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Comment Re:The death of free expression on the Internet (Score 1) 192

Right, and the result of this is repression of creativity. If you can't borrow on another's idea, expand on it, take it in a new direction (to use a common example, I'm thinking about Shakespeare set in different eras, highlighting themes more relevant to the current age than to the author's, etc) without being heavily penalized, then no one will try - at least not in the open.

It's easy to immediately assign the worst possible motives to the perpetrators. Those motives may or may not exist - maybe we can't know the insides of their heads. But the effects of these kinds of laws are the same; regardless of whether those who write these laws actually intend to repress free speech/expression and destroy freedom, that will be the result.

Comment Re:And this is...news? (Score 5, Interesting) 1092

$12.50/hr works out to about $2K/month. A quick Zillow search of apartments in the SF area turns up nothing (not one) under $1K/month. The cheapest thing I could find (in 5 minutes, I grant you, but still) was $1300 - for a 140 square feet studio apartment (that's 14ft by 10ft - smaller than the single room I'm sitting in right now). Maybe she's an idiot for living in SF. But regardless, if that's what housing costs in SF, $2K/month ain't gonna cut it.

Comment Re:The death of free expression on the Internet (Score 1) 192

It's no longer "copyright", it's a gagging order for the common man.

*This.* Call it paranoia if you want, but I think that's exactly where this is headed - the death of free speech/expression (and not just on the internet - anywhere; these rules don't just apply to the web). Of course not every case will (or can) be tried, but you don't want to be used as the deterrent example, and neither do I. So, shut up civilian, and let the government/mass media tell you what to think. Then don't you dare criticize it, or the penalties will be more than you care to deal with.

Submission + - TPP Change Means Drastically Higher Penalties for Copyright "Infringement" (eff.org)

Mephistophocles writes: A sneaky and underhanded change to the TPP, spotted by the EFF and summarized here by Jeremy Malcom, means much stiffer penalties for copyright "infrigement:"

Under the TPP's original terms, a country could limit the exposure of the owner of such a website to prison time, or to the seizure and possible destruction of their server, on the grounds that by definition their infringement didn't cause any lost sales to the copyright owner. (Note that they would be liable for civil damages to the copyright owner in any case.)

Although a country still has the option to limit criminal penalties to “commercial scale” infringements (which is so broadly defined that it could catch even a non-profit subtitles website), the new language compels TPP signatories to make these penalties available even where those infringements cause absolutely no impact on the copyright holder's ability to profit from the work. This is a massive extension of the provision's already expansive scope.

Perhaps most concerning, however, is the fact that this means those stiff penalties apply even when there is no harm or threat of harm to the copyright owner caused by the infringement.

Think about it. What sense is there in sending someone to jail for an infringement that causes no harm to the copyright holder, whether they complain about it or not? And why should it matter that the copyright holder complains about something that didn't affect them anyway? Surely, if the copyright holder suffers no harm, then a country ought to be able to suspend the whole gamut of criminal procedures and penalties, not only the availability of ex officio action.

This is no error—or if it is, then the parties were only in error in agreeing to a proposal that was complete nonsense to begin with.


Comment Re:File a Complaint (Score 1) 172

The FCC does not follow up or otherwise pay any attention to that list, as far as I can tell. I've been on that list for many years and spent several months logging every single single telemarketing call - absolutely no reduction whatsoever. I don't think they care and/or they have "better" things to do.

Comment Re:It's Not About Porn (Score 3, Interesting) 231

I don't think pornography is taboo in western society. The idea that western society considers it shameful is a straw man created by western media. It's only used for shaming if a person "needs" to be shamed for other reasons (ironically, extreme religious beliefs are often used in the same way) - i.e., Charlie over there won't carry the party line, so we need some dirt on him to make him go away. Did you know he watches porn?? GASP

On the contrary - the average person doesn't really care what you watch online in private, as they likely watch plenty of the same stuff themselves (or both). I don't have statistics in front of me and I'm too lazy to go looking for them at the moment, but I believe it's estimated that something like 60% of 12 year olds in the US are already hooked. It's safe to say most people watch porn or have at some point - if that's true, then any "taboo" is artificial.

Comment Re:It's Not About Porn (Score 3, Insightful) 231

All this will do is kill a certain proportion of UK porn websites...

My point is that shutting down porn sites (following the rules or otherwise) isn't the goal. In fact, if I'm right about it being more about revenue than anything else, shutting down these sites runs contrary to the actual goal - because a shut down site can't pay a fine. Crusades like this never produce real results - there may be an "example" or two made in the beginning, but that's just more about continuing the program and keeping a few thousand overpaid bureaucrats in a job - i.e., making sure the funding keeps on coming. Fines and tax revenue make sure that gravy train never stops - so in the end, it's just tool for channeling all real money to the ruling class. Jerk off to your silly porn all you want, peasant.

If the government really cared about shutting down porn sites, they'd just shut them down, and no, it wouldn't be impossible. If GHCQ and the NSA can record and archive every single voice call in the developed world, and build a search engine for finding single phrases in those calls at will, then they know damn well what you're watching online and whether or not it's "legit" or not. Similarly, making porn impossible (or so difficult as to be utterly impractical for all but the most die-hard) to obtain would be relatively trivial.

Comment It's Not About Porn (Score 4, Insightful) 231

The government knows damn well that ideas like this are unenforceable. It's not about banning porn anymore than it's about protecting children (as if the government gives a shit about your kids safety). It's about revenue. You can't keep kids from seeing porn - but you can fine the hell out of anyone you catch not following the law. The harder it is to follow the law, the better! If nobody can actually be compliant, then everyone pays a fine.

Comment Re:Come on... (Score 1) 418

"My first change is from Supra Cat-7+ to Audioquest Cinnamon playing a piece from Eric Satie, a performance by Alexandre Tharaud of Gnossienne No. 1. I immediately notice an increase in air and a wider stage with the Cinnamon. The recording room has grown and the playback is a little more fluid, more natural I would say."

Oh brother. Somebody needs to set this jackass up in a blind test (with 2 cheap cables and nothing else, of course) and ask him which is the $10K cable. Film the results and post them for a laugh.

Comment Re:Audiophile market (Score 3, Insightful) 418

Egoistic psychopaths and narcissists who lack any semblance of taste will pay a fortune for that poseur status and they will kill anyone and everyone, either directly or indirectly through indifference to the outcomes of their actions, to earn the money to pay for that status. This so they can pose over their poor they create.

Holy shit, that's the best description of the United States I've ever read.

Comment Re:They are just trolls with lots of money (Score 1) 418

Sadly, so many kids today seem to see their music as disposable, and many have never HEARD what a good sound system can sound like...and only know white, cheap earbuds...or worse...the thudding of "Beats" headphones, that so far I've yet to find a tweeter installed.

Well hell, what with the steaming shite they listen to, does it make a difference? I doubt a decent system is going to make the average poptart sound any better. Maybe worse, actually.

Submission + - Mark Cuban Wants You - But Won't Pay You (linkedin.com)

Mephistophocles writes: Mark Cuban thinks people ought to work for him — for free. No stranger to controversy, Cuban posted on his blog that people who want to work for free ought to be able to — even though that's generally illegal (strict rules apply to unpaid internships — they can't do anything that benefits the company, replace paid workers, etc). Linkedin posted a scathing rebuttal yesterday, flat-out calling Cuban out for his claims and citing statistics showing that unpaid internships just aren't worth it — people who take them in college actually tend to make less than people who take no internship at all:

The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently did a survey of people who graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree and found that a graduate who did a paid internship while in college made an average starting salary of $51,930 – compared to a $37,087 average salary for workers who didn’t do an internship.

But here’s a shocking statistic from that same survey: 2013 graduates who did an unpaid internship while in college actually made less than students who got no internship at all – $35,721 a year, on average, compared to the aforementioned $37,087. Pretty bad deal – work for free and then make $1,366 a year less when it’s time to work for money.

So are unpaid internships really just slavery in disguise, or is Cuban correct in that they can provide valuable experience?

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