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Comment: Reckless (Score 1) 184

by ConfusedVorlon (#47309307) Attached to: EFF To Unveil Open Wireless Router For Open Wireless Movement

Nonsense. There is no law that makes you responsible for what other people download. (at least, not in any sane first world country)

It is a disgrace that you are so terrified of your government that you think sharing your bandwidth with a stranger is dangerous.

I have been helped many times in the past by the kindness of strangers who left their wifi open - and I will continue to leave my wifi open for other strangers to benefit in return.

Many (most?) modern routers support this safely by allowing you to provide a guest network which is isolated from your own wifi network.

Comment: Re:Sounds awesome except.... (Score 4, Insightful) 191

Whilst I agree that a lot of bad patents are certainly granted, I actually think the systemic problem here is actually the review process after the initial grant.

Even if USPO was a lot better, then it is safe to assume that some crappy patents would get through when an examiner was having a bad day.

It's ok to have errors like that if you have a decent fast review process to fix mistakes.

This might be something that a judge could request before a case went to trial.
The patent would be re-reviewed by a senior patent examiner who would make an new judgement:

1) this probably should not have passed. (Inventor can appeal, but legal process assumes that patent is invalid until the appeal).
2) this is a solid patent that probably should have passed. (the infringer can appeal, but legal process assumes the patent is valid until the appeal).

given that only a tiny fraction of patents will ever get taken to court, this isn't adding a huge amount of re-work to the USPO, so they can handle this stream as a high priority.

This does somewhat reduce the certainty of the initial patent grant, but that is no bad thing.

+ - Windows App Store reduces developer share from 70% to 56.1% for some sales.->

Submitted by ConfusedVorlon
ConfusedVorlon (657247) writes "The Windows App Store originally offered developers a 70% revenue share (like the iTunes store and Google Play).
They have now introduced the 'Commerce Expansion Adjustment' whereby some sales are made through methods such as carrier billing and the developer will only get 56.1%.

There is no option for developers to opt out of this type of sale; Microsoft suggests that 'You may want to consider if the Commerce Expansion Adjustment applies in a country/region where your app is available and factor that into your market pricing strategy'

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u...

As a veteran of the store pricing wars on Palm OS, I have seen how this plays out. Stores competed to sell through new partners, and offered increasingly large shares of revenue to those partners. Inevitably, that came out of the developer share.

I would be very happy for Microsoft to offer me an option to make additional sales at a lower revenue share — but I'm not happy at being forced to suck it up."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:McAfee in trouble (Score 1) 139

agreed - entering negotiations doesn't show they needed the licence.

However - assuming the requirement for a licence is real (e.g. terms and conditions on the site are clear and forbid taking all the data for commercial use) - it makes it hard for McAffee to claim that they didn't realise they needed one.

Given that they seem to have been deliberately trying to avoid security restrictions (by rapidly changing user agents) - then it is even harder for them to claim an innocent error.

Comment: Re:McAfee in trouble (Score 3, Insightful) 139

If the site is clear about it's terms up front, then this seems like a serious issue.

McAfee clearly knew they needed a licence; They asked about getting one. Presumably, they just didn't like the price.

Plenty of software licences are the same; Free for personal use, paid for commercial use. The fact that the company does the world a favour by offering free access for some people doesn't make the commercial theft of the whole database less serious.

Comment: Free Net Union (Score 1) 227

by ConfusedVorlon (#46940671) Attached to: Comcast: Destroying What Makes a Competitive Internet Possible

Any company can join the union.
The union appoints independent observers to assess whether ISPs are acting in accordance with principles of net neutrality.
If the ISP is not net neutral, then the union has a series of escalating sanctions which are deployed in a pre-announced schedule

Sanctions might be
-provide slow service to users of ISP
-cut off service to users of ISP for one hour per week
-cut off service to users of ISP for one day per week
(etc)

Union members are required to implement the sanctions, or they are expelled from the union.

The message here is simple; The ISP claims that their customers (users) haven't paid to access the web, and that the ISP must charge internet companies(businesses) to send content to the users.

So - let's see how that plays out when the businesses stop providing service to the users. Are the users still happy to pay the ISP?

I wish Netflix had had the balls to say 'ok, we're not renewing any new comcast customers, and stopping any new signups with a big red 'comcast sucks' warning'.
It's easier to be ballsy if google, facebook, yahoo, netflix, bing all act together.

Comment: Re:Firmware (Score 1) 113

by ConfusedVorlon (#46822071) Attached to: WRT54G Successor Falls Flat On Promises

It sounds like they have released some driver sourcecode - but it is hacky, and not useable by Open WRT

From the mailing list:

There are also still some pieces missing: Since this driver does not use
standard Linux Wireless APIs, it can only properly function with custom
hostapd/wpa_supplicant hacks. I don't see those in the release.

Comment: Re:What is the issue? (Score 1) 243

agreed - they got a digital version. People complained for various reasons, and Rob decided to do his best to 'Make it right'. All credit to them up to this point. They could have argued that they had met the legal definition of the offer, but they didn't.

At this point, they had two obvious choices

1) give people a link to a drm free file
(which they could download anyway for free from TPB)
2) give them back some money

The interesting fact for me is that rather than give people what they want, they're so scared of DRM-free files, or so wedded to ultra-violet that they would rather give money back.

the story for me isn't 'kickstarter backers got screwed' - it's 'look at the irrational choices the studios make out of fear of piracy'

+ - Kickstarted Veronica Mars promised digital download. Pirate bay delivers.->

Submitted by ConfusedVorlon
ConfusedVorlon (657247) writes "Backers were promised 'You will receive a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movie’s theatrical debut'.

Warner Bros are providing a non-downloadable ultra-violet coupon (although Veronica Mars is available for download through other stores).

The download is already available on the Pirate Bay. The download is even available on commercial stores. The users have already passed over their $35+
But rather than meet the demand for a DRM-free download, Warner Bros would prefer to return the original pledge to backers who complain (no doubt pissing them off even more).

What does this tell us about how movie studios view the world? There can't be a better indication of willingness to pay than 'they have already paid' — are these the pirates WB fears?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What more could you ask for? (Score 1) 40

by ConfusedVorlon (#46418059) Attached to: US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown

Yup - a promise about future behaviour would be good.
Perhaps formal guidance to prosecutors that posting an http link should not generally be seen as 'republishing'

In the UK, there has been controversy around various twitter cases (particularly the bomb joke case).
The end result is that the director of public prosecutions has issued new guidance on how and when to charge people with crimes based on what they say on Twitter.

new guidelines:
https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a...

relevant section:

---
"... [they are] like contributions to a casual conversation (the analogy sometimes being drawn with people chatting in a bar) which people simply note before moving on; they are often uninhibited, casual and ill thought out; those who participate know this and expect a certain amount of repartee or 'give and take'."

Against that background, prosecutors should only proceed with cases under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 where they are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the communication in question is more than:
Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or
Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or
The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.
If so satisfied, prosecutors should go on to consider whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.

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