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Comment: Re:Yes, it's free. Also, the patent system sucks (Score 1) 190

Explicit language might modify what would otherwise be there only by an implicit doctrine.

In general, a licensor can modify their own terms. So, if you are using the GPL on software to which you hold the copyright, and you add some sort of exception, it applies. You can't do it to other people's software.

Comment: Some Premises Need to be Questioned (Score 3, Insightful) 204

by Bruce Perens (#49383785) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

I am still having a little trouble with "we don't need our spies to spy". Maybe we do.

I am also having trouble believing that the kind of encryption we use on the Internet actually stops the U.S. Government from finding out whatever it wishes although IETF and sysadmins might be kidding themselves that it can. Government can get to the end systems. They can subborn your staff. Etc.

Comment: Re:Obligatory xkcd (Score 2) 109

by steveha (#49382507) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA


The point of that xkcd comic is that cancer drugs need to be safe as well as effective. A patient whose cancer cells are all dead is not better off if he is dead also.

I read the recipe for the salve and it does not appear to be something that would kill a patient. In fact, you could eat the medicine and it wouldn't hurt you; it's onions or leeks, garlic, wine, bile salts, and some small amount of copper. According to TFA the lab where they tested this smelled like garlic and people thought they were cooking food in the lab.

I'd be willing to have this stuff put on my skin.

P.S. I'm excited by the new technology being called "nanobots". (I think "nanobots" might be overselling what it is, but they didn't ask me.) A nanoscale cylinder is made that can hinge open; some drug is placed inside; and two latches hold it shut. The latches are designed to open only in the presence of a specific protein, such as a specific cancer cell type. Thus we have a nanoscale "robot" that can do exactly two things: it can open when it bumps into a specific cell type, and it can close again when it's away from the specific cell type.

This is exciting because it decouples the two problems of treating cancer: you need to kill the cancer cells and not hurt the patient. With this, you could use a very effective anti-cancer medicine that is as dangerous as a handgun bullet, but make sure that only a nanodose is delivered, and only to the cancer cells (I guess with high but not perfect accuracy).

I tried to find out more about the human trial, but couldn't find anything beyond the video linked in the above article. If these nanobots really do get tested on a human and he really has his life saved by them, I expect significant news coverage. The claim is that the guy would be dead by summer with conventional treatment, so if it's real we won't have to wait more than a few months to read more about it.

Comment: Re: It's stupid (Score 1) 190

Yes. The last stuff I wrote that I couldn't compile today was in "Promal" or "Paradox". My C and C++ code from 1980 still builds and runs.

All of my web development is on Ruby on Rails. That environment has had a lot of development and I've had to port to new versions. So old code for RoR would not quite run out of the box, but it's close.

Comment: The correct answer should be "none". (Score 5, Insightful) 262

by Jaywalk (#49380417) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?
There should already be backups in place and security safeguards to keep such an employee -- as much as possible -- from causing harm. Employees leave all the time, planned or unplanned, willingly or not. Certainly you want to make sure all their uncompleted tasks are turned over to someone else, but preparations should have already been in place in case health problems or personal issues cause a sudden departure.

Comment: It's stupid (Score 0) 190

Development with a proprietary language is ultimately harmful to your own interests, whether you make proprietary software for a profit or Free software.

The one thing every business needs is control. When you make it possible for another company to block your business, you lose control. Your options become limited. Solving business problems potentially becomes very costly, involving a complete rewrite.

The one thing that should be abundantly clear to everyone by now is that making your business dependent on Microsoft anything is ultimately a losing proposition. They have a long history of deprecating their own products after customers have built products upon them.

Comment: Yes, it's free. Also, the patent system sucks (Score 2) 190

All Open Source licenses come with an implicit patent grant, it's an exhaustion doctrine in equitable law.

The problem is not patent holders who contribute to the code, you're protected from them. It's trolls who make no contribution and then sue.

Of course these same trolls sue regarding proprietary code as well.

Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 1) 1110

by Jeremi (#49377139) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

I own a business. I am a business man. I decide who my potential customers are, and who I don't accept as customers. No one can make that choice for me.

That's some good bluster, but if you e.g. post "Whites Only" signs on your doors, you'll find yourself in court in very short order. There you'll find out that your freedom to accept or reject customers is in fact circumscribed by anti-discrimination laws.

Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 1) 1110

by Jeremi (#49377119) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

I have a serious problem with gay marriage, as marriage is a religious ceremony, so the state should stay out of it.

Sounds like you actually have a problem with state-sponsored marriage (gay or straight), but you're only willing to apply your logic to gay marriage.

Civil union is the state sponsored joining, and should be the proper avenue for the state to allow something that religion indicates is wrong.

Which religion are you referring to? There are plenty of religions that approve of gay marriage, and there are also plenty of religions that think various straight marriages (e.g. second marriages, or inter-racial or inter-religious marriages) are wrong. It's not clear why any of that is relevant to what the state should or shouldn't do, given that (in the USA anyway), church and state are meant to be kept separate from each other.

However, it has to be understood that most of the benefits of marriage have to do with holding a family together for the benefit of the children, which a homosexual marriage may have some issues in creating.

It's actually quite easy for a homosexual marriage to have children. Gays of either gender can adopt, and gay women can get pregnant and give birth. And if you want to play the "it's all about the children" card, you then have to explain why infertile/childless straight couples should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of marriage.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo