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Comment Favors? Surely You Jest! (Score 4, Insightful) 116

Okay, shooting people is illegal, but shooting people to protect others from getting shot is not. Compromising internet security is illegal in China, but hacking to "protect" the Chinese people from having their leader's security compromised must be okay, right?

Lethal force is only okay in very specific scenarios -- usually when lethal force is first presented by the attacker. Could you explain what the New York Times did that warranted the use of hacking? Did the New York Times hack the Chinese government? Did the New York Times even threaten to hack the Chinese government?

Obviously, there is nothing worse than having your leader's integrity challenged, so they are doing everybody a favor by hacking the Times.

Actually, I can think of a good deal many things that are worse than having my leader's integrity challenged. Truth be told, I quite enjoy my leader's integrity being challenged -- especially if there is fact behind it. The Western world enjoys this over-scrutiny of our leaders. Here's a worse scenario than your leader's integrity being challenged: your leader actually is corrupt and nobody's able to investigate it!

The only favor they're doing us by hacking the New York Times is showing the world that they believe their control of the media transcends their national borders. By paying petty lip service to their own laws (which are often subjective and which they feel they are above), the Chinese government is telling the foreign presses that they better fall in step with their mouthpieces or they will be hacked.

It's quite sickening and I find no way at all to view this as acceptable. This is an international attack on our constitutional values -- most notably freedom of speech.

Comment Sorry, Was Using Article's Premises (Score 1) 320

Now, what stops a company from taking your code and making massive changes to it and shipping that code for mad moneys?

Their legal department. Without a more permissive license, they're stuck with default copyright terms (no copying except for narrow "fair use" exceptions) so they can't distribute it. Ethical companies wont touch it, unethical ones would have no qualms about pirating BSD/MIT/GPL/whatever licensed code anyway, and the hackers and hippies don't care about licenses will use it and carry on not caring about licenses.

Sorry I should have been more clear. What you're talking about is the permission culture (you need permission to use our code). I was making the argument under the assumption that by committing unlicensed code not everyone needs permission to use it. From the article:

In other words, those people choose not to use a license because, on some level, they reject the permission culture and want to go back to the pre-1976 defaults. In this case, publishing without a license is in some way a political statement – “not every use should need permission”.

Therefore my discussion was formed using the pre-1976 defaults. Which the article also covered:

In the US, prior to the 1976 Copyright Act, you had to take affirmative steps to get a protectable copyright. In other words, you could publish something and expect others to be able to legally reuse it, without slapping a license on it first.

So yeah you're right the current premise is post 1976 Copyright Act but I was talking about what it would be like without using an OSS license and pre-1976 like the article presupposes.

Comment Uh ... What? (Score 5, Informative) 320

Am I missing something? From the article via Twitter:

younger devs today are about POSS – Post open source software. fuck the license and governance, just commit to github. - James Governor (@monkchips) September 17, 2012

Ah, yes, eloquently stated. And, you know, it's totally okay to do that but let's assume that you've "fucked" the license and governance and your code is great and popular. Now, what stops a company from taking your code and making massive changes to it and shipping that code for mad moneys? What forces them to give back their changes that might make that code better? What did you and the community gain by contributing to that company's revenue? What if I just took your code and put it on a CD and started selling it with no credit to you and no link or reference to the source code? Wouldn't that rub you the wrong way? Just a little? Well, what if that company then claimed that your code was an unlicensed version of their code and moved to have it remove?

And that's why we have open source licenses. So those are out there and if you're lazy or whatever you can just download this file (or the corresponding OSS license you like) and put it in the root directory of your source tree. Are you really too lazy to include a simple txt file in your source tree? At the possible expense of your $MOST_HATED_COMPANY turning the screws on you?

This article seems to focus on just the "hey browski, I heard you liked code, here's my code" hippy hacker mentality and grievously ignores the "did Facebook just use an altered version of my library to track its mobile users?" possibilities.

To follow the analogy started by the twitter post: OSS licenses are like a condoms. Stop being lazy and just use one.

Comment Your Opinion of Rossi's E-Cat Machine? (Score 1) 386

Slashdot followed briefly a seemingly miraculous device that was almost too good to be true. Have you yourself heard of Rossi's E-Cat machine? Does your foundation also track the physics side of unbelievable things? What is your personal opinion of this device? Does it have all the hallmarks of a fraud?

Comment Human Progress? (Score 2) 386

Sometimes when I see tabloids and crap at grocery stores I wonder if humanity is really making progress in the skepticism department. I think there are more people today that are skeptical of all things paranormal than there were years ago but I believe that only because the population has been increasing. Percentage-wise, I fear we may still be at the level humanity has been at throughout history. You can find writings dating way back of people who were "in the know" about what was fake and what was real. As science has increased our realm of knowledge, it seems that paranormal seekers have just found it in other mediums. So what is your opinion on humanity's track record for belief in the paranormal versus skepticism? Have we made progress? Are we forever doomed to deal with a percentage of the population who want to believe?

Comment Yes It Is, My Good Fellow (Score 5, Insightful) 353

The only thing I can think of that separates Scientology from any of the "legitimate religions" is that Scientology is so new that there are people outside of the religion old enough to remember seeing it be created by a person.

Well, as a fellow atheist to another atheist, I recommend you add a few evaluation factors when comparing religions and faiths: power structure, transparency, material cost, financial cost, temporal cost, preservation of individual sovereignty including right to leave and preservation of inalienable rights ... to name just a few.

all have done unethical acts ( read your history )

At least some allow us to document said unethical acts ... hell, the Church's response to child molestation charges against priests was a primary motivator to me leaving organized religion permanently. And, you know, it was super easy to get out of Catholicism ... you should talk to the lucky few who escape Scientology.

Comment The Premise of Conflict in All of Earth's History (Score 4, Interesting) 244

Something that bothers me about the singularity is the complete removal of conflict. Okay, we've cheated death eternally, we are merged with machines, nationality is a distant memory and Earth is completely terraformed to be computing space for our vast artificial intelligences. There will no longer be man vs man or man vs environment. Where is the conflict? What causes us to strive for anything? It sounds like a veritable utopia and I should just kick back and let it happen. How will progress be made without conflict?

Comment Climate Change (Score 1) 244

I've read that you're not worried about climate change as you believe transhumanism will prevail and we will shed this 'natural' world like a used husk by 2045.

So what happens if we don't actually achieve the lofty heights that futurism promises us? What happens if those extrapolations I've seen actually reach a dead end instead of allowing us to last forever and there is no distinction between man and machine? What if we ultimately turn out to be forever mortal individuals and now depend on a decrepit husk we left for ourselves? What then?

Comment Have Human Enhancement Technologies Slowed Down? (Score 4, Interesting) 244

I assume that the occurrence of Human Enhancement Technologies (HETs) needs to accelerate for us to hit the singularity in 2045 as you predict. While we cover a lot of them on Slashdot, they either feel like vaporware or just a small improvement on an existing HET. Of the existing technologies in actual use they all seem a decade or more old. So where is the acceleration of HETs and their proliferation? Why am I not seeing more normal humans using HETs or at least more original HET options arising? Can you explain what I'm missing?

Comment Your Countdown to the Singularity (Score 4, Interesting) 244

I have seen the graphic showing your countdown to the singularity and something I've always wondered is how you picked these events and what makes the significant? For example, your list seems to be made of things that would prolong our existence but entries like "Human ancestors walk upright" and "art, early cities" are confusing in that I don't understand how they can be marked as epic achievements. Are you saying that if we had never learned to walk upright we would not have developed intelligence? Are you saying that early cities were somehow superior to ant colonies? Didn't they help spread disease and cause sanitation problems? Can you convince me that this list isn't just arbitrary things that fit into a line?

Comment Question (Score 2, Insightful) 252

At least somebody is standing up for our rights. Let's face it - most people just want to stuff their face with junk food and watch American Idol. They don't like to question authority because doing that makes them feel uncomfortable. Most people are sheep.

Yes, hear hear! They are liberating us. But there was something odd from the summary:

At a regular interval commencing today, we will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents of the file.

Ah, so the "information wants to be free" right up until it's you who has access to the information. We have been liberated from being manipulated "sheep" of the US government and are now part of a flock shepherded by anonymous individuals? And ... uh ... that has gained us what exactly? Out of the frying pan into the fire? If I can't trust the US Government and I can name their members, how can I trust Anonymous whom I cannot name?

Comment Re:Actually Naboo Was Based on Hagia Sophia (Score 4, Insightful) 514

Yea because Muslims NEVER form terrorist groups, blow up innocent people or launder money.

It NEVER HAPPENED.

Are you kidding?

Right so that's why whenever Americans appear in a very popular Vietnamese movie the Americans murder and rape everyone? Because it's not like the My Lai Massacre never happened.

All I meant was there are more blatant "all Muslims are bad" productions in American culture than Jabba's Sail Barge. I'm not saying Muslim based terrorism never happened. I'm not saying all Muslims are good. I'm not saying none of them launder money. I'm saying that the most prominent representations of them in movies and TV happen to be solely bad guys. But you can go ahead and list off all those Muslim turban wearing hero movies that Hollywood puts out every year. That'll show me. Hell, name one Hollywood male lead actor who's Muslim.

Comment Actually Naboo Was Based on Hagia Sophia (Score 5, Informative) 514

According to the "Behind the Scenes" on Episodes 1-3 Naboo's architecture was based on Hagia Sophia. Examples: Hagia Sophia, Naboo, Titus Blue Mosque, more naboo.

Also ... it took them how long to notice this latent xenophobia? I'm not saying they're wrong, Lucas was a little unimaginative when he developed some of the Star Wars cultures but it's not like he presented Muslims like they did in the movie "True Lies."

Comment I Don't Get It (Score 3, Interesting) 377

The Caribbean island is taking the unprecedented step because the United States refuses to lift a trade "blockade" preventing the island from offering Internet gambling services, despite several WTO decisions in Antigua's favor. The country now hopes to recoup some of the lost income through a WTO approved 'warez' site.

I'm pretty sure Antigua and Barbuda attended and signed the Berne Convention and have joined WIPO. Furthermore I believe the WTO is fully on board with all that considering their TRIPS agreement. So how in the hell is there such a thing as "a WTO approved 'warez' site" and how on Earth does Antigua think the WIPO is going to view this?

Note: I'm not saying what they're doing is wrong or right, I'm just asking how they are doing it given their history. I mean, sure, this stuff happens all over China but the government pays all the copyright holders lip service about how they're cracking down on it. If the Chinese government profits from it, they don't do so flagrantly like this appears to.

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