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Category: Libervis .blogs :
Author: lakerdonald (1:27 pm)
In case anybody reads this anymore, the new URL is http://libervis.com/blogs/6/lakerdonald
Author: lakerdonald (8:43 pm)
Hello all. I'm back from my blogging hiatus.
Kinda Jedi Linux news...kinda just general F/OSS news. I have officially moved the former Jedi GNU/Linux project, along with force-get and fs-make to a new endeavor known as the Jedi/GNU Project.
To this end, the name of Jedi GNU/Linux is now Jedi/GNU Linux, to fit the name of the Jedi/GNU Project.
The Jedi/GNU Project aims to provide a stable userland that fills in the gaps that the GNU Project has left.
It currently includes:
-abp (Automated Binary Packager)
-JedInit (*unreleased/in development)
-the JediSHell (*)
Just figured I'd announce it on an Open Source advocacy site.
Unfortunately there is no official hosting for us yet, but soon!
Well it's good to be back on Libervis!
Category: Libervis .blogs :
Author: lakerdonald (9:13 pm)
Short rant today, Kids!
As you all are well aware, Quake III was recently GPL'd ( source code wise ).
And as usual there's this whole convoluted build process that needs gcc-2.95 and some q3lcc assembly deal.
If it's impossible to compile, don't GPL it!
Author: lakerdonald (4:17 pm)
Almost 15 years ago, RMS penned the GPL v2. Back then, there wasn't so much to worry about; I mean, the Hurd was due out any month now, nobody had heard of Linux (except maybe Linus himself!), and software patents and intellectual property were things of which only lawyers spoke.
Fast forward to 2005: I.P. and software patents are words tossed about left, right, and center; the Internet has reached every country on the globe; and everybody with an Internet connection assumed their position atop the digital soapbox, preaching their views in blogs.
The record stores have been deserted in favor of P2P file-sharing networks, bootlegs burnt to CD-R, and Bittorrent. Most people have heard of Linux, even though they might have no idea what it is. Microsoft has dominated the software market. And the legal system of America (and the Globe, for that matter!) is littered with frivolous lawsuits over everything from hot coffee to the question of "Who the Hell owns LZW anyway?"
It is a brand new era, and it calls for a brand new GPL; enter GPL v3.
Due sometime around 2007, GPL v3 is supposed to address most, if not all of the issues mentioned above. It will be written by, of course, RMS, but he won't be going it alone. Stallman will be assisted by Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia, and a few other of his cronies at the FSF.
This would appear to be good news, right?
Well, on the surface, most definitely. The GPL v2 has certainly stood the test of time, but it just really doesn't address many pertainent issues that exist today. This has led many developers to go with other licenses, such as the BSD license, which gives the developer a bit more say in what goes on with his code. The GPL v2 has also turned off many businesses that didn't like the idea of having to distribute the source code for their application, simply because they were influenced by software released under some variation of the GPL. According to our "friends" at the FSF, GPL v3 will take care of that.
However, this does bring some concerns to my mind, not the least of which is that if the GPL v3 ends up being a radical departure from GPL v2, then developers will be left to contemplate the implications of releasing that new piece of software under the new GPL. This very well might lead to many project forks stemming from license disputes (XFree / Xorg, anybody?) and other headaches caused by legal issues derived from the new license...
The FSF certainly has a tough road ahead, and let's hope for the sake of the F/OSS movement that RMS treads lightly, and carries a big stick...
Author: lakerdonald (4:55 pm)
Okay people, put the torches and rope down! At least hear me out before you lynch me...That means you too!
First let me clear some things up:
Now that we have all of the prerequisites out of the way...
I am tired of hearing people say that proprietary software is inherently evil. I think it's a dumb idea, but it's not evil; here's why:
I firmly believe in capitalism, and to abolish anything proprietary would be to abolish all that is capitalist. If one so chooses to not redistribute the source code for his software, and as long as it's not a derived work from something released under a (semi-)Free/Open Source license, then all power to him. I think it's rather thick of him to do so, as now the software cannot, as tbuitenh put so well in his blog, mutate as easily.
However I do not believe that there is anything inherently wrong with wanting to keep it to yourself. You might say "Well that's basically what software patents are!". Well I say that's a load of balderdash. I think that the main thing wrong with software patents is the idea of trivial software patents acquired after the fact. However, if you distribute something closed-source, you shouldn't need a patent anyway; people can't access the sources, so they cannot therefore build off of it. I also do not believe that encryption algorithms and compression routines should be patented either; the point of such an algorithm is to make work easier for the rest of the world. If you wish to profit off of it, the GPL more than allows that to happen.
But I still see nothing inherently wrong with Closed Source/Proprietary Software. Despite what many say, Microsoft is not evil. Neither is Sony. Nor Intel. Nor AMD. None of them are inherently evil (okay, well maybe Sony is, but that's part of the PS2 planned-shortage conspiracy -- another rant altogether!), they just have chosen a different business model than we have.
