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Comment: Re:Isn't this exempted? (Score 1) 259

by Alsee (#47570553) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Nope, you misunderstand what the loophole was. It's utterly irrelevant whether or not it's easy to copy the music out.

You need to forget "plain English" and what "makes sense". We're dealing with the law and legalese. You need to think like a computer running into odd code. If a programmer writes "int Two=3;" then you'll get "Two+2=5". You need to obey the definition you're given, even if it clashes with what you think it should mean. You can't just assume Two+2 is supposed to be 4 when the code (or the law) says something different.

This law has a definitions section, and we are concerned with with three key pieces. I'll trim it to the critical bits.

A "digital musical recording" is a material object [...blah blah...]
A "digital musical recording" does not include a material object [...blah blah blah..] in which one or more computer programs are fixed

Therefore, according to the law, MP3 files on a computer hard drive are not "digital musical recordings".

A "digital audio copied recording" is a reproduction in a digital recording format of a digital musical recording [...blah blah...]

Therefore, according to the law, an MP3 player that copies an MP3 off of a computer is not creating a "digital audio copied recording".

A "digital audio recording device" is any machine or device [...blah blah...] making a digital audio copied recording

Therefore an MP3 player copying MP3's off a computer is not a "digital audio recording device".

The law only applies to "digital audio recording devices", therefore nothing in the law applies to MP3 players. Unfortunately this shitty law does seem to apply to a car audio system copying music off of CDs. Unless the judge gets "creative" in interpreting the law, it seems to me that car manufacturers are going to have to pay damages for every unit produced so far, are going to have to implement DRM on these car audio systems (preventing them from loading any song that's flagged as already being a copy), and are going to have to pay royalties to the RIAA for each future unit sold.

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Comment: Re:economy bullshit argument (Score 1) 93

by Zordak (#47570091) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Apple users are not the kind of people who drive to a different supermarket because the tomatoes are 5 cents cheaper there.

Exactly. They're the type of people who always shop at the same supermarket, where the tomatoes cost twice as much as anywhere else and have a glossy wax coating, are all the same, approved size, and are utterly free of any flavor. In fact, they don't even know how to cook, and don't know why they're buying tomatoes in the first place, except that the reanimated corpse of Steve Jobs told them to. They buy their precious, shiny iTomatoes and dutifully display them in the crispers of their iRefrigerators. Then a week later, they toss them out and go back to the iGroceryStore and buy the new, upgraded iTomato 5S, with even more shiny and even less flavor.

Comment: Re:A pump action BB Gun (Score 1) 22

by RailGunner (#47569961) Attached to: it boggles the mind
Either way I do see my height as being advantageous if I should need to attempt to defend myself or my family with a bat at home.

You are rolling the dice with your life unnecessarily with that plan. If an armed assailant breaks in, that bat -- even if it's a bad ass double walled DeMarini -- is no match for any kind of firearm, and you'd be taking the proverbial knife to a gunfight. You've got to watch out for yourself and your family.

Also, the latest trend in criminal activity is to bring a buddy or two -- I don't care how tall you are, even with a bat you're not going to be capable to defend yourself against two (or more) unarmed assailants, let alone armed ones.

For home defense, in my opinion the best defense is a pump-action shotgun -- specifically a 12 gauge. A 20 gauge may get the job done as well if you're worried about the recoil, but if you're holding it correctly the recoil should not bother you much. As an added benefit, the sound of that 12 gauge getting cocked may be enough to deter a criminal, but if it isn't, you're going to need the stopping power of a shotgun.

A 00 Buckshot shell has 8 pellets, and each pellet is roughly the size of a 9mm bullet. If you hit center mass, it'll be like the assailant taking 8 shots from a 9mm almost all at once (the pellets are loaded into the shell in 4 groups of 2, and exit the barrel thusly). Needless to say, it's devastating to a human body.

Take ownership of your own self-defense -- 911 doesn't respond fast enough.

Hopefully, you'll never need to use a gun to do more than put holes in paper (or water jugs, or watermelon, or even a tasty deer or warthog), but -- it will always be better to have a gun and never need it than need a gun once and not have it.

Unfortunately, I've been in a position where I needed my gun, and I thank God I didn't have to fire it, that the sight of it was enough to deter any future stupidity from the assailant.

If you want to talk self-defense any further, just ask. This is something I'm very passionate about and something I advocate every person do -- be prepared to defend themselves.

Comment: Re:Are they serious? (Score 1) 259

by Alsee (#47568749) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

The Audio Home Recording Act makes it illegal to manufacture or sell "Audio Recording Devices" unless they implement the Serial Copy Management System (a form of DRM).

The Audio Home Recording Act has a clause explicitly excluding computers from being "an Audio Recording Device", and excluding computer hard drives from being "Audio Recording Media". So when MP3 players copy music from a computer they basically slide through a loophole in the law. The music industry fought a court case over MP3 players and lost on this exact point. According to that court ruling, MP3 players do NOT fall within the law's explicit definition of "Audio Recording Device". Therefore MP3 players are not required to implement the idiot DRM system.

It looks like the system installed in these cars does fall within the law's definition of Audio Recording Device. It looks like the music industry has a solid case here, unless an "activist" judge sees how stupid this all is and comes up with some creative way to avoid applying this idiot law.

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Comment: Re:Isn't this exempted? (Score 1) 259

by Alsee (#47568483) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

The Audio Home Recording Act is a horrid law mandating DRM in any digital audio recording device. This law is directly responsible for the extermination of all technological innovation in the field, up until MP3 players essentially slipped through a loophole. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) failed in the consumer market because of this DRM crap. Minidisc failed even harder. And god-knows how many other technologies were killed by this law and I can't name them because they never got far enough to be named.

That said.... you are looking at the wrong part of the law. I'll post the correct sections below. I sure as hell hope the music industry loses this case, but based on this asinine law I don't see how they'd lose.

Section 1001. Definitions
(3) A "digital audio recording device" is any machine or device of a type commonly distributed to individuals for use by individuals, whether or not included with or as part of some other machine or device, the digital recording function of which is designed or marketed for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, making a digital audio copied recording for private use, except for -
(A) professional model products, and
(B) dictation machines, answering machines, and other audio recording equipment that is designed and marketed primarily for the creation of sound recordings resulting from the fixation of nonmusical sounds.

Section 1002. Incorporation of copying controls
(a) Prohibition on Importation, Manufacture, and Distribution. - No person shall import, manufacture, or distribute any digital audio recording device or digital audio interface device that does not conform to -
(1) the Serial Copy Management System;
(2) a system that has the same functional characteristics as the Serial Copy Management System and requires that copyright and generation status information be accurately sent, received, and acted upon between devices using the systemâ(TM)s method of serial copying regulation and devices using the Serial Copy Management System; or
(3) any other system certified by the Secretary of Commerce as prohibiting unauthorized serial copying.

Section 1009. Civil remedies
(a) Civil Actions. - Any interested copyright party injured by a violation of section 1002 or 1003 may bring a civil action in an appropriate United States district court against any person for such violation.

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Comment: Re:medical services need a billing time limit (Score 1) 486

by operagost (#47567213) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

We gave up our freedom through the ACA, and yet this continues. It's not about being billed, it's about being billed incorrectly and not having any control over the process. The UK has fully socialized health care, yet people are denied care or left to die waiting... sometimes, literally waiting in the ER.

Clearly, giving up more freedom isn't the answer.

Comment: Re:My $0.02... (Score 1) 22

by RailGunner (#47566709) Attached to: it boggles the mind
The only person I've seen have trouble with a 12 gauge shotgun is a 110 pound woman not holding the weapon correctly, and sadly youtube has no shortage of women with poor posture firing a 12 gauge (probably with a magnum load) and dealing with the recoil.

I doubt you, as a man, would have any trouble with it. As for the .45 -- the recoil is not unmanageable in my conceal carry weapon, but might be a little much for someone inexperienced. My full sized Glock 21, on the other hand, my wife fires with no problem and no trouble with the recoil.

Comment: Re:A cautionary tale? (Score 2) 135

by timeOday (#47566069) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax
I liked your post right up to the last sentence when you said the real problem is our tendency to not check everything. That is simply not possible. Life rolls forward on a vast number of assumptions every moment, and most of them are correct, or good enough to get by on. (False assumptions that don't matter and cannot be observed - like this Amelia Bedelia thing - can linger indefinitely).

Comment: Re:The American Dream (Score 1) 486

by Loki_1929 (#47566049) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Not that I disagree in principle, but it seems as though home ownership is only now available in many areas to those who are either making truly ridiculous amounts of money or those who are making very good money and are willing to live house-poor. I don't know any home owners making truly ridiculous amounts of money, but I do know plenty of people who make good money, own their own homes (with a mortgage), and have almost no room in their budgets for things like going to the movies or going out to eat, let alone actually do real vacations or weekend trips. I'm talking about people with household incomes in the top 15% of the country who didn't run around buying ridiculous homes; just nice normal ones.

I guess I just don't understand how you have huge areas where you don't see anything selling at under $650,000. Hundreds of houses in neighborhood after neighborhood all across the region that sell easily at prices that maybe 3-4% of households could possibly afford. In my area, $350k+ is considered a normal price for an okay home in an okay neighborhood. Nothing fancy, not even especially nice, just okay. That excludes around 83% of households from being able to affordably buy one, yet there they go, all day long selling like hotcakes. Who the hell is buying these things?

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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