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The Wi-Fi Hacking Neighbor From Hell

Bellegante Re:The REAL WTF... (584 comments)

You don't understand, and most people don't.

In Texas, 99.5% of all cases are resolved by plea bargain. Its all for the same reason, and innocence or guilt doesn't factor in: The prosecutor will offer a deal that you'd be a fool to reject unless you were certain you could win your trial.

If you happen to be poor, and in the right area, the court might be one that appoints public defenders without any fuss (that isn't a good assumption to make, though) or maybe you've got lucky and the area you are in has an actual public defenders office, in which each attorney is assigned a mere 200 cases at a time.

Its easy to say he was stupid for not taking the plea bargain, but innocent people take these plea bargains too, for the same reasons - felony record and probation or 5 years in prison? Sure you can win? Want to take the gamble?

Not my site, but one of a few that really covers this subject:

about 3 years ago

25% of Car Accidents Linked to Gadget Use

Bellegante Re:Here come the "But not special *ME*!" posts (317 comments)

There are very few areas of this country where you can live without a car. You can make laws that say people can't drive, but they'll do it anyway. What you DO accomplish is that you criminalize a large portion of the population, while expanding and taxing the underclass. If you'd like proof this is the case look well.. anywhere in the US. Uninsured drivers are illegal in most places.. but they drive. 10% of Texans have active warrants for arrests , mostly for unpaid traffic fines. Not legal to drive. I'm all for responsibility, but if you expect people to lay down and die because they broke laws before.. its just not going to happen.

about 3 years ago

Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown

Bellegante Re:Considering ..... (769 comments)

While it's true that it's appropriate to view them skeptically, I'd ask if you've taken the time to look at and understand the newer reactor designs, or if you've simply dismissed them outright because your bias says they must also be dangerous?

more than 3 years ago

The Hurt Locker Producers Sue First 5,000 File-Sharers

Bellegante Re:I've never understood... (861 comments)

What would you suggest they do to monetize their films?

Uhm, how about make good films?

more than 4 years ago

The "Scientific Impotence" Excuse

Bellegante Re:Scientific 'Facts' Change more often than Relig (892 comments)

An important detail is missing here: Scientists don't say those things! The media does. Scientists say "Based on our recent observations/experiments, there may be a correlation with this reading and proof of x." The media follows with "Science proves x beyond a doubt! Panic!"

more than 4 years ago

The World's First Osmotic Power Plant

Bellegante Impact (262 comments)

I wonder what environmental impacts this has, and if they will prevent these things from going into real use?

more than 4 years ago

British Men Jailed For Online Hate Crimes

Bellegante No Asylum? (778 comments)

No free speech in the UK, I get that (though I strongly disagree with it!), but why not offer asylum? Don't we believe in the right to free speech ourselves? Isn't this a perfect example of a situation in which we should, when someone comes to us who is being prosecuted for a crime that we do not consider to be a crime?

about 5 years ago

How Google's High Speed Book Scanner De-Warps Pages

Bellegante Trouble catching up, unless.. (209 comments)

Unless I'm willing to just shred the books, of course. Cut em up, scan the pages individually, a lot less overhead than a 3d scanner.

more than 5 years ago

ASCAP Starts To Act Like the RIAA

Bellegante Re:Starting? (272 comments)

Me camping out on your front lawn will never detract from your funds..

I'd have to pay to recover my ammunition, of course..

But seriously, you're comparing not getting perpetual compensation for something you wrote to invading your personal space? You could conceivably have your written song copied and distributed worldwide without even knowing about it. It's not a personal matter at all - you can't own words or ideas. That's why we call it copyright. It's a legal construct we invented specifically because actual ownership was an impossibility.

That said, they could simply work out a deal with the band (or bands) they sell the music to. 10% sounds good. Sure, without copyright, other bands could play and the writer wouldn't be compensated, but the original band will always do the best. If you need examples of this, look at the copyright situation in china. copies and (illegal) derivative work exist; the original makes the most money, the others, less.

more than 5 years ago

Open Source's Battle In Africa

Bellegante Cost of ownership? (172 comments)

The total cost of a windows box, the entire cost of ownership, is the up front cost of the MS software? Really?

Jesus, I've been a fool for using Linux on my personal systems. Why, considering all the man hours I've put into it, I would have saved virtually hundreds of dollars by paying for a quality Microsoft product!

I'm going to run out right away and buy a new operating system! Looking forward to never having to configure anything, and having a bug free system that does everything I want!

(Mods - Joke. Really.)

more than 5 years ago

ASCAP Starts To Act Like the RIAA

Bellegante Re:Starting? (272 comments)

There is a difference between morality and law. It's an important distinction. I'm well aware that the copyright law can be used to prevent children from singing 'happy birthday' because that particular song is copyrighted; and yet you'd be miserable scum to try to enforce that.

Which is why I asked for a moral, rather than legal, explanation.

I do agree that some form of protection for an artist is desirable, but imagine this world if it did not exist. People would still want authentic music from the actual artists, but they'd have to be the best - if some band could come along and do the music better than the original, then they would hit the top. We would still have mass production of music CD's and such, but those CD prices would be slashed dramatically, with a lot of smaller businesses putting them out. Bands would still make the money that they do make off of live performances. Really, we'd only get rid of the scum of the earth that leech off the current system. The people we care about (The Bands, and The People) would be just fine.

Need proof that music without copyright can still pull in money? You can still buy compilations of classical music, and people still pay to see performances of it. I would assert that, in combination with advertising and popular culture fanaticism, copyright (for music) is completely unnecessary.

more than 5 years ago

ASCAP Starts To Act Like the RIAA

Bellegante Re:Paging Ray Beckerman (272 comments)

Of course not, and from the individual point of view a lot of things don't make sense. I feel for those people, and as I said I consider it to be a noble cause to get them released.

That doesn't change the fact that they were imprisoned by mistake, and every mistake that causes innocent people to be imprisoned that we fix prevents an infinite number of future citizens from being imprisoned (well, assuming this society lasts forever, which I doubt, but you understand my meaning).

Think of it like your system; sure, if there's a trojan there you want to remove it, but shouldn't you put more effort into patching the vulnerabilities?

more than 5 years ago

ASCAP Starts To Act Like the RIAA

Bellegante Re:Why Is the Music Industry So Messed Up? (272 comments)

There are several good reasons that the music industry is corrupt as it is.

1. Old school players. ASCAP and company got into the game early and have maintained control throughout the years by primarily assaulting people with little financial backing. (clubs, notably)

2. Cash cow. The cost of reproduction is virtually nothing for the imaginary property produced, but you -have- to maintain a grip or lose significant profit. There's no non corrupt way to maintain that grip over people, so it's a corrupt industry.

3. Leading us into the third point, that save for the musicians themselves, the entire industry structure is inherently corrupt It's been discussed here ad nauseum, of course. The distributors exist to leech off the artist's popularity, and provide nothing in return. ASCAP exists to intimidate people into payment, providing nothing of value. The whole thing is based around the idea that copyright exists because Music can be owned, rather than the constitutionally valid idea that it exists so that music will be free to the public.

more than 5 years ago

ASCAP Starts To Act Like the RIAA

Bellegante Re:Paging Ray Beckerman (272 comments)

Sure, and getting innocent men out of prison is a noble cause. Though, it seems like a case where they miss the forest for the trees. Getting one man out of prison is an immense legal undertaking! Those resources are better spent reforming the system to prevent innocents from going to prison in the first place.

more than 5 years ago

ASCAP Starts To Act Like the RIAA

Bellegante Re:Starting? (272 comments)

[quote]When you play a songwriter's composition in a way that makes you money (such as attracting customers), you owe that songwriter a cut. [/quote]

Why? No, seriously, why? It doesn't take money from the people who made the music, it doesn't even deny them CD sales in the way that piracy could theoretically do (though there is no hard evidence that it does).

The reason the stupid copyright law exists in the first place is to benefit the people! It isn't so that you can claim profit from each and every rendition of a song throughout space and time. A cover band playing a professional song will never detract from the professional group's funds, and I defy you to find anything to the contrary.

Explain the moral obligation society has to pay an artist for every single performance of work that he originated, please.

more than 5 years ago

GPS Accuracy Could Start Dropping In 2010

Bellegante Hardware can fail? (210 comments)

This isn't news. The article simply says that there have been problems getting new satellites in orbit; but the ones that are there are functioning fine. Yes, they COULD fail, but they haven't done so yet, and there isn't yet any indication that they will.

Move along, move along.

more than 5 years ago

Court Orders Breathalyzer Code Opened, Reveals Mess

Bellegante Re:But does it work? No. (707 comments)

It would have to be written correctly to work, wouldn't it? even if the code runs flawlessly: It doesn't average correctly. It tries several times to analyze a sample, but then averages them incorrectly, point 2 FTFA. They can program, but failed basic math.

more than 5 years ago

NY Bill Proposes Fat Tax On Games, DVDs, Junk Food

Bellegante Re:I still say they should get rid of HFC Syrup (793 comments)

It isn't that HFCS is more fattening than sugar, it's that it's slightly cheaper and easy to manufacture out of corn.

Because people like sweet things, they pump the crap into everything. I recommend reading Omnivore's Dilemma to the curious, it has a very good breakdown of where all the food we eat today actually comes from, and it's kind of sickening.

And no, it wasn't always sickening!

more than 5 years ago

How often do you reboot your primary computer?

Bellegante Re:Hibernation is glitchy (596 comments)

Err, that's not what he said, though. He said it saves a 'just in case' hibernation file before it sleeps.

So, you put it to sleep, it can still wake just fine. However, if you put it to sleep, come back a month later with a fresh battery, and boot it, it will boot and restore your data as if you had hibernated.

more than 5 years ago


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