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Comment Re:Utterly reasonable (Score 1) 282

It really doesn't matter if its government actions or civilian actions, a country has a responsibility to enact and enforce laws to deter it's civilians from attaching other countries. Otherwise they will be safe harbors, like China and Russia. In the event of an attach by their citizens, if a safe harbor is not willing to cooperate with other nations we have to right to protect our infrastructure .

Comment Re:How about "Alice"? (Score 1) 172

Actually Alice has the capability, but implementing it is far beyond their skill level. When my brother took an intro to programming class he used Alice. So I decided to download Alice and see what I could come up with. I am a developer by trade, so it was not too difficult to get some basic AI running, but my brother spent the semester basically creating a story.


Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee 489

In a decision that was reversed as soon as someone with half a brain in their PR department learned about it, Verizon charged a widow a $350 early termination fee. After the death of her marine husband, Michaela Brummund decided to move back to her home town to be with her family. Verizon doesn't offer any coverage in the small town so Michaela tried to cancel her contract, only to be hit with an early termination fee. From the article: "'I called them to cancel. I told them the situation with my husband. I even said I would provide a death certificate,' Michaela said."

Comment Re:I nominate... (Score 1) 151

I agree. I run an educational business that teaches how to learn Chinese. Advancing to fluency myself and now engaging with students day after day who are struggling to learn has convinced me that the major obstacle to student progress in most places outside China is institutional torpidity, and the fact that the structures that have emerged to organize and cheapen learning (classrooms, textbooks, etc.) don't allow students to learn at their own pace, or - in some cases - to learn at all.

People are frustrated and they are looking for alternatives. There are an increasing number of them available and I share the sense with you that a lot of these are happening outside existing academic channels. Given that systems to issue educational grants are already online, so it is unclear what this organization adds that the existing system doesn't.

Comment Apple purchase = future exclusive purchases (Score 1) 945

The 'Apple way' for media gadgets is that you buy their hardware (no hardware cloning), and buy everything for it through them, so they have part of the revenue pie. It is not in their interests to open up their architecture. As such, the argument is not about choice of functionality, but of customers being wowed into buying the product, and then finding themselves OK (or not) with the exclusive media channels, which limits the functionality of their limited-rights purchases. There's one thing that has not yet been locked down: ordinary software for the computers - is that next?

Comment Re:!do no evil (Score 3, Insightful) 191

The point is probably to create and keep a nice big portfolio of patents to be used the next time Google gets sued for patent infringement. It's common practice for big tech firms (and others, of course) to hold a reserve of patents at the ready in the event that they need to defend against a patent suit. The aggressor company sues for infringement, the defender digs up a few patents that the aggressor is violating, and they settle out of court for a mutual licensing agreement.

Of course it's ridiculous, and sounds stupid, but it's a symptom of the broken patent system, not a peculiarity of Google.

Comment Re:Make eBooks Cheaper! (Score 1) 494

Also standardize ebooks. Part of the reason I don't get into ebooks is that if I buy a Kindle, then I'm stuck with a Kindle. I have no reason to believe that if I buy a Nook v2 in 2 years that I'll be able to read the books I bought on my Kindle.

This is a problem caused largely by DRM, but I'm not trying to get into an ant-DRM rant. (I could. I'm anti-DRM.) My point is that this is a real problem that prevents me from buying ebooks. If I buy a paperback book for $10, I know I can keep it for 20 years, loan it, or even give it away to a friend. If I buy an ebook for $10, I might not be able to get access to it in a couple years. The paperback is a better product in my opinion.

Comment Re:Dammit... (Score 5, Insightful) 494

If I lend a book to ten people, then copyright law considers that fine. If I put something on a P2P network and two people download it, I get a statutory fine of several thousand dollars (well, I would if I lived in the USA). There seems to be some disconnect there.

The disconnect is in your comparison. When you lend a book, you don't expect it to be copied and redistributed. When you put something on a P2P network, you expect it to be copied and redistributed, because having copies distributed throughout the P2P increases efficiency. So while you may only observe that two people downloaded your copy, you can't tell how many people downloaded copies originating from those 2 downloads...

Now your comparison makes sense if you were distributing source material that required some DRM mechanism to read, and there was some DRM server that only allowed a certain number of copies to be "checked out" at a time. Checked out in this case means having the ability to read and/or use. I've used electronic libraries that had this kind of DRM in place.

However, I do not think you intended to promote the use of DRM in your posting.

The other problem with your comparison is that libraries have permission to lend books, while nobody gave you permission to publish a book in digital form on the P2P network.

Comment Re:Better Dead than Red? (Score 1) 285

I start to hate you, your Google-fu is stronger than mine.

But seriously. The whole "the anti-terrorism laws are working" talk is nonsense. Unless you can show me what it would have been like without them. It has a lot of astrology and the whole faith healing scam. Look, he got better, so the prayer worked. Look, we have fewer terrorist attacks so the anti-terror laws worked.

There was a SINGLE big terrorist attack in a DECADE. If you tell that to someone living in Israel, he'll fall down laughing how much a coward the "land of the brave" can be to throw away every liberty in sight to protect against "terrorism".

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