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Comment Class-y Action (Score 5, Interesting) 34

As someone who is procrastinating from studying for the bar, I have to say that the key phrase here is "lawyer's fees." Once those words have been invoked, there's no real incentive for the lawyers to look out for the class member's interests anymore. These massive class actions are usually miserable for the class members, but great for the attorneys who take the case.

As far as what should have been done, giving every facebook user their share would be difficult, but I don't see why they couldn't have come to an agreement to run something like youtube's partnership program and give people who bring in a lot of business for their advertisers a kickback. Everybody else could be given a farmville cow or something (I have no idea what the new big shitty gam^H^H^H data-mining project is).

Anybody know which charity the money is going to? EFF sounds like a fine choice.

Comment Re:From My Simpleton Point of View (Score 2, Informative) 535

Actually, there's no specific contract term necessary in most states. If you work in the US, the presumption is that you are at will. Now, there are some exceptions, but those are usually contracted (read: hidden disclaimer) around anyway. Unless you're in a union job (Unions? In my tech industry?) You can get fired for basically anything, since it's not always a lucrative or an easy case to prove. Generally the cost of the litigation is less than finding a new job, anyway.

Comment Re:What, no link? (Score 1) 439

Except for the fact that she was, you know, prosecuted, but later the charges were dropped since she was helping a massive federal investigation. But your way works, too. I mean, why would we ever want to encourage people assisting in an ongoing investigation for a public official? It's not like they've ever had private citizens help with investigations of someone up to no good...

Comment Re:Copyright law IS a black hole... (Score 3, Informative) 278

Technically, by publishing your comments here, you retain full copyright just like everything else you've ever written under the Berne Convention by default. /. is even nicer, since in the SourceForge TOS Sec. 13 says that they'll help you if you get your stuff copied without permission and it ends up on one of their websites. A lot of TOS don't even have explicit compliance with the DMCA, love it or hate it (or both).

Your idea that the site should include some boilerplate that says all content is licensed under the GNU GPL or CC-BY-NC-ND would be exactly the opposite of what you want, I think. If they were to do that, they would be stripping the users from the right of total control of their works. Any license that automatically strips authors of their rights to determine how their work promulgates (I'm looking at you, GPL!) to me, at least, seems abusive.

And while IANAL, IAALS, and as such, this is not legal advice, I can't even be your lawyer if I wanted and all that fun stuff.

Comment Re:Idiot programmers (Score 3, Informative) 494

From TFS:

Micronesia and other countries in the region have their own Social Security Administrations which gave out numbers to residents applying for US disaster relief loans.

Since the loan originated in the US, the US would be the one to administer it. Part of getting a loan in the US is that copies of it get sent to the reporting bureaus. So, the Micronesians gave a SSN as an identifier, and some idiot somewhere decided it would be great if they just used that to identify the people on the application, regardless of country of origin, which is GP's point.

Comment Re:Who do you trust? (Score 1) 730

I worked at a grocery store and can tell you for a fact that the meat guys didn't always give out fresh meat.

You know what, though? Nobody got sick enough from our store that they did anything about it. Why? Probably because they didn't get sick.

The point here is that most of the time, the things people get paranoid about are harmless. It generally takes maliciousness or severe neglect to really screw someone over, and both are actionable offenses.

Comment Re:first amendment (Score 1) 451

Well, in the case of American public officials, after the NYT v. Sullivan decision actual malice must first be shown. This is to say that the author intended to damage the target as opposed to merely voicing a strong negative opinion. In the case of private individuals, it is a statutory matter. The legal level of determining fault in the case of a private figure is somewhere between the aforementioned actual malice and above strict liability as decided under Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts . Your Scientology and Streisand examples would fall under this sort of precedent and only really succeed because they can buy the better lawyers (and laws, for that matter).

As mentioned by other comments, the intent of the First Amendment is to limit governmental powers. Here, the authors of the Constitution were dealing with an oppressive govt. (not like UK libel laws are any better now) and sought to limit the amount of govt. control on criticism.

In short, since there is a legitimate interest in criticism of public officials that does not apply to criticism of individuals, there are different standards of protection from criticism.

Comment Re:I'd like to see nicknames (Score 1) 671

Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill?
Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill?

He went out Linux hunting with his killbot and chair
Just so that Balmmer could throw it in the air
Spreadsheet writing monopolizing billlionaire!
All the children sing:

Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill?
Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill?

Compiling Wondows 7 right before our eyes
And then the RTM it took us by surprise
So Linus Torvalds zapped him right between the eyes!
All the children sing:

Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill?
Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill?

The users asked him about restrictive DRM
"You know it plays for sure" the Ballmer butten in
So we upgraded and we took it in the chin!
All the children sing:

Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill?
Hey, Bellicose Bill, what did you kill, Bellicose Bill? (ad nauseum)

Comment Re:typo in summary (Score 3, Funny) 575

Second post, same as the first

I'm MSIE the 8th I am. MSIE the 8th I am, I am. I got bested by the browser next door. We've been tryin' 7 times before. And everyone was an MSIE. We wouldn't pass an AcidTest, no ma'am. I'm the User Agent MSIE, MSIE the 8th I am, I am. MSIE the 8th I am.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 1354

Nah. He's just a gaming geek, of the role-playing variety, I'd assume.

To address the lack of local geekery, SJ Games has a gamer finder, if GURPS is your poison. If you're of the d20 persuasion: Gleemax the Wizards of the Coast forums has those sorts of people.

Actually, looking at that, finding a gaming group is a good way to meet the lady folk. At least, we generally have had women playing, even ones who weren't someone's SO.

God is real, unless declared integer.