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Comment Re:divorce (Score 1) 332

> It seems that anything that you do (or don't do!) will be used against you in a court. Now or ever in the future.

Anything you post publicly or share with even a single other person is usable as evidence. Only the stuff you truly keep private by not saying to anyone is limited: you can't be compelled to say it. But if you do say it, it's usable.

> Is this how the law works in US nowadays?

This is how it has worked since the system started.

Comment Re:All contracts are negotiable, but not all are u (Score 1) 138

No, I agree with the GP post. It would seem like any company that accepted your amended text would also have to send you an amended EXE to click through, otherwise you just renegotiated back to their original terms. In the case of a website, they'd have to respond by giving you a new URL.

I suppose it *might* work if your on-paper amendment included a clause, "And the checkbox in the software is just an ignition switch and this document trumps the legalese therein."

Comment Re:Make TOS changes manually (Score 1) 138

I don't buy that argument. If your theory were true then a software author should be able to just display a page that says "there are terms of service that govern this site... >here is a link to them." Users would not have to actually accept the EULA because, by your theory, the seller has made you aware of the terms of use and now you're using the service. But that's not how it works... users have to actually accept the EULA for it to be valid. It appears to be legally unrelated to their use of the software until after the EULA is accepted. If it is never accepted and the user keeps using the software, that seems fine.

The analogy to the coke machine is more like I buy a coke, then the machine asks me if I will sign this form, I say no, and then I keep drinking the coke.

Comment Does contract offer have to give a way to ammend? (Score 1) 138

In a paper contract, if I want to amend something, I amend it, initial it, and sign. If the other party signs, the contract is valid as amended. This works for any paper contract.

Under the law, is a valid contract offer required to provide a mechanism for counter offering? Or is that a "feature" of paper contracts that has just always existed for free and so it never had to be legislated that it must be possible? Has any one ever asked whether presenting a EULA is legal if the reader has no ability to propose amendments?

Comment Re:Nothing New (Score 1) 138

Counter theory (IANAL): My use of your software does not constitute acceptance of the EULA. If it did, no one would bother with having users click to accept the EULA. Instead, if I don't accept the EULA, the software is supposed to quit out. If it doesn't quit out when I click "No I don't Accept", then you're letting me use the software even though I haven't agreed to the EULA.

In this case, I the user am not clicking "No". Instead, I am replying with, "Yes, but with amendments." If the software quits out, fine. But if the software proceeds to let me use it, that sounds an awful lot like the company accepting the amended EULA. Your comments about the machine not being capable of processing and understanding the amendments is curious --- most of us users aren't capable of processing and understanding the original EULA, even with time taken to read through it. I would find it reasonable to say that the same standard of "opening the shrinkwrap" would apply to "allowing the user to proceed to use your software."

Again, IANAL.

Comment Re:Respect the policy (Score 2) 370

It would be pretty to think so, but there is no reason to believe it is anything but a publicity stunt.

I live in Austin. I have been going to the Alamo for over a decade. This has been their policy for as long as texting has been a possibility, and they have thrown many patrons out for violating the policy. This is just the first time it's gotten such national attention.

The PSAs at Alamo have included former governors of Texas, major film stars/directors, locals who made good PSAs for fun, etc. This is just the latest way to make sure people know what is acceptable social behavior at the Alamo. It isn't a completely public space. It is a shared space, with rules of decorum, and the Alamo and its staff work hard to make sure that as many people as possible have a good shared experience at the theaters. Some customers are not fit company for that space and they get tossed out. Honestly, anyone who refuses to follow the simple basics of No Talking & No Texting that the Alamo demands probably has little respect for any form of shared spaces. They're probably the same ones who get banned from chat channels and blocked by spam filters. :-)

Comment Re:hammer (Score 1) 758

I work for NI as a developer of LabVIEW. NI does use the term "G" for the language and "LabVIEW" for the IDE. In cases where there's no need to differentiate, we use LabVIEW because -- as mentioned in one of the earlier posts -- it is easier to search for "LabVIEW" than for "G" when using search engines. But there are some times when having the two separate terms is useful.

> So, let's just agree that the term "G" is being slowly worked out of the LabView ecosystem;

There's no intent to drop the term.

Comment Re:Christ ... (Score 5, Insightful) 328

> Then the insurer could rely on positive selection (as opposed to adverse selection of people who didn't consent) as well as monitoring to give you a better rate.

Nope. If you allow positive selection for those who volunteer, that implies negative selection for anyone who refuses to volunteer, and it would be a short hop from there to assume anyone refusing to share has something to hide. Insuance companies have no "presumption of innocence" requirement.

You have to ban all tracking of such data to avoid sinister.


Google Releases Software To Iran 286

eldavojohn writes "After working closely with US officials following the lifting of export restrictions, Google has announced that their Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome are now available for download in Iran. US sanctions once prevented this but now Google has created versions of its popular software that block all Iranian government IP addresses from utilizing them — thus satisfying the new restrictions."

Firefox 4, A Huge Pile of Bugs 481

surveyork writes "Firefox 4.0 beta 9 (AKA 'a huge pile of awesome') was released on January 14, 2011. Firefox 4's release schedule includes a beta 10 and a release candidate before the final launch in late February. However, one wonders if this schedule won't slip again, since there are still more than 100 'hardblocker' bugs, more than 60 bugs affecting Panorama alone and 10 bugs affecting the just-introduced Tabs-on-Titlebar. Some long-standing bugs won't be fixed in time for Firefox 4 final either (example, example). Many startup bugs are currently pending, although Firefox 4 starts much faster than Firefox 3.6. As a side note, it's unlikely that Firefox 4 final will pass the Acid3 test, despite this being a very popular demand amongst Firefox enthusiasts. Perhaps we'll have to wait until Firefox 4.1 to have this 'huge pile of bugs' (mostly) fixed."

Australia Mandates Microsoft's Office Open XML 317

littlekorea writes "The Australian Government has released a common operating environment desktop policy that — among security controls aimed at reducing the potential for leaks of Government data — mandates the ECMA-376 version of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) standard and productivity suites that can 'read and write' the .docx format, effectively locking the country's public servants into using Microsoft Office. The policy [PDF] also appears to limit desktop operating systems to large, off-the-shelf commercial offerings at the expense of smaller distributions."

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