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Comment Re:NSA cannot not spy (Score 1) 277

Call me cynical; I'll call you naive if you thing the world would be better off without the spying.

Ok, you're cynical and I'm naive.

I'm not a US citizen. I have no voting rights to choose the US President. I have no desire to be spied on by the intelligence agencies of a foreign country whose leadership does not answer to me. And yes, I think all of the world which doesn't live in the USA would be better off without the USA spying on us.

I think you'll find there are a few more people living outside the USA than inside it, and I think you'll find that most of them share my view.

Comment Re:Google should charge for bad/fake DMCA notices (Score 1) 364

They can't put any conditions upon when they'll accept a notice; refusing a notice merely means they lose their liability protection.

But yeah, they could indirectly do it, with other punative measures against recurring abusers. If, say, notices regarding "Boardwalk Empire" were to exceed 50% bogus threshold (i.e. they are wasting Google's time, costing Google money) then Google could just remove HBO's own pages from searches too. Then they could charge in proportion to HBO's abuse, to restore the HBO links. What's really cute about this idea, is that censorship mechanisms already exist at Google, thanks to the same damn industry.

I love the bonding idea too (if anyone should be posting bonds with DMCA notices, it's HBO!), but that's something Congress would have to do.

Comment Re:Moquito trap (Score 1) 183

I just came back from a trip to the Boundary Waters up in Minneosta and let me tell you, if you are one of the unfortunate 20%, be prepared with 40% DEET spray, a head net, and long-sleeve shirts and pants. Otherwise you're miserable up there.

I grew up in northern Ontario. I'm not sure we have any of the 20% left in the gene pool anymore. About the only good thing I can say about the mosquitos are that they don't carry the diseases they have in the tropics.

Comment Re:Sidetalking? (Score 1) 221

How many people actually make calls nowadays anyway?

For personal use, I'd wager not too many.

I'm texting and/or using data most of the time when I've got my phone out.

I don't have a landline, and my personal cell gets maybe 10-15 minutes per month of calls.

My work phone, on the other hand, probably racks up a few hours a month. I telecommute a couple days a week, and while I use data for most communications I still have conference calls and other discussions. Eventually that stuff might go to VoIP or something, but we're not there yet.

And yes, I use a headset most of the time. My work cell is, ironically, a bit too small to hold comfortably for the length of a call.

Comment traitor to his _something_ (Score 1) 719

Regardless of whether you think what Snowden did (and continues to do) is good or bad, he is a traitor to the country.

If you think what he did was bad, then he's a traitor to his country. If you think what he did was good, then he's a traitor to his government and a hero to his country. I think a lot of peoples' opinions on the good/bad question are going to correspond with their opinion about whether or not the country and the government are on the same side.

Comment Re:entertaining? (Score 1) 199

I've seen a dog watch TV, though she had a pretty short attention span. The best part is what she was watching and what was happening; it was perfect. It was a nature show about wolves, and there was a pack and an "outsider" wolf. I shit you not: my dog started growling at the outsider! Something about its posture, I guess.

Comment Sidetalking? (Score 1) 221

That meme pretty much bit the dust with the advent of decent bluetooth (or even wired) headsets, or integrated vehicle sets.

If a device is too big to hold comfortably to the ear, you're pretty much an idiot (or, to be redundant, a hipster) to stand there holding it that way if there's a better solution.

At this point, the only significant difference between "tablet" and "phone" should come down to pocketability and how well you can hold it.

Comment Re:The demise of an empire (Score 1) 193

In our defense: fuck the Boomers. We were lied to.

Wasn't that exactly what the young Boomers (who were briefly the hippies before becoming the yuppies) said to their parents (the ones who built nuclear MAD and the rest of the post-WW2 military industrial complex)?

And yet a couple generations later, not only have the Boomers been the ones to expand the system, but Obama (a Generation X) is doing the same.

It's nice to see Gen Y taking up the fight, but totalitarianism and the fight against it isn't a generational thing, is what I'm trying to say.

Comment Re:This is what will happen when cloud providers d (Score 1) 186

In theory, the auction site should blank the machines

At least here in the UK, there is no law that would require them to do so as far as I am aware. The only obligation to destroy the data rests with the data controller, who in your scenario is not even the cloud provider. The cloud provider may have undertaken to do so on behalf of the data controller, but I am uncertain if such an obligation would survive the company being declared insolvent: at such a time, recovering the maximum possible revenue for the company's creditors becomes the highest legal priority; honouring existing contracts is relegated to a distinct second place.

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