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Comment Same thing in San Jose (Score 3, Interesting) 117

The same type of thing is happening in San Jose. Comcast and AT&T are working hard to keep Google Fiber out of the Bay Area in California, by denying access to utility poles. I called the Northern California Joint Pole Association (NCJPA) myself to ask them some questions, and they were somewhat flummoxed on the phone. I guess it never occurred to them that helping monopolists protect their turf might tick off the local population.

Comment Re:Bloody IP (Score 1) 405

Property has always been used as a nomer for physical items that are clearly in possession...

I think you missed the part of history (in the 1700's) when property rights started being assigned to intangible things like the text of books, in the form of copyright. I mean, you can pretend that society doesn't recognize this particular abstraction of property rights, but there's voluminous case law and legal tradition for this, so I'm not sure what the point is.

Comment Re:Hold on... (Score 1) 405

They considered getting a license, but ultimately decided against it. I believe Larry Page said they considered it because they wanted to use Sun's java implementation (not the same thing as just using the API via the Apache Harmony implementation). But even if they thought they needed a license for the Java API, they may have decided otherwise after legal analysis.

It bugs me when lawyers think they have a smoking gun because some employee writes something in an e-mail or a presentation. They employee might be raising speculative issues that even they don't know the answer to, or they might just be wrong on the legal status of something.

Comment Re:You make yourself look silly when... (Score 1) 267

The fish *have* evolved immunity to the toxic sludge...

But only if they actually did evolve. As the grandparent rightly points out, this case appears to be an excellent confirmation of selection, but that's not what's missing in the dialog to convince people of evolution. In this case, we don't have confirmation of a mutation, let alone a *random* mutation. A non-random mutation (a "designed" one) wouldn't count, obviously.

This is what, I believe, the grandparent was saying. You can't run around trying to convince people of evolution just by pointing out instances of selection. This is, unfortunately, what often happens - causing people to just become entrenched in their positions and the dialog to falter.

Comment Re:Yes, of course (Score 1) 178

I remember reading an article (sorry, can't find the reference) about how a Russian experiment to determine how to make tundra into farmland was ruined by warm summers during the experiment. Basically stuff started growing on it's own without the measures they expected to perform. The article moaned about how global warming was ruining this important research. I was confused, as it seemed like global warming was making the research unnecessary.

Comment Re:No complaints? (Score 2) 241

Of course, Linus is not a lawyer, and his interpretation of GPL may not be correct. But the gist of the original story was that it was legal analysis made by an IP lawyer, and he essentially agreed with Linus.

I'll give you a specific example where Linus is dead wrong. errno.h. This header, from the kernel, is included in almost every Linux user-space program, whether open source or not. (glibc's errno.h includes the kernel's errno.h) If you can provide an example of a kernel header file you think would be a problem to include, please specify it.

Comment And Bionic is different from glibc how? (Score 5, Insightful) 241

This whole thing just makes me angry, because it ignores legal standards that have applied to Linux and been accepted by all parties, for years. If Naughton's legal analysis is correct, and use of the Linux header files causes the GPL to apply to the utilizing work, then glibc is in more danger than Bionic is. glibc is LGPL, not GPL, and has been using "full" Linux kernel headers for years. How could Bionic, using a stripped down subset of the same headers, be subject to the GPL, if glibc is not?

Comment Code reference please? (Score 2) 292

Oh for heaven's sake! Would it be too much to ask any of these legal pundits to post as much as a single line of code that they think is a) included in Google's sanitized header files, b) copyright-able, and c) causes the GPLv2 to apply to Bionic (and all linking applications)? If you want to assert that some code causes a legal problem, POST THE DANG CODE!

Instead, we have statements like this in the original blog entry by Raymond Nimmer: "Not having examined the facts, I don’t know the actual truth of the matter." Indeed That pretty much describes all commentators in the entire mess.

Comment Maybe an honest mistake? (Score 1) 136

Florian doesn't seem to consider the possibility that when Google acquired the files, they didn't have the "CONFIDENTIAL" notice on them. If the files were obtained as part of a larger demo or test suite released with an encompassing less-restrictive license, as appears to be the case with at least some of the files mentioned, then maybe someone other than Google (even possibly a Sun employee) scrubbed the notices accordingly. The tone of the article doesn't give Google much benefit of the doubt that these might be honest mistakes, and perfectly legal usages.

Comment Re:It cost them $4200 plus many killed or captured (Score 1) 448

An attack that is attempted but fails costs more than money.

That's just silly. I'm sure there were a number of terrorist attacks which were thwarted, but which no one heard anything about. This denied the terrorists *all* of their objectives, including the psychological ones. I'm sure no one is thanking the government for that (how could they), but foiling attacks and NOT alerting the public is an important part of the policy of response to terrorism.

Comment The obvious response is to buy it (Score 1) 475

If someone thinks that the government is selling helium at 25 to 50 times below value, they should buy some and store it until 2020. If there's no one willing to do this, then I'd wager that the government is really not selling it at such a bargain. There's always someone with sufficient resources to capitalize on a government selloff of a critical resource. The current large private helium industry would be a good candidate. Once the government has sold off its inventory, the private industry can sell at true market value, and standard market efficiencies can kick in. Everybody wins.

There will be no "peak helium", just a slide into higher prices, and a shift to higher conservation and efficiency, as with other non-renewables.

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