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Some of its 30,287 documents from Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and 173,132 emails highlights SPE inner works and thoughts on matters like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the case against Megaupload and the extradition of its founder Kim DotCom and the connections and alignments between Sony Pictures Entertainment and the US Democratic Party."
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the only reason people use Google is that it provides better search results
See my other comment above - the only reason it provides better search results is because they have more people using it, so other players can't provide a better nor cheaper product with respect to search.
That is not inherently bad as long as Google remains a monopoly by having better quality and limiting it to web search. But if they use that advantage to compete at other markets (such as advertising) not by having a better/cheaper product, but by exploiting all those users achieved through their natural monopoly, applying anti-monopoly laws makes sense.
First mover advantage plus the effect that having the majority of users can improve the quality of their results (in fact Google was *not* a first mover in the search space, but now they are entrenched). In the internet, code is law, and Google has a good amount of defining many technologies in widespread use - and more importantly, the way to learn about them.
A few weeks ago I read an analysis by a Mozilla blogger (which I can no longer find) of how, now that pagerank is less and less useful due to link farms and spammers otherwise attacking their algorithm, search quality depends largely on analysis of search terms introduced by users and the results they find interesting. This is a chicken-and-egg situation for any competitor: you can only improve your results by having more users, but they won't come if your results are not better than the market leader's. This is a natural monopoly, but one created by network effects and thus of the kind that can only be displaced by a disruptive process, not by regular competition.
And there's a similar effect for advertising - if there's a natural monopoly over the space were all users reside, then you must advertise in that platform in order to have enough eyeballs. It's the same mechanism that produced a lock-in for Facebook and Microsoft platforms back in the day - you go there not because the product is better, but because you need to interact with everyone who is doing the same.
In Europe we already tried allowing a winner-takes-it-all strategy where a very good leader keeps the monopoly over a (market/region/population), it was called an absolute monarchy.
It looks good for as long as the original manager (who reached the position as the best in a meritocracy) stays in place. It lasts for a generation, when the competent leader legates the role to their heirs, who may or may not be prepared to maintain the same level of quality service.
By that time, it is too late to displace the incompetent newcomers - all the network effects that entrenched the original leader as a monopoly are still in place and are too strong to overcome even when there are better alternatives, except by a disruptive process that redefines the rules of the game in full. I heard you Americans didn't like absolute monarchies? You should then understand the EU's position.
The last one about centralized email is prophetic, if you change "penis enlargement" to "terrorism".
Every time some links to the obligatory xkcd, I remember the numbered jokes joke.
Except that usually I don't need to follow the link nor see the number to know what joke it is referring to.
60% of the DNA is _definitely_ junk, as they consist of known repeated elements (LINEs, SINEs and others) and defunct genes. This is not an 'absence of evidence', we know exactly how this DNA has happened.
How do we know that those repetitions are not needed to accelerate (by parallel processing) some important process which, with a single expression, would otherwise be too slow to survive?
We don't fully understand how the phenotype is developed from the genotype, and it very well might depend on statistical properties of gene appearances in the genome, and not just their presence or absence. Is there something in biology science that could discard such possibility?
The world could have collaborated and built the modern Internet just fine on BSD licensed software, which is itself a variation of public domain.
True, but the nature of collaboration with BSD software would have been much more enterprise-y and committee-centered.
The idea of grass-roots FLOSS development only happened after Stallman's ideals of "giving back to the community" spread around with strong guarantees that their contributions would remain open, which didn't happen with the "public-domain-but-not-quite" that plagued the BSD-licensed but patent-encumbered UNIX systems.
I believe Stallman is credited for this because the average user never heard of Open Source or Free Software until the arrival of the GPL and its enabling of systems built with the Linux kernel and GNU userland.
You make it sound as if it was a coincidence that FLOSS took off at the very precise time that the GPL was created. It was not. The GPL is different from other permissive licenses in that it perpetuates the openness of the system it's used in; therefore it has a natural mechanism for survival of the project, that confers it an competitive advantage and makes it more robust against closed forks.
for whatever reason, FOSS and similar ideas were completely unknown to average users until the GPL took off.
This "whatever" reason may very well be that the GPL was created. The fact that source for all published modifications had to be released back to the project was a strong incentive way back for FLOSS developers to prefer contributing in GPL projects over BSD ones. It may not be that much relevant nowadays because the sharing culture has grown stronger, but the idea of "copyleft" and the "share and share-alike" was a necessary element to make it happen.
The Unix wars were still fresh in our minds, so we were all painfully aware of what happens when Big Megacorp forks a free system and releases a strong closed fork with commercial support, competing with the original project. In that context, copyleft is a guarantee that the software you've volunteered to will not be strangled by a strong vendor using the software without giving anything back.
The idea that big companies should support open source software as proof of their good will, even if the license doesn't require it, was mostly a consequence of the dynamics reinforced by the GPL mindset. Prior to that, BSD licensed UNIX vendors fought over the patents achieved on their particular variant and treated it as intellectual property to be defended, not as a shared resource to be cultivated.
Most of those will send an email link to the email address you had already registered with them.
And thus comes the danger of having all your logged-in email addresses accessible to whomever steals you phone, which was my original point.
So, you've never encountered a site with a "I've forgotten my password" option that sends you a mail to log in?
Anyway, it's bad enough that a thief can access all data in the logged in service even if they can't change the password.
Q. If your Android phone is unlocked, how easy is it to change the passcode?
You have to enter the old passcode before entering a new one, same thing to disable it altogether.
But it's more than enough time to access all the services to which you're logged in in your browser, and possibly change your password in them.
There's a frequent misunderstanding when people talk about freedom with respect to the GPL. The concept of "freedom" is itself not well defined, and historically there are at least two competing and somewhat opposing definitions, "positive" freedom (which is about maximizing the amount of things people are able to do) and "negative" freedom (not interfering with things that others want to do). The GPL is primarily concerned about the former, and your complaints are about the latter.
The goal of the GPL is that everybody can use the software for any purpose, and learn how any changes and modifications work; this is seen as a requirement to increase the amount of things that can be done with the software, guaranteeing that it can be adapted to any hardware or platform, with no commercial secrets getting in the way.
In order to achieve this goal, the GPL doesn't come "free" (as in "gratis", i.e. no cost): it has a cost that you must pay if you want to use it; but for anyone willing to pay it, there are no further restrictions imposed by anyone, for any modified version. In your case you *could* have merged your application code with the GPL library* for any purpose**, but you should be willing to pay the cost, which is to release your own source code when you republish the software. So, your negative freedom is reduced (you are forbidden from keeping your version of the software hidden and publish just the binaries), but the positive freedom of the system is increased - overall there are more people who know how to use your modifications and adapt them for other uses, which couldn't happen if you kept your modifications secret.
The expectation is that by adding contributions from many users to the pool of knowledge, the whole society sees an increase in the amount of possibilities to use the software ("positive freedom"); it's the same principle that motivated the patent system in the Renaissance. The "release what you know" cost is intended to publish knowledge that otherwise would not be shared, and thus cumulatively improve the whole system. Now, there are valid concerns that the upfront cost may instead work as a disincentive to participate in the system (both with patents and copyleft software), but that argument doesn't make less free.
* Assuming the original license and copyright law allowed it. (This is why the FSF recommends using only GPL-compatible licenses).
**(Including selling it, although with FLOSS software this typically only works once for each release).