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XBox (Games)

Modded Xbox Bans Prompt EFF Warning About Terms of Service 254

Last month we discussed news that Microsoft had banned hundreds of thousands of Xbox users for using modified consoles. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now pointed to this round of bans as a prime example of the power given to providers of online services through 'Terms of Service' and other usage agreements. "No matter how much we rely on them to get on with our everyday lives, access to online services — like email, social networking sites, and (wait for it) online gaming — can never be guaranteed. ... he who writes the TOS makes the rules, and when it comes to enforcing them, the service provider often behaves as though it is also the judge, jury and executioner. ... While the mass ban provides a useful illustration of their danger, these terms can be found in nearly all TOS agreements for all kinds of services. There have been virtually no legal challenges to these kinds of arbitrary termination clauses, but we imagine this will be a growth area for lawyers."

Comment Stories that touched me -- (Score 1) 1021

Flowers For Algernon - Daniel Keyes (Short Story)
Blood Music - Greg Bear (Short Story).

Both of the above deal with potential ramifications of human enhancement through medical or mechanical means. Both show the promise of the technologies as well as the potential ramifications (transience or transformation).

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Jules Verne
Journey To The Center of The Earth - Jules Verne
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle (though now that I look back at it some of it's Religious themes might be considered inappropriate for school)

Stories of exploration and wonder.

Startide Rising - David Brin
Watchers - Dean Koontz

Stories of the challenges and rewards of working with familiar animals (dolphins, chimpanzees and dogs) who have been given intelligence on par with humans.

Comment Just look to human history... (Score 1) 1345

Wasn't much of human history the epitome of 'unschooling'? Wouldn't that be a reasonable explanation why there was very little progress for many hundreds of thousands of years with only a very few bright lights in all that time? Only since the advent of formalized and widely accessible education and knowledge dissemination has there been significant progress in recent history.

My brother was 'homeschooled' in a way that was effectively unschooling. The best he can hope for is a manual labor job because his education is only at the 8th or 9th grade level, if that. Unless these children are truly exceptional, they are being severely disadvantaged by their parents and will pay for it for the rest of their lives. It's amazing how non-forward thinking some people can be.

Comment Re:What exacaxtly RIAA thinks they are? (Score 2, Informative) 141

Who or what piece of legislation authorized RIAA to collect all these information?

They don't need any. It's 'published' via a public system (the p2p network).

Who authorised RIAA to represent this information as some sort of "evidence"?

Presuming this is presented as a DMCA notification, their clients and the US Government.

Who authorised RIAA to submit all these (illegaly?) collected information as "evidence"?

See above.

Who authorised RIAA that they can submit (illegally collected?) "evidence" to a third party in order to "request" anything from a third party, based on (illegally collected?) "evidence"?

See above. Read the DMCA.

Any lawyer in the house?

IANL but I have received DMCA notifications that should have been directed to others.

Comment These are just mis-directed DMCA notifications (Score 4, Interesting) 141

While they don't explicitly identify them as such, the content of the e-mail is essentially a DMCA notification. Since the content is not stored on the ISP's systems, and is just a transitory communication over the ISP's network, the ISP is not obligated to perform any action whatsoever. They could >/dev/null 2>&1 them and there's nothing the RIAA could do about it.

To be valid, the DMCA notification needs to be directed to the party hosting the content, in this case the end-user. The ISP for that user is not obligated to 'pass on' the notification to the end user any more than they would be to 'pass on' a notification meant for another ISP. It is the complainants responsibility to identify the correct destination for the DMCA notification, not anyone else's.

Even _if_ the ISP were hosting the content on systems they own, the only obligation they would have would be to remove the specifically identified offending content from their systems. Per the DMCA, the alleged offender would have 10 days to contest the validity of the DMCA notification at which point the ISP would be required to re-post the content if they did so. The claimant would then need to begin legal proceedings to obtain further relief.

Seems to me to be a re-hash of a previously failed tactic. Once the RIAA found this was a dead-end, they began their DOE lawsuits.

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