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Comment Re:What NEEDS to happen... (Score 1) 525

Magazines and blogs hype latest phone models. Consumers read them, feel like they haverefined taste because of their expert knowledge of consumer products which other consumers don't understand. This is all fed into by salespeople who get perks for learning all the talking points used to sell the phone and become "qualified". Then they count-down the days to release and when it comes out they give their expert review, opining on whether it delivered, etc.

Actually, that's how basically every fandom works. In the consumer age, everyone who gets hyped for something is a fanboy.

Comment Re:License to work (Score 1) 637

What I suspect is REALLY going on here is that John Deere and other manufacturers have adopted a model of selling their equipment to farmers either at a loss or at cost, with the understanding that they'll make their profit in implicit servicing contracts. And the farmers, now that they have the equipment in hand on the cheap, have decided to "alter the deal" (to quote the great Darth Vader) to save a buck.

Do you think John Deere offered them an option to buy the tractors at full price, free of licensing limitations? The parallels here to computers and cell-phones are uncanny. The incentive created by John Deere (in this hypothetical argument) with this business model they're using assumes that IP-law (a high-level abstraction) will somehow overcome the concept of property ownership (basically a function of ego, extremely low-level function of human nature).

I've really no pity whatsoever for companies who lose money thinking they can stop people from feeling entitled to own the tools which become natural extensions of their bodies. I don't care how many lawyers and lobbyists corporations buy to try and actualize their fictional, unreal business models. When DRM bites the dust and everyone is a tinkerer we will look back and laugh at the fantasies pointy-haired-bosses thought could be viable and sustainable.

Comment Re:Yeah, keep laughing, UMC (Score 1) 611

Fred Trump started his entrepreneurial enterprise building kit garages for people just as cars were getting popular. Saved enough money to buy some property and start building homes for lower-class folks. Donald Trump's childhood was all about the discipline of hard work and knowing what average people could and would buy and spend money on. His move to Manhattan and ambitious pivot to selling things to rich people was born from understanding human nature from the modest beginnings of his immigrant parents.

If you're going to be pessimistic about Trump, there are plenty of good reasons to be so. Him being out of touch with people isn't one, though. Donald Trump might not be the best abstract thinker, but he has a strong intuitive grasp of people rich and poor. I get the sense that his presidency will involve his giant face yapping while six men behind the curtain (a la Cheney) do all the thinking. And we will see better who will be under whose thumb.

Comment Re:Everyone but North America (Score 1) 161

I've wondered about intercepting the signal going to the LCD, but as a last resort your method should work good. You'd think subtlety on the highlights and shadows would be lost, but with the correct calibration and a decent modern sensor maybe the image could be captured raw and processed to DID-comparable quality. Or recorded in multiple passes with different light settings and likewise merged.

All the digital protections now going in to 4K could likewise lead to 'mere' HD rips of that content.

Comment Re:Still find it weird (Score 1) 383

Well yeah, we here were all reading about splitters in the AT&T data trunks a decade ago. Been "clearing browser cookies" since the 90s. Warned that the web-browser was a becoming a return to the dumb-client/mainframe model which robs freedom from the user since forever.

But paranoid narratives like that are never picked up by the media on account of anything less than massive public interest and fanfare like Assange has provided and copious hard-evidence as Snowden provided. The burden of proof for what is basically a conspiracy theory to take get attention in the popular media is necessarily high. We need more whistle-blowers to continue to reach and exceed that burden of proof for those of us who weren't shocked to continue to inform those who are.

Comment Re:boycott star trek (Score 2) 97

These arguments have already been battled out months ago. There was an "I Stand with CBS/Paramount" movement on facebook, run from TrekBBS which was in perpetual flamewar with the pro-Axanar people. The biggest issue was the tone Axanar was taking with Paramount, which lead to all the long-term fan-film fans to worry about one rogue production bringing down the ban-hammer on everyone.

Axanar was explicitly marketing itself as more than just a fan film, but rather a professional-quality production. Which is something which is usually, you know, licensed? Star Trek was being used as a way to crowd-fund the creation of a movie-studio that the crew would use to later make original works. Original works, one assumes, with names which could not have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on a crowd-funding site like Star Trek did.

Most fan films are grateful to CBS for allowing them to exist, not resentful. CBS definitely has strong (relatively speaking) connections to the existing fan film industry. Enterprise borrowed Sulu's pop-out helm scanner for their mirror-universe episode. So this whole affair has been an ugly mark on what's been a very nice thing until now.

Comment Re:Fixed that for you (Score 2) 250

Yeah. "feel like" doesn't cut it for free software users, but I understand how a user would feel liberated just by switching to any operating system that doesn't come bundled with trial crapware from the vendor and require six 3rd-party security/repair apps each with a redundant, proprietary update mechanism that bugs you every other boot-up. On linux, the "feeling" of owning your own computer can tip too far the other way and feel too much like a responsibility or burden that stops you from getting work done, because you are messing with your OS to try and get it to work properly. Apple has certainly struck a good balance.

Comment Re:KDE is a work in progress (Score 1) 133

Yes, just like with ODF multiple implementations of a standards specification like Wayland are essential for compliance testing. KWin has always been a very customizable, modular window manager, and so the scope of it's massive low-level re-write into a Wayland compositor/client without feature-loss is quite daunting. But the KDE developers are using this opportunity to finally fix lots of legacy problems, such as the inherent insecurity of the desktop screen-lockers due to X11. It's going to take months before KWin is production ready, but the benefits of doing it all the right-way now will pay off in the long run.

Comment Re:And keep Stallman out of the limelight, please (Score 1) 231

... don't pretend as if your only options are to either switch completely to FOSS or else be forever tainted as a human being.

No. Switching to FOSS is the ideal which we are kept from achieving by reasons of practicality. But we should aspire the complete switch, and remain uncomfortable with compromise until it becomes possible. Your flair for drama makes it seem like an either/or proposition for everyone. But I use nvidia drivers, while wishing I didn't have to, and it is fine. But purity is rather what we need from ideological leaders like Richard Stallman. The taint of proprietary software/hardware is historically contingent, and will only last as long as we let it.

Comment The disruptive potential of free software (Score 2) 359

Mr. Stallman, first I must thank you for The GNU Project, the gift the world doesn't yet appreciate. In a fifty years there will be a statue commemorating your achievement of preventing computers thirty years ago from becoming like iPhones are today. If there isn't I'll have to commission it myself. Thank you for buying us all this time to prevent 1984.

What I'd like to ask is whether you are concerned about how popular and business media conflate Silicon Valley start-ups and Apps with technology and software as a whole. As we all know, the internet has existed since long before MySpace and terms like "bloggers", "new media", "social networking", "big data", etc.

The cover of this week's Economist has a map, shaped like a brain, of various corporate entities which are dominating and strangling the web, entitled "Empire of the Geeks". Corporatization of web is killing communities as users become commodities to be sold to advertisers, or mined for valuable personal information. Users are thus taken for granted. For instance, Reddit is the only web-forum I've used that has a "Board of Directors" and a CEO, and I can't fathom how anybody can keep a straight face while contemplating such an absurdity.

The article in the Economist promises the tech-ignorant readership that, unlike 2000, there will be no web-bubble because start-ups are typically not purchased without demonstrating a potential to generate profit.

What all these suits seem to be missing is that Free Software exists, as a giant exit door, that could evacuate a large fraction, if not majority, from the surveilled, corporate web in a matter of months into a reactionary darknet built on, perhaps, webs of trust. The ephemeral and limitless nature of software, the virility of memes, the availability of encryption, and the well-established short-lifespan of internet communities all suggest that the current Facebook/Twitter empire is founded on sand.

Which is the likelier possibility: Tech-dumb investors are being fleeced by Silicon Valley which is well aware the clock is ticking on the current hegemony of monied websites? Or that the days of the free internet itself themselves numbered, and soon users will be shepherded into a locked-down, Compuservesque network which preempts the possibility of communicating online without using approved channels?

In either possibility, why is this not talked about more? All Free Software needs, at this point, is a Steve Jobs to bring our superior software ecosystem to the masses, and sell users on the benefits of direct, peer to peer communication omitting corporate in-betweeners. I am sure that day is coming, what clues have you seen in your long-time involvement in the software world which might affirm or relieve my concerns? Because either way, the information economy is in for a shock I don't think it is prepared for, and the results could be devastating.

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