bignumone's Techdirt Profile


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  • Feb 10, 2010 @ 03:58pm

    Re: open garage door, open curtains

    These are poor analogies. A more accurate example would be if I were to leave my garage open with a thin curtain protecting the contents from view. Or putting up shears (only) on the outside of my house.
    People walking by could look in, but they would have to take action first. Pulling aside the analogous curtains, or actually looking up my SSID and linking to my network.
    Like the contents of my house or my garage, it is no one's concern what I am doing on the web. Even if my actions are illegal, unless the intruders are police with a warrant, they may not pull aside the curtains and look inside.

  • Jul 18, 2009 @ 05:49am

    I had to comment

    I personally love reading some of the comments. But I just can't sift through hundreds of comments to get to the 'gems'. I saw a site that used a rating system that people could vote on good/bad comments. My suggestion would be to have a vote on whether the comment was pertinent to the topic of the article that automatically moves the lowest rated comments to the end.
    That is my "stupid comment". I'll shut up now.

  • Jul 18, 2009 @ 05:35am

    I usually support copyright law

    But it seems to me this "artist" sold his rights. If the owner of the piece wants to sue, that is a different story. But putting it out for public display is much like walking in public nude. People are going to see it all, and more than likely going to take pictures and show them around.
    What is the point of art, after all? If it is to make a huge profit, I am not sure it is art anymore. Or maybe it is not just art, anyhow, but becomes a product like a toy, car, or something else mass-produced.
    The artist should think of it as free advertising.

  • Jan 02, 2009 @ 07:01am

    A fourth branch has merit, and danger!

    As an idea, having a BRANCH of government with people contributing ideas for laws has merit.
    As long as the house of representatives and senate balance it, and technology is available to allow all access to vote on ideas, and the presidency is still in place as a third check on all ideas passed, it could work. After all, the house and senate don't always seem to represent what we want, do they? This "people's voice" could be skipped for laws passed by the other branches. But it would give us the opportunity to "strongly suggest" how we would like our country run. The other branches, being elected, would think twice before totally ignoring the people's voice.
    On the other hand, as was mentioned by others, this could also lead to people voting themselves welfare at the expense of others. Or it could lead to organizations such as Unions or very large businesses "high jacking" our government. I live in a city where the poor (up to 2X the poverty level) voted themselves a health plan at the expense of property owners. What am I supposed to do, sell my house so I don't have to pay for their health plan? It can happen the other way as well. What if GM said they needed billions of dollars in federal aid or they will lay off every worker...and the unions bought into it and all workers voted for it? Essentially taxing all of us to keep bad business practices afloat.
    Wait a minute, that is already happening!

  • Aug 30, 2008 @ 08:13am


    Yet another company that thinks it has the right to put things on our computers with-out permission or telling us, and thinks it has the right to look at where we are surfing.

    I don't think so!

  • Aug 10, 2008 @ 06:17am

    Another reason why copyright is good!

    I have a bunch of examples as to how copyrighting can be good. Because it is the best way to illustrate it, I will do this by example.
    Harry Potter was a pretty good series of books/movies. The characters were fun, the plot fairly compelling, and the story was unique and original. It was not immediately as popular as you see today, but took some time and effort to develop a following.
    After the popularity of the series was out of control, suddenly every book and TV show had something to do with schools for witches and wizards (most were pretty much garbage). But you still knew the original by the characters and the names of the creatures and the school.
    I had heard, even, that in Japan the copyright was violated and they had written in junk such as Harry and Hermione having sex. For a moment, "we're all the creative class dept.", imagine your most favorite creations being perverted like that. Also imagine you are the audience of that creation. Imagine how confused you could become by all the "Harry Potter" look-alike books that are really not up to your standards. (Do you really believe that people will not try to copy your creation to get money? Striking while the iron is hot?) Now your livelihood is put at stake because someone has in effect stolen your creation. Would it be worth putting years of effort creating something like that if, as it becomes popular, someone could just come in and ruin the whole concept. Poisoning the well for people to read the stories in the future.
    You know, creativity is more than spewing out crap. It is coming up with new and original ideas. Real creativity is singular, it is not something that can really be copied. Have you noticed how few really different movies there are? The movie makers have even gone to reworking old ideas. You really only get a few truly original movie ideas in a decade.
    Being really creative is hard. I can't do it. When I try, I find I am just rehashing someone else's idea.
    I am not sure how far you are talking about restricting copyrights, maybe some restrictions would be good. But another of my list of reason copyrights (and patents) can be good is the benefit to the consumer.

  • Jul 31, 2008 @ 06:08am

    Intellectual property

    In my opinion, this is not so much showing the failings of intellectual property rights, as much as people not recognizing a good thing.
    n my opinion, we need to revamp some IP laws, yes. But I think the teacher was technically wrong here. He should just be happy with the rewards he reaped while the author was alive.
    The lesson we can all learn is that we should think about how we conduct our business. Using long run thinking for what we expect to get out of a relationship of any kind.

  • Jun 09, 2008 @ 05:19am

    I have heard...

    ...of a town where they eliminated most of the red lights. And traffic accidents decreased. Granted, it would not work as well in a big city, but I live in a small town that has red lights every few hundred yards. They seem to have no timing and you will stop regardless of your speed.
    And guess what, people speed to try to get through them, many running the light.
    This just seems so counter productive to me.

  • Jun 09, 2008 @ 04:53am

    Starbucks seems to be trying

    I think Starbucks is trying to become better. But I am not sure why they fought free (or even low cost) wifi for so long. And to become tied to one carrier seems really backward in today's business environment.
    It sounds to me like T-Mobile had it good for a very long time and is now bitter it is losing that position. And the idea that T-Mobile would not do the best they could for Starbucks sounds like bridge burning to me.
    Finally, I heard that the AT&T "free" wifi is not that great of a deal either, just better than T-Mobile "pay as you play".
    Keep trying, Starbucks. You may get it right if you do.

  • Nov 04, 2007 @ 03:27am

    Good for UO, bad for grammer Nazi(s)

    I have wondered for a while when people were going to tell our government we are not in the business of proving RIAA cases. I don’t want to pay taxes for that, and I don’t think it is an appropriate way for a University to be forced to use its resources! I don’t think it is OK for students to steal music, but I believe it is up to the music industry to figure out how to stop it or prosecute an investigation and take it to court.
    As for the grammer Nazi, I will come out and say what so many people are dancing around with sarcasm. I like to use proper English, but it is friggen’ annoying when someone I don’t know issues an unsolicited correction! You are right, and the author might actually appreciate it.
    But please, don’t help ME! I don’t want your help! Thank you if you offered.

  • Sep 09, 2007 @ 06:48am

    Re: recording "artists" income

    I always wondered about this.
    Are you sure they make a majority from concerts and such? It makes some of my points less valid if that is true. Although I don't think totally invalid.

    I agree with your point about paying several times over for license to use the product. I think that is why they are now coming out with "HD DVDs" and other new media. To force people to buy all those products again eventually. AND I won't be able to sell them as it will be on the old media!

  • Sep 09, 2007 @ 06:41am

    Re: Thoughts on podcasts

    I agree. I LOVE podcasts.
    I owned a 20 gig iPod and even with the 3 hours or more of podcasts I listen to daily (long commute + working out) AND my favorite CDs I still only used a little over 2 gig of it.
    I would like to see podcasters come up with a monitizing method that does not take money directly from my pocket. I will listen to commercials and click relevant links if they want me too.
    That would really rub RIAA noses in the dog poo so to speak.

  • Sep 09, 2007 @ 06:35am

    Re: It's actually a great idea

    Why wouldn't they contract with sandisk for USB thumb drives loaded with songs?
    They could put any DRM on they wanted, the drives cost about $15 or less now for 2 gig (sometimes free, they use them as loss leaders all the time). Load them up with music, and sell them. You would get the same results.
    Personally, I don't see a market for it, but I have been wrong before as I am a cheap SOB.
    I am all for not buying any of the music that is loaded with DRM or is over priced.

  • Sep 09, 2007 @ 06:30am

    Why they hold on to the old ways

    What does the recording "artist" (really a "business person") make per sale on a song? I think it is generous to say it is $0.05....gross. I don't know the break-down exactly, but I also think it is safe to say the record companies NET out much more than that (3 to 5 times), particularly if it is sold electronically.
    So when you say Britney Spears owns three mansions and 20 cars and made $34 million last year, what does that mean the recording company NET?
    In 1992 was sold to EMI for $1 billion. You don't pay that for a company not making a good fraction of that annually and has the potential for much more.
    They don't want to change because they are making really, really, really big money off from the system the way it is. I submit to you the idea that they would still make much of that at $1 a track electronically. They just want more and more and more. It is greed and capitalism.
    As long as we pay it, they will continually raise the prices. The problem is, they don't want to lower the prices and take a hit to their excessive lifestyles. That includes many of these "artists". So I ask, how much is too much? Stop buying their garbage and they will change or go away!

  • Sep 08, 2007 @ 10:52am

    To people supporting H1-B

    Do any of you supporting bringing in high tech workers indiscriminately even work in any tech fields? Because you sure don't sound like it.
    I have been working in a biotech field for 25 years. It is well know that upper level management looks for foreign workers they can pay a much lower wage. I have seen it countless times, and they are shameless. These workers may or may not be the best around, but they are cheap and will work like dogs. They will also take all sorts of abuse with just a "yes sir/mam". I have often heard scientists running a lab talk about how they wanted to get certain nationalities working in the lab because they work day and night for next to nothing.
    I am certain you are the same people that shop WalMart because you can buy (foreign made) things cheap and/or criticize factory workers because the foreign workers will do the job for much less (over seas).
    Could it be that it was so easy to write this BLOG because the writer thinks that he/she will never be affected by "outsourcing" or "insourcing"? After all, it is easy to sit on the side-lines and criticize!
    I hope you think about this when you see your job going away to someone simply because they are cheap and willing to work like slaves!

    I am "just wondering", what kind of a country do you want to live in?

    And Aaron, how old are you? 12? And what fantasy land do YOU live in? Because starting a business is not just getting up one day and doing it. What do YOU do for a living? A writer? A web developer? A critic?
    You have not a CLUE what you are talking about. Don't even TRY to come back with "I am a self-made zillionaire"! Because it is clear to someone trying to "do" a start-up as you try to outline, that you are have no idea what it takes or what the road blocks are. So do us a favor if you don't have anything constructive to say and keep your self-righteous meanderings to yourself!

  • Sep 03, 2007 @ 04:08am

    Re: Re: Don't blame the big G

    What a jerk.

  • Sep 01, 2007 @ 05:34am

    Strange thing happen

    Did you know the government strong-arms people into getting certain vaccinations?
    Hepetitis, MMP, and others are forced onto your children. Now, I understand the overall need for vaccination with some diseases, such as mumps and measels, but children are at extremely low risk for low it just does not make sense.
    So here we are, in a free country, being forced to put things into our bodies we may not want or need.
    Does that sound much different than forcing RFID chips on us?
    Raising the issue to the side of our rights now is better than fighting these people after they have been given this power.

  • Sep 01, 2007 @ 05:17am

    The internet as the great equalizer

    This move shows no longer can news outlets determine which news is good for you to read. Similarly, iTunes helps break large corporation's grip on what you should pay for music, movies and TV (there is still work to do there, now Apple is determining that).
    All of these are filters to what you see and hear. These corporations can influence how you feel about issues by NOT making certain news and information available to you. They can also ruin a person very quickly if they so desire.
    That is very much power for one entity to have, I would say too much power.
    I used to trust CNN, but recently I saw a piece that conveniently left out some information that could be seen as politically expedient to leave out. It exposed their political bias and now I don't trust what they report. Too much power concentrated under one roof.

    For now this is good, but now are the people at Google becoming the filter? We should watch carefully what they do with this power.

  • Sep 01, 2007 @ 05:05am

    Re: That's two in one day...

    Shoot, you beat me to the punch with this comment.

  • Jul 08, 2007 @ 05:47am

    Illegal tactics

    Invasion of privacy, unwarrented search and seasure, extortion, "wire-tapping" (OK, but what does your signal come into your computer on). Although I think it is wrong to steal content, our own police don't have the right to do some of the things the RIAA does, even when a law has been broken.
    As a nation, we need to put some clamps on these companies and organizations. Two things we can do is stop buying their products (I don't see that happening) and making it clear it is an important issue during an election year.
    Politicians influence what laws are made, and they pay attention when they lose votes!

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