Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:EPA and other like agencies have to know (Score 1) 355

Very true. Government regulators routinely fail in their jobs, either through direct criminal complicity with the violators or by gross negligence. Then, when their failures are revealed, they ALWAYS claim that they need more laws, more people and bigger budgets. Nobody in the regulatory agencies is ever investigated, prosecuted or otherwise held accountable no matter how badly they perform.

The 2008 financial crisis is the absolute perfect example. The government has the SEC, OTS, OCC, CFTC, FDIC, FBI, etc. all with regulatory power in the financial industry. Yet this army of bureaucrats utterly and completely failed to carry out their most basic responsibilities AND neglected to enforce the laws even when the criminal practices of the big financial firms was openly exposed. Government solution? More regulations and more bureaucrats in a new CFPB.

EPA agents must have been too busy (or too incompetent) to actually test a few vehicles for compliance with emissions laws. They were probably off threatening and harassing some small business owners who can't afford full time lawyers and compliance officers.

Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 0) 185

Someone has to set the educational standards for the entire country. ..and you're willing to leave that up to the whims of politicians?

We can't have 50 states marching to a different drummer, especially when we have a political culture that values ignorance over intelligence.

I think it's hilarious that you believe central authority is a remedy to this problem.


Comment Re:What a surprise (Score 1) 355

A special place in hell should be reserved for government bureaucrats who never designed or built anything, never ran a business and never had to actually provide value in excess of their exorbitant cost. It's easy to sit in a taxpayer-funded air conditioned office and dream up new rules which you can justify your existence by enforcing. Much harder to be the person that has to deal with them.
Every business is probably breaking some number of rules, knowingly or unknowingly.

Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 2) 185

I remember the push back in the late '70s and early '80s when the educrats were tossing around the term "computer literacy" to try to scare the politicians into giving them more money. A lot of kids who didn't give a shit about coding were forced to waste time writing BASIC programs to shit out multiplication tables and biorhythms.

Rahm Emmanuel should STFU about things he doesn't know shit about. Shame on anyone in Chicago who ever voted for that asshole.


Comment Bingo (Score 1) 368

the San Francisco and Silicon Valley communities have gotten themselves into a trap where preservationists and local politics

The housing bubble in the bay area is a direct result of government interference in the housing market. Every local government around here is extremely hostile to new construction, especially to increasing housing density.

A plot of land with a five million dollar single-family house on it would be worth far more if you put a ten-story apartment building on it, and it would make homes available at far lower cost for far more people.


Comment Re: ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

But it's combined by the user at runtime, not by canocal. The GPL allows an end users to do this.

This is a way that people kid themselves about the GPL. If the user were really porting ZFS on their own, combining the work and never distributing it, that would work. But the user isn't combining it. The Ubuntu developer is creating instructions which explicitly load the driver into the kernel. These instructions are either a link script that references the kernel, or a pre-linked dynamic module. Creating those instructions and distributing them to the user is tantamount to performing the act on the user's system, under your control rather than the user's.

To show this with an analogy, suppose you placed a bomb in the user's system which would go off when they loaded the ZFS module. But Judge, you might say, I am innocent because the victim is actually the person who set off the bomb. All I did was distribute a harmless unexploded bomb.

So, it's clear that you can perform actions that have effects later in time and at a different place that are your action rather than the user's. That is what building a dynamic module or linking scripts does.

There is also the problem that the pieces, Linux and ZFS, are probably distributed together. There is specific language in the GPL to catch that.

A lot of people don't realize what they get charged with when they violate the GPL (or any license). They don't get charged with violating the license terms. They are charged with copyright infringement, and their defense is that they have a license. So, the defense has to prove that they were in conformance with every license term.

This is another situation where I would have a pretty easy time making the programmer look bad when they are deposed.

Comment Re:What they really need (Score 2) 368

And if they put their new housing development near the transit, so much the better. It seems to me, as an East Coast observer, that San Francisco's high prices are due to physical limitations (like Manhattan lite) and rules against new development. If there are 100,000 homes, and 150,000 households wanting to live in them, you are going to have high prices. It should be possible for Seattle to avoid that.

Comment Individuals' vigilence (Score 2) 58

That's the one I chose, but if a company is loosey-goosey with their security, then there's nothing you can do in that case, but you can still prevent the spread of harm. Use unique passwords for each site, make up the answers for your security questions (but you have to remember them!), etc. I still keep all of my info old-school in a password-protected encrypted spreadsheet. I tried a password manager before, but many sites won't accept the software generated passwords because they have weird requirements. I also know my passwords for my important accounts and I always type them in, which helps me to remember them; I never have them stored automatically in the browser.

Comment Re:Decentralized power (Score 2) 415

I think the parent might have meant inefficient in the sense that they are way more expensive per kwh generated than large windmills. If you spend $1000 on a small setup which only produces 100 watts for an average of 8 hours a day, it's much more efficient (economically) to buy from a wind farm. And possibly environmentally too, since that $1000 represents a real amount of raw materials extracted and energy invested in production.

Now, if you can't connect to the grid, fine. But if you can, you should take this into account.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

Uh, that doesn't work. The problem is that doing exactly what you've written down is contriving to avoid your copyright responsibility by deliberately creating a structure in someone else's work which you believe would be a copyright insulator. If you went ahead and did this (I'm not saying that you personally would be the one at Ubuntu to do so), I'd love to be there when you are deposed. Part of my business is to feed attorneys questions when they cross-examine you. I have in a similar situation made a programmer look really bad, and the parties settled as soon as they saw the deposition and my expert report. See also my comment regarding how Oracle v. Google has changed this issue. You can't count on an API to be a copyright insulator in any context any longer.

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky