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Comment: Don't get too happy (Score 1) 74

by cpt kangarooski (#47537873) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

This bill actually does very little. The DMCA is written very broadly, and has been commonly interpreted as to prohibit cell phone unlocking. Because Congress, in the 90s, when they enacted the stupid thing, was aware that the DMCA could go too far, but didn't want to be cautious or have to keep reexamining the law itself, they gave authority to the Library of Congress to add exceptions to it in specific cases. The process for these exceptions is that every three years, anyone who wants an exception has to plead their case. If found worthy, they get an exception. But the exception only lasts until the next rule making session, three years hence. Then it has to be reargued from scratch or lost.

Two rule making sessions ago, the Library of Congress found that cellphone unlocking was worthy of an exception. But in the most recent rule making session, they did not find it worthy, and the exception was lost; it went back to its default state of being illegal.

This law could have amended the DMCA to permanently allow cellphone unlocking. Or it could've directed the Library of Congress to always find that cellphone unlocking is allowed. But it does neither of these.

Instead it only reinstates the rule from two sessions ago for the remainder of the current session. Next year it will have to be argued again, from scratch, to the Library of Congress, or lost, again. And even if argued, it can be rejected, again.

This is less than useless. It's only a temporary patch, it doesn't even have an iota of long term effect (the rules don't take precedent into account, and this doesn't change it), and we've wasted all this effort getting it instead of something worthwhile.

Comment: Re:Appre (Score 1) 223

by lgw (#47534063) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

I disagree. If you can hold down a professional job in America, you should get a green card (after only a criminal background check). If you can hold down any job in America, you should get a work visa (after only a criminal background check). The only way in which legal immigration can be bad for us is when people come here without jobs to consume federal programs. Have a job? Welcome aboard!

If native population were growing fast, it might be a different story, but since native population is shrinking (birth rate below replacement rate), we need people, those with professional skills preferred.

Comment: Re:Appre (Score 5, Insightful) 223

by lgw (#47519719) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

The problem isn't people coming here on H1-Bs, but their difficulty in turn that into a green card. The "apprentices" would mostly stay here if they could. And does anyone really want to argue that immigration of well-educated, highly-skilled engineers is bad for America?

All the focus on the political immigration debate seems to be on low-skilled workers, and the answers aren't so easy there. But anyone who can come here and work a job that pays $100k+? Keep em coming, I say.

Comment: Re:Limited perspective (Score 0) 956

by HBI (#47515947) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

More to the point, this is just about power. Squeaky wheels getting oil. It has nothing to do with the horrors of dealing with other people*, except when it can be emotionally harnessed to achieve more power.

Get older - you realize it's all bullshit posturing for power for people ill-equipped to achieve it through honest means. In other words, beta males and most women. It's ineffectual and the power achieved is of a group nature in most cases, which is the worst kind. But it doesn't stop people from seeking it by trumpeting how terrible their life has been. Race peddlers, gender peddlers, homosexual activists - all the same.

Nothing but contempt for the idea and the execution. Something to be routed around.

* And it's most assuredly horrific, but we all get to deal with it at some level or another.

Comment: Re:Pft (Score 4, Interesting) 956

by lgw (#47511559) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

From what I hear, death threats are quite normal in the video games industry. Certainly the vitriol flies on gaming forums (can't imagine how busy the moderators for official game forums must be). This article seems to boil down to "but women get rape threats too". OK, sure, men don't often get those, fair point. But in an industry thick with death threats, how many developers or commentators have actually been lynched by angry fans since the beginning of time? Roughly zero? It's not rational to actually be creeped out or worried about this stuff.

For goodness sake, Jack Thompson is still alive and well. If any of these threats of violence could be taken seriously, he'd be the first casualty. Think you're more hated than that guy?

Comment: Re:Why do you want pieces of plastic (Score 1) 350

by lgw (#47510471) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

I have 100 discs in my Netflix queue that aren't available on streaming. Go through about 6 a week, and have for years (I don't have cable). Only about 10% or what I watch can be streamed. And sadly the count of "very long wait" is up to 20 now, and climbing.

For the most part, it's only recent (but not too recent) content that's streamable. Heck, you can't even stream The Wire, and that's not that old. You can't stream any of the pre-reboot Dr Who episodes, and I could add another 100 discs to my queue just for Dr Who (does the BBC have these streaming yet?)

Comment: Re:Time will tell (Score 1) 350

by lgw (#47510319) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

If there were an alternative to Netflix for disc shipment, I'd switch today. I might pay double, certainly 50% more, for the breadth of selection Netflix once had, if catalog growth continued, stuff got upgraded to BluRay, and so on.

But there's no such animal. Kids these days are all about streaming. Netflix's model of "delayed gratification" for TV watching was a miracle in the first place. I'm amazed it's lasted as long as it has.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

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