Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (Score 1) 89

by FireFury03 (#47713465) Attached to: Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

Both of those clauses would be incompatible with the definition of open source, especially regarding no discrimination against fields of endeavor. You're of course free to create and use such license, but keep in mind that it won't be considered open source and that a lot of people won't be able to use it.

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 2) 89

by FireFury03 (#47713431) Attached to: Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

Copyleft is just a hack to route around copyright damage. Absent governments enforcing it, we'd all just either release code or not release code and the licensing friction would all go away.

GPL does far more than "route around copyright damage" - its aims are to give the _end user_ freedom, freedom which often wouldn't exist even without copyright.

Lets look at how things work with GPL'd code:

1. Developer A writes some code, releases it under the GPL.
2. Company B takes A's code, modifies it a bit, maybe integrates it into a product (mobile phone, TV, whatever), puts the finished product (i.e. including the binaries) up for sale.
3. End user C buys B's product, wants to modify it, so asks B for the source.
4. B gives C the source, since the GPL says they have to
5. C is happy since he can now modify the code.

(Ok, so it isn't alays plain sailing - B often has to be threatened before they will comply with the GPL; in the case of GPLv2 code, B's product may be Tivoised; frequently devices have a mix of GPL/proprietary code and its extremely difficult to integrate modifications into a device with only the GPL code, etc. but in theory at least this is how it should work).

Ok, so lets look at how this would work if there was no copyright law:

1. Developer A writes some code, releases it.
2. Company B takes A's code, modifies it a bit, maybe integrates it into a product (mobile phone, TV, whatever), puts the finished product (i.e. including the binaries) up for sale.
3. End user C buys B's product, wants to modify it, so asks B for the source.
4. B tells C to piss off because the source is a trade secret and B is under no obligation to release it.
5. C cries.

The GPL relies on copyright law to reach its goals of giving the end users the freedom to do as they wish with their own devices. Without copyright, the end users would be in a much worse position since manufacturers could use any freely released code in any way they see fit with no obligation to their end users at all.

Comment: Re:Good for music, movies and ebooks (Score 1) 82

I like the convenience of ebooks as I don't have to worry about carrying around a dead-tree book and can instead just use my phone (or kindle etc) which is generally lighter. I recommend using Calibre to transfer e-books around if you don't mind breaking the Ts&Cs.

I'm aware that the DRM can be trivially removed, but if I'm going to have to break copyright law in order to actually use what I've purchased, I'm left wondering why I wouldn't just break copyright law *instead* of purchasing it in the first place?

Comment: Re:Good for music, movies and ebooks (Score 1) 82

Unfortunately, that's not the case. Bruce Willis raised a fuss a while ago about not being able to leave his iTunes music collection to his children. The Ts and Cs state that the license to listen to the music is strictly non-transferrable. (He should have just "pirated" it instead).

This is basically the reason I don't use ebooks - with a paper book, I can buy it and read it, then my wife can read it, I can lend it to friends/family, it can sit on book shelves for years and then my kids can read it, their kids can read it decades later, or I can sell it, etc. All this stuff is considered the "normal" way to use a book. Compare to an ebook: I buy it. Then my wife has to buy it(*). Them my friends/family have to buy it. Then my kids have to buy it. Their kids have to buy it. See the problem?

(*) The T&Cs of Google Play, at least, say that not only aren't you able to transfer your purchases to another Play account, but you're not even allowed to lend your tablet to a family member for them to read stuff you purchased.

So until the publishers see sense, I'll continue to read paper books.

Comment: Re:Oh good lord. (Score 4, Insightful) 224

by FireFury03 (#47641367) Attached to: Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Dark matter is probably just civilizations that have built (advanced forms of) Dyson spheres around their stars.
This also explains the Fermi paradox.

Dyson spheres would glow in the infrared and therefore be pretty obvious. This is because they still have to radiate the heat produced by the star they enclose - otherwise their internal temperature would perpetually increase.

Comment: Re:High speed car chase on "Cops" (Score 1) 140

by FireFury03 (#47606215) Attached to: Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat

Well, better off until you realise how much its costing you to toss them in the clink, of course...

Then just shoot them. I'll be glad to pay for the cost of the bullet. It's a win-win for everyone. Another criminal off the street and the taxpayer doesn't have to pay to coddle them by keeping them in jail.

Yeah, removing due process could never result in abuses or miscarriages of justice so it's a pretty good idea.

Comment: Re:How much cheaper would a a puerto rico launch b (Score 2) 113

by FireFury03 (#47605997) Attached to: SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

The big deal isn't the amount of extra orbital velocity you get from the equator, it's the inclination of the resultant orbit - inclination changes *really* cut into your delta-V budget, so if you're launching into an uninclined orbit you really want to be doing it from the equator coz otherwise you have to expend a lot of fuel correcting your inclination.

Comment: Re:This is how we learn (Score 4, Funny) 150

by FireFury03 (#47605769) Attached to: Synolocker 0-Day Ransomware Puts NAS Files At Risk

Well, by the original usage, a server full of drives would not be "cloud storage"

I want to dispute this - I had a server full of drives that I bought to be my "cloud storage". But when I tried to store my cloud in it, it started to leak out of the server. I ended up with a messy pool of water on the floor and a ruined server!

Comment: Re:Read the source code (Score 1) 430

Error messages, too, have disappeared

Wow, I totally agree with you, on that. For example, one reason I've always preferred Firefox over IE is that, when it couldn't get connected to a website, it would basically just say "I can't get connected to that site". My first question was always, "well why can't you get connected?". Were you able to find look up the name? Did you get a network error, like "connection refused" or "network unreachable?" Now, Firefox is doing the same thing. Holy crap, is that irritating.

I'm finding that on tablets, things frequently simply don't work - no errors or anything. The iCloud stuff, for example - if it can't connect through to the internet (because it isn't playing nice with a proxy server, for example) then it simply doesn't synchronise; no indication why it isn't working, or that there is anything wrong other than the fact that you notice it isn't synchronising. And yes I know there is an event log hidden away that has debugging info in it, but asking a customer to find that and read out relevant detail is a lot harder than an on-screen error message.

Comment: Re:Read the source code (Score 1) 430

But that's just nostalgia, digital documentation is much more efficient and effective. You can quickly search the entire contents, it isn't wasteful, it doesn't take up heaps of space and you can take it with you wherever you go easily.

Nothing wrong with digital documentation. My complaint is frequently *no* documentation.

Comment: Re:Read the source code (Score 1) 430

Error messages, too, have disappeared

Users won't understand the error message anyway, just give them a frowny face and be done with it!

I don't mind the idea of hiding the error message behind some kind of "advanced" button on the error dialogue, but removing it entirely is just nuts.

Comment: Re:Read the source code (Score 4, Insightful) 430

That is completely unreasonable. If I have to read the source code just to be able to understand how to use the program, I will just wind up using proprietary software with proper documentation.

On the other hand, I've noticed a steady decline in documentation for commercial software too. Manuals have gone from the thick reference books I remember from 20 years ago to little "quick start" books if you're lucky. More frequently no documentation at all.

Self documentation is going downhill too - there seems to be a trend to removing UI hints such as the short cut keys from menus, so where you would discover stuff from clicking around in the UI and seeing it, now it frequently seems that you'll never figure this stuff out without googling for an answer.

Error messages, too, have disappeared - back in the day you used to get a descriptive error that told you what broke. Ok, so the non-techies probably didn't understand them but at least they could ask a techie. Over the past few years, error messages have been replaced with generic "something broke" errors that give no one any hints as to what went wrong. Increasingly (especially on Android and iOS) apps don't display an error at all - if something breaks they often just plain don't work and its very difficult to figure out why.

Comment: Re:Apple no saint with 2 year disposable iPads (Score 1) 288

by FireFury03 (#47539955) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

Oh come on. By the time the battery is half dead it will be replaced by the latest iPad lest the user be seen with last years model in public. Oh the shame that would bring them.

I still don't get the whole throw-away culture... People seem to think I'm nuts because I don't have the latest everything..

Examples: up until recently I had a ~12 year old ADSL modem running my internet connection. At one point my ISP expressed surprise about this and suggested that I should upgrade it. I have no idea why - a new one would do *exactly the same job* as the old one, which still worked fine(*), so what's to be gained in me spending money to replace it?
(* ok, it was a buggy piece of shit; but since every other consumer grade ADSL modem I've ever seen, including brand new ones, is also a buggy piece shit, an "upgrade" would simply be trading one set of bugs for another set of bugs).

I still have a CRT TV. It works fine, it gives a good picture, it sits in the corner of the room. Various people have said I should replace it with a flatscreen. Why? In the corner position it's in, I would gain no more space, a flatscreen would just have more useless space behind it.

My laptop is now 7 years old. It's got plenty of memory and a CPU that's fast enough to do everything I need it to do... Yet people take the piss out of me having an "old" laptop.

Hell, when my wife lost her iPhone 3GS a few years back, she *wanted* to replace it with another 3GS because she had been completely happy with it and it did everything she wanted. But the 3GS was no longer sold - she would've had to get an iPhone 5 instead. And the only reason I replaced my last phone (HTC Dream) was because it died - the one I replaced it with (Samsung Captivate Glide) may be faster, but the form factor is nowhere near as nice to use and the support is abysmal.

I just don't get the pressure to have the latest gadget - if what you've already got still works and still fulfills your needs then why the hell would anyone replace it? People think I'm weird for repairing stuff that breaks instead of throwing it away and buying a new one...

Comment: Re:Greenpeace... (Score 1) 288

by FireFury03 (#47539899) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

Right! And Greenpeace wants us to use wind and solar which are also dirtier and more lethal than nuclear!

And also aren't great at providing base load supply.

Don't get me wrong, I think wind(*) and solar are good ideas, but pushing for them to be our *only* source of power is a pretty good example of why the political "environmentalists" like Greenpeace are a problem.

(* But I tend to think that the variability of wind power should be coupled with a load that can be varied to match rather than trying to balance wind power against other generators. For example, when there's an excess of power being produced, utilise some of it to do stuff like cracking water into hydrogen, etc. for use in cars; then when the wind drops just cut production of hydrogen rather than having to deal with a shortfall on the grid at large.)

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.