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Comment To me, the U.S. government seems corrupt. (Score 3, Informative) 198

"90% of the things I buy to live (Food, Toiletries, shelter) are owned and made by 13 companies."

It seems that the U.S. government now only helps rich people become richer. There is no democracy.

Companies That Control the World's Food (That is the 2nd page of the article.)

Food Processing's top 100

EFF: the Final Leaked TPP Text Is All That We Feared ( 198

An anonymous reader writes: Wikileaks has released the finalized Intellectual Property text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which international negotiators agreed upon a few days ago. Unfortunately, it contains many of the consumer-hostile provisions that so many organizations spoke out against beforehand. This includes the extension of the copyright term to life plus 70 years, and a ban on the circumvention of DRM. The EFF says, "If you dig deeper, you'll notice that all of the provisions that recognize the rights of the public are non-binding, whereas almost everything that benefits rightsholders is binding. That paragraph on the public domain, for example, used to be much stronger in the first leaked draft, with specific obligations to identify, preserve and promote access to public domain material. All of that has now been lost in favor of a feeble, feel-good platitude that imposes no concrete obligations on the TPP parties whatsoever." The EFF walks us through all the other awful provisions as well — it's quite a lengthy analysis.

Comment News reports: Volkswagen used special hardware. (Score 3, Informative) 360

"Volkswagon's mistake..."

Apparently it wasn't a "mistake". Apparently Volkswagen used special hardware and software to break the law.

Yesterday on PBS NewsHour the CEO of Volkswagen said the dishonesty was the fault of unknown rogue software engineers, and no managers knew about it. However, special hardware was designed into the system; that couldn't have happened without help from other people in the company, including hardware buyers.

See this article: Older VW diesels will need software and hardware fixes, Horn tells lawmakers.

The CEO seems to be lying deliberately. He says "software". Then later mentions "hardware".

That Auto News article was apparently written by someone who doesn't understand that, if hardware is required, the dishonesty must have been approved by Volkswagen management.

Submission + - US government will not force companies to decode encrypted data... for now (

Mark Wilson writes: The Obama administration has announced that it will not require companies to decrypt encrypted messages for law enforcement agencies. This is being heralded as a 'partial victory' by the Electronic Frontier Foundation; partial because, as reported by the Washington Post, the government "will not — for now — call for [such] legislation".

This means that at the moment companies will not be forced to build backdoors into their products, but there is no guarantee that this won’t happen further down the line. The government wants to continue talks with the technology industry to find a solution, but leaving things in limbo for the time being will create a sense of unease on both sides of the debate.

Submission + - The one number that's eerily good at predicting your success in love (

schwit1 writes: A new working paper from the Federal Reserve Board that looks at what role credit scores play in committed relationships suggests that daters might want to start using the metric as well. The researchers found that credit scores — or whatever personal qualities credit scores might represent — actually play a pretty big role in whether people form and stay in committed relationships. People with higher credit scores are more likely to form committed relationships and marriages and then stay in them. In addition, how well matched the couple's credit scores are initially is a good predictor of whether they stay together in the long term.

Comment Re: ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

But it's combined by the user at runtime, not by canocal. The GPL allows an end users to do this.

This is a way that people kid themselves about the GPL. If the user were really porting ZFS on their own, combining the work and never distributing it, that would work. But the user isn't combining it. The Ubuntu developer is creating instructions which explicitly load the driver into the kernel. These instructions are either a link script that references the kernel, or a pre-linked dynamic module. Creating those instructions and distributing them to the user is tantamount to performing the act on the user's system, under your control rather than the user's.

To show this with an analogy, suppose you placed a bomb in the user's system which would go off when they loaded the ZFS module. But Judge, you might say, I am innocent because the victim is actually the person who set off the bomb. All I did was distribute a harmless unexploded bomb.

So, it's clear that you can perform actions that have effects later in time and at a different place that are your action rather than the user's. That is what building a dynamic module or linking scripts does.

There is also the problem that the pieces, Linux and ZFS, are probably distributed together. There is specific language in the GPL to catch that.

A lot of people don't realize what they get charged with when they violate the GPL (or any license). They don't get charged with violating the license terms. They are charged with copyright infringement, and their defense is that they have a license. So, the defense has to prove that they were in conformance with every license term.

This is another situation where I would have a pretty easy time making the programmer look bad when they are deposed.

Submission + - Google Helped Cause the Mysterious Increase in 911 Calls SF Asked it to Solve

theodp writes: Android users have long complained publicly that it's way too easy to accidentally dial 911. So it's pretty astonishing that it took a team of Google Researchers and San Francisco Department of Emergency Management government employees to figure out that butt-dialing was increasing the number of 911 calls. The Google 9-1-1 Team presented its results in How Googlers helped San Francisco Use Data Science to Understand a Surge in 911 Calls, a Google-sponsored presentation at the Code for America Summit, and in San Francisco’s 9-1-1 Call Volume Increase, an accompanying 26-page paper.

Submission + - Mozilla sets out its proposed principles for content blocking (

Mark Wilson writes: With Apple embracing ad blocking and the likes of AdBlock Plus proving more popular than ever, content blocking is making the headlines at the moment. There are many sides to the debate about blocking ads — revenue for sites, privacy concerns for visitors, speeding up page loads times (Google even allows for the display of ads with its AMP Project), and so on — but there are no signs that it is going to go away.

Getting in on the action, Mozilla has set out what it believes are some reasonable principles for content blocking that will benefit everyone involved. Three cornerstones have been devised with a view to ensuring that content providers and content consumers get a fair deal, and you can help to shape how they develop.

Comment Opinions: Many problems in Seattle and Portland (Score 4, Informative) 368

Seattle: Huge problems with traffic. Amazingly, amazingly, Seattle residents often mention that there are areas with poor internet service!

Portland: Unlivable. The traffic is 10 times worse than 2 years ago. The slowly, slowly moving cars make the pollution far worse. The Portland city government has been allowing the construction of huge apartment buildings with no parking. The parking problem lowers the value of all the buildings in the area.

There are many other areas of corruption. Here is just one: The Portland law against plastic bags favors a nearby company that makes paper bags. Paper bags are far worse for the environment because someone has to cut trees, trucks then bring the trees to a plant where they are processed with chemicals that also cause pollution. The paper bags cost grocery stores 10 times more than plastic bags and are so weak they often cannot be fully packed. Paper bags become weak when wet in the frequent rain. People who don't want the problems shop outside of Portland; Portland is a small city of 609,456 people (2013).

Often humans are not good at taking care of themselves.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.