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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Jiro Re:Overblown nonsense. (99 comments)

Here's how you clearly put something in within the law: (1) You declare it public domain. (2) Now, keeping it there: You simply exercise a level of ethics even a 5 year old understands: You don't go back on your word, because (for one thing) that would make you a major fucktarded scumbag.

That doesn't work. Maybe a year later you get sued for something and the court orders that your copyright be transferred to the person suing you as compensation. Or you go bankrupt and your copyright is sold to your creditors. Or, instead of being sued, you die and the copyright goes to your heirs. And the new owner doesn't consider himself bound by your word.

Furthermore, even if none of that happens, it's still not equivalent to public domain because even if you keep your word, someone who wants to use your work has no way to read your mind and know that you're the kind of person who keeps his word. So he has to act as if you could withdraw permission at any time even if you never would.

5 days ago
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The Mystery of Glenn Seaborg's Missing Plutonium: Solved

Jiro Misleading title and summary (85 comments)

The method described did not help them find the plutonium. The method helped them identify it as being the right piece once it was found.

about three weeks ago
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EFF declares online harassment a digital rights issue, lays out plan

Jiro No (1 comments)

Voted down for mischaracterizing Gamergate in passing.

about three weeks ago
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Lizard Stresser DDoS-for-Hire Service Built on Hacked Home Routers

Jiro Re:Defaults (2 comments)

This is a bad idea.

1) This would teach users that when they are redirected to a page that offers malware cleaners and antivirus choices, they should download and install one. Most such pages are frauds, and the user won't understand the difference between the ISP sending them to the page and a banner ad or phishing email sending them to a similar-looking page,

2) Given the way that ISPs are actually run, encouraging ISPs to detect malware will lead to ISPs just detecting and banning all sorts of unusual activity. The ISP has probably not heard of a user running Linux, for instance, and would not care if all Linux users were detected as false positives or disconnected for refusing to run Windows virus scanners on their Linux boxes. And it's unlikely that the ISP has staff who would understand a Linux user's explanation of how his box is not actually running any malware.

3) If this was put into practice on a large scale, I would expect that shortly, the MPAA or similar groups would try to tell the ISPs that all torrenting is dangerous, malware-prone activity and should result in cutoffs.

about three weeks ago
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In Paris, Terrorists Kill 2 More, Take At Least 7 Hostages

Jiro Re:Restrictive Gun laws (490 comments)

US gun death statistics include high-gun-crime, high-minority, areas where guns are as illegal as the city can make them. These areas skew the statistics, and France doesn't have many of them.

If the areas with the gun rights in the USA also had the gun crime you might have had a better point.

about three weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

Jiro MP3 players? (391 comments)

I really wish I could find a decent MP3 player that is not a "purity of the original signal" type $1200 scam, and was not discontinued years ago.

The usual advice is "buy a cheap phone and don't use it as a phone". This fails because

  • most of them have horrible battery life (the 33 hours for this sounds fairly decent, if only it wasn't $1200)
  • there are so many models of phones out that it's hard to find a good selection of reviews for any specific one
  • They tend to have random gotchas (for instance, there are phones which don't let you use the non-phone features until you activate it as a phone)

about three weeks ago
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Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Jiro Re:Not seeing the issue here (209 comments)

I'm not fine even with that. If a cop lies and says he has evidence against a suspect, but the suspect is innocent, he is likely to think the police are willing to frame him, and may falsely confess just to avoid being framed for something worse.

about a month ago
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To Fight Currency Mismatches, Steam Adding Region Locking to PC Games

Jiro Re:Inherantly anti-first-world-consumer (160 comments)

Breaking the region-locking is illegal because of the DMCA. The DMCA is a law, and is inherently non-free-market.

about a month and a half ago
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Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

Jiro What? (440 comments)

If he's an undocumented immigrant, why don't they just deport him instead of going through all of this?

about a month and a half ago
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Spectrum Vega: A Blast From the Past

Jiro Is there a point? (110 comments)

From the linK:

It uses a low cost micro-controller and an emulator to

If you want to use an emulator, you don't need one of these. Just get a tablet with an HDMI connection, or an Ouya, or a jailbroken Wii.

I was wondering if this implements the Spectrum in hardware the same way the Commodore 64 direct-to-TV did, but apparently not.

about 2 months ago
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Romanian Officials Say Russia Finances European Fracking Protests

Jiro Re:This isn't new... (155 comments)

I believe the Ferguson rioters were left-wing. And they were certainly trying to use violence to terrorize people for political purposes. Of course, you could always be loose as to your definition of terrorism on the right and not so loose on the left. And Moscow didn't need to fund them, but they still count as left-wing terrorists by your overly loose definition.

Furthermore, since you went back to 1995 for the Oklahoma City bombing, I can point out the rise of ecoterrorism, and the Discovery building shooter.

about 2 months ago
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Romanian Officials Say Russia Finances European Fracking Protests

Jiro Re:it has a name... (155 comments)

Governments collect money from people forcibly as taxes and use it for things like this. Corporations cannot do this (unless you want to count cases where corporations are in bed with government).

about 2 months ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

Jiro Re:Well then, let her be a princess (584 comments)

That is stupid. By this reasoning, if the girl really did want to be a scientist, the dad should make sure she understands the drudgery of working in a lab to 4 AM, how difficult it is depending on a grant application that could leave you out of a job, and how most scientific discoveries are of small things that would be as boring to a kid as political boundaries and court etiquette.

about 2 months ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

Jiro Re:WTF? (584 comments)

Also, related is a simple fact: most kids, of whichever sex, aren't going to want to be scientists You probably can't get your daughter to want to be one even ignoring that different sexes are interested in different things, because "scientist" is not something that most kids want to become. And even for the few kids who want to be scientists, it's a pretty good bet that at age 4 they know as much about what a scientist does as they do about what a princess does.

This is a variation on "how can I get kids interested in (various nerdy interests of mine)", except it's dressed up in social justice phrasing. Fifty years ago he'd have been trying to get his kid interested in Westerns or Beatles albums.

about 2 months ago
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The Software Big Oil's PR Firm Uses To "Convert Average Citizens"

Jiro What? (110 comments)

This is the same thing that every company big enough to do public relations at all does, except it's being described using inflammatory terminology.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

Jiro Not a security risk, but a fake risk (178 comments)

I would tend to agree with other people: There's really no risk that a SD card is a security problem in the same way that USB is, since it's just storage. However, there is a big risk that any SD card you buy through unusual channels, especially at a ridiculously low rate like 1/5 the price, is just a fake which will start overwriting your data after you get past 1G or 8G or whatever. I absolutely refuse to buy SD cards outside a major physical store chain.

about 3 months ago
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

Jiro Re:Not invented here syndrome? (246 comments)

First of all, many of the people who worked on Linux had degrees and/or professional experience in directly relevant areas.

Second, Linux was an unusual case because programming requires relatively little in the way of hardware compared to other pursuits--and certainly compared to going to Mars.

Third, computer programs don't need to be as tightly integrated as the output of rocket scientists does. Furthermore, because they are not as tightly integrated, the system can limp along with some missing features for a long time and not be totally halted in its tracks by that feature being missing.

about 3 months ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

Jiro Of all the links you had to use (151 comments)

... you linked to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This is a left-wing organization (most of whose members are not atomic scientists), which opposed anything the US did that was hostile towards the Soviet Union--you know, the country that was responsible for the Berlin Wall to begin with.

This is equivalent to having a post about Bill Gates about how bad monopolies are. Sure, monopolies are bad, but it's a little odd.

about 3 months ago
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LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

Jiro Re:really (339 comments)

Terrorists are often stupid. Remember the first World Trade Center attack, where the terrorist was arrested when he tried to get his $400 deposit back on the truck he used?

Also, people tend to do stupid things in high-stress situations, and bombing a plane is a high-stress situation. People also joke about high stress situations, and I could easily see an actual terrorist doing this as a joke.

about 3 months ago
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Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

Jiro Re:Coward (993 comments)

Cowardice is often a lot more sensible than being an Internet Tough Guy.

about 4 months ago

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