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Comment: Re:This is a bit bollocks... (Score 1) 475

by IIH (#38951803) Attached to: Lenovo Ordered To Refund 'Microsoft Tax'

Nobody's being forced to buy anything they don't want. A guy voluntarily purchased a laptop with Windows installed on it, and wanted to return part of what he bought.

Actually what he bought was a laptop with a refundable copy of windows. If - after the sale - the vendor is claiming that what he bought is something different, i.e. a laptop with a non-refundable copy of windows, then it is the vendor that is in the wrong.
It's not about forcing or not forcing people to buy something they don't want, but requiring vendors to be honest on what they sell, and if they sell an item which has conditions, they are not allowed to unilaterally change those conditions to the detriment of the buyer after the event, especially if the buyer relied on those conditions before making the purchase.

Comment: Re:Why Not Just Turn It Off? (Score 1) 154

by IIH (#38609146) Attached to: Shopping Center Tracking System Condemned by Civil Rights Campaigners

Another great way to protest this is to have a team putting up warning signs with some cool 1984/orwellian illustrations all around the shopping center.

Or how about having a large number of people walk around with phones on, with their path describing the word "N O" or similar?

Comment: Re:EULAs (Score 1) 384

by IIH (#38446914) Attached to: Sony Sued Over PSN 'No Suing' Provision

Which is a wonderful 'free' software perspective. But from a legal perspective, the GPL IS a EULA, because rather than "does not limit your rights etc." legally it "grants limited rights" (that is, unlimited rights for private use, specific conditions to distribute.) Those rights have to be granted unless the work is in the public domain, which GPLed works very specifically are not.

It may be a licence agreement, but as it the licence is for distribution, not use, it would be a LA, not a EULA.

Comment: Re:bankruptcy creditors (Score 1) 230

by IIH (#37489574) Attached to: Borders Bust Means B&N May Get Your Shopping History

OW, not only do you have to convince a court of the unprecedented concept of a debt in the form of a privacy obligation, you have to convince the court that you should be paid in front of other, secured, creditors. The former is already far-fetched, the combination is patently absurd.

From my understanding of the OP, you wouldn't have to expect to be paid at all for this work, just to reduce the "value" of the asset containing the personal information, and/or link the obligations of the usage of the date to the ownership thereof.
Currently the personal information is just seen as an asset worth X, with the liabilities of the same asset (the obligations of how it's used) seen as completely separate (and not taken over). If you could get them linked officially, then the people buying the personal information would be required to buy both the data and the obligations.
For a very rough comparison, if you bought a property lease from a company, I wouldn't expect to be to choose to just take over the "right to occupy for the next X years" and not accept the "obligation to pay rent for the next X years" as they are inextricably linked. If the same could be done with the personal information, then the privacy obligation would have to transfer across, as it woudl turn from selling just "a database with personal information" to "a database with personal information with the following liabilities/obligations"


TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Comment: Re:Yes game companies should be allowed to do this (Score 1) 345

by IIH (#31630564) Attached to: GameStop Sued Over Lack of DLC For Used Games

And I think that should be the responsibility of the used-game sellers, not the publisher. They're the ones who know that copy's used, after all.

Surely it should be the responsibility of the publisher, as they would be the ones that know what doesn't work a second time? So long as the seller marks it as "used", what else reasonably could they do?

Comment: Re:Sidestep? (Score 1) 238

by IIH (#31587942) Attached to: Oracle/Sun Enforces Pay-For-Security-Updates Plan

...and I quote (from gpl-faq

If you commercially distribute binaries not accompanied with source code, the GPL says you must provide a written offer to distribute the source code later. When users non-commercially redistribute the binaries they received from you, they must pass along a copy of this written offer. This means that people who did not get the binaries directly from you can still receive copies of the source code, along with the written offer.

Unfortunately you missed out the [vital] first part of the faq which is:

If you choose to provide source through a written offer, then anybody who requests the source from you is entitled to receive it.

So, you are only required to make the source code available if your original distribution was in the form of binary+source offer. (3b of GPL) If you made the source available with the binary (as per 3a) you would not have to include that offer, and the offer would not be there to pass on to any third party.

