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Comment Re:Violence is the answer. (Score 4, Funny) 309

Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
(X) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
( ) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
(X) The police will not put up with it
( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(X) Laws expressly prohibiting it
( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
( ) Asshats
( ) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
( ) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
(X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
(X) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Comment Re:teach them a lesson (Score 1) 504

You ought to read the damn summary before you go around telling people what they're wrong about. The GPL only mandates source code disclosure for *EXTERNAL* distribution. There's no indication here that the app was distributed at all, let alone distributed outside the university.

Furthermore, if we assume, as you did, that the software *had* been distributed, the submitter's dilemma is moot since the derived work would be violating the license of the GPL'd libraries upon which the submitter's work is based.

Next time, read a little more carefully before clicking that submit button.

Comment teach them a lesson (Score 2, Interesting) 504

So, as I understand it, there are 3 pieces of software here. First are the GPL libraries; let's call them 'A'. Then, you have the software you did as a hobbyist, let's call that 'B'. Finally, you have the work for hire, called 'C'. C depends on B, and B depends on A.

It's clear that they own C, and there's nothing you can do about that. On the other hand, you own B. If you publicly distributed B under the GPL, you are probably screwed here. In that case, there's nothing to distinguish B from A, and your only recourse might be some technicality in the GPL. For example, if you used the GPL v3, you may be able to use the stuff about software patents to prevent your university from using it.

However, if by releasing B under the GPL you mean you just used GPL software and considered it free, you may be able to turn around and teach them a lesson here: assert ownership over B, and demand that they produce written proof otherwise. You could demand that C be open-sourced in return for being allowed to use B.

That being said, though, you were stupid to do closed-source work on your own open-source project. Not only will you have to fight for access to your own work, your knowledge of the closed-source work will probably 'taint' any contributions to the open-source one to such a degree that they could probably claim work you do on it, even if it's off their payroll.

In the future, don't be so trusting of your employer. When I do open-source work for hire, I create a private github account and make the repo publicly available and GPL-licensed from day one. All of my work on the clock is then contributing to an externally owned and operated repo.

Oh, and I get the corporate overlord's approval of open-sourcing the thing in writing.

Comment Re:From a historical perspective (Score 1) 140

At the end of the day, though, Mitnick-style hacking requires getting into someone else's computer: there's always going to be a pissed off business on the other end of your hacking.

With piracy, though, the only way to know that it has happened is by conducting surveillance on the people who are committing it. You can certainly make life less convenient for the high-profile piracy groups, but the idea of piracy going the way of black hat hacking is pretty ridiculous.

Honestly, I think we're really only one major leap in storage before music piracy starts to become trivial. Assuming MP3 v0's, the record industry is only producing about 80gb worth of music per year. Once you can get 1tb of data on an optical disk, we're talking about an entire decade's music on one CD. What are you going to do, install surveillance software on every computer in the country? Install cameras and look for CDs? Give me a break.

Regardless of what people would like, recorded music is not scarce anymore, and therefore does not have economic value. Sorry!

Comment "warn"? Are you kidding me? (Score 5, Insightful) 1131

"Extremists Warn South Park Creators Over Muhammad in a Bear Suit"

What a total wimp-out of a headline. A 'warning' is when the weatherman says 'it looks icy out today, drive slow.' When someone calls upon the nut-jobs of the world to murder you because you pissed off their bronze-age sky fairy, that's inciting violence, an explicit threat. I'm willing to go pretty far in support of free speech, but this is definitely "fire in a crowded theater" material.

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