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Court OKs Covert iPhone Audio Recording

gzearfoss Re:It's still illegal in Illinois (215 comments)

What's notable about this case is that Connecticut (where the incident took place) is a 'two-party consent' state, at least for recording phone calls. This incident took place face-to-face, which prevented the state laws from coming in to play.

A question for those with more knowledge of the legal system: Can this be used as precedent against two-party consent laws for call recording?

about 4 years ago

Twitter To Block Third-Party Paid Tweets

gzearfoss Re:What is a "paid Tweet"? (83 comments)

Other 'flavors' of paid Tweets could include:
  - A celebrity that hires a publicity company to manage their Twitter feed.
  - A company that uses a Twitter feed to announce new products, contests, feedback.
  - A famous Twitterer who gets a kickback for mentioning a specific product
  - A person who really likes a specific brand of cookie / restaurant / etc

Do they have a plan to separate out that fourth person from the previous three?

more than 4 years ago

Adding Up the Explanations For ACTA's "Shameful Secret"

gzearfoss *Surprisingly* unconvincing? (165 comments)

From the summary...

[MPAA/RIAA Champion Steven] Metalitz took on three other panelists and a moderator, all of whom were less than sympathetic to his positions, and he made the lengthiest case for both ACTA and its secrecy that we have ever heard. It was also surprisingly unconvincing.

I'd find it more surprising if he could make a convincing argument for all the secrecy.

more than 4 years ago

Typing With Your Brain

gzearfoss Characters, not words... (262 comments)

Though it's great for people with no other means of communication, there are two main obstacles I see for everyday use: Speed, and words.
Speed: "I've seen people do up to eight characters per minute," Wilson says. Nothing else needs to be said.
Words: When I type, I don't think about typing individual letters, so much as I think about typing the words in the sentence. I'm no neuroscientist, but I would wager that this doesn't trigger the part of the brain that they're reading the letters from - or if it does, it triggers them too quickly to be read.

In other words, it's a great step in technology, and it's wonderful for those who need to use it, but I don't see it becoming practical for everyday use in the near future.

more than 4 years ago

Virtual Money For Real Lobbying

gzearfoss Re:Health reform for the stupid (85 comments)

"You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into." - Ben Goldacre.

Besides those with financial interests in the status quo, the majority of those fighting reform rely on appeals to emotions or snazzy catchphrases (death panels, anybody?), not appeals to reason. Though insightful, I doubt stories like this have much of an impact on the opinions of those already convinced.

more than 4 years ago

Each American Consumed 34 Gigabytes Per Day In '08

gzearfoss Re:Definitions so broad as to be pointless (245 comments)

Well, it's not cars, but consider the humble radio. When I am studying, I like to have the radio on in the background. I also have a favorite radio show that, when it comes on, I try to drop everything and listen to.
According to the measurement system used in the study, I am 'consuming' both the background noise and the radio show equally, in terms of time spent and in content consumed. I think that what I draw from what I am exposed to should be measured as content consumed - because otherwise I use as much sound content from the radio show as I do from the air conditioning system at work.

more than 4 years ago

Each American Consumed 34 Gigabytes Per Day In '08

gzearfoss Re:We are fat. (245 comments)

Easy there, he's just trying to get a Reiser out of you.

more than 4 years ago

Each American Consumed 34 Gigabytes Per Day In '08

gzearfoss Re:Definitions so broad as to be pointless (245 comments)

You hit this on the head. It's easy to get gigantic numbers when everything coming in counts as data.

In addition, they count all 'data streams' received as being consumed, despite the chances of occurring at the same time. It's like saying that a hydroelectric dam consumes all water that passes it - whether it passes through the turbines or over the causeway.

There may be some interest in comparing the change in this number as a percent, but the fact "34 Gigabytes consumed per day" by itself means next to nothing.

more than 4 years ago

CRIA Faces $60 Billion Lawsuit

gzearfoss Do as I say... (280 comments)

I predict that the CRIA will have a sudden change in heart about copyright violation enforcement - that will last as long as it takes to get this case dropped or settled. Then, it'll be back to business as usual.

The question is, where did the money for the royalties from these CDs end up?

more than 4 years ago

Legal War For WA State Sunshine Law

gzearfoss Re:Wait a minute here (1364 comments)

Stupid trigger-happy moderation system, I was scrolling to something else, but accidentally selected off-topic - hence a reply to cancel the moderation.

That being said, I agree with what you said - by taking an active role in opposing gay marriage, they are "hating on" gays. I agree that most don't fit the stereotype the grandparent post describes, but simply because a person doesn't meet that stereotype does not mean that they can't hate on gays.

more than 4 years ago

Real-World Consequences of Social Networking Posts

gzearfoss Re:Free speech (451 comments)

"We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization," he said, noting that the company manages 1,500 apartments in Chicago and has a good reputation it wants to preserve.[italics mine]

Everyone has bad clients; that's part of doing business, and everything seen online should be taken with a grain of salt. Finding a bad comment or two about a company online is expected, and doesn't really impact their reputation.
However, suing your customers to silence them really shoots a whole in trying to 'preserve a good reputation'. PR: They're doing it wrong.

more than 5 years ago

Doctors Fight Patent On Medical Knowledge

gzearfoss Re:Test for Money or No Test at All? (205 comments)

That's the way it's supposed to work, but how it's more likely to work is:
1) Another clever person takes your idea, and uses it to make a better/faster/cheaper test
2) You hire lawyers to take the clever person to court, and tie up their product in so much litigation it looks like the world's largest ball of twine.
3) You either end up buying out the clever person, litigate them into bankruptcy, or delay them until you've extended the patent and your extended patent expires.
4) You then make a minor change to the process, repatent the idea, and repeat the process from step one.

more than 5 years ago

Company Denies Its Robots Feed On the Dead

gzearfoss Re:Lame (154 comments)

I blame religions that preach bodily resurrection. After all, look at how much effort the ancient Egyptians put into preserving their royal dead.

more than 5 years ago

Facebook Violates Canadian Privacy Law

gzearfoss Czechoslovakia? Try closer to home, right now. (179 comments)

Facebook is already letting ads use your face in them. See this blog post. I certainly don't qualify as hot or as single, thus I don't want my face showing up in these - especially without remuneration.

The short form of how to turn this off is to go to this page, and change the entry to "No one".

more than 5 years ago

Bill Gates Puts Classic Feynman Lectures Online

gzearfoss How badly do I want to see it? (338 comments)

Honestly, not badly enough to want to install Silverlight on my PC.
I'm not planning on installing it until A) I need it to access critical websites (that is, critical by my definition - sites for my bank and credit cards, for example) and B) the Flashblock plugin will treat Silverlight on webpages like it does Flash.

more than 5 years ago

HIV/AIDS Vaccine To Begin Phase I Human Trials

gzearfoss Re:Is this it? (329 comments)

Except for that whole concept of 'Herd Immunity'. There will always be some people who are unable to be vaccinated - whether from a weakened immune system, an allergy to ingredients in the vaccine, or other reasons. If enough people are vaccinated, then anyone who gets sick can't expose enough people to propagate the disease, leading to the disease dying out. Can a person going through chemo who gets infected and dies from a vaccine-preventable disease really be considered a victim of natural selection? (Well, I mean, they could, in that any death can be attributed to natural selection of one sort or another. But this isn't natural selection against those who *choose* against vaccines, but rather against those who are *unable* to have vaccines)

(I'm assuming you were going more for funny than insightful; thus I'm not so much responding to you as I'm responding to those who mark you insightful.)

more than 5 years ago

The Twitter Book

gzearfoss Re:Why? (88 comments)

Necessary? No.
Profitable? Probably.

more than 5 years ago

In Defense of the Classic Controller

gzearfoss Re:sigh (251 comments)

I also don't mind playing a game that required 40 different buttons and three keyboard overlays to give the right feel.

The only problem is trying to 'invest' enough time to learn everything you can do in the game - Nethack, anyone? Being able to #rub is useful, but it isn't exactly the most intuitive command.

more than 5 years ago


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