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Comment: Re:Risk aversion (Score 1) 169

by Registered Coward v2 (#47966277) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Wouldn't limiting the transfer of funds, via signed contracts or something, limit the risks of such a thing happening?

Possibly, and it is how most non-kickstarter projects are funded. the problem is not in how funding is done, however; it is in KS desire to assume zero liability for failed projects. If they start deciding if a project deserves more funding then they open themselves up to lawsuits when the project failed. By taking a clear hands off approach they protect themselves while still getting their cut. A start would be for them to refund their 5% cut of the raised funds for failed projects.

Comment: Re:Asking to end Child Support payments (Score 1) 182

by Registered Coward v2 (#47958913) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

It is not really extra effort. He stops paying until he is informed of her current address, at which point he serves her the papers. If he never receives her address, he never makes another payment and no further court action occurs.

There are a few problems with that approach. First, there are already means in place to serve notice when a current address is not known; this erely move stat into the digital age. While there are problems with this approach it's no worse than requiring a notice in newspaper at the last known address; i'd argue in some ways it's better since there is at least some reason to believe the account is active and tis may see the notice. Secondly, suspending payments would not necessarily end his obligation to pay and thus he needs a court order ending the liability for payments. Absent that a court could order him to make the back payments.

Of course, with the ruling I suggested in hand, he might also have a basis for requesting a court order to freeze the account in question, since the address on the account is not that of the registered account holder.

Even so, the person has not been served and thus might be able to fight any legal cation on that basis, leaving him still on the hook for payments up to a final decision. As for freezing the account because oaf a bad address banks have plenty of accounts with bad addresses and all that happens is eventually the state gets the money.

Even if he cannot obtain a court order, he can possibly make the bank uncomfortable enough about the account that they report it to the appropriate government agency for investigation as a "suspicious account" under various anti-money laundering laws.

I doubt a bank, let alone a law enforcement agency, would get worked up over a few hundred dollars being sent to an account with a bad address. Even so, a call to the person making the deposits would reveal they are court order child support an thus case closed.

Comment: Re:Asking to end Child Support payments (Score 1) 182

by Registered Coward v2 (#47958429) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

The gentleman in question was going to court to end the court order requiring him to pay child support payments for his now 21 year old son. It seems to me that a better solution would have been for the judge to issue an order to the provide the address for the account where the child support payments were being deposited. Followed up by an order suspending the payments if the ex-wife was not at that address until such a time as an actual address was found (the logic being that if the address the account was registered at was not at that address, then there was reason to believe that the account was actually being used by someone else). Confirmation of the correct account being found would come in the form of the court papers being served. Further the court could have ruled that the suspended child support payments would only be due if the court found in the ex-wife's favor on the petition which the man had made.

True, but that's a lot of extra effort and drags out the process or very little gain. He had already exhausted all reasonable efforts to serve her, and given she was active on Facebook allowing her to be served in that manner was reasonable. It seems to me she was trying to avoid a subpoena so the judge needed another way to serve her with some assurances she would get the notice. The judge could then stop the payments if she failed to appear; and once she noticed she wasn't getting the money could go back to court.

Comment: Re:Well, we really should be at that stage by now. (Score 1) 488

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.

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