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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do When Another Dev Steals Your Work and Adds Their Name?

TekPolitik You might well have a legal right to demand this b (480 comments)

IAAL but TINLA, but you should see an intellectual property lawyer and ask for their advice on the following matters. These things do vary by jurisdiction, although some of it is based on the TRIPS treaty (required for WTO membership), so it is getting to be less different between the jurisdictions. Firstly, if you did this as a contractor, you quite likely still own the copyright, unless you signed an agreement saying you don't. In that case he client has a licence, the scope of which may vary, but not so far as to allow them to apply their own copyright claim to the exclusion of you. Secondly, what they have done is quite likely a breach of your moral right of attribution, especially if you were a contractor rather than an employee. There may well be scope for a nice scary letter from a lawyer to get them to behave.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Convince a Company Their Subscriber List Is Compromised?

TekPolitik Re:good luck with that (247 comments)

Sometims their "geek" is the problem. I got copies of emails from ASIC (an Australian government agency) under FOI, in which their supposed Internet geek insisted an email address was invalid because it didn't end with one of the big 5 TLDs or a CCTLD. When you're dealing with that kind of rank incompetence, you have no hope of getting a reasonable outcome.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Convince a Company Their Subscriber List Is Compromised?

TekPolitik Re:Write threatening letters (247 comments)

Unless the spammers know that he knows that he only gave the address to one company, so they only used one of the many addresses they harvested to spam him, casting suspicion on that company so he wont think to check his own PC, allowing them to collect a nice list of other email addresses from people he is affiliated with. That way, they get 100 addresses from 100 people, instead of 100 addresses from one guy with his own domain. /paranoia

I think, but am not certain, that you are being sarcastic. But just in case, spammers do not go to that kind of effort. They do not have time to go to that kind of effort.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Convince a Company Their Subscriber List Is Compromised?

TekPolitik Re:Is it fixed? (247 comments)

An please note that there are other ways of compromising email addresses; e.g. using them in plaintext on a compromised access point or a mail server between you and the company but outside their control. If you want to proove this you have to be absolutely sure about the security of the address and check that every connection is (at least) encrypted.

This is not correct. Spammers and scammers always take the easy approach. It is simply too hard for them to compromise addresses at these intermediate points for it to be worth the effort to these people. It is much, much easier for them to compromise the holder of a large list of addresses, either directly, or via social engineering. To say there is another way that it could have happened is not to disprove the most likely case. A person who fell backwards into a volcano could have just lost their balance, but the person with the smoking gun standing 10 feet away is still going to prison. I have seen one case in Australia where one federal agency (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission - which is fairly universally known within the legal profession as the single most incompetent government agency by far in the country) compromised its entire database. A spammer was spamming for his fraudulent "university" and "charity", which was subsequently shut down by, it seems, Victorian education authorities. The spammer got hold of one of ASIC's databases of contact details, including email addresses. There were several complaints from users who did what the submitter did - had unique addresses for each organisation they deal with - and all received the spams at only the ASIC address and at none of their other (sometimes hundreds of) addresses. ASIC continue to deny that to this day and run the same bogus excuse you are attempting here. Some of the addresses were even obscure. ASIC actually likes to think it's qualified to advise on security too - it's a joke.

about a year and a half ago
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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

TekPolitik Re:Speaking of Sodom... (1774 comments)

Teaching children religion at all is child abuse. Why, I hear you ask. There are many religions, and with the exception of omnitheistic religions, they all believe all the others are wrong. At the absolute best, only one can be right. But statistically speaking, a person taught a particular religion as a child is much more likely to adhere to that religion throughout life, to the exclusion of any other. That means the choice was made for them by their parents, rather than by rational and reasoned thought. And in most if not all cases that choice is wrong. That makes the teaching of religion to a child a form of indoctrination or brainwashing, done before the person has a chance to rationally form their own view, with the result that they may never be able to do so. No person ever has the right to do that to another, not even a parent. Especially not a parent. They are in a position of trust and responsibility, and grossly misuse that when they teach their children a particular religion.

about 2 years ago
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The Risk of a Meltdown In the Cloud

