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Submission + - GPL Enforcement under threat. Support Conservancy fundraiser. (

Jeremy Allison - Sam writes: "Some companies have withdrawn from funding us and some have even successfully pressured conferences to cancel or prevent talks on our enforcement work. We do this work because we think that it is good for everyone in the long run, because we know it is the right thing to do, and because we know that we are in the best position to do it. But that's not enough — you have to think it's right too and show us by becoming a Supporter now."

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 114

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Submission + - Software Freedom Conservancy asks for supporters

paroneayea writes: Software Freedom Conservancy has is asking people to join as supporters to save both their basic work and GPL enforcement. Conservancy is the steward of projects like it, Samba, Wine, BusyBox, QEMU, Inkscape, Selenium, and many more. Conservancy also does much work around GPL enforcement and needs 2,500 members to join in order to save copyleft compliance work. You can join as a member here.

Comment Re:What idiocy (Score 1) 302

I have stated as fact that the fear of individuals possibly carrying firearms and defending themselves is not a significant factor in the criminal mind.

Okay, I misunderstood your point. Duly noted.

Studies have also shown that criminals are deterred if they think their victims might be armed. See the decline in violent crime after concealed carry of firearms became more common:

Knives happen to have sharp edges, so trying to take one away is less of a winning proposition.

I'd really like some citations to go along with these claims you are making.

Hint, what you are saying here doesn't square with what my self-defense instructors have told me. The best single tool for self-defense is a firearm; a knife has a place in self-defense but it is definitely not the preferred tool.

We actively discourage vigilantism.

You keep phrasing things in weird ways, but if I'm not mistaken, you and I are in agreement on this point: society is currently telling people that they shouldn't do anything when violence occurs, just sit back and let the police handle it.

At which point you bring up a whole lot of inconsistent research that manage to conclude something with a 312.5% margin of error and with extremely poor experimental design, and from a biased source to boot.

Dunno where you get that margin of error. Professor Kleck's book about his research led to him being awarded the Hindelang Award by the American Society of Criminology. I guess they thought his research was okay.

Did you know global warming is bunk, too? Exxon-Mobil published a study. There is no pollution from coal at all.

Still waiting for you to offer any sort of citation to support your propositions. By the way, I hate coal.

You're a retard.

Huh. I think you are not worth my time and this will be my last comment to you.

Perhaps, however, you misunderstood my comment. If a guy with a gun goes into a school or whatever and starts shooting the place up, all the people in that school are his victims IMHO. The ones he shoots are the worst off, of course, but everyone else can be said to be the victims of assault at minimum.

You ascribed a particular motive to the people who don't attack a school shooter: "Nobody stands up to put a stop to it, because they might get shot a few seconds earlier."

So, did I misunderstand you again? Were you not saying that the people who failed to attack the shooter were motivated out of a willingness to watch others die rather than increase their own personal risk?

I explained the role of society in deterrence, and you claim victim-blaming. I specifically said the victim has NO POWER over the situation, and it's the fault of everyone else in the world.

It's possible for "victims" to take a more active role in their own self-defense, and I'm in favor of that. It's also possible for bystanders to take a more active role in the defense of others, and I'm in favor of that too.

I'm less interested in blaming the bystanders for not acting, than in changing society to make it more likely that bystanders will act.

You claim I'm blaming Sally for getting raped by complaining that Tim, Bob, George, Amanda, Mark, Joseph, and Bill all stood by and did nothing. Are Tim, Bob, George, Amanda, Mark, Joseph, and Bill the victim?

Depends on the circumstances. If they watch some brute assault Sally with his bare hands and they do nothing, they aren't any kind of victims, and IMHO they should do something. If, however, the rapist has a buddy who his pointing a gun at all of them to cow them into inaction, then they are victims as well. I would actually prefer that they do something, rather than standing around; obviously the worst victim is Sally in this horrific scenario.

I'll say it again: if some guy with a gun crashes into a school and starts walking around shooting people, everyone in the school is a victim of the guy. Some of them are victims of gunshot wounds, others are victims of assault and being terrorized. It is unreasonable to declare that the average untrained person is making a cold, calculated decision to watch others die rather than put himself at risk; more likely he is frozen, deer-in-the-headlights, having trouble processing the situation and unsure what to do.

You extended too far with your bullshit art. You got burned.

Or, you misunderstood my point and then were very quick to call me a "retard" and so on.

Well, have a nice life.

Comment Re:When guns are outlawed (Score 1) 302

I consider myself a libertarian, but I am a minarchist and not an anarchist.

I view the proper role of government as enforcing the contracts that people freely enter into, plus defending people from actual harm.

I've read the Utopian visions of anarcho-captialism, where the free market solves all the problems, but I don't believe in it. How do you solve the "free rider problem" with respect to national defense? When someone is just insane and will not cooperate, how does voluntary arbitration resolve a dispute that person has with someone else?

If you want me to believe in the cooperative model of anarchy running as a smooth society, please give me an actual example from history where a country operated as an anarchy and it worked. (I can give you examples of minarchy that in my opinion worked.)

Comment Re:What idiocy (Score 1) 302

Victims are harmless, armed or not; you take them by surprise and you take them down. If they have weapons, you take them away before they can use them--this is hilariously easy when you attack someone and they turn out to have a firearm. A knife is actually more of a difficult proposition.

Citations, please. You have stated as fact that nobody ever successfully uses a firearm to prevent a violent attack, and that a knife is more likely to work for this purpose.

There is solid research estimating that firearms are used in the USA about two million times each year to prevent a violent crime. Most of these "defensive gun uses" do not involve anyone being killed or even anyone firing the gun; the defender deterred the assailant just by having a gun.

If you think a knife is a better defensive weapon, please read through this discussion.

A society of armed loners who only care about themselves is a society of targets.

You seem to be arguing that the average person is a sociopath who is willing to just watch others be hurt.

I suggest to you that a larger problem is that the majority of people have no idea how to handle a violent situation. The news media, and many of our celebrities, push a meme that ordinary people should never be armed for self-defense, and by extension shouldn't even train for self-defense. The same people who would like to ban all firearms in civilian hands would tell you that people shouldn't fight back against assailants; they should let the police handle the situation. (As the old saying goes, though, "When seconds count, the police are just minutes away!" There is no guarantee that the police will arrive in time to save lives.)

If a person is totally untrained, and suddenly face to face with horrible violence, it is unlikely that the person will swiftly and decisively come up with a plan to counter-attack and take out the assailant. I don't blame the victims the way you seem to, but I do wish more people would train in self-defense.

I agree with Larry Correia: our society would achieve a net reduction in violence if more people got trained in the use of weapons for defense, and more people carried concealed firearms.

P.S. I once, in an online discussion, commented that if people shouldn't defend themselves but rather should rely purely on the police to protect them, maybe people shouldn't have fire extinguishers in their homes and should rely purely on the fire department to protect them. A person I was debating agreed with this proposition. I didn't agree with her but I give her props for intellectual consistency.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 174

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato