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Comment: Re:Gee, so only a year of screaming (Score 1) 387

If I was a fanboy, I'd be telling you that there was nothing wrong with metro. And you were simply too incompetent to use the "improved UI."

Heh. The linux community has it's fair share of those, too, sad to say :)

I just find it funny (and I'm not pointing a finger at you here) how the same people can view something as a damning indictment in one context and a saving grace in another. I've thought this for a while, it was just your post brought it to mind.

Ummm... "mod trolls?"

Comment: Re:Gee, so only a year of screaming (Score 1) 387

And really, if you couldn't be bothered to replace the awful UI for something else, that's your own problem.

You know, that makes you sound a lot like a Linux fanboy: "All you have you have to do is recompile the kernel. And if you can't be bothered to change something as simple as a desktop environment, then there's no hope for you."

I always thought Linux was supposed to be bad because users couldn't be expected to have that knowledge and that windows was supposed to be better because that sort of hackery was generally unnecessary.

Funny how times change :)

Comment: Re:Protecting us from the stupid (Score 1) 321

by NickFortune (#46475363) Attached to: Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

If you don't know who has your credit card data, at any given time, including your children, perhaps you should start there! Why yes I do take due diligence and confirm every charge on my credit cards, debit cards, and bank accounts. Do you not? If not, do you trust your children with that information?

Not a problem I have, really. I don't have kids, and the cats haven't learned how to use my plastic yet. But, hey, you just congratulate yourself for being so diligent. I'm sure it's relevant to the discussion somehow.

This a technological window kids are exploiting because their parents gave them sufficiently advanced technology. Sometimes parents should tell their kids no. Don't do that, or I'll take that smartphone away.

I think the issue is more that the payment system didn't allow enough feedback for the parents to determine that their credit cards remained authorised for in-game purchases. And While it's all very well to read the riot act to your teenage son for abusing your card, it's hard to do that to a six-yearold that didn't realise all that extra time on candy crush was costing his mother actual money.

I'm also not convinced that disclaiming purchases on a card is an adequate substitute for a payment system that allows you to manage access to cards securely.

As much as people want to lambast Google for this, and I'm sure they'll now change it to auth for every app install, the idea of controlling this problem starts in the home.

I don't know about lambasting them, and I agree that if they've got any sense they'll fix this asap. I just I don't think they're entirely without responsibility. And I certainly don't think you can dismiss the issue by saying "ho hum - all the parents fault" as the GP attempted to do.

Comment: Re:Protecting us from the stupid (Score 1) 321

by NickFortune (#46475155) Attached to: Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

No, it whould be : create a different account for your child without access to your mails, facebook, [...] and credit card !

None of which would have made any difference in this case. The problem is not that the credit card authorisation is stored on the device. The problem is A) that once authorised, further transactions are accepted without the need for further authorisation for a 30 minute period, and B) that there doesn't seem to be any any way for a parent to determine that in advance, or to cancel the authorisation.

So they way to be responsible here comes down to "don't make in game purchases to your child". Which brings us back to the point that you might as well avoid Google devices and choose something that doesn't have this exposure.

Or, you know, they could say "whoops, our bad" and just fix it. That would work too.

Comment: Re:Protecting us from the stupid (Score 1) 321

by NickFortune (#46472303) Attached to: Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

Ho hum. Try exercising some parental responsibility for a change.

I suppose then that the responsible thing for a parent to do would be avoid using Google products and services wherever possible, given Google's apparent disinterest in providing software support for responsible parenting.

Do you suppose they'd be OK with that?

Comment: Re:It would be unenforcable (Score 1) 80

by NickFortune (#46468201) Attached to: As the Web Turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee Calls For A Web Magna Carta

Therefore its a meaningless gesture and nothing more than a publicity stunt for the anniversary.

I'm not sure I agree with that. I mean the idea of racial equality was unenforceable at one point in time. Did that make campaigning for equal rights a meaningless gesture? There are any number of systematic injustices that have been largely eliminated, and in most cases it started out by someone asking for something they couldn't enforce.

I guess if you want something to change, a good first step is probably setting down what you actually want.

And equating it to human rights is an insult to all the people in the world currently having their rights abused or taken away completely. Oddly enough billions of people manage to live quite fulfilled lives without going near a web browser. The same can't be said for those being oppressed ,tortured, starved or massacred. While I respect Berners-Lee, I think he's lost a bit of perspective on things.

I suppose on that basis, claiming free speech as a right is an insult to all those being murdered. Or claming a right to life could be an insult to those being brutally tortured to death. If you're comfortable quantify things in that way, at any rate. I'm not sure I am.

And really, I can't see what's wrong with demanding a right to live our lives free from pervasive government or corporate surveillance. It's not so much saying that we don't think the oppressed and tortured are important. Just that we think this is important, as well.

Comment: Re:Linux sales figures (Score 5, Insightful) 132

I think there's more value than an extra sale here.

Valve is offering game developers a single target in Steam OS.

Your're not wrong - but I think there's more to it than that, even.

Valve's concern is Microsoft's app store. They feel that MS are looking to lock down the platform, Apple style, and use the Ap store to charge a surcharge on any software installed, and to control what can and cannot be released. That impacts Valve both as a game developer, and as a distributor via Steam. I seem to recall they went on record to that effect not so long ago.

So Valve are throwing resources at turning Linux into a viable gaming platform. It's an investment in the future for them. And from the look of it, Crytek have come to more or less the same conclusion.

That's how I read it, anyway.

Comment: Re:Picasso (Score 1) 360

by NickFortune (#46154103) Attached to: Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

Sorry, but it just boils my p**s that everyone these days just thinks they have a God*-given right for unfettered access to anything they like for free,

Well, if you RTFA you'll see that the Mr. Walker spends considerable time explaining that this is not what he is advocating. No one is suggesting unfettered access. The law gives you a temporary monopoly over your own creative output. That is not in dispute.

What we are suggesting is that you don't have any innate right to stop other people reproducing or altering copies of that work, and that any such privilege is, and should remain, strictly time limited. And we're suggesting that the current length of this monopoly is perhaps too long, and that because of this it has become counter productive, stifling rather than encouraging creativity.

Why? Why the hell should that be the case?

Well, the legal tradition is that ideas are automatically in the public domain. Copyright law is a specific alteration to that state for a limited time. If you're a US citizen, then this is written into the Constitution. So the question really is "why not?" Common law, tradition, constitution, all argue for the public domain. If you want to make the case for changing that, fine. But you're going to need more than "why?" to make it stick, I'm afraid. (Full disclosure: IANAL).

If I pour loads of MY time and MY effort and MY resources into creating something, then it's MY creation and I want to keep it then I can, because it's MINE.

Sure. No-one is suggesting that a work of art shouldn't be considered as yours if you create it. Just that "ownership" may not carry as many privileges as you think it does when the concept is applied to art. And that those privileges should perhaps not apply for as long as you seem to think they should.

Comment: Re:As usual, the rich win. (Score 1) 125

Your comment is meaningless since it has no connection to reality or any of that actual facts of the case.

Umm... about this concept of "meaning". I don't think it means what you think it means. In particular, I don't think "meaningless" means the same thing as "metaphorical". It doesn't mean "as yet unsupported by actual evidence", either.

True, the judge may be "wrong". But you are suggesting a "payoff", which is extreamly unlikly.

See? You even managed to extract some meaning from the GP post yourself. Even if you did try and hide it inappropriate use of quotation marks.

Comment: Re:kind of ruins the point....... (Score 2) 308

by NickFortune (#45634027) Attached to: Physicist Peter Higgs: No University Would Employ Me Today

What is the university? Does it exist apart from the people giving it being? The "university" is nothing but shorthand for a group of people

I don't think that's under dispute. The objection seems to be to the needless anthropomorphizing of such organisations. Much the same way that Dijkstra objected to people anthropomorphizing computers, and for much the same reasons - it leads to sloppy patterns of thinking. Some people on this board have the same reaction to "Information wants to be free" as well.

The actual composition of the organisation, computer or data in question is not the point in any of those cases,

Pedantic troll is overly pedantic.

It's a subtle distinction, but I think it's a valid one. Certainly I didn't get the impression it was raised for purposes of trolling or of pedantry.

Comment: Re:Not happening (Score 3, Interesting) 304

by NickFortune (#45215041) Attached to: Torvalds: SteamOS Will 'Really Help' Linux On the Desktop

Nobody is going to ditch Windows for Steam OS and then only play games on it

Well, the folks who only play games on Windows might. Or they might dual boot, and use Steam on Linux. And a lot of people cite the absence of Triple-A games on Linux as being the big thing stopping them from migrating.

Certainly, it isn't going to hurt anything :)

unless Steam somehow starts being the "app store" as well, and cloud-saving extended to it.

Seems to me that Steam is already an "app store". Distributing non game software through it shouldn't be a problem, really.

Comment: Re:"by even Debian" (Score 1) 98

I guess I'm dealing with a first-class pedant here.

I strive to be clear. Perhaps if you did the same, you would find me less pendantic.

Vaccine research is a vital part of that effort, so to destroy lab samples before the job is done is akin to shooting oneself in the foot.

And at the risk of being pedantic, you didn't say anything about destroying the lab samples before eradication. Although even if you had made that stipulation, it still wouldn't indicate hypocrisy. A foolish extremeism, maybe, but then we're disucssing your words rather than mine at this point.

Yes, eschewing copyright gives us certain abilities, but that serves little purpose. To make decompilation more difficult, cautious vendors will turn to obfuscation, encryption, and compression techniques.

Hmmm, ok. Explain to me how that is different from what commercial software houses already do. And why it would be more effective post-GPL than it is at the moment. If you can do that I may have to concede the point.

The main aspect of RMS's open-source religion is that freedom is a choice.

Sure. Which means that you're free to choose the freedom of a small subset of software over the freedom of all creative works in the whole of our culture. Does that really sound like a good deal to you? Really?

Forcing short copyright (though not necessarily shorter) terms on an author is no more free than forcing long terms on the rest of us.

Are you really saying that continuing under the current restrictions on creative output is "freedom" while abolishing those restrictions constitutes "force"? Does that not seem more than a little Orwellian? "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" and all that.

There must be a balance between the rights of the public and the rights of the individual, and the ability to choose a license gives us the ability to pick where on that scale we wish to be.

It's a question of what you value most. From what you've written so far I'm not at all sure I share your priorities in this matter. I'm not sure many people would.

Just out of curiosity, does the term "goal displacement" mean anything to you?

Comment: Re:"by even Debian" (Score 1) 98

A more appropriate analogy is to be a hypocrite for pushing a law requiring all known malaria to be destroyed, including the samples used for vaccine work.

That word: I do not think it means what you think it means. Merriam-Webster defines hypocrisy as follows:

the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do : behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel

According to that definition, I don't see anything hypocritical in your analogy. In fact the poisition you suggest is admirably consistent. Now if your hypothetical malaria researcher was keeping his or her own stash of the disease for purposes of later backmail and extortion, that would be hypocrisy. But unless you think I'm capable of keeping a breeding culture of legislation in a test tube somewhere, it's really, really difficult to see how your analogy is more appropriate in any way at all.

Of course, M-W also defines the word thusly:

a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion

But the only way I see that applying is if you're considering Free Software as a religion (which may be well be the case for rms, of course). But I still don't see how it applies to me, since I don't claim to subscribe to the religion in question.

Without copyright laws, anyone could compile open-source software into a closed-source product, with no restriction. Since the redistributor has default permission to do anything (thanks to the lack of copyright), the GPL never comes into play, so it can't require that the software stays open-source.

On the other hand, we gain the freedom to decompile closed source, patch it and redistribute it as we see fit, distribute abdandonware and orphan works without any legal impediment. Obviously, it requires an opposition to software patents as well, but I don't see any inconsistency in that.

And, of course, that's just considering the benefits for software.

This inextricable dependency is why it's silly to promote the GPL while arguing entirely against copyright.

Only if you assume that ability for force a small subset of all software writers to publish their source code is worth more than freeing the 70 years of culture from creeping privatisation. Otherwise, it seems like more than a fair trade.

Comment: Re:"by even Debian" (Score 1) 98

As for RMS's views on copyright itself, I also recall an interview where he rightly lambasts the anti-copyright GPL-loving folks as hypocrites.

I've always thought that was a bit of an odd position. I mean, I think malaria should be eradicated. Am I therefore a hypocrite for thinking that malaria vaccine is a good thing?

Then again, I guess I'm not in the malaria vaccine business...

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.