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Comment Re:Discounted labour! (Score 1) 356

You hear that corporations? There's a discount on labour! Save, save, save! Apparently if you hire black women they have identical skills, experience, and work just as hard as the average person in your company. Why are you hiring anyone but them? DISCOUNT!!!

Everyone says companies are willing to do anything to save a buck, but apparently, when it comes to labour, they won't. Weird, eh? I wonder if there could be another reason...

From my experience in the industry, the difference in wages highlighted by this article would be insignificant next to the much larger wastes due to building the wrong thing, or building stuff that customers don't want, or running around in circles with changing requirements, or pursuing middle-manager pet projects.

I think the "another reason" you mention is that no one in the industry has figured out how to systematically use software engineers to the full potential, not by a long margin.

Comment Re:And the barrier for Rust isn't? (Score 5, Informative) 149

You want an app that's supposed to protect your security online to be written by someone who hasn't studied or used the language but decided they could do well enough "within a day"? Yeah, no thanks.

Honestly, yes. A clean language like Rust means that you won't get problems due to misuse of the language no matter how new you are to it; only due to misunderstanding of algorithms or architecture or security principals. The whole point of the comparison with C is that after a decade of experience in C you'll still find accidental security flaws due to unspotted buffer overruns or read-after-free.

Comment Re:And the barrier for Rust isn't? (Score 4, Insightful) 149

I'm pretty sure the number of programmers who know C is several orders of magnitude higher than Rust.

I can't imagine that being a problem. Rust is a familiar looking language designed not to have shoot-yourself-in-the-foot holes. I'd expect a good developer, who's already familiar with other languages, to be contributing good PRs in Rust within a day.

Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 366

Think of football (or hockey, or ...) camp for 8 year olds. Very few of those kids are going on to a brilliant professional sporting career. So we should shut them down, treat any parent who enrolls their child in such a camp with derision, etc. Right? No? Why not? -- Because sometimes the experience is more important then the result...I remember feeling the world change.

I have nothing to add. I just want to say thank you for a well-written spot-on post. Your analogy was good, and your inspiring "feeling the world change" description gave me goosebumps to read.

Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 366

Put aside your trolling for a moment and understand the difference. One was a CHOICE, the other was FORCEFULLY FORCED DOWN YOUR THROAT. Can you figure out which one. You'll get cookie when you do.

Yeah, it's called parenting. My three year old hates broccoli but I force it down her throat. (well, I insist she takes minimum one bite). That's because I know it's for the best that she be exposed to it. She's likely not going to grow up a broccoli farmer or a vegan or a chef, but she should still be exposed to it.

Comment Re:At last an article about clouds that makes sens (Score 1) 25

I thought "The Cloud" was just another term for someone else's computer. Back in my day, we called it timesharing. Long life TSS/8, TSO and Multics (and their friends).

Now you kids get off my lawn.

I think that misses the point. "The Cloud" refers to the commoditized outsourcing of certain aspects of maintaining a set of servers while keeping control of other aspects. Like: if you outsource the nothing, then it's a machine in your building that you bought/built yourself. If you outsource just rackspace, then it's an datacenter from the 90s. If you outsource hosting a VM, or scaleability, or distributed load balancing / replication, or worldwide redundancy, or keeping the host OS up-to-date with patches, or any kind of fancy bandwidth provision, or providing services like highly scalable data storage, then it's called The Cloud. Sure you could do those on Multics if you wanted (no one did).

Comment Re:You can't "illegally download ebooks" (Score 1) 153

Downloading eBooks (or anything else) isn't illegal. *Distributing* them is, without the proper permission/license.

Correction: *copying* them without the proper permission/license is what's illegal.

In the case of printed books, if you obtained an illegally-distributed book and read it, then you wouldn't be doing any copying.

