly the case for Adams' Hitchhiker books, but also for the first few Discworld books (especially the Rincewind the Wizzard series). As they both matured as writers, their later books become less dependent on gags, the plots become interesting in themselves, and the characters grow deeper and better fleshed.
Pratchett grew immeasurably as a writer - amazingly, without losing his humor; his later books are still laugh out loud funny. I think the Dirk Gently books show Adams was following a similar path. It's a tragedy Adams died so young; I think his best work was still ahead of him.
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