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Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 255

by Давид Чапел (#49182685) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

One that does NOT ONE DAMN THING to detract from the "actual" Power Rangers.

I'm incredibly anti-copyright law, but even to me that's obviously not true. Every time a certain fictional character is used, people's perception of that character changes. By showing the Power Rangers this way the video's creator is changing our perceptions of the Power Rangers.

The more this film changes the viewer's perception of the Power Rangers, the stronger the fair use defense becomes. If it depicted the power rangers as they had been depicted before, it would be a market substitute for possible new Power Rangers episodes. It would infringe the exclusive right of the copyright owner to exploit his characters commercially. But if the film causes the viewer to see the Power Rangers story in a completely new light, then it is a commentary and likely enjoys fair use protection. Since commentary is protected free speach, the effect of the commentary on the future marker for licensed Power Rangers material is not relevant.

An unauthorized film depicting Mickey Mouse doing things which would harm his wholesome reputation would likely not be fair use. Associating Mickey Mouse with random things he doesn't actually do is not a commentary about Mickey Mouse. It probably isn't a commentary about cartoons in general. The use of the name and likeness of Mickey Mouse does not serve a legitimate purpose.

Comment: Re:FCC? (Score 1) 194

While I know it would never happen, I would love to see the FCC get involved in this. Spectrum is kinda their domain

But the FBI use of spectrum is not.

Why is that? Is there an exception to the law or to FCC rules which allows police officers to operate unlicensed radio transmitters? If so, when may they do so?


Godot Engine Reaches 1.0, First Stable Release 54

Posted by timothy
from the waiting-for-godot-two-oh dept.
goruka writes "Godot, the most advanced open source (MIT licensed) game engine, which was open-sourced back in February, has reached 1.0 (stable). It sports an impressive number of features, and it's the only game engine with visual tools (code editor, scripting, debugger, 3D engine, 2D engine, physics, multi-platform deploy, etc) on a scale comparable to commercial offerings. As a plus, the user interface runs natively on Linux. Godot has amassed a healthy user community (through forums, Facebook and IRC) since it went public, and was used to publish commercial games in the Latin American and European markets such as Ultimo Carnaval with publisher Square Enix, and The Mystery Team by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 368

by Давид Чапел (#48548773) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Exactly. It's a bit like traveling to other countries and foreign cultures today. Languages, daily habits and circumstances of living can be very different from the outside, but once you've get to know them people are essentially the same everywhere - worrying about jobs, love, passions, etc.

If you'd be catapulted into the 15th Century, you'd be able to connect immediately to the people without any problems except for the language and some external habits (norms of politeness, classes, way to dress) that can indeed change drastically over time. (And you cannot change the latter arbitrarily as an author, because you would not be understood and you're writing for today.)

Sure, the fundumental human needs would be the same, but your ideas about the best way to go about satisfying them would be very different. All cultures are disfunctional in some way. We are blind to the disfunctions and absurdities of our own culture or see them as things which cannot be changed. Anyone from the 21st century sent back even to the 19th century would spend a lot of time in in frustrating and ultimately futile arguments.

You would find that you could not even make persuasive arguments for ideas commonly accepted in the 21st century. Your new friends would say things like: "Why shouldn't children drink beer? How are you going to send girls to cooed universities? You do know what the boys would do to them, don't you? So you are saying that we should keep the enlightenment of our culture to ourselves? Stop embarassing the servants by pretending they are your equals. And stop making those tastless jokes about how your house in the 21st century is mortgaged and your parents are divorced. It's not funny! Of course it's stuffy in here and I am about to faint, but if we open the window we'll all get sick and die. Shortening the hours of factory workers and paying a living wage is just idealist clap-trap. You know perfectly well that they would use the extra time and money to drink. Why would I give my children meat and vegetables? Everyone knows such food is too rich for children. They should eat toast and jam."

Sure, your new friends would be the same as people everywhere in that they would want to be loved, respected, successful, and live in confort. But their ideas on how to achieve these goals and what constituted success would likely be very different.

If we would read about real people from 500 years in the future, many of their decisions and behaviors would be puzzling. They would be well ahead of us in many ways, but they would also consider some societal ideas which we see as advanced and liberated to be backward and misguided.

Comment: Re:Huh? What does this reveal? (Score 1) 114

by Давид Чапел (#48523249) Attached to: Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

no, the note says they make claims they aren't sure about (LIES), and have a plan in case they are found out (EVIL)

I think you are misunderstanding what happened here. The plan was to verify the claim before releasing the document.

If furthur research found even one place where Comcast and Time Warner were offering service to the same households, they planned to tone-down the statement before release. So instead of saying "not one customer will lose competition" they would say something like "fewer than 0.01% of customers will lose competition". They are trying to forstall hair spliters who would label a statement which is true for all practical purposes a lie.

This hair splitting distracts attention from the real problem: that there is almost no overlap between the service areas of cable companies in the USA. That is why they are able to charge $50/month for 6Mbps service.

