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Comment Re:proper mail voting explained: (Score 1) 181

1) Embassy voting is not a real thing. Nor would it make any sense, as different states handle elections differently, but embassies are a unified federal system. Nor does the US have embassies in every country. Nor are embassies guaranteed to be anywhere remotely near where a person lives within a country.

2) "Advance voting" makes no sense for expats. Believe it or not, some citizens live overseas. Including the military, by the way, who you apparently want to disenfranchise.

3) Your #1 case does nothing to guarantee vote privacy. The person can very well watch the individual fill out their ballot and then seal it up. All it does is make it harder/more expensive for the disabled to vote.

Comment Re:I wanted to take a photo of my ballot (Score 1) 181

Because I still have citizenship and because I still have to fill out stupid freaking IRS returns every year (unlike every other country on earth concerning their expats)?

US citizenship is a big disadvantage to carry around and getting to vote is the one decent thing that one gets out of it as an expat.

Comment Re:I wanted to take a photo of my ballot (Score 1) 181

That 3% number is clearly nonsense. And you can contact the county offices to make sure your ballot was received and is in order (which I did).

My vote is overseas. They're counted at the same time as local votes. You're thinking of absentee ballots.

What state are you? Don't forget about the downballot races.

Comment Re:Grid Scale Batteries (Score 3, Insightful) 117

Solyndra was a bet that silicon prices would remain high. It was a way to get more power out of less silicon. The bet was wrong. With the drop in price in silicon, their death was inevitable. They also had a weird design decision, going for the concentrator. It made sense (in the economics of the time) to go for either concentrators or CIGS, but not both.

That said, the government took way too much flak - politically motivated - over Solyndra. With any diverse profile of startup investments, you expect some to fail. Economists analyzing the ARRA post-facto have been by and large given it quite positive evaluations for its effects on the economy. The loans program office had already wiped out the Solyndra loss just two years later.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 117

It's not about possession, it's about who's in control of the "make a copy" process.

So if I first ask my girlfriend to make me a mix CD, then I become party to her copyright infringement, but if she just does it of her own accord I'm fine?

Yes. It's called induced infringement - where you induce another to infringe on your behalf.
The rest of your questions have the same answer.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 117

I was under the impression that downloading is illegal, but uploading is not, and that is why it is handled in civil, not criminal, court. Is that correct?

Nope, both are illegal, both criminally and civilly. Specifically, 15 USC 504 has civil remedies for copyright infringement, including both copying and distribution. 15 USC 506 has criminal punishments for copyright infringement, including both copying and distribution. The difference? The criminal penalties only attach when the infringement was committed "for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain"; "by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180–day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000"; or "by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution."

For most casual sharing, it's not for private financial gain, so the first one is out. It's also not usually totaling over $1000... but watch out, because many people's upload or shared folder can frequently approach that. And it's rarely a leaked pre-release work, though that does happen too. So, generally, most people don't run into criminal copyright infringement (it tends to be more counterfeiters), but it could happen.

Comment Re:Thought. (Score 2) 117

Normally I don't respond to ACs, but this is a good question:

Find a torrent you want to investigate.

Join that torrent. Don't seed. Just advertise you have the whole thing.

Log any requests, but serve up bum content; fail checksums, or hit protocol errors, simply time out, seed bad data at 1B/s, whatever. You're not giving that tacit license, since you're not feeding proper data.

It's a good thought, but there's the problem - you're not serving up the copyrighted work, so therefore, you don't know that the accused recipients downloaded the copyrighted work... and in fact, you explicitly know that they didn't, because they got crap. Like, if I record myself farting into a microphone for five minutes and then upload it to a network with the label "Creed - new hot single!.mp3", even though you may not be able to tell the difference when you download it, I couldn't sue you for copyright infringement of Creed's new song, because I know for a fact that you didn't make a copy of Creed's new song.

So, yeah, by uploading bad content, you don't give an implied license to the good content, but you also can't be sure you're finding anyone who got the good content.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 2) 117

Is the recipient of a mix CD a copyright infringer? If not, it doesn't make any sense that a downloader would be either.

The one who started out in possession of the media, made and distributed a copy of it, is violating the right to control copying and distribution, i.e. copyright.

It's not about possession, it's about who's in control of the "make a copy" process. If I put something on a server, and you (via your computer) send a GET request, then you're initiating the copying. If you don't have a license to do that, then you're infringing copyright. I may also be infringing copyright by distributing it - it's not a you xor me requirement.
So, this becomes:

Someone who started out with nothing, and directed a system to make them a copy, distributed nothing, but ends up in possession of something that someone else illegally copied and distributed, has done what exactly that violates what law?

Directly infringed copyright, and the law is 15 USC 101 et seq.

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