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Comment Re:I agree somewhat (Score 5, Insightful) 288

Taylor Swift, U2 and others talk about looking out for the small guy, but it's self enrichment that they are really after. These 'artists' were happy with DMCA when people like Jamie Thomas paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for downloading a song. They weren't signing petitions then. Now that YouTube is making money, they want a bigger piece of the pie. Nothing wrong with wanting more money, but "consumer benefit" is a lie.

YouTube has done more to bring music to the poor, by being free, than these clowns.

Comment Re:Is it just me? (Score 1) 328

Just when you think MS cannot go any lower, they come and surprise you.

If people want to keep using MS, that's their problem. For 90% of users, who's computer experience is limited to internet surfing, email, facebook, youtube, music, and occasional documents (google docs, pages, libreoffice) - guess what, either osx or linux work. For these users, they are better off having their next hardware be mac or linux-compatible (ubuntu has a list of hundreds of desktops and laptops by vendors such as dell and hp here:, .

For those with proprietary software that only runs on windows, you should at least shoot an email to the software vendor. It's voices like yours that will give them the incentive to invest resources in making cross-platform software.

That's the pragmatic approach.

Comment Re:I am a sockpuppet (Score 4, Informative) 110

A traitor to what exactly?

Yeah, traitor to what exactly? Is he a traitor to United States by telling American public how the government is harming the country by secretly running an unconstitutional police and surveillance state?

Well being of a country comes from strength of the people, not of the government. Where government is far more powerful than the people, you get countries like Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. If that's your ideal form of government, try living there first.

Comment Re:Why is enforcement the ISP's responsibility? (Score 1) 263

Unlike what seems like a large portion of Slashdot, I don't think there's an ethical defense for piracy. However, the punishment ought to be proportional to the egregiousness of the offense committed. The massive settlements against people who weren't infringing a lot of content is absurd. And there's no reason to disconnect people from internet access for piracy, either temporarily or permanently. That's ridiculous.

I'd suggest that for the casual offender, the maximum settlement should be the larger of 1.3*(retail price)*(number of proven downloads) or, 10*(retail price). Let the much larger settlements only apply to the most egregious offenders.

There is an ethical defense of copyright infringement as well. That is unreasonable copyright terms made into laws by lobbyists, that do not take into account public interest. How is the duration of copyright for 50-100 years AFTER author's death acceptable? Even patents last just 20 years. Where is public interest in the insane $150,000 penalty for copying a single movie? So if the industry has no shame in abusing the legal system through bribes to make profits and intimidating citizenry, then public likewise should have no shame in invalidating such abuse.

Comment Long term answer (Score 1) 62

This situation demonstrates an opportunity for us geeks to envision a system where signed public key is used to communicate between you and your business. For example, if my address book entry for XYZ Bank or other institution had the bank's public key, and the bank had mine, then we could authenticate the communication whether it be email or voip or even ATM. Technologically we can do it.

Comment Re:Want big Hollywood movies? Eliminate Hollywood (Score 3) 144

This is the attitude I don't understand.

If you don't like big-budget Hollywood movies and prefer independent films, that's cool. You can watch plenty of independent films online and offline. I take a similar tack with software - I don't care for how Microsoft treats their customers, so I don't use their software. I've been using open source for decades.

What makes no sense is "I love $200 million cinema spectaculars so much, I'll steal them to make it more difficult to fund the next one."

Ah, isn't it the same hollywood who bribes legislators to extend copyright to 70+ years after death and penalty for copyright violation to worse than assault? Does that seem like good ethical behavior to you?

I say fuck hollywood. They turn our government against us, so I do whatever I can to hurt them financially. It probably doesn't make any difference, but those crooks deserve no sympathy.

Comment Maybe a little overreaction? (Score 4, Interesting) 150

It's hard to conclude from a 3% drop from 70% to 67% that internet freedom is getting dissolved. Specifically, there's no mention of any particular freedom that is less doable today than it was in the past. So what is the article about? According to the article, there is decreasing home broadband and increasing wireless. One could argue that instead of "walls closing in", it's actually that wireless broadband has become cheaper. For many non-techies, 1-2 GB/mo wireless data gets them all the emails and web surfing they occasionally need.

Obviously it doesn't apply to the crowd here. I myself have a 50/50 mbps Fios.

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