I love when Techdirt covers Second Life and other "Virtual Worlds."
I build in Second Life (SL). I have even scripted a little. I do it as a form of entertainment. I've been told the things I make can make money, but I've been hesitant to do so. I make Star Trek-inspired things for a Star Trek sim and if I earned money doing so I might end up pissing off Paramount. Half of everything you see in Second Life is copied from something in the real world, or at least from entertainment or cultural artifacts present in the real world. Its part of SL's charm.
I've never been seen or heard of these breeding virtual animals but I hope they breed virtually, and not quite so graphically.
After reading the filed papers, I actually agree with Amaretto's requests. I personally think that Ozimals engaged in some shady business practices here, and unless Amaretto Ranch Breedables improperly used code that was improperly attained from Ozimals or perhaps a contracted scripter, then Ozimals should be penalized, not Second Life.
@BBT What does LASER stand for again? They sure look like they're focused.
I didn't think about the gloves not being changed out. That can make it worse. We plan to fly across the country early next year and I would hate to have anyone on my family (ranging in ages from newborn to 34) get sick because TSA was feeling us up and not changing their gloves out.
But they don't pat you down without your clothes on, do they? They shouldn't be allowed to touch you nude unless they are at least SUPERVISED by licensed medical professionals. (and I don't mean an on call duty nurse, I mean that the licensed medical professional should be WATCHING if not conducting)
My ex wife lives in the Atlanta area. I live in Arizona. I have to take my kids to see her sometimes so she's not the only one traveling, and I certainly don't want my family exposed to non-hygienic procedures. I almost punched the last doctor who performed a prostate exam when I was getting out of the Army because I had just endured one five weeks earlier and he felt that he, "...wouldn't be doing job if he let go without one." He was far less gentle than the previous doctor and I know the perv did it to violate me. But, alas, I was in the Army and I would have gone to jail and very potentially lost my VA benefits had I assaulted him, even though he assaulted me first.
I know, TMI, but it serves to illustrate my point that even though people are licensed and trained to do the right thing doesn't mean that they can be trusted to do so. At least this urologist had clean gloves and warmed lube. What if the TSA Agent wants to see what I have hidden in my cavities? What about my few-weeks-postpartum wife, newborn son, 4-year-old son, or 11-year-old daughter?
Recording, even filming, the TSA or any other law enforcement agency CANNOT be illegal. Law enforcement personnel MUST be accountable for their actions. Forgive this mostly white guy for saying it, but, "Rodney King, what?"
...but this certainly appears to be a hugely exaggerated case of, 'when in doubt, handle as classified.'
If releasing the actual numbers of attacks or insurgency probes foiled by TSA is, truly a case of 'exceptionally grave danger...' in the opinion of anyone at NSA or any other agency, then the individuals overseeing those programs REALLY need a reality check.
The procedures by which we travelers are screened aren't classified, and the technology behind the backscatterers aren't to my knowledge classified, and neither are the resulting images, apparently, but whether or not they are doing the job is? Get real.
How is it conceivable that small containers of liquid, nail clippers, pocket knives, and the like really pose a threat? In 2005, my then five-year-old, daughter was mortified when they took a thirty-year-old teddy bear from her to scan it for bomb residue. Granted, he has visible scars and stitching, but she didn't want to part with it. We got it back after a few minutes, but she wouldn't let it out of her grasp for a week after that incident. I can almost justify him as a covering for a weapon, since cadavers have been used to smuggle drugs and weapons before, but these other items can't be any more dangerous than the things which ARE let on the plane.
Mt wife and I were discussing how to get around these procedures, and we discussed one sure-fire way. Get elected. That's right, your lawmakers responsible for inflicting this crap upon you are exempt, apparently.
So who's more corrupt? A religious fundamentalist, a politician, or a lawyer?
Does anyone see their kids growing up, going to the grocery store, and getting irate with the manager because they can't find, "apel joose?" Have these people seriously NOT seen Idiocracy? I hope they all get sick and then get lost on the way to the, "St. God's Hospi-
l" next door because their smartphone GPS is malfunctioning.
"...but no one should have to EVER put up with doing something that they find is morally wrong and unconstitutional, even if they are ordered to do so."
That's actually when its acceptable for a Service Member, even required of them, to speak up and disobey. If the TSA Agents believe themselves to be serving their country in the same manner as any member of the Armed Forces, then they have an obligation to stand up and protest.
Each time I took MY oath, I was sworn to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and also to obey the LAWFUL orders of those appointed over me. since when is something unconstitutional truly lawful?
THAT being said, where in the US Constitution is groping not allowed? Hell, require everyone who has the right to bear arms do so on a plane and ban all alcohol onboard or in the terminals.
We're never going to please everyone and threats are always going to be easier to conceal and will always require MORE invasive/intrusive searches. Its a never ending downward spiral.
I, for one, don't enjoy getting groped, BUT, I have tolerated it. It really doesn't bother me that much. It's not like TSA is checking my prostate. That takes day or so to get over.
I don't particularly want to be photographed or video recorded nude, either.
Do I think a box cutter or a nail clipper is a real threat on an airborne plane? No, that's not very practical. I can probably do more damage with my cane than some jackass with a box cutter.
The REAL problem is fear. People in America fear discomfort and disfiguration more than pain or death. The same is probably true elsewhere, but I haven't seen behavior to this extent while living/visiting in Germany, Italy, France, or Korea.
Twenty years ago I had the chance to meet a very beautiful young woman in high school who had been in a car accident and had hundreds of tiny scars all over her face. She had absolutely zero confidence in herself and her appearance. She was, at least during our short acquaintance, also a very nice girl with a lot of talent in many areas. But in the time that I knew her, she could not accept that despite these tiny blemishes she was a true beauty inside and out.
Those of us who travel the airways are so afraid of a little discomfort, we'd rather risk death over discomfort. We've created a culture in which death is more favorable than living with consequences and the fear is worse than reality.
I don't mean to say that it should be allowable that some agents should give a heads-up on a 'hottie' or even feel comfortable taking advantage of someone in the name of security. Those agents should be ridiculed in front of their passengers by requiring them to stand in the scanners while being groped and the passengers should be able to record the act and put it up on Youtube.
But if it gets me through the security terminal faster, grope me nude, on camera, any day of the year. I've been groped, and I've had to conduct these searches on my fellow soldiers for training overseas, and its really not that big a deal.
So this squatter, like many others, is doing something that I think should be illegal. He knew that by registering the domain, he had a chance to sell it to Khan at a later date. Many of us where I work joke that we wish we'd done this 'way back when' people were making money this way and corporations were paying large sums for them. But I think that if I had a manuscript of a book I wanted to publish and I sent it in to a publisher, but someone along the way liked my title and published a work using that same title, I could be in a world of hurt. I know its apples and oranges, but my point is that squatters KNOW that they are infringing, at least morally.
I imagine that by restricting the 'knowledge' allowable for use in this particular history class the instructor is able to:
1) limit the number of answers that are inconsistent with the established curriculum
2) create elitist drones who will vehemently enforce his personal opinions on history in the future
3) and once the semester or school year is over, tell everyone that this was all an experiment to show them that by restricting access to information just how wrong an history education can be
4) write about it in his doctoral friggin' thesis. Oh, wait, wouldn't this ALSO be an example of corruption in government? I mean, teachers are representatives of State Government, aren't they? But then again, Virginia isn't a state. Its a "Commonwealth" and so they can get around some of those rules the majority of the states have to follow.
I think you're right, but it depends on the motive. Google seems to want to increase competition here, rather than just buy out the prime.
Government contract ethics is a difficult situation to navigate. The government and the companies bidding for contracts are always finding ethical dilemmas in the process and continually revising policies. Guess which costs more, between revising policies and going with what has been done for at least a year.
Personally, I would like to see the government use more Google services. I know that in some ways, they already do.
But to answer the question as to how its illegal to not consider some companies for certain contracts, the government does have some policies that exclude anyone but Microsoft, but also others that promise a fair look at all companies bidding. When it comes to certain jobs that the government has to contract out, much of the time, the government has to also know that the company and its employees are US Citizens who possess Security Clearances; especially with regard to the Department of Defense contacts for software and software maintenance.
