Josef “Jeff” Sipek


The CRAPL: An academic-strength open source license

How the PC Industry Screws Things Up

C to Rust translator

Csmith — a random generator of C programs

ACME Mapper — high-precision general purpose mapping application

The On-line Verb Conjugator


I’m going to try something new. Instead of sharing individual links per post as I come across them, I’m going to try to dump them whenever I have enough of them. It does mean that some of these links aren’t as “hot off the press”. Here’s the first batch.

How We’re Predicting AI — or Failing To

How Typography Shapes Our Perception Of Truth

Bitcoin mining on a 55 year old IBM 1401 mainframe: 80 seconds per hash

What is the difference between an “aggregate” and other kinds of “modified versions”?

SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows’ account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware

Wikipedia article: Speed tape looks like duct tape but isn’t.


Few days ago, a new company was created: TurboHercules.

As the name implies, they package up Hercules (an IBM mainframe emulator), and provide support for it. They are targetting the platform as a disaster recovery solution.

It shouldn’t directly affect the open source project in a negative way (just like Red Hat cannot prevent people from continuing their work on the Linux Kernel). At the same time, it’ll change the way people look at Hercules.

Amazon Kindle SNAFU

This is why I don’t like DRM or any other scheme which allows someone else to grant/remove access to content which I should have access to - if I buy a (dead-tree) book, I should have access to it until I get rid of it (trash it, donate it, give it to a friend, etc., etc.).

The link talks about books, but the same ideas apply to DRMd music, movies, and whatever other content.

Licenses can be amusing

So, I had to install Sun’s Java, and my eyes noticed the following text in the license agreement (I bolded the amusing section):

3. RESTRICTIONS. Software is confidential and copyrighted.
Title to Software and all associated intellectual property
rights is retained by Sun and/or its licensors. Unless
enforcement is prohibited by applicable law, you may not
modify, decompile, or reverse engineer Software. You
acknowledge that Licensed Software is not designed or
intended for use in the design, construction, operation or
maintenance of any nuclear facility. Sun Microsystems, Inc.
disclaims any express or implied warranty of fitness for
such uses. No right, title or interest in or to any
trademark, service mark, logo or trade name of Sun or its
licensors is granted under this Agreement. Additional
restrictions for developers and/or publishers licenses are
set forth in the Supplemental License Terms.

I understand that Sun is just trying to cover all possible mega-misuses, and I think it is amusing that they felt the need to put that into the license.

Patents, Patents, Patents

If you ever thought that getting a patent was easy, think again! Take a look at Patent #6,175,625, which got approved on January 16, 2001. When was it filed? Good question. It was filed December 15. But which year? 2000? 1999? 1995? 1990? All wrong! It was 1944! Yes, 57 years after the NSA filed for this patent, the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) approved it.

One small step in the right direction

According to an interesting article the FCC has been told that the broadcast flag on is bad. Not by people like the EFF but three judges (that’s 100% of those involved) at the U.S. Court of Appeals. I feel like celebrating!

Create it like it's 1790

After reading a blog entry by someone I know, I watched this flash movie. It’s very simple, and you know what? If you like Open Source, and freedom in general, you want to watch it. It’s very enlightening.

Note: It might make you feel bad for not donating to EFF.

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