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Comment: Re:the OPs summary is alarmist. Please RTFA (Score 2, Interesting) 411

by ethicalBob (#30087264) Attached to: City Laws Only Available Via $200 License
Two more minor points:

1) its not the LAW that is being held under copyright, it is the software on the CD-ROM that is under copyright. AGAIN, the law is freely available in book form at the library and city hall (sections of which can be taken home for the price of photocopying, or just take your digital camera/cellphone and shoot copies of the pages) - They are not copyrighted, and TFA does not claim that they are.

2) the title is alarmist, and currently reads: "City Laws Only Available Via $200 License"

to make it even remotely accurate, it should read: "City Laws Only Available Via $200 License, If purchased on CD ROM - but will be free on the web, soon".

Comment: the OPs summary is alarmist. Please RTFA (Score 1) 411

by ethicalBob (#30087124) Attached to: City Laws Only Available Via $200 License
The article clearly states that the old-school, paper version was available; just not in a convenient, searchable database (yet).

He could has looked up the data at the city hall, or gone to the library and sud the paper copies (also in the article).

The thing he ISN'T given access to is the proprietary software which is copyrighted by the company who is currently creating a version that will be free for all on the web. Its understandable and reasonable that the company that is taking the time take volumes of data and convert it into a a usable database be allowed some protection to their part of the work for a reasonable period of time while it is being put into that format, perfected as a product (quality assurance), and posted to the web in a format that is easily and freely searchable.

This isn't about keeping people from having access to the law, TFA states clearly that he or anyone can still access all the paper copies of the laws at the library, which is the system that has been in place for ages; now that the city is attempting to make it more easily available.

All the saber-rattling about forced "ignorance of the law" etc. would be nullified if the OP posted a balanced summary, or people actually too the time to read the whole (2 page) article.

Comment: I want I want (Score 2, Insightful) 172

by ethicalBob (#29559747) Attached to: Software To Flatten a Photographed Book?
I want a solution to my problem that lets me be incredibly lazy, so I don't have to scan the books in (which i know will work VERY well if I just take the time to do it)...

I want software that will do it. For free.

Can I do it without a camera, too?

Actually I'd like it if there were some way I could get paid for using the software.

Can i just put my iPhone/PDA on the book and have it all sucked in via osmosis?

and then have the book read back to me w/ Morgan Freeman as the narrator?

Is there software that will turn the pages for me too? Oh wait - Morgan is going to narrate for me, that's right...

(sigh)

I know I'm probably getting modded Troll for this one; but there isn't always always an easy (magic!) software solution for every little thing. Sometimes you still have to put the work in if you want quality.

Comment: Re:Landlord is a moron (Score 1) 451

by ethicalBob (#28856265) Attached to: Real-World Consequences of Social Networking Posts
Yes, but in this wonderfully litigious country of ours, you can pretty much sue anyone for anything; and if you have the money to hurt them through attrition, really make whoever you are suing really feel the hurt before your case ever makes it to the stage where it gets thrown out of court.

Why someone would want to do this, I have no idea... But it certainly happens.

Comment: Re:What a great thing. (Score 1) 644

by ethicalBob (#27489227) Attached to: Konami Announces a Game Based On a 2004 Battle In Fallujah
Washington? What do you think the revolutionary war was? English settlers killing English Colonists (and vise-versa in order to succeed from the current government structure.

The Sunni-Shite problem is a civil war. One that wasn't active until we invaded (U.S. analysts, INCLUDING the CIA warned that our invasion would be the spark that would start this fire).

In our civil war, were the Union soldiers noble protectors of the nation? To the North they were.

And Mandela? No Violence? You better read your history a little closer...

Were the Rebel soldiers Heros fighting a repressive regime? To the South they were.

Hell, I'm a conservative and I could see the folly in our invasion of Iraq.

Being a conservative doesn't mean "follow the party line, no matter how foolish it may be"... It means being conservative, g*ddammit! Waiting and following good intelligence and insight to make informed decisions. The last administration set back the conservative cause back decades.

Comment: Re:DC government is pointless (Score 1) 51

by ethicalBob (#27280401) Attached to: DC Fires Tech Contractors, Puts Employees On Leave
This was absolutely the case... I won't go into details, but we did end up cutting some deals to get through the red-tape (to finally get very late receivables (payment) that I wouldn't consider kosher).

When we followed proper procedure, we had to file and get approval of every weekly invoice with 3 different departments (the cabinet office which was the actual client, the executive branch accounting office and the D.O.D) - all of the late approvals put the billing (and the work schedules) behind on an increasingly slipping slope.

I have an honest company, and regular billing practices. Normally my procedures are very simple and transparent.

All the bureaucracy encouraged (almost forced) us to be obtuse in our billing and work in a way that I would never accept from one of my vendors. it was a mess.

We were completely vetted, and had to go through a lot just to apply for the contact, then vetted more once we won it; having to go through so much just to get paid was in incredible waste of time, both for us, and the manpower put behind all the redundant red-tape.

Comment: Re:DC government is pointless (Score 1) 51

by ethicalBob (#27278271) Attached to: DC Fires Tech Contractors, Puts Employees On Leave
which of course is COMPLETELY unlike our government.

They just need to learn the language of US graft better - i.e. Lobbyist and Special Interests

not Trolling - just sayin'...

However I have to disagree with your assessment of it being an adjustment to American culture... I've been a government contractor, and the vetting process is so comprehensive (not that its difficult or exclusive to be a Govt. contractor) - it is mere SO complex procedurally (documentation over documentation, etc) - and when you are at the CIO / Upper Management of a company that has to deal with the US Government, you know that they don't pull any punches when it comes to procedure.

It's mind-numbing... I won't even do Government work anymore. As a freelance resource its more trouble than its worth.

Comment: Unfortunately... (Score 1) 84

by ethicalBob (#27239735) Attached to: Amazon Sued Over E-Book DRM Patent
If you read the article carefully (and then look into the actual patent a bit) its more apparent that the kindle violates some of the specific functionality of Discovery's DRM patent.

Discovery doesn't have a patent on ALL E-books that use ANY DRM scheme, just a specific (albeit verbose) one that Amazon has stepped on.

Unfortunately, this means Amazon will likely take the path of least resistance and just come up with a new method of DRM which doesn't violate Discoveries.

This is a hassle for anyone who anyone who has already purchased books from Amazon. But the likelyhood of Amazon releasing books without any DRM is a pipedream.

Comment: Re:It isn't their fault. (Score 1) 1316

by ethicalBob (#27204349) Attached to: Narcissistic College Graduates In the Workplace?
For a little perspective - The largest apartment I've lived in in NYC was about 1200 square feet - and that was because a friend owned the building (and technically i was taking up 2 spaces)...

On the average, most of the apartments I've lived in have been 1 or 2 bedrooms, under 800 square feet, and cost nearly $2800/month average. So a "Friends" style apartment would probably rent for about $4k/month...for people who work in coffee shops and are out of work actors?

only if they ALL lived in the same flat....

Comment: Needs Legitimate citations (Score 1) 207

by ethicalBob (#27199117) Attached to: Netflix Throttling Instant Video Streaming
I use my Netflix in NYC close to every night of the week; and watch HD content (sometimes via my Blu-ray, and sometimes my computer if I'm in a different part of the apartment) and it's impressive - no long load times, only once in a while does it reload at a lower speed (and this is usually from a temporary drop in my connection - if I stop and restart it goes right back to HD quality). In NYC we have a LOT of people sharing a finite amount of data transfer via cable. So this smells like BS (or perhaps the OP just has a bad connection, it happens).

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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