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Comment Using the First Amendment as a weapon against DMCA (Score 3, Interesting) 241

While this is certainly outrageous behavior, could this lead to the demise of the DMCA? If this practice becomes common, you can certainly see court challenges against the DMCA in the future. If the DMCA can be portrayed as taking away original speech, that would be a direct violation of the freedom of speech in the United States. All it would take is a court to determine that it does not sufficiently safeguard the First Amendment and it could be struck down. It could be re-written, but it wouldn't be as easy to mass issue takedown notices. While I do acknowledge that there is a corporate mindset in the American judiciary, the First Amendment is a very explicit right and this would be an infringement on the property rights of the original creators.

Comment Bubbles are not as nasty in labor-intensive sector (Score 1) 72

It will suck when people get laid off, but you're not buying a huge quantity of equipment that you have to sell at rock-bottom prices. Or entire streets of homes which won't sell even if they are heavily discounted. You're probably ensuring that software is properly patched, hardware is not using default passwords and maybe some penetration testing. Apart from office furniture/computers, I don't see a great deal of capital investment. There may be investment in equipment, but that'll be for the client (government) to buy and maintain.

Hopefully it'll create some work for people who desperately need it.

Comment What about a one year notification period? (Score 1) 310

I would rather front load the lawsuits. If a group of "industry leaders" with a "significant presence" in a field want a license-less standard, it shouldn't have hidden liability. A one year notification starts and anyone who states that the standard violates their patents can complain at the start. If someone makes a reasonable (as in a judge agrees) complaint of violation, the clock stops on the notification. The standard would have to be revised or the patent would have to be found to be invalid. Once the year long notification is over, you can't make a patent claim against the standard. Companies operating in a particular field with applicable patents will know what standards are coming out (I guarantee there would be at least a dozen websites related). And it's easier for them to nip a patent violating standard in the notification phase rather than sue a large number of unwary companies, unless patent trolling is in their business model.

There would be complications related to determining what constitutes "industry leaders" or a "significant presence", but there will be lawyers involved anyway. It's just better to bring them in at the start.

Comment Apple produces luxury goods (Score 0, Troll) 457

Not necessarily higher quality. Or more powerful. Or better features. But Apple's goods have an air of luxury around them (smells like hipster). And a price tag to match. Sure there are regular folks who will save their pennies and buy an Apple product, but the real market is in the upper class. Which limits them to fraction of the market, admittedly with a higher margin. You're probably paying $100 just for the Apple trademark on an iPad. Virtually nobody is choosing between an iPad and a value priced Linux/Windows netbook. I'd prefer a netbook (even a cheap one), so I can have a decent keyboard. Although I haven't handled an iPad myself, I've seen reviews that were quite negative about the touchscreen keyboard.

Comment Do Not Doubt the High Priests of Science (Score 2, Insightful) 1046

Whenever a religious figure speaks of fire and brimstone, I take it with a grain of salt. Whenever a politician makes the claim that anyone who speaks against them is racist/immoral/greedy/stupid, I tend to think they're frauds. Why would I let the scientists make claims without doubting them? I'm not calling climatologists liars; I'm saying that they're acting like liars.

Can anyone seriously say that evolution is as proven as Newton's Laws of Motion on the scale of billiard table? Or that our understanding of the Big Bang is as complete as our understanding of muscles contracting? So why choose evolution, the Big Bang and the age of the Earth? Don't get me wrong, I think that all three likely happened, but I wouldn't roll them out unless I had a political agenda. I've heard a variety of estimates for the age of the Universe, I haven't heard of anyone contesting the law of conservation of mass. Why not use photosynthesis and covalent bonds as established principles of science?

The central problem with the open letter is that they suggest that all scientists are apolitical and possess peerless moral character. That they can be trusted to police themselves and everyone else should just stay out of their business. Any organization or group that has been given the authority to police itself won't. Just because there's a witch hunt, doesn't mean there aren't witches. Given the trillions of dollars at stake, I'm perfectly happy to have a few annoyed PhDs to ensure public accountability. And government overreach is always a concern, remember that the Australian firewall was sold to the public by saying that it is protecting people from child porn. But somewhere there's a happy medium between anarchy and totalitarianism.

Comment I don't think he was looking for "business" (Score 0, Troll) 96

'As a nearly lifelong reader of The Post, I could not read this article in the paper I pay for and subscribe to; instead I came on it accidentally while scrolling online for business reasons.'

Who else thinks he came across it with a "gay polyamorous" Google search instead of "business reasons"?

It seems to me that the print media wants more eyeballs for greater ad revenue and it wants subscriptions at the same time. They pretty much have to choose one or the other. They can have a hybrid, but they have to put part of the website behind a paywall. And they'll have to give up some advertising money in exchange for subscription. With the Google lawsuits, it seems that a lot of newspapers expect Google to cover their red ink.

Comment MPAA incentive to limit access (Score 2, Insightful) 165

The MPAA has every intention of limiting your access so it can sell you it bit by bit. They want to sell you a different copy for each medium you use it in. If they can sell you more than one copy in a given medium (standard edition and then 2 years later director's cut), they certainly will. They want you to pay for a movie ticket, buy it on Blu-Ray, pay for DRM protected copy for your laptop and then pay for higher resolution DRM protected copy for your next laptop. Of course different countries will have different price scales.

It's not just piracy that threatens this, it's DRM free content. The reason they don't want the cable company to buffer content is that you should pay extra for that, preferably in a Blu-Ray box set. And then again for a DRM-protected version for portable use.

Comment Regulation kills open source (Score 2, Insightful) 201

Open source is about the ability of the community to freely access and manipulate, as long as the changes are documented. Regulation is about the control of access and manipulation. Which special interest groups are allowed to look at it before the public? What idea offends which group? Does the example use gender neutral language? Restrictions, restrictions, restrictions...

If it was creationists who were the special interests groups, it would be in the article. If creationists go anywhere near science there are people screaming about it. Which special interest groups do you think are involved? Maybe the Scientologists will be able to write the text book on psychology?

Comment Re:It would penalize free software (Score 1) 405

How would Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, or FreeBSD pass such a test?

I'm not really recommending it, in fact I doubt regulation would accomplish what the government wants. It would be very difficult to enforce for users who could download a copy of FreeBSD from overseas. It would come to play when someone bought a computer. It would certainly penalize free versions of Linux in the same manner that you can't make your own free drugs and hand them out without FDA approval. A company would have to take a free version of Linux, pass it through the tests and sell it for a profit.

Comment Will regulation fix the issue? (Score 1) 405

Let's say we have every single consumer operating system pass rigourous security tests before it is sold to the public. Will that decrease the number of infections or will the malware industry simply take longer to compromise the more secure systems? There is a concept about locks that no lock is fool proof, the better locks merely increase the time to compromise it.

I am deeply against penalizing the average citizen for having their computer run government approved security software. Most people barely understand their computer. The security within the operating system could lead an average user to believe that their system is secure. It's not someone having a gun stolen from their unlocked house and being sued by the victim shot by it. It's someone breaking into your house and using a blowtorch to get into your gun cabinet and then using that gun to shoot people.

Comment Strong free speech rights in the US (Score 5, Insightful) 503

I'm not an American, but I'm glad that ICANN is run by Americans. For the most part, the United States has a great deal of respect for different view points and allows for free thought. I can certainly imagine Europeans banning Internet websites for fear that they will anger Muslims, gays, atheists, Christians, animal rights activists, etc.. You can imagine European bureaucrats coming up with a handbook of acceptable thought and using that as a guide for website banning.

Comment How vulnerable to a competent hacker? (Score 1) 325

If this guy's a big of an idiot as you say he is (your logic is pretty accurate), what is the threat level of a competent hacker? Someone who knows what they're doing and isn't going to grandstand. It's pretty clear that there are very poorly defended databases with valuable information. I wonder what percentage of Slashdotters have already had their data stolen? Not from their secure system, but from a lowest bid security system. You can use Linux all you want, but the people who hold your private information are using unpatched Windows.

Comment How will newspapers get their Google money? (Score 1) 72

You know what I'm talking about. The big bag of Google money supposed to go to every newspaper because they are so gosh darn important. The bag of monthly money that was being legislated because driving hits to their websites wasn't funding their business model. Many newspapers were fooled into going deeply into debt by the premise that nothing would ever change, why can't Government just fix this?

Comment Head in the clouds (Score 1, Troll) 753

It's not that I'm against scientific funding. But is he talking about private funding or public funding. It's seems that it's public funding. Ok, what is he willing to cut? Or will there be a science tax? Why didn't he spend the stimulus money on this? It doesn't just fund scientists, but engineers, technicians and the staff to support them. Obama seems to be full of fancy ill-formed ideas that go absolutely nowhere. I also think that George W. Bush's "Let's go to Mars" plan was ill-conceived.

Now if there is to be research done, I want fusion fully funded. There is too much of a drain on Western civilization's resources sending money to Saudi kleptocrats (who only remain in power by backing terrorists). It will also solve the energy to mass problem (enormous amounts of rocket fuel to put something in orbit) preventing a viable space program. I would rather money be spent on regenerating lost limbs with adult stem cells than focus on prosthetic replacements. I can guarantee that there are companies putting a lot of effort into reducing the cost of solar cells (think, a laptop which recharges by leaving it out in the sun because it has a cheap solar cover) and into educational software (or any software which has a market). These are all engineering projects as opposed to science projects.

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