Bryan

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Everything posted by Bryan

  1. OpenSource Software

    I don't think its fair to say that Linux is simply a UNIX clone. Linux is definitely designed under the philosophy of UNIX, but I would consider more of an evolution of UNIX. Every modern operating system is, to some degree, a derivative of an OS that previously existed. Operating System Comparisons What about when commercial companies decide to make their original products open source for others to improve upon or learn from? Sun recently made Java open source. Netscape made their web-browser open source (which evolved into Firefox, IMO the best web-browser available). John Carmack (Doom, Quake, etc.) releases all his video game engines open source after their economic life-cycle ends. I guess I'm confused why this is viewed in a negative light.
  2. OpenSource Software

    It is my understanding that Stallman has very little influence in today's open source and Linux community. Most people (correctly) find his ideas to be crazy. Although, he did create Emacs, one of the best text editors of all-time. As far as antipathy toward profit-making, I would check with Linus Torvalds about the riches he's accumulated as a result of creating the original Linux kernel. An interesting side note, this forum is powered by at least one open source technology, PHP. And I'm guessing it also uses MySQL, an open source database.
  3. OpenSource Software

    What do you mean the "hard and unique part was done by a commercial company"? What ideas did they copy and from whom?
  4. OpenSource Software

    Do you have evidence of open source software is funded by taxes? And don't confuse altruism with philanthropy. For example, I don't consider anything Mark Shuttleworth did to start Ubuntu Linux as altruistic.
  5. OpenSource Software

    If that were true, then why can you go to your local Best Buy or CompUSA and purchase a distribution of Linux? How is Red Hat a publicly traded company? Open source software is more about a voluntary exchange of ideas than it is about communal ownership. It provides a way for people to work on projects that they feel passionate about and to work on things that they would not normally have an opportunity to do. Some the best minds in the software development world today are very active in open source projects. It is not because they are socialist; it is because the open source model provides best way to create the product they desire to make. In my opinion, Ubuntu Linux is the second best desktop operating system available (second only to Mac OS X). As each day passes Microsoft loses more of its market share to open source operating systems. This is not because of some communist conspiracy; it is because the open source software is better.
  6. Buying a new computer

    If it works directly with PDAs and cell phones, why would it not work with a Mac?
  7. Buying a new computer

    Do you have the brand new Mac-Mini model? The one with a 1.5GHz Intel processor? If so, you should not have any problem running The Objectivism Research CD through Virtual PC. I have a 1.5GHz PowerBookG4 (a processor considerably slower than the one in the new Mac-Minis), and I can run The Objectivism Research CD perfectly. The overall performance of Windows through Virtual PC isn't very good, but it works fine for programs that are not computationally intensive. The Objectivism Research CD is essentially a text reader, not a major CPU hog. Of course the simplest solution to the problem would be for Mr. Oliver to release a Mac version As an aside, welcome to the world of Apple. OS X works the way operating systems should work. Here are a couple OS X programs that I have come to love: Quicksilver - has changed the way I use my computer. Shiira - the best web browser I have ever used.
  8. Wireless internet

    It appears that this is actually going to be provided by Google for free: Google bids to help San Francisco go wireless
  9. Adware

    I recommend using Firefox, I have been using that with Windows machines for almost 2 years and I haven't had any trouble with spyware. It seems that most spyware exploits weaknesses in Internet Explorer specifically. In addition, Firefox is more streamlined than IE and webpages will load faster.
  10. The Objectivism Research CD-ROM

    How about a version that will run in Linux or OS X? The only reason I have any sort of Windows installed is so that I can use The Objectivism Reasearch CD-ROM.
  11. The Political Compass

    Economic Left/Right: 8.38 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.05
  12. Why Is Oil So Expensive?

    I actually work in the title and lease department, dealing with leases and contracts. Specifically, I handle the division of interests on wells. Simply put, my job is to make sure that everyone pays and gets paid correctly based on their interest in a particular well. It is a sort of integration between the land dept, operations, and accounting.
  13. Why Is Oil So Expensive?

    It's actually remarkably simple because, as I said before, they function as a landowner, not a government agency. You simply cut them a check every month for the revenue produced on their leases. I just started a semi-permanent career at a fairly large oil company, I've been working in the industry for about a year. When I see how much money the federal government takes in from oil and gas production, it floors me. Between royalty interests and taxes they probably get over 20% of the gross revenue of oil and gas production in this country.
  14. Why Is Oil So Expensive?

    On this point, we agree. If an oil company develops lands controlled by the government, ownership of the land should be transferred to the company.
  15. Why Is Oil So Expensive?

    It's misleading to say that the US government collects royalties, as opposed to taxes, on all US oil production. And when you say that the US government nationalized the oil sources, who owned them before?
  16. Why Is Oil So Expensive?

    This is slightly misleading, royalties are only paid to the government if they own the land where the oil is extracted. If the land is privately owned, royalties are paid to the private landowner. Federal and state governments always get a standard 12.5% royalty interest on their oil and gas leases. The standard royalty on a private lease is usually 15%, sometimes as high as 20%. Whoever the owner, royalties are paid to them. The question of whether the government should be allowed to own land and directly profit from oil and gas production is another matter altogether.
  17. Coffee Dilemma

    Next time you buy the coffee and the cashier asks you how much it is, tell them it costs $14.98/lb. . Do that for as many lbs. you got at the inadvertent discount. Actually, I would just let it go. The error was not yours, it was theirs. The price of the coffee was obviously ambiguous or the mistake would not have been made and the fault falls completely on the store. I worked retail for several years while I was in high school and college, and I can not tell you how many thousands of dollars I've given away in discounts because things that were priced wrong, ordered incorrectly, or damaged during shipping/stocking. These things are simply costs of doing business in retail. Look at your discount on the coffee as your reward for being honest. Think about the hundreds of dollars the store loses through shoplifting each day, and contrast that with the type of customer they have in you. How many other customers would make the effort to correct the mistake as you have done?
  18. The United States Army

    I wouldn't worry too much about your integrity, I'd worry more about theirs. So far you've done everything that you were supposed to. On the other hand, they've messed up your paperwork and lied to you about the length of your training, something that would have messed up your education.
  19. Google Earth

    They're not actually 3D, its difficult to explain without actually looking at them. The perspective is altered slightly on the standard overhead satellite photos and the result is a fairly effective 3D look. There's an option to switch back and forth between 3D and 2D.
  20. Google Earth

    I recommend taking a look at the vegas strip, I spent a lot of time looking at those sprawling casino properties and golf courses. There are supposedly areas on the strip where you can zoom in to a resolution of about half a meter, though I haven't been able to find them.
  21. Flag Burning

    When it is said that it is required to be passed by 3/4 of the states, does that mean 3/4 of the states' legislatures or 3/4 of the states on a ballot initiative that everyone registered to vote can vote on?
  22. Batman Begins (2005)

    I also gave it a 9. I was truly impressed, this is the best comic book based movie ever made. I'm wondering, was this an 'original' Batman story (the part about his ninja-like origins), or was it based on a comic book storyline?
  23. Seinfeld (1990)

    That's the best news I've heard all day. I know there was some doubt whether or not there was going to be another season.
  24. Seinfeld (1990)

    I also noticed this plot structure when watching Larry David's newer series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, on HBO. Everything always comes full circle at the end. I speculate that is has to do with Larry David's and Jerry Seinfeld's roots in stand-up comedy. A lot of stand-up acts work the same way, they have a central bit that is built upon and split into other lines of jokes and then the act returns to central (presumably funniest) joke in the finale at the end of the act. Seinfeld has absolutely ruined me from watching other sitcoms on network TV because nothing can hold a candle to it. I actually think Curb Your Enthusiasm is better though, and I highly recommend any Seinfeld fans who have not seen it to check it out (the first three seasons are out on DVD).
  25. An amazing movie clip

    That is a bizarre illusion. I can't tell if there are two people under that cloak or if the person is walking on stilts, either way it's a good trick.