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Comment: Re:Try again... 4? (Score 2, Informative) 222

by SydShamino (#49594775) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

The definition of stealing does not require tangible property, it just involves depriving the owner of that property.

If you take a trade secret from someone and share it with the world, you have stolen the trade secret, because, while the owner might still have the information, they have been deprived of a secret that was not yours to share. Plagiarism too is a form of stealing, for you are depriving the author of a work from their name rights. (And yes, while not honored in the U.S. outside the bounds of copyright, I agree with the moral rights of authorship.)

Copying a song does not deprive the owner of the source copy nor the author of the original work of anything, hence it is not stealing. It's not even a crime morally. In the U.S., Congress has decided to sometimes make this a civil crime called copyright infringement, because the Constitution allows them to do so if they think it will encourage more work from those authors. Something it's not a crime at all, like for older works or government publications.

In other words, I agree with your sentiment, but don't wrap the definitions of theft and copyright infringement up in the terms of tangible property. Intangible things can be stolen, too. Focus on how it deprives the author of something they previously possessed.

Comment: Re:This riot started with a press release (Score 5, Insightful) 141

by SydShamino (#49589523) Attached to: Can Riots Be Predicted By Social Media?

Most of us are willing to create civil unrest about something, at least in theory. That's why you have all those guns, right? It just has to be bad enough that you see civil unrest as the only available option.

For emotional teenager minds, police in riot gear surrounding you and presumably yelling at you to disperse while simultaneously preventing you from leaving might be that trigger. Sure the first guy who threw a rock was probably an asshole who should have been expelled for something else months ago, but others might join in who would have also been perfectly happy to just get on a bus and go home if they had been allowed to two hours earlier when school let out.

That's where the police failed - by creating a situation where immature people feel rioting is their only option, when they just as easily could have tackled the rumors of a riot by trying to disperse the kids into the city and away from trouble instead.

In other words, police showing up in full riot gear and marching in unison down the street at you is an incentive to start a riot. Honestly I'm surprised the libertarian gun-loving wing of Slashdot isn't rising up to support people "resisting the police state".

Comment: Why I refused to sign up (Score 5, Insightful) 359

by SydShamino (#49557795) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Not that it matters any more, but if you work for Google and wonder why ignored all those invites, it's because you, Google, insisted I change how I share my use of your products as a condition of joining Google+.

Before Google+, I used a variety of your products - blogspot, youtube, search. You know that the same person was using all these services - but the world in general doesn't, and most importantly, none of them were tied to my real name.

Then, to join Google+, you wanted me to "convert" my account, and attach my name to everything.* I was not interested in that, so I diligently stayed away. For Facebook, on the other hand, I knew going in that it would use my real name. (I still waited as long as possible and only signed up to avoid becoming a hermit.) Since I knew my name would be attached from the start, the way in which I share has always been somewhat sanitized.

Because you, Google, are so many things, you can't be a real-name social network, at least if you insist that I retroactively claim ownership over everything else. Sorry.

* Even if this isn't true, this is what I got from all of the media coverage, discussion, and your own promotion. If I understood this all wrong and could have keep using the other services separately and anonymously, then it's your fault for advertising Google+ so badly. That's sort of sad, given that advertising is your business.**

** IIRC they did change this eventually, but by then Google+ was already an obvious failure and it wasn't worth creating an account.

Comment: Re:Dubious (Score 1) 685

by SydShamino (#49538803) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

This was easier to understand when I realized that each generation gets two names, one applied when they're kids and one later that sticks. When I was a kid, I remember my generation being called the "Baby Bust" generation or other similar names, as we followed the Baby Boomers. It was only when we were starting to come of age did the term "Generation X" become coined and retroactively applied to us. Then someone decided to use "Gen Y" for our kids, and it took them starting to come of age for the better term "Millenials" to come along.

I'm sure the Baby Boomers were referred to by some other name when they were young - the Postwar Generation or something - just like the WWII "Greatest Generation" certainly didn't have that name until they were grown up.

Comment: Re:Doublethink (Score 1) 685

by SydShamino (#49538715) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

As most people age, they both naturally start to decide that some things they've learned are "good enough" for them (be it music, technology, processes) and then start to resent further change. Moreover, after a certain age everyone starts to depend more on others for support than their own abilities.

