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Comment Re:I hate Apple, but no (Score 1) 383

The real question is: what does the law say about how illegal agreements like these should be handled? In some EU countries at least, if an agreement between government and a private person or company is deemed illegal, it cannot be annulled just like that; the government is supposed to be a trustworthy partner and cannot strike a deal then simply declare it illegal. In some cases the agreement itself will be considered void, but the affected person or company will not be on the hook for the whole amount owed, or will be compensated for incurred costs (like when a building permit that shouldn't have been issued is rescinded when building has already started). In other cases, the agreement stands up to the date of the ruling and is only void going forward (so no back taxes would be owed).

Comment No...just, no. (Score 4, Interesting) 158

No one actually has to "hack" anything -- just get the thought out there. No matter who wins, stories like this will be cited by the losing side as "proof" the election was "rigged" or "hacked", and that the winner didn't win legitimately. I can think of few things more damaging to the democratic institution.

See also:

A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories

Comment Re:Death to publishers (Score 2) 172

"You are not allowed to advertise our business without paying us for the privilege"
"Oh, and you are obliged to advertise our business"
Patently absurd when applied to any business, except publishing apparently. It's a brilliant plan, really. The EU values a healthy, independent press. Even though I use the term independent very lightly, it wouldn't be good if government were seen to subsidise the perss directly. So instead they give them the power to tax private parties with deep pockets.

Comment Re:Illegal Age-ism Admitted in the Press! (Score 1) 241

The same goes for his other "inventions". The Air Blade hand dryer and the bladeless fan were not invented by him. He did an Apple on those, making improvements on existing technology and turning them into viable products (some would argue the "viable" part).

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 382

It doesn't. Here in the Netherlands, downloading was actually legal until recently, regardless of where the download was from. Uploading of copyrighted material always has been punishable. Meaning that using Torrent to get these movies is illegal whether you already own a copy or not, since you're "helping piracy".

Which is true in a way. I see that as a hearty FU to the media companies for their customer-hating tactics in hopes they will change their ways. That's how far my ethics go. That, by the way, was also the policy of Dutch lawmakers for a good while: their stance was to not make downloading illegal, or to decline to prosecute downloads of any content that isn't reasonably available for download from a legal source. (reasonably meaning: released in a timely manner, priced at or below the physical medium, allowing time shifting and offline playback). Sadly they dropped that stance and kowtow to the "intellectual property" camp.

Comment Re:Spotify? (Score 2) 84

Pay the fee and go ad-free. I actually like that model a lot: a free, ad-supported service with the option to pay to have ads removed. My only issue is that the temptation to keep adding more and more ads to the free service often proves too great, or they try and sneak in ads into the paid service.

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 382

Got a bunch of Blurays but never played them, in fact most are still in the wrapper. I only get them because legal digital download-to-own doesn't exist (not really). So I "steal" movies via torrent and buy the Blurays as a license for the ones I want to keep. Everything is played from a NAS, music as well, haven't bothered with CDs in ages.

Comment Re:No problem here (Score 3, Interesting) 94

It would be nice to set some legal ground rules for EULAs. Such as: they cannot be changed without prior notice, the text should fit on 4 A4-sized sheets in 12 point font, and you can only use the words in this dictionary ("the ten-hundred most used words").

Last year I got a mortgage for a commercial property, and was pleasantly surprised by the terms and conditions: written in very plain and succinct language, and especially lacking in those unbelievable run-on sentences found in regular legalese. It is possible to write agreements that can actually be read and understood. Time to make that a requirement if companies want to have them legally enforced.

Submission + - Automotive Security: How Safe Is A Next-Generation Car? (

An anonymous reader writes: The vehicles we drive are becoming increasingly connected through a variety of technologies. Features such as keyless entry and self-diagnostics are becoming commonplace. Unfortunately, they can also introduce IT security issues. Steve Grobman, President of Intel’s Automotive Security Review Board, believes that safety is an absolute imperative, but we need to consider the convergence of connected cars with a trend such as ransomware. If we have millions of connected cars on the road, and cybercriminals infect tens of thousands of cars, dealerships will only be able to accommodate a limited number of ransomware car infections at any given time. Given the incentive structures around ransomware, and the tremendous number of potential targets, it’s not a stretch to imagine something like ransomware becoming as great a concern for automakers as the safety nightmare scenarios so often posed in this area.

Submission + - Proposed 'social media ID, please' law met with anger (

dcblogs writes: A plan by the U.S. government to require some foreign travelers to provide their social media IDs on key travel documents is being called by critics “ludicrous,” an “all-around bad idea,” “blatant overreach,” “desperate, paranoid heavy-handedness,” “preposterous,” “appalling,” and “un-American." That's just a sampling of the outrage. Some 800 responded to the U.S. request for comments about a proposed rule affecting people traveling from “visa waiver” countries to the U.S., where a visa is not required. This includes most of Europe, Singapore, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Travelers will be asked to provide their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and whatever other social ID you can imagine to U.S. authorities. It’s technically an “optional” request, but since it’s the government asking, critics believe travelers will fear consequences if they ignore it. People who are traveling from a country where a visa is required, such as India or China, get a security vetting when they apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate, so this proposal doesn’t apply to them. In a little twist of irony, some critics said U.S. President Obama’s proposal for foreign travelers is so bad, it must have been hatched by Donald Trump.

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