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Comment Re:Well... isn't it government property? (Score 1) 175

Exactly. ICANN and IANA don't exist because they have a mandate from the US government, they exist because there is a consensus that they're doing a reasonable job. You don't own an IP address because IANA says so, you own an IP address because the people who configure the BGP routes for backbone networks agree to send packets for you to the place that you've asked. They currently do this because they perceive the assignments made by IANA (and then subsequently by national organisations) to be fair and equitable. If it looks like the USA is imposing too much control on IANA, then their authority goes away and there is likely to be a new consensus about whose assignments become the real ones (probably with a long interim process where bits of the Internet were broken or unreliable).

Ironically, a lawsuit like this is exactly the sort of thing that would push the consensus away from the USA.

Comment Re:Obama.... (Score 1) 175

That's only because it never occurred to the MAFIAA to take the case to a US court. "This court has jurisdiction because all the good movies are made here, so anyone pirating movies is doing business with California" or something.

Just a thought, but perhaps it's for the best that ICANN gets handed over before Sweden gets an investor-state arbitration treaty with the US.

I think if they were able to do that, they would have already. They tried SOPA/PIPA afterall, and those would have been much worse because they'd even impact youtube, whereas going after ICANN wouldn't do anything to youtube.

They know that it's going to be very difficult to influence US law after what happened with SOPA, so now they're going after international law via treaty organizations. And, guess what we're handing ICANN over to?

Comment Re:guess again (Score 4, Informative) 49

We are busy importing hundreds of thousands of unscreened people from areas where measles still runs rampant. This little blip will not last.

And don't forget: Three of the four presidential candidates are anti-vaxxers.

Comment Re:Don't care, already turned off (Score 2) 63

However, in their favor, the adjustments to the alert system also are going to improve the geographical targetting, so that they will be more narrowly broadcast to just the areas affected

I kind of doubt that will make a difference for amber alerts. I think the idea is that the kidnapper can have driven a long ways away by the time the alert is made, so they will invariably make it blanket a large area. I still turn off the amber alerts though because every time I've had one happen, I've either been in bed or been in my office with no chance of hitting the road to be able to see the perpmobile speeding away.

I also turn off the severe weather alerts because we routinely get severe heat warnings (which I've received while riding my bike one time and I didn't feel hot at all) flash floods (if you're in an area affected by a flash flood, then the warning is already too late, and if you get stuck in one after the fact you're retarded and probably deserve to get a Darwin award) and dust storm warnings (honestly, who gives a fuck?)

I leave the extreme weather alerts on but have yet to ever get one, but I'm in Phoenix Arizona where there's basically no such thing as natural disasters.

Comment Re:Obama.... (Score 2) 175

ICANN includes IANA with it. IANA is the authority for IP address ownership. If you don't have an IP address, no amount of fucking with DNS will allow you to be reachable.

The status quo is such that the US government doesn't seize ownership of either domain names or IP addresses, except those that are registered or otherwise managed within its own jurisdiction. Sites that the US government really hates (thepiratebay for example) don't have a problem existing so long as their names and numbers aren't any of those delegated for use within the US. There hasn't been any indication at all that this will ever change.

If governance over the whole thing transfers elsewhere, there isn't any telling what new rules can be added. Examples could include international laws being enforced in ways that they've never previously been enforced, such as WIPO rules being applied to kill sites like thepiratebay.

Comment Re:Free TV app (Score 1) 39

You know they're going to make people hate it by crippling it and make them want to go back to the cable box. Examples of ways they can do that include preventing fast-forwarding commercials.

Personally I think it's a wasted effort. Right now we're witnessing capitalism do its thing as streaming services are gradually doing what the FCC already failed to do with cablecard over a decade ago. Pretty much the only people who give a shit about cable anymore are people who watch sports, but if you watch sports then you're already getting fucked from multiple angles (i.e. pay per screw, high per subscriber rates for ESPN and other sports channels, blackouts, etc) and I really doubt that a set top box rule is going to do you any favors.

Comment Re:I'm confused... (Score 1) 175

While I fully agree that (while we sometimes do our best to pretend otherwise) US constitutional protections of speech are vastly better than the world's in general, even the parts not commonly considered to be despotic hellholes; and I think that letting Team Morality into the TLD business will be a clusterfuck; it isn't clear that ICANN being under US contract ensures that US standards prevail on the internet; or that the aforementioned clusterfuck is avoided.

Since ICANN has no actual teeth, aside from the inconveniences of being incompatible, it is already routine for entities of various sizes; from home networks with cheapie routers whose embedded DNS servers give themselves a name friendlier than; to companies trying to keep employees off facebook at work; to the Great Firewall of China and the 'Halal Internet' of Iran; to implement a 'mostly what ICANN says; except when we disagree' assignment of internet names and numbers; and when you have legal authority(and sometimes direct ownership or control) of the ISPs, that counts for a lot.

On the Team Morality and the TLDs side; the Department of Commerce couldn't, or didn't feel like, keeping ICANN from treading the road of total insanity of allowing gTLDs to proliferate like mad. That terrible plan already has the trademark lawyers, the morality police, every last idiot with sensitive feelings about anything, and so on up in arms and likely to keep squabbling until the heat death of the universe.

If it were actually the case that ICANN is a good vehicle for advancing America's better nature worldwide; and that maintaining American operation of ICANN was instrumental to keeping it that way; I'd be 100% against letting anyone else touch it. I'm just not convinced that either of those are particularly true. It is easy, and people already do wherever they have the requisite power, to operate "ICANN, minus what I dislike" and have it stick against all but moderately determined users. Some countries do it much harder than others; with the US most enthusiastic when copyright is involved; but ICANN has zero effect on how easy it is.

Comment That depends... (Score 1) 67

I know that "That depends" is the second most frustrating answer(after "yes and no"); but it is true here.

Across what geographic area, set of topics, etc. are these minutely articles distributed?

If you consider a global scale, and a fairly wide variety of interests(not necessarily serious niche stuff; but all the sections that a major Sunday print newspaper traditionally had); one article a minute is downright patchy coverage.

If you are talking a local news outlet; or a "just the foreign events large enough to be relevant" offering; it strongly suggests that they are really, really playing hard with the 'minimum publishable unit' concept.

If the once-a-minute number is across a whole stable of publications catering to different interests; then it might be the case that once you remove the celebrity gossip they actually only publish every ten minutes; Given how few genuinely just-a-local-paper operations exist these days, the quoted publication rate is probably across a media empire that isn't expected to appeal to any single individual: it'll probably have local news for more places than any one person could live/work; cultural tidbits across more fields any one person cares about; politics from around the world, and so on.

I'd argue that there are really two better questions: Ignore the stated total output; and ask "How much are they publishing that I find worth reading?" and "Is their focus on speed killing their ability to focus?" The first question is obvious: you don't enjoy news by the pound or by the word; you enjoy news by how much you actually feel like reading. The second is slightly trickier: Mere 'data' are pretty easy to come by. The sorts of news reports that you get when you give an experienced reporter plenty of time and room to dig into a matter he is experienced with are much less so. If an outfit's metrics-driven chase after viral listicles has caused them to cancel all reporting that can't be reworded from AP feeds by interns within 20 minutes; they've hollowed themselves out and it barely matters how fast they churn out "content" because none of it will add up to anything. If they just generate a lot of material because they have a lot of people reporting; that's a different matter.

Comment Re:Ummm ... (Score 1) 7

The fascism is in the people who scapegoat third parties when their favorite party loses,

No. Not even close. Not unless you're using the term to mean "Anything I don't like" like some 1980s activist "Man, you can't MAKE me vote, that's fascism man!"

I agree it sucks we'll face the choice we're facing, but those are the breaks. In most elections I'd encourage third party voting if you really don't like the major parties - it sends a message that your vote is available if only the major party closest to you is willing to change a few policies and its behavior. In this case we have an actual fascist - that is, an authoritarian who's advocated shutting down criticism, who's supported violence against his opponents, and who is scapegoating minorities and advocating hate against them - running against an unappealing, but nonetheless democratic candidate, and the election is close, too close to be "sending a message" to the big 2.

Am I going to blame Stein voters for a Trump victory? No, I'm going to blame the Democratic establishment for nominating such a divisive uninspiring candidate. But I'm still going to encourage everyone in a swing state to vote for her, because Trump is terrible.

Comment Re:somewhere in between (Score 1) 7

I was making an analogy. I hate suburbia, but just because it would be easy to escape it via certain methods (for example, going to prison) doesn't mean that alternative is better. Just because Prison would be something I could escape to NOW doesn't mean if I reject it I'm blocked from escaping to, say, a city at a later date.

Likewise, putting a fascist in charge of the USA is a pretty extreme and negative way to get rid of the establishment. It might achieve it, but the results are unquestionably worse than the alternative, especially as "not replacing the establishment now" does not mean we'll be unable to in the future.

...of course, as I've said elsewhere, Trump isn't even "not the establishment". He represents, by and large, the people who are running the country, but feel threatened by others who want to finally have some say in how their government works. And Clinton? Well, she's one of the people who threatens them - but she's spent the last few decades trying to make herself part of it.

Whether she's succeeded or not depends on whether you think she is going to spend the next four years doing ordinary politics, or whether she's going to spend the entire time fighting bogus investigations from people who clearly think she's not a legitimate President.

Comment Re:Blocking is illegal, but this isn't... (Score 1) 168

They where NOT preventing anybody from operating on any spectrum they wished, you could walk outside of the venue and crank up your WiFi hotspot anytime you wished. Private property owners have the right to allow or deny any activity on their property they choose

C'mon, that's so obviously not true I'm not sure how you finished typing it. Anyway, the airwaves are special. You can't charge a fee to have access to them on your property. (So many things are special that it's hard to think of them as special cases these days - there are exceptions to just about everything you wrote - for example, you can't make rules that have the effect of excluding black people from your property. There's lots of case law around dress codes.) Excluding is different from restricting to only those who pay a fee.

If we don't have such property rights in this country, then why do we call it "private property"?

Conservatives asking that for years now. Just try creating a pond on your property!

Comment Re:I'd like to hear a coherent argument (Score 3, Informative) 175

Isn't that a pretty easy one? Unless you adhere to a reading of the constitution that allows for virtually no federal government activity at all(in which case ARPA probably shouldn't have ever had the cash to spend on the project; and the Department of Commerce either shouldn't exist or should be a tiny fraction of the size and scope); the US government clearly has the authority to spend allocate DoD funds to an R&D project deemed to be of military interest; to hire somebody to handle the technical work bundled under the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority; and to transfer the contract for the same functions over to the Department of Commerce once it became clear that civilian and commercial applications of the technology were where the action is.

That doesn't mean that the US has any right to get other people to care what its DNS servers say; what media types it defines, etc; but it takes a pretty narrow reading of their powers to suggest that they don't have the authority to set up a body to publish that sort of thing in the hopes that others will adopt it because being compatible is more valuable than getting to DIY every aspect of the system.

So far as I know, nobody has ever claimed US authority over 'DNS'(indeed; back in the heady days of the .com bubble, companies trying to get users to point to their nameservers so that they could sell shitty vanity domains were a dime a dozen; and nobody even argued that US nationals had any duty to abide by ICANN-defined names and numbers; it's just that the market value of DNS servers that live in a strange world of their own turned out to be pretty limited). ICANN's authority, to the degree it has any, is founded in the fact that it's a pain in the ass to administer and maintain systems that have drifted out of compatibility with what the majority is using.

Even today, and for years now, DNS servers and other infrastructure routinely flout ICANN in situations where the benefits are greater than the costs(oddball hostnames on LANs; lazy content blocking by providing bogus IPs for sites you don't want users getting to, just choosing your own damn port because you feel like running your protocol on it, etc.) They pay more attention in places where incompatibility would hurt more: competing claims on various TLDs would get to be quite a mess; your life would really suck if your pet flavor of IP starts to differ enough that you need custom routing hardware, that sort of thing.

Nobody needs ICANN's blessing to just ignore them; but it's pretty easy to justify the Department of Commerce paying some people to be DNS jockeys.

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