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Kickstarted Veronica Mars Promised Digital Download; Pirate Bay Delivers

ConfusedVorlon Re:What is the issue? (243 comments)

agreed - they got a digital version. People complained for various reasons, and Rob decided to do his best to 'Make it right'. All credit to them up to this point. They could have argued that they had met the legal definition of the offer, but they didn't.

At this point, they had two obvious choices

1) give people a link to a drm free file
(which they could download anyway for free from TPB)
2) give them back some money

The interesting fact for me is that rather than give people what they want, they're so scared of DRM-free files, or so wedded to ultra-violet that they would rather give money back.

the story for me isn't 'kickstarter backers got screwed' - it's 'look at the irrational choices the studios make out of fear of piracy'

about a month ago

US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown

ConfusedVorlon Re:What more could you ask for? (40 comments)

Yup - a promise about future behaviour would be good.
Perhaps formal guidance to prosecutors that posting an http link should not generally be seen as 'republishing'

In the UK, there has been controversy around various twitter cases (particularly the bomb joke case).
The end result is that the director of public prosecutions has issued new guidance on how and when to charge people with crimes based on what they say on Twitter.

new guidelines:

relevant section:

"... [they are] like contributions to a casual conversation (the analogy sometimes being drawn with people chatting in a bar) which people simply note before moving on; they are often uninhibited, casual and ill thought out; those who participate know this and expect a certain amount of repartee or 'give and take'."

Against that background, prosecutors should only proceed with cases under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 where they are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the communication in question is more than:
Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or
Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or
The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.
If so satisfied, prosecutors should go on to consider whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.

about a month ago

Comcast Turning Chicago Homes Into Xfinity Hotspots

ConfusedVorlon Not much fuss over this in the UK (253 comments)

In the UK, BT has partnered with FON and automatically advertises BT-Fon hotspots on consumer routers.

I haven't seen any objections to this.

One upside (which I did occasionally find useful when I was on BT) is that they allow the homeowner free access to any wifi hotspot in the BT-Fon network.

about a month and a half ago

MtGox Sets Up Call Center For Worried Bitcoiners

ConfusedVorlon Re:Regulation of currency (240 comments)

unacceptably high for whom?

There are plenty of cases where the cost/risk might be acceptable.

If I want to buy something for $100 and anonymity is important, then I may well be happy to risk losing my $100.

Similarly if I have a bunch of illicit cash and I can convert it into bitcoin - I might be willing to risk losing it rather than risk it coming to the attention of the authorities.

Is bitcoin suitable for your average person to store their pension savings? Almost certainly not. That doesn't mean the cost (risk) is unacceptably high for everyone though.

about a month and a half ago

Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

ConfusedVorlon Excerpt from wikipedia entry July 2018 (574 comments)

After the technological meltdowns consistently failed to appear, IPv4 was finally replaced when IPv7 was adopted globally in the year 2017 as a result of a world trade agreement.

The incongruous IPv7 clause was widely seen as the result of an unlikely alliance between the RIAA, MPAA and various repressive regimes such as China, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom.

Frustrated by the inability to trace internet usage to a single user via IPv4, these organisations lobbied for IPv7 to be adopted so that individual phones and computers could be mapped permanently to a single device and user. Unlike IPv6, IPv7 includes a direct mapping to the mac address of a device and the user's global internet ID, so that (in theory at least), all downloads can be linked to a specific person.

Although the EFF and various other organisations campaigned vigorously against IPv7, the arguments around catching terrorists and preventing pedophilia prevailed.

about a month ago

Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion

ConfusedVorlon What about the police? (448 comments)

This seems like a clear case of extortion and theft.

At the very least, the police ought to be able to recover the stolen property via Twitter.

about 3 months ago

AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer

ConfusedVorlon Re:Creepy (1034 comments)

The cinema clearly doesn't forbid you from taking a camera in. I'd wager that 95% of patrons have a phone that with a video camera.
What makes this one different is that it was pointing at the screen.

The interesting issue here is that the video camera is attached to his prescription glasses - so he can turn it off (which he did) but he can't turn it away.

about 3 months ago

The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

ConfusedVorlon Re:Economics 101 (318 comments)

I have found the expensive hotels in the USA to be the worst for nickel & diming you. After you pay $600, they want extra to look after a bag, $15 if you want to drink the bottle of water beside your bed, etc.

Meanwhile down the road at the $60 place - water, wifi and service are included.

Having said that - there may be something in the fact that the luxury hotels were the first ones to install wifi throughout the building - back when it was really expensive to do. They installed it on the basis that they would be able to charge, and haven't updated their assumptions in the face of widespread free wifi.

about 6 months ago

PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account

ConfusedVorlon Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (443 comments)

Why do people insist on using PayPal for high value accounts?

because doing anything else is significantly harder / more expensive / less successful.

whilst it is clear that Paypal act like dicks on a frequent basis, they also provide an easy way to accept money from people all over the world in a way that is easy for the customer to use, and cheap/quick for the receiver to set up.

or to put it another way - can you suggest a better alternative?

about 7 months ago

John Scalzi's Redshirts Wins Hugo Award for Best Novel

ConfusedVorlon Re: There's no money. (112 comments)

The holodeck looks like fun. I'd like to spend most of my evenings playing there with my friends.
Also, I'd like a big cabin with a large forward facing window.

Both of those are scarce. How are they allocated?

What if I'm willing to take a smaller cabin in return for more holodeck time?

about 7 months ago

Single Developer Responsible For Over 47k Apps In BlackBerry World

ConfusedVorlon Re:heh (176 comments)

the smartphone market isn't necessarily a great baseline.

making up numbers completely, It could be argued:

they had 90% of the corporate_mobile_email_phone device market.
They now have 60% of the corporate_mobile_email_phone device market.

the broader smartphone market has exploded, and apart from a few niches where bbm is valued highly, they have almost completely failed to succeed in the new market.

not that I don't think they're dead - just that I like alternate perspectives!

about 8 months ago

Google Blocks YouTube App On Windows Phone (Again)

ConfusedVorlon Re:Embrace? check. Extend? Ah, there's the problem (629 comments)

This would just reassert the point that Google's TS are discriminatory, since they don't abide by them themselves, and the end result is that they can pick and choose which platforms get a full-fledged YouTube experience and which don't.

I don't see a problem with Google treating themselves differently to people who want to use their API. It would be entirely reasonable for them to have YouTube and offer no API at all.

Amongst other reasons - Google have the ability to update their own apps if they feel a need to change things in the future; They have less control over third parties, so they have a legitimate reason to care more about how third parties implement critical functionality like displaying adverts.

Yes, they pick and choose which platforms get full-fledged YouTube, just like the way Microsoft pick and choose which platforms get full-fledged Office. I don't have a problem with that either.

Can you give an example of a specific HTML5 feature in IE that YouTube would require? It supports a great deal of the standard as of IE10, you know.

In an official statement YouTube said:

"We're committed to providing users and creators with a great and consistent YouTube experience across devices, and we've been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service."

If you mean basically hosting the mobile YouTube page as is in a web browser control and calling that an app, then this is precisely what several dozen YouTube players for Windows Phone already do.

One sticking point seems to be their ad-serving code. Presumably, this is exactly how Google want it implemented (in a browser control).

The problem with this approach is that it plainly sucks, which makes the users annoyed. Google was asked to write an official app for WP, but refused, citing low market share. Hence the attempt by MS to fix this themselves.

So MS signed up to the google API terms and conditions, then thought they could break them.

I don't see what the controversy is here, Google doesn't want to release a windows phone app - they don't have to. I released one for one of my apps, and frankly it was a waste of my effort - the platform is insignificant (~3% smartphone sales).

If MS want to release an app, then they have to use the API and follow the terms like anyone else unless Google gives them special dispensation.

about 8 months ago

Google Blocks YouTube App On Windows Phone (Again)

ConfusedVorlon Re:Embrace? check. Extend? Ah, there's the problem (629 comments)

declared reason: because that's what the ts&cs require
my hypothesised reason: because that requires MS to implement html5 features in IE, and Google wants to have those features available for their own web-apps

possible additional reason: html5 player incorporates code which is under Google control, and provides them with greater control in the future if they need to update/change how some things work.

about 8 months ago

Got Malware? Get a Hammer!

ConfusedVorlon Re:Economic Development Administration? (254 comments)

It's kind of embarrassing if your head of state gets killed.

Even if you don't particularly care for them - you might not want to face the political/pr fallout of such a visible fail.

about 9 months ago

German Parliament Tells Government To Strictly Limit Patents On Software

ConfusedVorlon Re:The only exception... (75 comments)

A clock?

about 10 months ago

UK Police Now Double As CCTV Cameras

ConfusedVorlon Re:I believe all police activity should be filmed (161 comments)

the shocking thing isn't so much that there are incidents where things go bad. As you say, there are lots of police, and lots of incidents - there will be some where things go wrong. The shocking thing is that there is almost never any consequence for the brutal officers.

Instead, the whole thing gets brushed under the carpet - sending a clear message to other officers that they are free to abuse their power without consequence. I have personally experienced officers casually lying in their statements to cover up a fairly minor offence by one of their own against me. Whilst most officers probably don't indulge in gratuitous brutality; It seems that most officers will not step in to stop it, or report it when they see it.

If the occasional 'bad act' resulted in all the officer's colleagues roundly condemning the actions and the discipline system enforcing significant punishment then I would start to believe that these were acts which did not represent the body of police as a whole.

Regarding the teenager incident you mention - this is actually a great case. Even if an office has been hit and knocked unconscious by a brick - the job of the arresting officers is to capture the teenager with a minimum of force and allow the legal system to administer justice. That's their job. However understandable their desire to give the kid a beating - it is not acceptable. They have a great deal of power and need to show restraint even (especially) when provoked.

about 10 months ago

Google Drops XMPP Support

ConfusedVorlon Direct response to Microsoft? (416 comments)

My guess is that this is a direct response to Microsoft.

Google has been talking open-ness, and xmpp is part of that. Microsoft decided to connect messenger so that they could send messages to g-chat users, but didn't reciprocate in terms of allowing g-chat users to see messenger contacts. (I don't know the protocol, but I understand this is a valid use of an xmpp server, even if clearly parasitic).

Google have responded by shutting the whole thing down. 'Hey Microsoft -play nice, or we'll take our ball home'

about a year ago

US Senate Passes Internet Tax Bill 69 To 27

ConfusedVorlon Re:bollocks (678 comments)

I'm sure someone will step in to help small retailers with all the messiness. They'll probably call it an online shopping cart or something like that and it will automatically add the right sales tax based on the category of the item and the location of the purchaser.

If nobody steps up to provide a shopping cart that integrates with online sales tax filing services, then there is a great business opportunity for you. Be quick though.

about a year ago



Kickstarted Veronica Mars promised digital download. Pirate bay delivers.

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  about a month ago

ConfusedVorlon (657247) writes "Backers were promised 'You will receive a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movie’s theatrical debut'.

Warner Bros are providing a non-downloadable ultra-violet coupon (although Veronica Mars is available for download through other stores).

The download is already available on the Pirate Bay. The download is even available on commercial stores. The users have already passed over their $35+
But rather than meet the demand for a DRM-free download, Warner Bros would prefer to return the original pledge to backers who complain (no doubt pissing them off even more).

What does this tell us about how movie studios view the world? There can't be a better indication of willingness to pay than 'they have already paid' — are these the pirates WB fears?"

Link to Original Source

Broadband company buys football rights. Attempts to duck 'dumb pipe'

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  about 2 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "BT has secured the rights to broadcast live Premier League games for the first time, securing the rights to 38 matches a season from 2013-14 to 2015-16.
Broadband providers really don't want to compete on the basis of providing fast internet at reasonable prices. They'll keep trying to charge content providers to send data, they'll keep trying to find new ways to charge customers, and now they may have hit on a way to compete by providing content that isn't available on other ISPs."

Link to Original Source

IGDA warns against Amazon's app store

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  about 3 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "Amazon reserves the right to control the price of your games, as well as the right to pay you 'the greater of 70% of the purchase price or 20% of the List Price.'

The IGDA's bottom line is simple: under Amazon's current terms, Amazon has little incentive not to use a developer's content as a weapon with which to capture marketshare from competing app stores."

Link to Original Source

EU about to vote on copyright extension

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  about 3 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "Christian Engström (Pirate MEP) writes : Monday or Tuesday this upcoming week there will be another round in the fight against prolonging the copyright protection term for recorded music in the EU. Now is an opportunity to contact MEPs, Members of the European Parliament, and persuade them to vote against the term extension."
Link to Original Source

Louis Vuitton – the symbol of corporate bull

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "Bag manufacturer Louis Vuitton has unleashed its lawyers on Danish artist Nadia Plesner. Her crime is that she has tried to draw attention to the situation in Darfur by making a painting called Darfurnica which includes a handbag that looks like a Louis Vuitton handbag."
Link to Original Source

Passenger not guilty despite annoying the TSA

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ConfusedVorlon (657247) writes "A six-woman Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court jury has found Phil Mocek “NOT GUILTY” of all of the charges brought against him following his arrest in November 2009 at the TSA checkpoint at the Albuquerque airport.

Annoying the TSA is not a crime. Photography is not a crime. You have the right to fly without ID, and to photograph, film, and record what happens. Your best defense is your own camera and microphone. Ordinary jurors know, and are prepared to recognize with their verdict, that the TSA and police lie about what they are doing and why."

Link to Original Source

What rating for the Web?

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "My app Fast Web which is currently live in the iTunes store with a rating of 4+ just got an update rejected.

Fast Web is just a web browser, it presents any page on the internet, but uses Google to optimise the page so that it downloads more quickly.

Unhelpfully, Apple told me that they can't approve the current rating, but don't say what rating might be appropriate.

the categories are:

Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Realistic Violence
Sexual Content or Nudity
Profanity or Crude Humor
Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Mature/Suggestive Themes
Simulated Gambling
Horror/Fear Themes
Prolonged graphic or sadistic realistic violence
Graphic sexual content and nudity

Each has to be rated as "None", "Infrequent/Mild" or "Frequent/Intense"

However if the web contains even infrequent/mild 'graphic sexual content and nudity' then Apple won't allow the app at all.

I can conclude from the fact that Mobile Safari _is_ available that the web must be free of 'graphic sexual content and nudity'.

By the same logic, I can conclude that the web must be free of 'Prolonged graphic or sadistic realistic violence'.

Regarding such elements as 'Profanity or Crude Humor' and 'Sexual content and nudity', how would Slashdot rate the web? None? Infrequent/Mild? Frequent/Intense?"

Correction: uk can't hold people for 42 days!

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "re 'UK Can Now Hold People Without Charge For 42 Days'

-this is not true. The house of commons has passed a bill which would allow this, however it would have to be ratified by the lords to become law.

The lords is very unlikely to ratify the bill and the house of commons will not be able to force it past the
lords for a year.

Please post an update. This is a terrible day for UK rights, but the story you post is not true."

Link to Original Source

Id theft leads to job loss and prosecution

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  about 6 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "Here is one for the 'Done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' brigade. The BBC reports: Simon Bunce had his credit card details stolen. They were used at a child porn website that was part of Operation Ore which resulted in him being prosecuted in the UK. He has now proven his innocence, but he still lost his job and it took him six months to find another at a quarter of the salary. Pedophiles and terrorists are used to justify many extensions of legal powers. Here, the power to seize all of a man's computers and drives before anything was proven cost him dear."
Link to Original Source

Nuclear Hacking Pranksters Acquitted

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  about 6 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "It's good to see the courts in at least one land have a sense of proportion. When the artistic group Ztohoven hacked the tv weather report to show a nuclear explosion in the background they say they were showing how the media can influence perception. Czech TV were not amused and took them to court for 'Spreading false information'. The courts acquitted them yesterday."
Link to Original Source

ConfusedVorlon ConfusedVorlon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ConfusedVorlon writes "Storing DNA records of people who are arrested and never charged seems like an infringement of civil liberties.
However I have lived in a country where crime is out of control so I'm sympathetic to an initiative that does solve rapes, murders and other crime.

Franklin's statement that 'Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.' seems too trite for me. How should we weigh the risks versus the benefits of an initiative like this?

The Independant discusses the UK DNA database along with it's Big Brother Britian feature."


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