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Comment Re: ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 267

But it's combined by the user at runtime, not by canocal. The GPL allows an end users to do this.

This is a way that people kid themselves about the GPL. If the user were really porting ZFS on their own, combining the work and never distributing it, that would work. But the user isn't combining it. The Ubuntu developer is creating instructions which explicitly load the driver into the kernel. These instructions are either a link script that references the kernel, or a pre-linked dynamic module. Creating those instructions and distributing them to the user is tantamount to performing the act on the user's system, under your control rather than the user's.

To show this with an analogy, suppose you placed a bomb in the user's system which would go off when they loaded the ZFS module. But Judge, you might say, I am innocent because the victim is actually the person who set off the bomb. All I did was distribute a harmless unexploded bomb.

So, it's clear that you can perform actions that have effects later in time and at a different place that are your action rather than the user's. That is what building a dynamic module or linking scripts does.

There is also the problem that the pieces, Linux and ZFS, are probably distributed together. There is specific language in the GPL to catch that.

A lot of people don't realize what they get charged with when they violate the GPL (or any license). They don't get charged with violating the license terms. They are charged with copyright infringement, and their defense is that they have a license. So, the defense has to prove that they were in conformance with every license term.

This is another situation where I would have a pretty easy time making the programmer look bad when they are deposed.

Comment Re:I don't think it will mean much (Score 1) 191

"Meat stock, you're revving up a slippery slope. I'm overriding that shit."

Meat stock? That's only after you're in a severe crash, and all that's left of you is soup. Anyway, traction control is awesome. If you have some actual traction to work with, and your TC is four-wheel, then it is ridiculously great.

Comment Re:Don't contact aliens. Don't. (Score 1) 169

ALONG WITH most alien species are completely AFRAID of humans as they know our true potential. They want NOTHING to do with us until we grow the fuck up (spiritually.)

You must be assuming some galactic police force existing too, then, because if they're afraid of us and developed enough to be aware of us they can almost certainly send us a rock that we can't cope with.

Comment None of the above (Score 1) 48

The real problem with identity theft is that courts are granting judgements which absolutely should not be granted. Someone got a judgement against me for credit granted on the basis of a check cashing card with my social security number written on it, and not very well I might add.

Of course, another way to fix this problem (and all debt problems) would be to make all debt the responsibility of the lender. They can take risks, they can accept collateral, but the courts couldn't then be used to ruin people's lives in pursuit of profit. The guy who created this bogus debt in my name knew it was bogus, and his filing against my credit report was therefore fraudulent. But the court should have caught it, and they either don't care or want to enable this activity so that they can profit from the assorted fees and justification for their existence.

Comment Re:Why not just lock down the radio portion? (Score 1) 134

WiFi routers aren't like mobile phones with separate application processor and baseband. Instead, they only have one chip,

some phones have only one chip, and some wifi routers have multiple chips. I have examples here both of wifi routers with the wifi separate and with the wifi integrated.

Only the very cheapest routers can only be implemented with a SoC. Lots of the more expensive ones already aren't.

Comment Re:Show us the data (Score 1) 403

The FAA and other regulatory bodies have to have a notional value of a human life to be able to balance the cost to society of new safety rules against the benefit to society in terms of lives saved.

Yes, but note their interpretations differ, and are either based on some notion of cost, or just made-up bullshit to justify their other actions. The insurance companies are actually paying out money, which is why I suggest looking there. I think they're probably a better reference for the value of health than of life, admittedly.

Comment Re:Remarkable people (Score 1) 334

A remarkable number of people are intelligent, well-adjusted and successful in their lives, and still manage to hold one or several of the beliefs above without ever experiencing any sense of disconnect.

Without ever consciously experiencing any sense of disconnect, you mean.

Those remarkable people

There's nothing remarkable about willful ignorance. It is the normal state for the majority.

Comment Re:not a very good article (Score 2) 169

TFA (not the linked wikipedia article) basically just asks the question, "what if an alien's sensory systems (vision and hearing) were far more acute than ours?", and then gives a rather superficial answer to that question.

I knew it would do that when I started running into grammatical errors. I was right.

TFA seems to be trying to make the argument that if an alien's vision or hearing were better than ours, the alien would not be able to comprehend our electronic visual displays or sound reproductions. The argument is not convincing at all, though. After all, we have color vision, but black and white media still works quite well for us.

They were arguing that our displays depend on persistence of vision, and that this creature won't have any. A preposterous notion, because persistence of vision is in the brain, not the eye, and we've known this for over a hundred years. But this argument pales next to the stupidity of the argument that a creature with a higher hearing range wouldn't be able to perceive our audible communications. Really? That's so stupid, I can't even stupid how stupid it's stupid. We have pets with higher hearing ranges, and they can literally understand what we are saying in some cases as their brains are sufficiently developed. They're claiming a smarter entity with more advanced senses won't be able to understand us? That's nothing short of idiotic.

The truth is that aliens are not unlikely to look a lot like us, because you still have physics to deal with no matter where you go. A creature with four legs is still at a disadvantage when it comes to industrialization. You need some manipulators attached to your body, but not too many because more parts just means more to go wrong, it's actually a liability. Too much hair makes it hard for you to manipulate fire, which you need to advance as a tool maker. If you can't walk upright, you can't free your hands for masturbation.

Comment Re:Bad design? (Score 1) 63

Please tell me what personal information I'm missing that's "foolish beyond reason" to throw out:

I don't think it takes much for it to be foolish beyond reason. If you reason it out, it costs you little to nothing to deal with that stuff some way smarter than throwing it away in the airport or your hotel. Most people won't bother to use reason. Most of them won't actually suffer for it anyway.

Comment Re:From TFA (Score 1) 403

Is this the "freedom fries" version of touché?

No, their peaker plant strategy involves two antique steam locomotives. Shays are great because they have three vertical cylinders (on one side of the locomotive!) connected to a gear drive. They produce a lot more torque than, for example, a Heisler (with its rather typical pair of horizontal cylinders), which really comes in handy when climbing steep grades — but they also produce more horsepower, which is ideal for electrical generation.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll