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Comment Re:Righthaven (Score 1) 63

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) 63

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:Cheap you say? (Score 1) 207

Hell, I used to do that with Infocom games back in the DOS days, because every command would hit the floppy to return the appropriate response.

Solution: RAM disk the same size as the floppy (320K), copy the whole disk to RAM to play, save games to the B: floppy. Game actions were stupidly fast for the most part.

Comment Re:DMCA needs to die (Score 1) 63

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 Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 1) 366

What would happen if everyone thought this way. What if VW had, buried in their terms and conditions that emissions are the sole responsibility of the buyer? What if a restaurant had a tiny plaque obscurely displayed indicating that they were not responsible for food poisoning, intentional or not? What about all that nonsense that is going on lately with clauses for "fining" customers that write bad reviews?

That's quite a team of strawmen you've got there. And the thing is, some of those things you propose are both possible and true. Rules and laws involving cars are pretty rigidly enforced by laws. Restaurants can already do what you're proposing except no one in their right mind would ever draw attention to even the tiniest possibility that their food might be bad - there's way too much competition to even risk it. I'm not sure what exact thing you're referring to with the reviews thing but basically outside of anything protected by law you can sign away just about everything in a contract - the right to disparage, the right to participate in a class action lawsuit, and the right to talk about a product before a certain date.

Going back to the restaurant example, if a restaurant were to have a visible disclaimer people would go to their competition, all other things being equal. If you don't want to accept the terms of a pre-release Apple hardware product you can go to their competition. Apple TV just doesn't have any competition in the same spot (or at least nearly as popular).

You can scream injustice all you want but this is how things work in the real world.

Comment Re:Meals should reduce stress, not add to it (Score 1) 257

When I grew up in Western Canada, we had like an hour to eat lunch at school. So we took our time and then ran around outside for 20-30 minutes.

A year I moved to the Eastern US and we had 20 minutes to eat lunch, and then we had to go immediately back to class, with no chance of leaving the school.

Either way I had a packed lunch from home, but I hated having to wolf it all down with no time to relax.

Comment Re:What NDA? (Score 2) 366

I am confident that I could find an AppleTV out there somewhere which I could purchase without signing anything.

The part you're getting tripped up on is that while the unit in question is being called "Apple TV" (and will still be called that when it's released later this month) and the units you can currently buy in stores are also called "Apple TV", the two devices are fundamentally different.

Specifically, the thing you can go buy today in stores for $69 is a third generation Apple TV (usually referred to in shorthand as ATV3). It came out a few years back and hasn't seen an update in a while. And really it hasn't needed to - it has little storage and it outputs 1080p. Short of wanting to do something fundamentally different it's all you would need it to do.

The unit coming out later this month, which is going to start at $149, runs games and apps, and is what the iFixit guys took apart, is a fourth generation Apple TV (ATV4). It looks very similar to the ATV3 but, as has been noted, it's a little taller/thicker due to the extra parts inside to handle the 3D graphics, storage, etc. It also has that motion sensitive touch remote (ATV3 came with this tiny little silver remote that just had some buttons on it).

So while the name is the same they're making a pretty big departure from the older model, features-wise, with this one. Apple has some lines of products where they increment the name on every release and some where they don't. For example you don't see a MacBook Pro 24 on the market, it's just the MacBook Pro and you just have to figure out what model it is based on year and model number (i.e., A1234). The iPod did the same thing. The iPhone doesn't, it's iPhone 4, iPhone 5S, etc. They tried to drop the number with the iPad so they could do more frequent releases (i.e., the iPad 2 came out then what would have been the iPad 3 came out as "the new iPad" and then six months later "iPad 4" came out) but that went over like a fart in church so they went back to a naming scheme (i.e., iPad Air, iPad Air 2, etc.).

For bonus trivia points, the ATV2 only did 720p and was only on the market a couple of years but it was the model that introduced the concept of the small hockey puck design and almost no storage, favoring streaming almost entirely. The ATV1 was a very different unit - it resembled today's Mac minis and had a hard drive. The idea behind it was that it would download/mirror a lot of your iTunes library. Specifically the things you bought on iTunes. It didn't have things like Netflix streaming on it because it predated all of that. It was seen as a Steve Jobs hobby project and it wasn't really successful but the second chance they gave it with the ATV2 and ATV3 was a huge hit.

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 5, Interesting) 366

Their issue is not that they took apart the hardware. Their issue is that they took apart the hardware and then did an article about it before the ATV4 hit stores. Here's the relevant portion of the agreement.

Everyone is getting this wrong - the issue is not that they tore it apart but that they did an article on it before the NDA was up. If they did an article on the still-assembled unit they would be in violation of the NDA as well. They were not giving these things away to be reviewed, they were giving them to people to write apps for them.

Quite frankly the majority of Slashdot seems to be completely down with disregarding all of contract law, which is sort of hilarious given the fervor with which they go after GPL violators with.

Comment Clarifications: (Score 5, Informative) 366

The summary is pretty bad on this one.

Right after the Apple TV 4 (ATV4) was officially announced, Apple put a form on their Developer's site to give some of them away to developers. These are pre-release units, and the packaging on them even says "Developer's Edition" or something on it. There was a (since pulled) eBay auction showing the packaging.

Part of the agreement in getting this unit was an NDA which stipulated, amongst other things, that you can't take it apart.

iFixit got an ATV4 as part of the giveaway and decided to violate the NDA and get an exclusive article in the process. Since the developer program was what they used to get the ATV4, the developer program is what they were kicked out of. As a result their iOS app got yanked as well.

Several people have noted that their iOS app hadn't been updated in years (may still have been on the 3.5" screen) and so the app itself isn't much of a loss. The summary says something about being "rewritten" but that doesn't make any sense - if iFixit were to get another developer account they could just put the same app up again from the same source code. The content of the app is not what was offensive to Apple, it was the NDA violation. It may need to be upgraded for modern phones (i.e., be adaptive to the iPhone 6/6+ screen sizes) but it doesn't need to be rewritten in order to adhere to Apple's policies.

iFixit entered into an agreement with Apple that had consequences. It violated that agreement and so it's suffering the consequences. Which it knew would happen and it didn't care about. And since it's an old app that's being pulled it's not much of a loss to them, not compared to the exclusive early article and coverage this stunt's consequences has given them.

But to clarify for everyone, this wasn't a review unit, it wasn't on loan, it was a unit Apple gave them and other developers in order to develop for it early before the actual thing is released. And really, a number of developers didn't get these units and so to some extent the idea that iFixit got one not intending to write an app for it but instead just want to tear it down for page clicks and ad impressions is sort of offensive. If they had waited for the thing to be in stores and bought one retail and then tore it apart they would be in the clear.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.