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Comment Technology is not the problem (Score 2) 90

'It's not just this one technology that's the problem,' Schneier says. 'It's the mic plus the drones, plus the signal processing, plus voice recognition.'"

I usually agree with Bruce. But unless that quote was taken way out of context, he is wrong here. Technology isn't the problem. It never is. It is the people salivating at the thought of using it against us. Even those who think they are doing us a service to keep us safe: when they invade our privacy, they are the problem. The tech? It's actually cool. There are probably - how would someone jaded to the world of sound and copyright put it - many non-infringing uses of the tech. It can probably even be used in a way that isn't spying. For example recording a conference speaker (with permission) in a noisy room or the like.

Comment Re:Cargo size? (Score 2) 68

They would need weaponized autonomous vehicles though. Otherwise the other drug runners would steal from them by capturing their autonomous vehicle. They would need to be hardened from a computer / radio front so that they can't simply be "hacked" to go to a different destination and they would need to be hardened to physical assault so that crazies in rubber boats wouldn't come steal the drugs or simply grab the whole unit.

Comment Absolutely not! (Score 4, Insightful) 659

Bombing even selected targets will just make innocent people pay for the actions of a few. There are a few people who were involved in ordering the chemical attacks. If anything were done, those few would be taken to international court (the Hague is it?) and charged with war crimes. That should be the extent of it. Oh, and someone should investigate the claims that the rebels also used chemicals several months ago. There might be some folks that need to be charged with war crimes there too.

Comment Re:Hmmm.. (Score 1) 73

Who the fuck are these astronauts that will study it?

They will probably be astronauts in the same sense that the guy who controls a drone is a "pilot". In other words, they will be in some NASA control center controlling some drone spacecraft with lasers and drills and mass spectrometers.

Comment Re:The rest of the story (Score 1) 176

Well, when you are in business you try to stay in business. As more and more content becomes "deliver over network" and more and more is DLC with only one user able to access the required DLC (killing rental and resale), the physical disk business (for both GameFly and Netflix) is drying up. GameFly will go out of business, drastically downsize, or convert to another method of making money within a couple of years. They might as well try to grab as much capital as they can from their declining business so that they can fund new business development efforts and keep their people employed. If getting a lower postal rate helps them do that, then that is what they will try to do.

Comment Re:"Cache-land" (Score 1) 101

Rightsholders have to have *full time* people involved in policing sites like youtube.. something just isnt right about that.

Actually, they CHOOSE to have full time people do this. They also choose to have some inadequate software do it too. They don't have to do it. They have some fear (grounded or unfounded, brilliant or misguided) that "people will see our stuff and we won't profit from their eyeballs". This may be true. But it is their choice to produce stuff and their choice to limit distribution in the way that they do. If those choices then result in them choosing to try to put a genie back in a bottle and attempt technical and social engineering means to enforce artificial scarcity on the things they produce - well, that was all their choice. They don't "have to" do it.

I happen to agree with limited copyright protections (maybe 10 years, maybe 20 - there are good arguments on either side), and, as a rule, don't violate copyright and actively educate the minors in my household about respecting copyright laws. But that doesn't make me blind to the crazy choices that these distributors make in limiting distribution of content and then expecting people to not be criminals. Lots of people are criminals. Heck just look at all the red-light runners and speeders on the road. Look at all of the shoplifting that goes on. Then take copyright violation (which many people don't even consider to be immoral) and what would you expect to happen when you attempt to artificially limit the avenues by which content can be legally acquired? Yep. Violations. Lots of them. If hiring people to police web sites is the price of the business decisions they've made - well, sorry, but they made their bed. Now they get to sleep in it. And by artificially limiting distribution - here is what I mean summed up pretty well -

Comment Re:Let's look at this more closely (Score 4, Interesting) 294

You've nailed the key point. The fact of the matter is that the file (or copies of the file) should have no bearing on this case. The issue is the license (since you are licensing, not buying) and whether or not it should be transferable when it was likely specified in the fine print somewhere that it wasn't transferable. The whole "it isn't the same file when you transmit it to their server" is a red herring. I'd imagine the court case must have been brought against something pretty narrow in order for it to come down to a decision about the file (since the file should really be irrelevant to the use rights granted by the license). Maybe a higher court will need to figure this out and bring this out of the realm of technical issues and copies of files and get it back to the licensing of imaginary property.

Comment Re:Grow Up (Score 4, Informative) 965

It really depends on your usage pattern. Some people find it really annoying, others like it, whilst some are in between. I do find it really annoying on occasion. For example one of the things I like to do is watch a web cast while playing Free Cell. In Windows 7 this was simple enough. In Windows 8, the Free Cell game is a 200 MB download (instead of being built in like in Win 7), and it only plays in Metro - so it takes either the full screen or 80% of the screen if you snap it. Then you can't watch the web cast unless you have two monitors. Honestly whoever thought that it was a good idea to force apps to full screen on large monitors was a moron. Fortunately I do have two monitors so I can make this work. But it is annoying. Most other things are fine - as long as you avoid Metro style apps and make sure to set the system to not use the Metro apps for opening files.

Comment Re:Teamwork (Score 1) 455

Not being an "expert" in the field (if one actually exists), all I can offer is an anecdote. I think people need both types of work at different times. As a technical lead for my team - I need to be available to point people in the right direction, help them with issues, and decide on some of the correct technical choices. However, when I am in the office I ALWAYS have someone from either my team or one of our other infrastructure teams in my office. My solution is to work from home one day a week. Even though I am available via phone, instant message, email, and even video call I don't get bothered much at all when home and can crank out code or documentation or even build system images without interruption. On the other days, I don't plan on getting too much of my own work done - but then my position includes facilitating the other folks on the team to get their assignments done. This has worked really well for me for over 5 years.

Comment Re:Who cares ? (Score 4, Insightful) 148

Doomed to failure? No, not completely. But when you are this late to market and your competitors have entrenched and solid ecosystems, your stuff better kick some serious ass and be available on some seriously nice hardware and have a thriving app ecosystem ready to go. Otherwise? Yes, pretty much doomed. You end up struggling mightily like Microsoft is with Windows 8 Phone. It is actually a decent OS and the hardware is pretty much on par with other phones. But it doesn't come out and just blow the others in the market away and the app ecosystem is not really "there" yet (which is why I have an Android phone). So they languish unsold. A tablet competitor like Ubuntu would be the same way. Make it really rock out of the box and get some devs on it right now or it won't go very far very fast.

Comment Re:And those expensive E-books... (Score 4, Insightful) 129

Not only are they expensive, they are also not sold. They are licensed. This removes the ability to use the provisions of the first sale doctrine. So you can buy a license to a book - but you can't transfer it. With a physical book I can sell it to a used book store, hand it to my wife or kids and let them read it, send it off to a friend in another state, donate it, etc. With an e-book I can't (legally) do any of that. I can't even let my wife read it on her e-reader (separate account). Since we are very limited in what we can do (again legally) with them, they don't have the same value to me as a consumer. Yet they charge the same (or higher) price. I had put my thoughts on this into a blog entry some months back. They still pertain now.

One of the things I'd like to see if the ability to transfer from one cloud service to another. Amazon has theirs, Google has theirs, other folks likewise have theirs. But I have no (legal) way to transfer an e-book out of say Amazon's service and into say Google's service if, for instance, I decide I want to use a different e-reader and move "my" licensed content. Can't do it. The only value I get out of e-books that is missing from physical books is the amount of books that can be stored on a small device and the ability to add more to that device from say a hotel room on a trip. However e-books have all the previously mentioned downsides - many of which people are very slowly becoming aware of.

Comment Re:Sounds like a great success. (Score 3, Interesting) 199

Well since the files are encrypted, these 150 files are simply ones where the user shared the link and the key in the URL. This can also be done via In fact, according to Ars Technica, several people have shared copyrighted material using Mega as storage and as the locator. These files can easily be checked by the copyright holder.

Comment Re:walled gardens don't work (Score 1) 217

I agree with you on that. I have one of these "Smart TVs" (in my case an LG). I've had it for 5 months now. It has gotten 4 "software updates" that nobody from LG will document or give a change log for so we have no idea what is being added, removed, or fixed. After 4 months, it began randomly rebooting. Sometimes it would work through most of a soccer or football game - other times it would reboot almost every 15 minutes. Had to have the main board replaced (under warranty thankfully). It does have some apps. It has Netflix. Now, I have the TV and the TiVo on wired networking. When I watch Netflix using the TV app, it is so laggy that it is unwatchable. It goes to pixelated crap all the time. Using the TiVo to watch Netflix works fine. So we don't use any of the "Smart" apps on the TV. We just run the silly updates when prompted. Other than that, we just use the HDMI inputs and once in awhile a VGA in. Quite frankly I'd rather it be a dumb display and just leave the "Smarts" to the devices connected to it.

Comment Re:You know nothing, Jon Snow (Score 2) 277

You make it sound simple. It does, indeed, look simple. But when an app wants to "Read Phone State" - is that so that it can quickly get out of the way when the phone rings or is it so that it can send your phone number (and the numbers of the people who call you) to a remote server? Some actions that it could take by acting on "Phone State" data would be things users would want, other thing it could do would be things users definitely don't want. For example, a game I saw on's show "All About Android" called "Flow Free" requires this:

Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. An app with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.

So is it going to store my phone number in a database somewhere? Is it simply going to avoid trying to send data if a phone call is active? We, as users, have no way of knowing. And, if they made the permissions even more granular, we would never be able to successfully wade through all of them. I need someone smarter than me to fix the design. But the design as it exists today is largely useless.

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