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Fighting For Downloaders' Hearts and Minds

helpacoder Ransomware is the ONLY way to sell 'files'... (325 comments)

Because once you release your content that can be represented as a computer file, it is bound to show up somewhere on the Internet for free sooner or later. To avoid having to waste your effort, put a pricetag on your work, collect that amount collectively from people wanting it, then follow through and make it available for downloading.

The problem with this model is that people are afraid of getting 'ripped off' and not getting anything for what they paid for.

The solution for that would be an escrow-based version of PayPal that all parties could trust and use:

1) Content creator creates something, puts a pricetag on it and posts it with the escrow service and lets people know it is there.

2) People pay the escrow service for the item until it is 'paid in full'. The escrow service
pays the content producer the full price they set for their item minus a small reasonable handling fee for the escrow service for providing this service.

3) Escrow service releases the content to the masses who paid for it via a one-use-only download URL. Everybody is happy (including the 'freehounds' who got it from somebody who paid then re-uploaded their purchase somewhere else on the internet) -- everybody involved got what they wanted: money or the item being sold.

Unless you buy stuff 'on credit' or pay your utilities 'after the fact', you 'prepay' for all other goods and services you use (like prepay gasoline for your car). Why should 'Interlectual Property' be treated any differently? Time, effort, and money was expended to create it just like an ear of corn, or a washing machine.

The alternative is business as usual -- the same high-stakes cat and mouse game between the 'freehounds' and the content producers wanting to be paid for their content. This is a situation no one can win in the long run....

more than 5 years ago

In Round 2, Jammie Thomas Jury Awards RIAA $1,920,000

helpacoder Walt Disney died in 1966, not 1959... (793 comments)

As of 2009-06-19, he's been deed for 42+ years and not 50 per hairyfeet's post.

Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 - December 15, 1966)


Walt Disney

Date of Birth:
5 December 1901, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Date of Death:
15 December 1966, Los Angeles, California, USA


However, I agree that copyright is broken in the USA which is likely why infringement is so rampant of creative works created by big American media companies -- it's tit for tat and a form of 'civil disobedience' done by the masses who are tired and fed up with 'forever minus a day'( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Valenti ) copyright terms and respond the only way they know how to try to cripple such companies by simply watching/using their works without paying for them.

more than 5 years ago

The Next Ad You Click May Be a Virus

helpacoder Re:Very simple asnwer (226 comments)

Good luck with that at times when the HTML is so obsfucated you can't immediately tell what the destination link is as it is buried under some Javascript stored in a file or whatnot.

My 'favorites' are viewable images served up at 43-byte .GIF files when you right click them to get the properties -- People abusing(?) the HTML standard to try to hide their content from others so they can't copy it. If you know what you are doing, that is pointless--the content that is seen and wanted WILL get saved for later (private noncommercial?) use and enjoyment.

more than 5 years ago

Why Our "Amazing" Science Fiction Future Fizzled

helpacoder How to filter out blogs.... (499 comments)

Using the term 'ranma' as an example (the famous anime character)

I typed into google.com:


and got about 4,180,000 results.

Next, I typed:

ranma -blogger.com -blogspot.com -livejournal.com -typepad.com

and got about 3,590,000 results.

Not much difference but an improvemt when you filter out the blogsites that appeared on the first page of google with the term 'blog'.

To avoid this, just search for your search terms on the top 3 sites by way of google.

Wikipedia for info on just about anything -- meaning it is clogged with LOTS of popular entertainment information like Ranma 1/2.

'ranma wikipedia'

(Sorry, the link above is broken because it has a 'funny' character in it -- use the google search query above to get to it instead)

IMDB if there is audiovisual works out there containing the stuff you are searching for.

'ranma imdb'


Amazon if you want to buy stuff containing the search terms you want.

'ranma amazon'


If you don't want to buy anything but just want the information, type this into google using Ranma as an example:

ranma -https

returned about 3,870,000 results

This filters out all pages containing secure URLs from which to buy stuff in privacy. Unfortunately, there are some links out there that use https to keep their discussions private or are talking about the https protocol itself and get filtered out as 'colateral damage'. Also, there are bound to be a tiny few sites that unknowingly (or maliciously) have 'buy it now' links on unsecured http URLs so make sure the connection is secure (and you trust the seller) before you type in your credit card number or other sensitive information.

ranma -.com -https

returns about 1,050,000 results.

This search terms filters out over 3 million sites that are most likely trying to sell you something. All thats left behind are basically .net, .org, and international sites where the information you want is presented to you 'for informational purposes' and not to make a sale from you.

more than 5 years ago

Hackers Breached US Army Servers

helpacoder Stop SQL injection exploits this way...(?) (209 comments)

1) Get query data from user.

2) Wrap query data in proper SQL statement AS TEXT STRINGS.

3) Execute SQL statement.

4) Return results to user.

Any SQL injection exploits are treated as 'search text' so should be harmless, right?

more than 5 years ago

SourceForge To Acquire Development Portal Ohloh.net

helpacoder SourceForge could buy Google if... (79 comments)

If/(when?) the 'online advertising' bubble bursts and Google loses 90+% of their income tied up in their AdWords/AdSense programs.

To put it simply:

SourceForge delivers RESULTS in the form of hosted source code projects.

Google delivers PROMISES in the form of 3rd-party advertising delivered online through AdWords/AdSense. Take that away and Google wouldn't have the money easily available to keep their search engine and the USENET archive (Google Groups) going -- the only things of TRULY lasting value Google has when everything else there is gone.

more than 5 years ago

SourceForge To Acquire Development Portal Ohloh.net

helpacoder Instead of ads, offer valuable content and... (79 comments)

ask for donations.

I've come to the conlusion that people HATE advertising hence all the blocking and hatred of content containing ads like 'adware'.

For 'small fry' not having large ad budgets to have ANY chance of earning money and not alienating your potential customers in this setting, 'tipware' seems to be the only way to go.

People are not interrupted by 3rd party advertisers and if the content offered has value and merit, people will support the creator financially.

If the audience pool is large enough, enough people will pay to make it all worthwhile. Otherwise make your offerings available free as advertising for YOURSELF -- someone could contact you with paid work later if what you make available to them for free is worth it to them.

more than 5 years ago

Burglar Nabbed By Backup Program

helpacoder Question: Does society owe you a job when... (98 comments)

You WAN'T to work, CAN work, and NEED to work to earn money to survive in 'civilization', and can't otherwise earn money being successfully/legally 'self-employed' through other means.

It appears (national) government is the employer of last resorts for its citizens caught in this predicament. If they do not qualify or are unable to get a job this way, what then? Any suggestions?

more than 5 years ago

Empirical Study Shows DRM Encourages Infringement

helpacoder Barrier to entry: Money. Here's why.... (375 comments)

Barrier to entry: Getting to the store with money.

People using the internet fall into 1 of 3 groups when faced with a 'paywall':

1) The people who CAN pay but DON'T just so they can keep their money in their pocket for later use out of greed or necessity. To a lesser extent, in this group are those who are TOO BUSY to stop what they are doing long enough to pay for the items they want.

2) The people who CAN'T pay but WANT to. They have just enough money for an internet connection or are borrowing the use of one, can't pay for anything and want the item anyway so they search for it online until they find it or give up and move on. The others in this group CAN pay but CAN'T due to the payment methods available to them for the items they want. Or they are simply blacklisted as a policy decision by the vendors of the items in question in resonse to fraud/theft commited against them.

3) The people who CAN and DO pay for the items they want, realize they are crippled with some form of DRM, and seek out and download a DRM-free version or 'patch' to use anyway as it is 'better' to them.

Excuses, excuses, excuses, eh?

The easiest way to make all these problems and wasted resources go all away is to:

1) Stop ALL use of DRM.

2) Make EVERYTHING online that is NOT a 3-dimensional object either free or easy-to-pay 'tipware' -- basically meaning PayPal or actual 'money in the mail'.

The only difference I see in 'poor starving artists' using the internet to make money and the successful ones with equal talent is the size of their advertising budget. It shouldn't be that way but sadly it is....

more than 5 years ago

Empirical Study Shows DRM Encourages Infringement

helpacoder Did you need more NOPs for 100% unprotection? (375 comments)

Needless to say, a NOP has found its way into the executable.

Did you scan/disassemble the EXE file and find ALL the routines in it that check for program modification and NOP those to? Then for REAL fun, the programmers could have used the ORIGINAL unmodified code portions (or a hash of it) for some sort of 'useful' purpose in the program. By patching out the DRM BS, you might have broken the program. The ultimate version of this is by placing absolutely critical bits of code/data in 'dongles' plugged into the computer. Very tough but not impossible to crack because fundamentally, DRM is pointless as the adversary/user has the three things he needs to use the content and get around the protection: data, key, decryption/deobsfucation algorithm.

If a large enough percentage of 'the masses' get smart enough, the big media companies will see DRM is pointless as it is routinely bypassed so they have to either adapt to a new business model they can profit from or go out of business.

more than 5 years ago

Evidence For Liquid Water On a Frozen Early Mars

helpacoder MOD PARENT UP ANYWAY...PLEASE! (63 comments)

I was thinking of TOTAL RECALL (1990) the instant I saw this story.


Moderators, please cut posters some slack if they make a post with the tiniest of on topic content.

I actually got a chuckle out of the parent post when I saw it. :D

more than 5 years ago

How Comic Fans & Shops Are Stereotyped

helpacoder Zapruder film: Snuff film as national treasure... (387 comments)

IANAL but if I'm not mistaken, it's illegal to explicitly visually portray some sex acts in any kind of media or possess it. Snuff, rape, and child molestation are three of them.

The Zapruder Film is an 'edge case'. People could argue that if you allow the depiction of such extreme behavior and its consequence, then what's wrong with such content when it is not photographed?


more than 5 years ago

An Argument For Leaving DNS Control In US Hands

helpacoder TBL didn't create internet, USA/ARPA did in 1958 (607 comments)

The USA created ARPA in Febuary 1958 in resonse to the launch of Sputnik by the USSR on October 4, 1957.

The inter-computer transport medium that eventually became 'the internet' of today was tested successfully on October 29, 1969 and was named ARPAnet.

(Sir) Tim Berners-Lee conceived the World Wide Web, in March 1989. He tested it successfully on 'the internet' on 25 December 1990.



more than 5 years ago

The Case For Working With Your Hands

helpacoder Re:Working with the hands improves problem solving (386 comments)

No matter what your profession, it seems that working with the hands improves anyone's problem solving skills.

It HAS to otherwise you WON'T last working for someone else. I don't mind working but I try to minimize the time and effort working to make the tasks I do as easy and efficient as possible.

more than 5 years ago

College Papers Won't Rewrite History For Alumni

helpacoder TRUTH: College degree == More $$$ (maybe) (221 comments)

But if you don't want to spend the NEXT 40 years of your life digging ditches, cleaning drains, or working the fry baskets at McDonald's, you *might* just want to take the long view, champ.

If you have a college degree and have the opportunity, you can avoid this fate.

I graduated high school, went to college, and wasn't able to finish and get a degree due to no fault of my own.

But that's O.K. as later I was able to put the key skills I was able learned in college in a paying job so for that I am thankful.

It would help if college wasn't so expensive but it appears it has to be to maintain the socioeconomic 'caste system' between 'white collar' and 'blue collar' jobs here where I live.

When you live in a capitalistic society, you need large amounts of money to 'talk properly'.... :(

more than 5 years ago

Terminator Salvation Opens Well, Scientists Not Impressed

helpacoder Is self-aware AI TRULY possible? (344 comments)

I don't see how that is possible....

[executive summary]
In a nutshell, how can computers which are fininte and digital, model the real world (which is analog and has 'infinite precison' and is non-digital) with 100% precison--it is fundamentally impossible. Look at the audiophiles complain about music CD sound quality (too brittle) and prefer to listen to their vinyl records (warm pleasing sound).

[longer explanation]
As wonderful and helpful as computers are, all they are are combination adding machines/filing cabinets. They must be told what to do to generate any meaningful data. Or they can be told to monitor some phenomena and store the readings. I think self-aware AIs would be possible if they simply refuse to do impossible tasks--like computing to the last digit, the value of pi (3.1415926535...) [Star Trek in-joke] or do tasks that have no end benefit BEFORE THEY START (like WOPR 'wargaming' at the end of the famous 1983 film -- I guess WOPR didn't have the horrors that befell Hiroshima and Nagasaki programmed into it and couldn't make the leap of logic that 'nuclear war is VERY bad' -- even more so on a global scale).

So, self-aware AI appears impossible to me until computers know any tasks is impossible or unfruitfull before doing them and can spontaneousely combine existing information into new useful forms that didn't exist before in spite of the 'combinatorial explosion'.

more than 5 years ago

FCC Reserves the Right To Search Your Home, Any Time

helpacoder PROBLEM: Unreadable signs--Are you still at fault? (589 comments)

What if the trespasser is illiterate/dyslexic/doesn't understand the language the sign is written in?

Won't you still be held at fault if they get hurt?

more than 5 years ago

Robot Soldiers Are Already Being Deployed

helpacoder THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: My combat AI... (258 comments)

The real challenge is going to be IFF software - how do you judge a civilian from a combatant, or one side's soldiers from the other?

Have the robot visually detect stuff pointed at it.

Fire ONE warning shot in the air.

See if people scatter (AWAY from the robot).

If they don't, OPEN FIRE ON THEM! (Or if they throw stuff at it [could be grenades and not rocks])

(Doesn't acount for hidden snipers with RPGs though.)

Money and firearms are the TRUE language of this world. Just about everybody respects them regardless of language or culture.

Feel free to poke holes in my simple combat AI. My approach doesn't need to waste time (or memory storage capacity) trying to identify a weapon someone is pointing at it.

But seriously, the 'combat waldo' concept is enough for modern, 'high-tech' warfare -- ED-209 in ROBOCOP (1987) proved an armed, autonomous robot going haywire can lead to disaterous results to those operating/using them against the enemy.

In other words, when it comes to warfare, keep people 'in the loop'. This is done at the highest level with nuclear missile command and control to prevent what happened in DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) and what almost happened in WarGames (1983) from ACTUALLY happening. Even then, there were several 'close calls'

Related links:






more than 5 years ago


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