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Submission + - FCC Considering Proposal for Encrypted Ham Radio (hams.com)

Bruce Perens writes: FCC is currently processing a request for rule-making, RM-11699, that would allow the use of Amateur frequencies in the U.S. for private, digitally-encrypted messages.

Encryption is a potential disaster for ham radio because it defeats its self-policing nature. If hams can't decode messages, they can't identify if the communication even belongs on ham radio. A potentially worse problem is that encryption destroys the harmless nature of Amateur radio.There's no reason for governments to believe that encrypted communications are harmless.

See http://hams.com/encryption/ for more information.

Comment Re:Are people reading fewer paper books? (Score 4, Funny) 330

It doesn't help that most of the store is devoted to all kinds of crap like toys, cards, god books, and astrology.

Some of the God books are good, such as "Where God Went Wrong," "Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes," "Who Is This God Person, Anyway?," and "Well, That Just About Wraps It Up For God."

Comment On Project Cauã (Score 0) 26

First I praise you for your work and your goals -- they are refreshing compared to "please investors." But one of the keywords in your goals statements for Project Cauã is "capitalistic" as in "do all of this in a capitalistic, sustainable way, with little or no money coming from government." This mildly confuses me. I don't see FOSS as directly contradictory to capitalism but your goal of "triple or quadruple the number of FOSS developers in the world" seems, well, a little more public domain oriented than private industry, ownership and other tenants of capitalism. To put my question bluntly, why even pay petty lip service to capitalism when your goals of reducing electronic landfills, free-of-charge wireless and increasing user security are just not monetarily rewarded by the free market? These goals are about empowering people and protecting our future environment, how precisely does that align with capitalism? I understand how your job creation might benefit the economy but I don't understand how you're going to actually create these jobs. What companies are you talking to that have positions for these jobs? Most countries can't even pay to create jobs -- I'm sure several leaders would gladly put down billions of dollars if it meant magically creating productive and sustainable jobs, what is Project Cauã doing differently?

Comment At the Risk of Disgust for Defending the IRS ... (Score 5, Insightful) 356

Did they think it was a for-profit scam, or did they just not understand the approach?

I'm very pro-open source but it appears that the fear from the Internal Revenue Service was that companies were figuring out ways to dodge taxes by moving developers to 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organizations and then paying them in "donations" after the software was released thereby avoiding some federal and state income taxes to what normally would be their regular employees. Basically you would be setting up an educational or scientific group of your own developers, you would be able to pay them less due to 501(c) income tax leveraging and at the end of the day you'd still get your commercial software designed for you under an Open Source license. This, of course, by and large does not happen nor is there any evidence of it (I'd imagine very few open source developers even get paid for it) but was it really so wrong for the IRS to watch out for it? Even if they're not engaging of what the IRS would call "non-linear compensation" you might still be able to pay developers as employees of the 501(c) their regular wages with far less tax.

I mean, are we going to sit here and bitch and moan about corporate tax avoidance in our country and then freak out when the IRS investigates if Open Source groups are being abused in the same manner?

Is it really that wrong for the IRS to identify points of abuse and to look out for them? My gut says they should be able to identify and investigate but perhaps I just can't imagine how they would abuse that ability if they present a legitimate reason. Seems like they had a legitimate reason to watch for unlawful activity, unless I'm missing something?

Comment Re:democratic elections (Score 1) 406

16% of your effing population is living in poverty. linkie

Oops! Now you've just gone and completely backpedaled from your statement!

The poverty line is set at a certain income level, expected to provide a decent quality of life. It has next to nothing to do with your imaginary "starving/dying people".

From TFA:
"the U.S. government considers many citizens statistically impoverished despite their ability to sufficiently meet their basic needs"

"lower-income households in the U.S. tend to own more appliances and larger houses than many middle-income Western Europeans"

You've wasted enough of my time with your your poor attempts to rub two neurons together. Goodbye.

Comment Re:Some fundamental, unchecked assumption here ? (Score 4, Informative) 210

His hypothesis makes sense but it only looks at the time constraints. I assume he did this because it is the easiest thing to legislate and not have to deal with constitutional matters in the US, since the constitution directs the government "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

No, the Constitution only empowers the federal government to grant patents and copyrights. Article I, section 8 does not direct it to do so, however, any more than it directs the government to grant letters of marque and reprisal to privateers, which is another power it holds. Making the US a patent free zone mitt be a bad idea, but it would be perfectly constitutional.

Comment Re:Hello (Score 4, Informative) 162

and at least one of the BSDs actually has a Linux compatibility layer to run binary Linux applications.)

Good god you're making me feel old. Not only have all the big three BSD OSes had Linux binary emulation for a long damn time... but I distinctly recall writing how-to's for a couple of them (that bounced around the internet and got translated into many languages I don't speak) some time LAST MILLENIUM.

No exaggeration there. The date on OpenBSD's compat_linux man page is March 1995. FreeBSD may have been a couple years earlier.

Comment Re:License war commencing... (Score 1) 457

getting something back in return in the form of improvements OR writing code that's used by a huge group of users without ever getting anything (not even kudos) back *ever*, I'd go for option number one.

Your mistake is conflating what each license supposedly requires, with what actually happens in the real world. You're likely to get MORE back from BSD licensed code. Many companies contribute code and/or money to BSD/MIT licensed projects (e.g. Apache is doing just fine). And as I've said, there are very commonly network effects that the GPL can never get.

You can't claim the GPL's superiority IN THEORY. You've got to actually prove it in practice, and I've given several counter-examples that directly undermine your claim.

And if what MUST happen according to the letter of the license is all you've got, which seems to be the case by your repeated emphasis, then you're not so much an open source advocate, as you are an obsessive compulsive, micro-managing busybody.

Option number one is not to 'no one's benefit' it's to the benefit of members of a like minded group, with that group growing once the benefits become clearer to people outside that group

No, usually the projects completely die off in short order, and all the work benefited no-one. Back before NFSv4 came out, NFSv3 was showing its age, and there were TONS of GPL-licensed network file systems shuffling to take its place, with improved features like encryption, clustering, better security, etc. There were TONS of such projects, and every single one simply disappeared.

Those big companies you are actively seeking to harm (you said so yourself) are big supporters of open source, and are big enough forces to establish defacto standards. Sabotaging their use of your project works against your own goals.

BSD minded people probably believe that furthering technology is more important than freedom. I would rather not have cool technology if it meant that it's completely closed off and non-free.

Utter nonsense.

"BSD-minded people" MAKE freedom... They made it. It's there. You can hold it in your hands and do whatever you want with it.

"GPL-minded people" make lock-in. They yell loudly and swing a club, threatening all others out there. They don't want freedom, they want compensation in exchange for allowing anyone else to play in their sandbox. They (like you) may criticize BSD/MIT licenses left and right, but they're only too happy to take it, and lock up their changes under the GPL, never contributing anything back.

Comment Re:The Not-So-Glorious Reality (Score 1) 528

Corporate 401ks are almost benign in comparison.

Yes, but you have to be smart enough to know to leave it in a very low-fee index fund (typically based on the S&P 500) and not fall for the crap the sales team pitches you about about their ultra-complex derivatives that are absolutely positively going to pay you 15% for the next 30 years... Then start moving it into a more stable investment like bonds bit by bit for several YEARS before retirement.

It seems most people just aren't that smart, though, and swallow the marketing, making bankers richer, while they lose their retirement.

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