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Earth

+ - Oil Arrives in Louisiana, Defense Booms Inadequate->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "People in mainland Louisiana are seeing the beginnings of the oil's full effects on wildlife in the area. Sticky rust colored oil covers the reeds like a latex paint indicating that the efforts to lay miles of floating booms to keep it away from the fragile marshes are useless. They are experiencing what the Plaquemines (mouth of Mississippi River) saw last week and it now appears that their defenses were inadequate. Only time will tell how much more worse it can get as BP still scrambles for a solution. NPR also ran a story critical of Obama's 'scientific approach' that he promised to use in office and how well it's being applied and holding up during this crisis. He promised an official policy document that opens the science behind government decisions — like that of how to handle this oil spill — and this document is now a year overdue from his administration at a time when it could reassure the hysteric American people with rational thought behind tackling this impending disaster."
Link to Original Source

Comment: No. Don't do that. Stop. Go back. (Score 1) 2

by ASundman (#32305424) Attached to: Texas Approves Conservative Textbook Curriculum

Just what we need, another country turning into a theocracy.

Wasn't it bad enough with Iran and Saudi Arabia? Oh, no... the Texans had to go down the same path with their "new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation".

Education

+ - Texas Approves Conservative Textbook Curriculum-> 2

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "In a landmark move that will shape the future education of millions of Texas schoolchildren, the State Board of Education on Friday approved new curriculum standards for U.S. history and other social studies courses that reflect a more conservative tone than in the past.

Split along party lines, the board delivered a pair of 9-5 votes to adopt the new standards, which will dictate what is taught in all Texas schools and provide the basis for future textbooks and student achievement tests over the next decade.

Texas standards often wind up being taught in other states because national publishers typically tailor their materials to Texas, one of the biggest textbook purchasers in the country.

Approval came after the GOP-dominated board approved a new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation --a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer.

Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/DN-sboe_22tex.ART0.State.Edition2.140f306f.html"

Link to Original Source
The Courts

Swedish Court Rules ISP Must Reveal OpenBitTorrent Operator's Identity 230

Posted by timothy
from the fess-up-now dept.
2phar writes "An ISP must hand over the identity of the operator behind OpenBitTorrent, a court in Sweden ruled [Wednesday]. The ISP must now reveal the identity of its customer, operator of probably the world's largest torrent tracker, to Hollywood movie companies or face a hefty fine. 'OpenBitTorrent is used for file sharing, and we suspect that it is the Pirate Bay tracker with a new name. It is added by default on all of the torrent tracker files on Pirate Bay,' Hollywood lawyer Monique Wadsted said in an earlier comment. The ruling covers the customer behind the IP addresses 188.126.64.2 and 188.126.64.3 and/or any other IP addresses in Portlane's entire range (188.126.64.0 – 188.126.95.255) which have been allocated to tracker.openbittorrent.com since August 28, 2009."

Comment: Re:Man, the courts are going to have a time with t (Score 1) 356

by ASundman (#32303328) Attached to: PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

If the license said "do no harm" what you are saying would probably be true, but it doesn't. Do read the explanation at http://www.peta.org/hpl.htm

The license talks about intent to cause grievous bodily harm. These are formal legal expressions with well defined legal meanings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grievous_bodily_harm

Comment: Re:I know reading is hard but... (Score 1) 356

by ASundman (#32303284) Attached to: PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

I agree that free software has to be free by definition. But is the meaning of the word "Free" established by FSF?

According to the open dictionary (http://open-dictionary.com/Free), free, when talking about software can be defined as: "with very few limitations on distribution or improvement compared to proprietary software". "few" is not the same as "no".

Comment: Re:FLOSS software? (Score 1) 356

by ASundman (#32303114) Attached to: PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

"causing grievous bodily harm" is more well defined than you think. The phrase is formal legal terminology with a clear and precise meaning, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grievous_bodily_harm

Using a program licensed under the HPL for activities that are _intended_ to cause the death of animals is prohibited. A program dedicated to ordering meat can thus not be HPL. You could of course order meat with a regular web browser, but that program _can_ be HPL since it is intended to browse the web, not to cause harm.

Comment: Re:FLOSS software? (Score 1) 356

by ASundman (#32299912) Attached to: PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

It doesn't seem to absurd to think that weapons manufacturers use some FLOSS libraries. Anyone that works with software probably uses some open source or FLOSS license some time or another. And while the missile (or whatever) is probably not HPL, the kicker is that it can't use any HPL components either.

Let's say that OpenCV (image processing library) was HPL (which it is not). Then, no matter what license the missile was being developed under (probably some proprietary XXX), it could not use OpenCV for it's guidance system.

If you publish FLOSS code under the HPL, it protects you from contributing (probably without knowing about it) to creation of products that are intended to cause harm.

+ - Which License for Free C++ Library Code?->

Submitted by David Greene
David Greene (463) writes "I have a project that I will be introducing in the next couple of months. It is composed of a set of C++ libraries with extensive use of templates plus some tools that provide a plugin interface. I am looking for the appropriate Free license to use with the following requirements:
  1. Copyleft
  2. Prevent DRM/Tivoization
  3. Allow use in proprietary applications
  4. Allow proprietary plugins for the tools

It would seem that LGPL v3 is almost what I want but the "code in C++ headers" is an issue. libstdc++ uses GPL v3 with the gcc Runtime Library Exception, which is too restrictive because I want to explicitly allow proprietary plugins. Is there any existing license that essentially strips out the "Eligible Compilation" clauses of the Runtime Library Exception? I could do this myself but would be less than certain of the legal implications. I would prefer to use some text that's already been vetted."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Don't use if you want to let others reuse your (Score 1) 356

by ASundman (#32299154) Attached to: PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

Way ahead of you.

Quoting from http://www.peta.org/hpl.htm#pro_con [peta.org]:

"I personally consider the fact that HPL is incompatible with GPL as it's main disadvantage. Believe me, we have thought long and hard about ways to make the HPL GPL-compatible, but we have finally reached the conclusion that it is fundamentally and utterly impossible. Like most FLOSS proponents, I would like to see a widespread distribution and use of the code that I make available to the community; but I would rather take the risk of no one every using my code than letting a single person or organisation use it to cause harm. So, in conclusion, the ideological "harm-less" principle takes precedence over practical inconvenience and I side with the HPL. "

Comment: Re:I know reading is hard but... (Score 1) 356

by ASundman (#32299070) Attached to: PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License
Quoting from http://www.peta.org/hpl.htm#pro_con "The fact that HPL licensed software is considered non-free according to FSF might sound harsh. We value freedom very much and HPL licensed software grants you far reaching freedoms to use and redistribute your code (and it complies with the remaining three clauses in FSFs free-software definition). However, and this is an ideological bifurcation point, we value prevention of harm higher that the freedom to inflict harm. This makes HPL licensed software non-free according to FSF, but this is a conscious, ideologically motivated, restriction of freedom." "The HPL is not open-source according to OSI; but we don't think that OSI owns the term open-source. Furthermore we don't think that their requirement "6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor" has relevance to the definition of the term open-source (even though we can agree that it is generally a good thing). We therefore consider software licensed under the HPL to be genuinely open-source. " It doesn't have to be approved by FSF to be FLOSS and it doesn't have to be approved by the OSI to be open source.

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