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Comment Why Congress? (Score 1) 379

The objections already raised here are valid, but there's one more idea I haven't see anyone mention yet (apologies to whoever posted it if I missed it):

What makes this guy think Congress is in any way qualified to make such a determination? We're talking about the very same group of people who sat around chuckling in amusement at the SOPA hearings as they proudly proclaimed themselves not to understand any of the technical issues because they weren't nerds. It's highly doubtful that any of these buffoons would be able to enter someone's number into their cell phone contacts, yet someone's proposing they should decide whether a new technology would be disruptive?

But then again, what difference would it make? I think we all know who would be doing the actual deciding anyway.

Books Investor Sues Company For Lack Of Profit 181

The board of claims that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than to make money on the domain name, but an angry shareholder disagrees. From the article: "James Solakian filed the lawsuit in Delaware's Chancery Court against the board of for breaching their duty by refusing to sell the site or run the company in a profitable way. The lawsuit cites a valuation done by a potential purchaser that estimated could be worth more than, which recently sold for more than $100 million."

Comment Your eBay account (Score 1) 372

So, it would seem to me that this would require giving the... uh, object, and by extension Larsen himself, access to your eBay account if you win. Unless I'm missing something, that would seem to be the only way it could start a new auction.

While I'm sure he doesn't have any ideas about ripping people off (beyond the stated idea behind the auction itself, in regard to which I'm in the "scam" camp), that just doesn't sit right with me.


Apple Patches Massive Holes In OS X 246

Trailrunner7 writes with this snippet from ThreatPost: "Apple's first Mac OS X security update for 2010 is out, providing cover for at least 12 serious vulnerabilities. The update, rated critical, plugs security holes that could lead to code execution vulnerabilities if a Mac user is tricked into opening audio files or surfing to a rigged Web site." Hit the link for a list of the highlights among these fixes.

Comment Re:User friendly (Score 1) 222

# After I'm finished reading, I can sell my Kindle book back to a used Kindle bookstore?

Actually, it occurs to me that this might be a consumer-friendly use that DRM could facilitate. If you've purchased a plain text file or an "unprotected" pdf or whatnot, the store has every reason not to buy it back because there's no incentive for the customer to delete the copy he purchased. Some probably would, but too many wouldn't.

There would be no physical copy to return, so that the store could resell it. But if they can "deactivate" your copy, why not offer the option to sell it back? Maybe they could offer the choice at the time of purchase:

( ) Click here to purchase a DRM-free copy. You will not be able to sell it back to us.
( ) Click here to purchase a DRM-encrusted copy. You will, if you want, be able to "sell it back" to us later for half of your original purchase price.

Or something. I don't know; the idea came to me just now and I haven't thought it through very far. Maybe there's some reason why it wouldn't work at all.

Comment Re:Piracy (Score 1) 358

If we went back to the original system, if the authors want to earn more money after their copyrights expire, they would have to get up off of their asses and work some more, just like the rest of us have to. If they don't want to have to work later in life, they should put some of their current earnings into a 401k, like the rest of us have to.

It also should not be overlooked that if copyright terms were shortened, it wouldn't prevent the artist from continuing to profit from his work. Those profits would undoubtedly drop when the work falls into the public domain, since he's now (probably) competing with free versions and (possibly) other publishers putting out other editions. But still... If, for example, Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica" were out of copyright and I were looking to replace my CD copy, I would probably get the "official" version that Beefheart himself would collect royalties from (assuming he were to have such a version available). Now, this is just a "probably" because (a) the official version might have some quality issues I would object to, and/or (b) there might be a competing edition with some compelling value-added features I couldn't overlook -- although Beefheart himself would be in a unique position to add some killer bonus features himself if he wanted. At any rate, the official version would be the first one I'd consider.

Admittedly, that's just me. But I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who thinks that way.

Comment Re:Idiots... (Score 1) 584

While I feel sorry for deaths and accidents caused by human stupidity you can't legislate against it, I would be more for looking into the viability of equipping cars with attention monitoring devices to see whether such a thing is viable or not, kind of like a blackbox to keep a record of the persons idiocy that can be used as evidence in court.

I don't know. What I see here is one more thing on the car that's going to cost me $1000 to repair when, as is inevitable, it breaks.

Comment Re:The Questions (Score 1) 404

I would love to see the wording of the questions because, honestly, I cannot imagine why anyone would not want to see ads (assuming you have to see _an_ ad) that is targeted at their interests rather than just any random ad.

Because--just speaking strictly for myself--if it's accurately targeted, then maybe there's a greater chance that I'll be suckered into buying something I don't need but think I want, thereby wasting money and contributing to the overall clutter in the house.

Screw that.

Comment Re:No shit sherlock (Score 2, Insightful) 157

If you see a painting and your only reaction is "oh, that's pretty" it's probably NOT art. If it takes your breath away and makes you say "WOW!" it is art.

This might be valid as the starting point for a discussion if you're sitting in Philosophy 101 and aesthetics is the current topic. But if you have a court case in which the question "Is it art?" might play a role, you can't very well apply that standard, can you?

Comment Re:Corporate SOP (Score 4, Insightful) 331

Its how "the system" has worked since nearly the beginning of human time, and really a non story. The world runs on politics and deceit..

You're right. You're absolutely right...

Show me something that isn't the status quo, and we have a story.

...but the point isn't whether it's "a story" or not. The point is whether people are doing things they shouldn't be doing and possibly acting to the detriment of the public good. Just because it's "business as usual" doesn't make it all right.

And "the news" isn't supposed to exist simply to satisfy the public's craving for a steady supply of entertaining stories (yes, I know how naive I sound saying that because that's not really how it works).

Comment Re:Corporate SOP (Score 2, Informative) 331

All major corporations have strategic meetings about their main competition. Why is this so different just because its Mircosoft doing it?

If you can reasonably describe them as "strategic meetings," it's certainly not news no matter who's doing it. If you have words like "lobbyists" and "discredit" in the story, it warrants some attention -- again, no matter who's doing it.

Comment Re:They don't require trolling (Score 2, Insightful) 1164

These people make an unpopular argument for an opinion they themselves support, with the intent to discuss the topic.

But the syllabus doesn't require discussion. It merely requires 10 posts. You could hit 10 different web sites on a Saturday afternoon and do that with very little thought or preparation, and then it's Miller Time. If Dr. Dembski wants discussion, he/she needs to say so because many students will do as little as they think they can get away with - which is not something to be encouraged or condoned, but it is the reality and something one should account for.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 1164

You have to make a stand and really be able to defend your beliefs, and defend them well because there are some really well versed atheists out there, both in terms of science and theology.

Maybe so, for some (but not all) of them. I see a problem, though, if copying and pasting text to an internet message board is sufficient. That has no educational value.

Comment Re:News at 11 (Score 1) 553

If I were a bad guy, I might want to look for a system that had no requirements on how to create a password. Then I would assume that 90-plus percent of users would just use an ordinary "dictionary word" in all lower-case and proceed accordingly. I'm not a computer security guy, and I don't know if I'm way off-base with this or not. Just sayin'...

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