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Comment: Re:No GPL (Score 1) 152 152

Stallman believes that proprietary software is immoral. I suspect he thinks people who are not sociopaths can do immoral things.

There are some things F/OSS excels at. However, it doesn't do well in niche markets, or areas that programmers tend not to consider fun or interesting. Eliminating proprietary software would make the world a lot poorer, and there's no reason to think F/OSS would pick up the gap.

Comment: Re:Indeed it probably doesn't matter (Score 1) 152 152

No. You're simply distributing without a license. This means that you can be sued for monetary damages and be told to stop doing what you're doing (and if you don't comply things get worse). You can only agree to license terms by agreeing to license terms.

Comment: Re:If you're using GPL code, you have no choice (Score 1) 152 152

I'm not following. There's two parts that get linked together, A and B. The combination must be released under the GPL, and any part of the combination may be used under the GPL. Anything containing A must be released under the GPL. The BSD-licensed B may be used elsewhere under the BSD license. You only need to conform to the GPL if you don't have another license for the code you're using.

Comment: Re:Probably GPL, but depends on Apple (Score 1) 152 152

BSD is pretty much compatible with every license, including proprietary ones. Microsoft has incorporated BSD code (at least they've issued the necessary notices). Nobody seems to complain, except when somebody using a GPL version uses BSDed code. Somehow, that's considered evil.

The most practical thing may be to keep the BSD code separate, modify it and release the modifications under the BSD, and keep that license available for that specific code. The combined work has to be released under the GPL, but individual components can be available under other licenses as well.

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 310 310

I drive to get places myself primarily, meaning my car is usually parked somewhere, and I can generally avoid driving when I feel unsafe. If I were driving for a living, I'd be on the road much more, and I'd have a financial incentive to keep driving even if I felt too tired or sick. Therefore, if I'm driving commercially, I'm more likely to get into accidents, and therefore cost my insurance company more. This is a sweeping generalization, of course, but laws have to work that way.

Comment: Re: Oracle is GPLd now, then. (Score 1) 173 173

No, the GPL doesn't automatically put other code under the GPL. It forbids releasing a program containing GPLed elements under any other license. There's a difference. I don't have to accept the GPL, but in many cases that's the only license I can get it under, so it's the GPL or violation of copyright.

If I were to write a program incorporating your GPLed code, and released it under a proprietary license, I'd be violating the GPL, and therefore would be distributing somebody else's copyrighted material without a valid license. The legal remedies you'd have would be to sue for monetary damages and/or an injunction to prevent me from further distribution. As an option, I could re-release my stuff under the GPL, and then I'd have a valid license, but that's not an option the courts could force.

Comment: Re:What an opportunity! (Score 1) 357 357

Austerity, in the form of reducing government spending and increasing taxes, reduces the stimulation of the economy. If the economy is going good, this is an excellent time to do it and cut national debt, but if it isn't doing well an austerity regime will hurt the economy, so there's more of a demand for government services and less income to tax, and so sticking to austerity will put the economy into something of a death spiral. It just plain doesn't work.

Devaluing currency works much better. It lets the economy function naturally. It automatically raises the cost of imports and lowers the cost of exports, helping balance trade. It allows the government to spend money on those who need it. The money will be worth less, but it will be worth something. Nobody gets arbitrarily screwed.

Think of it as the economic version of Daylight Saving Time. Asking individual businesses and government agencies to change their hours in the summer would create chaos, but just shifting the time zone has the same effect fairly smoothly.

Comment: Re:The Nature of Central Banks (Score 1) 357 357

Where to start...

What country is forced to borrow all of its currency from a central bank? Central banks aren't the source of money. If the US decides to print more money, they do that. They don't borrow it.

Paying back principal and interest? The whole frippin' idea of a business loan is that you borrow money to generate an income stream sufficiently large to be able to (among other things) pay back the loan. The economy is not a zero-sum game.

The reason every commercial bank in the modern world practices fractional reserve banking is that they have to make money somehow. If they have to keep all the currency they've got in a vault, they can't make money with it, and so they'd have to charge depositors for safekeeping. Moreover, it would be impossible to get a loan from a bank, since they wouldn't have any spare money. Without fractional reserve banking, we don't have banks in the modern sense, and banks have proved invaluable in running an economy.

For example, I've got some extra money. If I deposit it in a bank, somebody else who needs capital for a business can borrow it, provided it's using fractional reserve banking. If that's outlawed, then somebody who needs capital needs to stump around looking for individuals with extra money, and convince those people to lend money. I'm not ready to evaluate possible loans for how reliable they are. I'm not in a position to watch my money go away when the business goes bust. In other words, we add a tremendous amount of friction to the process of matching investors with entrepeneurs if we ditch fractional-reserve banking.

Comment: Re:Replying to myself (Score 1) 357 357

Long-term, Bitcoin has no future in such exchanges. If I want to pay somebody in another country in Bitcoin, I need to find an exchange and acquire some, then send them to the other person, who likely will convert the Bitcoin into his or her local currency. That's three Bitcoin transfers, and each one takes a good many computrons to execute. If I want to do that with dollars, I can transfer dollars out of my account to the other person's account, and get them exchanged to the other person's local currency at some point. That's one transfer and one currency conversion, instead of three transfers and two conversions, and there's no need for expensive computations to do these.

In other words, the real cost of Bitcoin transfer is significantly higher than the real cost of simply transferring dollars. If it's cheaper with Bitcoin, it means that the banks are making extra money on international money transfers and currency conversion. If Bitcoin cuts into their profits enough, they can undercut Bitcoin by simply providing more efficient service to their customers.

Comment: Re:Ohh, she's female AND black (Score 1) 369 369

I haven't seen discrimination against women in the field, or women being treated unfairly. I know some unfair treatment exists, because it's been reported.

Looking at statistics, including historical statistics, I believe that there are almost certainly barriers to women entering the field. They appear to be applied earlier, where they're harder to deal with.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"

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