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Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

Shlomi Fish Re:Where are these photos? (336 comments)

Here’s the thing - why should posing naked matter? Not only that, but why should starring in a hardcore pornographic film ("XXXXX...." to infinity) or even doing prostitution (= selling sexual services for money or goods) be considered wrong, or disrespectful? And the answer is that it isn't because a man or a woman are allowed to do all that, and still should be treated as a gentleman or a lady - with respect and admiration and friendliness.

Mark my words - if tomorrow one of the great living men or women who are well-known (celebs, e.g: actors, film makers, bloggers/writers/authors, scientists, singers, YouTube personas, even models and reality T.V. show contestants), or alterantively people I personally know, like my siblings, or cousins, and which I admire, and draw a lot of inspiration from, turned out to do all that - I would not think any less of them, because it's ultimately their body and their life.

I feel a lot for the poor people whose privacy was violated. I wouldn't want people to publish my private email messages or instant messaging utterance or IRC, either. But what I would do if I were them is after sulking a little (and realising one should not feel bad about bad) is make the stance that it should not reduce their reputation or their ability to act as a role model, or that of any other people's.

A little more - the standards for what is considered sexually acceptable varied a lot in time. For example, after Miranda Kerr got separated from her husband (= actor Orlando Bloom), she's been boasting in interviews about all the "great sex" she's been getting from various willing men, and all this is without being negatively labelled as a "slut" or "bimbo" which is what would happen a few years ago. Furthermore, there are now many openly homosexual men and women and celebs, while they were persecuted some decades ago.

(This post is based on an earlier attempted post of mine to some subreddits.)

about two weeks ago

Maryam Mirzakhani Is the First Woman Fields Medalist

Shlomi Fish Why I Think Maths Has Been Unpopular Among Women (75 comments)

First of all, congrats to Ms. Mizrakhani for her award, and it is indeed notable. That put aside, there are a few important reasons why I think Maths education is f***ed up in university which prevents more girls and women from doing it. These reasons are:

  1. While learning maths, the tests are given without an open material, and often require memorising proofs of many pages. This is while a good mathematician can easily look these up and does not need to keep them in his resident mind and that a mathematician or other real scientist is more about deducting and inventive thought than about memorising.

    Finishing a maths degree requires a complete buyout into the system, which risks transforming the students into Captain Nemos who are cynical, destructive, people who think they are a "nobody", which is what "Nemo" means in Latin. Also see what I wrote about it in a different context.

    Now girls are by their nature, have been more unwilling to become Captain Nemos, and also realise that in this day and age, being an amateur, who are people who love (= 'aime') what they do, and/or who cut corners and disobey the rules, or are willing to produce somewhat less stellar results, is much better than being a professional, which is a mostly 20th century fad. It is well known that in many fields of endeavour some people who are underage, and/or inexperienced, and/or less professional can beat the pros at their own game: software development, music, acting and film making, martial arts and other combat fighting, modelling, writing (blogging, novelling, etc.), being a waiter/waitress/shop clerk/shop vendor/etc, cooking, even sports. And yet maths education in our f***ked-up university system believes that a mathematician should be a "Captain Nemo"-like professional than a happy, well-rounded, polymath, amateur (a.k.a a "geek").

    You can also see what I wrote about amateurs and hackers (a.k.a "Action heroes" in a different ccontext.).

  2. Another problem is the fallout from Euclid's reported “There is no Royal road to Geometry” adage. Thing is, when teaching maths, you can and should skip some stuff and show the cool stuff. There is no need to teach the very basics and instead one can skip stuff. I recall that we didn't learn the Jewish Bible from its beginning to its end, and we also skipped eras when studying history, and stuff like that. A lot of the material I had to learn in my Electrical Engineering degree, such as the physics of semiconductors proved of zero utility to my work as a software developer, and later on as a writer/entertainer/philosopher, which is what I am now.

