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Comment Re:That's ENTRAPMENT! (Score 1) 290

A) Entrapment only applies to the police, not to private citizens.

B) Leaving items in plain view where they can be stolen is not entrapment. E.g. Bait cars. You have to actively encourage or incite someone to engage in illegal behavior that they wouldn't have otherwise for it to be entrapment.

C) Clearly you don't know the law as well as you thought.

Comment Re:what the fuck's a lorry? (Score 1) 185

The BBC is a UK organisation, it will communicate using UK English.

Which is why I said...

I have no problem with the BBC using "lorry" in place "tractor trailer", given that the BBC serves a primarily British audience.

It makes sense for the BBC to use "lorry", given their audience. It makes sense for Slashdot to use whatever the original terminology was, given it's international audience. After all, the choice of those terms will impact how the story is understood. In my case, the fact that "lorry" was used here actually caused me to question whether this was a British report regarding the accident, or if it was perhaps a different accident I was unaware of that had taken place in the UK.

Comment Re: what the fuck's a lorry? (Score 1) 185

1) We're talking about a dialect that spans the British isles as a whole, rather than being unique to England. The only thing offensive here (other than your butchery of the language; see: "We speak English you all speak something else...") is your willful exclusion of the other countries in Great Britain.

2) While I might allow that it could be offensive in some contexts (e.g. if I was in England and was making a point of overemphasizing the word "British" for no reason other than to be rude), the notion that it could be considered offensive in the context of an international audience discussing the differences between dialects is utterly absurd, given that those are the widely-accepted terms. If you find it offensive, I'll kindly suggest that you get over yourself.

I'll grant that it may be grating, in much the same way that any quirk of a different dialect will strike you as odd. I find it grating that my wife uses the word "coke" to refer to everything from Sprite to root beer. I find it grating when I have to rack my brain to remember the meanings of distinctly British idioms, such as "waiting for the penny to drop" or "throwing his toys out of the pram". I find everything about Cockney and Cajun dialects grating. But to suggest that any of those are offensive? Come on.

Well, except for the "coke" thing. I think we can all agree that's inexcusable.

Comment Re:Old movies (Score 3, Interesting) 252

In the pre-YouTube days, Red vs. Blue was available for free, but the only official point of distribution was the website for the guys that made it, and they limited which episodes were available at any given time so as to prevent people from killing their bandwidth by binge watching. Quite a few people thought they'd do the guys a favor and re-host the videos on their own sites or via P2P networks. After all, the guys were clearly having trouble bearing the cost of hosting videos that they were letting people watch for free, so taking some of the load off of them would be doing them a favor, right?

The guys made it clear that they didn't want that done.

Fast forward a few years, and those guys have built a media empire around the success of that and their subsequent video series. Their piddly operation has exploded to include dozens (hundreds?) of employees across the nation. They sell those episodes on DVD and Blu-ray, stream the episodes on YouTube and Netflix, sell shirts and other merchandise for them, and on and on. While it wouldn't have looked much like piracy to distribute those videos in the early days, given that they were already available for free and there were no obvious plans to monetize the videos, they understood that controlling distribution then would give them opportunities for monetizing the videos later, so even though they didn't have anything at the time, they still insisted on controlling distribution.

Likewise, old videos that may seem abandoned may actually be about to get a remastered re-release or whatnot that the pirated copy would undercut. And old video games? I can't count the number of times that older games have gotten the "remastered in HD" treatment or have been repackaged for modern platforms when a new entry in the series comes out. As such, how are we to say when "there's no possible loss to anyone"?

Comment Re:what the fuck's a lorry? (Score 2) 185

I find it hilarious that the people who brought us the word "y'all" will tell the people of England that they are speaking English wrong.

"Y'all" has an immediately evident meaning and does a great job at making the second-person plural explicit, so while I may not use it and certainly wouldn't espouse its use in formal writing, it's hardly an egregious sin against the English language.

Moreover, those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. British English has plenty of its own quirks to cite, whether we're talking about genericized brands (e.g. Brevilles and Hoovers), weird dialects (e.g. Cockney), or odd pronunciations (e.g. pronouncing the "h" in "herb" and dropping the "h" from "hotel", even though the French words they each came from did the exact opposite). Of course, we could cite similar quirks in American English (e.g. Kleenexes and Band-Aids, Cajun dialect, and all of the Americanized spellings we can attribute to Noah Webster of Merriam-Webster fame), but that's exactly the point: they're both screwed up, so let's give the one-upping each other a rest.

As for "lorry", I have no problem with the BBC using "lorry" in place "tractor trailer", given that the BBC serves a primarily British audience. But Slashdot serves an international audience of decently educated people who are familiar with both British and American English, so it makes sense to use the original terminology wherever possible. In this particular case, the coverage is for a report authored by the US government, so using the term "tractor trailer" would make far more sense.

Comment Re:"developed an artificial intelligence(AI) progr (Score 1) 153

This whole approach to me reeks to substance dualism; the human brain is a computer, a very advanced one at that, but it's just a computer. there is no 'soul' that somehow makes the human brain the only thing that's capable of intelligent operations.

I'd suggest that it has less to do with dualism and more to do with general intelligence vs. domain intelligence. Most of these AIs have decent domain intelligence, but very poor or nonexistent general intelligence. It's hard for most people to think of an autonomous car as being "intelligent" when it has no means at its disposal for answering trivial questions such as, "Can an alligator run the hundred-meter hurdle?".

When people today dismiss AIs as being "mere programs", what they're really doing is dismissing AIs on account of their lack of general intelligence. They're calling attention to the fact that AIs are only as intelligent as they've been programmed to be, rather than making an argument about dualism. In fact, most people I've talked to have no problem calling AIs "intelligent", so long as you add the caveat that the AI's intelligence is limited to a very narrow domain.

That said, the day that we have a decent, general domain artificial intelligence is the day that I think a lot of these "it's a program, so it can't be intelligent" arguments will start to become about dualism (or possibly will be about the distinction between weak and strong intelligence). Right now, those arguments are merely standing in as proxies for "it's only as intelligent as it's been programmed to be", i.e. it only understands some things, but one day that may not be the case. I believe you're just thinking ahead a bit, since we're not there yet.

Comment Re:They were fine with corruption till BatteryGate (Score 1) 38

Fine with corruption? Hardly. Samsung has a long history of engaging in bribing government officials and getting caught. I talked about some of this a few months back when news came out that federal agents had raided Samsung Group to collect evidence of these crimes that they're now charging them with. To say the least, their corruption spans multiple generations and is wide-ranging enough to include everything from "mild" issues of business ethics like nepotism to more serious issues of government corruption that have the potential to topple the head of the country.

I recall an article a few years ago that did some investigative work into the people they were bribing at the time. It was able to tie their bribes to people engaging in everything from illegal drug trafficking to sex slaves. And I believe it was the same article that talked about how Samsung would also spy on reporters who were invited to media events, bugging their hotels and doing other things of that sort in order to ensure favorable reviews of their products. Some files apparently leaked that showed they were listening in and trying to collect dirt on the reporters, just in case the reviews didn't meet their satisfaction.

Comment MANY developers! So many developers! (Score 2) 502

many developers and companies refrain from releasing programs on the outdated operating system

That's some very nice weasel wording they have there. I'm sure it's so many that they can't even count. Talk about FUD.

Meanwhile, back here in reality, the project I'm on has been around since Windows 3.1. We only just incremented the minimum supported OS from XP to 7 about 1.5 years ago, and that was only after a significant amount of coaxing on our part to get the client to allow it. But to go beyond 7? As if. We're certainly not coaxing them to bump it up to 8, 8.1, or 10, especially so since none of us use anything above 7 for our own development work (we can, since we have licenses for it, but none of us actually do). The developers are using 7, the clients are using 7, and the clients' clients are using 7. Not a chance we're dropping support anytime soon.

In fact, only one piece of software I use or have looked into (1Password) has dropped support for Windows 7...except that it hasn't. They're concurrently supporting two versions of their app on Windows: their old one that still works just fine and is still getting updates, and their complete rewrite for Windows 10 that's been in beta for quite awhile. It has some shiny new features, but not enough to get me to jump to 10. If that's the only example I can think of, Microsoft will be hard-pressed to convince me to update by using this tactic.

(EDIT: Right as I was about to click submit, I fact-checked myself and discovered that the 1Password devs have back-ported their beta to Windows 7 in the last few months. Now I don't have any examples of apps that have dropped support! Time for Microsoft to take a new tack.)

Comment Re:It might be something but it isn't anti-trust? (Score 1) 121

You make a lot of really good points (and I'm not just saying that to be nice), but they're missing the bigger picture: the monopoly topic only matters if Apple did the rest of what the plaintiffs claim, which they clearly didn't.

To break it down further, here's the chain of arguments the plaintiff is stringing together:
1) Apple never added support for other app stores
2) As a result, the App Store had a monopoly on app stores
3) As a result, there was less competition between apps
4) As a result, app prices were inflated
5) As a result, customers paid higher prices
6) Ergo, Apple harmed customers by never adding support for other app stores

If any link in that chain fails, the case falls apart, and to me, #3 has the biggest problems. Namely, less competition between app stores doesn't necessarily equate to less competition between apps, which should be patently obvious, given that there was never anything stopping Developer A from competing with Developer B in the App Store. Anyone can develop a competing app at any time, without Apple having any say over pricing.

And I'd like to come back around to this question, since I think it's worth addressing...

Why, then, do you you believe that those completely disparate app markets should be seen as a single market? That just doesn't make any sense at all from a legal perspective, even though people keep claiming otherwise.

The reason I think differently is because I've seen the courts rule differently in similar cases. I'm not going to argue for it, but I will try to explain it.

Remember the Apple eBooks price-fixing case? Apple paired an agency pricing model (i.e. publishers get to set their own prices and Apple takes a cut) with a Most Favored Nation clause (i.e. publishers agree to give Apple their lowest prices). The courts ruled that pairing those together amounted to price-fixing, since any cut Apple set for itself would effectively be forced onto any competing retailers in the eBooks market, preventing them from competing with Apple on price.

In a far away bizarro world, a fictional version of you cries out, "But wait! iBooks have to be rewritten for Apple's platform, are locked to Apple's platform, are sold through Apple, and switching to alternatives would require purchasing additional hardware, so it makes no sense to treat them as part of the more general eBooks market. They're their own iBooks market." And yet, despite those points, the courts clearly thought Apple was competing in the eBooks market, hence why they had competition that they could illegally influence. Had they been in their own market, there would have been no competition.

If the courts thought Apple's iBooks were part of the larger eBooks market, I don't see why iOS apps wouldn't be treated as part of the more general app market, given that the situations are nearly identical from a business perspective. Again, I think you made good, compelling points, but I'm forced to admit that the reality of the situation appears to be different from what you've said.

Comment Re:It might be something but it isn't anti-trust? (Score 1) 121

IANAL either, but antitrust is related to unfair business practices in general, so it applies to a lot more than merely controlling access to the market.

The assertion being made by the plaintiffs is that Apple engaged in unfair business practices by abusing a monopoly position to maintain high prices. Apple's original argument didn't address either of those claims. Instead, they said that the plaintiffs had no standing because Apple was just renting the store space to the app developers, which is clearly not the case, so it was rightly thrown out.

That said, the plaintiff's assertions have no merit either. Apple doesn't control a majority share of the app market, let alone anything even close to a monopoly (having control over your own platform does not mean you have a monopoly, since they look at the market as a whole), nor were they the ones setting the prices (i.e. even if they had a monopoly and prices were high, their lack of control meant that they weren't the ones responsible), so it's likely the case will get tossed back out again. This seems to just be some procedural stuff to make sure it gets shut down in the proper manner.

Comment No native macOS app is capable? (Score 5, Informative) 79

You mean, except for the one that was listed off immediately prior to that assertion? Though VLC is cross-platform, the Mac version is native to macOS.

I think what they meant to say was that no first-party apps support FLAC, but even that's not strictly true, since you can use Fluke or other utilities to enable support for FLAC in iTunes, QuickTime, and other first-party apps. Or maybe they meant that no Mac-exclusive apps support FLAC, but that's not true either, since there are plenty of Mac-only apps that can operate on FLAC files (e.g. Rogue Amoeba's Fission).

FLAC support isn't baked in, to be sure, but there have been simple ways to use FLAC files on Macs for the vast majority of the format's lifespan. I'm even planning to go through and re-rip my entire collection to FLAC in the next few months.

Comment Re:Sigh. (Score 1) 119

You're talking about identification, which is related to authentication, but isn't quite the same. Just as your username is used to identify you, so too is your fingerprint used to identify you. But just as your username isn't sufficient in and of itself to authenticate your identity (i.e. I can't log in as you by simply knowing your username), and so too should your fingerprint be insufficient to authenticate your identity.

The police can identify you using your fingerprint just fine, but that doesn't mean fingerprints should be used for authentication. Inasmuch as they are being used for authentication, it's poor security.

Comment Re:Big - Small (Score 1) 261

Bingo. I did three summer internships at two different NASA subcontractors during my time as an undergrad. I learned very quickly that I despised the red tape, the CYA mentality, and the glacial pace at which things moved at places like that, but I also learned that I truly appreciated working on projects that mattered, that pushed me to learn new things, and that allowed me to have a good work-life balance.

When I eventually looked for a "real" job, the first thing I did was make a ranked list of the things I wanted in a job, many of which were informed by my time at those internships. As you said, had I not had that experience at the larger companies first, I wouldn't have appreciated what I had at the smaller company I ended up going to.

Comment Re:So they didn't enable cheat mode (Score 1) 246

You've missed the point. Whether or not caching is reflective of typical use has absolutely no bearing here. The issue is that it makes no sense for Consumer Reports to provide results that they suspect may have been heavily skewed by a bug their customers won't face.

As you'd agree, caching should be disabled for testing purposes in order to ensure a fair test between devices, which is why Consumer Reports made it clear that they they'll be running the exact same tests with the exact same settings and that Apple won't be getting any special treatment in that regard. But because of the nature of this particular bug (i.e. one that's particular to their atypical setup), they've agreed to rerun the tests once Apple fixes the bug.

Whether or not the results actually end up as Apple would hope remains to be seen, but it makes sense that Consumer Reports would rerun the tests, since doing so will allow them to eliminate the possibility that their tests have a significant source of bias confounding their results.

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