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Comment Coporate Policy Stifling Innovation Also (Score 5, Interesting) 124

This is indeed one aspect of the many problems with our patent system,. Another is the corporate strategy, initiated over a decade ago, which has virtually eliminated the interaction between innovative small firms and larger firms with the need for innovation and the deep pockets required to drive innovative products to market. After my small firm was purchased in 2000, I was ordered to inform all engineers that it would be a major (i.e. firing) violation of corporate policy if they let themselves become aware of the intellectual property of any other firm. I was told that this had recently been adopted as corporate policy by most major firms as a brilliant defense against the feared "triple damages" awards for patent infringement. Corporate policy explicitly banning any effort to learn about other firms' patents currently eliminates any possibility of a court awarding triple damages - even if patent infringement were proven. Since most innovative small firms lack the financial resources needed to take on a multi-year legal battle, even if they were able to show infringement on their patent, this new corporate policy amounted to a free pass for large wealthy firms to simply steal innovations from innovative small firms. The worst thing that could happen would be that the small firm won in court, at which point the worst-case punishment would be to pay 'damages' - which are defined as simply the amount that the stealing firm would have had to pay had they properly licensed the patents from the small firm in the first place. While this is considered a brilliant legal strategy, it is a disastrous national policy for technological innovation. It virtually eliminates the financial incentive for small firms to invest in innovation, by providing carte blanche for larger firms to simply steal that innovation; the logical large firm strategy in this case is to never discuss intellectual property with any small firm - simply steal it and defy them to take you to court. We do indeed need to make war on patent trolls, but even more importantly, we need to make war on patent thieves - by punishing deliberate ignorance of patent theft with large penalties. If it is proven that infringement occurred, and that the infringing firm had a policy of deliberate ignorance, the damage award should be at least tripled. Or - we should start letting speeders go free if they claim ignorance of the speed limit because they chose to deliberately avert their eyes every time a speed limit sign came near.

Comment Very true - really depends on the registrar (Score 5, Informative) 170

I wrote the backend for a registrar (NameSilo) and still help out with their developers from time to time. Because they offer free privacy and low prices - they get a lot of black hat use. Spamhaus frequently sends them abuse complaints and I have seen a few of them. What is amazing is that most of them offer little to no evidence of the wrongs a given domain has done. I am literally pasting from an email I was copied on here:

From NameSilo regarding an alleged malware domain:

Hi Thomas, We would like to help expedite this since it involves potential malware, but you don't give us much to go on here. Can you please review: http://www.namesilo.com/Support/Abuse-Reporting-Procedures

From Spamhaus:

This domain name is operated by cybercriminals and used to provide DNS resolution to botnet domains, aimed to steal thousands of $$$ from financial institutions. Please suspend it.

So in short - the registrar asked for evidence that the domain was violating their terms of service and spamhaus simply replies they are cybercriminals... trust us! After seeing other abuse reports from them, I can tell you that spamhaus has a very snub attitude and expects to be listened to. Once when Namesilo did not listen to them enough to their liking, they added namesilo.com to their RBL - they had me modify their MTA to route email around the block, but still - I think you can see the problem here - someone has to keep spamhaus in check.

Submission + - Emergency Broadcast System Coming to Cell Phones (aolnews.com) 1

gambit3 writes: The Emergency Broadcast System that interrupts TV programming in times of crisis is jumping to a new format where it might be able to reach you better — on your cell phone. The communications company Alcatel-Lucent announced Tuesday that it's creating a Broadcast Message Center that will allow government agencies to send cell phone users specific information in the event of a local, state or national emergency. It will be similar to the TV alerts in that the text messages will be geographically targeted for areas where a tornado alert or major road closure, for example, is in effect.

Comment Just dealt with this this week (Score 1) 108

This site is pretty straight forward: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/ - people can score companies based on the customer service they provide. Facebook / markmonitor.com decide for some reason that it infringes on their trademark based on this page: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Facebook Which leads to the following big waste of time/resources simply to tell their legal team to leave them alone: 1) they receive the complaint 2) they contact their registrar http://www.namesilo.com/ to find out what problems if any they have with their domain 3) NameSilo recommends some trademark attorney and 4) the attorney files a response (http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/images/CustomerServiceScoreboard_Facebook_Response.pdf) which more or less tells Facebook to please leave them alone and that their trademark infringement case is baseless. Facebook ended up dropping the threat. But this goes to show you how ridiculous the situation has become. Sites like Facebook employ services like Markmonitor.com to basically send out thousands of trademark and/or dmca threats.

Comment The real shame here.... (Score 1) 646

Is that they want to go after application layer security as well according to the NYTimes article (They want it to include "Developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must redesign their service to allow interception."). If that is the case, then this is a direct assault on the right to privacy for all US citizens. Even worse is that it is being touted as a way to catch the bad guys instead of a means to obtain the right to spy on the general population. Any self respecting bad guy will use application layer encryption (i.e. PGP etc.) that works independent of the transport encryption. Do you really think bad guys are going to use software that plays by the rules this law creates?

If this law also goes after application layer security - in other words, it tries to make it illegal to make/use software to enforce your own privacy - then this is a HUGE problem and we all need to act to help inform those around us who don't understand the repercussions of such a law. Right now we have the right to make/use software that protects our privacy. Do you want to live in a country that has removed this right in the name of protecting its citizenry from the evil doers?

Comment Re:IMAP is a protocol, not a file format (Score 1) 385

I did not assert it was a format. As far as the format, I recommend Maildir++, which when coupled with Dovecot (the IMAP server I recommended) does exactly what you wrote "You could opt for MIME messages in a directory structure and use some fulltext index software (Google desktop, Apache Lucene etc.) You can probably find software that creates index lists (like by sender / subject / date)"

Comment Good IMAP Server (Score 5, Informative) 385

If this is really important to you, and you want it all to work across multiple workstations/OSes, your best bet will be to store it all in IMAP. If you have the means and motivation to run this yourself, I would recommend Dovecot. If you don't have the means and motivation, then you can use a service like Gmail to run your IMAP although you give up certain freedoms in doing so. For example, I use Dovecot coupled with Maildir++ as the physical storage format - as a result I can (if I wanted to) change to any email client I wish very quickly, use different email clients at the same time, etc.

Comment How does this differ from glusterfs? (Score 2, Interesting) 132

I am not real familiar with ceph and after going through the pain to learn more about glusterfs (http://www.gluster.org/) only to learn that gluster was not quite ready for primetime (this was about 6 month ago - may have changed), I am a bit skeptical. Anyone know the main differences between ceph and glusterfs (besides that glusterfs can run in userspace)?

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