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But it didn't own the software, which is still patented and copyrighted by Apple, and merely licensed to end users.

So an EULA just protected people?

We already live in this reality, as eloquently described by Mike Travers: http://omniorthogonal.blogspot.com/2013/02/hostile-ai-youre-...

I also love this quote: "Sometimes confused with a restaurant, [McDonald's] is actually a piece of licensed software 600 pages long, with a QA department, currently running around 14,000 instances in America."



I recommend Jaron Lanier's "Who Owns the Future" for more on this subject; the takeaway is that an ecosystem that defaults to free is a recipe for the digital feudalism that now makes up most of the tech world, as only the largest companies can manage to derive enough revenue through selling data and eyeballs. (And "free" in this case includes low-margin paid services, such as Amazon and Uber.) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Owns_the_Future%3F

The concept we're wrestling with comes down to Zero Marginal Cost: no one has to do any additional work when I view a web page or download a copy of a game. At first blush, it seems the first step to a post-scarcity world; instead, it creates a psychological barrier to buying, and a classic Tragedy of the Commons.


Good fences make good neighbors, and encryption is the only way to reliably create barriers around data and devices. Encryption deserves to be every bit as normalized as other social technologies like private property or personal space. http://www.meltingasphalt.com/border-stories/


OT: The point of that poem was that they were not good neighbors. The neighbor is indifferent to the narrator except in expressing that sentiment and in the task of building a wall between them.


Poem text, "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost, for those not familiar with it:



That's correct. But in this case the indifferent neighbor who insisted on putting up walls and gates was an overreaching federal government.

Now they want to be able to ignore the boundaries when it suits them. They naturally will be encrypting their own data.

John Perry Barlow:

"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

"We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

"Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

"You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

"You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

"Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

"We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

"We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

"Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

"Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge. Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

"In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

"You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

"In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

"Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

"These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

"We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Davos, Switzerland February 8, 1996"


It consistently entertains me how Robert Frost was able to become one of the most quoted people of all time by getting people to quote the opposite of the meaning of his poems, just like "The Road Not Taken." Of course, this proverb is older than his application and was meant to be taken literally, but this illustrates something fundamentally important to poetry and any metaphorical language, which is that it can be interpreted in more ways than there are interpreters. It can be used to justify anything at all because of the loose connection between concept and reality.

"Border Stories" here seems to be a perfect example of the misuse of metaphor which is so rampant in modern political arguments. The argument is interesting and intelligent, but it seems unable to follow its own premise to its conclusion, that a healthy border of skepticism is necessary to maintain healthy ideas.

The flaw I see is that skepticism needs to be applied more rigorously to internally generated arguments than external ones. External arguments are naturally put into questionable territory unless they come from a trusted source. But we're biased to follow our own internal arguments because the process that led to their formation has already passed our internal filters.

I think the author is on to something when it comes to the origin of xenophobia, but connecting health to the origin doesn't necessarily mean that the conditions that created it are relevant to any specific implementation of the idea, particularly modern nation-states. Understanding how borders affect people requires a more detailed analysis of power dynamics. Otherwise, there's no real evidence that this metaphor would be beneficial to implement for the reasons stated.

At least since the Monroe Doctrine, the US has considered the entire Western Hemisphere to be its sphere of influence. You could of course argue that this has extended to the entire Eastern Hemisphere as well. There are few borders that limit the reach of US agencies which focus on exerting control on foreign nations. From the perspective of a collection of powers which aspire to hegemony, the borders which exist aren't meant to allow mutual self-development by various nations but to facilitate control by the dominant power. The stronger the borders are, the more effectively this power can be exerted in a "Divide and Conquer" strategy.

But there's a cost to applying pressure, and the more strongly this pressure is applied, the stronger the response becomes. As people lose their power, their desire to retaliate grows. If the border from their perspective only increases foreign influence and control on their lives, it doesn't make any kind of good neighbors, only disempowered and angry ones ready to fight back.


I would love this. With no disrespect to people volunteering their efforts, I was underwhelmed by the Librivox books I sampled. I'm extremely glad the project exists, though.


Thanks for the tip! I frequently prune task processes manually, and I didn't know that killing all helper processes was safe to do. :D


I own one of these, and it's super-useful, but I still want a NexDock. The ports are awkwardly placed, requiring weird adapters (I had to shave off plastic to get both HDMI and USB to fit at the same time.) The USB port is also powered, and so tries to power the Pi, except at 500 mA, for some reason over-riding the 1A power input. And it has weird issues with not waking up if only the USB and not HDMI is attached.

The experience has been "good enough", but in my mind only justified the existence of a dedicated device for this purpose. It's incredibly useful to have a portable, self-powered screen+input that works with any arbitrary computer.


