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Comment Re:Lots of good reasons. (Score 1) 684

Without DRM, how do we compensate Jackson? I am not happy with DRM – but I can’t figure out a better idea.

I think that more enough of his fan base are happy enough to continue to pay to see his movies even without DRM (or other copy protection), that he won't have a problem.

There are indy artists out there who manage to make a living off their creations without using DRM or other copy protection. They are good enough to have a large enough fan base. My own fan base is very tiny by comparison, but their are people who pay me for my creations - not because I use DRM or such, but because they like it enough to choose to pay. And I am not talking about the SW my employer pays me to develop. My artistic works are a hobby. That some people actually pay me for copies is just a bonus. I want big media to keep their siphons out of what royalties I do get.

Comment Re:Flying Cars (Score 2) 629

A practical and affordable flying car? Yes, we seem to have missed the mark on that. But even if we hadn't, there are a lot of collateral obstacles to actually "putting one in every garage". For example, I know far too many people who should not be driving a car, let alone an aircraft.

Moon base? I think the obstacles were much more political than technological. It's been almost 44 years since the first maned Moon landing (and safe return on the first try). Politics shut that program down Realistically, we only did Skylab because we already had almost all the hardware needed - but NASA's engineers and contractors did it. If nothing else, I'm sure they could have successfully and safely landed a Saturn third stage on the Moon.

Implanting computers in/near our brains? We already have implanted devices to grant vision to the blind and we are making a lot of progress with using brain signals to control devices. Don't know about you, but I know some people who are already trying to volunteer for a brain implant. Maybe not all who now claim they want such an implant would actually go through with it, but I'm sure some of them really would. Not that I think this is a good idea, I just see politics as the main obstacle to this.

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Comment Re:LOL "music locker" (Score 1) 139

Who the fuck even owns a camcorder or CD player boombox anymore?

I own and still use a 5 disk CD boombox. I even still have a CD collection. I also use the box's aux input with a cheap MP3 player (or sometimes with my Android tablet)

And a friend of mine owns and uses 2 different camcorders. The older one (with a large, high quality lens) records to digital tape. The newer one records to SD card.

Comment Re:And it was through this (Score 1) 139

States used to have their own copyright laws. The 1976 copyright act nullified them going forward but they may still apply for older works.

Congress (and big media) assert that it has the power to extend the duration of these state issued copyrights. Is the scope of preemption by the federal copyright law really so limited that the DMCA would not apply to those works?

Worse, selective application of the DMCA to those early works would create an even more difficult situation not only for customers, but also for independent artists. The way things have been going for the last few decades, it will soon be impossible for artists to legally distribute their works without a big media contract. Big media has already gotten the Copyright Royalty Board to rule that blanket licenses are defacto statutory licenses, so requiring royalties under a blanket license to be paid to them. Then indy artists must pay a fee to them for the privilege of applying for some percentage (less then 100%) of the royalties collected. Now indy artists must license each work (or, possibly, each defined collection/album/portfolio) to be able to collect royalties without big media siphoning a portion of it.

Comment Re:What do they actually want? (Score 1) 394

I really don't see the need for adding EME to HTML5. What are the actual use cases that don't have simple solutions without it?

I agree. I don't see the need for EME. The existing media tags already support alternate codecs, so encryption could be added as simply as creating a wrapper for an existing codec, include the crypto in the wrapper and call the wrapper a codec. The wrapper would, of course, need to be designed to work properly with streaming, but then so would the EME. No need to further pollute the HTML specification.

Comment Re:Getting the rates (Score 1) 434

I suspect it would cost the state more to investigate the problem than it could collect in fines.

Also, the merchants are collecting and remitting the tax in good faith, therefor any court judgement - if it went to court - would be in favor of the merchant - even if the evidence that the merchant where informed of the error was irrefutable.

Besides, except in the case of income tax where tax payers file a form showing what they owe vs what they paid, the government has no motivation to refund overages of collected taxes..

If it were shown that the merchants were keeping overages in collected sales tax rather than remitting all collected tax (minus the amount they are allowed to keep to cover the cost of remitting the taxes), then the government would have motivation. But most likely, any tax and fines reclaimed from the merchant would be kept by the state.

Comment Re:RTFA (Score 1) 976

He doesn't say that bicycles produce more CO2 than cars, he says that:

  • Cycling increases your respiration rate so produces more CO2 than not cycling.

Both of these are true. ... the second point is refuting the point that bikes are environmentally friendly. The second point is debatable: it's a question of what the basic comparison is. Cycling is more polluting than staying at home, less polluting than driving a car.

Depends on what you are doing at home, how many lights are on, PC, TV, game console, other devices. If all that is on, even a couch potato could indirectly be producing more CO2 and other greenhouse gasses and pollutents.

(some other congress person: CO2 is used by plants, so is not a pollutent.)

(rephrasing: Excess CO2 is a pollutent.)

Comment Re:Your VCS should manage this (Score 1) 384

More likely it would be the linker detecting that one or more symbols is unreferenced.

The linker my team is using in our current projects has an option to log warnings about unreferenced symbols. We enable this because it provides an extra line of defense against coding errors - and documentation errors.

Comment Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (Score 1) 690

My girlfriend had this to say:


Funny, his experience at the boys' school was very similar to my experience at a school for smart kids - a co-ed school. I'm not saying he didn't benefit from the all-male environment. I am saying he probably benefited more from a school that gave him a real challenge. I started at a public school and was very bored. Fortunately, my teacher recognized I truly was way beyond "See dog. See dog run" and other kindergarten stuff. After talking with my parents, she arranged an interview with the private school. 2 weeks later, I started at that school under a full scholarship - at 2nd grade level (the school covered grades K through 12). It was both very demanding and relaxed. We could "cut up" with out being disciplined (yes, girls "cut up", too) - as long as we as settled down quickly. We had more subjects (like music and drama) than the public school, and school-sponsored after-school activities. All the students - girls and boys - did very well. And I am happy our daughter earned a scholarship to a similar school.

Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 353

A few years ago, there was a Slashdot discussion of a town that started to implement a plan where each home owner would own a fiber link to a central data center where any ISP could install equipment to provide service to any of the home owners with fibers terminated in that data center. The residents voted overwelmingly in favor and made down payments toward thos fiber links. Unfortunately, one of the incumbant companies managed to stall the plan in court long enough to deploy its own FTTH infrastructure, so mooting the project before deployment could start.

Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 353

Where I currently live, there was a local, minority ownwd cable company that had an exclusive franchise with the county. The company was bought by a much larger company that was neither local nor minority owned, so the exclusivity clauses of the franchise automatically expiired. Since then, the only "compettition" to deploy in our area has been the phone company with their DSL service. For maybe a year, the 2 companies were actually competing - because a lot of people switched over because of the promotional rates offered. The cable company put out some promotional rates, too. Then the cable company deployed some low cost equipment upgrades in their local data center and neighborhood and pushed out firmware updates to the subscriber modems, doubling the data rate. Very quickly, all the customers who wanted the higher data rate switched back, but the phone company did not and still hasn't upgraded its service, claiming it would have to upgrade the "last mile" drops in order to increase data rate (they even said that if a subscriber was willing to pay them $300 per hour for technician time, they would upgrade those customers who chose to do so). So, effectly, the 2 companies have apportioned the market into a "high" and "low" segments. Since the cable company does offer low data rate plans (and the phone company offers high rate to hose willing to pay for last mile upgrades), there is no way to prove collusion, even if they did collude.

I am accross the street from a block that is served by 2 cable companies, so I have asked the other cable company why they have not extended in to my block, they cited the high cost of deploying new infrastructure. They also said that if I had neighbor in the block they did serve, they'd be happy to provide "second unit" service to that neighbor's house, billed to me, but I would have to arrange my own means to bridge the service to my house (easily done using an extra wifi router and 2 directional 2.4 GHz antennae. Unfortunately, that neioghbor has since moved out so I no longer have that option). Presumably, they would not have offered this sneaky way to get service to me if they weren't confident there was no longer an exclusitivity provision "protecting" the incumbant cable company.

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