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Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 1) 800

I was arguing against the GP's assertions that citizenship should not be a defense against summary assassination. I think it's generally accepted that the US Constitution outlines the boundaries of the US Government's relationship to US citizens, although if you're arguing that since those boundaries are based on inalienable human rights they ought to be extended to all humanity, I'd have a hard time making an argument to the contrary.

Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 3, Insightful) 800

Exactly. Government, when composed of noble, capable people passionate about civic virtue and beholden to the rule of law, can be a wonderful thing and a force for great good. When composed of corrupt or inept people who don't give a damn about the governed, it's horrible. I think people tend to think of the ones ordering drone strikes to fall in the former category (and they very well may), but they should think about what happens when they're in the latter.

Image that the bureaucrats behind your worst-ever DMV experience are making the calls on which Americans driving down a desert road get wiped out. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone considers Brazil closer to reality than fantasy opposes this sort of thing.

Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 5, Insightful) 800

These people have chosen to be enemies of the USA.

So says the government that carries out their execution without trial, evidence, or conviction.

...The only real change here is that the DoD is actually targeting the terrorist bases WHEN American "citizens" are standing on them.

Or when they happen to be out on the open road, not on a terrorist base.

...I have less of a problem with the government killing confirmed traitors while ENGAGED in plotting against the USA, in a foreign country, with other enemies. That's open and shut...

Except if you read the article, that's not the case at all. An "imminent threat" now means: "recently involved in activies posing a violent threat...", so in other words, not imminent.

You don't want to get blowed up, don't stand with the enemy.

Also make sure that you're not falsely identified by an informant being tortured, and make sure that US intelligence makes no mistakes. I find your faith in the infallibility of the US government disturbing. Why do we even have trials with juries and evidence? I mean if the military (or police) know you're guilty, why waste time and resources? After all, American citizenship should have no bearing if someone says you're guilty, right?

I understand if a citizen is killed in combat while taking up arms for the enemy - that's normal warfare - but a drone strike outside of combat based solely on the assertions of intelligence? Even if the intelligence is correct, and the target is a Bad Guy, it's still a violation of due process prohibited by the constitution, and becomes unchecked power of life and death in the hands of the executive branch. I would hope everyone understands why that's a Bad Thing.

Comment Apple console? (Score 5, Funny) 191

An Apple gaming device would be an elegant, pure white box with only a light, it would never crash, but only Apple-approved games would run on it, and they'd all be about a brilliant designer surrounded by evil thieving copycats out to make a buck on the back of his genius, causing his kids to starve. Gameplay would consist entirely of quicktime events, "Press X to Sue" which would work fine for their controller which only has one button anyway.

Comment Re:Inaccurate Summary (Score 2) 272

The text is a non-specific, non-technical description of the drawing which is the thing that is actually trademarked.

To use a car analogy, let's say Apple designs a sleek car with rounded corners and a minimal interface. They apply for and receive a trademark on the schematic of their design, and the text in that trademark application describes the schematic as referring to "a motor vehicle with 2 doors and 4 wheels capable of travel on roads, with a sleek aerodynamic surface, minimalist design, and rounded corners. The tires are black, the windshield is trapezoidal, the door handles are recessed, the fenders slightly flared, there is a spoiler on the trunk lid, and the antenna is incorporated in the A-pillars."

So you don't violate their design trademark if you build a car, even with one that has ALL the features in the description. You violate the trademark if you build a car that matches the design in the schematic. This is what design trademarks are actually for.

Your comment is like saying, "So fucking blatantly obvious that this trademark should have never been granted. Pretty much every car build to travel on roads has 4 wheels."

Now stop making me defend Apple; I feel dirty enough already.

Comment Re:Inaccurate Summary (Score 4, Informative) 272

Indeed, FTFTM:

Description of Mark: The mark consists of the design and layout of a retail store. The store features a clear glass storefront surrounded by a paneled facade consisting of large, rectangular horizontal panels over the top of the glass front, and two narrower panels stacked on either side of the storefront. Within the store, rectangular recessed lighting units traverse the length of the store's ceiling. There are cantilevered shelves below recessed display spaces along the side walls, and rectangular tables arranged in a line in the middle of the store parallel to the walls and extending from the storefront to the back of the store. There is multi-tiered shelving along the side walls, and a oblong table with stools located at the back of the store, set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall. The walls, floors, lighting, and other fixtures appear in dotted lines and are not claimed as individual features of the mark; however, the placement of the various items are considered to be part of the overall mark.

