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Comment: Re:Well, we really should be at that stage by now. (Score 1) 486

We should have been working hard at improving nuclear power, and solving its problems, to the point that this would, by now, be a no-brainer.

The US Navy has been all-in with Nuclear power. R&D has been non-stop. If they haven't "solved its problems", it's unlikely throwing even more money at it, would do so.

the real challenge to commercial nuclear shipping is the operations and maintenance costs; on the nuclear as well as secondary side. The Navy spares no expense in maintaining their fleet, training crews, and keeping large crews to oversee operations; all of which would add tremendously to the cost of a commercial nuke vessel and likely make it noncompetitive with traditional ones. Now, if you could have upscale how power is produced for space probes an run a nuclear-electric ship with a simple nuke side you might have a winner, at least form a technology and cost perspective.

Comment: Re:Might want to tighten the bolts on those sabers (Score 5, Insightful) 199

by Registered Coward v2 (#47866911) Attached to: China's Island Factory

International law on these issues is anything but clear, and are subject to a great deal of argument, which is why there are always contested areas.

As for the UK, it's a natural island that has been inhabited by the same peoples for centuries (at the least - you can argue about 1066). Now that's clear.

International law, as put in practice for centuries, is pretty clear: as long as I can beat the crap out of you I can sail wherever I want.

Comment: Re:Checks (Score 2) 160

by Registered Coward v2 (#47854735) Attached to: The Five Nigerian Gangs Behind Most Craigslist Buyer Scams

I gladly accept Nigerian checks on CL. This way the scammers are out of FedEx/UPS fee and I add another fake check to my office collection.

Not a good idea. You are dealing with crooks who may or may not have accomplices near you and you are giving them a real address. Check out 419eater.com for safe ways to do that if you want to bait scammers.

Comment: Re:One way to avoid (Score 4, Informative) 160

by Registered Coward v2 (#47854699) Attached to: The Five Nigerian Gangs Behind Most Craigslist Buyer Scams

This isn't your usual 419 scam. They're not offering millions of dollars to suckers.

What they're doing is buying stuff from Craigslist sellers with bogus checks that look awfully real. There's another step where they send a too-large check and ask for a partial refund. The checks are so good that they clear, and the fraud isn't discovered until weeks later, at which time your bank yanks the money back.

There's still hints of the usual 419 stuff in there, but you don't have to be either gullible or greedy. You simply have to misunderstand the idiotic system under which checks are processed, which is most of us. The idea that a certified check could fail, a month after you deposited it, is baffling to the majority of people who think of a certified check as practically good as cash.

The checking system is so screwed up that most sellers need to treat all checks with suspicion. But credit cards are expensive to process, and Paypal... is Paypal.

True, and that is what scam artists depend on to run their con. Banks in the US have to make the funds available after a set period even though the check has not cleared; i.e. the issuing bank has not yet accepted the check and verified that it was a valid check and the funds are available in the account. Most people think that because the bank has deposited the funds in their account that the check is good; a not unreasonable expectation because most checks do not bounce and thus they never realize the bank may not have actually cleared the check before the funds were made available. The law was designed to prevent banks from putting excessive holds on checks but a side effect was to give scammers a new way to cheat people.

Comment: Re:Shortest version (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47853077) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

I think I get the distinction he is trying to formulate. Red Hat focuses their products around their GNU/Linux distribution, that is without GNU/Linux they would not have a product. Rackspace on the other hand have a product that would exists even without OpenStack. Their primary gains in reduction of development costs, since other individuals and companies are contributing to the effort.

Basically these are the two vectors commercial companies have with free software. Either they provide ancillary services to existing software, that is they are basically consultants; or they copyleft some piece of software that is not their in business model and as a result reduce costs.

Good point. I can see where they would be considered two distinct models.

Comment: Re:Shortest version (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47851033) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Nothing in Stallman's philosophy precludes profit-driven development - on the contrary, he actively encourages it ! He precludes a certain METHOD of profit generation, not the idea of profit.

Your response is like saying "We can't have pollution standards because saying you can't make profit by dumping strychnine in my drinking water is the same saying you can't make profit at all".

There is absolutely no free software problem with profit.

Of course, and nothing I said is anything remote to your drinking water example. I did point out that profit drives much free software development; if only because it is difficult to maintain enthusiasm for development by volunteers over time or to get bugs fixed that are not of interest to the volunteers.

There is a freedom problem with software that are sold in one PARTICULAR bad way because the harms that it causes to the public far outweigh the profit earned by the seller.

The only thing Stallman has ever done is point out the age-old lesson that if you don't force the medicine seller to tell you what's in his medicine most of it ends up being snake-oil.

However, free open source software is not the only way to do that. The assumption that non-free software is bad and harmful and by extension free software is good and beneficial is incorrect on particle as well ideological terms. Stallman has a very narrow view of what software development should look like and even what constitutes "free." I simply disagree with the idea that his viewpoint is the correct one.

Comment: Re:Free SaaSS can exist (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47850761) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Contract law

But the source is free to the public, there's no terms and conditions I have to agree to. Indeed, it would no longer be Free Software, or at least it wouldn't be Open Source Software according to the Open Source Definition.

There are, as is pointed out in the link you provided, terms and conditions attached to the use of the software; which do not make it any less free. in fact they keep it free.

Comment: Re:Free SaaSS can exist (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47848983) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Again, the AGPL is a license that you must accept to use the software. You focus on the output which is not the issue; the issue is how you may use the software under the license and your obligation as a result of using the software.

Please name the legal requirement that I accept the AGPL in order to use the software. In the US, there is:

* Copyright law * Patent law

Patents aren't the issue here, and copyright law is not being invoked by merely making the software available on the network (and in fact, this use is explicitly defined as non-infringing).

Contract law

Comment: Re:Shortest version (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47848889) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

We agree on the definition of the the ancillary services and I agree RedHat makes their money that way. I'd say the dominate class would be things like Rackspace which develops (with RedHat) OpenStack but is primarily selling CPU, electricity, network and renting hardware. The management system they use is just an expense. Microsoft / Azure, Amazon / AWS, Verizon's cloud... would all be in the same boat. Or another example would be HP's work which makes its money selling hardware or enterprise packages to run on top of open source OSes.

It sounds like we are in agreement here. I'd consider Rackspace, Red Hat, et al similar OSS business models.

Comment: Re:Free SaaSS can exist (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47848841) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

which in this case requires making source available; just as the venue has to pay a fee when someone plays a copyrighted song.

This is incorrect. Songs are described differently than literary works in the copyright statute, software programs being literary works.

A performance of a song, as I listed, requires a license (and copyright law specifically singles out songs). However, the output of a software program is not copyrightable, and therefore no license is necessary.

Copyright law makes no distinction between using over the network and on your local monitor, and such usage is explicitly defined in US statute as non-infringing. How would you like it, or the FSF for that matter, if copyright law could be used to dictate that you sitting at your computer could be a copyright infringer by merely opening up the wrong application sitting at your desk? I suspect not very much.

Again, the AGPL is a license that you must accept to use the software. You focus on the output which is not the issue; the issue is how you may use the software under the license and your obligation as a result of using the software.

Comment: Re:Free SaaSS can exist (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47848703) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

I don't need to accept the AGPL to legally download an AGPL'd program, put it on my server, and let the general public use it.

Not correct. You use it under the terms of a license and must comply with the license as a term of use; which in this case requires making source available; just as the venue has to pay a fee when someone plays a copyrighted song.

Comment: Re:Shortest version (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47848459) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Actually no. Most of the successful open source business models are not ones in which the open source product is, for the entity writing the code, just an expense not a revenue source and broad participation help reduce that expense. The assumption had been that ancillary services would be the primary, and certainly there are plenty of those but that has not been the dominant class.

I guess we should star by getting agreement on terms. I consider red hat, for example, makes money selling ancillary services a as predominant model, where those services are everything from installations and updates to added features beyond the base GPL version. Does that agree with your definition? What do you consider the dominate class?

Comment: Re:Free SaaSS can exist (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47848435) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Except copyright law defines what distribution is, not the license. And the output of a software program is not copyrightable (by itself).

The AGPL may as well offer everyone a pony; if it's not being distributed (as defined by copyright law), the AGPL doesn't apply. Period.

You are confusing copyright with licensing. A copyright allows control over who may use the work and the terms under which they use it. If I own the copyright I can license the works under the condition if you modify it and run it on network you need to make the source available, which the AGPL does. Distribution, as defined by copyright law, has no relevance to this licensing requirement.

The output of the software is irrelevant to this discussion beyond invoking the AGPL if you have users other than you.

Comment: Re:Free SaaSS can exist (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47848165) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

If you're not distributing the software then the AGPL isn't going to help you.

Licenses only grant permission to distribute software; they're irrelevant if you're not distributing the software to begin with.

The AGPL is designed for network software so that if you modify the source and run it on a network you are required to make the source available to your users. It gets around the distribution requirements of the GPL by specifically adding the requirement to "offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network" a copy of the modified source code.

Comment: Re:Shortest version (Score 1) 326

by Registered Coward v2 (#47846987) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Its been 20 years. We've seen lots of successful open source business models by this point. Mostly people don't contribute when they get nothing in return rather:

B takes code written by A whom could care less about advancing B's purpose and as a result of the license ends up contributing to C for a purpose B could care less about.

Most of the successful open source business models have been around creating a business where selling support and ancillary services brings in the revenue and justifies ongoing development effort. OSS happened to provide a good foundation to build on but the underlying motive is profit driven; it just happens that others benefit as well. There's nothing wrong with that, in fact it helps strengthen support for OSS; it however belies the notion that if you make it free the community will create this wonderful product.

Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.

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