Comment: Re:Sidestepping Nothing (Score 1) 238

by IIH (#31587846) Attached to: Oracle/Sun Enforces Pay-For-Security-Updates Plan

Remember, there's nothing stopping Oracle from charging for GPL source code, and they only have to provide access to the source code to the people they distribute the binaries to.

Wrong. GPLv2 section 3 specifically requires the source code to be made available to any third party, regardless of where they got the binaries:

Actually, it is not wrong. If Oracle chose to distribute the source at the same time as the binaries to those they sell to, then they would _not_ be required by the GPL to supply the source to any third party, and they would still be adhering to the GPL.

This is because there are three options in section 3 for source code access. 3a is to distribute source with the same time as the binary. 3b is to distribute the binary with an offer (valid to any third party) and 3c is to distribute the binary including the original offer (if you yourself received this as per 3b, and are distributing non-commercially.)

Thus, if the software was distributed as per 3a (binary+source) to someone who purchased it, then third parties would have no right to request the source per 3b from oracle, and the infringement would by the purchaser for not including the source as per 3a (as they cannot pass on an offer as per 3c, as they didn't get it by 3b themselves)


Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

Posted by timothy
from the more-guns-less-crime dept.
cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."

Comment: Re:Not quite into the ground (Score 1) 458

by IIH (#29798705) Attached to: SCO Terminates Darl McBride

Which brings up a good point - why doesn't IBM buy them up (or at least a controlling interest) and finally drop the curtain on SCO's last act? It's got to cost less than any additional litigation.

At a guess:
a) Precedent. They don't want anyone getting the idea that suing them for the "right" amount (i.e. low enough) will result in a payoff
b) Cost. is probably not a large factor, as they're ibm lawyers anyway, I believe, and even if costs are incurred, I'm sure they're prefer to pay this money to their legal team than to the shareholders of the company on the other side of the litigation.
c) Logistics/legality, I'm not sure if it would be as straightforward as you suggest, as unless you have 100% of the shares, there are laws that protect minority shareholders, so it might be difficult to drop the case from the sco side without opening a can of worms from any remaining shareholders. (and there would doubtless be a few that refuse to sell if the above happened, hoping (somewhat logically) that if they were prepared to buy out the whole company to avoid litigation costs, that they would do the same for the last few shares for the same reason.

Comment: Re:Never, ever going to happen. (Score 4, Informative) 419

by IIH (#29685353) Attached to: Real-LIfe Distributed-Snooping Web Game To Launch In Britain

Firstly, this is the Daily Mail

It was also reported by the bbc

Secondly, it would be entirely illegal to do this under UK law. We have things like the Data Protection Act.

How exactly would this be in breach of the DPA?

Comment: Re:Lesser of two evils? (Score 2, Insightful) 646

by IIH (#28898661) Attached to: Student Suing Amazon For Book Deletions

Wrong, the correct answer is: "We will discontinue the sale, but we can not remove existing copies from a users' devices." Then raise a stink if the publisher tries to coerce them to do otherwise

Since they have proven that they can remove the copy from the user's device (by doing so) if they said they could not, that would not be the "correct answer", it would be a lie. And, if the failure to remove the infringing data was a "will not", not a "can not", it would seem to be trivial to prove that any further infringement (by keeping it on the device) was wilful. (if they could remove it but _chose_ not to)

Comment: Re:US? (Score 1) 194

by IIH (#28800397) Attached to: Amazon UK Refunds Windows License Fee, With Little Hassle

If you don't like the manufacturers' policies, buy from someone else.

The policies are fine, the problem is that it is the _manufacturers_ are not sticking to it. The Eula for XP clearly states that it's refundable, so unless the manufacturers are able to change the licensing on a MS product, what they are (and must) be selling is the hardware with a refundable copy of XP installed.

Comment: Why is this a watering down? (Score 1) 143

by IIH (#25711651) Attached to: U-Turn On UK ID Cards

Did anyone really expect that the back end database would be checked for all use, no matter how trivial? No, of course not, so saying this is simply a statement of fact, and, if anything, an attempt to convince people that they are backing down, when it is nothing of the sort.

The most worrying aspect of the id system is the creation of the biometric database, not the card itself. The card itself may be the most visible, but it's almost a red herring, so you will see more ploys like this to show the government "giving in" on the card aspect, without any budge on the crucial part of the database itself, which is scariest part.

In short, this "watering down" claim is a decoy, and means less than nothing.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter