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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

zippthorne Re: Unconstitutinal (370 comments)

Interesting. Has the argument been made that the car doesn't have agency, and therefore can't be held responsible for its actions?

2 days ago

Enthusiast Opts For $2200 Laser Eye Surgery To Enhance Oculus Rift Experience

zippthorne Re:Am I not getting it? (109 comments)

It has fixed focal length? Did they forget to consult with optics engineers? No one in the design group owns a telescope or a pair of binoculars?

about two weeks ago

China Bans iPad, MacBook Pro, Other Apple Products For Government Use

zippthorne Re:You may have been asleep for the past 20 years (115 comments)

Android is a linux distribution put together by Google, with Google extensions and optimizations. Not sure with that has to do with the argument that Microsoft is less open source than Apple and was not "banned" from government procurement, therefore the motivation for China's action is probably not open sourc-y-ness.

about two weeks ago

NFL Fights To Save TV Blackout Rule Despite $9 Billion Revenue

zippthorne Re:Punishes fans? (216 comments)

Sounds like the obvious answer is "Then don't watch it."

This is not necessarily the same thing as not paying for it, though.

But I can see this article isn't about rationality, but about "I want to watch it" and "I want it to be free" and "I want it available under my terms".

An important question is: who paid for the stadium?

I'm not sure the FCC ought to be involved, but any city paying for a stadium ought to negotiate, as part of the deal, that their residents can watch the games on free TV or on at-cost tickets or something until the city gets back its investment. Also, maybe we should stop electing star-struck fanbois who keep giving away the farm any time someone famous comes to town.

about two weeks ago

China Bans iPad, MacBook Pro, Other Apple Products For Government Use

zippthorne Re:Hacking? (115 comments)

While I'm inclined to believe that Apple's products are unlikely to be secure against the level of hacking that a state actor could afford to level, your assertion makes the assumption that China doesn't want to be able to hack the computers of government employees....

about two weeks ago

China Bans iPad, MacBook Pro, Other Apple Products For Government Use

zippthorne Re:"Isolating" by choosing open source? (115 comments)

Not sure how much it makes sense to ban Apple, then, as opposed to Microsoft, considering that at least a portion of Apple products are open source

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

zippthorne Re:Keep It Ready (208 comments)

No, that job is 10% of an IT staffer. It might require 60% of the CEO's time, and that's assuming the CEO even has sufficient knowledge to be that effective.

It might further be the case that the CEO could be using that 60% time more effectively to improve the company than is saved by not having an IT person. Avoiding that opportunity loss would be worth hiring an entire IT person to take care of it, but then you're back in the 90% time wasted position, and while having some slack time is good, that is not going to be a very satisfying job for any professional.

about two weeks ago

Google+ Photos To Be Separated From Google+

zippthorne Re: We called out these failures years ago. (114 comments)

Anyone that hates the Chromebook has probably not watched "regular people" use one.

(bolding mine)

I picked up a c720 new for $175, put a larger SSD in it to dual boot Linux and Chrome OS and its been worth every dime.

... the fact that I can use a sub $200 device to do most of what I need

I'm not sure that someone who changes the OS and storage is representative of "regular people." Or of a sub $200 device, for that matter. How much did the SSD cost?

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

zippthorne Re:Keep It Ready (208 comments)

In general outsourcers won't save you money if your IT department is competently run (outsourcers need to make a profit), but for the 90% of other cases your job is in danger.

What if your needs are small enough that having whole person doing it is 90% more people than you need? An outsourcing company could aggregate several businesses in the same situation, resulting in more efficient use of the staff and equipment.

about three weeks ago

Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

zippthorne Re:Price effects MY decisions! (192 comments)

Price is definitely a big factor in my own reading decisions as well. As a result of price, I typically go on reading "binges" where I will read something, remember how much I like to read things and go through another few things on my list until I notice I'm thinking about buying something for $14 and I just bought three or four other books in the past couple weeks, and do I really need to read this thing right now? Maybe I can wait until it's been out for a little bit and see if my library gets it or the price comes down.

Then my library doesn't have it, and I exhaust all the things on my list that they currently have (or I sign up for a few things and am in a queue that is likely months long...) and stop reading. After a few weeks, I will continue to not read until it occurs to me to check on a book, and maybe that $14 book is down to $9 (still not great, but I haven't read anything in a while (i.e. my budget has recovered), so what the hey)

The middlemen taking a big chunk of the money for distribution made sense when distribution was the difficult and expensive part of the proposition. It hardly makes sense for this to continue when the cost to produce a copy of an ebook is vanishingly small and half of it is the customer's responsibility.

about 1 month ago

French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

zippthorne Re:I wanted to write about this place (424 comments)

Do they do tipping in France. I'm not sure tipping as a concept really makes sense anyway. Why do I pay the restaurant for the food and separately an essentially independent contractor (can I bring my own, then...) to deliver it, and the contractor's fee is completely at my discretion after the fact?

about a month ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

zippthorne Re:Isn't this a good thing? (171 comments)

Not sure about beta, but sometimes I set the user agent to iOS for a cleaner page. You get more control over column width, for instance....

about a month ago

BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

zippthorne Re:Two Ideas (139 comments)

Hmm. And suppose you power it using an ethanol fuel cell? Each fill would last pretty long, I think.

about a month and a half ago

BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

zippthorne Re:Changing the shape is meaningless (139 comments)

Nearly all the smartphones people are using have either Linux or BSD on them. Linux on a phone turns out to have been a great idea, but it's not a new idea.

about a month and a half ago

Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

zippthorne Context is important (353 comments)

It's a cliche on slashdot, where every sixth article has 100 comments using it. There have to be more ways to compare society to a prison than just using the name of single prison design, no matter how effective that design happened to be.

about a month and a half ago

Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day

zippthorne Why all the focus on Recommendations? (86 comments)

Search is abysmal. Forget recommendations and work on improving search. Sometimes I don't need a recommendation because I know what I'm looking for - something in a particular category (or intersection of categories) that I haven't seen yet.

about a month and a half ago

Russia Moves From Summer Time To Standard Time

zippthorne Re:News? (158 comments)

What are they doing reading an article about DST then?

Obligatory Onion link and XKCD link

about a month and a half ago

Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch

zippthorne Re:Agreed. (242 comments)

If the boss is coming to fire you, then the server is no longer critical information. The boss coming to fire you isn't really critical information either, since having it doesn't give you any options anyway - the decision has already been made.

about a month and a half ago


zippthorne hasn't submitted any stories.



Putting your money where your keyboard is.

zippthorne zippthorne writes  |  more than 6 years ago

From my comment here:

Clearly, there are a number of people here and elsewhere that desire for easily duplicatable artistic works to be available for as large a number of people to enjoy as the ease of duplication makes feasable. At the moment, the regular market is not providing this, leading some to resort to black market solutions.

But the problem with the black market solution, and also the "get rid of copyright entirely" solution is that the pendulum swings too far the other way. Removing the ability for people to become professional artists would reduce the amount and quality of such works.

Creative Commons addresses part of this issue by providing a means for artists to donate all or part of their work to the public domain, but their scope and means are not adequate to the problem at hand.

What we really need is an organization (or many) charged with the task of buying works into the public domain. It should not be too difficult to estimate the total monetary value of the various works and thus the total remaining monetary value. If a rights-buying organization offered the remaining monetary value, a rights-holder would be irrational not to sell and realize the remaining value *now* rather than letting it trickle in.

Since there is little profit in this area, such organizations would probably have to be funded mostly by donation, and with limited budgets, would have to carefully choose the works purchased. I propose that one method would be to maximize the total lifetime monetary value of works purchased. Such an organization would eventually snap up the more popular works, but mostly quite a ways into the tail due to limited budgets. Another organization could buy "good" works, for whatever value of good that they choose, etc.

Such organizations could be established right now under the current copyright framework, and if people are as opposed to perpetual copyright as they claim to be, donations should be available in spades. So, where are they?

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