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Emacs Has Been Violating the GPL Since 2009

sxeraverx Re:How does this happen? (295 comments)

Thus, the final binary can be recreated from those tarballs just fine, because *technically* it's the full Emacs source code all right. Legally, though, it's not, because of the definitions in GPL.

Not so. If what you seem to be implying were true (that there's no ethical problem with this, just a legal one because of the wording of the GPL), people could simply compile their source down to assembly and distribute the "source" that way. The final binary could be created from the compiler-generated assembly just fine, but that's not the issue here. The goal of the GPL is to prevent distribution of any generated machine instructions (in any form or language) without distribution of the original (in any form or language).

This is exactly the kind of behavior that the GPL was intended to prevent.

about 3 years ago
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41% of Chinese Websites Shut Down In 2010

sxeraverx Re:Not blocked (203 comments)

It's the same on the iPhone. It's always a gamble whether you click the right link or just the blank space next to it because everything's a link and the phone can't guess where you meant to click anymore. Moreover, the JavaScript makes it so that it's always a gamble whether you'll be ably to type in the text box or not, and the comment submission process is just painfully slow. It's not just the quality of the articles on this site that's been steadily falling.

more than 3 years ago
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Xiph.org Comments For the FTC's Patents Workshop

sxeraverx Re:So what will happen? (65 comments)

The "standards" will be open, sure, but no one will use them. ODF is an open standard. MS uses OOXML, and would use it even if they hadn't messed with ISO. And just because they are the largest player in the market, OOXML would become the de facto standard that any other office suite would need to support. It's true this isn't a patent case, but I'd imagine the same applies.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reducing Software Patent Life-Spans?

sxeraverx Re:Non sequitur? (274 comments)

The danger is that it slows down progress. Instead of seeing a good idea, and extending it a year or two later, now someone has to wait 20 years to make the same improvement. Instantly, technological progress slows down 10x, especially for the little guys. The big guys can cross-license their gigantic portfolios all they want, so that they aren't affected at all by the duration of patents. All they want is to keep the little guys little for as long as possible because it's easier to sit on top of an invention for 20 years than to keep making new things. Basically, competition is no longer free-market, but rather dominated by the players already in it (an oligopoly if there ever was one).

more than 3 years ago
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A Brief Sony Password Analysis

sxeraverx Re:Is Sony now in the banking business? (276 comments)

This case underlines the necessity of one-way salting and hashing passwords, even server-side, before ever storing them. If the passwords were hashed properly, they couldn't feasibly be reused on other sites.

more than 3 years ago
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Internet Explorer Use Slips Below 55%

sxeraverx Re:How Long? (104 comments)

Yeah! And in 25 and a half years, IE usage will drop to -100%!

more than 3 years ago
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Internet Explorer Use Slips Below 55%

sxeraverx Re:How Long? (104 comments)

And in 25 and a half years, IE usage will be at -100%!

more than 3 years ago
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Lockheed Martin Purchases First Commercial Quantum Computer

sxeraverx Re:Did some wiki-browsing... (189 comments)

You know one answer to your problem. There are others. The state you put the system into describes the solution to your problem, You let the system evolve in time, and, assuming you don't add any energy (which would destroy your computation), the system will always describe *a* solution to your problem, but not necessarily the solution that you started out with.

more than 3 years ago
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Proposal For Gnome To Become Linux-Only

sxeraverx Re:Dumb Idea (292 comments)

Yes, but that exponential relationship is slowly becoming linear as the bulk of the $$ is becoming energy.

more than 3 years ago
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Signs of Ozone Layer Recovery Detected

sxeraverx Re:Climate Change Deniers (363 comments)

True. But these people forget to apply the rule to the rule itself: they see that correlation itself is correlated with lack of causation, and thus have started to believe that correlation causes a lack of causation.

more than 3 years ago
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Nano-Viewing Record Broken

sxeraverx Re:Light spectrum beneath 400nm? (65 comments)

Also, diffract:

At the atomic level, x-rays at the right wavelength diffract around atoms (really, at that level, it's "electron clouds"), and you can use the diffraction pattern to estimate the localized density of the electron clouds, in an attempt to figure out what atoms go where (heavier atoms have heavier electron clouds). However, hydrogen atoms (protons) also tend to form a sort of cloud, but that's more of a physics limitation then a measurement one. And yes, the sample does "cook" in the process, often quite thoroughly.

My point is, the reflective/refractive/absorptive/transmissive/diffractive behavior of light doesn't depend on the frequency of the light. It depends on the characteristics of a given material for that frequency of light. That's where you get color from, incidentally.

more than 3 years ago
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Proposal For Gnome To Become Linux-Only

sxeraverx Re:Dumb Idea (292 comments)

The first rule of computer architecture is that any problem can be solved by an additional layer of abstraction.

(The corollary to this is: ...except for too many layers of abstraction.)

more than 3 years ago
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Inside NVIDIA's Massive Hardware Emulation Lab

sxeraverx Re:Hey, Oracle. Here's another target for you. (51 comments)

Without doing research, I see two possibilities. Either:

a) The relevant patent has expired. Or
b) They have prior art.

This has been going on in one form or another for >20 years. This means that regardless of whether the patent was filed, it is either expired or invalid.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

sxeraverx Re:Well then, who does create jobs? (730 comments)

Look. We have to pay for the stuff we use. We can either pay the government, or some other entity. It doesn't matter. Paying the government for roads, etc. is generally a good thing, because people don't want to be nickel-and-dimed every time they drive down the street. Large corporations in general don't want to be nickel-and-dimed for each segment of shipment they make. Police aren't privatized and we don't have "legal insurance" because that would be annoying. Education isn't privatized, because we like the idea of equal opportunity.

But we still have to pay for it all, and that's where taxes come in. In general, someone smart noticed that people who make more money use up proportionally more of the resources: they buy more things, so they use the roads disproportionately more; they have more things stolen from them, so they use the police disproportionately more, etc. Megacorporations do the same thing to an even greater extent. This is why we have a progressive tax. A "flat tax" would be completely unfair to the poor, as they are the ones who use the least amount of resources, and have the least means to pay for what they do use.

The total income of the US is somewhere around $6.8 trillion (via wikipedia, mean household income * number of households). 10% of this is not enough at our current spending rates.

However, all this is beside the point. The point is that we're taxing the thing we want to encourage: making money and spending it. Making money and spending it is what drives the economy, and we're discouraging it by taxing it. That's a bad thing. We shouldn't have an income tax, or a sales tax, or a consumption tax, or a transaction tax (although if we want to discourage HFT, that might be a thing to look at). We should have a savings tax. Of course, saving for retirement is different, but if you're just sitting on money for no reason at all, other than your fear of losing it, you're hurting the economy. This is the behavior we want to discourage, so we should tax the hell out of it. This has the benefit of the poor who make just enough to get by not paying much, if at all, and the rich-beyond-all-belief being taxed the hell out of IF AND ONLY IF they're not doing anything useful, largely making it a progressive tax, which is a Good Thing (tm). After all, if they're not going to do something useful with their money, why let them keep it?

That said, of course there are flaws in this system that need to be fleshed out, but it's at least something worth looking into.

more than 3 years ago
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App To Keep ISPs Honest About Bandwidth Caps

sxeraverx Re:Or perhaps read the article and watch the video (172 comments)

What's the difference? 250GB in 31 days is 783kbps. Sure, you might get higher burst speeds, but if you can't supply 6.4 terabytes of data every month, you shouldn't be allowed to advertise 20Mbps speeds.

more than 3 years ago
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Wal-Mart Tests Online Grocery Delivery

sxeraverx Re:Pretty Good (229 comments)

Dude, he's a Brit. He understates things. It's supposed to be read,

should have at least a minimal impact

more than 3 years ago
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Hypertext Creator: Structure of the Web 'Completely Wrong'

sxeraverx Re:I'm not sure what he's getting at? (357 comments)

Except that it's impossible to know what page will actually be loaded without actually fetching it from the server (i.e., if it tries to fetch another link on 404), and it's not possible to do that without potentially changing state on the server (not every website respects GET vs POST semantics).

more than 3 years ago

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