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Comment Re:Poor innocent Apple (Score 1) 84

Projects that are licensed under BSD can switch to a more restrictive license at any time. The code already released under BSD would remain under BSD, but any new development would be under the new license. The fact that the BSD license has been revised several times and has never added any commercial constraint, and that the BSD developers have never adopted a different license for the project seem to indicate that they are comfortable with the lack of restrictions on commercial exploitation of their code. They were certainly aware that the license allowed for it.

As hard as it seems for you to believe, some people are happy to release code into the world with the knowledge that someday, someone else may profit from it. In my work, I release code that is licensed under CC-BY. If a business takes my code and incorporates it into one of their products and sells it, as long as they credit me, I have no issue with that: those are the terms of the license I chose. I'd prefer that they contribute to the code under the existing license, but I don't find it necessary to require that.

Comment Re:Yeah but there's a whole world out there (Score 1) 852

It's odd that you use scare quotes when you talk about the citizenship of babies born in the US. The 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States is quite clear on this point:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

There's not a great deal of wiggle room there, unless you propose amending the constitution again.

Comment Re:I most definitely am not! (Score 1) 219

Yeah, but we like some of the Netflix exclusive content, too. My girlfriend watches Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, and we both dug Stranger Things.

I had a Netflix account many years ago, and I watched a bunch of streaming movies there, but after a pretty short time, it became scraping the bottom of the barrel. Also, I was constantly annoyed that my browsing pages were cluttered with so much kids' content. I remember browsing for shows and having whole pages that were entirely Dora and Caillou and Thomas and the construction guy and that mouse princess and on and on and on... with one or maybe two shows that might appeal to adults. That was a long time ago, so maybe it's better now. I complained and got an email that said they were working on it.

Comment Re:I most definitely am not! (Score 1) 219

I pay for HBO streaming at $15 per month. I got that for Game of Thrones and originally intended cancelling during the off-months, but I discovered that there's enough content there that I enjoy that I decided not to cancel. And my girlfriend's family has Netflix, which we don't pay for. I have Amazon Prime, so I get that content, and I guess you could count a part of the Prime subscription as TV costs. Call it $5 per month, which is probably overestimating--I get a lot more value out of Prime in shipping costs than in media. We pay the cable provider for Internet, at $50 per month, but we use Internet access extensively for work and other things that aren't streaming video. So 15 + 5 + 20 = $40 per month, as an upper bound? And all but the HBO subscription are costs that we would still have even if we never watched TV.

Comment Re:Poor innocent Apple (Score 1) 84

For the "philosophical" level, the answer seems obvious. One merely need ask themselves the question if thousands of developers altruistically gave their time to creating BSD, so that a mega-corporation could suck it up in-toto and make billions of dollars of unearned profit from it, all the while using those profits for attempting to shut down free innovation coming from anyone else.

The answer there seems unquestionably "no".

I don't know how you came to that conclusion, but it's clearly incorrect. The developers didn't choose the BSD license on accident. I mean, the BSD license was invented for the BSD OS. The fact that commercialization of software released under the BSD license is allowed is not a flaw that they somehow overlooked, it is one of the major features of the license. The BSD license is similar to the CC-BY license, which Creative Commons also did not create by mistake.

Comment Re:Not worth automating at all, apparently (Score 3, Informative) 113

So frankly, what's the point in automating at all, if it's going to be as expensive as a decent manual solution that would have been up and running in 3 months?

I keep having this argument at my office. The big bosses want to invest in a programming project that will supposedly eliminate the need for human intervention in a publication process. I keep pointing out that humans still have to look at the material before publication (witness Facebook's recent experiments with algorithms as news editors). But they are so dead-set against hiring a person with benefits that they'd rather spend twice as much buying hardware and writing software that only does half the job.

If they'd hired a person, the backlog would be cleared and the process would be working smoothly. Instead, we're on the nth redesign of the GUI that is nearly unusable because the engineers are in charge of designing it.

Comment Re:out side of the us jobs don't control your heal (Score 1) 539

If only that were also true within the US. Clearly, we have much to learn about how to do modern civilization. But so do many other countries with strong religious leadership: in Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive because they're women. In Pakistan, women are killed because they have dishonored the family. In the UK, conflict between Catholics and Protestants has caused extensive problems.

Health insurance is only a small part of this problem

Comment Re: Tax (Score 5, Insightful) 539

How about religious group Hobby Lobby, who wants to allow their employees to have health insurance, with the string attached that the health insurance not cover birth control pills?

How about religious group Salvation Army, who wants to allow their employees to have spousal benefits, with the string attached that those employees not be gay?

How about religious schools such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, who employ people with the string attached that they not get divorced (but only if they're women)?

These few examples are but a drop in the bucket. True, they're not "religions", they're only organizations run by religious people. But they all claim to be exempt from the law because of religion. Also, you can find as many and more examples of religions doing the same. Religions attach strings to their money because they feel it is their moral duty (in the most generous interpretation). Do not pretend that they're just helping people; they're helping the deserving people, and they get to decide which ones are deserving. Also, do not read this as a defense of government as the highest good; there are plenty of problems there, as well.

Comment Re:Other People's Playlists (Score 1) 64

I have never succeeded at training a Pandora station. Mine all inevitably turn into all Beatles all the time. The first time I did one, it turned into a Beatles station within a day. I'm not a big Beatles fan, but I don't mind an occasional track, so I hadn't been downvoting them. For my next try, I mercilessly downvoted Beatles songs whenever they came on. That station turned into solo projects from member of the Beatles, covers of Beatles songs by other artists, Beatles covering the music of other artists, and live performances from the Beatles. I tried variations on these methods on several stations. The last straw was when I had downvoted too many Beatles-related songs in an hour and Pandora punished me with a ukulele medley of What a Wonderful World and Over the Rainbow. That was the end of my time with Pandora.

Comment Re:Disconnect (Score 1) 413

You're either causing a problem or ignoring it, and making a token gesture at the same time to cover your ego.

This really bugs me. At my university, we have to watch a lame video every year about how to not sexually harass our co-workers and students. It's a complete waste of time for everyone: those of us who don't go around sexually harassing people don't need to watch a video to behave like respectful and responsible human beings, and those who do go around sexually harassing people aren't going to suddenly realize the error of their ways because of an HR video.

So the whole exercise exists for the sole reason that when a Title IX investigation happens, the university can check off a box on a form that says that the university "trained" the offender against sexual harassment, and the university therefore has no liability. It does absolutely nothing to address issues of sexual harassment in the university. It's just the university cultivating an appearance of addressing the problem while calling 'not it' whenever something bad happens.

Comment Disconnect (Score 2) 413


When Jamia Wilson read this report, she noticed she was surrounded by Apple products. She thought about "how much money I've invested in an organization [that] doesn't believe in investing in people like me."

Simply put, Apple's gender divide, both within the company and onstage in San Francisco, does not represent the company's consumer base. And incremental progress still yields pathetic results — the numbers don't lie.

Maybe it's true that Apple's top echelons don't represent its consumer base proportionally in sex and color. All the same, as the most profitable business in the world, that doesn't seem to be a real problem for them. And, clearly, with Apple shipping the #1 smartphone and #1 tablet, and the currently popular Macbooks, consumers aren't actually all that concerned with the dearth of women on stage at Apple events. So it seems like this problem is being manufactured for our consumption by people whose job it is to do so, people like Jamia Wilson, executive director of Women, Action & Media.

What I really want to hear is not that this is a problem, but why it is a problem. What are the consequences of lack of diversity at the top of the corporate structure? Why does this matter? How would it help, say, black women if there were more black women in positions of authority at Apple?

Comment Re:"The CFPB declined... (Score 2) 341

I don't know how people continue to bank with a place that has repeatedly been shown to do everything they can to screw their customers

I bank with Wells Fargo because they bought the bank I was going to before, and it's a little bit of a pain in the ass to change banks. I don't pay any fees for my various accounts there. I also don't keep very much money there, because their interest rates are comparable with other national banks: 0.01% APY on a savings account, 0.05% on a CD. You can trivially do better than that with on-line options.

But, basically, inertia. I haven't had sufficient motivation to switch.

Comment Re:No, they don't need to focus (Score 4, Interesting) 84

In a more recent story, SpaceX is being sued by Spacecom (owner of the AMOS-6 satellite that was lost). I have a hard time believing they could win such a suit, but that depends on what caused the "anomaly".

It's possible that they have to sue in order to activate their insurance. Sometimes that's how you get your settlement.

Comment Re:The problem is 21 (Score 1) 201

I don't see what the DUI limit has to do with recreational drinking without driving.

For some reason, when someone is arrested for drunken bad behavior, the news media reports things like 'so-and-so had a blood alcohol level of .10, which is over the legal limit for driving' even when the person wasn't actually driving. Why does the magic number .08 matter in contexts apart from driving? I mean, obviously that BAL was too high for the person who got arrested, but there's no rule against drinking a lot.

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