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Hans Reiser Interview from Prison

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the now-that-paris-is-out dept.

Programming 611

JLester writes "Wired Magazine has an interview this month with Hans Reiser (of the ReiserFS journaling file system for Linux) from prison. It contains more details about the murder case against him. Some of the questions still go unanswered though."

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obHumor (5, Funny)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661737)

In Reiser's case, a critical piece of data -- the location of Nina Reiser -- has gone missing.

It should be in the journal somewhere.

Re:obHumor (0, Offtopic)

Coopa (773302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661783)

Some of the questions still go unanswered though.
They were expecting an answer to, "did you really do it?"

Re:obHumor (1)

jaymzru (1005177) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661843)

I had to stop reading after that line, it's just so insufferably tacky.

Re:obHumor (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662209)

Yeah it was bad.


I've listened to Hans over the years in lkml. He's an odd one. He might be a genius, it's possible, if he played well with others he'd almost certainly be a community hero. It's also possible he has some severe emotional or mental problems, maybe mild autism, I'm no psychiatrist but I'd say that this is more than possible and probably likely. He also has this incredible quality to completely ignore what someone says and just focus on what he wants. It's like he's incapable of comprehending English (or any human to human language) when he's in this sort of fit. That's why rfs4 isn't in the kernel, all he had to do was play nice with others and answer their concerns, it'd be done by now if he did but every question was always answered with some fear or something completely unrelated. You can ask him a question and he hears something else, he'll respond but it's like he didn't see or hear your question. Then at other times he's remarkably lucid.


Now this is crappy journalism. It sounds like Hans to me though. This doesn't bode well for his case. He's going to prison when this is done. His lawyers should have kept him from saying anything. He's looking down the barrel of a long stay in prison, everything looks like he did it and was prepared to flee. An article on a popular magazine with "if( node->parent == NULL) printk("parent not found")" isn't what you want.

Re:obHumor (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662455)

An article on a popular magazine with "if( node->parent == NULL) printk("parent not found")" isn't what you want.

I really hated the code comments. Wired quote bits of code as if it's either poetic or the esoteric writings of a genius when actually it's not too hard to understand.

Re:obHumor (0, Flamebait)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662027)

As a journalling file system, ReiserFS would seem to be more forensically friendly. I could understand if it were designed to defeat forensic techniques. It's like killing two birds with one stone: There's a guy who made something that the Gestap^H^H^H^H^H^Hgovernment doesn't like and his wife shows up dead. What a natural!

[black crown vic pulls up to the door...]

Re:obHumor (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662631)

I wonder if they seized any of his computers. I was thinking it'd be awful ironic if they recover some sort of damning data from his computer -- data that was only recoverable because ReiserFS is resist to things like shred(1) [oreillynet.com] .

Re:obHumor (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662097)

In Reiser's case, a critical piece of data -- the location of Nina Reiser -- has gone missing.

Ugh. OK, this is a crowd that makes rough jokes, etc. In this case I am having a bit of a problem taking it. I've met Hans and have spoken with Nina on the phone. Oh shit, I found that interview very unsettling and while reading it in the audience at a conference in Norway I got upset enough by page three that I did not continue it for fear of getting too visibly upset in front of the audience.

Maybe we should have a bit more respect this time.

Bruce

Re:obHumor (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662129)

You are quite possibly the only person on Slashdot (Or at least, the only person who posts under their real name) who has a personal connection to Hans & Nina Reiser. You shouldn't be too surprised that the vast majority of posters arn't going to take it as seriously.

Re:obHumor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662519)

I'm waiting at least until the trial is over, the matter is settled for better or worse, and we can be more sure whether or not the man is a murderer. Only after that will we find out if there's still any respect to be had.

Until that time, I'm all about the gallows humor.

Sorry if it bugs you or anyone else close to the guy, it's not meant to be hurtful to you or anyone else close to the Reisers. It is meant to give those of us who need to laugh at the darkness something to focus on while we wait for history to take its course.

Re:obHumor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662527)

Why? I'm saddened (in an abstract way, I don't know anyone involved) by the whole situation, but some of us can make jokes about things that people we know, people who are (or were) our friends were involved in. I, at least, am not going to be more restrained about this than I would be if someone I know were involved.

Re:obHumor (4, Insightful)

c (8461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662565)

> Maybe we should have a bit more respect this time.

Well, the original quote itself was from the article. Which is one of the... oddest articles I've read from Wired. When you give something like that to /. as source material you're going to get some wildly inappropriate reactions.

For an article which is supposed to show the more "personal" side of things, the main thing I'm taking away from this is that the author is seriously fucked up. It's like the worst tabloid journalism combined with a Dvorak column. It certainly didn't do much to help Hans...

c.

Re:obHumor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662569)

Talking of respect, why were you reading this in a conference? Concentrate on the presentation not /.

Re:obHumor (5, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662591)

Maybe we should have a bit more respect this time.
Bruce Perens, welcome to the Internet!

Re:obHumor (2, Funny)

D_Gr8_BoB (136268) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662099)

Also, Linux programmers don't go to prison, they just get put in a chroot jail.

Juice! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661747)

Has he been in touch with the Juice to discuss strategy? Afterwards, they can go search golf courses for the real killers.

unanswered questions... (5, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661775)

Some of the questions still go unanswered though.
"Hans, on line 934 of journalcache.c, is that preincrement of bufptr really supposed to be a postincrement?"

Re:unanswered questions... (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662363)

obShatner:
 
 

You know, before I answer any more questions there's something I wanted to say. Having received all your letters over the years, and I've spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled... y'know... hundreds of miles to be here, I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a [file system]! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're dressed! You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME!

Crazy Shit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661777)

Reiser thinks of Sturgeon as a brother but is concerned about his friend's taste for bondage and sadomasochism. Reiser once watched Sturgeon carve the letters R-A-G-E into his arm, and was alarmed when his friend told him he went to the ER after an S&M experience led to a burst blood vessel in his chest. Reiser is worried that Sturgeon is trying to teach Rory and Niorline that pain can be fun and is furious when Sturgeon gives them what Reiser refers to in a sworn court filing as "gender confused alternative sexuality dolls."
WTF!? What kind of lives are file system authors leading these days?

if i did it, here's how it happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661781)

i smell a book deal.

Re:if i did it, here's how it happened (5, Funny)

superid (46543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661803)

"If I coded it, here's how I coded it"

Re:if i did it, here's how it happened (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661941)

'R' is for Reiser!

So what about Sean Sturgeon (4, Interesting)

defile (1059) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661789)

Isn't it weird how his gothy best friend who has had some kind of twisted sexual relationship with his wife is an admitted mass-murderer?

I'm just saying.

Re:So what about Sean Sturgeon (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661905)

he claims to be a serial killer, but hasnt proved it. He's as likely to be lying as not.

Re:So what about Sean Sturgeon (3, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661965)

Yeah but you can see why people get the wrong idea about Hans

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-07 /ff_hansreiser?currentPage=5 [wired.com]
Reiser delves into this "culture of manhood" in a 32-page filing he submits to the court after Nina accuses him of hurting her. In it, he explains the difference between appropriate and inappropriate violence. Grand Theft Auto, for instance, demonstrates inappropriate violence because players can get away with killing innocent people. "Many other computer games heavily penalize shooting the wrong person, and I prefer those," Reiser says.

Re:So what about Sean Sturgeon (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662189)

Agreed.

Just one question... define a "wrong person". To me that's rapists, child molestors, dolly parton and my prime minister... to someone with a lot more sanity than myself, I'm sure dolly isn't in that list...

Re:So what about Sean Sturgeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662473)

I think it's clear from the context that he meant the wrong person in the context of whatever you're playing. If you're supposed to kill A, but you kill B, you've killed "the wrong person".

Re:So what about Sean Sturgeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662533)

I don't see anything wrong with this particular quote. Other quotes, in which he talks about teaching his kid about being a man by playing video games, is rather stupid and pathetic, and I'm not comfortable with his idiotic reference to "goblin suicide bombers," but the quote you give makes sense. Maybe YOU don't care to distinguish between games that reward heroism and games that reward anti-social behavior, but is it really that FUCKED UP of a thing to do?

But still, I think Hans is pretty weird and I'm suspicious, to say the least.

All three of them sound psychotic to me (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661989)

Working out the reality is clearly a challenge.

Of course, divorce court just makes people imagine the worst about one another.

 

Re:All three of them sound psychotic to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662411)

... and often *brings* out the worst in people.

If OJ can get away with it... (-1, Troll)

perdelucena (455667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661791)

... why can't Heiser?

Re:If OJ can get away with it... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661825)

... why can't Heiser?
Well, it seems he is getting away with it, and blaming it on Reiser

Re:If OJ can get away with it... (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661851)

Because he can't afford the type of attorneys it would take to get away with murder. Jay-walking, maybe...but not murder.

Re:If OJ can get away with it... (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661967)

Hmm....blame Free Software for that?

(It's a joke. I prefer FS/OSS.)

Re:If OJ can get away with it... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662037)

Because OJ had money, and that is the whole difference. Hans will lose.

resier with a vegence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661793)

out in cinemas August 2009

my theory after reading TFA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661811)

My theory is this: Nina went back to russia, and is now living there. The fact that the kids are in russia, and were supposed to return weeks ago, but haven't, makes me think that maybe they were reunited with their mother there. Just a thought.

Re:my theory after reading TFA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662499)

Or, may be, with their mother dead and their father in jail they are just staying with their grands, who would not want them be "back" to unclear location and status?

Re:my theory after reading TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662615)

Yep, and Nina decided to disappear like this because she knew of Sturgeons past and what he might do to her and/or her children.

First question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19661831)

First question was "Tell me about your file system." For a guy that was accused of murdering his wife and put in prison, wasnt it a bit of a rude way to start the interview?

Re:First question (1, Offtopic)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661871)


For a guy that was accused of murdering his wife and put in prison, wasnt it a bit of a rude way to start the interview?

I was hoping they'd ask him about the tips he gave Chris Benoit last week.

Re:First question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662017)

Score:2, Interesting? Really?

Re:First question (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661887)

You're right. The much more orthodox opener "So, did you do it?" would have been much more polite.

Re:First question (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662019)

Then following up with "how's your ass".

Re:First question (5, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661983)

Nonsense. It shows that the interviewer cared about the guy's work and accomplishments, not just his alleged crimes. For someone who has been sitting in prison, going to court hearings and meetings with lawyers and talking about nothing else, it was probably nice to talk filesystems for a change. I imagine the interviewer was the first person he'd seen in months who knew what a filesystem even was.

Come on Slashdot... (-1, Offtopic)

jginspace (678908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661879)

Fifteen posts and still no Goatse on that Wikipedia article...

Re:Come on Slashdot... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662105)

I don't know but why hasn't anyone commented on the fact that he was recently attacked in prison? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hansattacked.jp g [wikipedia.org]

Re:Come on Slashdot... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662295)

Wow that looks really nasty. People like Hans should be put in some kind of protected custody in prison I think. Whether or not he's a murderer he certainly can't look after himself in jail.

Re:Come on Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662345)

Mod parent up!

Choice bits (5, Funny)

antime (739998) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661885)

Reiser is worried that Sturgeon is trying to teach Rory and Niorline that pain can be fun and is furious when Sturgeon gives them what Reiser refers to in a sworn court filing as "gender confused alternative sexuality dolls."
Is that what they call Teletubbies these days?

No, not teletubbies (2, Funny)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662073)

It is a guiliani doll.

Theres a Difference (2, Informative)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661891)

Prison is where you go for periods generally over a year, after you have been sentenced. Jail is where you go when you are awaiting trial, or for minor offences, usually under a year.

Re:Theres a Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662261)

Wow, I never knew that before.

I tend to ... (0)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661907)

... generally swing for the experts, in this case the police. The only exception for this rule is if there is powerful evidence to the contrary. Given the same evidence (blood spots, missing chair, washed car, motive) I would no doubt of come to the same conclusions. The onus is on Reiser to come up with evidence - where is the chair? explain the blood, why was the car washed?

I have no doubt that Reiser is a genius, I uses reiserfs at home for many years and loved it. But I also have no doubt that OJ was once a great sportsman and regardless of the verdict I watched the court case and thought he did it.

Even great men are only human and capable of doing evil things in the heat of the moment.

Re:I tend to ... (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661973)

"The onus is on Reiser to come up with evidence - where is the chair? explain the blood, why was the car washed?"

Hint: there's this concept we have called 'innocent until proven guilty'.

I couldn't be arsed to read more than a couple of pages of the article with its silly format, but what's so surprising about finding traces of your SO's blood, or in washing your car?

Maybe he is guilty, I have no idea; but it's up to the police to prove that he is, not for him to prove that he's innocent.

Re:I tend to ... (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662033)

Hint: there's this concept we have called 'innocent until proven guilty'.

It's also one of those concepts which looks great on paper, but is sadly shown as so much idealistic BS in the real world.

From everything I've read, I'm inclined to believe that Reiser is probably guilty, but if the above concept had really been applied in this case, the police would not have arrested him before they produced a positively identified body.

Re:I tend to ... (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662081)

"It's also one of those concepts which looks great on paper, but is sadly shown as so much idealistic BS in the real world."

Only if you believe it's better to send innocent people to jail than let guilty people go free.

Re:I tend to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662193)

Uhh arresting and indicting someone doesn't imply we assume that person to be guilty. What do you think the trial is meant to check?

Re:I tend to ... (1)

Obyron (615547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662497)

When they served the search warrant on him he was carrying about 9 grand in cash and his passport. You don't think he may be a flight risk?

There could absolutely be a very innocent reason why he removed the passenger seat of his car, hosed down the upholstery, and had a bunch of heavy duty trash bags. So why won't he tell police? Why won't he come up with where the seat is? That alone makes me think he's probably guilty. His goth buddy is great for raising reasonable doubt, but I knew a bunch of emotionally damaged morons when I was around the goth culture who had only a fleeting hold on reality, and would gladly tell you they'd killed 8 people if it'd make them seem more cool and intense.

We all know (or may be) someone who's a socially awkward ubergeek just like Hans, and maybe we're a little defensive of those people because we hate seeing them get picked on, but that doesn't mean Reiser didn't kill his wife.

Re:I tend to ... (1)

chad_r (79875) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662127)

You should have finished the story, but I'll spoil it for you. He hid the car, driving it to secluded spaces, and when they finally managed to follow him to it, it was missing the front seat.

Police search the CRX and find that the front passenger seat has recently been removed. The floor is soaked, as if it had been washed. There are heavy-duty garbage bags, cloth towels, masking tape, and two books: Masterpieces of Murder and Homicide. Police also find another drop of blood and match it to Nina.
That, I would call surprising. Yes, he is not proven guilty at this point, but if he can't provide good answers to this behavior, he's well on his way.

Re:I tend to ... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662149)

Yes, innocent until proven guilty. But almost assuredly, this will be a jury trial. And when the jury sees this information, will it be enough to prove that he is guilty? I suspect so.

More likely than not, he snapped. But in the end, it is not just several lives that were destroyed. Hopefully, his kids come out of this ok.

Re:I tend to ... (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662413)

I couldn't be arsed to read more than a couple of pages of the article with its silly format, but what's so surprising about finding traces of your SO's blood, or in washing your car?

There's nothing unusual about washing your car. But only the area around the front passenger seat was washed and that seat is missing. Removing seats is suspiciously thorough cleaning, dontcha think?

Re:I tend to ... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662465)

Washing your car's not unusual. Taking the passenger seat out in order to wash the carpet with water is.

And it's not up to the police to prove he's guilty - it's up to them to prove he's guilty "beyond reasonable doubt". This is pretty difficult to do with nothing but circumstantial evidence, but the presence of a jury could count against Reiser here.

If that article is anything to go by he needs to learn some social skills fast. A jury of ordinary people may not be too keen on someone who goes on about "playing violent videogames with his son to make him a man", and thus not set too much weight by him simply asserting that he is a lot of things but no murderer.

Re:I tend to ... (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662045)

The onus is on Reiser to come up with evidence - where is the chair? explain the blood, why was the car washed?


I believe in fact the police will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt (a) that Nina was even murdered, (b) that Hans Reiser murdered her. He doesn't have to prove his innocence. There will have to be a convincing story that explains all the weird circumstances somehow.

