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Comment: Re:Why should we? (Score 1) 545

by Americano (#46157139) Attached to: Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source

So let me see if I have it straight: "Women aren't interested in tech, because they're just naturally wired differently, have a completely different way of viewing the world, and simply don't want to do tech work." That right?

But then, you claim it's sexist to say that women bring something different to the table than men? Why?

The first statement is just as ludicrous as the second, yet you seem to accept that as an article of faith.

The solutions a team develops benefit from a variety of strong and well-argued viewpoints. If women are, in fact, "wired differently," then we should want MORE of them on our teams, so we can take advantage of their "different wiring," which may well carry with it the seeds of novel solutions to previously intractable computational problems. So yes, if you argue that women are "wired differently," they do bring something to the table that men don't: a different way of viewing the world. Why would it be sexist to acknowledge that?

Now, if they're NOT wired differently, then you're left having to explain why so many of them actively avoid the industry in favor of other industries. And you have to explain it in a way that somehow also ignores the fact that the relatively small number of women in the industry who do tough it out will overwhelmingly report that it's full of overgrown man-children who often see women as nothing more than "something to fuck," which creates an unpleasant, hostile, or even toxic atmosphere for women who try to succeed at it.

Comment: Re:No one to blame but themselves (Score 1) 208

by Americano (#44689867) Attached to: X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 Non-Profit Status

Go read the Board of Director IRC logs for the week of 08-08-2013.

SFLC was the address they listed for the foundation on their tax filing; SFLC says "we didn't receive any warnings." That everybody claimed "not to have received anything" doesn't mean the IRS said "we're not going to follow our standard process, which indicates we send notices when we fail to receive Form 990 filings" - and failure to receive the IRS notice in no way exempts them from their affirmative duty to file their tax forms required to maintain their tax exempt status.

Reading through the conversation, basically, it seems like the board of directors didn't exercise due diligence in their management of the foundation - HSBC apparently silently closed their checking account due to repeated overdrafts, and then the IRS terminated their tax exempt status due to failure to file for 3 years, despite the fact that somebody mentions "turns out they're really easy." That's just sloppy management - it's not the IRS' fault that they seem to be perpetual 'victims' who seem to only respond to crisis events.

Comment: Re:No one to blame but themselves (Score 4, Informative) 208

by Americano (#44689411) Attached to: X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 Non-Profit Status

Here's the "ridiculously complex" terms they're expected to comply with:

1) File a Form 990 on time each year.

I'm guessing that X.org would be eligible for a 990-N (< $50,000 gross receipts each year), also known as an 'e-Postcard,' because it can be filed online. Here's the ridiculously complex information required on a Form 990-N:

1) Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
2) Tax year
3) Legal name and mailing address
4) Any other names the organization uses
5) Name and address of a principal officer
6) Web site address if the organization has one
7) Confirmation that the organization’s annual gross receipts are $50,000 or less
8) If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating (going out of business)

If by some stroke of fundraising genius, they managed to take in more than $50,000, they'd need to file a 990 or 990-EZ (EZ can be filed as long as < 200,000 per year is collected). The EZ is 3 pages, and looks pretty much like a standard Federal 1040-EZ, just with questions related to income sources for the foundation, instead of an individual.

Some tax laws are stupidly complex. These rules aren't, nor are they particularly burdensome to comply with.

Comment: Re:No one to blame but themselves (Score 2) 208

by Americano (#44689229) Attached to: X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 Non-Profit Status

There's no evidence that this was the result of some sort of "dragnet" focusing on an organization that drew the ire of the IRS. Organizations which fail to file completely and on time AUTOMATICALLY have their status revoked after 3 years of failure to file in such a fashion. (See this page: http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Automatic-Revocation-of-Exemption)

If they wanted to avoid the long arm of the IRS, they should have... filed their taxes on time, and met the requirements of their tax-exempt status.

Comment: Re:No one to blame but themselves (Score 4, Insightful) 208

by Americano (#44689197) Attached to: X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 Non-Profit Status

Section 6033(j) of the Internal Revenue Code automatically revokes the exemption of any organization that fails to satisfy its filing requirement for three consecutive years. The automatic revocation of exemption is effective as of the due date of the third required annual filing or notice.

( Source )

This isn't an "ambush." What accountant doesn't realize the importance of filing taxes on time? What accountant fails to realize this *three years in a row*? What board trusts their financial matters to an accountant who doesn't realize these things?

This is standard procedure - they failed to file properly 3 years in a row, and so they had their tax exemption revoked. The IRS isn't "springing" anything on them. The IRS isn't "ambushing" them. The IRS is following it's standard procedure - if you want special tax exempt status, there are a few requirements you have to meet. One of these is filing your tax returns in a timely and complete manner. If you fail to do this, you will automatically be de-listed, and you'll receive a polite letter indicating that that has happened. They shouldn't be chasing after people. The agreement when you're granted tax-exempt status is that you will file properly and on time. That's your notice. Failing to do so results in revocation.

