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Comment Re:If they pay the license fee (Score 1) 229

Why not?

They'd do it for your house if they wanted to build a road, why would software be any different?

Granted in both cases the government would actually have to pay for the privilege of seizing your shit, but it's not like 10-year-old unsupported DOS apps have massive commercial value.

Comment Re:Alas for the poor driver (Score 1) 218

It would be trickier if Uber actually gave people a choice between Uber drivers, which is what Expedia, Travelocity, and travel agents do. They give you a range of options, and you choose the option. As is you click the button, and you don't get a list of drivers. Their algorithm finds a driver, and then the driver gets to figure out whether he wants to be put in touch with you.

It would also be trickier if they had other lines of business. But as is, 100% of their revenue comes from people requesting cab service, and all those people get the driver they got assigned. I sincerely doubt any Judge will look at that and see anything but a ride company trying to dodge it's legal obligations.

Comment Re:Responsibility (Score 4, Insightful) 186

But the article raises an interesting question. Is he responsible for the pain which his robot inflicts?

Here's a boring answer. Yes. Why the fuck not?

I have to agree here.

Only a philosophy major or an idiot could think you could create a pain-causing robot and claim that it was the robot's fault when the damn thing caused people pain.

Comment Re:Alas for the poor driver (Score 1) 218

You seem to be being paid hourly. That's actually one of the big things the IRS looks for: hourly pay = increased likelihood of being declared an employee.

You remember that "at-risk amount" I mentioned that is necessary if you're gonna be declared a contractor? At-risk amount is much higher if you get a set amount for the job, with performance bonuses and performance penalties, rather then the ability to pad the bill by taking extra time.

Because if fixing the door takes weeks rather then a day you probably lost money on the job.

And yes, many, many of the "contractors" you know would actually have a fairly strong case to be reclassified as employees, particularly if their contract is "$150 an hour until we fire you," rather then "$5,000 to finish this program." The "$150 an hour until the program is finished" could be an edge case, particularly if they have emails/records indicating the company says they'll get hired on a new project pretty much immediately after their current one is finished.

Comment Re:Alas for the poor driver (Score 1) 218

Interestingly enough, if you talk to anyone who actually knows what they're talking about a work schedule set by the employer is actually a minuscule bit of the IRS's three tests. Tenured college profs, for example, only actually have a set schedule on when they have to teach classes. Their office hours, when they're doing research, etc. are their own damn business. Even the much abused Associate Prof is an employee, and they don't even have to be in the state except for class time (which is negotiated with the school, not set from on-high) or office hours (which is set by the prof). Just about any high-level employee can similarly re-negotiate his work schedule and get a paid half-day off to help out at his kid's field trip.

It's also incredibly easy to find examples of contractors who have set schedules. You get hired as a contractor to fix an interior door in a building which is locked except during office hours, and the contract specifies you don't get paid unless you're done lickety–split, plus a nice juicy bonus if it's done tomorow, guess what you're doing from 9-5 tomorrow?

At-risk capital is much more important (Uber drivers own their vehicles, so they do have at--risk capital which indicates contractor), as is employer control (and since Uber drivers are damn near paranoid about pissing off the company, and act like Uber controls them, it does indicating employee), as is the nature of the business (if Uber's lawyers are right, and they aren't a transportation company this indicates contractor; if anyone sane is right and they sell cab rides it indicates employee).

Comment Re: Armed robberies can't happen in Europe! (Score 1) 235

What you mean turned around?

You specifically made an argument that guns reduce crime. I refuted that line of argument. I said nothing about my position on the Second Amendment, my belief in what the Founders meant when they wrote about the Right to Bear Arms, or any-damn-thing-else you choose to bring in because you're wrong on the effects of firearms on crime.

You're moving the goal-posts.

Comment Re: Armed robberies can't happen in Europe! (Score 1) 235

Dude, I grew up in Detroit.

We had plenty of criminals. Nobody cased a house for anything like days. The biggest problems were a) one gang of idiots whose entire "casing" strategy seemed to involve verifying the people inside the house were not black (on the apparent theory that non-blacks would be unable to tell black people apart, it failed miserably because yes we can do that, and hilariously one of their victims turned out to be a light-skinned black dude), and the super-genuis who robbed every house on the block except his mom's in a six month period.

In theory the rest of your argument makes perfect sense. In practice there's no evidence that increasing the number of firearms in the general population reduces crime, largely because the people who say that it does have banned all research into the practice; which strongly implies that gun rights advocates themselves think that actual research into the problem would result in their entire premise being disproven.

What there is quite good evidence for is that gun bans reduce supply, thus increasing the price of guns.

Moreover you're badly mistaken on self-defence in the UK. You can't walk around with a 1796, but keeping one at home where you can use it is fine, and more hard-core then any weapon a criminal is likely to transport on the streets; assuming you can convince the police that it's not a Samurai sword you'll even get the damn thing back.

Comment Re:Translation: (Score 1) 246

Technically Schneider seems not to be RIAA. She left her label quite a few years ago, and is an independent at the moment.

She also seems to be spitting mad that she wasn't able to get into ContentID, and absolutely convinced the denial was primarily because she doesn't have aYoutube channel. The "spitting mad" makes it hard to tell how much serious her proposals are, because they could just be hyperbole. Frankly it's incoherent enough that I couldn't finish reading it.

I don't doubt the RIAA will try to take advantage of this somehow, particularly if she starts a grassroots musician's rebellion, but if there is one puppet they are not pulling strings on it's this woman.

Comment Re:"The G part stands for GNU?" (Score 1) 436

Playing around with Java means you played around with Java, it does not mean you magically gain a strong opinion on the eternal Starship Enterprise vs. Star Destroyer debate. So it's hard to know how much background he got on the cultural stuff, particularly the FOSS community.

Moreover it's entirely possible he knows what's going on better then he lets on, and he's trying to get Google's guys to explain so that the dumbest possible Juror knows what's going on.

Comment Re: Digital hoarders (Score 1) 214

iTunes is a dumpster fire of astronomical proportions, but at some point the user has to take some responsibility for not entrusting valuable data to a flaky consumer-grade application. This sounds like a case where the wrong tool was used for the job.

I suspect he had iTunes to listen to shit he bought, and pro-grade software to deal with his own compositions, but a) as a composer the amount of songs he has to buy is probably several orders of magnitude greater then that of a sane person, and b) it's not unlikely iTunes found his work stash all by itself, and then when he clicked the wrong dialogue on the "cleaning space" screen it decided "why does he need 6 separate versions of this one song we have on the iTunes cloud" and deleted his originals.

Comment Re:Seriously incompetent (Score 1) 214

Erm, do you develop software?
Soirce code is hold in a source code management system/versioning system.
Onviously for single apps all developers have access to all code. Everything else is not realy imaginable.

Given the complex frankenstein-style monstrosity that is iTunes, I would not be surprised to find out that there are a couple different teams and that the iTunes store guys simply do not spend time looking at the video playback code.

There'd definitely be an engineer who could bring it all together, and search the entire codebase, tho.

Comment Not surprised (Score 1) 206

The content of Slate is some of my favorite on the internet, but every time I try to interact with anything technical it pisses the fuck out of me. Their comments system is horrible, and won't even load half the time. The commenters themselves seem to be pretty good, but participating in the conversation is a nightmare.

So I am not surprised at all the back-end designed by whomever the English Majors hired requires some weird-ass obscure tracking software that's more then a wee skoch shady.

Comment Re:This summary does not make sense... (Score 1) 416

"You can't be charged with violating an Executive Order" is confusing? I thought it was pretty simple. If you are charged with a crime in Court, the piece of paper that announces the government thinks you fucked up, and should be put in jail, will not have an Executive Order on it. It will have a statute. There is probably some circumstance where Obama could drag somebody into Court for violating one of his orders without referring to a statute, but damned if I can think of any*.

Now depending on the precise situation; the statute they're talking about, which generally includes powers Congress has delegated to the President; etc.; the Court may end up talking about an Executive Order a lot. But "fuck that Executive Order, the actions the government is alleging don't violate the statute" is always a valid defense you can use.

Which is a huge reason I think Hillary is likely to get off. I looked into the actual statutes, and mis-storing classified info requires you did that shit "knowingly", which means that if you can argue you thought it was fine (perhaps because Colin Powell stored classified material the same way) you have by definition not violated the statute. You may have violated the fuck out of the Executive Order, but the Court's job does not involve enforcing Executive Orders.

*Altho he can fuck you up using non-Court-related Powers. Just ask all those poor mother-fuckers he droned. But that's all extra-Judicial.

Comment Re:This summary does not make sense... (Score 1) 416

Ignorantia juris non excusat - ignorance of the law is not an excuse. It's actually foundational to US law. You're a fucking idiot.

And your reading comprehension needs work.

"This was not willful," is not an "I didn't know that the offense I am charged with is illegal" defense, it's an "I didn't know I was doing the offense I am charged with" defense.

In this case Hillary's lawyers would be arguing that, as a baby boomer non-technical person, she figured if a private email server was secure enough for Colin Powell it would be secure enough for her too. So for the Prosecutor to win on that basis he'd need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a) somebody in her camp knew that using a private server would violate the statute, b) she was actually told this by that person, c) a rational Hillary Clinton would have believed that person and not the fact that the other Secretary of State who used email prior to her had used a private account with no legal grumbling, etc.

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