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Comments

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Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement

Raul654 Re:if you want your day in court (215 comments)

> Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

Because when all the basic facts are the same, it makes *a lot* more sense to have one trial covering 64,000 victims than it does to have 64,000 trials. The *only* people who benefit from having all those unnecessary trials are the lawyers. If anything, class actions are less profitable for lawyers than the alternative.

Furthermore, unlike this case (where each plantiff suffered substantial harm: tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each), imagine a case where the harm suffered is small-but-nonzero. (For example, a few years back, the music CDs with the rootkits on them. For most people, the harm is the cost of the CD, around $15. Maybe twice to four times that if you want to include the cost of rootkit removal) In those cases, nobody in their right mind is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to file a lawsuit to recover $15. So the victim's choice is a class action suit or nothing at all.

about 4 months ago
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US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown

Raul654 Re:Too Bad. (40 comments)

I'm not a lawyer either, but FYI even if the judge had agreed to dismiss the charges, that would not be binding on other courts either. It would not have become binding unless one side or the other appealed and the circuit court and got a decision there. That decision would then become binding on *only* that circuit.

about 6 months ago
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Open Source Video Editor Pitivi Seeks Crowdfunding to Reach 1.0

Raul654 Re:Pitivi is such a POS (79 comments)

Agreed - it's a POS.

I installed Pitivi .15.2 from from the repos. It literally took me less than 2 minutes to crash it. It died as soon as I imported an mp3 to use as audio. (NOTE: Their website says not to report .15.2 bugs. They are evidently not supporting it anymore)

Then, following the suggestions posted here, I grabbed the latest version from source (which through trial and error, I found required adding a source repo and installing build dependencies before attempting to install from source). I configured it, built it, and tried to run it. It immediately errored out, complaining that I need to install yet more missing dependencies (GES this time). I googled the problem, saw lots of people complaing about this, and found some vague instructions on the pitivi wiki (http://wiki.pitivi.org/wiki/Building_with_GES) explaining how to install it.

At this point, I threw in the towel.

about 6 months ago
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Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

Raul654 Re:or stop hiding... (377 comments)

"Face it, the evidence is that the USA has no real interest in Assange." - that's bullshit. Even while denying that he's under indictment, the official who said it was only half-hearted in his denial: "Nothing has occurred so far," ( -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/... )

"So far" being the operative word. And that sounds like a lot more interest than none at all.

about 7 months ago
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Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

Raul654 Re:or stop hiding... (377 comments)

"It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden." -- except he isn't in the UK. He's in Ecuador. And when Whitehall floated the idea that they could violate the integrity of the Ecuadorian embassy to arrested him, it blew up in their faces. Doing so would effectively open up their embassies to similar retaliation by every other country in the world.

about 7 months ago
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Undiscovered Country of HFT: FPGA JIT Ethernet Packet Assembly

Raul654 Re:"free" market solution (452 comments)

"Because the effect of that would be to push even more transactions into unregulated "dark pools". Why do you believe that HFT is harmful? Do you have any evidence, other than fear of something you don't understand?"

Yes - (1) HFT has the potential to cause extreme volatility swings. (2) HFT essentially introduces a tax on every other buyer and seller in the market (because it actually widens the difference between the post and the offer).

On point #2, I'll just leave this here: http://qz.com/95088/high-frequency-trading-is-bad-for-normal-investors-researchers-say/

about a year ago
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Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie

Raul654 Re:Last time I checked... (1448 comments)

Marriage is not a "human right".

Wrong. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16, section 1:
"Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family."

about a year ago
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Researchers Determine Chemical Structure of HIV Capsid

Raul654 Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (90 comments)

"We'll have +100 exaFLOP systems in five years" - that's totally untrue. There's an active debate going on in the field whether or not we'll be at 1 exaflop by 2020. We absolutely will not get to 100 before then.

about a year ago
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The Case For a Government Bug Bounty Program

Raul654 Re:Bad idea (53 comments)

It would be fairly easy to have DHS come up with a list of things (physical locations, services, etc) to designate as critical to national infrastructure. In fact, I'd be shocked if they don't already have such a list already.

The organization that runs these these locations/services would have to build into all of their software contracts a liability clause.

Problem solved.

about a year ago
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The Case For a Government Bug Bounty Program

Raul654 Re:Bad idea (53 comments)

That's just not true. The internet and world wide web both existed in the early 90s, and neither was critical to national infrastructure at the time.

about a year ago
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The Case For a Government Bug Bounty Program

Raul654 Re:Bad idea (53 comments)

Correction: I meant to said medicaid (which is for poor people), not medicare (which is for the elderly).

about a year ago
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The Case For a Government Bug Bounty Program

Raul654 Bad idea (53 comments)

This is essentially a government subsidy to software companies that produce crappy code.

Look at Walmart. it pays its employees so little money that they have to use government assistance like foodstamps and medicare. Walmart shareholders reap the benefit, and the public is left taking care of their employees.

Here's a better idea - if a company is making software that's critical to national infrastructure, make them liable for any bugs that occur (and for smaller companies, require them to carry insurance up to a certain level of liability).

about a year ago
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DOE Asks For 30-Petaflop Supercomputer

Raul654 Re:So . . . (66 comments)

Back when I worked for Supercomputing group at Los Alamos, the supercomputers were categorized into 'capacity' machines (the workhorses where they did most of the work, which typically run at near full utilization) and capability machines (the really big / cutting-edge / highly unstable machines that exist in order to push the edge of what is possible in software and hardware. One example of such an application would be high energy physics simulation) . It sounds like these machines fall into the latter category.

about a year and a half ago
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US Refuses To Sign ITU Treaty Over Internet Provisions

Raul654 Re:Treaties (154 comments)

Withdrawing from a treaty is not the same as violating it. In international law, the rule of thumb is that a country is only obligated to comply with the laws (treaties) it has ratified, and is not bound by those that it has not ratified. (Note: One debatable exception to this is the Nuremberg Principles)

Furthermore, countries are free to withdraw from ("repudiate") any treaty at any time, unless that treaty has provisions that provide specific steps for (or prohibit) repudiation.

about a year and a half ago
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How Can Wikipedia's Visual Editor Top Other Word Processors?

Raul654 Poor mediawiki syntax (196 comments)

Just throwing this out there -- two of the major hurdles to doing this right are (a) that Wikipedia's syntax is not formally defined, and (b) that its current implementation is (as defined by the output of the MediaWiki parser) is not a context free grammar. Which means that writing robust, fast parser for it is very hard.

about 2 years ago
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Meet the Lawyer Suing Anyone Who Uses SSL

Raul654 Re:So... (347 comments)

You can claim that as a defense in court. It's called laches - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laches_(equity)
Basically, the defendant asserts that the plaintiff sat on his rights rather than enforcing them, which caused others to put themselves in harm's way.

But the case has to go to trial before you can assert that, by which time you're already out several million dollars.

about 2 years ago
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MPAA Boss Admits SOPA and PIPA Are Dead, Not Coming Back

Raul654 Re:Quack (186 comments)

Not quite:

Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916) may have coined the phrase when he wrote "when I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck."[1][2] The phrase may also have originated much later with Emil Mazey, secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers, at a labor meeting in 1946 accusing a person of being a communist.[3]

The term was later popularized in the United States by Richard Cunningham Patterson Jr., United States ambassador to Guatemala during the Cold War in 1950, who used the phrase when he accused the Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán government of being Communist. Patterson explained his reasoning as follows:

Suppose you see a bird walking around in a farm yard. This bird has no label that says 'duck'. But the bird certainly looks like a duck. Also, he goes to the pond and you notice that he swims like a duck. Then he opens his beak and quacks like a duck. Well, by this time you have probably reached the conclusion that the bird is a duck, whether he's wearing a label or not."[4]

about 2 years ago
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Creative Commons Urged To Drop Non-Free Clauses In CC 4.0

Raul654 Re:What's a derivative work? (223 comments)

"have you just given permission to people to use your content from that webpage?" -- All creative commons licenses require you to post a notice that the covered material is licensed under X license (where X can be CC-BY-SA, or CC-BY, etc), and that such a statement must be made in a manner 'appropriate to the medium' or some such language. If you had a webpage, that would presumably require a statement and a link to the text of the license. If you fail to do that, you are in violation of the license and could be sued for copyright infringement. (At which point, you could claim fair use as your defense)

about 2 years ago
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America's Next Bomber: Unmanned, Unlimited Range, Aimed At China

Raul654 Re:Hardware backdoors (400 comments)

"That can only be achieved if there's ZERO electronic components made in China in the aircraft" -- the Department of Defense funds the Trusted Foundry Program for just this purpose.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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OOXML - where is it today?

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Raul654 (453029) writes "Back in 2007/2008, Microsoft used a boatload of dirty tricks to ram its nascent OOXML document standard through the ISO. The ISO approved the standard in two forms — strict (which was to be a clean, fully-open standard), and transitional (which included more than 1,400 pages of legacy support, effectively rendering it unimplementable). At the time it was approved, Microsoft made a series of promises, including a promise that future versions off Microsoft Office would fully support OOXML strict, not create OOXML transitional documents, and that Microsoft would work with ISO the committee to fix more than 3,000 known errors in the standard. In April 2010, Alex Brown, who supervised OOXML's ISO approval process, posted in his blog that Microsoft had broken all of its promises — it was no longer working to refine the standard and had decided to continue the use of OOXML transitional in the next version of its Office Suite. That was more than a year ago. What's the status of OOXML today?"
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SCO asks judge to give them the Unix copyright

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Raul654 (453029) writes "In March, the jury in the Novell/SCO case found that Novell owns the copyright to Unix. Now, SCO's lawyers have asked judge Ted Stewart to order Novell to turn over the Unix copyright to them. "SCO contends the jury did not answer the specific issue before Stewart that involves a legal principle called 'specific performance,' under which a party can ask a court to order another party to fulfill an aspect of an agreement.""
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft promises to fully support OOXML... later

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Raul654 (453029) writes "OOXML is the word document format that Microsoft rammed through the ISO last year. Last week, Slashdot ran a story about a blog post by Alex Brown, who was instrumental in getting the OOXML approved by the ISO. Brown criticized Microsoft for reneging on their promise to support OOXML in the upcoming release of Office 2010, and for its lackadaisical approach to fixing the many bugs which still remain in the specification. Now, Doug Mahugh has responded to Brown's post, promising that Microsoft will support OOXML "no later than Office 15.""
Link to Original Source
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MA cyberbullies indicted for causing suicide

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Raul654 (453029) writes "Massachusetts teenager Phoebe Prince committed suicide on January 14. After her death, it was revealed that she had been the target of cyberbullying for months (and that her teachers were aware of it and did nothing). Today, nine of her classmates were indicted on charges including harassment, stalking, civil rights violations, and statuary rape. Prince's suicide echoes the earlier suicide of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after being cyberbullied by a classmate's mother."
Link to Original Source
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New developments in NPG/Wikipedia lawsuit threat

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Raul654 writes "Last week, it was reported that the UK's National Portrait Gallery had threatened a lawsuit against an American Wikipedian for uploading pictures from the NPG's website to Wikipedia. The uploaded pictures are clearly in the public domain in the United States. (In the US, copies of public domain works are also in the public domain. UK law on the matter is unclear.) Since then, there have been several developments: EFF staff attorney Fred von Lohmann has taken on the case pro-bono; Eric Moeller, Wikimedia Foundation Deputy Director, has responded to the NPG's allegations in a post on the WMF blog; and the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies has weighed in on the dispute in favor of the NPG."
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Case against Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Raul654 writes "Ted Stevens, long time senator from Alaska best known for railing against net neutrality by describing the Internet as a series of tubes, was convicted on corruption charges last October and lost his bid for re-election two weeks later. ABC News is reporting that the Justice Department has asked the judge to dismiss the case, citing prosecutorial misconduct during the trial."
Link to Original Source
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German Gov't Makes 2nd Huge Donation to Wikipedia

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Raul654 writes "In December, Slashdot reported that the German Federal Archive, at the urging of Wikimedia Deutschland, agreed to donate 100,000 pictures to Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. At the time, that was the largest picture donation ever to Wikipedia, and thought to be largest in the history of the free culture movement. Now Wikimedia Deutschland has reached a similar agreement with the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB). SLUB has agreed to donate 250,000 pictures to Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

On a related note, Microsoft has announced it is discontinuing its Encarta encyclopedia."

Link to Original Source
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Court rules in favor of WMF in hyperlinking case

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Raul654 writes "The Surpeme Court of British Columbia recently ruled in favor of the Wikimedia Foundation in Crookes v. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. At issue was whether or not the act of hyperlinking to a website containing defamatory material is itself defamatory. The court ruled in favor of the WMF, finding that it is not. The WMF is the non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia and its sister projects."
Link to Original Source
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GFDL 1.3 released - Allows migration to CC

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Raul654 writes "Version 1.3 of the GNU Free Documentation License has been released. The Wikimedia Foundation, the GFDL's biggest user, had requested that the Free Software Foundation add a new section allowing migration to the much-simpler Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. The FSF responded by adding this: A wiki ("MMC" under the terms of the license) is eligible for relicensing if "if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008. The operator of an MMC Site may republish an MMC contained in the site under CC-BY-SA on the same site at any time before August 1, 2009, provided the MMC is eligible for relicensing." This change should allow Wikipedia and other early GFDL adopters to migrate if they so desire."
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Stanford Fair Use Project to defend Expelled

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Raul654 writes "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a recent film starring Ben Stein which portrays science (and specifically, evolution) as responsible for a host of evils, including atheism, communism, and the Holocaust. The producers of the film are being sued by Yoko Ono for using John Lennon's song "Imagine" without a license. (The film shows clips Joseph Stalin and Chinese communist party troops as the viewer hears John Lennon singing "Imagine" as the lyrics "and no religion too" are superimposed against the images.) Earlier this week, Lawrence Lessig's Fair Use Project announced that they would defend Premise Media's right to use the song."
Link to Original Source
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Wikipedia wins defamation case

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Raul654 (453029) writes "Yesterday, a french judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation for defamation. The judge found that "Web site hosts cannot be liable under civil law because of information stored on them if they do not in fact know of their illicit nature". According to the inquirer: "Three plaintiffs were each seeking 69,000 euros ($100,000) in damages for invasion of their privacy after their homosexuality was revealed on the website.""
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Babylon 5: The Lost Tales released

Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  about 7 years ago

Raul654 writes "Voices in the Dark, the first episode of Babylon 5: The Lost Tales is being released today. The Lost Tales are half-hour shorts that focus on a small group of characters. Series creator J. Michael Straczynski choose to do a short format instead of a feature-length film due to the deaths of Andreas Katsulas (J'Kar) and Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin). The first episode will feature John Sheridan, Elizabeth Lochley, and the technomage Galen."
Link to Original Source
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Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Raul654 writes "Science fiction author Kurt Vonnegut, best known as the author of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five, has died at the age of 85. Vonnegut, a POW during World War II, was inspired to write the book after witnessing the aftermath of the bombing of Dresden"
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Raul654 Raul654 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Raul654 (453029) writes "A member of my immediate family is a biology teacher at an all girls school high-school. For some years, she's been giving her students the option to earn extra credit by reading a science-related book. I've been asked to compile for her a list of scientifically-accurate science fiction novels. So, Slashdot — what are some good scientifically accurate science fiction books for high school girls?"

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