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Comments

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More Evidence That Piracy Can Increase Sales

kiwimate Re:It's about telling you what to buy, not how muc (196 comments)

they'd rather sell ten million of just one or two of those than twenty million albums spread across 200 different albums of varying genres

Well, no kidding. Of course they would. Selling ten million copies each of two albums versus a hundred thousand copies each of 200 albums is far more profitable. For each separate album, you have recording costs, production costs, studio time, perhaps some session musicians to be paid, promotional costs, distribution, supply chain costs, etc., etc., etc. It all adds up.

If you have 200 different albums, that's a lot more expensive (considering all those costs coming in for every single one of those albums) than investing in two different albums. These people, by and large, are in business to make money. If you can make the same amount of money with an outlay of a tenth or a fiftieth or a hundredth of the cost, that's good business and it's far less risky (if you know that one album is very probably going to be a blockbuster).

Look, I'm a musician and I love listening to diverse kinds of music. I also understand that the music business is just that - a business. And that's okay. Everyone who's reading this needs money to live, somehow. At some point, someone made some money - you, or someone who is supporting you. There are a thousand ways to make money, and very few of them are totally noble and selfless. Sorry about that.

This is about the power to tell you what to buy, not to tell you to buy from them

Another thought - perhaps they just want to make lots of money with little risk. Really, what's wrong with that?

Want to make bizarre and experimental music, of interest to perhaps only a small number of people? I applaud you (I've been in bands that did just that). But don't be surprised if a major music label decides they're not going to put in the huge amount of time and effort it takes to distribute and publicize your band, when they know (a) they'll likely lose money, and (b) the mainstream band they already have signed will make an actual profit.

Still don't like the major labels? Then why not start your own open community recording "label". As so many people point out, it is possible to record an album with a comparatively inexpensive home studio. Solicit bands, tell them to send you their music. Be honest with them and if you're going to encourage people to download and share the music for free then tell your bands what your policy is on file sharing, and let them decide if they're okay with that.

Put up a cheap web site to tell people what's going on. Figure out the advertising and distribution somehow - use Twitter, or Slashdot, or anything else that takes your fancy. Distribute using peer-to-peer. I suspect nobody will want to pay full-out hosting charges in this kind of a venture because, you know, bandwidth ain't cheap, even for evil empire record labels. But surely someone can figure that out.

Make it a point of pride that you're going to distribute any kind of music, and get together with people who understand marketing and are willing to volunteer their time. It worked for Linux, because people were passionate, so why wouldn't it work for music?

Seriously, go ahead. Stop wasting energy and time just bleating about how evil the big record labels are, don't even worry about what's going on with the mainstream stuff...put your effort into making a difference. Most people involved in this kind of community effort won't make money doing it, but that's the magic of the Linux community, isn't it? Most people involved in developing Linux have day jobs to pay the bills, and work on Linux because they want to make a difference.

If there are enough people who are passionate enough about this, then you could make it work. Stop complaining, and do something to try and make it different. Carpe diem!

about 10 months ago
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Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

kiwimate Re:Would probably be found (576 comments)

The NSA itself is comprised of criminals. From the agent who accesses data he has no legitimate right to,

Like Edward Snowden?

Face it, whether you approve of what he did or think he was wrong, he committed a crime. Merely admitting "the NSA is a criminal organization" doesn't automatically mean it's wrong. There are many activities that have been carried out that history views as admirable which were nonetheless criminal.

about 10 months ago
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Goldman Suspends 4 Senior Tech Specialists After Trading Glitch

kiwimate Re:Blame the IT guy (140 comments)

I suggest you read the article. It talks about a specific subset of trades that were affected due to a problem resulting from an upgrade. It further discusses the impact in a company which prides itself on risk management.

That would seem to imply that it is thought possible an IT upgrade was performed without adequate backout provisions or due diligence.

about a year ago
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German Government Warns Windows 8 Is an Unacceptable Security Risk

kiwimate Re:Not just Win8 (373 comments)

The advantage of Open Source is that you or anyone else can fix the software if/when security problems are found, whether in the OS, core libraries, network stack, or any Open Source applications.

Theoretically? Totally, no worries. Alpha plus.

In the real world? How often does that occur? How many people are investigating the code to find security problems? How many of those people are sufficiently competent to fix security problems?

There are bugs which remain open for years. There have been reports of security flaws discovered which have been present for years before being detected. If thousands of developers truly were poring over the code, this shouldn't occur.

I won't deny the advantage you state is very real. I will assert that it is an advantage which is rarely exploited in any meaningful fashion.

about a year ago
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Snowden Gave 15,000 Documents to Glenn Greenwald; Obama Cancels Russia Summit

kiwimate Re:"If you won't play MY way, I'M GOING HOME!" (531 comments)

I think you may not be familiar with how international diplomacy works, as well as giving rather too much credit to Russia.

The U.S. was pretty close to cancelling the summit anyway, for a number of reasons. The different viewpoints on Syria were already straining relations, and the Kremlin's treatment of dissidents has also been awkward to say the least. This was merely the tipping point. Russia, for their part, was not unaware of this, and it's quite likely they did this at least in part to provoke exactly this response so the U.S. would look bad.

Russia, in the meantime, is doing what any other nation would do and is looking to what they can get out of Snowden. They made a coldly impersonal decision and determined the political value of giving him temporary asylum was greater than the political value of turning him over to the U.S. They likely don't care about his well-being, and they are certainly not all that fussed about any kind of ideology or they'd have given him permanent asylum.

Temporary asylum is a big carrot to the outside world who want to believe the U.S. is the baddie and Russia is the goodie, and a massive stick to Snowden. They will pump him as much as they can, and then simply refuse to renew his temporary asylum. Alternately, once everyone's forgotten about it all, they may simply let him stay (but not with permanent asylum) as it really doesn't cost them all that much.

Edward Snowden has been reduced to a diplomatic pawn, and Russia has no qualms about that. Don't forget that about a month ago they sentenced Aleksei Navalny for trumped-up embezzlement charges, after he exposed rampant high level corruption in the Kremlin. Perhaps we could be equally outraged by that injustice?

about a year ago
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Obamacare Exchanges Months Behind In Testing IT Data Security

kiwimate Re:What a clusterf**k. (398 comments)

As an immigrant who's lived in the U.S. for over a decade, my impression is that a huge part of the explanation is due to the sheer size and complexity of the country.

The U.S. comprises a third of a billion people. Those people live in states, each of which has its own government, its own legislature, its own political interests, and an enormous interest in preserving autonomy whilst still being a part of the union. In effect, it is quite similar to the European Union but with the benefit of a history (as a union) that goes back an order of magnitude longer.

Populations of those states range from a few hundred thousand (Wyoming, Vermont) to nearly 40 million (California). The state of Texas is geographically so big that it takes 12 hours to drive across it.

There are dozens of stereotypes about Americans - the brash New Yorker, the backwoodsman from Arkansas, the huntin' and fishin' outdoorsman from Pennsylvania, the surfers from California, and so on and so on. The USA is such a big and diverse country that all those stereotypes are true; you just have to travel far enough to find a group that matches each one.

Consider that in the context of the "free speech" idealism. Americans have grown up knowing that they have the right to say anything, no matter how controversial, and they are passionate about exercising that right. The tenor of conversation is passionate and tends to violently expressed disagreement. This in turn has huge impact on the politicians who wish to be re-elected, and one of the biggest and most important factors is the debate of states' rights.

about a year ago
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ASCAP Petitions FCC To Deny Pandora's Purchase of Radio Station

kiwimate Re:Intentions (229 comments)

Well, it'd be pretty easy to verify, as their books are open to the public to examine. For reference, ASCAP claims 88 cents out of every dollar is distributed to artists.

Of course, they are a member run organization, so members could vote for a different board of directors, or even simply not join.

1 year,3 days
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US Lawmakers Want Sanctions On Any Country Taking In Snowden

kiwimate Re:Naming Names (650 comments)

I should switch to decaf because you call politicians names, then proceed to engage in indefensible hyberbole & describe economic sanctions as an act of war?

1 year,7 days
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US Lawmakers Want Sanctions On Any Country Taking In Snowden

kiwimate Re:Naming Names (650 comments)

What on earth are you talking about and however did you get modded up to +5? Economic sanctions may come about in times of war, granted. But to claim they're an act of war is to cheapen and trivialize the horror that is such a conflict as to be named a war.

Economic sanctions can be as minor a thing as import tariffs. They're a part of everyday international business.

