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Comment Re:That's, for better or worse, for a court to dec (Score 3, Informative) 215

Samsung is, for the moment ay least, a multi-billion dollar company with huge pockets. Win or lose the cost of this type of court case is a blip in their budget. However for the defendant the financial risk is huge: he could lose his life savings on a case like this.

Isn't Youtube the defendant here? Google could step in here.

Nope, as long as YouTube abides by the terms of the DMCA, they are shielded from liability. This means they must take down the video when they receive a copyright claim, but must reinstate the video if the author files a counter claim. At that point, Samsung's recourse would be to sue the author.

Comment Re:Interesting, Dave Chappelle. (Score 1) 550

...fans able to disseminate and see live shows via videotape

Does he really think there's little reels of tape inside smartphones?

Maybe like one of those 1960's mainframes, but smaller...

I also "tape" shows on the DVR. It's a colloquialism. Just like how shows are "filmed" in front of a live audience, even though hardly anyone uses film anymore. Musicians still release "records" even though many of them will never press any vinyl.

Comment Re:Basic Ethics and the Law (Score 1) 365

I think the point is that there are unethical people and lawbreakers. If the car cannot handle them correctly by identifying that the danger they face is one they created by their own incorrect behavior, then it is deficient.

In other words, humans have an implicit understanding that "person jumping out in front of traffic" and "pedestrian minding their own business who is in the path of an accident" are in two vastly different ethical positions. Colloquially, "even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.â

There's no way a human is doing that moral calculus in the instant they have to make a decision when someone leaps in front of their car either. You are going to act instinctively, which for most people probably means standing on the brake with both feet. Any moral justification for your action is just going to be a post hoc rationalization. Which is also exactly what the automation will do as well (come to a precipitous stop, not the rationalizing).

The safest thing to do in such a situation is to not be driving too fast in the first place. This is where I think automated systems will really outshine people - they have an inexhaustible supply of patience and won't exceed a speed at which they can adequately respond to unexpected events. If you are going 40mph down a residential road lined with parked cars, you've created a situation where some accidents are unavoidable, yet I see people drive like that all the time.

Comment Re:USPS (Score 1) 239

The letter carrier will come, forget to bring the package (or maybe just not feel like delivering it?), and lie and send a "delivery attempted" update. MY wife has watched to letter carrier come and go, never approach the front door, and 10 minutes later the SMS notification pops up on our phones. A former roommate of mine once found a letter containing a check she had mailed in a pile of scattered mail in the park. I guess the carrier was feeling a little overburdened that day?

I personally love UPS. I've never had a serious issue with them in 15 years of ordering stuff from Amazon. I know other people here have huge problems with them and that's fine. I think the point is that how good your service is depends hugely on how well run your shipper's local hub is run. My local post office is the pits, while my local UPS carriers are great. This is why Amazon should let prime members set carrier preferences. My opinion of Amazon has plummeted since they started using USPS in my area. I'd never received a package through USPS from them before last year and would like to never again.

Comment Re:Gotta love brutal honesty. (Score 1) 474

Exactly right. If we applied the same "but it's got to be safe" hand waving that we do today to historical ventures, we'd still be sitting in Europe wondering about crossing the ocean in sail powered craft and dreaming of flying craft - and the regulations we'd have to slap on them.

I'm of the opinion that we never should have climbed down from the trees in the first place.

Comment Re:Fools (Score 1) 192

I'm waiting to see a self driving car navigate across Boston during a nor'easter while avoiding all the road cones and lawn chairs strewn around the street. Not to mention navigating around plows, traffic cops, potholes, double-parked cars, dealing with disabled street lights, no visible road markings, pedestrians walking down the middle of the street due to inaccessible sidewalks, and the occasional parade of wild turkeys. All of which I've seen on my daily commute.

It's nice that someone is finally running a test in a location with weather. So far it seems like most of these vehicles are just designed for puttering around southern California or the Nevada desert.

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 128

I see a lot of posts about "why".

Well the reason is that if the US doesn't give up control, countries have been threatening with building their own internet infrastructure to run in parallel.

If these countries (Brazil, Russia, etc) did create a "second internet", then Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, would all be shut off from their customers in those regions.

I get all of that, but why does that make it a good idea to then cede control of ICANN to an international body and give countries such as China an official role in internet governance globally? Right now these authoritarian regimes are limited to just fucking up their own national networks, why give them the opportunity to fuck things up globally?

Granted things are never going to go back to "the good old days" of the mid 90's in terms of laissez faire internet self-governance, but I've yet to see a convincing explanation of how this move will mitigate anti-freedom policies or the fracturing of the internet into national islands. There are going to be countries that give the finger to the international community and erect national information barriers no matter what we do.

Comment Re:Why the hurry? (Score 1) 128

These are domain names. It's like the Yellow Pages of the Internet. How does "censoring" a domain name prevent a particular form of expression?

How many IP addresses for how many services do you suppose the average internet user has committed to memory? I would hazard that number is 0. When a service is delisted from DNS, it might as well not exist for most people. While technically removing a DNS entry is like being delisted in the yellow pages in that the server still exists and can be accessed by those who know its address, practically a name-less server is more like a radio station that has been taken off the air. Or more precisely, it's as if the government had the ability to magically remove 108fm from everyone's radio dial: the station might be broadcasting, but it's impossible for 99.9% of the population to tune in anymore because they don't know how to build a radio.

Comment Re:Laws should be changed... (Score 1) 241

If a company has a legit takedown notice for 10,000 items, 5 of which are wrong, it is really fair to fine them $750,000 despite having an accuracy rate of 99.95%? If it were 90% (which it probably is) then it is a problem.

Yes. When dealing in large numbers, it's more important to limit the rate of unintentional harm, not less. For example, a cure that has a fatal side effect 0.05% of the time might be acceptable if the disease was very rare and only administered to 10 people a year, but it would be totally unacceptable in a vaccine that was administered to 100,000.

For the large company, $750k is a drop in the bucket, but for one of those 5 people, you may have seriously harmed their livelihood. If the copyright violation is serious enough to issue a take down, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that them to spend $10-30 in intern or paralegal time to verify the claim is legit instead of feeding everything through a script with no human verification.

Comment Re:Who gives a flying f*ck (Score 1) 208

I've got gmail, Feedly, a couple of /. tabs, and my Youtube subscriptions open right now. CPU usage is hovering between 0.02% and 0.8%. Occasionally it spikes all the way up to 2.5% -- I assume this is when either Feedly or Gmail auto-refreshes in the background. I've seen FF shit the bed before, and it definitely has some problems, but just having a few static tabs open shouldn't be tanking your CPU.

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