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  • Apr 16th, 2014 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Um no, as I said I agree with the point they're making, I just disagree with the methodology of the number.

    Essentially, if you want to watch GoT right now legally you need:
    - A TV
    - An electricity supply
    - A subscription to HBO

    All of these things can be used for things other than watching GoT. The calculation in question assumes that the person has other uses for a TV and an electricity supply so doesn't count them as a GoT cost. I'm just pointing out that it's a fairly arbitrary assumption and other assumptions are equally valid - everything from the only thing he would need a TV for is GoT, so the cost is huge, or he would actually want to watch Breaking Bad, CSI, whatever else is on, so the GoT cost is low.

  • Apr 16th, 2014 @ 10:52am

    Re: "People" is also used in the Preamble

    I wouldn't go so far as to say it means that people=citizen, as citizen could have a higher standard of entry. For example age, status, gender, race, wealth, etc have all been used as a qualification for the full rights of citizenship. "People" is a broader classification.

    However I do think the use of "the" in the term "the people" means it is referring to a specific group of people, rather than everyone in the world. If it meant everyone then it would say "the right of people to be secure ...". By using the it then means that the right of this specific group of people. Which would presumably just mean US persons.

    IANAL, and in particular IANACL. Indeed IANAUSP ...

  • Apr 16th, 2014 @ 10:47am

    Re: Find a fib told by the NSA?

    More like searching for hay in a haystack ...

  • Apr 15th, 2014 @ 11:05pm

    (untitled comment)

    I would argue that page load time isn't an indicator of quality of what's on the web page any more than encryption is. They're both indicators of how the page is delivered.

    With page load time, google is saying that they will promote pages which are optimised or delivered efficiently. Promoting pages which are encrypted is a similar deal.

  • Apr 14th, 2014 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re:

    The point I'm making is that assuming the entire HBO subscription is paying for those 10 episodes is a biased number. They are assuming that there is absolutely nothing else you want HBO for, but that there's lots of other things that you want the TV for.

    If you're willing to assume that the hypothetical person doesn't want to watch anything else on HBO, why not also assume that they don't want to watch anything else? A good TV could set you back $1,000 (?) so that's an extra $100 per episode.

    I agree with the point - it should be easier to pick and choose which parts of a package you want, so you don't end up paying for stuff you don't want. I'm just pointing out that the $50 an episode calculation is robust enough to be a MPAA/RIAA number.

  • Apr 14th, 2014 @ 6:18am

    (untitled comment)

    I don't think that's really a fair comparison, after all they're looking at the price for a whole bundle and ascribing all the cost to just one part of it. This is reasonable to a certain extent (eg ignoring all the extra channels bundled in and attributing the cost to the one or two you're actually interested in) but I think attributing all the cost to just one show is a bit extreme.

    You can do much better than $50 an episode by waiting for the DVD release. I pay around $2 per episode to watch GoT as many times as I like.

    If you are only counting ways to watch a series the instant it's released (ie no waiting for DVD release windows) then the cost could go up astronomically. Granted I think GoT was released relatively simultaneously around the world, but for other shows you would need to factor in weekly flights to the US and a hotel which has access to the relevant cable channel. $500 per episode for non-simutaneous releases? Suddenly $50 sounds much more reasonable :)

  • Apr 8th, 2014 @ 8:43am

    Is there nothing he hasn't done?

    Hayden sounds like he's Dr Evil's arch competitor. I can just see the conversation in the remake of Austin Powers:

    Dr Evil: Here's what we'll do. We'll hack the internet backbone and tap into email and social media traffic to spy on everyone in the entire world. We can then use the information to blackmail US senators, conduct corporate espionage to get secrets to sell, and get law enforcement to harass our enemies.

    Number Two: Michael Hayden has already done that. He ran the NSA and set up a massive surveillance program to monitor the world and provide inside information to US companies.

    Dr Evil: OK then, plan B. We will get information on our enemies by torturing them in secret facilities around the globe. Granted we'll actually have to get the information from normal interrogation techniques since torture doesn't work, but I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to not torture people.

    Number Two: That also has been done. After working for the NSA, Michael Hayden then moved to the CIA and oversaw a rendition and torture program which was applauded based on information from other people's interrogations, and glorified in a Hollywood movie with a bigger budget than this one.

    Dr Evil: Oh hell. Then let's just do what we always do. Hijack a nuclear weapon and hold the world hostage. Don't tell me Hayden has done that as well?!

    Number Two: Well ... (to be continued when the next set of Hayden leaks are released)

  • Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 12:05pm

    He's telling the truth!

    He claimed that there has not been a single case of NSA abusing its authority.

    He's right you know. There hasn't been a single case, there's been loads of them!

  • Mar 28th, 2014 @ 2:35am

    Re: Re: Disappointed

    The thing I don't understand, is why the government denies trademarks based on racist terms. I know the short answer is "because it's in the law", but why is it in the law?

    Recognising that a certain word is used by a given company for a particular product doesn't mean that the government is agreeing with the word, company or product. If the name was subsequently used in a racist manner, then the company would be in trouble regardless of whether a trademark existed.

    I guess if trademark is a criminal issue, then the goverment doesn't want to get into the business of fighting for someone who has registered a racist mark?

  • Mar 28th, 2014 @ 2:19am

    Re: Re: Re: But...

    You may be calling a spade a spade, but lets just nip that in the bud. I dink you're as high as a kike or your morality is on the fritz if you think using dis-paki-ble language like that is OK. To avoid being fuzzy-wuzzy about it, lets be clear - yank terms like that from your speech. Don't ape racists and keep your language spic and span. I'm not jock-ing.


  • Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:49am


    For some reason the banner pissed me off more than just a "We refuse to show you this content because you're outside the USA"

    They should be honest about why they're not showing us the video and not try and blame it on the user.

    The banner closes with a request that us foreigners go to watch clips on their website. Not likely. Why would I bother when I haven't seen this video? I'm told it was amusing and would have made me want to see more but I have no idea.


  • Mar 10th, 2014 @ 3:53am

    (untitled comment)

    I can see their point. Currently they have control over everything (man made) that happens at 35,000 feet so can minimise accidents.

    However, if they have no control over drones they lose that - someone could theoretically remote pilot a 747 full of passengers without coming into the FAA control.

    Perhaps instead of delineating their control based on whether the pilot is on board, perhaps a better line would be based on the cargo (passengers/livestock, or tacos), the height (in the commercial jet highway, or 100 feet over a football field), size, being flown over urban areas, etc.

    Something like anything with people/animals on board or anything flown over 1000 feet? Should give them the ability to maintain passenger airspace safety, while allowing low flying freeform innovation (and avoiding people being arrested for flying unsanctioned paper aeroplanes)

  • Mar 6th, 2014 @ 12:33am

    Re: Re: He missed one....its a drug taking instrument

    self-respecting cokehead?

    Sounds like an oxymoron to me ...

  • Feb 28th, 2014 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Re: "in your face" gay attitude

    while the guy may have been gay,

    flasher =/= gay

  • Feb 28th, 2014 @ 1:03am

    Re: Now this is what I call due process

    What comment? I can't see anything ;)

  • Feb 27th, 2014 @ 12:54am

    what consequences?

    Fortunately, in this time, the people of Ukraine not only had the will to change their government, they had the ability to organize and export their story to the world via the internet, ubiquitous camera phones, and a citizen press. In other words, twenty years ago, this might not have been possible. Now it's eminently so.

    Other nations looking to tamp down on free speech and a free internet may want to take note of the consequences.

    That reads like their ability to revolt depended on having free speech and the ability to spread the news. Therefore taking that away from them would make any revolt much more contained.

    Of course it would also make revolt much more likely ...

    Guess that's the tradeoff in running a dictatorship though - lots of containable revolts (hoping they don't link up) or a few uncontainable revolts?

    I'm off to play Civ to check ...

  • Feb 20th, 2014 @ 8:27am


    "We are calling on NGOs, academics, and other public interest groups to submit their candidates to be founding members of the PITAC."

    So they're lumping various public interest groups together in the PITA Comittee?

    They're not even being subtle about calling public interest groups a Pain In The Ass any more!

  • Feb 20th, 2014 @ 1:35am


    You can't argue with three pairs of teats!

  • Feb 20th, 2014 @ 1:28am

    Re: Re: tarring your critics?

    He certainly is implying that. Think of the following quotes which we've seen various flavours of on Techdirt:

    Politician: We need to snoop on all your web browsing to catch paedophiles. Obviously paedophiles won't like this, so you will see some stories trying to cast this program in a sinister light.

    NSA: We need to snoop on all your web browsing to catch terrorists. Obviously terrorists won't like this, so you will see some stories trying to cast this program in a sinister light.

    Gabe: We need to snoop on all your web browsing to catch cheaters. Obviously cheaters won't like this, so you will see some stories trying to cast this program in a sinister light.

    In each case they are pointing out that their objective is to catch bad people, which of course has to be a good thing. After all, bad people! So of course bad people won't like this and will write nasty things about the program. Think about that every time you see someone argue against this program, and think of the children(tm)!

    And of course with the NSA this is happening at this moment - with David Miranda and Jesselyn Radack being treated as terrorists for opposing the NSA's anti-terrorist program, and politicians sparing no opportunity to attack Snowden, Greenwald et al.

    Now I would reiterate that I think Gabe did the right thing in issuing a prompt response, and in a human manner rather than something tied up in lawyerese and PR-speak. I also trust Steam far more than I trust politicans/NSA and actually believe what he says.

    I just think he could have ditched the line where he tried to associate anyone who disagreed with their browsing being spied on with cheaters.

    I would point out that I do use Steam and am happy with the service they provide. I'm not going to stop as a result of this disclosure.

  • Feb 19th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    tarring your critics?

    "For most cheat developers, social engineering might be a cheaper way to attack the system than continuing the code arms race, which means that there will be more Reddit posts trying to cast VAC in a sinister light."

    So, anyone who disagrees with him is obviously a cheater? How about someone who doesn't like finding out that their activity is being spied on outside of a game?

    While I applaud Gabe for coming out with a human and straightforward response, he could have done so without trying to denigrate anyone who disagrees with him.

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