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Submission The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement->

Jeremy Allison - Sam writes: The FSF and the Software Freedom Conservancy have announced "The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement".

"This document, co-authored with the Free Software Foundation (FSF), outlines basic guidelines for any organization that seeks to uphold copyleft licenses on behalf of the public good."

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Oh, that's ironic (Score 1) 576

There a lot more variability between individuals then between ethnic origins. Sure, the Olympics have demonstrated that at very high levels, black people win much more often than white people at a 100m race. But pick one black guy and one white guy completely at random on this planet. What's the likelihood of the black guy winning a 100m race? I'd say about 50%. The variability across individuals is just too much. Even if you had a precise way of measuring intelligence and managed to prove with 99.9% confidence that people of origin X are on average more intelligent than people of origin Y, it would mean absolutely nothing at the individual level.

Comment Re:The US cannot follow a pact (Score 4, Interesting) 38

So, why should anyone expect China to?

In fact, if I was a Chinese government official I'd be laughing at anything the US suggests. Maybe I'd sign the pact just for a joke though.

the thing is, what the U.S. politicians - and many people around the world - don't realise is that the Chinese Intelligence is so secretive it doesn't even have a name. its members operate in effect as independent cells, through word of mouth contacts, with absolute negligeable two-way contact with the outside world... even inside china and *including with the politicians*. remember, china's politicians, under the "one party state", don't actually have much in the way of power, and are not really that well-respected (or trusted).

so the hilarious thing is that the only way for the politicians to inform the Chinese Intelligence that there's a treaty that's supposed to be signed is, in fact, to announce it in the news and hope like hell that someone relevant, somewhere, in their lair / bunker / hideout, actually reads it. here's the problem, though: if those operatives happen *not to agree* with that treaty, as far as "China National Security and Interests" is concerned, then, well, they don't actually have to take a blind bit of notice.

the same goes for when all these attacks keep occurring. the *simplest* thing to say is "it was chinese hackers! they're nothing to do with us politicians! we have a policy of not attacking foreign assets! no really!" because for the politicians to even *admit* that it was Chinese Intelligence operatives - not that they could possibly find out who they were even if they wanted to - would probably result in them getting a knock on the door and them and their family deported to some remote area of China which hasn't changed in several centuries.

we in the West assume that just because the Politicians in Western countries make the laws, that other countries have to follow that exact same process. China's politicians - people don't realise - are *not* at the top of the food chain as far as power is concerned. They're not even second to top. on mature reflection, you might call that a good thing, as it means that they can't really screw things up.

Comment thinkpenguin (Score 2) 236

i recommend contacting for several reasons. firstly, yes they install GNU/Linux by default (so they've done all the hard work, and the research, in advance. is that worth paying for? yes!) secondly, they actually go to the trouble of replacing the BIOS with Coreboot. is _that_ worth it, and worth paying for? yes!

and thirdly, they make sure that the hardware that they've selected is FSF-Hardware-Endorseable, which needs some explanation as to why this is important - and it's not *actually* to do with some sort of stupid or idealistic or neo-fascist or brain-washed or self-righteous or [insert suitable continuation of series of derogatory sentences towards the FSF, Dr Stallman in general and their goals, here, which may be in your mind as to why you feel that you should completely ignore anything and everything associated with the FSF, which we're about to show you are completely moot] reason.

no, the clear benefit from buying FSF-Endorsed hardware such as printers, WIFI and 3G dongles etc. is that they JUST WORK. peripherals these days usually have built-in firmware. because the firmware is pre-loaded in FSF-Endorseable products onto NAND Flash or EEPROM, they're pretty much guaranteed to be more expensive than the devices that require the proprietary firmware to be uploaded to the device, from the main OS, before the device can actually function.... BUT...

what that means in practice is that if you don't *have* that proprietary firmware, or if it happens not to be compatible with the OS, or if you lose it, or if the file system becomes corrupted, or if you perform an upgrade of the OS, and many many other reasons all of which amount to a great deal of hassle, you cannot use that device, period.

the most ridiculous instance of this is that ethernet is becoming less common, CD/DVD drives are becoming less common, creating USB-sticks to boot-install systems has always been a pain, EFI-boot (only) is becoming more common.... how the hell is anyone supposed to install an OS when the only network access is WIFI, and the WIFI requires bloody proprietary firmware that has a license that prevents and prohibits that firmware from being installed on the bloody installation media?? how stupidly ridiculous a situation can you possibly get into! and don't get me started about usb-ethernet devices, which, due to them being USB, are often *excluded* from selection as a "main internet connection" during the install process, because, by nature of them being removable, the OS can't guarantee that the device will be there on the next boot.

avoiding all this hassle is what you pay for when you buy pre-vetted products from and other companies that are listed on the FSF's page . you can also go to and take a look there to see if what you want is listed.

so when you buy a product from you know that it's "just going to work". if you genuinely want to replace the OS, you can... and it will be a very straightforward job, unlike, i can guarantee, absolutely every other recommendation at the time of writing of this comment with a category "5" score here on slashdot.

ironically, and not surprisingly, thinkpenguin get less support calls (hardware "just works"). their customers are happier.... and so are more loyal. is that worth paying a bit extra for? yeah i'd say so.