But in the case of ebooks, if you obtained an illegally-distributed book and read it on your computer, the act of reading it on computer inevitably makes a copy in the computer's memory or cache or disk. The copyright act specifically says that copies this made this way are exempt from copyright restrictions, SO LONG AS these copies are (1) temporary, and transient/incidental, (2) an integral and essential part of a technological process, (3) the sole purpose of the copies is to enable a lawful use of the work.

Is it a "lawful use of the ebook" if you're reading a copy that had been illegally distributed? I think this is up for debate, and I'm not aware that it's been tested in court.

Is it a "temporary copy" if you download an illegally-distributed ebook and store it on your phone or hard disk? -- no.

Note: I'm not a lawyer.

Comment Re:The ignorance is astounding (Score 1) 70

The computer clarification was not to give carte blanche to view things you haven't paid for as long as you don't save it.

I think it's the exact reverse!

Traditionally, the "copyright infringers" were the ones who copied without license to do so -- who spun up the printing presses, who produced bootleg tapes. The act of consuming something was never an act of copyright infringement. You always had carte blanche to view anything, no matter how you obtained it (at least as regards copyright law).

The fact that computer technology meant that the act of consuming now also included the act of making a copy? This is an oddity, but one that the copyright industry grabbed hold of.

The computer clarification I think was a means to restore the producer/consumer balance.

(However, computers also allow "free consumption", which upsets the balance once again.)

Comment Re:The ignorance is astounding (Score 2) 70

When I stream, I'm downloading. The data goes from their servers to my device. You may play some tricks to minimize caching and delete the data as quickly as its done with, but it's still downloading. So how is copyright enforcement supposed to know if I'm capturing that data for later additional use?

"The ignorance is astounding"? indeed! :)

The difference between "temporary copy made that's inherent to the process of watching it" and "permanent copy" has long been a topic of debate. It was codified in UK law in 2003:

Copyright in a literary work, other than a computer program or a database, or in a dramatic, musical or artistic work, the typographical arrangement of a published edition, a sound recording or a film, is not infringed by the making of a temporary copy which is transient or incidental, which is an integral and essential part of a technological process and the sole purpose of which is to enable -- (a) a transmission of the work in a network between third parties by an intermediary; or (b) a lawful use of the work; and which has no independent economic significance."

You wrote "so it's still downloading" but that's irrelevant. You should have written "it's still copying" since that's what the law is about (and what the exemption above relates to).

You asked "So how is copyright enforcement supposed to know if I'm capturing that data for later additional use?" -- First, note that the topic of this article is someone's opinion of EXISTING law, not new law. Second, note that although copyright law defines infringement, it's left up to the enforcement agencies to figure out how and what to pursue.

Anyway, enforcement of copyright infringement has largely been driven by the copyright holders themselves, e.g. UK's Federation Against Copyright Theft or America's RIAA. An opinion like this is a shot across their bows, telling them "hey stop sending infringement notices to folks who merely download your movies because we think you're not going to prevail".

Comment Re:what is "streaming", exactly? (Score 4, Informative) 70

Does "streaming" imply the use of some protocol that attempts to prevent the recipient from saving? What if we stream using a protocol with a known vulnerability? What if we develop a new streaming protocol and deliberately include a vulnerability? What if it is based on encryption with a password that is hard-coded to be "password" and cannot be changed? What if it merely requires the use to check a box that says, "I solemnly swear that I obey the law, mostly"?

Your hypotheticals come from someone thinking like a geek, which is a bit pointless here. You should instead think like a lawyer. Start from the relevant quote:

Accessing premium paid-for content without a subscription is considered by the industry as unlawful access, although streaming something online, rather than downloading a file, is likely to be exempt from copyright laws."

That presumably relates to a long-running question about copyright as regards temporary copies in computers. Here's the wikipedia explanation:

For a long time, the legal position of services such as Internet caches was dubious under British law, with such copies technically being infringing. However, an amendment explicitly allows temporary copies of literary works, other than when in computer programs and databases; of dramatic works; of artistic works; of musical works; of typographical arrangements; and of films or sound recordings – provided that such temporary copies are necessary for a technical process, are transient or incidental, and are made only for the purpose of transmitting a work across a network between third parties, or for a lawful use of the work. That amendment eliminates the awkward position of the cacheing services of Internet service providers. It is in a similar vein to an exception for the incidental inclusion of a copyright work in an artistic work, sound recording or film. However, deliberate inclusion of a copyright work negates the exception.

Here's the actual text of the law:

Copyright in a literary work, other than a computer program or a database, or in a dramatic, musical or artistic work, the typographical arrangement of a published edition, a sound recording or a film, is not infringed by the making of a temporary copy which is transient or incidental, which is an integral and essential part of a technological process and the sole purpose of which is to enable -- (a) a transmission of the work in a network between third parties by an intermediary; or (b) a lawful use of the work; and which has no independent economic significance."

That answers most of your questions: "Does "streaming" imply the use of some protocol that attempts to prevent the recipient from saving?" -- no. "What if we stream using a protocol with a known vulnerability?" -- irrelevant. "What if I check a box which says I solemnly swear to mostly obey the law?" -- irrelevant. It also answers a question implied by your train of thought: if you use software to watch a stream, and you take advantage of flaws or deliberate designs in this software to save a copy, then the exceptions won't apply to you, and you'll be guilty of copyright infringement.

Your other questions were about authoring a protocol or software that has flaws or deliberate designs that allow folks to save a copy. This doesn't fall foul of anti-circumvention law because you're authoring the protocol yourself, not circumventing someone else's. And if a publisher uses this protocol? -- it's up to them, but using a protocol wouldn't constitute a waiver of their copyright rights.

Comment Re: Sigh... (Score 2) 237

You said you can use your brain and realize only way radiation can damage the brain is through heating or ionization.

How do you know there's not a third mechanism, where the brain acts like a mini antenna and gets minor electrical signals? And maybe these are harmful in some way, not a big thing like an epileptic fit, but maybe more subtle, maybe that hits a frequency that triggers bad effects? I think that bird brains have a kind of electromagnetic compass so we know that some brains do respond to electromagnetic fields. And sharks sense by electrical fields.

I'm not saying these are true. I just think they'd need to be ruled out by you 'finger' method of looking at scientific research, and that your 'brain'method isn't enough...

Comment Re:Only MS (Score -1) 249

["What we heard back most explicitly..."] -- Only Microsoft would think that people don't want control of updates, or that unexpected reboots aren't disruptive.

I've been in IT 39 years. Only an idiot doesn't know those two things.

I think you missed the two essential points here. John Cable introduced himself with an explicit overview of the communications channels:

I want to say again how important all the feedback we receive from customers is to us at Microsoft. We actively listen to feedback from many different sources including the Feedback Hub application, responses customers provide to system-initiated prompts, our customer support engineers, postings to social media, and a variety of Windows forums. Our approach is to continuously listen to all the feedback and improve the experience with each future update. In fact, most of the improvements I’ll talk about next are the direct result of what we heard through these channels from our customers. On to the details!

Are you an idiot if you don't know that list of feedback channels? No, you're normal, so it makes sense for him to list it. Given the context of this introduction, of course he's going to couch his next sentence in terms of what he's heard through those channels. Doesn't make him an idiot.

He actually writes that they heard about reboots "most explicitly". Are you an idiot if you don't know that reboots tops the feedback? No. Indeed the slashdot vote would likely put telemetry at the top of the list instead.

(A diametrically opposite approach on those two counts is "We don't have a centralized place to gather feedback, and our software is open source so if the community wants their itch scratched then they can do it themselves": diametrically opposite because it doesn't have a list of feedback mechanisms and it doesn't prioritize things by how much users want them. Is it idiotic to follow this approach? No it's been wildly successful.

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