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Comment What's the big deal? (Score 5, Insightful) 389

Apple is trying to protect themselves from becoming a helpdesk, which is something they are not. They are very clear about this. The Genius Bar is also, very clear about this. They are not a help desk, and in advanced cases support comes at a price. Just as apple is not on the other side of the phone to teach you what each keyboard shortcut does, they're not there to fix every little computer problem you have. You can't call apple if you delete a photo, and all the same you can't call apple if you clicked a link and had your system violated.

The major problem is that we now have to recognize exactly what this means. This does not mean that the mac is more or less vulnerable, because it's not - it is exactly as vulnerable as it was before. The problem is that as the total users of Apple computers grows, the ratio of of (minority) secure users to (majority) vulnerable users grows in distance. As the Apple becomes more popular, the chance of the user interacting with the system is likely to follow a malicious link, open a malicious email, or fall for a malicious ad, is greater; there is a higher chance that this user is the type of user interacting with the system, as these are the most common users on the internet.

This is a trend that was not witnessed with PCs, as by the time Malware became a heavy component of the PC/Internet world, PCs had penetrated every aspect of the general public. Mom and little brother would follow any link to their hearts content, would want to help the Nigerian Prince, and would feel obligated to save the Penguins of North Africa. Apple has now begun penetrating this market as well, and it can only be assumed that the same ignorance will also affect the Apple community.

You can secure a computer all you want, it's very difficult to keep most people from clicking the latest joke link and falling for any one of the thousands of ads they'll see in a 5 minute time period. The only perfect solution, is to not let them on the computer at all.

Comment Copyright, Fair Use, the true intentions of it all (Score 1) 290

There is never anything wrong with wanting recognition for work done. It is your right, and you should demand it. Never should anyone ever stand for someone else getting credit for their hard work. That said, I can be completely honest when I say that I am afraid of the future. I am afraid of the future that holds a regard to copyright and fair use as it does in this situation. Was all of this really necessary? Was standing on a soap box and enlisting the army of the internet to troll this poor individual to oblivion, simply because you didn't get credit for your recipe? At which point does the matter go beyond being the right thing to do, to becoming pretentious or downright anal?

In grade school, I wrote a paper on a famous person. I couldn't quite come up with enough fluff to meet the overall requirements set forth by the teacher, so I lifted a paragraph from one of he sources, reworded it and turned it in without the citations. Ultimately, I ended up still getting knocked a few points for plagiarism. I complained, as any rebellious lazy teenager would have for getting points knocked off for what felt like impeccable work on my part to conceal the evidence. The point of the exercise went way over my head, as ultimately it meant nothing to me; I did not identify with the matter, and therefore it lacked any importance to me. As I've grown older though, I've come to understand what my English teachers were attempting to ultimately educate us on.

Many years on, reflecting on those lessons when reading this article, I feel as though perhaps they are teaching the wrong concept in school - or, maybe my understanding of the entire point of these protections is, for the post part, wrong. Today, it seems that a concept that has been around for 300 some odd years now, has within the last 10 years found itself skyrocketed into the poster child of public trolling existing today.

While it has been pointed out that the Cooks Source magazine has copied from many sources, I have to question the ultimate result of this overall situation. The magazine provided some pretty obvious services, none of which appeared in the least to be monetary for the proprietor. In raising the villagers, pitchforks in hands, the delivery of recipes and generally educational concepts to the probably desperately small group of frequent readers has now ceased. Granted, there is no shortage of recipe collections, however, it is reasonable to assume that there were at least a few individuals who enjoyed the material presented to them in Cooks Source.

This precedent scares the hell out of me. With the internet as its engine, bloggers as the fuel, and an impatient spark to top it all off, we now see the full power of copyright at hand. Copyright has now trolled an entire magazine out of business. This situation holds no difference to the situations that the RIAA and MPAA have placed upon the web in the form of patronizing and mass-suing for infringement of the same rights that the original author complained for.

The interesting thing of it all, is that we dwellers of the internet have our methods of trolling, be it 4chan or mass-traffic events caused through the slashdot effect, we have an innate ability to source the crowd as a whole and, whether it drives our opinion(s) forward or not, drive incredible amounts of traffic towards it to grant a distinct sense of popularity and substantiation to them.

On the other hand, groups like the RIAA, MPAA, and even the individuals like the original author here, have and utilize the exact same tools, although they have one additional tool that we do not. These doctrines like Copyright and Fair Use, all exist as physical manifestations in our real world. They are real - far more real than any conceivable publicity stunt we could perform through a DDoS or well written article.

As incidents like this occur, what stops someone from claiming fair use and copyright infringement on more important works? What happens when suddenly an object you use every day becomes an illegal work, because it violated a copyright? These sorts of events are already precipitating in the cell phone wars as patent suits continue growing, but patent suits are nothing new.

I don't like this, I don't like this one bit. I feel as though this has gone from protecting the rights of the creator, the rights of the author... to preventing the use, preventing the benefit of the creation. Why write a recipe, if you don't want others to see it? Why write an educational paper, if it can't be used to educate? Why draw a picture, for no one to see?

Comment Re:Welcome Back Ma Bell (Score 2, Interesting) 98

I can hardly attribute the recent merger and conglomeration of AT&T as a bad thing. I see it like this: 60 years ago as our country was coming out of a war that pushed technology to advance at the rate it is currently moving at today, AT&T stepped up with Bell Labs to convert that push into a very large, very succesful invention push that brought this country far ahead of our overseas brethren in terms of accomplishment and overall technological capability. If not for AT&T and its Bell Labs, we would not have the transistor, C (programming), UNIX... in reality, AT&T is the creator of the modern programmable computer. TDMA and CDMA, Fiber Optics, LEDs, CCDs. Bell Labs is pretty much the forefront of the technological community. The antitrust suit, although directed in a manner to allow AT&T to step into the computer arena and step slightly out of the phone arena, made bell labs cripple. In the past 10 years, the US has fallen behind in telecommunications. Things that we are just getting into our infrastructure, countries overseas have had for years. Our average broadband speed is less than 1/10th than the majority of other places in the world. We will not advance, if we do not embrace what advanced us in the first place. The exploration and implementation of new and powerful technologies country-wide to advance our infrastructure to handle and drive a more powerful nation, is expensive. How can you expect a bunch of small local companies with less capital than a fast food restaraunt to accomplish such a large task? If we are to meet broadband capabilities and the HDTV forecast, we need to accept that only a large, rich, powerful company can accomplish it. AT&T's antitrust suit was primarily due to their advancement into the computer industry. After the suit, their worth dropped SIGNIFICANTLY. The baby bells were nearly worthless, with the exception of SBC and BellSouth. The only others, were in too small of areas to really compete. Although there are a few others, the AT&T breakup is probably the biggest disagreement I have with some of the antitrust decisions of the last 100 years.

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