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Comment And yet once again, they'll learn. (Score 4, Insightful) 122

You can't put a back door in something, and only have certain people able to walk through it. If there's a vulnerability in the encryption that can be used to crack it by the service provider, someone else can do the same.

If this were implemented in the UK, it would totally kill Web commerce there. Who's going to put financial details across the Internet when it's as good as sent unencrypted? And if actual encryption is permitted for that purpose, well, then it can be used for any other purpose too.

I don't know why it's so difficult to understand. If you deliberately make something insecure, then it is, by definition, insecure. If it's designed to be secure, then even the designer can't break in, because if they can, someone else could do the same.

Comment I guess I might be a Muslim. (Score 1) 538

I'm an atheist, and have talked to other atheists and non-Muslims too. A lot of them, including me, will sign up for that "Muslim registry" if it ever comes into existence.

So let him make his "undesirables" registry. And let's flood it with so much junk data that it becomes totally worthless.

Comment Re:Stop using cars at all. (Score 1) 224

I got an average of 61 mpg when I drove from Denver to California in my Prius. And that includes through the mountainous sections of I-70 where you're doing heavy hills and constantly having to brake and accelerate again, and with the cruise set at 80 on the flat sections with a 75 mph limit.

Comment Re:Curing Greed. (Score 1) 448

Thanks for asking. There are lots of different schools of thought on the matter, so I'm just giving my own thoughts on it here, not an overview of every possibility entertained. If you were to strictly-speaking enforce a process of diminishing returns on concentrating wealth, that wouldn't be a free market anymore; keeping wealth from concentrating in a free market requires you find some kind of loophole or process that is enabling that, and then you just stop enabling it.

I think that that loophole is rent, including rent on money otherwise known as interest. I'm cutting this really quick here and glossing over a lot (mostly rebuttals to anticipated objections), but basically rents happen when one person has more capital than they (in their own estimation) need for their own use, and someone else has less capital than they (in their own estimation) need for their own use, and the one with more exploits that difference by charging the one with less a permanent fee for the temporary use of the capital, so that when the whole transaction is over, the one with more now has even more, and the one with less now has even less, and (this is the key part) that process then loops over and over and over again, unless by some other means the one with not enough capital manages to get enough capital of their own (a process made all the harder by having to pay to borrow someone else's meanwhile).

In the absence of the ability to rent the capital (lend it at interest), the one with more capital would need, if they wanted to profit from it at all (since they're not using it themselves), to sell their excess capital, and the only buyers would be those without enough already, so the sale would have to be on terms (price and payment schedule) the latter can afford, to satisfy both of their own self-interests. This would still come at the cost of extra labor from the buying party (being all that they have to trade, lacking in capital), and consequently afford the selling party some leisure (lack of labor needed), but that would be a temporary condition until the sale is complete. Afterward, both parties have the amount of capital they (in their own estimation) need for their own use, and can continue about their usual amount of labor, keeping the whole product thereof for themselves.

For illustration consider a toy model economy where the only capital is land, the only labor is farming, and there are only two identical participants, with the same needs and labor capacity. If they both have enough land to farm to meet their own needs, then they can each farm their own land and they are equals. If one has more land than he needs and the other less, and rent is a thing, the first can rent some of his land to the other, which he pays by also farming some of the other guy's land (besides the part he's renting), meaning the other guy can kick back and work less... and this will continue like that indefinitely, one person perpetually indebted to the other, all because one of them started out with more than the other. Meanwhile without rent, the poorer farmer would still need to buy the excess land from the richer farmer, meaning he would still have to do some of the farming for the other farmer in trade for that land, but a finite amount thereof, after which time the price will have been paid, they will have equal amounts of land, and go about farming it with equal amounts of labor to meet their equal needs, neither indebted to the other.

Fortunately, we don't have to ban rent to get rid of it, because rent is not just a voluntary trade of one thing for another, that would be a sale; it's a special kind of contract. If we simply stop enforcing such contracts, consider them invalid the way we consider a contract selling yourself into slavery invalid, then rentals and interest-bearing loans would be, while strictly speaking allowed, economically untenable (inasmuch as I will not be punished for agreeing to be your slave, but as soon as I decide I'm tired of it, tough luck for you, that agreement is not binding). So you're not using any force, and all trades are still free, just certain kinds of contracts are not protected, and so won't be used, and in their absence, actual trades (still free) will have to be used instead, in the process circumventing the problems that arise from rent.

And Marx thought capitalism was an unavoidable byproduct of free markets just because he couldn't see what it was, in addition to the free trade of private property, was really causing it. The problem is not, as Marx thought, that the factory-owners pay the workers less than they in turn sell the product of those workers' labor for; the problem is what causes the workers to be in such a bind that their best option is to agree to such an arrangement instead of telling the factory-owners to go fuck themselves, and that is that the workers have debts to their landlords (and possibly other creditors) to pay. The only difference between capitalism and feudalism is that the lord whose land you live on and the lord whose land you labor on can be different people (and you can pick who they are); you're still laboring upon someone else's capital, and then giving a big chunk of the product of that labor to someone to borrow the capital you need to live and continue laboring. That the someones are different instead of the same doesn't make that much difference to the economics of it.

Comment Re:When I meet a copyright owner (Score 1) 69

Alright, I get that. (By the way, I'm taking your invitation in your sig to post any disagreement, I agree that "-1 I disagree" is absolutely not a valid mod.)

I just got done setting up a new OS on this machine tonight. And of course, I installed Steam. It asked for a couple of verifications, but after that, it validated and set itself up. And I can start downloading the games I want. Downloading.. I can play them offline for up to 30 days after downloading them. That's relatively sufficient.

I have no problem paying for things. I've bought hundreds of dollars worth of games on Steam and a couple hundred more worth from GOG, both legitimate, authorized services. Because they don't try to restrict me, Steam much, GOG at all. (GOG is totally, 100%, DRM free.) But they don't try to restrict me the way you're trying to, to "streaming only" or the like. If they did, I wouldn't buy from them. I want download, I want offline usage. Anything without that is hamstrung.

There's a good reason for that. I also pay for a Spotify subscription. And most of the time, I use its streaming service, since I'm either using it at home or at work on wifi. So that works fine. But it allows for download for offline use. And when I was planning a drive through the Rockies in Wyoming and Montana, and then through north Idaho, I needed that, because cell reception would be spotty at the very best. So I needed to create a downloaded, offline playlist, or else be stuck with AM talk radio. So I downloaded a ton of stuff from Spotify onto my phone for the trip.

Now if they'd been monitoring me, that would have looked nothing, nothing at all, like my normal usage pattern. I don't hardly download anything, because I'm usually somewhere that streaming would work just fine. All of a sudden, I'm downloading tons of stuff. I'm planning something nefarious, right?

Well, no. I'm planning nothing more nefarious than a road trip. I just want music and comedy for it. And I don't know exactly what I'd want to listen to, so I downloaded more than I actually needed or could listen to during the trip.

If your viewers can see something, they can save it and record it locally. Let them, and ideally, help them. Ask them nicely not to abuse the privilege by giving it to others, and most will respect that. Try to place shackles on it, and some will break them just for the pleasure of breaking them.

I try to be reasonable. You seem you're trying it, too. But when someone does something blatantly anti-reality, like "You can't save this locally!" when you in fact easily can, it's maddening. Just instead say "Please don't put this on file sharing sites." Magnatune's been around for over a decade, and they actually can't even legally enforce that request, since they use the Creative Commons license with the noncommercial requirement--file sharing isn't commercial sharing, so I could legally put their whole catalog up on a file sharing site and there wouldn't be a damn thing they could do about it unless I made money from it. But I don't, because they ask me nicely not to, and because I like them and want them to succeed. So I pay for my membership there and don't put their stuff up for download, even though I quite legally could.

So, that's what I ask. You be reasonable, and I will too. You don't demand I not do things that improve my convenience and in reality are dead easy, and in return, I'll follow your reasonable requests not to put it out there for the whole world. Or you be unreasonable, and I'll be equally so in turn.

Comment Re:Curing Greed. (Score 1) 448

i think you're a moron with no knowledge of the history of economics who can't distinguish propertarianism (private property ownership) and voluntarism (freedom to conduct commerce voluntarily) from capitalism (the shaping of a market -- free or not -- by the prior distribution of capital, such that ownership flows to those who already have more of it; first coined by Marx as an unavoidably byproduct of free markets, though I and plenty of others think he's wrong).

Comment Re:Better up the Military Budget (Score 1) 320

There are currently 60 million war refugees according to UNHCR

So either our military commanders havent kept up with whats been going on the last decade, or they can't even imagine current reality.

I understood that quote to count only refugees from Bangladesh—not worldwide.

He said one metre of sea level rise will flood 20% of his nation. "We're going to see . . . 30 million people."

Comment Re:Every Fucking Day with this Shit (Score 1) 104

Ever walk down the street in the city and a bum comes up to you begging? He can smell and look offensive. Should that be censored?

Yes. My purpose of being there is not to be a begging target, I didn't invite him to approach me, he is, in Internet terms, spamming me.

Ever been on a farm and smell the pigs or the cow manure? That's offensive.

But it is a necessary part of the operation of the farm. It is a direct consequence without which the farm could not function. In Internet terms, it's the annoying login dialog.

Ever see guts at the scene of a car wreck? That's offensive.

That is an unintended side-effect, not desired by anyone and not intentionally inflicted upon me by anyone. In Internet terms, it's lag or slow loading times.

You are comparing completely different things, not understanding that for some of them, there is no reason we should have to endure them (for the record: The proper solution is that the bum doesn't exist, our society is rich enough that every homeless person is a shame to us all)

Get off your ass, unplug, get out there into the real world and get offended! Trust me, it gets easier after the first few times. And you'll probably realized that being offended isn't anywhere near the worst thing that can possibly happen to you

I'm with you on that there's no right to not be offended.
However, I can absolutely want to protect myself from what I don't like. I keep my house clean because I don't like trash and smells. I keep my door closed because I want to decide who I invite in and who not. I don't hang disgusting pictures on my walls, etc.
I can filter my view of the world. You have a right to Free Speech, but not a right to force me to listen. Individual filters are a necessity or we would all drown in spam. What we need to prevent is centrally controlled filters.

Comment Re:When I meet a copyright owner (Score 1) 69

Okay, I was with you for a little while (especially on sympathy for the little indie guys, even if you don't have to, throw a couple bucks in their hats if you like their stuff), until you made clear that they're downloading it from you, presumably the authorized distributor.

Especially this piece:

I've seen someone literally sit at their computer for several hours a day for several days in a row, downloading large numbers of files they couldn't possible be using normally, only stopping each time our rate limiter kicked in and blocked further downloads for a while.

So...they downloaded exactly as much as they're allowed to, and then once allowed again, started again? Didn't hack your system, didn't go off to torrent it instead? And they're doing...what wrong again? How do you know how they're using it and if such use is "normally"?

Why on Earth does your system let people do that, if you don't want them to do that? And if they're paying you for some kind of "all you can eat" service, you don't then get to tell them "Well...I meant all you can eat, unless you're REALLY hungry." If they're paying you for that service (presumably they are, I doubt you'd be terribly upset if you were giving the stuff away to start with), just be glad you're being paid. It's cash in the hat. And with how widespread pirate content is, they don't have to throw in a nickel. A similar mistake was made with DRM--you get more grief from the legal option than the illegal one! (Whoever made the statement to you about DRM is a moron, it's not effective anyway and would drive away your users.)

Now, by all means, if you want to go find out who's uploading your stuff somewhere, and go after them, I won't have a bit more sympathy for them than you will, especially if you explicitly told them not to and they turned around and told you to fuck off. But attack that end, not your users. When it comes down to it, you can't know why anyone downloaded such and such thing.

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