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Patents That Kill

pieterh Re:1860 (240 comments)

The Economist was, ironically, founded as a "free market" newspaper, in a period when that meant specifically, the fight against the patent system. I.e. that was its first purpose, to argue against the re-establishment of the patent system in Britain.

about 2 months ago
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Samsung Delays Tizen Phone Launch

pieterh Tizen was just a strategic threat (112 comments)

Samsung never intended to release a Tizen phone. They were the ones who leaked the design and photos. The whole point of Tizen was to get a stick against Google, after they bought Motorola. Samsung are/were paranoid that Google would give Motorola preferential treatment, and that Android was becoming a toxic platform for them. Tizen was their insurance. Google got the message and Samsung killed most of their Tizen team and went back to focusing on Android.

about 3 months ago
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Netflix: Non-'A' Players Unworthy of Jobs

pieterh Re:Well, it worked for so many others (397 comments)

Incidentally, it's trivial to know which players to keep. You hire freely, openly. You allow people to self-organize around problems. You reduce the latency of all communications from business through the whole company to development and back. And then you rank people simply by their ability to solve relevant problems, to gain users internally. In a software business, you allow anyone to start a project and you rank people on their value in the supply chain.

I've written loads about this. http://hintjens.com/blog:73#toc1 would be an example. Build asynchronous lock-free self-organizing structures, and you can add and remove people trivially.

about 10 months ago
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Netflix: Non-'A' Players Unworthy of Jobs

pieterh Well, it worked for so many others (397 comments)

Netflix isn't the first business to put all the weight on the players while ignoring the game. It doesn't matter how many A players you hire if your organization has deep structural problems. Microsoft would be a prime example.

In contrast, you can build extremely effective organizations out of ordinary people, if you allow them to organize freely around problems, compete honestly, delegate at will, and so on.

about 10 months ago
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NZ Traveler's Electronics Taken At Airport; Interest in Snowden to Blame?

pieterh Re:Highway Robbery (453 comments)

"primary" "antagonists" are discrediting his real detractors by taking any criticism and sending it to the edge of insanity.

about 10 months ago
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FBI Reports US Agencies Hacked By Anonymous

pieterh Re:Anonymos IS the Government (156 comments)

No way, it's impossible that sociopathic power-hungry politicians, bankers, military men, and intelligence officers who treat human lives as disposable would stoop to such things. That would be unAmerican. And beside, CNN and MSBNC would tell us if it happened, right? "Controlled opposition"... laughable! Next you're going to tell me the FBI infiltrated Anonymous chat channels and encouraged young guys to hack into their own systems!

about a year ago
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FBI Reports US Agencies Hacked By Anonymous

pieterh Re:Clipper Chip... remember? (156 comments)

You're right, history proves you can't shut down the flow of information.

Doesn't mean people aren't trying, people with excessive amounts of money and technology, and no laws to keep them constrained.

about a year ago
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FBI Reports US Agencies Hacked By Anonymous

pieterh Re:Huh, that's surprising (156 comments)

I'm impressed by the quality of your arguments. Wait, you didn't make any arguments, you were just rude and dismissive...

about a year ago
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FBI Reports US Agencies Hacked By Anonymous

pieterh Re:Huh, that's surprising (156 comments)

There's a dark irony in so-called skeptics pushing their own conspiracy theories (mysterious gangs hate our way of life) to muffle out the obvious truth that it's (always) all about the money.

It's not only probable, it's by far the simplest explanation, that the military-security complex needs to create threats to justify its existence, so a handsome slice of its budget consistently goes back into black operations against the very people it's meant to be protecting. If you argue that only crooks would do this, then my question is, what evidence do you have that the FBI, CIA, NSA, GCHQ et al are not run by simple crooks?

As for being pessimistic, it's a normal feeling but not useful. Read my book (free, see below) for a background into how this state of affairs came to be, and how to fix things.

about a year ago
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FBI Reports US Agencies Hacked By Anonymous

pieterh Re:Huh, that's surprising (156 comments)

The War on the Internet is as much about creating an environment of fear that will justify increased spending, as it is cracking down on the young smart kids who are the real threat to the corporate para-State.

