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  • Jul 2nd, 2015 @ 9:56am

    (untitled comment)

    However, after being re-elected
    Stopped reading right there.

    When the majority has no issue with an elected official to allow them to carry on with their antics, there's no reason to be concerned.

  • Jul 2nd, 2015 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re:

    You're conflating several issues to cloud the discussion.

    The entire "online only" has absolutely nothing to do with Kinect, though Kinect's bundling was an issue. Not of the device, but for the extra $100 price difference of the PS4.

    The NSA "tracking" joke is still going on, regardless what the device is. Any form of communication which leaves the house is now NSA fodder (though I certainly don't disagree).

    I don't read much of Kinect's voice activation being of concern to people the information is being used outside of its purpose. The ToS even states this information isn't used but for Kinect.

    Samsung did not instill this confidence (much like LG's infamous data transmission without any consent or knowledge).

    You can hate on Microsoft all you want, but don't try to pretend what was said was fact. Most people arguing over the E3 fiasco still have it wrong, because they didn't listen to a thing said as they were too busy sticking their fingers into their ears and screaming like a ill-tempered child.

  • Jul 2nd, 2015 @ 4:54am

    (untitled comment)

    It was curious to watch Samsung get absolutely hammered for disclosing this in its privacy policy, when storing, analyzing and selling voice data is something many, many companies are engaged in without much transparency and little more than a glance toward meaningful security.
    Sorry, but this is inaccurate and it's indicating Samsung as doing "right" when, in fact, it was completely wrong.

    XBox One has its Kinect, which has both a camera and speaker. The console has a dedicated OS specifically designed to pick up key words from the speaker, using an off-site database to help it translate what it thinks the user wants.

    That database is wholly owned and operated by Microsoft and it does not share access information with any third party.

    Where Samsung screwed up is it allowed third parties to access these voice commands, no doubt to try and lure ad services to shill products on a personal level.

    That's the difference, and it's a huge one. No one gave Microsoft any flack because of its Kinect's passive eavesdropping because people were comfortable this information wasn't being used or sold to target them.

    Marketing tie-ins are annoying, but tolerated, which is how I see this Comcast gig.

    Marketing used to suck in personal information, however, is something consumers are (somewhat) aware of and will stand against intrusions which go beyond what they expected.

    The latter is already collected by Comcast and sold to third parties, who then market those "Comcast ads" via Comcast services, such as its menu guide or customized 404 error messages when you mistype a web address.

    Finally, my own point of view: advertising sucks and I'm sick and tired of companies using this as an excuse to "exist". It's worse when there's now the crap of getting people to pay for said service and still deliver ads.

    I wish advertising were illegal.

  • Jul 1st, 2015 @ 11:31am

    (untitled comment)

    I see someone forwarded the memo Amtrak received to the TSA: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141024/14222128933/guidelines-who-might-be-suspicious-too-nervou s-too-calm-blending-standing-out-its-all-suspcious.shtml

  • Jul 1st, 2015 @ 10:05am

    (untitled comment)

    You'd think that Trump would have trouble finding lawyers willing to file nuttiness on his behalf, but apparently there's always someone.
    Of course there is.

    Even if Trump's case goes no where, it's still the lawyer's payday.

  • Jul 1st, 2015 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re:

    Let's get one thing out of the way: anyone who signs with a publisher no longer has distribution rights. They're given up in exchange for the first check, often inflated to ensure poor decision making on the artist's part (when actually, it's a damn loan).

    That is why you don't see JK Rowling books by every publisher.

    That, in itself, starts the monopoly chain.

    Artists still retain the copyright of the book itself, but since publishers also have a strong hand in distribution, that's what makes "best sellers": getting the book out there.

    This lawsuit stems from this. Because publishers were intentionally preventing distribution of ebooks, it harmed not only them, but the very authors who have no control to dictate distribution, as they no longer have those rights.

    That's why you rarely see artists suing fans, but rather, distributors, because they own that copyright under distribution.

    There's a reason for the entire section of copyright law solely dedication to the distribution of works.

    The US is one of a few countries which allows for this. Most other countries make it 100% illegal to transfer any copyright, though these restrictions (such as in Japan) are under attack.

    In short: copyright sucks for everyone, except the distributors.

  • Jul 1st, 2015 @ 8:55am

    (untitled comment)

    Sorry, Ninja, but this actually has nothing to do with copyright, but you are right in one regard: this can only happen when you have a monopoly.

    By colluding with other publishers, this set the definition of monopoly, or rather, oligopoly, to force price points.

    Apple set the ball rolling, but unfortunately, the Big 6 pretty much got away with their actions.

    The group will try again. It's inevitable. Of all the entertainment industries, the publishers seem to be the last of the holdouts. Even the movie industry is starting to make some progress, especially after Sony's "oopsies" releasse of the Interview, and how much money was made, legitimately, online.

    It wasn't record-breaking, but it sure as hell wasn't $0. It makes me wonder how well Jurassic World would have done if Universal released it online at the same time, even if said ticket price was the average $8/person.

    One of these days, rather than fining these companies, Big Brother will slap the shit out of them, forcing them to break apart, and scrutinize their day-to-day activities to ensure it won't happen again.

    Sadly, Apple gets slapped with a fine that it's still laughing at because it'll only take a few weeks to make up the loss of it.


  • Jul 1st, 2015 @ 6:55am

    (untitled comment)

    See, this is how titles can be misleading.

    I came into this thinking a Chinese router company was adding a library of DNS entries for a specific fetish in order to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

    Go figure it's about exploiting victims of fear mongering.

  • Jul 1st, 2015 @ 3:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I believe you have it backward.

    Bethesda pulled the paid mod (from Steam) option because the backlash of putting it in place was the real mistake. Mods have always been free to use and make, and while some developers asked for financial support, most did not.

    Plus, there was the whole issue of mods enhanced from other mods, making it impossible to determine where the fees go (the final mod or the original mod creator).

    As for the simplification, it makes sense, and Skyrim has proven that a workable balance between all player types was possible.

    Yes, it was very easy to go OP in Skyrim, especially fresh and not really getting the scope of perks, but once known, it was up to the player to determine how to manage their upgrades, making difficulty something the player could (mostly) control (the only downside being the level scaling).

    TESO does the same thing, albeit perks are now skills, and because of the various skills, makes it outstanding to truly develop a character as you want to play, all the while keeping leveling and controls simple to use for everyone.

    Mmm... Fallout 4. November can't get here fast enough, but at least I'll be busy for a while until it does arrive.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 @ 12:24pm


    Oh, no no no no no.

    Bungie didn't back off at all. Instead, they offered an even more insulting offer: allowing players (fans are the nutjobs that keep supporting this stupidity) to buy the specialized emotes for the low, low price of $20.

    So an avatar can dance a special move.

    After the "throwing money at the screen" comment, I decided right there and then I am officially done with this game. Sadly, it has fantastic potential to be a great franchise, but Bungie not only blew it, but actually made EA look like a saint in the gaming industry.

    Even EA didn't have this much balls to piss of fans this bad, and that's with microtransactions with DRM! Oh, my.

    On the flip side, Bethesda/Zenimax Online releases Elder Scrolls online with tons of emotes, the damn-near entire world of Tamriel, and fantastic game play for a one-time fee of $70.

    In fact, I even asked ZOL to consider a lower $7.99/mo fee so I can help support the game, given I feel the current $14.99/mo isn't valuable to me (it boosts character xp, gold, and Crowns and I don't want the extra xp - sadly, a "take it or leave it" option).

    Despite the real money price of $14.99, I even bought a Senche-Lioness because it offered me fantastic value for what it gives my character. Some may not see this similarly, and that's fine, but the sheer number of people using real-money items is proof people are willing to "throw money at the screen" when they clearly see value.

    Bungie: Grind Spinmetal forever. We're done here.

    Bethesda/ZoL: Flawless Victory. Grinding optional.

    The choice is clearly obvious who the better studio is.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 @ 11:34am

    (untitled comment)

    I can't wait until ISPs take advantage of these changes...

    "Sign up today, and we'll offer a FREE one-way controlled CCTV camera with installation! After we bugger your speed, we'll sell your angry expression for adverts while providing a copy of your face to the local authority's database. Hurry soon. This deal is set never to expire, because really, what choice do you have now?"

    Maybe Comcast should pick up and move to countries "governed" by the EU.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 @ 3:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry for the italic bungle. Forgot to close a tag. :(

  • Jun 30th, 2015 @ 3:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is the difference lies. What people are confusing with APIs is the structured reference the compiler uses to structure machine code, this the procedure Add is part of that translation code.

    It is NOT an API. An API, as the name states, is an Application Programming Interface, with emphasis on the second word.

    What makes this problematic is the API general definition. However, what's important to realize is APIs are NOT transferable between systems.

    One cannot use Windows APIs in a Java world, without additional software. In the previous example of using WINE, Windows APIs are translated to work within a Linux environment, but the actual code of the API is not altered.

    Again, most companies who wrote the APIs aren't going to stop programmers from using them, but I certainly don't believe anyone believes a company will allow another business to take those APIs, verbatim, and create a new operating system.

    I feel far too many people are confusing API with ABI, and ABIs are what cannot be covered by copyright. ABIs are what makes APIs work.

    For those unaware, an ABI is an Application Binary Interface, which is the compiler code needed to ensure the API of "Add(x,y)" translates correctly, regardless what API is written to use the procedure."

    I'm sure some will argue this is all "one in the same", but it's not. APIs are written code. Thus, under current copyright law, they are covered by that law.

    So yes, my 30 years of experience in programming still has me confident APIs are written software.

    If there's still confusion, keep this in mind: if you can't write it, it's an ABI. If you can, it's an API.

    I don't believe I'm incorrect in this, but I'm also not sticking my fingers in my ears screaming everyone is wrong.

    I really do want to know why people believe APIs aren't covered under copyright, and so far, all I've seen is the confusion between API and ABI.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The whole point of an API is to define what it means "to perform identically".
    The whole point of an API is to make code shareable between applications rather than developers having to rewrite the wheel every time they create a new program.

    APIs are bound by the OS and the software/hardware they're written for. I've been programming for 30 years, so I'm confident what an API is used for. Hell, I've written my own, as well as encapsulated some by Microsoft.

    In this world, Microsoft knows it's beneficial to share these APIs. Hell, they don't even charge to use them even if one wants to profit on their own software. It's a mutually exclusive relationship.

    However, I absolutely cannot fathom for one second Microsoft wouldn't send the hounds after me if I took all their APIs, wrote my own OS, used those APIs, and competed with Windows.

    Call it a hunch.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's a big difference here.

    WINE translates Windows APIs to use in Linux. Microsoft isn't going to raise a fuss here because WINE isn't an OS. It would be no different than someone writing software for Windows to run Linux programs using Linux APIs (though, that would be funny considering most Linux APIs are open source).

    @The other AC: No, Java is not open source. At least, not as of today. Rumor has it Oracle is leaning towards making it open source, but time will tell.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re:

    Google didn't need to take any executable code because APIs are not executables.

    Doesn't dismiss the fact Sun Microsystems wrote the APIs (now owned by Oracle) which were specifically designed for the sandbox compiler.

    By stripping out the APIs to make another OS is nefarious. I didn't say it was wrong, but damn, does it cross an ethics line.

    Google should have written its own APIs, even if they performed identically to the Java APIs.

    That's why I'm on the fence with this. I don't think it's wrong, per se, but at the same time, I find it questionable why only the APIs were taken for an entirely different OS.

    As a reminder: Google forked Linux for its kernel, but it's still called Linux. Not the same for Java, which is now Android.

    I'm guessing if Google had made this Windows based and took what Windows APIs it wanted and called it Android wouldn't have Microsoft calling foul?

    The only saving grace about all this is Android is open source. That's why I'm on the fence.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 10:56am

    (untitled comment)

    There needs to be some clarification here, because the point of the lawsuit seems to be overshadowed by "copyright of APIs".