Comment: Re:X.org tea party front? (Score 3, Insightful) 208

by Americano (#44685861) Attached to: X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 Non-Profit Status

I ask this because according to the Tea Partiers, Libertarians, and Fox News, those were the people the IRS was singling out for investigating their non-profit status.

So, counselor, in your estimation - is the IRS Inspector General a Tea Party Libertarian employed by Fox News, as well?

Because the IG report basically confirmed what you're trying to hand-wave away - that organizations were targeted for "special" processing which imposed unnecessary burdens on them - for no other reason than their name, or chosen policy positions (e.g., a focus on "government spending").

From the report:

WHAT TIGTA FOUND
The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management:
1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months,
2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and
3) allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued.

Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months. This was due to delays in receiving assistance from the Exempt Organizations function Headquarters office. For the 296 total political campaign intervention applications TIGTA reviewed as of December 17, 2012, 108 had been approved, 28 were withdrawn by the applicant, none had been denied, and 160 were open from 206 to 1,138 calendar days (some for more than three years and crossing two election cycles). More than 20 months after the initial case was identified, processing the cases began in earnest. Many organizations received requests for additional information from the IRS that included unnecessary, burdensome questions (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The IRS later informed some organizations that they did not need to provide previously requested information. IRS officials stated that any donor information received in response to a request from its Determinations Unit was later destroyed.

The lesson? Sometimes, the government really *is* wrong when Fox News reports they did something wrong.

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

by Americano (#44681729) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

Hey, your 2 year old daughter also wets and shits herself, drools and spits up a lot. I guess she's destined to a life of residing in a skilled nursing facility, too, right?! After all, EVERYBODY knows that your development at the age of 2 is a sure predictor of how the rest of your life is going to go!

And everybody also knows that your child's development up to the age of 2 is absolutely NOT affected by the 2 years of rearing you've already put her through! She developed the way she did because that's just how girls develop! She would be exactly the same if raised by ANY parent, or NO parents, or even being raised by wolves or monkeys in the wild! And anybody with any sense whatsoever knows that girls are MUCH better off aspiring to do things like fashion design, yoga instructor, and stay at home mom - bullying them into hopeless dreams of high-mobility, high-status jobs is just going to lead to their inevitable disappointment!

Do you realize how completely fucking pathetic this sounds as an excuse for why "girls are just different, and nobody should worry if they're not interested in that boy stuff!"?

I can already tell you she would probably be miserable if ever encouraged to go into a field where she stares at a computer all day long, as opposed to spending the day interacting with people.

Good thing that real software work involves LOADS of interactions with people. The myth of the heroic solo coder, building enterprise systems in 24 hour long mountain dew and doritos fueled coding binges is dead. This is not how software development happens in any sane (i.e., not hellishly dysfunctional) organization in the world any more. It's a team sport, and people who value interactions with other people are most definitely needed. You should try encouraging your daughter to explore the field, she might find she quite enjoys it!

Comment: Re:Well what do you know.... (Score 1) 264

by Americano (#44624493) Attached to: <em>Urban Terror</em> Code Stolen

I have every right in the world to attach stipulations to the sale of a horse, or a cart, or an axe if I wish. I can even ask you to make it all official-like by signing a legally binding contract with me, guaranteeing, for instance, that the horse will not be used for farm labor, and will be guaranteed at least 4 carrots a day with his feed, because he loves those carrots. I can't force you to accept these conditions post-sale, certainly, but before the sale is completed? I'm allowed to ask for just about anything I want, and ask you to sign a contract agreeing to it.

You are, as well, free to decline to enter into that contract with me. You may be looking to buy a horse to hook to a plow for plowing the fields of your farm, so the conditions I've attached to the sale aren't acceptable to you. Or maybe you're allergic to carrots, and having them in the house would pose a risk to you or your family. In which case you are *free* to refuse the contract as written, and negotiate with me for different terms ("I'll have the neighbors give him carrots once a week, on the day that I'm out of town. And I'll only use him to plow 2 small fields."), or simply seek to buy a horse from a different seller.

What you are not free to do is roll up in the middle of the night with a horse trailer and take the horse. And yes, the analogy is imperfect, because we're talking copying, not exchange of physical goods - but I'm not the one who brought up physical goods in a discussion about copyrights.

However, the principle does apply to copyrighted materials: If you do not agree to the conditions attached to the sale, then do not agree to the sale, and find an alternative seller whose terms you can agree to. I'm not sure why this seems like such a foreign concept to people - certainly there are tons of examples of how the sale of goods and services work with which you're familiar... why does this one, in particular, seem to be such a foreign notion?

The "it's free to copy, so you haven't lost anything by me copying it," argument is nothing but vapid post hoc justification for taking something that doesn't belong to you. The "if you sold it to me, I can do anything I want with it, forever and ever, amen," is just willfully ignoring the explicit terms and conditions of the sale you engaged in.

Let's look at it from a different angle: what prevents me from grabbing some GPL3'd source code, stripping out all license notifications, adding a bunch of proprietary customizations to the code, slapping my own name in the headers, and selling it as "Americano's Super Duper Awesome Appliance," and making billions while contributing exactly zero code back to the FOSS community?

What's that you're shouting? "GPLv3 has an Anti-Tivoization rule, and you can't do that!"?

Well, who the fuck is the FSF to tell me what I can and can't do with my legally acquired copy of that source code?!

(See now why you need copyright, and anything you do to undermine copyright is only going to hurt you in the long run? Just because something's easily copied doesn't mean you have an absolute right to do whatever you want with a copy of it.)

Comment: Re:Well what do you know.... (Score 1) 264

by Americano (#44621433) Attached to: <em>Urban Terror</em> Code Stolen

How did this become a right? How about my right to do what I like with code that's sitting on my computer?

Fundamental property rights have been acknowledged by courts for hundreds of years - the product of my labor is my property, and I have some fundamental ownership of the product of that labor. I am then free to enter into mutually-consensual trades with other people, whereby they trade some product of their labor that I want, in exchange for some product of my labor that they want, and we both are enriched by the trade.

If you want a piece of code that does what my code does, you can:
1) Write your own - my copyrights certainly don't prevent you from doing that, and you're welcome to build your own!
2) Negotiate a license for a copy of the code I created, and ensure that the negotiations include license to do "whatever you like with the code."

Your right to do "whatever you like with the code" is dependent on your having "acquired a copy of the code through legal means." If you violated my copyrights by taking a copy of the code against my wishes, then what you are asserting here is that your "rights to defraud" somehow trump my copyrights. I'm pretty sure you'll have trouble finding any courts that would uphold that right of yours.

Want ultimate control over whatever is on your computer? Simple choice, pick one: write your own; negotiate a license you can agree to and abide by it; or do without anything whose licensing terms you can't agree to.

Any other choice simply undermines your own copyrights - which I bet you'll waste no time asserting the first time someone takes your GPL'ed code and does something in violation of the GPL with it.

Comment: Re:Well what do you know.... (Score 2) 264

by Americano (#44619063) Attached to: <em>Urban Terror</em> Code Stolen

Culture and knowledge are human rights. You're free to develop your own culture and knowledge, and license the use of the culture and knowledge you develop:

Some people will choose to license their written culture and knowledge very permissively, and share freely - think "public domain."
Some people will choose to attach some conditions to their culture and knowledge that are intended to encourage sharing - think "FOSS licenses"
Some people will choose to set terms and conditions that greatly restrict sharing of the work - think "traditional copyrights, all rights reserved, pay me lots for a single copy of this that you can't redistribute."

What do all 3 of these schemes have in common? They're all based on the underlying principle that a creator is entitled to control the distribution and sharing of his or her work.

That you *disagree* with the choices some people make about how to share their works does not entitle you to a free copy whenever you want it. If you disagree with the licensing of someone else's work, you have 2 options if you wish to remain ethical:
1) Contact the owner of the work you wish to license, and negotiate new terms with them;
2) DO WITHOUT, and work to create your own alternative.

If you violate others' copyrights based on the expedient principle of "but I want it! the pony! buy me the pony, daddy!" then you can expect your own copyrights to be infringed upon too, and you will have absolutely no standing to ask for redress when you've destroyed the protections copyrights afford you.

Comment: Re:Well what do you know.... (Score -1, Offtopic) 264

by Americano (#44617793) Attached to: <em>Urban Terror</em> Code Stolen

And what if they don't want to open source their assets?

Your "desire" to see them "succeed" sounds eerily similar to blackmail: "That's some nice source code there, you should probably just make it open source, it'd be a real shame if something were to happen to it."

If you cannot fundamentally respect their rights to license their work as they see fit - even if you don't agree with their choices - then you have exactly zero standing to complain when somebody else disregards your wishes as to how source code YOU wrote will be released and licensed. If you don't agree with someone's choice to not open source their assets, you do not automatically gain the right to take a copy. Don't like their license? Do without, or write your own open source alternative.

I cannot wait to see the day when thugs who feel they have the right to take anything they want at any time they please are shunned out of any civilized company - as they should be.

Comment: Re:Worthless article from the legacy media. (Score 1) 372

by Americano (#44576693) Attached to: New Tech Money, Same Old Problems

So... Apple doesn't pay local taxes on income earned overseas? What's shocking or unusual about that (I'm pretty sure no other company pays taxes on money they earn overseas and haven't repatriated - do you know of some?) or invalidates the claim that Apple is the largest taxpayer in the Bay Area?

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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