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Why No War Over MS's Android Patent Shakedown?

DeepHurtn! Re:Software patents really are different than othe (174 comments)

There's an argument that the whole problem with software patents is that they collapse that very difference. After all, the implementation of a software-idea is already protected through copyright (for a very, very long time!). What additional protection, then, do patents give?

more than 2 years ago
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Usage Based Billing In Canada To Be Rescinded

DeepHurtn! Re:Right on! (364 comments)

Sure, in principle, but the devil is in the details. "Usage based billing" doesn't really describe what is going on here-- that's the industry propaganda term. This decision was primarily about wholesaler's ability to screw over bandwidth resellers, like Teksavvy (who I use). Under the CRTC's decision, Bell was going to cut my bandwidth cap from 250GB/month to *25*. With $2/GB overage fees. Some companies here charge around $5 (I know!!!) per gig after hitting your monthly max. Canada's incumbent telcos have tremendous power and the CRTC, under good ol' Conrad von Finkenstein, has been entrenching their power even more.

more than 3 years ago
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Star Wars Coming To Blu-ray In September

DeepHurtn! Re:BluRay? Why? (419 comments)

You say "you'd have to be dumb" as if your choice of consumer electronics makes you smart? Really?

more than 3 years ago
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Stuxnet Still Out of Control At Iran Nuclear Sites

DeepHurtn! Re:The difference engineering makes (361 comments)

I really don't get the technical details of all this, but my understanding is that Stuxnet spread, at least in part, through USB keys and the like. In that way it *was* able to attack systems not connected to the Internet.

more than 3 years ago
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How I Saved the Gaming Industry

DeepHurtn! Re:Less games, more political activism! (252 comments)

Off-topic! Whyioughtta! The Scorched Earth Party was Jeff Vogel's usenet running gag back in the early and mid 90s.

Now get off my lawn!

more than 3 years ago
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How I Saved the Gaming Industry

DeepHurtn! Less games, more political activism! (252 comments)

"It's not the heat, it's the humidity. It's not the voltage, it's the current. It's not the meat, it's the motion. And it's not the pipe - it's the will." -the Scorched Earth Party

more than 3 years ago
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Health Care Reform

DeepHurtn! Re:A false choice, of course... (2044 comments)

I'd like to simply point out that, at least arguably, *access* to health care is a big part of health care itself. "Health insurance" reform and "health care" reform are not so neatly separable.

more than 4 years ago
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MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada

DeepHurtn! Re:Double Tax (281 comments)

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing...? Because no, there's no copyright levy on iPods &c. right now. The Copyright Board approved one several years ago, but the Federal Courts struck it down. Right now you pay *tax* on an iPod (GST or HST or whatever depending on which Province you're in) but there's no copyright levy on it. In this bill, an NDP member (it's a private member bill; the NDP itself didn't introduce it) merely proposed to explicitly give the Copyright Board the authority to extend the blank-media levy (which already covers blank CDs) to iPods. As well as expanding the scope of fair dealing, which is badly needed (US fair use is much broader than Canadian fair dealing).

more than 4 years ago
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MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada

DeepHurtn! Re:Let's go all the way (281 comments)

Strictly speaking, this is not a tax, but a levy. The money doesn't go to the government, but to rights collectives. The whole point is that it does make something legal: activities that are covered by a levy are not an infringement of copyright.

more than 4 years ago
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MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada

DeepHurtn! Re:Private members' bill is going nowhere (281 comments)

The issue wasn't that they can 'hold anything', but that iPods and the such aren't 'media' within the meaning of the Act. They're integrated 'devices'. I'm not absolutely convinced the Court decided the issue correctly, but I think there is valid logic there; they were probably reluctant to expand the authority of the Copyright Board to things like hard drives and consumer electronics when that wasn't really contemplated when the levying powers were established (people were thinking about things like casette tapes and CDs).

more than 4 years ago
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MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada

DeepHurtn! Re:Double Tax (281 comments)

Because this isn't really a tax, but a levy. There's a difference (in that tax goes to the government, whereas the entirety of the levy goes to the rights collectives, who then distribute it to their members).

more than 4 years ago
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MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada

DeepHurtn! Re:Common Sense (281 comments)

The angle is that it's only legal when you copy on to a medium on which you paid the levy. So, for example, we pay a levy on blank CDs. I can copy music I have (that was itself legitimately obtained) onto a CD -- that's covered by the levy. Putting it on a hard drive or iPod (for which there is no levy -- the Copyright Board authorized one, but the Federal courts ruled they didn't have the authority to do so) is, theoretically, infringing.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Fined In India For Using "Money Power" Against Pirates

DeepHurtn! Re:Too bad the US can't comprehend this concept (204 comments)

She needed *skin grafts*. That's the whole point -- the coffee wasn't just scalding, it was completely unreasonably hot. Why don't you believe she suffered 3rd degree burns...? I think the jury and judge were in a much better situation to decide the facts than you are. It was a very serious burn. At first she only wanted McDonald's to pay her medical costs -- she only sued when they kept on screwing her around. And do you know how the jury calculated the damages? They estimated it was about a days worth of McDonald's coffee revenues. Doesn't seem that outrageous in that context, does it? But the judge lowered it to around $600k anyways.

This case has been misreported so many times. It has been twisted to serve as corporate propaganda for their self-interested "tort reform" bs. It's funny that you refer to drinking Kool-Aid, since you seem to be agreeing with the side who's selling it.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Fined In India For Using "Money Power" Against Pirates

DeepHurtn! Re:Too bad the US can't comprehend this concept (204 comments)

Just to give you more to chew on, it's worth keeping in mind that (in English/Canadian/I'm guessing other Commonwealth common law) judges have a large amount of discretion in awarding costs. Although it is very, very rare, they can even award costs against the *winning* party, if they feel that the whole case was basically an abuse of process.

More routinely, though, costs isn't an all or nothing affair -- you can get costs for individual motions or unreasonable delays caused by the other party. For example, let's say a party wins a trial that takes 5 days. The judge thinks they were really dragging it out -- calling repetitive evidence, or whatever -- and that the matter should have been resolved in 2 days. The judge can award the winning party only 2 days of costs.

In some jurisdictions, costs can also be used to encourage realistic settlement offers. Let's say Party A offers Party B $100,000 to settle. Party B wins, but only gets $70k. The judge can say, "Ok, you get all your costs up to the date of the offer, but it was a good offer that you should have taken, so you'll only get some of your costs from after that date."

There's definitely a risk that costs-awards can make it risky for an individual to seek to vindicate their rights against a corporation -- but the flexibility in the system (MegaCorp can't just say "Here's our bill for the dozen senior partners we had working on this!") mitgates that down side. And as others have pointed out, there are significant advantages to the system.

more than 4 years ago
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"Loud Commercial" Legislation Proposed In US Congress

DeepHurtn! Re:I'd much rather... (636 comments)

This cry of "big government bad!" seems particularly ironic considering the entire broadcast industry is *created* by government regulation; it depends on regulation for its very existence. (Just as one obvious example to get you thinking about it, without regulation over-the-air broadcasts would likely be impossible since the whole thing would devolve into a who's-got-a-bigger-tower mess.)

more than 4 years ago
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Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy

DeepHurtn! Re:How is this different from "hate speech" (1376 comments)

You should take your own advice: go look at Canada's laws. Especially before you spout off on them without knowing what you're talking about. Parroting what your "Canadian friends" say just shows your ignorance. None of the things you indignantly claim you can't say in "some countries" would qualify as hate speech.

But let me guess: your "Canadian friends" are probably social conservative homophobes who resent the fact that Canadian society and government both reject their bigotry, right?

more than 3 years ago
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Where Does a Geek Find a Social Life?

DeepHurtn! Meeting girls is all abou meeting people (1354 comments)

Really. Don't go to an event or start an activity looking only to meet women. First of all, it'll come across as creepy and desperate, and those are two very unattractive qualities. But if you're only looking to meet datable women you'll cut off paths that could lead to a suitable mate prematurely. I am utterly convinced that most people who date were introduced through mutual friends; they were friends of friends or friends of friends of friends. You need to be constantly expanding your social circles in *general*, not narrowly looking only for women.

The cute girl has a boyfriend, or isn't interested? Well, you still want to be her friend (not necessarily a *close*, 1-on-1 friend, but someone who will get invited out to the pub, party, sports, whatever that person does) because women always have friends who are single. The only way to get to those people is, I'll say it again, constantly be expanding your social circles as a whole!

more than 4 years ago
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One-Tweet Wonders

DeepHurtn! Re:Whiners of all countries, unite! (170 comments)

Nah, by the time forums came along, it was already too late. Twitter is just another symptom of the September that Never Ended! Now get off my lawn!

more than 4 years ago
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Philip K. Dick's "Flow My Tears" To Be Filmed

DeepHurtn! Re:It's probably for the best. (117 comments)

I think the critique of Dick's characterization is off the mark; that just wasn't what he was *doing*. Dick wasn't writing a 19th century psychological novel; if you want that, go read someone Russian. But to attack Dick for his lack of characterization would be like doing so to Kafka or Pynchon. They're just not playing that genre.

more than 4 years ago
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Do We Really Need a National Climate Service?

DeepHurtn! Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (358 comments)

Free speech, friend. They're not shoving anything down your throat, you're just knee-jerking.

more than 4 years ago

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