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Comment Re:Piracy as people think about it is an invention (Score 1) 246

a media industry was necessary to get the mass entertainment media we have today. There would be no 100+ mio. dollar movies without it.

Oh noes!

I'm sure you're right. As a species, we'd have had to wait until recently before we'd even see digital effects, because otherwise they'd be too expensive to put in the kind of movies that actually do get made.

If we were to abolish copyright, do you really think it would benefit the authors? My guess is that they would get paid even less, because big media would rip them off even more,

Without copyright, big media couldn't even exist.

Comment Build a Better Society (Score 2) 174

I know it's difficult when there are so many people who don't give one tenth of one fuck about anyone but themselves, but build a better society, one in which we aren't all looking up each other's arseholes with flashlights unless we're doing a rectal examination. Do anything you can to make the world a better place, and that will have the long-term effects of reducing surveillance.

You also have to convince at least two other people to do the same, if you really want this to take off... And them, as well, and so on. Eventually, that requirement can be eliminated.

Now, if we can just agree on what we should do...

Comment Re:Piracy as people think about it is an invention (Score 2, Insightful) 246

Is it just me, or does the word "offer" in the article title sound biased?

"Piracy forces upon heavy metal a new business model" might be closer to the truth.

Wrong again. It's an old business model. Copyright forced a new business model upon the world. Copying is what we had before copyright. Granted, you couldn't copy a song, because there was no audio recording equipment, but copyright predates audio recording. If someone wrote something down, you were free to copy it if you could see it. Ideas could not be "stolen" until the invention of intellectual property. Before that, we just had ideas.

Comment Re:On The Female Side It Was Just One (Score 1) 253

It also means that at least 1/3rd of the population is some kind of royalty, possibly 2/3rds or all of them!

Given that royalty seems to have traditionally run around fucking everything that wiggled, that seemed like a safe bet, anyway. If you study European history it seems like there should be more royal bastards and progeny of royal bastards than everyone else put together, by now. Also, I can't help but think about how the royalty then went on to enshrine inbreeding. I guess you return to your roots, or in this case, trunk.

Comment Re:On The Female Side It Was Just One (Score 2) 253

According to science, we're all brothers (and sisters, and whatnot) descended from the same greatest grandmother, Mitochondrial Eve. So in that sense, it was your great (etc.) grandmother, and mine too. Burn?

Finding out that most Europeans are descended from just a handful of people is not shocking, for a variety of reasons.

Comment Re:Local vs. roaming preferences (Score 2) 135

and then you can reuse the folder locating code across multiple applications.

And thats what the registry does. You just talk to it, and the system stores the data where it wants, even going so far as to sync it between multiple machines automatically.

And that differs from just using the filesystem interface how?

You seem to want to reinvent the wheel because you're too ignorant to use the existing solution, or just too much of a fanboy to see the forest for the trees.

There's a third option, and also, you lack perspective.

Once upon a time, computer files had formats. Along came UNIX, with the concept that everything's just a file, and parsing the contents is the job of the program. And with libraries, you could feasibly abstract that away, and not have to write it over and over again. This enabled portability in a way that you didn't get with competing mainframe systems, and the modern age of computing was born. There's the perspective. Note that Windows shares this approach to file formats, as does every other modern operating system. While every significant operating system provides a facility for decoding certain types of media data, in every case it's simply a set of userspace libraries.

The third option is that you want to take advantage of the simplicity of the filesystem-based approach. Systems as early as Apollo included the broadly networked filesystem, but there are and have been lots of other systems throughout time. For instance, when the Windows registry was still a new thing, people were using automounted NFS to centralize whole programs including their configuration files.

The truth is that there's benefits to both approaches. GNOME took the Windowslike approach and built a registry of their own, because they agree with you that it's desirable. Everyone else stuck with flat files, and though some of them have been given dimensionality again with XML they remain nominally (even sometimes fully) human-readable.

The real argument against the registry database is that with modern filesystems and networking there's really no good reason to use a special facility. The filesystem is a hierarchical database, and the only reason it was necessary for Windows to invent another one is that at the time, their filesystems were all shit. Today, Microsoft has perfectly adequate and highly-featured filesystems, but the registry persists from the time when they did not, and today it is a pain in the ass that doesn't need to be there. The UNIX way has been proven out, and all the benefits of the Windows registry have been eliminated as UNIX (and Unixlike) systems have gained high-performance filesystems which can handle many small files efficiently and with acceptable or even excellent performance.

