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Comments

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XML Co-Founder Joins Google, Blasts iPhone

H4x0r Jim Duggan correcting myself: he's turned against them (628 comments)

While verifying my sources just now, I found that Tim is, since February 2010, against software patents. Glad to hear it.

I've updated the wiki.

more than 4 years ago
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XML Co-Founder Joins Google, Blasts iPhone

H4x0r Jim Duggan A critic, but not direct opponent of swpats (628 comments)

Tim's critical of software patents, but his position is that there's just an implimentation problem - with good tweaking it could work. Kinda disappointing that he's not pushing for abolition. Surprising too given his experience in web dev and XML. Related info:

swpat.org is a publicly-editable wiki - help in expanding this info would be very welcome and useful.

more than 4 years ago
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US Intelligence Planned To Destroy WikiLeaks

H4x0r Jim Duggan Good job wikileaks beat them to it! (555 comments)

Sorry to criticise people who are clearly on our side. The Wikileaks folk are great, and the job they were doing was great, and it will be great again when they start back up...

...but it was not a good idea for them to take all the leaked documents offline without notice in order to show their value so that people will donate. It was last year, probably December, and everything's still offline :-(

For one example, they published the only (at the time) big ACTA leak. (There's since been a bigger one, hosted elsewhere) Everyone was pointing to them, and they took their copy offline. To my amazement, no one had a back up, so us anti-ACTA campaigners simply lost the only leaked draft.

At the implementation level, it was a bad idea to simply cause all pages to give error 404. A page of "We need donations, we'll be back up when we get them" would have been better.

Lesson: take backups of important docs, even ones published by groups of good people.

more than 4 years ago
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Venezuela's Chavez To Limit Internet Freedom

H4x0r Jim Duggan Re:Context (452 comments)

> To say the ruling class owns the politicians is a circular statement.

You're assuming the politicians aren't puppets.

Look at ACTA. There's nothing in there for the citizenry.

And what do our representatives think is worth debatin? A: Whether instruments of infringement should be destroyed "promptly" (US/EU/Mex), or "without delay" (Canada), or whether a time shouldn't be specified (Aus). Wow, thanks guys.

more than 4 years ago
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Venezuela's Chavez To Limit Internet Freedom

H4x0r Jim Duggan Context (452 comments)

This sort of thing will not be considered in Europe or North America, and us residents of those places will pat ourselves on the back for our love of liberty...

The difference between Venezuela and our countries is that in our countries, the ruling class own both the media and politicians. In Venezuela, they just own the media.

Chavez has some bad policies, and we're right to criticise those policies, but the context is important for forming an accurate opinion rather than a knee-jerk chauvinist one.

more than 4 years ago
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PA Laptop Spying Inspires FSF Crowdsourcing Effort

H4x0r Jim Duggan yup (135 comments)

If they do that, then any student can disable it, and every student can then use that one student's non-spying version.

The perfect solution would be to have no spying in the first place, but since you haven't offered any way to do this, having software freedom is indeed the next best solution.

more than 4 years ago
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PA Laptop Spying Inspires FSF Crowdsourcing Effort

H4x0r Jim Duggan FS is the best situation life's offering (135 comments)

There's no proposal that can solve everything. Of the proposals that exist today, free software is just far and away the best situation life's offering.

It's not about *you* being free to read and change the source or distribute modified versions, it's about *all users* being able to do this. "freedom 3" makes this clear:

"The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this."

It's about allowing people to help each other, building an empowered community. If the situation is serious enough, anyone can take a look, or find/pay someone else to take a look. And even if the situation doesn't seem serious, there's still the possibility that someone will be taking a look at the code anyway. And once one person does this, then all users can benefit from that person's exercise of their freedoms.

The possibility of these things happening is usually enough to dissuade software publishers from putting nastyware into free software in the first place.

So, you're theory just predicts a problem that's possible but which is non-existant or practically non-existant in reality.

more than 4 years ago
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PA Laptop Spying Inspires FSF Crowdsourcing Effort

H4x0r Jim Duggan Great idea (135 comments)

Hopefully this situation will be a stepping stone to help the public understand the role that computers play in our personal lives.

I switched to GNU/Linux in 1998 because lights on my external modem flickered each time I used RealPlayer to play files that were on my own computer.

more than 4 years ago
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OpenGL 4.0 Spec Released

H4x0r Jim Duggan That's not was the Mesa devs say (166 comments)

> it's not a practical concern.

According to the references linked from that en.swpat.org page, it seems the developers of the free software Mesa project think it's indeed a practical concern.

more than 4 years ago
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Historic IEEE 802 Group Looks Back and Forward

H4x0r Jim Duggan Maybe they can change IEEE's pro-swpat stance (45 comments)

In the Bilski case, IEEE filed a brief pushing *for* software patents. Maybe specific groups in IEEE, like the 802 group, should push for a change in this position. Having the whole wifi industry paying a tax to CSIRO for a wifi patent must make this group a little more clued in about the harm caused.

more than 4 years ago
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Jeff Jaffe Named CEO of W3C

H4x0r Jim Duggan How will this affect HTML5 video??? (145 comments)

This is terrible news.

His swan song even talks about the "great satisfaction" of working with "Inventive people who write more software patents per capita than anywhere else".

HTML5 already has big problems with software patents forcing it to exclude all video format recommendations. What influence will this guy have in W3C?

more than 4 years ago
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Best Resource For Identifying Legit Applications?

H4x0r Jim Duggan download.com has no magic wand (255 comments)

> see if it's on download.com...this can only prove that it isn't malware

Proof? Dude, what do you think the download.com guys do?

They get given a binary, they run some black box testing on the output of it, then shrug their shoulders and say "looks okay".

The closest you can get to "proof" is if the source code is online as free software, there are developers that don't work for the same company, and there are plenty of users. In those situations, malware tends to be found and removed.

Failing that, the simplest criteria is just that it be free software. That doesn't guarantee anything, but there are almost no cases of free software containing malware. ...or maybe you meant that being on download.com is just a proof that the software isn't *too* bad.

more than 4 years ago
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European Parliament Declaring War Against ACTA

H4x0r Jim Duggan The demand is weaker than it seems (307 comments)

Calling for publication of the text is good.

The other provisions of this demand are pretty weak. Some example points:

#2 - no basis? Here's the basis: 2008-04-14: EU: negotiating guidelines for ACTA formally adopted by the Council

#10 - "subsidiarity" etc. - no problem, that's why the EU keeps pushing the words "Those measures, procedures and remedies shall also be effective, proportionate and deterrent" into the ACTA text (see March 1st leaked draft)

And the criminal sanctions are EU okay because the treaty will be handed to the member states for implementation.

Still a great move. Just don't starting thinking we win with it.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Tridgell recommends reading software patents

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) writes "In a recent talk, Andrew Tridgell rejected the common fears about triple damages "If you’ve got one lot of damages for patent infringement, what would happen to the project? It’s dead. If it gets three lots of damages for patent infringement, what happens to the project? It’s still dead." Tridge then explains the right way to read a patent and build a legal defense: "That first type of defence is really the one you want, it’s called: non-infringement. And that is: 'we don’t do that. The patent says X, we don’t do X, therefore go away, sue someone else, it’s not relevant for us'. That’s the defence you want. [...] Next one, prior art: [...] Basically the argument is: somebody else did that before. It’s a very, very tricky argument to get right. Extremely tricky, and it is the most common argument bandied about in the free software community. And if you see it in the primary defence against a patent, you should cringe because it is an extremely unsafe way of doing things." — there are even some tips in the talk specifically for Slashdotters."
Link to Original Source
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Bilski hearing comments on software patents

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) writes "End Software Patents have published their analysis of what the Bilski hearing statements imply for software patents: At Monday's hearing (transcript html, pdf), neither party had the objective of abolishing software patents. The Bilski case is about a business method patent, so there was Mr. Jakes arguing that business methods should be patentable, and Mr. Stewart arguing that they shouldn't. For software to be excluded, we're relying on the judges (to whom we wrote an amicus brief, as did many others). There're some worrying statements, but there's definitely hope."
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FSF brief: patents block compatibility, harm users

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) writes "After those of Red Hat and SFLC, FSF has published its Supreme Court brief. The lengthy brief (as long as Red Hat's and SFLC's combined) focusses on compatibility: "In the context of writing an email reader, a word processor, or an image viewer, being blocked from reading, modifying, or writing in the required data format is equivalent to being banned from writing a functional program for that task." It also details harms to software progress, economics, and how innovation in software flourished without patents, as is shown by GNU/Linux, and, for better or worse, Microsoft (who in 1995 had only 77 patents). The brief ends with quotes from domestic and foreign experts. Their press release gives more information. A Bilski 3 project has been launched to collect constructive criticism of the brief."
Link to Original Source
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FSF to Supremes: software patents are unjust

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) writes "Not taking chances on any particular argument, FSF has submitted a brief approaching the word limit. After outlining the contribution of the free software movement to software progress, the brief details how software patents fail their constitutional justification, and how the USPTO's practice is harming individual freedom, community development projects and the progress of software as users would want. "Given that software development includes common activities such as making a webpage, the freedom to use a computer as you see fit for your daily life is a fundamental form of expression, just as using a pen and paper is. ... In the context of writing an email reader, a word processor, or an image viewer, being blocked from reading, modifying, or writing in the required data format is equivalent to being banned from writing a functional program for that task."
Link to Original Source
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Consumer electronics and violations of free softwa

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "Veteran violation chasers Shane Coughlan and Armijn Hemel have summarised how licence violations are caused in the consumer electronics market under time-to-market pressure and thin profit margins "This problem is compounded when one board with a problem appears in devices supplied to a number of western companies. A host of violation reports spanning a dozen European and American businesses may eventually point towards a single mistake during development at an Asian supplier." They also discuss the helpful organisations which have sprung up and the documents and procedures now available."
Link to Original Source
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IBM to SCOTUS: patents drive free software

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "For the Supreme Court's upcoming review of the Bilski decision, IBM has submitted an amicus brief claiming that software patents "fueled the explosive growth of open source software development"! (p38 of linked PDF) EndSoftwarePatents, for its own amicus brief, is looking for help building a list of free software harmed by software patents, and a list of companies that distribute free software and are taxed by patent royalties."
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Antitrust working for Samba and FSFE

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 5 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "It's now just over a year since Microsoft lost their final court case in the EU regarding breaches of antitrust regulation. Samba developer Andrew Bartlet's blog writes that the documentation and help that MS is forced to give is proving truly useful. FSFE blogger Ciaran O'Riordan also explains the motiviations for those years of work (hint: it wasn't about fines)"
Link to Original Source
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ISO delegates vote against OOXML

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 6 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "After a full week lobby, OOXML has failed to achieve majority approval at ISO's Ballot Resolution Meeting. The delegates were unable to consider, let alone resolve, the many problems with the OOXML specification. Updegrove also explains in an interview there in Geneva the government-like privileged position ISO holds, why the ISO process coped badly, and why ICT standards are as important as the freedoms of free software."
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RMS on politics, education, and software freedom

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 6 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "Accepting his fifth honaray degree recently, Richard Stallman had 30 minutes in front of a mostly non-tech, outsider audience. A transcript of his discourse is online where he relates the free software movement to innovations such as democracy. He also gave arguments for why educational bodies should support the free software movement 100%."
Link to Original Source
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FSFE and Samba anti-trust team interview

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 6 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "Done just minutes after the EU vs MS anti-trust verdict, here's a very warm spirited interview (ogg, mp3, text) with Carlo Piana and Georg Greve of FSFE and Jeremy Allison and Volker Lendeke of Samba. They tell the story of Microsoft's shrinking "blue blue" smoke and mirrors tactic, the 3.6 billion in payments that all the journalists have missed when reporting the 430 million fine, and the role of unbuyable groups in this high stakes business case."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft's EU anti-trust appeal thrown out

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 6 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "The EU's highest court has today rejected Microsoft's appeal against the European Commission's anti-trust case. The decision is being celebrated by FSFE, who've worked on the case since 2001 supporting Samba. Microsoft was always going to have to publish some interoperability specs, and thanks to the work of FSFE and Samba, free software developers will not be blocked from using that information."
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OOXML evaluation

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  about 7 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "With the holiday season about to make consensus work impractical, most national standards groups will decide in the next week or two whether to recommend MS's OOXML format for ISO standardisation. There's been a lot of private lobbying, and none has made MS's 6,000 page standard easy to review. With that in mind, FSFE have published Six questions to national standardisation bodies. If they think MS's standard answers "yes" to each question, they should approve. If not, they should reject. There's also a petition."
Link to Original Source
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H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "A transcript is now online of a talk Richard Stallman gave in Brussels earlier this week about discussion draft 3 of GPLv3. Among other things, he explained how it will address the Novell-MS deal, from Novell's point of view and from Microsoft's, and he explained how the tivoisation clause was narrowed to make it more acceptable in the hope that it will be used by more people. After the talk he also gave an interview, and yesterday, draft 2 of LGPLv3 was released."
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H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "Richard Stallman announced on Saturday that discussion draft 3 of GPLv3 will be released on Wednesday March 28th. The new wording addresses what Microsoft has done it's deal with Novell, but more input will be sought on how to prevent others from doing what Novell did for their part in that deal. Discussion draft 3 will responde to eight months of public comment and committee discussion."
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H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "The first recorded talk by Richard Stallman on free software was in 1986, so I've picked from the 2006 recordings and have made a transcript of a recent talk: The Free Software Movement and the Future of Freedom. Those two are the only transcripts of his general free software talk. Others that exist are on specific topics such as patents, GPLv3, copyright, etc. For those who've been reading Slashdot during the gradual evolution of Stallman's pronouncements, it's interesting to see what has changed on a 20 year timeline."
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H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "The 5th international GPLv3 conference was held in Tokyo last week. I've made and published a transcript of Stallman's talk where he described the latest on what GPLv3 will do about the MS/Novell deal, Treacherous Computing, patents, Tivo, and the other changes to the licence. While I was at it, I made a transcript of my talk from the next day where I tried to fill in some info that Richard didn't mention."
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H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "While updating the GPL is occasionally necessary, it is also adding a new licence to the environment. So what can be done in the licence to curb licence proliferation in general, and/or to ease the problems created? This article discusses how adaptability can stop bureaucratic problems from leading to the creation of new licences, and how compatibility can be achieved without spoiling the copyleft. Comments sought."
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H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "With editorial help from Jeremy of kerneltrap.org and some friends in FSFE, I've put together a review of how and what happens when GPLv3 addresses Devices Rigged to Malfunction (DRM) — and the effects and options left open for the Linux kernel. Discussion draft 3, which may be the last draft, is due out in early November, so now's a good time for scrutiny."

Journals

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http://en.swpat.org - the software patents public wiki

H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I'm building a public wiki to document *everything* that campaigns need to know about software patents.

When you need to check something or need to find a study to back up a claim, en.swpat.org aims to be the place to go to.

I spent a few years working on the anti-swpat campaign in the European Union. We did amazing work, but the online legacy is a mess and a lot of sites have even disappeared. So when I started working on the Bilski case in the USA, I decided that everything had to be documented in a publicly editable wiki - and the same is true for every other campaign I've been involved with since. The information gathered by each campaign must be made easily available to all future campaigns; we can't start from zero each time.

Your help is sought! When you see something interesting, or if you can dig up something interesting you saw years ago, please add it somewhere on the wiki. Don't worry about finding the right place or following any conventions - I regularly review the changes.

The mother project of the wiki, is the End Software Patents campaign. (donations sought)

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H4x0r Jim Duggan H4x0r Jim Duggan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

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