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Comment: Freedom is important in its own right. (Score 1) 206

by jbn-o (#49787299) Attached to: Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court

People should keep that in mind when they argue for non-free browsers over Free Software browsers such as Firefox, GNU IceCat, and others. Being free to control your Internet experience is critical, being free to decide what you want to take in is never totally in your hands when you run non-free (proprietary, user-subjugating) software. The proprietor always has the upper hand even if they don't use that power right away or in ways you don't see or understand.

Comment: Re:Russian rocket motors (Score 1) 59

by Bruce Perens (#49787045) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

Russia would like for us to continue gifting them with cash for 40-year-old missle motors, it's our own government that doesn't want them any longer. For good reason. That did not cause SpaceX to enter the competitive process, they want the U.S. military as a customer. But it probably did make it go faster.

Also, ULA is flying 1960 technology, stuff that Mercury astronauts used, and only recently came up with concept drawings for something new due to competitive pressure from SpaceX. So, I am sure that folks within the Air Force wished for a better vendor but had no choice.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 206

by Just Some Guy (#49785971) Attached to: Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court

Why would anyone, ever, think that me not looking at their ad should be illegal?

It goes a lot deeper than that. I am running software on a device I own. That software requests a resource from a remote service. After receiving it, the same software manipulates that resource in ways I have specifically asked it to in order to meet my needs.

The plaintiff's case is that they have a legal right to tell me how to view a resource once it's on a machine I own. Copyright etc. isn't involved; I'm consuming a properly licensed copy of the resource that they sent to me. I'm not distributing it, either in original or modified form.

There are already a million other ways I might modify that content today. I can apply my own CSS so that font sizes and contrast are to my liking. My web browser may actually be a speech synthesizer or braille reader. I may be viewing it on a mobile device that simply can't render it in its original form. But according to the plaintiffs, none of that matters: either I view it as originally intended or not at all.

If they're going to assert insane things like that, I suggest they form a W3C working group to publicize a standard way of describing what uses are acceptable for that content. Then my web browser could parse it, see "ADS_MAY_BE_REMOVED: FALSE", and give me a popup saying "This page is published by sociopaths. Continue?".

Comment: Re:Which string theory? (Score 1) 124

No, I agree. If Feynmann can't follow their calculations, there's something largely amiss. Then again, that was a while ago and for all I know they might be making perfect sense now.

But I still contend that "it sounds like gibberish to laypeople" is a pretty low bar to set. It's almost impossible to describe something like QCD to non-phycisists without stopping twice a sentence - "well, not a literal color", "not 'up' like in 'gravity'", etc. - even at the high school textbook level.

Comment: Context (Score 2) 59

by Bruce Perens (#49782349) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

This ends a situation in which two companies that would otherwise have been competitive bidders decided that it would cost them less to be a monopoly, and created their own cartel. Since they were a sole provider, they persuaded the government to pay them a Billion dollars a year simply so that they would retain the capability to manufacture rockets to government requirements.

Yes, there will be at least that Billion in savings and SpaceX so far seems more than competitive with the prices United Launch Alliance was charging. There will be other bidders eventually, as well.

Comment: A year from now: TWC on Overstock.com (Score 1) 180

by Just Some Guy (#49776053) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

"Please buy me! Won't someone please buy me?" How FUBAR is TWC that they're so ready to sell to someone, anyone? Either a) they had this in the pipeline before the Comcast deal fell through, in which case how many other deals are on standby?, or b) they brokered a major corporate sell deal entirely within the last month, presumably under immense pressure.

In my opinion, TWC is desperate to sell because there's an internal house of cards that's about to fall over. Someone needs to unload it quickly so that a pending spectacular failure will be on someone else's watch.

Comment: Re:Corporate media doesn't act in public's interes (Score 1) 113

by jbn-o (#49772449) Attached to: Privacy Behaviors Changed Little After Snowden

What you call "the slow way" is called journalism. Journalism, like scientific work or any other work worth doing, takes time to do. There are plenty of examples of independent journalism being done well, some have already been shared in this thread by others. Here are some more that come to mind: Democracy Now!, NOW with Bill Moyers and Bill Moyers Journal were both quite well done and worth watching reruns/archives (moreso the Journal), CounterPunch, Harry Shearer's weekly Le Show, and The Real News. All of these focus on issues of importance, get more deeply into those issues via interviews with those who have studied the topic in-depth via investigative journalism and those who work in the field, and leave you with pointers to more information you can study yourself. I'm sure there are so many more examples of this work being done well I didn't list but don't let that stop you from trying various sources and reading books (paper books, not DRM'd proprietary-driven computer-based readers that track you, threaten to cut off your reading, or deny you the other freedoms paper grants). You won't agree with everything you see, hear, and read but the point isn't to manufacture your consent, it's to get you thinking critically about the world outside the allowable limits of debate so often featured in mainstream coverage.

Comment: Corporate media doesn't act in public's interest (Score 1) 113

by jbn-o (#49769675) Attached to: Privacy Behaviors Changed Little After Snowden

But the corporate media (including repeaters like /.) are designed to hew closely to the "firehose" reportage which includes drawing conclusions quickly so people stay focused on what's coming next, and anything undesirable that somehow gets reported doesn't stick around in the reported consciousness for long. This is inherently incompatible with real life where, as you say, real change takes far longer to be seen. Adherents to the firehose approach implicitly say their take is a good thing (obviously few would argue they're actively promoting something bad) despite the foreseeable adverse impact on the public's welfare.

Comment: Comparing proprietors is not freedom. (Score 1) 529

by jbn-o (#49752087) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

So you're switching away from a browser that is still Free Software (which provides the ultimate configurability), the basis of variants (GNU IceCat, for example) that make it more convenient to respect your software freedom by only showing you Free addons by default, for a proprietary browser. And then you're getting lost in the weeds by debating the purported merits of one proprietor over another (Google vs. Opera) where you know so little about both such comparisons pale to what you give up by choosing any proprietary software.

I'd rather keep my software freedom, run more Free Software, and enjoy the wide variety of Free Software addons to help me keep browser privacy (NoScript, Priv3+, disabling Javascript-based clipboard manipulations, browser ID spoofing, and so on).

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.

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