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Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 211

by BarefootClown (#46784465) Attached to: Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

There's no offer, there's no consideration, and there's no acceptance - there isn't even an offer *of* anything.

I know you didn't read TFA, but you could have at least read the summary:

...if they download coupons, or 'join' it in social media communities.

Coupons constitute something of value (consideration). Arguably, so do membership and participation in the social media communities. General Mills is offering those to users; the users accept when they click OK to join or download.

Just because they're of little value doesn't mean they're not consideration. Courts generally will not look to determine whether the consideration is adequate; it's up to the contracting parties to make that decision.

+ - 'Accidental' Siberian Mummies Part of Mysterious Ancient Arctic Civilization->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Russian archaeologists are trying to discover the origins of a group of 800-year-old bodies found just 29 km from the Arctic Circle, which were accidentally mummified by copper when they were buried.

The mummies were discovered at Zeleniy Yar in Siberia, in 34 shallow graves, and 11 of the bodies found in the medieval burial place had either smashed skeletons or missing and shattered skulls.

They may have been damaged by their peers deliberately to prevent spells emanating from them.

There is only one female, a child, who is buried with her face masked by copper plates, and three male infant mummies, who wear copper masks and were bound in four or five copper hoops that each measure several centimetres wide."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Possibly Worse Than That (Score 4, Informative) 211

by BarefootClown (#46784019) Attached to: Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

Contracts have to be negotiated and signed by two parties to be valid. You have to have an opportunity to modify the terms before exchanging money. Buying commodities doesn't meet that standard. Neither do post-purchase EULAs.

This is patently untrue, on many points.

First, there is generally no requirement that contracts be signed, or even in writing. A very few types of contracts are governed by the Statute of Frauds, which specifies that there must be a writing signed by the party against whom a term is being used. The specifics vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the linked Wikipedia article is reasonably representative. Outside the Statute of Frauds, there's nothing wrong with an unsigned, or even oral, contract.

Second, you do not have to have the opportunity to modify terms period, let alone before exchanging money. Terms may be offered on a "take it or leave it" basis; the Uniform Commercial Code, section 2-207 provides for how negotiation happens, and expressly includes an option to forbid any alternate terms. At common law, the principle is the same: there need not be an opportunity to make a counteroffer.

In this context, it would be entirely unreasonable for us to assume that respondents -- or any other cruise passenger -- would negotiate with petitioner the terms of a forum-selection clause in an ordinary commercial cruise ticket. Common sense dictates that a ticket of this kind will be a form contract the terms of which are not subject to negotiation, and that an individual purchasing the ticket will not have bargaining parity with the cruise line.

Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585 (1991)

As to "before exchanging money," it is very common for terms to be left open at the time of acceptance and tender:

Transactions in which the exchange of money precedes the communication of detailed terms are common. Consider the purchase of insurance. The buyer goes to an agent, who explains the essentials (amount of coverage, number of years) and remits the premium to the home office, which sends back a policy. On the district judge's understanding, the terms of the policy are irrelevant because the insured paid before receiving them. Yet the device of payment, often with a "binder" (so that the insurance takes effect immediately even though the home office reserves the right to withdraw coverage later), in advance of the policy, serves buyers' interests by accelerating effectiveness and reducing transactions costs. Or consider the purchase of an airline ticket. The traveler calls the carrier or an agent, is quoted a price, reserves a seat, pays, and gets a ticket, in that order. The ticket contains elaborate terms, which the traveler can reject by canceling the reservation.

ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg, 86 F.3d 1447 (7th Cir. 1996)
The ProCD opinion also cited to Carnival.

I cite specifically to ProCD because it was a post-purchase EULA case, and it directly contradicts you.

In short, every single point you made is precisely and exactly wrong.

Comment: Still far too ambiguous (Score 1) 103

by brunes69 (#46781893) Attached to: RCMP Arrest Canadian Teen For Heartbleed Exploit

IE, a polling organization conducts a poll for a vendor with a cost of one million dollars to the vendor to see which is the preferred widget, X or Y. Then, some third party comes along and points out a flaw in their testing methodology, thus invalidating all of the collected data.

