2199 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Re: Wherever you go, there you are.
They made a TV show called "The IT Crowd" and it was a hit all around the world. Why not a musical?
Featuring such worldwide hit songs as:
"Reboot! (Have you tried turning it off and on again?)"
"Wikipedia is down (what am I going to do?)"
"Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god..."
"The Failwhale is back, baby!"
...and many more!
Buy your season's tickets now!
Re: Why would following constitute endorsement?
Nicho has the right of it. Philosophy is not relevant to a systems administrator blog. The practical application and real world effects of other's people's philosophies are. I am not here to grapple with right and wrong. I am here to examine how the world is, and attempt to deal with it.
Preferably whilst remaining on the more profitable side of any transaction.
The fact that there are so many viewpoints on what is or isn’t acceptable, “good practice” and so forth makes social media – be it talking about work with friends at the bar, or using Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn – a professional minefield. This is not “settled.” This is not something that “we have established law/social moores/etc” for.
Each generation seems to have new technologies, new social mediums, new takes on the work/life split and new appreciations for the liberties that should be afforded to the individual. In modern America, unions are a curse word. Corporations are viewed as morally deserving of rights and freedoms. Even (sometimes especially) in a fashion that supersedes those of individuals, workers and even governments.
This isn’t true in Canada, and nearly ever nation in Europe has a different take form the next. Hell, Within my province of Alberta alone, I can name you five different cities where the prevailing attitudes of corporate/personal rights (and the balance that needs be maintained between them) is completely different one from the other.
Social media is the most visible battle ground for these philosophical, political and economic debates. But it is one where the questions at hand meet the real world implementations requested and required of systems administrators.
You may be asked to set up social media. You may be asked to monitor social media usage from within your network. You may be asked to monitor social media posted by employees outside the corporate network. You may be asked a lot of things.
How will you deal with it? How have you dealt with it? Are you in a position to back up your morals? Hell, what are your morals in this regard? If you are in a position to back up your morals…will you take the risk?
This article isn’t a series of philosophical questions. This article is about the application of philosophy in the real world. Perhaps to some it is a minor difference, but I feel it’s an important one.
Re: Bored to extinction.
Many forums, but fish belong on ALL the forums. :)
Re: Alternatively ....
Sorry; was not trying to bash salties. (Well, any more than a freshie normally does.) But simply raising the point that the hobby - both fresh and salt - has it's share of things to answer for. Your point is well taken however; most serious hobbiests deplore the enviromental destruction, and go to great legnths to avoid participating in those aspects of the hobby.
Re: "Two words: Power consumption."
Patrick, buddy, you are wrong. Home automation tech is easy. It is simple to set up. At worst, you need to ensure that all your devices have the same logo on it.
"The market" isn't a bit of magic that automatically makes tech plentiful and cheap as soon as standards are settled and the basic ideas are sound. The problem is far - far - more basic than you seem to grasp: it is the problem of the chicken and the egg.
Home automation tech isn't everywhere because home automation tech isn't everywhere. It has nothing to do with easy of use, or even the standards. It has everything to do with lack of mind share amongst manufacturers and the fact that one piece of home automation tech is useless, where as a dozen or so starts to make for a smart home.
Home automation tech faces an uphill battle simply because – for it to work properly – you really need to have multiple bits of gear. I am not talking strictly about the technology involved, but the practical aspects of reaping the benefits of automation.
Not having to poke the fish filter doesn’t save me a huge amount of time. But not having to poke the fish filter, furnace, A/C, fridge, individual light bulbs, toilet paper stocks, security system, windows and all the other bits of maintenance that go with owning a home…that does add up to a great deal of time saved.
The problem is that for home automation tech to take off…home automation tech has to have already taken off. Hobbiests can only take it so far. For it to ever work it needs to not be a “selling feature” and start being “just another tickbox item.”
People may not buy a device because it has a home automation logo at first. But if you start building it into all your products now, soon enough people will choose not to buy any device that doesn’t have the home automation tech built in.
Look; you wouldn’t buy a car in Canada without a defrost setting on the HVAC. It’s lunacy. But the car dealerships don’t sell cars here advertising the existence of the defrost setting. It is simply expected. Not having that feature would simply mean no sale, regardless of however nice the car is otherwise.
This is where we need to get to for home automation; widespread manufacturer support. Get enough of the gadgets into the home, and you can start to tell people “you know, half your stuff already has this. Buy this widget, plug it into your home router and it suddenly all starts working!” (Home automation tech actually is that simple. Some of the widgety boxen even speak all three major protocols.)
At that point, they will buy the widget, play with it…
…and never buy another widget for the house without the automation tech again.
We don’t need to make it more simple. It’s simple enough. We need to make it more widespread.
Re: "Two words: Power consumption."
Zigbee, Z-wave and LPBluetooth are all dead simple. Home automation mesh tech is easy as pie. Device selection is all that is lacking.
Re: Webcam pointed at the filter display, and a bit of image processing...
Fish tank error conditions are chemical. If the chemical error conditions get to the point of affecting fish behaviour, you may already be too late. (Single exception: the tail of the red-tailed black shark will change colour with even the most minor chemical deltas. Sensitive shark is a test stip.)
Re: Alternatively ....
I like the cold. When it is cold; put more on. When it is warm, I can legally only take so much off. But the question of carbon footprint is valid. Fish - and reptiles - are carbon intensive hobbies. They also potentially disrupt several ecosystems. The saltwater hobby is destroying coral reefs, for example. We are right to ask the uncomfortable questions.
But these hobbies also save species. The red-tailed black shark only exists today because of the hobby. It's habitat was destroyed by Chinese industrialisation some time ago.
There are no quick and easy answers....and real action on environmental issues requires cooperation on an international level. But I choose to do what I can to make up for my wasteful lifestyle. I understand the science behind these concerns. If I didn't put the effort into addressing them...what kind of person would that make me?
As to the pint; sure! There's a wonderful local microbrewery called Alley Kat. If you're ever around, give me a holler so I can introduce you....
Re: "Two words: Power consumption."
Mesh networking is why they can work in low power environments. Handy for getting sensors into places where you have battery or PV power.
Re: Why WiFi or Bluetooth
Why not powerline ethernet?
Because I respect my local radio hams. And they're smart enough to track it to my house in about a day. I know; they've shown me.
Aye, works for my beardie. Not so good for the Anole + Gecko tank, but that's only because they exist primairily as devices to get fecal matter stuck on plastic foliage. (They are never really found except in said foliage.)
But I worry a lot les about lizards than I do fish. I've seen tanks crash in just a few hours. (They have to be overstocked, but it does happen.) The beardie, OTOH, can go a weekend without a heat lamp. She'll just go into torpor for a while and be very grumpy for a while. Give her some horn worms after you pick up the new cermaic bulb and she's right as rain.
Actually, the herp hobby has a lot of neat stuff here. Lots of thermalsensor-based lamp controls, etc. The one thing I have a miserable time sourcing is an auto-mister. Really would like a decent one. It would sure beat my "bucket on the top of the cage with a hole in the bottom" system...
Re: A Simpler Solution
So that's where all the stories of ropefish being found in the filter keep coming from! Escape artists, the lot of 'em!
Re: The Problem?
It costs too much to add a $30 Raspberry pi, $5 worth of sensors and $10 worth of R&D (after adjusting for volume) on top of a $1000 store-top sign? What? The functionality alone is worth an additional $100, which leaves room for margin!
And yes, a lot of people are wiling to pay an additional 10% on the items they buy if it includes sensors and reporting. Our time - the time to constantly check all the equipment, everywhere - is worth more than a 10% up front additional capital cost.
It is false economy to attempt to drive down the initial capex in exchange for increased opex.
Ai-yi-yi-yi...what company do you run?!? *fear*
Webcam tells you want about water quality?
Though it does make me happy when I am away from home, and want to see how all my catfish are doing. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle! Catfish! \o/
Re: Alternatively ....
No frunace = death. I live in Edmonton. Winters here will kill you.
Besides, I pay the extra money to source my 'leccy from the wind farms in the south (Alberta has more wind power deployed than any province excepting Ontario,) and I do more than my part to fund the reforestation efforts in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. I'd be willing to be my carbon footprint is negative, despite being a fat nerd from the evil oil-producing province.
I even go out of my way to ensure that (most) of the fish I get are hobby-bred, not wild caught. Admittedly there is debate about this within the hobby. There is a significant school of thought that says that – especially in Peru – the folks who currently can earn a living with sustainable fish trade (specifically various Corydoras species) would otherwise turn to deforestation to support agriculture if that trade dried up.
I try to do my research and make my decisions on a species-by-species purchase. What’s your carbon footprint like?
Re: It's been done already
If the fish swims upside down, please don't give up on them. They probably have a swim bladder disorder; and this is something that can usually be dealt with. Remove the fish to a dedicated tank with little-to-no current. Keep the water clean with regular changes. Feed the fish nothing for three days. (They will be fine!). This should reduce intestinal pressure on the swim bladder. If the fish is still swimming weird, feed them shelled peas.
Visually inspect the fish. Look for white spots, or any other discoloration. If you see anything like that, find a fish nerd. You may be able to solve this with medication. (Anti-fungals, typically.) Do not attempt to medicate your fish if you don’t know what you are doing; the medicines are highly toxic.
Examine the other fish in your tank for similar infections. These types of things typically spread. You may have to actually remove your fish filter media and run it off a separate tank (with a piece of shrimp in it or somesuch, to keep the bacteria alive) while you medicate the main tank.
There are a lot of different approaches, depending on the exact disease in question that can cause this, but no…
…swimming upside down is not necessarily a fatal error condition.
Not precisely what I was I looking for - the G3 reports on conductivity, rate of flow and impellor status as well as what that appears to - but a brilliant step forward. Certainly a tool worth adding to the mix, thank you!
Heh. I have a beagle board, a soldering iron and the DigiKey website. The sump on my new 180gal is going to run Webmin...
ZigBee/Z-Wave/Low-power Bluetooth instead of Wifi.
Two words: Power consumption.
I currently run an oversized (70-gal on a 50gal tank) hang-on-back filter as a backup to the canister filter. I still don't like the idea of the primary - festooned with sensors - giving up the ghost without letting me know. Considering the amount of tech in that thing, you'd think it could at least post SNMP...
I keep fresh water fish. The fish are almost exclusively catfish. Yes, I need a filter. I don't have any coral-like structures in which to maintain the relevant bacteria in-situ. (Which would still require current flow!)
You can design a filterless tank. It is however nearly impossible with the fish I happen to like. Next tank ll be a 180 with a sump; a lot more resiliant to crashing. But I'll keep the 50 with the G3 around for a breeding box.
Re: Wherever you go, there you are.
Yep. Walking around outside the walls of my office. Gardening. Visiting with friends. Figuring out exactly where that catwalk goes or just sitting under a tree, writing.
And no mater where I go...
...I can still provide tier 3 tech support when the call comes through. So I'm still getting paid. More importantly, that 24/7 availability and support my clients pay me for? (A major reason in choosing me over the competition, even at my higher rates.) I can provide it.
Without having to be tethered to a desk, 24/7.
Wherever I go, there I am…getting paid.
Re: An extremely pessimistic article this
Pessimistic indeed. I use my Asus Transformer (Original), Galaxy Tab 7" (Original), my SGS II and my Desire all reasonably regularly. Each has found a different niche.
The Desire is "just a phone." It can sometimes browse if I am out of other options, and it can serve as twitter client for the customer twitter accounts I am supposed to monitor. It’s usually posting a WiFi hotspot for the tablets. Minor stuff.
The SGS II is a workhorse; the external battery case attached, I get a reasonably amount of use out of it. It serves as a SIP endpoint for my corporate extension, RDP client for all of the things and all-around general-purpose computer in my pocket.
The 7” Galaxy tab is an ebook reader and thing-I-play-Angry-Birds on. 100% pure content consumption.
The Asus Transformer gets a crazy stupid amount of battery life. 12 hours of use while it is charging the Desire via USB. With nothing more than my Desire and my Asus Transformer, I can plop down in the pub, RDP into my home VM and write articles for 12 straight hours before the battery dies. Nothing else comes close. Not a netbook, not an ultrabook…nothing.
What’s the point of a tablet? The same damned thing as a computer. Except the battery lasts a hell of a lot longer. The input devices you have available (mouse, keyboard, etc.) determine your ability to get various types of real work done. But push comes to shove, applications like Wyse Pocketcloud allow you to get real work done, even from a smartphone, if need be.
Portability. Convienience. Battery Life.
Why a tablet? Because I like to go outside from time to time. And there’s a whole world beyond my office walls to explore.
Re: Not at all
Just for the record; my beliefs are slightly more nuanced than that. I believe that intellectual property is a form of property.
What I don't believe is that Intellectual Property is Property in the same sense as a tangible good. The biggest reason for this is the implicit assumption that comes with tangible property of perpetuity.
When you deprive me of tangible property you deprive me of its use, forever. When you infringe copyright, you aren’t depriving me of use of that good. You are merely depriving me of potential revenues.
I believe that intellectual property is a separate and distinct form of property from tangible property. I believe that intellectual property belongs to society as a whole, but that we grant creators a temporary monopoly on the economic uses of that property so that they may see economic benefit from their works.
I believe that this arrangement is necessary for the continued creation of various types of works, and for the continued growth of western economies. I also believe – quite fiercely – that this arrangement absolutely must come with a strict limitation to copyright length for this system to work.
In this manner I both believe that copyright is a form of property – one that requires enforcement and the efforts of society to protect – and that it is not at all like tangible property; “ownership” should not be perpetual, as part of the bargain all sides make to ensure the economic viability of creative endeavours.
And I also believe I am correct in my take on this; this is the basis of social acceptance of copyright, as well as something that most countries maintain to be true in current laws and enforcement implementations. (Indeed, it forms the basis of a few of the aforementioned treaties.)
Intellectual copyright is quite simply treated as something different than tangible property, even in international treaties. Less so in the past few years…but it still holds true today. It is property…but different. Therein lies the basis of a great deal of disagreement, strife, angst and uncertainty.
