Isotopium lets players enter Chernobyl exclusion zone:

We created a gaming platform that allows a player to control real robots over the Internet in real time. Video streaming comes without delays from robot cameras. [...]

Our arena covers 210 square meters (2260 sq. ft.). Our professional set designer and our team tried to reproduce city buildings, amenities and roads with great accuracy. Every building, including nuclear power plant, has three to four stories and lets players move around inside. We did everything we could to create a feeling of real Chernobyl. [...]

Players' main objective is to collect rare "isotopes" from all over arena. Players will solve puzzles, explore the hazardous ghost city of Pripyat, take part in contests and quests, and fight for survival.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Mon Oct 22 03:14:37 2018 Tags:
Accidental SCORPION STARE activation, is my guess.

The 121st Precinct cop "noticed there was smoke exiting from the bottom portal and immediately removed it," a department spokesperson said. "After it was safely removed, the device exploded."

The officer was not injured, but now all Vievu LE-5 body cameras are being recalled, the NYPD said. [...]

"The product is generally crap in all models," a high-ranking NYPD official said. "It's not good in the field. They break easily."

The source added that the power switch on many cameras is too sensitive, which makes it difficult to record important incidents.

"The city's vending process generally always goes for the cheapest vendor despite superior products elsewhere," the source said. "I guess you get what you pay for." [...]

Especially when your vendor is The Joker?

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our officers, and equipping the NYPD with the best equipment is a paramount priority," a spokesperson said.

I mean, there are actually a lot of things more important than that, things like protecting the innocent from the police, upholding the Constitution, that sort of thing. But hey.

"It happens sometimes. Cops just explode. Natural causes."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Mon Oct 22 02:52:04 2018 Tags:
The inflatable colon was swiped from a parked pickup truck. It's valued at $4,000.

An inflatable colon used to teach about the dangers of colon cancer has been stolen, according to the University of Kansas Cancer Center. [...]

The Cancer Coalition ships the inflatable colon across the country for walkers and runners to see and learn about the progression of colon cancer in a unique way. The inflatable colon was on its way to the annual Sisters Living Beyond Breast Cancer 5K Relay Walk on Saturday in Kansas City.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sun Oct 21 01:38:51 2018 Tags:
The inflatable colon was swiped from a parked pickup truck. It's valued at $4,000.

An inflatable colon used to teach about the dangers of colon cancer has been stolen, according to the University of Kansas Cancer Center. [...]

The Cancer Coalition ships the inflatable colon across the country for walkers and runners to see and learn about the progression of colon cancer in a unique way. The inflatable colon was on its way to the annual Sisters Living Beyond Breast Cancer 5K Relay Walk on Saturday in Kansas City.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sun Oct 21 01:38:51 2018 Tags:

Can an "AI ethics body" set up by companies that develop and use AI software possibly be adequate?

I have no solid proof, but I doubt it.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

Heavy Use of the Internet And Watching Commercial TV Increase [children's] Desire for Junk Food.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

English is starting to threaten the survival of Icelandic.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

Research Reveals That Fighting Between Youths — Particularly Females — Is Less Common Where Corporal Punishment Has Been Outlawed.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

Why Is [Salafi] Arabia Under Fire Over Jamal Khashoggi, But Not Yemen?

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

Scandinavia shows that having society help people do what increases life expectancy is effective, while telling people it's their fault if they don't do these things leads to falling life expectancy.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

College in the US is a scam: Americans are pressured to pay for it, with loans that they will spend a lifetime paying back, so as to escape the income decline suffered by Americans without a college degree.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

The Chicago thug that shot Ricardo Hayes said Hayes was armed. In fact, Hayes was unarmed, and did nothing threatening. The threat was only in the thug's imagination.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

69 of the Richest 100 Entities on the Planet Are Corporations, Not Governments.

That reflects the problem that corporations don't pay enough taxes, and that they have been permitted to merge too much.

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:

US citizens: call on Mattis, Secretary of "Defense", to make the US obey the laws of war in Yemen.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Posted Sun Oct 21 00:00:00 2018 Tags:
Taking that principled stand, as always:

Ride-hail giant Lyft just dropped $100,000 to fight Proposition C, the ballot measure that would tax rich corporations to house 4,000 homeless San Franciscans. [...]

It's perhaps strange for a company whose CEO bragged to TIME Magazine in 2017 that his company is "woke," and especially odd since the often-vilified Uber, which has weathered myriad recent scandals, confirmed to On Guard they're not planning on donating for or against Proposition C. [...]

The donation joins Lyft with the likes of tech company Stripe, which has donated $400,000 to topple Prop C., and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has infamously sparred publicly recently with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff over backing Prop. C. Dorsey now plans to spend $75,000 to fight the homeless measure, the New York Times reported Friday.

Salesforce CEO: tech billionaires hoard their money and won't help homeless
(Water, in other news, remains wet)

[Marc Benioff, the Salesforce CEO] intensified his criticisms of Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, saying: "He just doesn't want to give, that's all. And he hasn't given anything of consequence in the city." [...]

Benioff said by phone that he had expected Dorsey to stand against Prop C -- and that he did not anticipate the Twitter co-founder would change his mind or give back in a meaningful way. "That's not a surprise to me. There's lots of CEOs and companies and billionaires in that category. We have 70 billionaires in San Francisco [Bay Area region]. Not all of them are giving money away. A lot of them are just hoarding it. They're keeping it. That's just who they are and how they look at their money." [...]

Benioff also criticized Stripe, a payment platform and another major San Francisco tech firm opposing Prop C. The company claimed the measure lacked a "comprehensive plan" for spending in a recent op-ed and has also given more than $400,000 to a campaign fighting the measure, making it the largest donor.

Benioff scoffed at the funding from Stripe, which was founded in 2010 by brothers Patrick and John Collison, and was recently valued at $20bn.

"It's the most money they've ever given to anything in San Francisco, so that's exciting ... [Prop C] will be a direct tax on Stripe that they don't want to have to pay," he said. "Even though they've made $20bn dollars in San Francisco, they're not willing to give back at scale. Isn't that amazing?" [...]

Benioff has pledged to donate at least $2m to support Prop C, which could cost Salesforce up to $10m a year in taxes. [...]

Benioff said that Breed had recently asked him for an "immediate $8m" to fund a shelter in the city, raising questions about her claims that the city needs to focus on auditing the $300m it currently spends on homelessness instead of raising new money.

"She wants me to fund personally a homeless shelter in the city, because she's out of cash," he said. "That's evidence we need more money now."

Benioff:

CEO @jack created $50B in market cap in Twitter & Square & $6B personally in our city & received a special Mid Market Tax Break. Exactly much have his companies & personally given back to our city, our homeless programs, public hospitals, & public schools? Yes @OurHomeSF.

Hi Jack. Thanks for the feedback. Which homeless programs in our city are you supporting? Can you tell me what Twitter and Square & you are in for & at what financial levels? How much have you given to heading home our $37M initiative to get every homeless child off the streets?

Benioff is still totally cool with helping ICE imprison and deport children, though.

Might I also recommend The Broke-Ass Stuart 2018 Voting Guide.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sat Oct 20 21:26:16 2018 Tags:
Dear Lazyweb: Why won't iOS 12 ever show me a mail notification? Messages notifications work fine. I have all the obvious things checked, and Do Not Disturb is off. Server logs show mail being downloaded, but it never notifies or badges.
Posted Sat Oct 20 20:08:24 2018 Tags:
Each can carries approximately one million copies of the LP:

Addressing the novel storage method, Massive Attack's Robert '3D' Del Naja -- who according to the press release is "also known as a graffiti artist" -- said: "It's a creative way to store your back catalogue, although DNA-encoded spray paint is unlikely to be adopted by street artists seeking anonymity".

The complex encoding process is explained in detail in by Dr Robert Grass of Zurich-based company TurboBeads. "This digital bitstream of the album (0s and 1s) was first translated to 901'065 DNA sequences (A, C, T and Gs), each 105 characters long", says Grass. "The 901'065 individual sequences were then chemically synthesised resulting in a synthetic DNA sample, which fully represents the digital bitstream of the album."

Then, in order to "guarantee information stability", the DNA sequences were encapsulated in "synthetic glass fossils", which were added directly to the spray can. According to Dr Grass, each can "contains at least 0.1 micrograms of the synthetic DNA, which is equivalent to 1 million copies of the album."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Fri Oct 19 19:27:17 2018 Tags:
Posted Fri Oct 19 06:17:23 2018 Tags:
In other news, water remains wet.

Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft accounted for approximately 50 percent of the rise in vehicle congestion in the city between 2010 and 2016, according to a report released by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority earlier today. [...]

According to the new report, ride-hail services account for 51 percent of the increase in daily vehicle hours of delay between the years of 2010 and 2016, 47 percent of the increase in vehicle miles traveled during that same time period, and 55 percent of the average speed decline on roadways during that same time period.

Ride-hailing vehicles make up an estimated 25 percent of total vehicle congestion citywide and 36 percent of delay in the downtown core, SFCTA said.

Although those cars caused increased congestion across all times of day, the increase was most pronounced during evening hours, the study found. Most congestion was spread over the densest parts of the city with up to 73 percent in the Financial District, while little impact was noted in the western and southern neighborhoods.

For those of you who have been spending years pushing Uber's party line of, "But ride-shares are environmentally friendly because they get private vehicles off the street" -- kindly fuck all the way off.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Wed Oct 17 00:45:32 2018 Tags:

[ A similar version was crossposted on Conservancy's blog. ]

More than 15 years ago, Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) community activists successfully argued that licensing proliferation was a serious threat to the viability of FLOSS. We convinced companies to end the era of “vanity” licenses. Different charities — from the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to the Apache Software Foundation — all agreed we were better off with fewer FLOSS licenses. We de-facto instituted what my colleague Richard Fontana once called the “Rule of Three” — assuring that any potential FLOSS license should be met with suspicion unless (a) the OSI declares that it meets their Open Source Definition, (b) the FSF declares that it meets their Free Software Definition, and (c) the Debian Project declares that it meets their Debian Free Software Guidelines. The work for those organizations quelled license proliferation from radioactive threat to safe background noise. Everyone thought the problem was solved. Pointless license drafting had become a rare practice, and updated versions of established licenses were handled with public engagement and close discussion with the OSI and other license evaluation experts.

Sadly, the age of license proliferation has returned. It's harder to stop this time, because this isn't merely about corporate vanity licenses. Companies now have complex FLOSS policy agendas, and those agendas are not to guarantee software freedom for all. While it is annoying that our community must again confront an old threat, we are fortunate the problem is not hidden: companies proposing their own licenses are now straightforward about their new FLOSS licenses' purposes: to maximize profits.

Open-in-name-only licenses are now common, but seem like FLOSS licenses only to the most casual of readers. We've succeeded in convincing everyone to “check the OSI license list before you buy”. We can therefore easily dismiss licenses like Common Clause merely by stating they are non-free/non-open-source and urging the community to avoid them. But, the next stage of tactics have begun, and they are harder to combat. What happens when for-profit companies promulgate their own hyper-aggressive (quasi-)copyleft licenses that seek to pursue the key policy goal of “selling proprietary licenses” over “defending software freedom”? We're about to find out, because, yesterday, MongoDB declared themselves the arbiter of what “strong copyleft” means.

Understanding MongoDB's Business Model

To understand the policy threat inherent in MongoDB's so-called “Server Side Public License, Version 1”, one must first understand the fundamental business model for MongoDB and companies like them. These companies use copyleft for profit-making rather than freedom-protecting. First, they require full control (either via ©AA or CLA) of all copyrights in the work, and second, they offer two independent lines of licensing. Publicly, they provide the software under the strongest copyleft license available. Privately, the same (or secretly improved) versions of the software are available under fully proprietary terms. In theory, this could be merely selling exceptions: a benign manner of funding more Free Software code — giving the proprietary option only to those who request it. In practice — in all examples that have been even mildly successful (such as MongoDB and MySQL) — this mechanism serves as a warped proprietary licensing shake-down: “Gee, it looks like you're violating the copyleft license. That's a shame. I guess you just need to abandon the copyleft version and buy a proprietary license from us to get yourself out of this jam, since we don't plan to reinstate any lost rights and permissions under the copyleft license.” In other words, this structure grants exclusive and dictatorial power to a for-profit company as the arbiter of copyleft compliance. Indeed, we have never seen any of these companies follow or endorse the Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement. While it has made me unpopular with some, I still make no apologies that I have since 2004 consistently criticized this “proprietary relicensing” business model as “nefarious”, once I started hearing regular reports that MySQL AB (now Oracle) asserts GPL violations against compliant uses merely to scare users into becoming “customers”. Other companies, including MongoDB, have since emulated this activity.

Why Seek Even Stronger Copyleft?

The GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) has done a wonderful job defending the software freedom of community-developed projects like Mastodon and Mediagoblin. So, we should answer with skepticism a solitary for-profit company coming forward to claim that “Affero GPL has not resulted in sufficient legal incentives for some of the largest users of infrastructure software … to participate in the community. Many open source developers are struggling with a similar reality”. If the last sentence were on Wikipedia, I'd edit it to add a Citation Needed tag, as I know of nomulti-copyright-held or charity-based AGPL'd project that has “struggled with this reality”. In fact, it's only a “reality” for those that engage in proprietary relicensing. Eliot Horowitz, co-founder of MongoDB and promulgator of their new license, neglects to mention that.

The most glaring problem with this license, which Horowitz admits in his OSI license-review list post, is that there was no community drafting process. Instead, a for-profit company, whose primary goal is to use copyleft as a weapon against the software-sharing community for the purpose of converting that “community” into paying customers, published this license as a fait accompli without prior public discussion of the license text.

If this action were an isolated incident by one company, ignoring it is surely the best response. Indeed, I urged everyone to simply ignore the Commons Clause. Now, we see a repackaging of the Commons Clause into a copyleft-like box (with reuse of Commons Clause's text such as “whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the Software”). Since both licenses were drafted in secret, we cannot know if the reuse of text was simply because the same lawyer was employed to write both, or if MongoDB has joined a broader and more significant industry-wide strategy to replace existing FLOSS licensing with alternatives that favor businesses over individuals.

The Community Creation Process Matters

Admittedly, the history of copyleft has been one of slowly evolving community-orientation. GPLv1 and GPLv2 were drafted in private, too, by Richard Stallman and FSF's (then) law firm lawyer, Jerry Cohen. However, from the start, the license steward was not Stallman himself, nor the law firm, but the FSF, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to serve the public good. As such, the FSF made substantial efforts in the GPLv3 process to reorient the drafting of copyleft licenses as a public policy and legislative process. Like all legislative processes, GPLv3 was not ideal — and I was even personally miffed to be relegated to the oft-ignored “GPLv3 Discussion Committee D” — but the GPLv3 process was undoubtedly a step forward in FLOSS community license drafting. Mozilla Corporation made efforts for community collaboration in redrafting the MPL, and specifically included the OSI and the FSF (arbiters of the Open Source Definition and Free Software Definition (respectively)) in MPL's drafting deliberations. The modern acceptable standard is a leap rather than a step forward: a fully public, transparent drafting process with a fully public draft repository, as the copyleft-next project has done. I think we should now meet with utmost suspicion any license that does not use copyleft-next's approach of “running licensing drafting as a Free Software project”.

I was admittedly skeptical of that approach at first. What I have seen six years since Richard Fontana started copyleft-next is that, simply put, the key people who are impacted most fundamentally by a software license are mostly likely to be aware of, and engage in, a process if it is fully public, community-oriented, and uses community tools, like Git.

Like legislation, the policies outlined in copyleft licenses impact the general public, so the general public should be welcomed to the drafting. At Conservancy, we don't draft our own licenses0, so our contracts with software developers and agreements with member projects state that the licenses be both “OSI-approved Open Source” and “FSF-approved GPL-compatible Free Software”. However, you can imagine that Conservancy has a serious vested interest in what licenses are ultimately approved by the OSI and the FSF. Indeed, with so much money flowing to software developers bound by those licenses, our very charitable mission could be at stake if OSI and the FSF began approving proprietary licenses as Open, Free, and/or GPL-compatible. I want to therefore see license stewards work, as Mozilla did, to make the vetting process easier, not harder, for these organizations.

A community drafting process allows everyone to vet the license text early and often, to investigate the community and industry impact of the license, and to probe the license drafter's intent through the acceptance and rejection of proposed modified text (ideally through a DVCS). With for-profit actors seeking to gain policy control of fundamental questions such as “what is strong copyleft?”, we must demand full drafting transparency and frank public discourse.

The Challenge Licensing Arbiters Face

OSI, FSF, and Debian have a huge challenge before them. Historically, the FSF was the only organization who sought to push the boundary of strong copyleft. (Full disclosure: I created the Affero clause while working for the FSF in 2002, inspired by Henry Poole's useful and timely demands for a true network services copyleft.) Yet, the Affero clause was itself controversial. Many complained that it changed the fundamental rules of copyleft. While “triggered only on distribution, not modification” was a fundamental rule of the regular GPL, we as a community — over time and much public debate — decided the Affero clause is a legitimate copyleft, and AGPL was declared Open Source by OSI and DFSG-free by Debian.

That debate was obviously framed by the FSF. The FSF, due to public pressure, compromised by leaving the AGPL as an indefinite fork of the GPL (i.e., the FSF did not include the Affero clause in plain GPL. While I personally lobbied (from GPLv3 Discussion Committee D and elsewhere) for the merger of AGPL and GPL during the GPLv3 drafting process, I respect the decision of the FSF, which was informed not by my one voice, but the voices of the entire community.

Furthermore, the FSF is a charity, chartered to serve the public good and the advancement of software freedom for users and developers. MongoDB is a for-profit company, chartered to serve the wallets of its owners. While MongoDB (like any other company) should be welcomed on equal footing to individuals, charities, and trade-associations to the debate about the future of copyleft, we should not accept their active framing of that debate. By submitting this license to OSI for approval without any public community discussion, and without any discussion whatsoever with the key charities in the community, is unacceptable. The OSI should now adopt a new requirement for license approval — namely, that licenses without a community-oriented drafting process should be rejected for the meta-reason of “non-transparent drafting”, regardless of their actual text. This will have the added benefit of forcing future license drafters to come to OSI, on their public mailing lists, before the license is finalized. That will save OSI the painstaking work of walking back bad license drafts, which has in recent years consumed much expert time by OSI's volunteers.

Welcoming All To Public Discussion

Earlier this year, Conservancy announced plans to host and organize the first annual CopyleftConf. Conservancy decided to do this because Conservancy seeks to create a truly neutral, open, friendly, and welcoming forum for discussion about the past and future of copyleft as a strategy for defending software freedom. We had no idea when Karen and I first mentioned the possibility of running CopyleftConf (during the Organizers' Panel at the end of the Legal and Policy DevRoom at FOSDEM 2018 in February 2018) that multiple companies would come forward and seek to control the microphone on the future of copyleft. Now that MongoDB has done so, I'm very glad that the conference is already organized and on the calendar before they did so.

Despite my criticisms of MongoDB, I welcome Eliot Horowitz, Heather Meeker (the law firm lawyer who drafted MongoDB's new license and the Commons Clause), or anyone else who was involved in the creation of MongoDB's new license to submit a talk. Conservancy will be announcing soon the independent group of copyleft experts (and critics!) who will make up the Program Committee and will independently evaluate the submissions. Even if a talk is rejected, I welcome rejected proposers to attend and speak about their views in the hallway track and the breakout sessions.

One of the most important principles in copyleft policy that our community has learned is that commercial, non-commercial, and individual actors should have equal footing with regard to rights assured by the copyleft licenses themselves. There is no debate about that; we all agree that copyleft codebases become meeting places for hobbyists, companies, charities, and trade associations to work together toward common goals and in harmony and software freedom. With this blog post, I call on everyone to continue on the long road to applying that same principle to the meta-level of how these licenses are drafted and how they are enforced. While we have done some work recently on the latter, not enough has been done on the former. MongoDB's actions today give us an opportunity to begin that work anew.


0 While Conservancy does not draft any main FLOSS license texts, Conservancy does help with the drafting of additional permissions upon the request of our member projects. Note that additional permissions (sometimes called license exceptions) grant permission to engage in activities that the main license would otherwise prohibit. As such, by default, additional permissions can only make a copyleft license weaker, never stronger.

Posted Tue Oct 16 22:44:00 2018 Tags:

Planet Debian upstream is hosted by Branchable.