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Comment Lots of Ground Covered in the Quest for Openness (Score 1) 447

As I noted in a a post to the Creative Commons "cc-community" mailing list, while the software ("open source", "free software", "FOSS", "FLOSS", "open specs", "open protocols") industry and software users have (mostly) got the memo regarding the requirement to be open, and the music industry closely followed suit due to YouTube and other developments, there's still a lot of resistance from the film/movie industry. Nevertheless, I believe that whether they proclaim to currently like it or not, they will also embrace “openness” (also meaning honesty, transparency, lack of resentment, trust, etc.), and adapt to a newer business model based on the Internet, and other means.

One thing people should understand is that the fight for freedom and openness is not about getting rid of "big business". There will likely always be big businesses, because some companies are smarter than others and grow more, and there's nothing necessarily wrong with a big corporation, as long as it doesn't violate basic, objective, ethical principles such as initiatory force, threat of force or fraud against a person or their physical property, which corporations don't usually do (as opposed to many government agencies in the past and present). So if you were hoping that Walt Disney Corp. or Warner Bros or whoever will disappear, you will most likely be disappointed. However, I believe and hope we will see the day when the characters of them will be under the Public Domain or a liberal Creative Commons licence (at least in effect), simply because this makes business sense.

Naturally, there's still a long road to go, even in mostly won battles such as the software or music industry: YouTube ended up having to block all videos containing music for German IPs after a German musical cartel demanded they pay royalties; many YouTube remixes/etc. have been removed or made country-specific due to copyright claims; and it seems like a lot of content (, mp3 sales, etc.) is only available to USA residents. We should try to convince the music industry and other industries that it makes perfect business sense to avoid such silly measures, which only encourage piracy. Most artists nowadays make most of their money not from selling actual copies of the songs, and the labels who signed them have adapted to this new reality, but given that I wanted to buy a song I liked from and couldn't and after a long time met someone one IRC who let me download it from his huge collection of mp3 (without paying), something here is definitely wrong. DRM and locality restrictions etc. end up hurting sales more than they encourage them, and the pirates don't care anyway, and it's time the media (audio, video, books, software, etc.) industries realise this.

Open Source

Submission + - Why "Publish or Perish" is "Life or Death" (

Shlomi Fish writes: "A short essay making claim that it is essential to publish almost every innovative conclusion you came up with ("publish"), rather than keeping knoweldge and insights to yourself, lie, or use other forms of camouflage, which will cause your demise (= "perish"), which eventually translates to “Life or death”. Following that, it criticises the NSA for balantly, and foolishly violating this principle."

Comment Re:Plato had the same complaint 2300 years ago... (Score 1) 166

Heh, nice. Somewhat after Plato (at 300 B.C.) Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) wrote Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.. Being 35 years old (born on 5 May 1977), I remember that many of the children of my age group, not reading books on their own volition, and being rude and not preparing their homework, and hanging out with their friends, and being rude to their teachers, and parents, and being mischevious. Today is not different. And there were well-mannered boys and girls and naughty boys and girls and there still are today. I myself am pretty happy with a lot of the younger generations today, and many 14 years olds or so I met on IRC and elsewhere, were both more mature (and still very fun people) than I was at 14 years old as well as 10 years ago when I was 25.

Despite my age, I am quite a trendy fellow, and maintain collections of Chuck Norris/etc. facts, watch YouTube videos of either comedies, covers and original songs by independent artists, or whatever, have a lot of Gangnam Style mixes, spin-offs and covers that I enjoyed, wrote several stories and screenplays that mostly take place in the present (and often feature teens or other young people), and have an active presence in many sites across the Net. That put aside, I often draw on inspiration from a lot of ancient memes such as Aesop's fables, the Hebrew Bible, Saladin’s noble teaching and practice, the Greek mythology, various folk-tales, and many other things (so for example, whenever someone criticises someone for something silly about them, I bring up Aesop’s tale about the donkey for support). You got to combine both old and new, and realise that it's important to borrow memes from other idea systems - old and new - because "All truth is God's truth".

I promised myself that I won't grow cynical, and to never stop being an idealist and to always have a living growth, and it worked. I'm a very different idealist than I was a year ago (much less 10 years ago) but I still am idealistic and non-cynical, and am productive, energetic, and look forward to living every day. You can be too, even if you've grown cynical recently.

Comment Re:Key is relevance, not interactivity... (Score 1) 166

Yes, I agree with you. Eric S. Raymond (of The Cathedral and the Bazaar fame) has written a post titled “Michael Meets Mozart" about this on his Armed and Dangerous blog. He was saying that while classical music was engaging the audience back at those days, times have moved on and now most Classical music is just museum pieces. To play classical and neo-classical music properly, it should be spiced up with more modern elements like various crossover classical artists such as the aforementioned The Piano Guys, as well as Vanessa-Mae, Bond, Coolio's rap/pop adaptation of Pachelbel's Canon as "I C U when you get there", the Hooked on Classics series, etc. There is no reason that in these times, with all the great and lively music, that classical music should stay boring.

Submission + - From MIT and Jenn Lawrence to Hacking and Free Will (

Shlomi Fish writes: "What is a hacker and hacking? Why was the David who fought Goliath a Hacker and an action hero? How is an action hero different from a tragic hero? What is wrong with M.I.T. and why it matters less at the Technion? What is a tragic hero? What are the machines that can give us questions? And what does Jennifer Lawrence, who won the Academy Awards for Best Actress at the young age of 22 has to do with it? An ongoing blog post where I wish to stop lying to myself and to others, stop speaking in riddles, and put all the cards on the table."
Your Rights Online

Submission + - Free Mickey Mouse - The Disney Way

Shlomi Fish writes: "In a post to the Creative Commons Community mailing list, Shlomi Fish claims that the character of Mickey Mouse has mostly become dead due to the copyright extension fiasco, and the only way to liberate it and make Mickey alive and vibrant again is to free it, and put it under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike licence (CC-BY), and in the Walt Disney Corporation way of having a big festival with fireworks, and keynotes, and with many celebrity guests and features, and a big celebration. What do you think?"

Submission + - U.S. lawmaker introduces bill to legalize cellphone unlocking (

alphadogg writes: A U.S. senator has proposed a bill that will allow consumers to unlock cellphones for use in other networks, after the Obama backed over 114,000 petitioners who asked the government to legalize the unlocking of smartphones. "You bought it, you should be able to use it. My Wireless Device Independence Act ensures you can unlock your device," said Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, in a Twitter message on Tuesday.
Your Rights Online

Submission + - Do Unlicensed Modifications to A Copyrighted Work enjoy copyright protection?

An anonymous reader writes: Hey armchair lawyers! If someone makes a modification to an existing copyrighted work(without being licensed to do so) what effect does this have on the work which has been created? Does the original author actually infringe copyright by making the mod in the first place? What about distribution of said file by the world at large? In case anyone is wondering, the game is Minecraft. There has been a lot of buzz in the Minecraft community as of late and the two sides seem equally justified in their arguments. Who is right?

Submission + - Just write the tests, yo mofo!

Shlomi Fish writes: "A short entry titled “Just write the God-damn tests, m****f***” where I discuss why the artificial distinction between the scopes of the tests (unit tests, integration tests, system tests), etc. does not matter, and you should just write more tests when they are needed. ( Largely inspired by Zed Shaw’s Programming, M***f***. )."

Submission + - How Your Ears Do Math Better Than Mathematicians (

pigrabbitbear writes: "The assumption was that ears use something akin to a Fourier transformation. A Fourier transform, named after the French mathematician who also identified the Greenhouse Effect, is essentially when a sound wave is stretched way out until its details are revealed. In more mathy terms, you take a signal, which is a mathematical function of time--a mechanical thing of air molecules traveling through space--and turn it into an array, or series of different frequencies. The Fourier transform is found all over science, and not just sound.

The transformation is done through what's called an "integration" of the original, mechanical function of time. (If you've taken calculus, you should remember integration.) Basically, this is taking that function and recovering information from it by mathematically slicing it up into tiny bits. It's pretty neat. This, it turns out, is how we get meaning (words, music, whatever) from sound (that big wave in the ocean). Or so scientists have thought.

