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Craigslist Removes Its Controversial Adult Section

Auckerman There, I fixed it! (522 comments)

This is the future of the Internet. Corporate censorship at the demand of the loudest group. One by one, sites are going to filter user areas. Then content. Starting with obvious things that few will care about, like prostitution. Slowly, everything is going to be so pasteurized that sites with no filters will be considered criminal organizations.

Look, whatever you think of it is irrelevant, abused or not, the racier parts of the internet are a necessary part of freedom. Draw the line of allowed hosted content straight through what most people find offensive and leave it there.

It may not happen in our lifetime, but if we don't demand full neutrality (for host and carriers), it's going to happen.

about 4 years ago

Flawed iTunes Stands Out Among Apple's Products

Auckerman Re:How Does the Same Company Make iPods and iTunes (390 comments)

"It's not that simple. Quicktime is neither backwards nor forwards compatible, nor does it allow for multiple simultaneous installations."

I not entirely sure WIndows even allows that. OS X does. WIth a knowledgable hand, Linux should (as well with most Unix systems). IIRC, Windows isn't so keen on multi versions of libs. Apps should be able to code around this, but the core operating system doesn't provide that level of versioning. What you are describing is a Windows issue, which Apple has to work around.

about 4 years ago

Electric Car Subsidies As Handouts For the Rich

Auckerman Re:This is just stupid (589 comments)

I'm not a fan of the oil subsidies either. Though, if repealed, the oil companies would just pass the additional costs onto the consumers.

You make it sound like subsidies come out of thin air, just like magic, and no one will pay for them. The cost is passed onto everyone, and in the case of oil, everyone is dependent on it. Hence the customers are paying, but don't know they the real price.

more than 4 years ago

Hacker Builds $1,500 Cell Phone Tapping Device

Auckerman Re:"deliberate choice" (109 comments)

Call my a conspiracy nut

Not a problem, I'll get his number from the CIA.

more than 4 years ago

Utah Attorney General Tweets Execution Order

Auckerman Re:Not an "all time low" (556 comments)

the jury found him guilty and found the death penalty appropriate

It was the only option offered, something the jururers complained about

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Explains Mystery Firefox Extension

Auckerman Re:English Doc? (142 comments)

"How do you propose Firefox prevent the installation of an extension by software that has direct file system access?"

Don't use filesystem placement as the method of registering extensions. Keep registered extensions in an encrypted database which only Firefox has access to. Only add extensions when the user interacts with a secure API verifying they want the extension added. /next question?

more than 4 years ago

H.264 vs. Theora — Fightin' Words About Patentability

Auckerman Re:First Post? (421 comments)

Save for the title being "first post" you really don't deserve a flamebait rating. Post like this is why flamebait is moved to +5 to my account.

That being said, you're wrong. GPL software is inherently incompatible with software patents. If you're a big company with a big patent portfolio, you can pretty much make any software you want. Someone sues you, you counter sue, because odds are they are breaking at least one of your patents. In general, companies try to avoid suing each other and instead opt to just cross license each others patents, by formal agreement or by understood silence.

GPL software developers have no such luxury. They aren't known for patenting things and if they do, they then promptly license the patent in a such a way that GPL compatible licenses can use the patent. Which means, BSD licenses can use the patents too. Which means, it can be incorporated into proprietary software without releasing the code. Which, of course, defeats the whole purpose of a patent.

If firefox includes H 264 decoding in their own software libraries, they are no exposed to a lawsuit. If they opt to use OS native plugins for H 264, they end up creating a logistical nightmare in development, since you can't guarantee that all installs will have the software needed to the embedded movies. Which means the user is going to blame them when it doesn't work.

The real solution is to work with the standards committees to make the video tag in HTML have real meaning. What movie containers and formats are officially supported by HTML 5? How will the patents work, etc etc. This whole Theora thing is the wrong tactic. They will stand alone and fail. They should call up Apple and Google and ask them to work with them on solving this problem permanently. If they can get the MPEG patent holders to all license their software in such a way that its compatible with the GPL, then the problem is solved.

more than 4 years ago

Amazon Battles Apple By Arm-Twisting Publishers

Auckerman Re:huh? (137 comments)

You're really concerned what's going to happen to your ebooks when you're dead? Taking corporate paranoia to the afterlife is a little extreme, no?

I don't have to buy a different set of eyes to read books purchased at different stores. They all work, as is. Where as, with ebooks, once you have a collection from Amazon, if you EVER want to read them again, you must do so on an Amazon supplied reader. If at any point in the next couple of years, Amazon decides to stop manufacturing those readers and yours dies, all of your books stop being readable.

We already know with DRM'ed music, that companies have taken their tracking servers off line, making moving the music to new hardware IMPOSSIBLE.

If I own something, I own it. I don't need the entity I bought it from to give me permission to use it.

more than 4 years ago

Amazon Battles Apple By Arm-Twisting Publishers

Auckerman This is unexpected, how? (137 comments)

Competition from a new contender that is known to be a strong player causes the strongest early market entrant to throw a hissy fit, news at a 11.

Until I can actually BUY an e-book, not rent them for life, the entire market will remain irrelevant to me.

more than 4 years ago

Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP

Auckerman Re:XP sucks (454 comments)

Some people see no need to pay more money to buy the most recent OS.

more than 4 years ago

Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP

Auckerman It's not impossible (454 comments)

To say it's "impossible" is being dishonest. All display rendering in OS X is done by tasks that were offset by the graphics card. It's a native OS X feature that speeds up all applications. Firefox runs just fine on OS X and XP.

Microsoft either doesn't know to or is unwilling to write direct X in a way that creates minimum work for developers to use.

more than 4 years ago

Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?

Auckerman This is the core problem of Health Care (727 comments)

Everyone is always spending someone elses money, so the part of the market (the consumer) that's supposed to lower prices doesn't do it's job.

Insured people are spending the insurance companies money. The insurance companies are spending the money coming in from premiums, which are usually paid by the company the insured person is working for. The health care providers are spending the insurance companies money. There is little to no market pressure to lower prices. The only party who is interested in lowering cost is the guy paying for the insurance, but their employees are telling them they want the best coverage known to man with price being no object.

You want to know why wages were stagnant since the dot com bust? Companies spend somewhere around 25% more on workers during that time, with almost every penny going to health care.

This is why every nation other than the US has centralized healthcare, do varying degrees. The government acts as the voice in lowering prices. They are literally hundreds of strategies they use, some more effective than others.

Why do hearing aids cost a fortune? You can blame the rest population for NEVER looking at prices.

more than 4 years ago

EMI Cannot Unbundle Pink Floyd Songs

Auckerman Re:Emi (601 comments)

Smart phone with an unlimited data plan combined with KEXP out of Seattle.

more than 4 years ago

Unfriendly Climate Greets Gore At Apple Meeting

Auckerman Re:Who are the denailists? (572 comments)

And you, sir, are not helping by demonizing those who think differently than you. Saying the previous poster is demonizing is a bit harsh, don't you think. That being said... The physical properties of CO2 are well known. It's heat capacity and spectral data aren't something people can deny. How it interacts with the solar radiation is very well understood. It is a green house gas. Even the scientists who have looked at the data and disagree with man made global warming aren't going to say it isn't a green house gas. They are going to say that it's concentration level isn't high enough to be a problem and that other causes are more significant. There are people out there, usually politicians and/or business leaders, telling laymen that CO2 is completely harmless and scientists are involved in a big conspiracy to make us all Amish. Anyone who falls in that category DESERVES to be "demonized". Anti-intellicualism is not something to be proud of and should be condemned. I remember a time with SO2 as a cause of acid rain was "debated" in political theater. Everything from acid rain doesn't exist, to capping SO2 emissions will kill the economy, to acid is more complex than anyone could ever understand so we shouldn't do anything. Same damn thing we see with GW deniers. P.S. You know what a REPUBLICAN president signed into law. Cap and trade for SO2 emissions.

more than 4 years ago

Beliefs Conform To Cultural Identities

Auckerman We already knew why.... (629 comments)

So, I was that guy in college who double majored in unrelated subjects. Chemistry and Religion. Then went on to a handful of jobs in unrelated fields. I get bored easily and put a lot of thought into some esoteric things that no one cares about.

As you look very closely at how belief functions in society, it becomes extremely obvious that belief in and of itself is not rational. It's a functional experience. This is true for all people, even scientists (reason is accepted because it's useful way of achieving a goal) Is a set of norms and beliefs useful for the person whom is called to believe? If answer is no, then they won't accept the belief structure or they will chose to be willfully ignorant of the subject. If answer is yes, they will accept it without question in so far as narrative can be used to explain any "apparent contradictions" between the belief and reality. The core idea of something being actually true is completely and 100% irrelevant to the evaluation.

As a side note, it appears the experiment cited in the article is useless for describing the problem. You describe nano tech to some people, then it's uses. They reject the tech, if they don't like the uses. Doesn't mean they don't BELIEVE the tech is possible, they just don't like it.

more than 4 years ago

Criminals Hide Payment-Card Skimmers In Gas Pumps

Auckerman Re:Russian mob was doing this in the 1990's (332 comments)

Despite the fact that I ordered and paid for the pizza ahead of time, on the web, he told me that he "needed an imprint" of the card. Then he starts making the imprint with... his key?

Okay, here's how it works.

If there an imprint of the card on the signed receipt AND the card was stolen, the merchant is not responsible for the loss when the card owner contests the charges. The underwriter of the card eats the cost. Here's the fun part. As per the contract, the merchant can't require the card to be present, at all, at the time of signing. Meaning the customer can deny an imprint and still get their purchase.

The owner of store I run "requires" an imprint (as in, I tell the drivers to do it and fuss when they don't), but doesn't enforce the "requirement" at all (drivers never have a punitive response).

more than 4 years ago

Paypal Reverses Payments Made To Indians

Auckerman Re:Paypal is not a bank (509 comments)

It's called Fractional-reserve lending. You deposit $100 into your bank and they led out $900.

If they're paying you 2% interest and charging 4.5% interest in their loans, their profit is (roughly) 4.5% * 9 - 2%. So, they're making 38% or so on your deposit.

That's called not understanding fractional reserve banking.

Deposits are obligations. They are loans to the bank that are repayable on demand.

Loan are assets. A loan can be sold by the bank to another bank. They are worth money, just so long that they are backed by good credit.

OKay. Here's how it works. You got a bank. It has 1 Million in cash. It was put there by the owner of the bank. They start taking deposits. They get 9 Million in deposits. Now the bank has 10 million dollars, not 90 million.

Assuming they weren't forced to keep reserves, the MAX they can lend is 10 million. For every dollar lent out, they have one dollar less in the bank. In theory, they should have an asset worth at least one dollar in trade. When the cash reserves run low, the bank can sell any asset on it's books to another bank to get it's cash back. They create no money. If banks could create money, they would never go bankrupt.

  A bankrupt bank is when: Cash on hand + assets on books is less than total obligations (any money they owe someone else). Before the FDIC, when banks went under, deposit money was lost forever. It wasn't inside the bank at all, it was loaned out.

more than 4 years ago

Murdoch Says E-Book Prices Will Kill Paper Books

Auckerman Re:You have it backwards (538 comments)

It's not price fixing to sell to your wholesale customers in a contractual arrangement that includes a retail price floor.

In the United States, that is price fixing and it's illegal. What you can do is contractually obligate that the price can't be advertised when it's lower than X (Minimum advertised price), but you can't set a floor for the final price. It's a violation of US anti-trust law.

more than 4 years ago

Murdoch Says E-Book Prices Will Kill Paper Books

Auckerman Re:Okay (538 comments)

Price fixing is when an oligarchy of industry players collude to set prices.

That's one way to price fix, but not the most common.

Let me give you a clear example of price fixing. I sell a book to you and force you to sell that book on the retail market at the same price as everyone else I sell that book to. You fix the price and remove competition among retailers. That's illegal in the United States.

In the case of e-books, they are doing a end run around the concept. They've decreed they aren't selling an ebook to Amazon at all. They are licensing the ebook to Amazon under contractual obligations of price. The result and idea is identical to price fixing of physical books, it removes price competition from the retailers. That price competition is a core principle of how the US market works. Which is why it's illegal to fix prices in the market, even for a single item sold by a single player.

more than 4 years ago

Murdoch Says E-Book Prices Will Kill Paper Books

Auckerman Okay (538 comments)

How is this NOT price fixing? They use licensing semantics to do an end run around the idea, but in the end it's price fixing. Last I heard, anti competitive practices like that are illegal in the United States.

more than 4 years ago


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