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Comment Re:Fifth Amendment (Score 1) 310

Nonsense. For one thing, you can shorten the term of new copyrights without affecting existing copyrights.

True. Politically difficult, but true.

For another thing, if congress can extend the term of existing copyrights as they did for Disney's latest copyright grab, I think it's only fair that they be allowed to shorten them as well.

The Supreme Court will not -- and those are the nine individuals whos thoughts count. That would be a classic taking of a vested property interest. If you live in the Western U.S., then it is Congress that granted the original title to the land that you're residing on. If Congress can grant that title, then it's only fair that they be allowed shorten the term of that title by law, correct? Despite the rhetoric on Slashdot, intellectual property is "property" in the eyes of the law. "Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" will apply in exactly the same way.

Comment Re:No mention (Score 1) 1046

The reason to act now is that even if we stopped increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere tomorrow the warming trend would continue for another 50 years or so primarily because of the thermal buffer of the oceans. You don't think controlling CO2 emissions is important but the vast majority of climate scientists studying the issue disagree. Hmm, who am I going to believe.

Comment Apple user == Battered wife (Score 1) 595

The possessive form of "Jobs" is "Jobs's"


Is also admissible. But come on, that's not why you don't want to read it, your problem is that it call Jobs on his bullshit and you can't have that.

That people come here defending Jobs choice as anything but detrimental to his customers is appalling, batter wife syndrome indeed.

Comment Of course those scenes are rediculous.... (Score 4, Insightful) 874

but the fact is, doing a scene where a sysadmin bangs around in a terminal typing commands just isn't fun for the viewer. The reason we laugh so hard at these things though is because technology is our thing. It's true for almost anything in an entertainment-oriented (as opposed to educational) movie. Try some of the following:

Watch a few cop movies with actual cops.
Watch some hospital-based TV shows with some doctors, nurses and paramedics.
Watch a couple of movies that focus on car chases/stunts with some mechanics.
The list goes on and on. What you'll see though is, those people will have the same general reaction to Hollywood depictions of their areas of expertise that we have regarding use of computers/technology. Accuracy and entertainment just don't always go well together.

Comment Re:Bad news for democracy (Score 1) 279

tell me that the current way the news is reported is good for the political health of the United States

Of course it's not. But that does not mean that for the government to decide what news can be reported, and how it will be reported, is better.

I think we've established that lassez-faire capitalism isn't the answer. But you seem to be saying that the long tail is the answer, and yet the long tail is mostly disproven.

We haven't established laissez-fair capitalism isn't the answer; it has never been tried. Had laissez-fair capitalism been tried when the big banks defaulted there would have been no government bailout. Property prices would have plummeted and the true value would have stabilized as prices reached an equilibrium people would have started buying foreclosed properties on their own. I bought several pieces of foreclosed property because I wasn't a dumb-ass who over-leveraged myself like so many other American's and the financial crises was actually a financial boom to me. My job was in more demand, I had more cash on hand to buy everyone else's dirt cheap shit and came out ahead while everyone else suffered.

Now what is happening is that instead of wealth increasing to those who are responsible, more money is being dumped into the economy devaluing the dollar to those who didn't make mistakes; then on top of that people who actually saw what was happening and didn't over leverage themselves are now being taxed six ways from Sunday. So we're getting hit twice, once through inflation (more dollars in the system means my dollars are worth less) and two higher taxes to pay for the additional dollars.

So to say laissez-fair capitalism isn't the answer is total shit, laissez-fair capitalism has never been tried. And the intervention by the government(hence not laissez-fair) may have saved us in the short term to keep all the over-leveraged people afloat, but they are just digging a deeper hole which one day someone is going to have to fill.

Comment Re:Please refrain from pedophile jokes... (Score 1) 286

The Church is built on the concept of forgiveness. So, if someone says "Sure, I buggered a few dozen altar boys, but I have confessed my sins, repented, done penance, and I promise I'll never do it again,", you forgive them... and allow them to continue working unsupervised with small children, preferably in a far away Parish where nobody knows their reputation for being "just a little too interested" in young children.

Forgiveness is one thing, and not every accusation is factual. But once accused, I would never let any of those bastards within 100 miles of anyone under the age of consent for the rest of their lives. The mistake they made is believing that someone that feels guilty and show contrition won't go out and do the exact same thing again.

Comment Re:Imaginary problem (Score 2, Informative) 51

Well, it entirely depends on how much of the grid they would have control of and what kind of control they could gain. If this gave them control over how generators operated, or how nuclear plants operated, or how hydro-electric dams operated, then they could potentially cause floods, damage to the plant itself [by say, overdriving the plant] or just something like what happened in the Northeast US/Canada, where a small grid failure killed power to a fairly large number of people for a significant amount of time. Do this at the right time, like in the middle of summer or winter, and the potential for a significant number of deaths goes up rather quickly.

Comment Re:They need something to do (Score 1) 342

Not only have autopilots worked incredibly well in the past, with a high success rate, but the idea is to keep Pilots awake by letting them exercise their mind while in flight.

That's all well and good - the problem is the rare occasions when they don't work - especially if people have been conditioned to rely on them.

Comment Problems... (Score 2, Interesting) 317

If Microsoft wants to get ahead, stop trying to imitate and start innovating. The only time imitation works is when the current product becomes crappy. Take for instance the Xbox 360, it didn't get ahead because it was great, but rather got ahead because the competition was crappy. The Wii had (has) a shortage of good games and the PS3 was (and still almost is) far too expensive.

Google isn't getting any worse and Bing just isn't innovating in any meaningful way. Trying to promote Bing is like promoting alternate keyboard layouts, even if it -is- better, any benefits will be lost in the fact that people have to re-learn something. Google isn't just a search engine, its a bookmarking engine. Its a lot easier to remember "nexus one review" than http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/04/nexus-one-review/

Comment Re:Never fails (Score 1) 268

I've definitely got some stuff gathering dust in places in my house. The thing is, every damn time I dump or recycle an item, it turns out I need it shortly thereafter. It's never the stuff that I'm keeping. Only the stuff that I get rid of. Grrr.

A corollary to this: the best way to avoid ever breaking something is to have a spare.

Comment Re:GMail's Security is Crap (Score 0, Troll) 139

> Gmail's security sucks and it's customer service is non-existent.

If you want customer service become a customer. Users of free accounts are not customers. A business's customers are the people who pay them money: advertisers, in Google's case.

> Google encourages people to trust gmail with their most sensitive personal
> data. I think their negligence and lack of response regarding their own
> products' defects borders on criminal.

You got what you paid for.

For email (Webmail and POP/IMAP) and Usenet I suggest Newsguy. It's an actual business, not an advertising agency.

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