Acquired Distinctiveness Claim: In whole

This is presumably an attempt to deter/combat the copycats that have actually tried to trick people into thinking they're Apple stores.

Comment Re:Why study the human brain then? (Score 1) 181

That's the theory, anyway, although whether it's true or not remains to be seen.

This is kinda the whole point of "Goëdel, Escher, Bach", which BTW is a fantastic book and discusses in length (among other things) brain structure & operation: visual processing, memory storage, symbolic representation, etc. It should be required reading for all nerds. His basic point is that a sufficiently complex system capable of self-representation may be enough to explain consciousness and the appearance of self-determination.

My problem is that it's an unsupported conclusion: maybe it's that way, maybe it isn't, and damned if we can figure out which. I think Hofstadter buys into the idea that self-determination is an illusion (the "noisy meat robot" theory). It's been a while since I read it, and I haven't gone on to his other works, so someone correct me if I'm wrong - I wouldn't want to misstate the guy's position.

mcgrew's position is based on empirical observation: we appear to our own senses (the only way we have of perceiving the world) to be more than machines, and despite interesting theories to the contrary, this is still a reasonable position to hold. Personally, I think we are "special" in that we do truly have free will (although that may be the inevitable result of any sufficiently complex self-representing system), but we are also conditioned animals with environmentally-formed behaviors, and the number of times we truly exercise our willpower to overcome instinct may be much smaller than anyone realizes.

But again, that's my own theory.

Comment Re:BS (Score 5, Insightful) 415

The answers to your questions are answered in the summary in part, and in the article in full. Perhaps you could try reading either or both?

Anyway, he's a tech writer, so I assume it would be easier for him to call up Adobe and say, "Hey, I'm working on this hilarious project, do you happen to have..." This probably would not work for you and me. Plus, he's not a FOSS luddite, he has written several articles on using old software. The first paragraph of one about DOS:

Every now and then a new piece of hardware, or software, is released that causes me to pause and think, "Why, on Earth, do we update our tech so often? What, exactly, can I do with the latest stuff that wasn’t possible with the previous version?"

So that should answer that question.

Comment Re:Why JJ Abrams when you could get Peter Jackson? (Score 1) 735

Because then you'd have the whole Firefox version numbering confusion all over again: "No, Star Wars 8 and 9 are really just continuations of 7, they were in development concurrently and released close to each other. The long-term episodes only occur every three numbers, so 7, 10, 13, etc. are the ones you need to remember."

Comment Re:Or anti-trust violation (Score 2) 475

To say it is popular when it is the only choice available is a sign of ant-trust violations, not good business models. There are only a handful of cellular companies and they somehow all have the same business model with out collusion? Seems might odd. When the railroads tried this back in the first part of the last century, the government stepped in to protect the rights of the users. My how times have changed. Today, the government seems more interested in protecting the rights of the companies.

Except that it's not the only option available. Right here in Chicago, T-Mobile is pushing their value plans which don't subsidize the phones. My wife and I bought our first Android-based smartphones a little over a year ago, paying for the phones up front (still at a discount, but they're locked) but a less-expensive shared minutes/data plan. For a while now, many carriers including the big players have offered pay-as-you-go even voice & data plans.

More to the point, in the last 10 years that I've had cell phones, I don't EVER remember a time when the ONLY option was subsidized phone + contract. I think people generally understand that they pay for "free" or cheap high-end phones with what is basically a short-term loan. (I haven't seen surveys on this, so I could be wrong).

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Why you'll pay for Netflix -- even if you don't subscribe to Netflix (foxnews.com) 1

Velcroman1 writes: At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix announced Super HD, an immersive theatrical video format that looks more lifelike than any Web stream, even competing with Blu-Ray discs. But there’s a costly catch. To watch the high-definition, 1080p movies when they debut later this year, you’ll need a specific Internet Service Provider (or ISP). Those on Cablevision or Google Fiber are in; those served by Time Warner or a host of smaller providers will be out of luck. But regardless of whether you subscribe to Netflix, you may end up paying for it, said Fred Campbell, a former FCC legal adviser who now heads The Communications Liberty & Innovation Project think tank. “Instead of raising the price of its own service to cover the additional costs, Netflix wants to offload its additional costs onto all Internet consumers,” Campbell said. “That’s good for Netflix and bad for everyone else in the Internet economy.”

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