Spot the Difference
I talked to two GPL violators this week: one spent the week wasting my time with a bunch of political head games, and landed a barely improved CCS candidate on my desk, and the other is working on the weekend to try to get a product into compliance with the GPL.
Not all GPL violators are created equal.
Glyn Moody shared this.
Trying Not To Overcompensate re: Snubs
I'm certainly getting touchy about being snubbed from some events/fora, particularly now that I've done the hat trick.
Most recently, my talk proposals and my "request for an invitation" were both rejected for Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit 2014 — an event which I've spoken at every year for the last five or so, and where, for the last three years, I organized the Legal/Licensing track there. But, this year, I'm not even invited.
Interestingly, Collaboration Summit is now designed to immediately follow this other invitation-only event called "Open Source Think Tank". I've never been invited to that one, either. I actually met someone at a conference last year from the technology staff of the Obama administration, who seemed to assume I must not be be "someone in Open Source" because I had never been invited to Open Source Think Tank. (BTW, I don't know if this fellow grokked the difference between Open Source and Free Software, but I doubt it. If he did, I would be readily willing to say I'm a "nobody" in Open Source but a "someone" in Free Software :)
And, third, even before all of the above happened (as some of you know) I rather famously went through a complex, multi-year, Kafkaesque, Roger and Me -like experience seeking an invitation to a well-known Free Software licensing discussion group where I remain banned (for unstated reasons). (I refuse to name this forum lest I give it more credibility than it deserves (i.e., it deserves none whatsoever: AFAICT, it's primarily used as a place for GPL-violator-defending lawyers to meet).)
These three experiences have admittedly been enough to make me a bit overreactive about invitation-only things. But, the reason I say that it made me downright touchy is that I just looked at the LWN Events Calendar, and saw this event listed and, before I realized what it was, I thought briefly: "An event on GPL!?!? And I wasn't even invited!?!"
This is, of course, a seminar that I am co-teaching with my colleagues Karen Sandler and Donald Roberston. I think I'm indeed invited to this one. :) I realized my mistake in my own mind a second or two later.
So, if you are in Massachusetts, I hope you can make it to that event. It's admittedly designed for lawyers, and we're doing it primarily to raise some money for the FSF (that's why there's a registration fee), but it's likely of interest to anyone who likes Free Software licensing discussion. Nevertheless, all my materials for the course are being published and developed in public, so all you miss by missing the event itself is hearing us speak. As for the materials themselves, merge requests welcome. :)
And, BTW, my colleagues Karen Sandler and Karl Fogel tell me that I inherently (and incorrectly) inflate the value of events which won't invite me. I'm working on not feeling that way, but as I told Karl, the whole thing reminds me that the "Open Source" world is ultimately just "high school with smarter people and more money available", and I'm still the kid who gets punched in the stomach if I try to sit at the cool kids table. Fact is, when I think it through logically, I wouldn't want it any other way. It's precisely why I enjoy conferences like SCALE, LinuxFest Northwest, and the like a lot more than I enjoy OSCON and Linux Foundation events. I belong at the geeky kids table. :)Show all 6 repliesDang. I'm leaving Boston on the 23rd, otherwise I would try to attend the seminar. Will check out your materials though.
BTW, sometimes exclusion is validation that you're on the right track. At least that's what I told myself as a teenager / still tell myself from time to time.
I don't think of you as an open sourcer either; For one, you don't act like an asshole and try to tell me what I want or hate on other people. Make up a fake name and advocate Free software, hell just express and interest in software Freedom, over at www.reddit.com/r/linux and see what happens. People have been indoctrinated for almost a decade now into a culture that says it's free software but sweeps user Freedom under the rug in favour of meritocracies rife with elitism and US V. them mob mentality where the end non-technical user or Free software advocate is scorned as a bully thief taking food out of developers mouths. That's what open sourcers today really think (and this is my experience as a nobody that noone has reason to lie to or make nice around) . I think what we're seeing now is neocolonialism (only it's profit minded opportunists encroaching on the FOSSsphere rather than say Shell encroaching on Nigerian culture) at it's finest. Oh, and for anyone who would "kindly warn" me...I don't work in tech and never will so you've no power over me and I'll call it exactly how I see it.
It's not you, it's them. Stay strong and don't change your thoughts just to fit in for anyone because what you do is far more important than just fitting in :)
No, I don't have a Cadillac. Stop saying I do.
After spending hours on the phone a month and a half ago with the health insurance company, I just called again to deal with two issues of my health insurance company denying medical claims that they should have paid.
I was actually calling to get a few more details on how to draft the written (on paper) appeal, which someone named "Lauren" told me I needed to file. (BTW, that appeal was to be sent to one of those random PO boxes, like the ones talked about in Michael Moore's movie, Sicko).
However, this new representative, “Ms. Maria X.”, tells me that I don't need to file a written appeal on paper, but she can take my appeals verbally. I'm dubious, but I submitted them both. She tells me that they <q>previously had some confusion about how appeals should be submitted</q>.
Now, this is an insurance company that's been in business for decades. They deny claims all day long (that's what for-profit health insurance companies are in business for, after all), so they must have long-standing rote procedures for handling appeals.
Maybe that changed recently, but that's not what she said: she didn't say there was a recent change, just that there was confusion. That sounds to me like there was training-related confusion, not a major change in procedure for appeals. Plus, the previous representative new that phone appeals were possible, but said my issue couldn't be handled by phone appeal and wouldn't submit one. (My wife's comment on this was that they forgot how to health-insurance.
Anyone want to give me some odds that my appeals are denied? At least that way, I could recover some of my medical bills that the insurance company isn't covering. I'll offer 5-to-1 that they deny at least one of my appeals. Any takers?
BTW, some people may have seen me react with fury when the media and others call certain health plans by the name “Cadillac plans”. The media in the USA plays these up like these plans cover everything all the time and allow people to abuse the health care system.
Maybe such plans exist in states and commonwealths other than New York. However, here in NY, Conservancy is kind enough to buy for its employees the absolutely most expensive, best possible medical plan that any insurance company operating in NYS has to offer. And, they still deny my and my wife's claims all the time.I was completely thrown off by the unpaired Parenthesis in paragraph 5. Hehe.
However, this pretty much sums up every instance of dealing with these "Top-Tier" Health Insurance in the U.S.A.
I am under 26, so thanks to the latest attempt to make the for-profit Health Insurance system the United States has I can still be on my Step Fathers Insurance. It's very much one of these Top Tier options, and I have been on the phone with people for countless hours. It seems that their philosophy is that if it isn't a standard PCP visit, the practice is to deny everything, then see who complains, then accept some of those.
@Christopher Allan Webber just Asay-rolled me to this article about Atom being proprietary software. OTOH, it's probably the least Asay-like Asay article I've read in a years. Except for the last line, where Asay insinuates that only children could possible believe that software freedom matters.
Since it's hard to find old dents from the StatusNet days, I'd note that I have a request: please do not Asay-roll me.
BitCoin Advocates Considered Annoying
I have to admit that I find BitCoin advocates annoying. One just wrote to me promising a $100 donation (in BitCoin) for Conservancy's non-profit accounting campaign. I gave a detailed response of why Conservancy can't accept BitCoin, both logistically due to the bookkeeping overhead, and, more importantly, the legal risk that our lawyers have advised us of, particularly as a fiscal sponsor.
The fellow wrote back to say that the reason he offered was to "tease out" of Conservancy our BitCoin policy and proceeds to say that he won't donate until we accept BitCoin, and that we should "follow the EFF's lead" . What a manipulative thing to do: Pretend to be a donor who is really just interested in pushing your own pet issue with a non-profit and burn the time of its staff to get listened to.
Either BitCoin is another form of currency, in which case some places will take it, and some won't — or it's not a form of currency, in which case it's very risky for a USA non-profit to take it. As it stands, Conservancy can natively accept donations in USD, EUR, CAD, and GBP via credit card, cash, wire transfer, ACH, and paper check, and we also accept donations of securities listed on any USA securities exchange. These are plenty of donation options. I keep the book myself, and it's already annoying to accept so many methods. Is there anyone in the world who simply can never donate via any of these means and therefore is forced to donate via BitCoin and not donate? Do these BitCoin advocates have no actual bank accounts, no credit cards, no cash on hand at all? I challenge someone to find one person who has funds available to donate to Conservancy that is (for moral or logistical reasons) unable to donate via any of the donation methods currently available from Conservancy.
I'm increasingly convinced that almost  all BitCoin advocates who contact me think that BitCoin is such an important political issue that it's worth wasting the time of anyone who supports non-mainstream causes with requests. Not counting this post here, this BitCoin advocate wasted almost a half hour of my time. You can see on Conservancy's Form 990 how much I get paid. Is it worth it for Conservancy to have my time wasted by these people? Is there any reason I shouldn't, instead of explaining in a friendly way why BitCoin is problematic to Conservancy, I shouldn't just consider any email that asks about donating via BitCoin spam?
 Note that EFF has more than seven times the annual funding of Conservancy and the legal expertise on staff poised to deal with any legal issues related to BitCoin, and EFF has not promised non-profits that take BitCoin immediate legal representation if legal issues come up.
The idea that EFF is somehow a perfect actor because they now take BitCoin and other non-profits don't is insulting to smaller non-profits who can't afford to hire the top legal minds in on Internet-related issues and the bookkeeping services to match.
Meanwhile, if EFF does pledge gratis legal representation to any 501(c)(3) charity who accepts BitCoin and gets into legal trouble about it, then I will definitely be the first person to urge Conservancy's Board of Directors to take BitCoin. I haven't received any such email from the EFF; in fact, Conservancy asked EFF for legal help relating to ToS/TaC of various online payment sites, and while they did an initial intake call and agreed the terms in questing were legally problematic, they never took action on it. So, EFF's track record in follow through from their initial commitments is dubious in this space already.
 Finally, I want to call out Zooko specifically as someone who didn't waste Conservancy's time. First of all, Zooko was on a Conservancy PLC and engaged with Conservancy in friendly discussion in that context about why Conservancy doesn't accept BitCoin, and even apologized for taking up so much time with questions, and said that he completely understands why, for the bookkeeping reasons alone, that it doesn't make sense for Conservancy to accept BitCoin. So, Zooko, if you read this, I'm not talking about you, but I would appreciate if you could rub off some of your reasonableness to your fellow BitCoin advocates.Show all 9 replies
Sounds like a blog post and then you sending links to folks. If it isn't documented anywhere (and it may be), I don't think that is a waste of time. Most folks don't work for a non-profit, so saying they waste your time is hyperbolic. Everyone wastes everyone's time.
I am an advocate for Bitcoin, and I don't care about your time or your payment options. If you want to manage my expectations, make clear documentation about your Bitcoin usage linked from the donations page.I understand your point. I was going to mention bitpay as well, like Evan did.
I hope there is some solution for the accounting issues, because donating in bitcoin is so much more efficient from the donating party's point of view, esp. if donating to people/organisations in countries other than your own.
X11R5 likes this.Someone should write a story in which usenet continues to be significant in 2014. The story would consist of posts to alt.cryptocurrency.advocacy and maybe a few other groups. Most of these posts would be real messages from ca. 2014 with minor edits to fit usenet style.
Perhaps I should have been a Canadian. I don't like any sports, of course, including hockey, but the only time curling is ever on television in the USA is every four years. This year, I'm actually watching every match.
My hatred of sports began when jocks used to beat me up in high school. But, I suspect that I would have gotten beaten up more if, when I tried to argue with a jock in high school that curling was a sport, they would have beat me up harder. Also, most curlers seem to be the type of people who were also beat up in high school.
I admit that full-information games often don't interest me, it's why I don't like chess very much but like poker. Curling seems to be an exception.
BTW, my wife really really doesn't like hearing people shout so loud during sweeping. :)
George Standish likes this.
My wife is awesome
I'm sitting here on Valentine's day (which granted, my wife and I don't celebrate) working furiously on a bullshit GPL violation problem that sprung on me at 03:00 this morning and needs hours of attention.
My wife hasn't complained. She's awesome. I thank her for understanding why GPL matters so much to me that I spend my Friday nights upholding it. It's a lonley job, but at least I know I have moral support.
The saying "Clean as a Whistle" doesn't fit here: it sounds like one.
I truly do prefer older hardware, but the only downside that really gets to me is loud, whining CPU fans are quite annoying. Absent replacing fans outright, does anyone have any recommendations?
I have some oil that I use that mitigates the problem a bit, but it's a temporary solution.
I'm told that the Linux Foundation has cut its budget. It makes me really curious to see their FY 2012 Form 990, but they seem to have not released it (it would have been due at the IRS by 2013-11-15, if they got both extensions).
LF's FY 2011 Form 990 shows them with $9.3 million in net assets, coming off a $3.6 million budget surplus in 2011.
I guess 2012 and 2013 were really bad for them financially ? I'd love to get more data; my general sense is that well-organized (c)(6) trade associations like that don't have as many challenges in fundraising as (c)(3)'s do, but maybe I've been wrong about that.
BTW, it's frustrating when orgs don't check that the first box in Form 990 VI(C)(18). The IRS is clearly encouraging you to put your Form 990 on your own website; why tell them "NO"? It's good to try when you can to comply with the spirit of rules (particularly good rules) rather than just the letter.
Anyway, this is precisely why I started the FLOSS Foundations NPO Filings git repository. But, it's hard work to write to all those orgs and one-by-one request their 990s.
I'll soon have 5,000 things to do.
I haven't posted one of these in a while. I'm approaching 5,000 things to do.
|------------+-------------+---------------+-------| | Date | Inbox Count | Org-Mode-Late | TOTAL | |------------+-------------+---------------+-------| | 2014-02-09 | 3175 | 1531 | 4706 | | 2014-02-07 | 3152 | 1532 | 4684 | | 2014-02-06 | 2973 | 1528 | 4501 | | 2014-02-03 | 2905 | 1518 | 4423 | | 2014-02-02 | 2765 | 1514 | 4279 | | 2014-01-29 | 2649 | 1508 | 4157 | | 2014-01-27 | 2616 | 1495 | 4111 | | 2014-01-26 | 2748 | 1496 | 4244 | | 2014-01-24 | 2650 | 1491 | 4141 | | 2014-01-23 | 2594 | 1483 | 4077 | | 2014-01-22 | 2539 | 1489 | 4028 | | 2014-01-21 | 2472 | 1498 | 3970 | | 2014-01-19 | 2863 | 1501 | 4364 | | 2014-01-18 | 2805 | 1502 | 4307 | | 2014-01-14 | 2441 | 1480 | 3921 | | 2014-01-13 | 2432 | 1480 | 3912 | | 2014-01-12 | 2399 | 1484 | 3883 | | 2014-01-09 | 2407 | 1492 | 3899 | | 2014-01-07 | 2162 | 1484 | 3646 | | 2014-01-06 | 2091 | 1485 | 3576 | | 2014-01-04 | 2071 | 1481 | 3552 | | 2014-01-01 | 1792 | 1473 | 3265 | | 2013-12-31 | 1792 | 1471 | 3263 | | 2013-12-30 | 2230 | 1488 | 3718 | | 2013-12-29 | 2177 | 1488 | 3665 | | 2013-12-28 | 1869 | 1489 | 3358 | | 2013-12-22 | 1831 | 1479 | 3310 | | 2013-12-21 | 1795 | 1478 | 3273 | | 2013-12-20 | 1750 | 1477 | 3227 | | 2013-12-19 | 1987 | 1468 | 3455 | | 2013-12-17 | 1924 | 1469 | 3393 | | 2013-12-16 | 1850 | 1572 | 3422 | |------------+-------------+---------------+-------|
I nearly posted here a few minutes ago a screed that would have exposed some of the nastiest backroom politics that happen in "Open Source".
I thought better of it for the usual reasons. I saved a copy for my memoirs. I sure hope someone will be interested in all the nasty Open Source politics to read my memoirs.
I kinda thing all this stuff that seems so important now just won't matter by then. That makes me think maybe I'm wasting my time altogether.
The part that bugs me most about not posting is that so many people think that Open Source and Free Software is not like normal politics. Maybe the stakes are smaller, than, say, New Jersey or USA politics, but they're there.
The stuff I see makes Chris Christie's traffic study political payback seem friendly by comparison.
Scorpio20 likes this.Show all 7 repliesYou can probably get a good sense of how interesting your memoirs will be: determine N, the likely number of years from now in which your memoirs will be published. Now consider free software politics in the year 2014-N, and consider how significant those political matters seem in the present day.
Mike Linksvayer likes this.
I would be rather interested in knowing more about the wider world of FLOSS politics. I'm really only familiar with the politics of the one or two projects I've spent a large amount of time on the devel lists for, and to a somewhat lesser degree of the politics behind the massive changes to KDE in the 3.x to 4.x transition. For instance, is the political thing the reason one doesn't see more marketing for FLOSS and Linux distributions?
I know my job is difficult to manage when it's really not possible for me to be sick. I'll have to not work today, but it's going to cause massive delays.Show all 8 repliesIn the long run you certainly help more people if you stop working too much. Don't bee so hard on yourself, take a time out.
Until software freedom is ubiquitous we certainly need a Bradley Kuhn fighting for us.
You rock - take care of yourself!
Conservancy is DDoS'ed yet again.
Some Freenode servers are being DDoS'ed again which means Conservancy's infrastructures (in the same facility) are being hit too. I don't know why these people hate us so much. :-/ This was probably happening the weekend at FOSDEM which is why Conservancy's mail server was slow for me while at FOSDEM.
It's tough for orgs that rely on donated server space like this. FSF France, coordinated by Loïc Dachary, donates these servers to Freenode and Conservancy, so it's FSF France's volunteers time that gets eaten up most, but it impacts all Conservancy's work too. (I have to shift what I was going to work on today because I can't use our servers.)
I don't know why people are so vindictive and I am left wondering if they care at all about collateral damage.
aether likes this.
I've been using Debian or Debian-like systems for decades, and I still can't figure out what to do when I install an application that overrides mime-types. I tried putting stuff in /etc/mailcap.order, I tried moving the entries I care about into the top-unoverwritable section of /etc/mailcap.
I wish mailcap stuff used the /etc/alternatives system.
I'm really not "hey would you net-searching" that for me. I read this page and related pages on the Debian Wiki and I still can't figure it out.
In the end, I removed offending lines from the files from the packages I don't like in /usr/lib/mime/packages/PACKAGE-I-DONT-LIKE But that can't be the right thing, can it?
Scorpio20 likes this.
There you go again … (GPL Violation Reporting Angst)
Here we go again. I really wish people would read and grok what I said about reporting GPL violations more than fifty months ago.That's actually quite tame and at least somewhat reasoned :) Teehee, Did you know there are people going around saying the FSF is hypocritical and that any software licensed GFDL is non-free/a violation because they assert documentation is software and invariant sections (ignoring of course they're optional) are contrary to the GPL. I'm not kidding :)
It's possible the biggest change in my life since getting dogs is that I pay a lot of attention to the weather. I used to just more or less ignore it, ever since I wasn't in grade/high school anymore and snow days weren't important.
Intel (hot plate) Inside?
I'm running the entire GCC testsuite while also running my Ledger-CLI bank reconciliation scripts, and running a huge rsync for a backup. I thought someone on another floor was cooking food, until I realized that my very hot CPU was, in fact, generating an odor that smells slightly like burnt pasta. My working theory is that it is, in fact, burning shed dog hair that found its way into my laptop (I frequently find stray dog hairs in my laptop keyboard).
Evan Prodromou likes this.Show all 5 replies