Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Somehow I doubt it (Score 1) 324

Don't get me wrong... I think Apple's closed platform and ridiculous incremental prices for storage continue to alienate many power users, and that is the gift that keeps on giving for their competition (both in terms of market share and developer support). But when it comes to their business it is not 'a strategic mistake' but rather the opposite -- they've spent the last 8 years doing essentially the same thing on this front, and they can cry all the way to the bank if they want to, but it's hard to change the formula when they have tens billions of dollars every year riding on it.

Comment Re:Programming is the tip of the ice berg (Score 1) 365

Okay, what about them? These are fields of endeavour that I wouldn't be surprised to see specialized highly talented staff for at a large software company, sure. But, for a small start-up or a self-published developer, many or all of these things can be "muddled through" in a perfunctory way, maybe reincorporating some feedback from customers if the result is really terrible, but ultimately just leaving it up to the market to decide the fate of the product. To me this is basically just the fusion of agile approaches with the entrepreneurial tradition.

I would go so far as to propose that the majority of $1 App Store apps were built by some programmer who pressed the build button in Xcode by hand and never heard of "business modelling".

Comment Re:Hold them liable (Score 1) 97

Pulling someone's content from a free hosting service isn't "a threat of expensive legal action". The content is pulled; no further action required. If you can convince the free hosting service that they really do want your content, then great; otherwise you are entitled to redress in the form of getting your $0 back.

Comment Re:Typical Slashdot... (Score 1) 97

Oh, hmm... It seems that US copyright law gives the exclusive rights for a sound recording to its "author" and then doesn't much clarify who that is. The US Copyright Office's guide "Copyright Registration for Sound Recordings" says unhelpfully: "The author of a sound recording is the performer(s) or record producer or both." Okay, which of those?

In practice, this isn't usually an issue for commercial recordings, because whoever is paying the bills makes everyone sign away any potential rights. But that might not apply here because, if the government employees are considered the author there aren't any rights to sign away in the first place.

I was expecting something more like countries where the "maker" of the photograph / sound recording is the copyright holder, so in the absence of any contracts they just ask "who pressed the button?"

Comment Re:TNSTAAFL (Score 1) 272

Telling people that nationalizing the system is going to result in shitty service held for ransom by its operators sells the idea pretty well, since it's the same as what they have now, modulo a chance to throw out the management every 4 years. Why not point out the market participants who are providing something better?

Comment Re:Only for consumers (Score 1) 301

Canada has had a music private copying levy since just before Sweden's (mid-1998), as a result of the same intellectual property treaty I think, but it only covers kinds of media that are mainly used for private copying of music (e.g. not DVD blanks, hard drives, flash storage, etc.) and it only applies to removable media (e.g. not iPods). And proceeds are distributed based on purchase statistics (e.g. Soundscan), not just tastemakers' preferences.

I'm not sure what the multinational record companies were expecting for all the crocodile tears they cried in the press about artists losing out because of copying. But what they got in Canada was mainly 15% of a 21 cent per CD-R levy, with the other 85% going to performers and songwriters, and in return for that, private copying of music was now legal.

I bought a bulk pack of CD-Rs, including the new tax, and a couple of CD cases to put my new music in, and started to cope with the new economic reality. =)

There have been some changes in the record industry:
- they are making an effort to understand their market
- they are more careful what they wish for

Comment TIL about wiretapping without wires (Score 4, Informative) 104

I always assumed that the exception to anti-wiretapping laws for pen registers was some kind of case law.

But not only is 18 USC 3121 is a specific law about pen registers, looking at 18 USC 3127 and the definitions that are incorporated from 18 USC 2510 , it's clearly intended to include radio communications.

For radio that's "readily accessible to the general public" the interception and disclosure rules have an exception, as you might expect, but no sign of that sort of thing in this pen register law.


"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach