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Comment Ya, and that will hold up... not (Score 2) 212

Here's the deal: All proprietary software has that in there as well. Every piece of software has an EULA that says they are responsible for nothing. Have a look at the MS EULA if you wish, there's all kinds of shit that supposedly limits liability, requires arbitration, etc, etc https://www.microsoft.com/en-u....

You can say it all you like, doesn't make it true. I can write an EULA saying "By using this software you agree I get to take your first born child," and yet if I tried, I'd still go to jail because just saying it in an EULA doesn't make it so. You can't disclaim all warranties, all damages, etc by law. For some info on it look up the Uniform Commercial Code.

Ok well all that aside when it comes to an issue like this courts are not known for applying the law one way in one case, and a different way in another. They don't say "Oh we like this nice OSS" and give it one rule and "We don't like this mean commercial software" and give it another. Thus if courts find that software makers are liable for incidental data loss then it will apply to ALL software. OSS has no special get out clause. You don't get to have it both ways where OSS gets a magic liability shield just by putting something in a text document but commercial EULAs aren't worth the bits used to store them.

In fact, OSS will be MORE vulnerable. Commercial companies have lawyers to help them wrangle out of things. They also can always go the real contract route, where you sign an actual contract up front with them before buying (you see this with some enterprise software) which can enforce more stringent terms. OSS that is just distributed on the web doesn't have all that.

Comment You don't want this to succed (Score 3, Insightful) 212

Even if you are a rampant MS hater, this would set a really bad precedent: That software companies could be liable for data loss caused by things only incidentally related to their software. Talk about a ripe field for bullshit lawsuits.

Don't think OSS would be immune either. The argument of "but I didn't charge for it" doesn't eliminate liability. In fact, it would be something companies could use to try and bully OSS out of existence through bullshit lawsuits.

Comment This is such a bad argument (Score 2, Interesting) 145

Every time there's a story about OSS software being less than perfect, someone always trots this tired crap out. "Oh if it isn't want you want you can just fix it!" That is complete bullshit and you should know it. If you don't, you are hopelessly naive.

First off, most people are not programmers and many do not even have the request problem solving, analytical, and mathematical skills to become one. If you aren't a programmer, you can't just go and fix software. Becoming a programmer isn't magic either, you don't go and read a book and then you are good. It takes years of experience to get proficient, and decades to really master and is something you need to spend a lot of time on. If you think you are some hot-shit programmer and you "picked it up just by reading" and "just do it in your spare time" then guess what? You aren't near as good as you think you are.

Second, even if someone is a programmer they may not have the requisite skills or knowledge to deal with a piece of software. Not all software is created equal, not all problems are the same to solve. Someone might be a programmer who's actually pretty good, but knows about making database code because that's what they do. However if they are trying to implement an algorithm for processing audio they might be lost because they don't understand how that works, it is another set of knowledge.

Finally, even if someone does have the skills, knowledge and experience to do it, maybe they just don't want to spend the time. We all have only so much time to spend in a day, maybe they are not interested in dropping a bunch of time to fix something that is to them just a tool. They'd rather pay to have one that works and spend their time on other shit.

So knock it off with the "oh it is open just do it yourself" crap. That is extremely silly, and you know it.

Comment Hubris! (Score 1) 253

One of my very most favorite old-timey sins! Hubris.

"The DRM is supposed to thwart copyright infringement by stopping people from ripping video and other content from encrypted high-quality streams."

Sounds an awful lot like "The Titanic is Unsinkable" doesn't it?

Comment No shit (Score 1) 319

And I dunno about schools these days, or everywhere for that matter, but way back when I was in high school the books usually used something that was quasi-cylindrical like a Robinson or some such. Tended to give you a good picture of whatever they centered it on (which would usually be whatever was being talked about) and squished things near the edges.

I don't recall ever seeing a Mercator projection. Maybe the local maps were, like when it was showing a single country, but of course it doesn't matter a lot at that point as the distortion in a small area isn't that large whatever kind of projection you use.

Comment Re:News stories say that is true. More detail: (Score 1) 126

= = = Seattle: Together with abusive companies and bad city management, Seattle is a miserable place.

Houses in Seattle are expensive: Seattle bumps Boston as the most expensive U.S. housing market that's not in California. [geekwire.com]

Rent is expensive: Seattle rent is 5th most expensive in U.S. [curbed.com] = = =

Your points 2 and 3 and difficult to reconcile with point 1, at least from a microeconomic point of view. And all techies are good free market purists, right?

sPh

Comment That's how these things always go (Score 4, Insightful) 125

Whenever there's a "language popularity" thing online they always do their research by looking at what people are doing online. Either what they are talking about, what they are sharing, etc. Somehow none of them ever consider how horribly skewed this is.

The simplest counterexample to something like this is embedded software. It is unarguable that there's a lot of development of that going on. Everything today gets controlled with a micro-controller or small CPU. Actual custom designed ASICs/circuits are reserved for only a few applications, most things get a more general purpose device and do it in code. Your car, your cable modem, your microwave, your TV, etc all of them run code.

Well guess what? That embedded code isn't done in Javascript or Ruby or any of these other trendy languages. Often as not it is done in C/C++ (and sometimes partially or all assembly). It just isn't the sort of things that gets posted about online. First the code is almost always proprietary, so the project itself isn't going to get posted as it is property of the company that paid to have it written and second it is professionals working in teams doing it, not people who are getting started out or playing around. They are likely to get help internally, not talk about it on the Internet.

So if you want to look at Github to see what is popular on Github, that's cool, but when people try to generalize that to development overall, it is false. To get a feeling for what is really popular in software development you'd have to poll programmers working at a variety of big companies since that's where a lot of the code is being generated.

Comment Re:Too many stories (Score 1) 299

Oh man! Good times. I had an experience very similar to your #4.

I was a consultant for a securities group, doing PC maintenance for college money on the side. Owner was a know-it-all type. He had a Novell 3.11 server holding all his corporate data. Ran out of room, so he had me span a second disk onto his virtual volume. I wasn't a Novell expert but I gave it a go. It was my first time on this particular system. I explained to him how this created another point of failure, you need to do backups, and so on. And soon, because the other drive was "singing". You know the sound, the sound of a platter drive that's getting ready to die.

I talked him into buying a tape drive. Did they ever use it? No. I made a script to make it easy. One command. Still no.

His PC had a tape drive. I set that to automatically back up the Novell server after hours. He figured it out and disabled it.

One day they get a card in the mail. It was the local power company. "We will be performing line maintenance for your block at 10am a week from now. Please turn off all of your electronic equipment while we perform our maintenance."

I'm sure you know how this story ends. =)

Comment Re:About 15 years ago, but I'll never forget him (Score 1) 299

Yup, afraid so. A large-ish company with about 3-400 employees making a popular product you probably have heard of if you're into cars.

It was right after the dot-com bubble burst. If you were in IT you were lucky to be working at all, at least in my neck of the woods anyways. I was laid off when they hired me in and considered myself lucky. It's also the only job I ever quit without giving a two week notice.

When I quit HR called me in to lecture me about how unprofessional that was. A few months later she also quit without putting in a two week notice. Her and the company's CFO went out drinking margaritas at lunch...and just never came back.

Everyone has one stain on their resume, that place is mine.

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