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Comment Re:Legally questionable scenarios? (Score 1) 230

They fired me three days after reporting this flaw, calling me a security risk.

This is a lesson I learned early on--fortunately not at the cost of a job: don't make the people responsible for security look incompetent or they will label you a "hacker" (in the pejorative sense) and do everything in their power to harm your career. If security is not one of your job responsibilities, keep things like that to yourself.

Comment Re:drug testing? (Score 1) 212

I don't use illegal drugs, but would have to have emptied my last can of beans before accepting a job that required a drug test that didn't involve a TS codeword security clearance or was truly a physical safety critical position (e.g. commercial pilot). This is on principle, not because I don't want my employer to know about a weekend crack habit.


Has Any Creative Work Failed Because of Piracy? 1115

Andorin writes "Anyone familiar with the piracy debate knows about the claims from organizations like the RIAA that piracy causes billions of dollars in damages and costs thousands of jobs. Other studies have concluded differently, ranging from finding practically no damages to a newer study that cites 'up to 20%' as a more accurate number (PDF). I figure there's got to be an easier way to do this, so here's my question: Does anyone know of any creative works that were provably a financial failure due to piracy? The emphasis on 'provably' is important, as some form of evidence is necessary. Accurately and precisely quantifying damages from p2p is impossibly hard, of course, but answering questions like this may lead us to a clearer picture of just how harmful file sharing really is. I would think that if piracy does cause some amount of substantial harm, we would see that fact reflected in our creative works, but I've never heard of a work that tanked because people shared it online."

BSA Says Software Theft Exceeded $51B In 2009 350

alphadogg sends a piece going over the Business Software Alliance's latest stats on software theft around the world. "Expanding PC sales in emerging markets is increasing the rate of software piracy, according to the Business Software Alliance and IDC. The rate of global software piracy in 2009 was 43%, meaning that for every $100 worth of legitimate software sold in 2009, an additional $75 worth of unlicensed software also made its way into the market. This is a 2-percentage-point increase from 2008. Software theft exceeded $51 billion in commercial value in 2009, according to the BSA. IDC says lowering software piracy by just 10 percentage points during the next four years would create nearly 500,000 new jobs and pump $140 billion into 'ailing economies.' ... In the United States, software piracy remained at 20%, the lowest level of software theft of any nation in the world. ... The PC markets in Brazil, India, and China accounted for 86% of the growth in PC shipments worldwide." The BSA president said, "Few if any industries could withstand the theft of $51 billion worth of their products." It's unclear whether that was a brag about the industry's robustness, or a result of the industry's low cost of goods sold.

Major ISPs Help Fund BitTorrent User Tracking Research 190

An anonymous reader writes "I was scanning conference proceedings to come up with ideas for a reading group I run at my workplace, and I noticed an interesting paper from the new IEEE WIFS forensics conference. Researchers from the University of Colorado have published a technique for tracking BitTorrent users (PDF) by joining and actively probing torrent swarms using low-cost cloud computing services. They claim their methods allowed them to monitor the entire Pirate Bay torrent set for as little as $13/mo using EC2. But that's not even the interesting part. Their work appears to have been 'funded in part through gifts from PolyCipher' — a broadband ISP consortium. That's right; three major national ISPs funded this round of BitTorrent tracking research, not the MPAA/RIAA. Could this be evidence of ISP support for ACTA and a global three-strikes law?"

Bono Hopes Content Tracking Will Help Media Moguls 569

Khalid Baheyeldin writes "In his New York Times op-ed column, Irish singer Bono, otherwise noted for his humanitarian efforts expressed dismay at losses music artists incur from internet downloads. He notes that 'we know from America's noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China's ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it's perfectly possible to track content.' He then goes on to wonder 'perhaps movie moguls will succeed where musicians and their moguls have failed so far, and rally America to defend the most creative economy in the world, where music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product.'"

Comment Re:theoretical fixes (Score 1) 477

In only a generation or two we could be right back to fuedalism !

No, it's a self-balancing stable system. The more tax breaks and subsidies you give yourself, the smaller your vote. Do remember that the poor will naturally outnumber the rich to a great degree, and that the reverse is impossible. Giving a bit more power to the productive (less stupid) people would lead to political debate being a bit more intellectual.

Our current system is unstable. Welfare slowly increases over time because the poor are able to vote for it. They destroy their own jobs (their global competitiveness) via all sorts of goodies that raise the cost of employing them.

Comment Re:Illusion (Score 1) 477

China's desire to control its exchange rate isn't just advantageous for them, its good for us (those of us in westernized countries) too. If it wasn't for their exchange rate, we wouldn't be able to buy all the cheap products we have today. Flat screen monitors, computers, hell even little dinky plastic parts would be much more expensive. As much as we may not like our money flowing into the east, I highly doubt anyone here would be willing to give up the lifestyle that cheap Chinese products has provided us.

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