Comment: Huh? What does this reveal? (Score 5, Insightful) 114

by Давид Чапел (#48517907) Attached to: Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

This is a goof, but it doesn't reveal anything interesting. The note says that they have to make sure that the number of places where they compete with Time Warner for the same customers really is zero and not just very low.

What is more revealing is the statement which stayed in: that the market is not competitive.

Comment: Re:Hello I have a seach warrant for your computers (Score 1) 148

by Давид Чапел (#48369215) Attached to: Germans Can Get Free Heating From the Cloud

The problem is more that someone may show up in their office (the ones that "rent out" the space to the cloud company), suddenly that cloud server you rented is gone and now try to prove that it's your data and that you have actually nothing to do with the company they raided.

Easy. If you rented it out, there will be a contract. You put the servers behind a locked door with the name of the cloud company on it. Now that room is legally not part of the premises being searched. A policeman with a warrant for the host company's office can no more go in there than he can go into an office down the hall from the one being searched.

It would be different if they just put their servers in a rack in the host company's server room. They would quite likely would get swept up in a general seizer of the host company's servers.

Comment: Re:As a matter of fact... (Score 1) 408

by Давид Чапел (#47964337) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

They didn't buy you at fair value. They said that you could either sell to them at a severe loss, or they would make their own version of your product and put you out of business

Then you weren't worth "fair value".

Here "fair value" means the price that a company which had no way to persuade you other than to offer you money would have to pay.

Comment: Re:HR? What HR? (Score 1) 278

They are applying for a job using an online system, which can be accomplished in less than three minutes if they already have their resume together and ready to upload.

That is the way it should be. This discussion is about why it takes an hour or two and then it throws away everything you have entered.

Comment: Re:Conquering the application?! (Score 1) 278

I certainly understand the frustration with filling in an online application, but if that's the biggest obstacle to getting the job, it's not that great of a job. Look at the fields required, copy them over to a text file, take your sweet time filling out the responses, and the online part can be a quick copy/paste. It's not that hard. Sure, find better ways to do it, but don't pretend it's this insurmountable challenge.

I think you are assuming that the online application looks something like the one-page paper applications we went around filling out when we got out of high school. It is more like doing your taxes online with a state return or two thrown in. Oh, and you will be logged out a few times and sometimes the Next button will not work and the only way to get past it is to throw away some of your work and try again or try a different web browser. It could easily stretch to 50 pages and take several hours to fill out. No, I am not kidding.

Comment: Re:Shower Thought (Score 1) 278

Maybe being able to get through an application form on a webpage is the first test that weeds out the incompetent.

I suppose if they were applying for IT jobs that might make sense. Then they could pick from those who found workarounds for the problems on the website which stopped other applicants in their tracks. But putting applicants for the position of cashier though a few hours of techno-torture before you will accept their applications doesn't make any sense.

Comment: Re:Contact Us (Score 1) 278

I think you're misunderestimating just how bad many of these things are. They aren't just badly designed. They hang, they freeze, they throw ASP errors just before the final submit (or just after, leaving you wondering if it sent or not).

I'll second that. I once helped someone who was struggling to fill out a large retailer's online job application forms. With all of the hangs, weird errors, incompatibilty with modern web browsers, tedious prodedure for resuming after a disconnect, and the dozens of pages of redundant questions interspersed with nag screens demanding that the application afirmatively acknowledge assurances as to the fairness of the hiring process, it took about four hours. Then they tell you they will keep it for six months at which time if you are still interested you have to do it all again from scratch.

I wondered at times if it might not be some kind of test, but the signs of simple programmer incompetence aggrevated by managers who kept pouring more stuff into the application were too obvious to miss.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 419

It's not a security code, it's a reference number. The transaction isn't formally authorised by the bank until the end of the day when they receive that reference number and tally it with the corresponding phone call from the retailer. *Then* the transaction is authorised. (Assuming said phone call included verbal authorisation of the transaction.)

That the Apple Store didn't know this is how the system works means it was completely open to abuse.

In other words, the way it works is completely counter-intuitive. Any reasonable person observing the process would assume that the bank was contacted both times. Even if you train employees to use differnet procedures, the strong (though false) reassurance provided by the part of the process which they can observe will cause them to get lax.

Comment: Re:Thanks (Score 1) 398

While such numbers might result in some net gain, it will probably end up pissing off ISPs to the point of either finding ways of faking the data, blocking the data, or just as policy telling customers to ignore the speed numbers.

I don't know what data you think they could fake or block. Mysidia is proposing that the web browser measure the speed at which the content is delivered. If they block that data, the page won't open. And they can't fake delivering the page more quickly, can they?

The real problem with this proposal is that such measurements would show that there is a bottleneck but would not show where it was. People would blame their ISPs even if another ISP were at fault or the server's Internet connection wasn't fast enough. The ISPs would indeed tell their customers to ignore these numbers, tand they would be right.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.