I believe strongly in enforcement of intellectual property rights. But I do not support the attachment of these rights to the lengthening of copyright terms or the increasing restriction (or elimination!) of fair use.
I believe that for copyright to be accepted – for the general public and the businesses they run to choose voluntarily to put effort into complying with copyright a sense of balance and fairness must exist.
The needs of society to be able to use works without burden, the need of creators to be compensated, the need of creators to be able to extend the works of their predecessors…all has to find a balance.
I do not believe that balance will be achieved by extending copyright to perpetuity, eliminating fair use nor by increasing complexity and uncertainty. I do believe that if we can find the right balance of complexity, fair use and term length then society will support far more extensive enforcement, and even participate actively and willingly in ensuring that enforcement occurs.
In my opinion, that balance has yet to be achieved.
40mm fans. Dear god; ASUS 1U pizzabox nightmares. I have a set that have, what...12 of the blighters? Give it wings it'll take off.
That said, 6 years in, the fans are still going...and so are the servers...
Supermicro do a great job of looking for thermal discrepancies in their boards.
As to “high speed versus variable speed” that’s an open question. You are saying that you trust $vendor to know the when and where of kicking up the fan speed? My experience with every Dell laptop ever (and a fair number of tier 1 servers) would seem to disagree with your assessment.
Fans are consumables. I’d rather replace the $0.10 fan periodically as part of regular maintenance on my $10,000 server than wreck my $10,000 server trying to save my $0.10 fan.
But that’s just me.
I don't know about you, but I don't work in a datacenter. The datacenter is generally a separate room/building/area of the city (delete as per appropriate to client) from where I am located. I only have to go into the datacenter when a widget is broken. Something that thankfully doesn't happen all that often.
When it does, there is some wailing banshee alarm of ultimate screaming high-pitched doom making its presence felt in a manner that far surpasses the irritation of any Supermicro case I have ever encountered.
Give me my spinny fans of high-RPM victory. They prevent the drives from dying and prolong the periods of silence in between having to enter the accursed room of auditory assault alarms.
Re: Speaking of unicorn fairy land...
You only assume this isn't possible. I honestly believe it is. It would require a formal standards process - probably a formal standards body - that described everything from the PKI to the interaction APIs to minimum performance limits for analytics/advertising CDNs.
We live in a cloudy world. There are CDNs and public clouds and all such madness everywhere. This is an issue of standards and enforcement. Establish the standard. Get signatories from the main advertisement organisations and most of the big tech players. Then build your browsers to reject anything that isn't standards compliant.
We need to accept that advertising underpins and drives the internet economy, and build these standards into our technology and infrastructure in the same manner as we do HTML. It needs to go in at the browser level, even the operating system level. It needs to have a know PKI infrastructure that is constantly under review, and a standards process that allows for change and adaptation to new threats.
But it is doable. Big Tech does this sort of thing all the time. At issue is the fact that Big Content can’t organise their way out of a paper box, and so would probably refuse to take part in any advertising revenue security scheme they didn’t absolutely control from end to end.
Re: @anyone care to argue that the people do benefit from eternal copyright on Mickey Mouse
Well, that’s two bullshit-o-meters that need replacing thanks to this thread alone. You guys are making this article unprofitable. Do you know how much science I have to read to reset that thing?
Okay, listen, let me break this all down for you. Let’s have an honest discussion here: man to piranha.
I consider myself to be “a creator.” I have reached the point in my life where I am now reliant upon income from the articles I write, the advertising copy I edit and so forth to make ends meet. I am in the process of writing a science fiction trilogy; one I intend to self-publish on Kobo and I am sincerely hoping will sell enough copies at some low amount ($3.99 a book?) to pay for the creation of the next one.
I have planned a significant % of my future around being a creative, reliant upon copyright as an exit from the world of systems administration. (The stress is literally killing me.) So I believe that I have a right to weigh in on this topic from the standpoint of someone other than “just an observer.”
At the end of the day, Big Content is bad – terrible – for people like me. They are quite frankly the enemy. They are not a vehicle for support, they are not a vehicle for reimbursement. They are a massive cabal of extremely well resources business dedicated to ensuring that I see as little money from my own efforts as possible.
I am not talking here about simply taking the lion’s share of any works they publish whilst passing a bent pittance on to the actual creators. I am talking about their attempts to have all orphaned works slurped up and assigned to their incestuous little publishing cartels. I am talking about actively raising barriers to entry for creatives who are unaffiliated with them.
I am talking about the outright economic warfare they perpetuate on the anyone who doesn’t work for them combined with the blatant treatment of those who do work for them as little more than indentured chattle.
