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Comment I don't get it (Score 1) 9

Having backup is _the_ core approach to keeping data safe. I really do not understand why "designers" keep messing this up. Maybe these are people that never had a disk crash or are having all their own things in the cloud, but even then this is a very basic and very stupid mistake to make. It is also something any good IT systems engineering or IT security consultant would have asked after and pointed out, so I guess they thought they do not need any outside review in order to not miss things. That universally fails, because one thing any good engineer knows is that while you are in the heat of the design process, you miss things that outsiders will see.

The bottom line is that the people that designed this are mediocre and it is very likely that using good people instead would have hat huge economic benefits.

Comment Re:Just wait for Falcon Heavy (Score 1) 37

With the heavy - will the side boosters always be able to land at the launch site, or will they need 3 drone ships?

Depends on the payload, they get more capacity with drone ships and if it's heavy enough they'll just be expendable. But given that the Falcon Heavy has a far higher max capacity than the heaviest current heavy lift vehicle (Delta IV Heavy) most launches should be able to land all three at the launch site, I imagine that's the main plan to drive costs down. Launch, land, refurb, fuel, launch again. Using the barge will have a much longer turn-around time, risk of bad weather conditions both on landing at on return to port, exposure to salty spray from the ocean etc. while going back to the landing site will give you almost the same conditions as when launching. If SpaceX manages to make them durable and have a short turn-around they could become a real workhorse doing launch after launch after launch.


Your Save Data Is Not Safe On the Nintendo Switch (arstechnica.com) 9

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In a post-launch update to our initial Nintendo Switch review, we noted that there is no way to externally back up game save data stored on the system. A recent horror story from a fellow writer who lost dozens of hours of game progress thanks to a broken system highlights just how troublesome this missing feature can be. Over at GamesRadar, Anthony John Agnello recounts his experience with Nintendo support after his Switch turned into a useless brick for no discernible reason last week (full disclosure: I know Agnello personally and have served with him on some convention panels). After sending his (under warranty) system to Nintendo for repair, Agnello received a fixed system and the following distressing message from the company two days later: "We have inspected the Nintendo Switch system that was sent to us for repair and found that the issue has made some of the information on this system unreadable. As a result, the save data, settings, and links with any Nintendo Accounts on your system were unable to be preserved." Agnello says he lost 55 hours of progress on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as more progress on a few other downloadable games. While he was able to redownload the games that were deleted, he'd have to start from scratch on each one (if only all that progress was easily, instantly unlockable in some way...)

Comment Re:It's a big problem (Score 1) 94

It sounds more like a problem with your users being drooling idiots.

Well I've run into some of these that manage to

a) create a pop-up window that covers almost the whole screen without the usual navigation
b) throw the modal dialog in an infinite loop, you must check that little "stop creating dialogs" box to escape
c) use a reload/redirect trigger/timer so you get sent to a new page with a new dialog if you break the b) loop

It's fucking annoying and I could very well understand a clueless user thinking he's been hacked. I've not managed to find any way out of the most annoying ones except to start killing chrome processes in the task manager until I find the right one. Or close the whole browser, but I don't have it set to continue with tabs from last time so that's real annoying.

Comment Re:Wait... bad summary? (Score 1) 103

Maybe the state made it impossible to get a copy of the laws without the annotations?

No, they didn't.

The Agreement requires that Lexis/Nexis provide Georgia's statutes in an un-annotated form on a website that the public can access for free using the Internet. The free public website contains only the statutory text and numbering of the O.C.G.A.

What doesn't have the force of law is copyrightable:

However, the Copyright Compendium makes clear that the Office may register annotations that summarize or comment upon legal materials unless the annotations have the force of law. Only those government documents having the force of law are uncopyrightable.

The annotations etc. are not law, strike one:

The statutory portion of such codification shall be merged with annotations, captions, catchlines, history lines, editorial notes, crossreferences, indices, title and chapter analyses, and other materials pursuant to the contract and shall be published by authority of the state pursuant to such contract and when so published shall be known and may be cited as the "Official Code of Georgia Annotated."

Strike two:

Unless otherwise provided in this Code, the descriptive headings or catchlines immediately preceding or within the text of the individual Code sections of this Code, except the Code section numbers included in the headings or catchlines immediately preceding the text of the Code sections, and title and chapter analyses do not constitute part of the law and shall in no manner limit or expand the construction of any Code section. All historical citations, title and chapter analyses, and notes set out in this Code are given for the purpose of convenient reference and do not constitute part of the law.

Strike three:

Annotations; editorial notes; Code Revision Commission notes; research references; notes on law review articles; opinions of the Attorney General of Georgia; indexes; analyses; title, chapter, article, part, and subpart captions or headings, except as otherwise provided in the Code; catchlines of the Code sections or portions thereof, except as otherwise provided in the Code; and rules and regulations of state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, or other entities which are contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated are not enacted as statutes by the provisions of this Act.

Yes, it's a bit odd to have official commentary but they are not building codes incorporated by reference or anything like that. They're just there to help interpret the lawmaker's intention, should there be an ambiguity in the actual law. I think we do it pretty much the same way here.

United States

Publish Georgia's State Laws, You'll Get Sued For Copyright and Lose (arstechnica.com) 103

Presto Vivace writes: If you want to read the official laws of the state of Georgia, it will cost you more than $1,000. Open-records activist Carl Malamud bought a hard copy, and it cost him $1,207.02 after shipping and taxes. A copy on CD was $1,259.41. The "good" news for Georgia residents is that they'll only have to pay $385.94 to buy a printed set from LexisNexis. Malamud thinks reading the law shouldn't cost anything. So a few years back, he scanned a copy of the state of Georgia's official laws, known as the Official Georgia Code Annotated, or OCGA. Malamud made USB drives with two copies on them, one scanned copy and another encoded in XML format. On May 30, 2013, Malamud sent the USB drives to the Georgia speaker of the House, David Ralson, and the state's legislative counsel, as well as other prominent Georgia lawyers and policymakers. Now, the case has concluded with U.S. District Judge Richard Story having published an opinion (PDF) that sides with the state of Georgia. The judge disagreed with Malamud's argument that the OCGA can't be copyrighted and also said Malamud's copying of the laws is not fair use. "The Copyright Act itself specifically lists 'annotations' in the works entitled to copyright protection," writes Story. "Defendant admits that annotations in an unofficial code would be copyrightable."

Slashdot reader Presto Vivace adds: "It could have been worse, at least he was not criminally charged liked Aaron Schwartz."


Safe Harbor Cost the US Music Industry Up To $1B in Lost Royalties Per Year, Study Finds (musicweek.com) 143

An anonymous reader shares a report: For the first time, researchers have quantified the "value gap" and its impact on the US recorded music industry. A study published yesterday (March 29) by Washington, DC-based economy think tank the Phoenix Centre For Advanced Legal And Economic Public Policy Studies attempted to calculate how much revenue the recording industry loses from the distortions caused by the safe harbor provisions. Entitled Safe Harbors And The Evolution of Music Retailing, the study was conducted by T. Randolph Beard, George S. Ford and Michael Stern who applied "accepted economic modelling techniques" to simulate revenue effects from royalty rate changes on YouTube. It showed that if YouTube were to pay the recorded music industry market rates, similar to what other streaming services pay, its economic contributions to the sector would be significantly bigger. The premises used by the Phoenix Centre economists was that, according to the music recording industry, YouTube evades paying market rates for the use of copyrighted content by exploiting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "safe harbor" provisions, which allow to post creative content online in good faith and remove it if rights holders so require. Using 2015 data, the Phoenix Centre found that "a plausible royalty rate increase could produce increased royalty revenues in the US of $650 million to over one billion dollars a year."

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