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  • Mar 23rd, 2017 @ 8:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Let me second the call-outs for Smashwords and BAEN Books. The prices are reasonable, and the "No DRM" policy is a winning draw.

    Also, the Gutenburg Project is worth a mention, for classics and for older (copyright expired) works -- "free" and "legal" is hard to beat.

    I have more epubs from Smashwords or from BAEN Books than from everyone else combined (and the Gutenburg Project is the only other "publisher" that comes close to them).

    I don't have to worry about whether I can read it on this device, or only on that device, nor for how long I'll be able to keep them and read them again. Nor do I need to fiddle with stripping DRM and/or tinkering with them in Calibre trying to ensure the book will render properly on whichever device I want to use this time.

    If a book is worth reading, I'm certainly willing to pay for it. What I'm not willing to do is to wrestle with books I've paid honest cash for, just to be able to read them as I please on the device I please, when I can almost certainly get "pirated" versions for free, which I can just load and go, with no effort to speak of, on whichever device I find most convenient.

    Also: note that I said "ePub": I don't buy e-books from Amazon or for Kindle -- in my mind, "proprietary formats" is a concept even more incompatible with "books" and "Literature" than DRM is, and I simply refuse to support a publisher who tries to foist that brain-dead idea on the general public.

  • Feb 27th, 2017 @ 3:22pm


    "Techdirt is fake news. Fake news is for cows. You are all cows. Cows say moo. MOOOOOOOOOO! MOOOOOOO! Moo cows MOOOOOOO! Moo say the cows. YOU FAKE NEWS READING COWS!!"

    I am sooo tempted to put this lovely, illustrative gem up for "the Last Word"...

  • Feb 27th, 2017 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Monopolists

    That's what certification/standards are for?

  • Feb 16th, 2017 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Adding Insult to Injury

    You are suffering from a basic misunderstanding.

    These sorts of xenophobic authoritarian thugs in uniform don't think it makes them look bad, they think it makes them look good -- even if (especially if?) the "Lie-beral Press" portrays them in a negative light over such incidents.

  • Feb 16th, 2017 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: A raging pitbull is a raging pitbull.

    > Why the pit bull hate?

    It's not pit-bull hate.
    It's an observation that they behave like pit-bulls,
    -- and an implication that they need to be subjected to a similar degree of training, discipline and control (which they clearly aren't receiving) to keep their behaviour within the bounds considered acceptable even for dogs.

  • Jan 28th, 2017 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Since this is now a political news website

    My favorite American pundit, Molly Ivins, used to say something along the lines of "The 'Left' versus 'Right' political spectrum is an obsolete model -- today, the political spectrum is divided between the 'screw-ers' and the 'screwed'."

  • Jan 28th, 2017 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Funny, I was hearing almost exactly that same line from some pro-Putin (and even pro-Stalin apologist) Russian(s) in another forum -- in course of a discussion about the Russian annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine -- except according them, it's Russia that is the target of some combination of covert but powerful internal threats, terrorists (internal and external), and the external/outside world's unjust prejudices and inimical, threatening national enmity.

    Authoritarians the world over keep plying the same, tired lies -- and the people keep falling for it.

  • Jan 15th, 2017 @ 5:35pm


    "It's always seemed to me that if it's possible for a suspect to get rid of damning evidence in a short amount of time, then their criminal enterprise isn't possibly big enough to warrant a SWAT team raid. A meth lab or a big drug house will have plenty that can't be flushed. Residue can't be cleaned that quickly. Guns won't fit in the toilet."

    Argument. Nutshell.

    That's a very succinct argument.
    I can't help wondering why that's not at least a commonplace, and accepted Rule of Thumb in Law Enforcement circles.

  • Dec 2nd, 2016 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: civility?!?

    Exactly why I broke down and registered to my first forum...

    Someone on the internet was wrong.

  • Dec 2nd, 2016 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: civility?!?

    Have you ever noticed how, on Ars (a.k.a. Ars Technica) forums, the "hidden" posts can still garner even more downvotes *after* they've reached the threshold for becoming "hidden" comment -- often getting multiple times the number of downvotes needed to trigger the "hidden" status.

    Which means that people like me generally click on the collapsed post in question anyhow (as "hidden" on Ars really just means "collapsed, because so many readers have rated it as a "poor" or otherwise deficient comment), then after reading, agreed that it was indeed substandard -- and added another downvote.


  • Nov 12th, 2016 @ 7:03pm

    The problem with draining the swamp is...

    ... that you may end up hip deep in alligators.

  • Nov 2nd, 2016 @ 1:00pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think that the paranoia in this thread has gotten a little out of hand.

    What the police are doing here is perfectly reasonable. If one expects them to join the 21st century, anyways. None of this can be characterized as an abuse of power

    Where there is legitimate concern is the question of what else might be done with all this data (a.k.a personal information), how long it will be retained, etc.

    The actions of law enforcement here are reasonable and legitimate; but the concerns about where this sort of thing might lead are legitimate as well.

    This might be an excellent opportunity for general discussion and development of appropriate policy by the law enforcement agencies and the general public -- perhaps even the legislatures.

  • Oct 27th, 2016 @ 9:16pm

    (untitled comment)

    Making a movie about life in the Mafia (*Goodfellas*) : $30 million.

    Interest on the $30 million to make that movie : $40 million

    That's not *Hollywood accounting* -- that's *loansharking*.

    Gee -- what a coincidence!

  • Oct 25th, 2016 @ 12:34am

    "Canada" is feeling frustrated, and perplexed -- a lttle miffed, maybe even a little hurt

    Here in Canada, it's rather amazing just how reluctant the press has been to recognize or explore the issue of the investor-state dispute settlement provisions, at all, let alone acknowledge their fundamental role in the opposition to this agreement.

    Most of the resistance to the CETA agreement seems to be casually brushed aside as more-or-less baldly protectionist sentiment and/or antiquated reluctance to accepting "free trade" principles.

    So then, of course, the Walloon stumbling-block must be assumed to be merely some combination of agricultural protectionism and incomprehensible, ultimately irrational fear of adjusting to the modern world and a modern economy -- and not even justified {sniff} because after all, even under the new deal Canada still won't be exporting much pork to Belgium, anyhow.

  • Oct 24th, 2016 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Am I reading that right?


    One of the most troubling things about this, is that although it probably isn't what the government meant, it will almost inevitably be the practical consequence.

  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Justice light.

    > After studying the election process in 1985, the bipartisan National Commission on Elections recommended "[t]urning over the sponsorship of Presidential debates to the two major parties".[2] The CPD was established in 1987 by the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican Parties to "take control of the Presidential debates".[2] The commission was staffed by members from the two parties and chaired by the heads of the Democratic and Republican parties, Paul G. Kirk and Frank Fahrenkopf.[2] At a 1987 press conference announcing the commission's creation, Fahrenkopf said that the commission was not likely to include third-party candidates in debates, and Kirk said he personally believed they should be excluded from the debates.[2]
    > In 1988, the League of Women Voters withdrew its sponsorship of the presidential debates after the George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns secretly agreed to a "memorandum of understanding" that would decide which candidates could participate in the debates, which individuals would be panelists (and therefore able to ask questions), and the height of the lecterns. The League rejected the demands and released a statement saying that they were withdrawing support for the debates because "the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter."[4]
    > The CPD has hosted the 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 debates.

    The "Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD)" is a classic "Old Boys' Club" deliberately and consciously created to serve the interests of the two major parties over the interests of the general public.

  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 3:52pm



    ... maybe she was wading hip deep in Middle East issues, Western European issues, South China Seas issues, international trade issues, human rights issues, UN issues, NATO issues, maybe even Democratic Party issues, and what not -- and her attention was on those matters (which were her actual job and responsibility), while she left the "techie" details to her support staff (which was their actual job and responsibility), and didn't think much about the "computer technology" issues any more than she could help, except when the aggravation of dealing with them were distracting from her actual job.

    Or... maybe her secret hobby involves setting up raspberry pi mesh networks and compiling custom linux kernels during boring boring State Dept. meetings. I mean, who knows right? Anything is possible.

  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Grandstanding or Stupid?

    Well... There is a certain cast of mind, that somehow doesn't quite understand the difference between 'prosecutor' and 'persecutor'...

  • Oct 7th, 2016 @ 7:54pm


    Pursuant to the school's usual practice for all arriving students, he was searched and his "pay-as-you-go" Samsung/Sprint cellular telephone, equipped with a camera, was confiscated.

    I'm stonkered, too. Being late to class is grounds for search and confiscation? Seriously?

    Whatever happened to "Land of the Free."

    How can crap like this go on, under the radar, in the same society where issues of sensible mental/criminal checks on who can acquire what sort of firearm how quickly and how easily with what sensible precautions, is a majorly contentious political issue?


  • Oct 6th, 2016 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: DMCA

    > "Doubtful, since DMCA implementations are typically applied to content that is exchanged pursuant to a mutually agreed upon business transaction, & entered into freely by both the provider & consumer."

    I hate the use of the word "freely" in that context; it smacks of false equivalence, as the degree of "freedom" enjoyed by the two parties is remarkably unequal.

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