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Comment Re:sharing (Score 1) 393

"Open to the public" and "substantial number of persons outside of...family and friends" are the key things to understand here.

Indeed.

Playing a DVD at home when a few pals come over == not public performance
Playing a DVD in the common room of a college dormitory building, all students welcome = likely not public performance
Playing a DVD over the video projection system in a college lecture hall, all students welcome, non-students may attend by paying $5 = probably qualifies as a public performance

Comment Re:Maybe Japan's Prime Minister will get 20" rims! (Score 3, Insightful) 649

first, he gives the British PM a stack of DVDs (ultra lame). next, he gives the queen of england a friggin ipod

The DVDs and iPod are not the gifts, they are the packaging. The real value of these gifts is of the content that's on them -- examples of the artistic and cultural outputs of the United States, which have been exported to the world.

That most of this culture is available to anybody with $300 to spare is not an indictment of Obama's stinginess, nor of America's, but a celebration of our egalitarianism.

Comment Re:PostgreSQL (Score 1) 335

Hey, maybe people have a reason to use MySQL - a product that only supports that db,

Badly written software.

or developers who aren't particularly familiar with what relational databases are supposed to be like.

Badly written software waiting to happen.

Comment Re:Who really cares? (Score 1) 183

If you're going to twitter something meaningful, like hey I'm on the subway and its being delayed b/c some jackass jumped off the platform and I'm going to be late to (wherever). Then supposing you're friends are following you they will know... where you are and why you're late.

Or, you could send a regular text message to only the friend(s) you're supposed to be meeting up with, so not to bother people not involved in the plans with your trivial minutiae.

It's a hypothetical example; not like there's going to be a cellular signal down in the subway system, anyway.

Comment Re:isn't anything created... (Score 1) 183

isn't anything created automatically assumed to have copyright attributed to the author?

Close. It's that anything creatIVE is automatically copyrighted upon creation.

If you can tweet a poem that fits into 140 characters -- and I defy you to write a haiku that does not -- then it is protected by copyright. Absence of any context indicating otherwise, tweeting your friends that you "ordered a hamburger minus tomatoes, who even likes those" is not a creative work and thus not copyrightable.

Comment Re:Tax Breaks for Corporate Media (Score 1) 426

If we let newspapers be non-profits we are giving a huge tax-break to Richard Mellon Scaife, and Rupert Murdoch, and Sun Myung Moon. All of the money these guy pump into their right-wing propaganda machines will be tax-deductible.

Did you read the summary? Any paper that adopts non-profit status will not be allowed to have a partisan editorial viewpoint.

How this would be enforced, and the definition used for 'partisan', those are open questions.

Comment Re:Actually, it's rather the opposite (Score 1) 918

The sad truth of it is many of the grads for the last 15 years are junk [...] the curriculums now create people who think that the compiler, the runtime, and the OS are a black box.

Funny. I got my degree 10 years ago, and CS majors had required coursework in each of those fields. The curriculum even included subjects which would more appropriately be considered electrical engineering -- one project was to build an entire RISC CPU in modeling software, starting at the level of individual NAND gates and building up from there. I can't claim my experience was representative of every graduate in the past 15 years, but neither would I claim none of us have sufficient understanding of computer internals.

And what's wrong with that? 95% of the programming work that needs to be done IS writing reports for accounting. That 0.1% of the time where a new comm protocol needs to be developed, there's still some gee-whiz developer-savant capable of the task, and he's as likely to be a young college dropout as a grizzle-bearded oldbie.

Comment Re:Complete waste of time (Score 1) 346

Also you can't have tracks longer than about an hour due to id3v2 size limits.

I don't disagree that this "mp3HD" format is a bad solution in search of a problem, any problem, but would it really be a common problem if no track could be longer than ~1 hour?

My well-over-60GB music collection only has one track that exceeds 60 minutes (that would be the 74-minute single-track album, Delirium Cordia by Fantomas). Maybe there are other use cases I'm not considering?

Comment Re:Been following this for awhile. (Score 1) 1240

The fact that something like this takes place in the United States of America is proof that this country is corrupt.

The fact that something like this provokes outrage, and is subjected to thorough review by the court system as to its constitutionality, is proof that this country is NOT corrupt, at least not fully and irreversibly.

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