    What Google did was nefarious. It took Java, decided what to keep and not use, then ditched the rest and rebrand the the programming language as "Android". In other words: It's not Java anymore.

    While it's true one can use the Java SDK to write Android apps, not all the libraries and functions are supported in Android.

    I think this is where Oracle sat up and said, "What the fuck?"

    I highly doubt Apple or Microsoft would allow any company to sell an OS using its APIs either, and it makes perfect sense.

    Now, I certainly don't agree APIs should be covered by copyright, and Apple and Microsoft make no qualms about any software developers using their APIs within their OS software, but there's a distinction between Fair Use within the bounds of software and outright copyright infringement of those APIs.

    Java is a sandboxed language, and it uses its own virtual compiler. This is why it's the most widely used language on the planet. Because of this, Java has no ties to any OS. Without additional software, Java cannot access APIs on other systems, either. That's the whole point of "sandbox".

    Google nefariously sidestepped this approach to claim Fair Use with the development of Android. I don't think Oracle would have a problem if Google used Java (and its APIs), but it sure didn't like the fact Java isn't even mentioned within Android at all.

    In fact, head over to Android's official website and you'll see Java isn't mentioned at all. Not only that, it requests a download of the Android SDK, not the Java SDK.

    That's pretty damn low, in my opinion, especially from a multi-billion dollar company who wrote its own database language for its search algorithms.

    That, I believe, is the issue here, not that APIs should be copyright (and they shouldn't be, within the bounds of the OS the APIs are tied to).

    Oracle is just using its legal firepower in the only manner it has with this action, relatively new (the Psystar case is completely different, by the way).

    I'm not surprised SCOTUS balked, because this really is an issue to be settled by the two companies.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 7:01am

    (untitled comment)

    The only thing I feel guilty about is handing over $8.00 per ticket only to be greeted with Pepsi ads and this wonderful message, appearing moments before the movie (finally) starts:


    Yes, in caps. It stayed on screen for no less than 3 minutes.

    I'd rather see the laughable FBI logo.

  • Jun 24th, 2015 @ 6:27am

    Re: 'If a tree falls in an empty forest...'

    The placement of the silhouette avatar placed on your comment is irony at its damned best.

  • Jun 24th, 2015 @ 3:11am

    Re: Re:


    While I did know Taylor had the power to control her own distribution, I didn't know she owned her own label.

    Knowing this, her complaints make the situation even worse.

    Let me ask you: how many artists that will be featured in the streaming service has their own label? Very few, I'm sure.

    This means Taylor's arguments weren't about the other artists, but making sure labels get paid royalties.

    Hopefully, you can see the issue more clearly now.

    But that's not even the true problem. As much as I hate Apple, I'm actually going to defend their original action because the service has absolutely nothing to do with royalty payments.

    It's widely believed Apple paid as much, if not more, for the licensing of the music being streamed that other services has paid. We're talking millions, and this means one thing: Taylor Swift was already paid for the music her label agreed to in the contract.

    To then boldly claim more money should be spent, coming from Apple's pockets during this free trial, is downright insane, if not purely based on greed.

    Just as she attacked Spotify for her misunderstanding of how monies are paid to artists, she's doing the same thing with Apple, a multi-billion dollar company which everyone has been throwing into discussions regarding royalties.

    Her claims are unjust, foolish, and clearly out to benefit only herself.

    I don't dislike Taylor, but this ridiculous assertation is, in my opinion, no different than what Lars Ulrich did when complaining about MP3 sharing without understanding how business works.

    All Apple did was prove that, when trying to innovate with content owned by someone else, they'll have to take the financial risks, burdens, and losses despite having already paid up front for it.

    Techdirt talks about abuse every day. This is another example of abuse.

    The only losers here are going to be the smaller artists who are going to be overshadowed by acts like Taylor, while hoping to hell their label pays them.

    Apple's finances shouldn't have even been in the discussion, other than what they've already paid to get the service started.

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