Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Damage control (Score 0) 611

You should have been more clear on the used games bit.

game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers

Basically, go fuck yourself, the horse you rode in on, your mother, and anyone you feel like, because that will fill the time you aren't playing used games. Most publishers will allow it, but that is a statistic, and the outliers will surely be the biggest targets for piracy.

How it will shake out: if you can pirate the game somehow, you will not be allowed to buy it used. This matches everything we have seen from most software publishers, and the biggest game distributors. Not game studios, because they produce a game. Distributors because they add DRM and whatever else they think might be a bottom-line improvement.

I expect a few lawsuits between game production companies and their distributors. Or if they are smart, contract changes.

Comment Re:Personally, I prefer the WTFPL (Score 1) 356

There is nothing to get - that's the point. Stop overthinking it.

1) Whatever accompanied the license has no terms, including nothing about stripping the copyright notice.
2) The license itself has a license, which only asks that if you modify the license terms you have to change the name

It's not even public domain - it has no legal definition, and is not restricted in any way, including a lack of restrictions on re-copyrighting.

It's also obviously tongue in cheek, since no professional is going to release anything under this license. The lack of restrictions on marking something as being copyrighted make this a difficult legal area, if a dispute were to come up.

But a dispute with one side obviously lying is certainly better than a state prosecuting copyright violations when the author is not aware, nor wishes to have charges pursued. They wanted people to use the code, but did not license it explicitly.

The liberal licenses which retain ownership while granting a license are much more legally sound, both from a creator and a consumer perspective - that's even more of a selling point than short and easy to understand.

Comment Blackstone's ratio, and the burden of proof (Score 1) 768

The burden of proof rests on the prosecution. If we require a statement, the burden is either partly shifted to the defendant (not the defense, just the accused), or the threat of perjury is now very real. While typically not prosecuted, a reasonably solid case plus threats of additional charges like perjury and obstruction of justice make it easier, and more affordable, to plead guilty or no contest.

(btw parent - torture is explicitly off the table, as apparently its no big deal to society if a confession is tortured out of someone because they can always come back and get justice, in every case, without fail, so your comment is irrelevant. instead you should have gone with "any coercion other than what is not legally considered torture nor duress" which I think OP has some other weasel requirements to invalidate but can't be arsed to figure out which)

You (OP) have to consider this within the structure of the justice system, and all of its leanings toward potential abuse. As a defendant, with little or no power, a lengthy appeal process, and if vindicated a lengthy and expensive road to exposing abuses, you are automatically at a disadvantage even if you don't self-incriminate.

Scenario: I talk with the police, or prosecutors. At any point in the future, I mis-remember or mis-state something, on the record. Immediately anyone can say we have evidence that you are at best unreliable and more likely lying. Nothing I say at that point holds any water. I have damaged my own case, and it would be far better had I not said anything if it were optional.

In this example, we can consider the types of evidence that lead to Innocence Project victories because DNA evidence proves that the evidence was really just circumstantial. This isn't just clearly circumstantial evidence, which cannot be used as the sole evidence in a criminal case. This is the kind of rock-solid, 5 eye witnesses, your vehicle leaving the crime scene, you are guilty of murder evidence. But you didn't do it, and you are set free after years in jail.

Let me interrupt you and say that Innocence Project victories are not the subject here, they are only proof that people get convicted of Very Serious Things (c) on very shaky evidence, so don't claim that this type of scenario is impossible.

Instead of mis-stating, I can remember more details which are relevant, and share those when I have to. Either I was hiding them originally, or I'm making them up now. I am undermined, and two eye witnesses who claim it was me now outweigh me, an obviously guilty person lying to stay free.

False memories are surprisingly easy to create, especially accidentally. Depending on the timing and nature of the questions, you could develop a false memory. Your statements will be different because you remember what happened differently. Better to write down what you remember and put it in a locked, unpredictable location.

Any number of variations on scenarios like this boil down to one thing: the moment you appear to contradict yourself, your ability to defend yourself is diminished.

Very clearly, "frequent contributor Bennett Haselton" has never been in a situation with another person where he/she had to say "that's not what I meant." And even more clearly, has not uttered the words "that's not what I meant and you know it." I'm going off into the gender stereotypes here, but I'm fairly certain that everyone over the age of 15 has met that one super-bitch who decides what your words mean, and can recite everything you have ever said when it best suits her argument. Even if that super-bitch is a dude. When the police or prosecution have a record of your statements, "that's not what I meant" works never.

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

That's all there is to it, really. But I'll ramble more.

I'm having an affair, and my lover is the only alibi I have, along with hotel receipts and probably security video placing me anywhere but the crime scene. Were I allowed to take the fifth, I make the prosecution find more evidence and hopefully find the actual criminal, without exposing myself any more than I already have. If I share my dirty little secret, that leverage can lead to pressure to allow more invasive searches or questioning. If I instead make up another place and claim I was there, that's lying and obstruction even if I clear things up later. All of which can be used in the event they decide I'm the only suspect and proceed. Just hand over the paper trail, it's all a misunderstanding, and everyone laughs, right? No, your question was the benefit to society as a whole. Like it or not, married people will have affairs as long as single people, or other married people, are willing to be the mistress/poolboy, so there is no net benefit in outing a frowned upon but natural behavior. And dragging the innocent through a legal quagmire is hardly helpful in catching the real bad dude.

What if 10 of my friends say I was at the lake, but I say I was at the hotel, and my girlfriend (who obviously will just say whatever I tell her to say) is my only record because I paid in cash and avoided all but the most grainy video surveillance? I have no paper trail for the lake either because that was my cover story. Now I'm looking like the number one suspect. I can't imagine any world in which there is benefit to society in trapping me in my own web of lies which are completely unrelated to the crime, while the actual criminal is out there.

Now, you shouldn't have to answer questions that are none of anyone else's business; if your alibi for the night of the murder is that you were at a somewhere you're embarrassed to mention, you should be allowed to say, "I didn't commit the murder, but I would prefer not to tell you where I was." But Fifth Amendment absolutists would say that you don't even have to answer the question of whether you committed the murder at all. That, to me, seems absurd. Isn't society entitled to know whether you committed the murder or not?

Yes, society is entitled to know. Is society going to believe me when I say no? The answer is no. Society gains nothing by me answering yes, because that is a false confession. Society gains nothing by me answering no, because society doesn't just take my word for it and move on. Separate from railroading and abuse, when a prosecutor has a good suspect it doesn't matter if you are innocent or guilty - only whether prosecution can meet the bar to get you convicted. No corruption, no railroading, just well-intentioned people on all sides going with what seems to be the obvious answer. I'm guilty, and lying about it.

If you consider the benefit if someone is actually guilty, it is hard to come up with a good scenario. But guilty is decided after the presentation of all evidence, not when you have the chance to decline answering questions. And guilty is not the record of what actually happened, it is the decision of a judge or jury based on evidence presented, which becomes a legal fact, possibly altering history if you are legally guilty of something you did not do. Unless you assert that you can tell when a person has been correctly imprisoned every time, there is no way to work your way back and say we would have let a guilty murderer go if not for his self-incrimination, therefore the benefit to society is obvious. Because after 10 years in jail, he too could be an Innocence Project victory, and your argument shrivels into the pointless mental masturbation that it truly is.

Christ on a cracker, I can't believe I wasted that much space on stating the obvious.

Comment Re:Gosh!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 318

If you did, you'd see that he has a perfectly valid point about how the effect of non-Free licenses, combined with minified (and therefore effectively unreadable) code

No. Free Software wants JavaScript to be readable, and understandable. This is a valid point, regardless of the language and the availability of the source code.

We cannot make readable C from a decompilation, mostly because of different compilers and different optimization levels. We can decompile Java and C#/VB.NET because there is one and only one VM or IL definition.

JavaScript minification is only about renaming variables. I can tell you there is only one thing in the way of understanding JavaScript minification. Two, if you include a generic text editor's lack of "replace word only" functionality.

You have to read the de-minified version, just like any other code. You have to read, or if your language is not the same as the author's, translate, the variable names, just like the original source code.

JavaScript as it runs in your browser is exactly the same as it runs interpreted, compiled, or in any other fashion. You have the freedom to block it, you have the freedom to modify it (GreaseMonky is just one of many), you have the freedom to read it, save it, or do whatever else you want. If it executes on your machine, I think the FSF would support any measure of scrutiny you wish to apply before, during, or after executing.

I have read "free" software source code, and found it no more intelligible than minified JavaScript. Some no more readable than a disassembly.

If you are going to object to minified JS, you also have to object to any code which is difficult to comprehend, and then you place a subjective quality on what is truly free. Firefox, to me, is no longer free software. I debugged just the installer for a bug report on ReactOS, and found piles of code which was misleading, in the most complimentary term. I offered to make a change to Doom, which took me 3 times as long as I thought, and ultimately failed to achieve, because the seemingly readable code was slightly obfuscated by the build process.

Either source code is enough, or it has to be readable. If we say readable, we have to define the least common denominator who should be able to read it. If we do that, it becomes a subjective criterion, and probably a moving target.

So here we are, at a crossroads. If a project produces the source code needed to build a complete, binary-perfect copy of their executable(s), but it was run through the C pre-processor, or C++ pre-processor, is that enough? It compiles, it builds with the version of tools the provider used... if you discount the pre-processor, it is effectively the original source code provided to the compiler. Is that enough?

JavaScript is what is provided to the interpreter - minified or not. Is that enough?

I say it is, and I disagree 100% with the FSF on this point. Named variables are nice, but they can be interpreted by the usage, if you are going to read the code.

If you are going to take an ideological stance and say "I don't understand this, therefore it is not enough", you are going to have to establish an objective baseline. I can understand optimized assembly, and some pure hex - is that free enough?

This is the opinion of someone who believes that source is provided for everything that executes, or is interpreted. Surely to fuck if you wrote a compiler, you can understand this. If you wrote an interpreter it is easier to understand.

If you don't understand anything else, think of JavaScript like Spanish. Lots of people understand it, most people don't. In this case, you don't. You are provided all instructions in Spanish. Is it more difficult to understand the instructions if given in Spanish? Of course. But I don't see the objection. Especially if you allow C programs written with Spanish, or French, or any other foreign language to be classified as free.

Let us support the FSF in making all software English only. Or we could just say GFY.

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 193

If you do it your way, it's slower. Most people with a phone have it on already, with no locking. If you do it the way people who use payment apps do it, it can be a lot faster.

You could argue that this method is a lot slower: stare at the cashier, wait for the total, dig in your purse to find stray bills, decide you don't have enough cash, find a checkbook, hand the blank to the cashier so the register prints it, enter the amount and balance your checkbook.

Yes people do it that way, but most people avoid it if possible. Have your method of payment ready when it's time to pay, no matter what system you use.

You're worse than those people on infomercials who can't figure out how to change a light bulb, or get frustrated because they use every product in their house the wrong way. Don't be incompetent. And if you're going to argue against something, be realistic. Exaggeration of the sort found in infomercials is at best disingenuous, and more like outright falsification/

Comment Re: Actually this is a good thing (Score 4, Insightful) 230

I understand you take exception to this generalization because of your experience. Do you think you are representative of the granny population? Or are you an exception to the generalization?

Any blanket statement will have outliers, including this one, and I find it odd to find replies like these modded up - I'd rather see actual stats on how many grannies are tech savvy rather than a single anecdote with 3 people who also have mod points agreeing.

Comment Re:Now exacerbated by Firefox v20 ESC key disablin (Score 1) 196

I have, and gave up. I used to remember the details, but the installer alone was ridiculous. I tried debugging it for ReactOS, and it turned out to be a simple resource/image issue. Maybe things are better now, but I refuse to take a look.

I remember finding functions, only to see unused code in abandoned folders and not knowing which was actually part of the project. Not just a few, I estimated maybe 25% of the source distribution was dead code.

The build chain, considering that the UI is written in XUL, requires a full build of XUL, followed by the actual browser build.

Maybe things have improved, but I'm not going anywhere near it now. You could not pay me to alter a spelling mistake and build the result.

Comment Re:Can anyone explain what it would mean? (Score 1) 255

I'm no particle physicist, but i can generalize.

It would mean that we have a preliminary report on an unfinished experiment. Or more specifically, an experiment not intended to explore this subject has not ruled out the possibility.

What this actually means to us is that experiments intended to find this result have not been proven useless already, and they could be conducted using the existing ALPHA setup. ALPHA appears to be the most successful anti-particle creation mechanism, making it the obvious place to do such experiments.

Our current understanding has been proven to a high precision, leaving a very small window in which to be wrong in some amount.

It could mean that the weak equivalence principle is wrong. That's what you're really looking for. But what would that mean? It would mean the same as any other question - that our understanding needs to be refined and/or adjusted.

If antimatter falls upwards? Whoah, you are jumping into science fiction territory. We have strong evidence that the weak equivalence principle is correct. Someone smart would have to invent another principle which explains the newly discovered F value, and then hypothesize on what that means. Multiple people would have multiple hypotheses. It could mean anything, or nothing, at this point.

TL;DR - don't de-fund us.

Comment Re:No license (Score 1) 630

Missed the point completely.

If I use code without a license attached, whether it works or not, I could at any time be sued for that use, in most of the world thanks to the Berne Convention. Not frivolously sued, as in an overly litigious society. I mean properly and rightfully sued because I violated someone's copyright.

This has nothing to do with whether the code works, whether it is fit for purpose, or whether it is warranted. This is just about the use of the code. Code with no license is a unusable because I can be sued by the copyright owner just for having used it. It is a liability because I am very likely to lose.

Comment Re:Board malfeasance (Score 1) 70

If you own Dell stock and you claim that limiting ownership undermines your share value, then GO SUE THE FUCKING COMPANY.

Either you do, or you don't, and either you can or you can't. Plenty of companies have made millions, or billions, before someone actually sued them and got a court order for them to stop their shenanigans.

No one here gives a shit until someone who actually has standing to sue does so, with a valid, comprehensible, lucid argument that stands up in a legal argument. If you don't, or you can't, no one here cares.

