As a foreigner I don't want to apologize for the NSA, but having worked with scientific systems that have to collect continuously arriving data I can understand why it might be technically impossible for them to stop destroying old data.
The front end data collection process for each source is likely to be putting that raw data into a large circular buffer, such that incoming data overwrites the oldest data stored — the length of the buffer and the average data rate thus control how long you end up keeping that raw data. While the raw data is still in that buffer it can be queried and extracted, but to stop destroying old data you would have to stop collecting any new data that is going to overwrite it.
Now each data source that they're monitoring is going to have its own buffer like this which is probably placed very close to the point where the data is collected, and the system will be designed to do the querying and extraction locally as well. This means that the bandwidth between that buffer and the NSAs external storage (such as that big data center in Utah) can be much smaller than the incoming raw data rate, so they just can't copy all of the buffered data to offline storage; there's just too much data in the buffers for that.
This could also explain why they claim that they're not "collecting" data on everyone; until they actually enter a query that will select a particular data item and send it back to their data center, all those circular buffers are just holding the past history temporarily and aren't doing anything with it. If they wait too long it will get overwritten, thus fulfilling their limited time legal requirements.
Anyone who gives out one of these phones has the same problem that the Allies had in WW2 with the decrypts that came out of Bletchley Park — you have to be extremely careful how you use the information, because you won't want your target to suspect what access you have to their actions. As soon as they find out, they'll stop using the phone for the kinds of activities that you want to follow...
If GOP were able to give the White House trade promotion authority, then after the TPP started to cause problems they could use that as political ammunition against the democrats in the future ("Obama ruined the US legal system for ever" etc.). Maybe I'm being really cynical here, but if someone doesn't care about the means (i.e. the effects the TPP would have), that end could have a political justification. From what has been leaked the USTR seems to have been listening to some of the GOP's best backers anyway, so this could be a double plus for them.
One of the reasons I use Reader (and Bloglines before it) is because it's more efficient for a central service to poll the feeds of all its users once rather than have each user doing the same polling. I have at least 5 different machines (laptop, tablet, phone, work PCs etc.) that I use to visit Reader at different times, and I don't want to see stories more than once or have to maintain lists of feeds in multiple places, so I need cloud storage of where I've got to in each feed. I explicitly do not want my own client programs on each machine, unless they're querying a server which is following all my feeds for me.
Here is a CNET article that gives a list of 5 possibilities and which platforms they run on (Web, iOS, Android). I've only tried Feedly on iOS though, and as a long-time G-Reader user I wasn't too impressed, but it might work out with a bit more testing. The feedly.com website seems to be getting hammered (by all us Reader users?) just at the moment though, which could be a bad omen.
Glen wrote: This is exactly how open source software works: anyone can take the code and build on it, but they must give back their additions to the community so that others can build upon them in exactly the same way.
Actually that's not what the Open Source Definition says. It only requires that you provide your source code if you give your version of the software to someone else. Even for code under the GNU GPL (one of the stronger OS licenses) you can make as many private changes as you like to the code without having to give back your source for those changes. The requirement to provide your source only kicks in when you distribute your code to someone else, and even then you only have to give your source to people who have copies of your version. In general you do not have to hand your changes back to "the community" that you got the code from, although you can't stop your customers from passing copies on. [IANAL, TINLA, read the specific license for the code]
Someone must have lost out, although we don't know who that was. If most of the money to pay the musicians came from the video budget maybe they're paying for fewer camera operators, or they'll be do less work in post-production so the result might be less polished. I'm not trying to find out the full details, but to imply that nobody has lost out because of the change is obviously incorrect.
Mike, why can't you publish PDF files like this directly on the TD website? By all means use other services as well so people can view such files directly in their browsers if that's what they want to do, but my laptop has a much nicer PDF file viewer than any of the browser-based services, and I refuse to give out my email address just to read a document (they almost all require a sign-up nowadays before they'll let you download the original file).
It has always struck me that the term Anonymous Coward is a bit of an insult, although I realize that it's a traditional term used across the Internet (I suspect it started at SlashDot, but I'm no historian). As Mike has always maintained there are a number of good reasons why people comment anonymously, and most are unrelated to cowardice. Maybe I'm just a bit thin-skinned, but "everyone uses that term" isn't a good reason to be derogatory towards people that you want to encourage. To take the lead in respecting anonymity maybe Techdirt should change the name that appears against unsigned comments on the site to something else, such as Anonymous Commenter (rather boring I know, but it still matches the acronym AC).
Since these licenses are to play recorded music I would think the price increase would encourage the hiring of cheap live musicians instead. That would obviously be to the advantage of those musicians, but bad for those members of PPL who charge higher fees or don't play live at all...
the purpose of copyright law is to incent the creation of new works
Unfortunately only the US constitution says that. I don't believe many (any?) EU countries have constitutions that limit what their legislative bodies can do in quite the same way as the US does, so they can make the purpose of their copyright laws be whatever they want them to be.
At my (non-US) high school creating the timetable for the whole school was a highly complicated process. Teachers and students all moved between different class-rooms for different subjects at different times each day, so I may have had Maths at 9.15 on Monday mornings, but on Tuesdays it was at 3.30, and the other year-groups (and even the other classes in my year-group) took Maths at completely different times. As a 3rd-year it wouldn't have been possible for me to take 5th-year physics because the 3rd-year physics lesson times didn't all match up with the 5th-year times.
I'm not sure how you get round that kind of problem — Hermione Granger managed it using the time-turner that let her go backwards in time, but they're rather hard to find IRL.
Apart from the more complicated vote couting, if you disenfranchise the older (retired) members of the population they aren't going to be as interested in running the polling stations. The election judges at many US polling stations are retired people who get paid very little for the very long hours they have to work on a election day. This idea would reduce their willingness to give back to society in that particular way, thus the cost of elections will go up as it would probably become necessary to increase the pay to attract enough judges.
So has Techdirt improved in the search rankings since the Google change? I do remember Mike talking about how there were other sites copying content from here that Google ranked higher, has this now stopped?