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  • May 22nd, 2017 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Meh, GPL.

    It can be argued to be trolling because bringing up the disagreement over the philosophy behind the copyleft licenses and the one behind the permissive licenses serves no purpose except to stir up an argument, and that's very close to the base definition of trolling (as I've put it in a few places and quoted it in this very comments section, "posting with the intent to cause a furor)".

    You may very well be 100% sincere in your preference for non-copyleft do-as-you-will open-source licenses - but the sincerity of a post does not neutralize its potential for trollishness, and your sincerity doesn't change what the effect of bringing that point up when that "vs." is not already under discussion is.

  • May 20th, 2017 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re:

    No, but if a judge orders you to do it, and you refuse, you go to jail for contempt of court - and you stay there until you are no longer in contempt, i.e., until you comply with the order. If you never do that? Life in prison, without a conviction and even potentially without charges.

  • May 20th, 2017 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: it just takes a bit of subtlety

    That's arguable. Some kinds of subtle trolling are actually worse than the obvious sorts; if the troll can convince or otherwise maneuver people into having the disruptive-of-meaningful-discourse argument on their own, rather than the troll having to hold up (at least one side of) the argument entirely on his/her/etc. own efforts, that actually does more damage while at the same time being easier and more satisfying for the original troll.

  • May 20th, 2017 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: Not 'if', merely 'when' and 'how'

    A: "Obamacare", in addition to not actually originally being a Democratic idea (and not being the left's preferred approach in any case), isn't actually that bad - or at least wouldn't be if it were being properly supported and tweaked at the federal level, rather than being undermined and having any attempts at tweaking it in ways which would make it work better blocked by people who want it to fail.

    B: "Obamacare for the internet" isn't even a remotely close comparison. Obamacare is a sizable bureaucratic establishment, with lots of details, moving parts, and funding or other budgetary requirements, which directly touches *everyone* due to its individual mandate; rules requiring that the network be neutral are (or can be) relatively simple and straightforward, with zero bureaucracy or even funding required unless the few people who are *directly* affected by them (all of whom work for ISPs) try to flout the rules.

    (C: The use of "Democrat" as an adjective, in contexts where it isn't short for "member of the Democratic Party", is a red-flag indication that the speaker has a distinct right-wing bias.)

  • May 19th, 2017 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re:

    I see two immediate potential explanations for that line:

    One, it's a flub, and what is meant was "consecutive".

    Two, it's referring to the multiple such entities having had a record-breaking year in the same year.

    Not sure which is more likely to have been meant.

  • May 19th, 2017 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FCC Ignores The Will Of The Public,

    Life is like a hurricane.

    (...but, is there a hurricane tonight?)

  • May 19th, 2017 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you have the impression that "trolling" is something that has meaning only in the context of filing lawsuits? Because that's certainly not correct.

    The term "troll" has different meanings in different contexts. The shared, underlying concept is hard to winkle out, but seems to be something like "person wanting/trying to cause trouble".

    One of the contexts in which the term is used is that of In the context of Internet discourse, the simplest and best definition of "trolling" that I've found yet is "posting with the intention of causing a furor". I.e., posting in order to try to stir up trouble, rather than to further discussion or for other legitimate purpose.

    What the intent of a post (or posting pattern) may be is of course a subjective matter, but it's something that people can try to discern by observation and analysis. Posting characteristics which are typical of trolling include ad hominem attacks, the dragging in of offtopic arguments, and gratuitous foul language; none of these definitely indicates trolling, and none of them is essential for it, but when seen as part of an overall pattern they can be indicative of that conclusion.

  • May 18th, 2017 @ 4:51am


    Have you considered the possibility that, if "non-partisan third-party fact checkers" wind up appearing left-wing, maybe that's not a sign of conspiracy or bias but rather a sign that - to borrow a quote - "reality has a well-known liberal bias"?

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 8:16pm

    Re: Re:

    Not DVD/Blu-ray release, necessarily - but yes, what they're saying is that streaming and subscription-video releases may not be made until three years after the theatrical run.

    This is probably specifically to protect the physical-media markets for these movies, as well as the theaters. (If it were just to protect the theaters, there would be no need for the three-year delay, unless the delay is from the start of the theatrical run; a three-days-after-end-of-theatrical-run delay would work just as well.)

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen:

    Removing regulation won't help.

    With regulation or without it, power will always seek to consolidate and enhance itself, at the expense of whoever it must.

    The only solution is to constantly fight back.

    Without regulation, that fight takes place on a wide assortment of battlefields, and is directly against the now-unregulated companies, who are not even technically required to listen to you, and who have little or no reason to do so.

    With regulation, much more of the fight takes place on the single battlefield of the regulator, who is technically required to listen to what the public wants.

    That single, central authority - your "consolidat[ion of] power into a smaller surface area' - is much easier to steer than the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of possible catch-points for unchecked power that there would be without regulation. Yes, it's easier to steer for the companies as well, and regulatory capture is a thing - but fighting against regulatory capture is still easier, and more effective, than fighting against unregulated companies out in the general market.

    No, regulation isn't a perfect solution - but it is far better, and easier to work with, than a total lack of regulation.

    (Also, your line about "this is 100% good people and that is 100% evil people" is a plain and pure straw-man argument; virtually nothing in the real world is that binary, and virtually no one sane even pretends to believe that it's that simple.)

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NSA: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

    That's the Microsoft article I read, but I didn't spot an explicit statement that only v1 was affected; I saw it as being implied by parts of the phrasing I don't remember (I'm currently on a computer which is configured in a way that doesn't load most Microsoft pages correctly, and I don't feel like undoing and redoing that configuration just at the moment, so I can't double-check right now), but not stated explicitly. That's why I didn't bother pushing to only disable SMBv1 in my organization, rather than an emergency deployment of the patch. (I'm working on getting regular, timely patch deployments going, but that implementation has been stalled by factors out of my control, including bureacratic obstacles. We may hope that they clear out of the way somewhat after this incident.)

    I agree that we got lucky this time, for all the reasons you cite.

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NSA: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

    Hmm. Thanks for the note; I'd heard suggestions of the problem being specific to SMBv1, but even Microsoft's own article on the subject didn't seem to be explicit that this was SMBv1 only and that other versions of SMB are not vulnerable, so I didn't trust that as being a fix. (If you have a source for an explicit statement that this is only a hole in SMBv1, I'd appreciate a link.)

    If it's confirmed that only SMBv1 has the problem, then that does simplify things considerably, and would have let the NSA secure their own systems without needing to touch the question of hacking together a third-party patch (and dodging code signing enforcement, in whatever form it may be in place).

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 5:11am

    Re: North Korea

    Why "instead of"?

    The established narrative is that the NSA found the vulnerability, it got leaked via the Shadow Brokers, and some unknown people used it to build this ransomware.

    All the stories about North Korea seem to be saying is that the "unknown people" in question are the North Korean government, not that the earlier stages of the narrative (involving the NSA) didn't happen.

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 5:07am

    Re: Why yes, I will blame them

    According to a comment further upthread, the patch for XP (et cetera) which Microsoft released after WannaCry was in the wild is a patch which they had created back in February, but had only made available to people on specialty operating systems which are variants of XP - things like "Windows POSReady", for example. ("POS" here almost certainly stands for "Point Of Sale", meaning it's for things like cash registers, though many people have certainly made the "Piece Of Shit" joke by now.)

    Even though Microsoft ended security support for XP some time ago, they've continued to make and distribute patches for XP variants which were sold under other names; people have found ways to modify the XP Registry to trick it into accepting those patches, and they install and run without apparent issues as far as I've heard.

    The claim I see being made here is that Microsoft should not be restricting those security patches to only the private release channels of the companies which pay it to support those other-name XP variants; they should be releasing them publicly, just as they had done for years.

    The only reason that Microsoft isn't doing that, as far as I can see, is as a way of trying to push people off of XP and onto newer Windows.

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Wow, so according to your theory if I bought a ford in 2001 they should still be proving me with free service for the car.


    This should be a serious proposal: you should be required to provide security support (et cetera?) for software, for as long as you claim IP rights over it which would prevent anyone else from providing that same support.

    Announcing end-of-support for a software product should be read as implicitly releasing IP rights over that product.

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 4:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Facts of Life

    I don't know of anyone saying that mental health should be ignored (except, perhaps, when it's suggested that people should not own a gun if they are found to be unstable - that one really annoys people who think they shouldn't have to prove their sanity before owning another toy).

    Well, to be fair, there's justifiable logic behind that one.

    The problem with having to prove your sanity in order to own a gun (aside from any difficulties with "proving a negative", in the form of "not insane") is that it establishes a gatekeeper - and one based on a fuzzy, non-obvious criterion, which could and can be determined arbitrarily by whoever has been given the power to decide.

    Once that's been done, eventually there will be cases where someone is declared "not sufficiently sane", specifically so as to deny that person the right to own a gun, not on any legitimate basis but simply because the people in the right positions don't like that person. And once you've been labeled as mentally unstable, it's difficult to persuasively argue against it, without the help of someone who has not been so labeled.

    The sane and principled people arguing against a sanity requirement for gun ownership are, or at least IMO should be, doing so as an outgrowth of that logic - however subconsciously understood it may be. (Which is not to say that there are not people arguing against it for other reasons! There are certainly (metaphorical!) crazies in the gun-rights/gun-control debate, without question.)

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 4:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let's try something slightly different, then, to explain what's being said.

    There's a famous saying, in many forms, one of which is: "Your freedom to swing your fist ends at my nose."

    Or to put it another way, "My freedom does not include the freedom to punch you in the face."

    In almost exactly the same way, "My freedom does not include the freedom to obtain a monopoly over something that you need."

    This is not the same as "freedom is not freedom".

    More generically:

    • If I were free to do X, you and many other people would be less free.
    • The loss of freedom to me from not being permitted to do X is outweighed by the loss of freedom to you (and many other people) from me being permitted to do so.
    • Therefore, if I were free to do X, the world would be less free than if I am not.

    This reasoning holds for many values of X, including acts of violence, and also including monopolistic behavior.

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: Re: NSA: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

    The NSA, knowing about these offensive exploits, can defend their computers against them.


    In this case, the only fix I've seen reported is to install a patch from Microsoft.

    That patch only exists because Microsoft was notified about the vulnerability. No one else has the source code, so no one else can build a patch to close the vulnerability, much less actually get it installed (given code-signing practices nowadays, et cetera).

    If the NSA notifies Microsoft about the vulnerability, the patch for it will be released publicly, thereby both notifying the public about the vulnerability and enabling the public to close it - meaning that the NSA won't be able to rely on using the vulnerability to get in.

    If the NSA does not notify Microsoft about the vulnerability, no patch will be created (until such time as someone else finds and reports the same vulnerability), and so the NSA will not be able to secure their own Windows computers.

    Is there a hole in that logic somewhere?

  • May 14th, 2017 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re:

    I think what he meant is something like "the Right to be Forgotten is a legal principle which only exists in Europe, so nothing that happens in the US can be an example of the Right to be Forgotten, so why is a story about something that happened entirely within the US talking about the Right to be Forgotten?".

    The answer, of course, is that the article is using the term "Right to be Forgotten" to refer to the entire concept of there being such a right, and possibly even more generally to the attempt to make past reporting on a subject disappear, rather than to the legal recognition of that in European law.

    He might dispute that that's an appropriate usage, and indeed his post might be a ham-handed attempt to do so, but the basic idea seems sound enough.

  • May 13th, 2017 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not to mention: what happens if it's illegal in one country to e.g. deny the Holocaust and illegal in another to claim that it happened?

    It's my understanding that the former is the case in Germany; it's also my understanding that the leaders of at least one or two of the more totalitarian states out there have denied that the Holocaust happened, and it's not a far step from there to forbidding claiming that it did happen (although I don't recall offhand any reports of such a ban in practice).

    If every nation has worldwide jurisdiction, then not only does the most restrictive law apply for every circumstance, sooner or later you wind up with conflicting laws attempting to govern the same act - and then whoever is involved in that act is stuck, in trouble no matter what course is chosen.

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