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  • Dec 29th, 2015 @ 12:51pm

    (untitled comment)

    Lately our comcast cable goes out on a regular basis. Always the internet, sometimes the TV. Usually for half an hour or so but sometimes for an hour or two.

    Call them and you will spend an hour or more in phone hell. They will deny that anything is wrong on their network and will immediately force you through a massive checklist of diagnosing your home setup.

    Tell them that this happens on a regular basis and service always comes back which means the problem is at their end and they will ignore you and mindlessly continue to force you through a battery of annoying checks on your home system.

    I hate that rat-bastard company. They know they have me bent over with my pants around my knees because they have a local monopoly on high speed internet. All thanks to the graft-masters in congress.

  • Nov 2nd, 2015 @ 9:04am

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    This writer keeps repeating that the Snapchat ToS are "just standard, boilerplate language" and then tells us over and over that we are wrong to "freak out".

    I think the fact that this kind of abusive ToS is now standard means we need to freak out all the more. Right now, Snapchat may not be abusing our images. But in the future they can literally do anything at all they want to with them.

    We used to take rolls of film in to be developed. We didn't grant the developing company the right to use our pictures in any way they want for all of perpetuity. And there is no reason why Snapchat and other social media companies couldn't lay out precisely what limited rights they need to perform their service instead of just making a grab for the absolute freedom to do whatever they want.

    People should be VERY concerned. If you are a young person who has sent a ton of photos through Snapchat they may well come back to haunt you someday because, according to this ToS, Snapchat can save your images and sell them or make them available to any other business. Wait until you're applying for your dream job ten years down the line and suddenly all your teen snaps pop back up.

  • Oct 20th, 2015 @ 3:11pm

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    These senators are a bunch of corrupt powermongers who know nothing about the internet. They just push the interests of big money and big government.

    Shit like this will happen over and over and over again until the American public stops electing clueless and corrupt authoritarians.

  • Oct 14th, 2015 @ 11:45am

    (untitled comment)

    Copyright was a good idea when it lasted 14 years, had to be registered and could be renewed for one additional 14 year term. You could make the case that it actually encouraged creators to create rather than just milk one success forever. And it kept the common cultural pool rich and vibrant.

    But copyright stopped serving the public interest when it morphed into a tool for maximizing corporate control and profit. Sadly I can't see it ever getting rolled back. The power of corporate money over the political process is just too absolute.

  • Aug 13th, 2015 @ 2:09pm

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    The existence of police unions serve absolutely no public interest.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 5:45pm

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    "Standard Procedure" does not over-ride constitutional protections. If we are learning one thing these days it's that a lot of cop standard procedure is illegal, thuggish and criminal in it's own right.

    Cops have zero right to handcuff anybody unless they are arresting them. They can't handcuff people for their convenience or for their sacred "officer safety" unless they have cause for an arrest.

    It doesn't matter what "standard procedure" they have made up. If they have a warrant to arrest a specific person they cannot simply cuff everybody in the vicinity no more than arresting somebody in the street gives them the right to cuff everybody else standing nearby.

    The number of police apologists still to be found on discussions like this is appalling.

  • Jun 17th, 2015 @ 1:32pm

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    The courts are an integral part of big government. People, including judges, who work within big government have a big government mentality and see solutions in terms of government control and conformity.

  • Jun 15th, 2015 @ 5:35pm

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    My guess is that the "news" was reported to the public in pretty much this same fashion in Italy and Germany in the 1930s.

  • May 13th, 2015 @ 12:21pm

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    The original concept behind copyright accepted the basic premise that once a work of art was released into the public arena it simply became a part of the common culture. There was plenty of creativity in Ancient Greece, Rome, Renaissance Italy and everywhere else without copyright. Common shared culture was the human norm.

    But because the technology for making copies, printed copies specifically with the printing press, became common, the idea arose to grant creators a very limited, otherwise illegal monopoly over their works in order to encourage further creation.

    We are a society. A shared common culture is the instinctive norm. Copyright was meant to be a very limited and short term break from the norm.

    But then, of course, corporations, which by nature strive to own and control and squeeze profit from literally everything, have worked relentlessly to flip the very concept of art and culture on it's head and make eternal copyright over everything the new normal.

    Ultimately it's very sad and depressing to see that most people have been brainwashed into believing that every last little thing in our common cultural space has to be owned, controlled, licensed and charged for.

  • Apr 16th, 2015 @ 11:22am

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    It's no surprise that authoritarians endlessly attempt to exert more dominance and control. It's been like that throughout human history.

    The real story is that the vast majority of the students and faculty are so cowed by the security state, so ignorant of their rights and so fearful in general that they are unwilling to push back.

    I went to UC Berkeley back in the '70s. Any attempt to do anything even remotely like this would have been met with a furious storm of protests and demonstrations.

  • Apr 7th, 2015 @ 2:08pm

    (untitled comment)

    Out of control cops will never be reined in as long as police unions exist.

    The day when each cop works for the city directly as a responsible individual will the the day when cops can be disciplined as they deserve.

  • Apr 1st, 2015 @ 4:40pm

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    Put body cameras on cops and the first thought by them, their union, and their toady legislators is "hey, how can we use these when it benefits us but avoid using them when it puts us in a bad light?"

    When citizens make baseless claims against cops the camera footage will be trotted out and put on display. But when the cops do something bad the video will be buried behind a new morass of legal privilege and protection.

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 12:01pm

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    Random author writes a book when he's 20 years old. Then he lives until he is 80. Copyright on the book lasts for a totally insane 130 years!

    It's all driven by corporate greed. Corporations by nature will always work relentlessly to extend their rights and privileges. And everybody at high level at the USTR and the Copyright Office are either heading to or from corporate jobs and are completely steeped in the culture of copyright maximalism.

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 2:22am

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    Cowardly juries who lack the backbone to stand up to authority or the critical thinking skills to accurately assess testimony or even a working knowledge of basic human rights are the real problem here.

    3/4 of all Americans are too ignorant to serve as functional jurors.

  • Mar 10th, 2015 @ 6:34pm

    (untitled comment)

    You really got to love it when a lawsuit like this is launched by something called "the Gaye Estate", basically a bunch of moocher descendents of the actual artist who never have and never will produce a creative work of their own.

    I'm pretty sure this isn't what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the copyright clause of the Constitution that states "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 9:43pm

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    Once the checks and balances have all been co-opted the people in power just weave webs of power and privilege that let them do whatever they want. At that point you have tyranny.

    Our current Federal government can be equated to the old Soviet regime. Unaccountable police, oppressive and punitive legal system, massive gulag prison complex, secretive oligarchs holding all power. It's bad folks.

  • Feb 21st, 2015 @ 1:59am

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    Go to google images search and type in "W logo".

    Looks like somebody has a lifetime worth of law suits to pursue.

  • Feb 18th, 2015 @ 5:42pm

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    One thing people tend to forget when talking about Aaron Schwartz is that MIT did NOT want to prosecute him for anything.

    But the Federal Government wanted to make a big show out of this minor case. Federal Prosecutors got their ego involved and decided to show how tough they are.

    No big show or toughness for Wall St bankers. No big show or toughness for banks laundering drug money. No big show for corporate bribery or influence peddling or anything else done by the privileged executive class.

    The big show and the toughness are reserved for the little guy who steps out of line. It shows all of us who's the boss.

  • Feb 4th, 2015 @ 12:58pm

    (untitled comment)

    The really tragic thing about long term copyright is that truly monumental amounts of culture, art, research and historical documents get locked into a state of limbo where they simply cannot be accessed or utilized because somebody somewhere holds copyright even though the works are not commercially available and possibly haven't been for decades.

    Long term copyright would be more justifiable if it included some kind of common sense clause about works falling into the public domain after ten years or so if they are not otherwise made available by the rights holder.

    But the sad reality is that nothing about copyright will change unless it meets the approval of the massive corporations that own our legislators. And corporations don't give a rats ass about culture, art, history or the general public welfare.

  • Jan 30th, 2015 @ 7:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    We should all be very frightened to think that "reaching for your waistband" is justifiable grounds for summary execution.

    When you get stopped by a cop you'd better hope that your hands never move downward since any such movement could be described as "reaching for your waistband" and subject you to execution.

    At this point it's clear that we need a major revamp of our so-called Justice System as it pertains to the police. Start with common sense changes such that shooting a citizen who does not even possess a weapon is a criminal act no matter what the cop was thinking or what fearful state he was in.

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