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Comment Re:Just tax it. (Score 0) 212

Actually taxation is a way of using the free market to create societal changes.

You might disagree with the change their trying to create, and you're more than welcome under a taxed environment to continue your chosen behavior, albeit at a higher cost, but having to pay more doesn't actually affect your freedom in any way shape or form.

Next thing you'll be saying that Coca Cola encourages a Nanny State because it has the gall to charge you for its products instead of giving you caffeine for free.

Comment Re:Not that anyone checked but.. (Score 1) 347

You are indeed correct, I assumed the assignee on the patent front page was the current one, I am not a patent lawyer.

In actual fact, taking a closer look, the most interesting thing about the patent is that it expires in November(20 years from date of filing) of this year. If the OP hasn't released his product yet, maybe he can hold off till then, who knows.

Comment Not that anyone checked but.. (Score 1) 347

The patent in question appears to be held by AT&T. IANAL, but presuming this law firm actually represents AT&T(it's possible they are just trying to scam you) and presuming that the idea of you violating said patent isn't laughably ridiculous(ie your product doesn't connect to any kind of network whatsoever, not just doesn't infringe said patent) you're pretty much screwed. The odds of you beating without going bankrupt are pretty near to zero so find yourself a lawyer, find out if the law firm actually represents AT&T, and find out what you need to do to either license the wretched thing or if there's a legal way for you to bin the product.

Comment Re:Demand More (Score 2, Insightful) 665

I'm also slightly confused. Your average US CD goes for what? About $13 or so? over approximately 10-13 tracks on average? So you're looking at about a dollar per sale(which might then be listened to a few hundred times or more). So even if we presume that the artist was getting 100% of the price of the CD, which they sure as heck weren't, if you can get someone to listen to your song 200 times(which isn't exactly unreasonable) and you've got a good solid album with songs people actually want to listen to as opposed to one song people can hear just by turning on the radio and 12 tracks no one cares about, you're pretty much in the same boat you were before.

Given that artists weren't getting anywhere close to 100% of the CD sales and that you could probably get more than 200 listens per customer out of a good song, artists could actually do a lot better than before.

It's not a panacea to allow bands with a few thousand listener to make a living out of it, but short of people massively changing the way they value entertainment, that's just really not going to happen.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 199

The point of a DMCA takedown notice is to provide a certain amount of legal cover to people who might be hosting copyrighted content on behalf of others. While Germany(NZ has realy crappy internet, Mega is not hosted there) does not have a DMCA, they do have copyright and DMCA or no, knowingly hosting copyrighted material is likely in violation of German law. The crappy parts of the DMCA relate to the circumvention of copy protection mechanisms even for legal purposes(this is where the "it's illegal to unlock your phone under contract" actually comes from a I understand it). The safe harbor provisions and takedown notices, while often abused by big content are actually good for content hosts (like in that they provide them a way to avoid liability. Kim DotCom is not the pirate bay, he is not trying to fight for you right to pirate content, he's fighting for his right to be paid by people who pirate content. It's a fine distinction, but an important one.

Comment Re:Koh . . . (Score 1) 111

Can you explain to me exactly how he was a) a wannabe patent troll, how b) that makes a damned bit of difference either way to the case and c) what exactly the judge is supposed to do about it even if he was?

The guy had filed for a patent before, doesn't make him a troll, he might be, but I certainly don't have enough info to say he was and I doubt you do either

Samsung wasn't arguing against patents, or against design patents, they were arguing that they didn't violate Apple's patents and only as a backup that the patents were invalid. Having filed for a patent and being in favor of patents doesn't really give any implied bias.

Judges have incredibly limited capacity to overturn a juries finding of fact in any case whatsoever, we might not like this all that much, but it's none the less true. Juries don't have to tell you how they decided anything and can use pretty much whatever insane logic they like. They shouldn't of course, but there's not much a judge can do about it (ya see this is how Slashdot's favorite pet rule of Jury Nullification works). This is for the blindingly obvious reason that if judges can simply overturn the findings of juries on a whim, we may as well just get rid of juries all together and give everyone bench trials with all that that entails.

I know that groklaw is violently anti-patent and in this case is violently anti-apple and so any legal decision which is made in Apple's favor must ipso facto be a huge screw up, but just because you don't like the result doesn't mean that the result wasn't fair, nor does it mean that the judge can do a damned thing about it whether it's fair or not.

Comment Re:firefox or ubuntu (Score 1) 404

Microsoft did all that too, they released the dev tools well in advance, they're free, and they've run lots of contests and whatnot to try and get people to develop for it, doesn't seem to be working.

The success of Android was pretty much identical to the success of the iPhone in the first place, they found a market segment that wasn't being catered to(specifically people who wanted a smart phone that wasn't crap and couldn't or didn't want to pay for an iPhone). That segment allowed them to succeed well enough that they're probably only a year or so away from being able to compete directly with Apple for the top end market share. Apple did exactly the same thing barring the pay issue, they marketed to people who wanted a smartphone that didn't suck.

That doesn't mean the current duopoly can't be broken, of course it can, app stores aside, people are extraordinarily fickle about these kinds of devices and all it wouldn't take much to massively swing the market, but the issue isn't really about how they treat the developers(though it's a factor).

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 199

Well leaving aside the "relinquish copyright" clause is stupid on the face of it, a disgruntled Microsoft employee probably doesn't actually have the right to relinquish said copyright and is not the copyright holder. There probably is someone(s) at Microsoft who can do that, and it would be interesting to see what the outcome of them doing such an upload might be from a legal perspective, but if they've gone rogue the company has bigger problems.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 2) 199

It's a little bit more nuanced than that.

Kim DotCom created mega as a content sharing site which he intends to profit from. He's fully aware that said site will be used for copyright infringement at least in part and from a personal point of view he could care less. The point of the encryption on mega is not to secure the files, or to protect the users of said service(though it could perform said task at least in theory), the purpose is to cover Kim DotCom's gigantic read end.

Mega, like MegaUpload complies with DMCA take down notices as it is legally obligated to do. The problem with MegaUpload that Mega tries to solve is that the copyright holders felt that Kim DotCom should have done more to actively filter what they believe to be illegitimate content. Now on the grounds that from all appearances Kim DotCom doesn't give a crap about copyright, wants as many users as possible and doesn't want spend the money to do this kind of filtering, this was sort of a problem. To deal with this, they put in default encryption and if you keep your keys secret it's not horrible encryption and should protect you from "the man". If you share links which contain the decryption keys to decrypt said data and the RIAA/MPAA or the feds(depending on what you're trying to hide) will issue a take down notice with which Mega will comply.

The argument is that, unless the user provides those decryption keys, In theory, Mega cannot at any point determine what content is being stored on its servers(nor can anyone hosting a node for his distributed version of this system). Which should, at least by Kim's legal theorizing allow him to essentially sit on his rear end raking in the money and only act against content upon specific request. Personally I'd like to see this defense used successfully before I even contemplated being a node for something like this(or TOR for that matter).

Under these circumstances DMCA take down notices are expected and will be complied with as they were on megaupload.

Comment Re:No TFS? (Score 1) 227

I was referring to first releases of ideas not first releases of products. Windows 8 is obviously not the first release of Windows, but it is Microsoft's first stab at an OS which works in a touch and desktop environment. The core windows stuff is actually pretty great, the desktop/touch part(which is the bit which is new) is an abomination unto nuggen and must be scoured from the earth. Similarly Vista is Microsoft's first attempt to try and modernize their OS and enforce any kind of significant security whatsoever, it sucked(7 was pretty damned good though). IE7/8 are Microsoft trying to build a standards compliant browser and they suck, 9's not so bad though.

Fundamentally Microsoft releases their ideas half baked, and they do it a lot. When they actually finish baking the idea it's often quite good(I personally think that Microsoft can make an OS which functions on a phone a tablet and a desktop, at least they can if they stop thinking that embracing touch means no one wants to use a mouse anymore, whether they will or not, who knows).

