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Comment: Re:What's wrong with suing shoplifters? (Score 4, Informative) 105

by ommerson (#40477479) Attached to: Firm Threatens To Sue Consumer Websites For Harrassment

In fact, a judge has already thrown a case that did go to court out on the grounds that it was unclear why the damages were set at the level claimed or that they were in any way proportionate to actual damage.

The retailers (usually big supermarkets) are attempting to recover the entire costs of their losses to shoplifting and extra security from those they catch.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with suing shoplifters? (Score 5, Informative) 105

by ommerson (#40477305) Attached to: Firm Threatens To Sue Consumer Websites For Harrassment

The business model of these companies is particularly pernicious, and relies in the main on the defendants being uninformed and under-resourced.

THe company in question here is actually chasing employees of the Citizens' Advice Bureau - the place where these defendants go for help - often because they can't afford a lawyer.

This is a similar strategy to that used by ACS:Law - which has already felt the wrath of the professional regulator for precisely this kind of tactic. It's quite likely that, as suggested, that they sent a few threats too far.

Comment: Re:Incremental recompilation (Score 1) 711

by ommerson (#39998343) Attached to: FreeBSD 10 To Use Clang Compiler, Deprecate GCC

I'd personally consider myself to be a Engineer rather than a programmer (to be precise, I'm a professionally qualified electronics engineer who engages in software and hardware engineering). Cutting the code is a small fraction of what I do, and I tend to do it a variety of programming languages on multiple platforms.

I'm really not in the business of having a dick-waving contest about how hardcore my tools are (an argument that is usually advanced in terms of their lack of features). Instead I expect them to help me along the way.

Modern, commercially developed IDEs genuinely improve my productivity, and I really notice their absence when working for platforms without them.

Comment: Re:Incremental recompilation (Score 2) 711

by ommerson (#39988169) Attached to: FreeBSD 10 To Use Clang Compiler, Deprecate GCC

It's entirely necessary if using the compiler to drive code completion, syntax highlighting and in-edtior display of compiler errors and warnings. All of these are things are highly interactive and users will notice the lag of GCC getting invoked every time they type a character in their editor. GCC's clunky pre-compiled header support really doesn't help matters.

Of course, as I said earlier, lots of tools have provided this kind of functionality without deep integration of the compiler into the editor, but ultimately to do it properly, you'd still be looking at a great deal of effort to implement the first couple of stages of the compiler pipe-line and get an AST (or equivalent).

Comment: Re:Dropping the GPL ~= worse. (Score 1) 711

by ommerson (#39988023) Attached to: FreeBSD 10 To Use Clang Compiler, Deprecate GCC

There is another excellent reason why the Linux Kernel is staying on GPLv2: a very large proportion of Linux's market share these days is on ARM SoC in mobile devices. There is truckloads of IP in these devices, and right now the chipset vendors are able to keep this closed and compartmentalised.

It's not a case of these chipset vendors wanting to keep their own IP private - often it's not theirs to start with, having been licensed - probably several times already - from other parties.

You can bet that a GPL3 kernel would cause an enormous fork - or even an industry-wide platform switch to something else.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with GCC? (Score 5, Informative) 711

by ommerson (#39987313) Attached to: FreeBSD 10 To Use Clang Compiler, Deprecate GCC

One of the key design objectives of Clang is that it is highly modular, and implemented in such a way that various compilation stages are self-contained, and have clean APIs and data structures. This allows development tools such as IDEs to link directly against the stages of the compilation pipeline then need to implement syntax highlighting, code completion, refactoring tools and so on.

Apple's XCode does precisely this, and licensing and lack of modularity in the GCC source tree would have been major factors in their choice to support Clang and LLVM development.

The traditional way of implementing these functions in IDEs has been to effectively re-implement the front-end of the compiler (often not completely). This is a big deal when developing in C++ against the STL/Boost/TR1 when you find that code completion can't grok template properly. This is something that XCode and Visual Studio (which takes a similar approach) are both capable of doing.

Comment: Re:Different kind of anti-social (Score 2) 440

by ommerson (#39951623) Attached to: UK Home Secretary Bans US Martial Arts Expert

I'd imagine that under the zero-tolerance policing strategy in many US cities, people engaged in almost all of these activities would simply get arrested for petty criminal offences and cleared off the streets.

The point of anti-social behaviour orders is that they are executed under civil - rather than criminal - law. The idea being that a lower burden of proof is required in court to obtain the order in the first place. In practice, the evidence usually consists of a long record of low-level criminality - a possible example being an individual who is clearly dealing drugs, but who the police have never managed to catch with any.

Of course things on in the realm of the criminal law once the order is breached.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner

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