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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

AcidPenguin9873 Re:name and location tweeted... (890 comments)

Also, what type of asshole employee would separate a man from his two young children?

The employee suggested no such thing. She said that the man would have to wait until his children were able to board, and then they could board together.

about a week ago
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Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Yep, how the music industry was killed... (192 comments)

You're right. But most of the rest of them got big-enough advances from record labels though so that they could try making music for a living for a couple years. The money for those advances came from record sales of the few acts that did make it. Now, there's little money coming in from record sales from the acts that made it - only peasly subscription revenue and $0.99 tracks. Less money coming into the labels, less money going out as advances to artists.

about two weeks ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Blog post gone? (390 comments)

Speaking only to the example in the L3 blog post: the utilization on L3's network before hitting the L3/Verizon connection point is about the same as it is in Verizon's network downstream of that connection point. That suggests that each company's network can handle about the same bandwidth. Any additional traffic on Verizon's network coming from L3 would obviously also be on L3's network. Why is L3 willing to take on this additional traffic, but Verizon isn't?

about two weeks ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Zediva all over again. (484 comments)

If you own the equipment, it's legal.

Replying to myself, this is obviously an incorrect statement. You could rent a VCR or DVR or whatever and an antenna from someone, bring it back to your house, and record stuff there, and that would be legal. It's the combination of the entire service together, with the equipment rental and delivery system over the internet, that makes it "substantially like a cable company" which makes it subject to Breyer's standard. I'm sorry that this doesn't agree with how Slashdotters like to interpret the letter of the law, but that's precisely what the courts are there to do - consider intent, consider grey areas, draw arbitrary lines.

about a month ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Zediva all over again. (484 comments)

How is that not re-transmission?

Oh my god, please stop. No, you haven't won.

That's a private performance.

Absolutely, I agree with you 100%.

the Supreme Court's job isn't to prop up obsolete business models.

How is their business model obsolete? Producing desirable content and charging for it? The thing that's obsolete is providing free OTA transmission of this content, because the content costs more to produce than the networks recoup from advertising alone.

I mean you can already get this exact same content for free by setting up your own antenna. People aren't doing it enough to make a difference.

If Aereo becomes legal, a whole shitload of people (or, rather, their cable/telco/satellite provider) will do it and that business model (free OTA transmission) will indeed become obsolete very, very quickly.

If cable companies implement Aereo-like technology so they could stop paying rebroadcast fees, then networks would have a problem. So let them go off-air and become cable-only like HBO or something. Good for them if they can make more money doing that. Then the airwaves will be freed up for people with fresh ideas and lower overhead. Or maybe not.. maybe we could reallocate the TV spectrum to enable more unlicensed Wifi. That would be an excellent trade in my opinion. Well worth the loss of quality ABC shows like "The Chew" and "General Hospital..."

This is absolutely the most likely scenario. I'm glad you at least acknowledged it. I feel terrible for you that your TV show preferences aren't matched by 100% of the shows that ABC airs.

Presumably this would work with OTA transmissions, which you legally received with an antenna.

Exactly, provided that you own the antenna and some sort of recording device. I'm glad we agree on this.

That's a big assumption, and it's pretty shitty considering you can legally record shows that you receive over the air and watch them later, and have been able to do that since the Supreme Court ruled that VCRs are legal.

On a VCR that you own.

This Supreme Court decision, and the hypothetical you're proposing, take away consumer rights that have been around for decades,

On equipment that they own.

Are you seeing the common theme? If you own the equipment, it's legal. (And this will only continue to work if the cost of owning the equipment makes it not worth bothering for most people.) If you rent this stuff from someone else, it's tantamount to a cable company and thus that company is required to pay the licensing fee. If you want it changed, go complain to your local politician that everyone deserves ad-supported TV for free. Maybe the laws will change and these companies will become taxpayer-subsidized like the BBC.

prevent innovative businesses

How is Aereo innovative? It provides exactly the same service as cable+DVR, which has been around for over a decade. The only innovative thing is the lack of content cost for Aereo, which is unsustainable.

that consumers want

Of course consumers want it, who wouldn't want something that's much cheaper by virtue of having almost none of the cost structure required to deliver the service because the cost is being borne by other companies?

about a month ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Zediva all over again. (484 comments)

If that's not retransmitting, then what is? It's jumping mediums (wire to air), it's transforming the signal (compressed ATSC stream to discrete RGB values to signals to the LCD or whatever).

You've got to be kidding, right? A TV decodes the transmission but doesn't re-encode it for subsequent retransmission. You would need a camera and a microphone for that. As for the "it's a performance" aspect, the TV itself doesn't consider where it is and who is watching it, i.e. the private home vs. bar example we have been discussing. The party responsible for considering the context in which the performance is happening would be the bar owner or homeowner/renter, not the TV rental company.

And yet, he doesn't give a satisfying justification about why Aereo is a public performance, despite their concerted effort to keep it private by having dedicated antennas per subscriber, and no sharing of stored data, and no multicast transmissions.

It's because while it's not that by the letter of the law, that's what it is in spirit. Aereo is providing cable TV service, just without having to pay for the content. The entire point of Aereo's microantenna setup is to use a technicality to get around the "public performance" wording of the law that made (multicast, retransmit) cable providers have to pay the networks. I think one of the justices asked this at the trial (although he said that even if it was, that may not mean it's illegal). I don't know what Aereo's response was.

Now let's go to the dissent:

That claim fails at the very outset because Aereo does not “perform” at all.

I agree completely.

The Court manages to reach the opposite conclusion only by disregarding widely accepted rules for service-provider liability and adopting in their place an improvised standard (“looks-like-cable-TV”) that will sow confusion for years to come.

I think something like this is necessary. Maybe it's improvised, but we need it. Someone has to pay for content to be produced, and it's no longer (completely) covered by advertisers alone. They let people watch for free via OTA because the percentage of people watching that way is low enough that their costs are still covered.

I totally agree with that and wonder how anybody could think like Breyer did unless they just don't understand that a point-to-point TCP/IP connection, even if it's going over a "public" network like the internet, isn't really public.

I don't think Breyer's opinion is what you think it is. Scalito said it explicitly - Breyer made up a new "looks like cable TV" standard and is judging Aereo by that standard. You don't have to like it, but don't misrepresent it.

And since Breyer goes through pains to say "Oh but don't worry, remote DVR and cloud storage are still fine" he obviously is talking out his ass, since those would operate in *the exact same way* when it comes to public vs private. Otherwise perhaps you can explain how sending a copy of a TV show from your remote DVR hosted on Amazon's cloud is private, whereas a copy of a TV show from Aereo's cloud is public? It doesn't make sense.

How did you acquire the TV show that is hosted on your private storage in Amazon's cloud? The cloud storage piece assumes you acquired that content some other legal way. For remote DVR, I don't think he's going to have to go back on what he said at all. He's using a "this looks like cable TV" standard. If it's just cloud storage for shows you already have, that doesn't look like cable TV. If it's remote DVR for cable TV service and you pay for the remote DVR service, that service will be subject to the same "must pay the networks" standard as Aereo and the cable TV networks. Or you could separately pay for just the remote DVR service and have that be linked to a cable/telco/satellite/Netflix subscription as well if you want to decouple DVR from service provider.

about a month ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Zediva all over again. (484 comments)

So if Aereo changes their model to "You buy the equipment and pay to store it here" (aka a signup fee) then it becomes legal? That seems too easy.

Yes, I think it might be that easy. SlingBox comes to mind, so if you wanted to buy a SlingBox and an antenna and rent space at Aereo's location, that would probably be legal. Practically though, that wouldn't be very profitable for Aereo because the equipment would be too big, and for the end customer it's probably cheaper to just pay the cable/telco company for basic cable and DVR service.