There are other problems with the academic world: instead of collecting donations at the end of the lectures or otherwise getting a motivation to be popular (like philosophers did at ancient times), the so-called scientists/philosophers are getting tenured positions, and don't want or need to try to improve (which makes their students unhappy). Currently, the world's best philosophers (or in their modern name: "scientists") are the various entertainers of the world: actors, screenwriters, authors, bloggers, models, musicians, T.V. celebrities, YouTube/etc. artists, talk show hosts, etc. etc. 50 or even 20 years from now, people are more likely to remember a famous actor, directory, blogger, or even - model - than a university professor of philosophy, which I cannot name a single one, and do not care to remember any one of them. And many more people are likely to read or watch an interview with Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Candica Swanepoel, or even - Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales etc. than they are with an obscure, and likely boring, contemporary professor of philosophy.

This does not have to be this way.

about a month ago

Man Arrested For Parodying Mayor On Twitter Files Civil Rights Lawsuit

Shlomi Fish Sounds like a stupid strategical mistake (163 comments)

Arresting a man for parodying a local politician on Twitter sounds incredibly stupid. I'm glad the politician in question did the right thing and resigned after that, and if I were the blogger in question, I'd stop being vindictive and make peace with the politician. Hopefully, he can later help pass a law protecting people similar to him from future abuse while remaining on good terms with his target of criticism.

As a citizen and resident of Israel, I should note that something like that seems highly unlikely to happen here. I have been a humorist, writer/blogger and amateur philosopher for a long time, and my site and other sites and mediums where I've blogged features a lot of positively blasphemous stuff (or stuff that was formerly considered blasphemous) including: jokes about the holocaust, a reflection about holocaust denial, racist or nationalist cliches, sexism, sexualism, critiques of local politicians, critiques of a lot of the constitutional foundation of Israel, an in-your-face Illuminaty/Elders of Zion pan-historical conspiracy theory, and many parodies and criticisms of Judaism (including the Old Testament, the Oral Torah and later additions). I left almost no stone unturned.

And almost nothing happened to me except some people who told me I Was being out-of-line (Often truly) or some threats from non-officials, or getting myself removed or banned from some Internet forums. The USA may wish to consider how much of a free country they are compared to other parts of the civilised world. The 2001 bombings made many Americans paranoid and paranoid people are miserable, and miserable people are insecure and unsafe. So if you want to be safe, be happy and don't be afraid. Israel now has much laxer national security, which makes us safer in the long run. And as opposed to popular belief, most of Israel since 1990 was never really a warzone, and certainly isn't now, and I believe that Jews, Palestinians and non-Jews mostly live in peace and even friendship even in the occupied territories. There's still a long way to go for close-to-100% harmony here, but we're much closer than before.

Cheers from Tel Aviv, -- Shlomi Fish (a.k.a "Rindolf").

about 3 months ago

How to Get Help Online (2013 Edition)

Shlomi Fish Why I recommended IRC and StackExchange (5 comments)

Hi iamhigh! Thanks for your comment.

First of all, I should note that I tried to cover the general method for finding help online with an issue you've run to (especially a technical one). My target audience also doesn't include ultra-laymen who cannot figure out how to adjust their screen resolution. Arguably, I may have been too encompassing in the scope of the article (like we say in Hebrew “Try to catch a lot - and you shall catch nothing.” (or “ ” in Hebrew)), but I didn't want to write similar guides that will essentially say the same thing.

Anyway, I recommended the Freenode IRC network and the StackExchange network (not only StackOverflow mind you - it has other sub-forums like the English StackExchange and many others), because from my experience, they are both relatively friendly and the quality of the answers there tends to be very high. I hesitate to recommend someone to get help on a random Internet web-forum (though I'm sure many of them would be OK).

That put aside, I noticed that many IRC clients are hard for inexperienced people to figure out, but I think there are some easy to use ones, and some IRC networks also provide web-interfaces.

Regards, -- Shlomi Fish.

about 7 months ago

Localized (Visual) Programming Language For Kids?

Shlomi Fish Not all Lingua Francas were akin to Aramaic (185 comments)

Hi Tenebrousedge,

I am familiar with the term “Lingua Franca” but not all Lingua Francas are made equal. To quote my link, Aramaic was spoken and written by many people, stretched into all directions, incorporated many foreign words, and developed dialects, sub-dialects and personal idioms. On the other hand, Hebrew as a Lingua Franca (among Jews in their diasporas) was much less vibrant and lively, and didn’t really evolve or grow as much as Aramaic did in ancient times.

As a result, I favourably compared English to Aramaic, rather than to any Lingua Franca.

about a year ago

Localized (Visual) Programming Language For Kids?

