Thus, both Versata and their customers are in the legal dog house. Technically, Ximpleware doesn't even have to raise the GPL. All that they have to do is sue Versata and their customers for copyright and patent violations. If either tries to claim the GPL as a defense, then the response to that claim is that the GPL doesn't apply to this case because Versata didn't even try to abide by the terms of the GPL.
The code wasn't distributed for free. It was distributed under a choice of two separate licenses: One was the GPL, one was commercial. Clearly, the commercial license route wasn't taken, and the GPL license wasn't adhered to.
Irrelevant if the patent owners argument is accepted that the GPL license did not include a license to use the software because you also needed to obtain a license for the patent that the GPL'd source uses. It's like cops putting out a plate of free 'special' (unmarked as such) brownies next to a plate of $5-per regular brownies at back-to-school night and promptly arresting everybody who eats one of the 'free' brownies.
If Oracle pulled such a BS claim out in their Java lawsuits, everybody but the corporate lawyers would be puking in disgust at such a bold admission of intent to entrap users.
If I was a criminal, I'd buy used drives in bulk, and see if there was any data on them worth using (or ransom). Using a drive in a way that allowed plausible deniability would take some effort and technical knowledge
If you've got a number of drives to go through, wiping drives is a pretty simple process. Get a USB drive enclosure (or 5)... then plug in a drive, turn it on. Run the wipe and wait for the drive to finish wiping. switch off, switch drives and repeat. physical destruction is only called for if the writes fail.
Going beyond wiping a drive is only necessary if someone like the NSA is interested in your data.
Autocomplete and lack of sleep once had me send an email to my Ex's Ex. The content was benign thankfully. They had very similar email addresses and names so I then changed one of them significantly and removed the other entirely from my address book.
Wikis are a great example. You can have everyone contribute to them in areas they have expertise (even if the contributions are small).
Email gives communications with a backtrail - often necessary when someone in the situation is being an obstruction and you need to have a record of what you did, when you did it, what their response was (and I love the ones who always respond by calling or visiting to avoid email responses, but I deal with them by writing a summary of the call or visit and conclude with 'I assume this matches with your understanding and if I do not here a reply, I will proceed accordingly'), etc.
Conversations F2F are faster, more clear, and take less time. They do help resolve simple questions. Often, people won't want everyone to know they have a question they feel is dumb/ignorant, but they know they need to ask someone, so they'll go talk to one other person. They'd never post the question on a social network as it would reveal their self-perceived dumb/ignorant moment to everyone. Sometimes that is just a lack of self confidence, sometimes it is the key to job success (not appearing dumb to the key people above you - depends on how sensible your management is about all the stuff people have to know and learn in an ongoing career).
IME, if your work environment is such that you have to focus extensively on formal/informal distinctions in your work activities, then your work environment is not as productive as it could be. In places where that worry really exists, less actual communication and thus less actual work occurs.
I agree with all of your points (for large companies). I think this is generally a result of siloing and reporting chains that are vertical when necessary job activites are often horizontal across reporting chains.
I'd like to single out your point c. as a key example of why it is better to get along and go along and to be friends with key assets in your company. As an employee and a consultant working for other companies and requiring their technical assets to assist (when time is rarely budgeted for those assets to do so), I can say that it has always been a great idea to know, make friends with, and be thought of as a friend by:
i) IT staff (someone has a non-critical problem, I have a non-critical problem, that other person is a jerk to the IT department, I have lunch and commiserate with them.... guess whose non-critical problem gets first attention?)
ii) Admin/reception/payroll staff (timesheet issues and invoice issues get solved much more easily)
iii) Key developers in customer organizations (who then make the time to help a friend moreso than to help 'the contractor')
iv) Key developers and project managers in your own organization (who then listen to your issues if you present them carefully and sometimes this buys you extra time or management support)
A lot of times, it is just about listening to other people's issues re the job or their home life and being a bit sympathetic. Sometimes it means spending a few minutes of your time helping them out when you aren't obliged to. Combine these, and you've got both a sense of debt and a sense you are a friend and those go a long way in ANY setting.
This isn't a mercenary/manipulative concept - I actually do care about the people around me and their troubles. I know that if I help them, they'll usually help me if they can. Sometimes they can't and being understanding about that is pretty important too. If someone is swamped, recognize that and let them be - just ask if there is a time you might be able to talk to them once they are less swamped. Often times they'll be able to help you later in the day or the next day.
Exhaust all your own resources and solutions first before bothering others (unless they will take exhorbant amounts of time). When you go ask for help, you want the other asset to understand that you've done your due diligence and have actually hit a wall.
Another problem with some social networks inside companies is that they end up being trolled by management, HR, managers, etc. and so nobody wants to speak up much on them. Honesty that would come out in meetings of a few people who didn't feel threatened by one another or their manager won't come out on larger public forums where anyone in the food chain could be watching.
I haven't been following that particular escapade. All I will say is that culpability is suspected at this point -- but not entirely proven.
So, let's say a company (IBM) "donates" code that allows an Open Source software package support some unique (patented) feature on their hardware.
Is that charity, or a marketing expense to help the company sell more hardware?
Suppose that I give a group money to house homeless people so that they don't have to huddle around my air vents in the winter. Does that then make the homeless support group a commercial entity?? Charitable groups OFTEN support purposes beyond their direct purpose. That doesn't make them non-charitable... I mean how much do broadcastes make by broadcasting NCAA games?
You're splitting hairs here -- Most people give donations to charitable orginaizations because it, in some way or form, supports their goals. Rifle manufacturers give to the NRA. Drug manufacturers give to research groups at universities (I think that some of those agreements are VERY directly commercial -- especially when there are limits on how the results of the research can be used/disemminated).,,, etc. etc, etc.
The Geneva Conventions (a number of them at any rate) extend generally to uniformed combatants in the armed services of a government, not non-uniformed combatants working for an NGO or nobody (except in a very diffuse way).
However, for them to be criminals, there would have to be jurisdiction for legal process to occur. I'm fairly certain that the there is no law enforcement jurisdiction belonging the US in some of the places these combatants have been detained and removed from.
All of that said, these foes are best described as insurgents or terrorists. They are willing to engage both military and civilian targets, to impersonate members of any local police or military, and are not themselves signatory to the Geneva Conventions and thus denied their protections. Their tactics involve terrorism and generally involve destabilization of a region which would basically be an insurgency against the existing power structure.
That's who is responsible.
When Obama was elected, everything was going to be different. Warrantless wiretaps would be going away, Gitmo would be going away, extraordinary rendition would stop, and so on.
Then the new President got his first National Security Briefing. Then nothing changed and the surveillance powers extended, drone strikes intensified, Gitmo is still there, and so on.
His opinion was that once anyone understood the full nature of the varied threats and their agency leaders explained that the tools were very useful in threat management, this would inevitably happen no matter who was in the White House.