USA Politics

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
This thread has been dead almost a month now? I can guarantee if Trump was still in office with the current stuff going on at the border, you would be all over it.
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I am all over what happened in Alabama state, making it more difficult to vote for black people out there. A law that reduces the number of voting stations in areas where they live, resulting in long queues, forbidding to eat or drink when standing in line. Holy sh*t.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Yep, republicans hate democracy and want to seize perpetual power. If you can't win, then just change the rules. I wasn't in favor of removing the filibuster, but parts of the democrat voting reform needs to happen somehow (Most of it. Not all) as response to this disgusting power push. I mean, the republicans even openly argued in the Arizona state senate that the quality of votes are of importance, as in, keep the poor non-white population from voting. Quality. Of votes. Remove the abused filibuster. Now.

And to be fair, the surge of migration. Well, that was to be expected. I am surprised it caught the Biden administration off guard. More incentive = more people.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
How do they make such state laws? Who makes them, how are they chosen..?
I hope these same people who they wish to suppress can change the powers above them at some point.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
How do they make such state laws? Who makes them, how are they chosen..?
I hope these same people who they wish to suppress can change the powers above them at some point.
Each state has their own elected congress. The state representatives are elected on a district basis - Which in turn brings us to gerrymandering. Every 10 years or whatever, the district maps get redrawn, and whoever is in charge at that point will redraw the map to their party's advantage, which makes it even harder to swing districts.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
The concept of the politicians choosing the voters and not the other way around, is to put it mildly, disgusting.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
This thread has been dead almost a month now? I can guarantee if Trump was still in office with the current stuff going on at the border, you would be all over it.
My God! All this just seems like a damn witch hunt against Biden. NEVER in history have I seen anything like this. Everyone really needs to quit all this bullshit and leave him the fuck alone and actually give him a chance to really do his job.
 

Jer

Love in anger
I don’t think they should kill the filibuster, but they should go back to the talking filibuster, like in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. If you want to block the will of a slim majority, you should have to constantly work for it until one side or the other backs down. Right now any senator can just raise an effortless objection to force a 60-vote supermajority to overturn it, which is obscene.

Of course, it would be even better if our elected representatives would behave like adults and try to actually govern by finding common ground, but apparently both sides have decided that’s a losing proposition.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Of course, it would be even better if our elected representatives would behave like adults and try to actually govern by finding common ground, but apparently both sides have decided that’s a losing proposition.
I think they worked together on... Errh...Well... Wasn't it something to do with... No? Eerrhhmm, they worked together on the issues of....

I give up.
 
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Travis The Dragon

"Can you see them riding. Riding next to you!"
It seems on here, the right almost always gets associated with racism. Well, I Googled the following:

1. Both republicans and democrats are racist

2. Liberals are racist too

Based on what I found, I think we need to stop involving political sides and just focus on ending racism.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I don’t think they should kill the filibuster, but they should go back to the talking filibuster, like in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. If you want to block the will of a slim majority, you should have to constantly work for it until one side or the other backs down. Right now any senator can just raise an effortless objection to force a 60-vote supermajority to overturn it, which is obscene.

Of course, it would be even better if our elected representatives would behave like adults and try to actually govern by finding common ground, but apparently both sides have decided that’s a losing proposition.
Interestingly, the reason the talking filibuster was removed was because it was deemed bad to the Senate's capacity to do business. That was in an era when a filibuster would be fairly rare, and the Senate would have a bunch of other bills they wanted to move ahead and work on. Now, the Senate has no interest in doing business without the 60 Senator supermajority, so a reversion to the talking filibuster would force the individual Senators to do physical acts.

IMO the filibuster is the dumbest fucking thing in politics. No other functioning democracy has one.
 

Jer

Love in anger
IMO the filibuster is the dumbest fucking thing in politics. No other functioning democracy has one.
The filibuster is there so in the idealized case where representatives are sane human beings who are trying to govern effectively, someone with a significant objection to the will of a slim majority can stand up and say “hey, wait a minute before we actually do this”, and either a stronger majority has to push it forward, or the chamber can rethink what it’s doing, or the filibusterer can run out of gas and give up. In a de facto two-party system where you don’t have multi-party coalitions already hashing out compromises and threatening to change alliances to affect policy specifics, I think it does make sense if it’s used in the way it was originally intended. It’s supposed to be a pain in the ass for the filibusterer and for the senate as a whole, because it’s supposed to be rare, and it’s supposed to force action one way or the other.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Missed the filibuster discussion. My prediction is that it will go away, whether democrats or republicans ax it. My hunch is that there are holdouts within the Democratic Party who want it gone, but are waiting for the most politically advantageous opportunity to do so. The voting rights act should be a no brainer for even the most conservative dem.

Imo Manchin’s suggestion of bringing back the talking filibuster is the way to go.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Day five of the George Floyd murder trail was interesting and another person with a death wish drove through Capitol security killing one officer before being gunned down.
 

Jer

Love in anger

Well, this SCOTUS decision claiming Google’s stealing of the Java API was fair use sure seems like a horribly misinformed point of view. It’ll be interesting to see the repercussions.

The analogies they tried to make to explain what an API does vs. the code that implements the API was a valiant attempt, but ultimately missed the mark. I think the better analogy is with fair use on board game mechanics. You can clone Monopoly as long as you call it something else, use different playing pieces, and call the cards and properties different things. But if you clone Monopoly by calling it “Monopoly”, using the exact same playing pieces, cards, and property names, and just make all of the game parts out of different physical materials, that’s not fair use — and I’m sure the very same SCOTUS would rule against the cloner under those circumstances. So, as much as I’m in favor of greater interoperability and against software patents and the like, this is still a bullshit decision on the merits.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
Actually the verdict is 100% correct. Java's standard library does not implement anything that's an invention, such as the "Monopoly game".

Oracle successfully established that APIs are copyrightable, but their claims of patent infringement were rejected

They're copyrightable in this sense

// Copyright (C) Jer 2020
bool is_it_better_than_dave(Album album) {
Album.destroy(album);
return SFSGSW;
}

So if I make the same "API" eg. the same method and prototypes I can't claim I did it first. My code needs to look like this :

// Copyright (C) Jer 2020
// Copyright (C) Zare 2021
bool is_it_better_than_dave(Album album) {
Album.destroy(album);
return something;
}

However you can't patent code, and the API is just a "sentence" in the human speech terms. So both the function prototype and the implementation aren't protected by law.

The business logic needs to be patentable, it needs to be described as a novel mathematical approach. This is why codecs are patentable. And why things like FFmpeg have "black" plugins, pieces of open source software whose authors don't have license for the mathematical algorithm they've implemented there.

Java library is just a language runtime. It binds between code and the target OS, therefore it does nothing smart.
 

Jer

Love in anger
Actually the verdict is 100% correct. Java's standard library does not implement anything that's an invention, such as the "Monopoly game".
What matters are the licensing terms of the Java API and whether the licensing terms are legal. My understanding is that the API license doesn’t allow you to implement subsets of it, and there are other conditions as well: https://www.oracle.com/downloads/licenses/javase8speclicense.html

Seems pretty clear that Google violated those terms. If the licensing terms specced by Oracle are illegal, then you’d have to believe that the terms of licenses like the GPL would also be illegal, and there’s precedent showing that to not be the case.

So if I make the same "API" eg. the same method and prototypes I can't claim I did it first. My code needs to look like this :

// Copyright (C) Jer 2020
// Copyright (C) Zare 2021
bool is_it_better_than_dave(Album album) {
Album.destroy(album);
return something;
}
I don’t think copyright means what you think it means. If the licensing terms allowed you to repurpose the code, then this sort of copyright declaration would be correct. If the licensing doesn’t allow this sort of repurposing, then you still wouldn’t have the right to do this.

The author retains the right to make copies of their work. If they choose to grant you a license to copy it as well under specific circumstances, that’s their prerogative, but they are the ones who retain the rights to making copies until their copyright protection expires. That’s the whole point.

However you can't patent code, and the API is just a "sentence" in the human speech terms. So both the function prototype and the implementation aren't protected by law.
It’s true that you can’t patent code. You can potentially patent the algorithm implemented by the code (though I have philosophical problems with patenting math), but not the code itself. The code is protected by copyright and whatever licensing is applied to it.

It is totally not true that code is not protected by law. If that were the case, there would be no need for licenses on programs with released code. There would be no legal distinction between open and closed source applications. Reverse engineering of code would always be legal, and anyone could implement a clone of anyone else’s software product through that reverse engineering process with impunity.

Java library is just a language runtime. It binds between code and the target OS, therefore it does nothing smart.
“Just a language runtime” is a big statement. If it does nothing smart or special, then why steal it? It would be perfectly legal to make your own API that aped the Java API one-for-one and just named things in your own way. Google specifically didn’t do that, because people’s familiarity with the Java API has intrinsic value, and they wanted to directly leverage that rather than forcing developers to learn their own clone API. So despite their own lawyers recommending that they license the Java API, they decided to copy the API code directly and violate the terms of the license so people could use a familiar but not free interface defined by another company without that company being compensated for their role.

My understanding is that tools like WINE get around this by reimplementing system APIs at a low enough level that they’re not reusing any code at all to even present the interface. This is different from literally copying another company’s higher-level code without permission and using it in your own product.

Again, it comes back to the Monopoly analogy. You can clone the mechanics of the game (i.e. write your own API that does the same things), but you can’t clone the specific contents of the game without the copyright holder’s permission (e.g. you can’t call your cards “chance” and “community chest”, or have the exact same playing pieces). That’s why these sorts of clones are legal, but a word-for-word recreation of Monopoly made from different physical materials would not be.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
What matters are the licensing terms of the Java API and whether the licensing terms are legal. My understanding is that the API license doesn’t allow you to implement subsets of it, and there are other conditions as well: https://www.oracle.com/downloads/licenses/javase8speclicense.html

Seems pretty clear that Google violated those terms. If the licensing terms specced by Oracle are illegal, then you’d have to believe that the terms of licenses like the GPL would also be illegal, and there’s precedent showing that to not be the case.

1. All statements written in license are void if not aligned with the actual consumer or business laws in the jurisdiction
2. GPL is the wrong licence, LGPL would be analogous because it's used for libraries (and hence APIs). It is permissive down to a point where you only need to repeat the copyright statement in your copyright manifests. Therefore there's little for court to take away in the first place.

Using GNU as argument for software copyrights is really novel, I can say that for sure...

I don’t think copyright means what you think it means. If the licensing terms allowed you to repurpose the code, then this sort of copyright declaration would be correct. If the licensing doesn’t allow this sort of repurposing, then you still wouldn’t have the right to do this.

I don't think you got my point. This is the main point

“Just a language runtime” is a big statement. If it does nothing smart or special, then why steal it? It would be perfectly legal to make your own API that aped the Java API one-for-one and just named things in your own way. Google specifically didn’t do that, because people’s familiarity with the Java API has intrinsic value, and they wanted to directly leverage that rather than forcing developers to learn their own clone API.

Because it isn't stealing. Google targeted the biggest open technology, made its own implementation. Oracle did not make Java, Sun made Java, Oracle is just leeching on the IP. Let's just jump here

My understanding is that tools like WINE get around this by reimplementing system APIs at a low enough level that they’re not reusing any code at all to even present the interface. This is different from literally copying another company’s higher-level code without permission and using it in your own product.

Wine implements all Microsoft specifics including PE binary format, memory layouts, and the entirety of the Windows API. This all is Microsoft's intellectual property", PE, NTFS, FAT, API specifics. Wine/ReactOS are free to implement them.

Where I fail to understand you is 'at all to even present the interface'. The interface is clonable, as attested by it being there in Wine. The implementation isn't. However, on the other end there are low level interfaces, the ones controlled by BIOS/EFI from ring0 that kernel typically manages. When you require specified interface A on the one side and specified interface B on the other side, the logic in between gets narrowed down as to what typical design and programming patterns are going to be used. Especially considering virtually all operating systems are written in C using the bulk of same design choices.

You can apply all that to Java and the domain of managed languages.

As for copyrights I know exactly what I'm talking about, and what code can be copyrighted and what code can't. There are no issues even if you have to rewrite the implementations yourself because you lost the permissive license of some code base. Software architecture is not practically patentable/copyrightable (because it relies on open engineering principles of open architectures) and it carries 90% of the weight of the good software product. Not the meat in the methods. Example : 386BSD
 
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