That third party has "rendered that data meaningless, useless, or ineffective" and thus could be found guilty under this statute as worded.

This is just off the top of my head with 5 seconds thinking on it, I am sure many many such scenarios could be created. Data is not the same as physical property, you can't just take a property law and replace the word "property" with "data" and expect it to make sense (see the original "mischief" section above in the law).

Whoever got this on the books should be drawn and quartered.

+ - SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon->

Submitted by storagedude
storagedude (1517243) writes "Flash storage costs have been dropping rapidly for years, but those gains are about to slow, and a number of issues will keep flash from closing the cost gap with HDDs for some time, writes Henry Newman at Enterprise Storage Forum. As SSD density increases, reliability and performance decrease, creating a dilemma for manufacturers who must balance density, cost, reliability and performance.

'[F]lash technology and SSDs cannot yet replace HDDs as primary storage for enterprise and HPC applications due to continued high prices for capacity, bandwidth and power, as well as issues with reliability that can only be addressed by increasing overall costs. At least for the foreseeable future, the cost of flash compared to hard drive storage is not going to change.'"

Link to Original Source

+ - The science of groove->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Universities of Oxford and Aarhus used an online survey to ask people which drum tracks made them want to move, and which gave them pleasure. The drum beats varied in complexity and syncopation. They found that a balance of predictability and complexity in the rhythm made people want to dance most – funk or hip hop is better than free jazz, for example. Could this research be used to help generate code to create new hit grooves?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Patching.... (Score 3, Insightful) 284

by Zocalo (#46777613) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board
Blanket approvals and template documents that you can cut and paste notifications into are the way to go, especially when it's on a schedule like MS, Adobe & Oracle. If they push back, suggest a documented process (this is ITIL, right? You can avoid the need for a CAB if it's an approved and documented procedure) where you push the patches to a few test systems on Tuesday (in the case of MS) then deploy to the rest later in the week - whatever they are happy with - if there are no issues. Depending on your timezone Tuesday PM or Wednesday AM are good slots for weekly CABs to pick up this; push to the test servers on the day, then the rest at the end of the week. For *nix, i've done updates this way for anything that didn't require a reboot so only stuff like Kernel updates and major low-level libraries needed to get approval via a CAB.

For everything else, it's your call. Either the patch waits for the next regular CAB or you play the game and keep calling emergency CABs when there are justifiably critical updates, such as Heartbleed, or for the inevitable critical updates from MS every second Tuesday that impact your systems. The best tactic is to embrace ITIL and make it work for you, not allow them to make you jump through hoops and spend your time crafting unique documents for every patch. It also serves as a useful procedure check to make sure you don't mess up and have a contingency plan for when you do, and ultimately, if you get it right, you still get to dictate the schedule and make them do things in ways that you are happy to work with.

+ - System Administrator vs Change Advisory Board 1

Submitted by thundergeek
thundergeek (808819) writes "I am the sole sysadmin for nearly 50 servers (win/linux) across several contracts. Now a Change Advisory Board (CAB) is wanting to manage every patch that will be installed on the OS and approve/disapprove for testing on the development network. Once tested and verified, all changes will then need to be approved for production.

Windows servers aren't always the best for informing admin exactly what is being "patched" on the OS, and the frequency of updates will make my efficiency take a nose dive. Now I'll have to track each KB, RHSA, directives and any other 3rd party updates, submit a lengthy report outlining each patch being applied, and then sit back and wait for approval.

What should I use/do to track what I will be installing? Is there already a product out there that will make my life a little less stressful on the admin side? Does anyone else have to go toe-to-toe with a CAB? How do you handle your patch approval process?"

+ - The squishy future of robotics

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The field of soft robotics is fast growing and may be the key to allowing robots and humans to work side-by-side. 'Roboticists are prejudiced toward rigid structures, for which algorithms can be inherited from the well-established factory robot industry. Soft robots solve two huge problems with current robots, however. They don’t have to calculate their movements as precisely as hard robots, which rely on springs and joints, making them better for navigating uncontrolled environments like a house, disaster area, or hospital room. They’re naturally “cage free,” meaning they can work shoulder-to-shoulder with humans. If a soft robot tips over or malfunctions, the danger is on par with being attacked by a pillow. The robot is also less prone to hurt itself.'"

+ - Bidding at FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted for Large Carriers

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Rumors have surfaced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will restrict bidding at their TV spectrum auction in 2015 to effectively favor smaller carriers. Specifically, when 'auction bidding hits an as-of-yet unknown threshold in a given market, the FCC would set aside up to 30MHz of spectrum in that market. Companies that hold at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market then wouldn't be allowed to bid on the 30MHz of spectrum that has been set aside.' Therefore, 'in all band plans less than 70MHz, restricted bidders—specifically AT&T and Verizon (and in a small number of markets, potentially US Cellular or CSpire)—would be limited to bidding for only three blocks.' The rumors may be true since AT&T on Wednesday threatened to not participate in the auction at all as a protest against what it sees as unfair treatment."

+ - Anti-tech protests in San Francisco turn out to be underhanded ploy by union

Submitted by execthis
execthis (537150) writes "In the news over past weeks and months have been stories about protests in San Francisco in which buses for Google have been blocked by protesters. Today it is revealed that a union is behind these protests, which amount to a dirty tactic on their part to attempt to humiliate the City and County of San Francisco government into giving raises to their employees. In other words, they have been faux protests staged by the Service Employees International Union as an underhanded attempt to gain leverage and force the city to give them wage increases. Its interesting to note that there recently were other seemingly faux protests in front of Staples stores, this time by the postal workers (I say seemingly because they did not appear to openly reveal that they were in fact postal workers)."

Comment: Re:Overstating the case (Score 1) 579

by Zocalo (#46764499) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Heartbleed is a score for closed source. Those trying to spin it like this is open source working are delusional.

So, if this were to have happened in a closed source library, another company would have been looking at the code in order to discover the bug *how*, exactly? Even if the bug had been found by a white hat, the only recourse would have been to raise a bug report with the vendor and hope they actually did something about it. The failure for open source here isn't the development model, it's the fact it took two years for the vaunted "many eyes" to get around to looking at new code in a critical piece of the tool chain. As I noted, that's something that can easily be addressed by forcing commits be vetted before acceptance, and potentially other ways too, but again, you could also apply that approach in a closed source shop.

Comment: Re:Overstating the case (Score 3, Insightful) 579

by Zocalo (#46761381) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?
This, and I suspect a lot of shilling by proprietary software vendors playing up the "many eyes make bugs shallow" thing. This wasn't so much a failure of the open source model as it was a failure to properly vet commits to the code of a project before accepting them into the main tree, and that could happen just as easily on a closed source development model as an open source one. That might be OK for small hobby projects, and perhaps even major projects that don't have quite so major ramifications in the event of a major flaw, but hopefully this will serve as a wake up call for projects that aim to form some kind of critical software infrastructure. For such projects requiring that commits be reviewed and "signed off" by one or more other developers would perhaps have caught this bug, and others like it, and could perhaps work very well in conjuction with some of the bug-bounty programmes out there. Of course, "Find a flaw in our pending commits, and get paid!" only works if the code is open for inspection...

Comment: Income taxes? I'm an expat you insensitive clod! (Score 3, Interesting) 385

by Zocalo (#46756925) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
Some countries don't even have personal income tax, and apart from the U.S. I don't know of any others that require their citizens pay income taxes on wages earned overseas. Admittedly several of the countries on the list are not the best places to live, but for non-USians it's perfectly possible to avoid paying income tax altogether.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.