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Comment A little off. (Score 1) 213

They don't understand that _any_ consultant could help them because the software source is available.

You are exactly correct that is a mind-set problem based in fear.

Business people are often not smart in the ways of "optional thought". They have game-plan mentalities based on team trimumph over all comers. (Next time someone tells you they are majoring in or have a degree in "business" ask them which sport they played in high school. No really, they act stunned and are all "how did you know?" in wonderment.

So they need someone to go to without thought. A vendor under contract is like the special teams in football. It doesn't matter how terrible your field-goal special team is, now is the moment you punt and it's then it's the punters fault we lost. Coach said so.

So business, particularly big business, is about apportioning blame (renamed "responsibility") because it's run like (and usually by) loss-adverse athletic reasoning.

There's a good reason that the entire tech explosion of the last fifty years happened outside of "normal business channels" and is full of geeks. What was done required non-linear thought by the drivers. Those companies all _hired_ MBAs to run the boring balls from legal to HR and back, but the innovation was done far away from the MBA's sight.

That's also why the Carly F.s of the world totally consumed companies like HP and turned them into "also rans" in their own fields. Get enough bankers and business men "on your team" and they'll crush the geeks before they realize they sold off or frightened away all the talent.

Innovation can be a team sport, but only a cooperative team sport like hakey-sack or "the floor is lava". 8-)

Comment Re:OSS is not compatible with businessmen. (Score 1) 213

Didn't read very closely. I said "selling software" was insupportable but selling experience (e.g. professional expertese) [which is "service"] does work.

I was complaining that a business man who was already in the job of selling service for a zero-markup product (windows) couldn't seem to understand how selling service for a zero-dollar-cost OSS operating system was identical. Said business man was mentally caught on the horns of the word "Free" rather than being open to the fact that its the exact same transaction for his bottom line (but without the licensing compliance hassle and cost).

If you couldn't figure out that the "few" who do understand the model and sell the service _included_ RedHat...

Well your "only an idiot" comment just lays there on your plate like a dead crow waiting to be eaten.

Comment Limited: the stupidist possible model for transit (Score 1) 622

There is zero "per-bit" cost for data transmission. The cost of a circuit is all physical plant. That is, the _actual_ cost is installation and maintenance and right-of-way and rent. All of which are dependent entirely on real wall-clock time. Metering something with a natural maximum capacity and no unit cost is the stupidest model _possible_.

When the various people decided to put a price on the data itself they created a bottomlessly hungry monster. That monster was the total cost of all the peering agreements that _also_ put a price on the data itself and a race between all the providers trying to claim their receptiveness was more valuable than their transmission burden.

So the current market is _boned_ because it isn't driven by any market force except greed.

In a rational world I could sell you an unlimited link to my backbone at a known fixed speed, with the understanding that your effective throughpt and potential delay to any destination is simply not something I can control.

Then the market force would be "Provider X is too congested, I'll switch to provider Y". The cost of the link and the speed of your first/last mile, and your best bet for a good provider with a good backbone would be your selling points.

So the problem with the internet here in 'merica is that it's become a Libertarian Ideal Toll Road... Its clogged up, over priced, full of unmet promises, and barely functional. People are all trying to over-burden "the best" roads because the normal roads have all fallen to shit. The service providers have had to limit the hell out of their points of connection because each one is metered so the mesh has become a set of inter-linked long-armed stars where my transmission of a packet to a business down the block may pass through several of these united states.

If the costs weren't inflated by the per-bit pricing and predatory nonsense then the connections between networks wold be much more open. People wouldn't be worrying about "who's data is on my network" and most routes would be much more direct. Each provider would see user uptick as a opportunity to shorten their net spans instead of a call to throttle their nets. The best networks would promise not a speed in megabits but shortest transit time off their net. Bulk providers (Goggle and Youtube, vs Netflix, etc) would be invited to make as many close-end and colocated insertion/service points as they could muster.

An "unmetered" internet just works. Ask most of the rest of the world. You pay to connect. You take your chances for throughput. And all the effort and human and monetary expense is spent to get your data to its destination by the best route possible. Then Open Shortest Route does the work so you don't have to.

NOTE: This doesn't hold for "unlimited data storage for free" models. It's _incorrect_ to conflate transit and storage, everything is completely different for storage. That's the difference between being able to use a road and needing to build bigger warehouses.

Comment Re:Except for... (Score 1) 213

Android: Control of market share (the software is given away for free)

Google: Control of advertising revenue (the software is given away for free)

Tesla: Sells cars and batteries, (software updates are free).

Most of the Internet: pay for services.

Kinda making my point.

Comment OSS is not compatible with businessmen. (Score 4, Insightful) 213

The core problem isn't that OSS is incomparable with "business", it is only incomparable with the business of "selling software".

OTOH, I spent several hours going round-and-round with my brother inlaw. He runs/owns a company that installs business solutions (computers and software) into other businesses. He was all "I could never make money on open source platforms" using linux as the O.S. because it's free. But he readily admitted that installing Windows had a zero profit margin because of licensing.

There is also the ready admission that having a Windows service contract (again sold a essentially zero markup because of the licenses) doesn't garantee that Microsoft will issue you a patch if you complain about a problem. You are basically just paying up front for the chance to be told to work around a problem or the "opportunity" for an unsupported patch that you'll have to buy again if you upgrade.

Business men have no idea how to deal with OSS because they tend to mimic others and very few have ever done it. The idea of having a line item for zero-dollars that already had zero markup when the line item was non-zero dollars, is mystifying.

So here's this smart guy running a services business, but unable to see how he could charge to service OSS. But companies service OSS all the time.

The true failure, deeper in, is the idea that every incremental correction and modification is precious and must be hoarded and monetized.

And further in still is the complete failure to understand things like the up-front cost of a GPL project base is "disclosure", and that disclosure of those incremental changes is very cheap. Compare embedding linux kernels in things to the up-front and per-unit costs of Wince or VxWorks. Then really _think_ about how non-money-value your fix to that one serial driver really is compared to the item you wan to sell.

Companies tend to forget which businesses they are _not_ in. Selling software is not sustainable, but selling experience (games) and experience (professional expertese) are. So is selling "devices".

So its a problem made up of compounded risk adversity multiplied by inherently unimaginative "business thinking".

Comment Gentoo silently does the same thing. (Score 1) 358

I made a comment that included the word "porn" while discussing playback on a Gentoo IRC. I didn't discuss porn, or details of porn, but I got a ban just for using the word "porn". Then when I complained it was "strongly suggested" that I make a personal apology to the offended party. When I refused my "one month ban" was upheld.

But three years later my "one month ban" is still in force.

So the "personally offended" person, being an "important person", got me that treatment.

So at least Go is being up-front about the sort of interpersonal bull that actually rules other "overly correct" projects.

I call it "being exclusively inclusive".

Comment No "Autotools" or CMake configuration layer (Score 1) 185

The very first thing I tried to compile under Go's build scheme failed because of headers I don't have for a sub-service I don't need.

It was the "cups connector" for Google cloud print and it wanted libavahi.h even though I don't want or need any of that local network auto configuration stuff.

If the build system can't do what "configure" (autotools) does, or CMake, or CPAN, or any of the other portability systems, then it's not really portable is it.

Go? It went right to bit-bucket for now.


In Baltimore and Elsewhere, Police Use Stingrays For Petty Crimes 213

USA Today reports on the widespread use of stingray technology by police to track down even petty criminals and witnesses, as well as their equally widespread reluctance to disclose that use. The article focuses mostly on the city of Baltimore; by cross-checking court records against a surveillance log from the city’s Advanced Technical Team, the USA Today reporters were able to determine at least several hundred cases in which phony ("simulated") cell phone towers were used to snoop traffic. In court, though, and even in the information that the police department provides to the city's prosecutors, the use of these devices is rarely disclosed, thanks to a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI and probably a general reluctance to make public how much the department is using them, especially without bothering to obtain search warrants. From the article: In at least one case, police and prosecutors appear to have gone further to hide the use of a stingray. After Kerron Andrews was charged with attempted murder last year, Baltimore's State's Attorney's Office said it had no information about whether a phone tracker had been used in the case, according to court filings. In May, prosecutors reversed course and said the police had used one to locate him. "It seems clear that misrepresentations and omissions pertaining to the government's use of stingrays are intentional," Andrews' attorney, Assistant Public Defender Deborah Levi, charged in a court filing.

Judge Kendra Ausby ruled last week that the police should not have used a stingray to track Andrews without a search warrant, and she said prosecutors could not use any of the evidence found at the time of his arrest.

Comment Re:government insanity (regulatory capture) (Score 1, Troll) 133

The government policies didn't "encourage" loaning to such people. They specifically _forbade_ it. The problem was that the deregulation regime didn't provide any "stick" to back up that prohibition. So on one side it offered a financial carrot of massive proportions, the other side just said "it's your duty to not do X and Y and to make sure that you are being good."

The people who bought, paid for, and essentially wrote the legislation, that is the banks, didn't put any "and for every time you fail your duty by doing X and/or Y you will be charged $Z language.

