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Comments

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Mass Piracy Lawsuits Come To Australia

QuantumG Re:With any luck (183 comments)

Hopefully everyone with access to an email account has been given the warning about giving money to people making wild claims.. but if not, tell your mother.

more than 2 years ago
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Mass Piracy Lawsuits Come To Australia

QuantumG Re:With any luck (183 comments)

It doesn't cost anything to ignore toothless threats.

more than 2 years ago
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Bethesda's 'Scrolls' Lawsuit Going Ahead

QuantumG Re:what!? (332 comments)

It's blatant trademark infringement.. why do you think Notch is adding all the RPG adventure elements to the game before calling it "Scrolls". The only people who can't see this are the same idiots who think he's a good programmer.

more than 2 years ago
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Global Mall Operator Starts Reading License Plates

QuantumG Re:Slippery slope? (301 comments)

protest

People keep using this word.. I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean what they think it means.

You can petition your government for grievances.. you can take your grievances with Woolworths and shove 'em where the sun don't shine. Ya know, we tried to give you a word that means what you want.. "boycott", but that actually requires you to go without and that's not what you want is it? You just want to whine and throw tantrums when you don't get your way.

more than 2 years ago
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How the Webb Space Telescope Got So Expensive

QuantumG Re:No surprise (133 comments)

See the previous Slashdot story. GRAIL is an example of a program that should be rewarded while JWST is an example of program that should be cancelled. But in the bazarro world of NASA, programs that come in under budget on development get cut in operations to pay for the programs that are struggling in development. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

more than 2 years ago
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Schmidt: G+ 'Identity Service,' Not Social Network

QuantumG Re:Sounds like a load of Web 2.0 bullshit to me. (417 comments)

Other services which are also free? Anyone who allows you free access to a service has the right to remove that access at any time, or change the terms, or *gasp* start charging you money. If you don't like it, you don't have to continue using the service. A "bait and switch" requires that you *actually part with some money* first, otherwise you have no standing.

more than 2 years ago
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Schmidt: G+ 'Identity Service,' Not Social Network

QuantumG Re:Those Kids in the Garage (417 comments)

Only if they start their business in the US.

And who'd be stupid enough to do that?

more than 2 years ago
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Schmidt: G+ 'Identity Service,' Not Social Network

QuantumG Re:Sounds like a load of Web 2.0 bullshit to me. (417 comments)

There's nothing hamfisted about it.. people just don't understand that they have no right to demand Google make their products the way *they* want them to be. You don't pay them.. they don't owe you shit. If you don't like their free service then don't fucking use it.

If anything, they're guilty of being too politically correct. They should be just telling the whiners to fuck off.

more than 2 years ago
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Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police

QuantumG Re:The Supreme Court Corporate Five (473 comments)

Sounds like someone didn't go to college.. or even live near a college.

more than 2 years ago
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Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police

QuantumG Re:The Supreme Court Corporate Five (473 comments)

And then what? You think you're going to seize their assets and begin the great worker revolution or something? Heard of offshoring? Watching how much faster it happens as soon as a government turns against industry.

more than 2 years ago
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Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police

QuantumG Re:Missed one... (473 comments)

Except she's not "protesting" anything. You have a right to peacefully assemble and petition your government for grievances. You don't have the right to invade private property, bar entrance to private property or create a public disturbance.

more than 2 years ago
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Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police

QuantumG Re:Great News! (473 comments)

That only applies when there's actually people in uniform who you're fighting against.. usually in some sort of declared war.

more than 2 years ago
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Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police

QuantumG Re:I really really hope this is appealed (473 comments)

Exactly.. it's amazing how instantly people forget everything know about language when having pointless semantic arguments.

more than 2 years ago
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BitTorrent Trial Makes Australia's High Court

QuantumG Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (98 comments)

Heard of the first sale doctrine? Hint, copyright is about copying.

more than 2 years ago
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BitTorrent Trial Makes Australia's High Court

QuantumG Re:Nonsense (98 comments)

I'm totally ignorant of the issues but I still have an opinion.. welcome, this is what Slashdot is for :)

more than 2 years ago
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BitTorrent Trial Makes Australia's High Court

QuantumG Re:iiNet (98 comments)

wow, it's like a battle of wits between two unarmed opponents.

more than 2 years ago
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UK Police Arrest 12 Over Facebook Use Inciting Riots

QuantumG Re:LOL, "really inflammatory, inaccurate" messages (369 comments)

And in the UK you'll go to jail for it.. that's why these riots have been going on for *days*. In other countries the rioters would have dispersed after the first two or three were shot dead.

more than 2 years ago
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The Most Expensive One-Byte Mistake

QuantumG Re:The Road Not Taken (594 comments)

Where are threads like this in the space stories?

more than 2 years ago
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How Google+ Measures Up On Privacy

QuantumG How would I know? (164 comments)

Wouldn't I have to sign up to the service to discover what they're doing with my non-Google+ profile? I hear that if you have a public Google Profile then you can be added to the "circle" of a Google+ user. I have no idea if others can see that someone has added my profile to their circle. So far as I'm aware, Facebook has never done anything like this.. pulled in profile information from other services to add to their social network. I expect the inevitable result of this will be an automated service to badger me to join.. or just an attractive slippery slope of integration.

about 3 years ago

Submissions

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Copenhagen Suborbitals Launches Soon!

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 3 years ago

QuantumG writes "In just a few weeks Copenhagen Suborbitals will be making their second attempt to put a large hybrid rocket up into the stratosphere. Last year's attempt was very exciting and would have been a success if they hadn't drained the batteries in the submarine. Yeah, that's right, submarine.. they built one of them too! But they need your support. Please donate to the campaign and wish these crazy danes the best of luck!"
Link to Original Source
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Pioneer One Debuts

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 4 years ago

QuantumG writes "The first episode of the new science fiction drama Pioneer One has debuted and it looks like a hit. The pilot was shot for just $6000, raised through the micro-funding platform Kickstarter and the production is being supported through donations on the show's website. Donations can be made on a sliding scale with "bonus" rewards for each level such as an mp3 of the opening theme and deleted scenes. The distribution is through filesharing systems such as Bittorrent and Limewire. Is this the future of television?"
Link to Original Source
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Why Human Spaceflight?

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 4 years ago

QuantumG writes "I am regularly asked why I am an advocate of human spaceflight. There are many justifications and high concepts for human spaceflight that I have subscribed to over the years but I'd like to know what other space geeks think. How are those who advocate robotic exploration over human exploration missing the point? Why send people into space?"
Link to Original Source
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STS-127 To Launch SpaceX's DragonEye Sensor

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  about 5 years ago

QuantumG writes "Shuttle Flight STS-127 Detailed Test Objective 701B will test SpaceX's DragonEye sensor, it will use a flash of Light Intensification Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), to provide a three-dimensional image of the station based on the time of flight of a single laser pulse from the sensor to the target and back. It provides both range and bearing information from targets that can reflect the light back such as the Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 and those on the nadir side of station's Japanese Experiment Module. No-one seems to be reporting this, so I am!"
Link to Original Source
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SpaceX's DragonEye to Fly on STS-127

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  about 5 years ago

QuantumG writes "Shuttle Flight STS-127 Detailed Test Objective 701B will test the sensor SpaceX's Dragon vehicle will use to approach the International Space Station. Called DragonEye, it will use a flash Light Intensification Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), which provides a three-dimensional image based on the time of flight of a single laser pulse from the sensor to the target and back. It provides both range and bearing information from targets that can reflect the light back such as the Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 and those on the nadir side of station's Japanese Experiment Module. SpaceX also will perform a ground-based space qualification program to ensure the sensor can withstand the rigors of launch and operation in a space environment, including tests such as vibration and thermal-vac. No-one seems to be reporting this, so I am!"
Link to Original Source
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Gates Foundation Funds "Altruistic Vaccine"

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 5 years ago

QuantumG writes "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the University of Queensland, Australia to develop a vaccine against dengue fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes. Unlike other vaccines, the "altruistic vaccine" doesn't specifically protect the individual being bitten but instead protects the community by stopping the transmission of the pathogen from one susceptible individual to another. The hope is to do this by effectively making their blood poisonous to mosquitoes, either killing them or at least preventing them from feeding on other individuals. Professor Paul Young explained how his work fell outside current scientific traditions and might lead to significant advances in global health — he said he could envision the vaccine being used around the world within 10 years, and would be designed to be cheap and easy to implement."
Link to Original Source
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Gates Foundation Funds Aussie "Altruistic Vacc

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 5 years ago

QuantumG writes "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the University of Queensland, Australia to develop a vaccine against dengue fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes. Unlike other vaccines, the "altruistic vaccine" doesn't specifically protect the individual being bitten but instead protects the community by stopping the transmission of the pathogen from one susceptible individual to another. The hope is to do this by effectively making their blood poisonous to mosquitoes, either killing them or at least preventing them from feeding on other individuals. Professor Paul Young explained how his work fell outside current scientific traditions and might lead to significant advances in global health — he said he could envision the vaccine being used around the world within 10 years, and would be designed to be cheap and easy to implement."
Link to Original Source
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Greg Zsidisin: "Where Are The Space Advocates?

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 6 years ago

QuantumG writes "Greg Zsidisin appeared on The Space Show today to ask Where Are The Space Advocates?. For the first time in decades Space is once again a political issue with all four major presidential candidates having something to say about space policy and yet nothing is being heard from space advocates. As we enter a new "Space Nexus" like we did after Apollo, now is a critical time to let your representatives know how you feel about space exploration, and yet no-one has anything to say."
Link to Original Source
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Hans Reiser Found Guilty Of First Degree Murder

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 5 years ago

QuantumG writes "Despite the lack of any hard evidence, eye witnesses or even a murder weapon or body, Hans Reiser (creator of the ReiserFS filesystem for Linux) has been found guilty of first degree murder. He awaits sentencing and faces a mandatory 25-to-life term. His wife, Nina Reiser, went missing on Sept. 3, 2006 and Hans is believed to be the last person to see her alive."
Link to Original Source
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Space Advocacy Groups Fail To Respond To Obama

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 6 years ago

QuantumG writes "Part two of Greg Zsidisin's story on Obama's plan to redirect NASA funding to preschool education is now available on The Space Review and explains why space advocacy groups are being so closed-lipped about it. Not surprisingly it's all about money and, in particular, tax-exempt status which carries with it prohibitions on the kinds and amount of political lobbying they can do, forbidding these groups from activities for or against a specific candidate for political office. Coming out with a statement specifically against Obama's proposal might result in their tax-exempt status being revoked."
Link to Original Source
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Obama would redirect NASA funding to education

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 6 years ago

QuantumG writes "In a recent article on The Space Review, Greg Zsidisin reveals that Barack Obama plans to delay Project Constellation for at least five years, using the redirected funds to nationalize early-education for children under five years old to prepare them for the rigors of kindergarten and beyond, if he is elected president. It is feared that if this happens the Vision for Space Exploration will flounder and that may be the end of human spaceflight altogether."
Link to Original Source
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Slashdot Article Is Self Referencing

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 6 years ago

QuantumG writes "An article on Slashdot has been submitted which refers to itself. Scientists suggest such self-referential technology may soon be available commercially. The article is otherwise devoid of content and the link it contains might not work. Will future dupes of this article reference itself or a previous article? Only time will tell."
Link to Original Source
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Two new alleged license violations of BusyBox

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 6 years ago

QuantumG writes "Linux.com is reporting The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed another two cases on behalf of BusyBox developers Erik Andersen and Rob Landley against High Gain Antennas LLC, and Xterasys Corp. The cases follow a similar case against Monsoon Multimedia, which was recently settled out of court. The case against High Gain Antenna claims that, since August 4, 2006, the company has been distributing firmware for the HGA-8186HP-1 wireless router that contains BusyBox code, but has not included any offer of the source code to customers, as required under Section 3 of GPLv2. The case against Xterasys is similar, claiming Xterasys has failed to provide source code in the firmware for its BM-200, WAP257, XA-2611B, MH350, XR-2408GU, XR-3106, XR-4106, and WR-254 products."
Link to Original Source
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People Believe NASA Funded As Well As Defense

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 6 years ago

QuantumG writes "An essay on the Space Review is reporting that in a just-completed study, on average, respondents estimated NASA's allocation of the national budget to be approximately 24% (it's actually closer to 0.58%) and the Department of Defense budget to be approximately 33% (it's actually closer to 21%). In other words, respondents believed NASA's budget approaches that of the Department of Defense, which receives almost 38 times more money. Once informed of the actual allocations, they were almost uniformly surprised. One of the more vocal participants exclaimed, "No wonder we haven't gone anywhere!""
Link to Original Source
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QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 7 years ago

QuantumG writes "John Carmack (of Doom fame) and his rocket company Armadillo Aerospace have demonstrated their entry into the X-Prize/NASA Lunar Lander Challenge, first stage, at the Oklahoma Spaceport. Representatives from AST and the X-Prize Cup were present. A 3 minute, 41 second video of the feat has been posted by Carmack to the company's web site in a recent update, where he complains that were the competition not tied to a promotional event later this year, his company could have already claimed the $500,000 prize. The challenge venue will be hosted at this year's X-Prize Cup on October 26-28, 2007, at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico."
Link to Original Source
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QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 7 years ago

QuantumG writes "We live in a time where copyright owners form lobby groups (like the RIAA and MPAA) to misinform the public of their rights and obligations under copyright law. Those insane warnings at the beginning of movies make no mention of fair use and throw around words like "crime" and "theft" with semantic abandon. When your own mother asks you to copy a movie so she can give it to a friend, how wrong can it be? Does any else have these problems or do I just have technically competent, copyright blasé friends and family?"
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QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 7 years ago

QuantumG writes "Kernel hacker Greg KH has made a public offer to develop Linux drivers, for free, to any vendor that is willing to release hardware specifications or make available "an engineer that is willing to answer questions every once in a while." The offer is made in conjunction with the OSDL/TLF Tech Board who are providing a legal framework for managing any NDA requirements that vendors may have. The announcement has been made in the hope that vendors will be more inclined to label their products as "Linux Ready" by reducing developer workload."
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QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 7 years ago

QuantumG writes "It happens all the time, and it happens to just about everyone nowadays, so what is one supposed to do when a friend asks you for a copy of that game/song/movie/program which is licensed under a non-permissive license? Legally, of course, I'm supposed to say no. I'm supposed to be shocked that my friend, who I thought was an honest kind of guy, would ever ask me to make an unauthorized copy of anything. I'm supposed to look around and make sure no-one heard and maybe see if this guy, who I thought was my friend, has swiped anything while I wasn't looking. Of course, I don't. I'll happily make him a copy, so would most of us, is this the right thing to do? Do the wants of my friend outweigh the legal rights of the copyright owner? Or is the best strategy just to avoid the problem altogether by using exclusively permissively licensed works? When was the last time the readers of Slashdot thought this through?"

Journals

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What Open Source Developers Can Learn From SCO

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 8 years ago

No less than once a week I hear about random corporation violating the license on some piece of open source software. The Free Software Foundation says that this happens all the time, but once the infringers are informed about their violation they typically correct the problem very quickly. Such failures typically include: not including a copy of the GPL or whatever license the software has been released under; not providing source code or an offer to supply source code; blatantly using GPL code and then licensing the complete work under a restrictive license.

Instead of notifying these companies and asking them kindly to comply, and then letting them off scot free, why don't the developers freakin' sue already? Sure, it costs money, but the great thing about lawyers is that they tend to overlook your lack of funds if they can see dollar signs on the horizon. They do it for insurance, liability and accident claims, I'm sure there's some ambulance chasers looking to make big bucks in copyright law too. The whole "sue for revenue" model isn't likely to go away. Large companies are just too pitiful at due diligence to actually follow a license as complicated as the GPL.

So what do you need to pull off this get-rich-quick-scheme? Well, number one is you need some copyrights. Thankfully, that's really easy to get, just hire some student programmers to work on open source and put your company name on the contribution. Once you've got a stake, no matter how small, it's my understanding that you can sue any infringers just as well as the major contributors. Of course, this tendancy by open source projects that are run by corporations to get copyright assignment on all contributions will trip you up.. guess you'll have to avoid those projects. Next, you'll need lawyers. Scum sucking, bottom feeding ones. You'll need them to review violations that you pay people to find in some "work from home" scheme. You'll also need them to send nasty letters and pull dirty tricks so the company can't weasle out of paying by complying with the license after the fact.

Speaking of paying, how much can you expect to get out of these fat corporate giants? Well, if you were to go to court you could expect to get at least "statutory damages" which is a minimum of $200/copy. But that's chump change. Typically any profits the company made that can be attributed to the violation will be awarded to the copyright holder, and that almost always exceeds the statutory damages by an order of magnitude. Then there's the punitive damages, which apparently don't exist in copyright law but always seem to be claimed, which tend to be around $70,000/copy.

So really, suing people who didn't bother to read the license on your open source software and have made a mint by unlawfully distributing your code is so easy even the most Lionel Hutz of lawyers should be able to get you a big fat payout. Then you can hire more developers, more people to look for copyright violations, and more lawyers in an endless regression.

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A Foray Into Shareware

QuantumG QuantumG writes  |  more than 8 years ago

My friend Steve Dekorte suggested that I have a go at the old shareware game. He makes a comfortable living off a collection of Mac mini-apps that, he tells me, pull in about the same per year as he got working at a dot com. When I worked at dot coms I got paid above average so it sounds like a pumb to me.

Apparently Windows shareware developers make a lot more than Mac shareware developers, so I've cranked out a (hopefully) useful app called TcpSafe on Windows. It allows you to monitor where your computer is connecting and who is trying to connect to your computer. Good for catching spyware and trojans that "phone home" in the act, debuging sockets applications, troubleshooting network problems, monitoring the network for worms and hackers, etc.

I'm using Paypal for a payment system and I've integrated it into both my web site and the application. The licensing system is per machine. So if you want to use the registered version on multiple machines you've got to pay multiple times. As such, I've set the price really low ($9.99) and hopefully we'll make up for it with volume.

Steve had this great "I've Paid!" button idea which I've duplicated. So if you need to reinstall the software for some reason and it comes up in evaluation mode you can just hit the button and it downloads your license key automagically. Support costs are apparently the killer in shareware, so here's hoping everything runs smoothly!

 

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