So it's fairly likely that the FBI/NSA and their legal or criminal subcontractors are heavily involved in any dramatic security-related event. The fact that government websites are targeted makes no difference. Simple little false flags that keep the pressure up on legislators.

It's easy to mock all this but the threat to our digital lifestyle is real and serious. We're a few years away from a fully regulated Internet where if you don't conform -- by running approved hardware, approved software, approved monitoring -- you simply won't get access, period. Clipper chip, remember that?

And the only way to convince the mass of "who cares?" public are a series of dramatic, dangerous, unacceptable attacks on websites, infrastructure, transport, etc.

about a year ago
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The Second Operating System Hiding In Every Mobile Phone

pieterh Old silent SIM firmware (352 comments)

The SIM firmware runs silently and in the background and by some reports, even when the phone is switched off, it continues to slowly ping cell towers, making your phone trackable unless you remove the battery.

about a year ago
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The Operations of a Cyber Arms Dealer

pieterh Arming up on the Internet (18 comments)

IMO it's part of an undeclared war on the Internet, funded by the intelligence-security complex, who need to reign in and control the Internet. The usual structure is official organizations (NSA, GCQ) funding subcontractors (like Stratfor) who fund off-the-books teams to build up armed capacity, attack targets to create a climate of fear, and to blackmail third parties into cooperation. Your tax dollars hard at work, keeping the Children Safe from cyberterrorists, hackers, and criminals, aka an independent Internet.

about a year ago
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Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

pieterh Re:Monopolies suit the surveillance state (569 comments)

The old WU was renamed First Valley, asset-stripped, and the remains sold to First Financial.

MoneyGram's money transfer business was taken over by WU in 2008.

about a year ago
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Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

pieterh Monopolies suit the surveillance state (569 comments)

Once Upon a Time in America

Cheap communications has changed our society more than any other of our inventions and it has removed more tyrants from power than any weapon. Let’s take another step into the history books, back to May 1st, in 1844. Alfred Vail, working with Samuel Morse, was setting up the first telegraph line, and on that day sent the world’s first ever electronic message down the 24 miles of cable that were working, from Annapolis Junction to Washington D.C., to report the results of the Whig Party presidential nominations (Henry Clay won that nomination, and lost the subsequent election).

Just a decade later in 1855, the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company and the New York & Western Union Telegraph Company merged to create Western Union. One assumes new-york-and-mississippi-valley-and-western-union-printing-telegraph-company.com was already taken by domain name squatters.

By 1900, Western Union operated a million miles of telegraph lines, and by 1945 it had an effective monopoly over the US market. As the New Yorker wrote, monopolies make spying easier. It is an easy and obvious trade: the government allows, by inaction or by intervention, a powerful telecommunications company to become dominant in a market through mergers and acquisitions. In return that company provides the government with surveillance.

The New Yorker explains how Western Union used its monopoly to serve those in power:

What we now call electronic privacy first became an issue in the eighteen-seventies, after Western Union, the earliest and, in some ways, the most terrifying of the communications monopolies, achieved dominion over the telegraph system. Western Union was accused of intercepting and reading its customers’ telegraphs for both political and financial purposes (what’s now considered insider trading).

Western Union was a known ally of the Republican Party, but the Democrats of the day had no choice but to use its wires, which put them at a disadvantage; for example, Republicans won the contested election of 1876 thanks in part to an intercepted telegraph. The extent of Western Union’s actions might never be entirely known, since in response to a congressional inquiry the company destroyed most of its relevant records.

It is quite visible how cost gravity drove communications down from an experiment for the wealthy to a mass market product so cheap even Western Union couldn’t make profits from it. By 1980 its telegraph business was dying, and the old Western Union business was finally closed in 2006, after 151 years of operation. The name was, as we know, reused for a financial services company which today enjoys a government-sanctioned monopoly.

