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Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Comment Re:The end justifies the means (Score 4, Insightful) 275

Somewhere around 20-40% of the info in these documents will turn out to be wrong or misleading in some critical way.

I'm sure that will be a great comfort to the alleged witches as they drown.

Also, just because some personal data is correct, that doesn't mean the entire world has any right or need to know. People suffer unfair discrimination or worse because of perfectly legitimate personal matters all the time, which is the most compelling argument for the importance of privacy.

Comment Re:Would they believe (Score 1) 331

Wow, what kind of super-futuristic place did you live in with your fancy-pants downloading and modems and BBSes? In 1983, I think I was still typing the source code for games from books into my little ZX81, and praying that I didn't knock the 32K RAM pack loose and crash everything before I had a chance to play!

Comment Re:FYI (Score 5, Insightful) 331

So if you are posting with any handle other than "Anonymous Coward" you will need to provide that handle to your friendly neighborhood spy.

Or just not travel to countries that don't treat their visitors with respect and basic human decency.

There are many places I would love to visit in the world, far more than I ever will be able to in one lifetime I expect. Why would I voluntarily subject myself to the kind of culture we're talking about here, when I can be welcomed as both a tourist and a business person in so many other places?

Obviously some people have no choice, and I hope things work out OK for them, but this sort of policy seems absurdly counter-productive for people who do have a choice and do care about the way they are treated.

Comment Solution: Buy legislators. All of them. (Score 5, Interesting) 175

Captain Obvious Competition.

Yep.

These companies already have your money, so updating a device that's already been sold is a needless expense. There's also a good argument to be made that updating a device hurts future sales. If your phone isn't updated, it will start to feel old, so you're more likely to buy a new phone sooner.

Yes. I have a high-end preamp-processor, updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end camera. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end radio transceiver. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. And so on.

The whole "we can update your device" bit is a scam (and often, so is the "we can update your software" bit.) The only way a corporation is likely to actually update hardware responsibly is if legislation forces them to. And good luck trying to get THAT in place when corporations outright buy the decisions of the legislatures.

Submission + - Free Speech Under Attack as Facebook Plays Judge, Jury, Executioner (techomag.com)

NathanBachman writes: Freedom of speech is under attack, and the perpetrator is none other the king of social media, Facebook. In recent times, the company, now a popular face of online censorship, has been shamelessly blocking accounts, removing pages, and deleting posts that either failed to strike a chord with the moderation team, or were brutally honest to the extent of becoming intolerable for the people in position of power. Will Facebook get away with playing god and silencing millions of pro-Kashmir, pro-Kurdishs, and pro-freedom of speech voices around the globe?

Submission + - 2016 Hugo Award Winners Announced

Dave Knott writes: The recipients of the 2016 Hugo awards have been announced. Presented annually since 1955, the Hugos are (along with the Nebulas) one of science fiction's two most prestigious awards. They are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon"), the most recent of which, MidAmeriCon II was held this past weekend in Kansas City. Notable winners include:

Best Novel: The Fifth Season , by N.K. Jemisin
Best Novella: Binti , by Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette: "Folding Beijing", by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu
Best Short Story: "Cat Pictures Please", by Naomi Kritzer
Best Graphic Story: The Sandman: Overture , written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Martian , screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott
Best Dramatic Presentation, ShortForm: Jessica Jones: "AKA Smile", written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer

As in the previous two years, the 2016 Hugos were subject to considerable controversy, as highly-politicized factions within science fiction fandom attempted to influence the awards via a concerted campaign that influenced the nomination process. Those actions once again proved unsuccessful, as the nominees put forth by these activists failed to win in any of the major awards categories.

Comment Subsidies (Score 5, Insightful) 442

LMOL yes moron Uber competes with taxi service.

Sure. Any transport method that is used instead of another is competition. Walking, bicycles, private cars, motorcycles, skateboards, Segways, busses, subways, jitneys, hansoms, taxis, limos, Uber... all competitors that reduce opportunity for the others.

Anyway, the story is that Uber's earnings will be garnished to subsidize taxis. I wonder, would people approve if their bicycles and cars and so on were taxed specifically to subsidize taxis and/or other transportation methods?

It's fascinating to see the "this business has a right to exist, workable business model or not" attitude arise in a new space, and to watch the politicians be bought and sold accordingly.

Comment Re:When it stops moving, subsidize it... (Score 0, Flamebait) 442

If we all had smart-phones 100 years ago, today's taxi regulations (and the various boards enforcing them) would not have been created. Which means, it is time for them to be abolished.

I am so with you. No more smart-phones! BURN THEM! BURN THEM ALL!

Soon, teenagers might begin speaking to one another again; dress in ways that attract the eye; undertake outdoor activities other than "find that Pokemon"; and play games that develop co-ordination of more than their hands, develop whole-body muscle-tone, maybe even ask each other for dates with, you know, actual speech and eye contact. Maybe even kiss!

Nah, never happen. Bring on the VR hoods and nerve stimulators. Soon, "my teenager's in the cloud" will be a common parent's lament, and the most common teenage problem will be bedsores. :)

Comment Re:Sounds like a great idea! (Score 4, Informative) 275

Actually, there does appear to be a somewhat reasonable third choice: Microsoft will apparently also be offering a security-only bundle each month, though it looks like you'll have to install it manually if you're not using WSUS as it won't be fetched via Windows Update. You still won't be able to cherry-pick individual updates, but at least it won't come with all the other stuff you probably don't want -- unless they decide to call some of that "security".

(There's a specific question about this, and a response from the Microsoft guy confirming that a monthly security bundle will be available for all of the different Windows 7 variants, in the questions below the blog post itself.)

Comment Re:We need a new image, or a big list of KBs (Score 2) 275

For comparison, the Win 7 Pro machine I'm running this on has a little over 200 installed security updates (relative to Win 7 SP 1, I assume). It also has about 100 other updates, the overwhelming majority of which were installed by the supplier before delivery since I stopped installing non-security Windows updates by default long before this machine arrived.

I, too, would love to see a slipstreamed image that could be used to reinstall Windows 7 if necessary after this new silliness has taken over.

Comment Re:Nice as a default, not as a mandate (Score 3, Interesting) 275

We've stopped installing almost all recent updates from MS anyway, since we basically now consider them more dangerous than not patching anything except clearly identified security vulnerabilities.

My concern with the new plan is whether any machines that need a fresh installation after October will no longer be able to download the currently available updates of our choice. If Microsoft make the Windows Update system only work with the new monthly roll-ups and won't supply the previous individual patches any more, that would be significantly worse than just not offering any new patches outside of the monthly roll-ups.

Comment Re: Worldwide news are always US only. (Score 2) 256

The entire global technology infrastructure begins and ends with the United States. [...] Intel, AMD, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Facebook.... All US companies.

That looks like a reasonable list of most of the biggest US companies in computing today. You might have added a few more, notably Amazon, and perhaps the big PC manufacturers like Dell.

However, for their size and resources, many of these companies have done remarkably little to advance technology infrastructure in the last few years. Almost all of them became big on the back of a small number of very successful products or services, but many of their more recent attempts to diversify have failed horribly. Today they mostly survive because they're so huge that they can afford to buy almost any other business that is actually innovative and potentially disruptive to their market dominance, and that's also how a lot of "their" innovation happens. Most of them are going to be in trouble if one or two geee that lay golden eggs die, and in several cases there are warning signs already.

Meanwhile, you kind of forgot all the Asian giants and quite a few European companies that actually make most of those smartphones you mentioned, not to mention many of the household appliances we buy, huge amounts of telecomms infrastructure, huge amounts of transportation tech...

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