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Comment Re:As a tech (component level repair) (Score 1) 222

You're not quite right on hobbyist electronics. It seems to have experienced something of a revival recently. The difficult electronics are now readily available in modular form, like arduinos and the many many breakout board accessories. It does tend to leave analog electronics neglected a bit, but there are still plenty of hobbyists around.

I've published a few of my hobby designs. I try to avoid SMD-only components wherever possible.

Comment Re:it goes both ways (Score 1) 222

You are not worth the trouble of arresting. They'll just ban your console from the online services.

If you offer it as a service, and draw a lot of business, or sell a product to perform the move, then they might sue you. You'd likely end up driven out of business by legal costs, and might incur a debt for legal fees several times greater than your possible lifetime earnings, but you still won't be arrested.

Comment Re:MS used to ban people for useing there own hdd' (Score 2) 222

The Gameboy uses a similar trick - I mean the original one, the first. The firmware in the device (such as it is, it's really tiny) checks for the presence of a certain byte sequence, an encoded image. If the bytes match expectations, it gets displayed. If they aren't there, the firmware locks the device. That's why if you power it on without a cartridge in you see a scrolling blank box: The image is the Nintendo logo.

The intention was to use trademark law to prevent unlicensed publishers selling games: In order to make a game cartridge run on the Gameboy, it had to include the Nintendo logo, and thus any unlicensed publishers would get sued by Nintendo for trademark infringement. I understand that a later supreme court ruling determined that a trademark could not be considered a trademark if it was incorporated into a functional element, but that was post-Gameboy.

I'm guessing Microsoft pull the same trick. Perhaps it still works in some countries.

Comment Re:Fake News (Score 1) 272

Not all of the fake reporters have those aims. Some of them simply want ad views, lots and lots of ad views. Making up news is a good way to get them. If you post a story titled "Trump's issues order permitting execution of illegal immigrants" or "Obama's secret terror cells in the white house' or 'Kim Kardashian to perform televised surgery" you are going to get a lot of views.

Comment Re:Future of Internet Porn (Score 1) 259

I actually did link the full text, but something in the post got mangled - not sure if it was me or Slashdot, but the link turned into plain text.

The key phrase in here is "including the federal obscenity laws." America actually has a federal law prohibiting-ish* all 'obscene' material on the internet, it's just that this law is seldom enforced because any effort to do so would be futile. It's a recurring complaint of the group Enough is Enough that this and some other laws are not enforced. The pledge is a masterpiece of political misdirection: It goes on a great length about child pornography, trafficking and abuse, but tucked away in the middle of it is a call to start cracking down on plain adult pornography as well. Of course no-one will publicly refuse to take a pledge which is almost entirely concerned with protecting children.

*Due to a rather complex tangle of laws and precedents, and laws specifically written to work around court rulings, it's not clear exactly what is prohibited. The Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act. It doesn't ban pornography directly - that would be unconstitutional - but instead imposes upon producers and distributors record-keeping requirements which are quite clearly intentionally impossible to comply with. If you want to host a porn site, you'd better have on file the name, address and verified identity of everyone who appears, including all those amateur video uploads, so you can prove they are all over eighteen.

Comment Re:Future of Internet Porn (Score 1) 259

Not quite. It was the "The Children's Internet Safety Presidential Pledge" produced by anti-pornography pressure group Enough is Enough. It starts out talking about sexual exploitation, child pornography, etc - all the things everyone can agree to fight against. But it goes on to broaden this out to include all pornography, no exceptions. This is because Enough is Enough believes that all pornography is dangerous and abusive by nature.

Here's the full text: The Children's Internet Safety Presidential Pledge

And the extract: "If elected President of the United State of America, I promise to: ... Uphold the rule of law by aggressively enforce existing federal laws to prevent the sexual exploitation of children online, including the federal obscenity laws ... by appointing an Attorney General who will make the prosecution of such laws a top priority in my administration.

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Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.