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Comment: Re:as opposed to the other kind of corporation? (Score 1) 179

by hey! (#47567637) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

Here's the interesting thing, though. Let's agree that bottom-feeding is the natural ground state of a corporation; what that means is that nearly everybody is doing it, which means bottom-feeders on average don't make any more profit than you'd get investing in a mutual fund, but involve a lot more risk.

If you want to make *more* profit, you have to be about something *in addition to* profit. A great company has an identity which has value. This, by the way, is how Carly Fiorina ruined HP. She re-imagined HP as something more generic.

Comment: Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (Score 1) 219

Thanks. I hadn't noticed that the Lords was sitting for a little longer than the Commons before the summer recess.

I'm glad to see some progress here, though it's depressing that the parliamentary debate has still been framed almost exclusively in economic terms with little advocacy for those who just want to enjoy works of art (you know, "the people"). The speech by Baroness Neville-Rolfe introducing the debate was one of the more reasonable I've seen, at least acknowledging that copyright does have to be a balancing act if it's going to command any respect and does have to keep up with changing technology. Clearly most of her peers don't see this as anything other than a change in the law that might cost a business money and should therefore be rejected in their mind, with not a single word from some of them acknowledging that the status quo might not be appropriate or in the best interests of the people of this country. At least the final person to speak, the Earl of Erroll, managed to get some common sense onto the record on behalf of the other 99%.

Some of the speakers also seemed to think this is the end of the debate, when to many of us it is at most a baby step toward making IP laws fit for purpose in the 21st century. Writing as someone who makes a living creating knowledge works that are protected by copyright and runs multiple businesses using various commercial models, I don't recognise much of what they claim the "industry" wants, nor do I expect any of my businesses will lose a single penny of revenue as a result of any of the proposed changes.

It's also sad that they seem ignorant (wilfully or otherwise) of the fact that these new rules will be almost meaningless for many types of work as long as technical protection measures are allowed to override them. What is the point of creating an exception to something otherwise prohibited by law if you're just going to let it be trivially prohibited in some other way anyway? They even acknowledge this themselves in another context, when talking about contract override. And then they amusingly suggest that the current situation "risks the law falling into disrepute". I'm pretty sure the law on copyright has been in disrepute for several decades by now.


Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 152

Air gapping the sensitive information is one of those things that looks easy on paper but runs afoul of the fact that people don't like to work that way. It's inefficient. It's not like people have *two* jobs, one sensitive the other not. They have one job in which sensitive bits are intertwined with regular bits, so in practiced people tend to cheat and do *some* sensitive work on the non-sensitive network.

Even if the users are unrealistically conscientious about never doing anything sensitive on their non-secure PCs, this intertwining of sensitive with ordinary information means that you can probably deduce a lot from apparently innocuous data. Imagine you discover the following information from poking around on an engineer's "non-sensitive" computer:

(1) He is exchanging email with certain university researchers setting up face to face meetings.
(2) He has downloaded datasheets for several families of exotic electronic components.
(3) He has telephone appointments in his calendar with salesmen from Unobtanium Corp.
(4) His browsing history shows he's been reading up on certain mathematical topics on Wolfram Alpha.

Now put this all together and another expert in his field might be able to deduce a lot more than you'd expect than if you looked at any one of these factors. The interconnected nature of an engineer's work means that if you remove all the sensitive bits it leaves a hole of a characteristic shape.

Comment: Re:Citing Wikipedia (Score 1) 113

by drinkypoo (#47567411) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

It doesn't even take any depth. I've cited wikipedia on my website (the intent was to link to more information, not to utilize it as an exhaustive source) and later gone on to visit that link to make sure it still says what I want it to say only to find out that since I cited the article, the article cited the very page on which I had cited it. Whoever cited my page was either too lazy to check the bibliography, which was at the foot of the page as normal, or didn't care that they were potentially creating a circular reference one reference long.

Comment: Re:It Depends (Score 2) 190

Until someone install something else on the network segment. Like a wireless access point. Or until malware takes over one of the trusted hosts.

Security vulnerabilities always involve violations of some assumptions you make, e.g. that anything coming from a certain set of hosts is benign, or that if a process on a server opens up an IP port it's *supposed* to do that. You want the security of a system to depend on as few assumptions as possible. If it does no harm in day to day operations and offers protection when your assumptions fail, why *not* run a software firewall?

Comment: Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (Score 1) 219

In the UK there is still no private copying exemption from the Digital Economy Act and other related copyright law, despite recommendations to do so.

There was supposed to be some progress on implementing this very recently, but it seems to have faded out for reasons I haven't yet been able to identify. I couldn't find any relevant Parliamentary debates over the past few weeks and the House of Commons has now risen for the summer and won't be back until September, so maybe they just ran out of time to schedule it. However, I'm not sure whether the House needs to be sitting for the remaining work to be completed or whether the primary legislation has already been set up and it's just ministerial decisions now.

Comment: Re:USB Import (Score 1) 219

by Mr. Slippery (#47565467) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Who the hell buys/uses CD's anymore?

(raises hand)

My CD from the 80s (yes, I still have a few) and 90s and 00s didn't disappear. I buy CDs from bands at shows. (And usually rip them, eventually.) And doing business with the forms of Pure Concentrated Evil known to mankind as Apple and Amazon is not an option, so digital download options are limited.

Comment: Good luck with that (Score 1) 219

by Zocalo (#47565173) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

The Act protects against distributing digital audio recording devices whose primary purpose is to rip copyrighted material.

So, the primary purpose of the CD system is ripping CDs is it? Not, for instance, listening to the radio, playing CDs, or even listening to the music I have previously ripped from CDs using the system AARC is complaining about? According to their argument that would have to be the case, even to the extent of ripping a CD and then only playing it back once, to meet the "primary purpose" claim. Or is the AARC expecting to convince a jury that owners of vehicles with these devices are ripping CDs onto a hard drive in a device that they will then probably need to dismantle in order to remove and attach the drive to some other system in order to play back the ripped music somewhere other than in the car?

AARC's greedy lawyers are greedy. Music (ripped in-car, naturally) at eleven!

Comment: Re:Or, use a big hosts file (Score 1) 297

by 0111 1110 (#47565149) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

It is true that the default Windows/Linux hosts file cannot do wildcard matching. However there are some apps like Acrylic or angryhosts which may allow such wildcard functionality. These seem to be Windows only however. For Linux there may be other options like DNS Chef. I am not completely clear however whether DNS Chef would work for this.

Of course hosts file blocking lists like mvps and yoyo would have to be updated to support wildcards. I guess someone could write a simple program to wildcard every domain in those lists and then maybe the list maintainers could be convinced to maintain wildcard versions. I think this is the only way that this DNS based ad blocking can move forward.

Comment: Re:How do investors react to such info? (Score 1) 179

by CrimsonAvenger (#47564973) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

Would you be more or less inclined to put your money into a company whose seemingly sole focus is profit?

Note that "profit" is misleading in this context. What they seem to mean, based on TFA is "income" or "revenue".

Admittedly, income generates profit (usually. See "loss leader" for an example of income with no profit attached). But they're not synonymous, as any taxman can tell you.

We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.