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News Corp. and Apple Unveil The Daily

gilroy Re:What's this "New Corp"? Murdoch sold News Corp? (249 comments)

How about a real innovation for Murdoch papers - like reporting the news with a bit less bias?

No, for Murdoch, that would be literally unthinkable... :)

more than 3 years ago
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British ISPs Embracing Two-Tier Internet

gilroy Re:Two very different things (305 comments)

Plus, of course, the idea that you could "sue" if blocked depends on a legal consensus that common carriers have to, you know, carry you. If two-tiered internet is OK, then why shouldn't an ISP be allowed to block those who won't pay up?

We really need to get back, or get to, the idea of ISPs as common carriers, disallowed from discriminating among packets based on content or, worse, on payor.

more than 3 years ago
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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy

gilroy Re:Isn't that legal? (163 comments)

Some aspects can even be patented. Fortunately this is not a common practice.

... yet.

more than 3 years ago
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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy

gilroy Re:"That's what she said..." (163 comments)

So the punishment was to do exactly what they were supposed to do. Exactly how is that justice? Or, for that matter, punishment? How does it discourage them from doing the exact same thing over and over again, knowing that sometimes, they'll get away with it and that when they don't, they lose nothing over what they would have paid anyway?

And that's not even counting that this was a settlement, most likely for far less than they actually owed.

more than 3 years ago
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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy

gilroy Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (163 comments)

Really? Do you ride in cars at all? Because then you're just as culpable. We could make cars much, much safer, but they would then be much, much more expensive... perhaps so expensive that no one could afford them, or at least a very few.

Everyone is making this trade-off all the time. It's harsh to see it laid out so explicitly, but it's actually there all the time.

more than 3 years ago
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How Much Math Do We Really Need?

gilroy Re:Math is easy to mark (1153 comments)

Math is easy to grade when it's taught badly. Just like English or history or ... Well, like any subject.
I'll agree that, the way we teach math and the priorities we set, a lot of it is pointless. But that,s not a reason for teaching less; it's a reason for teaching better.

more than 3 years ago
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How Much Math Do We Really Need?

gilroy Re:Precisely (1153 comments)

You're 100% correct. In my experience, every 12 year old has both the background and maturity to decide at what profession he/she will most happily pursue for the next 70 years of his/her life. No need to be exposed to anything that he/she hasn't already seen.

more than 3 years ago
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Market Data Firm Spots the Tracks of Bizarre Robot Trading

gilroy Nothing to be concerned with... (483 comments)

... it's just SkyNet looking after its retirement holdings.

about 4 years ago
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AU Band Men At Work Owes Royalties On 'Kookaburra'

gilroy Re:Perversion of the law's intent (371 comments)

Actually, I've never seen anything justifying such a separation. Old Walt could be pretty ruthless, too.

more than 4 years ago
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A Composer's-Eye View of the Copyright Wars

gilroy Re:Ahhh... I Finally Get It! (973 comments)

if the market accepts that his show is worthwhile, he'll make his time and money back.

I cry foul. You can't extol the market in one breath then defend a market-distorting structure (i.e., state-sponsored monopoly, i.e., copyright) in the other. "The market" prices things on the margins -- what it makes to create the last good created, not all of them. For digital works, the marginal cost is functionally zero. Therefore zero is the "correct" (that is, market-driven) price. Charging more than zero requires state intervention into the market -- the creation of artificial scarcity. That is what copyright does; and it is a legitimate point of debate as to whether it achieves the social ends sought at the best allocation of resources.

more than 4 years ago
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A Composer's-Eye View of the Copyright Wars

gilroy Re:Argh, the examples suck (973 comments)

I want a pony. Should the vast mechanism of the state be deployed to secure me a pony? Just because I want one?

more than 4 years ago
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Android vs. iPhone 4 Signal Strength Bars Comparison

gilroy Re:Summarising... (253 comments)

because in normal use, the iPhone 4 has better reception than previous iPhones.

I don't think it counts as "not-normal use" to, you know, hold the phone as you use it...

more than 4 years ago
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Creative Commons Responds To ASCAP Letter

gilroy Subtle distinction (161 comments)

ASCAP is (almost) correct. While copyleft doesn't undermine copyright, it does undermine the copyright cartel. If artists begin to license worthwhile, popular, and (monetarily) successful works under copyleft -- if artists succeed while granting people more rights than they, strictly, have to -- then consumers might begin to wonder why more artists -- and big companies -- don't do that. Using copyleft could become a competitive advantage. And then how will Big Music justify restricting users?

If the sheep wake up, the whole industry -- as currently organized -- falls apart. And that's what ASCAP is worried about.

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Raises E-book Prices For Everyone

gilroy Re:Gonna sound snarky.... (327 comments)

Thanks. That's what I was looking for.

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Raises E-book Prices For Everyone

gilroy Gonna sound snarky.... (327 comments)

... but I'm genuinely interested: What exactly does a publisher of e-books "publish"?

I'm serious. You've written the book, you've put it in whatever form you decided on. I understand that you need some vehicle to distribute it -- isn't that what Apple and Amazon are doing? So what is your publisher doing? What value does he/she/it add?

more than 4 years ago
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What the Top US Companies Pay In Taxes

gilroy Re:If I could do it, I would! (658 comments)

I definitely feel better off if robbers are caught and convicted, even if they didn't rob me.

You don't just feel better off. You are better off. Even though it would offend the sensibilities of the Fox/WSJ crowd, public policing is in fact way more efficient than private policing. Public fire fighting is more efficient than private fire fighting. There are things that the government does better than private enterprise, because there are such things as public goods.

This is an unpopular viewpoint. That does not make it false.

more than 4 years ago
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PayPal Freezes the Assets of Wikileaks.org

gilroy Re:PayPal Regulation? (403 comments)

And when the citizens are finished, they can all kick back and enjoy a nice, cold glass of their twenty-second amendment right.

So this is all about presidential term limits? Color me confused.

more than 4 years ago
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Why "Running IT As a Business" Is a Bad Idea

gilroy IT is infrastructure (364 comments)

and should be run out of the facilities department, just like plumbing or electrical.

more than 4 years ago
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Mars Express Captures Phobos and Deimos

gilroy Sure, if you believe in (84 comments)

that whole "we've sent things to Mars" myth that the Conspiracy is trying to force on you. I think the whole thing was shot on a soundstage in Southern California ... I'm pretty sure I can see the support wires.

more than 4 years ago
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Bing Gains 10% Marketshare

gilroy Re:Is it trickery? (514 comments)

To say they can't means the market isn't growing, which shows your lack of udnerstanding

Um, no, I think the lack is on your part. Even a 100% monopoly can gain sales, but they can't increase market share -- that is, the fraction of the market they reach. If the number of searches doubled, and Bing doubles and Google doubled (pretending they're the only two engines), then their market share remains the same, 10% and 90% respectively.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

gilroy hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Banning software to prevent "contributory piracy" is like

gilroy gilroy writes  |  about 12 years ago

... banning automobiles to prevent "contributory bank robbery"

This has been my slashdot .sig for a long while but has lately generated feedback. Who kens the zeitgeist? Anyway, on 2002 Aug 24, an Anonymous Coward said,

more like "banning newsprint to prevent contributory ransom demands." Better analogy. Trust me.

But actually, I've given a lot of thought to this piece of bumper-sticker wisdom. I still think mine is better, on the following counts:

The issue (which for me lies in the 2600 decision as well as the Napster rulings) is whether a tool should be banned based upon its usage by some to break the law.

Indeed, it's worse, in that the Content Cartel wants to preemptively ban techologies that might usable in copyright infringement, regardless of other uses of that technology.

The "newsprint" thing drags in the First Amendment, and while I believe the First Amendment to be perhaps the most important political writing ever, I don't believe it's really applicable here.

Along the lines of enabling technologies, the AC should at least have offered "printing presses". Hmmm... I could live with "Banning software to prevent 'contributory piracy' is like banning printing presses to prevent 'contributory counterfeiting'. But it still raises that whole First Amendment thing.

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Infringement != Stealing (1)

gilroy gilroy writes  |  about 12 years ago

I've made this argument a lot on slashdot, so I figured I should just put it here and be done with it.

Blockquoth the poster:

anybody riping and collecting works they don't pay for are simply stealing

No. No. No. and a final time, No. They are "infringing" -- a well-defined crime, distinct from stealing. How do I know? Leaving aside the single-user issue, let's also consider: No court anywhere has ever set up guidelines for "reasonable theft" of physical property. But for intellectual "property", the courts have -- as much as the RIAA wishes to God they hadn't -- carved out an expanse called "Fair Use", wherein use of copyrighted material without compensation is considered legal. (I am not arguing that Napster was or was not Fair Use. I am just pointing out that Fair Use exists in well-codifed law.) Likewise, real property rights don't expire. If you own a car and never ever sell it to anyone, then guess what? It's yours, forever and ever, world without end, amen. But if you publish a copyrightable item, and never ever sell a copy to anyone else, do you know what happens? Eventually your "property" rights evaporate, again without compensation... it's not a government "taking", it's the (legal) nature of the beast.

So unless you're willing to draw the analogy both ways -- that is, to allow "Fair Use" of your physical property and to recognize that your ownership is time-limited -- then stop BSing and drop the "infringement is stealing" crap.

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Nobody weeps for the buggy-whip makers

gilroy gilroy writes  |  about 12 years ago

The title is a phrase I like to offer, as a shorter means of conveying what Heinlein wrote:

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their private benefit."

The idea is, as technology changes, business models change also. People must adapt or go out of business. There is no money-making model that is immune or sacrosanct -- there are no businesses "too big to be allowed to fail". At the dawn of the 21st century, we see much less innovation in business and much more turf protection. When that extends to bribing, er, lobbying the legislature, then democracy itself is fundamentally threatened.

After one of my tirades, the following exchange occured, which helped me flesh out more of my thinking.

Blockquoth the poster:


Nobody weeps for the buggy-whip makers!

Or the buggy makers, not all of whom turned to making "horseless buggies".

Fair enough. I like to use the whip manufacturers because their product is only incidental to the goal. That is, you use the buggy to travel. You just use the whip to motivate the horse. It's necessary for movement if your model is horse-and-buggy. But it's not fundamentally necessary for movement.

It's much the same for all these content providers, who are -- under the current model -- needed for the distribution of music, TV, whatever. Under a new model, they become overpriced unnecessary middlemen... just like the buggy-whip makers. (And I like the connotation that the content providers whip their artists to motivate them...)

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