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Comment Re:Due process? (Score 1) 285

Lets see: this court apparently thinks it would be "reasonable" to fine me 83 million dollars for that.

Nope, the court doesn't think that, at least not according to what they wrote:

we disagree that the validity of the lesser amount sought here depends on whether the Due Process Clause would permit the extrapolated award that she posits. The absolute amount of the award, not just the amount per violation, is relevant to whether the award is “so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense and obviously unreasonable.” Williams, 251 U.S. at 67. The recording companies here opted to sue over twenty-four recordings. If they had sued over 1,000 recordings, then a finder of fact may well have considered the number of recordings and the proportionality of the total award as factors in determining where within the range to assess the statutory damages. If and when a jury returns a multi-million dollar award for noncommercial online copyright infringement, then there will be time enough to consider it.

I.e., this very well may be unreasonble if extrapolated to thousands of songs, but that's not what this case was about, and it's not this court's function to rule on a hypothetical case that hasn't happened yet.

Comment Working exactly as the time (Score 1) 303

The DMCA passed in 1998. At that time, peer-to-peer file sharing wasn't even a blip on the radar (Napster started in 1999). So the infringement that Congress had in mind was that people would be posting files to their AOL accounts etc., and therefore it was the ISP's own servers that would contain the infringing content. That's why the DMCA as written pretty much excludes pure carriers from liability (section 512a). It would have been like blaming the phone company for blackmail since they make money off of the ransom calls.

Now, of course, the *IAA want a new P2P-aware DMCA to correct their mistake. The law they bought only defended against a threat that turned out to be irrelevant within a couple of years.

Comment Re:Too costly, contains mercury, not too reliable (Score 1) 1049

There are a handful of manufacturers out there (among them Philips), and the bulbs are way more efficient than incandescents in terms of lumens per watt. But a big problem with them is that they're just not that bright yet, The brightest ones you can buy are not quite as bright as a 60W incandescent.

Comment Re:weirdly conciliatory remark (Score 1) 64

Oh, I am absolutely biased against Microsoft. Admitted freely, right here. In the aggregate, they suck.

And I'm biased against bland cheese, too, because there are so many hard-working cows, goats, and sheep out there making really delicious cheese that I don't want to see their efforts swept aside in a sea of mediocrity.

Comment weirdly conciliatory remark (Score 4, Insightful) 64

While Microsoft is chided for creating more insecurity than security, it is worth noting that no organization in the world has spent more on training its staff and developers on security than Microsoft.

Is it worth noting that? To me, that just reads as "Microsoft is a very big company".

It could well be the case that no organization in the world has spent more on cheese than the U.S. government. That wouldn't make me want to eat it.

Comment Can I remove a disk from it yet? (Score 5, Interesting) 273

Long story short: disk pools in ZFS can only grow, so don't make any mistakes unless you can afford to do a full dump and restore. Sun had been "working on" this for years. Anyone heard any news lately?

Comment Re:Name Says It All (Score 5, Informative) 159

Wow, attack the guy's name. Nice. Maybe he should go by "Anonymous Coward" like all the cool kids.

In fact, Alex has been developing open source drivers for ATI cards for years on his own dime, and AMD only relatively recently hired him to do the same thing for money. Would a little gratitude to either of them kill you?

Alex, the only reason I could see anything from my Radeon card for the last six years was because of your work. Thank you!

Comment Re:How do you know when it's decrypted? (Score 1) 186

No, DES is not a group.

Let's say there was a 2-bit version of DES as in your example. For a 2-bit data block, there are 2^2 = 4 possible values. That means there are 4! = 24 possible permutations, but there are only 2^2 = 4 keys. So not all the possible permutations are generatable by a single key, and what Campbell and Weiner proved in 1993 was that successive applications of DES with different keys produce (in general) one of those "lost" permutations that can't be done with a single key.

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