This is called Regulatory Capture, or it's an eventual but certain outcome of regulatory capture. The law was balanced in "intent" and wording, listing things that were good and bad to do and ordering that none of the bad things be done. But it had no teeth to bite bad behavior.

Much as the entire libertarian and "small government republican" agenda, the "we all know what's right so the market will fix it" stuff falls apart in the trenches because without penalty all business and behavior becomes a choice between "do I eat the ice cream now or do I make an ice cream sandwich and then eat that"? If there is no "bad boys get their ice cream taken away" there is no reason expressed by market forces to not be a bad boy.

Example: the theory is "the market isn't going to buy his stuff if he is a bad man polluter of his river" is, in practice, "the people down stream _might_ not buy his stuff because he's polluting their water, but there are lots of people upstream who don't even want to know about the pollution and will buy his stuff."

So the "mortgage lenders" knew that they could make toxic loans and sell them upstream to banks knowing that the government who lived down stream would have to deal with the shit in the financial river eventually. But why would the mortgage broker care, the "free market" already paid him for his product.

"Free Market Capitalism" is the worship of the carpetbagger and the insistance that nobody can escape forever, but if you give everyone a head start thats longer than the statue of limitations, and you don't even make it against the law, nobody is even chasing the crooks.

Comment So back to the old way when the laws worked (Score 1) 392

The bulk of the laws involving surveillance pivoted on this "Close" work. It was hard to do, and it required some motive to be "worth the effort". So in the old days where you needed to intercept physical mail or actually enter a property to spy, the laws were in balance.

Of late the state has had a free ride, with the information being pumped into it at central stations and spycraft was just a click away. And the state has gotten fat and lazy, and with the decreased minimum effort the spying has become free. And the state, fat and happy, likes it that way.

But strong encryption would put the state back into the footrace. It would require the same work and effort as the old days. Boo farking hoo. It was _supposed_ to be hard to spy. The entire Big Brother 1984 idea was about the destructiveness of surveillance made too easy to bother being selective. The "just watch everybody" economy of effort leads to gluttony and abuse. We kwow that.

So Omand's "warning" is that of the plaintive child. But mom, then I'll have to _try_ and I want my participation trophy!

So Omand has made the case for why strong encryption should be universal so that the state cannot engage in universal surveillance.

Comment If it's a "subsidiary" it's within reach. (Score 1) 749

If it was a Mexican _partner_ you'd be right. If it's a Mexican _subsidiary_ you are wrong.

A "subsidiary" is an owned asset. If you own an asset and it was in Brunei and you are here before the court, the court can order you to surrender that asset because you onw it and you are subject to the law where you are.

I don't have to subpoena you in Brunei if I've got you here.

Your only defense is if Mexican law makes it _illegal_ for you to move or copy the asset. In that case you'd have the "the court cannot require me to break the law" defense, which is not the same as the "it's far away" defense Microsoft is attempting.

For instance, lets say Fidelity (a french company) was required, in French court, to produce my financial records for the purpose of auditing Fidelity for alleged misconduct. And let's say Fidelity didn't want to do so. They could resist the production order under various U.S. laws such as HIPPA if my records incidentally contained medical information.

Likewise, if the E.U. privacy regulations covered some or all of these documents then Microsoft _could_ _have_ argued _that_ against the production order. Same for things like Attourney Client Privilege and any number of other things. I work for a company in the U.S. that is a wholly owned subsidiary of a brittish company. But the brittish crown and court cannot successfully supponea any of our non finincial documents because we do defense work and so U.S. law would prevent the export of that material. But the money stuff is fair game.

So too for paper documents. The "that would be illegal" defense cuts very fine. If the documents were in Afghanistan, and printed on pure marijuana leaf, then you could argue against shipping the original documents here because marijuana is illegal here. But the court could then require you to photocopy or fax the documents here on a more legal paper.

Now people have been talking "warrant" vs "subpoena" and I don't actually know for sure which thing is happening. A demand for surrender (subpoena) is different than a warrant to enter and search. This sounds like a subpoena not a warrant, as a warrant woudln't be served to Microsoft here, it would be processed by the foreign government and would be served _there_ by local law enforcement.

Given all that, "the old paper courts" are no different than the current paper courts. The "on a computer" bit is immaterial.

If Microsoft controls the documents personally, or through an agent, and a "subsidiary" is a kind of agent with lots of legal precident, the documents are fair game unless an actual law in the other jurisdiction says they are not. Paper or not.

The question is one of control not format of storage.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig