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Comment Re:Technically neither can ICANN or a domain provi (Score 1) 135

Copyright law still benefits people.

Overall it does. In some specific situations, it does not. One category of these is a copyright owner deliberately keeping a previously published or publicly exhibited work out of print everywhere or in particular countries. An example of this is Song of the South. Another is uncertainty over whether a song you've written is legally original, as opposed to an accidental infringement of copyright in someone else's song. An example of this is "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison. Why are those specific cases worth keeping?

Heck, I did something similar with a needle - just pierce a hole at random, then figure out which sectors are unreadable in my original. If you could read them, the floppy was not an original. And since it was at random, no two disks were alike. Writing data to the original wasn't a big deal - once you knew where the bad sectors were, skip over them.

Nintendo GameCube disc authentication works the same way: burn six evenly spaced pinholes in the lead-in at some random theta, and then mark in the Burst Cutting Area which sectors were burned.

Comment Re:Weird definition (Score 1) 203

Well, if you've ever been an expert at something, you no doubt use certain words in ways that confuse non-experts, because you have need of more precision than they do.

I have no idea what the technical epidemiological standard is for being something- "free", but it can't be the utter absence of that something (which is the non-specialist's definition) because you can't prove a negative. So there must be some criteria short of absence.

Comment Re:Fear is a good thing for business (Score 1) 254

It's been tried before, on an impressive scale. Humans haven't figured out absolutely how to keep rats, cockroaches and bedbugs out of their domiciles, much less most persistent and clever pest of all: other humans.

It'd probably be worthwhile for the rich to consider what being rich actually means. It's not having a lot of gold. Gold through the ages has only been useful as specie because (a) it's pretty and (b) it didn't have much practical use other than being pretty.

What being rich means is having the ability to command the cooperation and compliance of other human beings.

So a bunker is only good for a couple of weeks or at most months of disorder. It's a place to go while someone on the outside is struggling to re-establish the status quo ante. So it makes no sense to build one unless you also invest in the stability of the status quo, because if those people trying to preserve society fail you're actually in a worse situation than other survivors when you come out of your bunker. The vast majority of your money will become only scare-quotes "money" if the legal framework in which debts and ownership exist ceases to function.

Comment It's the marginal hedonic value of money, folks. (Score 3, Informative) 254

Scenario: You discover to your surprise that you can have your fill of every pleasure money can buy, and then you notice you've still got a mountain of that stuff lying around.

What to do?

(1) Pursue power. This never gets old, because there's other guys with mountains of money doing the same thing. No amount of power.is ever enough, because it's relative power that brings satisfaction.

(2) Serve humanity. The ability to amass money on this scale is a function of the scale of society, and that means that society's problems scale proportionately. The material resources you command could have solved all humanity's problems -- five thousand years ago. Today they're just a drop in a bucket, and that's a challenge.

(3) Build yourself a lavish Armageddon bunker.

(4) Any combination of the above.

Comment Re:Looking for the exit (Score 2) 59

A Google login, whether you get it via gmail or "G Suite", ties into all of the Android apps and keeps search history and integrates it into other Google products, and runs synchronization of most app data so they can see a great deal of what you do on the phone. About the worst that you can do is turn on device management. It will take about two days to turn off and during that time it will do its very best to force your email users to put their devices under your control. After that you apparently even have control over booting of the device. It's enough to make me want to support another open phone. Mozilla just gave up the ghost on that.

Comment LGPL does not "infect" the same way (Score 1) 44

Needs a stable, standard, unencumbered, free GUI -- windows, menus, toolbars, widgets, mouse, touch, etc. It'd be lovely if it was open source and not a barely-masked invitation to buy a new Porsche for some lawyer, too. IOW, no GPL infection.

Assuming that by "infection" you mean "causing [a larger work] to be distributable only under copyleft terms":

Both GTK+ widgets and Qt widgets are under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). Because LGPL is a weak copyleft, use of an LGPL library in a larger work does not "infect" it. It does, however, require an application's object to be available to a licensed user without digital restrictions management, which rules out a port to iOS or major video game consoles.

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