Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Submission + - SPAM: What is MSM? (MainStream Media)

Strudelkugel writes: We hear quite a lot about the MSM, and how it might be biased one way or another. It think it usually means the major newspapers, cable TV and network channels, but why would the definition be insensitive to the platform? If you have an Android phone, is the MSM Google News? Apple News on the iPhone? What about cord cutters? They don't get cable news. What if all of yours news is online? Even the Wikipedia crowd can't decide.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Bruce Perens Warns of Contributory Infringement Risk for Grsecurity Cusomers

NewGnu writes:

Warning: Grsecurity: Potential contributory infringement and breach of contract risk for customers It\u2019s my strong opinion that your company should avoid the Grsecurity product sold at because it presents a contributory infringement and breach of contract risk. Grsecurity is a patch for the Linux kernel which, it is claimed, improves its security. It is a derivative work of the Linux kernel which touches the kernel internals in many different places. It is inseparable from Linux and can not work without it. it would fail a fair-use test (obviously, ask offline if you don\u2019t understand). Because of its strongly derivative nature of the kernel, it must be under the GPL version 2 license, or a license compatible with the GPL and with terms no more restrictive than the GPL. Earlier versions were distributed under GPL version 2. Currently, Grsecurity is a commercial product and is distributed only to paying customers. My understanding from several reliable sources is that customers are verbally or otherwise warned that if they redistribute the Grsecurity patch, as would be their right under the GPL, that they will be assessed a penalty: they will no longer be allowed to be customers, and will not be granted access to any further versions of Grsecurity. GPL version 2 section 6 explicitly prohibits the addition of terms such as this redistribution prohibition. By operating under their policy of terminating customer relations upon distribution of their GPL-licensed software, Open Source Security Inc., the owner of Grsecurity, creates an expectation that the customer\u2019s business will be damaged by losing access to support and later versions of the product, if that customer exercises their re-distribution right under the GPL license. This is tantamount to the addition of a term to the GPL prohibiting distribution or creating a penalty for distribution. GPL section 6 specifically prohibits any addition of terms. Thus, the GPL license, which allows Grsecurity to create its derivative work of the Linux kernel, terminates, and the copyright of the Linux Kernel is infringed. The contract from the Linux kernel developers to both Grsecurity and the customer which is inherent in the GPL is breached. As a customer, it\u2019s my opinion that you would be subject to both contributory infringement and breach of contract by employing this product in conjunction with the Linux kernel under the no-redistribution policy currently employed by Grsecurity. I have previously endorsed a company that distributes enhanced versions of GPL software to paying customers, but that company operated differently (and in a way that I would recommend to Grsecurity). They did not make any threat to customers regarding redistribution. They publicly distributed their commercial version within 9 months to one year after its customer-only distribution. This other company was essentially receiving payment from its customers for the work of making new GPL software available to the public after a relatively short delay, and thus they were doing a public benefit and were, IMO, in compliance with the letter of GPL though perhaps not the spirit. In contrast, Grsecurity does no redeeming public service, and does not allow any redistribution of their Linux derivative, in direct contravention to the GPL terms. In the public interest, I am willing to discuss this issue with companies and their legal counsel, under NDA, without charge. I am an intellectual property and technology specialist who advises attorneys, not an attorney. This is my opinion and is offered as advice to your attorney. Please show this to him or her. Under the law of most states, your attorney who is contracted to you is the only party who can provide you with legal advice.

Submission + - Wolfram Alpha Is Making it Easy for Students to Cheat (

mirandakatz writes: Wolfram|Alpha is an amazing tool—but education hasn't yet caught up, and in high schools and colleges alike, educators are unsure of how to handle the tool's ability to produce totally completed problem sets that show their work. At Backchannel, Pippa Biddle takes a look at the controversy emerging around the AI tool, writing that "just as robotics has transformed manufacturing, tools like Wolfram|Alpha are forcing us to rethink an educational system by challenging it to rise to the new technological standard. Either we reshape our schools to embrace tools like Wolfram|Alpha, or we risk becoming living artifacts in a rapidly progressing world."

Slashdot Top Deals

"It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we're dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa