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Comment: Where is the TSA comedy routine? (Score 1) 240

Seriously, am I the only one noticing that? I mean, whenever there is some kind of blatant incompetence in anything people are dealing with on a semi-regular base, you may rest assured that some comedy troupe or at least some comedian will start a routine about it.

I've never seen one about the TSA. Never. And the TSA is by far not some obscure entity that nobody ever got bothered with. Hell, anyone who ever boarded a plane in the US not only saw them but can almost certainly tell some story about their incredible stupidity.

Comment: Re:He got off easy (Score 2) 108

by Opportunist (#49823369) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

What did he do to deserve this? Flaunt his contempt for the law? So? A damn lot of CEOs do it all the time, and all they get for it is bail outs, not jail terms.

Tell me, what did he do that was worse for you, me, the economy or anyone who doesn't want to deal with him than anything bank managers have been doing the past 8 years. Please tell me! What damage did he do to deserve this?

Comment: Re:Life in prison (Score 2) 108

by Opportunist (#49823307) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

So far for the accusations, now let's take a look at what they actually manage to get sticking, shall we?

What's left is drug trade, money laundering, document forgery and the criminal charge of doing it all for money and being the head of it all. In short, nothing worse than the average pharma or bank CEO does, too. Only that they get bailed out if they fuck up, not locked up.

Comment: Re:Permission vs Forgiveness (Score 2) 523

Actually, no.

I've learned one thing: Never ever touch the hot topic everyone else seems to avoid. Not even with a ten foot pole. There are exactly three things that can happen. Either it resolves itself. This is the norm and gets you off the hook. Or someone else is stupid enough and tackles it, gets burned and loses his job. That's fine as well. Or it blows up and the blame is shared within the department. That's ok as well since nobody gets fired for it.

Since promotion happens today by tenure and not by merit, what you do is less important than what you don't do.

Comment: Re:Yes, but because (Score 2) 182

Create something original. Good luck tiptoeing through the mine field. I'm in that business (yes, guess what, someone dependent on copyright for income is against it in its current form) and I'm very glad that a very good friend of mine decided to become a lawyer for copyright. Which, btw, is also far more lucrative than actually trying to use copyright to earn something by creating something. But that's not the point.

You talk about an entitlement generation. I have to say that the only kind of entitlement I get to see in this field is from studios who think they're entitled to a cut from your works regardless of whether they did anything to contribute. Copyright on works has descended into something not unlike stock options at the stock exchange, where holding works is a tool to make money from doing nothing but, well, holding those works hostage. When you create something today, you better have the whole works ever conceived memorized, for if whatever you create only vaguely resembles something held by some studio, rest assured that in the off chance you actually manage to write a hit, you will be sued. On the off chance that you either cannot afford legal representation and cave in or that a judge will side with them. Yes, 8 out of 10 times he won't, but that doesn't matter. Studios can easily afford it and the ones that cave in because they can't afford the legal battle and would rather take the "deal" to have at least a little instead of nothing will easily pay for that.

And the area gets more narrow with every song in the stock option portfolio.

As for your last sentence: your quality of life is more and more dependent on pure luck. Not the amount of work oyu put behind it. If there ever was a time when working could make you rich, it's been over for a long, long time now.

Comment: Re: Empty B.S.? (Score 3) 182

Copyright in its current form is not only not enforceable, it's actually harmful to artistry in general.

The idea behind copyright was to encourage to create. Before copyright, you needed a patron. Either that or you were busy running from one bar to the next with your new song to play it yourself before someone else copies you. Back then, the main danger was someone else playing it (that was long before the means of reproducing sound and moving image), not someone "copying" the song itself. It was more to protect composers against what happens now constantly: Some orchestra playing a song composed by Mozart, Beethoven or Bach. With the difference that these people were still alive back then. So the best they could get without copyright was to be the first to perform their new compositions.

It was worse for writers who really had to hurry from printing to selling because often before the first batch of books was sold reprints would appear, then of course cheaper because there was no artist who wanted money. Actually, it was worse for printers (producers) who actually bought books from artists. And they were also the ones pushing for legislation in this area.

Or, in other words, copyright was never intended to protect the artist. It was from its very start an attempt of publishers to protect their investment in artists.

But I digress. Original copyright was 7 years, and that was pretty tight back then because then it took a long while for things to get published and noticed by the public. But 7 years was enough to be an incentive for publishers to actually buy books from writers. And later to buy songs and even movie ideas.

Today, in a time when publishing, advertising and selling content has reached the level where it's measured in days and hours rather than years and months, we have a copyright of 70 years. Counting not from the moment of its creation but from the moment the author died. That's pretty much the lifetime of a person. I will probably not see the copyright expire of an artist who died when I was born. To give you an idea just how long this is, James Brown had his first hits just after WW2. He died in 2006. His works would enter public domain in 2081 if this law had been already in existence when he created it (actually, the insanity only dates back to 1978). Another thing that a lot of people probably know is "White Christmas". It's near impossible not to know it. Copyright expires under this law in 2051. That's over a century after its creation.

Who, I have to ask, is to be protected by a copyright that outlives the content's creator? His heirs? Why should essentially three generations of descendants be entitled to royalties of something their grand-grandfather created? Do you even know your grand-grandfather? Imagine you still got money from something that guy once did.

Nobody can tell me that this has any roots in reality. This is insanity.

Comment: Re: copyright protects punk rockers (Score 1) 182

Erh... think about that statement again. A politician takes a song from a writer who doesn't want him to. There's now two possible situations: Either the writer is not popular. Then it friggin' doesn't matter because the song would not be popular either and the politician would probably not take the song due to, well, who'd give a shit about it? Or the writer is popular. Then he'd immediately inform his fans that said politician is using his song without him wanting to support him and said politician probably just committed political suicide, with people not liking the song not liking his campaign because they don't like the song, and people who do like the song despising him for using it without the artists OK.

Makes no sense to use that song, does it?

Comment: GoPro. (Score 1) 130

I use a battery eliminator with my GoPro Hero 3+ Black, together with an external (11500 mAh) battery pack. The combo will power the GoPro for far longer than the (maximum supported) 64GB microSD card has video capacity. Perfect for long cross-country flights that exceed the ~1.5-2 hours of internal battery capacity (the internal battery is 1150-1200 mAh, so the 11500 mAh external is good for about 18 hours of video recording; a 64GB microSD card can hold about 7 hours of video).

10 to the 6th power Bicycles = 2 megacycles