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Comment Re:The losing side must automatically pay (Score 1) 242

No that's (of course!) not how it works here in loser pays-land. For exactly the reasons you mention. Instead, the winner can only claim reasonable fees, so burying the loser in lawyer's hours wont work. There are set scales and standards so you can actually pretty well know in advance what it'll cost you.

And also, if you win, but are awarded less than half of what you sought, that counts as "losing" from the perspective of fees. There's also middle ground where you're ordered to pay part (say 20%) of fees, depending on "how much" you lost. And no punitive damages. If the company needs to learn their lessen, they're fined.

But of course a system like this wouldn't work for the kinds of legal problems where ordinary people would actually see a court. So there are special courts for workplace/employment issues, a special renter's court, etc. where it is cheap (free) and easy to have your case heard. We also have a system of "ombudsman" where there are special government prosecutors that will act on your behalf. e.g. when it comes to consumer issues, or discrimination.

This means that the average Swede never sees the inside of a court, and doesn't even typically know anybody who has. Civil suits are almost unheard of. E.g. traffic accidents are handled by insurance companies, without any court involvement. And if you're unhappy with the insurance company, again, there's a special court for that.

Comment Re:Fair use (Score 1) 172

It would be fair use only if used infrequently. For example, if you want to quote someone else's article in your article, that's fair use. However, if your entire business is dependent upon making snippets from thousands of articles, that's no longer fair use, it's commercial use.

No, you're wrong.

First, fair use applies to both commercial and non-commercial uses. For example, when Mad Magazine did a movie parody, that would be fair use, even though the magazine us sold for an increasing cheap price and is a commercial venture.

Second, the previous poster didn't really explain it well. Fair use is when a copyrighted work is used without permission in a way that, but for fair use, would be infringing, but which is not infringing because it is in the general purpose of copyright to allow such a use. It's evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and is completely fact dependent. This, any particular use might be a fair use, but not just any use actually is.

There's a test for finding out whether a use is fair or not. It has four factors, though it isn't a matter of adding up how many factors go one way or another, and depending on the case, one factor might be treated as outweighing another. Plus, it's just a tool; other factors can be considered too.

The factors are: 1) the purpose and character of the use, such as whether the use is for profit or not, whether the use would advance the progress of knowledge by resulting in something new or otherwise helpful; 2) the nature of the work being used, such as whether it is fictional and therefore very creative and worth protecting, or factual, and therefore not worth protecting quite so much (how a work presents itself is also often relevant in copyright; if you claim that something is a fact, even though it's made up or is just a hypothesis, others may get to treat it as a fact) as well as whether the work being used has already been published or not; 3) the amount of the work used, and how important to the work that portion is; and 4) whether the use will have a negative effect on the value or market for the work (positive effects are not considered).

Snippets of this type -- in aggregate, mind you -- have repeatedly been found to be fair use in the US because for the first factor, although the use is commercial in nature, it provides a benefit to society in being able to search for this material (which of course requires as much material as possible to be used in constructing the index, even though the index itself, as opposed to the results of a search, is not made available), the second factor may weigh against the use depending on the material being indexed, but it is not treated as being very important, obviously the whole work must be used to make the index for the index to be useful, so the third factor doesn't matter, and for the fourth factor, it doesn't harm the market for news articles to be able to find them and to see in one or two lines why they match your search terms. It doesn't matter if that's the business model.

And if you think this is extreme, look at time shifting, which is bad on all of the first three factors, but is sufficiently successful on the fourth so as to be fair use (in a general way, since again it is highly fact dependent)

Comment Re:Wikileaks absolutely does "vetting" ... (Score 1) 304

They did not lie

And again you're focusing on the wrong part of the video. I already said exactly what you said, i.e. it was a fluid and difficult to judge situation and shit happens. And again that's not what we're talking about.

What we're talking about is the van!. Once the firing has stopped they follow a wounded man on the ground crawling along the curb. They make comments along the lines of "Just pick up a gun budy so I can shoot you!" (paraphrase). (Gloating, but that's not the point). This demonstrates that they're well aware of the rules of engagement that prohibits the attacking of wounded and unarmed on the battle field.

