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Tali Rosca
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Tali Rosca

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What I've seen of Saturday Night Live tends to be more miss than hit lately, but this is satire at its best, and hysterically funny.
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With the Bowie indulgence barely dying down, I just want to say:

Outside is wildly underrated.
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Necromancy in the Lab!

I was surprised by an email notification about a bug on my watch list:
https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SH-2550 "First frame of uploaded animations is triplicated" suddenly lurched alive, rising from 2007 when it was first reported.

I suspect the Bento project has made the lab look into animation upload again, so this one re-appeared on the radar.

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Another of the first vanguard has fallen.

Peter Naur, who pioneered the field of computer science as a discipline separate from mathematics, is dead.

He worked on Algol 60, which laid the foundation for the modern languages, and is often considered the "N" in the BNF notation.
He may not have the mainstream profile of some of the other pioneers, but he was one of the founding fathers of computer science, even more so here in Denmark. 
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Well, then...
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Somewhat apropos to current events.
A shadowy cabal of women are conspiring to entrap men and manufacture rape allegations, says one guy, according to this other guy he heard it from.
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Have her in circles
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Tali Rosca

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Stand Still. Stay Silent. has slowly been building a very intriguing world, steadily ramping up both the knowledge and the alienness of the post-apocalyptic world in a fairly unique blend of cute ensemble cast brutally interspersed with rather nightmarish body horror.

And for a Dane, it is just awesome to see the beautifully drawn post-apocalyptic re-imagining of Copenhagen.

(Compare with the actual entrance to Kastellet, "The Citadel": https://www.google.com/maps/@55.6886413,12.5952617,3a,75y,5.64h,92.19t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sHXHxIlMGEwYCg2AYFp0CBA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)
Page 455 21 January 2016. Big wide page today, remember scrolling to the right! Oh look, they're right by the entrance to the fort. And Tuuri is being a mean little weasel masquerading as a sweet little bunny. Comments. Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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Tali Rosca

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I see Wizards of the Coast has jumped on the "we can use anything you do as we please" bandwagon.
The new "Dungeon Master's Guild" programme allows people to create D&D 5th edition material and sell it in an official WotC web shop... while giving WotC the rights to use it as they please, forever and in any medium.

I've seen the same excuses that "It's just the boilerplate text needed for others to distribute your content" and/or "Of course they don't mean that/They would not abuse it".

As for the first: No, it is not the standard boilerplate. The standard version does indeed need to include a lot of scary-sounding text about world-wide, royalty-free rights, including derivative works, to enable the shop to present your work. (Excerpts, promotional images, different file formats etc).

That is standard, as long as it is to provide the expected service, namely to sell your work in their web shop.
That is why the correct version of such licenses typically include a phrasing to the effect of "for the purpose of providing and promoting the service".

What is not standard is "for any purpose". That is giving away your rights. And if you have used some licensed 3rd party material in your work, you are giving that away as well, which you most likely do not have the right to do.

As for the second: If you don't mean it, it doesn't belong in a legal document. End of story. It doesn't matter what reassurances you blog or tweet, or how nice people believe you are.

It irks me that people are being trained to accept this. The problem is that the correct version does indeed need a fairly complex wording, due to the nature of digital distribution. But that is being used as a smokescreen for an additional rights grab. People see the known litany, their eyes glaze over, and they go, "Oh, yeah, I've heard about that. It does need to look like that", without getting to the part which (does not) limit the use of those rights.


The only positive side I can see is that if everybody adopts this "for any purpose" language, it degenerates into absurdity, where everybody claim to have the right to use your work for anything as soon as it has been transferred through a cable. This is obviously not tenable, and may force a legal precedence that the limiting qualifier is implicit in all such licenses, no matter what the company writes.
But having to rely on an explicit contradiction of the actual words is ridiculous, and will likely take several legal cases to establish. I'd much prefer if companies just stopped claiming rights to everything.

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The "transitive rights" is an interesting aspect. It will probably be a bit of a puzzle to get the wording right, and I'll not pretend to be able to do that off the bat in a G+ thread :-)
As you allude to, something like the Creative Commons Share Alike could probably serve as inspiration. -Perhaps in some combination with explicit dual licensing, but I can't see clearly in my mind how that would work.
I think it will be very hard to create a license which encourages sharing and remixing like CC, yet allows WotC to vacuum it up commercially if and when they want, which seems to be the intention behind the current attempt. The two things are fundamentally rather opposed.

But it points squarely back at my main criticism: Defining what the license is actually intended for, rather than just "ours, for any purpose".

License compatibility is a hellish game not for the faint of heart, and if you have used open source software, you'll know that even two licenses which in spirit does the same can be legally incompatible.
But I can guarantee one thing: Requiring the right to use the material "for any purpose" will be incompatible with anything but pure public domain. Someone pointed out that ironically, one of the first casualties of that will be OGL-licensed material.


As for WotC keeping control of their own material, it seems to me they have included the "you're guest in our house; we can kick you out anytime we please" rubberband clause, if they feel you have violated "the spirit of respectful use". That is fairly common, though it is a bit dodgy that they keep the exclusive license after doing so.

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Tali Rosca

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I probably don't need to tell you that David Bowie died. The message has exploded all over the news and feeds, and for good reason:

Bowie was a legend who stayed relevant pretty much his entire life. I have seen him in concert live, and even on a stadium scene he had a charisma which filled the hall.

Other bands and musicians may still hang on to their popularity by doing pretty much what originally made them famous, but Bowie moved with the times like few others can claim. Active in the 60ies, he rose to fame in 1969 (before the breakup of the Beatles) and has made interesting – if not always successful by everyone's standard – music since then.

And even as he re-invented his image over and over, everything he did was so unmistakingly David Bowie. You hear but a single syllable, and you recognize his voice.

I am genuinely getting misty-eyed at the news of his death, and I don't think I have ever done that before at the news of a celebrity death.

I actually wanted to quote one of his newer songs, but this just seems so fitting:
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
David Bowie's final album has been described as a "parting gift" to his fans by producer Tony Visconti, a longtime Bowie-collaborator who has worked with the singer since his 1969 album Space...
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Something puzzles me when some politicians talk about banning encryption, and how Silicon Valley should "stop providing encryption to terrorist":
How do they imagine encryption works? That it is some kind of magical force which only the tech priest of Silicon Valley can imbue into their apps? That without an encrypted chat app on App Store, the terrorists will be forced to shout their plans in megaphones from the hilltops and launch carrier pigeons?

Encryption is a mathematical principle which can be applied to all sorts of data. You can encrypt a Word document and attach the file to a normal email. You can even hide encrypted messages in images (steganography) and upload them to Flickr.

Do the politicians plan to outlaw the math and burn all existing research papers in a pyre? Possibly with the mathematicians staked on top of the pyre to quell these dangerous ideas?

When people cite planned terror attacks as the reason why strong cryptography should be outlawed, they are either completely ignorant about what the technology does and how it can be used, or flat out lying.

When somebody is in a dedicated planning stage, there are many ways they can communicate both hidden and encrypted if they want. (-And in fact, the surprising thing about most attacks is really how blatantly in plain sight they have been planned.)

A ban or backdoor in provided encryption will not change that at all.

The only reason for wanting to weaken consumer encryption is to enable automated, wide-ranging surveillance of communication, to spot "potential troublemakers".

Of course, mass surveillance of "undesirables" has chilling implications and a very bad track record historically, but at least it is a rationally achievable goal.

So the key point is: When somebody wants to weaken encryption, it is because they want mass surveillance. If they claim otherwise, they are either very badly misguided or simply lying, neither of which earns them much trust.
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Footage from the latest Donald Trump rally?

2m22s is particularly spot-on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoPpw7DNzCY&t=2m22s
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Tali Rosca

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This is going to cost me hours of sleep over the next weeks:
Google just open-sourced their machine learning library.

I am not yet sure how big this is (hence the need for reading up on things into the night), but I have always been deeply fascinated by the sort of neural networks and emergent behavior this framework is about.
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Have her in circles
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Female
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Scripter, sculptor, sometimes builder and overall Rennaisance Cat.
Introduction
With a both professional and personal interest in computers as a media (and the associated storytelling), I joined SL at the cusp of its mainstream explosion in early 2007, in anticipation of soon having to explain to customers what all the buzz was about.

Coming at it with skepticism bordering on prejudice, I was nevertheless instantly hooked when I saw the opportunities for building and scripting, and realized that this was a platform for creation, and not merely The Sims in 3D.

SL never took off as a generic platform and faded from professional sight, but I stayed as a hobby, exploring whatever aspect catches my fancy; from artistic to technical.

With a feline curiosity, I seek knowledge about how and why things work, loath to take on the responsibilities and deadlines of turning such knowledge into marketable products, but eager to share it with interested cohorts.
Bragging rights
Inventor of SL's politest death ray.