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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

MetalliQaZ These laws are hard to grasp (465 comments)

Let's do a thought experiment. Start with a blank piece of paper and some colored pencils. A person begins drawing a picture. The page begins as a completely meaningless object, and as marks are made on the page, it gains meaning gradually. A line on paper is not illegal, or at least it shouldn't be by any moral or ethical standard. Two lines, three lines, and so on. Each are probably completely innocent individually. If these scribbles were forming letters and words, they would be clearly protected expression, until they formed some kind of credible threat. At least, that's how I understand it.

But this isn't a written message, just a picture. A head takes shape. Eyes, nose, mouth, and hair. The subject starts to emerge. Still this is a legal drawing by any measure. Eventually enough marks are made on the page that the subject has context. Clothes, background... and actions. At some point the scene depicted by this collection of lines and smudges becomes forbidden. What was an figment of someone's imagination is now a very real crime.

How does that happen, and when? Who specifically does this law protect? Is the person who drew it a criminal, or is it only a crime when someone buys it? Is every viewer of the picture a criminal or just the ones who enjoy it? How do you tell which is which? What about the imagination that spawned the picture? Would the artist have been a criminal if they hadn't put their mental image to paper? I find these questions very difficult to answer in a way that makes sense for a society. Every seemingly obvious answer can lead to some very harmful laws.

But the main motivation is one of greater public good. A scribble that harms nobody is made illegal because by locking up the people who like the scribbles, they cannot remain free to eventually harm real people in the same way. It's a noble cause and perhaps an effective law (I have not seen proof one way or the other). However it is also disturbingly close to pre-crime. I'm not entirely comfortable with that.

2 days ago
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Mozilla Teams Up With Humble Bundle To Offer Eight Plugin-Free Games

MetalliQaZ Re:More mind numbing web based games? (67 comments)

These aren't flash games. Granted, some of the games on offer actually ARE mind-numbing, but FTL definitely isn't

about a week ago
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Mozilla Teams Up With Humble Bundle To Offer Eight Plugin-Free Games

MetalliQaZ Nothing on the underlying technology? (67 comments)

asm.js is the underlying technology they used to port the games to the web. According to Wikipedia, "asm.js is an intermediate programming language consisting of a strict subset of the JavaScript language. It enables significant performance improvements for web applications that are written in statically-typed languages with manual memory management (such as C) and then translated to JavaScript by a source-to-source compiler."

about a week ago
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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

MetalliQaZ It's okay when I do it... (429 comments)

but, so help me God, if Comcast blocks bittorrent traffic, I'm going to call for heads to roll!

about two weeks ago
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No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

MetalliQaZ Re:Blue LED should've never been awarded. (276 comments)

I'm not sure how you can diminish the achievement of someone's invention because other people use it in a way that may not be appropriate. Should the graphene guys not be honored because their invention could be used irresponsibly? (yes, I'm aware of Nobel and his explosives)

Having said that, the Nobel committee did seem to consider the importance of LED lighting, so there's that. Still, I'd think that any danger to eyes could be eliminated with a proper design.

about two weeks ago
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No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

MetalliQaZ Re:ffs (276 comments)

Wow they should be lit on fire.

Blue LEDs deserve only one award: Worst fucking idea ever. Here, let's put this HORRIBLY annoying and bright shit on car headlights. What could possibly go wrong?

Dude needs to go take their nobel because its his.

You're a fool. You have issues with certain design choices that you blame on the blue LED? To use a car analogy, that's like blaming Toyota's braking issues on the invention of disc brakes. Disc brakes are a good thing, like blue LEDs. You like Blu-rays? Then you're using this technology.

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

MetalliQaZ Re:Quarantine? (475 comments)

No it wouldn't. Public health is the most slam-dunk reason to restrict civil liberties. Travel is restricted for much less important reasons, like politics. You have your rights restricted to possess anthrax, even in your own home. A quarantine could prevent travel to West Africa, if it was shown to be a hazard to public health.

about three weeks ago
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HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

MetalliQaZ How does it handle Pinterest? (182 comments)

If it can handle media-heavy social websites, then I think this would be a winner for my wife and others like her.

about three weeks ago
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Google Partners With HTC For Latest Nexus Tablet

MetalliQaZ Re:Uh... (74 comments)

Open platform. They don't dictate how the phones get software. I'm sure they would prefer to let the market decide that bloatware is bad.

about 1 month ago
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Google Partners With HTC For Latest Nexus Tablet

MetalliQaZ Re:Uh... (74 comments)

This. From the beginning, Google expressed its intention to spread around the Nexus partners so that several companies would get the experience and sales boost. They want a healthy, open platform with lots of innovation. This is how you beat Apple.

about 1 month ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

MetalliQaZ Re:A better solution (192 comments)

Of course this isn't true. They will still enjoy the same protections from the armed forces of the U.K. and other allies.

about a month ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

MetalliQaZ Re:I don't get it (220 comments)

Accidents happen, dude. Who among us has not dropped our phone while trying to turn off the alarm in the morning? And if you want to ever sell it, you need the case to absorb normal wear-and-tear.

about 2 months ago
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Spain's Link Tax Taxes Journalist's Patience

MetalliQaZ Is there any reason Google has to pay? (113 comments)

Can't Google just remove the links rather than pay? Wouldn't that hand them an near instant win over this law?

about 3 months ago
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London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

MetalliQaZ There's no such thing as "Illegal" sites (160 comments)

Websites by themselves aren't "illegal". Using those terms gives undue legitimacy to copyright maximalists. What is meant here by "illegal" is that they host content which may be infringing on copyright.

about 3 months ago
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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

MetalliQaZ What about power? (92 comments)

I can't see the video but in the summary he mentions using two old servers to do the job of one new server. I appreciate the recycling, but it sounds like he is talking processing or I/O equivalence, and usually it is power that is the dominating factor in data center effectiveness. Are two servers really cheaper than one when you factor in electricity, cooling, and rack space?

about 3 months ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

MetalliQaZ Re:Symmetrical? (234 comments)

I posit that there really is a lot of overlap. I'd be willing to bet that the 80/20 rule applies at the border routers, with 80% of viewers accessing the same 20% of the content. Imagine the days/weeks when a new season of Orange Is The New Black is released, for example.

about 3 months ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

MetalliQaZ Re:Symmetrical? (234 comments)

Yeah. Wouldn't be awesome of Netflix enabled a P2P client on the Verizon network? They should do it. The technology exists. It would be glorious.

about 3 months ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

MetalliQaZ Re:LoL... (278 comments)

You're just wrong. In fact, we now have proof (Snowden revelations) that things carried on at the NSA pretty much exactly like he said it would. I think you also underestimate how much compression can be applied to telephone conversations. They are, after all, mostly "dead air". In addition, speech is very predictable. The phone companies take advantage of this to fit many conversations over lines of surprisingly modest bandwidth. Since the NSA is directly connected at the backbone (their secret ATT closets are well documented), they don't even have to do the compression themselves. They can just log the packets.

about 3 months ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

MetalliQaZ Thank you William Binney (278 comments)

I saw Mr. Binney speak at the HOPE conference in 2012. I remember a conversation with my parents where I relayed what I learned from him to them, and they thought I was buying into some conspiracy. When Snowden broke into the news, they asked me how I had known so far ahead of time.

I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion about Binney's whistle-blowing in the wake of the Snowden revelations. He has been sounding the alarm for many years now.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Verizon Wireless caves to FCC pressure, says it won't throttle 4G users

MetalliQaZ MetalliQaZ writes  |  about three weeks ago

MetalliQaZ (539913) writes "Verizon Wireless was scheduled to begin throttling certain LTE users today as part of an expanded "network optimization" program, but has decided not to follow through with the controversial plan after criticism from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. All major carriers throttle certain users when cell sites get too congested, but Wheeler and consumer advocates objected to how carriers choose which customers to throttle. The fact that Verizon was throttling only unlimited data users showed that it was trying to boost its profits rather than implementing a reasonable network management strategy, Wheeler said."
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Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be "Abolished"

MetalliQaZ MetalliQaZ writes  |  about a year ago

MetalliQaZ (539913) writes "Last week, Dr. Joseph Bonneau learned that he had won the NSA’s first annual “Science of Security (SoS) Competition.” The competition, which aims to honor the best “scientific papers about national security” as a way to strengthen NSA collaboration with researchers in academia, honored Bonneau for his paper on the nature of passwords. And how did Bonneau respond to being honored by the NSA? By expressing, in an honest and bittersweet blog post, his revulsion at what the NSA has become: "Simply put, I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.""
Link to Original Source
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Netflix Is Raising Its Monthly Rates, Again

MetalliQaZ MetalliQaZ writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MetalliQaZ (539913) writes ""Today, Netflix announced that they are raising rates on monthly plans that allow customers to get unlimited streaming and one DVD out at a time. The plan which originally cost $9.99 a month will now cost $15.98 a month. In addition, the company is now splitting out streaming only plans from DVD plans and consumers can get an unlimited streaming plan for $7.99 a month, or one DVD out at a time for $7.99 a month.""
Link to Original Source
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Facebook's 1-sided handling of copyright claims

MetalliQaZ MetalliQaZ writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MetalliQaZ writes "Ars Technica is currently following the story of their own experience being the target of a fraudulent copyright complaint on their Facebook page. "Facebook is so eager to protect copyright that the mere accusation of copyright infringement is enough to get an account locked. Ars found this out the hard way Thursday morning when our own Facebook page became inaccessible, with no warning, no explanation, and no clear appeal process. To make matters worse, Facebook is not responsive to inquiries about account lockout, and the company provides absolutely zero useful direction on how to rectify a complaint.""
Link to Original Source

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