I have no doubt that Reiser is a genius,


Yes, so if he's such a genius, why would he be so stupid as to remove a seat of his car, wash it out as if blood has been removed, leave a book about how to get away with homicide in the back seat, etc. etc. It just sounds a bit...too much.

Crime passionel, perhaps. But to me, this hardly looks like a straightforward murder case. (it's still not even clear whether it is in fact a murder case AFAIK..)

Re:I tend to ... (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662563)

You trust the police far too much. They ARE government employees, after all, with all the eliteness and objectivity that that implies.

This story is going from 'weird' to 'surreal' (5, Interesting)

Idaho (12907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661939)

The story about Hans Reiser gets weirder every time I read about it. It's like you're reading some surrealistic novel, or maybe a plot by Grisham.

For one, there is the question whether he is being framed (by a former friend, russian mafia, ... ?)
Also there is the problem of (suspected) murder, but no body has been found. So, all evidence will be circumstantial and therefore open to lots of discussion/interpretation. "The brothers Karamazov" by Dostojevski has some very nice examples of how wide apart such interpretations can be (without the reader being able to tell which interpretation is true). Probably someone could write an interesting novel based on this story as well. It's getting so weird, you just can't make such stuff up.

It could become an interesting case to follow, so I'm hoping groklaw might pay some attention to it (if such hearings are even public - I don't have much clue about the US judicial system, but it seems unlikely).

Re:This story is going from 'weird' to 'surreal' (2, Interesting)

Mark_Uplanguage (444809) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662015)

Agreed, by the time I was done reading this, I couldn't decide if it was real or not. Kudos to the author for piecing together a lot of information in a compelling format. I especially enjoyed the code fragments related to the story - rather spooky.

Re:This story is going from 'weird' to 'surreal' (2, Insightful)

antime (739998) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662023)

Everyone associated with the case is fucking nuts and should be locked up just out of principle.

Re:This story is going from 'weird' to 'surreal' (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662451)

Yeah, this was the first I'd read that his best friend has admitted to committing several murders in the past, and had been having an affair with his wife too. This has turned from a geek-commits-murder into a *really* crazy love triangle story.

Sort of complicates the case for the prosecution. Though the missing passenger seat and condition of Reiser's car and his refusal to explain it certainly makes him sound guilty to a juror (or anyone else).

After reading this article I did understand a bit better how a man could be driven to do something... drastic. If your wife started doing drugs with and fucking your tattoed, bi-sexual, BDSM-obsessed best friend, and then dumped you for him, and was exposing your children to that (at least until the judge forced her not to), well, I could see that pushing a guy who wasn't fully mentally grounded in the first place over the edge.

Murder? Who cares?! (-1, Offtopic)

csoto (220540) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661945)

What *I* want to know is, "how does this affect ZFS becoming the default filesystem for Mac OS X?"

Aren't there any other.... (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661951)

Aren't there any other open source author's facing major criminal charges? All we get is Hans, Hans, Hans. If not it seems Microsoft's Black Ops. Dept.* has missed an opportunity.


(* motto: "Beyond the blue screen")

Kids better of where they are (1, Insightful)

theolein (316044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661959)

Judging from Reiser's obviously unstable mental state (his obsession about violent video games with his little boy is disgusting), the good grounds for suspicion in the investigation (the blood, the missing seat), and his ex-friend's admitted murderous and perverse behaviour, I think his kids are better off with the Grandmother in Russia.

Re:Kids better of where they are (3, Insightful)

jack_csk (644290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662169)

Right, sort of like the monkey boy [microsoft.com] , who gets hypered easily in public conferences and meetings. Oh, and let's not forget him vowed to kill one another, and threw a chair across the room.

Well, if Steve Ballmer's children and wife gone missing one day, I bet the public may not apply the same prejudice to his case.

Bad Image for OSS? (1)

hellsDisciple (889830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661979)

Is this not the sort of event that opponents of Free Software would be having a wet dream over? Surely having a prominent programmer in jail or on remand for murder is worth a thousand patent FUD stories. Also it begs the question of whether it's advisable in the long run for prominent authors to put their names on the actual project itself - compare ReiserFS to say Samba (rather than Tridgeserv for example). Disclaimer: I use ReiserFS myself on my desktop!

Re:Bad Image for OSS? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662141)

I wouldn't think so. There are Bad and Good Apples everywhere. Show me any large group of people that doesn't have a member who has committed murder. Using this a FUD for an unrelated crime is first in extreamly bad taist, and could back fire badly. These are unrelated crimes. Real crimnals who are in jail are not like cartoon vilans who break laws for the sake of breaking laws, they break laws because in their mind they don't have any other options (For example running a red light because you see someone behind you going to fast and you know if you stop at that light they will rear end you). It is not because people want to break the laws it is just they feel the "law" is either unfair or to restrictive. If he is convicted of murder it will mostly be because of passion towards the victim, not about his feeling about the pattent system. They are to unrelated to to say OSS people don't respect Laws because this one guy went nuts and killed someone.

Re:Bad Image for OSS? (1)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662337)

Actually, opponents of FS/OSS would likely view this as a tragedy. If a member of my major competitor just got hit with a murder charge, I would probably be shocked and sad, focusing on keeping my mouth shut. It is the tasteless, non-professional that bring stuff up like this.

As for putting the author's name on a project like this, it tends to show the ego of the author. They want people to know 'I did this,' and I think it is tacky. There is a reason that IBM isn't called Hollerith, Inc. and Apple is called J&W Computing.

I know the question I'd ask (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661985)

"So, don't you wish real life had an undo button?"

Re:I know the question I'd ask (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662627)

"So, don't you wish real life had an undo button?"

It does, sort of. Unfortunately, it involves being very wealthy.

From what I've read... (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19661987)

From what I've read, he doesn't come off as very innocent. I read the article in the paper magazine last weekend, and he just seems like a really weird guy. Despite the fact that they picked this interviewer because they thought he would understand Reiser, because he is a misunderstood geek, he still came off as quite a weird guy. The whole part about playing battlefield vietnam with his 6 year old so he could "become a man" was just kind of weird, and really made me question his values. Not that I'm against kids playing violent games, but his whole reasoning behind it was just kind of creepy.

Re:From what I've read... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662401)

You're right insofar as he doesn't do himself any favours.

But that could be just someone with exceptionally poor social skills, even for a stereotypical geek.

Re:From what I've read... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662403)

What does being weird have to do with innocence? This seems like the past when it was easy to blame the black or the poor, no matter which way the evidence pointed. What's really weird IMHO is a murder case without a body.

Re:From what I've read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662493)

AC@work...

Ok that's wierd but, it sounds to me like he's been put in a position of defending videos games over and over. I've had a girlfriend put me in that position. Found myself constantly searching for "justification" for playing 2k4 etc. Heard myself saying things I'd never actually considered as gospel. When I finally realized that nothing mattered except that I was/was not giving her my undivided attention I quit defending video games and told her to stfu.

Anyway, that's probably what happens here. Nina bitches nonstop about video games, and Hans is constantly trying to find a "justification" for playing that she can't refute.

So, just in case you ever get accused of murder, don't ever try to defend playing violent video games. Just go straight to STFU and play what you want.

Continue developing (1, Redundant)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662011)

I think the real question on everyone's minds is: Will he be allowed to continue software development while behind bars?

One unanswered question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662055)

Is it true Hans had to beat someone up or become someone's bitch in prison? Did he talk in a fem voice? REAL LINUX USERS WANT TO KNOW THIS.

It's possible to tell when someone's lying (2, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662095)

There's a scanner which can monitor brain activity realtime, depending on which areas light up, police can tell if you're lying or not. They don't even have to ask any questions, simply present evidence to you and watch what your brain does.

e.g.
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.01/lying.htm l [wired.com]

As a geek who's been falsely accused, I'm sure he'd be happy to submit to such a scan. Additional evidence for his defence lawyer.

 

no, it isn't (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662221)

Whether those techniques work at all in real world settings, and whether they work in a legal setting, are unresolved questions.

It will take many years before such techniques can be used in the real world, even if they work.

Re:It's possible to tell when someone's lying (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662245)

As a geek who may at some point become falsely accused, how much trust would you really put in a piece of flashy tech like that? Unless the device was completely open-source and peer reviewable, and every last scientific principle behind the neural activity what the machine reads were completely understood (they aren't by a long shot,) I wouldn't want that thing anywhere near me in a life-or-death court case deciding my future.

Re:It's possible to tell when someone's lying (5, Insightful)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662433)

There are two problems with machine-assisted lie detection: People who train to control their responses on a polygraph, and people who believe what they say, even though it isn't true. The brain activity monitoring method only attacks the first problem, not the second.

Part of this is a philosophical problem: Someone with a false grip on reality (to a greater or lesser extent, all of us have some false perceptions or memories) may make a factual statement that is not consistent with objective reality, but if that person *believes* in the truth of the statement, should we even consider them to be lying? I think that the common definition of lying implies intent--you have to know that what you're saying is false. Otherwise, you're merely wrong or delusional.

It doesn't take a complete nutter to believe in false things, either. Most people believe they are more attractive, more competent, and smarter than the rest of us would rate them. A fair number of people have body image or confidence issues that cause them to vastly underestimate their charms. Sometimes, people just ignore the unpleasant realities of life by not thinking about them. Even better examples come up in looking at objective assessments of eyewitness identification in criminal cases--people can fool themselves into believing all sorts of things.

I mean, just look at the two different stories that Reiser's son told regarding the last argument between his mother and father: He had to have been making false statements in one of the two interviews, since they contain mutually contradictory statements of fact. But did he believe in the truth of what he said at the time? If you don't think this is possible, try to imagine the terrific psychological pressures on the boy's head over the last few years.

Hence the problem with using brain activity as an indicator of truth: It can only tell you about the subjective truth of a person's statements, not the objective truth. There's a great potential for difference between the two.

I'm waiting for Netcraft to confirm the death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662155)

Until then, it's just FUD. Somebody needs to check if the DA is on the ext3 team.

If it DOES become OJ, the inevitable fork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662167)

If previous experience with the American judicial system has any bearing, he will walk. The OSS community will have more choices, so that their conscience is clear while using their favorite filesystem, while making their opinion known at the same time:
1. IRFS - Innocent Reiser File System
2. GAHRFS - Guilty as hell Reiser Filesystem

S&M OK, ecstasy isn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662181)

As per topic.

Seems a bit twisted.

But S&M with ecstasy?

I'm sorry I asked...

Russian Mafia?? (2)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662249)

I find it really interesting if you look at the Russian mafia angle. Maybe Nina's in Russia?? I think that is where she really is considering that she had obtained Russian citizenship for both of her children. While Reiser is, shall we say, unique, he does not sound much different then alot of geeks. I hope something happens and he's freed. With the Children in Russia, there may never be a straight answer to what happened to Nina.

A bunch of weirdos (I actually read TFA) (4, Insightful)

ex-geek (847495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662259)

First of all, what is it with the weird style this "interview" is written in? Joshua Davis should go off and write private investigator novels, instead of doing journalism on criminal cases. It was difficult to discern, where the claims of Reiser, Sturgeon or the DA end and where Davis' own storytelling starts.

Hans Reiser has to be at least paranoid, which he apparently inherited from his father:

"Reiser calls his dad and explains that unmarked cars and maybe an airplane are tracking him. In Ramon's opinion, it's an operation beyond the scope of local police. It sounds like the Russian mafia, Ramon says, or maybe the Russian spy agency, the FSB."
Why would the FSB be interested in him? Don't they know that ReiserFS is open source?

Another nugget is his insistence on playing violent video games with his six year old son. He defended this practise in a "32-page filing" on the "culture of manhood" during his divorce trial. That alone has nutjob written all over it.

He believes mental health professionals scorn people who "teach the culture of manhood to little boys, with all of its inherent opposition to wallowing in wimpiness."
Well, I don't see much of manhood in Hans Reiser's behaviour. He comes of as whiny and paranoid, accusing everybody but himself for his mistakes. And he appears even to be proud of conceiving a child in the first night with his mail order bride. That's both pathetic and idiotic!

And don't even get me started on this Sturgeon guy. It seems like lunatics come in packs. I for one wouldn't take Hans Reisers advice on anything but file systems serious.

Re:A bunch of weirdos (I actually read TFA) (1)

Slashamatic (553801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662359)

Why would the FSB be interested in him? Don't they know that ReiserFS is open source?