The extant copyright cartels – the copyright holders – are businesses I consider to be unbelievably damaging to the livelihoods of any creators. They lobby to restrict and remove rights from creators in order to assign it to “copyright holders.” They then lobby to have the bulk of those rights assigned to “collection societies” and other tentacles of the cartel, instead of individuals.
They are a pestilence; a pox on society, the ruination of any and all (except the chosen few, ordained by the cartels themselves) who seek to create content at all. A pox on all their houses.
But it makes perfect sense for Big Content to act this way.
You see, Big Content is winning the war of perpetual copyright. That means they don’t need an injection of new material anymore. They have enough content in their grubby mitts to last the next two centuries. And new content will perpetually be assigned to them as “orphaned works” are brought within their grasp…not that of society at large.
Now, consider Google. (Yes, I looked through the viel and saw who you were referring to.) Google wants to murder the copyright cartels in the face with a bag of angry, rocket-powered weasles. Hurray! I support this on general principle.
Do they want to completely strip content creators of rights? No.
But…but…Big Content tells us that they do! Well, bullshit. Google has no interest in stripping creators of their rights. They do have designs on that very same pool of “orphaned works” though. They want orphaned works released to society at large. (So that anyone, anywhere can benefit from it. But especially Google.)
I am actually okay with this. Morally, ethically…pragmatically. If some of my works go missing, and they cannot find me or my heirs…I want those works available to the rest of society. I create not for the profit, but because I want my works to be consumed by people; that they may find some part of me in them and I may perhaps be remembered.
What’s more; I continually find Google promoting rights for creators to the detriment of rights for copyright holding corporations. Google seems to like the idea of lots and lots of individual creators all creating new things and competing against eachother.
This is likely because it reduces the ability of creators to collectively bargain, but again, I’m okay with that. We have 250 years of learning to deal with that problem; we can go it alone without having to surrender our works – indeed our futures – to the likes of Big Content.
Big Content needs as little competition as possible. They must control all new works, or prevent them from being created. If they can’t prevent creation, they need to acquire control or at the very least prevent those new works from becoming popular. This is fundamental to their business model.
Google doesn’t need to control content at all. Google needs to eliminate powerful copyright cartels that can drive up the cost of licensing to levels which it – and by extension consumers – cannot afford. What Google does need is as much new content – from as many diverse creators as possible – to advertise against.
It needs new content because this is what the people demand. It needs content from diverse creators so it can keep prices low. And it needs to ensure that creators get paid so they keep churning out the new content.
So neither side is really going to maximize the profits I receive from my creative endeavors if they win. But Google will ensure that I have a much better chance at retaining control of my own works while I am alive and getting paid for them than Big Content can provide me.
More to the point; what I do get paid will probably be more under daddy Google than it will be under Big Content. Unless I am stupid enough to still believe in the fairy tale that Big Content will pick me to be the next superstar. (Bullshit.)
Google needs me. Big Content doesn’t. Google wants my works to be made available for the benefit of society if at any point I cannot be found to assert my claims over my works. Big Content wants my works locked away from the world unless they control those works.
Google is the future for creatives. They aren’t the greatest. They aren’t “in it for us.” But their vision of the world is far more closely aligned with mine than that of Big Content. And with Google at the helm, at least I stand a chance of getting paid.
Now, I'm off to watch some Geek and Sundry; an Internet TV channel made possible by Google; check it out here: Geek and Sundry.
We partially agree. ACTA was not about clarity. The regional initiatives most certainly are. Lack of IP harmonisation is ruinous to the EU and similar entities. They know it. They are trying to fix it.
In certain countries <ahem>, business methods and even math (software) can indeed be patented.
Re: Is anyone actually surprised by this?
Um...yes they are. "Dwarf planet" is still a planet. (Vesta is a candidate.) Both bodies have differentiated interiors, both achieved hydrostatic equilibrium (until that unfortunate catering on Vesta...) and with the exception of clearing their orbits, they meet all the requirements to be terrestrial planets. Vesta and Ceres both were altered by thier own Late Heavy Bombardment, and Ceres is thought to have geology shaped by (probably long dormant) tectonics. (We'll know soon enough; thanks, DAWN.)
And yet...both bodies are really nothing alike. For that matter, Mars and Earth aren't, either. Earth appears to be unique in that we were impacted by Theia late in the birth of the solar system. This re-liquefied most of the crust, dramatically changed mineral distribution - and the size of our radioactive core - spun the planet up, and gave us a moon large enough to almost count as a double planet.
That any of these bodies share anything but the most superficial similarities is astounding. Theia is probably what stopped Earth from becoming Venus; it would have blasted off an Early Earth’s atmosphere. What we had left then was low pressure enough that life eventually could transform it from Class Y to Class M.
Mars and Ceres were just too small. They can’t hold on to an atmosphere for long enough; it just keeps bleeding away into space. (Or sublimating!) Without a magnetosphere, solar winds slowly ionise the atmosphere and erode it.
Mars, Ceres and Vesta are all dead; the core quiet, the mantle cold. Their geology is a map of history; ours has been actively influenced by life – a lot of life – for billions of years. Life is so prolific on Earth that it has fundamentally altered not only our atmosphere, but the composition of geological structures ranging from sand to sedimentary rock, limestone to hydrogeology.
Mars, Vesta and Ceres are an interest record (and result) of things that crashed into them. And therein lies my point; from the same cloud of dust, with orbits a stone’s throw away, these planets had totally different things crash into them. The balance of minerals, the % of volatiles, the mixing due to differentiation…the formal is completely different for each.
So Mars has a similar % of water in its rocks to Earth? That is indeed interesting. I wonder quite how that happened?
Re: Greshams's Law: Free Mickey Mouse tends to drive out non-Mickey Mouse
Nice unicorn magic fairy world there. In the real world, those with established, successful properties devote significant time, effort and expense to raising as many barriers to entry for new ideas, concepts and “universes” as possible.
You also make a huge assumption; that a work using novel characters and a novel universe will do just as well as a work taking place in a tried and true universe. Let me take a moment to call this blatant, utter bullshit.
If your pixie dust view of copyright were true, why would Disney, (or for that matter Electronic Arts or Activision) bother with established characters and universes at all? Surely there is enough empirical evidence on hand to demonstrate the concept that sequels are a bit of a crapshoot. If your reasoning were sound, then a novel universe with novel characters would be a sound investment for established copyright houses.
Instead, let’s look at the real world: those enterprises that succeed in the entertainment space tend to do so by creating and then fleshing out a given universe. Start Trek, Stargate, Transformers, Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck, and so forth. Even reviving an old franchise after a bit of a lay down can be obscenely profitable (Fallout.)
Then there are the kinds of tropes that we can only get from building on the works that have gone before. Fantasy novels are heavily influenced by Tolkien; Tolkien embedded the now nearly universal conceptualization of common races; elves, dwarves and so forth. Terry Brooks’ works couldn’t have occurred without building upon Tolkien, nor the Dungeons and Dragons universe, Dragon Lance or hundreds of others.
Indeed, were the copyright cartels to have their way, we could even lose the rights to things like parody, taking original works like Galaxy Quest and Robot Chicken off the table.
Creativity does not occur in a vacuum. All of mankind’s endeavors build upon the creativity, intellect, insight, artistry and craftsmanship of our predecessors. From any angle you approach it, perpetual copyright is a gross detriment to society. It is a limitation economically, creatively and morally.
So what then? How do we bridge the gap?
A man should be rewarded for his capability and his efforts; if his capability and effort is greater than that of his peers, he should be more generously rewarded. A man should be able to ensure the wellbeing of his family and his heirs.
But the works of a man belong to mankind, be those works the works of his hands or the works of his mind. There must be a balance between the good of the group (in this case all of mankind) and rewarding the individual.
So copyright abolishment is ludicrous. It provides no reward for the efforts and capabilities that go in to a man’s work. And yet perpetual copyright is equally ludicrous; society must benefit from the works of all its individuals. From the bricklayer to the academic, the policeman to the writer.
A balance needs be struck. One that we – as a society, and as a collection of societies that form a global community – can live with. As creators, as consumers, as businesses and as individuals. This balance needs to be negotiated in an open fashion, and with the participation of all major stakeholders.
More importantly, it needs to be something that we can set in stone. It is to be the foundation of all intellectual enterprise for the next several hundred years.
It cannot be negotiated in back rooms. I cannot be negotiated under a veil of secrecy, a cone of silence or outside the boundaries of democracy. It cannot favor one special interest of another, it cannot pit creators against consumers, corporations against people.
It must bring clarity to the copyright mess. It must bring finality; an end to the perpetual lobbying. Most importantly it must feel fair to the majority of society. People will resist and rebel against any law so important to the fabric of our economy which is fundamentally unfair.
The extant copyright cartels – and the laws they are paying dearly to impose – are most certainly and unquestionably unfair.
I am forced to disagree with you. While that is certainly the reactionary - indeed the cynical - take on the matter...a deeper analysis shows otherwise. Or, if not “otherwise,” shows “things in addition to.”
The French – as just one example – have had their own agenda to push for quite some time. They have been exporting their take on the matter for some time. Other nations have their own views (many of which have tempered the more aggressive stances pushed by the Americans.)
It’s far more complicated than simply “exporting American copyright to the world.’ Certainly, as regards the copyright of entertainment, this is generally the case. But these negotiations occur in complex environments covering patents, trademarks and even the right (or lack thereof) to impose duties on various types of trade.