TL;DR: The registry came about because Microsoft was bad at both filesystems and networking, and today it is an utterly useless and rubbish concept which actually requires more maintenance at every level, not less.

Comment Re:DoubleClick and Optimizely in use. (Score 1) 644

Google here has the power, should they decide to use it, to extract any data they want from any page or form in Healthcare.gov by downloading a suitable tracker. Whether you think this is evil depends on how much you trust Google.

At this point, I'm just wondering if Google will take over the government (Is that going to be Google Government, or Play Government?) or the government will take over google. Either way, most of us sign up for it willingly and it controls our lives. I personally balked at network statistics collection and google now, because I don't really need google to know what I'm doing now. Remember when we used to joke about google knowing where we were at all times, so that you could search for people? You really can do that with anyone who makes themselves dependent on Google Now, without any exaggeration. You can know where they are and what they are doing with just a few clicks.

I hope Google takes over the government, because Google is a lot more efficient than the US Gov. Obviously there's serious down sides to that improvement of efficiency (is this where I invoke Godwin?) but at least it would be cheaper than what we have now.

Comment Second thoughts (Score 1) 845

Maybe Faraday cages and anti-surveillance features will become the norm at the restaurants where things like Glass are most likely to appear.

Hey, this is a fantastic idea. Take whatever restaurant employee needs more to do, and give them all the phones up front. Then swap them for those pager coasters. When you turn in your coaster, you get your phone back. If your phone rings, the coaster vibrates. I can think of two good ways to support doing this without human intervention, the first being connecting to the standard headphone jack (phones without them fucking suck anyway) and the second being using a piezo to detect the phone itself vibrating.

I think there is definitely a market for establishments which don't even contain cellphones. I, for one, would pay a small premium to eat someplace where nobody was on the phone if it had good ambience, decent food that doesn't make me sick and which is seasoned adequately, and good service. And frankly, not making me sick and providing good service are the most important criteria, in that order. More and more restaurants seem to be having problems with these two points. And yes, I tip. Even at buffets, though less. Unless I am ignored. I know your job is hard. Do it anyway. I'll help you make reasonable money.

Comment Re:Great but... money better spent elsewhere (Score 2) 132

Spending more money on the problem won't solve the problem, as long as those in charge don't want to solve it.

It would be fucking easy to fix basically anywhere. All you have to do is enable this: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/indian-man-single-handedly-plants-a-1360-acre-forest

Instead of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_in_India#Pollution

But look around you at the country of your choice. Here in the USA we have people actively preventing people growing vegetables in their own yards. We have a huge percentage of the nation owned directly by the federal government, and exploited for its mineral rights; meanwhile, during the federal shutdown, they were actually preventing people from entering it. This land is our land?

The problem is greed. And it's particularly pathetic because the rich aren't happy, either. So they're depriving others in order to make some big numbers bigger in a way that won't even fucking make them happy. No matter how you slice it, that's a tragedy.

Comment Re:Indians, in spaaaaace (Score 2) 132

Sounds nice, as long as the "1940s" you describe doesn't extend to the old gender roles -- those are fine for people that naturally fit them, but not very pleasant for those of us that don't. :-)

Well, they not only have fucked up gender roles, but they also have their own answer to racism, the caste system. Which is officially over, but very much still alive and well today. And as hateful as ever. It just goes to show that until The People of (wherever) decide to cooperate on a better future, someone always finds a way to divide and conquer them. India has its attractions but ecologically it's a fucking wasteland. What could it look like with more cooperation? I notice their last vestiges of royalty are still living in pretty opulent surroundings. If only they were motivated to improve the whole country, and not just their own grounds.

You know, just like everywhere else.

Comment Re:00000000 just as secure as 73618357 (Score 2) 306

Maybe it is. Seriously, imagine that you have just broken into a missile launch complex and are trying to guess the combo. Would 00000000 really be one of the first you would try?

Since this isn't news (and we've discussed it here before) yes, yes I would try all zeroes. I'd also try all ones, 1-whatever, whatever-1, 0-whatever, etc. on the assumption that whoever initially implemented the password knew as much about security as you do, and due to the vagaries of government contracts it was never changed.

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