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Comment Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (Score 1) 215

Please explain how this DIFFERS from any other valid "cease & desist" copyright letter. Answer: they don't. That was my point.

Well, no. (And by "no", I don't mean they don't differ; I mean that you're still wrong.) Have you ever heard the standard advice about what to do when you find yourself in a hole?

A DMCA takedown notice - which this wasn't, and which you apparently blathered about the abuse of in several of your posts - is a special and particular type of cease and desist. A notice containing the required elements carries with it certain specific legal rights and imposes specific obligations and timelines on the parties.

Among (several) other things, it triggers a specific, detailed process by which a party accused of infringement can send a counternotice to its ISP, asserting that the material is non-infringing. Such a counternotice (following the DMCA-prescribed format, with what you might refer to as the appropriate "magic wording") has the very useful property of protecting the ISP from liability for contributory infringement if they restore online access to the material in question (after a specified waiting period elapses). It also imposes a specific, short timeline on the original complainant to file suit if they dispute the counternotice: a "put up or shut up" requirement. You can find this stuff in section 512(g) of the law I linked earlier.

To summarize--not all actions relating to copyrighted material online will necessarily involve law made or amended by the DMCA, and not all takedown requests are DMCA notices. Finally, I'm done trying to educate you.

Comment Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (Score 2) 215

If you know of some magic wording that the laws says has to be spouted for it to be an "official" takedown, please enlighten us.

The six specific elements required of a takedown notice are enumerated in section 512(c)(3)(A) of Title 17. There's a bit of explanatory commentary from Plagiarism Today that might help you to understand the relevant passages.

The cease & desist email quoted by TorrentFreak omits at least three of the required six elements - (ii), (iii), and (vi) - and element (v) is at best implied rather than explicitly stated.

I'm glad I was able to enlighten you.

Comment The reality of your plagarized website (Score 4, Interesting) 215

I am going to be the cold, hard dose of reality in your situation.

Takedown laws do not exist so one of the unwashed masses (this means you ) can protect their content. They exist so big business can protect whatever the the intellectual property du jour is that they want to be protected.

I can assure you that nobody in the government or judicial system has any interest at all in protecting situations like your web content. Don't know how you missed the memo, but the laws are for the benefit of the rich and corporations. If you were one of those, you'd be protected.

Comment Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (Score 3, Insightful) 215

If we're going to have...DMCA take-down orders...

Except that, if one reviews the linked article and comments, there does not seem to be a proper DMCA notice involved in this case.

Comcast only sent a cease & desist letter. If one were feeling particularly cynical, one might suggest that Comcast did so to avoid the usual and proper response to a bogus DMCA notice: a counternotice from TorrentFreak to their web host, which would protect the host from liability and allow them to leave the content up. Instead, the web host is left holding a bag of "what do I do with this thing?" and TorrentFreak is left hanging.

Comment Re:Still A Toy (Score 5, Informative) 627

However, at a price point of $80 - 100K, it's going to remain a playtoy for people with money, not become the OMG super-car replacement for mom's $30K Volvo.

True, but it is the norm for the expensive, novel safety features of today's luxury cars to become standard on econoboxes a few years down the road. Airbags (front, then side), antilock brakes, traction control, etc. have all migrated down the market. You can bet that - particularly among carmakers whose reputations rely on safety as a marketing tool, like Volvo - there will be engineers very closely scrutinizing this car for design features that can be adapted or stolen.

More important, some of the safety benefits are pretty much inherent to the electric design. Not needing to allow for a big, solid metal engine block means that the front crumple zone can be engineered more effectively. Having heavy battery packs under the floor of the vehicle makes rollovers much more difficult. These types of benefits will be accessible to any electric design, not just the $80,000 ones.

Comment Re:Cross Country Skiing (Score 1) 187

When some Canadian "Arctic policy expert" opines that no one needs a small, quiet, efficient prime mover because of a lack of "terrorists", I am reminded why no one asks "Arctic policy experts" about military matters.

I don't think the "policy expert" is arguing against snowmobiles. I think the "policy expert" is questioning the value-for-money of 'stealth' snowmobiles costing a hundred times as much as the regular kind. The number of likely (or even unlikely) missions that can be fulfilled with a $600,000 snowmobile that couldn't be completed with a $6,000 snowmobile seems to be rather small.

At best, this is an attempted distraction from the current government's utter failure to adequately fund and equip the country's search and rescue forces, particularly for work in the Canadian north. $600,000 snowmobiles are an inexpensive figleaf compared to icebreakers and SAR helicopters.

Comment Re:Betteridge is actually wrong this time (Score 3, Interesting) 159

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Thus, the recession is technically over.

This definition is fundamentally flawed. Under this, it is technically possible for an economy to decline indefinitely which never actually entering a recession. GDP change from quarter to quarter could progress like so

-2.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +0.1%, .....

Which works out at a -3.7% decline every year, but still technically no recession. This is what we refer to in the mathematical business as "absurd".

Unfortunately, this appears to be exactly how the political class across the Eurozone appears to doing. The continent is slowly imploding, but event one 0.1% quarter of growth is taken as proof that "The recession is over". The way the modern world is going, I'm really beginning to understand exactly how the Soviet Union operated on a political level.

Comment Re:Happy President (Score 4, Insightful) 569

In today's terms, they had 'skin in the game'.

The poor - who are, for the most part, the working poor, not the slovenly slothful parasites of Ayn Rand's potboiler daydreams - have the most 'skin the game' of anyone. Bad policy is more likely to result the literal loss of their skins--everything from limited access to costly healthcare to dangerous working conditions to weakening of environmental regulations disproportionately affects, and shortens the lives of, the poor.

Which means those who do have something spend all their time and money defending themselves against the mob (via buying the representatives outright) instead of making the whole society better.

I give up. Your argument appears to be that the system is broken because the wealthy landowners have to spend too much time and money to control the system, when they ought to have it for free; if we just put them in charge, then they would magically put that money and effort into vague and nonspecific improvement of society (to everyone's benefit!) --and not bickering amongst themselves. Sorry, not buying it.

Comment Re:It's much worse than that. (Score 2) 413

There is nothing you can do to defend yourself against an agency that knows everything you do. What are you supposed to do? Tell them no and hope they play nice?

I've said it once and I'll say it again. "Enemy of the State" is a movie that gets more scarier and more precient with each passing year. It's only a matter of time until a senator really is outright murdered.

Comment Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (Score 2) 413

The only way to win this is to get FISA eliminated. Without first eliminating the gag orders and the Star Chamber...I mean FISA courts, we cannot succeed on the whole.

You don't have to eliminate the gag orders. They're blatantly unconstiutional.

I see a lot of people taking the attitude of basically "wait and see" when it comes to these gag order. This is absurd in the extreme. All such actions do is reinforce the fear and thrid hand authority of these "orders".

The best thing everyone in reciept of such a gag order can do is publish or publisice it in the same way as any ordinary warrant served. They will try to prosecute, but in so doing they will have to put their law to the test. They don't want to do that -- yet. So, I'd hurry up and publish.

Comment Re:Great country you have over there (Score 1) 771

That's what most Americans who've never left the US would say. In practice, there are few places worse. You'd have to work hard to land somewhere worse. China is better than the US, so long as you don't spend time and money opposing the government.

My Chinese friends who live in China certainly don't think it's better. Some of them desire more political freedom, specifically a true multi-party system that would offer some choices. I hear a ton of complaints about corruption in government officials. In the US this gets punished enough that there seems to be a big incentive against it as the fear of getting caught is high. In China, few government officials fear getting caught and they have the idea that the odds are that they either won't get caught or if they don't go too far with the corruption, they can just bribe their way out of it. My friends also have expressed some fear about food contamination with the idea that those responsible will likely never be punished, even if people die from it.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 520

It will be interesting to see how they will handle this. When I visited China, computer security didn't seem to be one of the top priorities among the computer users, so the majority of the population might just not care much about updates.

I can confirm this. My previous job was doing customer support on an email product my company sold (had anti-spam and various other features). We used to host customer mail domains on our servers, so all mail involving our email customers went through us, both from them and to them. We were always getting servers on blacklists because some stupid customer in China had a compromised PC that was sending spam through us. We'd have to contact the customer with some kind of nasty warning email that they if they didn't clean up their servers that we'd have to shut down their access. The impression I got was that nobody in China cared anything about patching their PCs or security in any manner.

One of the reasons that XP might still be widely in use was that it was the last version of Windows that could easily be cracked and distributed and made to look legit to Microsoft's validation servers. Microsoft has backed down from every previous deadline on stopping support of XP so while I do understand why it would be in their best interests to stick to the deadline this time, their reluctance to do so previously makes me think that they'll likely push this one off by yet another year or two as it gets closer to the deadline.

Comment Re:Stuck?? (Score 1) 366

The problem is the economic instability it would create, as so much of the world's production capacity is devoted to a vanity project useless to 99.99999% of the population.

The gross world product in 2012 was something like 85 trillion US dollars. If you built the whole thing in one year, it would represent about 1% of the global economic output. Even if we assume (incorrectly) that we just took the $800 billion in cash and then set it on fire, a 1% bite out of GWP falls into the category of "slowed economic growth", rather than "unmitigated global catastrophe".

In practice, the project wouldn't happen in one year. For a space-based engineering project of unprecedented scale and cost, a ten-year process is probably more realistic (though still optimistic). Eighty or a hundred billion dollars per year - 0.1% of GWP - is a barely-perceptible economic drag. In terms of per-year expenditure, it's a bit less than what the U.S. goverment has poured into their global war on terror over the last decade or so.

And yes, it would be an enormous vanity project, but most of the economic return from it would take place on Earth--not be burned, or trapped forever in orbit. The contractors who would build the space station components and rockets all live right here on Earth. Every stage of the project from mining the raw materials to building the modules and fabricating the computers takes place on terra firma. The billionaires get a habitat in space, but they leave their dollars on Earth.

Comment Amber alert in my state (Score 2) 380

I live in the eastern US and also am an AT&T customer. A few months ago I got blasted awake by an Amber alert in the middle of the night. It was the loudest sound I ever have heard coming from my iPhone. I honestly did not know it was possible for the phone to produce a sound that loud. I was less than thrilled at having received no warning about this being implemented. The next morning I read up on how to disable the alerts. If you haven't received an Amber alert on your phone, disable them now because you definitely do not want your first experience to be your phone screaming like a banshee in the middle of the night.

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