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Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 194

As a fellow artist, I empathise completely. And your points are very well articulated.

If I may, I'd like to offer a few thoughts of my own.

First, in my own experience, I am sick of corporations exploiting artists, wringing them out, squeezing them dry, and tossing them away (often penniless). This obviously doesn't apply to some small, honest labels and distributors (and it sounds as if you had an above-average experience with your label - I'm saddened that they folded), but it certainly does apply to larger labels; to ASCAP/BMI/etc.; and the governments that have structured the system to be favourable to the companies (and allow them to shit on artists with impunity). For example: an ex-gf of mine had some music air as part of a national television show. Nominally (according to ASCAP's published rates), she should have received in the neighbourhood of $8,000 in royalties. But because her "share" was small that year, she received - in total - ~$38.00. So other, larger artists were paid the rest of the $7,900 she earned (after ASCAP already took their cut, of course). The royalty and residuals industry is completely corrupt. (And never mind that ASCAP has what amounts to a government-mandated monopoly in the US, allowing it to collect royalties on behalf of non-ASCAP members... which those artists rarely, if ever, see.)

So I have no interest in paying my hard-earned money to companies who rape their golden geese. As a result, I acquire freely, and whenever I have the opportunity, give money directly to the artists. (And the 50 euro I send is the equivalent of what, 200-500 album sales in royalties for most artists?) If more people did as I do, I think we'd see much more power in the hands of artists.

Not that I think (all) artists deserve to be paid for (all of) their work. That said, IF anyone does deserve to be paid, it is the artist - those cunts in Cyprus are most definitely stealing from you, and should be drawn and quartered. But I know from personal experience that some of my songs (songs I've worked long and hard on) are shit, and I don't deserve to be compensated for them, no matter how hard I worked. What I give to the artists is not a gift, but it isn't a salary, either - it's an expression of gratitude and appreciation for the work that I, as a consumer, feel it appropriate for it. Any artist who insists that I owe them simply because they worked hard won't get my money, ever; no one on Earth is entitled to be paid. Every payment for work, everywhere, is a contract between the payer and payee - and there are some "artists" who I would rather pay to STOP making their "music". But that's entirely subjective on my part, and others can disagree - and are free to give them as much as they like.

But for any artist whose work does earn, I think governments should mandate the minimum percentage artists should be paid for any monies received. This has been missing since the very beginning of the industry, and harms artists more than any other single issue. So while your case for eliminating safe harbour is well-received, I think if we fixed the payments structure systemically, you might not care as much about those Cypriot wankers, who are, let's be fair, the ones taking sloppy fifty-seconds in the queue of people who have been stealing from you (and from all of us) all along.

Comment Re:Some privacy is more equal than other (Score 2) 470

I have had this very thought for many years now.

A close friend had an aneurysm years back, but who was revived (though never resuscitated). In order to remove him from life support, the hospital was required by law to do an EEG to try to detect alpha waves (and thus consciousness, by definition). The test came back negative, and his family helped him to pass on.

I have wondered since what the feasibility would be of running such a test on a foetus to determine the presence of consciousness. This would seem a logical and scientific way to remove the philosophy/religion from the debate altogether and allow everyone to move on.

Comment Re:Does Anybody Care? (Score 1) 75

Salaried positions are a fuzzy area in this. Many companies seem to feel that if they pay you a salary, they're entitled to your productivity 168 hours per week, and any time that you spend eating, sleeping, having sex, enjoying time with your friends and family, etc. is simply their magnanimous gift to you and your "work-life balance".

This is precisely why I clock in and out, even when not required. And I generally have some sort of understanding in writing that the company's right to my productivity are limited to what I do during work hours on company equipment.

Comment Re:"Are you in danger" (Score 1) 90

Process is oft times more important in legal situations than the facts... or the law. The single biggest reason to retain an attorney is to get someone who can navigate the process on your behalf.

Applying for asylum isn't only about proving that your life is in danger; it's about proving it the right way, in the right terms, in triplicate (except when only in duplicate), while the moon is waxing. Get one step wrong, and you may well lose your case, regardless of the facts, the law, or the truth.

After process, knowledge of case law, legal terminology, and knowledge of law are (in my limited experience) the other benefits of having a solicitor. The DoNotPay robot(?) provides, at least, knowledge of process and bits of the rest. And that can truly make the difference between winning and losing in court. I think it's an important and useful tool, and well-applied in this case.

Comment Re:Tor? (Score 1) 186

The GP didn't say that people treat such things as damage; s/he said that the internet does. And that is the crucial difference - the internet will figure out a way to route around the "damage" so that even lazy animals will be able to access it unimpeded.

(Those with long memories will note that this isn't the first time TPB has been violated. And EVERY time, it's come back up, usually within hours.)

Comment Re:Always wear a condom (Score 1) 71

Precisely this. My first thought when reading the headline was the follow-up article: 'Japanese Hackers Testing USB Phone Attacks at Charging Stations in Public Transport Buses'.

There should be a USB condom with an identifier or specialised port that is required to use the USB chargers, and condoms should be supplied.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 162

While on the surface you're correct, if properly implemented, this technology should still be usable with NFC, as it doesn't rely on the security of the NFC link to be secure.

For one, an NFC link can only be exploited through sniffing in the immediate physical vicinity of the accessing device (and statistically-speaking, few attackers are financially capable of being within 10m of their victim). For another, the real security of authentication comes from the crypto chip (think embedded smartcard or TPM-type module).

Contrast this to a USB device, where USB over TCP becomes a true security risk. It's possible for an attacker to mount a USB device over a WAN link in a manner indistinguishable from a local device, thereby co-opting the credential store. (Though of course this is supposing that the NFC connector is not itself USB-connected...)

Now the question of how to authenticate securely to the NFC device itself is another question entirely. But that's one for another thread.

Comment Re:I am amazed that there is no current limiter (Score 3, Insightful) 243

'I'd argue that the device would be far more destructive if it pumped -12v instead of -240v since it would be able to output a lot more current.'

IANAEE, but as I understand it: high current can cause heat damage and possibly fires, but high voltage can jump lines and cause failure in more than just the circuit it was introduced to.

Both are potentially (no pun intended) very bad. But a high voltage spike will cause much more widespread damage in a very short span. This is why we treat static electricity (high voltage, low current) with such respect around electronics.

Comment Re: Sorry - whose car is this? (Score 1) 305

This is not technically true. The same protection is offered to all products in all industries via the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The difference here is that some vehicle companies tried to do an end run around it and were slammed by the FTC for doing so.

I wonder if Tesla will try to claim that they do the maintenance for free and are therefore exempt. But I think (and hope) there will be a quick and considerable backlash against them, both from consumers and the courts.

Comment Re:Before copyright, no credit and no money (Score 1) 219

The idea is that a limited monopoly for copying enables the artist to derive some (non-joyous) benefit from their endeavour, thus allowing them to create more art, since they're not busy using all their time working on something else simply so they can eat.

Joy is a wonderful byproduct of being an artist, but it doesn't feed anyone.

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