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Comment: Re:The worst of Slashdot commenters (Score 1) 59

by JaredOfEuropa (#48680095) Attached to: The Open Bay Helps Launch 372 'Copies' of the Pirate Bay In a Week
If you publish a creative work, do you have the right to have that work protected against copying?

The answer really isn't as clear-cut as with physical property. Society / lawmakers recognized that copying someone's creative work or invention doesn't deprive them of anything, and benefits society as a whole. However they also recognized that creators and inventors wouldn't have much incentive to publish if they had no means by which to profit from their work. That's why patents, copyright and the notion of IP exist. Not because it is some natural right, but because there was a need to balance the creators' rights against those of the general public.

Arguably, that balance has gone off. Piracy isn't just people availing themselves of entertainment for free, it is also people consuming entertainment that has not been made available to them in an acceptable manner, for a reasonable price, and in some cases the content wasn't available to them at all at any price, often for arbitrary reasons. Piracy at least sends a strong message to media companies about what people want, and that's not entertainment without having to pay.

I don't know anyone who still bothers to pirate music; there are enough legal alternatives available that are much more convenient. Because of piracy. Similarly e-books: I try to buy these but when a publisher won't sell outside the USA and won't take PayPal so I can fake the address, the it's FU and off to TPB. And it's getting better: buying books right on the e-reader is so much more convenient than pirating them, so who bothers anymore? Series? Still crap. I pirated a bunch of Netflix stuff because it simply wasn't available anymore (remember the "Netflix please take my money campaign?), but I did get a subscription when it became available here. Movies are still bad: poorly available and highly priced, and not available in digital downloads. So I pirate them. And our government backed us up in this, stating that they would not prosecute individual pirates as long as there were no viable legal alternatives available. Sadly they got overruled by the EU (more double secret treaties I wager).

So it's not idiots who feel entitled to other people's creative works for free, it's idiots who feel entitled to lawful protection of an artificial scarcity.

Comment: Re:show me the measurement for programmers (Score 1) 498

by JaredOfEuropa (#48677551) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In
It depends on the situation. As an example: I am the world's crappiest coder and designer... when it comes to maintainability, legibility, reusability. Undisciplined at (re-)factoring, test harnesses and version control. However, I work fast, faster than most, and my code generally has very few bugs. That sort of thing is worth a lot in places where you need agility rather than maintainability, like in innovation, rapid prototyping, or production software of temporary value.

Comment: Re:What Paul Graham doesn't get... (Score 5, Insightful) 498

by JaredOfEuropa (#48676977) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In
I wager that most companies are incapable of recognizing top programming talent, let alone nurturing such talent, offering a wage matching their skill, or offering a viable career path that doesn't end in management or even a leadership role. In fact, most larger corporations I've seen aren't even capable of using top talent accidentally; the way the work is organized in cookie cutter roles and jobs means that they are really better off with cheaper average talent; top talent will be somewhat better in those roles, but not that much.

Comment: Rubbish (Score 5, Insightful) 317

by JaredOfEuropa (#48674945) Attached to: Why Lizard Squad Took Down PSN and Xbox Live On Christmas Day
If you want to prove these companies' inability to protect their customers, you hack into their systems and publish some anonymized but verifiable data. This is just petty vandalism; DDOSing game companies does not endanger customers or their privacy, it just denies them a service they paid for. It's like parking your truck across the entrance to the parking lot, in order to "prove that the mall has poor security".

Comment: Re:Gates is a very lucky man (Score 4, Interesting) 177

by JaredOfEuropa (#48674867) Attached to: Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology
Absolutely, and the skill and factors I mentioned are things that increase your chances of success, they by no means guarantee it. While I do believe that there's more to success than stupid luck, I also think that what we can learn from successful entrepreneurs is a great deal less than what MBA teachers and writers of business books lead us to believe. Perhaps Steve Jobs started in a garage at an early age, went for morning walks, always had cereal for lunch, and asked his mom for one piece of business advice every weekend, and made it a point to publicly humiliate at least one of his execs every week, or whatever (I made these up to make a point), but there's little point in blindly copying that behaviour to try and achieve our own success.

Comment: Re:Gates is a very lucky man (Score 4, Insightful) 177

by JaredOfEuropa (#48674679) Attached to: Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology
Many of us have had a few good business ideas at some point. The success of many entrepreneurs can be attributed to luck, being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people, rather than just having that great idea. But they then also have to recognize the idea as being good, recognize the opportunity presented by Lady Luck (timeliness and the right friends), have the guts to seize the opportunity and stake one's future on it, and then have the wherewithal to build a company around that idea.

Comment: Re:The barrier has been there all along ! (Score 1, Interesting) 60

by JaredOfEuropa (#48666155) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War
The idea wasn't even that good when it was invented.

“The granting of patents ‘inflames cupidity', excites fraud, stimulates men to run after schemes that may enable them to levy a tax on the public, begets disputes and quarrels betwixt inventors, provokes endless lawsuits...The principle of the law from which such consequences flow cannot be just.”

That is what the Economist had to say about patents... in 1851. The idea that inventors (both people toiling in their garage and Big Pharm companies spending billions on medical R&D) should be encouraged to invest their effort into research and share the results by allowing them to profit from them, is a valid one. But patents are, and have been for over a century, a particularly poor way to ensure reward for inventors without stifling innovation. And remember that patents were not even invented with the purpose of ensuring a profit for inventors; the purpose was to encourage inventors to share so that society as a whole might benefit. The inventor's profit was a means rather than an end.

Comment: Re:It looks like a friggin video game. (Score 5, Interesting) 347

by JaredOfEuropa (#48663801) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
It doesn't by definition. But I fail to see how 24 fps is aesthetically better. Some movies work better in black & white, but only some. (Reminds me of a scene with an aspiring cinematographer sitting in a bar, fawning over some "artsy" B&W movie playing on the TV... until the barman whacks the old set on the side, and the screen snaps back to color). Likewise, some movies might be better at 24fps, but I suspect the "soap opera effect"will be gone with a generation or two, and the next generations will prefer the higher framerate once 24 fps is associated with "old people movies".

Comment: Re:It looks like a friggin video game. (Score 5, Informative) 347

by JaredOfEuropa (#48663655) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
You'll get used to it, it's just cultural bias. HFR movies and other content viewed on HDTVs that do motion interpolation look like soap operas because for a long time, soap operas were shot with video cameras with a higher framerate, whereas any serious production was shot on film stock (and most such productions are still shot at 24fps). The result is the "soap opera effect", in that we still associate the technically superior framerate with cheap-ass productions.

With that said, the CGI was pretty pad in "the Hobbit" at times, and some scenes got padded to incredible length ("when is that barrel riding scene going to end?!"). One movie wouldn't have done justice to the story, but 3 was too much.

Comment: Re:Duck & Cover? (Score 4, Interesting) 69

by JaredOfEuropa (#48658621) Attached to: ESA Carries Out Asteroid Impact Drill
For a small asteroid, the best response is not to do nothing, but to figure out where the thing is going to hit, and if it's going to hit a populated area, advise the authorities to start an evacuation or advise people to seek shelter. That is what ESA's exercise was about: can they gather, process, and share the right information in a timely manner?

Comment: Re:Ob XKCD (Score 1) 128

"Andrews & Arnold Ltd". Sounds more like a haberdasher than an ISP. I love it! Companies seem to be struggling to come up with good names; the trend here is to use a common word with a Q or Z added somewhere, or they just pick a vaguely Latin sounding but fully anonymous and forgettable name. Nothing wrong with just using the names of the founders.

Torque is cheap.