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"The problem is the price is not right for me at this stage."

Well, I'm pretty sure Whitney's enlightened path to k went through LISP, so maybe the author will get there one day. And LUSH seems a pretty nice choice of LISP's to work with - extendable, but not too big out of the box.


As if Python was the most powerful language, heh. :)

Maybe he was going for a world record of most citations in a single paper. Who's to say he wasn't just doing research? How many downloads is too many?

I would be willing to bet that the JSTOR TOS do not give a specific number. e.g. "You may not download more than n papers in 24 hours." And if they don't state a maximum in the TOS, then why shouldn't they, for clarity?


It sounds like you are trying to invoke Loki's Wager -- since you cannot define N where downloading N is too many and N-1 is not too many, there must not be such a concept as downloading too many.

People who deal with the law don't have much patience for this.


I'm not sure if I am interpreting your last sentence correctly. Can you rephrase it?


Courts have a very long history and lots of people have tried lots of really weird things over the years. Swartz will hopefully have a good lawyer, and a good lawyer won't even try to something along the lines of "there wasn't a preset limit on X therefore my client didn't do anything wrong" when his use of X was over a hundred times the combined consumption of all the legitimate users over two months.

Judges are not computers. If counsel presents them with a bad enough argument, they might get insulted that counsel thinks the judge is dumb enough to fall for it. Things that depends on the judge's mood (like purposefully obtuse arguments) are not a good courtroom strategy.


You are jumping around a bit. We were talking about TOS and now we're in a court room and using the words "judge" and "dumb" in the same sentence. I was kidding about doing research. Humor. We all know what he was doing. But the truth is I'm serious about these types of TOS. And I'm looking at this mainlly from the end user's perspective. You see the same type of ambiguous TOS language everywhere on the web. Let's stay focused on TOS for a moment, and leave aside the Swartz case. Do you think ambiguous contracts (TOS) are "better"[1] than unambiguous ones? For example, would reducing ambiguity lower the probability of (costly) disputes?

1. better for who?


ToS might be interesting in some cases, but not in this one. JSTOR and MIT kept on denying access to Swartz and he kept on working around their defenses.


What if we looked beyond the Swartz case? Then what do you think about these types of TOS?

Maybe another example would be more interesting. Say you have a choice between an API that allows a "reasonable" number of requests in any 24 hour period and one that allows n number of requests in any 24 hour period. Which one would you prefer?

First assume you're an API user. Then assume you're the API provider.

Anyway, this kind of question is what I was getting at. What is reasonable? I don't know what their server capacity is.

I like using automation, I prefer non-interactive to point and click, and I have always found TOS on academic databases, not to mention most websites, interesting. Because they fail to account for anyone who might want to use automation (reasonably, having respect for the resources of the server). But maybe I'm the only one who finds this question interesting.


So true. It's not like publishing your paper on your lab's website will satsify the "publish" requirement for obtaining tenure. Why can't we separate the process of peer review from the process of letting a journal handle distribution of the paper?

My pet peeve when downloading articles from journals is that it is a chain of needless HTTP redirects and elaborate cookies. If you are accessing the network from an approved IP address, is all that really necessary? Why can't it be a simple direct download? Answer: Because they've commercialized the process of reading publicly-funded research results. And with that comes the usual mindless hoop-jumping for even the simplest things.

Many investigators will just post a copy on their lab's website anyway. And that's the link that they will often give to students who need a copy of the paper. So the whole scheme of commercializing the publishing of noncommercial research just looks silly.

Don't question it, just follow along.


So if I purchase some songs from this store (e.g. someone gives me iTunes credit as a gift) I can still play them without iTunes? I don't need iTunes installed anywhere?


You need iTunes to buy (i.e. you can only access the Store using the iTunes app, not a web browser), but what you get is a completely standard AAC-encoded file without any DRM. I think pretty much any audio player available today can play that (as well as any mobile OS). Just drag the files in your library to your desktop or browse your iTunes folder to find them. After that you can uninstall iTunes and never need to see it again.

iTunes does embed your Apple ID (you need to sign up and get one to redeem your gift card, though you do not need to enter any credit card info or the like) and purchase date as well as time as metadata in the file, but that information is easily removed. There are no watermarks.


So if I understand correctly, the answer is no.

Is there some sort of iTunes kiosk, a publicly accessible device with iTunes installed where a customer could purchase songs, download them to removable media and then move the songs from the media to whereever they need to have them?

Or maybe you can use a friend's device with iTunes installed?


You can use a friend’s machine. Either create your own Apple ID there or redeem your gift card using your friend’s Apple ID and buy music from their account. After that you can just copy your music to an USB stick or to Dropbox or whatever.

Yes, you need iTunes to buy – but once you have the music, you do not need it anymore. They are just standard audio files that work with any (somewhat current) player.


Nice explanation. Thanks for this.




It's just mathematical notation. Why is that insane?

What is computing at its most basic level but maths?

If you can handle working with symbols, more power to you. If you can't, move on. It's like calling mathematicians insane because you cannot understand the symbols they use.

I'm never sure if the conditioning of programmers toward certain styles has been good or bad for computing overall. It's troubling when this conditioning causes us to reject what is obviously excellent and useful work. (_if_ we learn how to make use of it)


Working with limitations is what yields creativity. But unlike the limitations of computing's yesteryear, the limitations of the iPad seem artificial. OSX is built from BSD UNIX, and iOS is built from OSX. Why should it be so limited? Where is the "iPad Pro"? The uncrippled version with USB and SD card slots.


That's probably what Microsoft were thinking when they designed the Surface. We'll see how well it works out for them.


If I can use my own bootloader with Surface, I'd buy one.


You are the type of customer I want to sell my stuff to. Form is important. But not more important than function. But do others share your view?

There's no reason you shouldn't have the full uncrippled power of UNIX in the palm of your hand.


I share that view, but I fear we are in the minority. My family, for example, wouldn't have any idea what to do with a pocket UNIX.


> There's no reason you shouldn't have the full uncrippled power of UNIX in the palm of your hand.

I couldn't stop laughing when I read this. There's probably a few reasons I can think of.


For many a sensible person, lawyers seem to be more a liability than an asset. Rightly so. Indeed they are more often than not rent-seekers, and the rent is sky high. That is, until you are faced with a serious problem.

Imagine you are falsely accused and facing charges that could land you in some maximum security prison, sitting on death row. Or, even worse, imagine you get caught downloading too many JSTOR articles in a university library. Then, lawyers don't seem like rent seekers. They are an asset, not a liability. And you need one. Or two. Or a whole team of them. You can't have too many. The more the merrier.

As with anything else in life, context is relevant.


"More often than not?" The article says that there are 40% more lawyers than the optimal number. Thus taking the article at face value, at most 30% of lawyers are more of a liability than an asset. Under the model of the article, decreases the number of lawyers beyond that level would decrease GDP.


I'm surprised you would actually take the statistics seriously. At face value, the article is pure entertainment. I would not consider an evaluation of a lawyer as a liability or an asset to be something that can be measured objectively. Every client is different and every client's situation is different. And it is the client who ultiimately decides whether the services are an asset or a liability, and no one else. My opinion is that lawyers do not add anything to the client's bottom line (but it doesn't matter what I think, only what the client thinks). In my view, lawyers function to limit the costs of the client's activities to the client (while at the same time adding to the client's costs themselves with legal fees). In other words, they operate to try to minimize the client's losses, to limit the client's liabilities. But we often have no evidence that such losses would have occurred absent the lawyers' involvement. We resort to speculation. Unfortunatley, lawyers play on fears to generate business. But there are some situations where this is not necessary, because the fears come from a real situation not a hypothetical. In these situations, there is a real, measurable risk of loss.

That's why I gave the (extreme) example of facing criminal charges. That's a situation where the losses seem quite imminent. The chance of serious losses is real and the accompanying fears are justified. I would argue society needs enough lawyers to handle those types of situations. Clients with serious problems where loss is imminent. But beyond that, it gets very subjective and very speculative. Needless to say, lawyers are very good at arguing the need for their existence and for their value to the client.

Whether it's 40% more than we needed in 1994, more than that or some lesser percentage, is anyone's guess. We all know it's too many. You don't need to conduct a study to see that.


If you think lawyers don't add to the client's bottom line, why are the Chinese rushing to develop their legal systems along western models? Why is the maturity of the legal system included in every international ranking of nations' desirability as a location to do business? Is it all just fear?

Lawyers are the dispute resolution mechanism that allows an economy full of people trying to screw each other (and trust me, as long as economies are full of people, they will be trying to screw each other) to work. The article is based on the reasonable premise that a bigger dispute resolution system contributes to GDP to a point, then starts hurting the economy beyond a certain point.

Note bene: you say "in 1994" as if we should assume the problem has been getting worse over time, but in reality the size of the legal sector as a %-age of real GDP has been decreasing since it peaked in the late 1980's: http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/.a/6a00e55044cbaf883401543574d...


"as if we should assume"

Whoa. Where are you getting that?

I will let the @strawman take it from here. Because that's who I think you are trying to argue with. :)


Before your ninja edit, you had a "(in 1994!)." The exclamation point implied that it may be more than 40% today.

Also, your argument is the strawman:

> My opinion is that lawyers do not add anything to the client's bottom line (but it doesn't matter what I think, only what the client thinks).

> But beyond that, it gets very subjective and very speculative. Needless to say, lawyers are very good at arguing the need for their existence and for their value to the client.

It was an economist, not a lawyer, who made the case for the value of lawyers to the economy.


"the exclamation point implied"

Well, if it did it wasn't intentional.

I am always editing. It's just how I write. HN faux pas I guess.

I'm not sure I follow the rest of your comment.

I was not suggesting the author of the article was arguing for the value of lawyers, I was saying that as a general statement. (And not that it proves anything but in this very thread we have a lawyer - you - arguing in favor of lawyers.)

It may be I'm just too stupid to undertand whatever else you are trying to show me with your quotes. But it does seem like you are reading things into my words and coming up with your own interpretation which, alas, does not match my intent.


So Gruber is some kind of paid blogger for Apple? His stuff always ends up on the front page of HN. What's up with that?


The church of Apple likes reading nice things about itself.

There's lots of people religiously invested in Apple here on HN, which seems to have Apple (and it's share-price) as the better part of their identity.

It's a bit awkward for sure.


Would HN actually affect the price of AAPL though?

Why would they care about HN if HN readers are not all Apple worshippers?


The postings by Gruber that make it to the HN front page are not nearly that one-sided.


If there's a third party doing store and forward or even just forwarding traffic, it is not "p2p". At least, not as I understand what p2p means. So any service that purports to be peer-to-peer ("p2p") should be able to show you exactly how the data moves from one peer to another to prove that the system is truly peer-to-peer. And they should do that without asking. If they won't show you this, I would be very skeptical. "p2p" looks to be a potential "big data" style buzzword to sell stuff. I hope I'm wrong.

If it is being used this way, that's a shame. Because peer-to-peer is really a goal worth working toward. It's the way the internet was supposed to work.


Understood - our meaning is peer-to-peer from the user perspective (rather than as a networking standard). Definitely didn't intend to use this as a buzzword. The service we're providing is real-time and async messaging and the best way we went about doing that (best in this case meaning conforming to end user expectations, who want to be able to send messages to their friends who might be offline at any particular moment in time) is with a server based approach. Will adjust our copy to reflect that this isn't p2p from a network perspective.



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