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Comment Directional arrows aren't as silly as you'd think (Score 2) 345 345

These can not be very good cables because they lack the direction arrow that the Belden audiophile Ethernet cables have (had?). This was so you would know which way to plug them in. Packets flow from hub/switch to the device.

And if you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. It is orange and you will make your money back in picture postcard royalties.

It's in the caption of the very first picture:

Audiophile-grade "Vodka" Ethernet cables, from AudioQuest. They even have directional indicators!

But, surprisingly for Ars, they missed the point of those directional indicators. The article on electrical testing hints at it:

Finally, the braided shield inside the cable drew some comments. "There is no continuity from the body of the one connector to the body of the other, indicating that the shield has not been terminated to one or both of the connector," noted Denke. "Our 6A uses an absorptive shield—that is, the cable is shielded but the shield is not terminated at either end. Alien crosstalk is the crosstalk which occurs between cables, as opposed to the internal crosstalk which occurs between the pairs in a cable. This may also be why there are unterminated shields on the Audioquest cable—I’m not really sure what the reason is there, though I had thought that the shields on Cat 7 were required to be tied to ground. It is also possible—I have no handy way to test—that they've tied the shield to one end only, though this would be highly nonstandard for network cabling." (emphasis added)

It's highly nonstandard for network cabling, but highly standard for audio cabling - it's called a telescoping shield and is used to prevent ground loops and audible (60 Hz) hum. Typically, you leave the shield connected at the low-impedance source, and disconnect it at the high-impedance load... as a result, the cable actually does have a directionality, but on the shield, rather than the signal lines. I can guarantee that's the intent with these cables and why they're marked with directional arrows, and it's pretty surprising that Ars and Denke missed it. Maybe they were stuck thinking "network" cable rather than "audio" cable.

That said, because these are network cables, that telescoping shield is irrelevant. You're not going to get ground hum into your amplifier from your network card, the way you would with a shield on an analog audio cable. They're simply not connected, and if they were, you'd have much bigger issues - like that hum causing all sorts of problems on your PCI bus. This is why network cable shields are typically connected at both ends: ground loops are irrelevant.

Comment Re:Right to Privacy in One's Backyard? (Score 1) 1170 1170

You know, I generally don't agree with open carry ... most of the world cringes at that, and it's something Americans cherish.

But if your drone was hovering in my backyard looking at my teenage daughters for no good reason, and if I'd shot it down and you were about to come onto my property in a threatening manner without explanation, I can see the point.

Do you really need an explanation, considering you just shot down their drone?

Comment Re:Jury Nullification at least (Score 1) 292 292

As a resident of Georgia this would be ONE case I would not mind being on the jury for. As with so many things that this State's legislature does this is beyond absurd. If this is being published by the State of Georgia as an official document then it should fall under the Open Records Act.

And since it's not, then you'd be a typical uninformed jury member who has made up his mind based on what one media source says about something.

As others have noted, this is not an "official document" and the statutes are not subject to copyright. It's a bunch of third party commentary about the statute that is subject to copyright, much like a textbook or treatise or thesis.

Comment Re:Copyright needs reform (Score 1) 93 93

Making a "non-commercial" copyright infringement tier would level the playing field a bit. It would still let copyright owners smack down infringers, but it wouldn't allow for the abuse of "settle on our terms or face a $75 million fine!"

There actually already are two tiers for commercial or non-commercial infringement, but they're rarely utilized: there are criminal penalties for for-profit infringement that don't apply to non-commercial stuff; and you know how people always say that statutory damages are "up to $150,000 per work"? That's for willful infringement. The regular tier is $750-$30,000 per work. And, in this context, "willful" does not mean "intentional" or even "I knew this was under copyright, and still infringed" (there's an entirely separate tier for innocent infringement, with 'up to $200 per work' statutory damages). Rather, "willful" means something closer to "malicious". Like, if you hate movie ticket prices, so you pirate and distribute the movie in order to drive theaters out of business. Or if you're distributing pre-release leaked versions, knowing that it will kill the release-day market.

Normal infringement should be in that $750-$30,000 tier. However, infringement defendants have never raised that argument, because they've taken the (always losing) position that $1 should be adequate damages, and for them, even $750 is too much. So, the judges hear one side saying "$150,000" and the other side saying "$1", and only the former is supported by the law, so that's the end. If some defendant were to try to not shoot for the moon, for a change, we might see proper application of these tiers.

Comment Re:In favor of paid copyright protection (Score 1) 93 93

This is how copyright should be changed: give every 'work' ten years of free protection - plenty to understand whether it is making money or not. And beyond that, allow for infinitely repeatable five-year terms, paid for at a progressive rate.

Other people have mentioned the "infinitely repeatable" issue, so I'll simply mention that aside from that, your idea isn't terrible and has parallels in patent law: patents are valid for 20 years from filing, provided the patent owner pays maintenance fees at 3.5 years, 7.5 years, and 11.5 years... and those fees are $1600, $3600, and $7400 respectively. As a result, many patents get abandoned long before their full 20 year term.

Comment Re:Copyright needs reform (Score 1) 93 93

2) All non-commercial infringing (i.e. no profit motive - and, no, ads don't count) would carry a penalty of $100 times the market value of the work. For example, get caught distributing 500 MP3s? Your fine would be around $50,000 (500 * $1). Still high, but not "bankrupt you for life" high.

But that's not the relevant market value. For example, Apple distributes MP3s on the iTunes Music Store. Do you think, for example, they only paid $1 to Taylor Swift to distribute Bad Blood? Of course not. They're paying royalties and likely have a fixed floor amount too (e.g. 30 cents per copy sold, minimum of $100,000, with the expectation that they're going to sell way more than a million copies). Or, for another example, remember a decade or two back when Michael Jackson bought distribution rights for a whole bunch of the Beatles' catalog? He paid $47.5 million for 4000 songs, or a little under $12k per song.

So, the market value for a single download of an MP3 may be $1, but the market value for distributing the MP3? Try somewhere between $10k and $150k or more. And suddenly, the damages of $9,250 per song for Jammie Thomas-Rasset, or $22,500 per song for Joel Tenenbaum sound a lot more reasonable.

It's not that copyright damages are flawed... It's that people aren't making just copies for themselves, but are entering the market as distributors.

Comment Re:package bomb (Score 1) 431 431

I love how they say that Mercury switches can detonate explosives, as if any other switch can't.

A mercury switch operates on gravity. Tilt a package (like, say, pick it up carelessly, or rotate it to face the label up to read who sent it) to complete the circuit.

So, mercury switches are more interesting to law enforcement than other types.

So does a pinball tilt switch, and you can build one with just wire and a weight. Should anyone who purchases wires or weights be "more interesting to law enforcement"?

Comment Re:Kill the account (Score 1) 213 213

When people sign up for things using one of my email addresses, I simply recover the password through email, then login, cancel the account, change the password and move on.

There is a jackass in NYC who shares my name, and has signed up for things like Spotify and Netflix using a variation of my gmail address (minus the periods, which do not matter to gmail). I cancel everythng he orders using my email address.

I get the same thing, but I've found, if you simply cancel the account, the jackass tries to make a new one the next day. I've found it's better to reset the password. After he tries to reset the password a few times, he'll go away.
Better yet is if it's tied to an account ID rather than an email, change the email to something at or another throw-away address. Then you don't even get the account reset attempts.

Comment Re:Google doesn't target ads (Score 2) 233 233

His point still stands.

Advertisers are buying ad impressions for certain demographics. The advertisers are buying more ads for these jobs that target males.

It isn't Google doing this - they're just offering the advertising tools. It's the purchasers of the ads that are causing this to happen.

This is not complex.

OTOH, Google is allowing advertisers to target males in their employment ads, which is illegal under the Civil Rights Act. It's no different than if someone said "I want you to show this employment ads, but only to whites." If you say, "sure, no problem," then you're culpable too.

Comment Re:USB 3.0? (Score 1) 80 80

No thanks, I prefer to have less latency. Also, no word on resolution, but unless it uses HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort, it's not going to be HiDPI. Who would want a non-HiDPI, 30Hz screen these days?

You certainly wouldn't use it for gaming or watching videos, but for having a couple of documents open simultaneously? It's just fine. I used to use a 64MB USB GPU that would stutter horribly if there was any video frame within the monitor, but worked perfectly for displaying Excel or Word documents.

Comment Re:It's *still* a stupid scare (Score 3, Informative) 409 409

First of all, Iran COULD NOT USE the bomb if it had one.

Why? 1. They can't bomb Jerusalem, which is as holy to them as to jews and Christians. Their own people would slaughter them. AND they'd kill most of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. 2. Israel is smaller than the US state of New Jersey. At one point, I believe it's a total of ->17mi- wide. What this means is using the bomb *anywhere* in Israel means fallout on Jerusalem. 3. Following 2, it *also* means fallout on the Palestinians. 4. Oh, yes - the winds would mean that fallout would COME BACK TO IRAN.

Therefore, the ONE and ONLY purpose that Iran would want the bomb is MAD with Israel (who has a bunch of bombs, and would cheerfully use it on Iran, if they didn't think there'd be no Israel left afterwards.

Oh, yes, and with all the climate-change deniers here, *no* *one* could imagine that maybe Iran's worried about when their oil fields are played out, and planning to do things with the money while they have it to prepare for the future, no, no, that's *way* more than next quarter....


Although I agree with your overall points and analysis that Iran, at best, wants a bomb for defensive Mutual Assured Destruction purposes, I will point out that they don't give a flying fark about the Palestinians. Specifically, Iran is 90-95% Shi'ite, while Palestine is primarily Wahhabi Sunnis. Although they're both Muslim, it's like Catholic vs. Protestants in Ireland. In fact, not just 'don't give a flying fark' - Iran would gleefully wipe out Palestine if they could, but that (i) prevailing wind and (ii) mutually assured destruction from Israel are insurmountable problems.

Comment Re: How is this news for nerds? (Score 1) 1083 1083

Yep, that's the bullshit argument that people were rolling out against same sex marriage all right. That because it wasn't traditional, it wasn't fundamental.

The core mistake with that argument, whether in the context of same sex marriage or marriage among persons already married, or in larger numbers than two, is that what's fundamental is not opposite sex marriage, or same sex marriage, or polygamous marriage, but simply marriage, without qualification of any kind.

Yes and no... Opposite sex or same sex marriage is the same institution, marriage, and nothing changes when you change the genders of those involved. Polygamous marriage is a different institution, as you admit when you said "the question of marital property [in polygamy] is one of the issues that legislatures will have to address when the ban is overturned as it inevitably will be".

As a different institution, the fact that marriage is a fundamental right is irrelevant to whether polygamy is a fundamental right, any more than a right to marry being fundamental means that driving a car is a fundamental right.

Comment Re:How is this news for nerds? (Score 1) 1083 1083

But, if you change, "spouse and spouse" to "a group of spouses", then how do you change "upon death of a spouse, the remaining spouse shall inherit 100% of communal property before probate"? As in, you die, and your three widows each inherit 100%? That's 300%. Where do you get two more identical houses?

Well, first, the spouse is generally only entitled to 1/3 of the assets and in some cases, up to a certain dollar amount in an intestate death. Wills and contracts normally supersede all that unless the widow(er) receives less than that amount in which they can contest the will (though usually not the contract).

But to answer the question, it would be the unit "spouse" that receives the inheritance. If there was three spouses, they would all have to act as one unit for the transfer then figure out what to do after that. It's no different than a company being owned by 20 people that dissolves or is somehow transferred. In fact, I have two minor stakes in partnerships that one says upon my death the companies will be sold and 30% of the value will go to the first heir in the estate of the deceased and the other says my stake is to be transferred upon death to the partners. Both of those will happen before any inheritance or probate takes place.

That is a fine and workable solution but it can't be done by simply changing the word "wife" or "husband" to "spouse". It would require a new statute that is similar to the above (or likewise based on the Uniform Partnership Act, which covers your other situation). That's different from simply enabling gay marriage..

egrep -n '^[a-z].*\(' $ | sort -t':' +2.0