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Comment Not so simple (Score 3, Informative) 222

Of course with the developer tools built into browsers these days, it only takes a few clicks to delete the nag layer and get to the underlying content. I wonder how they count me in their statistics?

It used to be easy to read the content off the html – no developer tools needed! Today, many websites are constructed to not serve the underlying content until the you've been served the ad.

By the way, I don't think there's anything wrong with what Springer is doing. Readers can pay cash, or pay by viewing ads. They can also choose not to read.

Comment Re:Economic calculations (Score 1) 369

Climate change requires coordinated action from all (or most) major countries. If the US went ahead with Keystone, then politicians or bureaucrats in other countries would say, why should we stick out our necks on this. The USA isn't making any sacrifices and they're the worst (or in top 2) polluter.

Well, your argument assumes disapproving Keystone XL has both negative climate effect and positive economic benefits, so that disapproving it would have been a "sacrifice". In fact, Obama is arguing that it would have had no economic upside, and that the main gain is the "leadership", disclaiming any reliance on direct environmental benefits. I agree that this jives with Obama's idea of what "sacrifice" and "leadership" mean, but it's not how the rest of the world uses those terms.

Comment Economic calculations (Score 4, Interesting) 369

It's notable that Obama is making a political calculation (wanting to retain "leadership" relating to climate change, the pipeline not increasing "energy security") rather than an economic or environmental one.

Reading his statement on the matter, his economic justifications are irrelevant ("the pipeline wouldn't create jobs or lower gas prices for Americans"): since it's not proposed that the US government pay for the pipeline, these issues are only relevant against costs -- and he doesn't discuss any costs! He isn't citing the direct environmental damage of digging the pipeline and creating associated infrastructure (roads, power cables, pumping stations etc). He isn't citing the risk of leaks.

I was wondering if Obama would claim climate risks since that would have required him to quantify his estimate of the accuracy of the models used to predict the climate effects of the pipeline. But naturally he didn't claim risks to the climate -- only risks to US leadership on climate issues. That's a fair reason to make national-level decisions, but is not a win for the environment.

Comment Re:Righthaven (Score 1) 67

What is right wing about filing a lawsuit to unmask a doe, suing that person, then settling for a much smaller amount. It seems this is used by many different trolls, and likely doesn't have any political ideology behind it. It is sleazy though. Filing a lawsuit with the intention of settling just to get a payout is wrong. It is short circuiting the justice system for personal profit.

Yeah that's neither right nor left, it's the universal language of greedy bloodsuckers.

Comment Re:Righthaven (Score 3, Interesting) 67

What is right wing about that process? The Democrats support the movie industry, not the Republicans.

The fact that Democrats support something doesn't negate the possibility of something being right wing. The Democrats are not ideologically pure, or ideologically homogenous, and very few of them can be considered "left".

To me, pretending that copyright is only about property rights, and ignoring the fact that copyright was also supposed to be about free speech and about making material available for free to the public after a limited time, is definitely "right wing".

Comment Re:DMCA needs to die (Score 1) 67

This has nothing to do with the DMCA, this is a straight out copyright infringement lawsuit being filed. The real problem is that the methods the copyright holders (or the copyright enforcement goons acting on their behalf) are using to identify torrent users aren't good enough and its good to see at least one judge willing to call these enforcers out on it.

Exactly. Would have been nice for judges to start doing this 11 years ago, but glad they've come around.

Submission + - All Malibu Media subpoenas in Eastern District NY put on hold

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: A federal Magistrate Judge in Central Islip, New York, has just placed all Malibu Media subpoenas in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island on hold indefinitely, due to "serious questions" raised by a motion to quash (PDF) filed in one of them. Judge Steven Locke's 4-page Order and Decision (PDF) cited the defendant's arguments that "(i) the common approach for identifying allegedly infringing BitTorrent users, and thus the Doe Defendant, is inconclusive; (ii) copyright actions, especially those involving the adult film industry, are susceptible to abusive litigation practices; and (iii) Malibu Media in particular has engaged in abusive litigation practices" as being among the reasons for his issuance of the stay.

Comment What are the legal issues? (Score 2) 151

I'm not sure what Nintendo's exact legal claim is (of course they'd rather not specify it!), but to this armchair lawyer is seems odd.

Since these videos are derivative works of the games, they are probably legal because they are fair use of the games (they display graphics from the game but aren't a substitute for the game etc). I guess Nintendo is claiming that "fair use" doesn't apply if your source is an infringing copy of the work. This is not impossible, though I don't see why it should be relevant. More importantly, I think that the custom ROMs involve fair use of Nintendo's ROMs, especially since Nintendo isn't offering new ROMs for sale.

Comment "no hair" Theorem (Score 3, Informative) 172

In general relativity (our theory of classical gravity, without quantum effects), there are several "no hair" theorems, saying that several types of black holes are completely determined by a few overall parameters (say mass, charge and angular momentum) and without regard to their history.

We don't yet have a theory of quantum gravity, so we don't know if the quantum state of a black hole does retain information. It probably has to, but this is not understood. By the way, in any case classical GR would be an excellent approximation except in the case of very small black holes, so any information retained will not be actually accessible.

Comment Probably depends on the chipset (Score 1) 99

The "Intel Active Management" (a governor that runs on a secondary CPU independent of the primary one, with cryptographically signed firmware and autonomous access to LAN, WiFi, Memory etc) is also quite disconcerting, but in fact only inclued on certain chipsets (see the tables for Broadwell and Skylake). Unless you are a large institution you probably don't want remote management capabilities.

It's hard to find which chipsets will feature this DSP but quite possibly some won't. Pay attention when you buy your motherboard and all will be well.

Comment They have their rights, can we have ours back? (Score 2) 379

Certainly Xerox can manufacture whatever products they like. We have the right not to buy them (and, say, buy from the competition). Two remarks anyway:

1. Doing this in secret is underhanded, and they should be upfront, Despite the negative reaction by some members of the public ("it's unfair that I'm paying more than X"), there is nothing wrong with a company trying for market segmentation. They should tell the complainers to grow up

2. Everyone should own whatever they own. So, if I own a printer or a toner cartridge, I should have the right to modify and reprogram them however I like (say, to report a different zone or to ignore zonal coding). Courts have rebuffed Xerox and Lexmark as they attempted to use the DMCA to protect their business strategies, but the DMCA (US), Bill C-11 (Canada) and their worldwide clones still apply to DVD-players, for example. That should stop.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.