People here are getting way too emotional and need to grow up.

1 year,7 days
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Crowdsourced Finnish Copyright Initiative Meets Signature Requirement

kiwimate Re:U.S., cough, international pressure much? (166 comments)

no one wants to control people who create things; nobody is trying to force the people who create things to do anything. they just want to remove the control over people who reproduce what other people have created.

Except that it does control the people who create things. People who create things say "here is my invention/creation/concept, and I want the rules governing use and reproduction of that thing to be this and this and this". The creator can, if she chooses, say "go ahead, copy at will, I welcome it". The creator can also say "nope, I want my creation to be constrained by these rules".

Copyright infringers say "stuff what you want, I'm going to do whatever the heck I like". By their actions, they remove any choice from the creator. Remember, if the creator wants his things to be copied, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that. It would be far more fair for consumers to say "I don't like your choice of restriction by copyright, so I'm going to boycott and not acquire any of your stuff", and let the market forces decide if that business model wins or loses.

But of course that would mean you have to give up something you might want, and we can't have self sacrifice on principle, can we?

1 year,9 days
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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

kiwimate Re:Which one is it? (749 comments)

Be specific. Forgive me - I'm not a U.S. citizen and am not particularly familiar with the constitution.

Do you mean this part?

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Apparently that's the seventh amendment. Think about it.

(Yes, I know it's a side bar. So was your comment.)

about a year ago
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Software-Defined Data Centers: Seeing Through the Hype

kiwimate Re:love slashdot summaries (39 comments)

Yep. I am wondering if I read the same article. Far from being a ringing endorsement of some buzz phrase (which I'd never heard of), it starts off with a warning about falling for hype and then continues to describe what a software defined data center actually is and finishes with some prognostications about what will be.

I think the main point missing is one that any IT manager will see. (Mind you, I labor under the impression that IT managers, who usually do have some kind of business sense, understand that you can't just buy endless quantities of hard disk and servers on the premise that you'll need it some day. Perhaps I've been lucky, but all the managers I've worked with over the past 20 years certainly got that.) Namely, that unless you are using Amazon's services, you don't have endless arrays of hard disk behind the door and the idea of someone idly clicking a button to format TB of disk at a whim comes crashing back to reality when the next business unit who tries the same thing comes knocking to ask where all the free disk space has gone. I.e. same as always, capacity isn't free, performance isn't automatic, and quotas are a necessary evil.

Summary sounds to me like a typical hatchet job aimed at registering lots of page views by giving a deliberately inflammatory starting point that's designed to get /. readers' blood boiling. And clever them (and dumb me), I've fallen for it as soon as I click "submit".

about a year ago
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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

kiwimate Re:Which one is it? (749 comments)

Thanks - I appreciate that you took the time to make a very rational and fair response. I don't know that I have an answer to your question ("If not the press, who exactly would you tell?"), but at least we both recognize not everything is black and white.

about a year ago
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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

kiwimate Re:Which one is it? (749 comments)

He had no reason to reveal that to the press

Except that the American people have a right to know.

The American people have a right to know...what? I guess you mean everything about the government and any security institutions charged with keeping the country safe. Let's go with that.

What about the Iranian people? Do they have a right to know the same things?

Do the Iraqis? Yemeni? IRA?

If yes, how do you propose to keep the country safe in a manner that says "there are bad people out there and part of a government's responsibility is to protect its country, and here's how we're doing it"?

If no, how do you keep things to just the American people who "have a right to know", as you so eloquently put it?

about a year ago
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Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism

kiwimate Re:Did anyone need reminding? (584 comments)

me pointing out how the majority is often wrong is not me saying "I know best, these should be the rules, everyone listen to me because I'm smarter then you"

Of course it is. If you claim the majority is often wrong, you're saying you are smarter the majority of people because you know what's right and they don't. That's what it means to say "these people are wrong in their opinion/belief". You may claim you're not forcing your beliefs on anyone else, but this is just so much semantic stuff.

Seriously, be honest, and keep it simple. Do you think the majority of people are wrong? Then you're saying you're right and you're smarter than them. It's not any more complicated than that.

about a year ago
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Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism

kiwimate Re:Did anyone need reminding? (584 comments)

But of course, you are a long term thinking genius with extraordinary insight. And not just you, but several hundred other random individuals who are also posting on this web site. Yes, we all are superior, more able to take a broad view of things, and hence develop a better, more rational strategy and philosophy.

