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Comment: Re:It's about telling you what to buy, not how muc (Score 1) 196

by kiwimate (#45041435) Attached to: More Evidence That Piracy Can Increase Sales

they'd rather sell ten million of just one or two of those than twenty million albums spread across 200 different albums of varying genres

Well, no kidding. Of course they would. Selling ten million copies each of two albums versus a hundred thousand copies each of 200 albums is far more profitable. For each separate album, you have recording costs, production costs, studio time, perhaps some session musicians to be paid, promotional costs, distribution, supply chain costs, etc., etc., etc. It all adds up.

If you have 200 different albums, that's a lot more expensive (considering all those costs coming in for every single one of those albums) than investing in two different albums. These people, by and large, are in business to make money. If you can make the same amount of money with an outlay of a tenth or a fiftieth or a hundredth of the cost, that's good business and it's far less risky (if you know that one album is very probably going to be a blockbuster).

Look, I'm a musician and I love listening to diverse kinds of music. I also understand that the music business is just that - a business. And that's okay. Everyone who's reading this needs money to live, somehow. At some point, someone made some money - you, or someone who is supporting you. There are a thousand ways to make money, and very few of them are totally noble and selfless. Sorry about that.

This is about the power to tell you what to buy, not to tell you to buy from them

Another thought - perhaps they just want to make lots of money with little risk. Really, what's wrong with that?

Want to make bizarre and experimental music, of interest to perhaps only a small number of people? I applaud you (I've been in bands that did just that). But don't be surprised if a major music label decides they're not going to put in the huge amount of time and effort it takes to distribute and publicize your band, when they know (a) they'll likely lose money, and (b) the mainstream band they already have signed will make an actual profit.

Still don't like the major labels? Then why not start your own open community recording "label". As so many people point out, it is possible to record an album with a comparatively inexpensive home studio. Solicit bands, tell them to send you their music. Be honest with them and if you're going to encourage people to download and share the music for free then tell your bands what your policy is on file sharing, and let them decide if they're okay with that.

Put up a cheap web site to tell people what's going on. Figure out the advertising and distribution somehow - use Twitter, or Slashdot, or anything else that takes your fancy. Distribute using peer-to-peer. I suspect nobody will want to pay full-out hosting charges in this kind of a venture because, you know, bandwidth ain't cheap, even for evil empire record labels. But surely someone can figure that out.

Make it a point of pride that you're going to distribute any kind of music, and get together with people who understand marketing and are willing to volunteer their time. It worked for Linux, because people were passionate, so why wouldn't it work for music?

Seriously, go ahead. Stop wasting energy and time just bleating about how evil the big record labels are, don't even worry about what's going on with the mainstream stuff...put your effort into making a difference. Most people involved in this kind of community effort won't make money doing it, but that's the magic of the Linux community, isn't it? Most people involved in developing Linux have day jobs to pay the bills, and work on Linux because they want to make a difference.

If there are enough people who are passionate enough about this, then you could make it work. Stop complaining, and do something to try and make it different. Carpe diem!

Comment: Re:Would probably be found (Score 2) 576

by kiwimate (#44896285) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

The NSA itself is comprised of criminals. From the agent who accesses data he has no legitimate right to,

Like Edward Snowden?

Face it, whether you approve of what he did or think he was wrong, he committed a crime. Merely admitting "the NSA is a criminal organization" doesn't automatically mean it's wrong. There are many activities that have been carried out that history views as admirable which were nonetheless criminal.

Comment: Re:Blame the IT guy (Score 2) 140

by kiwimate (#44678481) Attached to: Goldman Suspends 4 Senior Tech Specialists After Trading Glitch

I suggest you read the article. It talks about a specific subset of trades that were affected due to a problem resulting from an upgrade. It further discusses the impact in a company which prides itself on risk management.

That would seem to imply that it is thought possible an IT upgrade was performed without adequate backout provisions or due diligence.

Comment: Re:Not just Win8 (Score 3, Insightful) 373

by kiwimate (#44643573) Attached to: German Government Warns Windows 8 Is an Unacceptable Security Risk

The advantage of Open Source is that you or anyone else can fix the software if/when security problems are found, whether in the OS, core libraries, network stack, or any Open Source applications.

Theoretically? Totally, no worries. Alpha plus.

In the real world? How often does that occur? How many people are investigating the code to find security problems? How many of those people are sufficiently competent to fix security problems?

There are bugs which remain open for years. There have been reports of security flaws discovered which have been present for years before being detected. If thousands of developers truly were poring over the code, this shouldn't occur.

I won't deny the advantage you state is very real. I will assert that it is an advantage which is rarely exploited in any meaningful fashion.

Comment: Re:"If you won't play MY way, I'M GOING HOME!" (Score 1) 531

I think you may not be familiar with how international diplomacy works, as well as giving rather too much credit to Russia.

The U.S. was pretty close to cancelling the summit anyway, for a number of reasons. The different viewpoints on Syria were already straining relations, and the Kremlin's treatment of dissidents has also been awkward to say the least. This was merely the tipping point. Russia, for their part, was not unaware of this, and it's quite likely they did this at least in part to provoke exactly this response so the U.S. would look bad.

Russia, in the meantime, is doing what any other nation would do and is looking to what they can get out of Snowden. They made a coldly impersonal decision and determined the political value of giving him temporary asylum was greater than the political value of turning him over to the U.S. They likely don't care about his well-being, and they are certainly not all that fussed about any kind of ideology or they'd have given him permanent asylum.

Temporary asylum is a big carrot to the outside world who want to believe the U.S. is the baddie and Russia is the goodie, and a massive stick to Snowden. They will pump him as much as they can, and then simply refuse to renew his temporary asylum. Alternately, once everyone's forgotten about it all, they may simply let him stay (but not with permanent asylum) as it really doesn't cost them all that much.

Edward Snowden has been reduced to a diplomatic pawn, and Russia has no qualms about that. Don't forget that about a month ago they sentenced Aleksei Navalny for trumped-up embezzlement charges, after he exposed rampant high level corruption in the Kremlin. Perhaps we could be equally outraged by that injustice?

Comment: Re:What a clusterf**k. (Score 1) 398

by kiwimate (#44498607) Attached to: Obamacare Exchanges Months Behind In Testing IT Data Security

As an immigrant who's lived in the U.S. for over a decade, my impression is that a huge part of the explanation is due to the sheer size and complexity of the country.

The U.S. comprises a third of a billion people. Those people live in states, each of which has its own government, its own legislature, its own political interests, and an enormous interest in preserving autonomy whilst still being a part of the union. In effect, it is quite similar to the European Union but with the benefit of a history (as a union) that goes back an order of magnitude longer.

Populations of those states range from a few hundred thousand (Wyoming, Vermont) to nearly 40 million (California). The state of Texas is geographically so big that it takes 12 hours to drive across it.

There are dozens of stereotypes about Americans - the brash New Yorker, the backwoodsman from Arkansas, the huntin' and fishin' outdoorsman from Pennsylvania, the surfers from California, and so on and so on. The USA is such a big and diverse country that all those stereotypes are true; you just have to travel far enough to find a group that matches each one.

Consider that in the context of the "free speech" idealism. Americans have grown up knowing that they have the right to say anything, no matter how controversial, and they are passionate about exercising that right. The tenor of conversation is passionate and tends to violently expressed disagreement. This in turn has huge impact on the politicians who wish to be re-elected, and one of the biggest and most important factors is the debate of states' rights.

Comment: Re:Intentions (Score 2, Interesting) 229

by kiwimate (#44416489) Attached to: ASCAP Petitions FCC To Deny Pandora's Purchase of Radio Station

Well, it'd be pretty easy to verify, as their books are open to the public to examine. For reference, ASCAP claims 88 cents out of every dollar is distributed to artists.

Of course, they are a member run organization, so members could vote for a different board of directors, or even simply not join.

Comment: Re:Naming Names (Score 4, Informative) 650

by kiwimate (#44387283) Attached to: US Lawmakers Want Sanctions On Any Country Taking In Snowden

What on earth are you talking about and however did you get modded up to +5? Economic sanctions may come about in times of war, granted. But to claim they're an act of war is to cheapen and trivialize the horror that is such a conflict as to be named a war.

Economic sanctions can be as minor a thing as import tariffs. They're a part of everyday international business.

People here are getting way too emotional and need to grow up.

Comment: Re:U.S., cough, international pressure much? (Score 1) 166

no one wants to control people who create things; nobody is trying to force the people who create things to do anything. they just want to remove the control over people who reproduce what other people have created.

Except that it does control the people who create things. People who create things say "here is my invention/creation/concept, and I want the rules governing use and reproduction of that thing to be this and this and this". The creator can, if she chooses, say "go ahead, copy at will, I welcome it". The creator can also say "nope, I want my creation to be constrained by these rules".

Copyright infringers say "stuff what you want, I'm going to do whatever the heck I like". By their actions, they remove any choice from the creator. Remember, if the creator wants his things to be copied, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that. It would be far more fair for consumers to say "I don't like your choice of restriction by copyright, so I'm going to boycott and not acquire any of your stuff", and let the market forces decide if that business model wins or loses.

But of course that would mean you have to give up something you might want, and we can't have self sacrifice on principle, can we?

Comment: Re:Which one is it? (Score 1) 749

by kiwimate (#44017925) Attached to: Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

Be specific. Forgive me - I'm not a U.S. citizen and am not particularly familiar with the constitution.

Do you mean this part?

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Apparently that's the seventh amendment. Think about it.

(Yes, I know it's a side bar. So was your comment.)

Comment: Re:love slashdot summaries (Score 1) 39

by kiwimate (#44017283) Attached to: Software-Defined Data Centers: Seeing Through the Hype

Yep. I am wondering if I read the same article. Far from being a ringing endorsement of some buzz phrase (which I'd never heard of), it starts off with a warning about falling for hype and then continues to describe what a software defined data center actually is and finishes with some prognostications about what will be.

I think the main point missing is one that any IT manager will see. (Mind you, I labor under the impression that IT managers, who usually do have some kind of business sense, understand that you can't just buy endless quantities of hard disk and servers on the premise that you'll need it some day. Perhaps I've been lucky, but all the managers I've worked with over the past 20 years certainly got that.) Namely, that unless you are using Amazon's services, you don't have endless arrays of hard disk behind the door and the idea of someone idly clicking a button to format TB of disk at a whim comes crashing back to reality when the next business unit who tries the same thing comes knocking to ask where all the free disk space has gone. I.e. same as always, capacity isn't free, performance isn't automatic, and quotas are a necessary evil.

Summary sounds to me like a typical hatchet job aimed at registering lots of page views by giving a deliberately inflammatory starting point that's designed to get /. readers' blood boiling. And clever them (and dumb me), I've fallen for it as soon as I click "submit".

Comment: Re:Which one is it? (Score 1) 749

by kiwimate (#44008563) Attached to: Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

He had no reason to reveal that to the press

Except that the American people have a right to know.

The American people have a right to know...what? I guess you mean everything about the government and any security institutions charged with keeping the country safe. Let's go with that.

What about the Iranian people? Do they have a right to know the same things?

Do the Iraqis? Yemeni? IRA?

If yes, how do you propose to keep the country safe in a manner that says "there are bad people out there and part of a government's responsibility is to protect its country, and here's how we're doing it"?

If no, how do you keep things to just the American people who "have a right to know", as you so eloquently put it?

Comment: Re:Did anyone need reminding? (Score 1) 584

me pointing out how the majority is often wrong is not me saying "I know best, these should be the rules, everyone listen to me because I'm smarter then you"

Of course it is. If you claim the majority is often wrong, you're saying you are smarter the majority of people because you know what's right and they don't. That's what it means to say "these people are wrong in their opinion/belief". You may claim you're not forcing your beliefs on anyone else, but this is just so much semantic stuff.

Seriously, be honest, and keep it simple. Do you think the majority of people are wrong? Then you're saying you're right and you're smarter than them. It's not any more complicated than that.

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