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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Aighearach Re:Land of the free (357 comments)

If the value of the materials which the hackers have, but have not yet released, exceeds the expected revenue of the movie, then it makes sense to trash the movie and just move on.

No, it would be the value of the secrets adjusted for the chance of the hackers actually not releasing it anyways. If you don't know who they are and the closest thing to a "negotiation" is reading a post they made on a paste site, you can't place any confidence value at all on it. And if it is a team of people, it only takes 1 person to release whatever.

It just doesn't come out as less stupid, even if you accept the premise as reasonable behavior.

1 hour ago
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Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

Aighearach Re:Myth Confirmed... (52 comments)

Did car reports always get filed on the correct day back then? It isn't like something they're going to put a CSI team on, so it might have really just not mattered to the cops exactly when a car was stolen unless it was one where they caught somebody with it. And then it would be the witnesses who needed to be helped to remember, not the paperwork.

My understanding of pre-computer paperwork, including during much of my life, is that you really can't say one way or the other if cars were reported stolen on a particular day, or not. And a stolen car was often not reported for a couple days. The first thing people tried to do was get to work because public transit sucked. It might not be until their day off that it gets reported. "Sorry Sir, you can't sign the complaint over the phone, you'll have to come in to the station."

They didn't need a car though, what they needed was a friend in town. It isn't exactly remote.

1 hour ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Aighearach Re: Land of the free (357 comments)

"Beyond the realm of stupid" is quite believable to many, so maybe they can survive this.

2 hours ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Aighearach Re: Land of the free (357 comments)

He is actually the top superstar of the "stoned teenage fart comedy" genre.

2 hours ago
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Startup Magic Leap Hires Sci-Fi Writer Neal Stephenson As Chief Futurist

Aighearach Re:Jobs Lives (41 comments)

We have no idea what they showed people. Maybe they showed prototypes, maybe they only showed business plans. It is a known unknown that is given away in the summary by the word "secretive."

yesterday
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Startup Magic Leap Hires Sci-Fi Writer Neal Stephenson As Chief Futurist

Aighearach Re:I believe it! (41 comments)

Yes, actually to be honest that doesn't sound like you uncovered a secret meaning, that sounds like the top shelf, most obvious understanding of exactly what they literally said, which turns out to mean just what it sounds like.

If you've ever seen big-budget films with CGI, and low-budget films with CGI, then you can understand that current technology does not include a system that automatically includes generated images that look real. Or as you put it, that look like "simulated JPEGs." Using current tech, the systems just don't do that. You have generate the objects, and then fiddle with every frame and if you spend millions of dollars per scene, you can finally make it close to seamless. They're talking about doing it without extra post-CGI processing and prettying. In that world, the low-budget films would have perfect generated objects because it would be a basic tool capability and not a human-intensive artistic process.

yesterday
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Aighearach Re:Balls (171 comments)

You seem to be totally missing the fact that this is not a very useful platform for spying on people.

A satellite has less atmosphere to distort the signal. It is very specifically useful to radar to have something at that altitude.

yesterday
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Aighearach Re:Army? (171 comments)

Oh golly, what if somebody invented a vehicle, like a horseless-carriage, but that could swim under-water! Crazy, I know. But what if they did, and they figured out how to make it drive to (or even just near!) the surface of the water, and launch missiles?! z0mg! Science fiction, right? right? Then the missiles would only have to fly ~ 0% of the distance you claim. I guess at that point you'd need to be watching for them.

Actually, I guess even if they launched it from France... if you weren't watching for it, you'd never know how long it would have been visible, had you looked.

Kinda funny the prospect of trying to detect missile launches with sonar. I mean, yeah, if we're being attacked there would be no utility at all in differentiating between launched missiles and launched torpedoes... right?

yesterday
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Aighearach Re:Weird article (171 comments)

The Friend vs Foe stuff is not going to be substantially different from what is in jet fighters. It does seem to work well enough for what it is used for. But we can safely say that there is nothing related to that system involved in this craft and its usefulness. That part of the system is just not any different here, and so is not part of this issue.

It isn't for tracking vehicles, it is for tracking aircraft. That is why there is a disconnect between the 340 mile range, which is the actual range, and the harebrained prognostications of illegal civilian surveillance.

yesterday
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Aighearach Re:got a 10,000 foot high aviation warning light? (171 comments)

Gosh, that sounds scary. I propose to establish traffic lanes for airplanes, and a system of civilian radar so air traffic controllers can warn aircraft if they're going off course near something dangerous.

Good thing the aerostat has active military radar so they can see and establish radio contact with anybody flying towards it...

yesterday
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Aighearach Re:Balls (171 comments)

The funny thing is people seeing the words "spy" and "watch" and totally miss that this a radar ship that is watching the airspace for incoming missiles. The thing can't even see the ground for very far. People are spouting nonsense like "maybe they will look at cars with it," but from 10,000ft you can only actually track cars that are really close, even though you can see a long ways.

Terrain at ground level is very bumpy. You can see a long ways from the top of 10,000 ft mountain, but even with a telescope you can't pick out small objects. It is actually more difficult, optically, than looking down from low Earth orbit. It would be a totally moronic way to try to do surveillance of ground targets. And the radar isn't going to be effective at tracking ground targets at that low an angle over any sort of distance.

People thinking this is something suspicious is an NSA wet dream. It will do for illegal surveillance what the Roswell "weather balloon" lies did to protect the Air Force's experimental aircraft; the crazies will rally, and look really crazy.

yesterday
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

Aighearach Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (173 comments)

I don't think you understand what you're speaking of. The lavabit technology is a totally different thing than normal email encryption. And I didn't claim "nobody can believe [something or other not specified."

Using normal encryption there is nothing your service provider can be secretly ordered to provide. You would need to order the evidence from either the sender or the recipient. Just like a sealed letter. Lavabit required the user to trust a service provider, and added a gimmicky anti-government thing that was obviously destined to fail; any competent security consultant would have predicted that trusting the provider would destroy any claims of being secure.

That you responded to my comments without even realizing I was a groklaw user who read her statement contemporaneously explains why you missed the point; you assumed I missed the point and didn't evaluate my comment as being an informed comment. She was clearly "fed up" with running the site in the days and weeks before deciding to stop posting, and was choosing an excuse to use.

I didn't say she wasn't sincere, I said the reason was not because she couldn't communicate "securely," whatever that means. Before groklaw ever started there were already FBI email-keyword-search sniffing boxes in ISPs. That was pre-9/11. Email was never ever ever ever ever ever secure; nor was it ever claimed to be, or believed to be by anybody who looked into it. And, secure email had nothing to do with what groklaw was doing, which was publishing public court filings and commentary on them.

So it is just factually incorrect that she shut down because of suddenly finding out that email isn't secure. She shut down, as she explains in her post, (regardless of whatever wording she may have used) for the purpose of protesting policy that didn't actually impact her.

yesterday
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

Aighearach Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (173 comments)

She wasn't using confidential sources, and she wasn't a lawyer. She was a retired paralegal who was publishing the legal filings for tech-related cases,(starting with the SCO trial) commentary on said cases, and commentary on other media's reporting.

yesterday
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

Aighearach Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (173 comments)

No, that is totally nonsense. It is not factually reasonable. A) there is no need for secure communications B) she could use encryption if she was worried about it C) she said in her rage-quit essay that it was listening to the lavabit guy that made her decide to do it as a protest. It was a protest, not some actual real-life need that was violated or prevented.

Groklaw wasn't wikileaks or anything like it, never had their communications interrupted, and didn't need email that is secure to a higher standard than the business world needs.

2 days ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

Aighearach Re:Does GPLv2 Grant a Patent license (173 comments)

Contrary to the FUD you may read on the internet, the GPL does not need to be "tested in court" and will not be by these cases. You can't challenge a license you're not a party to; you can't sue to harm yourself; if the Court throws out the contract, it cannot write a new one. So you can't be using GPL code and then challenge the license. If you proved the license to be fatally deficient, you'd lose your right to use the code; you'd be harmed by your own court action, and you'd be the only loser. So the Court wouldn't even let you argue that; it is not a valid basis for a case.

You can fight over the smaller details of a license and what it means, but you can't actually attack the license here. Because it is free, you can't claim to have been misled, or been a victim of an unfair business practice. So you can only argue the edge cases and how they effect you; you can't both have standing, and also challenge the validity of the license.

It is mostly just misrepresenting the cases that conflates them with having to do with the GPL. These are cases that revolve around business practices and contracts between companies, where there are issues related to their partnerships and business practices related to each other. It has nothing to do with the GPL itself, except in weighing the reasonable expectations of the different parties. If the rulings go one way or the other, it won't affect the GPL or companies using the GPL. It will only affect companies that engage in whatever practices are found to be unfair or harmful.

In the cases here, there are three companies involved; company A licensed software from company B under proprietary terms. That license is actually the main one involved in the 5 cases. Company A was allowed to use 3rd party contractors to edit the code, subject to terms. Company C (the 3d party contractor) is accused by Company B of having use Company B's code in a competing project. Company B also accuses Company A of not terminating their contract with Company C when they learned they were in violation of the agreement. Company A accuses Company B of having used GPL code in the code they licensed, and therefore that they didn't have the right to license it, and that the entire codebase is a derivative work of that GPL code.

So the GPL is "involved" in the sense that the Court has to decide if this code is licensed rightfully under the proprietary license, and/or the GPL. Depending on the answer to that question, some number of these companies may be found to have been naughty, and be made to pay. But the GPL is not being questioned here; and it won't ever be in the sense that people always meant by "testing it in court."

2 days ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

Aighearach Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

While I mostly agree, I still see permissive licensed code getting support contracts for the same amounts as the license would cost. For the most part, licensed code is purchased for the support. Especially where other free code exists already, using a permissive license can get your code used, and having code that is used is the first step in selling support contracts to some percent of users.

3 days ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

Aighearach Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (173 comments)

She didn't actually "fold up" the site is still up and the news links were updated a couple months ago. She's just using it as a vehicle for speech. Of course, her speech is a dishonest lie about being forced to do things that she wasn't even asked to do, based on something (email) not being what it never was (secret and opaque to paperwork-bearing government officials).

She was clearly getting tired of running the site for some time. The real disappointing thing IMO is that she spent all that time bringing people together over an issue, and then when she got bored she took her ball home and leaves the silly post hosted there to thumb her nose at her former viewers. It seems like she could instead have created something to turn over to somebody else when she got tired of it, and left a legacy.

3 days ago
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Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Aighearach Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (367 comments)

The abhorrent is the known. That your fetish is unpopular doesn't make it unfamiliar as a cultural feature. It is simply defeated as an acceptable behavior.

That is totally different than the issue being examined here.

about two weeks ago
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Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

Aighearach Re:Old LiIon batteries, what could possibly go wro (143 comments)

You should really look into it if you're so interested, find out about how to create simple circuits that only charge at the correct voltage and current.

You don't just grab a photovoltaic cell and duct tape the wires to the battery.

about two weeks ago

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