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Comment Re:There are 900 .com registrars (Score 1) 72

There are 900 registrars handling .com, any of which can issue a transfer and change the root DNS servers for any .com domain.

So they don't keep track of which registrars are responsible for which domains? That does seem a bit messed up, if true. My impression was that there was a formal process registrars had to go through to transfer control over a domain name—or does that only restrict domain owners, and not registrars? If the control over .com domains is really as chaotic as you say then that is a separate issue that ought to be addressed independent of DANE or DNSSEC.

Even so, DANE still gives you the benefit of domain validation without the need to deal with a traditional CA as well as your DNSSEC trust chain. You also have the option of choosing a TLD with saner access controls than simply granting 900 separate entities global write access.

Comment Re:"Signed all the way". That's just a different C (Score 1) 72

You still have CA, you've just decided that the CA needs to be the same people who run DNS, because ... well no good reason that I can think of. What does that gain you?

First, this is for Domain Validation certificates only. The normal CA process would still apply if you wanted an EV certificate—though you could restrict your domain to a specific EV certificate for additional security.

If someone has control over your domain records they can already obtain a DV certificate for your domain from just about any CA by redirecting the domain to their own servers. What DANE buys you is all the security you would get with Domain Validation minus the need to deal with two different CAs, one for DNSSEC and another for TLS.

As a bonus, with DANE records for a site "example.com." there are only three entities you need to trust: the domain administrator for "example.com.", the registrar for "com.", and the root authority. In the traditional CA system any CA can issue a certificate for any domain, so you're forced to trust dozens (if not hundreds) of CAs both to maintain the security of their signing keys and to refrain from issuing an unauthorized certificate for your domain. A breach at any one of those CAs can compromise the security of your site.

Comment Re:Here's the actual problem, (Score 1) 190

I've lived as an immigrant and guest worker for much of my life, and I've always understood that immigration is a privilege, that as an immigrant I do not have most of the rights of citizens, and that until I become a citizen, I can be asked to leave at any time.

You're selling yourself short. Your rights are not defined by the government's whims. You have just as much right to be here as anyone born within the geopolitical boundaries of the United States. Anyone who tries to claim otherwise (including the U.S. government) is infringing on your natural rights as a sentient being.

Comment Re:huh? (Score 1) 243

That was my thought as well.

It would certainly never occur to me to associate an ad, or the company whose product is being advertised, with the content of a video in anything more than a marketing sense. I don't think other users make that connection either. Most people realize that Google is targeting ads toward the individual based on all the data they have accumulated about the person.

It was some social justice crusader working at a newspaper in the UK who started looking for videos containing "hate speech"(not sure exactly what it was) and then told the advertisers that their ads were appearing with these apparently "offensive" videos.

Comment License management tools: good, bad, or ugly? (Score 1) 237

From me in 2001 posted to gnu.misc.discuss: https://groups.google.com/d/ms...

I definitely do not want to see a future world of only proprietary
intellectual property where basically everything I want to do requires
agreeing to endless licenses and royalty payments, such as described in
"right-to-read". My wife and I released a six person-year effort under
the GPL (a garden simulator application) around 1997 ...
so I am obviously sympathetic to encouraging free sharing of some
information and allowing derived works of some things.

However, on a practical basis, living in our society as it is right now,
any software developer is going to handle lots of packets of information
from emails to applications to program modules under a variety of
explicit or implied licenses. If a developer is going to do this in a
way that makes his or her work most useful to the community (under the
terms he or she so chooses), proper attention must be given to the
licensing status of all works received and distributed, especially those
that form the basis for new derived works to be distributed. Note that
even in the case of purely GPL'd works, one still needs to know that a
user contributing an extension to a GPL'd work was the original author
and/or he or she has permission to distribute the patch (if say an
employer owns all the contributor's work).

My question is: should software tools, protocols, and standards play a
role in easing this required "due diligence" ...
license management work (at least as far as copyright alone is
concerned)? ... Usually license management tools (e.g. for music or DVDs) are thought of
as keeping the end user from doing something they might wish to with
content they have paid for. Does it make sense as well to look at
license management tools from the perspective of allowing
(non-technical, non-lawyer) casual users to do things they otherwise
might not be legally sure they can do? Similarly, would such tools help
someone filter out proprietary content with licenses he or she does not
approve of (and would this provide incentives for artists to release
free versions if they want to reach people through those filters)? And
most of all, would such tools allow creative people to be more certain
that they could legally use certain freely licensed materials found on
the internet in making derived works? Would this provide a legitimate
defense of due diligence to minimize copyright infringement suit costs
(or reduce related liability insurance costs)?

For example, when you get an email it could come with a machine-readable
license (e.g. "redistribution OK in entirety", "for your eyes only",
"open content", "GPL"). Likewise, what if every file or zip archive came
with a specific machine-readable license? In effect, this would make the
license a fundamental part of the work.

In part, you may think, perhaps correctly, this it the "right-to-read"
nightmare. Such information could be used to prevent you from making
copies of things you might want to copy (legally or not) under some
notion of "fair use" ...
if the system enforced the license by preventing say you forwarding or
quoting an email that comes in with a license of "for your eyes only" or
with no explicit license at all. Perhaps the feeling that copy
protection systems will prevent fair use underlies much of the
resistance to such automation. It is not my point in this note to
advocate either for or against the enforcement of licenses by the end
user's system. Obviously though, enforcement would certainly be made
easier by machine-readable licenses, and this is a problematical issue
as far as "fair use" is concerned.

On the other hand, license management tools might force everyone to be
explicit about licenses for things they redistribute. Some authors would
explicitly choose free or open licenses. That might mean that when you
get free software (or open source software or anything else) you would
know what you at a minimum can and can't do with it. That clarity and
sense of peace of mind might help promote use and more derived works.

For example, even if MIT puts its course material on-line, that does not
necessarily mean you can make derived works from them or even share them
with a friend (other than by telling them to look at the MIT site). Yet,
without a good free license management system, that fact might not be
obvious to users and a truly free course library may never arise. (Note:
I don't know whether the MIT courses will permit derived works, so MIT
may surprise me.)

A LICENSE REJECTION PROTOCOL

Being explicit about licensing (especially in a machine-readable way)
may have great benefits. For one thing, you might decide to set your
email receiver to reject email from most people unless it came with an
acceptable (to you) license. There might be a "license negotiation"
protocol at the start of all transmissions of all works.

For example:
Sender: PERMISSION TO SEND "Windows NT Source" BY "misguided kiddy";
Receiver: WHAT LICENSE?;
Sender: LICENSE: NO-REDISTRIBUTE-39;
Receiver: REJECT;

or perhaps instead:
Sender: PERMISSION TO SEND "GNU/Linux kernel mods" BY "Linus Torvalds";
Receiver: WHAT LICENSE?;
Sender: LICENSE: GPL-2;
Receiver: ACCEPT;

If you ran a peer-to-peer file server, such a protocol might help ensure
only legally redistributeable works were redistributed on it (making it
legally safer to run one). Obviously, people could lie about the license
status of works when they inject them into the system -- but the point
is, it forces such people to explicitly lie, as opposed to just being
careless or neglectful. (Obviously, carelessness and neglect could
affect the system as well if the person injecting the information is
just confused, hopefully other factors like community awareness could
minimize this.) Nonetheless, it might gives users a legal defense from
extreme copyright infringement awards if they screen incoming data. This
in turn might make insurance for such situations affordable. Defenders
of such a file sharing system (in court) could then admit to there being
a few "bad apples" and take efforts to route out such illegally
contributed material in the same way people now use virus scanners or
other filters. This might make it more likely such systems would
prosper, with other attendant benefits for democracy or an open society.

To be clear: I personally am not for supporting sharing of material that
for legal or copyright reasons can't be shared (it's the law; change the
law peacefully if so desired). I instead want to make sure that it is
easy to share material that it is legal to share, and likewise I want to
ensure it easy to make derived works with clear legal titles from
material it is legal to make derived works from.

In the case of software, with such a system, when you build free
software packages (or "open source" ones), you could ensure that all
contributions were under an acceptable license, because that licensing
information would be already there in a machine-readable form (perhaps
including information pointing to works and their licenses from which
you made derived works). Presumably, if someone emailed you a
contribution using such a system, you could see at a glance from the
email record what license it (or the code part) was under. In addition,
information could also come along that was the equivalent of a statement
of either originality for the work or a statement the author had
permission to incorporate other works they used into the new work under
the license chosen. Such information might include an audit trail of all
works and licenses used by various authors in making the final product." ...

Comment Why this is immoral and should be illegal (Score 1) 38

http://www.pdfernhout.net/open...
"Foundations, other grantmaking agencies handling public tax-exempt dollars, and charitable donors need to consider the implications for their grantmaking or donation policies if they use a now obsolete charitable model of subsidizing proprietary publishing and proprietary research. In order to improve the effectiveness and collaborativeness of the non-profit sector overall, it is suggested these grantmaking organizations and donors move to requiring grantees to make any resulting copyrighted digital materials freely available on the internet, including free licenses granting the right for others to make and redistribute new derivative works without further permission. It is also suggested patents resulting from charitably subsidized research research also be made freely available for general use. The alternative of allowing charitable dollars to result in proprietary copyrights and proprietary patents is corrupting the non-profit sector as it results in a conflict of interest between a non-profit's primary mission of helping humanity through freely sharing knowledge (made possible at little cost by the internet) and a desire to maximize short term revenues through charging licensing fees for access to patents and copyrights. In essence, with the change of publishing and communication economics made possible by the wide spread use of the internet, tax-exempt non-profits have become, perhaps unwittingly, caught up in a new form of "self-dealing", and it is up to donors and grantmakers (and eventually lawmakers) to prevent this by requiring free licensing of results as a condition of their grants and donations."

Longer version: http://pdfernhout.net/on-fundi...

Comment Yeah, I remember. So 15 yrs ago I wrote this: (Score 1) 11

http://pdfernhout.net/on-fundi...
"Consider again the self-driving cars mentioned earlier which now cruise some streets in small numbers. The software "intelligence" doing the driving was primarily developed by public money given to universities, which generally own the copyrights and patents as the contractors. Obviously there are related scientific publications, but in practice these fail to do justice to the complexity of such systems. The truest physical representation of the knowledge learned by such work is the codebase plus email discussions of it (plus what developers carry in their heads).
    We are about to see the emergence of companies licensing that publicly funded software and selling modified versions of such software as proprietary products. There will eventually be hundreds or thousands of paid automotive software engineers working on such software no matter how it is funded, because there will be great value in having such self-driving vehicles given the result of America's horrendous urban planning policies leaving the car as generally the most efficient means of transport in the suburb. The question is, will the results of the work be open for inspection and contribution by the public? Essentially, will those engineers and their employers be "owners" of the software, or will they instead be "stewards" of a larger free and open community development process?"

And also, earlier, this to Ray Kurzweil in 2000:
http://heybryan.org/fernhout/k...
"... It will be difficult for you to change your opinion on this because you have been heavily rewarded for riding the digital wave. You were making money building reading machines before I bought my first computer -- a Kim-I. But, I think someday the contradiction may become apparent of thinking the road to spiritual enlightenment can come from material competition (a point in your book which deserves much further elaboration). To the extent material competition drives the development of the digital realm the survival of humanity is in doubt.
    Still, you are a bright guy. If you study ecology and evolution in more detail, I think you may change your conclusion, or at least admit the significant probability of a bad outcome, and that we should plan
accordingly.
    If you do change your opinion in the future, and wish to fund work related to helping ensure humanity survives the birth of the digital realm, please remember me.
    MOSH to the end I guess!"

The Bayh-Dole Act is a big part of that disaster (letting universities privatize gains and tightly control use of what they make an with public funds rather than insist publicly funded research goes into the public domain):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
https://www.theatlantic.com/ma...

Anyway, I'm still trying to limp along making glacially slow progress doing free stuff (Twirlip/Pointrel/etc.) on GitHub in increasingly vanishing spare time... My latest small increment:
"High Performance Organizations Reading List"
https://github.com/pdfernhout/...

Comment The politics of science funding (Score 1) 248

Hi meta-monkey! I'm making a "meta" comment on the social-financial framework around battery (or any) science. :-)

Just look at the whole "cold fusion" or now "LENR / solid state fusion" controversy and fight over funding and recognition. The idea that a solid-state metal lattice can induce hydrogen atoms (on its surface, in a micro-crevice, or otherwise absorbed somehow) to behave differently than when hydrogen is in a gas is still heresy requiring immediate excommunication after vilification by a mob of virtue-signalling "disciplined minds" whose social standing and, worse, grant funding is threatened by the idea.
http://lenrtoday.com/lenrexpla...
http://www.infinite-energy.com...
"In retrospect, I have concluded that much of the blame for the "cold fusion war" -- and it certainly has been just that -- stems from a vituperative campaign against the field with deep roots at MIT, specifically at the MIT Plasma Fusion Center. Not exclusively in that lab, however."

Ironically, about thirty years later:
http://coldfusionnow.org/cold-...
"The Cold Fusion 101: Introduction to Excess Power in Fleischmann-Pons Experiments course will run again on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) over the IAP winter break Tuesday through Friday Jan. 20-23, 2015."

Fusion via cavitation also falls into that category of heresy (but may be emerging):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
http://atom-ecology.russgeorge...

As does power via hydrinos (which may also just be LENR in disguise):
http://brilliantlightpower.com...

So, that's a third option to either it works or it does not work -- whether it works or not, your science career gets trashed because you even talked about an idea, let alone seriously tried to do an experiment about it. And your career gets trashed because of the *politics* of science funding. Science is a human enterprise after all, and humans being humans...

Comment Implication: no next-door relatives or neighbors? (Score 1) 136

Kudos to the kid saving his mom, but it is also kind of sad about how isolated and dependent on institutions and technology so many of us have become... So much so, we just take it for granted a four year old would have no neighbor or relative nearby to turn to.

Perhaps I was just lucky to grow up (lower-ish) middle class in a suburb in the 1960s with siblings, many stay-at-home moms as friendly neighbors all around, as well as lots of kids playing in the street. That seems to be a world that perhaps hardly exists anymore in the USA for any child... Other countries may be more likely to still have that kind of circumstance perhaps...

And more wealth seems to only make it worse -- see for example:
"The Problem With Rich Kids"
https://www.psychologytoday.co...
"In a surprising switch, the offspring of the affluent today are more distressed than other youth. They show disturbingly high rates of substance use, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cheating, and stealing. It gives a whole new meaning to having it all."

"The Culture of Affluence: Psychological Costs of Material Wealth"
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
"Evolutionary psychologists have suggested, furthermore, that wealthy communities can, paradoxically, be among those most likely to engender feelings of friendlessness and isolation in their inhabitants. As Tooby and Cosmides (1996) argued, the most reliable evidence of genuine friendship is that of help offered during times of dire need: People tend never to forget the sacrifices of those who provide help during their darkest hours. Modern living conditions, however, present relatively few threats to physical well-being. Medical science has reduced several sources of disease, many hostile forces of nature have been controlled, and laws and police forces deter assault and murder. Ironically, therefore, the greater the availability of amenities of modern living in a community, the fewer are the occurrences of critical events that indicate to people which of their friends are truly engaged in their welfare and which are only fair-weather companions. This lack of critical assessment events, in turn, engenders lingering mistrustfulness despite the presence of apparently warm interactions (Tooby & Cosmides, 1996). ...
      Physical characteristics of wealthy suburban communities may also contribute to feelings of isolation. Houses in these communities are often set far apart with privacy of all ensured by long driveways, high hedges, and sprawling lawns (Weitzman, 2000; Wilson-Doenges, 2000). Neighbors are unlikely to casually bump into each other as they come and go in their communities, and children are unlikely to play on street corners. Paradoxically, once again, it is possible that the wealthiest neighborhoods are among the most vulnerable to low levels of cohesiveness and efficacy (Sampson, Raudenbush, & Earls, 1997). When encountering an errant, disruptive child of the millionaire acquaintance next door, neighbors tend to be reluctant to intervene not only because of respect for others' privacy but also, more pragmatically, because of fears of litigation (e.g., Warner, 1991)."

It used to be we lived in tribes and then still close-knit communities...

Daniel Quinn proposes we try to go back to that way of life:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
"New tribalists believe that the tribal model, though not absolutely "perfect," has obviously stood the test of time as the most successful social organization for humans, in alignment with natural selection (just as well as the hive model for bees, the pod model for whales, and the pack model for wolves). According to new tribalists, the tribe fulfills both an emotionally and organizationally stabilizing role in human life, and the dissolution of tribalism with the spread of globalized civilization has come to threaten the very survival of the human species. New tribalists do not necessarily seek to mimic indigenous peoples, but merely to admit the success of indigenous living, and to use some of the basic underlying tenets of that lifestyle for organizing modern tribes, with fundamental principles gleaned from ethnology and anthropological fieldwork.
      Quinn argues that modern civilization is not working and will ultimately self-destruct, as evidenced by escalating worldwide trends such as environmental collapse, social unrest caused by hierarchal social structures, discrepancy between the rich and poor, development of ever-greater weapons of mass destruction, unsustainable human population growth, unsustainable agricultural practices, and unsustainable resource exploitation of all kinds. He claims that if we are to find a way of life that does work, we should draw our basic principles from human societies that are working or have worked in the past. ..."

But maybe smartphones used by kids are just something new and better than the tribe or friendly neighborhood? Gotta wonder...

Comment Re:sell movie theatre stock now (Score 1) 127

I think the intersection of people who don't plan to see the movie at the theatre, want to see the movie ahead of the otherwise public home-release date, and will spend $30 to stream something once, is small.

As a parent, I doubt it is that small. I like talking about recent movies with friends and coworkers, but don't like spending $100 on a babysitter. So $30 to watch the latest Marvel movie at home would be golden.

Comment Re:It's not about the screen size, it's field of v (Score 1) 127

How much did you spend on your much better sound, amortized over the number of movies you watch?

I'm not sure what he spent, but lets say it is a very high quality $4k sound system. If he is a typical American he is watching around 1400 hours of TV per year, but lets say only 500 of that is TV where you would appreciate the sound system (the rest is news and talk shows I guess). So if he keeps the sound system for 10 years, it has cost him about $1.50 per two hours of movie / sports / high budget TV content where he is enjoying the extra sound quality.

Comment Obsession with "self reliance"? Since when? (Score -1) 469

"At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance ..."

Obsession? Not hardly. That aspect of the American system of values is dying, if not dead. I grew up in a culture that valued self reliance as a virtue. Being "on the dole"(on welfare) was viewed as shameful except in the most dire need. Able-bodied people milking the system were rightly viewed as the scumbags that they are. These days, "self reliance" is hardly an "obsession". It doesn't even seem to be a cultural norm anymore. In fact, we now have tens millions of people who shamelessly live their lives by sucking off the hard work of their fellow citizens. People recklessly procreate without the slightest thought about how they're going to provide for the children or do it to increase the size of their welfare checks. Tens of millions more demand not only "Free" food stamps & Section 8 housing, but also demand "Free" education, "Free" healthcare, "Free" childcare, etc. etc.
Where the hell is this "obsession" with self reliance within the ranks of the progressive left who want government to support them in every conceivable way?

That's not to say that the economy isn't fundamentally broken, but fostering a culture where self reliance is a virtue is a good thing.

Comment Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that (Score 1) 374

It doesn't work that way. The reality is that students are used to being in school from about 8 to 3. They tend to resist taking classes much past that time, and by college, they tend to resist taking classes before 10 as well.

The tendency to not treat college students like adults and accommodate for this behavior with more wasteful behavior by the schools is yet another factor which attributes to higher costs. If that same student started working instead of going to college, their boss would not care that they are used to working 8-3. Colleges shouldn't care either.

And it isn't just momentum, either. Lots of students commute to their university, which means early and late classes don't work. Parents (both college students and faculty) have to pick their kids up from school. Students have part-time jobs to pay the bills. And so on.

Everything you said here is the same for a working adult, so no extra accommodation is necessary for an adult student.

Finally, it isn't practical to just say, "We're going to spread classes evenly throughout the day", because students need time to actually work on their homework. And that time needs to be during the day so that they can use campus facilities such as computer labs, tutoring centers, etc.

Spreading classes evenly throughout the day is not the same as saying every student has classes from 8-5. Students with 15 credit hours will still only spend about 15 hours per week in class, leaving plenty of time to hit the library or computer labs.

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