The FSB is interested in all foreign businessmen in Russia. They would find the DARPA research grant very interesting. The FSB doesn't *get* open source, they don't even understand software much but if Pentagon money is funding work in russsia, believe me, they will be interested.

Well, I don't see much of manhood in Hans Reiser's behaviour. He comes of as whiny and paranoid, accusing everybody but himself for his mistakes.

Parents deprived of access to their kids do go a bit strange. Intelligent people locked up in jail also go strange (there isn't much chance of mental stimulation there). He is no model of fatherhood but I would give Reiser the benefit of the doubt but he will not look good in front of a jury, especially after so long.

Wow that's bizzarre (3, Insightful)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662335)

Read the whole article. It gets really creepy and bizzarre ... like when they start talking about brainwashing the kid and so on. The wife sounds really creepy .. but who knows, it was quite one-sided. Except for the end, interestingly enough.

While he launches into the intricacies of database science, I'm thinking, "Where is the front passenger seat of your car?" He has never explained this. It seems a fundamental hole in his defense. But he won't stop talking. When I try to interrupt, he insists I let him finish. It's as if the file system holds all the answers.

So I take the hint, and that night, in my office, I start scouring the 80,496 lines of the Reiser4 source code. Eventually I stumble across a passage that starts at line 78,077. It's not part of the program itself -- it's an annotation, a piece of non-executable text in plain English. It's there for the benefit of someone who has chosen to read this far into the code. The passage explains how memory structures are born, grow, and eventually die. It concludes: "Death is a complex process."
Crazy ... does anyone know what the text of the passage is? I searched for "Death is a complex process" on Google code search, Koders, and Codase; got nothing...

She's in Russia (2, Insightful)

jhRisk (1055806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662341)

Sure I have no proof but what if she's in Russia? As I see it now, she could comfortably be there now after slipping out of the country at the conclusion of this master plan. She'd be there with her children who are supposedly with her parents and no longer allowed to leave Russia, the money she embezzled from the company and the satisfaction of sticking it to her husband who she likely gained apathy towards over time after a combination of drugs and a more "macho" man comparison came into play.

Seriously though... she was involved in a number of circumstances individuals or their loved ones eventually have no recourse but to take drastic and dramatic action at times involving faking your own death or disappearing (e.g. hardcore drug spirals, weird religions/cults, severe psychiatric problems, mafia involvement in any way and so many more!)

Reasons? (3, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662453)

Not saying its a good excuse, but put yourself in the same situation.

Your wife is in love/lust with your bi-S&M-druggie friend.

She files for divorce.

They conspire to take your company and everything you've worked for.

You know (or at least think) that after this, there's never going to be anyone else. He had to turn to a Russian bride already. I bet his social skills aren't even that great. Its easy to envision living alone forever after that, while your friend and your ex-wife run off together.

If you want to know why he looks/talks crazy..that's why. Doesn't justify murder, but might give some insight into why he looks shitty.

Re:Reasons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19662541)

Not saying its a good excuse, but put yourself in the same situation. Your wife is in love/lust with your bi-S&M-druggie friend.

But I wouldn't let myself *get* into the situation. He married some untrustworthy skank, and he maintained a relationship with a drug addict. I'd *rather* live alone forever if that were the only alternative.

Everyone with a brain knows the two types of people you absolutely cannot trust are politicians and junkies.

The hell with him.

what a weird story (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662539)

If you just look at the superficial evidence, there's a lot of suspicious stuff to focus on Reiser. But if you look into the details further, the affair with the S&M guy who admits to being a mass murderer, accounting irregularities in the company, you start to wonder. There have been cases in real life, not just television, where murders have been faked. I remember once case where a young man faked his death in an auto accident by substituting another body for his own and ensuring it was so badly burned that identification was impossible. It sounds like a television plot but it's real.

While the circumstantial evidence makes him look like the prime suspect, the circumstantial evidence also casts a lot of doubt upon his associates. Just what the hell is going on here? It could very well be as the police suspect, a sloppy killing with him having to play catch-up to cover all the evidence, or it could be something weirder. I don't see this as a clean open and shut case.

Did he (0, Troll)

Themer (994454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19662645)

Get remarried in there yet?
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