Turns out this might not be quite the case. Researchers at Rockefeller University devised an experiment to test the limit of this kind of analysis via Fourier transformation.

Rockefeller researchers, Jacob Oppenheim and Marcelo Magnasco, took a group of 12 composers and musicians and tested them to see if they could analyze a sound beyond the uncertainty limit of Fourier analysis. And guess what? They busted it down. "Our subjects often exceeded the uncertainty limit, sometimes by more than tenfold, mostly through remarkable timing acuity," the authors write in Physical Review Letters."

Submission + - LibreOffice 4 Released (

Titus Andronicus writes: LibreOffice 4.0.0 has been released. Some of the changes are for developers: an improved API, a new graphics stack, migrating German code comments to English, and moving from Apache 2.0 to LGPLv3 & MPLv2. Some user-facing changes are: better interoperability with other software, some functional & UI improvements, and some performance gains.

Submission + - Microsoft Looking At Office For Linux In 2014 according to Phoronix 2

Foldo writes: Michael Larabel, a journalist at Phoronix, reported: "From a source in Brussels, Belgium during the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) this past weekend, I was informed that Microsoft is having a "meaningful look" at a full Linux port of Office thanks to Linux showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop. Right now some versions of Microsoft Office will work under Linux via the use of Wine or CodeWeavers' CrossOver to varying extents, but this port being evaluated internally at Microsoft is a fully native implementation. Evidently there's already some port to unknown completion that has been done internally at the company. " This rumor sounds plausible since Microsoft is very likely to release Office for Android, along with iPhone and iPad the platform gaining popularity thanks to recent commercial gaming initiatives (e.g. Steam for Linux). But with Linux users already using LibreOffice and other office suites, would Microsoft really have a chance to make money with?

Submission + - Researchers opt to limit uses of open-access publications (

ananyo writes: "How open do researchers want open-access papers to be? Apparently, not that open — when given a choice of licenses, most opt to limit the use of data and words in their open-access publications, according to figures released by the open-access journal Scientific Reports.
Since July 2012 the journal has been offering researchers a choice of three types of license. The first, most liberal license, CC-BY, allows anyone, even commercial organizations, to re-use it. A more restrictive version, CC-BY-NC-SA, lets others remix, tweak and build on work if they give credit to the original author, but only for non-commercial (NC) purposes, and only if they license what they produce under the same terms (SA, or 'share-alike’). A third licence, CC-BY-NC-ND, is the most restrictive, allowing others to download and share work, but not to change it in any way (ND, ‘no derivative works’), or use it commercially.
The results from Scientific Reports shows that, for the 685 papers accepted by the journal, authors chose either of the more restrictive licences 95% of the time — and the most restrictive, CC-BY-NC-ND, 68% of the time."

Comment My opinion. (Score 1) 215

This is a stream of thought comment. I remember QBasic, and MS-DOS vividly (though I did not study them as much as my friends - and I had started with XT BIOS BASIC, BASIC.COM, and GWBASIC on an old PC XT machine), and the world now requires more training. I think that it is now best to start either by learning Python (which is relatively easy to learn and minimalistic and still widely useful and used), or by learning Perl 5 or Ruby (which are more pluralist, easier to express oneself, and less lock you into The One True Python Way). See what we wrote about it in the Freenode ##programming FAQ (which you are welcome to visit).

Anyway, there are few entry level jobs, and I think that you can try building a reputation by learning one or more of those languages and contributing to open source projects, chatting on IRC in order to learn and help, helping on mailing lists, web forums, Stack Overflow/etc. and even starting some blogs (blogs should be as specialised as possible). Some people tease me that at 35 (1977-born) I am now too old to be a programmer, but I feel that I have improved in most aspects, and have a more solid methodology and more discipline than I used to have (and also have some knowledge). I don't think it's ever too old to start or to continue because you should learn as if you were going to live forever. (See what I wrote in “Advice for the young (or the young at heart)".

Good luck!

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