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Submission + - OSGeo Foundation up in arms over ESRI LAS lock-in plans

Bismillah writes: The Open Source Geospatial Foundation is outraged over mapping giant ESRI's latest move which entails vendor lock-in for light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data through its proprietary Optimised LAS format. ESRI is the dominant company in the geospatial data arena, with its ArcGIS mapping platform boasting with over a million users and 350,000 customers.

Comment Re:Eat your own dogfood, jerks (Score 1) 274

But the DDA doesn't actually say that, so someone screwed your employer. All they have to do to comply is provide an accessible office (or meeting room) for wheelchair bound employees/visitors.

Contrary to what the tabloid press will tell you the DDA is pretty mild, all you have to do is provide a reasonable adjustment not make the whole building accessible to wheelchairs. However it did mean that my mate Frank who was in a wheelchair didn't have to give his debit card number to some one from the bank every time he wanted to get money out of the ATM or risk being dropped by us after an evenings drinking when we tried to carry him back down the pub steps.

Comment Re:No Free Market in the EU? (Score 2, Informative) 389

No, more like "I'd like to change GIS systems, can I get my data back, please?" - Currently if you go with the industry leader you are screwed. For example the US Air Force mandates that all it's bases store their maps in a proprietary DCMA protected format (got to love lobbiests) - This means that the US Air Force Academy spent $25 Million in a non compete tender to ESRI each year to licence the software they need to get to their own datasets ( This is my taxes going down the drain each and every year.

I guess the EU just got fed up with this sort of tax waste and feels that it is preventing others entering the market. Even if I give my software away I can't beat vendor lock in like that.

Comment Re:What about the presumption of innocence? (Score 1) 1590

While I can understand your problems with illegal immigration. I'm a legal immigrant I pay taxes, I pay fees to the immigration service (and extra processing fees to try to get my documentation before the current ones expire) and I don't get to vote so I have no say in the way your government functions. If more states pass laws like this one I (and I suspect other immigrants) will vote with our feet and leave taking our taxes with us, if you are really unlucky we will take the jobs we do with us. Remember by definition I am not doing a job an American can do - if even one American (who could do the job) had applied I wouldn't have got my visa.

Comment Re:Federal law already requires documentation (Score 1) 1590

Actually I'm pretty sure I only have to prove my identity (in PA). I certainly don't carry my passport and HI-B visa with me everyday, they are both expensive and fragile documents that I keep in a safe location in my house. I have a PA driver's license (which I had to prove my immigration status to get) which I do carry in my wallet as it is designed for that. The only time I carry my visa (and a letter from my employer saying I really do still work for them) is if I plan to cross the border.

For those who haven't seen one an H1-B visa is a sheet of not quite letter sized paper with very soluble ink (presumably to prevent forgery not just to save money as they cost $600 + $1000 bribe), it would be a real pain in the ass to have to carry it everywhere.

Comment Re:Seriously flawed logic (Score 1) 650

I wondered when they'd get around to doing this. Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't try it sooner.

You can safely assume that if used clothing became fashionable amongst the moneyed classes, clothing manufacturers would try to force Goodwill and the Salvation Army out of business. Value is tied to scarcity, so trying to generate artificial scarcity is a pretty standard tactic. In a field like "intellectual property", where all scarcity is artificial, sharing is viewed as a sin.

Booksellers in the UK are already trying to force charity shops to stop selling second hand books near their stores -


Comment Re:Seems reasonable (Score 1) 505

Particularly if the research is publicly funded.

unless the public requires us to extract the maximum economic return for our research. In the UK and to a lesser extent the USA researchers are required to make as much money as possible from our research. I've had a lot of problems with university managers when trying to release research code under open licenses.

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