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  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re:

    "alleged direct expropriations of investments" is a pretty big and vague category.

    E.g. the recent tax changes that have been occurring around the world to prevent companies avoiding taxes by offshoring profits could fall under this category.

  • Oct 17th, 2016 @ 11:18pm


    There is right to trial by jury, however it is usually only automatically applied in serious cases.

    If it's a minor case, typically where the maximum jailtime is less than 4 or 5 years, unless the defendant requests a jury trial then it won't go to a jury. Going to a jury adds significant extra cost to the defendant, as it's usually a 'bigger case' so there'll be more lawyers (solicitor + barrister, possibly even a QC), more time, and so on.

  • Oct 12th, 2016 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: not to exclude competing transportation services.

    Let's use this analogy instead of the dogs and cats one.

    Say the government decides it wants to expand housing, and creates a new neighbourhood of, say 1000 acres.

    So, they decide to leave 200 acres as parkland/empty space within it, and sell the other 800 acres in 1/4 acre blocks, with the area mostly zoned for low-density housing (i.e. houses, townhouses, maybe some terrace/patio houses, and the odd small set of apartments, say 2 stories with a half-dozen flats/condo's), and some small shops etc.

    So, 10 or 15 years later, they decide to remove the 200 acres of parks and empty spaces, and sell them in 2-10 acre lots for high-density, tenement-style housing. Highrise, low-cost apartment living. Ugly 10, 20 or more story buildings full of low-cost apartmentsand condo's. Increasing the population density 10-fold in a matter of 5-10 years.

    Watch the land values in the area plummet. Overnight a 20%, if not 50%, devaluation in existing properties.

    Do the government owe anything to the existing property owners who bought on the belief (but not contractual guarantee) that they'd be living in a low-density area with 1/5 of the space being open parklands?

    Yeah, good luck with that.

  • Oct 12th, 2016 @ 1:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dogs vs. other animals

    Dogs are omnivores.

  • Oct 9th, 2016 @ 7:30pm

    (untitled comment)

    What is weird about these broadband caps is that where I am, since the general availability of xDSL technologies to consumers in the early '00s, caps have been standard. Not only have caps been standard, it's been pretty common to count both incoming and outgoing data in those caps. While we sat back with envy when people from the US were surprised that we had caps.

    Every couple of years the caps would change, usually increasing, for no increase -- sometimes a decrease -- in price.

    The plan I've been on for the last ~6 years or so is $79/month (naked ADSL2 - no telephone service and I get about 16Mbps sync speeds). Initially it was only 150GB/m, combined data. Which in 2010 was fairly decent, I'd download SD TV, steam games etc, and only exceed the cap (throttled to 256Kb/s down) once every 3 or 4 months, which I could pay an extra $15 for another 15GB (or $5 for 3GB), if I needed for the last few days or week of the month.

    Then about 3 years ago it went to 250GB/m, which co-incided nicely with my expanding viewing habits, and allowed me to download 720/1080p for choice programmes, and more TV programmes in general (and a lot of pr0n ;) ). Again, I'd exceed the cap every 3 months or so, and to avoid throttling it was now $15 for an an extra 25GB (or $5 for 5GB) if needed for the tail-end of the month.

    About 12 months ago this was increased to 500GB/m. At which point I switched most of my viewing to 1080p, with the filler shows still being SD or maybe 720p (the shows I don't get excited about, but fill the time in between the good shows). I'm not sure what the avoiding-throttling excess was, as I never needed it with 500GB.

    And, finally, about 6 months ago, only about 6 months after upping the cap to 500GB/m, it was again upped to -- uncapped. At which point all-downloading-hell broke loose, I download everything, even pilots, in 1080p. Even to the extent of downloading an SD or 720p HD TV episode to watch it now if that's available first and later downloading a 1080p version for savouring... Where I used to have Steam auto-updates turned off to save quota, so I'd only patch games I'm playing right now, now it's turned on for all installed games.

    So here I am, gone from 150GB --> 250GB --> 500GB --> uncapped over 6 years, for no price increase, not even inflation or extra hidden costs, yet the US carriers seem to be reversing this trend.

    We used to be envious of the broadband situation in the US, but not anymore, not in the last 3 years or so anyway (excluding Google Fibre - drool).

    TLDR - the rest of the world is going from caps as standard to big caps or even totally uncapped while the US telcos are reversing direction and introducing unjustified, monopoloy-enabled profiteering caps and increasing prices at the same time.

  • Oct 9th, 2016 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: To be fair

    They are in favour of torture as long as it's their own blackops agencies doing it.

  • Oct 9th, 2016 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Videos of kitten torture?

  • Oct 9th, 2016 @ 5:32pm

    software patents surviving Alice

    I don't thine Alice invalidates all software patents, just most.

    does no more than require a generic computer to perform generic computer functions
    It invalidates software patents that run on generic computers.

    What I don't think it invalidates are software patents for specific-purpose computing devices. E.g industrial control systems like the firmware embedded in CnC mills, ABS braking sytems in vehicles, flight control systems that allow fly-by-wire, engine management systems like EFI, medical equipment like pacemakers, printer firmware that controls the printing functions, and so on.

  • Oct 9th, 2016 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Software Patents

    Please learn correct spellings of "smarter" and "lemonade", because you obviously are less intelligent than me. Probably because YOU are one without a proper education, therefore you are ignorant to this subject and your opinion is invalid.

    By making this statement and holding the view you have expressed, you have shown yourself to be less than anyone else here.

    A person's intelligence, education and knowledge are irrelevant as to whether an opinion is a valid opinion. An opinion is always valid. It may be wrong, it may be lacking, incorrect, limited, sorta right, close, far, good, bad, spot on, way off base. But it is still valid.

    If you make the basis of whether even to consider an opinion on the educational and intelligence level of the person expressing the opinion, then you are an elitest, bigoted, limited, arrogant prick.

    You are the one showing ignorance.

    Most of the great discoveries in the 19th century, prior to the establishment and promulgation of the modern scientific method, were based on ignorance. Many of them were based on pure experimentation with no knowledge of why or what was happening, just that something was. Yet many great discoveries were made.
    If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”

    ―Arthur C. Clarke
    Just because someone is lacking in education doesn't mean they can't, in fact often means they can, make fundamental contributions. It's usually those who are ignorant of the perceived wisdom of a field that can cut through that preceived wisdom and do what the educated establishment have flat-out stated is impossible.

  • Oct 9th, 2016 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So it should be named:

    The Democratic Republic of Fosspatents.

  • Oct 5th, 2016 @ 8:18pm

    They probably did

    Unfortunately, companies that service the medical industry also decided a few years ago that it would be a good idea to connect every-damn-thing to networks without first understanding the security ramifications of the decision.
    I suspect that they actually did consider the ramifications. And, as any business (or anyone else in general for that matter) should, they probably did a cost benefit analysis. Cost of implementing proper security vs cost of not implementing proper security (e.g. law suits). And they probably came to the conclusion that it was more costly to implement proper security than not.

  • Oct 4th, 2016 @ 5:48pm

    (untitled comment)

    How about

    Totally Not Taco Johns Taco Tuesday.

  • Oct 3rd, 2016 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Little Rock

    If he won his lawsuit against the LRSD, then the LRSD were breaking the law. Therefore any monetary cost to them was due to their own illegal activities, and not to Walker.

    If Walker files a suit and wins against the LRPD, then the LRPD were the ones breaking the law. Therefore any monetary cost to them will have been due to their illegal actions.

    My conclusion? If you want to stop having to spend money on legal fees and payouts for your illegal activities -- stop doing those (blatantly) illegal activities.

    If the citizens of Little Rock are unhappy with their tax money being spent by these bodies as a result of their own illegal activities, maybe they should do something about it?

  • Oct 3rd, 2016 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re:

    For decades the biker clubs, the "1 percenters", have referred to the cops as "the gang in blue".

  • Oct 1st, 2016 @ 12:00am

    Re: Just Plain Illegal

    They didn't jam or interfere with the signal.

    They, physically, walked up to the operator of a hotspot and asked (demanded?) them to turn it off.

    Communications Act of 1934 states in part that you may not intentionally interfere with the wireless communication of any user on unlicensed frequencies.

    Now whether physical interference -- destroying a transmitter/receiver or demanding it be turned off -- is considered "intentional interference", or whether only electronic interference (would an EMP be regarded as physical or electronic? ;) ) is a breach I do not know.

  • Sep 28th, 2016 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Judge Alsup - love that he gets the tech!


  • Sep 28th, 2016 @ 1:09am


    Well, first you have to prove doing so is either:
    a) illegal;
    b) an actionable tort.

    If there is no law requiring them to secure them, then there is no illegal act.

    To bring a tort action, you'd have to also prove that you HAVE been (not could oneday mighta sorta be) actually damaged.

  • Sep 28th, 2016 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re: Re: This is why self-driving cars must be banned

    How about using a B1 Lancer with a crapload of bomblets flying over a massive crowded highway?

    Or just a couple of nukes?

    I'm pretty sure either of those would satisfy most of those criteria ;)

  • Sep 28th, 2016 @ 12:54am

    (untitled comment)

    WTF? best part of 3 years in prison, and $36k in fines, for 800 CDs? Seriously?

    People get less than that for acts that result in deaths.

    Ok ok, maybe he's been caught before, like 5 or 6 times with just wrist slaps. In that case maybe.

  • Sep 28th, 2016 @ 12:41am

    Re: Between the rock and the hard place

    OK, basic business practice.

    If a product costs X to develop, manufacture(code), supply, advertise, and the revenue generated from selling that product < X, you don't make the freakin product.

    If it's gonna cost $2billion to make a movie, yet the analysis shows you are only gonna make $0.5bill in revenue, you don't make it.

    If a game costs $20mill, yet there are only 10,000 people in the world who will buy it, then you better make damn sure it's good enough that those 10k people will pay the $2000 per copy, or don't make it.

    And, guess what? Of course you don't always know beforehand exactly what revenue you are going to get. There are too many variables (especially in an entertainment product - are people even going to like it?) to know exactly beforehand if it's gonna make enough revenue to cover it's costs let alone a profit.

    That's the risk you take in business. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. The better your analysis of the market vs what you want to make, the more often you'll win.

    If you want to make a profit you don't need DRM or anti-cheating/hacking code or whatever.

    You need a GOOD product, that people WANT to use, at a price that enough people are willing to pay.

    If you miss out on any of those points - sorry, it's not the customers, or pirates, or cheaters fault. Its the businesses fault. Either it was a crap product in the first place (nothing anyone needs, wants, or gives a toss about), or badly implemented (poor manufacturing, poor coding -- i.e. buggy , poor graphics design - crap visuals) or badly marketed (hey look, let's call our product an offensive name that noone wants anything to do with - or let's get Hitler as our spokesperson). And poor management for not performing a market analysis properly first.

    Tell me, why is there free, open source products out there that even tho they are free, do actually generate money for some people? You get products where people like it enough that they donate enough to it that the developers make money from it. Or business that charge for value-added-services, e.g. RedHat makes money from the totally free, open source Linux operating system by charging for (and providing) support to those who'd rather pay someone than try to support it themselves. Or the writers who make money on speaking/academic circuits - people pay them stupid money to come to a conference to talk about their product or sometimes anything else.

    No, if you aren't making money, you aren't good enough - either the management is bad, the analysts are bad, the producers are bad, the coders are bad, the marketeers are bad, the manufacturers are bad, or just the damn product is bad. End of story.

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