Author: lakerdonald (2:21 pm)
Don't get too comfy based off of my last post...
Apple's switch might be the end of the world for another reason. For example, trusted computing:
In case you don't know wtf Trusted computing is:
Author: lakerdonald (10:41 am)
As everybody and their computer-illiterate Grandmother undoubtedly knows by now, Apple is now going to an Intel-built chip.
Just thought I'd let you all know...since according to everybody, this is a big deal...or something.
It's really not...Despite what I've heard, Apple will continue to make different computers, not the same HP/Dell/Sony/Gateway black-boxes that have flooded the market. Apple is still going to be doing the iPod, and no, Bill Gates doesn't now own iTunes. Bill Gates doesn't even work for Intel, so I don't know what that guy was smoking.
Just figured you should know.
Author: lakerdonald (10:17 pm)
In a 648-14 vote (with 18 abstentions), the European Parliament has voted against the controversial 'Computer-implemented Inventions Directive' on its second reading.
This was not what I expected to see when I did my daily news run...
And I'll tell you why. (After all that's the point of a blog, right?)
First off, I live in the United States. Most of you don't.
So why should your Parliamentary Decisions affect the workings of my McFreedom with a side of fries?
Because software is a global entity. It is as universal as mankind itself. Where there is man, there exists computers. And where there are computers, then logically there must exist software to run said computers. Somebody had to write that software, and instead of having some guy in every village in the world build their own computers and write their own software, we have some guy in some other country do it for the whole world.
In english: Europe is one of those countries containing a bunch of those guys.
So if one of those guys in Europe is allowed to patent every line of code that ever crossed his mind, then that means that when one of those guys in one of those other countries wants to write a program, he'll either have to fork over tons of money or reinvent the wheel.
What about when John Q. Notfromhere wants to use this software that's been patented from here to Turkmenistan and back? He either has to reinvent the wheel, pay some guy to reinvent the wheel, or fork over a bunch of money to use a program that contains a component that's been patented from here to Turkmenistan and back by some guy in France.
Author: lakerdonald (6:55 pm)
Well, my mom just got a Camera Phone today. "Big deal," you say, "Her and about a bajillion other Americans." Well, the bajillion other Americans don't matter to me. But my mom getting a camera phone made me wonder: Why?
Why do we need a phone which takes pictures? If that doesn't give you any pause, then let me rephrase: Why do we need a camera that lets us speak to somebody else? For years, people have gotten by with their camera and their cell-phone as two seperate items. Hell, people have gone for years with neither of them! So why do we need a phone that does pictures, or a camera that does words?
"Because that's the technology of today!" you might be shouting.
"That's forward thinking! That's what progress is all about!" you continue.
But think of it my way for a second. Take your basic cell phone, for instance. It's small, fits in your pocket, allows you to keep in touch while you're on the road, and it'll run you about $50 or $60, unless you get it bundled with a service plan, and then you'll probably get it free. Now take that service plan. It's gonna run you between $20 and $30, because all you're gonna really use it for is keeping your family on the same page, and occasionally ringing up a friend or two.
"Sounds great!" you say, "But what's your point?"
My point, good friend, is that there's no such thing as a cheap cell phone and there's no such thing as a basic plan anymore. They're out there, but they're hard to find. Now you have to pay between $50 and $200 a month for Mobile Web, Text Messaging, Video Messages, and Voice Mails. And if you can find a free phone, it's generally only available with the ueber-expensive plans, and it's got everything but the kitchen sink integrated in it (although they are releasing prototypes with an included sink next month, more on that tomorrow!), and it runs at least 100 clams. Jesus Christ!
And all I wanted to do was talk on the bloody phone.
Author: lakerdonald (8:06 pm)
I picked up a copy of Computer Shopper the other day, and I was enticed by a caption on the cover which proclaimed a first look at the new Pentium 4.
So I took myself to page 28, and read about the arrival of the Pentium 4 660, the latest in Intel's 6xx series of processors. This was the "latest and greatest Pentium", clocking in at 3.6Ghz.
"Wow," I thought, "with the Hyper Threading that's 7 gigs a second."
Well if this 3.6Ghz marvel was truly the new kid on the block, then why was I presented with the Pentium 4 570 four pages later, a processor which clocked in at 3.8Ghz?
"Maybe it doesn't have HT?" I thought. So I googled it, and sure enough, it has HT.
I finally realized that the 660 was 64-bit, but it wasn't readily apparent. Intel didn't call it the Pentium 4 660 64-bit or the Pentium 64. It was just the Pentium 4 660. Now if I were Intel, I'd be marketing this a lot different. I'd make sure that my end-users knew that this was a 64-bit, consumer processor that wasn't just for Servers and the guys in IT. AMD is proud of their 64 bit processors; it's in the bloody name (AMD Athlon 64!). But no, it's just the Pentium 4 660 HT.
I tip my hat to you Intel, for another blunder in your Marketing Department. No wonder you've got the leading market-share!