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Comment Re:The solution seems obvious to me... (Score 1) 355

That's not very good advice, unless you're trying to say that people shouldn't be running any software at all. See, the modern trend is that all software is considered beta. If you refuse to use any beta software, then for example you won't be using hardly any Google products and where would you *find* non-beta software if you can't even use the major search engines?

Beta is part of the "agile" software development philosophy. Modern software is shipped early, with incomplete or broken features, and the user response is leveraged to make incremental development decisions such as whether it's worth fixing a bug that only gets exercised by 0.01% of the user base. Beta literally helps management decide if it is worth moving the developers over to another project and EOL the product early, or not. Moreover, beta means CYA for those companies.

As a user, you do not have a choice in the philosophy espoused by all companies out there. When most of them decide to do this, you have nowhere to turn. You simply have to make the best of it and use the software as is, while doing your best to route around the annoyances. I guess some eole are so fed up with this nonsense that they're willing to complain loudly until the software companies start listening.

Comment Worse: it's reporting bias (Score 4, Interesting) 174

This paper is a clear candidate for reporting bias.

Reporting bias occurs when the opposite result isn't ever reported. So you either see an article or you don't. If you see the article, that's because the result was "surprising". If you don't see the article, that's because it wasn't "interesting".

Trouble is, every possible result, no matter how "surprising", can occur just by chance if you do enough experiments, even if the truth isn't "interesting". Statistics works like that.

So if you keep doing all sorts of different experiments until you find one that randomly happens to look "surprising", then publish it, but never talk about all the other experimental ideas that didn't pan out, you've got yourself a case of reporting bias.

Ask yourself this: what legitimate scientific question is being answered here, and what journal and media outlets are likely to publish the opposite finding?

Comment Re:And what about false positives? (Score 1) 284

Yes, exactly. That's what guilty unless proven innocent means. A presumed innocent party wouldn't be taken in for a second or third look. The second and third look are needed to prove their innocence. If they don't pass the criteria for the second and thirds, then they are considered guilty.

Comment Re:Is the systemd problem fixed yet? (Score 1) 132

Just for completeness, another option is a BSD. I'm a longtime (15 years, literally) Debian user. It's been an amazing high quality ride until the last year became unbearable with systemd fuckups. I've reluctantly switched to FreeBSD and I'm rather impressed. Packages work easily, documentation is better than Debian, and the quality of networking is better.

It used to be that Linux was dependable for cool stuff, but the BSDs are just dependable, that's my first impression.

Comment Re:Focus on what they do best (Score 1) 231

Are you for real? Open source platforms have long since abandoned "make install", with one or two exceptions. In fact, the "walled garden" metaphor was pioneered and developed by open source operating systems such as Debian (apt). The result was (and largely still is) a clean, virus free, simple installation framework. The commercial providers *copied* this idea because what they had was a cesspool. Even the concept of "distro" is precisely a curated collection of free software designed to seamlessly work with minimal fuss and offer a sampling of all the applications an ordinary person is likely to need.

Comment Re:Novelty still bars a patent (Score 1) 231

lack of novelty still disqualifies an invention from a patent

It does not, that is the point of the "$PATENT with a computer" meme.

Lack of novelty is a meaningless phrase that means something warm and fuzzy to the public but has no true power to stop obvious inventions from being patented.

Comment How about promoting the GPL? (Score 1) 231

The FSF has dropped the ball in the last 10 years, there needs to be a campaign of awareness and a new push for adoption of the GPL. The GPL was the reason that the open source ecosystem grew and thrived in the 90s. It encouraged people to contribute, knowing that corporations weren't going to take over their work and turn it into products with nonfree agendas. Now the ecosystem is a shadow of its former self, and the world at large is infested with spying, ad-serving, nickel and diming products explicitly designed to keep open source in check.

In the last 10 years, online freedom has been reduced dramatically through the efforts of hardware and software companies like Google and Apple, who take the community's work and turn it into products: free-as-in-beer (with ads) but not free-as-in-freedom. The smartphones, chromebooks, Windows laptops we buy today are built on open software roots but explicitly prevent us from having root access and controlling our privacy. And when the hackers toil to make root available on personal hardware, those companies shortly bring out an update explicitly designed to destroy that access.

Comment Re:What is "biometric information"? (Score 1) 58

That argument is bullshit from someone who doesn't understand machine learning (let alone "deep" learning).

You can use a machine learning face recognition system to identify "face geometry" features trivially, simply by using the output of the system with a postprocessing layer. The combined system is a system which collects "face geometry". As such, the black box nature of Shutterfly's system doesn't preclude the claimed illegal behaviour. Frankly, the only evidence that Shutterfly and Facebook don't break the law is their word, which suggests the lawsuit is entirely reasonable so that we may get to the bottom of this.

Comment Re: Twitter pledge is too weak (Score 1) 49

An irrevocable patent pledge is intended to be precisely that; it's a legal document that is written to carry weight regardless of changes of ownership or management. Whether it will stand in court when tested remains to be seen, but that problem applies also to free content and open source licenses and other legal tools for sharing of information and ideas.

Such a patent pledge document is pure theatre, and should not be confused with open source licenses. The former relies on *the* issuing company behaving in a certain way, whereas the latter relies on *some* licensees behaving in a certain way.

Taking as a given that people change, their motivations, circumstances, relationships change over time, you can and should expect that both KA and open source licensees will change their minds and act contrary to the legal documents they agreed to initially. When that happens, the difference is stark: in the case of the patent pledge, everyone who built their products using said patent becomes an infringer, and the potential for damage and misuse is huge and worldwide (eg SCO). In the case of the open source license, those who misuse the code according to the license are merely stealing code that doesn't belong to them, and this has no effect on the other open source recipients, it's on a case by case basis.

In other words, a patent pledge breaks if one entity changes its mind, whereas an open source license doesn't break if one entity changes its mind. And expecting one entity to change their mind is a very low bar.

What KA should be doing is creating a document, similar to the BSD license, which automatically licenses their patents to anyone for free and forever. That will not happen, because the true motivation of buying dubious patents is to build a war chest that can be used to threaten others, and there would be absolutely no point in paying for a patent if it had no threat value.

Comment Re: Summary insufficient, click through the link. (Score 2) 786

I don't think that calling projects started by women "segregated" is helpful. You are looking at the state of open source through racial conflict tinted glasses. This is not the same problem as black/white integration at all. What is open source about? It's about scratching your own itch. If some mainstream windows like system doesn't work for you, you don't complain and you don't propose to force windows to do things your way. No, you fork a project and do your own thing. If other people like where you are going with this, they'll join and the project grows. If not, there's no harm in having a project of one. Either way, nobody is being forced to do anything, people CHOOSE freely to do what works for them at the time. THAT is the open source way, and that is what is being suggested to you IMHO. If someone wants to fork an open source project with the special feature that cussing and disrespecting women members is not acceptable, they should do exactly that. Fork and run with the idea. Make the rules clear on the mailing list and enforce them. THAT is the open source way. And people will come, and people will choose, and the new projects will grow and take over mindshare, like Linux and GNU grew, and took over mind share, and 30 years later we have a thriving ecosystem. Linux didn't grow fully formed overnight. Neither will your kinder, gentler open source community. So relax, don't tell the community what it should do, don't be impatient. Start by forking an interesting project, experiment with social rules, and see if the idea works out. If you truly have a good idea, people will come and help out. If not, keep going.

Comment Re: Twitter pledge is too weak (Score 4, Informative) 49

That doesn't work. What if Khan gets a new management and/or new owners? They can change the rules and repudiate all those promises, no matter what. For example, Google used to be trustworthy in the early days, now they are an evil spying organisation who takes so much heat that even the founders are distancing themselves with a nondescript holding company called alphabet. If it can happen to Google, who had so much promise in 1999, then you betcha it will happen to Khan once the pressure of economics start to bite them. Trusting the intentions of companies is simply a woeful approach to economic decision making.

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