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Comment Re:Liars (Score 2, Insightful) 804

And continuing on in the very article you posted:

The superintendent also noted the state's school nutrition policy bans certain foods of minimal nutritional value, including candy and gum.

Which is completely irrelevant to the discussion unless the superintendent intends to falsely make the "my hands are tied - the state is forcing me to do this" argument. It reads more like the superintendent changed his story when he decided to go "on record" because someone told him that blaming the state government was idiotic.

Comment Liars (Score 5, Insightful) 804

saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."

Except that the state guideline is intended to restrict what the school provides to students, not what students bring into the school themselves. It's about making sure that the school is meeting nutritional requirements in the lunches it provides and not that it's taking state and federal funding dollars to provide the students with pizza bought from the Domino's franchise owned by the principal's brother. It's actually explicit even in the linked article without having to read the linked statute, and the administrators dance around it as "well the parent didn't provide it - it came from another student". Still didn't come from the school - still not covered by the law.

The school administrators making this claim are either idiots or liars. They could, I suppose, be idiots - plenty of idiots get moved into administration positions where they can do less harm to students than in front of a chalkboard. But it's more likely that they're liars who think that if they "blame the government" they can divert attention away from themselves. They don't want candy in school? That's fine - when I was a kid the administrators at my elementary school had the same rule. But they didn't try to pretend like they were conforming to some fictional government requirement to restrict candy in the school. They just said "no candy in school" and that was that. And if the parents had a problem with it they could bring it up at the school board meeting and get the school board to change the policy.

Comment Re:Just nationalize it (Score 2, Interesting) 363

Government buy it? Why? Is there some compelling reason that Facebook needs to exist? It's not like a loss of Facebook would cause massive unemployment or be a giant hit to the economy. (Hell, losing Facebook might actually lead to productivity GAINS for the economy overall.)

Better to have the government pass a law that says "you know those licenses you click on that say 'we can change the terms any time we feel like it'? Yeah - those are invalid. Stop doing it or you open yourself up to a lawsuit. You need to give your customers 90 days notice of changes to your privacy terms and conditions, you need to actually send them via a paper trail (to make the company actually have to expend some money to change their minds about something), and you need to provide a bullet-pointed summary of everything you intend to sell, everything you intend to make public and everything you intend to keep private every time you do this in addition to the legalese that you provide. When you do that, you need to provide a simple way for customers to decide to leave your system and you need to delete all of their personal data on your servers immediately at their request. And if you fail to do these things, the FTC has authority to prosecute you for criminal fraud - in addition to the civil lawsuits your customers will be able to file against you."

There are many other ways to go about it, but the key ingredients are that customers should always be notified of what information the company is going to be selling or providing public access to, how they can terminate their accounts if they object, and give them a period of time between when the changes are announced and when they are implemented to get their account removed from the system if they choose. Those are the kinds of things that companies should be doing anyway, but without a law on the books there's no incentive for them to do so.

Comment Re:Damm lawyers (Score 4, Insightful) 182

Somehow, I doubt that Games Workshop's shitty attitude towards their customers just comes from their legal department. The guys at the top at least have to sign off on it - if they aren't the ones who are pushing the policy in the first place.

Lawyers are rarely the ultimate cause of problems from corporations. They're usually enablers, not decision makers. They get more credit than they deserve for bad decisions because part of their job is to be the designated asshole for a company, but the decisions come from the top at any company that isn't completely dysfunctional. (And in companies that are completely dysfunctional the decisions come from HR anyway, not from legal.)

Comment Re:LOL (Score 1) 280

TFA addresses this. Well, not TFA but the FA that TFA links to. In fact, Schneier points out something I've been saying for going on a decade now:

The death of innocents and the destruction of property isn't the goal of terrorism; it's just the tactic used. And acts of terrorism are intended for two audiences: for the victims, who are supposed to be terrorized as a result, and for the allies and potential allies of the terrorists, who are supposed to give them more funding and generally support their efforts.

An act of terrorism that doesn't instill terror in the target population is a failure, even if people die. And an act of terrorism that doesn't impress the terrorists' allies is not very effective, either.

That's some QFT right there. No matter how many people the terrorists kill, if an act of terrorism doesn't make the target population afraid it has failed. Conversely even if the terrorists commit an act where no one dies, if the target population freaks out anyway then they win. This is why our national response to 9/11 was so fucked up - we gave the terrorists exactly what they wanted. They wanted the population of the US to be afraid and they got what they wanted. For a while, anyway.

Schneier gets into all of your objections, BTW. You may not agree with his analysis, but he has answers for why we haven't seen more examples like the one you put down. It mostly comes down to the fact that despite what movies and 24 want us to believe, terrorism is actually somewhat difficult to pull off successfully and has more complex logistics than people want to believe. Especially when you're trying to commit a terrorist act in a country where the majority of the population is openly hostile towards your goals. (Terrorism is a hell of a lot easier in an occupied state like Ireland or Iraq or Afghanistan than it is in the US precisely because in those places a good-sized chunk of the population agree/agreed with the terrorists in ideology if not in the means they were using to achieve their goals.)

Comment Re:Way to kill your business (Score 4, Informative) 182

Games Workshop is a strange beast. They've been like this for a long time. They treat their fans fairly poorly all around in general, and the fans generally put up with it.

