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Comment: Re:Steve's all right (Score 1) 95 95

I think you're missing a very important point: If you're sitting around the table, passing the rulebook around, you still only have a single copy of the rules that you paid for. If everyone is sitting in their own home, and you've got the only copy of the rulebook, and share it with them online, you have to make a copy of the parts you're sharing. While I do believe that there needs to be some grey area (consider the situation where you use the rules for "back-end" decision handling without the players involvement, but the players are effectively playing a mechanic-less story), if you're having them use the mechanics, ESPECIALLY on a public server where you don't personally know all of the other people to potentially share the rules in person, it's a valid question. And while Steve may be a little overprotective of his IP on occasion, he's also earned some of that based on his experiences with various situations, and you can't really fault him from actively protecting his own interests.

Think about it from another perspective - if you and a bunch of friends want to all play WoW together online, and only one or two of you bought the game, would you think it was unfair that the rest of your group was required to buy a copy for themselves? I know it's not exactly the same, but it does make a reasonable parallel (including the fact that if your friends are there with you, you can use your copy to show them the game and even let them play it without violating any copyrights...).

Comment: Re:What about the parents? (Score 1) 466 466

Except that an appeals court recently ruled exactly the opposite - giving a password to decrypt something IS testimony, and I suspect that giving a password for an account would be considered the same way. Yes, if the cops have a warrant they can get in your house wether you unlock it or they bust down the door. But you don't have to unlock it for them, and you don't have to give them their password. The warrant would then have to be served to whatever service hosted your account, and they could get your info that way.

Also, warrants can be appealed and quashed, and if you can do that and they broke down the door on you, you can usually make them pay for the damages (albeit not individually). You may choose to cooperate with the cops or not, but you're never obligated to. They may make you cooperate in some way or another (e.g., they can arrest you, restrain you, or even shoot you if you're refusing to put down a weapon), but threat of force != obligation (though, again, it may be dumb not to, e.g., put down your weapon...).

Comment: Re:Considering how often Adderall is abused... (Score 2) 611 611

I don't know about Adderall (I'm on a Ritalin-based med), but I do know that after being diagnosed with ADHD well into my 30s, and being put on mediation for it for the first time, it makes anywhere from a minor to a major difference on any given day. There are definitely other factors that play into it, but on the occasions when I've had to go stretches without my meds (usually when I have a sinus infection and need to take decongestents - pseudoephedrine and amphetamines are a great way to give yourself bad tachycardia...) I can often feel the difference after a couple of days. I'm not a huge fan of the whole "every kid who acts up must have ADHD" bandwagon because I think that at least 50% of those are probably just kids being kids, but for those people who truely do need meds to help them deal with messed up brain chemistry it really makes a difference.

And as to the question of "need", I'm sure we all could get by without taking meds for ADHD, the same way we don't "need" vaccines, antibiotics, painkillers, electricity, indoor plumbing, etc. There are plenty of societies that get along without all of those things, but I doubt you would want to live without them if you had the option of living with them instead. Are there people who abuse ADHD meds? Of course. But that doesn't mean that everyone who uses them abuses them...

Comment: Re:Ah, central planning. (Score 1) 611 611

Actually, the planning does have meeting demand with supply in mind - the problem is that instead of meeting the existing demand with supply of what is being demanded, they are producing something similar (possibly even equivalent, at least medically speaking) that has a higher profit margin, and hoping that the demand will shift to what they're producing out of necessity on the part of the "buyers". Given that they have a practical monopoly on the market, this may work out well for the company, but only at the expense of the people who need the medication to begin with.

I have ADHD (diagnosed a little over 3 years ago), and the med I was put on didn't even have a generic at the time (there is one now, although it's still produced by the same company, and the generic pills are the same ones I got from the brand name). Now that there's a generic, the price has gone down, but I worry that something similar could happen to it. The one good thing relative to this story is that my med is not Adderall-based, and as such I'm not directly affected (yet)...

Comment: Re:This is one scary law (Score 5, Insightful) 180 180

And that is EXACTLY why people are up in arms about it. The governments got together in secret, decided what was "best" for their populations, and then held the pile of papers close to their chest and said "Here it is, isn't it great!" And when the people who were ratifying it asked to see it, the were told, "You don't need to see it, it's in your best interest."

Unfortunately, it might have ended there, since the majority tends to accept that these days. Except that some of the people who signed the bloody thing then came out and said "Waitaminute! This is really crap, and I shouldn't have signed it!" And that got EVERYBODY's attention, and thankfully people who should have been paying attention all along started to pay attention, and now it's snowballing.

For better or worse, this may be the beginning of the end of crappy, business-centric, screw-the-people laws and treaties. I'm not saying that it'll stop them 100% right away, but after the pullback on SOPA and PIPA, and now ACTA, the people are starting to figure out that they can use the Internet to get real reactions from their lawmakers, and not just lip service on the campaign trail. Politicians may not want to lose all their "perks" from the lobbyists, but they want to lose their elected positions even less, and sufficient pressure applied by the people who elect them appears to be making an impact...

Comment: Re:Who Would Jesus Scan? (Score 1) 329 329

No, it just got CHEAPER to fly to Australia. Think about it - you no longer need a round-trip ticket. SInce you won't be allowed to board a plane as a "normal" passenger for the trip home without going through the body scanner, just buy a one-way ticket, do your visit, and when it's over get yourself deported. Since you're sure to be searched properly in custody, you don't need to go through the scanner, and you don't have to pay for the flight home either! Of course, you probably can only visit Australia once, so you better make it a good one...

Comment: Re:/bin, /sbin had their functions (Score 1) 803 803

Except that given the size of todays drives, there's no good reason NOT to separate them out into individual filesystems, tailored to the server requirements.. ESPECIALLY separating the root filesystem from anything else that is likely to fill up. Perhaps /usr doesn't need its own filesystem, but in that case you better put /usr/local on one instead. /var, /tmp and /home also should be on separate filesystems, since filling up your root partition is a great way to drop your server...

The one partition that I've had mixed feelings about these days is /boot, but only because OSs like RHEL/Centos and Fedora have been exponentially increasing their partitiion size requirements lately (100M->200M->250M->???) and not having the old IDE disk size limitations for booting makes combined root/boot more feasible. Perhaps it doesn't make sense to multi-patition a workstation (and in fact, I don't - just root, /boot and maybe /data (symlink /home and anything else into it)), but unless you're trying to cram a recent full-size Linux build into a tiny server, there's no reason not to take 10-20G out of your disk space for your system partitions, and then use the reast as needed. Heck, I just spec'd out a couple of servers where I swapped out 15K 72G drives for 10K 300G ones because they were cheaper, and I don't need the spindle speed (and only looked at 72G drives because that's the smallest they come in these days!). That's ~4x the space on a system that already had more than enough...

Comment: Re:Tax planning and rich people (Score 4, Insightful) 2115 2115

Based on your argument, they should cut the taxes on the low and middle class to at most half of what they currently are, since that's about what the wealthy are currently paying. If Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, says that it's not fair that he pays less in taxes than the middle-class people who work for him, why are you arguing? Or are you one of those few wealthy elites who is going to suffer from the tax changes that would otherwise benefit the vast majority of us slashdotters?

I don't like paying taxes any more than you do, but it's something we all have to do to contribute to our communal well-being. If you really don't want to pay taxes, go buy yourself a private island and run the entire thing autonomously. I bet you'll pay a lot more in "upkeep" and "maintenance" than you're currently paying in "taxes", and get a hell of a lot less for it. I'm not saying that all of our tax money is being used in the best way possible all the time, but I like having roads to drive on, emergency services to call if there's a problem, and all the other benefits of living in this country that are paid for by taxes. And while there's a ton of services that I currently DON'T use, that doesn't mean I won't pay my share now so that (in theory) they'll be there for me when I do need them. But it's a crime, morally and ethically if not legally, that the wealthiest members of our society who have the GREATEST ABILITY to pay their taxes, also have the most loopholes to get around paying them. If they don't want to pay their share, how about we strip them of their citizenship and let them move to some other country whose tax laws are probably a lot worse for them than even the proposed changes here. And since IIRC there are laws about taking money out of the country, they'd end up paying a lot of that in taxes when they left anyway.

To anyone who makes over $1M/year and claims that raising their taxes is unfair, SUCK IT UP. Those of us who make a LOT less than that are finding perfectly good ways to live our lives within our means, and if you can't afford to live within yours, CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE.

Comment: Re:Time to cut them off... (Score 1) 258 258

From the NANOG (North American Network Operator's Group) email list circa 1999, in response to a major backhoe incident, it was suggested that the following signs be put up over buried fiber:

Warning
Underground Fiber
Cutting fiber may be dangerous to your supply of Porn
and may cause network engineers to starve.

It was true then, and it's true now... :P

Comment: Re:Time to cut them off... (Score 2) 258 258

After seeing the Yahoo decision yesterday, I thought of the following idea. Now with the latest Google decision, I think it's even better:

All major Internet search companies (at least those based in the US - oh, right, that's pretty much all of them, isn't it?) should use IP geolocation to block access from Italy. Just redirect them to a page that says something like the following: "You appear to be attempting to reach us from Italy. We're sorry, but your courts and elected officials have chosen to make it impossible for us to do business in your country, so you can't use our services anymore. If you think this is unfair, please work to have your government change its policies towards search engines and global public content sites. Until then, good luck finding things on the Internet!"

If the people of Italy get cut off (not to mention the Italian police, government, military, etc.) suddenly lose their ability to search the Internet, it's going to have an impact. Depending on who uses it for what, it might even topple the government (wouldn't that be ironic!)...

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 246 246

That may be true, but there's the minor fact of having to find out a person's identity before you can sue them, and given the inability to map an IP address to a person, this is going to start impacting the initial discovery phase when "john doe" lawsuits are filed to determing who to actually sue. Yes, once they sue someone it may be possible to meet the burden of proof, but what if there's 3 equally plausible people who could have been responsible? If they sue one person, he can claim that there's only a 33% chance it was him, and 33%

The point is, unless you already KNOW who committed the infringement, and are just using the IP address as additional evidence against them, you're by definition taking a shot in the dark and hopefully suing the right person. And TFA is pointing out that some judges in Britain (at least) are starting to realize this. Large corporations have huge resources to put into going after people they sue, and yet they're firing buckshot into the crowd and seeing what they can bag, instead of using their resources to make sure they go after the right people. And judges HATE being used, which is what's going on, and once they realize what's happening they do things like this to put a stop to it.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 246 246

Agreeing to an ISP's ToS means you have accountability to the ISP. In no way, shape or form does that accountability transfer to a third party with whom you have no such agreement. The ISP can take action to (for instance) terminate your account for violating the ToS regardless of who uses the connection to do so. Third parties cannot (and should not be able to) use that as "proof" that you (the account holder) are liable to them for anything.

Again - the infringer is a PERSON, not an IP ADDRESS, and there's often no good way to link the former to the latter. Police investigations do so as secondary evidence, meaning that they use other means to determine that the link is indeed valid. File-sharing lawsuits often have NO evidence other than the IP address, and without significant additional evidence there's no way to determine that an ISPs records (if any!) are actually valid, and even if they are and map the IP to a specific subscriber, there's again no way to prove that the subscriber was in fact the same PERSON as the infringer.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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