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Comment More likely, it's about money. (Score 1) 297

The advertising slot right before Star Wars has got to be just about the most valuable ad space in all of cinema. I'd guess it's more likely that the Anglican church did not want to or could not afford to (They're not exactly Catholic rich, after all.) pay the rate that the slot is worth; and the "don't want to offend people"is some PR flack's notion of trying to save face and make the theater chain look less capitalist.

Comment Re:If we're going systemd, we should go full throt (Score 3, Interesting) 737

I disagree on the "full-throttle" part. That's be fine on consumer desktops. But Linux is mostly about production servers. Yes, yes... I know... mainstream Linux on the desktop is "just around the corner" and all that. :)

I have no great love for sysV init scripts. Getting rid of them would break a few things in my world. But really, those things could probably stand a new look and update anyway. But my second-to-main issue with systemd is that it's just somewhat half-baked and obtuse. There's a lot of "don't look behind the curtain, just trust us that it'll work" to it. That'd be tolerable in a consumer OS, or even in a consumer-targeted Linux distort like Mint, but not in bloody RHEL and Debian!

My biggest gripe about systemd, though, is its counterpart in crime: journald. Binary log files are the work of the devil and journald needs to die in a fire. And no one... not even a couple of Red Hat engineers I've spoken with... has been able to give be a non-hackish, production-worthy, way of ripping journald out of the thing and replacing it with syslog.

Comment Re:How DARE you apply the Rule of Law in this cour (Score 1) 222

No, I'm not against copyright in general. Though I do believe that the current legal climate favors the copyright industry far too heavily over individuals and even other industries (I wonder just how time, money, and engineering effort that could have been put to good use tech companies have been forced to waste in order to appease the copyright crowd, for example?).

But what I am completely against is the notion that it's okay to punish the innocent, in any number or capacity whatsoever, just to make it a little bit easier to punish the guilty. ANY punishment, even your "couple of weeks" of takedown, is an unacceptable, abusive, and undue burden if the accused has not, in fact, committed the infringement. Due process and the presumption of innocence are the fundamental rights I'm talking about; not a free copy or the latest Rebecca Black song.

Obviously, we're arguing in circles here. I don't think it's ok to jump straight to punishing the accused without proof or due process under any circumstance. You think that there should be an exception to that for the DMCA. We're just going to have to disagree on that. But I hope I've clarified my position. I'm not opposed to the notion of copyright in general; or even the DMCA in principle. I just believe that both need to be reformed. They have been misused and abused. That's happened far too much. And it needs to be out to a stop.

Comment Re:How DARE you apply the Rule of Law in this cour (Score 1) 222

You're assuming that every takedown is, in fact, valid and that the material should be taken down. I maintain that plenty are filed that are not legit. There are ample documented cases of DMCA takedowns where this turns out not to be the case, fair use, not actually subject to copyright, not filed by the legit owner; these have all happened. In these cases you propose that it's a-okay to arbitrarily and summarily punish an innocent person. I don't hold to that. I'm solidly and irrevocably on the side of due process, the presumption of innocence until guilt is proved, and that it's better for 1000 offenders to go unpunished than for one innocent to be made to suffer.

Frankly, when we're talking about fundamental human rights vs. the hypothetical value of some record labels latest 4-minutes of autotune, I say to hell with the value of the copyrighted item. People come before quarterly profits and share price.

Comment Re:How DARE you apply the Rule of Law in this cour (Score 1) 222

There are two major problems though. The first is with step 2. All that's happened at that point is an accusation. There's no proof and no due process at this point. Just an accusation and a jump immediately to punishment. This is a huge problem.

Also, the "under penalty of perjury" needs to be re-written to have some teeth. If attorneys were disbarred and executives imprisoned for perjury when the subject of takedowns turns out to be fair use, not actually owned by the takedown claimant, or otherwise non-infringing; I think we'd see a lot few fraudulent claims.

As a corollary to point two, all automatic and electronic submission of DMCA takedown claims need to go away as well. Supposed infringements should have to be submitted by an actual person; who will review the content and issue a sworn, notarized, and delivered by registered mail or other trackable courier, statement in writing and on the hook for perjury; that the content is, in fact, his (or his client's) and that it is, in fact, infringing.

Comment Re:What is the option (Score 1) 808

The point isn't really the amount of damage done to Ahmed. The point, IMO, is to see to it that this never happens again. At any point in the chain from teacher to principle to arresting officer to booking officer, someone could have looked at the situation with a level-headed, rational, non-racist view, realized that his/her underlings were engaged in a massive and unjust cock-up, and put a stop to Ahmed's ordeal. Hell, they could even tried admitting that they screwed up and apologizing. But all the way up to the town's mayor, none of them did so. Even as the president, Google, MIT, Facebook, NASA, George Takei, and no less than Steve Wozniak (!!!) were all telling them that they screwed up; the school, the police department, and the city government all just kept doubling down on stupid.

Heads need to roll, from the bottom to the top.

A big problem is that it's so hard for public employees to be held accountable. Personally? I think a just and adequate compensation would be tuition costs in full for a private high school of Ahmed's choice; plus the aforementioned terminations. There's no need for him to come out of this a millionaire. But how likely would it be, in that case, that anyone *does* get fired over this? Not likely, unfortunately. But if someone's personal maliciousness and incompetence costs the city millions of dollars, it's much more likely that they'll be punished.

Comment Re:Jar Jar Binks (Score 1) 424

My point wasn't that Natalie Portman is a bad actress. I think she's quite good as well. My point is that Christensen is just so bad, that he dragged her down into the depths of sucktitude with him.

And as for Christensen starting with bad material in the first place, I'll point out that Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, Peter Cushing, Kenny Baker, James Earl Jones, Ewan McGregor, Peter Mayhew, Liam Neeson, Frank Oz, and even Billy Dee Williams, all suffered under the yoke of George Lucas' film-making "talents". And they all turned in much better performances across the board than Hayden Christensen. It takes a pretty damn bad actor that a voiceover, a walking fur suit, a metal can, and a muppet are all more believable and likable in their roles.

Comment Re:Jar Jar Binks (Score 2) 424

I actually quite likes a fair bit of the re-done & enhanced effects in the Special Editions. Where they went wrong, IMO, is where they changed plot or characterization (Greedo shooting first.), added scenes that just didn't make sense (Palpatine's not dead a whole day, and his statues are already being torn down on Coruscant? How did the news get there so fast? What happened to the empire's military and police forces? Did they all just decide to take the day off?), and where they were obviously half-baked (Jabba the Hutt inserted into Ep.4).

Inserting Hayden Christensen into the ghost scene at the end wasn't offensive so much for the replacement of the original actor; but because Hayden Christensen is just so bloody awful I didn't want to be reminded of his casting. And I think that's a big part of why the prequels were bad too. Sure Jar-Jar was annoying. But he was really a non-essential bit of (bad) comic relief... easily ignored. Midichlorians were dumb fake science, but no more than timing the Kessel run in units of distance. No, the main thing that made the prequels so terrible was casting two of the most obnoxious, annoying, incompetently-acting, prats to play the most important character of the trilogy. Hell, Christensen was so terrible that even sharing the screen with Natalie Portman couldn't make him anything better than craptastic. And the less said of that other one, the better.

Also, if Lucas ever tries to write a romance subplot again, someone should break his fingers.

Comment Re:Customers aren't property. (Score 1) 210

Have you ever been in a taxi? Or an Uber car?

I could debate the theoretical ins and outs of the business models and how they might affect quality, but there's really no need because simple observation demonstrates that you're wrong. I have occasionally encountered a taxi that was clean and in good condition, with a driver who is polite and friendly. I have also encountered many cabs that were old, dirty, smelly and with a driver who was rude and ornery. I've yet to find an Uber car or driver that wasn't very pleasant.

Basically this. I've lived in San Francisco for the better part of two decades now. And for most of that, the only late-night transportation options were taxis (just bloody awful) or MUNI Owl service (worse). Uber (And, to be fair, Lyft and Sidecar as well.) provides such a higher quality of service that I really can't fathom the people opposing them. Even when the only Uber available was the black car service, once I tried it I happily paid the higher price vs the cabs; it was SO much better. The legacy cab companies made their bed with their horrible service. Uber would never have managed to get started if the taxis didn't suck major ass (Remember... for those first few years, when the black car service was all the Uber there was, it was almost always at least 20% more expensive than a taxi.).

In addition to your list, also throw in the fact that Uber cars show up when and where they're supposed to. The drivers will take you out to the avenues without throwing a hissy fit. They'll actually show pick you up in the avenues, and not just on 19th. And, since all billing is inherently handled via the app, they never try the "my credit card machine is broken, cash only" scam.

Really, the only thing that makes any sense to me is that the anti-ridesharing people are really either just paid shills for the taxi companies, or people who just live out in remote suburbs and don't realize just how terrible cabs are.

Comment Re:Not stupid (Score 1) 291

Also, businesses are constrained by the necessity of convincing people to give them money willingly, and the requirement of bringing in more money than they spend.

Give me the authority to take as much money as I want from everyone straight out of their paychecks, plus the ability to still spend an effectively unlimited amount of money on top of that; and I'll build you a pretty nice empire, coattails to ride, or not.

Comment Re:What a maroon... (Score 1) 387

You mean the same salvation army that denies homeless transgender women open beds in their shelters; leaving them out on the streets to die in the cold? You mean the same LDS church that spent millions on prop 8 to take away civil rights from gays in California and now demands that mormon children disavow their gay relatives if they want to remain in the church themselves? They sure do seem mean and bitter to me.

Comment Re:Programs using BitTorrent (Score 1) 175

Blizzard uses torrents to distribute files for their game purchases, downloads, patches, and updates. And with the Legacy of the Void finally available, Starcraft 2 seems to be going as strong as ever. Even though we do seem to be past peak WoW, that's huge.

Also, every Linux distort I can recall fetching recently offers a torrent as an alternative to a monolithic download.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

That's why we should not be dealing in terms of total GB/TB/whatever used per month. Data plans should be sold by data rate, guaranteed and burstable. After all, once the infrastructure is built out, it doesn't matter a whit whether you use it for casual surfing of the web in the afternoon, for watching movies in the evening, or continuously for bittorrenting.

Data providers should be broken of the notion that they're anything but big dumb pipes to the internet. And the same company should never be allowed to be both a data and a content provider. That's what this really is about, after all. AT&T and Verizon want to pull you away from the open internet in favor of their (dubious) "value added" services. And Comcast wants you buying and watching cable channels, not Netflix or Hulu. Just be honest and upfront about what bandwidth is allocated to me and to what extent the infrastructure is oversubscribed.

1Mbps guaranteed, burstable to 10
5Mbps guaranteed, burstable to 25
20Mbps guaranteed, burstable to 50
50Mbps guaranteed, burstable to 100

The 24/7 bittorrent-ers can have and pay for their guaranteed rate, and the rest of can burst to watch our ultra-HD Netflix. But the service providers should be on the hook promising only what they can, in reality, deliver. And they should be severely punished for delivering anything less.

Comment Re:Yeah, other ways (Score 2) 369

I doubt Canada will leave it in the ground forever. But with current oil prices, it may make sense to leave it in the ground for a few more years.

But there's something I've never quite gotten about the controversy. My understanding is that the oil that would be pumped through Keystone XL was contractually promised to China, and would not be available to the US anyway. It would just be pumped across the US to our ports on the Gulf of Mexico for shipping. And we would not get any of it or the benefit from it. (Setting aside, for the sake of argument, the fact that we should really not be dumping more carbon into the atmosphere anyway. There is no denying that there is a short-term economic benefit to the use of the energy in fossil fuels though.)

So, whether the risks of Keystone XL are overstated or not, there is some risk. Why should the US absorb that risk... to the environment, to the aquifers, to the health of the populace along the route... when it's purely for the benefit of China's economy, not our own? And the pipeline is really so safe as its supporters want us to believe, why isn't Canada building it across their own land? They have plenty of coastline of their own on both the Atlantic and Pacific, after all. It just doesn't pass the smell test.

Now, if I've read the wrong articles, and that oil is *not* ultimately destined for China; then my bad. I'll admit the screwup and blithely facepalm. But I still maintain that we should be switching to nuclear and renewables and eliminating hydrocarbons in our energy production. And I still suspect that the currently-cheap Saudi oil ought to make Canada consider sitting on theirs for a few more years anyway.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.