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  • Dec 29th, 2014 @ 8:14pm

    Fox News

    Yeah, I understand the confusion. Fox news is the 24/7, fox-branded, news-only channel. You were probably thinking of the local fox "affiliate" in your area that is broadcast over the air for free. This channel often has a morning/evening news segment, but also has other shows like Simpsons, Family Guy, etc.

    Ironically enough - despite them being free over the air - local channels charge re-broadcasters like Dish a large amount to be able to show these local channels to their subscribers. And implement strict rules on ensuring ONLY the people in the area normally covered by the over-the-air signal can get the rebroadcasted signal from the satellite.

  • Nov 6th, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    (untitled comment)

    "Police will approach riders, whom they have randomly selected by picking a random number that morning, Lipman said.

    For example, if police pick the number 10, they will ask the 10th person who enters the station, then the 20th and so on, Lipman said."

    Aww, shoot. The RNG picked 1 today.

  • Sep 29th, 2014 @ 2:55pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'd been hit by the FBI virus years ago. It brought up a full screen program that wouldn't let me access control panel or anything else. I got around it by figuring out that it took a few seconds to pop up when I changed users. That was enough time to bring up control panel and kill the process before it fully launched and locked it down again.

    Pretty old virus, actually. Funny how our government demands payment in untraceable money orders.

  • Sep 16th, 2014 @ 2:51pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think the problem needs to be looked at as whether the general idea of a character can be copyrighted, or the specific implementation of it. Basically, is the copyright on the specific books expired (leading to the ability for anyone to "copy" and print out their own copies with maybe slight changes in cover art and shapes), or has the copyright on the character itself expired.

    If the latter, then this case is null, and anyone can make any stories they damned well please despite the fact that the original author made another book with it's own copyright.

  • Sep 13th, 2014 @ 2:45pm

    Re: I actually see a point to the Smart Can

    Easy enough to put vent holes near the bottom of the can so there won't be a vacuum cause by the bag being removed. Or, alternately, rather than lift the can over the bag, make it so the can has a large door in the side to take it out that way.

    I don't see what the smart can's point is, unless there are people unable to lift ~3 pounds of bag high above their heads. If that is the case, lifting the can isn't much better. Side doors, people!

  • Aug 16th, 2014 @ 1:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    You know, I see that there is sort of a problem here. It's vague, but I can see how an owner of a software who has their product "named" (slightly) in a movie can have an issue. If people (like me) hear the name and then go out and find there IS a software program called Clean Slate, I might associate the capabilities in the movie with the real program.

    Wouldn't be the first time someone used a real-world program in a movie - *cough product placement *cough* - to show off the capability. After the movie, I might have an unrealistic expectation of the software's capability.

    But then, I graduated from kindergarten and didn't believe they had anything to do with each other, so I never thought about it again.

  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 12:19pm


    Where I work, I came across a guy named James Bond III. Indicating that not only is there a James Bond out there (COPYRIIIIIIIIIGHT!) but that there are at least 2 more of them too. Are THEY denied passport applications because their name is too similar to one under copyright?

    What about anyone with the last name Simpson (another I see often)? The idea that someone adopts -as their middle name no less - a single name from a fictional character in a fictional movie and this is cause for alarm to anybody just amazes me. You pick a name, and someone somewhere has it naturally.

    Heck my friend gave their daughter the middle name "Cortana". Is Microsoft going to deny her driver's license now?

  • Jun 16th, 2014 @ 1:33pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think what we need to focus on is not whether particular books are in the public domain, but rather the concept itself of a British PI names Sherlock Holmes being in the public domain. A particular book may or may not be in the public domain depending on publication date, but that should have absolutely no relation to someone else making a different story involving the character.

    If we can establish that the general idea/concept of a character can't be copyrighted (or if it is, when it expires), we should then apply that to every single other icon we can find.

  • Jun 12th, 2014 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re:

    It was the particular case that I based my rant on, in fact. I don't have a recent iPhone (my current is a hand-me-down and was free, the only reason I use it), so it hasn't affected me personally. But the massive number of cables I keep near my bed in case I need to charge a device.

