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Comment: Summary is _grossly_ wrong. (Score 3, Insightful) 323

by jthill (#48165187) Attached to: Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook
Among the "undisputed facts"::

The unauthorized profile and page remained accessible to Facebook users until Facebook officials deactivated the account on April 21, 2012,, not long after the Bostons filed their lawsuit on April 3, 2012 [3]. During the 11 months the unauthorized profile and page could be viewed, the Athearns made no attempt to view the unauthorized page, and they took no action to determine the content of te false, profane, and ethnically offensive information that Dustin was charged with electronically distributing. They did not attempt to learn to whom Dustin had distributed the false and offensive information or whether the distribution was ongoing. They did not tell Dustin to delete the page. Furthermore, they made no attempt to determine whether the false and offensive information Dustin was charged with distributing could be corrected, deleted, or retracted.

[3] Indeed, Facebook's records showed that, months after Dustin's principal notified the Athearns that Dustin had been disciplined for creating the unauthorized account, the fake persona continued to extend or accept requests to become Facebook Friends with additional users and that other users viewed and posted on the unauthorized page until the day before Facebook deactivated the account.

From the court's discussion of the legality of the lower court's grant of summary judgement in favor of the Athearns:

Under Georgia law, liability for the tort of a minor child is not imputed to the child's parents merely on the basis of the parent-child relationship. Parents may be held directly liable, however, for their own negligence in failing to supervise or control their child with regard to conduct which poses an unreasonable risk of harming others.

Since the parents knew for almost a year that their child had posted (no kidding, chase the link) grossly offensive, defamatory, libelous information and admit they not only did nothing, at all, ever, to even so much as look at it, they didn't even tell the kid to take it down, the appeals court's reversed the summary judgement in their favor, because it seems apparent that a jury might find them negligent for that.

Comment: He's right that FDE will protect criminals. (Score 1) 284

by jthill (#48163447) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption
It's a good thing that government demanding and getting limitless, secret access to every accessible detail of everyone's life has no history of being used for political vengeance and oppression, otherwise he'd be advocating for policies that have an unbroken, horrifying, outrageous, infamous track record.

Comment: Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 1) 838

by jthill (#48161693) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

So, your ECON 101 course left you with the impression that saving can't be immoderate? That it never crosses a boundary and becomes refusal to spend? That excessive not-spending is somehow not a defining symptom of a depression? It would seem times have changed.

Do the math. Hell, it doesn't take econ 101 to do this math, anybody with google and high-school math skills can do it: under those conditions, what happens to M0 if there is no new money being printed? What happens to M0 even if new money is being printed, and still those who already possess the vast majority of M3 are limitlessly ratcheting up that share? Either, over time, all those who possess the existing money spend it and on average do no better than break even (proportionately, including any new money being printed to cover an expanding economy), or M0 dries up. The big question is, what's a good target?

At some point somebody's going to have to admit in public, and national policy is going to have to revert to being based on the acknowledgment, that a free market is nothing more than a tool, one that can be nudged or with some teamwork directed by those with substantial influence over it toward many ends.

As it stands, enough of the wealthy in this country are working to produce a world nobody else wants to live in — are openly claiming that a person's worth is the least amount of money they can get away with paying for his labor, that because so many people can produce the vast majority of the world's simple wealth and services, as a necessary and right and just and good consequence the few that are needed to actually do it deserve to and should live like slaves, that those who aren't deserve to and should live worse "to encourage them to get jobs", — that they're succeeding.

Comment: Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 1) 838

by jthill (#48160473) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

I don't think a progressive consumption tax would reduce inequality since investment wouldn't be taxed at all it would probably promote inequality even more than our current system does. Either Bill Gates didn't think it through or he did and decided he wants a system that promotes inequality to the maximum extent possible.

That part, we agree on.

Where we differ is the belief that wealth accruing in (in particular) stocks is somehow not being sucked out of the economy, is somehow doing any considerable good for anyone but the already-(relatively)-wealthy. Please don't carp about the boundary between wealthy and not, it's enough that there is such a boundary. If you want to argue anything along the lines of there is no such boundary, or that it's so fuzzy that nothing of consequence follows, I'd be at least interested enough to read it.

Demand pushes up price. The stock market goes up because people are pouring money into it. That money's coming from somewhere, and the only time it's an actual investment is when the company offers shares.

People selling one stock in favor of another contribute _nothing_. People selling stock to actually produce goods and services with the proceeds take that money out of the stock market, they deflate it. When the stock market as a whole drops, whether the market slides gently or a bubble bursts, money in the affected stocks is destroyed, money spent buying the stocks is just gone -- from the assets of the already-wealthy. When the stock market rises, money is created -- as new assets for the already-wealthy. But during the periods that money that could be spent elsewhere is instead spent buying secondhand shares, it no longer forms any part of, it has been sucked out of, the productive economy

People who aren't wealthy enough to afford the time and expense of financial counseling or education -- let alone find, invest and preserve the necessary capital -- have no chance of accumulating any considerable wealth. Their only hope, currently, is social security and medicare -- and social security for those below that "enough" bar above can't really be considered even a subsistence living.

Comment: Re:Overrated... (Score 1) 838

by jthill (#48160007) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right
Presenting a substantial and coherent set of sound arguments in a public debate while simply omitting the idle chatter, the trolls, the other idiots is a valuable service. Necessary, even; it's a way of hosing dirt off the debate. By all accounts (including yours) he did a very, very good job of it.

Comment: This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 4, Insightful) 838

by jthill (#48159575) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

a progressive tax on consumption

Not sure how that's going to promote demand for goods and services. It looks to me like a recipe for rewarding not-spending. And not-spending is exactly what's sucking the liquidity out of the economy now, locking it up in the vaults of the wealthy, who refuse to spend at all unless it means that they wind up with ever more in their vaults, and construction of the (was this term ever more apt?) vicious cycle is complete.

Comment: Re:OracleVSGoogle: Judge can program, you still fo (Score 1) 187

by jthill (#48142041) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights

But it hasn't. Looking at a couple of potentially-relevant aspects:

The standard for copyrightability of facts is "particular selection, coordination, or arrangement" of facts -- it's why maps are copyrightable but data dumps like phone books aren't -- phone books don't really select, they take pretty much all of them, coordination doesn't really apply, and arrangement is a simple mechanical process that nobody would regard as identifiable as any particular author's work.

The standard for copyright of other useful works has been

If a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work is a useful article, it is copyrighted only if its aesthetic features are separable from its utilitarian features. A useful article is an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. They must be separable from the functional aspect to be copyrighted.

The problem there is, clean-room reimplementation is legal. Dalvik is a clean-room reimplementation of the Java API. Headers are an integral part of an API implementation; you can't make them work, at all, without headers using matching names. Not even Microsoft has dared try anything so pathetic as Oracle's argument: Wine is legal, and it implements the Win32 API, names included. Samba is legal, and it implements the CIFS API, names included. Maybe this would be a good starting point for more.

Comment: Re:My understanding of the issue (Score 1) 354

by jthill (#47841191) Attached to: DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins
Decompiled and deobfuscated code isn't the original. To whatever extent anyone but Mojang has a copyright interest in that decompiled/deobfuscated code, that interest doesn't cover the original code. The takedowns are utter bullshit. Mojang's complying with the GPL in both letter and spirit.

Comment: Re:$10 / month, no contract. Read the summary (Score 1) 71

by jthill (#47604865) Attached to: Comcast Gives 6 Months Free Internet To Poor and Unpaid Bill Amnesty
Umm, please name any skein of human culture not rife with liars and idiots. Focusing on them is, at best, a waste of time. Of course, just one step above the barrel-scraping morons are the raw bigots, who pretend every undesirable characteristic is largely the fault of some group of people Not Like Themselves. Also endemic everywhere.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.