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Comment Re:Who the hell is SCO? (Score 3, Informative) 113

TSG (and I was way ahead of the curve calling them that a few years ago, when they were dragging the SCO name through the mud) is the zombified shell of what was once the Linux company Caldera Systems. Several years ago they purchased most of the assets of the company which was known for years before that as SCO - the Santa Cruz Operation hence SCO.

This purchase was technically structured as a merger with a holding company involved, to produce a 'new' business called "The SCO Group", which then went berserk, forgetting its own history entirely, and attempted to create a new business model by claiming to own Linux and shaking down companies using Linux for 'license fees' supposedly owed. They wound up suing IBM and eventually losing hard, then filing bankruptcy.

Since the original threats and claims were made, through the resulting court battles and judgements, many legions of articles have been posted on this subject. Most readers are well aware of who TSG is, although certainly taking the time to add a link to an overview of some sort would have been a good move. But, that would require an editor actually editting. If you think that will happen you are definitely new here. We get short blurbs that still manage to be wrong most of the time and we like it! If you want to more accurate and in-depth information about this story try

Comment Re:"Very Few" -- Relative To? (Score 1) 665

It's total nonsense in the summary actually. The vast majority of working musicians rely on payments for live performances for their profit and always have. Recording royalties have never been a significant profit source for any but a tiny minority of working musicians. The music companies pick out a tenth of a percent of musicians, often the ones with the least talent but the most willingness to do as told, and make 'stars' of them. Even those 'stars' often make little or no profit off their recordings however - even they often lose money on their recordings (on paper, using record company accounting, at least - the record company makes money off it but the artist rarely does.) It's hard to imagine how the summary could possibly be more wrong.

And, btw, my quick estimate says she is making about $160k/year on royalties alone - that is more than most of us make at a full time job, from *residuals* - this is money just coming in without her writing anything new or performing anywhere. She is doing VERY well and many, many talented musicians are out there working much harder for less money.

Comment Re:If you sleep with a dog, you get fleas (Score 1) 213

Never watched Opras sofa and dont give a crap what you saw there.

He's an actor, I liked some of his movies, and whether he is a loon or not isnt going to affect my appreciation of his acting, either for good or ill.

And I have seen him rant on a morning news show some time ago about psychiatry. He's not entirely wrong. Psychiatry amounts to little more than a state-supported cult, armed with police powers to enforce compliance. He is not wrong in what he is saying, but the irony is heavy, since his own cult is so similar in practice and subject to most of the same criticisms. He focuses mostly on worthless prescriptions (a problem scientology doesnt have, since they arent allowed to prescribe) but that is just a surface symptom.

Rather than listen to a scientologist who is compromised by his own cult trying to attack psychiatry, I would recommend the more robust criticism that has come from competent psychologists, starting with the link above.

Comment Re:targeting a specific version of the platform?? (Score 1) 353

For everything else, release a .tar.gz with the compiled binaries and make file with install instructions, a README and INSTALL files.

That's really all that needs to be done. I dont understand why people insist on inventing the wheel over and over again... and making it more complicated in the process.

Comment Re:Footnote 2 is interesting (Score 1) 309

I agree that there are a few useful things they do, and that they could and should re-arrange their business model based around that. But they havent done that and they wont do that as long as they think the money is better spent buying legislators and legislation to continue their monopolies.

"Art wouldnt exist if it wasnt commercial" is just plain wrong. If there was a magic button that forever divided art from commerce, art, music, literature would all go on.

That said what I am talking about would do nothing anywhere near as drastic as that magic button. Musicians earn the vast majority of their money from live performances. Recordings function for them as advertising and always have, and few musicians make much money on their recordings. It's the record companies that make that money - and they take vastly more than the services that they render and are actually needed today could possibly command in a free market.

And, again, "spreading the costs" is still NOT the constitutional purpose. You may see that as "consistent" with the constitutional purpose, and I might even agree to some extent, particularly if "consistent" is taken to mean "not necessarily incompatible" but that doesnt mean that this is the constitutional purpose, at best it is a concern that might not interfere with the constitutional purpose. Eyes on the ball not all its possible paths.

Comment Re:Footnote 2 is interesting (Score 1) 309

The reason the music industry thrived under those circumstances was that copies were inexact and difficult to make.

That's only part of why they thrived, but yes. Copying was difficult and expensive so there was a fundamental need for their services, and they were able to make great profits by serving that need.

The march of technology however has changed that, just as it has changed so many other fields over time. Copying is no longer difficult or expensive, so there is no need for the record companies services in that fundamental sense. They could adapt by finding ways to fulfill genuine needs and desires of customers that they could still provide for, but they refuse to focus on that and instead keep trying to invoke the force of law backed by our tax money to FORCE us to continue paying for services we no longer need. That is fundamentally unjust.

If the binaries were not copyrighted, a business would buy one copy (not necessarily from Microsoft) and distribute it to everybody.

They could, sure, so like the record companies, Microsoft would need to find something to do that customers actually need instead of just relying on legally enforced rent payments. Other software companies do this all the time, why shouldnt they?

Keep in mind in accord with a couple other posts in this thread they would have the option to disclose and copyright the source code to office if they want to continue to claim copyright on the binaries. As long as they are genuine reproducible machine transforms of copyrighted source code they would still be covered, you just wouldnt be able to copyright a binary qua binary. So they could continue basically undisturbed if they are willing to publish the actual texts they are claiming copyright on. Only if they refuse to do that would it then become legal for third parties to copy and patch and provide support directly to customers for these binaries. It seems only fair.

Copyright law has its flaws, and has been taken to harmful extremes, but the base principle of spreading the author's costs and profits over everybody who wants a copy works pretty well in practice. In doing that, it does serve its Constitutional purpose in the US.

I disagree that this is the basic principle. The Constitution says nothing about spreading costs or profits let alone guaranteeing profits (which is what this has evolved into.) The idea behind copyright was a bargain between private interest and the public domain. Copyright was granted only after a work was published, and the idea was a temporary monopoly to the author was supposed to encourage the author to publicly publish work that might otherwise not be published or might be published only in-house and treated as a trade secret, so that it would actually be available to enter the public domain later.

The way it is being practiced today is a farce. Companies can play it both ways, treat works as trade secrets, refrain from publishing them, ensure they will NEVER enter public domain - yet they can still claim copyright on those works as well. This is no bargain between public and private interests - it is the utter sacrifice of public interests in return for nothing whatsoever.

When, let's say, Windows 3.1 legally enters the public domain (still many decades away because of legal changes) what exactly is going to become available? Opaque binaries that only ran on long-since forgotten hardware? Nothing of use to anyone by that time.

Without a human-readable publication there shouldnt be a copyright to enforce.

Comment Re:Just make binaries uncopyrightable w/o source (Score 1) 309

I could quibble a bit but yes I think we have the same idea. If you have published code and you can demonstrate that exact binary produced from that source code then there should be some control. But if the binary doesnt match the code you published? Or you havent published any code to test? Then it shouldnt apply at all.

Copyright and trade secret protections were meant to be either or. You have to choose one. Claiming a copyright on unpublished source code and then applying it to opaque binaries no one has any way to verify just shouldnt be allowed.

Comment Footnote 2 is interesting (Score 2) 309

Under the law at the time, these âoemusical compositionsâ â" the music and lyrics â" were subject to copyright, but the particular âoesound recordingsâ embodying the musical compositions were not; federal copyright did not cover sound recordings until 1972. So, for example, the musical composition âoeQue Sera, Seraâ written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans was copyrighted, but not Doris Dayâ(TM)s particular sound recording of that composition.

This old rule made more sense if you ask me. And notice that, despite copyright covering only 'the work' itself rather than particular instantiations of it, the music industry was still able to grow huge and make tons of money under the old law.

The software equivalent would be to hold source code copyrightable, but not binaries. And this would make even more sense.

Comment Re:They died when the definition of Netbook change (Score 2) 336

They basically arrived stillborn anyway. I have one, they are wonderful machines, but you really have to handroll your own OS to get them working properly. A properly functioning netbook is a beautiful thing - they are tough and robust and just work. But the OS that shipped was just absurdly bad. It was a pain for me to get this thing working right - and for most of the market that meant they were just worthless.

Comment Re:So Proud of Gun Ownership (Score 5, Informative) 1232

It 'also might be interpreted' as such but only by someone who simply refuses to check sources. The fact of the matter is the words had that meaning at the time and some of the debates around the wording are even preserved so you can see for yourself exactly how it was understood. Regulated didnt acquire the secondary meaning of 'under strict but indirect government control' until later. The original meaning of 'in good order, well prepared' is still found as well, in phrases like a well-regulated machine or in the practice of regulating shotgun bores, but it has been eclipsed in usage. So the only way that argument can be made is out of ignorance or willful deception.

Under the militia acts from that date, the militia was understood to be 'all military aged males' in a given area. Trained and organised groups raised from the militia were specifically distinguished as 'select militia.'

Comment I disagree with him (Score 1) 19

I disagree with the talk of professional guards. That's exactly what we dont need.

I am all in favour of getting rid of the obstacles to school staff carrying concealed on school grounds. I believe this would be much more effective, and more consistent with the idea that this is a free country and our schools should not be prison camps. But it's still only a way to limit the damage, it doesnt address the underlying cause of the damage.

I agree with those that are saying that the occasion should prompt a hard rethink of our policies and more importantly our attitudes. The US isnt the most dangerous developed country around because of weapons - there are actually places with more weapons per capita than here, yet much lower rates of violence. We are a dangerous place because culturally we accept a number of flawed premises relating to violence. We are a violent culture that approves of our government bombing children all around the world on a nearly daily basis, a culture that believes that raw violence is a legitimate way to solve all kinds of problems, that accepts the rationalisation of murder as 'collateral damage' in a routine way. It should surprise no one that a culture so disfunctional also produces school massacres.

Comment Re:Fdisk it from orbit, only way to be sure (Score 1) 353

It's a good choice for a lot of cases. Trying to pretend you have an 'issue' with this rather than simply trying to smear me because I dared to comment on Steam negatively is just... silly.

The fact is that malware is prevalent on windows systems by design. I dont tell anyone to buy windows. I dont tell anyone they can run it without having a clue and then an antivirus will keep them safe. Microsoft and other companies do that. And I dont even work for any of those companies. I'm just the guy that cleans it up after it gets borked to put bread on the table. You got a problem with that it's your problem.

Comment Re:Not again... (Score 1) 1110

Yeah, it's kind of funny really, on win8 I can either search and try to figure out what series of magic spots to rub and click in exactly the right order to get where I am going, or I can just remember the command and win+r right to it. In a way it's kind of cool, I should really be doing that anyway, but I think by the goals the 'designers' set for themselves it's epic fail. And every 'normal user' type I have spoken to that has it... hates it.

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