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Comment Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (Score 2) 145

There's a huge difference between "exists solely to facilitate piracy" and "can be used to facilitate piracy".

That distinction is entirely imaginary and is dependent entirely upon the intent of the end user.

You're both idiots. Let me explain by example: A nuclear bomb's purpose is to cause destruction. That doesn't mean it cannot facilitate peace. In the same way, even a tool designed solely to facilitate piracy could be used to reduce or prevent it. For example, if movies and other things now available on pirated websites were made available through an "official" site where you could get the same materials, and same quality, but it came with a time bomb that would cause it to cease being usable after a period of time. The problem with DRM is they put it on things you buy, but if they made it available for free, as a "try before you buy" product with the option to upgrade. It's been proven in case study after case study pirates buy more material outright than those who don't pirate. In other words: Your best customers are pirates.

As far as the line in the sand being dependent on intent, much of copyright law (not all!) falls under the umbrella of strict liability, which means intent doesn't have to be proven. The mens rea, or the "state of mind" of the criminal, plays no part. It is strictly the act itself which is considered. Either you did it, or you didn't. Intent is irrelevant. For example, if murder was a crime of strict liability, even if you shot a gunman who was about to mow down a bus full of children (a heroic act by most people's standards!) you'd be more of a criminal than the gunman -- he only threatened to shoot. You actually did.

This is why strict liability is so damned evil... it was created for situations where intent was unlikely to ever be proved (for example, improper toxic waste disposal... how can you prove any member of the corporation knew it was in violation? It may be impossible due to shared responsibility to identify the perpetuator of the criminal act as opposed to those who sincerely thought it was on the up and up), but expanded to include everything under the sun. It was also supposed to be a relatively lighter sentence, because there was no mens rea considered. That's also gone by the wayside.

So yeah, in short -- you're both wrong. But you both had the right idea.

Comment color blindness (Score 3, Informative) 97

Actually, most forms of color blindness is NOT due to a defect in the eye, but in the visual cortex. I learned about this in graphic design for my color theory class. When you look at a color for awhile, and then look at a white surface, the after-image will be a specific color. Whether you're color blind or not... that after-image coloring is the same. So red and green result in a different after-image color -- even if you're red/green colorblind.

Anyway, yes, having red/green perception does enable you to see subtle changes in skin tone, etc., but the idea of TSA agents wearing them is a bit frightening. This is the same agency that up until recently was irradiating its own clients, refusing to disclose the amount of radiation, and causing cancer to its employees. They also have been frisking children and grabbing people's balls... they're totally incompetent. I'd rather not give them special "x-ray glasses" so they can misuse those as well, saying they saw something nobody else could and that's why you're now getting a lubed finger in your private parts.

Other than that, Rock on. Good science.

Comment Re:GW solution (Score 5, Informative) 264

A few hundred well-placed nuclear bombs ought to do it.

If the goal is a nuclear winter, sure. If you're trying to move the planet... how can I put this as succinctly as possible: If we detonated every nuke we had on one side of the planet, we'd succeed only in leaving one side of the planet uninhabitable. It wouldn't move the planet by any appreciable amount. The subsequent earthquakes would probably do more, by affecting spin. People seem to forget in orbital mechanics, to move in one direction, you have to displace an equal amount of mass x energy in the opposite direction. All a nuke would do is move the air around and leave a hole in the ground. Nothing would be ejected into space, and therefore, no movement.

I know you're trying to be funny, but after awhile, I get tired of the "a nuke is powerful enough to do anything!" thinking. I blame Bruce Willis.

Comment Re:Ahhh the good old days... (Score 2) 103

Every device I've had since then just seems like it's spying on me and siphoning off my personal life for someone else's gain.

A problem that would go away overnight with an open market instead of contracts and vendor lock-in. Cell phones are specifically designed to be incompatible with one another; Imagine if you could buy something like a SIM card that worked on all the networks in the United States, not just some, and all you had to do when getting a new phone is slide your SIM into it. Someone would design a secure phone that doesn't siphon off your personal life. Several have tried, but they all fail because of monopolistic practices.

"Profit, bitch. Bend over and give it up," is the American business model now... and it's wildly popular elsewhere too. You want to stop it: Stop America's perversion of capitalistic ideals. Make it a true free market.

Comment Re:That depends (Score 4, Interesting) 113

Is the "online service" Oracle?

No. It's just a collection of badly translated and hacked up anime that makes the fans cry everytime the logo "Funimation" splashes across the screen. There's websites dedicated to warning fans of what their next production will be, so they can snap up the fansubs before they vanish from the ethers.

Hearing Funimation is picking up your favorite anime is to an anime geek hearing that JJ Abrams is going to direct the next Star Wars. It's a KHAAAAAAAAAN! moment. Oh, and apologies to Star Trek fans... he got to you too. :(

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 173

Its totally silly of course, because Amazon often has the best prices, and people will simply wait. Nothing purchased on line constitutes an emergency to most people.

Your definition of "emergency" and mine radically differ. I call it 'Tuesday' when there's five feet of fresh snow on the ground, over my house, my car, and I need to be to work in an hour. I'm more concerned about a broken coffee machine at work than some website going tits up for a few hours. Even if all the websites went tits up for a few hours, or days, it's not an emergency in my book. Emergency for me qualifies as "significant and immediate risk to life and safety," not "I can't order a copy of Call of Duty."

Comment You pretentious jerks! (Score 1, Troll) 138

Several EU member states have been cooperating with us to spy on their citizens since WWII. You're connected to a global network that provides instantanious monitoring of millions of communications in realtime; We peer our data with you. Our GPS satellites and cell phone technology can pinpoint where most of your citizens are at any given point in time and you thanked us for providing that technology under the guise of preventing terrorism, homeland security, tracking down neo nazis, or dozens of other groups.

And now, after decades of cooperation, you're being warned not to use... our cloud services. That's like this (holds up cell phone)... Not that impressive compared to that (points to a 100 story tall, 20 block wide, datacenter labelled 'EVERYTHING. EVER.') Seriously now, where are your brains? This is just a stunt to try and get your own domestic cloud services launched, I'm sure of it. So which one was it? Comeon, fess up.

Comment Failure (Score 4, Insightful) 57

I'm sick of hearing about pioneers who were really just exploitative suits in the right place at the right time. Like, say, the late Steve Jobs. Total prick, nobody in the industry likes him, but damn if he didn't know business. That does not make him a tech pioneer. It makes him a turtleneck sporting suit.

Still waiting for the follow-up article where we talk about how those same "pioneers" raped everyone with patent trolling, monopolistic business strategies, and all the other fun "FOR TEH BENNIES!" financial destruction that my country has come to epitomize. We worship CEOs, not engineers.

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