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Comment Re:Unix epoch? (Score 1) 114

Isn't the sign bit only used to indicate error? ((time_t)-1) isn't a valid time but perhaps some other negative values are.

Sorry, what are you talking about?

$ echo -1 |awk '{print strftime("%c",$1,0)}'
Wed 31 Dec 1969 04:59:59 PM MST

$ echo -1 |awk '{print strftime("%c",$1,1)}'
Wed 31 Dec 1969 11:59:59 PM GMT

$ echo -1 |awk '{print strftime("%s",$1,0)}'
-1

Seems to work fine for me.

Comment Re:Immoral is what it is (Score 1) 331

AFAIK, that section is interpreted (sadly SCOTUS has more of a say in this than you do) to mean criminal law and has no bearing in civil law -- which is what we're talking about here.

I was under the impression that copyright contained criminal sanctions as well as civil ones - ie. if you engage in piracy (ie. large-scale for-profit copying) criminal charges can be brought against you.

Comment Re:HP didn't make the list? (Score 4, Informative) 430

Compaq never had a good brand reputation to lose. They've made junk computers since day one.

Spoken like someone who doesn't know anything about Compaq besides what they see in department stores.

Compaq's business products (Deskpro line) were top-of-the-line. They were elegantly-engineered tanks that ran pretty much forever. Opening one up revealed a thing of beauty - being able to swap out expansion cards and hard drives without need of a screwdriver even to open the case, without being flimsy.

The Presario was junk, but do you judge all Fords based solely on the Pinto, all Chevys based solely on the Vega? Compaq made rock-solid business desktops and servers.

Comment Re:Hell no. (Score 1) 605

Some people have "admin sensibility" and some don't. I know I don't, so when somebody asked me if I wanted root on some box, I always said "NO!".

Actually, it sounds like you *do* have "admin sensibility", and the "somebody" who offered you root doesn't.

Comment You misunderstand something... (Score 4, Insightful) 419

If copyright was 10 or 15 years, I'd be OK with draconian DRM restrictions on the things that are under copyright, provided there was a way to break it when the items go into public domain.

Then you misunderstand the purpose of DRM. The main purpose of DRM is to do an end-run around copyright expiration - so works "protected" by it *never* go into the public domain.

Imagine you're a publisher, and you want perpetual copyright, even though you know the highest law in the land says you'll never get it. What's the next best thing? Complete control over the books you sell - so you can prevent anyone from copying them ever again, and can even "recall" them if you want to. And you lobby for a law that makes it illegal for anyone to talk about how to circumvent that control.

At it's core, copyright is the ability to say "you're not allowed to say that, because I said it first." It is (supposedly) a compromise between the public and authors. In order to improve our culture, authors are given a limited right to exclude others from exercising their right of free expression.

DRM is a betrayal of this compromise - the public fulfills their part, but the authors never have to fulfill theirs. DRM is the antithesis of copyright, and rather than making laws to protect DRM, any work that is "protected" should be immediately be stripped of its copyright status.

After all, if DRM really worked, they wouldn't *need* copyright law, would they?

Comment Solaris and Linux is easy. (Score 1) 4

Usually IT doesn't know what data is needed/not needed and can't arbitrarily set an expire date

On *nix filesystems this should be trivial - just check the atime.

something like

tar -c --remove-files `find /home -type f -atime -730`

would do it.

If a file hasn't been read in over two years, chances are it's ripe for archival.

Comment Re:Huh... (Score 1, Redundant) 203

Inability to explain why. Credibility of your article nullified.

Agreed.

But to play Devil's advocate for a second, let's assume that the author's company really was legitimate, and really was being "discriminated against" (whether deliberately, or because someone at Google mistook them for search-engine spammers.)

OK, so we have a legitimate company that has been "discriminated against". That still doesn't explain why Google needs to be regulated... there are thousands of scammers who aren't legitimate, and would *love* to be able to game search engines with impunity, making them all but useless.

You are 100% correct to say 'prove your claims', because even if the claims were true, reality still doesn't support the ends they're suggesting.

Comment Re:Spin city. (Score 1) 299

Mr. Nohl's efforts illegal

So? What has that to do with whether or not he actually did what he says he did? It's not even worth mentioning. A good encryption system should not depend upon the presumed illegality of breaking it.

Oh, Tosh!

Don't you know that a criminal would never think of breaking the law!

Comment Show me. (Score 1) 159

To be fair

.. that word.. I do not think it means what you think it means.

it's not like the other side go out of their way to make their 'standards' easy for Microsoft to implement.

Since "the other side" in this case are proponents of Open Source or Open Standards, please cite *one* case where an open standard was deliberately obstructing to MS.

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