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Comment No victim-free ways to catch potential fraud (Score 1) 184

The last (and first) time I got a fake cashier's check I called the police both locally and in the town where I was supposed to send the money. Their response was that they couldn't do anything because until I cashed the check (for which I was liable), no crime had been committed.

Long story short, there's no way to catch potential fraud without the victim risking going to jail as well.


Comment Re:Make eBooks Cheaper! (Score 1) 494

Holy crap, $2.50? You must either:
  1. live in a big town where's it's seriously impractical to get to the library
  2. not enjoy the library atmosphere

Our library is between my house and my office, so dropping by to pick something up/drop something off is no big deal. Previously, it was in walking distance of the office, so I could hit it during lunch, so getting there is never a hassle.

I grew up in a small town with a tiny library. But even then, I enjoyed the feeling of being IN a library. I'm not convinced I'd pay money to avoid that feeling.

Comment Re:Consolas (Score 1) 394

I'm pretty sure they can be. I know they can be licensed (the Droid family is under the Apache license, iirc). Regardless, I know you can't legally distribute fonts unless they're under some sort of share-alike style license (Free Software licenses, CC license, etc). That's why there's such a big stink about this @font-face thing in html5 (or the new css or whatever it is).

Comment Re:Consolas (Score 1) 394

Gotta agree with Consolas--all programming issues aside, lowercase "g" is gorgeous.

If only Consolas wasn't a M$ product. Or to put it the way I really think, if only Consolas was open source...Since it's not, I use Liberation Mono on a big screen and Droid Sans Mono at home.

Comment Re:Good thing (Score 1) 278

Agreed. Unfortunately, I have quibbles with the rest of the browsers as well.
  • Opera != FOSS
  • Chrome and Epiphany's customization and extension selection suck
  • IE. enough said
  • Safari = Mac
  • Midori, Kahaekahakehshaz and Konqueror are all unusably buggy (or were last time I checked)

If Opera would open up their code, I'd dump Firefox like a bag of rocks.

Oh, the only other thing FF is great for is web development: Firebug is irreplaceable (although I haven't yet used Opera's DragonFly). For every day browsing, though, I run a FF profile without Firebug--it drags Google Aps (reader and gmail) down too much, so I'm sure I could get by just using it when I'm coding.

Comment Re:Parent post c (Score 1) 360

People download and distribute music out of greed or convenience.

I agree.

But if an author creates and publishes a work in part due to the incentive of a copyright, then he was greedy; a copyright is merely a way to make money, after all. If he was incentivized wholly by other reasons, then he doesn't deserve a copyright, as it would be a wasteful restriction on the public to grant him one.

Both sides act out of greed. There's nothing particularly wrong with this.

That has nothing to do with the development of Mankind.

I disagree.

First, the more widespread a work is, the more likely it is to survive in the long term. Many books only survived to the present day because they were widely copied. Many of those copies were destroyed by accident or deliberately. So long as at least one survived to be copied again, however, the work lived on. Sadly, many works did not survive; languages died out, libraries were burned down, paper rotted away, and often we're lucky just to know some of the titles of these works that were part of the development of mankind, which were lost forever.

Second, society benefits immeasurably by having more works created and published, and by having works which are free for anyone to obtain and use as they like, including at no cost. I think we can agree that the ideal world would be one in which everyone who wanted to create and publish works could, and anyone who wanted to read those works, and possess copies, and make their own versions or adaptations or translations could. Everyone could have all or at least most of human knowledge at their fingertips, for free, ready to be used to make some more. Realistically, we can't have this. But we can strive for it at least.

Copyright is basically amoral. It's a purely utilitarian system. But if there is any morality, it is on the side of the pirates, who use and spread knowledge, and not on the side of the copyright holders, who seek to restrict access and use of their works for mere money.

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