Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Species versus life (Score 2) 115

live mosquitoes, all male, all incapable of producing offspring.

The kind of control you're attempting simply is... it's not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh... well, there it is.

You're confusing "life" with "a species". Species die out all the time.

Also, you do realize you're quoting a movie as fact, right?

Comment Don't be (Score 5, Insightful) 115

On the one hand, I think that mosquitos should be intentionally driven to extinction. At least the disease baring ones. My understanding is that they don't occupy a vital niche in the food-chain or otherwise in the ecosystem.

On the other hand, I find unregulated ecological engineering by a private company to be quite creepy.

Don't be.

They're not eradicating *all* mosquitoes, and no one is suggesting that we eventually do that.

Aedes aegypti are not native to the area, and first appeared in 2013. Anopheles, the ones that bite humans, are not native to North America.

There are a couple of hundred species of mosquito and we're only targeting the ones that cause us harm, and the ones that are not native.

The other species will re-expand to fill the empty niches.

Comment Population crash (Score 4, Informative) 115

I think it's pretty well established that life tends to gravitate toward that which will propagate life.

I think we collective don't really stand much of a chance against nature's natural selection.

In the short term, this may reduce mosquitoes, but long term? Probably not. It won't take long for nature to teach the female mosquito to avoid males that don't procreate properly. But this is one case where I hope I'm wrong. I hate those things!

Possibly, but also possibly not.

The US South used to be subject to screw worm fly, a parasite that lays eggs in open sores of livestock and humans. It's been eradicated using the strategy in the OP - many irradiated male screw worms were released into the wild, who would mate with the females, but the eggs would not hatch.

Each time the male flies are released, the probability of successful mating goes down a little. Keep releasing the flies over time, and the probabilities become progressively less and less.

Mathematically speaking the reproductive probabilities never reach zero, but you reach a point where the discrete nature of the insects comes into play. When the last female in an area dies, there is no recovery.

Screw worms have been eliminated from the US for several decades using this method, and the technique has been generally proven as safe. In the irradiation method, you're not releasing anything into the environment that wasn't already there.

Aedes aegypti is becoming resistant to insecticides, and carries the Zika virus.

If you can make the population crash to zero it won't recover, short of reintroducing it.

I'm looking forward to the time when we can start eradicating some of these pests from the world, such as the Anopheles mosquito in the US (which is not native), mongooses in Hawaii, or cane toads in Australia.

Comment Re:Wrong! (Score 2) 337

I do not vocalize anything when reading.

One of the key things about learning 20 WPM Morse Code was that you could no longer think of it as dots and dashes because that would slow you down. You had to recognize the entire sound of the letter as just a sound. Similarly, good readers read entire words at once, not the letters, and they don't sound anything out. Those things slow you down.

Comment Politics is a rough choice (Score 2) 254

A lot of things Mark Zuckerberg says and does make he think he wants to enter politics. Most others will delegate and work on compiled reports - this attempt to reach out to the masses seems very politician like.

I agree that this seems very politician-like.

I've been thinking about this a lot recently, in the frame of who will be running for president in 2000.

Politics is a rough choice, and it takes a very seasoned celebrity to just shrug off the criticism. Add to that the dirty tricks (operation veritas), the completely made-up stories (pizzagate), and the public's general interest in anything that's shocking, unusual, or worthy of memes.

Anyone who bases their self-image in any way on the opinion of others would be completely devastated in a political run. Ross Perot wasn't able to do that, and I'm continuously surprised that Donald Trump could.

Zuckerberg in particular seems too young to have a solid and strong ego, and he doesn't have the experience of politics or celebrity status to fall back on.

While it's a laudable goal, I just don't see Mark Zuckerberg as a viable presidential candidate in the next two or three elections.

I also wonder how much hands-on leadership he has at Facebook. I don't see him as having a vision, and getting people on-board with that vision. Also, I don't see him taking a lot of risks with the company direction.

Contrast with Jeff Bezos, who is taking Amazon in new directions, with some measure of risk, or Elon Musk, who is drawing together a vertically integrated ecosystem of companies. Those two would probably make better political candidates, if they decided to do that.

Politics is a rough choice, and I don't see Mark Zuckerberg fitting in to that lifestyle.

Comment There's a difference (Score 0) 430

All past presidents have had bad things said about them.

I think there's a difference between saying bad things, and saying false things.

Do you think there's a difference? Should the MSM be allowed to print just any old thing they make up?

Also, I think there's a difference between saying bad things, and saying things that make someone fear for their life.

Do you think there's a difference? Should celebrities be allowed to say they want to kill someone, blow up their house, or kill them in effigy?

Comment And in the meantime... (Score -1, Flamebait) 389

...this so-called president is an idiot who is in waaaaaaaaaaaay over his head.

And in the meantime, over 500 VA employees were fired, demoted, or disciplined for incompetence.

...but sure, keep telling us about how outrageous his tweets are, how it's shameful that he has no sense of decorum.

Meanwhile, he's quietly getting his agenda passed.

Also of note, Mark Meadows has threatened to shut down the government unless Congress funds the border wall, and if that happens it will be the Democrat's fault!

Also also, Ronna McDaniel wants to delay or cancel the [legislature] August recess unless health care is fixed.

I am *SO* happy that people are outraged over his tweets!

He's so waaaaaaaaay over his head, what with all the winning and such!

Bwaaaah ha ha ha ha!

Comment Re:Please Read The Entire Statement (Score 1) 474

You are also ignoring the paragraph after the one you cited:

Protection Against Additional Restrictions Usersâ(TM) freedoms cannot be protected if parties can add restrictive terms to the copyleft. The âoeno additional restrictionsâ principle is therefore unwaivable if the GPL licenses are to achieve their primary objective. GPLv2 therefore requires that the only license terms available for works based on GPLv2 works are the terms of GPLv2. GPLv3, in Â7, enumerates a few classes of permissible additional terms, to allow very limited license variations in particular circumstances. But with these exceptions, the âoeno further restrictionsâ principle applies strictly. For these reasons, acceptance requirements or ceremonies, including âoeclick to acceptâ installation routines, violate the terms of GPL.

By this interpretation, both the distributor who offered an additional term and the customer who accepted it in breach.

I should also add that SFLC's interpretation of the GPL is not binding upon anyone but SFLC, and arguably not even them. I certainly don't have to accept it or abide by it.

Comment Re:Please Read The Entire Statement (Score 1) 474

The infringing derivative work is not the software which the Linux developers license to people under the GPL. It is a separate work to which the GPL does not apply and to which the Linux developers hold a copyright interest and the only remedy which can permit its legal use. The Linux developers never intended to license that work, they still haven't, the GPL doesn't apply to it.

Comment Re:Uhhhhhhh (Score 2) 474

I got a copy of the agreement. It's here. It's pretty clearly in violation. The offending language is:

Notwithstanding these rights and obligations, the User acknowledges that redistribution of the provided stable patches or changelogs outside of the explicit obligations under the GPL to User's customers will result in termination of access to future updates of grsecurity stable patches and changelogs.

The entire point of the langauge in section 6 of the GPL is so that another party can not cause you to negotiate away your GPL rights.

Comment Re:Not related to their mark (Score 1) 474

I got a copy of Grsecurity's Stable Patch Access Agreement. It's a written term, given to you before the act of distribution. It's rather imprudent of them to write it down if you ask me.

The entire point of the language against additional terms in the GPL is so that others can not negotiate with you for you to give up any of your GPL rights.

I don't think this gives you an obligation to support software you didn't provide. You are not, in that case, refusing to support the software that you did provide. In contrast, Grsecurity shuts the customer off entirely.

Comment Perception of the GPL (Score 2) 474

If you wanted to stoke the perception that GPLed code is "toxic" in yet another unhelpful and nebulous way, you couldn't have picked a better way...

Actually, all I see so far is that an intentional GPL violator's customers are not protected from that intentional violation. It's not at all clear that this is in any way different from the proprietary software licensing world, where a contributory infringement case brought on the customer rather than the vendor is a frequent strategy.

I check out the software licenses that are offered to my customers. Sometimes I red-light a proprietary software vendor because I don't believe they have the right to offer their own software. This is often obvious from their licensing. Similarly, a company should not accept a commercial issue of a GPL work if it's not sure the vendor has a right to offer the work.

I am sorry that due diligence is required, but of course the Free Software folks didn't invent this intellectual property mess.

Comment Re:Please Read The Entire Statement (Score 1) 474

I just copied Eben again this morning, as I'd received a copy of the Grsecurity Stable Patch Access Agreement, which I had not previously had in hand. I also included another link to my article. No word from Eben yet.

While the user may not be responsible for the sins of the distributor, this is only the case after the distributor successfully conveys the GPL to the user upon the work. I contend that the distributor never had the right to convey the GPL to the user at all upon an infringing derivative work, and that a direct grant by the kernel developers to the user is thus never triggered.

Also, keep in mind that if the user does successfully receive the GPL on a work, they must be fully in compliance (section 4) for the GPL to continue. If the "sins" of the distributor are repeated by the user, the user is not in compliance. The point here is that the user need not pay for a "sin" which they do not repeat, nor may the distributor perform a deliberate action which terminates the user's GPL rights unless the user repeats that action.

When the user receives the infringing derivative work, and when the user applies the patch, they inherit the previous infringement from the distributor. The GPL does not wash clean that infringing status for the user.

Slashdot Top Deals

"I just want to be a good engineer." -- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, concluding his keynote speech at the 1988 AppleFest