Then the van comes around the corner. The father in the van immediately stops, goes out and renders aid. The helicopter crew is heard lying to their chain of command as they ask for permission to fire on the van telling their commander that they are "gathering weapons and bodies" (not exact quote). While the then current rules of engagement permitted attacking those that tried to remove weapons and the bodies of the fallen, they did of course not permit attacking someone who was giving aid to the unarmed wounded.

Given the wrong information of course their commander gives them permission to fire, and they do so, with disastrous results. (Again with the gloating, clear lack of professionalism there...).

That was beyond the pale, and a clear violation of not only international law, but also their own rules of engagement

. Since they were safe in a helicopter several thousand meters away, they don't get cut any slack from being in mortal peril themselves, and they also had a bit of time, and other options available, so no excuse there either.

Comment Re:Trapped? (Score 1) 304

Yeaaah, well, given the source I'd take that with a huge bucket of salt. Even the US wouldn't do such a thing in the west, and especially not Scandinavia. The political fall out would be huge, much larger than any temporary gain that could be had from kidnapping Assange. Actually, paradoxically, the "honey trap" theory is actually much more believable, than that.

So, I can't say I'm convinced. In fact if he were ever prosecuted in Sweden, my money is on a boring he-said-she-said trial, of no real consequence. (And even as a honey trap, the damage has already been done, so there wouldn't be any need for more, and those who prefer could have that theory intact).

Comment Re:Trapped? (Score 2) 304

Yes, we renditioned the Egyptians, and there was a huge stink, with a clear change in policy afterwards. Much more would have been made of it, but as the foreign secretary was murdered shortly after, and the prime minister stepped down due to losing the election for other reasons, there wasn't the political pressure. Even though we were asked to rendition more, not a single one was. To think that you could do the same to Julian Assange with no-one batting an eyelid is naive in the extreme.

And there has been no admittance of any such thing, or even close to that. You'd need a credible source. The one you cite can't even get crucial details on the Egyptian case right, so why would their ramblings on Assange have any bearing on the truth?

Comment Re:Wikileaks absolutely does "vetting" ... (Score 5, Informative) 304

For example when US helicopters kill some journalists in Iraq they will remove the early parts of the video showing these journalists traveling down the street with a group of armed militants only blocks from where US ground forces are engaged in combat.

And whether that's true or not isn't even the point. It's not the journalists we care about in that encounter. Shit happens in war, and it's difficult to tell from the photos. No, it's the helicopter crew lying to their chain of command to receive permission to fire on the van, in clear violation of both international law and the US own rules of engagement at the time that we think is beyond the pale.

Comment Re:who wants it? (Score 1) 400

And that's the beauty of it. The rest of us don't have to care about your perception of it. You're free to despise it to your hearts content, though your feelings about it are not shared by the entire community.

Never said they were shared. Never even said I particularly hated it either. Why would I expend that kind of emotional energy on them, over a thing like this. Now, that there's someone somwhere that will use it, I have no doubt about. I'm likewise convinced that we'll be able to count them without resorting to using our toes... It's going to be a miniscule thing, and MS will no doubt dump it, or let it languish. (POSIX subsystem style)

And it wasn't me that chose the issue, as much as you. You did after all point it out as a major advancement over the state of the art. To me it's a small step. In a not particularly important direction. We've tried it in the Unix community and it didn't catch on. So apparently it didn't hamper learning in any significant way.

But if it floats your boat, go right ahead. Just don't expect to gather many proselytes on the way, and get used to talking to yourself. I doubt you'll find many others to exchange your experiences with... :-)

Comment Re:Shying away from OOP(s) (Score 1) 674

Well, it's Ericsson we're talking about here. Still running plenty of thirty year old code. So "we" know a thing or two about that particular problem.

It's was my experience when I was there for seven years, and six major releases of successively larger and more feature-full products, that maintainability was higher than could be expected. And that's even when we had code from another team (100+) in another country basically just dumped in our basement. (The other site was closed down).

And like I said in another comment, when it came time to interop tests, we were the one that changed our behaviour to work around bugs in other manufacturers equipment. We were much more nimble than they were. Much of the credit goes to the programming environment there as well.

Submission + - New Li-Ion battery with twice the capacity planned for release next year

lars_stefan_axelsson writes: MIT News reports that SolidEnergy, an MIT spinoff is preparing to release a new Li-Ion battery that provides double the energy density per weight and volume, compared to current batteries.

The battery uses a thin layer of lithium metal as the anode compared to the graphite which is used today. There is also a change to the electrolyte. The new battery can be manufactured using current process lines, and commercial release of batteries for smart phones is planned for early next year, with electric cars following in 2018.

So if this holds true, it's a pretty big step forward, in an industry that otherwise usually sees a couple of percent improvement per step otherwise.

Comment These systems do not work and never will (Score 2) 111

Due to the base rate fallacy, systems like this don't work, and never will.

There just aren't enough terrorists to make this worthwhile. Let's assume that one person in a million is a terrorist (probably a high number), and let's furthermore assume that the system get's it right every time it actually sees a terrorist. Let's also assume that it only get it wrong once in a thousand when it sees a non-terrorist, i.e. once in a thousand the system will say "terrorist" when it's not.

With these figures, you will have one thousand false alarms for every one terrorist you catch! I.e. a completely unusable system, that will drown their users in false alarms.

Note that these figures are also completely unrealistically good. Real facial recognition systems that work with willing subjects, are in the high nineties when it comes to true positives, and in the single digit (or low double digit) percent when it comes to false positives. Not 1/1000 that we assumed above.

Now, in relative terms of course a system like this helps. We've increased our certainty from 1 per million to 1 per thousand. That's a thousand fold increase. But in absolute terms it's still unusably bad.

And this is incidentally why we don't screen for most/many diseases in the population. Even with a good test we'll drown in false positives. And the math works the same way for many other situations as well.

Comment Re:I had to switch IPv6 off (Score 1) 148

I've got IPv6 Dual stack here and it works fine with Netflix. The netflix traffic is using IPv6.

Yes. With native IPv6 Netflix works well and prefers that. It's only that many of us can't get native IPv6 and have to resort to tunnelling. That has worked well for years. However, since Netflix now bans VPNs they also ban IPv6 tunnelling, even though my tunnel ends in the same country I'm located in (and is registered in my name).

Comment I had to switch IPv6 off (Score 1) 148

I had to switch it off. All of a sudden Netflix decided that my registered tunnel with my own IPv6 subnet was an indication of me not being in the place I was supposed to. So netflix just stopped working. (I'd cut them off by that point, but the rest of the family didn't see it that way...)

So the final and workable fix was to switch off IPv6 on my internal network. Now it's only my gateway that is v6 routable.

Talk about "giant leap for mankind" backwards. Thanks Netflix. (Or rather "MPAA" I guess.)

Comment Re:Bomb researcher not impressed with IED (Score 1) 179

Expert: I mean, look at it - it's a bunch of nails and duct tape around a low explosive core which doesn't have nearly the proper confinement for even 50% of the maximum shock wave capable, much less the ability to transition to detonation. And this wiring - that's just disgraceful - the solder didn't even flow properly here, and this is entirely unsheilded - anything could set this off accidentally, even a cell phone. If you were in my training program, you're fail miserably.

You'd be right they'd fail the course and be booted out! And for good reason. I can assure you that you have special operations soldiers in the US who can and do use IEDs (for black flag, or deniable operations if nothing else) and you can be likewise sure that they will look like cobbled together crap (in case they're detected before they go off) but will not actually be crap. They'll go boom every time, because there's nothing worse than having a meticulously, planned and executed operation, months in the making, go south at the very last moment because the bloody bomb doesn't go off when it should! When that happens heads will roll. Even literally.

If there is e.g. soldering to be done, you can bet your sweet arse that it'll be done by someone who knows how to do that, or has been properly trained. Why do you think that it cost the US millions to train such as soldier, while AlQueda or ISIS makes changes out the $100 or so they spend? Sure large bureaucracies are inefficient at times, but they're not that bad. That money goes into things like this.

So. It's the bloody NSA we're talking about here. The most highly funded intelligence organisation in the world. The people behind stuxnet etc. I expect nothing short of perfection from them, and meticulous attention to the details that matter. Born from long experience of what not to do, and analysis of how to do it better, faster, cheaper. The same way I don't expect the USAF to fly aircraft with bits falling off them mid flight. For the same reasons.

That the NSA doesn't have their shit together is quite noteworthy, given what you'd expect. What it means is another question altogether, and not that easy to speculate on.

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