I don't know if you're right, but if that's the logic behind this decision it's even worse than I imagined. By your logic, if you rent a TV, then since the TV takes a signal and retransmits it as visible-spectrum light, the rental company is acting as a retransmission agent and you have to pay extra licensing fees. But of course that's ridiculous.. isn't it?

Simply displaying a picture on a TV isn't a retransmission, so the TV rental company is off the hook.

The other piece of this, which others have pointed out, is that it is being offered to the general public. If you rent a TV and show some content to the general public for a fee, I believe that constitutes a "public performance" or something like that and you would need some sort of license to show it. Bars, for example, subscribe to a different type of cable or satellite service that allows them to do this.

about a month ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Zediva all over again. (484 comments)

What if he sets up HDHomerun and storage system for himself, and then sets up another one for me that he never uses? That's what Aereo was doing. Each customer rented their own receiver and their own storage.

If you own the equipment, you can do this without paying the licensing fee. If you don't own the equipment, you need to pay the licensing fee.

Why on Earth would it be illegal for me to rent an antenna (that only I use) from someone else who gets better reception?

Because that someone is acting as a retransmission agent, and there are licensing fees that apply to such retransmission agents such as cable/telco companies, and now Aereo.

about a month ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Is It Retransmission...? (484 comments)

Is your stepson charging for this service? And more importantly, is he making his for-pay service available to the general public? If the answer to both questions is yes, then yes it's illegal.

about a month ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:The leave me NO choice (484 comments)

No, Aereo can still exist and provide the service, they just want Aereo to pay retransmission license fees like any other streaming TV provider. It might cost more, but you said you were eager to pay to watch what you like when you want to, so maybe it will still be worth it to you even with the increased cost.

about a month ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Zediva all over again. (484 comments)

No. If your neighbor charges you to VPN into his network and "rent" his HDHomerun and storage system, then he is breaking the law. If it's all your own equipment, you're not.

about a month ago
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Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Fsck x86 (230 comments)

Can you name several reasons why the x86 ISA has a negative impact on your computing experience?

about 2 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

AcidPenguin9873 Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (355 comments)

Docking stations have been around for decades, long before Thunderbolt. They usually run the actual IO wires for display, network, eSATA, etc., directly via an external connector that attaches those wires to the motherboard. Not that Thunderbolt can't be used for this, but this is not an unsolved propblem.

about 3 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

AcidPenguin9873 Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (355 comments)

Look buddy, I don't doubt that there are PCIe cards that are useful to professionals. What I doubted was the desire to hook them up to a laptop. This post happily provided one example, so I clearly stand corrected. I still don't buy your premise that Macbook Pros with external boxes for these sorts of things are going to be common.

Just so you know, the second link in your list shows a (non-PCIe card, but rather meant-to-be-external) device available with either a Thunderbolt or USB3.0 interface. There is still a Thunderbolt-only device there too that looks to be the higher-end device, and obviously there's the PCIe card version (which is clearly targeted at non-external use given their external device offerings, btw). But doesn't this demonstrate that USB3.0 *can* solve at least some of these more niche use cases, and thus there *is* overlap with/thread to Thunderbolt?

about 3 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

AcidPenguin9873 Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (355 comments)

This is the first legitimate use of Thunderbolt that I've heard of. Thanks for providing the example. I suppose Macs are big in the media industries and Thunderbolt solves this problem nicely.

about 3 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

AcidPenguin9873 Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (355 comments)

Why buy a desktop when you can simply plug the PCI-E cards straight into your laptop?

What PCIe cards are you plugging in again? Graphics cards? You still have yet to demonstrate that it is not a novelty. I have never seen a CAD setup like that. Nor have I heard of a gaming rig that uses a laptop CPU but has an external graphics box. Maybe you're right and it will be all the rage in CAD houses.

And if you're a pro with a desktop, and you run out of PCI-E slots

You're kidding, right?

A lot of pros are adopting Thunderbolt because it allows them to use the devices that used to require a desktop quickly and easily with a laptop, and they can reduce their machine count by one.

What devices are these? Still graphics cards?

about 3 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

AcidPenguin9873 Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (355 comments)

USB 3.0 added DMA and async (no-polling) control. CPU usage should be on par with FireWire.

about 3 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

AcidPenguin9873 Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (355 comments)

Is there a real use case for connecting a PCI-E card to a system via an external port? The link you showed was basically an enthusiast/hobbyist novelty. If I actually need that sort of graphics power (gamers or CAD), I'm probably using a gaming rig or a workstation, which both have PCI-E slots in the case. I can't imagine what other sort of PCI-E cards I'd be carrying around with my laptop.

about 3 months ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

AcidPenguin9873 Re:Becoming Canadian (423 comments)

The intrinsic value of stock is the value of all dividends the company will ever pay, discounted using the time value of money (I'm simplifying of course). You would hold the stock in order to collect those future dividends. This of course requires a very long-term approach to investing, and with a penalized secondary market, makes it more difficult to move capital from a bad company (that has very slim prospects of producing a future dividend) to a good one.

about 3 months ago
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Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

AcidPenguin9873 Re: A looping simulation, apparently (745 comments)

Fair enough. Now can we stop arguing about the first part of my original post, and move on to the second part, where I provided a different example that debunks your assertion that anything divided by 0 is 0?

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Google Fiber in Austin Hits a Snag: Incumbent AT&T

AcidPenguin9873 AcidPenguin9873 writes  |  about 8 months ago

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) writes "Earlier this year, Google announced that it would build its next fiber network in Austin, TX. Construction is slated to start in 2014, but there's a hitch: AT&T owns 20% of the utility poles in Austin. The City of Austin is considering a rules change that would allow Google to pay AT&T to use its utility poles, but AT&T isn't happy about it. The debate appears to hinge on a technicality that specifies what types of companies can attach to the utility poles that AT&T owns. From the news story: "Google 'would be happy to pay for access (to utility poles) at reasonable rates, just as we did in our initial buildout in Kansas City,' she said, referring to Google Fiber’s pilot project in Kansas City...Tracy King, AT&T’s vice president for public affairs, said in a written statement that Google 'appears to be demanding concessions never provided any other entity before.' 'Google has the right to attach to our poles, under federal law, as long as it qualifies as a telecom or cable provider, as they themselves acknowledge. We will work with Google when they become qualified, as we do with all such qualified providers,' she said.""
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Senator Ted Stevens Indicted For Corruption

AcidPenguin9873 AcidPenguin9873 writes  |  about 6 years ago

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) writes "Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), most famous to Slashdotters for his 2006 metaphor comparing the internet to a "series of tubes", has been brought up on corruption charges. From today's NY Times article: "Mr. Stevens, 84, was indicted on seven counts of falsely reporting income. The charges are related to renovations on his home and to gifts he has received." Today's indictment raises the broader issue of lobbyists, gifts, and campaign contributions to politicians. Will the charges have any effect on the upcoming November election?"
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Eavesdropping Helpful Against Terrorist Plot

AcidPenguin9873 AcidPenguin9873 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) writes "The New York Times reports that the U.S. government's ability to eavesdrop on personal communications helped break up a terrorist plot in Germany. The intercepted phone calls and emails revealed a connection between the plotters and a breakaway cell of the terrorist group Islamic Jihad Union. What does this mean for the future of privacy in personal communications? From the article:

[McConnell's] remarks also represent part of intensifying effort by Bush administration officials to make permanent a law that is scheduled to expire in about five months. Without the law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Mr. McConnell said the nation would lose "50 percent of our ability to track, understand and know about these terrorists, what they're doing to train, what they're doing to recruit and what they're doing to try to get into this country."
"

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