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Member Since 18 Jan 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 04:51 PM

Topics I've Started

GPL wtf?

25 April 2016 - 10:23 AM

Note: This reads like a rant (and to 90% it is) but there's also a serious question in the last paragraph.


So I've just come across an article which claims that Canonical is in violation of the GPL for distributing a binary of the ZFS module. It doesn't seem to be an April's fool joke.


Can someone enlighten me what the issue is because I seem to be too stupid to understand it. To me, the facts look like this:


Party 1 holds the rights on product ABC. They license it under the ABC-License. Which is kinda-opensource, but not quite.

Party 2 holds the rights on product DEF. They license it under the GPL. Which is... freedom.


ABC and DEF do not share a code base, nor are they otherwise affiliated in some way. Some DEF-affiliated developers made an ABC module that can run under DEF. Which is nice because ABC is a great addition to users of DEF.


Party 3 distributes ISO files containing -- among other things -- DEF, as well as ready-to-install DVDs, and they maintain a live packet repository with some thousand other stuffs. They also maintain a source repository so they comply with the GPL.


Since pretty much forever, the installation DVDs also included some non-free stuff like Flash and some multimedia codecs for the user's convenience. This has -- obviously -- never been a problem. I never bothered, but whoever wanted these could opt-in to install them. Other parties do the same thing, too (Linux Mint comes to mind).


Now, presently, Party 3 is also adding a binary of ABC to their DVD. That's a problem. Those bastards, how can they!


Party 3 is in violation of Party 2's license for packing Party 1's smelly stuff onto the same DVD. Because, you know, it's not allowable to have two different religions on the same DVD.


No really, what the hell? I must be understanding this wrong. This is just too perverse to be true.


Steam runs, among other systems, under Linux. Steam sells/distributes games which are not GPL (the vast majority of them is not even remotely open-source). So, since it is against the GPL to combine non-GPL stuff with the Linux kernel, is Valve in violation with the GPL?


More importantly: Are you in violation of the GPL if you sell a game via Steam?

So it is Badlock day

12 April 2016 - 11:39 AM

So it has begun! We've been waiting almost a month to finally have this super critical exploit published. This is it, the apocalypse. It's April 12.


So... the Badlock website talks about something man-in-the-middle and something DoS, and lists a couple of CVEs all of which... <drum roll>... link to 404 error pages.


Some other (unauthorative?) site talks of someone being able to DoS the LDAP server within Samba (which nobody uses anyway?). Now, before I start shouting "What the fuuuuuuuuuck!", what am I missing about the story?

When the lawyers come, the coding horror starts...

23 March 2016 - 05:46 AM

... and you wish you hadn't done the good practice of code reuse.


Just stumbled over that one. For those not willing to read the article:

The short story is there's a large-ish collection of libraries of stuffs made by some guy, which basically everyone uses. Happens one of them is called "kik" and that's a trademark of a pedophile messenging service (at least Wikipedia claims its for pedophiles, gotta take their word on it). When the lawyers forced NPM to take down that package, its author took them off all..., including some very basic ones with kinda trivial utility functions. Happens there is a string padding function which virtually every project, including node.js itself, uses.

Man, that's a real horror. Under a dozen lines of code which are trivial to write for anyone, but why reinvent the wheel, right?

Now it's of course no biggie to implement such a trivial function, but there might be 3 or 4 such trivial functions, and you might have 5 or 6 projects (or 20) using them. Now when it suddenly goes *poof*, have fun wading through all your project and fixing that mess, bleh.


How is trump still in the running

26 February 2016 - 05:57 AM

How Trump is still in the running, let alone leading, is a mystery to me


Denny Crane!



Trump is American. He does not just talk about the American Dream, he is the American Dream.


Someone like Karl Marx Bernie Sanders just won't fly with the USA. Going eco-friendly? Raise minimum wages? Attack Wall Street and the banks? Hang on a minute... you could as well not apply as a candidate at all! You know, what about working for universal peace, giving charity to Africa, and inviting the Mexicans to come living in the US? Aren't those all great ideas?


America is about making the rich richer and the poor poorer. It's about cheating your way through, making dodgy promises, risking a big lip, and using other people's money for dodgy projects... and somehow come out with a profit, and get rich. America is about hating everybody who is not white american, about carrying a gun and shooting at trespassers. America is about sueing the last piece of blood out of a random person. Take what you can, give nothing back. America is Donald Trump.


Mrs. Clinton, well... she already broke the two major unwritten laws of bigotry before she even started. She has been second in the race before (never shall a former vice president or secretary of the state become president!) and she is a woman. A woman! The USA already had a black president with a name that sounds like he is a muslim, and that's more than the average redneck can support. First a black, now a woman? What's next, a Mexican? No way.

That, and she's been trying to get a foot in for soooo long. When the tiger gets old, it loses its claws.


Bush? They've had that before. Twice. Do you really think they're stupid enough to make the same mistake thrice?


So really... given who is available as candidate, as crazy as it sounds, Trump is the best one.

Oh the begging

29 December 2015 - 03:41 PM

When does excessive begging make free software no longer free? I wondered while opening an empty browser window today.

The outrageous begging screen displayed by Mozilla Firefox whenever you open a new browser window is meanwhile so large that, assuming you had a 800x600 display, it would fill the complete screen. 12 lines of solid text, three of them in bold, all in Verdana 20pt. Dude, WTF?

The message reads that Mozilla only asks for money a few times per year. That's right, they've been nagging every day for the entire last year, so you could legitimately say that they only asked once. Which, truly, falls under only a few times per year.

It also says that if everybody only donated 3€ (but they predominantly display a 10€ button), the begging would be over in an hour. Until recently, they used to say that if everybody gave 3€, then they would have enough for the next year.

3€ on 400M users is 1.2 billion Euros. Oh heck yes, I'd definitively consider that sufficient for a year, too.

Really, wow, slowest starting browser among all its competitors, need a plugin to restore the UI to something that doesn't hurt the eyes (you know, not every user is 17 years old, some people actually need a bit of contrast and solid backgrounds to be able to read) no significant improvements for years, and loads of shit (Pocket, anyone?) added. I'm so feeling like donating in hope of more such outstanding improvements.

Chrome is starting to look more and more attractive.