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Student Charged For Re-selling Textbooks

hercubus Re:First Sale Doctrine? (489 comments)

... It's a complicated issue... From a purely ethical/common sense standpoint...

That's why we have the Supreme Court, to consider and weigh these most complicated cases and then give their pro-corporate ruling, and a hand job, to whichever CEO takes them duck hunting. Rock on Supremes!

more than 2 years ago

Paramount Claims Louis CK "Didn't Monetize"

hercubus "That's a great business model, Louis, (288 comments)

It'd be a shame if something were to happen to your web page, or your servers, or your genitalia..."

Given the gigantic hole Mr. C.K. just punched through the unreality bubble that LA-LA Land executives live in, our hero Louis is probably lucky he hasn't been banned from the talk show circuit, blacklisted and/or shot through the head

I've see Louis talking about this ("I've never had a million dollars before. It's weird...") and he talks like he -expects- to have his career thrown under the bus

Mr. C.K. has done everyone who isn't a V.P. of corporate shenanigans a great service by demonstrating his proof-of-concept. And go Jim Gaffigan!!!

more than 2 years ago

Chrome Beats Internet Explorer On Any Given Sunday

hercubus Re:Chrome vs IE (212 comments)

... I'm one of those IT control freaks. There's a good reason for it ...

No there isn't a good reason for it. You have good reasons for not supporting Chrome, but not a good reason for scouring it off.

The freaks in control of my work machine turned Java off in IE, pushed that little rule to -every- workstation. I have a deadline that requires me to connect to a work-mandated site that uses Java applets. See the disconnect there?

I suppose you might imagine that you are way too smart to allow your restrictions to hinder job performance or even make tasks impossible. You're not that smart. No one can keep on top of every detail. That's why allowing a little freedom can increase productivity, especially for the employees who are actually smart enough to print a PDF. Not all of us "users" are that stupid and your bias that we are all that stupid is just that, bias.

more than 2 years ago

Commercial, USB-Powered DNA Sequencer Coming This Year

hercubus GIAA (95 comments)

Dear Doctor Amy Farrah Fowler,

The Genetics Industry Association of America (GIAA) understands you have been using a "genetic sequencer" device to decode genetic sequences that members of our association own as their intellectual property.

We are reminding you that your activities are strictly prohibited as you do not have a license for the sequences in question. We therefore require you to CEASE AND DESIST all such activities and destroy all devices you have been using to illegally decode other's intellectual property.

Attached please find an invoice for 30 million US dollars for fines, damages, legal fees, etcetera.

Most sincerely,


more than 2 years ago

FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field

hercubus Re:wrong (337 comments)

... he should be an honorary member of the Chinese Communist Party

Right, because Apple is the only company that found it had to move manufacturing to China. Apple was actually pretty late to the party in China, I believe they kept manufacturing in America longer than a lot of companies did. (party pun intended)

Whatever we do, let us not wonder what it is about our national character (I want stuff cheap) or our national trends (cutting local labor _always_ boosts stock price) or national policies (yes we subsidize moving jobs overseas) that creates a situation where a whole buttload of manufacturing went to China, including Apple's

more than 2 years ago

Banks Using Mobile Phone Usage To Gauge Credit Risk

hercubus Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (196 comments)

  1. Avoid all debt [ homeless / live in a box ]
  2. Avoid all debt [ walk / never own a car ]
  3. Avoid all debt [ lose / no credit benefits ]
  4. Profit! [ small / less profit and quality than you could have ]

congrats! you're now a small, on-foot, homeless loser who minimized a trivial expense and lowered your income potential and your quality of life. w00t?

okay, seriously, debt is a tool, not a sin. as a tool, you can injure yourself with it or build something useful. and to throw another cliche, for every problem there is a short, simple solution that's wrong. or in your case, not exactly wrong, just sub-optimal

H. A. N. D.!

about 3 years ago

Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?

hercubus Re:When did an open mind become political death? (727 comments)

... in politics, even a hint of a politician displaying intelligence by changing his stance after new information and it's the political kiss of death...

It seems to me that no one cares about a flip-flop if the issue is technical. If some pol flip-flops over which agency should oversee Big Tobacco, who cares?

I would submit that people only care about flips and flops when the issue is moral and or ideological. Romney is despised because he flip-flopped abortion (moral) and healthcare (ideological). Plus he's a MoMo

And since we live in a country where the majority view nearly everything as ideological, a pol changing a position on almost anything is going to piss somebody off

Now if that's a reasonable explanation of why flip-flopping matters, can we move on to why everything has to be so ideological? As in "No, lowering tax rates really doesn't increase tax revenue - where the fuck is your head at, Newt?" Holding on to the lies that the Sainted Ronald of Reagan mumbled oh so many years ago just has to be ideological since it is so clearly not rational

about 3 years ago

Democratic Super PAC Buys Newtgingrich.com

hercubus Re:Speaking as a non-yank.. (630 comments)

Gingrich - isn't he the one that stole Christmas?

