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Comment Re:tit for tat (Score 1) 202

Yeah. Still perhaps the right thing to do at a moment in history where corporations are quickly annihilating what's left of democracy and state of right. For a case in point: does your representative know what's being negotiated "in your name" in some obscure international treaty (be it TTIP, CETA, TPP or whatever the current abomination is called)?

Likely he doesn't know. Which should be reason enough to reject the treaty come ratification time. But somehow I doubt that my (or your) representative has the balls to say "NO".

Comment Re:Another Side Effect (Score 1) 202

Because the USA are more willing to collect?

IMHO US fines are not too high, other countries' fines are too low. If a company can make billions of profits by breaking the law and is fined only a fraction of those billions, it is the rational choice to
continue doing so. Only if the fines become higher than the illcit gains, we can expect them to have an effect.

This said, the EU is slowly waking up. A few years ago and after long forbearance, they finally fined Microsoft for their anti-competitive behavior in a way that (presumably) hurt.

Comment Government vs. courts -it's not the same (Score 1) 202

Shortly after the data protection rules in the EU were enacted, the EU Commission agreed to a shady compromise to avoid problems for the internet industry. This compromise is known as the Safe Harbour deal from 2000.

Today, the European Court of Justice is hearing a case where this practice is in dispute, and it may end with the Safe Harbour deal being ruled invalid. It would not be the first case where a law or international contract is found illegal after the fact.

Comment National Security letters as part of the problem (Score 1) 202

Since it has become public knowledge that US authorities can demand the "protected" data at any time, even from subsidiaries abroad, the value of any certification or demonstration is questionable.

That alone could end up making the Safe Harbor rules unusable for US companies, regardless of FTC enforcement. Depending on the EU court's ultimate decision of course.

Comment Re:The US needs a serious spanking (Score 1) 202

Well, if I understand the case correctly, the ratification may end up being invalid. As analogy, imagine the US ratifies a treaty and the SCOTUS finds it unconstitutional afterwards. I guess the US constitution would win over the ratification too.

And BTW, I can fully imagine that the EU was sloppy in the ratification process.

Comment Re:The US needs a serious spanking (Score 5, Informative) 202

The EU is trying to dictate the law to companies that are doing business in Europe, not against the US government or congress. Which every country does on its territory. Note that the case is against Facebook, not the US government.

Some of these companies happen to be US companies. Who may be in a bind soon, as the European Court of Justice is likely to invalidate the Safe Harbor Agreement, as it usually follows the advice of its general attorney. If that happens, said US companies are no longer allowed to store data of EU citizens outside the EU, but at the same time they may be told by the US via national security letter to hand over those data.

If both the US and the EU stay adamant, companies like Facebook may have to choose between doing business in the US or in Europe.

Comment Re:Sheesh (Score 1) 143

Well, GP was not talking about keeping control of stuff customers think they bought, but about the increased risk of that stuff being unavailable through technical difficulties. And I think he is right.

Downloading only what you need for a certain device I can see working.

But keeping even part of that stuff on the Cloud and downloading it "on demand" is a recipe for trouble. Connection failures happen, you know.

Comment Re:Don't train them in the current systems (Score 2) 158

If this place is anything like a couple of them I've seen before though? They likely decided to become primarily a "Linux shop" in the first place because they were unwilling to spend much on I.T. -- and somewhere along the line, staff deployed Linux as a way to keep old/obsolete hardware functional.

This may be a valid approach if there are no Windows-only applications that are not easily replaced. But that is something you need to find out as soon as possible. IMHO that will make the difference between being able to switch to Linux in the short run and looking at a long transition period.

For the City of Munich, switching to Linux took several years because they had lots of old applications on Windows for which there were no Linux equivalents.

Comment Re:Now that's just evil (Score 1) 515

Well, count me among the shitters then :-)

I'm staying on Win 7 for now, and this will only change if I can get a Win 10 Enterprise from "unofficial sources" or Microsoft relents with the spying.

If not, I might completely switch to Linux in 2020 when extended support for Win 7 runs out. It may be inferior for gaming, but I'm approaching 50 and the urge to kill pixelated monsters is diminishing with age. For any other purpose, I'm quite happy with Linux.

Comment Re: Potential, or likelihood? (Score 1) 317

Well, Microsoft had a Windows XP and a Windows 7 in between those bad releases. Otherwise, Windows market share might have suffered a lot more.

Now it will be interesting to see if Windows 10 can be one of the good versions. But even if not, Microsoft can survive thanks to Windows 7 until Windows 11 comes out. Displacing a succesful Windows version is very hard, to the point where a lot of people still run XP (even if I doubt the wisdom of that...).

Comment No moral obligations either way (Score 1) 351

On one hand, I acknowledge that a website owner may run the site as he sees fit. Which includes ads to earn some money

On the other hand, I don't feel obliged to pay attention to the ads or even let them onto my computer. So I don't have any qualms about using software like NoScript.

In everyday use, I tend to allow non-obtrusive ads that don't bog down my computer too much. The bogging down is noticeable at times BTW. I'm sometimes on a measly 2MBit/s connection with an older PC, and then the bandwidth and CPU demands of ads can be significant.
At other times, loading websites goes slooowly because some ad server cannot keep up with the load (often I've blocked that site specifically since).

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house. -- Mark Guido