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Comment: Re:Uh... no (Score 2) 135

by Sabriel (#48400881) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

There's a reason we gave out cable monopolies. It was too expensive to build out the infrastructure w/o a guaranteed profit and we're too frightened of the gov't to just make it a public works project. It's either monopolies or figuring out how to counteract 50+ years of cold war propaganda about the evils of socialism...

Bullshit. "We" gave out cable monopolies because even 50+ years ago "our" politicians were bought and paid for by the cable companies, they just cared more about hiding it back then.

If the government really believed in capitalism, and no corporation was willing to build it without a 'guaranteed' profit (read: not having to worry about competition), it should've said "well too bloody bad then, we're not going to do it for you unless we make a 'guaranteed' profit too!" and held a referendum on whether to create its own for-profit company specifically to build the infrastructure, with itself as the majority investor (anyone else willing to invest being welcome) and lease capacity to anyone willing to pay.

Comment: Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (Score 5, Insightful) 322

by Sabriel (#48400091) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Maybe you were just trying for a Funny, but that just makes it even more depressing that someone modded you Insightful.

Because GP, as a chocolate maker, was saying that _cocoa_ should be more expensive. Does that mean the average price of chocolate would rise? Yes. Does that mean the GP's wholesale and retail price would rise? Maybe, maybe not, because they're already paying the farmers well above the typical rates.

Regardless; when one of the "middlemen" between you and the farmers, tells you that the farmers are getting stiffed by the global system that supposedly exists to protect those farmers, you should pay more attention.

Comment: Re:Name the type, or statement is meaningless (Score 2) 254

by Sabriel (#48346999) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

While indeed the current trend is to abuse copyright via absurd lengths, "modern" copyright law originated much earlier than the USA's founding - in Europe, where it was used as a means to ensure that only words agreeable to the Crown and the Church were distributed, as the technology of the printing press began to spread in the 15th and 16th centuries. Note that the first privileges of monopoly were given to the printers, not the authors; e.g. in Britain the latter were not "protected" by the Law until the Copyright Act of 1709.

Modern patents have a similarly sordid origin; it's not a coincidence that the system arose at a time when the ability to record and distribute information began to grow in tandem with the need for more workers (all potential leaks) to meet product demand, and many patents were to manufacturers and middlemen, not necessarily the inventors. Also, while the granting of patents became systematic around 1450 in Venice, formally publishing the descriptions of patented inventions was not introduced until 1555 by King Henry II of France (and that concept spread very slowly). Basically? Patents were still "viciously protected" trade secrets, it was just that the privilege of breaking your kneecaps for tattling was enforced by the crown.

TL,DR: copyrights and patents originated as self-serving plutocratic legislation; as social and economic systems grew increasingly tangled and interdependent, what appears to be a "modern" system built on mutual respect is the result of enough varied selfish interests pulling taut the legal fabric as to give only the semblance of a level playing field.

Comment: Re:Name the type, or statement is meaningless (Score 2) 254

by Sabriel (#48343227) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

The laws governing copyright, patents, trademarks and every other legal concept commonly lumped under the banner of "Intellectual Property" are all entirely different, and in most cases they are mutually exclusive. This makes using them in the aggregate as "Intellectual Property" legally meaningless if one is trying to state something concrete.

I disagree. The term "intellectual property" is a useful super-set for the group of sets "copyright", "patent", etcetera, that all result from different legislative approaches to the same goal: monopolising wealth by artificially restricting the use of information.

(of the "big three", I find trademarks the least offensive in this regard - the idea of a "maker's mark" at least began as an honest attempt to provide something useful to the citizenry, whilst copyrights and patents are rooted in their origins of censorship and extortion respectively)

Comment: Re:Time for a revolution (Score 1) 424

by Sabriel (#48236515) Attached to: Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

Completely untraceable transactions, physically divorced from the participants? Now where have I seen that before... oh.


What do you think criminals would do with completely untraceable transactions? What do you think organised crime would do? You might want to study the consequences of driving transactions underground during the Prohibition era.

I'd give it a year, tops, before our already-vaguely-representative government would be replaced by completely un-representative, un-traceable overlords.

Comment: Re:Goolge is helping... (Score 4, Insightful) 289

by Sabriel (#48217417) Attached to: Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

... hmm. It occurs to me that the GP can be completely wrong about there being some grand conspiracy and yet still accurately describe/predict what happens.

Enough people, acting independently towards coincidentally similar goals, can look remarkably like a conspiracy from the outside.

And unfortunately cause the same problems.

Best to amend the system so that the effect is prevented/fixed regardless of the cause.

Comment: Re:Charging amperage (Score 1) 395

If they can get it down to a quarter-hour I'd be happy. Enough time to take that healthy walk after hours of driving, grab a bite to eat, etc. And if I wasn't doing cross-country, it probably means I've either repeatedly forgotten to charge the car at home or I've got bigger problems.

Comment: Re:Not only in Finland. (Score 1) 314

I had a dream once, where our first meeting with aliens involved a giant spaceship appearing over the capital and confiscating the White House in the case of "The Galactic Republic versus 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, United States, Earth".

I was much more interested in the cool giant spaceship and not the politicians complaining at their own civil forfeiture laws being used against them, but anyway...

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell