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Comments

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US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Sun Re:It'd be nice... (225 comments)

Whoosh.

11 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Sun Re:maybe (349 comments)

If you have agreed to pay for the overhead... I doubt there is much you can do.

I'm not sure that's correct. "Truth in advertising" and "misleading contract" are two terms that come to mind.

IANAL
Shachar

2 days ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

Sun Re:microsofties here is your chance to party (98 comments)

No.

Off by ones are much easier to fix than to prove safe. The amounts of bugs called "unexploitable" until an exploit was provided is staggering. No mildly security aware person will avoid fixing a buffer overflow because it is unexploitable.

Shachar

2 days ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Sun Re:The world we live in. (583 comments)

Please provide source to that claim.

As far as I know, a great majority of acquaintance rapes are by either family member or neighbor. Then again, I haven't been keeping track, so I might be confusing things (for example, this might be the statistics for minor's rape, and thus irrelevant for the date rape discussion).

Still, if you can back your claim, please do.

Shachar

3 days ago
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Errata Prompts Intel To Disable TSX In Haswell, Early Broadwell CPUs

Sun Re:Not all that surprising... (131 comments)

I have a firend who came to me, eyes all glowing, about this new feature his shining new CPU has. I listened in and was skeptical.

He then tried, for over a month, to get this feature to produce better results than traditional synchronization methods. This included a lot of dead ends due to simple misunderstandings (try to debug your transation by adding prints: no good - a system call is guaranteed to cancel the transaction).

We had, for example, a lot of hard times getting proper benchmarks for the feature. Most actual use cases include a relatively low contention rate. Producing a benchmark that will have low contention on the one hand, but allow you to actually test how efficient a synchronized algorhtm is on the other is not an easy task.

After a lot of going back and forth, as well as some nagging to people at Intel (who, suprisingly, answered him), he came across the following conclusion (shared with others):
Many times a traditional mutex will, actually, be faster. Other times, it might be possible to gain a few extra nanoseconds using transactions, but the speed difference is, by no means, mind blowing. Either way, the amount you pay in code complexity (i.e. bugs) and reduced abstraction hardly seems worth it.

At least as it is implemented right now (but I, personally, fail to see how this changes in the future. Then again, I have been known to miss things in the past), the speed difference isn't going to be mind blowing.

Shachar

about two weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

Finally managed to send an email. Got it. Thanks.

Shachar

about two weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

You might find it worth noting that Hamas would also slaughter me and my family.

Since you live in France, it may yet happen :-(. It is anyone's guess what will be that country's charter in a decade. If the danger becomes imminent, at least you have a country whose charter it is to give you sanctuary, no questions asked.

I have no reason at all to have bias against Israel or for Hamas.

I think I have written this elsewhere already. I don't think you are biased against Israel. I think you are being fed by news sources that are biased. Most of them are biased simply because this is a very complicated conflict and news outlets favor simple "good vs. bad" stories. The precise reasons aren't important, however. The media coverage of the conflict in Europe in general, and in France in particular, gives a highly filtered image of things. It is quite natural for moral people to reach far-reaching conclusions that are, simply put, wrong.

Snipped out a bunch of stuff because you asked to wind the discussion down....

I don't hear any world leaders saying that Israel is doing the right thing, whereas I do hear otherwise.

Partly this is because world leaders are not above the bias of their own media. More to the point, world leaders listen to what their citizens have to say. That's why it is important to me to try and convince those critics/bashers that are not working from inherent bias.

Then again, there is the other reason. Israel's leadership of late is not confidence inspiring. Neither Netanyahu nor Liberman understand diplomacy, and do not carry out any well defined long term plan. They are both a little too fond of using arm wrestling to solve personal conflicts. I understand why the world leaders don't like Netanyahu. Nobody likes Netanyahu. He's only still prime minister because of a sore deficiency in worthy alternatives.

But merely because Netanyahu is a jerk (and he is), doesn't mean everything said about him or the country he's leading is correct. Add to that the complete lack of understanding of the conflict by most of the intermediaries self-appointed to solve it and you've got yourself a royal mess. Add to that a UN body that seemed to have zero interest in impartiality (it appointed a committee to investigate "Israel's violations of Human Rights". In essence, the committee's charter precludes it from investigating Israel's main defense. Then, as if the chances of getting a fair investigation were not slim enough, one of the three members was born and raised in Lebanon. Of course the UN secretery is going to condemn Israel when this committee is over).

The last article I sent you was the US condemning the Israeli attack. Of course you dismissed this just like you dismiss anything else that you don't like but whatever.

No, the article you sent bears the title "Palestinians to abandon Gaza truce talks unless Israeli team returns", and has no mention of any US stance of any kind. I am willing to believe you sent me the wrong article by mistake, but will non the less refuse to take responsibility for it.

If you're in Paris and have time let me know and we can meet for coffee or a drink. I work across the street from the Israeli embassy.

Hard as it is to believe, I did not plan to visit the Israeli embassy. Despite my current cell phone number being a temporary one until the end of the trip, I still don't feel comfortable publishing it here. Drop me an email if you're serious, and we'll see if it pans out.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

Your reply describes, almost word for word, my feelings about you.

You make certain assertions (say, Israel is casual about casualties). I bring evidence to the contrary (say, the procedures put in place to prevent harm). You either discard them as irrelevant, without explaining why, or assert new allegations.

The problem is that people like you are so certain they are right, and feel good about themselves to boot, while hurting me. As you have pointed out quite correctly earlier, Hamas would slaughter me and my family without a second of hesitation, had they only had the chance. As you also pointed out (or maybe it was someone else, I lose track), Israel cannot withstand on its own.

Thankfully, while the mindless crowd is quite happy to follow careless media coverage to jump to whatever feel-good conclusions they want, the world leaders are not as quick to act recklessly (I think the anti-Israel mob is calling this "the Jewish loby controlling foreign governments", but I'm sure you're above lowering yourself to suggesting that Israel is controlling other countries). So far, we're sort of doing okay. I, for one, do not take it for granted. That's why I take your opinion seriously. Because you can make a difference, and because I believe you are misguided, rather than racist. If I believed you to be racist, I wouldn't have bothered with this thread.

That's why, in the midst of a vacation in France taken for the purpose of attending my sister's wedding, I am taking the time to research answers to your assertions. I'm doing it almost like my life depends on it, because in an infinitisimal way, I believe it does.

So, if you don't want to have this discussion any more, that's fine. I won't (nor can I) force you to. It is my hope that I have seeded just a smidgen of doubt in your mind, so that the next time someone asserts some fact, that you will remember to ask yourself whether that is really the only way to interpret it, or how reliable the source have proven in the past.

Have a great life,
Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

There was nothing stored at this school.
http://time.com/3076108/gaza-i...

The only thing that link shows is that the UN chief is ignoring the facts to gain cheap headlines. Nothing there denies the facts alleged by either Israel nor the UNRWA press release I linked to.

Even if there had been, Israel could have sent in foot soldiers who could use those super weapons called eyeballs to decide who to kill and who not.

Your assertion that under battle you have better control over not killing bystanders need better basing on facts. Foot soldiers on the ground means less control over the fight, as you have to take care of defense as well as attack. This results in more, not less, civilian casualties.

The biggest number of Palestinian casualties this time around, by far, were in Shuja'iyya, where the Israeli forces were taken by surprise and had to bring in artilery support. This simply does not happen in air raids.

Instead, as Israel does not want to incur military casualties of their own which would cause political backlash in Israel itself, they shell at a distance - easy for them but incurring, overall, seven times as many dead Palestinian children as there have been Israeli military and civilian casualties combined. Dead Palestinian children being more acceptable in Israel, obviously, than dead Israeli soldiers.

The objectives of any army in conflict inside urban area has, is, and seems to always continue to be, in descending order of precendence:
1. Get the mission done
2. Minimize own casualties
3. Minimize civilian enemy casualties

The only thing in which the IDF is different is that it sometimes places "3" above "2", and even above "1" above. That anomality is only happening in the IDF. Most other moral armies use the above list as is. Israel used to abort missions if there was a high chance of civilian casualties. Hamas manuvered that into making it impossible for Israel to act at all. Such a thing, while I'm sure would be lauded by some, would be even more immoral. The result is the high number of casualties in this round of fighting.

Israel has a clear interest in minimizing the number of casualties. There is both internal and external pressure to keep civilian casualties to a minimum. Hotheads like you blame Israel for every Palestinian dead, regardless of circumstances and actions, calling for boycotts and pressuring their own governments. Israel has no interest in killing Palestinians. Your asserted indifference is simply without grounding in reality.

Hamas, on the other hand. Well, that's a different story altogether. Every Palestinian dead is a Hamas win. Internally, they call them "Shahids" and claim that they are martyrs. I'm sure many Palestinians would love to call bulshit on this rehtorics, but the simply truth is that they do not. They are probably too afraid to fall out of line or to be accused of "cooporating with Israel", an accusation carrying the death penalty.

Externally, Hamas has equally little incentive to care for their own people. When you see horrible pictures of the dead (and they are horrible), you (i.e. sociocapitalist) don't stop to ask questions. You don't wonder why they did not clear out when warned. You don't seek media sources that will report to you Hamas explicit instructions (orders) to people to "defy" the Israeli warnings. People say that Israel is strong (which is true) and Hamas is weak (which is not as true as people believe, but definitely not false), and assign zero accountability to Hamas' actions. While I'm sure you congratulate yourself on being in the moral right, it is, in fact, your indifference to the truth that allows Hamas to continue to put citizens in harm's way.

Regarding your frace24 link, that story is misleadingly one sided. I would give more specific critique, but I'm not sure what point you were trying to make with it.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

What would you say should be the fate of a UN run school that is used to store ammunition or to launch offensives? Would you say it loses its impartiality status at that point?

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

What is the normal number for this type of terrain and enemy? Who much were killed in other similar conflicts?

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

I just came across this, which I think you might find useful.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

I don't think you'd think the civilian Palestinian casualties are inflicted casually had you been reading the Hebrew coverage or absorbing the atmosphere on the Israeli street. I think you are are erring in the opposite direction from before this time.

Before, you were implicitly accusing of Israel of impotency, of wishing to kill the Palestinains off, but failing. This time around, you are implicitly accusing Israel of super-potency. You are implying Israel has a choice in the matter. That it has some magical weapons able to distinguish a civilian from an active militant. How difficult that is depends on how much the other side honors international treaties requiring separation of the two.

With Hamas actions as they are, I doubt such a weapon exist that even conforms to the laws of physics. Whether that's an hyperbole or not, Israel does not seem to posses one. I can say with certainty that, had it had the ability, it would use it. I say so with such certainty because of the leaflets, "knock on roof", advance warning phone calls and aborted missions cannot nor should not be shrugged aside as inconsequencial, accidental or casual. They are unprecendented, and were, after all, invented by Israel for the sole purpose of reducing civilian casualties.

I would suggest to you that you ask yourself how you came around believing "genocide", despite it being completely ungrounded in reality. It should be fairly obvious that the word was introduced in order to create a shock value, without care for whether it has anything to do with actual facts. In other words, it is pure propoganda, in the worst meaning of the word.

Your latest response obviously shows you have not given up on applying your own critical thinking. Well done (no sarcasm). I would recommend you ask yourself what sources you were exposed to that led you, only two days ago, to believe "genocide". I would humbly suggest reconsidering your sources.

Shachar
P.s.
This /. discussion is getting old, and it is becoming unlikely that anyone but the two of us ever read this thread. My email clearly appears at the top of every comment I write. If you wish to continue discussing this (which I'm always happy to do), please consider doing so to my private email.

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

That's because the Meriam Webster definition quote from above only quotes the abstract, not the full definition:

the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group

emphasis added.

It is not enough to merely kill (nor is killing a hard requirement). The main point behind genocide is an attempt at destruction of the race. This is also reflected in other sources

Wikipedia:

Genocide is the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group...

Dictionary.com:

the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

The amount of Palestinians killed by Israel is so small, it has not even stopped natural growth. You cannot destroy a race if you're not even significantly affecting natural growth.

This brings me back to my original claim: Either Israel is being completely incompetent about it, or this claim is pure bullshit.

It's not clear whether Hamas is attempting genocide or something else. I for one, haven't managed to deduce any meaningful aims from their actions.

One way or the other, genocide is very clearly listed in Hamas's charter. Then again, equally clearly, is that even if that's what they are attempting, they are very very very far from successful. In this case, however, you can blame incompetence. I think their incompetence renders the question of whether that's what they are attempting moot.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re:Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

The only reason why Israel shows restraint is because the Western world have fucking had enough, and no matter how many politicians they scare and/or bribe, they are afraid of massive reactions which may result in the isolation of Israel. And no matter how smart you think Israelis are, their state would NOT survive in isolation.

Let's try to do this the scientific way, shall we?

Here's an alternative theory. Israel is just trying to protect itself. Over time, the Palestinians, with a stress on Hamas, have started combining their strategy. Instead of trying to directly fight Israel (through suicide bombers and rockets), they now employ a combined strategy, involving provoking Israel to the point Israel has no choice but to respond, and then sacrificing Palestinians (by placing them deliberately in harm's way) to gain two objectives. One is to make Israel not attack strategic locations (headquarters, ammo depos, etc.). The other is, when Israel does attack, to have as high as possible body counts, broadcasting horrendous pictures of death, swaying public opinion, convincing people like you that Israel is horrible.

Now, lets see if we can devise predictions based on which we can distinguish between the theories. If your theory is correct, hurting Palestinians would be an agenda inside Israel. Papers in Hebrew would write about it supportively. Politicians would brag about it during elections. More importantly, since, as you said, the world media's attention is giving this issue more and more focus, limiting Israel's ability to act, the Palestinian casualties count would be in a constant decline. You'd expect a peek around the time Israel was physically occupying areas, with a sharp decline once Gaza was evicted, and a further decline as time goes on since. You certainly wouldn't expect the IDF to invent never before used methods to warn people that an area is going to be bombed.

If I am correct, however, not hitting Palestinians would be an agenda. The Hebrew media would be focused around damage done to Israel, rather than to the Palestinians. When reporting Palestinian innocent casualties, it would be in a downbeat, rather than an upbeat, tone. You would hope to see official Hamas actions attempting to maximize Palestinian casualties. You'd also expect casualties count would be higher after Israel withdrew from Gaza than before. Finally, the "reactive Israel" theory predicts that major escalations by Israel take place after major attacks on civilian population by Hamas.

So which is it? Where is your smoking gun? Where are the huge happy headlines in Israeli papers hailing the high death toll this operation has had on Palestinians? Where are the politicians bragging about how many Palestinians they killed?

On the other hand, here is Hamas telling people to stay put when warned by Israel an area is going to be bombed. Here is a Hamas spokeman taking pride in sacrificing civilians. Here is Hamas firing a missile from a press studio. Please note these are all primary sources. They are not someone giving their interpretations of events. They are recording of the actual events. The only exception is the first link, where the primary source (reachable from within the article) is in Arabic.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re: Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

Let's assume this post is real (the article suggests this is, at best, under dispute). So one lunatic condemns an entire nation in your eyes?

The amount of proof by example seen in these debates is saddening.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re:Hamas are Terrorists (402 comments)

Know that I don't think that the concept of "nation state" is dead? That I think that Jews have a right of self-determination in addition to the Palestinians?

And merely because I'm both Jewish and Israeli doesn't mean my explanation is wrong. Well, to most thinking people, at least. If you think it is incorrect, by all means, provide references. I'd have provided references myself, except I'm not sure which part of my description you have issues with. If it's either the focus on "Jewish people", or the acceptance of minority rights, I'd need to point you no further than Israel's declaration of independence. Both are very prominent.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re:Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

Seriously, you cannot see any other possible motive for Israel's actions other than sadistic hatred? Nothing? No other possible explanation?

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re:Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

You're begging the question. Your comment only makes sense if you assume the very thing I'm questioning.

Shachar

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Sun Re:Quiet, Troll (402 comments)

I hear, between the lines, that you do not have either a spouse or children.

The more you age, the more moving becomes hard. When you're young and independent, it's great to move around, see the world. When you're a bit older, it's great that you can easilly have your kids see their grandparents, uncles, cousines. You begin to ask yourself what are the values your kids will be raised on, what language they are going to speak.

Maybe it's not important to you. That's fine. To each his own. This includes me, and most of the world.

As for a world with no limitation on immigration, I don't think it is the utopia you imagine it to be. Check out what's currently happening in Europe.

We grew up in a piece of the world where certain things seem self evident and obvious. As such, some start to question whether things can be any other way. They can. Democracy needs to be protected. Your personal freedom needs to be protected. Your safety does not happen all by itself. Absolute equality does not exist.

There is an proverb in Hebrew which translates to "don't spill the baby with the water". When striving for a better world, don't go so far that you've destroyed all that was good in the old one.

Shachar

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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France Bans Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations

Sun Sun writes  |  about a month ago

Sun (104778) writes "Citing the violence these demonstrations deteriorate into, the French government has placed a ban on all pro-Palestinian demonstrations. The step is receiving criticism from all sides of this particular conflict.

One has to wonder whether more traditional means of crowd control wouldn't be more appropriate, such as limiting the number of participants or assigning locations not next to Jewish centers."

Link to Original Source
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Israel Channel 10 Report Child Abduction Urban Legand as News

Sun Sun writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sun writes "Israel's Channel 10 news reported Sunday of an attempted abduction of a 9 years old child was from the Disney World park. The reporter, Sivan Cohen, reports (video in Hebrew in this article) that when the parents found out the child went missing, the turned to park officials who closed down the gates and asked them to look only at the children's shoes. Using the shoes, the child was found in a bathroom with her head shaved and clothes changed. The reporter took the effort to mention this sounds like an urban legand, but it isn't.

Except, of course, it is. Channel 10 took off line all references to the story, and on Monday apologized for the incorrect report. The reporter was suspended, and the official response blamed the "parents" that reported this.

Still, one would hope that with a story that smells so strongly of hoax that a serious news outlet would do some fact checking before reporting."

Link to Original Source
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PrimeSense Opening Up SDK (Works with Kinect)

Sun Sun writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sun writes "It seems like PrimeSense (the chip producer behind the Kinect) have released an SDK to the general public. Some things, like the drivers, were completely open sourced, while others, like skeleton tracking, user extraction and hand tracking are available free of charge (Windows and Ubuntu 32 and 64 bit). The forum seems to aim at being hardware neutral, but the actual drivers available right now are only for the PrimeSense chip (but do work with the Kinect hardware, which is about 50$ cheaper than the reference implementation they sell on the site). There is also a video of skeleton tracking in action.

Too late to win the original driver bounty, but maybe in time to win some of the later ones."

Link to Original Source
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New copyright law in Israel - mostly good news

Sun Sun writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Sun writes "Last Monday the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) passed the new copyright law, scheduled to go into effect in half a year. The previous law was passed in England in 1911, and was enacted in (then Palestine) in 1922.

The bad news:
  • Copyright period was lengthened for photographs was extended to match all other rights. All copyright now lasts life+70 years, except actual recordings which last 50 years.
  • "Making available" was explicitly listed as a protected right. On the flip side, the fact that another country found it necessary to list this right explicitly may aid people defending themselves in the US.
  • Work created for the government is copyrighted, albeit with a shortened copyright period of 50 years.


The good news:
  • No anti-circumvention clauses, and not for lack of trying. The Israeli record federation tried to pass such a law, with a lot of backing from the proprietary software industry. The opponents included the Israeli ISOC chapter, as well as Hamakor (represented, among others, by myself). The most important opponent, however, was the ministry of justice! It is too optimistic to assume we heard the last word on this, but for the moment, Israel is DMCA free.
  • Explicit exclusion from copyright of control over reverse engineering for interoperability and for research purposes. Again, this one had a lot of fighting from the software industry (mostly Microsoft and Retalix), but again common sense prevailed. This time a lot of help was received from the academic community, with several professors stepping forward to state that without ability to reverse engineer, research would come to a halt.
  • Fair use was expanded. The 1911 law had a limited "close" list of what would be considered "fair use". The new law allows the court to expand the list based on economical and other considerations. The list of considerations is, itself, also subject to court discretion and expansion.
  • Transient copies — the specifically excludes transient copies made for the purpose of a legitimate activity from being controlled by the copyright holder. The fact that, in order to run a program, the bits are copied from the hard disk to the RAM can no longer be used in order to control what can be done with a program.


All in all, this is a huge improvement even over the existing law. As someone who was present during some of the deliberations, and actively participated, I can say that I think that the most important law in the Israeli codex is the law that governs how much money a party can receive in campaign contributions. Despite at least three of the last four prime ministers got into hot water over violating this law, the end result is that the Israeli legislator is, for the most part, open to hear what is best for EVERYONE, and does care to do the right thing. Interest groups can still try to present their case in a convincing manner, but the fact that such humble resources, such as a bunch of volunteers from Hamakor and from the academic world, could make a difference is a very encouraging sign."
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Sun Sun writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Sun writes "I have just published a suggestion for a comment mechanism that will, I think, advance us an important step toward stopping comment spam in blogs. Non-spam comments welcome.

In a nutshell, commenters are asked to have their computer solve a cryptographic riddle, thus increasing the cost of posting spam to blogs as comments. The idea is not new, as such. I have seen similar suggestions for email. Unlike email, however, I believe it is feasible for blog comments."
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Sun Sun writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Sun writes "This really is from the "unsubstantiated rumours" department.

The Israeli online newspaper "Daily Maily" reports (content in Hebrew) that Information Week reports that Adobe announced it intends to open source ActionScript Virtual Machine, the engine behind Flash Player. According to Daily Maily, it will be integrated into Mozilla as a new open source project called "Tamarin". It is not clear whether this new engine is supposed to serve Flash or JavaScript content, however.

I am sorry about the long list of references, but aside from the link at Daily Maily, I have not managed to pick up a single reference to this piece of news, from either Adobe site or the Mozilla site. Any collaborating evidence would be appreciated."

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