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Comment: Re:Executive Branch (Score 1) 228

by darkonc (#47366791) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US
It doesn't "prove" anything that the emails were destroyed. The legal principle is that it can be assumed that there was incriminating evidence in the emails. One of the questions, though, is whether due dilligence was done to secure the emails in question. It is quite possible that the drives really did all die. Manufacturers have bad batches of drives from time to time. It's possible that a bad batch was purchased by the IRS.

I haven't been following that particular escapade. All I will say is that culpability is suspected at this point -- but not entirely proven.

Comment: Re:Yes, maybe... (Score 2) 228

by darkonc (#47366777) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

So, let's say a company (IBM) "donates" code that allows an Open Source software package support some unique (patented) feature on their hardware.

Is that charity, or a marketing expense to help the company sell more hardware?

Suppose that I give a group money to house homeless people so that they don't have to huddle around my air vents in the winter. Does that then make the homeless support group a commercial entity?? Charitable groups OFTEN support purposes beyond their direct purpose. That doesn't make them non-charitable... I mean how much do broadcastes make by broadcasting NCAA games?

You're splitting hairs here -- Most people give donations to charitable orginaizations because it, in some way or form, supports their goals. Rifle manufacturers give to the NRA. Drug manufacturers give to research groups at universities (I think that some of those agreements are VERY directly commercial -- especially when there are limits on how the results of the research can be used/disemminated).,,, etc. etc, etc.

Comment: Double-dipping. (Score 1) 182

by darkonc (#47016271) Attached to: FCC Votes To Consider Next Round of 'Net Neutrality' Rules
I already pay Shaw (I'm in Canada) $60/month for a 10megabit connection. If I then have to pay Netflix extra money so that they can pay Shaw to allow the connection to run at 10Mb/s, then Shaw is double-dipping. If I've paid for 10Mb/s then I should GET 10Mb/s if it's technically feasible to do so.

Anything else is false advertising, contractual interference, and/or a Sherman Act violation.

Comment: Re:Seriously. (Score 1) 222

by darkonc (#47016233) Attached to: The Physics of Hot Pockets
If you don't have a problem with Hot Pockets, then you probably have a freezer section that borderline doesn't work. If a hot-pocket is nearly thawed when you throw it into the microwave, it will have pockets of semi-liquid that quickly heat up and help to thaw the internals which then heat up nicely. It doesn't have a whole lot to do with the power of your microwave.

The other solution is to run the thing on 'defrost' for a couple of minutes -- (a short blast of microwaves every 10 seconds or so, with time for the recently-heated liquids to thaw the area around them)... then follow the normal directions to get a properly hot hot-pocket.

Comment: Re:Spreadsheet vs DB (Score 1) 281

Playing with large data sets is more of a pain in a spreadsheet ... and if they have 10K records now, it's not a shock that they'll grow to 100K in a few years. If you're designing for growth, then putting the break, today, at 10K is reasonable. Also, if you've got over 10K records, chances are that you will (eventually) be answering yes to some of the other questions -- like having multiple people doing updates and/or queries on the data.

Comment: Re:Overreacting (Score 1) 384

That's part of the 'invisible hand of the market'. If I don't like the fact that you're pissing on my color/orientation/clothing style, I can refuse to do business with you and discourage my friends from doing so.

It's called 'leverage'. If you don't like it, you don't have to participate in the marketplace. ---- "rather than pissing and moaning about" people talking to their friends.

Comment: Re:the power of the internet .... (Score 3, Insightful) 88

by darkonc (#46803769) Attached to: General Mills Retracts "No Right to Sue" EULA Clause

Who in their right mind would think that they could sneak in a clause that takes away already recognised rights, without VERY public and international comment.

10 or 15 years ago, that wouldn't have been something to take into account. A couple of people would have groused about it, and their friends might have paid attention, but the macro effect on the company would have been trivial.

Consider that Microsoft, for example, has gotten away with language like that in a piece of software that 90%+ of desktop computers are sold with, and that it's actually difficult to buy a computer without. Meaningful protests??? Roughly zero.

Comment: Re:I'm curious.... (Score 1) 88

by darkonc (#46803763) Attached to: General Mills Retracts "No Right to Sue" EULA Clause
In this case, "legal' means "a court will rule that the clause as valid". Clauses that force you to go to arbitration rather than court (including class-action lawsuits) have been held as valid in the past -- including for things like software 'licenses' for purchased software.

This clause was pushing the envelope even further, and it's unlikely to have been held as valid (under these specific circumstances), but the fact that it's there might be enough to cause an unhappy customer to cave in and settle for less than (s)he might have in the absence of this clause.

The marketing debacle, on the other hand, isn't something that lawyers normally pay close attention to.

Comment: Re:Wat? (Score 1) 582

by darkonc (#46764071) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?
Anybody who states it that categorically is stupid, ignorant, full of hubris -- or setting up a straw-man.

The problem here is that people have been using the argument that Open Source is better because these issues can't happen "because" of the visibility.

Pretty much anything built by man is subject to errors. That includes source code -- open or closed. Any sane programmer knows this. The difference with open source is that the code is open to the users. Especially in the case of security, correctness is a high priority for many users, and those users can drive the bug-hunt process. As such, bugs tend to get found and fixed (sometimes proactively) faster with Free and Open Source code than with proprietary code.

For companies, on the other hand, security and correctness, in general, is a cost centre. It's often only pursued to the extent to which ignoring it affects profits. If it's considered better for the bottom line to ignore/hide a critical security bug than to fix it, then it may never get fixed. -- "Better for the bottom line" includes being paid to keep a bug open by the NSA/KGB/MOSAD/etc. The well-being of the customer base is only a (indirect) part of the profit calculation.

"Bad for the bottom line." Includes fixing code that you're no longer actively selling -- unless the bug hurts your public image too badly.

That's why, for example, XP is no longer going to be supported -- despite the fact that perhaps hundreds of millions of machines still use it.

Redhat 7.2 isn't officially supported by Red Hat, either -- but despite the fact that the current user base is probably in the range of hundreds or thousands, somebody who considers it critical infrastructure and can't/won't upgrade it can still arrange to get bug fixes because the source is legally available. RedHat isn't the gatekeeper for support the way that Microsoft is for Windows. RedHat is simply the (highly) preferred source of support.

Comment: What's needed is a Class-Action Lawsuit. (Score 1) 328

by darkonc (#46761983) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket
Comcast has been messing with people's net feeds for a while now. People have been paying for N-Megabit connections and, to the extent to which those connections have been with NetFlix, those connections have been wilfully and needlessly degraded to well below N-Megabit.

TIme for a mass refund. period.

(also time for some law firm to make megabucks litigating this issue)

User hostile.