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Comment Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 130

Wasn't it all but admitted to that they are stopping the data collection because now they expect the phone companies to do the data collection for them and give them unlimited access to it? This way, they can say "we've stopped data collection" while still getting all the data that they would have had access to had they continued collecting it.

Comment Re:End of open and honest? I'll disagree. (Score 4, Interesting) 242

I don't think it's the anonymity that brings out the worst in people, but the separation of comment and audience. As I sit here typing this, my "audience" is a bunch of pixels on the screen. It's all too easy to remember that there's an actual human on the other side of those pixels. Most people wouldn't say horribly offensive stuff to a person's face for various reasons ranging from it's rude to they don't want to be fired to they don't want to get punched in the face. Online communications take away many of those societal pressures to stay polite which leads some people to act as though the people they are communicating with don't deserve basic human respect.

This isn't to say that using real names wouldn't keep some people civil - it might for some people - but the vast majority of online idiots will continue to be idiots whether they post as a pseudonym or their real names.

Comment Re:The problem... (Score 2) 417

The problem I see with this - and base this statement on first hand experience - is that you either tend to be very distracted and always looking at the next thing, or you tend to be incredible focused on one single thing for a very long time.

My brain is like that already without any help from drugs! So does this mean I'm living a free, perpetual low-level acid trip?

Comment The Linux Switch (Score 1) 357

I've been putting off my Windows 10 upgrade because, as great as it seemed like the OS was going to be, the spyware and now the uninstalling of programs has completely put me off. I have a spare laptop (Windows Vista, I believe) that I mainly use for Kodi and to share out my external hard drive. I'm now considering installing Linux on it as a test. I'm not sure which distribution to use. Which one would be the best to migrate from Windows for Kodi/network file sharing? Would it allow me to boot the laptop back into Windows (in case I needed to access something from there)? Would it support USB remote controls/keyboards like this one?

If this install succeeds, my main laptop (used for web development, web browsing, document creation with OpenOffice, and light image editing) could be next.

Comment Re:Terminated Based on Accusations? (Score 1) 222

The actual DMCA process (when not abused) isn't so bad:

1) Copyright holder claims that John Doe violated his copyright.
2) Copyright holder takes ISP to court to prove this actually happened.
3a) Copyright holder's case doesn't convince the judge to issue a subpoena. End here.
3b) The judge is convinced and issues a subpoena.
4) The ISP gives the copyright holder the user's information.
5) The copyright holder sues the user.

Overall, the process is relatively fair. The ISP can't be expected to be the judge of whether something is a copyright violation. That's for the courts. There are definitely improvements that can be made like in penalty amounts, but it's a decent process.

The problem here is that RightsCorp and the judge are saying that the process should be:

1) Copyright holder makes a few accusations against a user.
2) ISP kicks user off.

No court involved. No burden of proof. Nothing. Just "X did this wrong" followed by punishment.

Comment Re:Terminated Based on Accusations? (Score 1) 222

Oh, there are plenty of people here that own copyrights to things. Did you ever take a photo with your smartphone? Congrats, you own a copyright! Now if a hundred of us were to claim that RightsCorp violated our copyrights (whether or not they did is immaterial since RightsCorp is claiming that the mere accusation counts), RightsCorp's ISP would have no choice but to kick them offline.

Comment Re:The judge issued a verdict ahead of trial? (Score 2) 222

Does the ISP get to say to them these are the subscribers who's services where suspended without cause these are the ones that left and here is bill for that lost revenue? does the subscriber get to charge them for hook up fees when they move to a new service or damages when their accounts are suspended?

No, because the only penalty in the DMCA levied against the accuser is for falsely stating who you are. So if I claim that I'm Steven Tyler and you violated "my" copyrights by sharing "my" songs, I could get fined. However, if I claim that you violated copyright on songs that I actually do own the copyright to, I won't be fined even if you never even knew such songs existed - much less downloaded/uploaded them.

This means a rights holder could toss DMCA claims against everyone, demand settlement fees, quickly drop the cases where the user is going to fight back (without any penalty to the rights holder), and collect settlements from the rest. Pure profit!

Comment Terminated Based on Accusations? (Score 4, Informative) 222

So the judge is saying that Cox should shut off customers based on repeated allegations? As in, the proof isn't in yet and they've just been accused of something. Why even bother with trials or checking for proof then? Just fire a few dozen DMCA reports against random IP addresses and watch as people get taken offline. No proof required.

If this makes it into precedent/law, how long until many people accuse Rightscorp of copyright violations and take them offline? Or does the "guilty-and-taken-offline-before-proven-innocent" rule only apply if a company is accusing an individual. (To quote Animal Farm: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.")

Comment Re:Nothing to hide (Score 1) 75

You'll get no argument from me that the system is in serious need of changes at many levels to protect people from identity theft. Unfortunately, the credit agencies and credit card companies profit off of identity theft (selling people's data, taking in fees from fraudulent purchases and then writing them off if proven to be fraud, etc). They have powerful lobbying groups that will fight any changes that threaten their business - a category which includes increased consumer protections.

Comment Re:Nothing to hide (Score 1) 75

SSN is, unfortunately, a big deal. With your SSN, date of birth, and name, anyone can open lines of credit in your name. This includes credit cards, loans, etc. I found this out the hard way when someone opened a credit card in my name after somehow obtaining my name, DOB, SSN, and home address. (I never found out how they got this information and never will.)

I was lucky in that the thieves paid for rush delivery of the card and the card was sent out before their address change request (from my address - needed to open the account - to their address) went through. The card arrived at my house and I was able to close the account and freeze my credit to make sure this didn't happen again. Had the card gone to them, though, they would have run it to its limit (which was more than $5,000) and not paid the bill. I would have found out about it when the collection agencies banged on my door for payment and they wouldn't be likely to take "But I didn't open that account or spend that money" as an excuse for not paying "my" debts.

So threatening that you'll reveal someone's SSN is a very big deal - especially if you link it to their name and DOB.

Comment Re:so... now they want to ban knowledge (Score 1) 311

Wasn't that program actually started under the Bush administration?

Well, yes but that's misleading.

So that Obama and Holder ended up taking all manner of shit from the Rabid Right--including a massive anti-Holder PR campaign by the NRA--for continuing to do what their guy had started?

This is the misleading part. The operation that became Fast and Furious began under the Bush administration as Wide Receiver but the program was vastly different under the Obama administration.

There was nearly seven times more guns allowed to walk during the Obama administration than under Bush. The Bush administration ended Wide Receiver in 2007 when they had issues with inadequate tracking. None of the Bush era guns have been used in homicides in the US. The Bush era program notified Mexican law enforcement of guns that they expected would cross the border, that didn't happen under Obama.

Whether you choose to chalk it up to incompetence or malice, there were many differences between Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious that show the Obama administration's operation was a wholly different beast.


Space is to place as eternity is to time. -- Joseph Joubert