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Comment Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (Score 2) 284

Exactly what sort of chance do the other 5 or so parties have? What makes you think that the minority parties are that much better?

Put another way, the last Libertarian candidate is a former prosecutor. Do you honestly think he would have followed through with the Libertarian platform after years as a Republican? I don't think so. Four years may seem like an instant, but that's enough to do a great deal of damage (or self-serving) before getting one's ass kicked out of office-- 2001-2003 is a great and recent example of this.

The minority parties are in a position where they're so desperate to reach the 5% national vote threshold, that they have stopped caring about the voting record or ideology of the people they pick. I've met Greens who say that the democracy movement brewing in Egypt could very well result in another Iran-- this is a party whose platform says self-determination is a key tenet of democracy.

So, yes, we have at least five choices-- one that is politically schizophrenic, one that is allied with too many interests that are against the benefit of the whole nation, and several tiny parties that might not have an office in your district and might not be completely honest with you.

If they can get honest, competent candidates with charisma on the ballot, fine, I'll consider them. But as it stands, the primary reason no one votes for them is because they generally don't fit these criteria-- their entire raison d'election is "I'm not {Democrat|Republican}, those idiots suck".

Comment Re:By what authority? (Score 1) 468

Legally and constitutionally, absolutely none.

Realistically, they could lobby for a law that imposes even more draconian penalties on distributors of copyrighted content. They could sue Google SCO style and force Google to fritter away money by stalling in court. They could call up their old buddy in Justice and ask him to file IRS charges on Google, or even just open an investigation. They could give Microsoft or Apple cushy contract deals on content while locking out Google entirely. All of these are not unprecedented, not even in America-- they only need to look up past cases to find examples. Some of them are illegal (asking for false investigation, anti-trust behavior), some are not but clearly unethical (lobbying), but if the MPAA really wants to hurt Google, I'm sure they'll eat the punishment and take Google down with them.

Comment Re:Anime FANSUBS create a market where there was n (Score 1) 199

Without fansubs, certain series (*cough*Macross 7/Frontier*cough*) wouldn't even possibly be seen here, full stop.

I'm told that there are so many US copyright SNAFUs and licensing hurdles associated with the "Macross" title, that no Macross title aside from Plus and possibly the original can be distributed in the US unless people pay hundreds of dollars per disc.

Then there's the ADV Films licensing brouhaha not too long ago that locked away several series from the early 2000s until recently.

I would agree with the producers that they should be fairly compensated. But something must be done about media companies who either want total control or who want more money than anyone is willing to pay, and immediately hide behind the excuse of "piracy is ruining sales" whenever they're called on these.

Comment Re:Cheating? No. Bad analogy. (Score 1) 693

Is it a bad analogy? One could argue that the test of any search engine in the marketplace is whether its results are accurate, and whether it delivers the desired information to the user (and perhaps sponsored information for advertisers).

If that is the test of a search engine's success or failure, I'd say that the analogy holds. Moreover, the entire purpose of enforcing no-cheating policies in school tests is to help ensure that we don't cheat in real life.

Now, no one, save for perhaps the FTC, can "expel" Microsoft for doing this the way a school administrator can expel someone for cheating on a test. If that's the contrast you were looking for, that's a rather pedantic rebuttal.

Comment Re:Just get rid of tolls completely. (Score 1) 349

there simply is no feasible way to bypass the Golden Gate Bridge to get into the city.
That's assuming you're coming in from the north (San Ramon, etc.). I'm pretty sure they don't call the Bay Bridge from Emeryville/Oakland the "Golden Gate"; and those from the South Bay will go for the 92 highway bridge.

Comment Re:Learning from History (Score 1) 840

It may have nothing to do with the success or failure of the revolt. I remember both Burma and Iran likewise cut off Internet access and both successfully crushed their rebellions.

If anything, this drives the movement further underground where it is harder for the authorities to track their messages-- since SSL and VPN/SSH tunneling aren't as widespread as they should be, it's not that hard for authorities to snoop on online conversations, especially if they are in control of the gateways. I'm sure there are/will be more than a few heated arguments between police and politicians over this one.

Maybe in the long run, such actions will result in the toppling of those two regimes as well. But the first step of any totalitarian regime is to control how the people receive information, and if the Internet stands in their way, they'll cut off the Internet. Strategically and politically it makes little more sense than an angry despot throwing a tantrum, but that's reality.

Comment Re:Market updates? (Score 1) 98

Mini-rant (and OT): The HTML tag <i> was permitted before the update, now the current comment software filters it out in "Plain Old Text" mode for some reason-- it's even in "Allowed HTML", for goodness' sakes. I don't suppose this is a test case that was overlooked? Maybe the new CSS sets a rule for the tag to "text-style: normal;"?

Comment Re:Market updates? (Score 1) 98

They've had built-in apps that you couldn't update through Market until recently-- Mail and Maps are two well-used examples.

While I agree with your sentiment that they should've employed at least a bit more forethought to this, this could motivate them to detach the browser from the OS (assuming that's possible), and push it as a standalone app on the Market where it can be updated independently of the OS.

What would be ideal, though, is updates for all OS components through the Market, similar to Ubuntu OS updates. Google ought to use this incident as leverage on the cell phone industry to tell them, "Look, we have to get security updates to the user ASAP, and we can't sit around debating whether they'll sue if something breaks on their devices."

But given their reluctance to indemnify anyone if their software breaks, I don't see them having much more leverage than a toothpick does on a redwood tree.

Comment Re:This is precisely why we haven't left MS (Score 1) 470

Perhaps it then falls to us IT guys to propose OSS in a "risk-mitigating" wrapper-- "What if we set up a workstation or two for some of the IT guys that uses Linux|LibreOffice|etc.?"

Sure, they'll probably say "no" to that regardless, but at least it shows the traditional business folks that we are conscious of business risk.

Comment Re:Folks? Get the clue, it's over. (Score 1) 640

Seriously?? How often does the illicit camera pirate happen these days, when someone can leak the whole film to BitTorrent-- or someone posts the DVD/Blu-ray rip? Isn't this another example of Hollywood studios claiming billions in losses because every eyeball seeing the movie for free costs them $2000 using their marketers' and lawyers' fuzzy math?

Filmmakers love 3D because it means new toys. Studios and theaters love it because they get to charge the customers more. It's cheaper now than when it was first introduced, so they'll make billions on this new technology without ever improving on the screenplay or cinematography, both of which has essentially stagnated for the last few decades (sure, some blockbusters rocked the world with innovation, but then the rest of the industry tries to duplicate the blockbusters).

Comment Re:What idealistic state? (Score 1) 470

I've had some problems with text alignment and margins before*, so if you need to verify your LO-generated .DOC files, you can download and install Microsoft's free Word viewer. They only have the latest one based on Word 2007, but it should render 2003 files okay.

*This was four years ago, so I'm sure OO.o/LO has made improvements to the generating code.

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