Consider the French insistence on regional trademarks. (It’s not Champagne unless it’s from the Champagne region of France!) Consider also the requirement by many theocracies to outright ban (or at the very least impose import duties rendering items practically unavailable) various products that go against the dominant belief system.
Beyond this, there are complex copyright negotiations that are occurring which simply don’t involve the united states. South America has it’s own burgeoning regional ecopolitical alliance, and “friendly to the United States” could never be used to describe it. They have their own take on copyright, and they are trying to harmonise that across their own region.
Asia has at least two such entities, and the African Union is rapidly evolving to the point where many of its nations are going to have to start caring about exactly this. (Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa in particular have red-hot IT sectors; experiencing growth the likes of which the west can only dream. Of course, starting from next to nothing and trying to catch up to the west will do that…)
The EU also has its own take on intellectual property. There have been numerous efforts at harmonisation within the regional borders of that entity, and they then go forth and work with other nations (and metanational entities) in an attempt to cause harmonisation.
A great example is the CETA (Canadian-European Trade Agreement,) a NAFTA-like free trade agreement between Canada and the EU that is currently being negotiated. The big sticking point in passing it has been the ratification of various copyright reforms within Canada…something that has just recently taken place. (I expect CETA to proceed with alacrity.)
That is a beautiful example of something that has the US quite up in arms; they view CETA as a danger to their dominance of NAFTA (which has screwed Canada time and again, with the Americans refusing repeatedly to abide by the terms of the treaty whenever it suits them.) It also formally ends Canada’s reliance on America for nearly everything, including the template for our intellectual property laws.
Canada will be bound by treaty to harmonise its laws with the EU; a stipulation that NAFTA doesn’t have. So the US’s global bargaining power decreases in this instance; Canada lends its political and economic might to the EU bloc, fundamentally altering the US’s ability to project culture and legal imperialism throughout the western world.
Indeed, there are far more interesting implications when you consider that CETA will provide for vastly increased and simplified trade between Canada and the EU. Canada’s unparalleled resource wealth will then practically overnight shift towards assisiting the EU recover from the economic crisis instead of the US.
The basic reason is that American laws are batshit bananas and it costs a crazy amount of money to do business there. (Lawyers, insurance, etc.) The EU may actually be more financially stable than the US – even if half the thing implodes – and has a number of countries that are far easier to do business with than anything involving the US at all.
So…US intellectual property imperialism? At first glance…yes. But it’s only a surface impression. International politics are complex and interwoven. Given how important “the knowledge economy” is to the west, intellectual property politics – and the economics that drive them – are anything but simple.
Re: OSX on a non-Mac
Canada is not subject to the DMCA, however we can neither run OSX on a non-Apple PC nor can we transfer OEM licenses. In fact, this holds true for most of the commonwealth, most of Europe (even those countries outside the EU,) and a significant chunk of Asia.
The technical ability to do something does not confer the legal right to do something. More to the point, there is in fact established case law in most jurisdictions supporting the right of software companies to impose and enforce such copyright restrictions.
ACTA isn’t needed for Microsoft, Apple, the RIAA, MPAA or your local whomever-you-are-photocopying to take the majority of the world’s internet-connected businesses to the cleaners.
Copyright law in most countries is pretty restrictive already, and its only going to get worse.
Re: Jayzus, Orlowski must hate you.
In Canada I certainly can't move an OEM copy of Windows! Can I put OSX on a non-Mac anywhere? It's hard enough to write a globally applicable article on copyright. Give country-by-country detail and it moves from "article" into "novel."
As to A.O...he has his patch of sand to preach from. The beauty of El Reg is that it isn't Fox news. We can all call it like we see it. If A.O. felt so inclined, he has the wherewithal to write a truly epic rebuttal. He is a capable and accomplished writer after all; with an order of magnitude more experience than I.
Professional_curiosity; what's not well-written about that?
Re: Why not?
Hyper-V itself is not borderline functional. Certainly not Hyper-V 3.0, which is a massive improvement over the previous offerings.
What was borderline functional was Microsoft's "integration tools" code (specifically the kernel code) which Microsoft donated to the open source community and then functionally abandoned. After a public (and well deserved) spanking by the openstack community, Microsoft turned its attention back to that code, and all reports are that it has started to shape back up.
Long story short? Hyper-v (at least Hyper-v 3.0) is Good Stuff. Microsoft’s integration work however (and its frigid-then-tepid-then-frigid-again support for heterogeneous environments) is questionable at best. It’s holding them back, and…
…they are stating to figure that out.
Slowly but surely Microsoft are starting to realise that they no longer own any market. If they want to remain relevant, they have to start developing their software for other platforms. This is why you are seeing Microsoft make iOS apps for major items, and the beginning of Android support.
I am not going to sit here and defend Microsoft; it would be pointless. The company is too large, too disorganised…one department can do something wonderful and then have their legs cut out from under them by the absolute idiocy of another.
Microsoft is a scattered collection of fiefdoms, all at war with each other nearly as much as with the rest of the world. As a company, Microsoft makes some really dumb decisions. But it can also - does also - make some really great stuff.
Microsoft isn’t Apple. It isn’t a single, coherent entity. Yet neither is it Samsung; a collection of independent corporations loosely tied together into a chaebol.
Microsoft is – for better or worse – a community. With all the benefits – and foibles – that such a concept brings.
I’ll stick my head above the fence here and say Hyper-V is worthwhile. Microsoft have done some good stuff with virtualisation this time around. And the MVA thing? This one time they got it right.
As always, we’ll have to wait to see about the rest of it…
Oh, and just so we're clear; I'm not at all saying Microsoft offer the best product from a technical standpoint. I loathe exchange.
But almost nobody puts technical considerations first in a purchasing descision. People care about UI and they care about workflow. Maybe that's not how things should be, but it is how they are.
Labels aren't PUBLIC FOLDERS. "Folders" are totally different than PUBLIC FOLDERS. Maybe if you knew what you were talking about, you might understand what real groupware brings to the table.
Also: Google’s pathetic attempt at replacing SharePoint? *shudder*
Look, I’m not a big SharePoint fan…but I’ve seen implementations that legitimately boost productivity for the companies that use them. Boost it in ways that I struggle to find a serviceable replacement for.
SharePoint is basically “website creation and integration for complete idiots.” Sure, an IT nerd can whip up something – anything – to do what SharePoint does fairly easily…but the point of SharePoint is the ability to not involve IT. It’s a smug individual who can just smirk and say “well, just learn $huge_array_of_new_technologies and keep teaching it over and over to all that sales droid/accountant/HR drone/etc’s replacements!” Or better yet “just buy another sysadmin to deal with every single request for a new website feature or alteration!”
Obviously you don’t have to deal with real budgets.
SharePoint offers nothing to nerds and sysadmins. It’s a hell of a thing for USERS though, and that’s what you’re missing here.
I get that you don't feel you need Microsoft. Others do. Until you actually have used the products you're deriding enough to know what some of the most basic feature offerings are (like the difference between a folder and a public folder,) perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to snipe.
As I’ve said before, non-Microsoft groupware alternatives boil down to “compromise by accepting less-capable functionality,” or “do without various elements of functionality” or “pay a lot more money in nerd salary than the cost of licensing.”
Shockingly, billions of individuals and businesses just aren’t interested in any of those choices. I wonder why.
Why do users choose Office 365? Outlook integration that works as well as tlaking to a real Exchange server. Public folders, contacts, distribution groups, integration with sharepoint, etc.
Basically, Office 365 can make outlook do all the things that it does when hooked up to Exchange. That's why people use outlook. They want more than mail. They don't want 15 different programs with poor interoperation and integration tied to 15 different servers to achieve the same thing.
This is why Exchange and Outlook still rule the corporate messaging roost. There is no replacement; no alternative. Not even Zimbra is a complete alternative to Exchange + Outlook.
I use Google Apps for my personal consulting company, and it – mostly – does what I want it to. Its attempt at “public folders” however is at best shamefully inadequate, and it needs company-wide global contact list. These can be bought as “add ons” from third parties…but remember what I said about not wanting 15 different programs…
And yeah, there’s Lotus. So what? Both users are impressed. “It’s not Microsoft” isn’t a reason to switch away from a software stack that companies have been using for decades. Besides, IBM is yet another megacorporate. Prove to me they have any more soul than Microsoft.
No viable alternatives exist. In order to walk away from Microsoft, you need to make compromises. Not everyone is ready to make the same compromises you are, and everyone has differing business requirements.
Or are you going to tell everyone to “hold it different” and just think/do/say things exactly like you? Because if you are, what exactly makes you/your chosen software/etc better than Microsoft, again?
I’ve little love for – and zero faith in – the beast of Redmond. But don’t expect me – or anyone else – to spontaneously develop a righteous zealotry or deep abiding faith in anyone else, either. My faith – and my business – is earned. Not through arrogance, but through the hard work of making a top notch product and backing it up with comprehensible, accessible, easy-to-use and friendly support.
If you’ve a candidate company or ten for me to invest my time and effort into, I am all ears. Until that time, I’ll just keep on doing what every other businessman and sysadmin does: choose “the least worst” from amongst a series of lacklustre and disappointing alternatives.
Or, you know...ask. Got a product you'd like me to talk about? Perhaps you can send me a review, or give me a link (if it's FOSS.) I write about what I work with; but i am a nerd, and I do enjoy exploring new subject matter. If I can do it, I try to.
So...what would you like to hear about?
WHEN TF are you from?
I manage all my Linux boxes with a GUI. It's called webmin. And it Just Works. Next!
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