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Comment Re:How were crimes solved before cell phones? (Score 3, Funny) 188

That's how Billy the Kid got off... they tried him for shooting Sheriff William Brady, but he was acquitted because his iPhone was encrypted and they couldn't get at the data. They even tried getting Steve Jobs' great grandfather involved, but the sonofabitch insisted that he didn't even know what a cell phone was, much less how to remove the encryption from one.

Julius Rosenberg also went free because they couldn't decrypt his thumb drive to prove he was spying for the Soviets.

At least that's the impression I get from listening to these assholes whining that they can't spy on all of us 24/7.

Comment Re:That's the last straw: TRUMP IS A TRAITOR (Score 1) 681

I don't think even Donald Trump is oblivious enough to suggest that someone should hack a server that was decommissioned years ago.

I'll agree that man does a fine job of de-calibrating sarcasm detectors, but I just don't understand how anyone can take this seriously. The idea that professional journalists are doing so (apparently it was played as straight news by CNN as their top story) does not pass the smell test with me, and (in my opinion) is just an excuse to manufacture controversy.

Comment Re:What's the legal basis? (Score 1) 196

If they're basing this on owning the copyright to the Olympics, this isn't going to work - owning a copyright on the name of a thing doesn't mean that you can prevent anyone from talking about your thing, just that nobody else can sell it. Lawsuits like this fail often - confused people think that they can use copyright to do more than control the right to copy...

They don't have to (and probably don't expect to) win, but they have the power to ruin anyone they choose to that violates their demand (they will simply sue them into the ground, regardless of merits, and their resources will significantly exceed that of their targets).

Comment Re:That's the last straw: TRUMP IS A TRAITOR (Score 3, Insightful) 681

Your biases have blinded you to the fact that this was humor. I admit that I laughed when I read the story today. This is the same joke my colleagues in Germany have been making to me for the last couple of years ("we don't make backups anymore, if we lose data, we'll just ask you to call the NSA so they can send us their copy")

Trump is a walking train wreck, but your apolplexy over this is just as ridiculous as his candidacy.

Comment Re: Because money (Score 1) 268

Ok, so how do you write laws that apply to a corporation as well?

I'm proposing that criminal laws applying to a corporation shouldn't be written at all. There are more than enough civil laws to go around, and any criminal liability can (and should) be put on the shoulders of those involved.

You're showing a severe lack of legal knowledge. Almost everything is codified to people. A corporation for legal purposes is just like a person. Unlike illegal aliens and foreigners (in America), they can't vote, however.

I never claimed to have much in the way of legal knowledge. I'm not a lawyer, I'm just an IT geek (I promise that is not Phil Hartman reference).

My initial point was to state "people acting together should not have fewer rights than when they act separately" and I stand behind that. That's not legal doctrine, that's philosophy. The opposite outcome in Citizens United would have enshrined just that idea into our wonderful, precedential legal system, and it would have taken decades to undo (if ever it could be).

Comment Re: Because money (Score 1) 268

You mistake me. I don't suggest picking out "one scapegoat" and holding him accountable. I am serious about "those responsible should be held accountable." In your ecological disaster, it's probably NOT just one guy that made the whole thing happen. There's probably one or more members of upper management, scads of middle management, and people on the ground that all MADE it happen (and probably some poor engineer screaming that whatever idiotic idea led to the issue should never be done for the exact reason that led to the problem).

You've also completely ignored my suggestion (WRT "billions") that there are civil remedies for that, and that the corporate entity should indeed be on the hook for those.

I realize you're just an AC, but next time you may want to consider what I actually said instead of just calling me a dumbass.

Comment Democratic Party lying? (Score 1) 669

A video edit comparing what Hillary Clinton claimed to what James Comey claimed after the FBI investigation highlights the distance between the two quite well and puts a fine point on the part where Comey says that if this had been anyone else who did what she did they might not get the same cushy response from the FBI she got.

And keep in mind that the US has very unclean hands here, according to Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor who would know what tools the NSA has available to look into this.

But of course the veracity of the documents leads us to the real story. Nobody claims the DNC emails were faked, just like nobody said the Snowden revelations were untrue. This helps us focus on what those documents show: Bernie Sanders was not lying to us when he said, "I told you a long time ago that theâ"that the DNC was not running a fair operation, that they were supporting Secretary Clinton.", and that he requests far too weak of a solution to remedy the problem (getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the DNC). And the emails show us that the DNC were telling amenable media outlets (such as NBC, if I recall correctly) which stories to not publish because they made someone they cared about look bad. Julian Assange's interview on Democracy Now is worth reading, it's quite revealing about how nasty the Clinton campaign is, sourcing the unnamed "experts" who told Robby Mook, Clinton campaign manager, that "Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails" and "are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump".

Comment Re: Because money (Score 1) 268

The above is rather nonsensical. In your example crime, there is plenty enough criminal liability to go around, and those involved should (certainly!) be tried and, if there is enough evidence, be convicted for their crimes (the negligent homicide itself, and likely conspiracy charges around whatever led to it). "Auctioning the company" etc can follow as part of whatever civil liability may exist on the part of those who "own" it.

"Corporate Personhood" is not (or should not be) a thing. "Jailing" the corporation is silly. Hold PEOPLE accountable. I'll admit (disgustedly) that our law enforcement organizations most certainly do NOT seem to do this, but that is a separate problem, and the baby should not be thrown out with the bathwater as a result of uninterested or corrupted government stooges.

Comment Re: Because money (Score 1) 268

Yes. Not for profit. Not for profit what?

This is my main problem with people who complain about the Citizens United decision--none of them ever seem to stop to think about what a "corporation" is, they just yell "four legs good, two legs bad" and talk about "corporate personhood," ignoring the real problems with the idea that people acting in concert (i.e. "corporate entities") should not have the same rights as people acting independently.

Comment Re:ABM systems equal escalation? (Score 1) 67

America promised not to do it and signed treaties and such. But they have now changed their minds. Seems pretty obviously untrustworthy to anyone who isn't a shill or has an ounce of common sense.

The ABM treaty had withdrawal provisions, and the US exercised them. It's not untrustworthy, and saying so probably indicates the person doing so is either "a shill, or [doesn't have] an ounce of common sense." They could also simply be uninformed and wearing their ignorance as a badge of honor, YMMV.

Comment Re:Advertised as unlimited, yes (Score 1) 420

I still have the unlimited plan for myself and my daughter. This month I used 14.5 GB and my daughter used 7GB so it looks like we will be left alone. But on my bill is states " Unlimited Plan" in several places online and on paper bill. Just saying .......

a notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event or publicizing a job vacancy.

So no, they aren't advertising "unlimited" anything.

Comment Re:Sue them for FRAUD (Score 1) 420

The problem lies in that they are selecting which users to disconnect based on their data usage, so they are explicitly discriminating against users based on their usage of an unlimited plan. If they cut off ALL unlimited plans, that would be a non-discriminatory act.

It's perfectly acceptable to discriminate against your customers. "Heavy bandwidth user" is not a protected class that invokes various laws designed to protect the marginalized.

Comment Re:If they didn't want unlimited use (Score 1) 420

This is more akin to having a contract with an $8 Chinese buffet so you can get all you can eat for $120/mo. You then go to eat there every day so you end up eating there for $4 every day. The restaurant can't just break the contract because they didn't expect you needed to eat every day.

They're not breaking the contract. That's what everyone seems to be missing. The contract has ended. Many contracts have a "month to month" provision that says "at the end of this contract, we continue with the same terms unless one party decides not to." In the case of heavy users, Verizon is deciding not to.

There is nothing unethical or illegal in play here. VZW has decided these users are not worth catering to, and elected not to continue the relationship under the existing terms. This isn't even a stupid "we reserve the right to change the contract whenever we want to whatever we want" EULA bullshit. It's simply one party saying "we want out of this."

Comment /. should encourage sharing (Score 4, Insightful) 66

So why not encourage GPL violators ("pirates" too)? Instead we seem to cheer whenever we find a GPL violator.

First, we should understand what the propagandistic term "piracy" really means and understand that meaning as separate from sharing—a friendly, neighborly thing to do. As the GNU Project points out in it's list of terms to avoid on "theft": "In general, laws don't define right and wrong. Laws, at their best, attempt to implement justice. If the laws (the implementation) don't fit our ideas of right and wrong (the spec), the laws are what should change. A US judge, presiding over a trial for copyright infringement, recognized that "piracy" and "theft" are smear-words.". This difference gets to the heart of the problem in your point—you're conflating the legal with the ethical and then trying to get others to view all sharing as copyright infringement and all copyright infringement as equivalent because the law frames things in that way.

We should recognize that the terms of the licenses involved between, say, the GNU General Public License (GPL) and a typical Hollywood movie, are radically different when it comes to doing what friends do: share. One can and should share copies of GPL'd programs. It's easy to do, the GPL is easy to comply with simply by also sharing a copy of the complete corresponding source code of the program at the same time as one shares the binary. By contrast, other famously shared copyrighted items (such as most Hollywood movies) aren't legal to share even if done non-commercially and verbatim. So doing the thing that comes naturally with friends, non-commercial and verbatim sharing, is likely not allowed by that movie's license.

Since you mention the GPL, a free software license written by Richard Stallman, this is somewhat akin to what Stallman describes in his talks about the freedoms of free software specifically freedom #2: the freedom to help your neighbour. That's the freedom to make copies and distribute them to others, when you wish. This comes from a 2006-03-09 talk and you can see how the consideration here is akin to the dilemma one faces should a friend ask for a copy of a Hollywood movie:

Freedom two is essential on fundamental ethical grounds, so that you can live an upright, ethical life as a member of your community. If you use a program that does not give you freedom number two, you're in danger of falling at any moment into a moral dilemma. When your friend says "that's a nice program, could I have a copy?" At that moment, you will have to choose between two evils. One evil is: give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program. The other evil is: deny your friend a copy and comply with the licence of the program.

Once you are in that situation, you should choose the lesser evil. The lesser evil is to give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program.


Now, why is that the lesser evil? The reason is that we can assume that your friend has treated you well and has been a good person and deserves your cooperation. The reason we can assume this is that in the other case, if a nasty person you don't really like asked you for help, of course you can say "Why should I help you?" So that's an easy case. The hard case is the case where that person has been a good person to you and other people and you would want to help him normally.

Whereas, the developer of the program has deliberately attacked the social solidarity of your community. Deliberately tried to separate you from everyone else in the World. So if you can't help doing wrong in some direction or other, better to aim the wrong at somebody who deserves it, who has done something wrong, rather than at somebody who hasn't done anything wrong.

However, to be the lesser evil does not mean it is good. It's never good - not entirely - to make some kind of agreement and then break it. It may be the right thing to do, but it's not entirely good.

The only thing in the software field that is worse than an unauthorised copy of a proprietary program, is an authorised copy of the proprietary program because this does the same harm to its whole community of users, and in addition, usually the developer, the perpetrator of this evil, profits from it.

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