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Comment: Re:it's all code (Score 1) 84

if i have a modified version of a standard codebase that i use as a template on many jobs, if someone used then modified that template for a client, by your logic that template itself would be the company's copyright, because it was used

Is the standard codebase yours? (ie, have you got the copyright for all of it?)

If the codebase is yours, and you've written the template yourself, then the terms of your contract with the client specify if they own the code or not. It's up to you to be careful what you sign.

If the codebase is not yours, only the template is your work, then the terms of the codebase's license determine if the template you wrote belongs to you or not. If it does belong to you, then the terms of your contract with the client determine if they own your work or you keep ownership of it. If you also deliver the codebase that you do not own as part of the contract with your client, then your contract must not be in contradiction with the codebase's license. If it is, then by delivering the codebase to your client you have broken the contract.

In short, it is your responsibility to follow all the licenses which apply to you, and you should not unknowingly give away rights to your work to others, unless you want to.

Comment: Re:Goldman Sachs and possible GPL Violations? (Score 3, Informative) 84

It's not stealing [ethically]. It's exactly what the GPL intends.

Goldman in this case are an end-user. As an end-user, they have certain rights to run the code, and modify it as they wish for their own purposes.

The GPL philosophy has always been to skew the copy rights towards users and away from distributors. If you're purely a user, there are practically no restrictions for you. If you're also a distributor, then some restrictions apply to you.

Comment: Re:It's not really about the code... (Score 2, Insightful) 84

From your comment, I get the feeling you read Flashboys *uncritically*, though.

Open source isn't the issue. The issue is that, as a programmer for hire, the code he produced during his employment period was not under his own copyright. Any working computer programmer knows this, or if not, should.

He had no right to copy the code he wrote, submit patches, or otherwise contribute back to any open source projects. He needed permission from the company's officers to do any of this.

In particular, he probably even broke the open source licenses for the free software he used. For example, the GPL makes it clear that if you patch the software publicly, you *must* have the right to do so. He clearly had no such right.

All open source projects have licenses. All closed source projects have licenses. Just because you can download some source files or some binaries from somewhere, and someone says it's ok to use it, or you think someone said to someone else it's ok to use it, doesn't make it so.

When you're a programmer for hire, you have no rights to your own code. You're there to write it for the company. It's the company's code. It's their property, and their decision, if it gets shared to anyone. It's also their decision if you can use any software inhouse. And it's their decision if they want to abide by any license terms or not.

You're just a codemonkey.(*)

(*) for most values of "you" where "you" is not a company officer.

Comment: Re:Don't single out EPA (Score 1) 355

If the scientists who published the study were able to access the data, others can too.

You're a fool. What if the scientists made up the data? The only thing keeping scientists honest is the constant threat of exposure. That's what public scrutiny provides.

As to your political issues, please keep them separate from scientific concerns. Repeatability and full disclosure are the cornerstones of modern Science. It is always a good idea to require this.

Comment: Re:Don't single out EPA (Score 2) 355

In actuality, this restriction would have essentially zero impact on the scientific conclusions: it's just a way to attempt to block action on climate change. People could say, "But hey, some fraction of this data was gleaned from private sources," and use that as an attempt to throw out the whole thing, despite the fact that removing the private data doesn't change the overall conclusion.

Stop politicizing Science. It doesn't matter if some people want to use the phrase "some fraction of this data was gleaned from private sources" as an excuse to block action. Action is irrelevant to Science. Science is about knowledge. Science doesn't have a timeline. Science is not about what *you* want.

The proper scientific way is to accept objections every day, every year, every century, forever. It's the only honest way of testing, and retesting, conclusions. Sure it sucks for you that maybe there will be arguments in a hundred years about what you now believe to be true, and you could be wrong right now, or you could be right and you're just impatient that some people don't agree with you.

Grow up. Science is not politics. It's not about action, it's about reasoning and truthful argumentation for as long as it takes.

Truthful debate requires public scrutiny, period. Any private (hidden or proprietary) data doesn't advance the scientific debate. It's just hearsay. And while that is still information, it's not ever clear if it's disinformation. So it should not be cited, or relied upon, as sooner or later somebody else will have to redo the work in public. And if they can't then all the work that was done based off the private data may have to be thrown out.

The history of Science is full of cases where beliefs that were based on "trustworthy" reports and experiments were thrown out hundreds of years later, when someone got the courage to redo a settled bit of Science. Science moves slowly. Accept it, and stop trying to justify your political views from the authority of Science. If you want something political done now, argue from political grounds. That is the proper way. That is the only honest way.

Comment: Re:Free the papers (Score 1) 81

Blah, blah, blah. I wasn't talking about musicians, I was making an analogy with countries funding research, as per the parent post.

Moreover, you seem to think that musicians are special because they *gasp* work hard (at least some of them).

Researchers work just as hard as musicians, if not more so. And they do it for less money than a musician is hoping to get for his little contribution to creativity in the world.

People who work hard get no pity from me. I work hard too, as do millions of people. How about your musician just say screw it, and let's not let the door hit him on the ass on his way out. There are thousands of others out there who can take his place, and they won't complain about working hard. Entitlement generation. Etc.

The setting of Einstein's initial salary at Princeton illustrates his humility and attitude toward wealth. According to "Albert Einstein: Creator & Rebel" by Banesh Hoffmann, (1972), the 1932 negotiations went as follows: "[Abraham] Flexner invited [Einstein] to name his own salary. A few days later Einstein wrote to suggest what, in view of his needs and . . . fame, he thought was a reasonable figure. Flexner was dismayed. . . . He could not possibly recruit outstanding American scholars at such a salary. . . . To Flexner, though perhaps not to Einstein, it was unthinkable [that other scholars' salaries would exceed Einstein's.] This being explained, Einstein reluctantly consented to a much higher figure, and he left the detailed negotiations to his wife."

The reasonable figure that Einstein suggested was the modest sum of $3,000 [about $46,800 in today's dollars]. Flexner upped it to $10,000 and offered Einstein an annual pension of $7,500, which he refused as "too generous," so it was reduced to $6,000. When the Institute hired a mathematician at an annual salary of $15,000, with an annual pension of $8,000, Einstein's compensation was increased to those amounts.

Comment: Re:Free the papers (Score 1) 81

Research is like music. Say you pay for a radio in your dorm room. You do that so you get to hear the music you like anytime you feel like it. Now maybe you leave your window open. So what?

Maybe your neighbours open their windows too, and now they can listen to your radio too. It doesn't matter, you still get to hear the music you like anytime, so your investment has paid off.

Now maybe you think the neighbours are leeches who reap all the same benefits as you without having their own radio. Sure, they get to hear your music. But wait, they only get to hear YOUR music. Maybe you like classic rock and listen to that all day, and they can either listen to that, or not. But they can't listen to house, because.... wait for it... they don't have their own radio! You know what they're gonna do? They're gonna either buy their own radio, or they're not gonna listen to the music they like. Simple as that.

There's no harm in funding research and giving the information away. Anyone who reads it gets to learn what you found interesting only. If they want to learn something interesting for themselves, they'll have to fund their own research.

And that's exactly what happens.

Comment: Re:paywalls are not selling out. (Score 1) 81

Wrong. Paywalls are bad because PAY.

Repeat after me: information should be free. Not free to buy, not free to sell, just free. Free for all to use as they like. Free to use as their time permits. Free from coercion. Just free.

If that steps on money grubbing publishers toes who think they can take some of that and extract their percentage of profit, too bad. Maybe they should get a real job.

The fruits of research belongs to everyone on earth. Some smart guy or girl spent a lot of time reading, thinking, experimenting, writing up an idea. The fruits of all that work should not be locked up behind a paywall. It should be accessible instantly from anywhere forever, so that humanity can progress.

You're way off base with your defense of publishers.

Comment: Re:Chrome OS is a joke (Score 1) 112

It's not a sub $200 laptop. Labelling it a laptop is disingenuous, because laptops already have a fairly well defined meaning in people's minds from the fact that laptops have been around for 20+ years. You can run mainstream commercial games on a laptop, you can read and write standard Microsoft office documents, you can read email and share documents, edit pictures, etc.

The "apps" that run on chromeos are toys and web pages^H^H^Happs instead of the standard software people expect, with the one exception being the browser.

The only way to turn a chromebook into a traditional laptop is to install another operating system on the machine and use that. In other words, a chromebook is a sub $200 web browser appliance. That's nice, but I'm not sure it's worth $200ish .

"Buy land. They've stopped making it." -- Mark Twain