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Comment Re: ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 275

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:Who will... (Score 2) 392

People above can't afford to live the same city they work because of housing prices. I once asked a night janitor, who had his two sons with him at work that day, where he lived. He told me he lived more than an hour out of the city. I don't have any solutions but this isn't a good thing.

Was recently looking at a potential job in the area.

The job looked great. Then I started looking for a home within 15 minutes of the workplace. Nothing family sized (4+ bedroom) shows up on Zillow for anything less than $800,000. Many homes comparable to my $200K current residence were selling for well over a million dollars. Zooming out a bit, finding family homes even remotely affordable (under $300K) would require a full hour commute.

I went on to the next job listing, in a more reasonable cost city. The tech jobs may be good, but they aren't THAT good. Currently Austin and Salt Lake are the main contenders.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 275

Uh, that doesn't work. The problem is that doing exactly what you've written down is contriving to avoid your copyright responsibility by deliberately creating a structure in someone else's work which you believe would be a copyright insulator. If you went ahead and did this (I'm not saying that you personally would be the one at Ubuntu to do so), I'd love to be there when you are deposed. Part of my business is to feed attorneys questions when they cross-examine you. I have in a similar situation made a programmer look really bad, and the parties settled as soon as they saw the deposition and my expert report. See also my comment regarding how Oracle v. Google has changed this issue. You can't count on an API to be a copyright insulator in any context any longer.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 275

I think you need to look at this in the context of the appeal of Oracle v. Google. We had a concept of an API being a boundary of copyright based on 17 CFR 102(b) and elucidated by Judge Walker's finding in CAI v. Altai. That stood for a long time. But Oracle v. Google essentially overturned it and we're still waiting to see what the lower court does in response.

Comment CDDL and GPL don't mix (Score 3, Informative) 275

Regardless of what Ubuntu has convinced themselves of, in this context the ZFS filesystem driver would be an unlicensed derivative work. If they don't want it to be so, it needs to be in user-mode instead of loaded into the kernel address space and using unexported APIs of the kernel.

A lot of people try to deceive themselves (and you) that they can do silly things, like putting an API between software under two licenses, and that such an API becomes a "computer condom" that protects you from the GPL. This rationale was never true and was overturned by the court in the appeal of Oracle v. Google.

Comment I think that cookie-cutter approaches are useless, (Score 1) 927

not just for the question of how a contributor should be treated, but also for the question of how a leader should act.

If a leader is able to get world-beating results by being an asshole, then so be it. That leader has beaten the world, and I am not going to quibble with success. If a leader is an asshole and subpar output is the result, then by all means, tell them to treat their team differently.

Team dynamics are a complicated thing. You just don't fuck with a winning team. If they are using four letter words all the time and sacrificing live chickens at midnight, but the results are running circles around everyone else, I for one do not want them to stop, even if it would save a chicken's life.

At the same time, if they are doing all of these things and the results are uneven or poor, then by all means, change the behavior.

In this case, I'd say that the results of Linux kernel development speak for themselves. And if you just don't belong in the culture, then go somewhere else. If the culture starts to be counterproductive, give the world a great, big "I told you so!" and collect your profits on the book deal. But otherwise, to expect people to fuck up a successful operation for your feelings, for manners, or for high-minded ethics concerns is just bad juju. It's not lawyering or doctoring, ethical concerns are not front and center. It's software. The goal is that it works and works well, and in fact that's the highest ethical aspiration *of* software, given the many critical ways in which it gets used in today's world.

The value to the users is first. The comfort of the developers is second. If the culture and development process are working well, get the hell out of the way if you don't like them. As this person has done. So—problem solved.

Comment Good, kinda. (Score 4, Insightful) 399

It is a good thing when high profile and medium profile people get caught in these stupid things.

When celebrities, including political celebrities, get caught by government aggression it draws a spotlight on the programs that are harassing millions. With the spotlight on them, they tend to withdraw or become legally curtailed.

Sadly many of the abuses committed by government are against the dregs of society, the people already in trouble with the law, the despicable criminals, drug dealers, child abusers, rapists, murderers, and more. Most of society doesn't care when government abuses these people, which is why so many lawsuits are filed against agencies and officers that people dismiss as just another attempt to get out of being caught. If those same abuses were publicly made against people of celebrity status the programs would be quickly curtailed, or pushed further into the darkness of secrecy.

Good job DHS, keep targeting popular people. Best thing you can do for the country.

Comment advice != information (Score 2) 138

The first thing I wanted after installing El Capitan was information on how to disable rootless mode, not advice about the soundness of this idea. Thankfully, I found an informative post or two by searching Google. Any advice would not have been the information I was looking for.

And for those that are interested, yes, there is actually a .conf file that controls the rootless mode protections. I forget the path, but if you Google, you'll find it. The catch of course is that you have to disable rootless mode in order to edit it, and each time you want to edit it, which means multiple reboots for each edit.

Given the fact that I use software from across the 'net on my Mac, much of it not Apple developer signed and some of it development oriented, I figured I'd likely encounter problems along the way by trying to edit the .conf file and would have to keep banging on and editing it over time. And I've been using Macs and Mac OS for years already without rootless mode, so I don't feel too catastrophically ba about not having it now.

Comment Rootless is a problem, and Office 2016 > 2011 (Score 4, Informative) 138

Just upgraded to El Capitan last night.

Problem (1): I found out very quickly that root has been neutered; you can't make any changes to "system" files (in this case, meaning files that were included in the OS distribution, including things like the folder or binaries, etc.). You get a message about not having permission, despite being root, and without any extended attributes being set on the files. Turns out that El Capitan uses a new "rootless" model in which root is no longer root and many parts of the system are off limits to any human user. Solution: Boot into recovery mode, start a terminal, and enter the command "csrutil disable" then reboot. You'll get root back and will be able to change files again.

Problem (2): Parts of Office 2011 didn't work at all—just beach balled upon startup. I tried to figure this out for a while but didn't see anyone else talking about solutions online, so I installed Office Mac 2016 (since I'm already paying for Office 365 anyway so that I can use it on my tablet and phone). I've been using the Office Mac 2016 applications all day (Outlook, Word, and Excel for work) heavily, without any trouble, so as a data sample of one I can say that in my case, 2016 is definitely a better bet on El Capitan than 2011, since Word and Outlook 2011 didn't work at all.

The opossum is a very sophisticated animal. It doesn't even get up until 5 or 6 PM.