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Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

gnasher719 Re:What the fuck (220 comments)

What the fuck does emailing a vague and rambling threat of violence have to do with coding and superpowers?

Vague and rambling threats is the closest these idiots will ever come to coding and superpowers :-)

2 days ago
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Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

gnasher719 Re:Simple answer... (468 comments)

But if 100g or less is legal, why is 101g illegal? What is the purpose of such a law?

That's not unusual at all. It draws a clear line between what is allowed and what is not. Would you prefer vague guidelines like "for private consumption" vs. "for sale", or "small amounts"? Having strict and easily to check guidelines also avoids wasting time on law enforcements and court costs. 100 grams, and the police lets you go. 101 grams, the hold you and take you to court. Whether you're guilty or innocent, it is _clear_ which one, and that is a good thing

Obviously you shouldn't try to go to the extreme limit of what's allowed. If your scales say you have 100 grams, but your scales are off and you really have 101, that's no excuse. Just stay below 90 and you're fine.

2 days ago
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Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

gnasher719 Re: 12 hour factory shifts? (191 comments)

Well, I found it in a book by Eysenck about a study in war-time Britain, where he found that workers working 57 hours a week in arms production were less productive _per week_, not just _per hour_, than workers on a 48 hour week. And these were people who should have been highly motivated for obvious reasons.

2 days ago
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Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

gnasher719 Re:Question. (191 comments)

Question. Why do they work people so hard instead of just hiring more people? Are these guys salaried instead of hourly? Is it about keeping down costs on training or employee benefits like dormitories they don't think they can operate without? It can't be a massive labor shortage or the employees would quit and find somewhere else to work...

The are paid for overtime. Many people _want_ overtime because it is cash in their pocket. I think most of the reason to pressure people into overtime is (a) stupidity (I'd want workers who are fresh and not tired), (b) disrespect for workers, and (c) genuinely not enough people to hire.

That's different from the USA where the causes are (a) stupidity (I'd want workers who are fresh and not tired), (b) disrespect for workers, and (c) greed, pressuring people to work overtime without pay.

2 days ago
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Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

gnasher719 Re: The difference is that THERE is evidence (82 comments)

What you're saying basically boils down to "in the end you have to trust the people who wrote the OS or built the device". Yes, yes you do. This article is an example of how one such group abused that trust. Of course Apple and Google could do the same, but absent of any evidence that they have done so saying they could is kind of redundant.

It's more than that. Google and Apple can harm, in principle, by either being evil or incompetent (I'm not claiming they are either). But they have lots of competent developers who try hard to keep you safe. This company here has most likely 10 times less security expertise than either Google or Apple. Which means your risk is much much higher.

3 days ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

gnasher719 Re:Sony is run by an Illiberal Moron (573 comments)

the "haters" were often accused of "hating on Obama". That use of "on" was hardly proper English, and I for one was wondering, if Illiberals are genuinely Illiterate

Language is changing. "Hate" used to be a noun, and usually a verb. Like "his hate was aimed at the wrong person" or "he hated the wrong person"; in each case "hate" being the opposite of "love".

"To hate" has developed a new meaning. Someone who "hates on Obama" isn't the same as someone who "hates Obama". Instead, it means making wild accusations against Obama, which usually have no rational explanation but are just issued to hurt or annoy the person himself or his supporters.

A similar case, compare the totally different meanings of "He hit the girl" and "He hit on the girl". Or just check here: http://www.thefreedictionary.c...

3 days ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

gnasher719 Re:Land of the free (573 comments)

How? Be specific. If I put a gun on a table in front of you, it will sit there for a thousand years without hurting either one of us. Are you concerned it will spontaneously explode, or grow some sort of nerve tentacles that will intrude into your brain and make you do something awful?

Now start cleaning that gun and the picture changes. Now take the gun to a shooting range, and remove all the bullets when you take it home and put it on the table. What are the chances that you left a bullet? Now show your friends that there are no bullets. What are the chances that you fire a shot from a gun that you absolutely positively definitely knew had no bullets in it, and kill one of your friends?

You don't leave a gun on the table for thousand years without touching it, so the safety of leaving it there is irrelevant. And leaving your gun with no human touching it isn't safe: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/20...

3 days ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

gnasher719 Re:Land of the free (573 comments)

That may be true but a key difference in the US is that gun rights are codified into law and in the culture. What is the "Wild West" without guns? In Arizona, to this day, you can walk into a bank with a gun with no problems.

