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Comment: Re:if you want your day in court (Score 1, Insightful) 215

by Raul654 (#46979675) Attached to: Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement

> Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

Because when all the basic facts are the same, it makes *a lot* more sense to have one trial covering 64,000 victims than it does to have 64,000 trials. The *only* people who benefit from having all those unnecessary trials are the lawyers. If anything, class actions are less profitable for lawyers than the alternative.

Furthermore, unlike this case (where each plantiff suffered substantial harm: tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each), imagine a case where the harm suffered is small-but-nonzero. (For example, a few years back, the music CDs with the rootkits on them. For most people, the harm is the cost of the CD, around $15. Maybe twice to four times that if you want to include the cost of rootkit removal) In those cases, nobody in their right mind is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to file a lawsuit to recover $15. So the victim's choice is a class action suit or nothing at all.

Comment: Re:Too Bad. (Score 1) 40

by Raul654 (#46414465) Attached to: US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown

I'm not a lawyer either, but FYI even if the judge had agreed to dismiss the charges, that would not be binding on other courts either. It would not have become binding unless one side or the other appealed and the circuit court and got a decision there. That decision would then become binding on *only* that circuit.

Comment: Re:Pitivi is such a POS (Score 3, Interesting) 79

by Raul654 (#46313801) Attached to: Open Source Video Editor Pitivi Seeks Crowdfunding to Reach 1.0

Agreed - it's a POS.

I installed Pitivi .15.2 from from the repos. It literally took me less than 2 minutes to crash it. It died as soon as I imported an mp3 to use as audio. (NOTE: Their website says not to report .15.2 bugs. They are evidently not supporting it anymore)

Then, following the suggestions posted here, I grabbed the latest version from source (which through trial and error, I found required adding a source repo and installing build dependencies before attempting to install from source). I configured it, built it, and tried to run it. It immediately errored out, complaining that I need to install yet more missing dependencies (GES this time). I googled the problem, saw lots of people complaing about this, and found some vague instructions on the pitivi wiki (http://wiki.pitivi.org/wiki/Building_with_GES) explaining how to install it.

At this point, I threw in the towel.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 1) 377

by Raul654 (#46237715) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

"Face it, the evidence is that the USA has no real interest in Assange." - that's bullshit. Even while denying that he's under indictment, the official who said it was only half-hearted in his denial: "Nothing has occurred so far," ( -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/... )

"So far" being the operative word. And that sounds like a lot more interest than none at all.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 2) 377

by Raul654 (#46237137) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

"It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden." -- except he isn't in the UK. He's in Ecuador. And when Whitehall floated the idea that they could violate the integrity of the Ecuadorian embassy to arrested him, it blew up in their faces. Doing so would effectively open up their embassies to similar retaliation by every other country in the world.

Comment: Re:"free" market solution (Score 3, Informative) 452

by Raul654 (#44963459) Attached to: Undiscovered Country of HFT: FPGA JIT Ethernet Packet Assembly

"Because the effect of that would be to push even more transactions into unregulated "dark pools". Why do you believe that HFT is harmful? Do you have any evidence, other than fear of something you don't understand?"

Yes - (1) HFT has the potential to cause extreme volatility swings. (2) HFT essentially introduces a tax on every other buyer and seller in the market (because it actually widens the difference between the post and the offer).

On point #2, I'll just leave this here: http://qz.com/95088/high-frequency-trading-is-bad-for-normal-investors-researchers-say/

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 53

by Raul654 (#43878129) Attached to: The Case For a Government Bug Bounty Program

It would be fairly easy to have DHS come up with a list of things (physical locations, services, etc) to designate as critical to national infrastructure. In fact, I'd be shocked if they don't already have such a list already.

The organization that runs these these locations/services would have to build into all of their software contracts a liability clause.

Problem solved.

Comment: Bad idea (Score 2) 53

by Raul654 (#43877571) Attached to: The Case For a Government Bug Bounty Program

This is essentially a government subsidy to software companies that produce crappy code.

Look at Walmart. it pays its employees so little money that they have to use government assistance like foodstamps and medicare. Walmart shareholders reap the benefit, and the public is left taking care of their employees.

Here's a better idea - if a company is making software that's critical to national infrastructure, make them liable for any bugs that occur (and for smaller companies, require them to carry insurance up to a certain level of liability).

Comment: Re:So . . . (Score 5, Informative) 66

by Raul654 (#42563243) Attached to: DOE Asks For 30-Petaflop Supercomputer

Back when I worked for Supercomputing group at Los Alamos, the supercomputers were categorized into 'capacity' machines (the workhorses where they did most of the work, which typically run at near full utilization) and capability machines (the really big / cutting-edge / highly unstable machines that exist in order to push the edge of what is possible in software and hardware. One example of such an application would be high energy physics simulation) . It sounds like these machines fall into the latter category.

Comment: Re:Treaties (Score 4, Insightful) 154

by Raul654 (#42287245) Attached to: US Refuses To Sign ITU Treaty Over Internet Provisions

Withdrawing from a treaty is not the same as violating it. In international law, the rule of thumb is that a country is only obligated to comply with the laws (treaties) it has ratified, and is not bound by those that it has not ratified. (Note: One debatable exception to this is the Nuremberg Principles)

Furthermore, countries are free to withdraw from ("repudiate") any treaty at any time, unless that treaty has provisions that provide specific steps for (or prohibit) repudiation.

Comment: Poor mediawiki syntax (Score 1) 196

by Raul654 (#42013931) Attached to: How Can Wikipedia's Visual Editor Top Other Word Processors?

Just throwing this out there -- two of the major hurdles to doing this right are (a) that Wikipedia's syntax is not formally defined, and (b) that its current implementation is (as defined by the output of the MediaWiki parser) is not a context free grammar. Which means that writing robust, fast parser for it is very hard.

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