Shlomi Fish Re:Logo (185 comments)

Logo is a horrible language to start with because it doesn't trust you with responsibility. You are stuck in a la-la-land where the only thing you can do is draw pretty pictures. Beginning programmers, and even children, want to be trusted with responsibility, and feel like they are in control of their environment. So I suggest avoiding pedagogical languages and instead opt for practical languages.

about a year ago

Localized (Visual) Programming Language For Kids?

Shlomi Fish You should teach her English (185 comments)


I may be dismissed as an imperialistic pig for saying that, but I've written on why it is important to avoid localised programming languages because it is becoming more and more important to learn English as soon as possible. Just for the record, English is not my mother language (I am Israeli and my mother language is Hebrew), and yet I think that learning English is an increasingly important skill, and also communicate primarily in English in my Internet interactions, and most of home-site and blogs are written in English. Whether you like it or not, I believe English has been becoming what Aramaic was in the Near East from the time of the Neo-Babylonian Empire up to Arab times.

I suggest you invest the time in teaching your daughter English first, which is of far greater utility than programming, and is also absolutely necessary for learning to program (or for most other fields of science, technology and endeavour).

about a year ago

NVIDIA Releases Optimus Linux Driver With New Features

Shlomi Fish As a Linux user, I'm boycotting Nvidia (123 comments)

For a long time, I have decided to boycott Nvidia (which I have nicknamed as “Hang-vidia” due to the fact their drivers frequently caused my machine to hang) due to their positive hostility for Linux, and open source, and what not (lack of support for open source efforts, no specifications released, legal threats against open source efforts, dropping support for old cards, etc.), and the low quality of their binary-only offerings (frequent hangs and crashes), and their general incompetence. I will never buy Nvidia until they release SPECs and make their driver open source. See my old petition about that.

After using an old GeForce 4 card where neither the "nv" driver nor the "nvidia" driver worked properly, I switched to an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro card, and it served me extremely well, and was rock solid. Now I have the built-in Intel graphics on this Core i3 machine, which causes some problems, so I may opt to buy a new (and probably better) ATI/AMD card. But I'd rather be hanged than buy hang-vidia.

about a year and a half ago

Getting a Literature Ph.D. Will Make You Into a Horrible Person

Shlomi Fish Heroic people make any job they take awesome. (489 comments)

I'll put it on the table: I have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. - 4 year degree) in Electrical Engineering (more like a CE/EE/CS degree) from The Technion in their Haifa, Israel Campus, and graduated cum laude, and I have a qualified engineer certificate which theoretically allows me to write software for guiding missiles (or other flaw-free software) and give my signature that it is flaw-free. Nevertheless, right now I'm looking for part-time jobs as a seller/vendor in icecream parlours, candy/snack stores, cafés/restaurants/bars/etc. or even as a street sweeper. Lots of places in Tel Aviv, Israel are now advertising for this, and this seems like a good way to earn some money, as well as interact with other people and get inspired which will really help me with my creative writing and my essays. And I can buy an Android smartphone (nothing really better now and some people have successfully installed GNU/Linux chroots there) so I can type stuff for later incoporation into my desktop and laptop devices.

So why not work as a software developer? I don't mind getting a job as a software developer or a hardware developer or whatever, but lately employers in Tel Aviv and vicinity have become extremely picky: you go to an interview, answer most technical questions nicely, and don't get hired. Furthermore, even if they like you they are often very domineering: don't work from home, work 10-12 hours a day, only full time, don't play computer games at all (I only played some card Patience/Solitaire and Sokoban and not for long and still got flack), don't go to Facebook/Twitter/Google-Plus, we don't want you accessing (too muchu traffic to there so let's firewall it) etc. etc. Thing is - the junior developers are kings (see the link for the Joel article), and you should leave them alone to their elements to get shit done at their own pace, and using their own resources instead of being a control freak. If, as a boss, my developer watched porn for 6 hours a day, while still being available on the forums for questions, and spent 2 hours creating great code that is functional and beautiful, I would be happy, and give him a full salary. But finding such enlightened employers is a big problem.

Software was the first field where workers were in constant demand, but now it seems that other fields are headed the same way here in Tel Aviv and other major centres of commerce worldwide: the food outlets, the music industry, photography, and soon - writing, acting/drama/film and then hopefully also modelling, and then if we can get past the normal and silly legal barriers - also more brick-and-mortar industries. Right now I've decided to make a transition from a software developer to a writer/Internet-entertainer/amateur-philosopher - a field where I feel I produce better results and also something that people will find cooler and sexier (although like I note in the article, the fact that I wrote a Freecell solver has impressed some really cute and intelligent chicks), and will have a larger influence. I still see knowing programming and other software development as an absolutely necessary means for that, just like I can no longer survive without knowing how to read and write English. Everyone should know at least HTML/XHTML/etc.

What I'm trying to say is that one should avoid Fatalism. People can improve for the better. I spent six and a half year doing my Elec. Eng. degree in the Technion and it cost me a lot of frustrations, but I'm still alive and have constantly become a better person - more competent, more able, smarter, wiser, and with a greater capacity for love and friendship. As long as you're not dead and still have some health in you, you will do fine. My suggestion to someone who got a Ph.D. in literature is to realise that that may make them a really awesome programmer , or a bartender, or a candy store vendor, or a secretary, or a sys admin, or anything else that they will find a job at. Don't think "I'm too good for that" because like they say in Hollywood "There are no small roles - only small (= small-minded) actors." You can be an awesome superheroic person even if you're just a factory worker.

about a year and a half ago

HBO Says Game of Thrones Piracy Is "a Compliment"

Shlomi Fish Lots of Ground Covered in the Quest for Openness (447 comments)

As I noted in a a post to the Creative Commons "cc-community" mailing list, while the software ("open source", "free software", "FOSS", "FLOSS", "open specs", "open protocols") industry and software users have (mostly) got the memo regarding the requirement to be open, and the music industry closely followed suit due to YouTube and other developments, there's still a lot of resistance from the film/movie industry. Nevertheless, I believe that whether they proclaim to currently like it or not, they will also embrace “openness” (also meaning honesty, transparency, lack of resentment, trust, etc.), and adapt to a newer business model based on the Internet, and other means.

One thing people should understand is that the fight for freedom and openness is not about getting rid of "big business". There will likely always be big businesses, because some companies are smarter than others and grow more, and there's nothing necessarily wrong with a big corporation, as long as it doesn't violate basic, objective, ethical principles such as initiatory force, threat of force or fraud against a person or their physical property, which corporations don't usually do (as opposed to many government agencies in the past and present). So if you were hoping that Walt Disney Corp. or Warner Bros or whoever will disappear, you will most likely be disappointed. However, I believe and hope we will see the day when the characters of them will be under the Public Domain or a liberal Creative Commons licence (at least in effect), simply because this makes business sense.

Naturally, there's still a long road to go, even in mostly won battles such as the software or music industry: YouTube ended up having to block all videos containing music for German IPs after a German musical cartel demanded they pay royalties; many YouTube remixes/etc. have been removed or made country-specific due to copyright claims; and it seems like a lot of content (, mp3 sales, etc.) is only available to USA residents. We should try to convince the music industry and other industries that it makes perfect business sense to avoid such silly measures, which only encourage piracy. Most artists nowadays make most of their money not from selling actual copies of the songs, and the labels who signed them have adapted to this new reality, but given that I wanted to buy a song I liked from and couldn't and after a long time met someone one IRC who let me download it from his huge collection of mp3 (without paying), something here is definitely wrong. DRM and locality restrictions etc. end up hurting sales more than they encourage them, and the pirates don't care anyway, and it's time the media (audio, video, books, software, etc.) industries realise this.

about a year and a half ago

Live Tweeting the Symphony?

Shlomi Fish Re:Plato had the same complaint 2300 years ago... (166 comments)

Heh, nice. Somewhat after Plato (at 300 B.C.) Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) wrote Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.. Being 35 years old (born on 5 May 1977), I remember that many of the children of my age group, not reading books on their own volition, and being rude and not preparing their homework, and hanging out with their friends, and being rude to their teachers, and parents, and being mischevious. Today is not different. And there were well-mannered boys and girls and naughty boys and girls and there still are today. I myself am pretty happy with a lot of the younger generations today, and many 14 years olds or so I met on IRC and elsewhere, were both more mature (and still very fun people) than I was at 14 years old as well as 10 years ago when I was 25.

Despite my age, I am quite a trendy fellow, and maintain collections of Chuck Norris/etc. facts, watch YouTube videos of either comedies, covers and original songs by independent artists, or whatever, have a lot of Gangnam Style mixes, spin-offs and covers that I enjoyed, wrote several stories and screenplays that mostly take place in the present (and often feature teens or other young people), and have an active presence in many sites across the Net. That put aside, I often draw on inspiration from a lot of ancient memes such as Aesop's fables, the Hebrew Bible, Saladin’s noble teaching and practice, the Greek mythology, various folk-tales, and many other things (so for example, whenever someone criticises someone for something silly about them, I bring up Aesop’s tale about the donkey for support). You got to combine both old and new, and realise that it's important to borrow memes from other idea systems - old and new - because "All truth is God's truth".

I promised myself that I won't grow cynical, and to never stop being an idealist and to always have a living growth, and it worked. I'm a very different idealist than I was a year ago (much less 10 years ago) but I still am idealistic and non-cynical, and am productive, energetic, and look forward to living every day. You can be too, even if you've grown cynical recently.

about a year and a half ago

Live Tweeting the Symphony?

Shlomi Fish Re:Key is relevance, not interactivity... (166 comments)

Yes, I agree with you. Eric S. Raymond (of The Cathedral and the Bazaar fame) has written a post titled “Michael Meets Mozart" about this on his Armed and Dangerous blog. He was saying that while classical music was engaging the audience back at those days, times have moved on and now most Classical music is just museum pieces. To play classical and neo-classical music properly, it should be spiced up with more modern elements like various crossover classical artists such as the aforementioned The Piano Guys, as well as Vanessa-Mae, Bond, Coolio's rap/pop adaptation of Pachelbel's Canon as "I C U when you get there", the Hooked on Classics series, etc. There is no reason that in these times, with all the great and lively music, that classical music should stay boring.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Programming / IT Jobs For Older, Retrained Workers?

Shlomi Fish My opinion. (215 comments)

This is a stream of thought comment. I remember QBasic, and MS-DOS vividly (though I did not study them as much as my friends - and I had started with XT BIOS BASIC, BASIC.COM, and GWBASIC on an old PC XT machine), and the world now requires more training. I think that it is now best to start either by learning Python (which is relatively easy to learn and minimalistic and still widely useful and used), or by learning Perl 5 or Ruby (which are more pluralist, easier to express oneself, and less lock you into The One True Python Way). See what we wrote about it in the Freenode ##programming FAQ (which you are welcome to visit).

Anyway, there are few entry level jobs, and I think that you can try building a reputation by learning one or more of those languages and contributing to open source projects, chatting on IRC in order to learn and help, helping on mailing lists, web forums, Stack Overflow/etc. and even starting some blogs (blogs should be as specialised as possible). Some people tease me that at 35 (1977-born) I am now too old to be a programmer, but I feel that I have improved in most aspects, and have a more solid methodology and more discipline than I used to have (and also have some knowledge). I don't think it's ever too old to start or to continue because you should learn as if you were going to live forever. (See what I wrote in “Advice for the young (or the young at heart)".

Good luck!

about a year and a half ago

Interviews: Ask James Randi About Investigating the Truth

Shlomi Fish Not "Truth"++ - but "Mysticism"-- (386 comments)

This is not a question - it's a comment. We should not strive to find “the truth” because it is a static assertion that has no basis in reality. We should strive to read ourselves of mysticism, i.e: the belief that “willed realities” can replace the actual reality outside. It's hard to instill positives, but it is easy to liquidate negatives. And mysticism exists in all domains of life: art, relationships, philosophy, language, science, computers, law, etc.

How was mysticism vanquished? I think now (and it could be stupid because I'm a little hypomanic now) that the final blows were delivered by a few 90s-2000s popular Television shows: Friends, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and naturally Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Those shows were fun and entertaining, and featured many good and attractive actors and actresses, but they were subtle and direct in their undermining of mysticism. Since then all the action moved to the Internet: to email, IRC, blogs, microblogs, social networks, source sharing sites, web comics, lolcats/captioned images, video-sharing sites (YouTube), wikis, etc. etc. Now, Television may be entertaining and good, but it's no longer subversive. It no longer pushes the boundaries of knowledge.

I have called the people who have conquered mysticism from inside permanently, Qs after the Qs in Star Trek, who are omnipotent. I have written Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead” as my own fan fiction episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where it is mashed up together with Objectivism and Neo-Tech, with Judaism and Israeli culture, with all parts of history, with geek hackerdom, with some parts about love, sex and relationships, and with crazy Illuminati/Elders-of-Zion/vampires theories. It features a friendly talking vampire cat who is older than Planet Earth, and yet still likes human affection ; the still alive version of Moses who has married girls who were 40 times his junior, and testifies that they were more mature than him in most respects. “Deborah the prophetess” who had lived in the same place in Israel since before the Israelite conquest, and is now the chief ambassador of Earth at the Q continuum; and Katie Jacobson - a female software developer in her twenties, originating from Berkeley california, who is a big admirer of Jake Sisko's stories, and a graduate of the Technion in Haifa, who joins the Star Trek crew, and in a typical millenial manner finds everything she encounters to be exhilirating.

Thing is, that such shows as those featured a lot of supposedly mystical, unethical, and irrational elements (demons, vampires, lies, innocent deaths, superpowers, etc.) while still maintaining a healthy dose of rationalism, objectivism and individualism. Note that the new age (and we have entered the new age) rationalism and individualism is pluralistic: some Roman Catholics are value producers, while some Randian Objectivism fanatics are value destroyers. The pope now has a Twitter account, because back at the time, Gutenberg's Bible was so clearly inferior to the one written by Monks, that people thought the Printing Press was a fad and that it would never catch on. But it did, and changed everything in Europe. Twitter and Facebook now face similar criticisms, in part because they are very quick and have a low barrier of entry. The pope (and most other spritual leaders) don't want to stay behind the times, and instead wish to endorse change. Only Totalitarian countries such as Iran and China, try to block Facebook, Twitter, the Cheezeburger network, YouTube, GitHub, and other subversive mediums. My guess is that it won't help them a lot because the Internet is distributed. Wikipedia is now unblocked because it's no longer so subversive, and that's because it became mainstream and the Internet has become slightly more subversive as a result.

You should dedicate your life to fight mysticism (from within and from without) instead of exposing certain "Truths" about lame (and not so harmful) conmen.

My personal philosophy is now Rindolfism (after my nickname on some IRC networks and because Shlomifism sounds silly), and it is my own, dynamic and changes in time, expands and expressed in my various online writings. You shouldn't say you're a "Rindolfist", but instead build upon Rindolfism and other inspirations, because we're pluralists, and competitive and cooperating (like GitHub or Bitbucket or whatever). As much as I like fans, I derive more value from people who criticise my work and who try to outcompete me.

Oh, and as awesome as Aristotle was (And he was awesome), I want to crush that Greek fool-on-the-hill like the bug that he is (and you should too). ;-)

about a year and a half ago

Richard Stallman Answers Your Questions

Shlomi Fish Thank you, Dr. Stallman (527 comments)

I'd like to thanks Dr. Stallman for taking the time to reply to all these questions in a coherent, easy to understand and interesting manner, and thank him for replying to my question, even though someone else in the original slashdot feature replied to me while giving citations from Dr. Stallman's online writings. I find Stallman's interviews interesting to read, even though I differ with him on many opinions and also prefer using permissive licences (such as the MIT/X11 licence) for my code instead of the GPLv2, GPLv3, LGPLv2.1, LGPLv3, or AGPLv3. I do the latter not because I approve of proprietary software (the fact is that I actually don't trust it but still think that non-free software should be legal and legitimate to author and distribute), but because I want people and companies to have as few reservations as possible about using my software, building upon it, learning from it or whatever, and think that often (usually?) using copyleft licences and especially strong copyleft ones works against the cause of FOSS. I'm not going to argue with you if you prefer copyleft licences, but that's my modus operandi. I don't have reservations for contributing to FOSS projects under copyleft licences which I find interesting, useful or necessary enough, but in that case I disclaim all explicit or implicit ownership from all of my original contributions, or licence them under the MIT/X11 licence to allow for easy relicensing of my code later on if the project desires it.

Anyway, thanks again, and sorry for getting carried away. Feel free to Moderate down.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Shlomi Fish Re:What do you think of non-free, non-software wor (573 comments)

Hi csolisr,

Thanks for the message. Can you cite all that?

Regarding using CC-By-ND for essays of opinion - I don't think it is necessary (I'm not a lawyer naturally). For example, I've written an essay titled The Case for Drug Legalisation (and other essays) and published it under CC-by along with the DocBook/XML source, so it can be of maximal use. Even if we take it into account, I don't think someone has the artistic licence to build upon it a completely different essay (say “The Case against Drug Legalisation”) and claim that I have written it. I don't mind people doing something like that, while giving me credit and a link to the original essay, but they still need to indicate that the original essay had a different them, or else it is defamation and misappropriation.

about 2 years ago

Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Shlomi Fish The nmap Interpretation of the GPL (573 comments)

The nmap security scanner's licence is the GPL version 2, along with an opening comment where they give their interpretation. It seems that this interpretation is draconic, and among other things requires programs that parse the output of nmap to be licensed under the GPL or a compatible licence as well. This seems to stand against the Free Software Definition, which among other things specifies that one has "The freedom to run the program, for any purpose".

If we (or the courts) is going to accept nmap's interpretation of the GPL, then we can expect all hell to break lose, because that will mean that the output of such programs such as GCC (the GNU Compiler Collection), GNU awk, GNU sed, and many other GPLed programs of the GNU project or otherwise, must be under a GPL-compatible licence, while in fact, the GNU project approved of using them to build free software and proprietary software that was not.

Do you approve of the nmap interpretation, or do you think nmap are misusing the GPL as a way to apply the free software figleaf to their work, without complying with the spirit of free software?

about 2 years ago

Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Shlomi Fish What do you think of non-free, non-software works? (573 comments)

Dear Dr. Stallman,

In this Slashdot feature “Stallman is quoted here saying that game engines should be free, but approves of the notion that graphics, music, and stories could all be separate and treated differently (i.e., "Non-Free.")”. However, this feature does not give a citation from you for that. To add to the confusion in a post to the Creative Commons Community mailing list, Rob Myers said:

RMS's views on culture are coherent and consistent with his views on software. But he's treating game assets as a matter of functionality (software) rather than speech (culture). There is an issue with the latter not being free..

So I'm a little confused. Do you approve of people using non-free licences for cultural works, including the CC-by-nc, CC-by-nc-sa, CC-by-nd, and CC-by-nc-nd licences? If so, when?

This is especially important given the fact that in the process for formulating the latest version of the Creative Commons licences (4.0), there has been some requests to deprecate the non-commercial (nc) and/or no-derivatives (nd) options (which I doubt will happen, but is nonetheless some thing some people feel strongly about).

about 2 years ago



Summerschool at the NSA (Reloaded)

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about 4 months ago

Shlomi Fish (3362) writes "An article on Advogato on the “Summerschool at the NSA” meme, including them depicted getting their ass kicked by two famous Hollywood actresses. Among other things, I propose the fact that most of the NSA workers have lost their minds, and are now mentally ill and delusional which may explain some of the hard-to-believe findings by Edward Snowden""

The FSF Announces New Versions of the GPL.

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about 5 months ago

Shlomi Fish (3362) writes "The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has decided to contribute to the noble cause of free and open source software’s licenses proliferation and following their popular announcement of version 3 of the GNU General Public License, or the GPL for short, which is incompatible with its version 2, they have now announced even more versions of that popular licence. Which GPL will free and open source software developers choose?"

How to Get Help Online (2013 Edition)

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about 7 months ago

Shlomi Fish (3362) writes "The document How to Get Help Online (2013), aimed at inexperienced and not too net-savvy people, aims to summarise and spread the knowledge, of where and how to get help with one’s problems (especially technical and software-related ones). While many Slashdot visitors will not gain many new insights from it, it may be useful for them to recommend less experienced people to read it. Furthermore, its Creative Commons licence (the CC-by-nc) allows others to reuse it and build upon it. And comments and suggestions for improvements are welcome."

Fiction: "Summerschool at the NSA" - the NSA getting schooled on security

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Shlomi Fish (3362) writes "In the fictional story Summerschool at the NSA , the Hollywood actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar (of Buffy fame), and Summer Glau (notable for being featured in xkcd), conspire to kick the ass of the NSA (= the United States National Security Agency) using special warfare that is completely non-violent, thus teaching it an important lesson about security.

For extra geek points, Summerschool at the NSA is under a Creative Commons licence (CC-by-sa) and is maintained in a GitHub repository. Share, enhance, and enjoy!"

Why "Publish or Perish" is "Life or Death"

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Shlomi Fish writes "A short essay making claim that it is essential to publish almost every innovative conclusion you came up with ("publish"), rather than keeping knoweldge and insights to yourself, lie, or use other forms of camouflage, which will cause your demise (= "perish"), which eventually translates to “Life or death”. Following that, it criticises the NSA for balantly, and foolishly violating this principle."
Link to Original Source

From MIT and Jenn Lawrence to Hacking and Free Will

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Shlomi Fish writes "What is a hacker and hacking? Why was the David who fought Goliath a Hacker and an action hero? How is an action hero different from a tragic hero? What is wrong with M.I.T. and why it matters less at the Technion? What is a tragic hero? What are the machines that can give us questions? And what does Jennifer Lawrence, who won the Academy Awards for Best Actress at the young age of 22 has to do with it? An ongoing blog post where I wish to stop lying to myself and to others, stop speaking in riddles, and put all the cards on the table."
Link to Original Source

Free Mickey Mouse - The Disney Way

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Shlomi Fish writes "In a post to the Creative Commons Community mailing list, Shlomi Fish claims that the character of Mickey Mouse has mostly become dead due to the copyright extension fiasco, and the only way to liberate it and make Mickey alive and vibrant again is to free it, and put it under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike licence (CC-BY), and in the Walt Disney Corporation way of having a big festival with fireworks, and keynotes, and with many celebrity guests and features, and a big celebration. What do you think?"

Advanced Perl Maven Video Course

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Shlomi Fish writes "This Advanced Perl training course will allow you to create modules, classes, to write Object Oriented code in the modern way, whether using Moose, or by using only core Perl, manually blessing references."
Link to Original Source

If Programmers Knew Kung-Fu

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Shlomi Fish writes "Ran Arad of had written in a RadVision blog about an alternate universe where programming teams are populated by iconic characters from Kung-Fu films. You don't have to be a fan of Kung-Fu films to appreciate, but it might help."
Link to Original Source

Announcing Freecell Solver Enterprise Edition

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Shlomi Fish writes "Freecell Solver Enterprises Inc., on behalf of the Freecell Solver development team, is glad to announce the upcoming availability of Freecell Solver Enterprise Edition. In its Enterprise Edition, Freecell Solver will be enhanced to solve generalised Freecell, in which there can be an arbitrary number of card ranks. Since generalised Freecell is NP-complete. This will allow using Freecell Solver's ingenious, cutting-edge algorithms to solve the previously hard, provably NP-Complete problems of the Travelling Salesman problem, Subset sum, Sudoku and Enterprise content management.

Read more on the announcement to learn more about this and upcoming exciting developments."

Link to Original Source

Open Source Licenses Wars

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  about 5 years ago

Shlomi Fish writes "There is a new article on my site titled "FOSS Licenses Wars", explaining the features and differences between various the various categories of open-source licenses, and some popular individual one, and that gives some recommendations for which licenses to avoid. I also touch on the aspect of whether use of permissive open-source licenses constitutes a risk to software freedom."
Link to Original Source

Slashdotted Feature Causes AdSense Termination

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Shlomi Fish writes "Shortly after the publication of the Slashdotted April Fools' Day feature on my site, Google suspended my AdSense account claiming it posed a "significant risk to advertisers". Read my the link for more information on what I tried to regain access to my lost account, how I was not successful, and how bad Google's AdSense support is. Apparently Google ignores their customers just like most other big corporations."
Link to Original Source

What Makes Software High-Quality?

Shlomi Fish Shlomi Fish writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Shlomi Fish writes "What makes good software applications high-quality? An article on my site aims to answer this question by listing several parameters for quality, and some methods to achive them. It is written from the focus and viewpoint of an open-source user and developer, but a lot there is applicable to other domains."
Link to Original Source


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