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  • Nov 25, 2021 @ 09:02am

    The stupid, it burns!

    Paid parking is a resource allocation error message.

    The presence of it makes an area no-go for me unless I have to deal with government agencies or am going to a highly-specialized event. For lack of a realistic choice I have the Detroit parking app, firewalled as heavily as I can manage.

    Dearborn, Michigan scrapped paid parking years ago after the damage to businesses was figured out, but it is still a blank spot in my mental map, I have to think to remember it's gone and usually go elsewhere for business. The "you can't park there" reflex remains.

  • Nov 20, 2021 @ 01:02pm


    Hey Tim, once again you've triggered a video over on the Lehtos Law YouTube channel.

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOy4QQP0oBs

  • Oct 07, 2021 @ 06:14am

    Seecuring from act of idiot.

    Things like this are why I long ago stopped using any but disposable addresses with web sites. Any site refusing disposable addresses is presumed to have criminal intent and I drop them like an angry porcupine.

    Since some here will need this spelled out: Events like this make it clear that web information cannot be meaningfully secured. Disposable addresses can be shut off trivially if compromised. I use disposable payment card numbers for the same reasons, sites refusing go on the crook list. My data and financial integrity are more important than whatever delusions others may have about "real" information. Its valid if you use it, and no legitimate reasons exist for not working with what is presented.

  • Sep 28, 2021 @ 07:36am

    To me streaming is a failure.

    On the data front, I managed to get a 49.5" dumb 4K TV, the only things connected to it that generate data are a Roku and an old first-gen Chrome stick that I got included with a cell phone, which is used mostly to put work-related webcasts on the TV.

    Streaming has been a non-starter for me. A service like Netflix might have been worth it if they got rid of some of the bad habits dragged over from the broadcast era, but fragmenting has pretty much ruined the appeal except for specialty services like Anime, and those still have issues.

    The content is the last thing considered when I look to streaming. If I'm paying for it, I have rules. The following are all deal-breakers:

    On-screen logos.
    Ads of any kind, even for other programs on your service. The guide/search is as close as you get. (Looking at you, Amazon Video.)
    Guides must be static and silent, if I want a preview I'll click on a button for the purpose. (Pluto TV, even free, has been relegated to news emergencies between the ads and the guide gunk, also no data more than two or so hours in the future is available.)
    Credit mangling, squeezing, upcoming/next up overlays, etc.
    Anything on a pause screen other than a progress bar that goes away after a few seconds. (Looking at you, Netflix.)
    "Are you there?" timeouts.

    Streaming, a potentially good idea that failed out of the gate.
    Mostly little silver discs for me.

  • Sep 09, 2021 @ 07:13am

    This is a bigger mess than it seems at first.

    One detail about US legal systems that many people miss is that, as a practical matter, if not necessarily a point of law, the restrictions of your home jurisdiction follow you. What is illegal in your home jurisdiction is effectively illegal for you regardless of what the law says where you may be at the time of the act. If your home jurisdiction considers it illegal and they find out that you did it somewhere with a different opinion on the matter, you can be prosecuted. It is likely that this will be considered applicable to suits under the new stupidity.

    Women in Texas are now under threat as any trip out of state (such as many women can be expected to do to avoid any reporting requirements that the new legislation may impose on doctors) carries the risk of being sued for attempting to hide an abortion. Taking that vacation could render a woman homeless as her assets are confiscated in judgements. (Even if they can't take the house directly, no money, property taxes don't get paid...)

    You know there there are sleazeballs out there planning this already.

  • Sep 09, 2021 @ 06:51am

    Some people take too long to learn...

    Avoiding PayPal is Ethics 100, not to mention simple self-defense.

  • Jul 08, 2021 @ 09:39pm

    This article has been referenced by an attorney.

    Steve Lehto over at the Lehto's Law YouTube channel has posted a 13 minute video on this article.


  • Jul 07, 2021 @ 07:00am

    Re: Seizures go to the IRS.

    As long as seizures can be kept by any part of the government, the corruption will continue. Allow seizures to go to the IRS and deals will be struck to get money back to seizing agencies. Seizure money that does not end up being returned should be required to be donated to IRS-recognized charities. The selection of charity should be by a panel of persons who have had assets seized. This will assure that the money goes to the charities most offensive to the government. If seizure is legitimately for controlling crime, little will change in seizures. If it is for profit, this should cause seizures to all but vanish. Under no circumstances should government be allowed to keep seized assets. The same should apply to any government-imposed penalty. Any time governments are allowed to keep money/assets taken for citizen misbehavior, corruption will develop, if it was not the reason for the penalty to begin with.

  • Jul 03, 2021 @ 07:40am

    Copyright has criminilized the transmission of human culture.

    I have said this here before. Others have said this in some form farther up in these responses.

    Copyright has effectively criminalized the process by which human culture has operated since we evolved enough intelligence to have culture.

    All but a very minimal form of copyright is going to cause societal stress, because the human species is wired a certain way in terms of social structure, and copyright is in direct opposition to much of the history if human social progress. We progress as a species by building on the foundations provided by others. If we have to pay to do that, the engine of progress is towing a pallet-load of cinderblocks with no trailer under it.

  • Jun 28, 2021 @ 04:01pm

    Repeating pattern...

    I find it interesting that those most prone to clog discussion platforms with shit are also the first to complain when the platform uses an enema.

