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Comment Re:Uber and pirate bay (Score 2) 47

Fortunately for the rest of us, they can't legislate reality. They take down Napster, it goes fully distributed. They flood the networks with shit, torrent sites provide ratings. They go after TPBs trackers, we get magnet links. They start blocking at ISP level, torrents go encrypted. And sometimes they run into setbacks, they couldn't shut down the Bittorrent protocol. They haven't been able to shut down file lockers. Their mass lawsuits/shakedowns have largely been halted. VPNs and open Wifi is still legal. And when they do score a win like being able to shut down a site, a zillion mirrors and proxies pop up making it futile.

The war on piracy hasn't exactly had the same kind of popular appeal as the war on drugs. It is a lot easier to come up with horror stories about crack whores and heroin addicts than about people pirating MP3s. I'm guessing this is the main reason we haven't seen haven't seen bigger legal opposition is the fact that offense is the best defense, so far the easiest solution has been to come up with a better tool. If they manage to get rapid-fire site take downs in the DNS system, there's also the dark web solution. The TOR system isn't built for heavy P2P, but just for getting magnet links - which is the only thing you need to bootstrap the process - it's plenty. So from where I'm standing they might get bigger and bigger guns, but the target is getting harder and harder to hit in the first place and punch through the armor if you do.

Comment Re:Now only if... (Score 2) 47

Yeah, well, don't hold your breath ... if the US doesn't launch some form of trade sanctions I'll be surprised.

Since the EU is a free trade block and Sweden is a member, I doubt they can do much of anything. Through good services like Spotify they've curbed much of the public appeal of piracy and the Pirate Party is at ~0.4% far from any seats in the general elections and they lost their MEPs in the 2014 elections. They got more to lose than gain by revitalizing the public debate again, particularly anything that looks like US interference which is what pissed many Swedes off back in 2006.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 93

Now that the Steam Box is on the market, there is a growing demand for high-end gaming graphics on Linux. That sound you hear is nVidia laughing all the way to the bank.

They've already been there counting and laughing ever since the GTX 970/980 launched. They fell over laughing when they learned that the Fury would be a $500+ card only. Steam boxes would just be the cherry on top.

Comment Re:he should know better (Score 2) 289

If you made some kind of public statement and your employer/landlord/bank called you up and said it's not compatible with being an employee/tenant/customer of ours anymore I think most people would call it a free speech issue. Granted, we're not really being consistent because half the time we want to protect dissenting opinions from the wrath of the majority and the other half we want obnoxious and offensive speech to have consequences. Like when Brendan Eich was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla, was that right or wrong? Some think it was right, that the LGBT community had a right to cause a shit storm. Others think they blatantly silenced an opposing voice by harassing his employer. But the government wasn't involved, so there was no free speech issue right?

Comment Live streaming beats fixed schedule (Score 2) 227

I think the TV as such is mostly going to go away, at least the form with a tuner. Here in Norway the mean broadband connection is 33 Mbit/s, the median 24 Mbit/s and 90%+ have 4+ Mbit/s. In say ten more years of fiber rollout "everybody" will have enough bandwidth to watch whatever they want, whenever they want it. That doesn't mean I think TV as such will go away, but the big screen in the living room will just be one of many where you can watch it. As for "smart" TVs, well they don't cost more than a cell phone less screen, camera and radio/wireless so why not throw it in there even if 95% don't use it.

Comment Re:Paris terrorists didn't seem "religious"... (Score 1) 489

The Paris terrorists didn't seem that "religious" or "conservative". From AFA: "She loved partying and going to clubs. She drank alcohol and smoked and went around with lots of different guys."

I noticed at a class reunion that that some of the extremes had flipped, like a fairly freaky urban party girl now living on a small farm far out on the countryside while some of the absolutely most boring and conservative people had flipped out. Those who just leaned one way or the other were mostly the same. I know I'm being an armchair quarterback here but it's probably the same with some terrorists, they've lived the party life but lacked some deeper meaning and purpose to their life and then had a true religious awakening becoming ultra conservative and extremely hostile towards their past life. It certainly seems to fit several convert stories I've read where they relatively suddenly become totally changed, cut off all their old friends and so on.

I don't think they're so many, but they might have a far more black and white view of the world than most. And they've probably externalized much of the blame on the "decadence" of modern society, alcohol, porn and whatnot. Apart from the violent side, many of them actually sound like pietists in Christianity - happiness comes from family, tradition, honor, worship etc. and "worldly amusements" like dancing, music, gambling, drinking should be shunned. I can sort of understand male converts who at least get the upper hand in a patriarchy, why women would want to turn back time makes no sense to me.

Comment Re:He gets stuff done, making others look bad (Score 2) 103

At this stage, NASA should just funnel money to SpaceX as fast as they can, before the space programs of other countries make them an irrelevance.

Yes I know that's harsh, but how else can NASA sidestep the politicians that meddle with NASA's long-term plans every election cycle?

Well, nothing Musk has done so far is deep space-specific. In fact, the whole manned flight program comes from NASA money. Is he going to design the Mars lander, outpost, return vehicle and fund it all? I doubt it. So in practice it's going to be on the politicians' whim for quite some time still.

Comment Re:What 'meaning'? (Score 1) 137

Hey at least it's a holiday that's not all about me, me, me. Sure, the retailers want to exploit it like every other special day (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween etc.) but I kinda like finding a nice gift for someone, when I can. And it's a pretty good excuse to enjoy the end of the year the same way Sunday is the end of the week. Don't let commercialism get in the way of Christmas, it's pretty hard to ruin Crazy Shopping Day though since that was all it meant.

Comment It's in the law (Score 4, Interesting) 222

USC 17512 Limitations on liability relating to material online

(i) Conditions for Eligibility.â"

(1) Accommodation of technology. â" The limitations on liability established by this section shall apply to a service provider only if the service provider â"

(A) has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network who are repeat infringers; and

Nobody has dared poke this part of the law with a stick, what the heck does "reasonably implemented", "appropriate circumstances" and "repeat infringers" mean? None of it is defined any closer. I'd go for the simple two-pronged defense:

1) The policy is clearly spelled out in our terms of service, where we may terminate your contract:

By using the Service, you agree to abide by, and require others using the Service via your account to abide by the terms of this AUP. The AUP will be updated from time to time, so you should consult this document regularly to ensure that your activities conform to the most recent version. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THESE TERMS, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY STOP THE USE OF THE SERVICES AND NOTIFY THE COX CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT SO THAT YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE CLOSED.

1. Prohibited Activities. You may not use the Service in a manner that violates any applicable local, state, federal or international law, order or regulation. Additionally, you may not use the Service to:
Breach of Agreement: If You breach this Agreement, or any other agreement referenced herein, Cox has the right to terminate this Agreement and retrieve its equipment.

2) Our customers are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Something tells me this is going to get overturned on appeal.

Comment Re: Don't evolve your business model (Score 1) 219

Precious little, in a while. There's more and more support to the idea that any device to be connected to the internet will have to be"audited" for "potentially harmful" software and "certified" by "authorities". I know it sounds unacceptable right now but give it time and everybody will simply shrug and say "it's for our own safety and besides, what can we do?"

I heard pretty much the exact same thing when the "I love you" virus was making the rounds, just saying...

Comment Re:Institutional Knowledge (Score 1) 169

If everyone is a contract worker doing works-for-hire, then nobody has extensive institutional knowledge. You are constantly explaining and re-explaining how your business works, and bugs are repeatedly entering codebases because the developer hasn't spent years understanding the business and its workflows. It doesn't matter how well documented your business is, developers will make mistakes when they are unfamiliar with your processes. When they can't look at a workflow or data structure and go 'that's not right' because they have spent years at the company learning how things work.

The question is in what time frame the difference becomes apparent. If you have a sane system built up over time with institutional knowledge then for a time the odd fix here and there in the wrong place in the wrong way won't bring the system down. Sure you're building technical debt but the interest is far less than the principal in the beginning. It's only as you accumulate debt and people make terrible fixes on top of bad fixes because nothing makes sense the system becomes what is professional known as a clusterf*ck and the interest burden is killing you. But who cares?

The stockholders are an impatient bunch who want to see quarter-to-quarter results. Management is often on the same page, motivated by performance metrics and quarterly bonuses. And if they're just looking to grind out work from the employees until they jump ship for something better, you're not really motivated to work for long term benefits either. And contractors are obviously just doing business for as long as you're willing to pay and then move on to someone else. Somebody must care about the long term future of the company and stop the destructive elements that'll screw it for short term gain. Otherwise simple individual rationality will ruin it because people do what's best for them, not the company.

Comment Stop Preloading Crapware (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Stop preloading crap that I don't want and didn't ask for.

If for some inconceivable reason I wanted the Facebook app, I can find it and download it quite easily. After that, it every time I upgrade my device, I will automatically have that app pre-installed. If you must pre install it to avoid tech support questions, then at least make the God forsaken thing un-installable!

I have nothing against Uber, but if I wanted their app, I would install it.

Maybe you should pre-install a computer algebra system app? (CAS) Since I use it, I would tend to believe that everyone would be interested in such an app!

Comment Re:Nor is HDCP 2.2 (Score 1) 115

I'm not confusing any terms, because it is not my decision to make. It is the publishers who make that decision.

Between money or more money. Not making money or losing money.

I also noticed that for the majority of people, the removal of DRM made little to no difference at all. That is because they made the protection as unobtrusive as possible. Yes, the protection did prevent you from moving your digital files around, but it didn't stop playing on the Apple devices or burning the tracks to an audio CD (up to 7 times).

But it made it impossible (or at least extremely inconvenient) to move away from an Apple device. The market effects were obvious and was a huge part of the iPod's success and cost the consumers millions through lack of competition. The consumer might not have really understood, but they knew it worked on Apple and didn't work anywhere else.

But we are in the minority. The majority of people in the world either don't notice DRM or they are accepting of it.

They don't notice it because what millions and millions of people download have DRM removed.

And DRM could stay as it is and the world won't come to an end.

True, but you were the one claiming that publishers wouldn't publish without DRM.

Comment Re:Mars isn't going anywhere. (Score 2) 173

Because... why? Mars is the furthest where it makes sense to send humans and we know from the ISS that artificial gravity and growing food is overkill for trips of that length. The next viable target would be an Earth-like exoplanet somewhere 4+ light years away that your "real ship" would take many thousands of years to reach.

Comment Re:Maine has been doing this since 1976 (Score 1) 34

I think you're right about the discovery phase, basically it's a niche where you have a registered nurse on the remote site that can do blood samples, blood pressure, stethoscope, "say aaaaaah" and all the other really basic examinations but not enough demand to warrant a local doctor. I mean you wouldn't ever treat a patient via telemedicine if the patient was in the next room, it's an inconvenience you do if it's overall easier than getting the patient to the doctor. I think there's far more potential in the monitor/treat phase though where you know what parameters to look for and if the progress is good you don't really need to do much at all, what you're looking for is complications or that the treatment isn't working. Or it's a chronic condition you can't really cure but is just doing surveillance on. Or where you're more giving physical care than medical care, the lines get a bit blurred sometimes. There's a lot of health in good hygiene to avoid infections, for example. Doctors do spend a lot of time following up on your progress and automating some of that could free up better use of their time.

It is your destiny. - Darth Vader