Sounds to me like someone is pining for an oligarchy. You (and lots of others posting this kind of nonsense) are smugly arrogant and confident that you know best. Isn't that what everyone was whining about with the NSA 24 hours ago, and praising that kid who took it on himself to leak secrets because he knew best?

I think there are a bunch of people here who wouldn't mind in the least if the government continued to act in exactly the same kind of allegedly disgraceful fashion so long as the government was doing things they liked. Then you'd respond to any complaints by saying that the rabble rousers just weren't intellectual enough to understand what you were doing, and that it's for their own good so they just have to put up with it.

Do you not see the hypocrisy and sheer arrogance of this?

about a year ago
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Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism

kiwimate Re:Protect the minority from the majority (584 comments)

Congratulations, you have been modded +4 Insightful for suggesting a dictatorship should be put in place.

about a year ago
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Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism

kiwimate Re:Hi cousins! British 'subject' here... (584 comments)

Just curious, how old are you? Mid-40s or older, i.e. old enough to have lived through and have some awareness of the IRA terrorist extravaganza of the seventies?

about a year ago
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USA Calling For the Extradition of Snowden

kiwimate Re:Someone start a defense fund (955 comments)

So, please, let's hear an argument about why revealing this program is harmful. I'd be interested to hear a good one; because so far I haven't even heard bad ones.

Okay. You'll probably think this is a bad one - I'm not sure I'd disagree - but it's an argument. WSJ reported that this program intercepted two plots in 2009, including a plot to bomb the NY subway. Now that we've got that out of the way...

I believe it's the bigger picture that should be considered. Maybe this leak isn't so harmful, but when you sign on to a job like this you say "I won't tell secrets that I'm not supposed to tell". If you can't be trusted with low level secrets, what stops you from throwing out the big ones? Put another way (and you may not agree with this), but some things should be kept secret. There are political considerations, technical considerations, operational considerations, planning considerations. Those all need to be taken into account. Does that mean the people with 25 years of training in making these kinds of assessments will always get it right? No, but they're an awful lot more likely to do so than some random twenty something year old high school dropout with no knowledge of politics, covert operations, or any other inputs.

I'm bemused by the man's claims that he wanted to do this for the common good (i.e. "I got a conscience"). You don't sign on for a job with a secret security agency whose job involves surveillance and trying to capture bad guys without knowing that, gee, sometimes they're gonna do things that aren't black-and-white "we're the goodies, and those guys are the baddies, no middle zone". Just what sort of jobs did he think the NSA did?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Google Project Didn't Deserve To Die?

kiwimate Re:quit whining over loss of free services (383 comments)

This move isn't going to get me to use G+ any more, either, Google.

Are you sure about that?.

I suppose the moral of this story is it doesn't really matter if you use G+ or not; Google, through some sneaky machinations, still are doing everything they can to artificially inflate the number of "users".

about a year ago

Submissions

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Your personal information is worth $5000/year to G

kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  about 2 years ago

kiwimate (458274) writes "Research finds that the amount of personal information you give to Google when you use its services is worth $5,000 a year. That's based on how much advertisers and market researchers will pay companies like Google for such data — supposedly between $50 and $5,000 per person per year."
Link to Original Source
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California County bans Smart Meter Installations

kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  more than 3 years ago

kiwimate (458274) writes "Marin County in California has passed an ordinance banning the installation of smart meters in unincorporated Marin. Among the reasons given are privacy concerns associated with measuring energy usage data moment by moment and the potential for adverse impact on emergency communication systems used by first responders and amateur radio operators. The ordinance also comments that "the SmartMeters program...could well actually increase total electricity consumption and therefore the carbon footprint", citing "some engineers and energy conservation experts"."
Link to Original Source
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kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kiwimate (458274) writes "A study concludes that people who play car racing games may be more likely to take risks and drive aggressively when driving in real life. According to the article, "The study appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, published by the American Psychological Association"."
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kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kiwimate (458274) writes "The Wii is becoming the focal point of get-togethers for families and friends alike. The article refers to this as "a new genre of parties", although my first thought was it's a new twist on LAN parties. But it's not just for geeks. "Smith, who never enjoyed video games before the Wii, said the console has given him a new way not only to enjoy time with his wife and children, but also to socialize with his friends." Wii — the 2007 version of Monopoly?"

Journals

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kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So here's the deal...Slashdotters simply love to defend the indefensible when it comes to pirating software, music, etc. Pure sophistry, but if you want to play silly games...

Stealing : to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as an habitual or regular practice...

synonyms STEAL, PILFER, FILCH, PURLOIN mean to take from another without right or without detection. STEAL may apply to any surreptitious taking of something and differs from the other terms by commonly applying to intangibles as well as material things

Property : something owned or possessed...b : the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing : OWNERSHIP c : something to which a person or business has a legal title...

Thief : one that steals...

I fully expect vicious rebuttals, most likely quoting the bits I deliberately eschewed from the links I posted. Look, just be honest and admit it for what it is: it's stealing, and you're a thief.

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Why Comcast's CEO is more evil than Bill Gates

kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  more than 10 years ago

With the recent talk about Comcast this and Comcast that, it's probably a pertinent time to remind people that Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, controls 33 1/3% of the vote at any shareholders' meeting. This is despite owning less than 1% of shares. From the above link:

In addition to CMCSA and CMCSK, which trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market, Comcast has a Class B Common Stock, which does not trade publicly and is held entirely by BRCC LLC (a limited liability company controlled by Brian L. Roberts, CEO and President of the Company) and two estate planning trusts of Mr. Roberts. The Class B Common Stock constitutes an undilutable 33 1/3% of the voting power of the total voting power of all classes of the Company's Common Stock.

Comcast, by the way, was started by the Roberts family. Just reward for their hard work? Or a flagrant abuse of power?

Why does Comcast needs Disney? They're already as Mickey Mouse a company as you can get.

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What counts as "Stuff that matters"?

kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Got Tru64 Unix? It's vulnerable (SSH and IPsec) and /. doesn't want you to know about it.

Okay, so we know that complaining about story submissions is just going to get modded down (usually), and, fair enough, it happens, nothing personal. But I'm really curious as to why this one got rejected. Inside of 5 minutes -- that's a pretty quick dismissal.

2004-01-16 19:10:55 Critical HP Tru64 Unix security holes patched (articles,news) (rejected)

If you want to read it, it's here. What's up? HP has had to patch two vulnerabilities -- one in SSH, one in IPsec -- in Tru64 Unix. It's almost refreshing to see a non-Microsoft security nasty, I would've thought -- and it's also rather embarrassing for HP. Oh yeah...and potentially dangerous for anyone running Tru64 Unix.

Maybe someone else submitted it -- we'll see. Or maybe it's just considered not important enough, given the phasing out of Alpha. But given the delight with which any MS security flaws are greeted, I would've hoped this would at least make some sort of ripple. After all, it's not like there's a double standard or anything, is it?

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You say NT machines don't have uptime? Prove it!

kiwimate kiwimate writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Anyone who feels particularly bored and chooses to ramble through my postings sometime will see that I have a wee problem with MS-bashers without cause. Is NT or W2K perfect? Of course not. But to suggest they're impossible to configure to stay up is just plain ludicrous.

Whenever I read some poster suggesting this, I inevitably react with a biting reply. It really does annoy me, I'm afraid, not because these people should know better (the rather poor quality of most of these posts betrays that notion), but because they inevitably get modded up as +4 Informative or +5 Interesting when it's simply unsustainable nonsense.

There are machine shops who run NT 3.5 controllers that have uptimes counted in the years, not a paltry couple of months or so. But how about some hard figures? I currently have a NT 4.0 file server that is literally accessed 24 x 7 x 365 by several hundred people simultaneously, as well as running a licensing dongle for development software. As I write this morning -- 8 September 2003 -- the uptime is:

656 days, 11 hours, 42 minutes, 49 seconds

No, it's not on the Internet and therefore not vulnerable to attacks. Yes, I've performed some maintenance on it (had to change the IP addressing just a few weeks ago). Guess what -- despite popular opinion to the contrary, there are a number of maintenance operations which don't require reboots.

Now then...who wants to talk?

=================================

UPDATE 16 DECEMBER 2003

Yep, still going. Now at:

755 days, 20 hours, 38 minutes, 20 seconds

Not too terriby shabby, is it?

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