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  • Nov 17th, 2018 @ 11:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    Data point: The fact that request went up since the election of Trump is not evidence of a shift in gov't policy/behavior, so much as it is of people and/or groups of people looking for ways to topple him.

    Maybe that was discussed later on, but that on top of the extremely unclear reference to 2017 wait times (clearly, there is no confirmed wait time of over 600 days for anything filed in '17, coupled with the similar claim about appeals confuses things beyond my willingness to compensate for others' laziness.

    And yes, TechDirt, that last includes you. If such anomalies are not explained in the course of an article you quoted, you had best point that out, and if they do, the same applies with immediately quoting or at least explaining the context provided.

    This isn't rocket surgery, folks. It's just math, and addition/subtraction-level math, at that.

    And it isn't that I couldn't look it up, and figure it out - it's that y'all dumped that load on me when your quoted block added the undefined anomaly.

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't burning an original copy of the Constitution-level bad, but do everyone a favor, folks, and tighten up on this sort of thing, willya?

    There's far too much sloppy prose out there, and this sort of faux pas is easily avoided. And besides, quoting things out of context is a journalistic no-no. Even "no harm, no foul" instances of it are to be even more stringently than using the passive voice. ;)
  • Nov 17th, 2018 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "The badge isn't causing the court problems..."

    "Little of column A, little of column B I'd say. "

    Eh, Bamboo's right, but in the wrong way; which is another way of saying that the two of you are addressing 2 different points.

    Is the badge the problem, the symbol that attracts and shields thugs of various sorts? Oh, no doubt about it, because it's a symbol, a symbol that most folks want to stand for truth, justice, and the american way. So yeah, in that way, the badge is a problem, because symbols are cantankerous things.

    But is the police union system the pro0blem? Oh, you better believe it, not least because those unions polish that badge image at every opportunity.

    But it's worse than that, because in put-near every US city large enough to justify more than one cop union shop, the police union's a political heavy-hitter. In fact the police are probably the most powerful minority* special-interest lobby in the nation.

    And since that means that as long as cop unions exist, they will meddle in politics, it means that reining the police in via reform almost never persists long enough to get the dirty cops out.

    Dirty cops are famed for saying that, in the lawless parts of town, it takes a dirty cop to police a dirty neighborhood. I'll counter that with saying that there was /never/ a lawless town that has been cleaned up by lawless cops. Ever.

    In fact, a modest look into history shows that the first thing a crime-ridden society must do to change that fact has always been to rid itself of crime-ridden cops. It's a truism that echoes down the ages.

    *"Minority" in terms of the population of this special-interest base vs. the general population, rather than having a special legal status in the eyes of the law, although that latter point also applies. The police may be /the/ most legally-shielded special-interest group in the nation, although variations across state laws is likely sufficient to render that statement technically unprovable, a useful point for those who like to pretend that they don't have much protection at all would have you believe.

    But that's just me gertruding, because on the 'net it's almost inevitable that if you don't, some joker will come along and deliberately misinterpret the use in context, and they'll use it to accuse you of racism, or whatever. So my apologies for the lengthy(?) closing paragraphs.
  • Nov 3rd, 2018 @ 12:57am

    Big loss for the MPAA, IMO

    Instead of being ahead of the game on the legal side, they just went to behind, if my read that this means that circumventing DRM to access Fair Use material has gone from the circumvention of DRM being presumptively verboten until proven valid for FU purposes and done a triple backflip with a Lutz and a double Salchow, and stuck the landing at such activity being presumptively allowed.

    Things just got more expensive for the MPAA, as well as more complicated - which also means more expensive. Funny how that works, almost as if someone had employed a business model based on exploiting that very concept.

    Hmmmm, I wonder if we'll ever figure out that conundrum...
  • Oct 17th, 2018 @ 11:06pm

    Old news now, but whatever...

    Those who follow the "rabid dog" strategy WRT copyright and trademark protection would be well-advised to keep in mind what regular folks think of doing, should they encounter a rabid dog.

    If they did that, they might be a touch more moderate and sane in their approach.

    Oh, shit - hold on. I had forgotten that a characteristic of rabid dogs is that they are not sane... My apologies.
  • Oct 17th, 2018 @ 10:43pm

    AT&T sees itself as the legacy "Ma Bell"

    Who originally used its monopoly to rake in gobs of dependable profit - and believe it or not, the "dependable" part of it likely outweighs the "profit" part, at least in the minds of these fledgling monopolists.

    TR would look upon this situation, and the gov't's cringing, slovenly approach to it with disdain, if not disgust.

    But then, if both parties hadn't squandered that legacy for partisan purposes, we wouldn't be in this present predicament.
  • Oct 17th, 2018 @ 10:13pm

    Interesting that a Prof of Philosophy would miss a key point

    If a tame Google replaced Baidu, it would work better, but also work better at concealing the really meaningful stuff.

    Further, it would benefit China's gov't, because it would allow access to science and technology that would lead to better technology and economy, bolstering their own image while remaining ruthlessly totalitarian.

    A semi-functional Google would be worse for the Chinese people than what they have now, because it would legitimize a despotic gov't behind a wall of "improvements" that came at a cost they didn't even know they were paying.

    Then again, a Prof whose main goal was to score some points with the ruling Party might very well say something quite similar to this.

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