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Comment Re:This has nothing to do with freedom of speech (Score 1) 715

First, you're confusing "the public" with the government.

Second, if you mean "Why would you assume that the government would have chosen nuclear war", then you're assuming the government would have understood the choices and their consequences, which if you study your cold war history you will find is incorrect.

In fact, I'd suggest brushing up on your history if you aren't aware of the substantial part of each government that was prepared to choose nuclear war. This is not "assumption"; it's documented history.

Here's a simpler question: if the secrecy weren't needed to make the missiles go away, then why didn't they go away (on the authority of those from whom the deals were kept secret) without the secret dealings?

Comment Re:Sweet delicious irony (Score 2, Insightful) 237

"Destruction of one culture concurrent with the rise of another" is not what airport security is intended to defend against. People being killed is what airport security is intended to defend against. You need to get your fears of cultural assimilation out of the picture, as they have nothing to do with the topic of airport screenings.

If you don't want to draw a distinction between killing everyone who doesn't conform to your culture on one hand, vs. spreading your culture through various social and political means on the other, that's your problem; reforming bigoted radicals isn't my line of work.

Oh, and profiling is not and will not be effective. A brief look at recent history will demonstrate why:

When we put more scrutiny on shoes, did the total frequency of attempted attacks go down? No, the attackers just didn't bother trying another shoe bomb.

When we put more scrutiny on liquids, did the total frequency of attempted attacks go down? No, the attackers just didn't bother trying liquids.

So if you put more scrutiny on people who match your biggoted view of what a terrorist looks like, is the frequency of attempted attacks going to go down? No, the attackers will send bomb-carriers who don't fit your profile. You think they can't recruit such people, and they laugh.

Comment Re:Patent War I (Score 2, Interesting) 62

And yet, WWI didn't end guns and bombs; it merely killed a lot of people. So you draw an analogy to this conflict, where the "weapons" are patents, and think the battle will put an end to the weapon?

This isn't the first, or the last, time that a group of large companies get into a mess where each alleges the other is infringing patents, and it's not the first, or the last, where all probably have some valid claims. If the MAD analogies that keep flying around were valid, and with the first shot fired, you might think the companies would all sink - and maybe you think Congress or the Court will see the effect of the current law as too damaging and step in. But none of those things will happen, because lawsuits have an option that nuclear war doesn't: settlement.

These companies have done nothing but move their standoff from a theoretical issue hidden in their file drawers to a practical matter in court filings. I predit they will reach an agreement where all are licensed to use all of the technology involved, maybe with payments from one to another if there seems to be an imbalance in overall contribution to the IP pool, and that will be that.

Comment Re:Sweet delicious irony (Score 3, Insightful) 237

First of all, the Islamic faith is far from unique in its desire to displace conflicting cultural patterns. You might be familiar with another such religion - Christianity.

Second, there is a difference between cultural conflict and war. You need to learn to separate the two, and understand that just because the woman in a burka might want the other women around her to wear burkas does not mean that she's a terrorist. Having airport screeners harass members of one culture is not an appropriate weapon for use in a cultural conflict.

Comment Re:Pew Pew Pew... (Score 3, Insightful) 62

So, do you have particular insight into these patents to back your claim that they are invalid and worthless?

Or are you one of those people who really thinks patents shouldn't exist, but won't just admit it?

Or perhaps you think you get to stipulate the terms of how a patent must be used for it to be valid and have worth, even though the system of patent laws intentionally doesn't do so?

Comment Having RTFA.... (Score 1) 287

Hopefully I can save someone a bit of trouble:

Yes, we all know that correlation isn't causation. The authors of the study didn't imply any such thing, and their tentative conclusions run along the lines that a common cause (parenting) could influence both texting and risky behaviors in a parallel manner.

Comment Re:Outside of the design of the system (Score 1) 764

Distribution is only one of many rights reserved by copyright, and again this has been true since the beginning.

The fact that it has become easier for "just anybody" to commit certain offenses does not mean that somehow they were originally meant to magically be exempt from the law if they did commit those offenses, which is what is implied by the idea that the laws "weren't meant to target" them.

Comment Re:Confused? (Score 1) 764

Ok... what I'm not seeing is why both sides would be motivated to settle after a ruling had been reached in the (2nd) trial. Why at that phase were there settlement talks; and if such talks broke down, why didn't the RIAA just say "fine, no settlement, pay the judgement".

Given the judge reduced the award, maybe that's the wrong question. Maybe the right question is, even if the RIAA thought "we can win a higher award again if we get a new trial", and even if Thompson thought "maybe this time I'll win or at least get a lower award"... why didn't the court just say "screw you both, this was the ruling, we're moving on down the docket"?

Comment Re:Confused? (Score 1) 764

Yeah, I think we all get that.

What I can't figure out from TFA is - where the hell did the 3rd trial come from?

The second trial occured because the judge ruled that he'd erred. That makes sense. Now where did the 3rd one come from? TFA says that she asked for either a reduction in damages or another trial; she got a reduction in damages... so why wasn't that the end of it?

Comment Re:Outside of the design of the system (Score 3, Insightful) 764

Copyrights were never really meant to target individual citizens? Says who? I don't see any support for that claim in the Constitutional basis for copyright law; or in the first copyright act; or in any other subsequent copyright act that I've read...

In fact every copyright act I've read is explicitly not merely a regulation on business, as they specifically assign liability for infringement even if it isn't commercial in nature.

Perhaps you're mistaking how you'd like to see copyright used as somehow representing what it was "meant" to be used for?

Comment Re:Important: Read This! (Score 1) 165

Yes, I've heard the term "selection bias"; apparently one of us knows what it means, and you aren't the one.

I'm not "selecting" the cases I'm looking at. I'm looking at every case that has impacted me in any way, and suggesting that everyone else in the discussion do the same.

If that's a biased selection, then what you're really saying is "yes, class actions that affect people are crap, but that's not a fair sample" (apparently meaning that we have to include all the cases that don't affect anyone).

When I asked you for your view of what class action is, you responded in a way typical of those defending bad law: you gave me a technical description of the intent of the law, without reference to the reality of what the law does in practice. Laws and legal practices are not judged by their intent; they are judged by their effects.

You want your argument to matter, tie it to reality. So far all you've said is that we should ignore the fact that in most people's lives class action suits are nothing but an abuse, because in theory the law allows them to be used for other things.

Comment Prece-what? (Score 1) 165

"With several outstanding class action privacy suits against Facebook and Zynga, it is interesting to see Google set this precedent"

That is, of course, unless you know the first thing about the law. In that case, you are aware that one defendent deciding to settle doesn't set a precedent at all for other defendents in separate lawsuits (even if the nature of those suits is similar).

Between that, my lack of interest in suing Google over this matter, and my general antipathy toward class actions in practice, I find this terribly uninteresting.

Comment Re:Important: Read This! (Score 1) 165

"slashdot's consensus about what class action cases are is really, really off-base."

Really? So you claim you've done a handful of more-legitimate class actions, and you think that overturns the common view of what class-action cases "are"?

Tell you what: enlighten us. What are class actions? Then we can all dig through our records for records of class action settlements that affected us, and see what percentage conform to your description vs. the /. concensus. I can already tell you which one covers 100% of cases that have affected me.

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Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde