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Comment The precedent that was set years ago is a mistake (Score 0) 865

The ability to make a transient copy of a work in order to use it should not be considered in regards to copyright law. It has always been implied that you have the right to make such copies. For example, when you read a book, light creates a copy of the work on your retina, and that's how we perceive it. These copies have never been considered for the purpose of copyright, and neither has the copies floating around in peoples brains.

Comment Re:This is not a GPL violation (Score 0) 237

I've looked around and all I see is casual mentions of static linking, which I assume to mean static linking to the kernel. I would like to be enlightened if I am wrong.

I find it very hard to believe that Microsoft would copy/paste GPL code or that they would statically link to some random library, especially considering that kernel drivers usually statically link against nothing but the kernel.

Which, as I have said, has been said by Linus Torvalds himself not to be a violation.

Comment This is not a GPL violation (Score 0) 237

The software freedom law center makes it's living by taking companys to court over GPL violations. At best anything it says must be taken with a grain of salt. The fact is, no amount of gyration or hand waving can magically make Microsoft code belong to the community. Microsoft wrote those drivers from scratch, and therefore can license them however it wants. Period. They are not required to use the GPL unless they incorporate GPL code into the drivers, which they did not.

Some people like to say that if you link your code with GPL code than your code must be GPL. It doesn't even say this in the GPL though some say it is implied. It's an untested legal theory. It's never even been brought to court and it has a very good chance of loosing because the court is likely to take a very dim view of the idea that one person magically owns another persons work. In the normal case, however, it might fly... That is of using a GPL library in a non-GPL program or linking a non-GPL library into a GPL program. This might be seen by the judge as taking advantage of something not yours, but in the case of loading drivers into the Kernel where there is longstanding acceptance of proprietary drivers it would fail, and this precedent would put even the widely accepted case in jeopardy.

But more importantly, Linus Torvalds himself does not believe the act of simply loading a proprietary driver module in a running kernel is a GPL violation, and he has explicitly stated this in the past, which means a lawsuit over this "violation" would be impossible to win, and even impossible to bring, considering Linus would not sign off on it. In addition, this is hardly the first proprietary software driver for Linux. There have been many over the years. Many of the wifi cards that have vender supplied Linux drivers, for example, use proprietary drivers because of an FCC mandate that the wireless products are not end-user modifiable.

A lot of people like to believe copyright is cut and dry. It's not. Let me assure you that the copyright act, written for books, says nothing about weather linking against another work makes your work a derivative work, which makes it a judgement call, and this issue has never been brought before a judge. When it is, you better hope it's over a better case than this, because if it was brought under this case it would have a very, very, good chance of loosing.

Comment After having worked with thousands of chips... (Score 0) 357

In my linux product which runs off compaq flash I can tell you that:

You often see lots of garbage and complaining in dmesg.

The flash chip fails to overwrite files properly. So that when I overwrite the file and try and read it back I get garbage.

Often the flash chip seems to have successfully overwritten the files and you don't realize anything is wrong until you reboot.

And... They don't last anything like the number of writes they pretend to. If you put even a light write load on a flash chip for any extended duration (Few days, few weeks) it will blow up.



Submission + - Finger length can predict elementary exam scores

OlRickDawson writes: Science Daily is reporting that research study to be publish in the British Journal of Psychology has shown a correlation between the relative length of the ring and index finger and the scores on language and math tests in elementary school. The length of the index finger divided by the length of the ring finger is the ratio. The smaller the ratio (governed by testosterone exposure) indicates a higher numeracy score in males. At least this has a scientific basis, unlike Phrenology.

Submission + - Sony blames poor PS3 sales on Internet

i_like_spam writes: During a recent interview with GamePro, Sony's PR head, Dave Karraker, responded candidly to questions about the negative consumer perceptions of the PS3. He responded, 'I think a lot of this goes back to the proliferation of the Internet, where a very vocal minority can make a lot of noise and potentially alter perceptions of the masses, whether they are accurate or not.'

He also replied: 'A lot of the perceptions are not justified and seem fueled by people who don't have all the facts or have some kind of axe to grind. It is funny how myopic people can be when a new system comes along.'

There you have it, Sony's biggest quarterly loss in four years is due to inept consumers and FUD.

Submission + - Computer science PhD is turnoff

nbauman writes: The prospects for PhDs in computer science look even more dismal. According to research done by Professor Richard Wiseman at the Edinburgh International Science Festival se.html, one of the worst pick-up lines is, 'I have a PhD in computing.' 100 members of the public took part in 500 speed dates. During the event, participants rated the attractiveness of their dates and indicated whether they would like to meet that person again. To uncover the best type of chat-up lines, researchers compared the conversations of participants rated as very desirable by their dates with those seen as especially undesirable. Those highly skilled in seduction encouraged their dates to talk about themselves in an unusual, quirky, way. The most memorable lines from the top-rated man and woman in the study illustrate the point. The top-rated male's best line was: 'If you were on Stars In Their Eyes, who would you be?', whilst the top-rated female asked: 'What's your favourite pizza topping?'. In contrast, failed Casanovas tended to be far less creative, employing old chestnuts like 'Do you come here often?' or struggling to impress with comments such as 'I have a PhD in computing'. "Whenever our couples spoke about films they really increased their chance of disagreement", commented Wiseman. "In contrast, conversations about travel tend to revolve around great holidays and dream destinations, and that makes people feel good and so appear more attractive to one another".
The Courts

Submission + - Jack Thompson Lays His Legal Eye on Halo 3

Riley Munoz writes: "Hey Slashdot, Once again the herald of anti-gaming, Jack Thompson, points his misguided finger towards another big fish in the gaming industry, Microsoft. With a scornful letter forwarded to Game Almighty today, Thompson thrashes on the recently released Halo 3 Beta and puts blame on Bill Gates, again, if this "hyper violent" video game lands in hands of any minor. Sample paragraph: "Here's the deal, Mr. Gates: Either Microsoft undertakes dramatic, real steps, through its marketing, wholesale, and retail operations to assure that Halo 3 is not sold, via the Internet and in stores, directly to anyone under 17, or I shall proceed to make sure that Microsoft is held to that standard by appropriate legal means. I have done that before successfully as to Best Buy, and I shall do so again as to Microsoft and all retailers of Halo 3." /Jack_Thompson_Lays_His_Legal_Sites_on_Halo_3/ Thanks for any links! Riley Munoz -Community Manager"

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