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Inside an Amazon Warehouse

Toze Re:Humans? (206 comments)

Someone hasn't been paying attention to demographics over time; first-world nations have negative birth rates (I think that's the term; replacement rates lower than 1:1). Third-world nations that get a boost in living conditions have slowing birth rates (usually takes a generation and change for birth rate reduction to catch up with infant mortality reduction, iirc). America and Canada and suchlike have population growth primarily from immigration, but they need to keep importing immigrants because the children of immigrants have the same first-world negative birth rates.

IOW, first world societies don't, really, have to understand what to do with jobless masses. They're going to lack masses to be jobless with. They might have to be concerned with losing culture wars against populous third-world (or recently post-third-world) nations, but "how do we pay for old age pensions when our workforce is 3/4 the size it used to be and retirees are twice as common?" is more likely to be a problem than "oh man what do we do with all these workers." Demographically speaking, that is.

about 2 years ago

Victory For Apple In "Patent Trial of the Century," To the Tune of $1 Billion

Toze Re:No matter what the outcome actually is.... (1184 comments)

You can almost smell the monopoly and abuse of their monopoly on the horizon.

abuse of their monopoly on the horizon.

on the horizon.

I have some real bad news for you about a recent billion-dollar patent lawsuit...

about 2 years ago

Republican Platform To Include Internet Freedom Plank

Toze Re:this is a fantasy land (459 comments)

I'm amused and a little alarmed that your perception of the options consists entirely of;
1) increase regulation,
2) remove all regulation altogether.
I think you will find that there are four positions on a spectrum that finely grained; no regulation, state ownership, increased regulation and (waaaaait for it) decreased regulation. Responding to "I don't like increased regulation" with "Well you just want to eliminate all regulation" is... well, it's awfully American of you, in that there can only be two options and the Other Side is insane/evil/stupid so you're justified in avoiding reasonable debate.

My expectation at this point is that you're going to call me a crypto-anarchist trying to sneak absolute removal of regulation in under a flag of moderation, because... well, because that's generally what happens when I try talking to Americans about this mysterious concept called "middle ground." But if you don't, then I appreciate your breaking the trend and am interested in your thoughts on of the problems of regulatory capture and a rise in barriers to market entry through vastly increased paperwork and bureaucratic make-work. (The Canadian examples I would point out are our CRTC telecom positions being held mostly by former telecom execs, and the problems in Alberta with starting a new business because of the reams of paperwork required for multimillion dollar established companies.)

about 2 years ago

Blocking Gun Laws With Patents

Toze Re:utter pointlessness (1165 comments)

In fact, most criminals are criminals because they are uneducated and never learned impulse control, and act irrationally and emotionally.

I believe you will find, sir or madam, that the vast majority of criminals in North America are criminals because their federal government has criminalized some behaviour that they and their neighbours partake in, from jaywalking to file sharing to certain kinds and styles of fishing or internet purchases. I know that's why I'm a criminal. I'm also a free citizen with no criminal record, but I can guarantee I do at least one illegal thing a day.

tl;dr: we are all criminals, and have more in common with a coke dealer than our federal representatives. The coke dealer, for example, /works/ for a living.

more than 2 years ago

Blocking Gun Laws With Patents

Toze Re:Damn! (1165 comments)

As another outsider looking in on America's gun-law debates, I have come to an entirely different set of conclusions about the two evident groups. 1) A large group of people who are deathly afraid of their fellow-citizens and suspect that guns are a magical fetish that turns people into murderers. Their solution is to make it illegal for potential murderers (read: everyone) to have access to guns. 2) Another large group of people who have figured out that criminals and governments don't obey laws and that their fellow-citizens can generally be trusted to not fly into a killing rage because they have access to firearms. Their solution is to prevent laws that disarm the law-abiding citizens. Both groups are trying to protect themselves and their families. But only one seems to have managed an accurate risk-assessment, worked out who is most likely to harm them, and tried to make an effort to reduce that risk. In case you're wondering: it's the gun-nuts who did the maths.

more than 2 years ago

Sci-Fi Publisher Tor Ditches DRM For E-Books

Toze Re:Probably No significant change in sales (280 comments)

Disagree for two reasons. First, because of personal experience; I hit Baen's free library one day and encountered John Ringo's work. I have since bought about $200 worth of Baen books, mostly Ringo but frequently other stuff I found on their free library. A friend passed me a pirated copy of Jim Butcher's entire Dresden series; I now have the whole run purchased and sitting on my shelf. The specific method I've seen work is this;
1) DRM-free
2) Pirated/shared
3) Lands in the hands of someone who was never going to buy the books
4) Turns them into a trufan who buys some or all of the books.

On the one hand this may not be the precise method Tor is hoping for, and I agree that the /direct/ impact of being DRM-free isn't going to be worth much, but the long-term effect is of more people reading Tor books, and in my experience that means more people buying books. The second reason I disagree is that experiment after experiment shows that "piracy is not the problem, obscurity is the problem." Releasing stuff for free almost never decreases profits, and usually increases profits. Doctorow and Lessig have both explained this at length.

more than 2 years ago

Supreme Court Approves Strip Searches For Any Arrestable Offense

Toze Re:Canada Here I Come (747 comments)


If anti-Scientologist critics are posting copyrighted Church documents without prior authorization of the Scientologist Church, of course they're gonna get sued, especially if the materials were stolen, which the article implies. What good is copyright if you can't use it to stop people from re-publishing stolen material?

more than 2 years ago

Michael Bay To Remake TMNT As Aliens

Toze Re:Just what Hollywood needs.... (481 comments)


I've registered an NPO and am running a teensy arts/anime convention in a town of 60,000. We've got two rooms for video showing. One is for licensed anime with permission from the North American copyright holders, the other is dedicated to indie web series like the Guild, Journey Quest, Heroes of the North, Aiden 5, etc. Frankly, if I wasn't going to be spending the day putting out fires, I'd be spending the day in the indie film room.

more than 2 years ago

Teacher Suspended For Reading Ender's Game To Students

Toze Re:Back to the Future (1054 comments)

And to complete the trifecta of 2,000-year-old complaints about Christianity, with all their talk about loving their brothers and sisters, they are orgiastic and/or incestuous!

more than 2 years ago

Canadian Music Industry Wants Subscriber Disclosure Without Court Oversight

Toze Re:You used to be cool, Canada (211 comments)

Loudly. Unpleasantly. Constantly.

I think you may have missed the part where he said "Canadian." We protest politely, or we start lighting up car bombs and assassinating people. We don't really have an in-between state like you Americans.

more than 2 years ago

Canadian Music Industry Wants Subscriber Disclosure Without Court Oversight

Toze Re:You used to be cool, Canada (211 comments)

Perhaps you have forgotten what happened to Alberta the last time a PM decided to kill Albertan oil production and what effect it had on Alberta's economy. He was called Trudeau, and his name's still a curse word in the province. Albertans are one-issue voters because that one issue is the difference between big trucks and *years of grinding poverty* for many families, and that one issue has come up before in the worst possible way.

That said, I'm disgusted beyond words with the Tories and wouldn't shed a tear if a meteor hit Parliament. /shrug

more than 2 years ago

Hackers Nab Unreleased Michael Jackson Tracks From Sony

Toze Re:why? (192 comments)

Wow, you're really mad about this, huh? Okay. I have a clarification and a question.

The clarification is that I was talking about completed works after the artist's death.
The question is this; you describe the idea of society being owed the creative work as "rubbish" and "ridiculous" and "sociopathic" and "infantile" and that releasing work "should be" the artist's choice. Why? I get that you don't buy the idea that all art is theft- though I disagree with you on that- but you haven't explained what systems or assumptions you use instead.

more than 2 years ago

Hackers Nab Unreleased Michael Jackson Tracks From Sony

Toze Re:why? (192 comments)

because it never influenced it in the first place.

Except that Michael Jackson was influenced by Little Richard, James Brown, and Diana Ross. And Michelangelo lifted Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise for the posing of the Sistine Chapel. And every artist ever is influenced tremendously by all the artists that preceded them, and no art is created ex nihilo. The arguments for not releasing an artist's work (ie copyright) are never that the artist doesn't owe anything to society, but that the artist needs to make a living, or to ensure that their children are provided for.

In other words, yes, society really is entitled to everything a person creates, ever, even if they never published it, because that person appropriated the majority of their work from society in the first place. Our societies have, in the last 400 years, been willing to trade some of what we're owed in free speech in order to provide monetary reward to the artists, but we're still owed that speech. Disney didn't invent Cinderella, Dan Brown didn't invent the Catholic church, Dan Bull didn't invent either rapping or Skyrim (nor did Bioware invent fantasy adventure or videogames, nor did Tolkien invent magic rings or elves, etc.., etc., etc.).

more than 2 years ago

Simulators Take the Humans Out of Hiring

Toze Re:or... (143 comments)

Disagree slightly.

If HR is limited to things like managing benefits packages, publishing internally generated job descriptions to job sites, pushing applicants back to the departments without gatekeeping, handling workplace complaints, and being a clearinghouse for interdepartmental transfer, then HR contributes usefully to its company. If, on the other hand, it becomes a job-defending gatekeeper that prescreens applicants, spends all its spare time coming up with workplace behaviour rules, and setting arbitrary limits on staff remuneration, then it's a parasitic infection that ought to be burned out.

It is a sad fact that in our imperfect world, most HR departments are more like the latter than the former.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Money-Making Home-Based Tech Skills?

Toze Re:Home porn videos? (332 comments)

Correction. Quick, easy, makes a lot of money, legal; pick three.

more than 2 years ago

Non-Copied Photo Is Ruled Copyright Infringement

Toze Re:Misleading to call it "non-copied" (657 comments)

To use slightly more widely recognized examples of "real art," which might speak to the luddite, Michelangelo's Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel was a copy of Lorenzo Ghiberti's bronze casting of the same theme in the Gates of Paradise.

more than 2 years ago


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