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Comment: Re:Is This Bus Syndrome? (Score 1) 492 492

My belief is that projects like CentOS are there because people want to skate on the backs of people and companies who have spent time and money making a good product, just because they don't want to pay for that hard work. I believe this is the flaw in the GNU license, and not open source in general.

As opposed to what, BSD? The GPL is viral in that all derivative products must be contributed back to the community, whereas a less strict open source license would allow CentOS to keep the modified source to themselves as long as they gave due credit. I'm not a fan of the GPL, but this is a complete misrepresentation.

Comment: Re:copyright enforcement? (Score 1) 747 747

It certainly could. Code, markup, graphics, it's all copyrightable. Whether it has in the past or not isn't relevant at all since it's functionally the same as any other code. And yes, people borrow from each other all the time, but that doesn't make it legally sound.

As for Stallman's ideas, it seems like the easiest thing to do would be to just not visit websites that don't license their scripts in a friendly manner. You're not going to hell just because you accidentally went to some site with non-free javascript once, it's only important (for very idealistic definitions of important) for the sites that you use regularly.

Comment: Re:Not a bug (Score 2, Informative) 830 830

and after saying "Ok, I got it", *guarantee*, that I can turn off the system in that very moment, without losing data or corrupting the file system in any way.

Which is precisely what fsync does, and is precisely what these developers didn't use. The filesystem knows better than you do how to get all the data it has to write onto the platters as fast as possible so if you need something specific like "it's important that this data get written now, so I'll wait for you to finish", you have to ask. Otherwise your apps would run a great deal slower since every little write (even a single byte!) would have to wait for the OS to say "OK, it's on disk". And if you really want that, there are flags you can use, e.g. O_SYNC. But you don't.

Data Storage

What To Do With Old USB Keys, Low-Capacity Hard Drives? 546 546

MessedRocker writes "I have at least a few USB flash drives around that I haven't needed since I got my 16GB flash drive, a 40GB external hard drive which I haven't needed since I upgraded to 500GB, and a couple of SATA hard drives I have pulled out of laptops which are either as large or smaller than the one I have in my laptop now. Furthermore, I don't really know anyone who needs any hard drives or flash drives. What should I do with my small, obsolete storage devices?"
Privacy

Bill Would Require ISPs, Wi-Fi Users To Keep Logs 857 857

suraj.sun notes CNet reporting on bills filed in the US House and Senate that would require all ISPs and operators of Wi-Fi hotspots — including home users — to maintain access logs for 2 years to aid in law enforcement. The bills were filed by Republicans, but the article notes that the idea of forcing data retention has been popular on both sides of the aisle over the years. "Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that... would impose unprecedented data retention requirements on a broad swath of Internet access providers and is certain to draw fire from businesses and privacy advocates. ... Each [bill] contains the same language: 'A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user [i.e., DHCP].'"
Programming

Web-based IDEs Edge Closer To the Mainstream 244 244

snitch writes "Last week Mozilla released Bespin, their web-based framework for code editing, and only a few days later Boris Bokowski and Simon Kaegi implemented an Eclipse-based Bespin server using headless Eclipse plug-ins. With the presentation of the web-based Eclipse workbench at EclipseCon and the release of products like Heroku, a web-based IDE and hosting environment for RoR apps, it seems that web-based IDEs might soon become mainstream."
Input Devices

Don't Like EULAs? Get Your Cat To Agree To Them 874 874

An anonymous reader writes "Anne Loucks built a device which, when her cat steps on it, can click the 'I Agree' button of a EULA. Who knows what the lawyers will make of this sort of madness. Can a cat make a legal agreement? Does it need to be of legal age? She lures the cat onto the device, and the cat steps on it of its own free will. Anyway, folks who hate EULAs now have another tool to make the lawyers freak out."
The Courts

Will Obama's DOJ Intervene To Help RIAA? 546 546

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Cloud, a Pennsylvania case in which the RIAA's statutory damages theory — seeking from 2,200 to 450,000 times the amount of actual damages — is being tested, the US Department of Justice has just filed papers indicating that it is considering intervening in the case to defend the constitutionality of such awards, and requesting an extension of time (PDF) in which to decide whether such intervention 'is appropriate.' This is an early test of whether President Obama will make good on his promises (a) not to allow industry insiders to participate in cases affecting the industry they represented (the 2nd and 3rd highest DOJ officials are RIAA lawyers) and (b) to look out for ordinary citizens rather than big corporations."

Comment: Re:Radio? What's that?? (Score 0) 368 368

NPR just spent the last week and a half spamming my ear-hole with 1-800-962-9862 begging for donations. The sad thing about their business model is that I might donate if any donation I'm personally capable of making could make the pledge drives go away faster, but as it is I would see no fruit from my labor.
The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Slaps $250K Bounty On Conficker Worm 258 258

alphadogg writes "The spreading Conficker/Downadup worm is now viewed as such a significant threat that it's inspired the formation of a posse to stop it, with Microsoft leading the charge by offering a $250,000 reward to bring the Conficker malware bad guys to justice. The money will be paid for 'information that results in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally launching the Conficker malicious code on the Internet,' Microsoft said today in a statement, adding it is fostering a partnership with Internet registries and DNA providers such as ICANN, ORG, and NeuStar as well as security vendors Symantec and Arbor Networks, among others, to stop the Conficker worm once and for all. Conficker, also called Downadup, is estimated to have infected at least 10 million PCs. It has been slowly but surely spreading since November. Its main trick is to disable anti-malware protection and block access to anti-malware vendors' Web sites."
Security

US Nuclear Weapons Lab Loses 67 Computers 185 185

pnorth writes "Officials from New Mexico's Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory have confessed that 67 of its computers are missing, with no less than 13 of them having disappeared over the past year alone. A memo [PDF] leaked by the Project on Government Oversight watchdog brought the lost nuclear laptops to the public's attention, but the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration dismissed fears the computers contained highly-sensitive or classified information, noting it was more likely to cause 'cybersecurity issues.' Three of the 13 computers which went missing in the past year were stolen from a scientist's home on January 16 and the memo also mentioned a BlackBerry belonging to another staff member had been lost 'in a sensitive foreign country.' The labs faced similar issues back in 2003 when 22 laptops were designated as being 'unlocated.'"

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