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Comment Re:Backing Bruce's Copyright (Score 2, Insightful) 316

This is not governed by the GPL but rather by case law regarding what does and does not constitute a "derived work." Case law in this area is vague, contradictory, and evolving. Litigation in this area tends to be expensive and unpredictable.

The claim of ongoing copyright "even if every line of code ... were replaced" is one of the major arguments SCO is making. I don't it's a valid argument and I certainly hope that the courts don't find it to be valid.

Finally, copyright law does not require registrants to identify the new creative contribution when registering a work derived from a prior work (whether PD or copyrighted). By registering copyright, a necessary step prior to pursuing infringement claims, Anderson does "not claim complete Copyright."

Comment Re:All admins (Score 1) 502

Except for the whole point that they fired him for refusing to give them the passwords? It's a matter of public record at this point. He could have easily asked for a waiver from them to indicate they understand the risks and it would have been done, in addition to the paper and digital trail where they requested the passwords.

He also could have raised concerns to H.R. who would have been obligated to note his concerns in his file.

This guy is an idiot.

Comment Re:Intellecutal Property Laws are not difficult fo (Score 1) 502

They didn't 'misplace' them. They knew exactly where they were placed. Obviously they did not have the passwords in their possession, hence the very reason for this man's arrest. They don't require that he 'wipe his memory'. The law does require that he surrender the information.

It is well established that inventions or other IP created while under the employee of a company are the exclusive property of said company. There are countless cases that state this VERY clearly. He doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

By your logic, he could write the passwords down and bury it in some hidden location on their property to claim they are in possession. The law would laugh you out of court (and I daresay you know it).

On a side note: Yes, your explaining it 'horribly badly'.

Comment Re:Communism (Score 1) 400

The rest of the world has pretty much been telling the US to fuck itself with a pineapple over Helms-Burton. It certainly hasn't affected Cuba's trade with the rest of Latin America, especially Venezuela.

Cuba's failure is a result of the fundamental failure of one-party government and a planned economy. If the embargo ended today, nothing would change in Cuba. Citizens would still be on rationed food and power, no freedom of movement, and with prohibitively expensive (if any) access to telecommunications. Why? Because the aim of every "revolution" of the last 100 years has been "revolution". The goal of the struggle is to struggle. If you don't keep your people under the illusion of a permanent state of siege, they might just realize they have options.

Comment Then what? (Score 3, Interesting) 410

I did this once. Took a marketing role after political factors made it uncomfortable to stay in tech at my employer at the time.

The risk is in what happens after you're in the non-technical role for a few years. In my case, with the marketing job, it was in the early 1990s and I ended up missing the transition from DOS and C to Windows and C++, because I was no longer doing any technical work. Yet, I didn't have an MBA, and was never good enough at marketing to be able to make the kind of money I wanted when I moved to another company.

You can imagine how the interviews went when I was trying to get C++/Windows jobs, which was the shiny new thing back then.

So, my advice is that, like a chess game, you have to think a couple moves ahead and figure out what your choices will be like in 3-4 years. What will this admin job prepare you for? Who do you know who has moved into a better role after doing this type of job for a while? Are you going to make friends in the industry in this job or just piss off the people you're supposed to be keeping tabs on? Does this role tend to be filled on a revolving-door basis by recent ex-techies who can leverage their old skills or do people stay in the role for a while?

Comment Re:stale product (Score 1) 378

Another difference is that music is still produced as an 'album', with al the related expenses, but is now often sold as tracks. This means that some tracks probably are required to cover some of the expenses of other tracks. OTOH, movies as still sold as complete units, and are sometimes bundled with other units to generate additional profits, not cover basic expenses.

The production costs of additional tracks are just not that significant. You burn through money like crazy getting everything ready to go. Once you fly in a bunch of people, hire session musicians, and get everything set up in the studio it doesn't matter much whether you record all day or just for half an hour.

Record labels spend far more money on unsuccessful acts that never sell anything than they do on b sides.

Comment Re:But weren't they on anyway? (Score 1) 621

It's a simplification on many levels and just shows that the magnitude of the claimed amount is about right.

Computers sold in the Energy Star era (post-1992) all had some form of power stepping. In all fairness, the early forms were a nuisance and were often disabled. More recent computers, minimally, step down the processor clock when there's nothing to do. Typical desktop CPU power draw, full CPU utilization compared to idle but still running the OS, has varied, peaking several years ago and now dropping somewhat as peak CPU power draw has come down a little. You lose 5-10% in the power supply. 40 watts is perhaps a little low, as an average over the past 10 years.

There is also the additional air conditioning load, which is typically 30% for the fraction of time air conditioning is in use in the building.

There is also additional fan wear since the fans will run harder. And the additional heatsink clogging due to dust that a technician must remove. Quite possibly, the complaints of slow PCs were due to the CPU speed being stepped down due to heat limiting because of fouled heatsinks from dust combined with the CPU hog program keeping everything running hot.

There is also more rapid component failure due to heat. This affects the CPU itself, and depending on the case design, possibly other components as well.

Finally, with an IT mindset rooted in the importance of running SETI, it is unlikely that other power-saving strategies, like shutting off machines at night or on weekends, or allowing them to enter sleep or hibernate states, were seriously entertained, though to be sure such policies don't always make sense.

Comment In an ideal world? Nobody on call. (Score 1) 735

In an ideal world, none of the techs are on call because there are sufficient scheduled staff on site to deal with any problems. Larger organizations approach this, simply because beyond a certain point the "on call" person is busy enough that the model doesn't work anymore and you have to switch to shifts.

Small companies I've worked at have used a number of strategies to make this fair. One way to do it is limit service hours. For a while we limited service hours to 7 am to 7 pm, and if customers called outside that the expectation was that they'd get a call at 7 am the next day. I have also seen best-effort systems where there is no formal SLA, and several people get paged at once if there's trouble, which works in some cases.

The problem with being on call is that, if you have a life, you have commitments and do stuff that you can't just unwind in 10 minutes. Golf, fishing trip, reffing a kid's softball game, community orchestra rehearsal, picking up kids on the other side of town.

Submission + - ING Direct's web site down most of the morning (

bzzfzz writes: Popular online-only bank ING Direct's web site has been down most of the morning, returning 503s and a maintenance slide with a lame pocket protector joke. When a bricks-and-mortar banks online transaction processing system fails, most in-person transactions can still be handled (or at least batched up for later processing) using a variety of fallbacks. When a web-only bank's web site goes down, then what?

Submission + - Pirate Bay closure sparked P2P mutiny (

Barence writes: The closure of the Pirate Bay peer-to-peer site had the unforeseen side effect of forcing the torrent sharers underground and causing a 300% increase in sites providing access to copyright files, according to figures from security firm McAfee. “This was a true “cloud computing” effort,” the company said in its Threats Report for the third quarter. “The masses stepped up to make this database of torrents available to others... Once it was temporarily shut down, those people still wanted the torrents so they went elsewhere, and that meant lots of other sites popped up to take advantage – we saw a 300% increase in sites hosting and distributing movies and software."

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