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Comment Re:Clueless... (Score 2) 109

Yes they do, and it's pretty much possible, and just as stupid as you imply. What it means is that we can expect government keys and government certs and compromises by and of the government implementing stupid things like this.

We should be cheering for this. When people in power insist on something stupid, sometimes the best you can hope for is an example of bad things that happen when stupid people get their way. If we in the US are very, very, very lucky, maybe Santa will give us bad Russian consequences to point to in our attempts to keep our own government officials from being just as stupid.

Comment Re:Fairly generous? (Score 1) 130

What I'd like is a legal requirement to submit software code and reproducible compiling requirements to the library of congress in order to be sold, even if a service. There would be a five year waiting period after the end of support before the code and requirements would become public domain.

I'd like to see the same basic idea, specs and designs would be submitted to the library of congress with the same basic guarantee, if it becomes unsupported for a period of five years, it becomes public domain.

The problem with these ideas is that the definition of supported would have to be somewhat beefed up since Windows 3.1 could still be "supported" just without any bug fixes or security updates or available staff to handle issues. Ditto for the Model-T. The (perhaps impossible) trick would be setting up clauses that allow traditional copyright and patents and at the same time defining support as something that fixes discovered problems.

Comment Re:Thank you for your kind permission (Score 4, Insightful) 361

Sort of like illegal drug dealing, prostitution and assassination? Granted they exist because they provide a service people are willing to pay for. However, they're limited in number and difficult to do due to the nature of governmental opposition.

Many potentially profitable businesses don't exist because society doesn't give permission for them. It sure seems like they do need "society's permission" since laws are created by society to prevent actions and businesses the society doesn't approve of. Many times, this is actually a good thing.

Consider net neutrality. Most posters here seem to be in favor legislation forcing companies to act against their own profit interests in favor of something benefiting the greater good of the society that creates the rules.

This coming from an avowed libertarian.

Comment Re: NO !! (Score 1) 380

No, because we're treating your copy of digital information as a rental. Just as when you rent a car, you can't transfer that rental to someone else. We have to treat digital data as rentals because buying and selling has never been possible on the scale the internet brings.

Take the movie Ant Man. Lets say 100 people watch it after purchasing the rights for $50 each. That's more than the studios would have gotten from those initial viewers, but those 100 people can sell their rights to someone else two hours later for $49 each. That's a good deal for the first 100 people because they get to watch the movie for $1. But then the next group willing to pay $1 does the same thing and the studio makes no money. How many times does the cycle need to repeat before the studio has lost all the potential to sell a viewing? At 50 repetitions the studio has made only $2 per person and it's free for passing on at that point.

This whole topic of rights to prohibit possession of digital media bothers me. Numbers (because digital data is a string of 0s and 1s) cannot be possessed except by certain people because we've decided that some numbers, if arranged in ways similar to other numbers are rightfully the property of someone else. Not only that, we say that sometimes, if you get consent or follow rules few people understand, you can have a particular number for a limited time but cannot let anyone else have a copy of that number or make a copy of the number for yourself, or even make a similar arrangement of numbers after the period you've been approved for.

Interestingly this makes irrational numbers illegal since they contain the numbers (all the numbers) you're not allowed to have a copy of.

It makes me wonder. What if I copyright a tiny black and white drawing which can be represented by a relatively small number. Then I sue a mathematician who has printed out or otherwise disseminated enough of Pi that it includes my number. Could we get a judge to rule that either having Pi without my permission is illegal, or alternatively that possession and dissemination of numbers can't be illegal?

Comment Re:Lol... (Score 1) 819

If Barney didn't think you were driving safely he'd throw you in the drunk tank. Complain? That's a nightstick. Try to get a court hearing? That's a nightstick and maybe some stairs.

That's unless you were in a position where you could control Barney's rise or fall. Governors and mayors would never be able to get so drunk or high as to actually face repercussions. People with a few hundred bucks in their pocket would go on their way after donating to the police fund, etc.

That's why civilized societies include courts and evidence as part of the legal system. Otherwise Barney Fife *is* the law.

This post uses Barney Fife as the quintessential clueless cop, but Barney was well meaning and mostly honest, which is a far cry from the bad cops that we should worry about. Also, RIP Don Knotts, and thanks for the memories.

Comment Re:Half arsed (Score 1) 921

Don't forget their dependence on heating lamps and trash cans too.

The actual food cost is low compared to everything else, so what can't be sold while appealing gets trashed (instead of microwaved.) The amount of trashed food is pretty staggering.

But that's what you get when you try to give people what they want. We want food right now and we want it to be freshly prepared. That's only possible if you're constantly preparing food that may not be wanted.

I haven't had fast food in ... days. I think the last fast food I had was a McDonald's breakfast combo #5 with bacon, eggs and cheese on a biscuit with a hashbrown and orange juice. It seems so long ago; I don't know how long I can resist So . much . grease .

Comment Re: civil unrest, war, etc. (Score 1) 921

Essentially, machines will fly spores, seeds and embryos (or just genetic blueprints) to a habitable planet, do some basic terraforming then raise up some baby humans and teach them how to spread themselves and interact with the machines.

I expect humans to eventually be the virus that gets this sector of the galaxy wiped out.

Comment Re: How about replacing the CEO with a machine (Score 2) 921

I'll bite.

Capitalist systems, like others, function or fail based in part on scale. Most people are decent and don't need a threat of force to behave properly. Most small groups with a capitalist system work fine.

For those that have malicious citizens, making it legal to shoot someone stealing from you goes a long way toward stopping crime.

Of course, there will always be smart criminals who get away with stealing and it's easier in an unregulated environment. And, of course, people with guns and an excuse will use both more in an environment where that's acceptable.

Everything has trade offs. You want a large nation capable of self defense in a world with nukes and bombers and intercontinental missiles? Well, that means you can't have a nation small enough for pure capitalism or pure socialism to work. Tyranny might be another option, but it's tricky to get a good tyrant and even if you do, killing tyrants is a long standing tradition of humanity. With even the best of tyrants, you're just trading quality of leadership for span of leadership.

"They're a lot like the ultra-naive loony-left people who think that everyone is just going to behave and play nice because it's human nature, if only you just reason with them and plead with them. It's not."

I'm a Libertarian and I don't think human nature is all that good all the time. Maybe I'm not a true, Libertarian. (I only assume I am based on my voting record. Well that and multiple attempts to see what ideology most closely matches my beliefs.)

Maybe you meant Communists? I haven't had much luck finding one well versed on philosophy who was willing to explain their beliefs to me. However, they're the ones who believe that everyone will work together in the shared best interest without market or government intervention. Oddly, they still seem to think governments are important and that the solution to problems is more governmental power, but hey, I haven't gotten that explained to me yet, so maybe I'm just missing the obvious logical explanation.

I think it's best in most cases to let people look out for their own interests instead of making everything the job of government. However, I do still firmly believe government has an important role in civilized society.

Comment Re:How about replacing the CEO with a machine (Score 1) 921

Except my local Wendy's doesn't fill the drink, they give you an empty cup. Then you walk over to a machine where you have to press your own buttons so you can get root beer flavored Sprite even though you don't want that.

I'd like to add that I cannot order a Sprite anywhere. It's on the menus but anyone who is asked for it will try to add fries and then ask you what you want to drink, even if that's what you were answering. Now I always order 7-Up like someone illiterate, but it works because they always ask if Sprite is okay.

Heaven help you if you ever have something wrong on a receipt! Asking most fast food people to do basic addition is practically impossible. Thank goodness they don't have to learn to count change.

So the basic job of the front counter line is to make people feel comfortable with the ordering process and to press buttons, but consumers are getting more and more comfortable pressing their own buttons.

Of course the testing and implementation will suck in the first areas this rolls out, but it will smooth the way and lower the costs for everywhere else. That means that the places where politicians try to raise wages will be the places where consumers and businesses and would-be employees all suffer the most.

Thank you California and New York for taking that hit for the rest of us!

After this is rolled out, bugs will get fixed and costs will go down and, when other places start implementing this, it will be smoother for everyone. It will still displace the minimum wage workers when it comes to our non-meddling political realm, but for us it will be smoother and our workers won't be displaced as rapidly. That means that our consumers will be happier and our businesses will be happier and our minimum wage workers will have a more stable job market.

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