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The Courts

Opposition Mounts To Oracle's Attempt To Copyright Java APIs 187

An anonymous reader writes with a bit from Groklaw: "The remarkable outpouring of support for Google in the Oracle v. Google appeal continues, with a group of well-known innovators, start-ups, and those who fund them — innovators like Ray Ozzie, Tim O'Reilly, Mitch Kapor, Dan Bricklin, and Esther Dyson — standing with [Thursday's] group of leading computer scientists in telling the court that Oracle's attempt to copyright its Java APIs would be damaging to innovation." As usual, Groklaw gives a cogent, readable introduction to the issue.

Comment Re:Actually, consumers didn't mind DRM (Score 1) 212

but most consumers will have no idea what you are talking about


I've seen untecnhical friends and family bump into DRM quite often and they all think is sucks, even if they don't know what it is or why.

Like buying a DVD on holiday and trying to watch it back home.

Trying to copy/paste a quote from a book to email to someone.

Trying to watch a downloaded HD film on their TV (oh wrong cable/ no HDCP).

Trying to watch some downloaded TV at all when the internet connection is crappy (streaming only sevices).

Old andriod phones running out of space on internal flash.

Not being able to print certain PDFs (using acrobat, at any rate).

Windows needing activation for no apparent reason.

Software stopping working because it thinks it's been copied.

And a more obscure one I have actually seen in the wild: trying to watch a copyprotected DVD on an ancient but very stylish TV (hooked up to a VCR via SCART which then modulates the signal to RF for the TV). Yeah, because there's a real problem with people taping DVDs and sharing the tapes...

The thing is that all of those things are quite reasonable. The more logically minded among them realise that "but it's all just data, isn't it?" and start to understand that something is not quite right.

But real non technical people do indeed bump into DRM trying to do prefectly reasonable things and do find it annoying

Comment Re:s/Freedom/nothing/g (Score 4, Insightful) 342

If some kid is intent on shooting the driver and everybody else on the bus, do you really think (s)he's gonna stop for an eye exam before going hog wild?

And even if he does stop for the eye exam what will it confirm? The columbine killers were both students at the school they shot up (surprise!), so such a system wouldn't have stopped them.

Database thinks, yep, Harris and Klebold are on the bus.

Comment Re:A confederacy of douchebags. (Score 2) 111

the problem is the US government is breaking the law just to try to prosecute file sharers, and no government in the world (including the US's own caselaw) really support this concept.

My whole *point* was that this higlights the incredibly bad behaviour of the law enforcement so very well. Despite Kim Dotcom being a crook (that's not ad-hom: he has been convicted) he still looks all shiny and clean compared to the law enforcement agencies involved.

You actually managed to be in very violent agreement with me while missing the entire point of my post and insulting it at the same time!

Comment Re:A confederacy of douchebags. (Score 5, Insightful) 111

The fact that this is getting sorted out is really unfortunate.

Really? I would say that the rule of law shouldn't be suspended simply because the accused is a massive (to quote an AC from a previous thread) chucklefuck.

Really, it's best for everyone if he wins this, because despite being a prat he was subject to a massive abuse of the law from several governments simultaneously. It's far more important that the rule of law is maintained than one dickhead gets away with being a dickhead.

Comment Re:Offshore (Score 1) 300

- you don't think theft is immoral?

I don't think taxes are theft. I don't see any fundemental difference between income tax and transaction tax. Afterall working for money is fundementally a transaction. As is earning interest, etc.

I do, however disagree with a wealth tax. Apart from anything it's basically impossible to make it remotely fare since anything not liquid cannot easily be given a monetary value.

- yes, but that doesn't mean that those taxes must be income and property related at all, they CAN be legitimate transaction and capitation taxes (uniform excise and direct apportioned).

But selling labour form money is fundementally a transaction. If you work for free, the government does indeed not tax it.

- the oldest excuse, and the reality is that there is no difference who is perpetrating the violence, a dictator or the mob via democratic elections that end up doing the same exact thing as a dictator, except it's worse, because you can't put your finger on the exact source of the problem unlike with a dictator.

Oldest excuse for what? It is impossible not to have a form of governmment because someone will always become the de-facto government through force. I'd rather have a government that has some accountability rather than none.

You seem to want to choose an option which simply does not exist.

My point is that you should stay out of all wars, most importantly not start new wars but if a war doesn't concern you, you shouldn't get involved. You get involved and eventually it causes more war down the road. This is true of the world wars and of terrorism, whichever way you slice it.

I'm not sure the same could be said for WWII. Well, it depends what you mean by "doesn't convern you". Sometimes things don't until it's too late. But knowing what precisely requires seeing into the future. So one must make educated guesses.

Standard Oil (and the other like it) constantly worked to bring prices down and quality up, which is why it was successful.

And can you say the same of microsoft? They still have a monopoly on desktop operating systems, and office software.

Comment Re:EVs not really for long road trips (Score 1) 311

BMW i will have purchase / lease options that give you the g'teed use of an ICE when you need it.

Yeah, well the semi I drive round town give me the option of hauling 15 tons of stuff when I need to, solving the problem of getting from place to place and for hauling stuff.

I mean I only need to haul 15 tons of stuff once every... well I haven't had to do it yet, but I'm sure I will one day. And it will be really convenient since I won't have to go and rent one.

Comment Re:A question to the community (Score 1) 300

Fatal flaw with your logic: If people anticipated prices going up, then prices would already be that high, minus the price of time. This is a mathematical theorem.

lol economic theorems. Let me repat that: LOL lololololol.

As a theorem, it's fine in the mathematical sense in that is is derivable from the axioms.

The trouble is that there's no proof that the actual economies obey those axioms.

Comment Re:Offshore (Score 1) 300

1. Governments must not be allowed to steal people's private property via income and wealth taxes.

Legetimate question: why not?

It is impossible to have a government without funding. Without a government, the strong will force their will on the weak and you will get a de-facto government. They won't have any qualms about taking all your stuff.

4. Governments must not be allowed to start offensive wars for any reason.

What do you count as an offensive war? Waiting until you're attacked (see e.g. the UK in 1939) would be too late.

Promoting trade is the only way to have a wealthy and healthy society but this requires government to but out of everything,

Well, how does it promote trade by butting out? Also, the government is the only thing capable of breaking monopolies. Those are extremely bad for trade.

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