Let's assume that's true for the sake of argument. Then why stop there? Why not monitor all communications to also catch murderers and rapists and tax cheats? Why have a 4th amendment at all? What makes "terrorism" substantially different than any other crime?


Sure, why not? There are people out there that would happily have their communications monitored in order to catch murderers. Tax cheats, maybe not - no-one lives in fear of a tax cheat.

I'm not saying this is a wise or sensible opinion, but people still hold it - not everyone is just "ill informed".


I disagree. They're ignorant. How could they not be? 3000 people died in the twin towers. Thats nothing. The spying is far scarier. They own us. Totally. No one can escape it. Anyone who intends subversive action can be targetted. They can be approached and manipulated by an agent who knows everything about them. The would-be-subversive can be nudged, sabotaged or flat out blackmailed. There won't be any more rights movements in this environment. At least not "real" ones. They will manufacture contrived movements to subdue us. Anyone who thinks this is right hasn't thought it through; They are wrong.

If you're one of the people holding this opinion, you are wrong.

At the very least you're wrong about them being properly informed.


> Anyone who intends subversive action can be targetted. They can be approached and manipulated by an agent who knows everything about them. The would-be-subversive can be nudged, sabotaged or flat out blackmailed.

You've just highlighted why the average American is scared of terrorists but not the NSA: 3000 people did die on 9/11. There is no evidence of the NSA targeting Americans, or nudging/sabotaging/blackmailing them.

The military could easily storm Washington DC, topple the government, execute every Congressman, impose martial law and announce the start of a new regime under the sole authority of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You'd have to be pretty nuts to worry that's actually going to happen.

Also, referring to people who disagree with you as ignorant isn't generally the best way to change their minds.


Our government has done exactly those things. The FBI compelled Martin Luther King Jr to kill himself [1]. You are ignorant. Ignorance is the inescapable reality of a mind that is more finite than the world. It's not an insult unless you're ignorant of that reality. Otherwise it's just the feedback necessary to remedy the relevant ignorance for the problem at hand.

1: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/20/martin-luther-king-...


First off, Martin Luthor King didn't kill himself, so you can't really say that the FBI compelled him to do so.

Secondly, you're using the actions taken by a domestic law enforcement agency more than half a century ago as evidence that a foreign intelligence agency is going to blackmail Americans, neglecting the difference in missions between the two agencies, the changes in legal authorities since the 60s, the fact that multiple generations of Americans with differing cultural values have come into and left government service, etc.

Thirdly, calling someone ignorant is an insult. I'd suggest consulting the forum guidelines linked at the bottom of the page.


Calling you anything you wish not to be called is an insult. You just called me ignorant without using the word. Does that make it less insulting? Do the forum guidelines say: don't call people ignorant? I can write "person who doesn't know relevant information" in that case. But soon that too will be an insult. I'm not seeing this avoidance of potentially insulting statements going anywhere useful. It just leads to the continual recycling of words for any idea that could possibly accumulate a negative connotation.

I only gave you one example. There are plenty but I don't think it's important. The motivation is there, for the protection of national security, to manipulate anyone who opposes the status quo. To thwart their efforts.

Martin Luther King Jr was pressured to kill himself. That he resisted this pressure doesn't mean that he wasn't pressured. We can quibble about definitions but I think a charitable reader is more than capable of understanding what I meant.


Anyone who intends subversive action can be targetted

But if you identify with your current government (for whatever rationale), should you not fear subversive action?


Anyone who intends subversive action can be targeted.

Yeah but if I don't intend subversive action then I'm fine, so


No. You're not. You depend on the people that do for all of the rights that you enjoy. You're smart enough to know this. Stop trolling me I can't take it.


Not all opinions are created equal.


This is an important point, but it's worth noting that the relationship between social beliefs and personal benefit exists in countless other domains: company stock price, religious groups, political movements, adoption of a particular FOSS library/stack/protocol, etc. There are few people who have no stake in social ecosystems that are fragile to shifts in perception, and therefore to subject to perverse incentives in managing that perception.


I'm no fan of fiat, but your statement is tautological at best: the fiat currencies that have collapsed, collapsed. Communications tech and electronic fiat make the future anyone's bet.


Tomorrow always different right?

You're some saying it'll be different this time, and the only explanation you give is, 'communications' and 'electronic', and yet plenty of fiat currencies have collapses under such systems. Again, every fiat currency that has ever existed has collapsed, sure there are some new ones that haven't yet but to believe they won't is magical thinking.

Again gold, after thousands of years, is still being hoarded in vaults by every major and minor world power, you really need to review some history.



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