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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

danheskett Uhh... (165 comments)

Kickstarter says first off, "hey, the agreement is between the creator and the backer, we are not involved". Okay.

But then in the next paragraph, they say "here are the terms of the contract between the creator and the backer". I suspect this would be very problematic to enforce. You can't be both arms length, and dictating terms to two parties of a contract without also being a party. It is a logical contradiction.

The backer and and creator, if there is an actual contractual obligation formed, can make whatever agreement they want and cannot be bound by some other super-contract that supplants this contract.

I see this is: Parties A, B, and C are not related. Party A and B have a contract, and Party A and C have a contract. Party B and C have a contract. The contract between A and B and A and C cannot govern the contract between B and C without that contract also being a contract between Party A, B and C.

I think this change from Kickstarter is at most advisory.

6 hours ago

Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

danheskett Re:Not sure (111 comments)

You bring up a great point about the rule of law. This is something that attracts investment, and it's something is close to undefinable. Not being governed in a logical way is business negative, but it's a gray line of when you go from a country ruled by law, and not.

The US has been sort of the gold-standard on this. Most large business disputes are handled in Federal court, which despite the reputation of the government, is well regarded as efficient in the international business world. It's the "rocket docket", meaning cases move. In some countries a business dispute could take 5+ years to get to trial, or resolution. In most Federal jurisdictions, with motions, filings, pre-trial conferences, it's between 12 and 24 months, with many on the lowside of that scale.

There is an untold economic benefit to this. Investors are unlikely to invest large capital outlayws without assurance that if something goes wrong they have an avenue of legitimate relief. Russia and China goes through spurts of foreign investment, but it comes and goes, largely because of this issue. When Putin starts jailing critical corporate executives and nationalizing large businesses it creates a tremendous amount of consternation within the investor class.

This IPO is interesting because it's a test case for how well China can provide a code of laws assurance to the worldwide investor. So far, so good. But the Chineese system has a similar habit of disenfranchising shareholders, and in this case, it could happen in the blink of an eye.

2 days ago

Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

danheskett PDP11 (283 comments)

I had a PDP11 in my basement, all full working, with loads of equipment to go with it. I had a fun time learning about the genesis of the industry and learning about the internals and workings of the machine.

Then I had a housefire. The machine and all of its components were completely ruined. I had a good laugh explaining it to the insurance adjuster. I think I got decent money for it because it was an antique, but it was limited because I didn't declare it separately on my policy.

3 days ago

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

danheskett Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (352 comments)

There are 3 criteria that will eliminate a huge subset of apps that devalue all app stores:

1. An app that simply wraps a mobile website is not an app, it's a short-cut. If the app has no function offline, it's really not an app.

2. Games that are free but have in-game purchases. All garbage.

3. Apps with similar names to highly rated apps, walk-through, and otherwise knockoff apps.

Another way to go about it is to require new apps to have a beta period, to open it up to users who opt-in to beta, and to only release to the public after a 30 or 60 day beta period or when enough users in the beta approve it for general release.

Anything, actually, is better than the screening which happens now, which is essentially none.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

danheskett Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (352 comments)

So what if it's labor intensive? Make a person at Microsoft beta-test every app for a week. Once word gets out that the last flappy bird knock off isn't going to fly, developers will stop wasting thier time. Or make the first submission of an app by a developer happen by mail. Or whatever.

Not only would I happily use an app-store with no in-app crap purchases, no adverts, and no security problems with knock off apps, I would be happy to deploy that to the whole company.

If it means you only have 500 apps, that's fine. If it means you only have 250 apps, that's fine. As long as they are good.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

danheskett Re:correction: 1 OS to FAIL them all (352 comments)

I also don't get it. It's fine to unify Windows (please unify Windows desktop SKUs please, Microsoft. We don't need 5 versions of Windows for the desktop. If you want a cut-price one, offer Windows and Windows Pro. Thanks), but that doesn't mean you have to take away what people like. Offer Metro as an alternate to classic windows, and be done with it.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

danheskett Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (352 comments)

Disagree. Microsoft just needs to focus on high-quality apps, or better yet, just paying top app makers to port to Windows phone. There is a strong market for a trusted, high-quality only, app store. You know, apps that don't have in app purchase, no ads, etc.

Microsoft users are used to paying for things. That's the selling point. Just build really good apps, get rid of the BS, the crap, and only accept solid, really solid, working apps.

The problem MS has with it's Windows app store is that it's the worst of all worlds - low-quality, knock-off apps with security problems, ads, phoning home, etc AND missing too many good high-quality apps that users come to expect.

Microsoft, if you are listening, don't work on getting Android to run, focus on having an app-store with only 100% quality apps. Even if it means only have 500 apps in your strore, just have only good stuff.

about two weeks ago

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

danheskett Re:It is Well Past Time (223 comments)

No, Yahoo did not really try. They did more than anyone else, but it's an existential threat. These companies won't exist if people keep feeling their data is insecure. It's already happening internationally, US-based companies are getting pummeled.

Yahoo is a public company, and did not want to have a $91 million loss in addition to their already failed everything else.
Yeah, if they' re going to end up out of business anyways, what's a little bit sooner. And, amazingly, standing up for your customers will probably lead to more customers, not fewer. But even if it really pissed of the customers they did have, so what. The Yahoo precedent was set, and everyone else fell into line. That's why they should have picked up the phone, paid the fine for disclosing the legal battle, and enlisted other parties to help.

And no one uses Yahoo, at least intentionally. How the shit do they fight back with a barely captive audience?
This is a stretch. I've heard of people who use Yahoo. Back a few years it seemed more common.

So Yahoo takes the burden, what happens to the rest of the companies? The competition? They learn not to oppose the government. Yahoo, from the article, was the first to comply. If they did not, and died as a company, would anything be different other than fewer email addresses?
Yes, absolutely. We would have known contemporaneously that this was happening. Years later, what can be done? Very little. And, instead of being a joke, Yahoo would be a company with principles. It may have even worked out better for shareholders.

The worst that could happen is that the board opposes the CEO, and fires and replaces management. Which happened anyways.

about two weeks ago

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

danheskett Re:Whenever I read stuff like this (223 comments)

I may not agree with you on everything, but I do agree with you that the same idiots who funded the earlier version of the 9/11 terrorists want to fund Syrian rebels, and Iraqi's, and all manner of rebels today. ISIS, our now mortal enemy in Iraq, are fighting with equipment that we just left behind, in part.

It's a never ending parade of idiocy.

about two weeks ago

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

danheskett Re:Too Bad They Didn't Pull a Lavabit (223 comments)

My thoughts exactly. You think the phone traffic from the slowday was big? Shut down Google for a day, replace with page for everyone to call a Senator's office or the WH, and see what happens. Ever seen a phone system try to handle 100 million phone calls at once?

It's either get things 100% end-to-end encypted, and done up so that even the service provider can't get to the clear text, or they need to get the right legal framework in place to avoid large-scale data releases to the government. Otherwise all of these companies end up overseas sooner or later.

about two weeks ago

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

danheskett It is Well Past Time (223 comments)

For one of these large companies to actually fight back. Tell the Government to stick it. Really, honestly, it's time. Well past time.

Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Google - just put the government in it's place. If they feel strongly about it, Yahoo, shut down Yahoo. Redirect every page to an explanation that they are currently in the process of shredding the all data, and if the users want Yahoo back, to call a Congress person or the directory of the FBI.

Fighting back has to be asymetric. $250k a day in fines is only $91 million a year. Fight. Back. There was no one at Yahoo with the pockets to with stand that type of fine? No one they could have picked up the phone and asked for?

It's not okay to lay down with the government. Just from a business perspective, American companies are loosing 10x that amount daily in lost business from international clients - business that will probably never come back - thanks to the overreaching operations and activities of the US government.

If Lars at Lavabit can do it - a one man operation - Yahoo can do it.

about two weeks ago

Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

danheskett Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

Ugh. I wouldn't live an die on that hill. The odds of him being a criminal now are extremely high.

about two weeks ago

Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

danheskett Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

It just depends on your perspective. Ask a pro-life radical and they see us doing the exact same thing as the communists to our "best of a population" - the children. Ask a pro-prison reformer and they see us doing far worse, putting an entire population through the judicial-prison complex every year. It's not as clear as it seems on the surface.

about two weeks ago

Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers

danheskett Re:We'll never know (142 comments)

Yes, you got it. All branches government should hope that i am never again on a jury, because any government evidence of any sort is going to be treated extremely skeptically.

We know that the DEA, NSA, and the FBI plus state agencies will use parallel construction and outright lies to all involved to circumvent revealing sources they don't feel like they should reveal. This is blatantly against the spirit of the Constitution which recognizes a God-given right to a fair and open trial, the right confront your accuser (not the false once constructed by the government), and to hear and see evidence presented against you.

It would be nice to form a union of potential jurors and to inform potential jurors that the government feels like it can lie about evidence and it's provenance and get away with it. But if we did, the government would simply use that basis to strike you from the jury pool.

about two weeks ago

L.A. Times National Security Reporter Cleared Stories With CIA Before Publishing

danheskett We suffer the 1st amendment for this (188 comments)

There are some non-trivial downsides to the 1st amendment press protections. We have to deal with substantial abuses but the spirit of it is that it's for the common good, and that a free press is a God-given, Constitutional recognized right.

The least the press could do is deserve the hassle we get from it.

about two weeks ago

Deadmau5 Accuses Disney of Pirating His Music

danheskett Re: This is what the US has become (137 comments)

There is almost no chance that you could find an IP lawyer to argue that the Mickey ears are somehow not tied directly to Disney. Disney marks have some of the highest "q" scores in the world, and they vigorously enforce their marks, meaning that there is very little chance of customer confusion.

I think that Deadmau5 has a real problem. This image:

I mean.. he's going to argue that there is no chance for confusion here?

about two weeks ago

Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

danheskett Re:Truly sad (359 comments)

You have presented the exact reason why many argue that we should shut down the US border, with the military as necessary, quarantine foreigners, and become a far more closed society.

Education is an unproven method of preventing the spread of the plague. The three proven methods are: (a) kill the sick, burn the bodies; (b) quarantine all the sick and their families until they all die; (c) vaccine. Also, combinations of a and b and c.

There is no amount of education that will guarantee that an infected carrier doesn't make it to the US, spread the infection, and become patient zero for a stateside epidemic.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

danheskett Re:One word: PDFLib (132 comments)

I second PDFLib.

I've created approximately 3 billion pages of PDF with it, since 2000. Very, very well done. The library is well thought out, and it can work even with bindings to languages that you would not think are usable. It's fast, really has a nice scope model, has a nice consistency, and rounds off the edges of PDF better than anything else with it.

If you come it with their import library, and pcos library, it can do almost everything you want. The developers are helpful and don't mess around. If you find a bug they fix it. Plus their documentation is about ten times better than anything else out there I've seen. They have a real reference and a cookbook that covers common scenarios.

about a month and a half ago

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

danheskett Re:RUDEST PASSENGER EVER (928 comments)

I agree about boarding priority, but the cabin is transmitted to the government and recorded in several databases. If the airline moves the person from one cabin to another, then they have to retransmit that information, which is non-optimal, as I heard it.

about a month and a half ago

Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

danheskett Re:Brain surgery? (790 comments)

This other method you mention, chemical castration, is actually very effective in curbing deviant sexual behavior.

about a month and a half ago


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