The error was that a 'group by' was used to find the number of unique entries, even though they had leading spaces, that were part of their uniqueness. Group by doesn't take leading spaces into account, leading them to get a different result than me. I think that this could've happened to a lot of people, even forensic IT engineers.
Copyright reform is one of my favorite subjects, and for a multitude of reasons. Should the prosecution be able to dump a case straight up without recourse because the "Stingray" gathering tool is too lovely to submit to review? Nope. Should breathalyzer code be held from review just because it's a product made by somebody? Nope. Should FOIA be stonewalled or pay-walled and inhibit the Constitutional freedom of the press? Nope!
Innocent until proven guilty is a very, very important premise for the US legal system. It's backed up by both the Fourth and First amendments to the Constitution. Any justification to put them aside for "War on ____" might seem reasonable on the surface, until taking a closer look at multiple murder evidence that comes from within the borders more often than on a laptop of a Citizen who just so happens to be coming back from a foreign country and gets worked for passwords under duress or has to forfeit hardware without recourse.
I dunno, maybe I sound like some kind of off-the-rocker dude by thinking about such things, but I love my country, I'm willing to sit down and think about this kind of stuff. It doesn't have to be extreme. Taking the small steps of talking with one another about what we really value is important in my opinion.
The right to confront your accuser is there for a reason. More and more, software is the accuser. We all, at HN, struggle to make our code correct. Step back, think a second, how do you QA a breathalyzer? How do you deal with variations in sensor packages? Yes, they probably do more good than harm, but are they "accurate"? how do you know that?
> Should breathalyzer code be held from review just because it's a product made by somebody? Nope.
Which is relevant here, of course, because of the demand for access to source code to increase certainty.
But: you'd be right if you assumed the "1st and 4th Amendment" thing was what actually motivated me to comment. I'm a message board nerd too!
If a result from software led to a critical failure in a design, the onus is most likely still on the Engineer.
I have seen cases where software is formally reviewed by independent verification bodies, much in the same way your ISO 9001 compliance is. I can't see why this wouldn't apply here. Have an independent party, who has signed an appropriate NDA, asses and certify that your product does what it says on the tin and audit it at regular periods.
This may work for safety standards or financial liability, but it doesn't work for the legal system, because "independent" parties are influenced by who pays them.
One could envisage a (horrible) situation where both parties engage an IVB (a practice common in some areas of engineering) and then they both jointly engage another body to effectively vet their processes and pass that joint 50/50 cost into their fees back to you.
Or the court appoints one and you agree to share the costs (probably wouldn't fly in the US).
It might get tricky where you're doing extremely specialised stuff where only a single implementation exists, but I suppose you'd have to assign some time to validating your tools personally for your use.
"So, how many bugs are left in your software?" might be a good start, too . . .
The biggest reason for companies wanting to protect their source code in this case is that they already know their software is broken, like pretty much every other software, and they don't want to fix it. The arguments against losing money and such are total bullshit as courts have plenty of procedures for disclosing materials only to the relevant parties present, not to the public as a whole. These companies simply don't want to spend the money auditing and making sure their code runs correctly because the only consequence of that is wrongfully convicting someone they don't give a fuck about.
I'd say, let them see the code and let the highest paid expert witness win. That is, after all, the American way.
So for a while people accused of a DUI could wind up getting off, under the right circumstances, by requesting the source code then getting refused by the company.
The company finally allowed pieces of the code to be reviewed by the courts.
I can go down to the government archive and as a citizen request to view blueprints of buildings. I may not copy the design to build my own building, nor use patented aspects, but I am allowed to inspect or ask a independent expert to review the design and find flaws. Unsurprisingly this has not killed the architect profession, nor forced construction companies to open source their technologies.
This is sufficient for most cases because the likelihood of that evidence being "wrong" when you combine it with other factors like motive, eye-witness accounts and other non-physical evidence is very slim.
On the body part it's a bit more complicated it's more a CSI effect people think that all cases have tons of physical evidence and that everything is cool and flashy and high-techy in reality most cases have very little physical evidence and labs might not be used at all most bodies are inspected at by the county coroner's office which might be quite inadequate of collecting that sort of evidence we come to expect by watching crime procedurals.
I sat on a jury a couple years back and the prosecutor's opening statement addressed this issue in the first seconds of the case. He worked hard to make a distinction between reality and television. This was a smart move, as some of the people on that jury turned out to be dumb as rocks when we went into deliberation. I'm sure this is true of most juries.