Since you're comparing USA and Denmark (or UK, which is quite the same), it should be obvious that there are two stable states: One, where everyone has guns, so criminals need to have guns to avoid being shot during a crime, and upright citizens need to have guns to avoid beig shot during a crime, too. Two, where nobody has guns, and criminals know that carrying a gun during a crime means that the whole police force will do anything possible to catch them, and they will go to jail for a long time. And upright citizens know that killing an unarmed criminal say during a burglary will get them into legal trouble.

Two stable states. Both stable states are hard to leave. I prefer the stable state with no (few) guns and very few people shot.

3 days ago
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Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

gnasher719 Re:No different than what we have here (82 comments)

Unless Apple disables the software that prevents iOS from installing software without the user. This function would only be used for security reasons of course.

It all depends on your definition of "can". Apple could theoretically do _anything_ with your iOS device. Some things would be detectable, some wouldn't, some would be illegal, most would be pointless to do for Apple and would be damaging to business if found out, which is a very good reason not to do it.

Apple _can_ install apps remotely without asking you, and it actually happens if you buy an app on one phone, and you have set up the other phone to automatically install purchased apps. Well, technically you asked for it, but nothing needs to appear on your iOS device at that moment to ask you. Quite obviously, Apple _can_ install software on your iPhone, because that's what they have to do when you purchase software. Being asked by you to do it is just a small detail. In reality, Apple doesn't install software without asking you.

Apple _can_ remove software without asking you, and would probably do that to remove malware, if it decides that removing the malware without your explicit permission is better for the customer than not removing it. I don't think they have ever removed anything for that reason, and they haven't removed anything with copyright problems.

3 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

gnasher719 Re:Yes this is Terrible. (191 comments)

"Starts selling" is the key. Yes, they had some DRM free content. Amazon had all DRM free music content. That's a massive difference. I was very much against Amazon at the time because of the one click patent, but I started buying music there because they were doing it the right way. iTunes went all DRM free later on, well after Amazon.

The reason was that the music labels were worried about Apple's strength in the market, so they forced Apple to sell an inferior product (music with DRM), and they only allowed Apple to sell DRM free music after Apple agreed to raising prices.

4 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

gnasher719 Re:Yes this is Terrible. (191 comments)

And anyway, I have the impression that Apple's music DRM is the only one that still works. If you bought music with Apple's DRM ten years ago, you can still play it. Try playing PlayForSure music. No chance. It doesn't work anymore. I think there are some other schemes that stopped working. (If anyone knows of any other music DRM that still works, I'd be interested to hear about it).

And Apple's DRM could always be removed legally by burning the music onto a CD using Apple's own iTunes software, and today Apple's DRM can be removed legally (unfortunately not for free) by subscribing to iTunes Match once.

5 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

gnasher719 Re:Yes this is Terrible. (191 comments)

Well yes actually. That's what they are being sued for. I know it sounds ridiculous but that is the plaintiff's claim.

The plaintiff's claims were nowhere near as sensible as the things you asked about. (Actually, Apple's legal reply to most of the claims was "what you are claiming doesn't make any sense". Usually a legal reply to a reasonable accusation either says "we didn't do it" or "we were allowed to do it". )

5 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

gnasher719 Re:Good for consumers? (191 comments)

How can DRM and locking out competitors ever be defined as good for consumers?

I suggest you read what the case was actually about. Apple is claimed to have prevented Realnetworks from adding Apple's DRM to Realnetworks' DRM music and copying it onto Apple's iPods. The reality is that Realnetworks created an awful hack and damaged the data on an iPod in the process to an extent that Apple's software thought the iPod was broken and reformatted it.

To your question "How can DRM ever be defined as good for customers": Without DRM, it would be impossible to rent videos online for cheap instead of having to buy them for three times as much. And in 2006 when this happened, without DRM there would have been no online music stores. Surely offering you to buy music with DRM is better than not offering you to buy music without DRM.

5 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

gnasher719 Re:Huh? (191 comments)

This is not true, even if Apple insists on saying it is. As near as I can tell, what they mean is that they aren't putting DRM on music that was added after the DRM-free date. However, the iTunes library is full of music that is as "protected" by DRM as it ever was. Or at least that was true three years ago, when I spent far too much time working out how to strip the DRM off of a song I downloaded from it.

Just in case that you still have a reasonable amount of music with FairPlay DRM: You can buy Apple's "iTunes Match" for a year, which will among other things allow you to replace any music bought from Apple, and any music from anywhere that the software recognises, with DRM free 256 Kbit/sec copies. Costs about $25 or so. If you have lots of music with DRM or in lower quality, it's worth it.

5 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

gnasher719 Re:Huh? (191 comments)

It's still relevant, but an expected ruling. This is not about DRM on the songs, it is about DRM on the connection between iTunes and the devices. That is, you can't use a non-apple device with iTunes. And Apple can go out of their way to make that happen.

I think you are making the mistake of thinking that Apple was sued for something that remotely makes sense. They weren't.

Apple sold music with DRM in 2006. That music was hard or impossible to copy, as music with DRM should be. But that's not what Apple was sued for. And making it impossible for music with DRM to be copied is actually what DRM is there for.

Realnetworks had developed their own DRM "solution". Which had the unfortunate disadvantage that it didn't play on iPods, and it didn't play on Microsoft "Playforsure" compatible players either. So it was quite dead in the water. So Realnetworks decided to create a hack where they removed their own DRM, then put fake "FairPlay" (that's Apple's DRM) around it, and copied that to the iPod.

It turned out that they damaged directory structures on the iPod, and the iPod's "FairPlay" implementation noticed that there was something fishy about these files. Altogether so bad that Apple's software suggested that you reformat the iPod. And that is what these lawyers complain about: That Apple didn't allow their hacked DRM to play on an iPod.

The obvious and 100% iPod compatible solution would have been to remove the DRM and _not_ to try to add Fairplay DRM to the music. Music without DRM, like mp3, AAC, WAV, ALAC has always played on all iPods.

5 days ago
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Touring a Carnival Cruise Simulator: 210 Degrees of GeForce-Powered Projection

gnasher719 Titanic (42 comments)

she was, briefly, the largest vessel afloat

No, she was the largest vessel, briefly afloat :-)

5 days ago
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Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

gnasher719 Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (138 comments)

So, once the order has been placed, haven't you effectively entered into a contract for sale or something?

Most likely the sale is only entered at a later stage. Could be if the charge your credit card, could be if the ship.

And most likely, they have terms and conditions that basically say "we offer what you see on the website, except if there are obvious mistakes". And the only way you could complain is if you spot a pattern, like if this happens repeatedly, or if they refuse to sell to you but don't change the advertised price.

about a week ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

gnasher719 Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

Now all that said, from all I've heard the authors of the GPL were quite competent in what they were doing, so it is quite likely that the GPL says what they meant.

I think the most important thing is about remedies, and there is quite strong precedence. It seems that if you use open-sourced software and don't do what you are supposed to do according to the license, you are a copyright infringer, and not someone in breach of contract. So the damages are those of a copyright infringer (up to $150,000 per work, or the proven damage), and not those of a person in breach of contract.

about a week ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

gnasher719 Re:Does GPLv2 Grant a Patent license (173 comments)

If you distribute a license to use for these terms and you control the patent on them you have an implied license to do so and all it will take is a promissory estoppel motion to squash that claim.

I really wouldn't think so. Sure, it has to be made clear that the license for the software doesn't include the license for the patents. But it would make absolute sense if a patent holder made it easy for companies to actually use their patent by providing open source software to use the patent, instead of everyone having to create their own proprietary software.

about a week ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

gnasher719 Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

Well, that part is actually not up to the GPL to define it's a key part of copyright law, if it's not derivative it's not covered by copyright so the GPL wouldn't apply.

Well... Copyright law is about different things, mostly about copying and creating derivative works. A judge would decide whether someone made a copy, or whether someone created a derivative work, according to the law, and the GPL cannot override this. With that decided, the judge will then conclude that either you did need permission by the GPL, or you didn't need permission by the GPL to do what you did.

On the other hand, the GPL can say in its own terms what it allows you to do. They could say "you are allowed to create a derivative work if you do A, B and C; we consider it a derivative work if you did X, Y and Z". Then the judge would check if you did X, Y and Z to decide whether you needed to do A, B and C to get permission from GPL.

If you didn't need permission, then it doesn't matter what the GPL says. If you did need permission, then it matters.

about a week ago

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