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Comment: Re:No Windows OS (Score 1) 591

by Scott Wood (#43382835) Attached to: If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

There's a big difference between information about the programming interface of a device, and "blue prints" that would allow a competitor to easily implement a copy. It might make it easier to produce hardware that works with the same drivers, but probably not easier than just writing new drivers for totally unrelated hardware (unlike in the DOS days where drivers were embedded in application code, and hardware compatibility was the only reliable approach).

There is lots of hardware with open source drivers -- how often does that result in the hardware being cloned?

Of course, some devices are relatively simple things with all the intelligence in the driver software. In that case, you'd have more of a point (though you could still document the interface to the hardware itself), but that's more about selling software than preventing a clone of the simple hardware. It doesn't justify a general statement that Linux driver development is "pure hell".

Comment: Re:No GPL if taxpayer funded (Score 1) 277

by Scott Wood (#39237379) Attached to: GPL, Copyleft On the Rise

This is the FSF's position, but some people think the requirement to preserve the BSD license text is a "further restriction" relative to GPLv2.

Even if those people are correct (one might argue that the text the BSD license says must be preserved falls under "appropriate copyright notice", or is close enough that a court would not find it a substantial breach of the GPL), explicitly dual licensing is useful to satisfy said people's paranoia, especially if you want your code merged into their project.

Of course, if we're going to start interpreting the GPL that strictly to the letter, section 2a of GPLv2 gets violated constantly...

Comment: Re:Poll Tax (Score 1) 390

by Scott Wood (#38120418) Attached to: WRT to the next major election where I live:

Do they provide transportation to and from the office where you need to apply for such an ID?

What about people that are citizens, but lack the documents required to get a state ID? Not everyone is born in a hospital, and not all parents of home births are responsible enough to file the birth certificate -- especially for older births when such things weren't as important as they are today.

Adding barriers of any sort is going to depress legitimate turnout, so it had better be stopping enough fraud to be worth it. If you suppress more legitimate votes than illegitimate, you have failed in making the vote outcome better reflect the desires of those eligible to participate.

Such suppression disproportionately affects the fringes of society -- and we know who *they* vote for, so guess which party pushes voter ID laws...

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 243

by Scott Wood (#35103604) Attached to: Senate Panel Backs Patent Overhaul Bill

I need an investor to write software? Even if I have one, I need to burn valuable startup capital patenting every little aspect of my product that someone might want to patent?

Does "first to file" only make a difference with prior inventors that did not disclose, or does it interfere with prior art that has been made public by way other than patenting?

Personally, if there are multiple independent inventors within a short period of time (disclosed or otherwise, as long as you have evidence that it happened, and was independent), I think that should invalidate the patent altogether as being an obvious progression from the current state of the art. Or at least give joint rights to the patent to everyone involved.

Comment: "it died but only after a huge upset" (Score 1) 509

by Scott Wood (#34976616) Attached to: IRS Nails CPA For Copying Steve Jobs, Google Execs

So, they're operating with no good guidelines in a system that makes it hard for S corporations with highly variable income to avoid burdening themselves with fixed salary costs -- and they like it that way, since they opposed the proper fix, which is to recognize that this is all ordinary income, and should be treated as such -- just as the profits of an unincorporated business would be.

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