That being said, when I was in the Army, it was almost impossible to use anything that wasn't Microsoft, Adobe, or Symantec (or Norton) on a government computer. When I did get approval for Netscape or Firefox, it would only last until they pushed an update and removed my software using blanket policies.
Funny story; in 2003 my unit bought Macromedia (before Adobe acquired them) Dreamweaver for me to maintain the unit's website and then told me I had to use FrontPage and my IT guys 'acquired' the copy of Dreamweaver from my desk while I was out to lunch.
I love Star Trek. I am a Trekkie. I have never been to a convention but I have considered it. I play the games, read the books, write fan fiction.
BUT those philosophies have NO basis in American government. We are NOT Communist. In the Star Trek universe, especially in the time of ST II and III, the United Federation of Planets was a vast empire on the verge of destruction (wasn't the Federation ALWAYS in danger?) and all currency had been outlawed LONG ago. Those two factors alone disqualify any philosophy that is contradictory to the Capitalist Empire which is the United States of America.
I think people need to stop clogging our judicial system complaining about stupid crap that has so little to do with an actual decision to purchase goods or services from a company with poor management and poor advertising.
If you're successful, people will complain. If no one complains, then you have failed to make an impact and you should close up shop.
Yeah, sure, but did the president REALLY love his wife, or was this a convenient way to have her assassinated along with the rest of NYC?
The technology that the government uses is built by contractors who charge way too much for the services provided, in some cases. I know, because when I was a soldier, I had to modify what some of these companies sold us, in order to make it work as advertised. Not all government contractors are bad, and I know at least one company that is just as frustrated. As a soldier, I worked with some of those employees who put in LONG, unpaid hours right alongside me to help fix what another company sold to the Army.
And to answer the question of, "Why didn't they think of this..." I say that the decision-makers behind this may well have thought of it. That's why there were backups and contingency plans. In everything you do, whether you realize it or not, you probably conduct a risk assessment. The likelihood of this sort of failure was probably so slim that it was deemed an acceptable risk.
Have any of you seen Failsafe? My college "Ethics in the Computer Age" professor showed us the original and to put it simply, the opposite happened. After the launch against Russia, the one component that caused the single point of failure meant we couldn't stop an unprovoked assail against the Russians. The pres then nuked NYC and his wife, which should have actually been the real story. :D
I lived in Korea twice, for 5 years between the two tours, and the latter three years were from late 2005 to late 2008. You can't go shopping ANYWHERE in Seoul or anywhere near a US Military installation without seeing tents or carts full of pirated DVDs, CDs, software, etc. They don't even bother to label the DVDs, half the time, and you can see that they copied the original DVD jacket on a bubblejet printer.
Granted, there are PLENTY of reputable places to buy these things, but when you see a cart outside the mall with the largest movie theater in town and all the movies that are still playing in theaters on a DVD you can buy for KW5,000
(something in the neighborhood of $3.50 US at the time) you wonder why you would pay $30 for a couple to see a movie and buy snacks when you can walk 3 blocks to the house and pop it in any DVD player because it just happens to be region free.
Those 31 users were PROBABLY just the really big downloaders, or perhaps anyone who could have been targeted for a political agenda. Strikes happen in several places, almost every weekend. Koreans will rally and strike if a government official's aide even farts in the wrong direction.
Speaking of Korea and farts, if you're ever there, don't accept Room 9. Its a Korean joke. The Korean word for room is "pbang" and 9 is "gu." There may be variants of the Romanization that opt for p or b rather than both, and sometime k for g, but anyway, when you add those two words together, "pbang-gu," they mean fart.
My barracks room as a young soldier was room 9 and guess what the KATUSA's always said about me and my room?
...and when we had something that was kept on a person, we checked several times daily. When we had stuff in safes, we checked monthly, or more frequently. We never had an incident or a loss of information (or loss of custody of information) and the guys at the White House are supposed to be following MORE STRINGENT regulations, especially for something as potentially devastating as this.
One thing's for sure, if this person who allegedly lost the codes has any sort of security clearance anymore, we're all doomed.
So, I wonder how many corporate lawyers have the legal right to conduct business like this without the direct approval of the CEO. I wonder how many of them trade stocks in competitors and pull these stunts to affect the prices they buy and sell at.
I'm sure that the judges presiding over these cases are stockholders too.