* Posts by dyfet

7 posts • joined 24 Aug 2009

BlackBerry tablet boots from 'floppy disk OS'

dyfet

QNX has a much longer and deeper history

While most seem to date their experience with QNX to the cute 1 disk boot of the later Neutrino kernel, QNX actually goes as far back as to the 80's, where originally it was a fully deterministic realtime microkernel system written entirely from scratch by Dan Hilderbrant for x86 PC hardware, and hence also predates the widespread use of things like ethernet. It was often used for industrial control (including nuclear power plants) and factory automation at that time.

Originally the unique feature of QNX was it's ability to treat micro-kernel system calls either as "local" messages between processes on the same machine, or distributed over a (arcnet) lan, in an entirely seem-less manner. Hence, one did not need to know where the actually computing for a system call physically happened. In this incarnation it support x86 real mode and later 286 "protected mode", as well as a C library that was generally "compatible with" posix/usrgrp libc "visible" standards. It's other primary characteristic was very high performance, thereby demonstrating indeed what the later Mach and GNU Hurd failed to achieve with micro-kernel architecture was actually possible.

Later came QNX4, which offered a more fully posix compliant interface while retaining it's primary focus on being a realtime microkernel and introduced threading to the architecture. It also supported the by then more "modern" PC hardware, and of course ethernet. Neutrino came after that.

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Feds want backdoors built into VoIP and email

dyfet
Grenade

GNU Telephony Statement on new Internet Surveillance Laws

Speaking on behalf of the GNU Telephony project, we do intend to openly defy such a law should it actually come to pass, so I want to be very clear on this statement. It is not simply that we will choose to publicly defy the imposition of such an illegitimate law, but that we will explicitly continue to publicly develop and distribute free software (that is software that offers the freedom to use, inspect, and modify) enabling secure peer-to-peer communication privacy through encryption that is made available directly to anyone worldwide. Clearly such software is especially needed in those places, such as in the United States, where basic human freedoms and individual dignity seem most threatened today.

In the United States the 4th amendment did not come about simply because it was impractical to directly spy on everyone on such a large scale. Nor does it end simply because it may now be technically feasible to do so. Communication privacy furthermore is essential to the normal functioning of free societies, whether speaking of whistle-blowers, journalists who have to protect their sources, human rights and peace activists engaging in legitimate political dissent, workers engaged in union organizing, or lawyers who must protect the confidentiality of their privileged communications with clients.

However, to fully appreciate the effect of such surveillance on human societies, imagine being among several hundred million people who wake up each day having to prove they are not a “terrorist” by whatever arbitrary means the government has decided to both define the terms of such a crime and whatever arbitrary methods unknown to you that they might choose to define you as such, and where even your prosecution is carried out under the immunity of “state secrets” that all police states use to abuse of their own citizens. Such a society is one who’s very foundation is built on the premise of everyone being guilty until proven innocent and where due process does not exist. It is the imposition of such a illegitimate society that we choose to openly oppose, and to do so in this manner.

David Alexander Sugar

Chief Facilitator

GNU Telephony

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Ares I: What's the point?

dyfet

Shuttle upgrades

The problem with keeping the shuttle is that while originally billed as a "cheap" way to go to low orbit, it actually is a VERY expensive program to run, even more so than conventional rockets it was intended to replace as a "lower cost" alternative. Indeed, as a pure cargo hauler, even the old Saturn V could have done the job with significantly less operational cost per actual pound delivered to orbit, as it turns out. NASA may not have funds to build even an Ares 1, but it definitely doesn't have funds to keep running a very expensive shuttle program when also adding the cost of building new or replacement shuttles, either.

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Word nemesis: Microsoft deliberately 'destroyed' our business

dyfet
Paris Hilton

Need it be said?

Partnering with Microsoft is like a pharmacy partnering with a drug cartel...even Paris would know better??

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Firefox 4.0 developers granted year of living dangerously

dyfet
Linux

Ideas spread, it is called freedom

Most ideas in software get spread around and shared, and/or are built on the ideas of others that came before, or combine many ideas from many existing sources sometimes in new and creative ways. This is what is called the human freedom to think and share, and also why we have copyright for software, as a means of expression. It is only proprietary software companies that try to exclusively control or patent other people's ideas that worry me, and there is only one organization that I know which both purposefully and maliciously chooses to do so by patenting other people's ideas. That to me is fraud. So I think the comparison offered by Mark is both irrelevant and incorrect.

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Microsoft pimps bogus Windows 7 'launch parties'

dyfet
Thumb Down

mini-notebook laptop?

Is that a netbook class computer that comes with a laptop price because the cost of a retail windows license has to be added to it? ;)

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Boffins in 'let's create black holes in the lab' jape

dyfet
Paris Hilton

Finally an answer to the Fermi Paradox

Nobody could get past the curious about the desktop black hole stage.

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