Episode 488

Code Laundering


October 19th, 2022

49 mins 14 secs

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About this Episode

We debate if GitHub's Copilot enables automated code laundering after a developer makes a startling discovery. Then we dispense some seriously old-school wisdom.

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  • Is a ‘software engineer’ an engineer? Alberta regulator says no. — The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), has asked a court to order one of the province’s leading software companies, Octopusapp Inc., known as Jobber, to stop using the term “engineer” in job titles and postings unless it gets a permit from the regulator.
  • Frank Karlitschek | Nextcloud — Frank Karlitschek started Nextcloud as an open source project to power a decentralized internet, believing that companies should control their own data. As an engineer in computer science, he worked on many open source projects throughout his career.
  • Configuring GitHub Copilot in Visual Studio Code — GitHub Copilot includes a filter which detects code suggestions matching public code on GitHub. You can choose to enable or disable the filter. When the filter is enabled, GitHub Copilot checks code suggestions with their surrounding code of about 150 characters against public code on GitHub. If there is a match or near match, the suggestion will not be shown to you.
  • Tim Davis on Twitter — @github copilot, with "public code" blocked, emits large chunks of my copyrighted code, with no attribution, no LGPL license. For example, the simple prompt "sparse matrix transpose, cs_" produces my cs_transpose in CSparse. My code on left, github on right. Not OK.
  • Jeremy Soller on Twitter — Illegal source code laundering, automated by GitHub
  • Hector Martin on Twitter — Don't do this. Ever. This is insulting and disrespectful to your users. Nobody is entitled to support from volunteer FOSS projects, but they absolutely *do* deserve not to have the issues they took time to file actively thrown away. If you haven't fixed the bug, it stays open.
  • Meta Sunk $15 Billion Building the Metaverse. Where Did the Money Go? — Meta has sunk more than $15 billion into its metaverse project since the start of last year.
  • Most Metaverse Users Don't Even Make It a Month — Most Metaverse users don't return to the Horizon Worlds platform after the first month, WSJ reported.
  • Upgrade to a Podcasting 2.0 App — Grab a Podcasting 2.0 compatible app, send Boosts, and keep podcasting decentralized.