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Comment: Re:Simple answer... (Score 1, Insightful) 479

by gnasher719 (#48633775) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

But if 100g or less is legal, why is 101g illegal? What is the purpose of such a law?

That's not unusual at all. It draws a clear line between what is allowed and what is not. Would you prefer vague guidelines like "for private consumption" vs. "for sale", or "small amounts"? Having strict and easily to check guidelines also avoids wasting time on law enforcements and court costs. 100 grams, and the police lets you go. 101 grams, the hold you and take you to court. Whether you're guilty or innocent, it is _clear_ which one, and that is a good thing

Obviously you shouldn't try to go to the extreme limit of what's allowed. If your scales say you have 100 grams, but your scales are off and you really have 101, that's no excuse. Just stay below 90 and you're fine.

Comment: Re: 12 hour factory shifts? (Score 2) 194

by gnasher719 (#48632265) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers
Well, I found it in a book by Eysenck about a study in war-time Britain, where he found that workers working 57 hours a week in arms production were less productive _per week_, not just _per hour_, than workers on a 48 hour week. And these were people who should have been highly motivated for obvious reasons.

Comment: Re:Question. (Score 1) 194

by gnasher719 (#48632185) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

Question. Why do they work people so hard instead of just hiring more people? Are these guys salaried instead of hourly? Is it about keeping down costs on training or employee benefits like dormitories they don't think they can operate without? It can't be a massive labor shortage or the employees would quit and find somewhere else to work...

The are paid for overtime. Many people _want_ overtime because it is cash in their pocket. I think most of the reason to pressure people into overtime is (a) stupidity (I'd want workers who are fresh and not tired), (b) disrespect for workers, and (c) genuinely not enough people to hire.

That's different from the USA where the causes are (a) stupidity (I'd want workers who are fresh and not tired), (b) disrespect for workers, and (c) greed, pressuring people to work overtime without pay.

Comment: Re: The difference is that THERE is evidence (Score 1) 82

by gnasher719 (#48629945) Attached to: Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

What you're saying basically boils down to "in the end you have to trust the people who wrote the OS or built the device". Yes, yes you do. This article is an example of how one such group abused that trust. Of course Apple and Google could do the same, but absent of any evidence that they have done so saying they could is kind of redundant.

It's more than that. Google and Apple can harm, in principle, by either being evil or incompetent (I'm not claiming they are either). But they have lots of competent developers who try hard to keep you safe. This company here has most likely 10 times less security expertise than either Google or Apple. Which means your risk is much much higher.

Comment: Re:Sony is run by an Illiberal Moron (Score 1) 575

by gnasher719 (#48629575) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

the "haters" were often accused of "hating on Obama". That use of "on" was hardly proper English, and I for one was wondering, if Illiberals are genuinely Illiterate

Language is changing. "Hate" used to be a noun, and usually a verb. Like "his hate was aimed at the wrong person" or "he hated the wrong person"; in each case "hate" being the opposite of "love".

"To hate" has developed a new meaning. Someone who "hates on Obama" isn't the same as someone who "hates Obama". Instead, it means making wild accusations against Obama, which usually have no rational explanation but are just issued to hurt or annoy the person himself or his supporters.

A similar case, compare the totally different meanings of "He hit the girl" and "He hit on the girl". Or just check here: http://www.thefreedictionary.c...

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 1) 575

by gnasher719 (#48629471) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

How? Be specific. If I put a gun on a table in front of you, it will sit there for a thousand years without hurting either one of us. Are you concerned it will spontaneously explode, or grow some sort of nerve tentacles that will intrude into your brain and make you do something awful?

Now start cleaning that gun and the picture changes. Now take the gun to a shooting range, and remove all the bullets when you take it home and put it on the table. What are the chances that you left a bullet? Now show your friends that there are no bullets. What are the chances that you fire a shot from a gun that you absolutely positively definitely knew had no bullets in it, and kill one of your friends?

You don't leave a gun on the table for thousand years without touching it, so the safety of leaving it there is irrelevant. And leaving your gun with no human touching it isn't safe:

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 4, Insightful) 575

by gnasher719 (#48629351) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

That may be true but a key difference in the US is that gun rights are codified into law and in the culture. What is the "Wild West" without guns? In Arizona, to this day, you can walk into a bank with a gun with no problems.

Since you're comparing USA and Denmark (or UK, which is quite the same), it should be obvious that there are two stable states: One, where everyone has guns, so criminals need to have guns to avoid being shot during a crime, and upright citizens need to have guns to avoid beig shot during a crime, too. Two, where nobody has guns, and criminals know that carrying a gun during a crime means that the whole police force will do anything possible to catch them, and they will go to jail for a long time. And upright citizens know that killing an unarmed criminal say during a burglary will get them into legal trouble.

Two stable states. Both stable states are hard to leave. I prefer the stable state with no (few) guns and very few people shot.

Comment: Re:No different than what we have here (Score 2) 82

by gnasher719 (#48624307) Attached to: Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

Unless Apple disables the software that prevents iOS from installing software without the user. This function would only be used for security reasons of course.

It all depends on your definition of "can". Apple could theoretically do _anything_ with your iOS device. Some things would be detectable, some wouldn't, some would be illegal, most would be pointless to do for Apple and would be damaging to business if found out, which is a very good reason not to do it.

Apple _can_ install apps remotely without asking you, and it actually happens if you buy an app on one phone, and you have set up the other phone to automatically install purchased apps. Well, technically you asked for it, but nothing needs to appear on your iOS device at that moment to ask you. Quite obviously, Apple _can_ install software on your iPhone, because that's what they have to do when you purchase software. Being asked by you to do it is just a small detail. In reality, Apple doesn't install software without asking you.

Apple _can_ remove software without asking you, and would probably do that to remove malware, if it decides that removing the malware without your explicit permission is better for the customer than not removing it. I don't think they have ever removed anything for that reason, and they haven't removed anything with copyright problems.

Comment: Re:Yes this is Terrible. (Score 1) 191

by gnasher719 (#48615601) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

"Starts selling" is the key. Yes, they had some DRM free content. Amazon had all DRM free music content. That's a massive difference. I was very much against Amazon at the time because of the one click patent, but I started buying music there because they were doing it the right way. iTunes went all DRM free later on, well after Amazon.

The reason was that the music labels were worried about Apple's strength in the market, so they forced Apple to sell an inferior product (music with DRM), and they only allowed Apple to sell DRM free music after Apple agreed to raising prices.

Comment: Re:Yes this is Terrible. (Score 1) 191

by gnasher719 (#48613327) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case
And anyway, I have the impression that Apple's music DRM is the only one that still works. If you bought music with Apple's DRM ten years ago, you can still play it. Try playing PlayForSure music. No chance. It doesn't work anymore. I think there are some other schemes that stopped working. (If anyone knows of any other music DRM that still works, I'd be interested to hear about it).

And Apple's DRM could always be removed legally by burning the music onto a CD using Apple's own iTunes software, and today Apple's DRM can be removed legally (unfortunately not for free) by subscribing to iTunes Match once.

Comment: Re:Yes this is Terrible. (Score 1) 191

by gnasher719 (#48613267) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Well yes actually. That's what they are being sued for. I know it sounds ridiculous but that is the plaintiff's claim.

The plaintiff's claims were nowhere near as sensible as the things you asked about. (Actually, Apple's legal reply to most of the claims was "what you are claiming doesn't make any sense". Usually a legal reply to a reasonable accusation either says "we didn't do it" or "we were allowed to do it". )

Comment: Re:Good for consumers? (Score 1) 191

by gnasher719 (#48613209) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

How can DRM and locking out competitors ever be defined as good for consumers?

I suggest you read what the case was actually about. Apple is claimed to have prevented Realnetworks from adding Apple's DRM to Realnetworks' DRM music and copying it onto Apple's iPods. The reality is that Realnetworks created an awful hack and damaged the data on an iPod in the process to an extent that Apple's software thought the iPod was broken and reformatted it.

To your question "How can DRM ever be defined as good for customers": Without DRM, it would be impossible to rent videos online for cheap instead of having to buy them for three times as much. And in 2006 when this happened, without DRM there would have been no online music stores. Surely offering you to buy music with DRM is better than not offering you to buy music without DRM.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 191

by gnasher719 (#48613167) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

This is not true, even if Apple insists on saying it is. As near as I can tell, what they mean is that they aren't putting DRM on music that was added after the DRM-free date. However, the iTunes library is full of music that is as "protected" by DRM as it ever was. Or at least that was true three years ago, when I spent far too much time working out how to strip the DRM off of a song I downloaded from it.

Just in case that you still have a reasonable amount of music with FairPlay DRM: You can buy Apple's "iTunes Match" for a year, which will among other things allow you to replace any music bought from Apple, and any music from anywhere that the software recognises, with DRM free 256 Kbit/sec copies. Costs about $25 or so. If you have lots of music with DRM or in lower quality, it's worth it.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 3, Informative) 191

by gnasher719 (#48613123) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

It's still relevant, but an expected ruling. This is not about DRM on the songs, it is about DRM on the connection between iTunes and the devices. That is, you can't use a non-apple device with iTunes. And Apple can go out of their way to make that happen.

I think you are making the mistake of thinking that Apple was sued for something that remotely makes sense. They weren't.

Apple sold music with DRM in 2006. That music was hard or impossible to copy, as music with DRM should be. But that's not what Apple was sued for. And making it impossible for music with DRM to be copied is actually what DRM is there for.

Realnetworks had developed their own DRM "solution". Which had the unfortunate disadvantage that it didn't play on iPods, and it didn't play on Microsoft "Playforsure" compatible players either. So it was quite dead in the water. So Realnetworks decided to create a hack where they removed their own DRM, then put fake "FairPlay" (that's Apple's DRM) around it, and copied that to the iPod.

It turned out that they damaged directory structures on the iPod, and the iPod's "FairPlay" implementation noticed that there was something fishy about these files. Altogether so bad that Apple's software suggested that you reformat the iPod. And that is what these lawyers complain about: That Apple didn't allow their hacked DRM to play on an iPod.

The obvious and 100% iPod compatible solution would have been to remove the DRM and _not_ to try to add Fairplay DRM to the music. Music without DRM, like mp3, AAC, WAV, ALAC has always played on all iPods.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.