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Telling people that they need less not more does not make you revenue. Except if you are selling self help books.

I know a few years ago when I was working on a government procurement project for some software, the (very good) lawyers were very weary of any OSS included in the proprietary product we were buying. Their reasoning was, we were buying the product from the vendor. If the vendor had incorporated the OSS code into their product and it was found that they'd breached the license conditions, then we essentially lost the license to run the software - otherwise we'd be in breach as well. Not what you want when you're spending hundreds of millions on a project.

Then you shouldn't buy software from anyone but a natural person who is the original author of 100% of the code, because the same logic applies to any license regardless of the terms.

It's just as easy for proprietary software to be a derivative of some other proprietary software which the seller screwed up and didn't acquire the appropriate license for.

Totally false. A lot of open source software is MIT style, which effectively means there are no consequences to infringement. If the infringing code is GPL, then as customer you've won the lottery, because now you've got an irrevocable free license to everything tightly coupled to that code, and the vendor is limited to charging you for ongoing labor or for adjunct products. You have no responsibilities as customer except to refrain from preventing others access; if you choose to (re-)distribute the code, then you cannot constrain the recipients of the code. The vendor, on the other hand, is now required to charge no more than copying fees for infringing code, and must do so for any customer. They can charge for development labor and support fees (see: Red Hat), but derived code is available to you in perpetuity.

Be careful with assumptions. You might end up using MIT components to which you don't have the patent rights. This is one of the reasons why Microsoft adopted the MIT instead of the Apache license that is legally safer for enterprise.

In regards to Red Hat, you don't get the code available in perpetuity (time is three years for GPL portions) and you can't distribute that code to others when it still contains logos and other trademarks from Red Had inside (CentOS is often the alternative). Effectively you are paying them for a time-limited subscription to use their logo. That's on the fine print inside Red Hat license agreements.

I know this because my job is to make sure open source can be used without bobby-traps.

Since when does the GPL stipulate anything about how much you can charge for GPLed software (wrt your statement about "copying fees")?

The vendor can, of course, charge whatever they like for copying fees. The customer would be wise to get source from the beginning, and keep track of it for themselves, but that's a matter of "physical" access, not legal right. From GPL 2:

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

    a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or, 
    b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or, 
    c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

> What we desperately need is a real, useful micro-payments model where you can pay per-article

The other side of the coin is that if you're a news organisation, "the economics just don't work" with micro payments. You can't fund a month long investigative report based on micropayments, even if it produces a prize-winning piece, if you don't have guaranteed income to support it. What happens if you spend the month investigating and don't find anything?

Micro-payment per-article will only encourage "safe" journalism - articles that you know will resonate with your readers, rather than controversial pieces or in-depth, resource intensive research.

> Micro-payment per-article will only encourage "safe" journalism - articles that you know will resonate with your readers, rather than controversial pieces or in-depth, resource intensive research.

I actually disagree, from what has happened when trying ads ads (basically micropayments in terms of $ amount per view), we get click bait and sensationalist headlines for any news source which focuses on income-per-article-metrics.

Click bait for people that agree with it.

"See what liberals/Trump did now!"

Clickbait for everyone. If you agree, you want to read it to confirm your beliefs. If you disagree, you want to read it to call bullshit and/or flame a bit in the comments sections. Publishers don't care, they get ad dollars either way. That's why so much of those clickbait articles are purposefully made outrage-inducing.

>You can't fund a month long investigative report based on micropayments,

But that type of expensive journalism also wasn't funded by subscriptions in the past. Woodword & Bernstein's long reporting on Watergate was funded by classified ads and advertising dollars from local businesses like car dealerships.

NYTimes was recently break-even and then somewhat profitable with digital subscriptions -- but they also had to reduce the headcount over the last 10 years to reduce costs. So far, no newspaper has successfully replaced all the previous ad dollars with digital subscription payments.

That ship sailed a long time ago. The current status quo IS micro-payment per article, only it comes from advertisers instead of readers.

Yes, but unlike clickbait advertising, microtransactions actually encourage a positive publisher-reader relationship. If you trust a news source to do good journalism and if you don't have to jump through hoops to pay for an article, my bet is that most people would happily throw down ¢10 or something for a good short read (or more for a better read). Conversely, I would be even more reluctant to read click bait if I was asked to pay to view it. So I think that micropayments is similar from a maximizing clicks perspective, but the incentive is actually to build a great relationship with readers.

My bet is you are overly optimistic and instead will have click bait for people with disposable income seeking articles that they can use to prove their point.

To prove their point, other people must be able to read this article. Which means somebody has to pay for it. Maybe they should make sponsored links - if you have disposable income, finance 1000 people reading this article, in hope they get convinced by it. That'd be putting your money where your mouth is!

Thats actually why subscriptions as a more significant revenue source are important: because of what the pay-per-view model does (whether it's advertisers or individuals please paying.)

Instead of micropayments, why not have a Netflix-like aggregator experience with an overall subscription?

Also, has anyone considered that collaboration may be better than competition when it comes to news, and many other things? Look at open source and wikipedia beating the pants off closed source and britannica, encarta etc over the years.

Why not fund wikinews and such sites instead? Much less clickbait and spam and fake news. Different incentives.

Wikipedia however is explicitly a secondary source, by design. For news, it becomes contradictory - because news naturally tends to be primary source things, why would you want secondary source news if you can have primary source ones?

Of course, nothing prevents wikinews from being primary source - but that requires much larger expenses of people actually doing original research and reporting (things explicitly shunned on the rest of Wikipedia) instead of refining, curating and summarizing existing source (which is a very useful thing too, but for news it's not enough).


Thank you, I know what wikinews is. I also know it can't exist without primary sources (and btw can't probably exist if all those become subscription-only).

Well, that's where the monetary contributions would come in.

There would be a subscription service like Netflix. And people would contribute all kinds of things to it, including citizen journalism with their own cellphone videos etc. But it would be collaborative, not competitive. Only one story per news item.

Universal Basic Income will help with this, as basic living expenses will be covered, assuming we supply enough UBI that people can afford this, which I would suggest is part of necessity for a healthy society.

But this is just another way of saying the gov't pays.

What is money? What are taxes? It's all relating to a promise of a certain amount of work will be done. Do we generally do free things for our family, for our elderly parents, etc? Yes, we do. It's the idea of imagine if what everyone did was to work in service of others, where no money was exchanged - but if literally everyone is helping you - you will be 100% taken care of. With automation we can replace - or rather we can free many people's time that would otherwise be needed. The construct and culture we've been born into, "educated" to believe, is flawed in getting us stuck in a non-abundance mindset - into a mindset of scarcity. In some parts of the world, sure perhaps that is the case currently, however we have the resources and knowledge to efficiently manage everything so everyone is taken care of. And Elon's helping give us more room and be able to mine more resources from space as well. The universe is big, there's abundance - we just have to allocate resources properly - which includes not being destructive with war and violence.

> What happens if you spend the month investigating and don't find anything?

Same as what already happens; you don't write the story.

> Micro-payment per-article will only encourage "safe" journalism - articles that you know will resonate with your readers, rather than controversial pieces or in-depth, resource intensive research.

Maybe for some people, but for me it would have the opposite effect. If forced to pay for boring/unoriginal content, I would probably just not read it at all. I already do this for content that is behind subscription paywalls or that has hideous ads everywhere. If anything, being forced to pay for content I read would make me even more reluctant to read useless filler.

I am sure I am not alone. Hacker News in particular is seemingly filled with people who would rather throw down ¢10 or something many times a day than pay for 10 separate monthly subscriptions that don't reflect the actual proportion of reading you do on each journalism platform.

Given how much potential revenue is already lost by forcing people to pay for the full subscription, I don't believe that micropayments are an obviously inferior solution. They might prove to be flawed in some way, but I don't think that the points you make are good arguments against them.

Most governments have public portals (or you have to register with your company details but it's basically open apart from that) that they post RF{I,T,Q}s on.

> I'd rather FB just said "we'll never pony up the wages necessary to moderate well so we're just going to make facebook a complete free speech zone."

They were literally doing this! Then they got slammed for 'censorship', so they got rid of the moderators. Now they're in the position they are now.


Our compulsory voting is really "compulsory voting". It's "compulsory turn up to a polling station and get your name marked off". You can drop an empty ballot in the box, draw penises on it, or even just turn and walk out of the polling place.

Also, the OP underestimates the impact of the minor parties. While there are two major parties, one of them is a coalition between two parties (Liberals and the Nationals), and there's a significant block of smaller parties and independents that are big enough that when they vote together they can have a deciding vote on legislation.

> Security through obscurity is not the solution, though

Security is about layers. Nothing is foolproof. It's about implementing layers of controls to reduce your attack surface to an acceptable level, with the trade-off that many controls increase the complexity of your setup or compromises the convenience for your users.

For example, for SSH, this probably includes

* changing the default port

* enforcing SSH key authentication

* enforcing passwords on SSH keys

* implementing fail2ban

* installing jump hosts for internal machines

* implementing a VPN rather than external facing hosts (and with that comes all the additional layers for the VPN)

* etc...

> * enforcing SSH key authentication

That cannot be enforced by the server because the key decryption occurs client-side. An alternative is to use Two Factor Authentication.

I think you mean the server can't enforce ssh key encryption/passphrase protection (next point down)?

And 2 or even 3 factor should maybe be on the list (key+pw, key+totp, key+pw+totp).

For keys, it's in theory possible to ease management with using ssh certificates and a CA - anyone know of a convenient way to manage totp secrets across multiple servers and users?

Yeah, I quoted the wrong line.

What would you question about it?

There are normally multiple observers from all parties, plus election officials, that scrutinize the counting process in real-time. Disputes are raised and resolved on the spot where possible, and it not are normally escalated. This is why elections can have provisional results on the same day/night, and the official results are a few days later.

I thought it was obvious the speed is essentially irrelevant to the democratic process in the context of minutes to count.

The extent of the competition over seconds and minutes here is bound to lead to some mistkaes, and I would question whether the checks are sufficient (the checks themselves may also be susceptible to mistkaes). The word "childish" comes to mind. We are talking about the future of the country and it's treated like a TV reality/quiz show.

To be fair, that's my impression of a number of people who introduce themselves as 'entrepreneurs'.

The people who run a business, or are building something or are otherwise working, will say that. People who say they're in 'business' or are an 'entrepreneur' are the ones who haven't figured out exactly what they're up to.

There's almost two conclusions from the article:

- running government more like a business isn't necessarily a bad thing, and

- a ruthless business-man isn't necessarily the best suited person to do it

It seems like the only points where the businessman excelled were things external to the city, i.e. where negotiating with other entities, which makes sense.

I think the difference is that other parties approach a city as a business would, in an adversarial way; not necessarily in conflict, but with the clear knowledge that they are on opposing sides of a negotiation and neither is going to leave that table 100% happy. It's different when the Mayor is dealing with his City Council: they have to work and live together, and arguably should be working to the same goal; improving the city and making sure the City wins, not the Mayor or the Council.

I think that's where the business politicians routinely stumble; they're used to being purely in a win/lose environment, where very interaction is inherently a "I'm going to screw someone or get screwed" situation, whereas a lot of politics really shouldn't be about that. The whole point of Civil Service is working for the benefit of the community, not yourself or your particular department.

I also think this is why politicians suck at negotiating, because it's the opposite of what they're used to.

In short, as with most things, the Truth is somewhere in the middle.

Well, doesn't your 2nd point invalidate the first? My take is good business acumen != good governance acumen.

It's almost like saying a good singer can be a good pianist. Hey, they're both about making music, right?

Well maybe not...

Perhaps its not a binary thing. It seems an organization can be more business-like or government-like in a variety of ways.

I mean look at insurance companies and their draconian forms to be filled out in triplicate for the littlest thing and limited sign-up dates. They even earn their money like a government taking it from you on a schedule, with little obvious effect until it becomes apparent why their service is valuable (or not).

Then on the other hand look at government groups like the military at war, efficient command and control pure meritocratic objective seeking, if one group can't do it another can and does. Their efficiency is not to reach a financial goal first, it is to achieve some goal set by the civilian government despite active opposition from other people.

Perhaps rules mandating checking for outside bids to fight cronyism, provincialism and outright corruption are a good idea even in the most liberal governments. Perhaps ruthless unilateral control have no place even in the most right wing group. Perhaps government is too complex to be summed up in a single sentence.

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