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Comment Re:Multiple Award Winning (Score 1) 338

Regardless all else, it's long been held by the courts that reverse engineering is fair use, that automatically implies that APIs MUST be fair use as well - because it's impossible to reverse engineer anything without replicating the API and by definition a reimplimented API will not be distinguishable from the original - otherwise it would not be compatible.

If anything it's Oracle's point that could kill the GPL. Almost the entire GNU/Linux userspace is filled with programs that are shell-api replicas of older unix commands, the GLIBC library is a direct replica of the API in the original unix LIBC. That's not even getting to software like WINE.

These projects would all die if APIs can have copyright. Now the earlier court found it can, but the fair use ruling provides a way to keep them alive, that's something we need to cling to because without it - we're all dead in the water and not just the GPL. The entire global software industry would grind to a halt.

Now maybe she has a point that her bizarre interpretation of that concept would scare some companies out of dual-licensing... so be it, the GPL was more than 2 decades old before any dual-licensed software ever existed, the free software movement was close to 3 decades old before there were common dual-license as a business-model companies.
We did just fine without those companies for decades, if they bugger off - we will do just fine without them. Hell we'll take what they built and thanks to the GPL continue on our own forks into the future as we have done many times before when a dual-licence software company failed to play nice with the community - including quite recently with Oracle on two of the most important free software projects they acquired - OpenOffice to LIbreOffice and mysql to MariaDB, but there are many earlier examples - like Hudson/Jenkins.
In most cases where a corporation doesn't play nice with the community and we fork the thing to continue it ourselves - it's the corporate version that ultimately dies off.

Comment Re:Nice Work. (Score 1) 338

>The wrong only starts when all critics gets deflected using the transhield.

Why is that wrong exactly ? There are some things which should not be open to criticism, specifically innate characteristics which a person cannot change about themselves such as their race, parentage, herritage, sexual orientation or gender. Since these things cannot be changed, criticising them cannot possibly serve any useful purpose. I wouldn't suggest the government actually censor such speech - but the world tell you to get your head out of your ass if you express it is definitely fair game.

Comment Re: all growed up now (Score 1) 110

I said "hedging bets" not hedging shares. If you only short some of your stock then you can claim you shorted some in case the jury ruled against you but not all in case you they ruled in your favor. Its all but impossible to prove you are lying. Hedging a bet means betting on many possible outcomes to reduce risk. This is perfectly legal stockmarket behavior.
The problem with enforcing insider trading is that since we lack mindreading technology its incredibly difficult to prove what somebody knew.

Comment Re: all growed up now (Score 2) 110

They are actually extremele lenient. Regardless of intentions thats the practical reality because insider trading is incredibly difficult to prove or even find enough evidence off to inestigate. If they appear non lenient its only because the only cases that ever happens are the most insanely egregious ones.
Take the example I used. How do you prove the CEO knew they would lose ? If his lawyer says "nobody could predict the vagaries of a jury and he was just hedging his bets" how exactly can the SEC prove he was expecting to lose beyond a reasonable doubt. Nah you gotta be Enron or Madoff before the SEC will even try.

Comment Re:Nice job humanity! (Score 2) 200

While I agree with your sentiment, your example is flawed. Chernobyl was a private corporation - they are an example more like Enron than like government. In fact that company still exists, and is still in business. My own government seems hellbent to sign a major nuclear procurement deal with them... because of COURSE we'll buy our nuclear reactors from the only company to ever blow one the fuck up.

Comment Re: Antibiotic abuse and biodiversity (Score 1, Insightful) 200

>Second best. Vaccine's are the best.

No, they belong on different scales as they target different kinds of diseases. Vaccines are a defense against viral infections. Antiobiotics against bacteria. A huge contributor to our current problem was misusing the latter on infections of the former kind - where it has no efficacy whatsoever, but does help grow resistant bacteria.
You can't compare them and say "X" is better than "Y" though, since they are used for different purposes. It's like trying to say that "Pissing from the left side of the bowl is better than having ham sandwiches for lunch".

Comment Re:Antibiotic abuse and biodiversity (Score 2) 200

Yeah bubonic plague was just a story right. Immune systems are actually pretty limited things without drugs that help them - and historically, most people did NOT survive most infections. There is no evolutionary drive to evolve a GOOD immune system - just good enough for SOME to survive.

Oh and about 99% of natural immune system consists of one organ: the skin. Once an infection gets past that barrier it's odds of killing are pretty high. Even the flu can easily have high fatality rates if just a few conditions converge. Somewhere between 3 and 5 percent of the entire human population was killed by a single flu outbreak a mere 98 years ago. Aggravated by the fact that a world war had concluded just a few months earlier.

Comment Re:Antibiotic abuse and biodiversity (Score 2, Insightful) 200

Well... we lack anything at all to stop it from doing so.

How soon people forget... less than a hundred years ago the vast majority of bacterial infections were fatal. Penicillin has saved more lives than we can count, probably at least as many as pasteurization (which we've had for 2 centuries longer). Destroying the efficacy of our most powerful life-saving weapon through overuse remains one of the most monumentally stupid things humanity could ever do and we seem hellbent on doing it.
This is the bacterial equivalent of anti-vaxxers and both are risking not just their own lives but millions, perhaps billions, of others. There have been multiple plagues in history that wiped out 25% or more of the human population, and those were all constrained by geography - a constraint that does not exist today - oh and some of the worst of them were bacterial. The most famous - the black death - was caused by bubonic plague, a bacterial infection. Imagine if a bacterium or virus with the virulence of bubonic plague happened today... we could easily see 75% or more of humanity dead just from direct infection. City streets lined with corpses - the cleanup services long ago overrun so every body lies there for weeks stinking and spreading the disease further. Quarantines become impossible to enforce as there are just not enough healthy people to enforce them. Complete economic collapse as every industry grinds to a standstill. All of which cause more deaths and violence. Some economists have calculated that Africa's negative GDP can be ENTIRELY accounted for by Malaria and, if that was eradicated, it would be a rich continent. And compared to something like plague, malaria is a lightweight since it can't spread anywhere that doesn't have a suitable climate for the one mosquito that can spread it.

Of course those who profit from some blatantly idiotic things as giving antibiotics to factory farmed animals to boost growth would call this alarmist... and conveniently forget that this has happened before, many times. It is not alarmist to say that if we destroy the thing that made it stop happening, that it would happen again.

Comment Re:all growed up now (Score 4, Insightful) 110

How is this different from any other analytics group ? Anybody whose opinion can influence stock prices have the exact same incentive risks. Hell you think no politician has ever said something about a law knowing it would drive down a stock price and knowing the law was never going to be passed - just so he could buy some cheap stock and sell it at a profit later when the stock recovered from the scare ?

Hell - you think any CEO whose company is the target of a major lawsuit and knows they are likely to lose (which he will know before anybody else since he knows if they are really guilty or not) will fail to short the stock and make more than the company is fined for ? Then buy it back at a discount after the fine. Part of why companies tend not to give a fuck about things like health and safety regulations is because actually being sued or charged with violating them have a good chance of making the CEO richer than he was before, it's only the shareholders who lose out and since they can't really prove anything...

So they may have an incentive to start a false rumor to cash in on - so does anybody else who is in a position where large traders pay attention to what they say. It's a serious problem but it is decidedly not unique to them.

Comment Re:Good Grief... (Score 1) 94

And if history is anything to go buy - there's a 90% chance at least 3 other people had those same ideas at the same time you did - they just didn't get patents, got there after you did, or didn't think they were as non-obvious as you think. Historically that's the case with just about any invention you can think off. Innovation is an unavoidable consequence of the state of human knowledge at any given time, once the knowledge exists for something to be invented, multiple people will independently have the same idea... every time.

An example from my own career. Back in the early 2000s linux live CDs were quite popular for showing off the distro, they offered exceptional hardware detection and automatic configuration abilities. But Yggdrasil had been a live CD - the very first distro ever - so there was nothing new about the concept, it had just matured. On the other hand, installers were all still based entirely on package manager usage, and since CDs were so limited in space, you ended up where we were in 2005 - when the first version of Ubuntu shipped, it had two CDs in the package. One contained a live CD for testing, one was installable. The installer was text based and horribly slow and frequently failed to run well on a system where the live version had worked perfectly (simply because it lacked that awesome self-configuration capability).

At this time I was working on an educational distro called OpenLab. One of the most popular live CD only distros (I've forgotten it's name, it was debian based and handed out at every conference at the time) had this huge long page of instructions you would need to follow to manually install it onto a hard drive instead and alter the config files so it could boot from there. I look at this... and realized that could be automated.

So version 4 of OpenLab shipped as a live CD - with a program included which could automatically install it to hard drive, including graphical partitioning, mount point selection, boot loader setup etc. etc. etc.
The first ever distro to ship with an installable live CD - and it broke records for the speed of install since the on-demand decompression was way faster than package managers. It still used a package manager AFTER installing. It was - in fact, the way every desktop distro is now installed - and with OL4 - I invented it (the main difference between today and then is that the installer was not launched from an icon on the desktop, to run it you logged out and and then logged in as root which fired up a dedicated installer environment - but in later versions I changed it to the icon on the desktop model without any code changes).

Then about a month after OL4 was released, the latest version of PCLinuxOS came out... as an installable live CD. And they hadn't copied me, they had no idea I existed (after all - a niche-market distro from South Africa was not on their radar). Hell most of the people who reviewed OL4 didn't realize how radically different an approach to installation it was, they all assumed I had crammed packages into the CD as well which the root login installer did the old traditional way ! Hard to copy an idea when it was done so subtly that most people missed it.
Thing is - the same lightbulb moment I had, that led to OL4 was also had by PCLOS devs, and quite possibly some others I don't know about. It wasn't long before every desktop distro was using the idea, some saw it from PLOS, some came up with their own code (quite possibly independently coming up with the idea), and at least a few used the OpenLab installer (it became the standard installer for just about any slackware based desktop distro for many years - the last one I know off was Blackwing64 which became obsolete when slackware got an official 64-bit version but there may very well be some of that original installer code still alive in some of the present day ones, nothing about the code made it hard to port so some may not even be slack-based).

The point is - my greatest contribution to the open source and free software world... was independently made by at least one other group at exactly the same time. All of us thought it was a non-obvious leap ahead.
That's how it ALWAYS goes. Obviousness, in fact, can only be judged AFTER the fact - and after the fact, just about everything turns out to be obvious.

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