  • Jun 12th, 2014 @ 12:57pm

    (untitled comment)

    Standardization is one of the greatest things that can possibly happen to nearly every industry. Imagine if we standardized power charging cables; no longer would you need to have your ipad charging cable, your new iphone charging cable, your kindle fire charging cable, your 3DS charging cable, and more. As long as the equipment is designed to charge off of the same power levels, there is no reaosn to have a separate brick for charging one device and another.

    Instead, we get companies sitting on their own tiny islands, with hardware specifically made for their devices. They claim otherwise, but it's USUALLY so they can charge high prices for equipment that cost them pennies to make since they have a monopoly on their parts. Heck, apple CHECKS to make sure you aren't using an unauthorized CHARGING cable, and refuses to charge if it's not licensed (as in, they pay a fee to apple for each sold).

    Well, rant over. I highly approve of Musk's plan here to open up their tech. It will destroy one big barrier to a nation-wide adoption of electric car infrastructure. Now, all we need is a cheap, powerful alternative/upgrade to batteries, and we are set.

  • Jun 6th, 2014 @ 4:23pm

    (untitled comment)

    I say, if they cannot show official ACCURATE representation of what happened in there (either by a stenographer or a recording) then it didn't happen. Nothing found or used in it (and I feel ALL FBI interrogations too) can be used for anything.

  • May 30th, 2014 @ 12:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    Their own analogy actually disproves their argument they are trying to make.

    In their analogy, Comcast isn't the Postmaster. They are more like a owner/organizer of a mailsystem for an apartment complex. Mail comes in and goes out through their office, but they are not at all responsible for making sure the mail from another apartment complex down the street is delivered to the other side of the country.

  • Apr 21st, 2014 @ 2:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    "We rarely have disputes with consumers"


    "and arbitration would have simply streamlined how complaints are handled."

    are NOT two sentences I ever expected to see connected by a single spacebar press.

  • Apr 18th, 2014 @ 7:15pm

    (untitled comment)

    I get a job that required a background check, extensive record of living and work history with no gaps, and a drug test, and it's a job that only requires high school graduation.

    This guy pled guilty to various crimes, and skates in to a DIRECTORS job. And it wasn't because they didn't care about it, since they fired him once they knew...

  • Mar 25th, 2014 @ 4:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'm glad for this, but I'm actually more worried they are just clearing the hurdles to allow England-style cameras-everywhere approach to mass surveillance.

  • Mar 18th, 2014 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re:

    As is typical of the internet, after posting this and reading your response, I realize the massive gobs of sarcasm I heaped upon my keyboard did not translate through to my post as I'd hoped.

  • Mar 18th, 2014 @ 2:48pm

    (untitled comment)

    Ah, but think of the alternative! If the FBI is forced to adopt a sense of humor, then that means they won't investigate obvious jokes! Then the Terr'ists only have to "joke" about their plans in specific painstakingly accurate details and it will fly under our radar!

    The FBI: because having a sense of humor will cause another 9/11.

  • Mar 17th, 2014 @ 12:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    Just implement a data decryption protocol that allows you to enter a "fake" passsword that trashes the data and/or shows irrelevant info such as public domain content. If you do the latter, they may be tricked into thinking that it was the only thing being protected.

    Then, invoke the 5th when it comes to whether that is the legit content, no matter if it is or isn't.

  • Mar 17th, 2014 @ 8:24am

    (untitled comment)

    GOG, who provides DRM-free downloads of video games, manages to provide a coded link so only those that are authorized can click it and download it. Sure, the copy could then be distributed to friends or file-sharing sites (and they have) yet the games still manage to pull sales on DRM-locked services like steam just fine. Oh, and GOG is still doing well, despite selling products that - once sold - are not "locked down" by the content provider.

    Kind of ruins the argument that DRM is a necessity nowadays to protect the creators. Now, if only the MPAA and it's members would understand this logic.

  • Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:15am

    (untitled comment)

    Happy cheese, comes from upset American dairy manufacturers.

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