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Comment Re:A case of being legally right, but morally wron (Score 1) 36

Yes, there's the thing. In theory, if EVERYone who downloads would have otherwise bought a copy (doubtful) and taking their making available theory into account, if I get caught torrenting a movie, I should be liable for a little less than 2x the wholesale price of a digital download. That assumes a typical torrent ratio of 2.

I say a little less since they didn't incur any accounting overhead. Wholesale because that's the price they get from everyone who buys from them (for example, what Apple would pay them had I gone to iTunes).

Comment Re:Why not overseas .... (Score 1) 151

I agree with a lot of your points, but I've encountered many managers that you wouldn't consider "good managers".

And WRT your final paragraph...automation is going to make a job based economy a guarantee that nearly everyone is at the very bottom rung. We are already at the point where the US and India are BOTH losing jobs to increased automation, and we are still in the early days. Projections call for over half of the existing jobs to disappear within around a decade. And I don't think anyone can predict which ones will be safe. (Except upper management, and that's because they are the ones making the decisions.) As this continues it will become more and more evident that it's foolish to take on a large debt with the intention of paying it off after entering a profitable career. It isn't clear to me what is going to motivate people to study for years. (Well, I would have done it because I was fascinated by math and physics, but mine is a minority perspective, and I would have studied, albeit in a less directed and intense way, even if college had been impossible.

I agree that trade has in the past acted to suppress war. I'm not sure it's working that way in the present. Certainly simple economic arguments don't apply. The US spent more to invade Iran than the entire wealth of the country would have represented if we'd carted it off, and we didn't bother. It was politics extremely much more than economics. (I've heard it asserted that the reason for the war was that Iran started negotiating to sell oil denominated in Euros rather than Dollars. I know of no evidence either pro or con, but it's the most reasonable reason I've heard, if it's true. And since all the other reasons seem utter garbage, I tend to believe it.)

The argument that trade suppresses war has it's shining examples, but there are also many cases where it appears that war is engaged in to control trade.

Now, "Our real problem isn't that China makes t-shirts": That's not clear, or perhaps not exact to the point I was asserting. T-shirts was an example of an industry that isn't inherently centralized. Another such industry is software construction, but notice that due to the laws, customs, and business regulations of the US most software development (for profit) *IS* centralized. How things could be changed is not a subject on which I am competent to speak, but I am competent to observe the pattern. My suspicion is that this has to do with the distribution system. I have heard that to get notable promotion by or positioning within a store, you need to ... compensate ... the store owner. I used compensate where I would have liked to say bribe. I feel the process should be as illegal as other sorts of kickback, and the laws against all forms of kickback should be more rigorously enforced. Even the existing laws against bundling are either not enforced, or need to be considerably stronger.

But these are details. There are nearly endless details, it's the summation of them that tends to encourage the formation of large organizations with centralized control, not any particular one. (An exception might be the wretched and unjust Citizens United decision...though I might go back to Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 US 394 (1886) and find that it, and all decisions based upon it were likewise unjust. [Or perhaps the original decision was just, but the way that it was phrased made it unjust.])

Comment Re:Extra battery? (Score 3, Informative) 231

I would like to suggest one better: If your phone is one that allows you to remove the batter (i.e. not an Apple or a OnePlus or a few others), just get a spare battery of the type that the phone takes. When your phone dies, reach into your pocket, pull out the spare battery, and switch it for the one that is in the phone. It's instant, efficient, and doesn't require you to juggle your phone plus another box for whatever length of time it takes your phone to charge.

Additionally (and this is good for all phones), if you are traveling much by car, get a cigarette-lighter charger for your phone. Plug it in whenever you are in your car.

Comment Re:Early versus late (Score 2) 132

Not really. For example, if someone takes a shot in 10 seconds, the shot clock and it's accuracy has no impact on anything. If the clock started a half second late at the beginning of the game, it means nothing at all to the outcome.

If you see from the clock that you have 10 seconds to shoot, that's fine even if you should have had 10.2 seconds. If you see that you have 4 seconds, and it takes 2 to take the shot, perhaps you take 2 quick strides and shoot. It matters very much if someone retroactively decides you only had 3 seconds left when you looked and saw 4.

Comment Re:Stacking errors (Score 1) 132

To be fair, the decision of when to make the final throw in a game is based on reading the clock before the throw while for most of the game there's nothing particularly interesting happening when the clock runs out. The exact instant the clock is started generally has no bearing on win/loss or even goal/no goal.

That's why the one questionable accuracy instance weighs so much more than the others.

Comment Re:Not only am I bothred by the phone-home, (Score 1) 257

MS may have been explicity about their purposes, but saying that they've been clear about their intentions requires that you believe them. And even if that's true, what their intentions are this week doesn't speak to what their intentions will be next year.

So the question is "What personal information could the current system by coerced to reveal (without additional software 'upgrades')?". I must admit that I don't find the answer clear. The ZDNet article wasn't all that reassuring.

OTOH, as I do not have or use any MSWind installs, this is sort of academic. Many third parties are already so lax about their security that I should presume that any information about me they hold will be clandestinely copied. Just consider the recent story about pins being "stolen" from the IRS.

P.S.: Stolen is a very poor term for the process, as the original is (presumably) left in place. OTOH, "clandestinely copied" is too long and clumsy. What's needed is something short and pithy that falls easily off the tongue like, e.g., "snarfed". You are free to use my suggestion if you want to, but you'll need to use context to make your meaning clear until it enters common usage.

Comment Re:Not only am I bothred by the phone-home, (Score 1) 257

How about "both guys are basically right, but only telling a part of the story"?

Similarly for linux, some window managers (I think it's the window managers) seem to check for updates. I may have told them to, since if I were asked I would have asked that they do so. Others don't (or didn't a year ago). And I've never had a linux machine fail when disconnected from the desktop, but you could certainly state that "some of the functionality was broken". Guess what I mean. Then read the next paragraph.

.

.

When disconnected from the internet NTP doesn't properly reset the system clock for drifting. But if I didn't mention WHAT functionality was broken, you might fill in something rather different.

Comment Re:VCs who miss the point of open source... (Score 1) 91

You overstate a basically correct position. The VC is not in business for your health or profit, and you can't trust a word they say, or an item of the contract that isn't readily enforceable. But there are times when it's still the appropriate option. But only AFTER you've published the current version under an irrevocable license...something that guarantees you future access without worries about either copyright or patents. The GPL is my favorite, but for many purposes BSD works as well or better. Also consider the MIT license. But publish this publicly before you sign the contract, and make certain that they have acknowledged the prior publication in a verifiable way. An attachment to the contract is probably best, but this is just my guess. A url to a github repository might suffice. Talk to a lawyer.

Comment Re:it would kill online banking and shopping (Score 1) 151

You not using a credit card doesn't keep your bank from transmitting weakly encrypted data. I've been told (by a counter clerk, so she may not have known) that they have a separate network from the Internet. So perhaps this is less of a problem than it appears. But I recall hearing of an isolated nuclear power plant that got infected by a virus because a contractor was plugged into two networks at once.

I already refuse to bank on-line, because of multiple past security issues. This would just mean that I would need to only buy things on-line with a purchased credit card...and never use one tied into my account. (I already have a separated account that I use for ALL credit card transactions.)

So there are ways and ways for individuals to get around exposing themselves. But there's no way for them to avoid having third parties expose them.

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