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Comment Re:long history indeed (Score 1) 537

Then you'll also understand that a) the various regions that make up modern Germany have quite different histories and cultures and b) other than many other countries (USA - independence, France - revolution, etc.) Germany did not have a historic shock moment where enlightenment freedoms were installed into law. The process was more slow, but at the same time more continuous. After the 30-year war, many freedoms were common in (northern) Germany that more catholic nations like Italy or Spain did not possess at that time.

Comment Re:Germany wants a lot... (Score 1) 537

How can you make a comment that is already debunked in the summary posted above?

If you do business in country X, then you need to abide by the laws of country X.

What's so difficult about that? If FB doesn't like it, they are free to do no business in Germany. Nobody forces them to offer their services in Germany.

And yes, forcing FB to remove something is very much what countries can and should do. We can certainly find some country on the planet that doesn't have laws against explicit beastiary porn, maybe some failed african state that simply never thought about such vile things and thus didn't write it down. Post such things to FB from there and point the US minister of justice to it. You think he would say "well, it's legal in where it was posted from, so we should respect freedom of speech"?

Comment Re:The reason for these laws (Score 1) 537

since Germans never had enjoyed free speech rights before. The post-WWII restrictions by the allies were still liberal by historical German standards.

Not entirely true. The free speech rights of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) were almost identical to the ones we have today. The difference was not in the laws, but in the jurisdiction: Judges at that time would interpret the law differently and passed down harsh judgements especially against left-wing press that would not stand up to scrutiny today, even under the same text.

Today, Germany is largely its own master. It could easily abolish these restrictions on free speech if it wanted to. They are retained because Germans like such restrictions, not because anybody is forcing them to.

That is absolute bullshit.

We don't like such restrictions. We simply have a slightly different culture. Let me explain: There is this saying that goes "your freedom ends where mine begins". In principle, I think everyone agrees on that, meaning that your freedom does not include the right to take away my freedom.
In the USA, the focus is more strongly on your freedom, and I am expected to respect it and be quite tolerant to incursions into my freedom. In much of Europe, the focus is more strongly on my freedom, and you are expected to restrict your actions so you don't interfere with mine.

Metaphorically speaking, if there is a line between your land and my land, in the USA you can lean over the line and put yourself into my space, as long as your feet remain on your land. In Europe, we consider the line to mark an invisible wall and you should keep your arms behind it as well, not just your feet.

Comment Re:long history indeed (Score 1) 537

These specific laws were included in the german post-WW2 legal system on pressure from the allies. So before you americans open your mouth to complain about how we germans don't have freedom of speech, shut it again for one minute and think about the ironic little fact that this part is your doing.

Perhaps it's time for Germany to actually change its "interpretation of freedom of speech" instead of clinging on to what hasn't worked historically.

"for centuries" - go back to history class.

How many centuries? The first real Germany came about in 1871. That's 150 years ago. You say "centuries", which is plural, so you must be referring to at least 200 years.

1815, exactly 200 years ago, was the formation of the German Confederation. A loose coalition of independent states. 4 states and 34 duchies, to be exact. All with their own laws and customs.

Before that, we had the Holy Roman Empire. But you can hardly call that Germany, it included parts of Italy, France, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Slowakia and a bunch of other places. But the HRE was never a unified entity, it was more like the British Commonwealth - a formal head of state, and that's basically it.

Comment do we need emojis at all? (Score 3, Insightful) 194

Ok, I'll admit I'm not 16 anymore, but I'm not 60 either and I wonder WTF does the Unicode Consortium have to do with stupid smileys?????

This is one of the "don't they have more important things to worry about" moments. But more importantly, this is utter crap and doesn't belong into a fucking fontset. You want to have dancing teddy bears and cups of coffee and stuff, fine, make your own icon font, nobody stops you.

Until this post I didn't even realize that this crap is now official Unicode, and I still can't believe it. Solution looking for a problem, yes?

Comment Re:Does any one care? (Score 1) 440

The primary test for all kinds of organized crime is that there has to be an agreement between the involved parties, an understanding to commit a crime together. That is usually the difficult part to prove.

A torrent is more like a mob. You can leave or join at any time and nobody else cares much. There's very little organisation. I don't think you could successfully bring an organized crime charge against a mob.

Comment wrong approach (Score 1) 44

What we need more is a base model of distrust.

The primary design error in networking was to trust other devices. If we had designed networking from the start under the assumption of malicious intruders, we would have things like "to do anything, you need a token that proves you're allowed to do it". It would be in the protocols.

On embedded devices, I want a networking stack that will cryptographically check all incoming packets, and at the lowest level discard them if they don't carry a valid token. Nothing gets even processed unless you are authorized to interact with the device.

Comment Re:Does any one care? (Score 1) 440

this torrent is legally questionable to download

Depends on your jurisdiction.

In many jurisdictions, data about real-world facts cannot be copyrighted, so the only theoretically copyrightable parts are the texts that users wrote (profile texts and emails), and I would guess that AM is not the coypright holder (thought they could have a clause in the contract saying posting something on the site is a transferal of copyright).

So they could claim trade secret, but in many jurisdictions once your secret is no longer secret, it is not a trade secret anymore. Basically, the courts refuse to participate in the "let's sue everyone because the whole world knows" scenario.

Since you don't have a connection to the original hackers, what crime you think they would sue you for?

Comment Re:pros and cons (Score 1) 111

True to some extent. I didn't say forget all good practice.

But, for example, for the game listed in my .sig I wrote a lot of very specific GIS code. Yes, I could have spent the additional time and conceptual work and written a generic "find object on map based on criteria" service and maybe it would be useful in some future project.

But with what I've learnt doing it the way I did, I could write another task-specific piece of GIS code in half the time that the abstraction would cost me, with none of the overhead and performance impacts.

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