In the original story, the Grinch has a change of heart and gives Christmas back.

In the current story, The Gingrinch keeps everything he gets his filthy paws on, including the Roast Beast (obviously eating it all himself) then he dumps his wife after she finds out he's been having an affair with little Cindy Lou Who.

Your'e a foul one, Mister Gingrinch... You've got the sunny disposition of a seasick crocodile...

more than 3 years ago

In Nuclear Power, Size Matters

hercubus Nothing Doing (230 comments)

As other posters have said, the not-in-my-backyard effect means any proposal along these lines is dead-on-arrival in the United States for the near-term.

However, in the long-term there is likely going to be a "come to Jesus" moment when Texas turns to desert or California burns to the ground, when even hard-core skeptics will realize something has to give. Then maybe a plan like this would be dusted off and put into practice.

Wasn't it W. Churchill who said "You can trust the Americans to do the right thing after they've exhausted all other possibilities." Maybe we'll pull our heads out but it'll be a long time coming.

Things will have to get desperate, such as the situation in Galena Alaska where remoteness means energy costs are crazy high. As long as the dollar costs of coal extraction are low and there's not an undeniable disaster in progress due to climate change then coal-fired will burn on.

more than 3 years ago

MIT Algorithm Predicts Red Light Runners

hercubus Re:Just a matter of time... (348 comments)

With this, its just a matter of time before these "predicted" red light runners are ticketed for their "pre-crime".... We slide further down the slope that Huxley warned us about....

Pre-crime is Philip K Dick as interpreted by Steven Spielberg

Orwell warned about a totalitarian state directing every action and every thought

We are already living in the brave new world Huxley predicted. I'd say we rocketed past Huxley twenty years ago, we are currently Orwellian, and we're one lab-experiment-gone-wrong away from "I Am Legend" (Richard Matheson)

more than 3 years ago

Should Composting Be Mandatory In US Cities?

hercubus Re:Should X be mandatory? (861 comments)

For all non-negative values of X the answer is:


In my perfect libertarian world, whoever gets to the intersection firstest with the mostest guns wins. Stopping or even slowing down would never be mandatory, unless you're one of those bitches driving a Prius.

And shouting "Fire!" in that mythical crowded theatre is okay, but shouting "Firepower!" and following it up with a few rounds into the ceiling is even better.

more than 3 years ago

A Floating Home For Tech Start-ups

hercubus Hey Sandeep (332 comments)

So Sandeep, since the USA is getting its fear and loathing on, and wouldn't really want you or your talent or your genius or your money because you're a dirty furriner, why don't you fly to Canada and I'll put you and Prakash on a boat headed south off the coast of a country that fears you and mistrusts you?

Just think of all the work you'll get done when you're near America yet completely cut off from distractions like scenery, clubs, fast cars and women and fun. Think of how close you'll be with your shipmates when you're with them day after endless, miserable day. Think of the convenience of getting all of your foods out of a can. Think of those quaint old English nautical customs everyone loves: the rum! and the buggery! and the lash! You do miss the English right? I knew you did!

What's that? You're just going to stay in Canada? Their money's actually worth something? You fucking hate Brits but Canada's not so bad? The Canadians aren't rocketing backwards into totalitarianism and ignorance and incompetence? Well mister, obviously you've never been to Toronto....

more than 3 years ago

B&N Pummels Microsoft Patent Claims With Prior Art

hercubus For Those Interested In The Product (332 comments)

The Nook Tablet (unrooted) is slightly more open than the Kindle Fire (unrooted)

Some links:

My takeaway is if you have your gold geek card, get the Fire (less money) and root it. If you're less adventuresome, get the Nook for more openness, but get an micro-SD card or you're stuck with only 1GB of free memory.

more than 3 years ago

Hardware Running Android Fails More Than iPhone, BlackBerry Hardware

hercubus Re:That's becuase iPhone is only 27% of the market (357 comments)

Generally speaking, when your market share increases, so do the amount of devices you have in service. The more devices you have in service, the higher the percentage of failed devices.

The only way that makes sense is if you're making assumptions that you aren't enumerating.

If your device failure rate is say 0.5%, then how would that number change based on the number in service?

To answer, perhaps your production facility and/or procedures are known to degrade over time so the failure rate increases. Or perhaps your devices somehow degrade one another, so the more there are in the field the higher the degradation rate. Or perhaps you're speaking of manufacturers and models, so the more manufacturers there are then the more likely it is that incompetent or malicious manufacturers will enter the market.

Whatever your reasoning, it would be nice if you mentioned it, otherwise your statement looks like a noob confusing a quantity with a rate.

more than 3 years ago

Is the Apple App Store a Casino?

hercubus Re:Tragic losses? (542 comments)

apologies for this but: whoosh

more than 3 years ago

US Student Loans Exceed $1 Trillion

hercubus Re:WTF Slashdot? (917 comments)

Wouldn't most of the Slashdot membership and audience (also known as "nerds") consist of graduates of higher learning? Therefore the story falls under the "news for nerds" criteria

Isn't a trillion dollars fairly significant? Therefore the story falls under the "stuff that matters" criteria

If you're so concerned about slashdot, shouldn't you be in their parking lot protesting them? Note that I think that you expressing your outrage somewhat inappropriately is still pretty much okay, which is how I feel about OWS

And finally, there are many successful countries that directly fund higher education, in other words not forcing college grads to become slaves to loans. Just because America does a bad job of funding its own future does not mean that we have a good system, which is I believe the thrust of your "argument"

more than 3 years ago

NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect

hercubus Re:Not all bad (329 comments)

i agree with the spirit of what you're saying, what we have, loosely, is fascism

however, Romney does not have a good chance, his chances approach zero. if the economy is rebounding around election time, it'll be Obama. if we're in the middle of the double-dip of recession, it'll be President Rick Perry

unless one happens to be LGBT, or a billionaire, life will get worse at approximately the same rate under either option. not sure if it has any legs, but Perry has been blathering about the "injustice" that half of Americans pay no income tax (due to the fact that their income falls below some minimum, roughly 12K i believe). gotta frakking love that

you see, the problem with poor people is they have it too easy. i see all that blubber walking around and i'm thinking "cheap alternative fuels" on the hoof. our soylent crackers may not come from poor people but soon our electricity will. yee hah!

more than 3 years ago

Wikileaks Reveals BitTorrent Lawsuit Background

hercubus Re:I will get moded into oblivion.... (209 comments)

... the content is the property of the creators and it is their right to distribute it in the manner and time of their choosing and no one elses.

Unfortunately it is more complicated than that. There is a cartel that controls distribution for movies. The cartel takes the largest share of any revenues. Giving money to the cartel perpetuates the cartel.

My personal take is that I am loathe to give money to the cartel. Sony, for example, stands between me and the people who really made the movie. I can't give the actual creators any money, as much as I appreciate their work, I can only give Sony money and then some insignificant sliver of that goes to the creative types who are really just Sony employees. Should I care that Sony pretends to be the creator and pretends to be hurt by my actions? I don't care about Sony's rights, I'm appalled anyone would think Sony has any rights.

Note that I consider first-runs in theaters to be fair game. They can charge what they want, keep it in the theaters for as long as they want, etcetera. Movie sales as it is currently situated is what I find so appalling. If I pay for a disc I should own it. Even better, I should pay for a file download and own that, as we now have for music.

Contrast the current movie situation with books. If a book is new and I want it, I pay for it. I do this because I appreciate an author's work and my money pays them for that work and encourages them to do more. A fair percentage of what I give Amazon will really get to the author, so I feel like my actions matter in this case. I'm also fairly persuaded that money for music is more fairly distributed and the "product" is now no longer crippled with DRM. I'd be thrilled if they ever did that for books, it's really the only sticky point for giving money to Amazon.

If the movie cartel would pretend to care about the current social contract and renegotiate it with me and every other consumer, I'd play along. What's a fair price to own a movie? Let's find out. Let's have a market and see what happens. And if I knew there was percentage of my money going to writers, directors, perhaps even actors, I'd be more willing to part with cash. If I owned the "product" I was paying for I'd be happier. What the cartel is actually doing is what cartels always do: thump chests, hurt random people with lawsuits, pay for governments (especially USA) to strong-arm anyone they consider a threat, etcetera.

Fuck them.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion, Updates Air

hercubus Walled Garden (453 comments)

I hope with this version the garden wall is a lot higher; I'm tired of the riffraff poking their noses over the wall and complaining about the wall, the garden, the garden's occupants, their own wallet, their holey pants, etcetera

more than 3 years ago

Bill Clinton Says 'Paint Your Roofs White'

hercubus Not Politically Correct (722 comments)

Shouldn't that be "paint African-American roofs white?"

You'd think our first black president would know better

more than 3 years ago


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