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Comment Re:Information Annuities (Score 3, Insightful) 65

Exactly.

Retailers, advertisers, marketers, product planners, financial analysts, government agencies, and so many others will eagerly pay to get access to that information.

Where are the legislators who will put a stop to this crap? Stricter laws that limit what data may be collected, for which purposes, and with whom and in what form it may be shared. And stiff penalties for violations or for culpable data breaches. I suggest public drawing and quartering.

Comment Re:xWare reverting (Score 1) 197

Since this would require 2 copies of the OS and firmware to be stored in the unit (which will have to be stored somewhere that won't be overwritten accidentally), this will just bump the price up.

You know, it's pretty typical to have a restore-to-factory function on a phone. It's not an arduous requirement for a game console. And for the record, Microsoft consoles already have multiple copies of the BIOS, and always have.

Comment Re:definitions? (Score 1) 197

What's happened for a very long time is third party manuals. My Grandmother's copy of "Book of The Ford" was a guide to repairing the Model T and was not written by the Ford Motor Company. That was in the early 1920s and was nowhere near the first edition.

Back then, it was reasonable to make repairs to a vehicle with nothing but basic mechanical knowledge. Today, it isn't. You need torque specs (which aren't just based on bolt sizes no matter how much people want that to be true) and the codes to instruct the computers as to what to do. Those codes are in the official documentation most of the time, for recoding the PCM and such. The only way they get into the Haynes or Chilton's (etc.) is if someone gets them out of the official book. Those codes are facts, and you can't copyright a fact, so it's legal to do so in just the same way that it's legal to OCR the phone book, re-layout the numbers, and print your own. But if the manufacturer weren't forced to publish them then we would be at the mercy of dealers for that information. If the manufacturer then stopped giving them to the dealers, and ran all that information through the software, then getting it would depend on a friendly dealer willing to let someone hook up a protocol sniffer, while actually performing the procedure.

It is not enough to "allow" a third party to create a repair manual.

Comment Re:definitions? (Score 1) 197

You're probably also under the false impression that a warrantor has to somehow "prove" a user modification caused an otherwise warranted issue in order to deny coverage. Nope - if they want to say your engine warranty is voided if you hang fuzzy dice on the mirror, they can. They just have to state so clearly.

Right, if you want protection under the act, you'll have to bring a lawsuit. It's not automatic, since district attorneys are useless fucks 99% of the time, chasing office and not justice.

Comment Re:Back in my younger days... (Score 1) 197

Yeah I remember those. Broken cables or bent metal plates on the "switches", easy fixes. And walkmans! The 3.5mm jack in those would inevitably work itself loose from the PCB; another easy fix that not many people were able to carry out. In other words: great ways for a high school kid to make some extra money...

I still always try to fix something myself before tossing it or calling a repair guy, from cars to washing machines. And it's still a great way to save money.

Comment Re:They did it to themselves (Score 1) 197

It may be true that in a lot of cases it is no longer really economically viable to have manufacturers repair stuff. Especially if the customer isn't just paying for the repair guy but also for a bunch of bureaucratic overhead. But that's precisely why this is a good law: to ensure that small corner shops without all that overhead, or the handy customer who doesn't place a high price on a few hours of his spare time, are allowed and enabled to make those repairs themselves.

Comment Re:Terrible Idea (Score 1) 197

I'm not making this up. I bought something. It stopped working. It had to be shipped to China for warranty repair. It wasn't expensive and I threw it out. Lesson learned.

You should get better at talking to eBay. A recent dispute I was in which culminated with a refund was won by me with a statement about how the seller wanted me to become an expert in international shipping law so that they can get back their counterfeit product and see where it went wrong. Problem solved.

Comment Re:MS used to ban people for useing there own hdd' (Score 5, Informative) 197

That was because you had to mod the console to use your own HDD originally, you weren't banned for using your own HDD, you were banned for breaking the online service terms and conditions of not using a modded console.

Those terms and service were illegal right on their face, because the Magnuson-Moss act prohibits voiding a warranty for a repair if the repair uses compatible parts. And the video game companies already lost the legal battle to prohibit people from using their trademarks as an unlock; if you make that the unlock, then you simultaneously give everyone permission to use it for that purpose.

Comment Re:Nice trollmod, troll (Score 1) 46

Actually no. I went out and engaged in another activity other than sitting in front of my PC all day.

I didn't actually imply that I hurt your feelings. But clearly I insulted someone.

The rules changed last August for everyone, not just commercial guys.

Yeah, that's when the AMA published this information. Last August.

Comment Nice trollmod, troll (Score 0) 46

Aww, did I hurt someone's poor wittwe feewings? Probably a pilot, huh? As an AMA member in good standing who actually reads his copies of Model Aviation I know that one doesn't know what one is talking about when one claims that you have to ask permission to fly within five miles of an airport. The AMA requires members to notify an airport if they wish to operate a model above 400' AGL when within 3 miles of an airport. The law requires all UAS pilots (registered or not) to notify an airport when operating within five miles. The AMA also informed me that "most" airport addresses and contact information are available at Skyvector.com but that if you can't make contact, or if you want to establish a permanent flying location, you should contact the AMA for assistance.

If you think you may not operate a drone within five miles of an airport without permission, you are badly, sadly mistaken.

Comment Re:Airspace. (Score 0) 46

As a hobbyist, you're required to get permission (good luck with that) to fly within 5 miles of any airport (including heliports and grass strips),

No. As a hobbyist, you are required to notify the airfield. You don't have to ask permission. You can send them a letter saying you're going to be flying out of a particular area frequently, too, so you don't have to notify them every time. Some airports have actually set up webpages so that you can notify them with a web form, e.g. Watsonville. I guess if you can get certification, I ought to get off my ass and get it as well.

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