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Comment Re:The problem is the battery itself (Score 1) 266

No, replaceable batteries aren't the solution. They would probably make the situation worse, in fact. If the battery were replaceable, end users would be replacing them with the cheapest Chinese gray-market batteries they could find, made from lithium ore containing higher-than-permitted levels of lead, melamine, white phosphorus, and plutonium.

Comment Re:Backwards (Score 3, Informative) 215

OK, so let's take a look at these ominous-sounding acronyms, one by one.

CDA is the Communications Decency Act. It makes sense to start off with this one because it not only has the most Orwellian name, but it also represents one of the earliest assaults against online freedom of expression by American politicians. In the US, our legislators face no penalties when they pass overtly unconstitutional laws, but the laws themselves still have to survive court challenges. This happened more or less immediately with the CDA, and the result was genuinely ironic. The only significant part of the CDA that survived was Section 230, which is what releases server operators from responsibility for information posted by their users. So the CDA is actually one of the most important pieces of legislation protecting free expression on the Internet.

COPA Like the problematic parts of the CDA, the Child Online Protection Act was almost immediately struck down, this time in its entirety.

DMCA Another two-edged sword. Some believe that freedom of expression and copyright laws are mutually exclusive. I'm sympathetic to this point of view myself, but the fact is that our Constitution explicitly authorizes Congress to regulate "intellectual property." Unsurprisingly this is also true of essentially every civilized country on Earth. All of them, in the US's place, would have ended up with a DMCA-like law of their own. The differences is that similar legislation in those countries wouldn't have had to conform to the First Amendment. Much like the CDA, one of the parts of the DMCA that survived court challenges is the "safe harbor" provision that has proven to be vitally important to the growth and maintenance of a more-or-less free Internet. Look what's happening in the EU, for instance, where you're no longer allowed to run an open WiFi access point. The DMCA and CDA are what keep this kind of bullshit from happening in the US.

COPPA is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. It doesn't address free speech, unless your idea of free speech is the freedom to collect personal information from children under 13 without their parents' supervision. If that's your idea of free speech, we're done here.

CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act, is problematic from a free-expression standpoint. But it is also strictly limited in scope to schools and libraries that receive government funding. It has no effect on the rights of any private citizens or organizations.

DOPA ("Deleting Online Predators Act") is one I hadn't heard of. It was introduced in Congress but appears to have made no progress toward passage since 2007. It's not the law, so it's not relevant.

COICA, "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act," and its successor PIPA, "Protect IP Act" also were shelved after widespread protests.

SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, was basically an attempt by the content industries to buy a legislative end run around the DMCA's safe harbor provision. Like the DMCA it comes into play only in the context of copyright law. Like PIPA, it failed to pass in the wake of widespread protests.

CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, doesn't appear to have anything to do with freedom of speech. It "allows for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the US government and technology and manufacturing companies." It wouldn't be affected one way or the other by the ICANN transfer and isn't germane here.

It's not clear what you mean by "the USITC requesting site blockings." Presumably another case where the right to infringe copyrights collides with the right to free speech. This will be a problem regardless of who runs Bartertown^Wthe Internet.

A common theme runs throughout most of these paragraphs: legislators try to pass an unconstitutional, corruption-driven, or just plain stupid law, because hey, there's no harm in trying, right? If the law is a genuine threat to free expression and/or commerce online, it is either shelved or modified after protests from a vocal, engaged, and aware subset of our citizenry, or it's struck down as overbroad by our independent Constitutional judiciary. That simply does not happen everywhere else, or, in my opinion, anywhere else.

In Canada, "hate speech" is illegal. What's hate speech? Who cares? In the US, speech is considered a tool, not a weapon. In Australia, well, let's not even go there. I've already pointed out what kind of legislation we can expect with the EU running the show. And we haven't even brought up the usual rogues' gallery of oppressive states where posting the wrong thing doesn't get you sued or arrested, it gets you killed.

So, yes, I do think there are some good reasons to be concerned about the handover. The US has done a pretty good job of running things so far.

Comment Re:"New company?" (Score 2) 81

I'm using the same name they're using in their press release: "HP."

This argument is reminiscent of the case against blaming Sony for the rootkit they distributed on audio CDs, on the grounds that it was actually their BMG subsidiary that did the dirty deed. Sorry, but publicity doesn't work that way. You put your name and corporate logo on the product, you get the credit and the blame.

Comment Re:"New company?" (Score 2) 81

It'll make a good movie someday. They just need to start filming it before Christopher Lee dies, because it's hard to imagine anyone else playing the role of Carly Fiorina.

Wait, what? He's already dead? Even better. The producers can cut a deal with Satan to reanimate him for the duration of the shoot. He won't even have to act, just lurch around aimlessly and stink up the building.

Comment "New company?" (Score 4, Informative) 81

HP engineers the best and most-secure printing systems in the world. We strive to always provide the highest-quality experiences for our customers and partners. As a new company, we are committed to transparency in all of our communications and when we fall short, we call ourselves out.

WT actual F?

HP was "new" in 1939 when they sold audio oscillators to Walt Disney to help develop the sound systems needed for Fantasia. Learn your history, dweeb. If Fred Terman could see your company now, he'd kick Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard out of EE school and then shoot himself.

There's a reason why the very first verb in the very first sentence of the Wikipedia article on Hewlett-Packard is "Was."

Comment Re: Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 2) 222

What usually happens is something like the following: you have several Windows PCs on a LAN. One user on the LAN decides it's a good idea to open the quarterly_results.xlsx.exe attachment that came from the company's Nigerian branch. Or maybe they're curious to see what's on the thumb drive that somebody 'accidentally' left in the restroom. Every organization from the grocery store on the corner to the NSA has someone working for them who will think that's a good idea.

Now you have an exploited system inside the firewall. If any drives or other resources are shared among computers on the LAN -- which after is the whole idea behind a LAN -- the machines hosting those resources are at substantial risk. Even something as harmless as a shared printer can serve as a staging area for attacks.

This is why compromising Windows Update to turn it into a marketing vehicle was such a monstrous thing for Microsoft to do. Giving users an incentive to turn off automatic updates was just incredibly stupid and counterproductive. But they did it anyway, because, after all, "We're Microsoft. Who's going to stop us?"

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