Put those together and you get a slide towards conservatism and an increased trust on institutes of order such as the government.

Comment: Re:Doublethink (Score 1) 685

by SydShamino (#49538677) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

That's because the elderly suffered much more stringent brainwashing as children that leads them to say that they "support those who fight for our freedom" while also promoting a police state worse than Orwells worst nightmare. The younger crowd grew up with much more access to information and see the police state for what it is and do not have the blind worship of government that the elderly do.

I don't know about that. A lot of those millennials were kids and at their most impressionable during the post-911 wars and the "if you're not with us you're our enemy" support-the-government/support-the-troops fervor.

It's more reasonable to blame the general trend toward conservatism that happens with every generation as they age and get stuck in their ways.* Hell, those boomers we're talking about were the anti-government hippies of the 60s. They (as an aggregate whole) certainly had no blind worship of their government then.

* Though, even with this slope, each generation tends to start and end slightly more liberal than the last, leading to the society's overall slow trend towards liberalism despite every generation complaining along the way.

Comment: Re: Figures (Score 5, Insightful) 368

by SydShamino (#49538475) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users

Apple updated their services to exclude those clients, probably to fix an SSL exploit by turning off older SSL protocols for all clients. If Apple really wanted to, they could have left that version of SSL running only for XP clients and updated iTunes to not use that protocol on any non-XP OS, but they didn't. Poor customer service if you ask me.

The services fail intermittently, which means they still work intermittently. That strongly implies that this wasn't an intentional change by Apple, but instead is a bug introduced with some other change. Said bug was likely not caught, in my opinion, due to limited access to test equipment running XP. Apple, like my employer, likely has IT policies that exclude XP machines from the common intranet, and it's a hassle to set up, maintain, and access the separate XP test lab. A bug that only occurs when an XP machine tries to access an online service is exactly the kind that would be missed by such a test farm setup.

Comment: Re:Welcome to corporate future (Score 1) 255

by SydShamino (#49523793) Attached to: Twitter Rolls Out New Anti-Abuse Tools

Now imagine that almost everyone communicates only via printed pamphlets, but pamphlet-printing business controlled by one censorious individual eager to push his agenda to the detriment of others. Could freedom of speech exists in such hypothetical society?

Your scenario isn't that hard to imagine. Back when most people did disseminate information using printed pamphlets, only a few people owned the printing presses that could manufacturing such pamphlets en masse. We survived as a species, even though those pamphlets were often inaccurate and inflammatory.

It isn't inconceivable to imagine dystopian future where everyone communicates using only 'social' media, and few corporations determine what is acceptable. In such future nobody has freedom of speech, and we get there with unwise individuals pushing for "Right to not get offended".

You are upset about a possible future regarding "communication", but communication requires two parties - one speaking, one listening - and optionally includes a third party - one to convey the information from the speaker to the listener. In all cases, speakers have the most limited rights, as it exists today and as it would be in your supposed society.

No speaker has the right to demand the service of any given conveyor or the ear of any given listener, except for limited common-carriers such as the postal service. (Even then, they must only carry your service if you pay for the transaction, similar to other common carriers such as the phone company that have to carry your speech if and only if you maintain an account with them.)

On the other hand, listeners very often have the right to decide who can speak with them. I can choose not to pick up my phone, add my phone to a Do Not Call list, and block your number, and even have you charged with harassment if you don't stop calling. I can't stop all junk mail, letters, and post cards, but I can throw them away without reading them. I can't stop you from holding up signs on a public street or shouting out to me as I walk past, but if you do these things at my house I have various resources (harassment laws, noise ordinances, zoning laws, soundproofing) that can block you from me.

In this society you describe, what you mean by "everyone communicates using only 'social' media" is that listeners confine themselves to their homes and only make themselves available via social media platforms, and those platforms choose to cater to listeners over speakers, and that you as a speaker won't be able to post signs or yell at listeners who don't want to hear you. Your freedom to speak does not and never has imposed an obligation to listen, and listeners can choose to (or empower others to) filter content they hear. The system works as intended.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel