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Comment Re:Crime depends on who you are... (Score 1) 335

Remember Scooter Libby? Got thown in jail for Vallery Plame? Except he didn't. He got thrown in jail for "lying".

Erm, you're half right. He didn't get thrown in jail at all. George W. Bush commuted his sentence. Source:

Comment Re:meh (Score 4, Insightful) 544

Now it's backed by faith. How's that working out for everybody?

Gold also only has value because people believe it does - as the GP post said, you can't eat it, you can't really build a shelter out of it, etc.

In any event, why should the money supply be tied to a rare, precious metal? Matching the growth (or shrinkage!) of the money supply based solely on the discovery, loss, or recovery of a particular natural resource hardly seems like a good plan for managing the economy.

Comment Re:It seems obvious from this (Score 1) 925

As has been said before, any issue that is not black and white will be cut, beaten, reworded, altered, reframed, redefined, polarized, radicalized, and several more things until it becomes black and white, and then the two parties will take sides, each declaring their side to be 100% perfect good, and the other side to be 100% perfect evil. I don't know why you would expect anything else.

Comment Re:Ok, seriously (Score 1) 715

The true freedom is that we have options. RMS wants everybody to live by his definition of "freedom", but his is pretty narrow and restrictive, which kinda defeats the purpose of the concept of freedom.

RMS wants to limit your ability to give away your freedom. You can't choose to sell yourself into slavery. Right now, you can choose to give your data to someone who can choose, if they wish, to restrict your freedom. Some people advocate that you should be able to sell yourself into slavery, but I'm not convinced that this is really a good idea...

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 522

If the average consumer sees charges of $5 on their bill from based on sending spam, then they have an incentive to get their computer cleaned up and locked down. Right now, it doesn't cost the owners of compromised computers anything (except some speed of their program execution, I guess) to be part of the botnet, so they don't have much incentive to do anything about it.

I'm not saying I support this scheme; that's just the idea behind it.


Sun Slips Firefox Extension Into Java Update 311

pcardno writes "It seems it's not just Microsoft that have spotted a good opportunity to distribute their software through Firefox Addons. On installing the latest annoying, sysbar bubble based Java update, my Firefox informed me that I had a wonderful new Java addon automatically. Here's the addon screenshot. Yes, I could opt out of it, but why are Sun installing Addons to my Firefox without me making specific choices in the application itself? To be clear — I have never chosen to install this Addon, yet it has been installed without my permission with the latest Java Update."

Comment Re:My novel legal theory (Score 1) 779

But it sucks breaking up too, but I don't see too many people lobbying to pass laws requiring girlfriends to give thirty days notice before dumping their asses.

You're right, but then again, your job is ostensibly what you do in order to make money in order to have a place to live and food to eat. Possibly for your family, too. If I split with my girlfriend, I don't have to find another in a very short period of time in order to continue eating, having a home, et cetera.

(Yes, I know this ignores the case of someone living with his girlfriend and depending on her to support him. I'm not sure what you can do about this kind of scenario, but it is VERY different from a hardworking person suddenly fired from his job with a wife, children, and possibly elderly parents to support.)

Comment Re:Yes, and it's called LifeWings (Score 2) 263

Let the highly skilled people make more decisions, and defend them when they do so, by making it illegal to sue hospitals for trying to help you -- only for lack of trying. As it is today, if a doctor has a choice between a procedure that slightly improves 70% of the patients and does nothing for the rest, or one that cures 95% and maims 5%, he will almost always have to go for the former, cause the 5% unlucky ones will sue.

Not far enough. The whole tort system needs to be altered to stop paying out money just because something bad happened. The way it used to work, and should work, was that your lawsuit only had merit if you could show the doctor was wrong to choose the 95%-success course of action. If he was, the wrong decision or negligence or whatever is punished. There used to be consideration of what a reasonable (competent in the field) person (doctor) would have done. Not anymore.

Wireless Networking

Why Clearwire's 4G Network Plan Is No Slam Dunk 66

alphadogg sends this NetworkWorld story discussing the obstacles Clearwire will have to overcome to succeed, which begins: "Clearwire recently announced the completion of its Sprint Nextel transaction and the formation of the new Clearwire Corp. In addition, it received $3.2 billion from Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google and Bright House Networks. As expected, Clearwire's conference call emphasized all the positive aspects of the deal. Namely, it owns lots of spectrum, is building an all-IP network that is 'open,' and will use fourth-generation (4G) mobile WiMAX technology (IEEE 802.16e). I'd love to see a nationwide 4G mobile network, but let's be clear about some of the challenges facing Clearwire, including cost, device and competitive ones."

Comment Re:Slashdot Article #921431008 supporting piracy (Score 1) 225

Unfortunately, some people just have an axe to grind of some sort, and they will happily throw their opinion into any thread that's even vaguely related to their pet topic.

Also, far too many people live by "disagree with me = bias". But I guess as a lawyer, you deal with all sorts, so it's probably not necessary for me to tell you that...

Comment Re:Slashdot Article #921431008 supporting piracy (Score 4, Interesting) 225

If you have a solution that is a decent and fair plan that both acknowledges new technologies and the possibilities that they bring AND the rights of the rightholders to be fairly compensated and to reasonably punish/recover from wrongdoers, I for one would be interested in hearing it.

Here's the thing about copyright in the digital age. For software, music, videos, the marginal (per additional copy) cost is zero. Now, given that it takes no effort to copy it, and anybody can do it in his own home (or his parents' I suppose), how can you realistically stop that, without invading everyone's privacy? How can you even really know that they're doing it? Same thing with downloading it: the only way to know is to invade the privacy of the people by monitoring all their transfers. And even then, it's an imperfect system. How do you know what they have the right to down/upload? How do you deal with authorization? What about false positives? False negatives?

Also, your argument about how it's a regressive wealth transfer from the poor to the wealthy is a bit off-track. If the government(s) imposed a tax on everyone that was used to compensate artists for the creation, it will most likely be nowhere near as draconian as you make it seem. It's not like the government will charge a flat tax on everyone. Presumably, like other "progressive" taxes, it will be charged at a percentage, based on your ability to pay. Thus rich people will pay more and poor people will pay less. There will most likely be a group who pays nothing into this at all, like with income tax. Also, is it really a transfer to the wealthy? I know when you think of artists, you imagine the pop sensation of the day who has millions and millions of dollars, but there are still lots of "starving artists" out there.

You're making the issue too emotionally charged by using terms like "regressive wealth transfer from the poor to the wealthy", which a lot of people emotionally oppose. But it's not really like that.


Lessig's "In Defense of Piracy" 218

chromakey writes "The Wall Street Journal is running an essay from Lawrence Lessig about the fair use of copyrighted material on the Internet. He makes the case that companies who go to extreme lengths to squash minor videos, such as Universal, are stifling creativity in the modern era. Lessig makes specific reference to a YouTube video that was hit by a DMCA takedown notice, in which a 13-month-old child is dancing to a nearly inaudible soundtrack of Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy.' Lawrence Lessig is a board member for the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

The program isn't debugged until the last user is dead.