From what I understand, it's mostly a social network thing. There's a critical mass of gamers in a local area and while they might all at any point in time be severely pissed off at GW over something, it's not enough for them to dump their expensive investment in GW games and start doing something else. They'll complain about it, but it doesn't impact them directly enough to do more than that. Warhammer - and moreso Warhammer 40k - has been around long enough and people have enough of a financial and emotional investment in the game that GW seems to think that they don't need to worry about what the fans think of their business actions. Which at least for the moment seems to be true. Longer term GW might piss off fans enough that this bites them in the ass, but there seems to be something fairly compelling about the Warhammer 40k property (that I don't see myself, I guess) that keeps even the most angry 40k gamer coming back for more.

Comment Re:The trend on Nintendo Consoles (Score 3, Insightful) 249

I wish I had mod points:

To put numbers to it, If I can buy Zelda on the DS for $29.99 and sell it used for $20, you need to sell me the full Zelda as a download for less than $10. I don't think Nintendo are willing to do that, which means the digital distribution scheme is a non-starter.

This isn't restricted to video game companies - ALL content publishing companies underestimate the lure of "right of first sale" has on a good-sized portion of their customer base. The ability to turn around and re-sell a book, game, movie, TV boxed set, comic book, whatever is built into some of their customers' purchase plans right from the beginning. So they don't view that $50 purchase as a $50 expenditure - they see it as maybe a $35 expense and they're going to get back $15 when they eventually sell it. If they can't re-sell it then it isn't worth $50 to them because it was never worth $50 to them in the first place. It was always a $35 purchase in their eyes.

Comment Re:The trend on Nintendo Consoles (Score 1) 249

Spore is probably a bit of an outlier, though, for a variety of reasons. First, EA hyped that game for a good while before it was released, so you're going to get more people wanting to see what all of the fuss was about than you might have otherwise (EA's advertising did the job it's supposed to, in other words). Then EA decided to poke people in the eye with their copy protection for it. Which meant that you had people who wanted to break it because it was a challenge and people who wanted to break it to make a statement and people who just wanted to break it to flip the bird to EA on general principles.

But I think you're right that if a game is popular enough the pirates will take interest in it, if only to make it available to others even if they're no interested in it themselves. Amusingly, it would seem like games that get that popular are the games that the industry really has to worry the least about in terms of piracy - if it's gotten that popular and if you've done your jobs right, it has probably made you a ton of money through the legit channels and you should be moving on to worry about secondary licensing deals for your new "hot" property. It's the games that appeal to the hard core gamers but never get out of that hard core demographic that seem like piracy would be a pain in the neck for publishers - the game is popular in the demographic you set out to appeal to, but you're not making money on it despite its popularity. That's got to sting - and eventually lead to publishers looking for some other group to target with their games if it gets bad enough. (Like dropping hard core PC gamers and targeting hard core console gamers instead.)

Comment Re:The trend on Nintendo Consoles (Score 5, Insightful) 249

And interestingly enough, if the folks who are playing "Imagine Babysitter" and "Pony Lover DS" are paying customers and the folks who are playing "FFVI" or "Kid Icarus" are pirating it, that gives the company an incentive to produce more "Imagine Babysitter"-type games and fewer of the games pirates like. Especially if the games that people are paying for are cheaper to develop and produce than the games that pirates like.

Comment Re:The trend on Nintendo Consoles (Score 1) 249

Well, if they keep allowing the release of 40 different versions of Imagine Babysitter and Pony Lover DS and whatever else crap takes up 90% of the Nintendo sections in stores, they won't have to worry about piracy, cause no one will want the crap.

Ah yes - that's exactly how retail works. You stock your shelves with crap no one buys, and when no one buys it you buy more crap no one buys. That's the way to be a successful retailer!

Have you thought that perhaps, just perhaps, those games might just sell really well for the retailers and that's why they have them on the shelves, and restock them when they sell out? Just because you don't want to buy it, that doesn't mean that there aren't a whole lot of people out there who do.

Comment Re:These wre Intelligently Designed weed ... (Score 1) 435

Of course it's predictable. And Monsanto either got lucky or figured out the probabilities before hand given that their "Round-up ready" crops are getting ready to fall out of patent protection sometime in the next few years. Just as they're ready to lose their monopoly, their crop becomes useless.

If it wasn't luck that's "planned obsolescence" at its finest. I actually will not be surprised if Monsanto has a new crop that is immune to a new herbicide ready to go sometime shortly after their patent expires - maybe just before it expires. And all this research about how weeds are now "round-up ready" will be used as marketing material by Monsanto to push their new crop and the new herbicide when the time comes. Monsanto may be fairly high up on the Evil rating as far as corporations go, but Evil doesn't mean Stupid.

Comment Re:So how did they see the kid eating candy? (Score 2, Insightful) 232

The computer was removed from the school without paying the required insurance fee to do so. They then accessed files on the laptop and when they reviewed them, they thought they saw drugs in a picture. The school district felt obligated to inform the parents of the possible drugs.

I think the OP is wondering how that squares with this:

the report also maintains that no proof exists that anyone in IT viewed images captured by the webcams."

If there's "no proof" that anyone in IT viewed the images, how did the picture of the kid eating candy end up in the hands of a school administrator?

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