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Comment: Re:And all because a copyright expired! (Score 1) 126

by Fnord666 (#47491889) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

Correlation does not equal causation. And you've left out how Gygax and Arneson were avid wargamers, and how the first ruleset of what would become D&D was an expansion (by Gygax) of a medieval rule set by Jeff Perren... and how Arneson (an avid player of Napoleonic figures based wargames) further expanded on the concept.

Ah yes. I fondly remember playing Chainmail. In fact, I still have my rule book as well as the three book set for the original Dungeons and Dragons.

Actually I originally got started playing such games at an individual level (as opposed to a unit level) thanks to Howard Thompson at Metagaming Concepts. A group of us were playing a lot of the microgames from Metagaming such as Ogre, GEV, WarpWar and Chitin:I when we found the microgames Melee, Wizard, and Death Test by Metagaming. Inexpensive and pocket sized, they were great to carry with you and play whenever the opportunity presented itself. They were the CheapAss Games of the 1970s. In the Labyrinth, Advanced Melee and Advanced Wizard formed The Fantasy Trip and added the necessary RPG aspects to the series for many adventures. After the dustup between Thompson and Steve Jackson, our group ended up switching to Advanced D&D for several years after that. It was too bad since I really liked TFT.

Comment: Re:Ah, how adorable... (Score 1) 125

by Fnord666 (#47487391) Attached to: FTC To Trap Robocallers With Open Source Software

To this day I still do not understand what makes this such a difficult and complex issue to tackle.

I don't see why it can't be as simple as: Spam call comes in, I dial a report number, telecom system flags the call and the origin. After 10 reports, 100 reports, that number is blocked. Further outgoing calls from the number are directed to a message to contact a fraud line to get the number reinstated. The longer a number has belonged to a legitimate company, the more immunity it is granted by the system to prevent abuses from angry consumers. The shorter the number has been in service, the more scrunity it is under.

Are the robocallers really able to shield their call origins from the telecoms? That just seems like such a ridiculous concept.

Let me help you out a bit with this. The thing is, those same telecoms that should be able to put a stop to this? They make money on every call. They have absolutely no incentive to do a damn thing about it except sell you caller id (for an extra fee) and the telemarketers the ability to fake their caller id (for an extra fee).
When in doubt, follow the money. Ask yourself who profits if something is done about a situation and who loses.

Comment: The Natural Stopping Point (Score 1) 353

by Fnord666 (#47410021) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

I suppose the natural stopping point might be the balance between an individual's willingness to be monitored and the desire to reduce insurance premiums.

Possibly, although the cynic in me says that the natural stopping point will be when the insurance companies require that you be monitored or they will not provide you with insurance.

Comment: Re:Profit before subsidy? (Score 3, Interesting) 247

by Fnord666 (#47385183) Attached to: Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E

I just did the calculation for myself, and compared to my $15k 40mpg Hyundai, and given the amount of gas I go through on a weekly basis, if I pay sticker price for the model E it will be just about at the break even point. Any subsidy is just gravy. My current car is only 2 years old, so I won't be in the market for a while, but I'll definitely take a long hard look at a Tesla when I am.

Don't forget to factor in maintenance where the all electric vehicle will be cheaper. The estimated cost for 4 years of maintenance on a Tesla S is $1900. Compare that to $3316 for the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and $3417 for the regular Hyundai Sonata. Maintenance costs for the Hyundais are from's "Cost of Ownership" page for each model. Maintenance costs for the Tesla are from Tesla motors. For more equitable "levels" of cars, the Hyundai Equus has a 4 year maintenance cost exceeding $6000.

Comment: Re:What about range on this smaller car? (Score 1) 247

by Fnord666 (#47385085) Attached to: Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E

There's a limit to how many amps you can dump in a battery without severely shortening its capacity to hold a charge (not withstanding the heat and other problems related to running hundreds of amps on a connector)

That and the fact that you have people who forget to remove the nozzle before leaving the gas station. How many of these people will a supercharging station fry?

Comment: Re:Github overtaken by thuggish government (Score 1) 349

by Fnord666 (#47385035) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Github FAILS the requirement for reliability due to being subject to DMCA horseshit. Will somebody please start the next github in a jurisdiction untouchable by DMCA and other thuggish regulations.

Maybe we could build a data haven on an old abandoned oil drilling platform that is in international waters. I think I read about that somewhere.

Comment: Re:Two week downtime (Score 2) 349

by Fnord666 (#47384999) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

DMCA requires that the service provider wait no fewer than ten and no more than fourteen days after forwarding the counter-notification and then put it back up if the service provider has not received notice of suit in that period.

Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure about the section in bold requiring the ISP to wait 10 days. The phrasing is weird. Here is the relevant section of the DMCA(emphasis mine):

Under the knowledge standard, a service provider is eligible for the limitation on liability only if it does not have actual knowledge of the infringement, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent, or upon gaining such knowledge or awareness, responds expeditiously to take the material down or block access to it.

The statute also establishes procedures for proper notification, and rules as to its effect. (Section 512(c)(3)). Under the notice and takedown procedure, a copyright owner submits a notification under penalty of perjury, including a list of specified elements, to the service providerâ(TM)s designated agent. Failure to comply substantially with the statutory requirements means that the notification will not be considered in determining the requisite level of knowledge by the service provider. If, upon receiving a proper notification, the service provider promptly removes or blocks access to the material identified in the notification, the provider is exempt from monetary liability. In addition, the provider is protected from any liability to any person for claims based on its having taken down the material. (Section 512(g)(1)).

In order to protect against the possibility of erroneous or fraudulent notifications, certain safeguards are built into section 512. Subsection (g)(1) gives the subscriber the opportunity to respond to the notice and takedown by filing a counter notification. In order to qualify for the protection against liability for taking down material, the service provider must promptly notify the subscriber that it has removed or disabled access to the material. If the subscriber serves a counter notification complying with statutory requirements, including a statement under penalty of perjury that the material was removed or disabled through mistake or misidentification, then unless the copyright owner files an action seeking a court order against the subscriber, the service provider must put the material back up within 10-14 business days after receiving the counter notification.

Penalties are provided for knowing material misrepresentations in either a notice or a counter notice. Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material is infringing, or that it was removed or blocked through mistake or misidentification, is liable for any resulting damages (including costs and attorneysâ(TM) fees) incurred by the alleged infringer, the copyright owner or its licensee, or the service provider. (Section 512(f)).

I believe the last paragraph does allow for penalties for deliberately false take down notices. The problem is that you would have to actually take the case to court and discover that they knew the notices would be false. IANAL but if I read this right, if you file a counter claim to get things put back up claiming misidentification or mistake and you are found to be infringing anyway, you could be on the hook for the copyright holder's attorney's fees. If the counter-claim requires a reason, I would recommend something other than one of these two.

"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box." -- Peter da Silva