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Comment: Legalized robbery (Score 1) 351

by niiler (#42781037) Attached to: School Board Considers Copyright Ownership of Student and Teacher Works

At my university, this is already the policy, more or less. If you develop software and release it GPL, they'll let you be. But otherwise, they own everything you produce. This is also true for most companies. Interestingly, if a history prof writes a book, he gets to keep all the profit. But if you as an engineer or programmer develop something and try to sell it without the university, even if done on your own time, the university will claim a conflict of interest and claim ownership. Many corporations do this as well. In some cases this may have some merit in that you have additional resources that you wouldn't otherwise have, and therefore couldn't have done this without corporate help. But in many cases the individual truly is developing this on their own - and the corporate entity still claims it. My thinking is that if corporations want to raid the fruits of their employees' off hours activity, they ought to be forced to take it to court. Of course, the only way this can be fair is if the corporation pays the entire court cost including that of the employee (will never happen). Likewise, the employee should have taken pains to demonstrate that their product was produced independent of corporate resources. Finally, if the employee wins, he keeps his job, keeps his invention, and keeps his money (having no court costs).

Sorry if I'm a bit discombobulated... I keep restarting my typing due to a certain two year old...

Comment: Re:Bricked device (Score 1) 232

by niiler (#42738673) Attached to: Linux: Booting Via UEFI Can Brick Samsung Notebooks

I agree with you only...

It is a laptop... On many of my laptops, setting jumpers is only possible by taking the whole dang thing apart, and laptops are much harder to disassemble (correctly) than are desktops. On my old Toshiba Satellite, I have to strip it to the frame to get to the CMOS battery (which, in theory, will never go bad).

I just hope Samsung can figure this out. I was starting to like their products.

Comment: Re:Or the reverse (Score 1, Insightful) 899

by niiler (#42639035) Attached to: New York Pistol Permit Owner List Leaked
And the people using said guns to defend our rights are in our military. In fact, in this age of our country, they have chosen to go into our military voluntarily so that our pacifist friends don't have to. This is a very important point in that it means that not every member of our society needs to take on the moral burden of killing others, even if it is for a justified purpose. If there isn't a moral burden, then why are many firing squads mostly issued blanks? The members of our military are in an honorable profession and are certainly needed with many of the nuts (Bin Laden) out there. But please don't denigrate people who chose not to bring violence into their lives. Jesus was, after all, a pacifist, and a great many of the gun users I know are also Christian.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 851

by niiler (#42520547) Attached to: Indiana Nurses Fired After Refusing Flu Shots On Religious Grounds
From Wikipedia's article on her organization:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a politically conservative non-profit association founded in 1943 to "fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine."[1][2] The group was reported to have approximately 4,000 members in 2005, and 3,000 in 2011.[1][3] Many of the political and scientific viewpoints advocated by AAPS are considered extreme or dubious by other medical groups.[1] Notable members include Ron Paul and John Cooksey;[4] the executive director is Jane Orient, a member of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

AAPS publishes the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (formerly known as the Medical Sentinel). The Journal is not indexed by mainstream scientific databases such as the Web of Science or MEDLINE.[5] The quality and scientific validity of articles published in the Journal has been criticized by others.

Does this answer your question about her opinion vis-a-vis the medical establishment?

Comment: Re:Choice (Score 5, Informative) 370

by niiler (#42490191) Attached to: Forbes 2013 Career List Flamed By University Professors
Bud... you're out of touch.

Many of us got into academia because in addition to enjoying teaching we thought:

  1. There would be more vacation
  2. There would be more schedule flexibility
  3. There would be more job security

All of these have since gone down the tubes. Even in non-tenure track jobs, one has to do advising and committee work (at least at our school). The next big thing is to teach evenings and weekends because that's more convenient for students. I'm already doing that, and it means that one can't actually go anywhere or do anything. My wife, who is an adjunct, is a facing a 35% pay cut plus a 30% increase in course load in a Pennsylvania State school. Generally, I always have overload and can't say no, or they'll get someone else. And that 12 hour a day thing, that's peanuts. Around here, I get home from work and fire up the laptop to grade papers and respond to emails until about 11pm. I've been working over X-mas "break" almost constantly, writing reference letters, doing two new preps for next term, and dealing with last minute grade changes from last term. The only day I actually got to take off was X-mas day when we went to see the Hobbit. Most of my colleagues are basically in the same boat.

One of my buddies with a Ph.D. got hired out of his adjunct job by a chemical engineering company. He says he's now making about twice as much, can't take his work home (yea!), sees his family in the evenings and on weekends, and gets more true vacation.

Almost nobody I talk to outside of academia has any idea of what life is really like. The Forbes journalist comes off as being completely out of touch.

Comment: Re:You are a spammer (Score 5, Interesting) 345

by niiler (#42276583) Attached to: Hotmail & Yahoo Mail Using Secret Domain Blacklist

His behaviors are _similar_ to those of a spammer in number only. Having visited his site: http://www.peacefire.org/ it seems that he gets his email list from people subscribing to it on his site. If I understand it correctly, people who sign up for this list are looking for regular updates to proxies so that they can avoid censorship. As proxies are discovered by governments or certain companies , they are blacklisted, and new proxies must be created and sent out to the interested masses:

"Of course, employees of blocking software companies have gotten on this list as well, so they add our sites to their blocked-site database as soon as we mail them out, but in most places it takes 3-4 days for the blocked-site list to be updated. So the latest one that we mail out, should usually still work. "

Now it could be that there is a better way of doing this, but it seems to me that no matter how this game is played, constant updates to users should be the norm...

Now that I think of it, perhaps a Firefox extension could do the trick. Signed extensions can be updated automatically. The extension could have obfuscated URLs that are decrypted with something like this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/domcrypt/ and then wired in to automatically select an available proxy from the current batch. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it solves the "spam" problem. Also, it maybe easier for users and harder for censors? Crap... now I'm not going to get any work done...

Comment: Re:Simple summary (Score 4, Interesting) 345

by niiler (#42276117) Attached to: Hotmail & Yahoo Mail Using Secret Domain Blacklist
Bingo. Good summary. I gave up using my own server to send email a couple of years ago for precisely these reasons. It wasn't worth trying to get de-blacklisted every few weeks because my server had an obscure domain name. If I recall, when I sent out more than 10 emails in a batch (we're talking maybe as many as 30) to members of a class, this triggered the anti-spam bots. When I did it from gmail or from other major providers, things worked beautifully. I had too many irons in the fire to deal with this, and while I would love to use my own server's email capability, it's not worth it anymore.

Comment: Re:IANAL, but (Score 4, Interesting) 377

by niiler (#42029937) Attached to: John McAfee Launches Blog, Offers $25K Reward For "Real Killers"
Read this interview with Josh Davis first. This is one of several he has given. From this interview:

"He is a very eccentric person; there is no question. He is a very complex person. In fact, in one instance in August, I had heard a rumor that he had in fact killed somebody, and I asked him about that. And he says, “That he actively encouraged the rumors about him.” And I said, “Why would you do that?” He said, “Because I wanted people to be scared of me.” He said, “Remember I am living here, in a place where I feel very threatened. Where I think people are trying to harm me, and I want them to be afraid of me, and if they think that I am capable of some brutality, then all the better” So clearly he is living a life that most people would never choose, never even dream of. And yet, I asked him, point blank, “Why don’t you leave? If you think people are trying to kill you, why don’t you leave?” He says, “I love it here! What do you mean?” That’s why I said he is complex; it is very hard to figure him out."

There are some other interviews with or stories by Josh Davis who has interviewed him for over 100 hours over 6 months.

http://www.npr.org/2012/11/14/165160275/anti-virus-software-pioneer-on-the-run-in-belize

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/11/threatlevel_1112_mcafee/

McAfee sounds crazy and paranoid, but that doesn't mean that people aren't out to get him.

Comment: Re:Disruption (Score 2) 401

by niiler (#41970169) Attached to: Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal
Please see the book: Merchants of Doubt.: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.

From Publishers Weekly:
"Oreskes and Conway tell an important story about the misuse of science to mislead the public on matters ranging from the risks of smoking to the reality of global warming. The people the authors accuse in this carefully documented book are themselves scientists—mostly physicists, former cold warriors who now serve a conservative agenda, and vested interests like the tobacco industry. The authors name these scientists—all with powerful connections in government and the media—including Robert Jastrow, Frederick Seitz, and S. Fred Singer. Seven compelling chapters detail seven issues (acid rain, the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, the ozone hole, global warming, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the banning of DDT) in which this group aimed to sow seeds of public doubt on matters of settled science. They did so by casting aspersions on the science and the scientists who produce it. Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at UC–San Diego, and science writer Conway also emphasize how journalists and Internet bloggers uncritically repeat these charges. This book deserves serious attention for the lessons it provides about the misuse of science for political and commercial ends. "

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