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Comment Why keep secrets in the first place? (Score 2) 304

If governments were more open and didn't try to keep so many secret, it wouldn't be so bad if they got hacked. By definition, if there were no secrets, they'd be nothing to hack. Perhaps this a motivation behind the attacks by Anonymous: they want to show governments that keeping secrets is no longer worthwhile.

I think future governments have three choices: 1. Pay the cost of maintaining highly secure systems to keep their secrets (which can never be guaranteed) 2. endure the costs of their secrets being discovered/revealed by hackers or enemy states or 3. learn to make do without secrets.

It might seem that governments that keep secrets have an upper hand against those who do not. However, this advantage is entirely dependant on maintaining those secrets and maintaining secrets has an associated cost. The cost of maintaining secrets may very well be rising as cracking techniques become more sophisticated. However, by giving up on secrets, you are letting go of the associated costs. Perhaps in some ways you are giving up everything so that there's nothing left to loose. Though if the costs of keeping secrets becomes high enough, nations without secrets may have the overall advantage.

Comment Trademarking as a less draconion solution? (Score 1) 373

Would a more FOSS friendly approach be for Google to use Trademark law, by only allowing mobile phone carries to advertise their phone as using Android if it uses a derivative that meets Google's standards? I presume this would still allow anyone to freely use the source code for Android and manufacturers to freely produce phones with an Android based OS and lock it down however they want. However, for end-users who are concerned over the implications of Android fragmentation can avoid phones that are not advertised as 'Android, as approved by Google'. Is this feasible? Is this fair?

Comment ArenaNet: 'Valve' of the MMO sphere? (Score 1) 150

I'm so waiting for an MMO game that doesn't feel like WOW disguised with prettier graphics and different models. I hoped Champions Online, in a completely separate setting, would feel more refreshing to play, but ultimately did not. The original Guild Wars was fantastic, and I'm yet to play an RPG game that felt anywhere near as compelling to play as Guild Wars. I'm expecting ArenaNet to deliver something that will be as much a joy to play as Guild Wars, perhaps even better. I think ArenaNet may well be the 'Valve' of the MMO sphere. I'm hoping they're going to introduce some much needed innovation to what's become somewhat stagnant MMO industry. I'm glad ArenaNet have been prepared to take some risks as I think it will take guts to innovate past Blizzard's behemoth.

Comment Opportunity, not a threat (Score 1) 310

If you're worried, Nintendo, then I suggest you make sure your expensive games really do differentiate themselves from the cheap games. I doubt this will be difficult to do: the majority of games in the $1-$2 range, while fun, offer limited content. I doubt consumers attribute as much value to these cheap games as expensive games. Would you pay $40 for Angry Birds? I think if Nintendo continue to produce games that are immersive and with plenty of compelling content, people will be prepared to pay a premium price. I think a range of games of different qualities and pricing is a good thing and will serve as an opportunity to for Nintendo to increase the perceived value of their premium games, rather than as a threat.

Comment Parental responsibility (Score 1) 163

'Ispa firmly believes that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.'

I think it's very important that government lets parents take responsibility for theirchildren. If the government thinks they have to take responsibility for the safety of children on the behalf of parents, it will only encourage parents to take less responsibility for their children: From their point of view they don't need to because the government is doing it for them. However, can we really trust the government to be able to effectively take responsibility for our children? No, because only parents can take responsible for their children. The government needs to be supporting parents in being responsible for their children, rather than taking it away from them, which is what this filtering will do. Essentially, it will do little to protect children, and in the long run will do more harm that good.

Of course, as has already been suggested, rather than a misguided attempt at 'helping the children', this is purely a façade to drip-feed in some form of government censorship, which makes the whole thing even more disgraceful.

Comment Re:Forcing authors to lose rights over work (Score 1) 391

In my opinion it does not matter whether or not content creators should have a right to control their work. Assuming that they should have the right to control their work, it is not possible to enforce this against individuals in a way that would not violate more fundamental rights such as Privacy, Freedom of Speech and Presumption of Innocence. It is my opinion that an individual's right to Privacy, Freedom of Speech and Presumption of Innocence are more important that copyright, therefore copyright should be changed to respect those rights. I'm not against copyright, as it stands at present, being enforced against commercial entities as I don't think the concepts of Privacy and Freedom of Speech should not apply to commercial entities (although Presumption of Innocence should).

Comment Re:It turned me into a newt! (Score 1) 475

I was disappointed in the response by Trading Standards, who compared to other consumer protection bodies around the world are generally good eggs:

"The Trading Standards Institute said that it could not comment on whether such letters were standard across the industry, but that it could understand that Apple would want to protect its reputation by trying to reach a confidential settlement."

How can there be an incentive to produce safe products if companies like Apple can just cover up such instances? I think they deserve damage to their reputation; hopefully it will teach to ensure that their products are safe.

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 1) 155

It's a flawed metaphor anyway. If you take the soap, it's gone, whereas when you download an MP3, it's still there.

I completely agree. We continuously see the recording industry and politicians equating copyright infringement with physical theft. This is dangerous and misleading, let alone defiant of logic. It seems obvious when I say that when I take, for example, a bar of soap from you, you no longer have the bar of soap. When this is applied to intellectual property, I simply cannot take it from you as it is not tangible. This is significant, yet this seems to be forgotten or ignored my some.

Comment Should all GPL projects switch to LGPL eventually? (Score 1) 828

I think once a GPLed application has become well development and stable, it's good that it lowers its restrictions. Perhaps free software developers should eventually feel free obliged to release the software under the LGPL or some other weaker copyleft license. In the early stages of a project, a need for contributions from the community and corporations is strong, but as the project develops that need diminishes. As this need diminishes, perhaps it is fair that in return the project reduces its restrictions.
The Courts

Universal Attacks First Sale Doctrine 297

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "In Universal Music Group v. Augusto, UMG is attacking the first sale doctrine. The issue concerns some promotional CDs that were mailed out, and later found their way to eBay. According to UMG, the stickers on the discs claiming that they still own the CD give them a legal right to control what the recipients do with them, and thus, UMG should be able to dictate terms. The EFF has filed an amicus brief countering that claim, saying that because they were sent by US mail, unrequested by the recipient, they are in fact gifts, no matter what the sticker claims. If UMG somehow wins this, I plan to send them CD of copyrighted expletives with a sticker informing them of the contractually required storage location. We discussed a similar issue with e-books a couple weeks ago."

Submission + - Why Ruby on Rails Succeeded

Esther Schindler writes: "Whatever you think of Ruby on Rails—even if you prefer another language or development framework—you do have to admit that Rails has gained huge acceptance in a short period of time. In this article Hal Fulton, author of The Ruby Way, explains what this programming community did right, and how others can learn from it."

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