Comment simple answer (Score 1, Offtopic) 191

What's your approach to detecting and dealing with Android malware?

don't use android. this is not said in a sarcastic, troll-baiting, flame-fest-demanding or other meaninglessly fucking stupid way or any other way which is to be misunderstood, either accidentally or deliberately. it is said in a simple factual way. if you use a monoculture OS, supplied in binary form only and, for commercial (profit prioritisation) reasons not properly supported by the manufacturer (no, google is NOT the manufacturer of the world's 3rd party android mobile phones, they are the supplier of REFERENCE platform source code which 3rd party manufacturers then take and produce their own customisation and binaries from, and because of the huge fuck-ups that have occurred when 3rd party manufacturers do that, they've been forced to do "flagship" products demonstrating how to do it correctly... but even so they *still* haven't managed to get round the huge "monoculture" problem), then i'm sorry to have to be the messenger here but just like when you run any other proprietary binary-only monoculture OS, then plain and simple, you get everything that you deserve: viruses, malware and more.

now, if someone wants to go and vote the paragraph above down just because it's quotes not nice quotes, i really don't give a monkey's. fact is, i don't use android, therefore i don't get android malware. no complications, no desire to risk my data or my time dealing with other people's crap proprietary "pseudo-open" software. got a problem with that? i genuinely don't care.


Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Android Malware? 191

An anonymous reader writes: What's your approach to detecting and dealing with Android malware? I have a fairly new, fairly fancy phone running Android Lollipop, the recently degraded performance of which leads me to believe that it's infected with malware. That, and a friend who noticed a lot of strange activity coming from my phone's IP — sorry, I don't have the logs, but he pointed out that there were pings coming from my phone to a lot of sketchy addresses — which pretty much seals the deal. There have been lots of stories lately about Android malware that remind me of the old saw about weather: everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it. However, that can't be completely true, and before I reach a phone crisis, I'd like to get some sane, sage advice about diagnosing malware, and disposing of it, or at least mitigating its damage. When it comes to diagnosing, I don't know what software to trust. I've heard positive things from friends (and seen both positive reviews and terrible negative ones, raising even more meta questions about trust) about Malwarebytes, so I installed their mobile version. This dutifully scans my system, and reports no errors and malware. Which doesn't mean there isn't any, though I'd be happy to find out that I'm just being paranoid. The OS is stock (Motorola Nexus 6) and kept up to date. I have only very conventional apps, all downloaded from Google's Play store, and believe it or not I don't visit any dodgy websites on my phone, at least not intentionally. So: what's the most reliable way to get an accurate view of whether I am dealing with malware at all, and hopefully to eradicate it? Good malware hides well, I know, but is there any tool on the side of the righteous that is currently best at rooting it out? If I find a specific form of malware on my phone, how can I remove it?

Crash Chrome With 16 Characters 205

An anonymous reader writes: Remember when it took just eight characters to crash Skype? Apparently it takes double that to take out Chrome: Typing in a 16-character link and hitting enter, clicking on a 16-character link, or even just putting your cursor over a 16-character link, will crash Google's browser. To try it yourself, fire up Chrome 45 (the latest stable version) or older and put this into your address bar: http: //a/%%30%30 (without the space).

Comment Re:It might finally be time for this (Score 1) 1291

Farmers (primary) have moved to become manufacturers (secondary). Then manufacturers are (mostly) moved to services (tertiary). Some of us have then moved to R&D (quaternary), but at this point it's far from clear that everyone can move there. So in the longer term, we'll really have to figure out how to make sure everyone can earn a living somehow.


Trademark Trolls Stops University Nicknames 102

chipperdog writes: Trademark and patent trolls have even found their way in complicating a university nickname selection, with people admitting to registering nicknames with the trademark office just to stop them or get rich off of them. The Grand Forks Herald reports: "The search for a new University of North Dakota nickname hit a potential new stumbling block on Monday, when former Bismarck mayor Marlan 'Hawk' Haakenson registered trade names for several of the Fighting Sioux replacement options under consideration. Haakenson said he registered the trade names in an attempt to interfere with the nickname selection process, though a UND official said such an attempt was unlikely to succeed."

Comment Costa Rica (Score 1, Interesting) 381

costa rica is, geographically, a nexus for the undersea fibre cables. translation: the internet connectivity is *fast*. intel has a major centre there. the advantage of costa rica - apart from being absolutely beautiful and one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet, is that they have NOT signed CAFTA. as a direct result of this they are still a sovereign nation. also, it's *really* hard to do mass-surveillance when most of the country is covered in dense greenery. you can get a tourist visa then, every few months, pay the $30 fine for staying a little bit longer. some foreigners have paid that gosh every few months for shock horror 20 years!


University Employees Suspended Due To Guest Worker Scandal 209

sethstorm writes: By sponsoring employees for use at an IT staffing firm, Wright State University may have broken new ground in guest worker fraud. According to the Dayton Daily News, 19 individuals were sponsored by the university yet ended up working for WebYoga, a firm controlled by (now-suspended) top Wright State officials. They also cited Wright State's exemptions regarding prevailing wage law and H1-b limits as attractive qualities. This has implications not only for the existing workforce, but to students that see the university putting its own staff ahead of them.

Comment modular computing (Score 1) 345

interesting timing. i've been working on designing modular computer products for the past five years, and just wrote up a white paper yesterday on exactly this topic

the fairphone 2 is designed as "modular" - it's not exactly "modular", it's (very unusually, for a smartphone) designed to be repairable. you have to have a screwdriver, but that's a lot better than a hermetically-sealed unit that needs a saw or scalpel followed by epoxy resin to undo the damage caused by getting into the device.

also... what happened to the "bloom laptop"? i know it was 5 years ago now, but the whole reason why they started the project was because the entire class of students and two professors were absolutely astounded that it took *three hours* to disassemble a standard laptop... into over 140 constituent parts.

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith