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Comment In a Georgia swamp (Score 2) 236

25 years ago this morning I was huddled next to a tiny fire with a few other grimy, cold and tired soldiers in brief respite from a long training mission when our Lt. walked up to us with a stricken look on his face to tell us that the space shuttle Challenger had blown up just after lift off. He said "The shuttle blew up." and walked off and we just looked at each other and tried to figure out if what he said was real or not. Training continued. A few days later, back at the barracks watching a recording of the event, I realized it happened on my otherwise forgotten 21st birthday. I count this day among others of personal significance like November 11th and December 7th.

Comment paint (Score 1) 492

If a painter sells a work for a million dollars, does the paint manufacturer seek out an "equitable share"? Does the canvas producer say that the painter clearly built upon his product and without which the finished work could not have been done?

Clearly the artist could not work without the materials of his medium and the paint and canvas and brushes were paid for, but the value of those things are not dependent on the value of the final work.

I do not equate people with paint, but I believe the analogy holds true. The images and sounds that Kutiman uses are beautiful (or not) each in their own right and the final work could not exist without them, but to express value for them as a function of the value of the finished work is nonsensical.

The idea that anyone should be sued for the creation of art is absurd and is only credible because of the desire for profit at any cost.

I hope that each contributor is given recognition in some fashion, but also that each contributor in turn recognizes the creation of an artistic work beyond the scope of any of the individual samples.

What then is fair compensation? Who can really calculate the value of art? Take a picture of me and sell it for a million, should I get a share? Would I care if it was sold for only a dollar? I did not buy the camera, the film or release the shutter; I took no risk, should I still be entitled to the reward?

If I cut pictures out of a magazine and create a collage, should the magazine publisher feel entitled to sue me? The photographers? The newsstand where I bought the magazine? If my child does this for a school assignment should I fear litigation? Should you?

Comment Re:To soon.... (Score 2, Interesting) 129

Build fiber networks ffs.

that's what i'm saying. most people here in the U.S. are still stuck with 1~8 Mbps asymmetric residential connections, meanwhile people in Japan and South Korea are upgrading from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps symmetric bandwidth FttH for about $56 USD. meanwhile, what Comcast arrogantly refers to as their "wideband" service offers only 50 Mbps and costs $150/month.

i think the first thing we need to do is catch up on wired broadband infrastructure. internet usage is only going to increase, and bandwidth demand will continue to skyrocket as more and more bandwidth-intensive applications come into popular usage. the disparity in per-Mbps cost of internet bandwidth between countries, not to mention the lack of FttH/symmetric service availability is quickly creating a gap between the nations with the most advanced communications infrastructure and the nations being reamed by incompetent/corrupt Telecoms & ISPs.

after the dearth in bandwidth is addressed via wired infrastructure, the next step would be to roll out municipal WiFi/WiMax as last-mile solutions to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access. right now mobile broadband services offered by telecoms are way too unreasonably priced to be accessible/practical for general use. this is in stark contrast with public wireless networks, which are of great benefit to everyone.

Comment Re:How about this (Score 1) 188

You're right, and so's the GP. The GP is right about how the law is written, but you're right about how the courts have chosen to interpret it.

No, the GP is not correct.

The letter of the law specifically says that fair use is permitted and is not copyright infringement, even if the action would otherwise violate a portion of the DMCA:

17 USC 1201(c)(1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

The DMCA was codified in Title 17, sections 1201-1205 of the United States Code (USC), and you can see by the text that anything otherwise permitted by Title 17 is not a violation of the DMCA portion.

It all works out to "for fair use, you can violate the DMCA, but contributory infringement is not fair use". Contributory infringement includes distributing devices or software whose primary purpose is to remove some sort of copyright protection mechanism, so that's why you can rip a DVD for personal use, but a company can't legally provide you with the software to do it.

Comment "Free" is relative (Score 2, Insightful) 502

The plan would involve some level of filtering...

I predicted this before I read it. Anything a government is going to provide you will also be completely controlled by them.

...but might allow adults to opt out.

That's the same thing they said about parents who want to home school their kids rather than sending them to public schools, but is not the case, they still have to pay for other peoples kids via taxes to get the worthless education currently being provided.

Comment Re:Your Movie Rights Online. (Score 1) 382

"I don't have to break in. All I have to do is own a bank, or even just a restaurant, anything where I can get your bank/credit card details."

To my knowledge, there is nothing actually illegal about a bank employee reproducing your credit card details. In fact, if it was illegal for them to do so, they wouldn't be able to print copies of documents with your information in order to hand it over to you.

Now, if they USE your credit to make purchases they've committed credit card fraud. If they withdraw money from your bank they've stolen from you. None of this has anything to do with their ability to take pictures or make photocopies etc. which is perfectly legal.

There might be regulations in certain areas that prohibit store employees from making copies or recording credit card numbers etc. However, I'm pretty sure that these are policies set by the credit card companies and not the law. I might be wrong. In any case, such a law is preemptive and unnecessary. It makes a certain action illegal in order to prevent other action which in itself is illegal. The reasoning is to prevent crime but I don't see the logic in preventing crimes by making more activities illegal.

Comment Re:DD (Score 1) 219

Easy... is relative. Let's try to remove Unix (Linux) from the equation:

There is a weird convention used with Windows for direct drive access:


\\.\PhysicalDriveN for physical drives (0, 1, 2...), or \\.\X: for logical drives (C, D, E...). Of course, the mapping between physical and logical isn't particularly clear, given the partition tables on the physical devices.

Under Unix (linux, here) /dev/sdx is physical drive x (a b c...), /dev/sdxn (1 2 3...) is a partition. Its indeed a bit easier (insertion of an "earlier" physical drive doesn't change the designations of other drives).

But, even so, as "Administrator" on Windows, if you know the physical or logical drive, you can use the "COPY" command to duplicate the drive (I think -- never dared).


"TYPE" may work to stream the data, oh, and you still have to replace \\.\E: with the designator for the partition (whatever it is).

Does this help?

Comment Re:Count me (Score 1) 223

There's no such thing as an "implementation of UNIX". Standards are implemented, Unix was an OS, not a standard. Unix was licensed out to various companied, first from AT&T, later from Novell, and it was tweaked to those various parties' needs. AIX for example isn't IBM's "implementation" of System V, it started off as System V. AIX is what IBM did to SYS V. Same goes for the other Unices.

When OP said 'implementation of UNIX' it is possible that he was referring to the Single Unix Specification, which is a bunch of standards. If your OS is certified to follow those standards, you can call your OS 'Unix'.

Comment My favorite simple shell aliases (Score 1) 2362

# a limited selection of my simplest shell aliases, w/out commercial UNIX clauses

# search running processes (like "psl firefox")
alias psl='ps auxww |egrep'

# colored/pretty directory listings
if uname -s |grep BSD >/dev/null
then # we're in BSD
  export LSCOLORS="exgxfxDacxBaBaCaCaeaEa"  # match GNU color scheme
  alias ls='ls -phG'
else # we've got GNU
  alias ls='ls -ph --color=auto'
  alias l.='ls -A -I"[^.]*"'   # show dot-files (only)
alias ll='ls -l'   # long-listing

# grep with color (green instead of red), w/out breaking non-GNU grep
export GREP_OPTIONS='--color=auto' GREP_COLOR='1;32'

# show a file (or stdin) w/out hash comments
alias nocom='sed -e "/^[^#]/!d" -e "s/[  ]*$//"'

alias cdo='cd "$OLDPWD"' # could also do cdo='cd -' but that creates output

# show a website's headers
alias whead='wget -q --save-headers -O - $1 |sed "0,/^[^A-Za-z0-9]*$/!d"'

# see also my utility shell scripts at http://khopis.com/hacking.html

Comment Re:Wow that is a loaded story. (Score 2, Insightful) 202

I differ with you on a number of issues. Linux or if you insist, GNU/Linux is an excellent operating system. It does precisely what an operating system should do and does it very well. I think what you are confusing is the support for proprietary file formats and applications that are being bundled or not bundled with particular distributions. Generally, proprietary file formats are not standards at all but rather a method of confining consumers to a particular way of doing things for the benefit of the creators of the proprietary format. By continuing to offer support for the old closed format rather than newer (and just as capable) open standards, distributions do nothing to further consumer choice.

I believe you are wrong when you say that offering support for these closed formats is giving consumers what they want. I think it is fair to say that for the majority, no one cares what format the content arrives in, so long as it works when and how they expect it to.

If support for open formats were to suddenly take off, then more content producers will use them and the whole argument that working with closed format vendors is somehow beneficial evaporates. If there is a way of doing something that is beneficial to many as opposed to a few, is that not a better way?

I am by no means a Linux zealot, but I must take exception to your characterization that Microsoft is somehow considered the enemy by only them. Microsoft should be considered the enemy of all free thinking people regardless of their choice of operating system, simply because Microsoft would remove that choice had they their way. I believe you can find many historical and well documented cases where various judicial systems agree that Microsoft is in every case attempting to reduce consumer choice to but a single and not often beneficial one.

As to being an activist, it is precisely in following what I believe, without regard for the opinions of those who disagree with me that that allows me to continue my existence with sufficient dignity and self respect that my moments of misery are reduced to such a number that they only add needed poignancy to an otherwise happy life. Activism is a simple thing and it has great rewards, much like courtesy.

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