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Comment: Re:If there was no real difference (Score 1) 1330

by theghost (#47361967) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

You are talking about this case, but i am talking about the larger societal implications of how we treat corporations and people. In terms of the technicalities of the ruling, you're right - to the supreme court, it doesn't matter what kind of business it is, but it should.

The corporate owners as individuals shouldn't be compelled to do anything - the corporation should be. By conflating one with the other we are heading even farther down the same path of ever-growing corporate power and ever-shrinking corporate responsibility. If you are allowed to run the corporation as an extension of yourself, but not required to take full responsibility for the corporation's actions, that is a big fucking problem.

Anyone who cannot separate their personal beliefs from their corporate responsibilities should probably not be running a corporation. Anyone who can should probably be viewed with extreme suspicion.

Comment: Re:If there was no real difference (Score 1) 1330

by theghost (#47360345) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

The individuals retain their religious liberties just as every employee of a business does, but the corporation itself cannot have religious beliefs and therefore should not be able to express religious beliefs through its policies. A private, unincorporated business owner could.

Corporations have more freedom and less responsibility than individuals do - that's fucked up.

Comment: If there was no real difference (Score 1) 1330

by theghost (#47359569) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

If there were "no real difference between the business and its owners" it wouldn't be an incorporated entity - it would just be a business and they would be its owners. When you accept the benefits of incorporation you should also have to accept some of the drawbacks, including slightly more limits on what that business can and cannot do. Any time you take an entity with limited liability and responsibility and give it more freedom you are playing with fire.

Corporations are not people and treating them as such is just fucking stupid. "Corporations' religious beliefs" is a phrase that makes us all dumber every time we are forced to parse it.

At this rate we'd all be better off incorporating ourselves and treating our meat-sacks as employees of our corporate overminds.

Comment: 2 Issues (Score 1) 207

by theghost (#47253357) Attached to: Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

There are two separate issues here and people seem to be arguing past each other.

1) Is Ikea right? Yes, they probably do have a case and could win in court.

2) Is Ikea acting like a bunch of assholes. Yes. The right way to do this would be to send IkeaHackers an email opening negotiations without an explicit legal threat. "Hey, we like what you're doing but you're using our trademark and it could be confusing to customers. Please add a trademark disclaimer and more links directly to our site. Here's a suggested disclaimer for use:..."

In playground terms, a C&D is like saying, i'm going to punch you in the face if you don't get off that swing right now.

Comment: Re:Key Point Missing (Score 2) 34

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#47234405) Attached to: Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use

The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

Agreed that it's not in the summary, but as you correctly note, it's just a "summary". Anyone who reads the underlying blog post will read this among the facts on which the court based its opinion: "The public was allowed to search by keyword. The search results showed only the page numbers for the search term and the number of times it appeared; none of the text was visible."

So those readers who RTFA will be in the know.

+ - Appeals Court finds scanning to be fair use in Authors Guild v Hathitrust

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes "In Authors Guild v Hathitrust, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found that scanning whole books and making them searchable for research use is a fair use. In reaching its conclusion, the 3-judge panel reasoned, in its 34-page opinion (PDF), that the creation of a searchable, full text database is a "quintessentially transformative use", that it was "reasonably necessary" to make use of the entire works, that maintaining maintain 4 copies of the database was reasonably necessary as well, and that the research library did not impair the market for the originals. Needless to say, this ruling augurs well for Google in Authors Guild v. Google, which likewise involves full text scanning of whole books for research."

+ - Councilman/Open Source Developer submits Open Source bill->

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes "New York City Council Member Ben Kallos (KallosEsq), who also happens to be a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developer, just introduced legislation to mandate a government preference for FOSS and creating a Civic Commons website to facilitate collaborative purchasing of software. He argues that NYC could save millions of dollars with the Free and Open Source Software Preferences Act 2014, pointing out that the city currently has a $67 million Microsoft ELA. Kallos said: "It is time for government to modernize and start appreciating the same cost savings as everyone else.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: A little late, but welcome (Score 1) 136

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#47119749) Attached to: Federal Court Pulls Plug On Porn Copyright Shakedown
A cynic might argue that the key difference in this case was that, for a change, the ISP's, and not merely defendants, were challenging the subpoenas; but of course we all know that justice is 'blind'.

An ingrate might bemoan the Court's failure to address the key underlying fallacy in the "John Doe" cases, that because someone pays the bill for an internet account that automatically makes them a copyright infringer; but who's complaining over that slight omission?

A malcontent like myself might be a little unhappy that it took the courts ten (10) years to finally come to grips with the personal jurisdiction issue, which would have been obvious to 9 out of 10 second year law students from the get go, and I personally have been pointing it out and writing about it since 2005; but at least they finally did get there.

And a philosopher might wonder how much suffering might have been spared had the courts followed the law back in 2004 when the John Doe madness started; but of course I'm a lawyer, not a philosopher. :)

Bottom line, though: this is a good thing, a very good thing. Ten (10) years late in coming, but good nonetheless. - R.B. )

Comment: Re:Write once? (Score 1) 153

by CTachyon (#46111973) Attached to: Facebook Puts 10,000 Blu-ray Discs In Low-Power Storage System

Hmm, how do you backup the crypto keys?

In short: turtles all the way down.

Not 100% sure, I don't work on that system, but I strongly suspect it's by encrypting the crypto keys with a master symmetric key and replicating/backing up the encrypted ball-o-keys as needed. The master key itself lives in an HSM; backups of the HSM are handled with the usual HSM approach of "M of N physical smartcards".

Comment: Re:Write once? (Score 4, Interesting) 153

by CTachyon (#46103369) Attached to: Facebook Puts 10,000 Blu-ray Discs In Low-Power Storage System

Anyone know if these burners are write-once drives?

If so, it pretty much guarantees that Facebook keeps a copy of your stuff forever, even if you "delete" it.

Where I work, we use large-scale tape backup (complete with robots), but tapes are so crappy that you basically have to treat them as write-once media anyway, so you have the same problems. (And tape drives are a consumable, but that's another story.) We solved this by encrypting each backup batch with a unique symmetric crypto key, and when a backup expires a cron job throws away the crypto key and marks the batch as "deleted" in our tape index. If all the batches present on a given tape end up deleted, only then do we bother to recall the physical tape from off-site storage and throw it out.

Has the bonus that we don't have to trust the security of our off-site storage provider.

Comment: Re:That's not what was said. (Score 1) 683

by CTachyon (#46087725) Attached to: VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

... Short answer is probably mainly because I've been unemployed for years since I walked out on a six figure salary and a hardwalled office in the historic Xerox-Parc after I walked out on VMWare in January of 2009. Well, we'll set asside my educational 2 months stint working at Wendy's, which truly was more rewarding in every way other than financially than working for VMWare or others.

Why did I do that? [...] The fact of the matter is that the 'average googler' works for a system of control.

Wait, you think tech companies are part of the "system of control" but McJobs aren't? I worked 5 years at Wal-mart and it made me want to scrub away the filth by the time I quit. Even as a lowly overnight shelf stocker, I was complicit in helping to operate one of the most exploitative companies on the face of the earth. Wal-mart has committed serious acts of economic devastation (e.g. classic monopoly abuses like dumping), has bribed and corrupted third-world governments, and has used monopsony power to price-pressure suppliers into cutting corners on product quality and into depressing workers' wages (sometimes to the point of looking the other way when suppliers use literal slave labor). And the Waltons have used their Wal-mart wealth to push an explicitly conservative (evangelical Christian, anti-abortion, anti-gay) political agenda.

I mean, fuck. VMWare mostly just overcharges for neat software you could get for free and convinces idiot CTOs to buy licenses for it. That's peanuts to Wal-mart. And even Wal-mart is barely a blip compared to some other companies I can name off the top of my head. And the fast food chains like McDonald's and Wendy's rank only slightly less evil than Wal-mart (no slavery AFAIK, but look at e.g. their quest to addict us to their food by soaking everything in sodium and saturated fat, or their recent pressure on the FDA to loosen regulations on use of diseased animals for human consumption).

On the package signing: you're doing a piss-poor job of convincing me that poor key hygiene at VMWare was nefarious NSA tinkering, as opposed to some VP with password "password1" handing down security decisions or some fool sysadmin who runs everything from a "sudo -i" shell because it's easier than learning how chmod works. Consider this: RSA, a company that sells security and only security, had their SecurID key material stolen 3 years ago because they were idiots and didn't air-gap the key material for their signature commercial product. The profit motive doesn't explain running one's business into the ground. Total ignorance of security practices (and crypto in particular) is just too common to blindly attribute every bad practice to NSA nefariousness. Even at a company like RSA, where we're 95% sure they did weaken security for NSA bribes. Frankly, it doesn't surprise me that other people perceived you as a loon -- you're not justifying your claims at all. "Snowden, therefore X" is not an argument.

Comment: Re:Exactly 0% argue static climate (Score 1) 846

by CTachyon (#46019101) Attached to: Global-Warming Skepticism Hits 6-Year High

I posted about this on my G+ feed a while back; at some point, we went from being told about Global Warming to being warned about Climate Change.

The reason for that is that people equate "Global Warming" with "hot summers". That's bogus. The greenhouse effect isn't about direct sunlight; it prevents heat from escaping; therefore it affects low temperatures more than it affects high temperatures, and it affects winter more than it affects summer. The Arctic and Antarctic are the places that are changing the most drastically, and that's far removed from your average Joe's day to day "ermigahrd its sooo hot" experience.

But warming the poles more than the temperate latitudes evens out the temperature difference between them, and that has huge consequences from a weather standpoint. Temperature differences drive the jet streams; a polar jet stream is a 100mph~200mph river of air that circles the planet 5 miles up, and if you live in a temperate latitude (e.g. the US, Europe, China, south Australia) then a polar jet streams is responsible for everything nice about your weather. A polar jet stream blocks cold dry air from plunging equatorward (and warm moist air from surging poleward), and it also shepherds weather systems from west to east, forcing them to keep moving. Without a jet stream, weather would just sit in place for weeks or months at a time, causing droughts or flooding depending on whether a high pressure system or a low pressure system decided to set up shop over your head. (Either possibility is a disaster for agriculture and local ecology.) But thanks to CO2-induced polar warming, the jet streams have been creeping equatorward a little bit each year and they've been weakening. With weaker jet streams, we can expect things like polar vortex plunges and balmy temperatures in Alaska and 15%-of-normal-rainfall droughts in California and 115 F heat waves in Australia to become regular occurrences. (These things are all happening right now, if you haven't been paying attention, and they're all a consequence of polar jet stream shenanigans, which are getting more common and more extreme as of late.)

Like the jet streams, ocean currents are also driven by temperature differences, so ocean currents will eventually start to shift if polar warming continues. That will have far-reaching consequences, because ocean currents determine evaporation rates and thus where precipitation falls, but ocean current changes are very hard to predict because we have so little data to work from. This hasn't really affected us yet, but the El Niño vs La Niña dichotomy (drought vs flooding; where you live determines which one brings which) gives a small taste of how much power the ocean has over the weather (and how big the effect will be once we do get our first permanent ocean current shifts). That awful The Day After Tomorrow film was mostly made of bogus-science-from-hell, but it was very loosely based on a real-world hypothesis that freshwater glacial melt could disrupt the thermohaline circulation that powers the Gulf Stream, the ocean current that keeps the UK and northern Europe warm. (The UK is at the same latitude as the Gulf of Alaska, suggesting it would be as cold as Alaska if the Gulf Stream were disrupted. The Gulf Stream weakened 30% from 1957 to 2005, which causes some concern.)

It's also worth noting that the changes are being buffered by the ocean, but that's not without consequence either. The ocean has been absorbing tremendous amounts of CO2, and that has seriously reduced CO2's greenhouse warming impact and bought us time before the Arctic temperature situation gets completely out of hand. But when CO2 dissolves in water it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3) -- that's why flat soda tastes disgusting: carbonation adds acidity (tartness) -- and now the ocean's pH is getting so acidic that coral reefs are dying en masse. The loss of biodiversity dominoes up the food chain to fish that human industry cares about. Coral reef biodiversity has also been a fruitful source of drug discovery ideas, so the pharmaceutical industry will suffer a bit from coral reef deaths too. And beyond coral, the falling ocean pH is also hurting shellfish operations because the water is now too acidic for baby oysters to mineralize their shells. The Pacific Northwest's oyster industry has started suffering from this problem in the last couple of years and is now resorting to artificial hatcheries to stay in business. Expect to see the global shellfish industry in dire straits within the next decade or two.

The situation is horrendously complicated. There's no way you could summarize it with two English words, no matter how pithy. But "Climate Change" is a little closer to the reality than "Global Warming".

Comment: yes & glad i resisted temptation (Score 1) 692

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#46010041) Attached to: Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview
I once got asked a question which I found hurtful and offensive, and felt tempted to 'blow up' the interview at that point. Fortunately, I resisted the temptation. As it turns out, the question was his way of introducing the next thing, which was telling me that he was offering me the job.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy