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Administration Seeks To Make Unauthorized Streaming A Felony

Dotren Re:only if you're posting stuff that's already ill (398 comments)

They propose to change (mostly commercial) streaming of stolen works from a misdemeanor to a felony. Nothing becomes illegal that's not already illegal. If you were allowed to stream it, you still are. Fair use isn't changed. The change is to treat streaming the same as downloading.

Except that it seems Youtube doesn't even seem to know what is legal and what is not. I don't post anything to Youtube myself but I know someone who posted a video capture their characters pvping in an mmo. A few weeks later they got an email saying it had been taken down due to copyright infringement.

I've heard of an even worse case where someone posted a homemade video taken outside somewhere and it got taken down for copyright infringement. In that case I believe it was the sounds of birds chirping in the background that did it.

about a year and a half ago

Jammie Thomas Takes Constitutional Argument To SCOTUS

Dotren Re:Good Argument (146 comments)

Not a good argument at all. The purpose of copyright law, as stated in the Constitution, is NOT to 'prevent someone from making money off someone elses work', it is to promote creation of new works by giving the creators exclusive rights to their work.

Yes but wasn't it also supposed to be for a limited/reasonable amount of time? Couldn't copyright also be looked at as a kind of contract or agreement between content creators and society?

If so, it seems to me that this agreement has long since been broken and I don't think it was society that did so first.

more than 2 years ago

Warp Drives May Come With a Killer Downside

Dotren Re:Apparently these guys never watched any Star Tr (458 comments)

I thought the deflector array was for the protection of the crew, not for the inhabitants of the destination.

In this case it might protect both. If all of the radiation and particles get deflected out of the path of the startship at warp then there wouldn't be anything to build up within the bubble (which protects the crew) and therefore also nothing to get expelled outwards when the ship leaves warp (which protects any nearby inhabitants).

more than 2 years ago

North Korea's High-Tech Counterfeit $100 Bills

Dotren Re:it's OK! it's just copyright infringement. (528 comments)

Just like copying movies and music: NK haven't stolen anything. The US still has all the dollars it ever has. It isn't like stealing a car where that deprives the original owner of the car. It's more like *duplicating* the car while the original owner still has it.

.... and then selling the duplicate cars to try to put the car manufacturer out of business.

If you're going to do the analogy, at least make it complete.

So it's OK, according to Slashdot.

If you'll look back at some of the discussions about copyright on Slashdot I think you'll find that a lot of people do find this form of copyright infringement wrong, even if they have a different view of "non-profit" copyright infringement.

Just my two cents, which you are free to duplicate.

more than 2 years ago

Credit Suisse Traders Manipulated IT Systems To Hide $500m Losses

Dotren Re:Tip of the iceberg (141 comments)

You want more money? Well you're either going to have to achieve it by taking it from somebody else or by creating new resources through mining, manufacturing or man-hours etc.

This is interesting to me, especially the man-hours bit. A friend of mine recently brought up this idea in a discussion we were having about what a viable economic system alternative would be if someone like Ron Paul was eventually elected. The system he described still had government creating money (i.e. not based on gold) but it would be used to pay for public works (road improvements, parks, interstate mass transit, etc). Taxes would still be collected but the money collected would either be taken out of circulation or used in foreign trade.

So basically, all new money created would have real world backing of public works projects (also creating jobs) instead of debt and would therefore be available for use by everyone. The value of the money isn't just created on the spot with nothing of real physical value behind it. There are no shortage of projects that could be created so your economy isn't necessarily chained down or prevented from growing. The money comes out of the system in the form of taxes and/or foreign trade.

Honestly I'm not even remotely an economist so I don't know if this could even work but I do think it is an interesting idea.

more than 2 years ago

How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA

Dotren Re:I'm glad I support the Republicans (857 comments)

And I fully know that the Libertarian party can never garner enough support to do anything significant, that is why I am throwing my support on the Republicans

I know I mentioned Tactical Voting the other day in another article and I know some of the responses indicated it's a very effective tool. However, I still maintain that if everyone who felt like you do on this actually just voted for who they actually wanted to be president, we might end up with someone in office other than the mainstream Dem and Rep candidates we always end up with.

Food for thought.

more than 2 years ago

Oklahoma Politician Wants To Tax Violent Video Games

Dotren Re:Bullying is part of life......... (312 comments)

Kids need to learn how to deal with bullies not have some one intervene all the time. If your kid killed themselves, then YOU were just a bad parent.

1) Politicians don't often win elections by reminding people that they have a share of the responsibility when something bad happens.

2) Teaching kids to expect someone to always intervene and to never rely on themselves is probably an awesome introductory lesson to always expecting the government to intervene and save them when they get older. Of course to do that, the government is going to need more money/power...

more than 2 years ago

Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley

Dotren Re:What bothers me (501 comments)

Should that matter in your decision on who to vote for though? Tactical Voting, I'm sure, doesn't help those better candidates increase their chances which is why it's pushed as the best option by some people. It's in the interest of both primary parties to encourage tactical voting because, even if you're voting for the rival party, you're still voting for one of the primary parties and NOT for a third party that could introduce unwanted variables into the political game.

Unfortunately, in some cases it's working. There are people I've met that either believe that third parties are fictitious or acknowledge they exist but still only vote for Rep or Dem because those are the only REAL parties and are therefore the only appropriate parties to vote for. They firmly believe that voting for anyone else is simply wasting a vote.

more than 2 years ago

Wikipedia Chooses Lua As Its New Template Language

Dotren Re:Sounds exciting (145 comments)

I want a DPS meter addon for wikipedia.

I think you mean an EPS meter.. or "Edits Per Second". I think that would take all of those cross-editing arguments on there to a whole new level.

more than 2 years ago

Web Usage-Based Billing On Its Way

Dotren Re:Asking people to pay for what they use?!? OMG! (397 comments)

I never quite understood the moral panic that seems to appear when this comes up. Asking people to pay for what they use doesn't seem like *that* radical a concept to me.

* If you run more appliances, your electric bill goes up * If you drive a longer distance, you need to buy more gas * If you make a lot of cell phone calls, your bill goes up * If you eat more, you pay more for the groceries

Why is Internet use seen differently?

Which one of those things is not like the other? The cell phone bill example, and imo its because its much more like the broadband issue we're discussing here than any of those other examples.

Drive until your gas tank is empty and that gas is completely gone forever.. it's a resource that can no longer be used by someone else. The same goes for food after being consumed and electricity.

Broadband is slightly different. If I use my current max (which is only the amount available that is not currently in use by others sharing the connection) for five or ten minutes to download a large file and then go back to my default level, that broadband is available for use by others. You could argue that those that use higher amounts more frequently are "hogging" the pipe but they WERE sold x amount of broadband per second with or without caps. It's not the consumers fault that the cable companies chose a model where they over-subscribe lines to save money. If they're paying for a resource they should be able to use it as advertised. Furthermore, are they really "hogging" it for extended periods of time? Most situations involving high bandwidth usage seem to be in bursts, such as downloading a file. I've never seen netflix use enough bandwidth to put a serious dent in what I've been paying for (10mb) and that, besides the occasional multiplayer game, are when I'm actually using substained bandwidth levels.

There is technology out there to increase bandwidth availability but upgrading and building infrastructure doesn't make them money so they don't want to do it. It makes far more business sense to yell at the top of their lungs that the sky is falling, that there is a shortage on bandwidth, so they should charge more.

more than 3 years ago

Technology Blamed For Helping UK Rioters

Dotren Re:This arguement is silly. (682 comments)

If someone is shot, do you blame the gun or the shooter?

If you're a government? The gun.

Shooters can vote.

more than 3 years ago

Hillary Clinton Takes Data.gov Overseas

Dotren Re:AGAIN??? (250 comments)

If you are afraid of losing your job, be better than everyone else.

I can't speak for anyone else here but it seems to me the issue isn't whether or not anyone is better than anyone else at the job... it's who is cheaper.

Many of those MBAs running the companies out there now don't give a flip about whether their techies are producing quality product, but they do care about minimizing costs absolutely as much as possible. If that means outsourcing overseas at the expense of product quality then so be it.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Taking Down Erotica, Removing From Kindles

Dotren Re:I Don't Like Amazon's Decision, But: (641 comments)

I thought digital information wasn't physical property and therefore you couldn't steal it?

I'm assuming you're attempting to turn the argument often used in digital copyright infringement debates back on the people who normally make them and then are saying the opposite here.

The problem is you're comparing apples to oranges. In the other arguments concerning digital copyright infringement the case is normally that someone shared the copyrighted work, often through some form of peer-to-peer protocol. When these people share these files, other people can make copies of them while the original owner still retains ownership and use of their copy. This is by definition not theft and is instead copyright infringement.

In this new scenario with Amazon, they are removing your capability to use the copyrighted work which you purchased. You no longer have any ownership or use of the material that you paid for. This is different.

I don't think the argument about whether or not it's theft or copyright infringement has ever really depended so much on whether the property is physical or not as much as whether or not the owner (the person who bought it for their use) still has ownership and use of the item after the act has occurred. What you may be thinking of, with regards to the physical property aspect, is the argument about whether intellectual property laws should be amended or should exist at all.

Just my two cents.. standard disclaimerL IANAL.

more than 4 years ago

Net Neutrality Supporters Hammered In Elections

Dotren Re:Voter understanding of Net Neutrality is nil. (402 comments)

My home PC is an integral part of me accessing the Internet, just as the backbone is. If a company wants to be a dick about it, let them; we can just use another company, or let one form in the void left by the dickish one. This applies regardless of the component: my PC, electricity, hard drives, networking gear, last-mile providers, backbone providers, whatever.

In a ideal free market that is exactly how it should work. Consumer choices, based on previous corporate behavior, should help determine future corporate behavior.. essentially telling them how you view their company and their competitors by where you spend your money. However, what happens when there is no competition (there are plenty of places with only one last-mile provider for broadband). What if the local government made a deal with a single broadband provider to hike up taxes to discourage potential future startups and established competition moving in. City governments have been known to do this as a trade off to get a single broadband last-mile provider to even consider providing service to their city. It's great for the short term for the city and it's residents but in the long term it's very prohibitive for any competition to establish in the area. What happens if there are two service providers in the area but they are colluding? Unless you're living in a very large city area I suspect you'll have problems finding more than two broadband providers that will service your area.

These situations can and do occur.

I don't see anything magical about any part of it. If a company wants to build backbone access and sell it, fine. If they want to stop, fine. If the market is open, other companies will fill the void, because there's untapped profit if some other company just closed shop. Putting restrictions on the market can only make it less efficient, less-able to deliver the best solution.

Again, you're assuming the companies are playing by the rules. There may be a market as far as people who'd be willing to switch providers to a new one but other situations in the area may still make it not profitable to do business there. As I mentioned earlier it's entirely possible for the established provider to have tax breaks and other incentives that new competition wouldn't have and some of these can be bad enough to overcome even a very large potential subscriber base. Then there are all of the political issues to get through like right-of-ways and pole rights for running fiber. An established provider is going to do anything in their power to make new competition in the area as difficult as possible.. it's in their best interests to do so.

If it did that, it would be leaving an opening for another power company to deliver power more cheaply. If not, then the overcharge is small, or there aren't very many families with more than 2 people. Why should the power company not be able to charge whatever it wants? (again, assuming it acquired all its property via voluntary exchange). After all, nobody else is providing power to these people. Why should the company that decided to do so have dictated how it will run its business? Surely it's not illegal for it to just close up shop and go out of business, yet that would leave everyone without power. Maybe I'm missing something here, I just don't get the logic.

Again, it can be incredibly difficult for new service based companies to move into an area especially when there is infrastructure to build. An existing power company is not going to let another power company use their poles and why should they? It's possible the existing power company didn't even have to entirely pay for the infrastructure to begin with.. there could have been grants or other government funding involved. The only incentive a company with no competition has to keep their prices somewhat fair is that they know that there is a breaking point where the consumers will no longer pay for their services, even something as basic as electricity. However, that won't stop them from getting away with as much as they think is possible before it will start to seriously effect their bottom line.

Keep in mind also that the infrastructure costs you mentioned earlier in regards to the broadband providers didn't necessarily all come out of their money. From what I understand, in the mid-90s the telco companies were provided a LOT of money in tax incentives to build a more robust network and even fiber to the home. That never happened and yet they still took the money. (Can anyone fill in more details on this? The only thing I could find was $200 Billion Broadband Scandal)

more than 4 years ago

BSG Prequel Series Caprica Canceled

Dotren Re:The Main Reason Why Kethinov's Solution Won't W (602 comments)

TV rating are about who's watching, and what value those viewers have to advertisers. Without metrics like "how many" and "what age/gender/ethnicity/etc" it is a very hard sell to advertisers that have limited budget to spend, and want to spend it on the best possible audience for their products.

Yes but how does Cable TV provide that? Neilsen ratings are only generated from a relatively small subset of viewers. How many people actually know anyone who's household is a "Nielsen family"? Wikipedia indicates only only 25,000 total American households participate in the Nielsen daily metered system and that's out of 114,500,000.

How accurate can that really be?

Wouldn't an online survey provide just as much information but with a substantially increased sampling size? Think about it, you could provide a very short simple form for registering on a site (lets face it, registering on a broadcasters site wouldn't be so bad if it really meant you were getting the kind of DRM-free, high quality media for free like the article mentions) and now you have the basis for your demographics. Next, make it so that when you select a show to watch, it simply asks you "how many people are watching with you tonight?". Now you have some data on how many eyeballs are watching the content. The user goes on, maybe watching one or two short commercials before their show.

Granted, you're going to run into some people that just quickly select an answer to get through it to watch the content but you could probably weight the answers partially based on how quickly the user selected a number (very quick selections may indicate people who just hit something to get passed the question or a automated script to achieve the same result).

more than 4 years ago

Most Americans Support an Internet Kill Switch

Dotren Unisys (398 comments)

Should I be surprised that Unisys, a corporation which describes itself as selling IT solutions to "governments around the world", comes up with a survey result that shows a "majority" of Americans support a possible government program that would likely see the government purchasing a large amount of product from Unisys?

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Is a Dying Consumer Brand

Dotren Re:Maybe Microsoft is different? (585 comments)

Where are they in social networking? Where are they on mobile stuff? Search? Bing? Really? Where's my Microsoft Flying Car? Why am I carrying a cell phone at all? Where's my glasses with a heads-up display, eye tracking, and an earpiece built into the wing? What is Microsoft Labs working on? Oh, right, a ribbon interface for Office, a poor clone of Google, and an update to Windows CE. Yawn. Snore.

The interesting thing, to me at least is that they actually do seem to be researching things like this but it never makes it to market. I've heard different reasons, including infighting between departments, but the end result almost always seems to be that they had something really need going and then it disappears with an accompanying statement of "oh that was just for internal research".

A good example would be the Courier.. the first concept designs I saw online for that thing were just awesome in what you could do with it and it immediately made me start thinking about how it could be used in an educational environment, let alone how much I wanted one for personal use. The second concept designs were still impressive but you can tell the project had already started to lose some of the really neat features. Where is it now? "Incubation phase" apparently although they have no plans to actually build it . It seems to me like this thing would blow an iPad out of the water. The comments on /. on Courier stories generally seemed excited and interested. Why not finish it? Why not spend the money on the development and make the device as shown in the original concept?

Microsoft Surface is a device that actually made it through to a limited release and it seems like it should have had some potential but apparently they didn't end up knowing exactly what to do with it and who to market it too.

SOMEONE in Microsoft apparently does some research and SOME of them are actually very good, if not highly marketable, ideas and yet very few actually see the light of day.

more than 4 years ago

Windows 8 To Be Released In October 2012

Dotren Re:Surely they'll come up with a marketing name... (337 comments)

I'm betting on "Cthulhu".

Furthermore we should expect the target release date will be postponed for a few months because of bugs... December 2012 sounds about right.

more than 4 years ago

Best Education Path To Learn Video Game Programming?

Dotren Re:Oh boy (240 comments)

Mod parent up. Wikipedia shows development started May 10, 2009 and the initial version was released May 17, 2009. Granted, it also says he's been programming since an early age but nonetheless, one week is impressive.

The game took a while to really break out I think but now they're starting a company and there is another patch being released at the end of this month. The game is very addicting and the multiplayer aspect shows a lot of promise with shared worlds on private servers.

more than 4 years ago


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