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Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 164

Additionally, he says: "And at best I'd maybe get an injunction, not damages. And, really, they're not making enough money for me to regain my losses."

Uh, what losses? Granted, if he owns the copyright to the image, it's illegal to use them without his permission. But in what way did the use of those images actually cause him any losses? How was he actually harmed? I have no issue with him asking, or even demanding, that they stop using his artwork. But to claim "losses" is downright silly.

Comment Re:Something I've considered... (Score 1) 505

It's a sort of self perpetuating system. Originally, the Social Security Number was intended only for use with the Social Security system. However, because it's a controlled, unique number assigned to individuals, it's easy and convenient to use as a unique ID for all sorts of record systems. Having someone's name and SSN makes it fairly easy to do identity theft. Part of the problem is the ubiquity of the SSN as an identifier and part of it is sloppy procedures which don't verify that the name and SSN actually belong to the individual using them.

Comment Re:Well the only fool proof way... (Score 4, Informative) 491

It is nevertheless better to reserve a machine on your network for just this usage. Nothing installed on it but tcpdump and similar tools.

Or boot from a Linux Live CD.

Also, some switches support spanning ports, which will allow you to sniff the traffic on another port. Your typical home network dumb switch probably doesn't support this, but if you have temporary access to a higher end switch, it makes such tasks much easier. You can pick up older switches that support this fairly cheap on Ebay, although you probably won't want to spend the money for a one-time usage.

Comment Re:Ideas want to be public (Score 4, Insightful) 539

What brilliant ideas did Microsoft or Apple have? Microsoft was more lucky than anything else, and used mostly someone else's code to succeed. Apple didn't do anything there weren't dozens of other people trying to do. They just did it better. It was execution and implementation, not brilliant ideas. Edison might have had a few brilliant ideas but most of what he's known for weren't his ideas. He didn't invent the light bulb. In fact, he bought the patents from others who'd been there before him but weren't able to make it practical. See here. He created the first commercially practical lightbulb, and he did it based upon thousands of hours of trial and effort. Many of his other inventions have similar histories. It isn't some brilliant idea that leads to success. It's implementation.

As for the inventor of the burp-tank, several minutes of Googling turned up absolutely nothing. Unless you can provide some evidence, I'll assume that it's apocryphal.

Comment Re:Great advertising for new versions! (Score 1) 590

I agree that there's nothing wrong with this scenario per se, so long as the transparency requirement is met. And I further agree that there will be backlash from the gamers over the issue, just as there's now a considerable hue and cry over C&C:4's announcement. But I suspect that people will get used to it and it will eventually become the norm.

The one issue I do have with it is that it cuts out certain segments of the market. For a personal example, I spent 20 years in the US Navy, and I did a lot of gaming to pass the time while on six month deployments. On a ship, you don't have an Internet connection for personal use. The same is true for other members of the Armed Forces who are deployed away from home, and undoubtedly for a multitude of other people who for various reasons won't have open Internet access. Unfortunately for them, they make up only a small percentage of the market. Sucks to be them, I suppose.

Comment Re:Great advertising for new versions! (Score 3, Interesting) 590

Enjoy it while it lasts.

The summary says Game publishers and developers may not like it, but people are going to trade in used games for new games and those old games will be sold back to other people. There's nothing game developers can do to stop them.

Don't bet on it. C&C:4 will require a constant Internet connection to play. How long do you think it will be before other games follow? And how long do you think it will be before most games have something like Microsoft's so-called Genuine Advantage, where each game comes with a serial number that must be validated before the game will play? Once that serial number is registered, selling the CD doesn't do any good at all. And game companies are under no obligation to allow you to transfer that serial number to someone else. Register the serial number with the server via your PC or with your XBox live account or your PS3 Online account and the media becomes worthless. In fact, they could simply give the game disks away and require you to pay online to receive an activation number or token.

Sure, the system can probably be cracked and it won't stop all piracy, but it will stop legal used games sales in its tracks.

Goodbye Gamestop, we hardly knew ye.

Comment Re:This does not solve the problem (Score 3, Informative) 122

This has already been addressed in the IP specs: ECN

One of the big problems with getting ECN adopted has been that Windows hasn't supported it. Vista does and I haven't seen anything specific but I'm reasonably certain that Windows 7 does as well. MAC OSX 10.5 supports it as well. Linux has supported it for quite awhile. It's usually disabled by default, so that may be an issue in getting it widely supported. But the issue isn't that we don't know how to do it better. It's just overcoming the inertia.

Comment Re:Net neutrality anyone? (Score 4, Insightful) 122

Exactly how is this different from what we currently have?

Consider a conventional router receiving two packets that are part of the same video. The router looks at the first packet's destination address and consults a routing table. It then holds the packet in a queue until it can be dispatched. When the router receives the second packet, it repeats those same steps, not "remembering" that it has just processed an earlier piece of the same video.

Uh, no. This is called process switching. It hasn't been used in anything but the most low-end routers for quite some time. CEF (Cisco Express Forwarding) and MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) use flow control. The perform a lookup on the first packet, cache the information in a forwarding table and all further packets which are part of the same flow are switched, not routed, at effectively wire speeds. MPLS adds a label to the packet which identifies the flow, so it isn't even necessary to check the packet for the five components which define the flow. Just look at the label and send it on its way.

QOS (Quality Of Service) has multiple modes of operation and multiple queue types which address the issues of which packets to drop. It may or may not include deep packet inspection to attempt to determine the type of packet.

Perhaps they've come up with some new innovations that aren't obvious in the write-up because it's written at a relatively high level, but there's nothing here that isn't already implemented and that I don't already work with on a daily basis in production networks.

Comment Re:Google (Score 1) 251

Which is exactly why Mark Cuban is so misguided. No one lives by free. That is, you might start up a business that lives by free and last until your money runs out, but you either find a way to monetize your customers or you go under. Companies which "live by free" actually live by a business model that includes free but isn't exclusively free. And such businesses are no different from any other business. Every business, regardless of whether or not it has free as part of its business model, faces competition and threat from other businesses. It's the way capitalism works. Woolworths and HQ, for example, didn't go out of business because of anything to do with "free." But they were still out-competed and failed. If you take the reference to "free" out of Cuban's comments, he's simply describing the challenges facing any business in a capitalistic system. Cuban of all people should know that.

Comment Re:Real summary: (Score 5, Insightful) 607

Your point that the US is hardly a sterling example of protecting civil rights is valid. However, that doesn't change the fact that the US does have much more robust protections of free speech than many, many other countries, including some that outdo us in other areas of civil rights. European countries, partly in an attempt to protect the rights of minorities, generally have much harsher laws concerning "hate speech" and libel than the US, and most non-European countries routinely censor content they deem to be against the interest of the ruling parties. I'm as appalled at some of the recent US actions as anyone. They're a shame and an embarrassment to a country that is supposed to be "...the land of the free..." But I don't doubt that the article is spot on that US control results in a much freer Internet than would be the case under an international overseer.

Comment Re:Nothing new, but encouraging (Score 1) 554

Uh, not sure if you're trolling or just not aware, but the above is not true or, at best, might be true only in certain canons. In the Ultimate Marvel imprint, for example, Hulk goes on a rampage in New York City and kills several hundred people. Bruce Banner is tried and sentenced to die for the crime but Hulks out just before the nuclear weapon intended to carry out the execution explodes.

Comment Re:Offer the Ebook for free. (Score 2, Insightful) 987

Actually, he didn't say the piracy was affecting his bottom line. He simply said it wasn't helping sales. Was that accidental or intentional? I strongly suspect that the piracy isn't hurting sells either, which means the answer to his question is "nothing." If he can post data which shows that sales are dropping and that those dropped sales don't correlate to, say, his book being replaced by a newer textbook in university courses, then I'll reconsider.

Comment Re:could someone explain what the issue is here? (Score 1) 264

What you're talking about is called split tunneling. There is some security risk with allowing split tunneling, although it's not "...horrifically broken and insecure..." as you suggest, particularly if you require the client to have a local firewall before you bring up the VPN. (Decent VPN software will allow this.) The problem with not allowing split tunneling is that it greatly increases the load on your network, since all traffic is routed through you before going to the client, and that you break lots of things for the VPN'd user. For example, if I"m VPN'd and split tunneling is disallowed, I can't use a local network printer until I break the VPN.

Like every other situation, there is a trade off between security and functionality. Increasing security decreases functionality and vice versa. Whether or not it makes sense to allow split tunneling is greatly dependent upon the situation.

Comment Re:It's True (Score 2, Interesting) 168

The CNN article commenting on the proposed bill says:

Another example: Web browsers could also be regulated and subject to Federal Trade Commission enforcement action unless "informed consent" is obtained each time the desktop icon is double-clicked. (Every Web browser allows the user to "designate" files to be uploaded--ever post a photo?--and request that files be downloaded.)

This appears to be covering things like uploading a photo or downloading a program to install. That doesn't even cover the half of it. What happens when you visit a web page? Your browser sends a GET request and downloads the file - it copies a file from the server to your computer. If the page is not static, of course, the file is generated on the fly by scripts. But if that isn't covered, then I'll simply code my P2P app to ROT13 all files. When you download it, a script reads it and generates the stream that's transferred to you. I'm no longer copying a file, so the law doesn't apply to me.

What happens when you visit many, many websites? They read your cookies. The cookie is a file on your computer. It's transferred from your computer to their server. What happens when you download your email, particularly if you're accessing a 'Nix based mail server where mail is stored in mbox or mailbox format? What happens when you open a file with your Word processor on a remote share? In short, what happens almost any time you do anything on a networked computer? Is every application you run going to have to nag you to death every time you open it?

This is so ludicrous that not even Congress could pass it.

Comment Re:Well it sounds better than (Score 5, Insightful) 291

It isn't clear to me why this is a failure, or a negative result if you prefer. Granted, the carbon didn't sink to the bottom of the ocean, but it was still removed from the water, which should allow the water to absorb additional CO2 from the air. It seems to me that, so long as the CO2 is pulled from the atmosphere, it's still an effective means of combating warming. Isn't one of the proposed remedies to increase the plant mass? Why isn't this just as effective as increased plants? What am I missing?

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