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Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 137

But you missed a fourth group, which is the people who enjoy your novel and would have been happy to pay for it if they'd found a legitimate source first, but who actually found it somewhere else and maybe even paid the unauthorised source for it instead of you.

As someone else doing relatively small-scale creative business, I can testify that this group can be a significant one, and I both sympathise and empathise with the situation that sneakyimp has described in terms of watching people ripping your stuff on YouTube and finding them hiding behind the safe harbour provisions even when it is clearly an ongoing problem and you have made them well aware of it.

I'll add a little from personal experience. Under the DMCA and similar laws, safe harbour is rarely an absolute protection, and typically those appealing to it are still expected to have some mechanism for dealing with persistent infringement, such as stopping the account of the infringer. In our experience, YouTube have shown no willingness to do this, and any attempt to contact them about it at their published email address for such matters just gets something boilerplatey back that directs you to their online form for filing a single DMCA complaint... again. Perhaps when they're dealing with anyone big enough that they are likely to take real action and have the resources to do it, YouTube follow other processes, but from a legal point of view it looks like they would have forfeited their safe harbour protection in a case like ours if we'd wanted to make a point of it.

Comment Re:My how have the tables turned (Score 1) 137

That solves the entire problem of Youtube being a piracy haven, by letting the RIAA get 100% of the revenue instead of the shitlord pirates.

And replaces it with a system where YouTube gets to profit off the entire RIAA back catalogue yet also to dictate to the rightsholders how much it's generously going to pay them for the privilege through ad rates it unilaterally controls. This isn't how copyright was supposed to work. In fact, it is the very antithesis of how copyright was supposed to work, and since the primary reason to have copyright at all is to generate economic incentives in creative markets analogous to markets for physical goods, I'm not sure this alternative makes much sense. If you wanted to go in that general direction, I think you'd be better off with a compulsory licensing regime and royalty rates that are determined by a state regulator and known up-front by all participants in the system.

Comment Re:M$ phone? You gotta be kidding! (Score 1) 57

My assumption is that business users that are going to give the whole smartphone-dock-PC thing a go will end up with the productivity applications on the phone that they expect to have, without themselves having to figure out how to install them.

Before Windows 10, we bought three computers from the Microsoft store because for what we were looking for equipment-wise they were the best price. Back when Windows 7 was new we were looking for a laptop for my wife, and bought a Lenovo Thinkpad x301 for probably $300 less than it would've cost from anywhere else. It came with a free Ideapad netbook that I used for several years. More recently, when Windows 8.1 was their modern OS, we decided to replace the five year old X301 with a newer model, and ended up buying a Core I7 based Thinkpad Yoga 12.5 from the Microsoft Store, again, it was far less expensive than from anywhere else.

In all of these cases the computers were very lightly loaded with extra software instead of the bloat that I was accustomed to seeing from other brick and mortar retailers. The only preloaded junk was on the Ideapad, and it was the stupid Lenovo camera-based login crap that we just removed.

At this point I probably wouldn't buy a computer from the Microsoft Store anymore, simply because I don't want Windows 10, and I'm eyeing that Dell "Developer Edition" laptop so that I'll know it runs Linux natively without issues anyway. But prior to Windows 10, the Microsoft Store was not a bad place to get a good price on the hardware and to have much less preloaded crap.

Submission + - Minnesota Senate Votes to Bar Selling ISP Data (twincities.com)

Kagato writes: St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: "In a surprise move, the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday voted to bar internet service providers from selling their users’ personal data without express written consent."

Adding: "The move was a reaction to a Tuesday vote in Congress to lift a ban on that practice imposed in 2016 by the Federal Communication Commission."

Comment Re:Counteroffer (Score 1) 294

And you can eat something other than popcorn, and you can pause the movie if you need to, and back it up if you missed dialogue that was really important, or if a scene was particularly awesome you can rewind and replay it to just watch it again.

I've had a video projector in one form or another for sixteen years, current model is an Epson 1080p model, works great. 100" screen that I'm sitting about fifteen feet from.

As for the "theatre-going experience", the only movie that I've really enjoyed the experience with the rest of the random audience is one that has played every Saturday night since 1975.

Submission + - Minnesota Legislature Takes Up ISP Privacy Regulations

BenFranske writes: After the recent US Senate vote to kill FCC broadband privacy rules which would require customers to opt-in to the sale of customer tracking data the Minnesota state legislative bodies have an that would prohibit:

[The] collect[ing of] personal information from a customer resulting from the customer's use of the telecommunications or internet service provider without express written approval from the customer. No such telecommunication or internet service provider shall refuse to provide its services to a customer on the grounds that the customer has not approved collection of the customer's personal information.

Comment Regression to the mean (Score 0) 183

In the "old days" (like 1991 or so), the Internet was mostly populated by smart/talented people tied to academics or the computer industry and most discussions seemed to reflect this bias in user population -- well educated, professional, etc.

Now it's much more reflective of the general population, which is all too often stupid, mean and reactive.

Comment Re: Good for him? (Score 1) 57

We have an asset tax based on real property. It's called property taxes. We also have taxes on some other goods that are based on transactions, like sales taxes, and in some places taxes on vehicles for registering for license plates that's based on a percentage of the vehicle's initial purchase price, depreciated over time. Thing is, if one documents one's purchases and all of the tax paid (ie, keeps receipts) one can deduct those taxes paid from one's federal income tax filing.

Taxing non-profit-making holdings is difficult because if the system was set up properly to begin with, most of those now-stagnant holdings were taxed when they were initially assembled, and we don't like double-taxation. It's also difficult to identify where the wealth is and how much is there without it moving, it's comparatively easier to see transactions.

Comment Is this meant to be SDN or just more proprietary? (Score 1) 63

Are vendors so stuck in the hardware device sales mode that we will never see generic switch form factors where you load the switching/routing software into the device like an x86 box?

I would kind of expect one of the chipset vendors to come out with what amounts to an x86 rackmount with bus-attached switching modules, kind of an expanded version of a multiport NIC but with programmable ASICs for speed.

From what I've seen of the Dell N-series (which mostly seems to be rebranded OEM Broadcom) boot sequence, it's kind of what the hardware already is now. The only thing missing is the ability to load up third party operating systems.

Comment Re:Long Game (Score 1) 100

It's a bigger uphill climb for Microsoft because there will be an expectation of x86 usability when docked, and x86 developers can't be bothered to target Windows mobile due to low adoption -- plus many corporate applications are pretty full stack x86 environment and if my experience with in-house application development is any sign, most places lack the bandwidth, horsepower and ability to crank out mobile versions of these apps.

Docking mobile phones seems more obtainable to Android and Apple due to their closed ecosystems and fairly early consolidation around more portable dev environments and APIs. I would expect a Macintosh application to be much more easily ported to iOS. Plus these platforms can smell growth if they can sell docking devices to people who just don't care about x86 compatibility.

Submission + - UW Professor: The Information War Is Real, And We're Losing It (seattletimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It started with the Boston marathon bombing, four years ago. University of Washington professor Kate Starbird was sifting through thousands of tweets sent in the aftermath and noticed something strange. Too strange for a university professor to take seriously. “There was a significant volume of social-media traffic that blamed the Navy SEALs for the bombing,” Starbird told me the other day in her office. “It was real tinfoil-hat stuff. So we ignored it.” Same thing after the mass shooting that killed nine at Umpqua Community College in Oregon: a burst of social-media activity calling the massacre a fake, a stage play by “crisis actors” for political purposes. “After every mass shooting, dozens of them, there would be these strange clusters of activity,” Starbird says. “It was so fringe we kind of laughed at it. “That was a terrible mistake. We should have been studying it.” Starbird argues in a new paper, set to be presented at a computational social-science conference in May, that these “strange clusters” of wild conspiracy talk, when mapped, point to an emerging alternative media ecosystem on the web of surprising power and reach. There are dozens of conspiracy-propagating websites such as beforeitsnews.com, nodisinfo.com and veteranstoday.com. Starbird cataloged 81 of them, linked through a huge community of interest connected by shared followers on Twitter, with many of the tweets replicated by automated bots. Starbird is in the UW’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering — the study of the ways people and technology interact. Her team analyzed 58 million tweets sent after mass shootings during a 10-month period. They searched for terms such as “false flag” and “crisis actor,” web slang meaning a shooting is not what the government or the traditional media is reporting it to be. Then she analyzed the content of each site to try to answer the question: Just what is this alternative media ecosystem saying? Starbird is publishing her paper as a sort of warning. The information networks we’ve built are almost perfectly designed to exploit psychological vulnerabilities to rumor.

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