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Comment Ya, and that will hold up... not (Score 1) 182

Here's the deal: All proprietary software has that in there as well. Every piece of software has an EULA that says they are responsible for nothing. Have a look at the MS EULA if you wish, there's all kinds of shit that supposedly limits liability, requires arbitration, etc, etc https://www.microsoft.com/en-u....

You can say it all you like, doesn't make it true. I can write an EULA saying "By using this software you agree I get to take your first born child," and yet if I tried, I'd still go to jail because just saying it in an EULA doesn't make it so. You can't disclaim all warranties, all damages, etc by law. For some info on it look up the Uniform Commercial Code.

Ok well all that aside when it comes to an issue like this courts are not known for applying the law one way in one case, and a different way in another. They don't say "Oh we like this nice OSS" and give it one rule and "We don't like this mean commercial software" and give it another. Thus if courts find that software makers are liable for incidental data loss then it will apply to ALL software. OSS has no special get out clause. You don't get to have it both ways where OSS gets a magic liability shield just by putting something in a text document but commercial EULAs aren't worth the bits used to store them.

In fact, OSS will be MORE vulnerable. Commercial companies have lawyers to help them wrangle out of things. They also can always go the real contract route, where you sign an actual contract up front with them before buying (you see this with some enterprise software) which can enforce more stringent terms. OSS that is just distributed on the web doesn't have all that.

Comment A couple questions (Score 1) 70

What's the existing license? Is this a migration from copyleft to a more permissive license, or is this a migration from an unusual license (some kind of openbsd license?) to something more standard?

Also:

Oracle is proud to extend its collaboration with the OpenSSL Foundation by relicensing its contributions of elliptic curve cryptography

What company that Oracle has bought originally contributed this?

Comment You don't want this to succed (Score 3, Insightful) 182

Even if you are a rampant MS hater, this would set a really bad precedent: That software companies could be liable for data loss caused by things only incidentally related to their software. Talk about a ripe field for bullshit lawsuits.

Don't think OSS would be immune either. The argument of "but I didn't charge for it" doesn't eliminate liability. In fact, it would be something companies could use to try and bully OSS out of existence through bullshit lawsuits.

Comment Re:Amber Rudd is dim (Score 1) 226

For me, the most disappointing thing in the whole debate is how poor the media are at challenging these ideas when our political classes come up with them. I've seen several interviews and panel discussions in recent months where even the presenters or "expert" guests essentially start from the premise that yes, obviously we have to do these things to keep everyone safe, and then spend the next several minutes bike-shedding instead of exploring the big issues. Just once, I would like a high-profile, well-regarded political journalist to have some idea about the real implications of these technologies and how they are used, and to push back at least a little against the idea that you can just magically set up communications systems to allow government monitoring without any downsides.

Comment Re:Uhm... (Score 1) 491

Documents 6 bankruptcies, and 13 businesses that closed up shop - at the very least suggests he doesn't know what he's doing.

Business has something in common with war and engineering:
  1 You try a bunch of stuff that looks like it might work.
  2 Some of it works, some of it doesn't.
  3a. You stop doing (and wasting resources on) what doesn't work
  3b, and continue doing more of what does (transferring any remaining resources from the abandoned paths.)
  4. PROFIT!

In business, step 3a is called "a large business environment, major projects are done in separate subsidiary corporations. This uses the "corporate veil" as a firewall, to keep the failed attempts from reaching back and sucking up more resources from what's succeeding. Dropping a failed experiment in step 3a (when it's failed so badly that there's nothing left to salvage in a different attempt's 3b) is called "bankruptcy". It lets you stop throwing good money after bad and move on.

So bankruptcy is NOT necessarily a sign of weakness, stupidity, or lack of business acumen. On the contrary: It shows the decision-maker was smart enough to spend a bit extra to erect the firewall between the bulk of his holdings and the iffy project.

So a successful large-business-empire-operator who is also innovative will usually have a number of bankruptcies in his history. It's no big deal, anyone in business at or near that level knows it, and took it into account if they risked some of their resources in someone else's experiment that failed in the hope of profit if it succeeded.

Also: Someone starting out may have to few resources to run many experiments simultaneously. (Or even a big guy may be reduced to a little guy by too many failures - not necessarily his fault.) So he has to try serially, doing only one or a few at a time. This may mean total bankruptcy, even multiple times, before coming up with something that does work. Lots of successful businessmen went through total bankruptcy, sometimes several times, before hitting it big.

Comment Re:Hit Job on Google? (Score 3, Interesting) 257

No, News Corp has been doing this for years. The reason is Murdoch thinks Google and Google News specifically is killing the news industry, and that the iPad will save it (or at least he thought that a few years ago). It's pure inter-corporate warfare being played out through manipulation of public opinion. The WSJ in particular are experts at it.

Comment This is such a bad argument (Score 2, Interesting) 145

Every time there's a story about OSS software being less than perfect, someone always trots this tired crap out. "Oh if it isn't want you want you can just fix it!" That is complete bullshit and you should know it. If you don't, you are hopelessly naive.

First off, most people are not programmers and many do not even have the request problem solving, analytical, and mathematical skills to become one. If you aren't a programmer, you can't just go and fix software. Becoming a programmer isn't magic either, you don't go and read a book and then you are good. It takes years of experience to get proficient, and decades to really master and is something you need to spend a lot of time on. If you think you are some hot-shit programmer and you "picked it up just by reading" and "just do it in your spare time" then guess what? You aren't near as good as you think you are.

Second, even if someone is a programmer they may not have the requisite skills or knowledge to deal with a piece of software. Not all software is created equal, not all problems are the same to solve. Someone might be a programmer who's actually pretty good, but knows about making database code because that's what they do. However if they are trying to implement an algorithm for processing audio they might be lost because they don't understand how that works, it is another set of knowledge.

Finally, even if someone does have the skills, knowledge and experience to do it, maybe they just don't want to spend the time. We all have only so much time to spend in a day, maybe they are not interested in dropping a bunch of time to fix something that is to them just a tool. They'd rather pay to have one that works and spend their time on other shit.

So knock it off with the "oh it is open just do it yourself" crap. That is extremely silly, and you know it.

Comment Re: The climevangelists are busy today (Score 2) 255

Bullshit. Modern diseases are not caused by foods that have been eaten for hundreds of thousands of years. They've been caused by modern processed crap such as sugar, white flour and industrial vegetable oils.

A lot of them have been caused by the fact that without modern medicine, we wouldn't survive long enough to experience them.

Comment Closing Gitmo required no congressional approval (Score 1) 491

Obama still didn't do it. true, he should never have promised to do it, but the Guantanamo Bay detention facility was not created by congress, and therefore did not require congressional approval to close.

ObamaCare, by contrast, is a law passed by congress (albeit without a single Republican vote) and signed into law by the President. Repealing it will also require congressional approval.

The two promises are quite different as they relate to the constitutional scope of presidential authority.

Earth

'Moore's Law' For Carbon Would Defeat Global Warming (technologyreview.com) 255

An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: A streamlined set of goals for reducing carbon emissions could simplify the way nations approach the quest to reduce human impact on the planet. A group of European researchers have a refreshingly straightforward solution that they call a carbon law -- or, as the Guardian has coined it, a "Moore's law for carbon." The overarching goal is simple: globally, we must halve carbon dioxide emissions every decade. That's essentially it. The rule would ideally be applied "to all sectors and countries at all scales," and would encourage "bold action in the short term." Dramatic changes would naturally have to occur as a result -- from quick wins like carbon taxes and energy efficiency regulations, to longer-term policies like phasing out combustion-engine cars and carbon-neutral building regulations. If policy makers followed the carbon law, adoption of renewables would continue its current pace of doubling energy production every 5.5 years, and carbon dioxide sequestration technologies would need to ramp up in order for the the planet to reach net-zero emissions by the middle of the century, say the researchers. Along the way, coal use would end as soon as 2030 and oil use by 2040. There are, clearly, issues with the idea, not least being the prospect of convincing every nation to commit to such a vision. The very simplicity that makes the idea compelling can also be used as a point of criticism: Can such a basic rule ever hope to define practical ideas as to how to change the world's energy production and consumption? The study has been published in the journal Science.

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