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Comment No, we all win. (Score 2, Insightful) 475

I don't get this attitude that the lawyers are the only winners. Sure, they're the big financial winners here. This was never a case about lost funds, though. It was a case in which the students sought both relief from invasive practices and a punitive sum to discourage further similar actions. They won on both counts, and since no school district wants to shell out over half a mil because they spied on their students it should be a win for the privacy of teens everywhere.

Comment Re:Hold the Phone! (Score 1) 490

You're assuming that AT&T commissioned the survey and the report and not Apple. If Apple commissioned the report and the Yankee Group are shills as alleged then that quote is perfectly acceptable.

I would say that if anyone commissioned a report like this it would be Apple, not AT&T. Why? The first hint is that the report this is based on is called "Why iPhones Matter." Next is that AT&T now has Android phones, so why would they try to defame phones in their lineup? More hints show up in the article. Even more in the public summary of the report, which focuses largely on how much more consumer driven the iPhone platform is. Here's that summary:


However, even if neither Apple nor AT&T commissioned the report or the survey, the information about how the Yankee Group conducts their surveys is telling about the quality of the data. Surveys are fickle things and how you collect the data is very important. Since we don't have access to the data (unless someone wants to fork over the money to buy it) we can't know for sure. The sampling could have failed to be sufficiently random. The questions could have been skewed such that respondents would give more favorable responses to the iPhone, or less favorable responses to Android devices. Seeing the dramatic gap in customer satisfaction, even as Android phones gain popularity (I base this claim on the increasing sales volume), made me question this survey. Realizing that this is the group that had Laura DiDio spreading FUD about Linux doubles my doubts about the legitimacy of those numbers.

Comment Re:The Real Reason... (Score 1) 85

Very good point. The industry definitely wants sites to do their policing for them. Though, I think that is just the first part of the attack. Think of what we saw with p2p suits. First they demand filtering, then they claim the filtering isn't doing enough, then they shutter the service. I don't see them trying this sort of strategy against Google, since they would have the resources to fight against it. I do see that becoming an issue against other services, leaving them at the mercy of the Copyright industry.

Comment Re:The Real Reason... (Score 1) 85

They will need to prove the damages to the court in order for this suit to have any bite to it. I trust that slashdotters are savvy enough to realize that the Copyright industry has yet to give up on the idea of using lawsuits to "send a message." This isn't about a single judgment, it's about a broader attempt to leverage the legal system to maintain the status quo. The evidence of that is in the fact that the suit does not limit itself to that video alone. They are trying to obtain a judgment that would significantly increase the liability of any such site.

Comment Re:The Real Reason... (Score 1) 85

I think that Vimeo is a target because their content is of higher quality than many of its peers. It's also far more likely to be unique and not to infringe. Yet, the suit seems to imply that the intent of the video was to encourage the kind of infringement that doesn't seem to happen at that site. The quality of the content is in large part because it is unique and largely non-infringing. At least, that has been my experience with that site's content.

Vimeo reaps what they sew and they should have had someone on their staff that was smart enough to know that it would be trouble to make such a video without obtaining permission first. It's clear that the one video is infringing, but the amount of damages they are liable for is largely dependent on whether Capitol can successfully prove that this video encouraged further infringement. I disagree with your take on the DMCA, it provides the only protection for Vimeo here and Capitol is trying to use other areas of Copyright law to circumvent that protection. Capitol has its work cut out for it there.

Comment Re:The Real Reason... (Score 1) 85

No, I think you read too much into my opinion. I believe that it's a closed case from a legal standpoint. The court shouldn't take much interest in an opinion like mine.

Much of what I wrote is not about the case or what I think the outcome should be, but rather my belief of why Capitol is bothering with such a case. I don't know that the law should be changed to protect Vimeo. I do think there's value in trying to understand the motives of Capitol.

It's important because it will continue. If you or I generate unique amateur content and we lean even the slightest bit too heavily on a copyrighted work then the industry has stated they will go after us. That's the message they're sending in this suit.

Comment The Real Reason... (Score 4, Insightful) 85

I don't find the lawsuit itself particularly interesting. From the sound of it, I believe Capitol will win on at least one count of copyright infringement. The video itself obviously infringes, though I don't see how it does any damage to Capitol's property. Still, their hook is compelling from a legal point of view. Check out this excerpt from NewTeeVee:

The difference, according to Capitol, is that not only has Vimeo not tried very hard to protect copyright owners, but it actively encourages infringement. Capitol alleges that Vimeo’s use of copyrighted material is “not an accident,” claiming that the web site contains “a massive amount of content that features, and draws most (if not all) of its appeal from, the use of copyrighted works.” As a result, according to the complaint, Vimeo is not only aware of copyright infringement happening on its system, but “actively promotes and induces that infringement.”

What's interesting about this is that Vimeo's appeal is the high quality of its unique, user generated content. Just like in the video, the compelling element is not the song but they way in which their employees are lip syncing. I would go so far as to say that it's more interesting than the original video, though I haven't seen that in a decade. Vimeo is one of the user generated content sites that is relatively free from blatant copying. Perhaps copyrighted works are used as background music for these videos, but they are rarely, if ever, the central focus.

That's why Vimeo is being sued. Not because their site is rife with copyright infringement. Not because their site encourages infringement over unique content. Specifically because the community at their site has flourished into one that consistently puts out unique user generated content of high quality. Vimeo is like YouTube with the noise turned down. This scares the pants off the content industry.

As the trend towards Internet Television strengthens the monopolies of the content industry weaken. Quality user generated content is a direct competitor to professionally generated content. The content industry has a long history of using the legal system to ensure that they squash the competition. That's what they're doing here.

I feel bad for Vimeo. They made an innocent video to show what a fun-loving bunch of wacky kids they are at their little Web 2.0 start up. They probably thought that like other various mashups and non-malicious infringements that their video would either fly under the radar or become a success such that the content owner would appreciate the attention drawn to their work and see the positive aspects of it. What they didn't realize is that they've become the nemesis of big business. Big business does not treat its adversaries well.

Comment I'd go the opposite way... (Score 1) 549

Get a display with the highest pixel density you can find then run it at a resolution that is lower than native, but still at the proper aspect ratio.

What I've seen from this with my coworkers is that they often are horrible at selecting an alternative resolution. If your monitor's aspect ratio is 16:10 then it will likely look like crap if you choose a 16:9 resolution and worse if you select 4:3, yet I see people do that. 1366x768 is junk and you'll be hard pressed to find a good monitor that will show that aspect ratio well.

I've found that a monitor with a native resolution of 1680x1050 is passable when running at 1440x900. Someone who doesn't have great eyesight to begin with probably won't notice any problems with the image on that setup. Likewise, I'd imagine that a monitor made to run 1920x1080 could probably run this or 1680x1050. I wouldn't use those resolutions, but I also don't want to rip my eyes out if I sit down at a computer setup like that for a few minutes.

Comment Re:In Soviet Russia (Score 2, Interesting) 265

Wow thanks...I so rarely get to use this in a sentence....WOOOOSH! Way to not read the post there pal! Kinda miss the part where I said i didn't want to be their free admin for life? What should I do, constantly trawl forums for lists of supported hardware and hope like hell somebody doesn't drop any Lexmark printers or Broadcom wireless chips off?

The POINT was it don't take squat for time to show someone how to admin a Windows box. Lock it down, only allow limited users, hell your already halfway home! And then there is the MAJOR hardware issue with Linux. Does this wireless work? What about this printer? Can you tell me RIGHT NOW without looking it up which items on sale at Best Buy, walmart, and Staples work perfectly with Linux? Are YOU gonna rush out there every time a distro update borks video and/or sound?

I've said it before and I'll say it again-Linux is NOT like Windows, but is much closer to a Mac. It works fine IF and ONLY IF, you get the right hardware/software and don't mess with it. But we are talking donated machines? You know...bunches of Dell, HP, Compaq, eMachines, all with different funky ass hardware. Ever try to get Linux working with an Ali sound chip? How about a SiS network/sound/video combo? Just because it works good on the SINGLE box you picked out JUST FOR Linux, or tweaked for a day to get it just right, doesn't mean Linux will work in the situation we are talking about. You are talking apples, we are talking oranges.

And finally yes, I know about ipconfig. The point is this-do you know how many times I have HAD TO drop to CLI in Windows? In the nearly 15 years I've been working I can count the number on one hand. Last was during the Win9x era. Sure it can be faster to just go CLI, but you should NEVER EVER have to. And with Linux it is the opposite...often that will be the first, last, and ONLY answer you get to a problem. Yeah, no thanks. I have no desire to be a free admin for life just to push a "free OS" when I can reinstall the Windows license on the box (so it is free to them) and be done with it. My after sale/give away support costs? Zero dollars. That is the "free" that I care about. But hey, call your local school, I'm sure they'll be happy to have you admin the entire school for free, just so you can "sell" them Linux. Good luck with that.

Comment Re:It's just the kids... (Score 1) 235

You could be right, those reviews could come from hundreds of excited children. More likely, I would guess that fans of all ages have submitted reviews for the movie after only reading the books. It's common that excited fans will rate movies highly before they see them, and this is hardly the first instance. I don't think there is any long term damage done, either.

The reviewer cited -- the one that only read the books -- is easy to deal with anyway. Flag the review as "This is not a review." It isn't actually a review of the movie, so it should be removed. After a few people have flagged the review it will go away.

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923