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Comment: Bias (Score 1) 489 489

Whenever I read “John Nobody claims that Net Neutrality is the root of all evil”, I try to find out who John Nobody is. Usually, I find out he is a corporate-style person with absolutely no clue about how the Internet works. Do I dare generalize? After all, all economists are convinced that with enough investment when energy will become too expensive, companies will be able to overcome the first and second principles of thermodynamics. Nothing new under the sun.

Comment: Re:Blatant ignorance (Score 0, Flamebait) 217 217

X-rays are harmless if they are used at low power, and harmful if they are used at high power. Same goes for UV and gamma rays, only with different threshold.

Therefore, the original claim, “no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health”, is obviously completely wrong: we know that some electromagnetic stimulus are harmful.

I plead guilty on the Mexico/New Mexico thing. For the rest, some people should re-learn basic logic and look-up “sarcasm” in a dictionary.

Comment: Re:Yes, sadly, it is too much. (Score 1) 186 186

I am sure the German lawmakers know all about the workings of a search engine. And if they do not, they can ask advice to their French neighbours: I am sure they would be thrilled to explain how to use the OpenOffice firewall to prevent Google from indexing news sites.

Comment: Patents are not property (Score 5, Insightful) 42 42

Please refrain from using words as “thief” when writing about patents. Patents are a temporary monopoly awarded in exchange for publication of an idea. They have nothing to do with property. An idea can not be stolen. Using that kind of vocabulary only makes the patents and copyright's advocates' game.

On the other hand, you are perfectly right to underline that these kind of patents are ludicrous.

Comment: Mixed feelings (Score 1) 42 42

On one hand, people who sold their freedom for a few more blinking lights got exactly what they deserved. This is, at some level, deeply satisfying. The same went on, for example, when VLC had to be removed from the apple application store due to GPL incompatibility (and do not forgot that GPL is not just a license, it is a weapon against proprietary software and closed platforms: it was doing exactly what it was designed to do).

On the other hand, a court of justice upholding a trivial software patent is not a good news at all.

In this particular case, I am afraid that the second consideration is overwhelmingly more serious than the first.

Comment: Re:Three years ago... (Score 1) 526 526

... And now that I think about it, that makes sense. Three years...

I think they spent the first year trying to determine if they could sue FFmpeg.

Then they spent the second year trying to determine if they could change the codec to make it stop working in FFmpeg.

And they spent the last year while techies tried to convince marketing and legal people that since their code was now worthless, they could release it and take what little publicity they still could.

Comment: They can not be forced to disclose the source code (Score 2) 283 283

They can not be forced to disclose the source code. This is a common misconception about the GPL.

If a GPL violation goes to court, the judge can order the infringing party to stop the distribution and pay damages to the copyright owner, but he will not order the disclosure of the source code. The disclosure of the source code is only a gesture that most FOSS developers will accept to drop the charges.

Of course, if the software is only a thin layer of sugar around a core of GPL code, stopping the distribution means closing the business.

On the other hand, the situation can be reverted: the GPL code may be just a small, non-essential part of the software. Think readline, for example: a software is more comfortable with line editing, but it is in no way necessary. In such situation, the violator may decide to pay the damages and remove the GPLed code from its software, to keep in business with its proprietary model.

Comment: FFmpeg's AAC encoder is not finished (Score 4, Informative) 277 277

FFmpeg's AAC encoder is not finished (yet?), and flagged as experimental. Including it in such a test is rather a dubious idea: it is likely to give a bad impression of the whole project.

Having the new vo-aacenc as contender for the Free Software community would IMHO have been more relevant.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

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