Curiously, Western Union’s long telegraph monopoly seems to have had only a small impact on the size of communications networks. If cost gravity was operating fully, at 29% a year, and telegraph costs were in free-fall, there would have been 37M miles of telegraph by 1900. Instead, assuming Western Union had half the market, there were 2M miles. That is a factor of 16 over 55 years, which is not much, and a part of that can be accounted for by quality improvements.

I’m also not sure what to do with the random figure of 113 million kilometers of fiber optic cable produced in 2010. A cable is a bundle of fibers, and the traffic rates are rather higher than Western Union’s old stock. Has cost gravity been working?

One smoking gun pointing to a century and half of cost gravity being hijacked by telecoms monopolies back through AT&T and Western Union is the cost of the modern equivalent of a telegraph, the text message. Let’s say the cost is one cent per message today. The purchasing price of $1 was 30 times greater in 1850 than it is today. If we apply cost gravity backwards, doubling that cost every two years, it would have cost over two million trillion dollars in 1850, allowing for that 30 times fall in the dollar.

Clearly cost gravity stops working when monopolists run the table. Not only do we pay taxes to be spied on, we are also grossly overcharged for using the tapped lines.

about a year ago
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IsoHunt Settles With MPAA, Will Shut Down And Pay Up to $110 Million

pieterh Re:Is anybody surprised? (245 comments)

+1.

I don't have mod points and couldn't vote you up if I did but +1.

1 year,6 days
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Doubleclick Cofounder Responds to Patent Troll by Filing Extortion Lawsuit

pieterh Re: I have mixed feelings about this. (225 comments)

In what reality are private monopolies "good for the economy"?

The notion that the patent system is decent and necessary but somewhat out of control is totally bogus. It's working precisely as intended. Patent law was built by patent trolls, run by patent trolls, and exists thanks to patent trolls. Aka patent attorneys and speculators and companies with no other way to make a profit.

Mafia is right. Comparisons to slavery are right. "A limited slavery system is good for the economy". Hogwash. Abolition is the only cure for this parasite.

about a year ago
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DEA Program "More Troubling" Than NSA

pieterh Re:Joking about serious things? (432 comments)

Hmm, that's an easy one. You bring troops from region A to fight in region B, those from B to C, and those from C to A. Has been done often, works nicely.

about a year ago
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Shuttleworth Answers FSF Call for Free Software Drivers on Edge

pieterh Re:LET US DO EVERYTHING - FOR FREE !! (112 comments)

Your post is not accurate in any sense. The GPL exists to stop software written as an open collaboration being privatised and turned into close software. GPLv3 exists because people were cheating with GPLv2 software.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Building a new spy-proof Internet - the Edge Net

pieterh pieterh writes  |  about a year ago

pieterh (196118) writes "The Edge Net lives safely at the edge of the Internet, on our smart phones. It uses mobile WiFi hotspots to create "cells" for exchanging news and content. Cells talk to cells, asynchronously, covering neighborhoods, and cities. The Edge Net doesn't exist yet. This project is about building it. The fundraiser project raised $1,700 in its first day."
Link to Original Source
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RedHat celebrates AMQP/1.0 release with new patent

pieterh pieterh writes  |  about 2 years ago

pieterh writes "One day before the "Advanced Message Queuing Protocol" AMQP/1.0 becomes an OASIS standard, Red Hat secures
patent number 8,301,595, for accessing an LDAP server over AMQP. In January 2008 I provided to the AMQP Working Group, including Red Hat, the Digest-AMQP spec, "a way to integrate WWW servers and LDAP servers over an AMQP network." Here's the GitHub repository. Red Hat's patent 8,301,595 was filed two and a half years later, on June 14, 2010. In 2009 I wrote about another Red Hat patent on AMQP. That time, Red Hat said required patents would be made available royalty-free, but then as now, the patent was not on the standard but of a common use around it."

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Manners for Open Source?

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pieterh (196118) writes "In the corporate IT world, developers tend to learn bad habits about working with others. They often become over aggressive, or too passive. To help folk I'm working with learn how to work with others, I was looking for a guide on basic FOSS etiquette, and couldn't find one. So, here's a rough minimal sketch. It's a wiki: anyone can register, edit, make a mess. Let's see if Slashdot can create the ultimate etiquette guide for FOSS developers."
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Patents Considered Evil

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pieterh writes "What's behind the explosion in patent news stories, and where will this lead to? I've written a summary of the patent debate — which is over 150 years old — which takes all the arguments for patents, and breaks them down. My conclusion: time to make abolition of the patent system a political issue."
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A Generation of Software Patents

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pieterh writes "Boston University's James Bessen has published a landmark study on a generation of software patents. Looking at almost 20 years of software patents, he finds "that most software firms still do not patent, most software patents are obtained by a few large firms in the software industry or in other industries, and the risk of litigation from software patents continues to increase dramatically. Given these findings, it is hard to conclude that software patents have provided a net social benefit in the software industry." Not that this surprises anyone actually innovating in software."
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Sockets on Steroids

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pieterh writes "LWN.net has an article on 0MQ, an open source messaging product that "extends the socket API, eliminating the learning curve and allowing a network programmer to master it in a couple of hours. The wire protocols are simplistic, even trivial. Performance matches and often exceeds that of raw sockets." Does it make sense to use BSD sockets as an API for low-latency messaging?"
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Followup: Red Hat claims AMQP invention

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pieterh writes "Last week news broke about Red Hat's patent claims around AMQP, a new open standard for messaging. Heise Online carried a detailed follow-up on this story. Now, a document has surfaced where Red Hat claim they invented AMQP: "JPMC, like many other banks, had developed its own messaging software to meet its high-end messaging requirements. However, JPMC had also written down the specification of its work, and this proved to be a good starting point for creating an open messaging protocol standard. Red Hat and JPMC created a legal contract to form the AMQP working group, which would develop this new standard as AMQP in an open and IP-unencumbered manner. Then, they started bringing in many additional companies to collaborate in this working group.""
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Red Hat claims patent on SOAP over CGI?

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WMGarrison writes "US Patent 7453593 claims command-line processing by a web server of SOAP requests, resulting in XML responses, from and to a remote client. The HTTP Common Gateway Interface (CGI) operates precisely as described in Claim 1. If you POST a SOAP document and return an XHTML response or a SOAP document, this infringes on Claim 2, since both XHTML and SOAP are XML languages. This patent thus claims to own the processing of SOAP documents by CGI programs."
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Software patents poll

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pieterh writes "Software patents are: * A crutch for the weak and the wicked * Bad unless owned by a Linux company * A fact of life — just get over it * Essential, no patents means no progress * Excellent, they paid for my yacht"
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Blessed be the Org, the Com, and the Net

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pieterh writes "If Xenu can get tax-free status, surely Tux can too. So here is a new religion for the 21st century: Stallmanism. This Religion is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of GNU General Public License (GPL) as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version."
Link to Original Source
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Poll poll

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pieterh writes "Do you find Slashdot polls * Intermittently interesting * Exceptionally entertaining * Usually useless * Inevitably irritating * Cowboy Neal"
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Most probable November surprise

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pieterh writes "* McCain wins honestly * The Machines elect McCain * Obama wins by a landslide * Domestic terrorism provokes martial law * Cowboy Neal endorses Obama"
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0MQ for Java does 1.4M msg/s, 35usec latency

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pieterh writes "The team making the GPL-licensed ØMQ message transfer system have released a Java API which lets applications exchange up to 1.4M messages per second across 1Gb Ethernet. By comparison, conventional messaging does 2,500 to 4,000 (larger) messages per second. This is the same software which hit 9.5M messages/second on 16-core boxes. ØMQ is a new breed of open source messaging middleware that aims to be the "Fastest. Messaging. Ever." It sits in a space dominated by big players like IBM and TIBCO. Can an open source team beat the largest firms and make a faster, better product?"
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24-Sept is World Day against Software Patents

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pieterh writes "Veteran European anti-software campaigners have launched World Day against Software Patents on StopSoftwarePatents.org, writing: "The issue of software patents is a global one, and several governments and patent offices around the world continue to grant software & business method patents on a daily basis; they are pushing for legal codification of the practice, such as currently in New Zealand and India, and via the misappropriation of Free Trade Agreement instruments. We declare the 24 September as the World Day Against Software Patents, in commemoration of the European Parliament First Reading in 2003 with amendments stopping the harmful patenting of software, guaranteeing that software programmers and businesses can safely benefit from the fruits of their work under copyright law.""
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Ecuador Migrates to FOSS and Open Standards

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pieterh writes "The Digital Standards Organization is reporting that "Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa Delgado signed a decree ordering that the software used by public administrations in the country be free software (and implicitly based on open standards)." The story has also broken in Spanish on Estandares Abiertos. Ecuador also voted against Microsoft's OOXML."
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20 good reasons to reject OOXML

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pieterh writes "On the eve of votes by national boards across the world on Microsoft's OOXML passage through ISO, the NoOOXML.org community has compiled 20 good reasons for national boards to disapprove fast-tracking OOXML through ISO. As Jim Melton, editor of ISO's largest ever standard, SQL, which took 20 years to debug and is still smaller than OOXML, wrote today: "I think a Fast-Track process for any standard of this magnitude is a monumental mistake and a serious perversion of the entire concept.""
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MacBook Air - Sexy Nonsense, or Giant Killer?

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pieterh writes "I think Apple's vision is of a world of well-defined devices, each doing one thing and doing it perfectly. Apple don't make multi-function devices because these inevitably compromise on everything. This is Microsoft's biggest weakness, the insistence on putting too much into every box. Yes, it sells, but it does not satisfy, does not create passion. Microsoft's successful products do less, not more. Apple's design mantra is "less is more" and I'm convinced that's the right approach. The iPhone has no keyboard, the iPod has no buttons except that click wheel. And the MBA has no lines on its bottom, and only that single solitary USB port, hidden in that drop-down flap."
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In defense of software patents

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pieterh writes "Patent advocates, large successful businesses, and politicians are so enthusiastic about the patenting of software that it's hard to accept arguments from people like the FFII who claim that the software industry simply does not need software patents and would be far better off without them. In this new article I explain why software patents are necessary, and in the sake of fairness I'll look at the other side of each argument. Here is the Defense of Software Patents. I report, you decide."
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Microsoft wins "Best Campaigner against OOXML&

pieterh pieterh writes  |  about 7 years ago

pieterh writes "Following the ISO vote one month ago against Microsoft's Office OpenXML (OOXML) format, the FFII has awarded Euro 2,500 to Microsoft for making "a heroic — and costly — effort to discredit their own proposal". The FFII says, "By pushing so hard to get OOXML endorsed, even to the point of loading the standards boards in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, and beyond, Microsoft showed to the world how poor their format is. Good standards just don't need that kind of pressure. All together, countries made over ten thousands technical comments, a new world record for an ISO vote.""
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Anti MS OOXML campaign gathers pace

pieterh pieterh writes  |  more than 7 years ago

pieterh writes "PC Pro reports that "More than 20,000 people have put their names to a web petition opposing Microsoft's attempts to have its new Office file format accepted as an international standard." Microsoft insists that opposition to OOXML is "a blatant attempt to use the standards process to limit choice in the marketplace" and rejects the argument that because the ODF format has already been accepted as a standard, that precludes any alternative. Tom Robertson, Microsoft's GM for Interoperability & Standards says that it's important to recognise that ODF and Open XML were created with very different design goals: ODF is closely tied to OpenOffice and reflects the functionality in that product."
Link to Original Source

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