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GNU Octave Gets a GUI

Digana Re:Broken on OSX. (166 comments)

Yes, because it's way too beta, almost alpha.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Security, In Light of NSA Crypto-Subverting Attacks?

Digana Re:AES (472 comments)

The last time that the NSA weakened an algorithm they recommended was by shortening the key for DES. Snowden confirms that properly implemented crypto still works, and Rijndael (AES) still seems strong. The problem aren't the algorithms, because the mathematics still check out. The thing to fear are the implementations. Any implementation for which we are not free to inspect its source is suspect.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Security, In Light of NSA Crypto-Subverting Attacks?

Digana Linux and RdRand (472 comments)

There was recently a bit of a kerfuffle over RdRand.

Matt Mackall, kernel hacker and Mercurial lead dev, quit Linux development two years ago because Linus insulted him repeatedly. Linus called Matt a paranoid idiot because Matt would not allow RdRand into the kernel, because it was an Intel CPU instruction for random numbers that could not be audited. Linus thought Matt's paranoia was unwarranted and wanted RdRand due to improved performance. Recently Theodore T'so has undone most of the damage, but call RdRand still exist in Linux. I do not understand exactly if there are lingering issues or not.

about a year ago
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Hacker Behind Leaked Nude Celebrity Photos Gets 10 Years

Digana Re:Open Source information? (346 comments)

That is an entirely different meaning of the term, but arguably, is the meaning in the original summary. Is there evidence of "open source" ocurring without the "intelligence" part?

about 2 years ago
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Hacker Behind Leaked Nude Celebrity Photos Gets 10 Years

Digana Re:Open Source information? (346 comments)

The first OED citation for "open source" is from 1998:

open source adj. [first published, on the Internet on 8 February 1998, by E. S. Raymond in a revised version of his paper ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’; ‘[the term] was invented by Christine Peterson of the Foresight institute at a private meeting I ran a few days earlier’ (E. S. Raymond, private communication)] Computing (chiefly attrib.) designating software for which the original program files used to compile the applications are available to users to be modified and redistributed as they wish. 1998 InfoWorld 2 Mar. 75/4 ‘The popularity and success of Apache, the Linux operating system, the BSD version of Unix, and many other software applications prove the value and impact of open source development’, Linux creator Linus Torvalds said in Netscape's statement. 2003 Wired May 125/2 The chip king is hardly a stern taskmaster, giving only the most general directions to faculty. Much of the work is released open source, and wild tangents are encouraged.

If you have a citation that goes a centuries earlier than this, you should notify the OED about how this term has been in use for that long.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Digana Re:Hypocracy (573 comments)

I didn't say that gcc is "closed", or non-free, as it were. There is no imperative to make sure free software is easy and convenient for all possible uses. For instance, I do not have a moral obligation to make sure the free software I create is easy to compile on Windows. Modularity is nice, but not an essential feature of free software. All that you really need is the source code, the preferred form of modification, and with that you can exercise the required freedoms. You can fork off gcc if you want. In fact, gcc is a fork, a fork called egcs that got branded back into gcc, as you well know.

Also, you seem to be suggesting that rms is a tyrant here for not allowing gcc to be modularised. Unlike a real tyrant, nobody has to actually listen to rms. If enough people wanted to do so, they could all abandon GNU, fork off gcc, do whatever they wanted with it, modularise it, and call it something else, yet again.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Digana Re:Hypocracy (573 comments)

In this case, the danger of enabling non-free software on top of gcc overweighs the convenience of allowing modularity in gcc.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Digana Re:Hypocracy (573 comments)

It is consistent with providing free software to make it difficult to create non-free software. The GPL's copyleft isn't non-free anymore than laws against me punching you in the face take away any significant freedom from me.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Digana Re:Capitalism and You (573 comments)

Oh, prepare to be lectured for saying "intellectual property"...

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Digana GNU visibility and factioning (573 comments)

GNU is supposed to be a free operating system as well as a group of people working towards building this OS. To a casual observer, however, GNU does not appear very active. Some of the most prominent and supposedly GNU packages, such as Gimp, Gnome, GTK+, and R are mostly GNU in name only. The hackers working on these projects have very little interaction with other hackers working on GNU projects and they very frequently espouse views contrary to GNU's philosophical aims. Thus to an outside observer, GNU does not appear to be a cohesive group of people working towards a common goal. Many GNU mailing lists being private further the public perception that GNU is not even actively producing software anymore.

What can be done to remedy this situation? How can we strengthen GNU, make it reach out again to the people it's supposed to be freeing?

about 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Digana FSF and GNU successorship (573 comments)

Although GNU and the FSF's views are often thought to be exactly the same as yours, they are not. GNU and the FSF are many other people and although they overall have the same aims, individuals associated to each organisation may deviate slightly from your views.

The FSF right now is pretty indepenent from you. John Sullivan is actively leading it, but there are other very public members of the FSF. It has become independent from you, even if you're still the president of the FSF. Unlike its beginnings, the FSF is also no longer primarily concerned with creating free software, but rather it is now involved in campaigning for free software. Social activists mostly aligned with your views have replaced the hacker majority in the FSF.

GNU has no such clear independence. You have the final say on aything that happens in GNU, such as for example usinng bzr as a DVCS for Emacs, a choice of dubious tactical advantage that has generated much discontent. You have nevertheless vetoed any dissent on this topic. Your health is apparently deteriorating, and I hesitate to think what will become of GNU when you die.

Is there any clear path for the future governance of GNU you in the same way that the FSF has done this?

about 2 years ago
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Freeside Internet Services: Doing Well With Purely Free Software (Video)

Digana Re:AGPL, legally weaker than a EULA. (53 comments)

In addition to the terms of the GPL, You violate the AGPL when you (1) copy the source code and (2) modify it (3) host the modified version over the network and (4) don't provide source for your modifications. Since by default (1) is a copyright violation if there isn't an explicit permission to do so, if you say you don't agree to the AGPL, then you don't have permission to do (1) either. So if you do the above, you can't claim that you didn't agree to the terms of the AGPL without acknowledging copyright infringement.

about 2 years ago
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Richard Stallman Speaks About UEFI

Digana Re:Good for Stallman (549 comments)

You mean all of free software owes him a lot. ;-)

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Open Sources Aircraft Design Software

Digana Re:GPL not appropriate for taxpayer funded project (116 comments)

The issue is that a license like the GPL is discriminatory to certain business models, namely those that keep source code changes private.

Huh, the GPL doesn't forbid you from keeping changes private. It forbids you from distributing changes without source. If you don't distribute, there is no problem.

And there is no business model so your point is not on topic. ;-)

Sure there is. It's part of many organisations' business models. To take one heavy-handed example, Google. They grab Linux-based source code, create their own internal distribution, and use it to power internal development and massive servers that are turning in a pretty penny.

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Open Sources Aircraft Design Software

Digana Re:GNU complaint seems somewhat bogus? (116 comments)

I don't get it. You agree then that this license forbids me from grabbing someone else's free code, mixing it with NASA's, because it's not my original creation, but someone else's? How are you extrapolating from "your original work" to "paper trail"?

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Open Sources Aircraft Design Software

Digana Re:GPL not appropriate for taxpayer funded project (116 comments)

Huh, the GPL doesn't forbid you from keeping changes private. It forbids you from distributing changes without source. If you don't distribute, there is no problem.

Furtheremore, Whatever, GPL isn't the only free license. Use a BSD-style license or any other license without copyleft.

I still don't understand how an agency of the US government can claim copyright, though. Usually what happens is that the government subcontracts to individuals and are then bound by the copyright claims of those individuals. How is NASA getting away with this?

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Open Sources Aircraft Design Software

Digana Re:GNU complaint seems somewhat bogus? (116 comments)

The problem is that the wording in the NASA license insists that the work must be your "original creation". You seem to not address the problem of how this wording seems to not allow you to grab someone else's code and combine it with NASA's to create a new work.

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Open Sources Aircraft Design Software

Digana Not free, but open source (116 comments)

Why does NASA, a government agency, claim copyright on software?

And why does NASA release software under a non-free license?

It's not that hard. Use an existing license. Stop inventing your own licenses that conflict with truly free collaboration.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Emacs violates GPL since 2009

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "Emacs, one of GNU's flagship products and most famous software creation of Richard Stallman, has been discovered to be violating the GPL since 2009-09-28 by distributing binaries that were missing source. The CEDET package, a set of contributed files for giving certain IDE functionality related to static code analysis, has distributed files generated from bison grammars without distributing the grammar itself. This happened for Emacs versiones 23.2 and 23.3, released during late 2009, and has just been discovered."
Link to Original Source
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Octave 3.4 released after 2 years of development

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "Two years have passed since the last 3.2 release, so the Octave team is proud to announce its 3.4 release stable release. Besides lots of indexing optimisations, function handle improvements, and a large rewrite of sparse matrix support, there is a particularly exciting new OpenGL plotting engine that is ready to replace gnuplot in most cases."
Link to Original Source
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Deldo - Vibration Control and Teledildonics Mode

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "Deldo is a vibration control package for emacs, allowing any and all emacs hooks to have haptic event additions. Currently deldo works with the Rez Trancevibe/Drmn Trancevibe, but can easily be edited to work with other computer controllable toys."
Link to Original Source
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Mathworks goads to BSD license, tries to restrict

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "About six months ago, the Mathworks decided to move all of the publicly hosted free software on their File Exchange website to the BSD license exclusively, or remove it if it couldn't or wouldn't be relicensed. Some projects stayed under the GPL and moved elsewhere, while others relicensed.

The real surprise is that their Terms of Service now has an additional clause: "All content contained in the MATLAB Central File Exchange may only be used with MathWorks products," an attempt to create an additional restriction over the terms of the BSD license and forbid the use of alternative software like GNU Octave or Freemat, which are largely compatible with the Matlab language. This has a sparked a lively debate in the Octave mailing lists."
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Mathworks fighting GPL, lying

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "This happened rather quietly July last year, but the Mathworks, creators of the popular mathematical software Matlab, rejected any non-BSD free code publicly hosted in their servers. Most noticeably, much GPL code was affected by this decision, although the Mathwork's word choice avoids specifying if this is about fighting copyleft or not.

According to private emails they sent, code under the GPL had to be removed from the servers, which contradicts their public statement about the relicensing."
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Mathworks exchanges copyleft for BSD

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "This happened rather quietly July last year, but the Mathworks, creators of the popular mathematical software Matlab, rejected any non-BSD free code publicly hosted in their servers. Most noticeably, much GPL code was affected by this decision, although the Mathwork's word choice avoids specifying if this is about fighting copyleft or not.

Code licensed under the GPL had to be removed from the servers if it couldn't be relicensed."

Link to Original Source
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Can you copyright IM conversations?

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "I have witnessed a recent incident where two people were having one of those online spats over a website's messaging system. One of the parties decided to make the conversation public for whatever reason, and the other requested that his side of the conversation be altered, removed, or censored claiming copyright on his side of the conversation.

In Estate of Hemingway v Random House, the copyrightability of conversations was denied in the US citing that for such a conversation to be copyrightable, it would be required that

be required that the speaker indicated that he to mark off the utterance in question from the ordinary stream of speech, that he meant to adopt it as a unique statement, and that he wished to exercise control over its publication.

Are online communications somehow different from this decision pertaining to IRL conversations? I know email correspondence is usually agreed to be copyrighted, but what about IM or similar?"

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Grousing over rejected job application

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "I am living in an unwealthy country where a good salary is in the range of 1,000 EUR per month, and I visited one of the Commonwealth countries, where a friend unexpectedly got me a job interview at a handheld videogame company. They offered me the job, and for three months made me do paperwork, and I even swapped emails with the people there asking about the nature of the job and what sort of literature I should be reading. It was a common Debian sysadminning job, taking care of their servers.

Then a couple of days ago, after they've jerked me around for those months, they inform me that due to the "economic climate", they cannot hire me after all. I've sent them a strongly worded reply, and I'm now pondering my next move. I probably have already ruined my opportunities of future employment there, so should I try to sue them for deceiving me? Should I let it go? Should I hope that they might still want to hire me later if they lift the hiring freeze? I heard that about 40 other people are in the same situation as I am, and the laws of the target country allow class action suits (the laws of the source country, needless to say, are ineffective)."
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Elsevier supports, then retires crackpot editor

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "M. S. El Naschie has long been the editor-in-chief of the Elsevier publication Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, and he has also been its most active contributor. However, he has also been publishing pseudoscientific rubbish and numerology, which has been uncovered by prominent theoretical physicist John Baez. Elsevier has since stated in a private communication that El Naschie will be retired from his position.

This whole affair, however, does not bode well for the opponents of open access journals, as this is clear evidence that the parasitic influence that Elsevier and other publishers have on the scientific community cannot prevent crackpot rubbish to be caught in time. The worst part is that this journal costs 4520 USD anually and is part of bundles that university libraries purchase from Elsevier en masse."

Link to Original Source
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Google rejects code covered by AGPL

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "Still chipping away at the famed "do no evil" unofficial policy, Google has decided to reject code covered by the FSF's AGPL. While claiming that this is done to avoid license proliferation, others seem unconvinced by this doublethink argument. In the meantime, projects such as Clipperz are unwelcome in Google's servers and have moved to Sourceforge. Since the AGPL is designed precisely to close the so-called ASP gap that Google has been exploiting to take free code without giving back code, nobody seems surprised that Google rejects the AGPL."
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After 11 years, GNU Octave releases 3.0

Digana Digana writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Digana (1018720) writes "GNU Octave is a free numerical computing environment highly compatible with the MATLAB language. After 11 years of development since version 2.0, stable version 3.0 released yesterday. This version is interesting because unlike other free or semi-free MATLAB competitors like Scilab, specific compatibility with MATLAB code is a design goal that has manifested itself in goodies like better support for MATLAB's Handle Graphics, a syntax closer to MATLAB's own for many functions, and many functions from the sister project Octave-Forge ported to the core Octave project for an enriched functionality closer to the toolboxes provided by MATLAB. GUI development is underway, but still no JIT compiling, which is a first-time stopper for Octave newbies coming from MATLAB with unvectorised code."

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