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Don't Stop File-Sharing, Says Former Pink Floyd Manager

rpervinking Re:Main problem is revenue (243 comments)

Every Henry Fonda movie is over 25 years old. Copyright doesn't need to last that long in order for the artists to receive some reasonable compensation. The fact that a crazy long copyright period made a bunch of people richer than they would otherwise be is not interesting to me.

From everything I've ever observed about performers, good ones, they'd do it for free if they couldn't get paid to do it. Losing a shot at retiring on the proceeds of one big hit wouldn't stop a single artist. It might slow down the creation of media personalities and blockbuster special-effects extravaganzas, but not artists. Color me unconcerned with the future of civilization.

more than 4 years ago

IBM's Newest Mainframe Is All Linux

rpervinking Re: AS/400 (251 comments)

I still think of it as System 38, but I figure there aren't all that many who do. With the transition from the IMPI to the Power hardware, it's really a different beast from the old System 38. Still, the MI is there, and that's what I came to know and love. I mean, honestly, create dataspace index as an instruction? And my personal favorite, copy bytes with overlap left adjusted with pad. Now that's an instruction.

more than 5 years ago

Where Should We Focus Our Space Efforts?

rpervinking Earth orbit ecology (703 comments)

First, I gotta get off my chest my firm belief that a subject line like "Re:Missing Option:" just doesn't cut it compared to actually saying what the subject is, namely "Earth Orbit". It looked fun at the time, no doubt, but when carried into comments nested 4 deep it's just useless. Those posters could certainly correct the problem in their comments, but you could help by doing a better job in the first place.

Second, that's still too broad. For example, I think of the impossible clutter of dangerous junk that does nothing but grow worse every day. Other people think only of adding more junk to that clutter.

more than 5 years ago

Toyota Claims Woman "Opted In" To Faux Email Stalking

rpervinking Re:So it was okay because it was fake? (667 comments)

If you rob somebody, and anybody sees something that looks anything like a gun, you get charged with armed robbery. Proving that you committed the robbery is the prosecution's problem, but proving that the gun wasn't loaded is yours. If it wasn't a real gun, proving that is your problem. It's called an affirmative defense. IANAL, but this is what I was told, more than once, while serving on a grand jury. The lesson: if you get caught, you better prey that you still have the unloaded plastic toy on you and that the 7-11 videotape is good enough to clearly show that it's the same thing that you were waving around while in the store.

more than 5 years ago

Microsoft, EU Reach Antitrust Accord

rpervinking Re:monopoly abuse (219 comments)

"begs the question".

No, it raises the question. Begging the question is where you include the answer you want buried somewhere in your assumptions. Doing that guarantees that you get the answer you want even though you make it look like it's the result of logical argument.

more than 5 years ago

3 of 4 Charges Against Terry Childs Dropped

rpervinking Re:1M bail and 1yr in jail...? (189 comments)

What a crock. You and I both know that the people that Childs met on July 9th were authorized to receive those passwords. To pretend that between then and when he was arrested on July 12th he had no opportunity to meet with anyone that he could identify as authorized to receive those passwords is farce. To maintain that, once in jail, he had no idea that maybe the people he was meeting were who they were claiming to be is either paranoid fantasy or, what we both know it to be, a simple lie.

He had some axe to grind, he ground it, he got to make a grandstand play by dragging the mayor into a personal meeting with him. Congratulations. He got what he wanted. He continues to reap what he sowed. Boo hoo.

more than 5 years ago

Jammie Thomas Moves To Strike RIAA $1.92M Verdict

rpervinking Re: what they're supposed to do (392 comments)

First of all, the conduct being referred to regarding reprehensibility is supposed to be the action for which she is being sued, not her subsequent actions during the course of the trial. That's a separate matter. Not in the eyes of a jury, I'm sure, but still.

Second, you made the common mistake when you used the word "stolen", even in quotes. That's part of the RIAA rhetoric, not reality.

Third, what they're supposed to do is think about the consequences of her actions and their own.

Everything I've read and heard seems to indicate that the effect on the RIAA of her actions were basically positive, not negative. To say that what she did is "use without compensation" is misguidedly shortsighted. The term I like to use is "free advertising". That's how many bands feel about it, like Nine Inch Nails and Wilco, even including Metallica (until they got rich; it's a whole story but they really did at first like the free sharing of their music and it's part of how they got famous).

Then there are the consequences of the RIAA's own actions. Scattershot law suits and bizarrely aggressive legal manuevering in various cases has made any number of people vow never to buy another CD, ever. I know I've seen a number of such comments here on slashdot. I'm guessing quite a few other people feel much the same way.

From what I've seen, what they've done has damaged the music industry and what they should do is stop sueing customers who are actually helping the business. They should then sit back and enjoy the benefits of a business that grows and blossoms in ways that they didn't expect.

more than 5 years ago

Anonymous Newspaper Commenters Subpoenaed In Tax Case

rpervinking Re:Face value (394 comments)

Please cite chapter and verse on this. Specifically the part where it talks about the value of compensation passing from one person to another when the compensation is a form whose market value is HIGHER than the face value of the coin. After all, it's easy enough to believe you if you were claiming that the IRS would be required to accept 20 gold coins each stamped "Five Dollars" in payment of your $100 tax bill. No change, thanks. My guess is that you'd better show up with a lawyer to help keep you out of the loony bin if you tried that stunt, because they'd think you were crazy to overpay by that much. But I simply don't believe that the requirement is that the government is required to take face value as the MAXIMUM value represented by compensation in this form. If you can quote chapter and verse to that effect, and also, preferably, point to professional credentials in this field, fine.

more than 5 years ago

Homeland Security To Scan Citizens Exiting US

rpervinking As a famous guerilla leader once said... (676 comments)

Ben Franklin was part of a terrorist organization? Gee, not that I'm aware of. I would have said they were more like a guerilla organization. Or was your use of that particular word just flame bait?

more than 5 years ago

Columnist Fired For Reviewing Pirated Movie

rpervinking previews aren't reviewed (466 comments)

Movies (and plays) are routinely shown to (performed for) preview audiences. Such showings are never reviewed. Such a review would be stupid; it wouldn't be based on the final product to be offered to the public. The same goes for preproduction versions of hardware, for the same reason. Real critics don't sneak into previews hoping to scoop their competitors; it would just brand them as lame fanboys. I won't try to speak to the needs of Fox News, but a real news organization would have no use for such a person.

more than 5 years ago

Texas Judge Orders Identification of Topix Trolls

rpervinking Re:Seems like the correct procedure (344 comments)

This is a little tricky. Criminal courts do not find someone to be absolutely guilty or absolutely innocent; they find them to be guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, or not. Also, civil courts have a different standard based on the preponderance of the evidence. The same statement (e.g. "OJ Simpson killed Ronald Goldman") could have different truth values in different settings. Thus, an acquittal in a criminal case does not make the statement "OJ Simpson killed Ronald Goldman" false in a civil court, and so it's not, in this case anyway, libel.

more than 5 years ago

6 Pennsylvania Teens Face Child Porn Charges For Pics of Selves

rpervinking Re:This is going to raise a lot of legal questions (1044 comments)

Gee. I thought school teachers and officials acted in loco parentis. Don't parents have the right to examine this sort of thing? Most notably? Really? Compared to concern about criminalization of the acts performed by these kids? Wow.

about 6 years ago

Fire Your IT Boss

rpervinking Managers must evaluate projects and people (509 comments)

I don't agree with the details expressed in the article, but it inspires the following thoughts. There are companies where managers are not expected to understand the technical aspects of the work done by people who report to them. I have myself seen such and have heard of such managers in the company where I work. This leads to 2 serious problems: they can't tell when something needs to be done (selling your project to upper management), and they can't tell when people are doing a good job (getting you a raise). These managers rely, instead, on what others tell them. When they happen to rely on good technical people, this works out sorta OK (modulo errors in translation). When they rely on incompetent technical people, this works out very badly (either for you, the company, or both). And since they cannot tell good from bad, when it comes to technical work, their criteria for choosing who to rely on are not technically sound. That sorta thing can spiral downward very quickly.

more than 6 years ago


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