Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Any chance of clarification... (Score 2) 192

by Sabriel (#49092887) Attached to: How NSA Spies Stole the Keys To the Encryption Castle

That's a valid question. I'll try to answer it. Yes, neither act is "theft" in the jargon of the law. But you're asking why people (who aren't lawyers) are treating one as theft and not the other.

One answer is that "we" (generally) don't feel that there is any strong societal contract with the TV/movie corps, so there's little or no "trust" for the pirates to steal (from that social contract). On the other hand "we" do very much feel that there is - or at least should be - a strong societal contract with the government that purportedly represents us. So any hypocritical action taken by the government feels like a betrayal, a "theft of trust" from us.

Another answer is "nobody likes a hypocrite, and they like him even less when he punishes others for doing what he does". For an analogy: your coworker loves to quote scripture, but helps themself to the office stationery; your boss loves to quote company policy and fired your coworker, but helps themself to the office pension plan; your senator loves to quote the constitution but voted for free speech zones and civil forfeiture laws before taking a revolving door VP position at your company and fired your boss only to outsource half of your department and walk away even richer when what was left collapsed. Which of these three would you consider assholes, and which would you consider the worst?

Comment: Re:just ban it (Score 1) 365

by Sabriel (#49058591) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

Nice argument, except alcohol, big macs, sodas and driving aren't physiologically addictive products that can and have caused terminal cancer in bystanders and coworkers.

I don't have a problem with you smoking per se, even though I react poorly to inhaling cigarette smoke. I can even cope with you and yours puffing away in public, on occasion, if I can hold my breath until I'm no longer downwind. Tolerance and forgiveness, we all have our faults, etc.

What I do have a problem with is the fuck-you-got-mine attitude of your post, because it's the same attitude that produced an entire industry devoted to peddling a highly-addictive carcinogenic pollutant whilst deliberately covering up its life-threatening dangers to both users and bystanders.

You want to keep smoking AND come remotely close to a moral high ground? I hope you're at least growing your own.

Comment: Re:Extradition? (Score 1) 299

by Sabriel (#48817921) Attached to: Uber Suspends Australian Transport Inspector Accounts To Block Stings

The difference is that Uber is doing it for the money.

Is your friend paying you more than the cost to you of providing the ride? Are you participating in a scheme that arranges rides for money (whether the money goes to you or someone else)? Would your vehicle's insurer consider it to be commercial use of the vehicle? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", what you are doing could well be illegal without registering as a commercial operation.

You want anything more technical or accurate than that, ask a lawyer. I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

Comment: Re:i vote with my wallet (Score 1) 328

Here's the thing: if one truly believes in a system of justice and the rule of law, then one must refuse to recognize the validity of any contract that is not of equitable nature (be it equally fair or equally unfair).

You have a false premise. There are lots of laws that I disagree with -- even the current length of copyright -- but I don't go around breaking every law I disagree with just because I disagree with it. If everyone did that, it would be anarchy, not to mention, why have laws in the first place (since you're going to do whatever you damn will want anyway).

... I'm not seeing my false premise. As I pointed out later in my post, my position on copyright doesn't mean I'm going to go out and copy all the movies. Society is a mesh of overlapping obligations and responsibilities. So while I think "copyright" is an inferior and even fundamentally flawed mechanism, "Don't be a douche" (as Noah put it in his reply to me) remains a tenet I agree with.

By the way, your seriously deluding yourself if you think we've ever had a system of justice. We have a system of laws (such as it is). Justice is a mythical creature that only exists in theory. One person's justice is another person's injustice.

I know. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try, at least a little. The alternative, as you said yourself, is anarchy.

Comment: Re:i vote with my wallet (Score 3, Insightful) 328

... No, I think you don't agree with him - or if you do, you're conflicted on the issue, and you're laboring under at least one false apprehension.

Here's the thing: if one truly believes in a system of justice and the rule of law, then one must refuse to recognize the validity of any contract that is not of equitable nature (be it equally fair or equally unfair).

So if you truly agree that copyright is no longer equitable, then (given the above) you must agree that _neither_ party is required to abide by its terms as-is. You don't get to call it theft, because in the absence of copyright the information that comprises a work _is neither tangible nor property_: stealing a "Harry Potter" DVD does not steal the concept of "Harry Potter" itself.

This is why I generally consider any attempt to "copy-protect" a work, via a method that does not allow for the "limited times" clause of copyright law, to be either an act of fraud or a disavowal of the creator's rights to protection of that work under copyright law - because to deliberately attempt to make your work un-copyable while claiming the protections of copyright law would be tortious misconduct.

Which doesn't mean I go around copying DRM'd movies on principle - there's more than enough free/cheap legal media for me to spend the rest of my life watching if I wanted to be a couch hermit - it just means that I recognize contracts (are supposed to) go both ways.

Comment: Re:Here we go again (Score 1) 496

by Sabriel (#48442225) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

Some managers don't want to hire women because they worry that they will go on maternity leave or quit completely if they get pregnant. That one is harder to deal with, but does again exclude good candidates and diversity from the company.

Perhaps explain to those managers that while, yes, women are indeed statistically more likely to leave/quit due to having children, men are statistically more likely to leave/quit due to serious injuries? Furthermore, a pregnancy usually allows at least a few months to arrange a replacement; a serious injury is rarely so respectful.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS