* Posts by Richard Plinston

2206 posts • joined 27 Apr 2009

Windows 10 Creators Update will add app-level privacy controls

Richard Plinston
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Re: Take a Stand...

> That means all my games and all my photo editing software.

> Until then it's just a toy OS for me to play with occasionally.

You don't seem to see the irony in using Windows to play games and then accusing Linux of being a 'toy'.

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Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

Richard Plinston
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Re: Repulsed by adjective 'nonhuman'

> It seems to imply that 'Humans' are 'animals'. We are NOT!

Some of you might be vegetables!!!

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Richard Plinston
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> Slater doesn't own the copyright either. If he does, he shouldn't. US copyright law requires the creator be human, and the monkey took the photo, for all that it was Slater's equipment. Therefore public domain.

You are wrong. Copyright law does require the copyright holder to be a human, but says nothing about 'the creator'. There is an element of agency in the copyright law, and also one of 'work for hire'. If you work for a company as a cameraman then the film or photos you take, no matter how creative you are, are not yours, they belong to the company. Even if your employment is not directly that of a photographer and you are asked to use a company camera to take a photo then you are acting as an agent and the ownership of the copyright goes to the person or organization that owns the media (film or SD card).

Do you think that if you are on a street and ask a stranger to take a photo of you and your friends that he could sue you if you put the photo on facebook ?

The answer is no because the stranger is acting as an unpaid agent. In this case the monkey was an unpaid and voluntary agent, the copyright ownership goes to the owner of the media.

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

Richard Plinston
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Re: Extinct

> But in Python it's not particularly clear that what you're doing here is assigning an object reference so a and b apply to the same object (yes, once you're familiar with Python this is less surprising).

It has always been very clearly stated that is what happens and was always obvious to me.

> And indeed the ways of actually copying an array are all a bit weird.

a = copy(b), how weird is that ?

or you can create a new list from the existing list with list()

>>> a = [1,2,3]

>>> b = list(a)

>>> b[0] =9

>>> a

[1, 2, 3]

>>> b

[9, 2, 3]

Of course references to complex objects within the list are copied as another reference to the same object, deepcopy() creates copies of the objects too.

I don't know why you think any of this is "weird", it is just like other programming languages.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: The Right Tool for a Lot of Jobs

> I really do wish there was a better cross-platform GUI option for Python.

I found Glade/pygtk to be excellent with a designer for the interface that auto links to the code. I still have stuff that use EasyGUI which is really easy for dialog boxes. The real problem is that there are too many really good options.

https://wiki.python.org/moin/GuiProgramming

https://docs.python.org/3/faq/gui.html

https://wiki.python.org/moin/GUI%20Programming%20in%20Python

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Extinct

> Well, not really that clean.

> b = [1,2,3]

> a = b

> a[1] = 9

> b[1] = 10

How is that different from other languages ?

int a[3] = {1,2,3};

int * b = a;

a[1] = 9;

b[1] = 10;

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Richard Plinston
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> it's totally at odds with real languages and what the real world uses..

The "real world" is increasingly using Python.

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Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

Richard Plinston
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Re: "Linux is also easy to develop for"

> Linux never had tools comparable to Visual Basic or Delphi which made developing even complex GUI applications easy enough also for single developers or small teams

I completely disagree. There is for example Glade. When this is used with Python it makes developing desktop GUI applications extremely easy. It is also cross platform, my developments ran on Linux, Windows and Nokia N800 with exactly the same code and no changes.

The main difference is that VB and Delphi are fully integrated with the language and Windows only while Linux tools are modular so almost any language can be used with Glade, Wx or QT developer. This is flexible but means that the community is dispersed amongst many language and GUI groups, while VB was locked into the 'one true path' (except when Microsoft brings out a new incompatible version).

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

> BT runs a free hosting service for community groups under some community obligation. Google doesn't find these sites

I just highlighted "BT runs a free hosting service for community groups" from your message, right clicked and hit 'Search Google for ..". It gave me a page of links to those sites.

You are a liar.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: "Slurp tries to compete with ChromeOS and back peddles"

> in the case of MS, peddling is probably right here...

What are you saying?: "peddling in back alleys, where the passing of brown envelopes won't be seen" ?

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NYPD head of IT doubles down on Windows smartphone idiocy

Richard Plinston
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> Really simple things, like being able to take a photo and email it (rather than have to wait for someone with a camera to arrive, take it back to the station, download and then email), can make an officer dramatically more efficient.

Sorry, but it is no longer 2010.

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Richard Plinston
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> the UK forces are switching to Windows Phone right now.

Sorry, but it is no longer 2014.

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Richard Plinston
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> Android was (and still is) a pig to develop for, as its always changing.

You appear to be defending MS mobile device development methods as if there was ever some sort of consistency between the several very different platforms they have had since 2000 or so. It started as PocketPC, went through various Windows Mobile and then was replaced by the completely incompatible Windows Phone. And then there was Zune and Kin. Even Windows Phone 7 was dumped, along with XNA, when WP8 came out which was very different. Windows 10 Mobile was different again and rewrites to UWP were required.

On the other hand Android 2.3 apps still run on the latest versions.

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Microsoft president exits US govt's digital advisory board as tech leaders quit over Trump

Richard Plinston
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Re: That virtue signaling!

> Society 282 has gone on a veritable purge of Alt Right and Dissident Right content on cyberspace...

America may have free speech but:

a) I have the right to not listen to it

b) publishers have the right to not publish it.

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Core-blimey! Intel's Core i9 18-core monster – the numbers

Richard Plinston
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Re: Nobody needs more than 640K of RAM.

> "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Yes, he did say that. Given the cost of building those computers in 1943 and the number of companies and governments that could afford it at that time he was correct.

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Windows Subsystem for Linux to debut in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Richard Plinston
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Re: Standardisation is always welcome

> Backslash was used to maintain compatibility with the 1.x option delimiter.

And the MS-DOS 1.x option indicator ('/') came from CP/M which MS-DOS is a clone of, and that came from CP/M's origins, being written on DEC machines with RT-11 or similar.

When MS tried to make a 'family' of operating systems with Xenix and MS-DOS 2.0 they had to cope with the conflicts between DEC originated systems (CP/M, MS-DOS) and Unix, and did that poorly.

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Latest Windows 10 preview lets users link an Android to their PC

Richard Plinston
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Could Microsoft one day launch its own Android phone

It already did. Originally they were Nokia-X but became Microsoft-X when they bought the business.

https://www.theverge.com/2014/2/24/5440498/nokia-x-android-phone-hands-on

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Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

Richard Plinston
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>> The code could then surely APPEAR to mean one thing, but in fact means something completely different.

> With C, the rule is that if the conditional has no braces, then the first line after the condition is in the block and nothing else.

Exactly. That is why my example in C was illustrating that "the code could then surely APPEAR to mean one thing [according to the indent], but in fact means something completely different."

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Richard Plinston
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> Trying to post some Python code somewhere that does not allow indenting ...

That is not the fault of the language, but of the site. This site recognises <code> and <pre> tags but fails to implement them in a useful way.

> What happens if somehow you end up with source that contains spaces and tabs?

You fire the programmer and/or get better tools and/or use how to configure them.

> The code could then surely APPEAR to mean one thing, but in fact means something completely different.

Like in C:

total=0;

j=0;

for (int i=0; i<10; i++)

....total+=i;

....j++;

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Richard Plinston
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Re: anything but python

> c and Perl have always made the most sense to me.

Python 3 does have differences from Python 2, but Perl has been through several rewrites, each of which were incompatible which previous version source code. If Perl makes "most sense" then you obviously never used Perl4 and haven't looked at Perl6 because these are quite different languages.

https://docs.perl6.org/language/5to6-nutshell

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Richard Plinston
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Re: anything but python

> Yes, but by & large they have backward compatibility.

Yes, but it is only "by and large". When moving from one version of C++ or Java to the next there will always be some issues which need resolving, except in trivial code.

Python3 is a new version of the language designed to be a significant improvement. Python2 is still developed and supported and has 'futures' and other tools to ease the transition to the new language. This has been done by numerous languages: extreme examples are: Pascal to Modula2; VisualBasic - numerous times;

Python3 vs. Python2 should be compared to Kotlin vs. Java. Kotlin is designed to make Java into a modern language and drop 22 years of baggage that it still carries. C++ has 36 years of baggage.

> "You can write K&R C in any language" (including C++ last time I checked)

Actually you can't. K&R C (edition 1) was replaced by ANSI C and few modern C/C++ compilers support the original K&R (though gcc may still do so). And that is hardly "any language".

And I don't know that anyone said that; what they did say was "You can write FORTRAN programs in any language", which is quite a different thing.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Note that there were "popular" shitty languages in the past

> "I can write that in Python" when it SHOULD be done as a C utility, at least for efficiency.

Not all C programs are efficient. I wrote a text merge program in C. It was quite slow due to the str..() library, in particular strcat() having to scan along the strings to get the length. A rewrite in Python was 10 times faster.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: anything but python

> Plus there's no such thing as Python. There's Python 2, and then there's Python 3.

What's your point? There is Java [1], Java 2, Java 3, ..., Java 8; C++ 3, C++ 11, C++ 14, C++ 17.

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Richard Plinston
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> Any language where whitespace dictates what is inside a conditional and what isn't (eg Python) needs to die a slow and painful death IMHO.

No one cares if you don't use Python (unless your managers do). If you are forced to use it, then get better tools and learn how to use it better.

In what way is 'what is inside a conditional' not determined by the colon that terminates it. Perhaps you are thinking of some other language.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: anything but python

> But when you have to be ridiculously careful about making sure that things end up at the correct indent level it becomes a nightmare problem.

I don't have problems with that, but then I have chosen tools, and configurations of those, that would seem to be more appropriate than the ones that you are using.

> If you have ever had to debug a problem where a thread dies due to a syntax error in a little used code path, you will totally get my annoyance.

Syntax errors are discovered during the load/compile phase so you are probably referring to something different. There is usually an exception trace produced unless you deliberately ignore exceptions.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: anything but python

> I can only thank god that no-one has written a python ASP thing like PHP

http://www.4guysfromrolla.com/webtech/082201-1.shtml

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Richard Plinston
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Re: The way Basic worked in the old days

> In Basic - there is no labels.

BASIC is not _a_ language, it is a large group of approximately similar, or not so similar, languages. Some do allow labels, even named subroutines.

> Now, if you delete comments at line 20 and 30:

No, no, no, not for any variation of 'BASIC' that I am aware of. For the BASICs that only use line numbers there is _NO_ automatic line renumbering, that would be a complete fail. Deleting lines 20 and 30 would leave lines 40 and beyond with their original line numbers. The whole point of numbering by 10s is so that lines can be inserted, such as 51, 52, etc.

The problem described would arise if the original line 10 had GOTO 30 (which would work correctly) and then lines 20 and 30 were deleted because they were 'merely comments'.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: "You can spot a Java programmer even when they write in any other language."

> I'm one of the few people I know who can make JavaScript look like Perl.

In my experience, most people can make PERL look like chicken scratchings.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Learn all of them, but NOT Java

> I understood it to mean that the code calculated a variable line number to GOTO ...

I suspect that it was much simpler. There were GOTOs to numbered lines that were comments. This would then drop down to the next executable line. When the commented lines were deleted there was then no target for the GOTO.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: I suspect there are quite a few Java devs out there

> Python's "why is 5 + 1 sometimes 6 or 51"

You are confused, that is a 'feature' of Javascript not Python.

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SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

Richard Plinston
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Re: cut the crap, Linux is UNIX? @Richard

> They also got the job and mode of the money for selling licenses.

My understanding, based on following Groklaw and reading the APA, was that SCO would collect the annual licence fees, pass them to Novell and Novell would then return a 5% collection fee. Novell never received any of this, SCO kept it all. The court case ruled that Novell was entitled to these royalties.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_Group,_Inc._v._Novell,_Inc.#Novell.27s_motion_for_summary_judgement

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Well they want to stay relevant

> It was not til the 486 that Intel had a proper MMU that could run a proper OS. At that time, there was no other established OS that could have been (a) ported to the 486, and (b) was widely used in Industry.

You may have a particular definition of 'proper OS', but I was running multiuser/multitasking MP/M on 8085 and Z80s with bank switching quite effectively in the very late 70s. Later I switched to DRI's Concurrent on 8088/8086 with EEMS (eg AST RAMPage) and derivatives, such as DR-Multiuser-DOS (386/486). These and DRI's other range FlexOS were quite widely used in industry.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Well they want to stay relevant

> Two things happened at once: (a) there were fantastically cheap machines on the market which could do some of what the bigger ones could, and (b) the price drop meant there was a market 1,000 times bigger within a year.

What you have claimed to be 'at once' and 'within a year' were actually over a couple of decades.

Micro computers started to be available from the mid 70s. The initial IBM PC was just another micro that cost more than your car and was very limited compared to others already in the market (no hard drive, no networking, poor performance). It was only in the mid 80s that clones started making the pricing much cheaper and the market expanded.

> DEC could and should have aggressively sought to compete, rather than saying "This stuff is a pile of shite" and expecting the users to know the difference.

You obviously weren't around in the early 80s when DEC were selling their Rainbow PC systems.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: cut the crap, Linux is UNIX? @Flocke Kroes

> the SCO Group (which I will shorten to SCO, even though this is a bit of a misnomer)

The usual TLA is TSG.

> If anybody actually has any real idea about who owns the core Unix IP

It is unlikely that there are any protectable copyrights in Unix source code. The Novell-TSG case concluded that no IP had transferred from Novell to SCO. While they did phrase it as 'Novell owns the IP' there are many barriers to this actually being true: early Unix versions were not registered when it was a requirement; some versions were put into public domain; agreements between Unix Labs and the Regents of Berkley; many third party contributions that did not assign their copyrights.

For these reasons, and others, Novell did not attempt to collect together copyrights in order to sell them to SCO and instead simply stated in the Bill of Sale that they didn't get them.

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This is why old Windows Phones won't run PC apps

Richard Plinston
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Re: It would appear...

> Therefore, saying you support the "Win32" API doesn't imply that you don't support 64 bit applications.

The Qualcomm x86 support only supports 32bit x86 emulation and does not support AMDx86-64.

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Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land

Richard Plinston
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Re: Now if just 1 major PC maker installed Linux by default...

> They can still sell retail licenses. Trouble is, the Microsoft tax becomes less transparent this way.

The OEM could still _buy_ licenses at retail prices.

FTFY

Trouble is, they would have to sell machines at $100 - $150 more than their competitors can, or make equivalent losses.

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Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

Richard Plinston
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> Sounds like they want to make money.

No, it is unlikely that they would, and certainly not enough to pay the lawyers.

What they want is to establish animal rights, such as the ability for an animal to own property.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: ownership

> then *clearly* the image should belong to the photographer. Anything else is just bonkers.

Copyright may belong to the 'photographer', or the employer, or the client, or to others depending on contracts, employment laws, or several other things, none of which are 'bonkers'.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: if cost == 0 then panic

> So in my considered opinion... the original photograph had no attributable copyright,

> and the work derived therefrom, having not had any significant work put into it in order to create it, would not have any copyright of its own and ipso facto the photograph is the intellectual property of no-one.

Your opinion, no matter how long you have considered it, is wrong.

First of all, the original photograph does have an automatic copyright no matter how much work was required to make the final image publishable. Secondly, this is irrelevant because it is unpublished and unavailable and the case is about the final work.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: if cost == 0 then panic

> Copyright is held by whomever made the arrangements (e.g. programmed, fed data) that gave rise to the images.

Or, more likely, their employer.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: if cost == 0 then panic

> That has already been covered lots of times, it is the photographer that setup the shot.

Or the photographer's employer. Do you think that several cameramen own the copyrights to movies?

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Richard Plinston
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Re: if cost == 0 then panic

> Imagine if the Patent Office got the same number of autopatents as ...

They'd be insane rich from the application fees and would do their usual autoapprove so that they kept the fees and the annual renewals. Any challenges would require fees to be paid for that. Business as usual then.

> Youtube get DMCA takedown requests

Now, if a fee was required to be paid for a takedown request ...

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Devil's Advocate

> No they don't, they exist to try to avoid the exploitation and/or abuse of people. Exploitation and abuse of animals is a separate issue.

In the past there were many peoples who were considered by europeans and americans to be animals and thus exploitation and abuse of them was a 'god given' right for white men. Which is why slavery existed.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Devil's Advocate

> It isn't enough to simply be the owner of the camera,

The article asserts:

"According to US copyright law, the person who took the picture is the copyright owner –"

That is not true either. There are many situations where neither the owner of the camera, nor the person who took the picture, would own the copyright. For example one may hire a camera and employ a cameraman and still wind up owning the copyright, as is often done when making movies.

Usually, the employee will have a specific clause in the contract, but even without this it is 'work for hire' and the employer will own the copyright. As a general rule it is the owner of the film, or original storage media, that will own the copyright. This is true even in cases where an unpaid agent is used, such as in this case.

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Richard Plinston
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Re: Cost is the smaller concern

> What? PCs already come with a Windows license.

In a retail shop the PCs already have Windows installed and the cost included as part of the price. In enterprises an annual licence fee is paid for every machine regardless of whether they 'already come with a licence'. And then there is Office licences, CLIs and such.

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Your roadmap to the Google vs Oracle Java wars

Richard Plinston
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Re: To be perfectly CLEAR

> Google stole existing code for their implementation without granted permission or paying for it. All this lawyer double speak is bullshit .

Wrong. No _code_ was 'stolen', or even taken. A handful of code lines written by the same person that wrote them for Sun were found to be the same.

What is the same between Sun/Oracle Java and Dalvik is class names and method names and parameters. This is not 'code' it is interface API and is required to be the same for compatibility. It is a tiny fraction of the source code and is 'fair use' as well as arguably being unprotectable.

Permission was granted by Sun.

It is like one book author suing another because they used the same headings: 'Introduction', 'Contents', 'Preface', 'Chapter1', 'Chapter 2', ..., 'Appendix', ...

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F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen on IoT: If it uses electricity, it will go online

Richard Plinston
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Re: I'm not paying extra for that crap

> Unless they're the MOST reliable parts in the machine.

It doesn't matter that they are the most reliable. Every part has a failure rate. Having more parts brings in an extra point of failure. Thus, overall, the whole device is less reliable, no matter how slight. In particular, if it is transmitting and receiving then there may be many external reasons that it fails to do so (cf 'hold it wrong'). If this give rise to consumer complaints, or warranty claims, or adverse publicity then it costs the manufacturer via lost sales and extra costs.

> a "set-and-forget" setup that means you can't expect someone to come along to fix it if it goes wrong.

If it is only sending data then I don't care if it goes wrong, in fact I will make sure that it does go wrong. If 'going wrong' means that the machine stops working then I will have my money back, through the small claims court if necessary.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: I'm not paying extra for that crap

> Even if it melts down? What will you do then?

First you will have to explain how it will come about that _every_ maker will only make devices that have IoT and won't work without it. Then you will have to explain why some new startup won't come up with the idea of making a cheap low-tech device that does the same job.

Just because [most] mobile phones are now general purpose computers that send data home, this hasn't stopped cheap 'dumb phones' being made and sold.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: The vendors will drive IoT

> I can think of lots of reasons why this will happen. And that's just toasters.

Anyone can dream up simplistic and useless 'ideas', but that doesn't mean that there is a business case for implementing them.

> optimise energy usage

There are machines, such as washing machines, that delay operation until the electricity prices drop overnight. When I put bread in the toaster I want toast now, not at 3am. In any case there are machines with buttons for 2 slices or 4, settings for different brownness, what could it do to 'optimise' more than that?

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Richard Plinston
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Re: IoT vs Users

> They can buffer the data and send later. When the buffer is full, then the machine could stop working, or make you call an engineer to check why the vendor isn't getting "their" data.

They would take it back to the shop and demand replacement or their money back under the warranty.

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