Comment Re:1st step. (Score 1) 227

I am not a "TFS Admin" I administer my companies TFS system. That is to say I installed it, I will upgrade it to the new version, every once in a while I change some permissions in it and I make sure that it gets backed up. I perform this task because I am a developer with an operational background so I both understand what TFS is for and am not am trusted by my previous colleagues not to blow up their infrastructure so they let me have admin access on servers. This takes a percentage of my time which is so small as to be immeasurable. My reference to the fact that I do this was to say "I am not pulling this information out of my ass, I have actually done this and been paid for it(in the sense that I am paid for any other 30 minute activity I might perform in my job over the course of a year)"

I suppose you could have someone at a large enough organisation who does TFS as a full time job, but they'd probably be more of a build manager than an actual TFS admin(TFS is not a VCS it contains a VCS).

Comment Re:No TFS? (Score 1) 227

TFS is actually quite good now, the problem is that like nearly all of Microsoft's good ideas, the first release(s) kind of sucked(Vista, Windows Phone, Windows 8, IE7/8). You can see where they're trying to go, but it doesn't quite get there in the end. I think the problem is that while they allocate absolutely ridiculous amounts of money into R&D and usually end up in the right place, they always feel for whatever reason that they need to get a version out quickly. That wouldn't be so bad of course, but their current release cycles sort of mean that those releases stick around longer than they probably should.

Comment Re:MS Really Embracing OSS? (Score 1) 227

Within certain contexts, they really do. Most of the frameworks in the .NET stack are open source now, they run codeplex which is a relatively thriving open source community, the licensing for the Windows store is actually really OSS friendly, mono is at least nominally sanctioned. They're not likely to Linux or LibreOffice any time soon, but in recent years if it's in their best interest or at the very least doesn't harm their bottom line, they're relatively pro open source. The days of "Free Software is Communism and must be destroyed" are long over at Microsoft, at least publicly(I don't work for them, so I have no idea how they behave behind closed doors).

Realistically they're substantially more open source friendly than Apple(apple utilize open source software and release exactly what they have to legally and not a drop more as far as I can tell). The core of their attitude is probably on par with Google(they'll open source pretty much anything they don't make money off of, but nothing that they do). Obviously Google's contributions to OSS are far greater, but the nature of the attitude is about the same.

For all that folks criticize current management and for all that it has a major problem with releasing unfinished ideas, the Microsoft of the 90's is, at least from all outward appearances, long gone.

Note that's not to say they aren't greedy, or that they like competition any more than they ever did, but it's not like it was.

Comment Re:1st step. (Score 1) 227

Explicit checkouts have their reasons(primarily TFS is built for a market where being able to tell exactly who has a file they've modified but not checked in is a valuable tool), they can be a bit annoying of course, but if you're using the IDE they are mostly invisible to the end user(there are some noteable exceptions of course, if you're referencing libraries that aren't either in nuget or hosted on the server you can be in for some fun times if you forget to check them out when you update them)

Comment Re:1st step. (Score 1) 227

The review is would be for the 2008 variation(given 2010 wasn't released till later that year. As my companies TFS admin I can tell you that 2010 is a hell of a let better than 2008 and 2012 is better still. Specifically one of the things they changed in 2010 was to put separate project collections out into their own databases(you couldn't do that with 2008) which needless to say allows you to scale a lot better than was the case when that review was written.

That said, if all you want is version countrol, you probably shouldn't use TFS as you'll find it a bloated pig in comparison to most of the competition. That's mostly because TFS isn't just a VCS it's also a bug tracker, sprint planner and automated test/build server. It actually (IMO) does a damned fine job of it. It's also free with any level of MSDN subscription which is pretty well a given if you're using Visual Studio professionally. If you need the features it provides and are using VS it's actually a pretty good product with no significant downsides(a few odd design choices, but what software doesn't).

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The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.