  • Jul 09, 2020 @ 03:20pm

    I managed to duck some streaming monitoring.

    Not surprising that some of the new services are trying to both avoid paying money to Roku and Amazon and data-mine the daylights out of their "customers". Even Amazon realizes that Roku rules the roost on streaming, with Prime Video being available on Roku units.

    Slightly off target, but I figure some on this thread might be interested.

    I managed to find a 49.5 inch TV, with 4 HDMI ports, and NO network connectivity.

    No apps apart from the user interface.

    I connected it to a Roku. There is a Kodi box for playing video files over my network, a region-free blu-ray player, a RetroFreak and a PS Classic. I know that's one more device than ports, switches are wonderful things.

    The big point being, this TV can't spy on me. I don't have to worry about software updates bricking the unit., or killing functions on the TV. The Roku is another story, but at least it can't report my other devices program viewing back to the mother ship like most smart TVs can.

    So as not to be tagged as a spammer, I'll just give you the name and model. The unit is an Element E4AA50N-G. I'll leave it to anyone interested to find the on-line dealer who can sell you one.

    I got an upgraded Roku to be able to do 4K, and, to my irritation, it default added most of the large paid streaming apps that I had deleted off my old unit, plus a few that didn't exist way back when. A few minutes to get rid of, but decidedly unsubtle.

  • Jul 04, 2020 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Grabbing a library before they burn Alexandr

    Windows drivers come and go, Linux drivers accumulate.

  • Feb 13, 2020 @ 07:35pm

    Hey, Mycroft! Whats' the weather like?

    A bit of drift: I have one of the Mark I Mycroft units, it arrived in a box labeled "Prototype". I have it controlling my house lights by acting as a voice proxy to an OpenHAB controller. It also makes for a smart alarm clock that I can ask to go off at specific times or offsets into the future. It has this nifty retro-robot look with two rings of LEDs for "eyes" and an LED grid for information display (Weather icons, data or time) and "mouth" movements when speaking. It is not on a par with Echo or Home devices, but it works if you keep it's limits in mind.

    Less drift: The voice parsing is a bit slow, but for the most part, it works. I just asked it "Who is Christine McGlade?", it paused for nearly 20 seconds before coming back with the answer that she is a Canadian media executive who used to host "You Can't Do That on Television."

    "Hey, Mycroft! Sue the socks off of Turney LLP."

  • Jan 13, 2020 @ 07:33pm

    The movie industry has been feeling this for years.

    The steady churn of remakes/reboots/sequels in the motion picture industry (sometimes "motion putrid" seems more appropriate) owes a fair bit to this same effect. It is safer to remake/mutate something you already own rather than risk getting sued because someone once had an idea that came within screaming distance of yours.

  • Dec 12, 2019 @ 04:09pm

    Not surprised at the stupid there.

    I tried to order something from those lackwits, and the screw-up was severe. Suffice it to say that I consider sites using Teespring for sales to be making false claims about having stuff for sale.

    StackSocial is no better. I tried to order some things, they would not process my payment and would not tell me why. They suggested using PayPal. "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid."

    How does Techdirt make any money off these morons?

  • Nov 08, 2019 @ 08:16pm

    Is there a point to streaming...?

    Between the fragmentation and importing most of the worst habits of broadcast and cable, is there any reason to bother with streaming?

    In the apparently unlikely event that more than one streaming service can manage not to overload the screen with overlay crap and and ads (even if it is an ad for other programming on the service, an ad is an ad, and I will not pay for that sort of mistreatment), it is unlikely that any non-specialty service will have enough programming of interest to be worth it. I am looking into one service that may have its act together. The only one I have heard of that does. Given the price, I hope they allow multiple streams and aren't on the "password sharing" bandwagon that providers run down account splitting with. We'll see.

  • Nov 08, 2019 @ 12:16pm

    Yoda says

    Begun the Streaming War has.

  • Oct 21, 2019 @ 07:05pm

    Hollywood is killing theaters...

    For the most part, going to the theater has become a miserable experience. Psychotically overpriced concession stands insure that I just do without munchies. Still-frame ads running on the screen anytime the motion systems are idle. Ads of various sorts for several minutes before they get to the movie I've come to see.

    This is why I only go to the theater when friends want to go there. I never go on my own anymore and I never suggest going.

    I get my movies and TV shows on little silver discs. Most streaming services have picked up many of the excremental habits that drove me away from broadcast and cable TV and therefore are failures as far as I am concerned.

    Who do you root for when both parties to the fight deserve to lose?

  • Oct 08, 2019 @ 04:11am

    Odd routing.

    I suspect that my Garmin device does not always plot the shortest route. It sometimes takes paths that only make sense if it is trying to send me past businesses. At times of night when those businesses are closed, it sends me down slightly different routes that, amazingly, pass businesses that are open late or all night. If all the systems do this, it could definitely cause sub-optimal routing.

    I can't be sure this is really happening, but it would explain the sometimes daft routing decisions the devices makes.

  • Sep 23, 2019 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Strange..

    All US states require a rear plate. 31 states require a front plate. (Search engines are handy.) The same "Full-faith-and-credit" laws that allow you to drive anywhere in the US with your state-issued driver license apply to cars, if your car meets the standards of your home state, you cannot legally be be cited for failing to meet the standards of another state. If cited, politely point out that your state has no such requirement, and if the officer insists, don't argue further, just collect the ticket and have it dismissed later.

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