Comment Re:probably fired everyone (Score 0, Flamebait) 84

Did you miss the part where Marissa Mayer took actual measurements of remote employee connection and realized they weren't working as much as they claimed, and gave them an ultimatum to work at the office or not work for Yahoo?

Maybe you missed the part about all of the acquisitions Yahoo made recently. I don't know the details, but acquisitions usually mean layoffs in some form or another. I'm sure there are some news stories to go dig up about all of the layoffs as a result of Yahoo mergers you could dig up to support your accusation.

Did you miss the part about 14% of Yahoo's hires being ex-employees begging for their jobs back? I don't know if that's a big number, but it seems larger than I expected.

Your bet makes no sense given that a new President and CEO is in charge. New CEOs tend to make big changes, and then either fail spectacularly, or not fail spectacularly. Either way, change is afoot. If you want to accuse an established company, with an established CEO, as being greedy at the expense of older employees, I'm completely behind you. That seems to happen a lot.

But it also makes the news, when the sort of age discrimination you accuse Yahoo of actually happens. No betting needed. Just go research it, post some links, and know what the hell you're talking about rather than projecting on every industry member you can find. Otherwise you're just another asshole farting on the internet. Polite society demands I not even acknowledge your ejaculation, but the internet is not polite society.

Comment Re:Did he really do it? (Score 1) 99

Am I the only one who has a problem with extrapolating like this?

You obviously don't have a problem with extrapolating like that. Even thought you say you do, you either don't or don't realize you didn't.

If you believe that Warg feels okay about making digital copies of intellectual property, it is not a stretch to think he has no moral qualms about making copies of other protected data. I can buy that. I don't, but I can suspend disbelief and at least accept it.

On the other hand, if you want to say that making *copies* of intellectual property, keeping the original intact, is the same as stealing, you are functionally mentally handicapped. I don't mean that as an insult, I mean you should either get diagnosed or stop posting your opinion on the internet.

If you want to assert that copying data is the same as physically invading a human being's body against someone's will, potentially implanting either a disease or an unwanted life, you are completely insane. Stop posting, stop talking to people, and check yourself into the nearest mental hospital. For the good of everyone you are likely to come into contact with.

If you think it is even remotely close to ending person's life on this plane of existence, you are psychotic, and need mental help immediately.

Think about it. Stealing my credit card information from my computer, which is really annoying but something I can live through, is the same as murder? Stealing my complete identity is the same as killing me? Physically invading my home and removing my property is the same as rape, or murder? I can take a weekend off from endless forms, phone calls, paperwork, installing home security systems, and financial tracking, and go to Cancun, which I can't do if I'm dead.

It it nothing like

saying that if you've shoplifted, you're also a rapist and murderer in the making for sure.


Stealing is often seen as a victimless crime, because the "big corporation" absorbs the cost. Everyone who shops there absorbs the cost of either prosecution or the loss, not the company. But it's easy to lose that, and I'm not willing to assert that "sticking it to the man" is the same as raping or murdering.

I may have no qualms about stealing data from your computer, where everything is digital and depending on the jury likely refutable. I posit that as an hypothetical. But you can be damned sure that I will not rape or murder anyone, where the physical evidence is likely to put me away for a long time. I know the difference, and I am certain Warg knew this.

The only difference is whether he left that knowledge behind. And it's not a rape trial, nor a murder trial, so that is irrelevant. Nor is it stealing. It's illegal access, in the digital world, where everything is made of bits. Much more believable.

Comment Re:Did he really do it? (Score 3, Insightful) 99

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say the right answer is probably two. But let's wait and see what comes out at the trial.

Either you take a wild guess, or you wait. You took the guess and told everyone else to wait, almost like you thought you were imparting some digging sarcasm.

I don't know anything about the Swedish prosecution. Oh wait, actually I do remember accusations of Sweden acting like a lapdog for either the USA or its Copyright Cartel.

Oh shit, there's a cable, Stockholm 09-141, which explicitly says to prosecute TPB owners, and implicitly has a quid pro quo on the special 301 list, which is to say, do what we ask and you wont be on it.

Sweden has been accused of external influence in Assange's trials. It has been accused of meddling in RIAA affairs, despite the Swedish Prosecution Authority explicitly being separate from both courts and police, and implicitly from other governments.

Given your conditions, I'm going with option 1. Just a wild guess - but you're right, let's wait for the results.

Comment Re:Poor Linking (Score 2) 128

I know Slashdot likes to confuse us with it's

His, hers, its. They are already possessive. The possessive apostrophe, like "Ray's Hot Dogs", is not necessary.

Did you mean proofreading like editors do? There are no editors. There are copy/paste monkeys who decide that something should appear as a story on one of the various main pages. And people who don't know where apostrophes go.

Slashdot Top Deals

Counting in binary is just like counting in decimal -- if you are all thumbs. -- Glaser and Way