TekPolitik Re:It has to happen (154 comments)

What happens when they have IP data or licensed data that is being hosted by a cloud provider, or company to company lawsuit. Court case starts

IP in the cloud is worse to deal with than you can possibly imagine. For starters, when somebody grants you a license to use IP, as often as not (and especially in the case of IP licensed to big companies) the licence is restricted to a particular country. This is in part because your IP is a different thing in each country, governed by different rules. If you go storing licensed IP in the cloud, you don't know where it is going to end up - you have a very good chance of breaching your licence. If you think "that's OK, I'm not storing somebody's licensed IP", think again - unless you are wrote it (or are simply using somebody else's IP without a licence, in which case you have the problem anyway), then you are.

Then you have the problem that you likely haven't got the first inkling as to how intellectual property works in the, most likely third world country (if not now, then eventually), where the data is going to be stored.

If you're dealing with confidential information, can you be sure some minimum wage flunky you have never even met is not going to be prepared to sell it for enough money to keep them and their family in comfort for years to come? Can you be sure the law in the country where it happened even cares? The criminal element that wants to sell your private data isn't so much sitting behind a keyboard in their mother's basement writing viruses or using skripts to break into your systems - they're getting jobs at places like Google in their data centres, possibly with a fake resume with their buddies giving fake references.

Then you have the "cloud provider goes out of business or discontinues the service" issues (which are worse if the data is in a proprietary format).

The biggest problems with the cloud are not technical issues (although there are technical issues any time you keep your data "there" rather than "here"). The big problems are the law and people issues. From that perspective, the cloud is a huge risk. If you are capable of safely storing your data and maintaining your systems without the cloud, then you should do so. Leave the cloud for people who cannot look after themselves.

more than 2 years ago
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Why People Don't Live Past 114

TekPolitik Re:yet more biblical contradictions (916 comments)

We know the snake could talk - but there's no requirement for morals, at least not like humans.

For years we have assumed the forbidden fruit was apples. Now we find it it was magic mushrooms.

more than 2 years ago
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RIAA Chief Whines That SOPA Opponents Were "Unfair"

TekPolitik Re:legal analogy (525 comments)

Lying by omission is NOT lying... If someone intentionally leaves out parts that may alter your impressions and choices regarding it with intent to do so, that's part of persuasion, but it's still not lying.

(I am not a lawyer)

try doing that in a trial; both the judge and the other side's lawyers will/should take issue with it. The judge would represent some standard of neutrality/fairness, the other lawyers would represent an opposite bias. Both are ways to deal with bias.

I am a lawyer. Where most people talk about lying, we lawyers tend to use the terms "fraud" and "deception". Intentionally leaving something out to give a false impression is just as much fraud and deception as saying something that is flat-out false. Lawyers that are party to such conduct can lose their right to practice law.

The only exception to that is giving an answer to a direct question that does not seek the additional information - if the question has a "yes" or "no" answer, you can give that answer without further clarification. Of course you cannot normally ask such direct ("leading") questions of your own witness.

more than 2 years ago
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RIAA Chief Whines That SOPA Opponents Were "Unfair"

TekPolitik Re:A little uncomfortable (525 comments)

Sorry, if you intentionally leave out material information, it is deliberate deception and thus morally equivalent to lying.

Good to see another lawyer here. Of course we normally use the term "fraud".

more than 2 years ago
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Kepler Discovers First Earth-Sized Exoplanets

TekPolitik Re:We need to mount an expedition (179 comments)

sits at a temperature of 1,040 Kelvin — hot enough to vaporize any atmosphere and leave a solid hunk of silica- and iron-rich rock

Come on, I can't be the only one that has a problem with a reference to vaporising an atmosphere.

more than 2 years ago
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EU Court Adviser Says Software Ideas Can't Be Copyrighted

TekPolitik A few facts (196 comments)

This article is a mess, so I doubt this will be heard above the noise, but I'll try anyway.

  1. There is nothing new or surprising in this. Copyright covers the instructions in the code, not the functionality. While it shouldn't have needed to be stated explicitly, it does go back to the Apple look and feel suits in the late 80s.
  2. As others have pointed out, copyrights and patents are not the same thing.
  3. While this is a non-binding Advocate-General opinion, most of the time the ECJ adopts the Advocate-General opinion.
  4. This opinion is in the "duh" category. Nothing interesting or newsworthy here whatsoever.

IAAL, but probably not your lawyer.

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With 'Idiot' Behind Key Software Patent

TekPolitik Re:Double standards and people (223 comments)

sometimes I'm surprised at what makes it.

Then you're probably not an "inventor" of the thing, let alone "the original inventor", and are probably signing a false declaration (punishable by imprisonment) if you sign the patent as an inventor, and you have a positive obligation (even if you don't sign) to tell the PTO everything you know that might invalidate the patent. See 37 FCR 1.57 and 1.63.

Any contrary direction by your employer is unlawful and of no effect.

Given the piss-poor quality of American software patent applications, these obligations are blatantly ignored in the vast majority of applications.

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With 'Idiot' Behind Key Software Patent

TekPolitik Re:Double standards and people (223 comments)

So - they could hire starlets from the porn industry? Hmmmm - things couldn't get any worse, let's try it!

At least then the software industry would be getting screwed by professionals.

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With 'Idiot' Behind Key Software Patent

TekPolitik Re:Double standards and people (223 comments)

I would say most types of behavior we would call 'evil' stems from lack of empathy rather than just plain ignorance.

Not true. Most people with a complete lack of empathy constrain their behaviour for rational reasons. In fact high-empathy people without that rational self-control can be far more dangerous to people who are not close to them, than somebody who lacks empathy.

more than 2 years ago
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Computer De-Evolution: Awesome Features We've Lost

TekPolitik Re:Not-a-concept (662 comments)

Technically we never stop accelerating. The consequences of ceasing to accelerate, given our velocity (with respect to the point at around the centre of the earth) of around 230 metres per second at the equator, would be rather unfortunate. Even if you were standing precisely on one of the poles, bits of you would be accelerating in different directions. Then there's the roughly 15,000 metres per second with respect to the centre of the Sun. Then there's the roughly 220,000 metres per second with respect to the centre of the galaxy. Which is just one of the reasons a certain automobile manufacturer had to concede that gravity is rather important.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Reaffirms Stance Against Software Patents

TekPolitik Bullshit (197 comments)

Google is as much into patenting stuff as anybody else. They aproached me a few years ago to join. When I told them I would only do so if I had a term in my contract saying I had no obligation to assist in obtaining any software patents, they said they could not do that because they have a policy of protecting their developments with patents. I wasn't prepared to compromise my ethcs that much, so now I'm a lawyer. The pay's lower, but at least I have my self-respect.

more than 3 years ago
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Australian Government encourages open source

TekPolitik Correction to list item number 2 (1 comments)

2. Suppliers must consider all types of available software when dealing with Australian Government agencies.

more than 3 years ago
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Dell Reveals Specs For the Looking Glass Tablet

TekPolitik Re:iPad vs. everyone else (174 comments)

before the iPad came out all Slashdotters could do was point out how the iPad was nothing new.. now... the excuse is that "there are no viable competitors".

You suggest an inconsistency where there is none. The concept of the tablet computer was nothing new. However, there is no other tablet that currently matches the technical specs of the iPad. If there were a tablet that had even exactly the same specs as the iPad, but was not made by Apple and ran something Linux based, I'd buy it, but there simply is none. The most significant shortcomings of competitors appear to be screen resolution and battery life. I am not aware of any competitive tablet that has the same or better screen resolution or battery life.

On the other hand, there are a lot of competitors with more powerful devices in other respects.

more than 3 years ago
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There Is No Plan B, the Ugly Transition To IPv6

TekPolitik Easier Solution (717 comments)

There is an easier solution. If even one very key service provider (Google, for instance) announced that:

  1. It was implementing IPv6 on all its customer facing web servers immediately;
  2. It was removing IPv4 from all its customer facing web servers in 6 months;
  3. In 3 months all its IPv4 web servers would include a prominent warning to visitors in big bold red letters at the top of the page that they need to switch to an ISP that supports IPv6 within 3 months; and
  4. In that later 3 months, the services would all be https only so the ISPs cannot strip the warning*

just watch how quickly the ISPs would implement at least some mechanism for IPv6 to work. Depending on how aggressive the provider was prepared to be (think signed plugins that verify a workable, routed IPv6 address), it could even force a proper IPv6 implementation, with the ISPs educating their users to ensure a quick, smooth transition.

* Sure, some users will just click-through if the ISP provides a filtered version with a bad certificate, but not all, and the ISP does not want to just throw away business.

more than 3 years ago
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There Is No Plan B, the Ugly Transition To IPv6

TekPolitik Re:Reclaim Some? (717 comments)

AOL now has more subscribers in 2010 than they did in 2000. And I'm one of them

Who is the other?

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Australian Government encourages open source

TekPolitik TekPolitik writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TekPolitik (147802) writes "As if in apology to the recent decision to endorse the Microsoft based XML document formats within government, the Australian Government has today released a policy requiring government departments to consider open source. The policy sets out 3 principles:
  1. Australian Government ICT procurement processes must actively and fairly consider all types of available software.
  2. Australian Government ICT procurement processes must actively and fairly consider all types of available software.
  3. Australian Government agencies will actively participate in open source software communities and contribute back where appropriate.
"

Journals

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Bush supporters feeling unduly defensive?

TekPolitik TekPolitik writes  |  more than 9 years ago A strange thing seems to have been happening on /. lately. I have never made a secret of the fact that I think George W. Bush is a stupid and dangerous man. Nor have I hidden that I do not approve of John Howard. I have periodically made comments on /. that have said so, either directly or by clear implication.

In the past, these have never resulted in adverse reactions. But recently Bush and Howard supporters have gone feral on them.

Witness this post, which by rights should have gained a +5 Informative. Instead somebody who presumably supports either Howard or Bush moderated it "Flamebait", because I described Howard as a "Bush-sycophant" in the following passage:

The United States and Australia (led by the Bush-sycophant John Howard), are the only developed nations not to have ratified [Kyoto], but they have both signed.

Now in context, the fact that John Howard is a Bush-sycophant is extremely relevant. It sheds important light on why these are the only two developed countries not to have ratified Kyoto. Clearly this was a bad moderation by an oversensitive pro-Bush or pro-Howard zealot.

Then take this comment, reproduced here in its entirety:

Why sign something you know won't be ratified?... To publicly lend it your support. To persuade people and businesses to take steps on their own, even if it won't be legislated for. To show everyone that no matter what the rest of the government thinks, *you* consider it important.

I'm sorry, I seem to have missed the story where we were told Bush wasn't President any more.

Hellloooooo. The thread involved people suggesting the US administration should sign the Kyoto protocol (leave aside the fact that the Clinton administration signed it but did not get it ratified), on the basis that this would show the administration thinks Kyoto is important. Bush is against Kyoto, so there is no reason he would "sign" it to show his support for it. How the hell do you get "Troll" out of that?

Then another, in the same discussion:

Duhbya does not need any help destroying American jobs.

I'd settle for him destroying just one job. His own.

Also moderated as "Troll". How in the hell did this person think a naked expression of personal sentiment warranted "Troll"? Maybe in a totalitarian state, but in the free world we are perfectly entitled to have and express sentiment against a political leader, and it is entirely irrational to feel upset by that or to think it's a troll when somebody does express it.

On top of that, I got my first ever freak. It took very little checking of his comment history to find he was a Bush supporter.

Now all of this leads me to wonder why Bush and Howard supporters are suddenly so sensitive. The only possible reason I have been able to come up with is that they harbour a fear that they have done something horribly wrong - something that is going to cost us all dearly. They are afraid of anything that might push them to consider the possibility that they have made a mistake of gargantuan proportions. So rather than deal with that, they are starting to treat every dissenter as a threat to them. So on /., they mod dissenters down and list them as foes.

Quite sad, really.

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