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Comment "Intellectual property" (Score 1) 97

You can encourage clear thinking, and avoid gratuitous confusion, by
shunning the term "intellectual property" when you write about this

This case is about one specific law -- patent law. The term
"intellectual property" identifies that law with a dozen or so
unrelated disparate laws, which have nothing in common in practice.
They don't work the same, and their good or bad effects are different
too. The only way to understand any of them is to keep them mentally
separate. You can help readers do that by not mixing them up.

See for more explanation.

Comment What about the freedom of the viewers? (Score 1) 393

This story doesn't mention that Ustream is bad for another reason even
when it does "work": because it requires viewers to run nonfree

If a con or any event is going to do streaming, the organizers should
contact me; I can put them in touch with people who can show them how
to stream it themselves with free software. One secondary advantage
is that no company can censor the transmission.

Comment Say it out loud and wake up the other passengers (Score 1) 1059

You could turn it into an opportunity for organizing. Say, loud
enough for other passengers to hear, "You are working for the people
that hate our freedoms. You are not protecting us, you are the
threat. Your job is to make Americans scared so we will give up our
freedom without a fight. But we the American people will overcome
you. If you are a patriot you should quit your job."

The idea isn't that you convince the cops, it's to wake up the other

Be prepared with responses to the usual fallacious arguments of the
other side, and if the cop spoke quietly, your response needs to tell
passersby what the issue is as well as respond to it.

Comment Re: Paid Developers Power the Linux Kernel (Score 1) 191

It's a useful thing that so many people are paid to contribute to a
free software program such as Linux, the kernel typically used with
the GNU system. Much of the development of the GNU Compiler
Collection, which I started in the 1980s, is also done by paid
programmers, and we appreciate their contribution.

However, in trying to clear up the misconception that free software
development is done only by volunteers, it spreads another
misconception: that volunteers must be unemployed. Most free programs
are written by volunteers, and these volunteers typically have jobs of
some sort. They contribute to free software in their free time.

If you happen to become unemployed, as so many have due to the insane
deregulation of the banks, using your time to write free software is
one way to draw something positive out of this trouble. But when you
find work again, you won't have to stop contributing.

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It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.