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  • Oct 20th, 2017 @ 9:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Google will never admit it, but even they figured out that trying to catch up to the incumbent players is a lost cause. The return on investment is too small - and that was with cherry picking only higher density areas and not serving the "one house every 5 miles" rural parts of America.

    Remember too, wireless is (and will always be) supply limited. There is only so much bandwidth to work with, you can only fit so many towers, and they can only handle so much throughput. Wireline is better, but still limited by distance and cost per mile.

    Supply will always be at least somewhat limited, especially outside of the densest population centers. Thus, demand pushes prices up.

  • Oct 20th, 2017 @ 4:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's like being on an airplane, and realizing your friend Jack is sitting five rows ahead of you. Never yell out:

    "Hi Jack!"

    You may have totally innnocent grounds to say it, but everyone else will completely freak out, with good reason.

    Oh, and the story isn't SESTA related at all, except in your mind.

  • Oct 20th, 2017 @ 3:14am


    A very small amount in theory, but given to the right people in the right places, it gets plenty of value. Many of these groups operate for nothing or next to nothing, so even $1000 would be a huge windfall for them to work with.

    Politicians spend hundreds of millions, but it's mostly the firehose of shit flung against random walls. Most of it doesn't stick, and much of it sticks in the wrong places.

    2.3 million of targeted motivation of groups is really a big way to start echos in the chamber.

  • Oct 20th, 2017 @ 2:27am

    (untitled comment)

    Sort of a supply and demand thing - they control the supply, and as demand goes up, prices naturally head upwards.

    It's pretty basic, Mike can explain it to you if you like.

  • Oct 20th, 2017 @ 1:45am

    (untitled comment)

    "The scope of what they could target is enormous: tweets warning about plain-clothed ICE agents at courthouses, search engine results for articles indicating whether evacuation centers will be checking immigration status, online ads for DACA enrollment assistance, or even discussion about sanctuary cities and the protections they afford generally."

    Let's be fair here, it's all discussions about breaking the law in one form or another. These children are with people who are not their legal guardians, and they could be in peril.

    They are paranoid because they know they are breaking the law. It's incredibly sad that they are in this sort of postition, but really blame Obama for DACA, which has lead to people literally pushing their children over the wall into the US illegally knowing they will be "safe".

    Oops, kind heared liberal concept leads to pain. Who would have thought it?

  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re:

    "Corporate toady."

    Ad homs, how nice!

    "They're offering "live" data to anybody who fucking comes in over the Internet."

    The two sites in question were (a) demos, and (b) appear to be showing only your own data to yourself. There was no indication that the data was widely available without having access to the AT&T API, which has restricted access.

    "even letting it outside of a closed billing system into a larger corporate system would be grounds for damages."

    Not sure that is entirely true, especially not pre-2017, when these were developed.

    "And "partners" are third parties. That's just what pieces of shit like to call the particular third parties they happen to be working with that week, as part of the various cons they're running."

    It depends on the structure of the deal. It would also depend on if the data was actually stored by third parties, or only requested and used during a single transaction. Since we don't have a completed product with a final consumer facing view, we may never know.

    It would appear to mostly be two demo systems that were never turned off. At best, AT&T appears to perhaps be a bit lax is turning off access to their API.

    "pieces of shit"

    Indeed. Cussing and calling names sums up your post nicely!

  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are correct, oh trollish one.

    It is, however, a simplistic way to explain things. Disney isn't that concerned with fans being fans. They are concerned with people trying to make a buck off or make their own names on the back of Disney stuff.

    While nobody around here would ever like to admit it, Disney is pretty tolerant of many uses of their works, they don't chase after fans (a few video game companies could stand to learn from that). Disney has created a very powerful portfolio of characters and has purchased perhaps one of the few other big portfolios (Star Wars) in part because they are really good at minding their business carefully.

    Love them or hate them (and I know you hate them) Disney isn't in the wrong here. They are actually being pretty reasonable and calm about it, but they are taking care of business.

  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 5:02am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm having a bit of a giggle here.

    When you pay attention, you realize that they are both demo sites, and both are things being worked on since 2013. They are not "live" for the public or in general use, from what I can see.

    Also, in both cases the projects appear to be "joint operations" between the two partners, which would permit your user data to be shared as part of the project. The companies are not third parties buying data.

    Good story, but a few sniffs and the fun goes away.

  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 1:54am

    Re: If the facts get in the way...

    There are a group of problems that sort of butt up against each other and cause the current problems in the US:

    1 - the ISPs are mostly content providers / creators / distributors and the internet hurts their existing business

    2 - there is little incentive (cost / benefit) for companies to fix the last mile.

    3 - the costs for new players to come in and install the last mile on a full mandate (non cherry picked) basis is exorbitant and a very low return business

    4 - technology is moving fast enough that any investment today must pay off quickly or be lost. Existing physical plants are still being paid off from the last round of upgrades.

    5 - all of this could turn out to be meaningless the moment wireless last mile becomes viable and cost effecient

    6 - the costs would be handed to consumers, who, facing already high costs would just have to pay a whole bunch more.

    Google found out, it's not a good business to be in. It's expensive, there are cumbersome regulations, it's hard to make a buck - and they were cherry picking to the maximum. You don't see Google lining up to run fiber to rural, 1 ever 5 mile farm houses and little cluster villages. Yet, somehow, that is what is expected of the existing companies.

    Remember too: it's not just the cost of your personal last mile. It's the cost of all of the downstream equiipment, network backhaul, and of course the amount of IP transit that has to be purchased to fulfill your service. With the short lifecycle of the equipment, standards, and standard accounting practices it would all have to be written off in a very short few years - which means it would have to go to your bill pretty much directly.

    Remember too: Most ISPs are at this point on their fifth or sixth cycle of the internet equipment already. Changing the network to use Fiber would be a huge upgrade for them, they would literally have to replace every piece of equipment from end to end. It's not cheap or easy.

    Ask Google. They pretty much stopped investing because they figured out they couldn't get reasonable return on their money, and it was actual hard work!

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Umm, no.

    Cosplay isn't a professional thing. Cosplayers aren't getting paid to perform. They are dressing that way in tribute, and nothing else.

    I don't see Disney (or any other major player) getting upset about Cosplay. They don't like companies who make and sell unlicensed "complete" costumes, but they have not and generally will not go after the cosplay crowd.

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Effect this

    I know that. However, Techdirt people are quick to flag posts they don't agree with, and very slow to flag actual trolling. Want to make a difference? Flag the guy trying to troll me. He fails because he is way too obvious!

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 5:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's not hard to see the verdict in this one, because there is little to really debate.

    The last thing the courts would want to do is create a situation where companies are encouraged to offshore data to avoid responsibilities for it. It would be easy to see every American company putting it's data into a "haven" countries strictly to avoid any and all government regulation. Think of it on par with tax avoidance, every big company does it.

    I think in the end the will end up having to deal with the basic concept that if the company is here in the US, and the data is accessible and used in the US, then there is no doubt that it should be accessible via warrant or court order.

    You could also consider the question from Europe of offshoring data. There is plenty of push back in making sure that the data stored in the US is respecting European privacy standards and what not. Clearly, as far as the Euro side is concerned, the data belongs to them no matter where it's been farmed out to. It's not unreasonable for SCOTUS to come to the same conclusion for data created in the US, held by companies based in the US, or for US citizens, residents, and the like.

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re:

    It's in the interest of every creator, every writer, and everyone related to this sort of thing, and indirectly in the public's own interest.

    You have to remember that this isn't just an abstract IP issue - it's also a performance issue. When they do the Dark Lord and Hairy Guy thing, they aren't just making pictures or whatever, they are offering a performance. They appear at your event and perform as those characters.

    The question is pretty simple: if they can do this in public, then why not also allow them to make videos, movies, do theater shows, all without licensing and without consideration for the original creators?

    There is little tangible benefit for Disney to turn a blind eye, but there is plenty of potential harm and creeping of the line of "acceptable abuse".

    Reversing your questions is simple: What is the tangible benefits for letting Characters for Hire to continue without obtaining a license? Do you not think that if they let this one go that a 1000 other shops will set up and do the same? That would fairly obviously dilute the value of a characters and lower very directly what Disney would be able to charge for a similar service.

    When you go to a Disney theme park and pay your ticket price to get in, it includes the value (especially for your younger ones) of meeting the characters. On a recent trip to the mouse trap with my family, we met storm troopers, Darth Vader, Iron Man, Baymax from Big Hero 6, The mouse and his minions, and so on. For my son especially, the pictures with the "real" Iron Man is something he loves to show his friends, and is his phone screen background. If they were common on every street corner, the value even for him would be diminished.

    It's all a bit of a loop - it's often hard to express the value to the public. It's easy to get the short term "cheaper characters for your kids birthday party", but the longer term implications aren't that positive. The short term "now now free gimmie!" is easy, but almost always has implications.

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Effect this

    Ooo, stinky troll baiting me! You fail!

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Effect this

    They should be afraid of running stories that are either not true, misleading, or based on flimsy sources. For that, they could get sued.

    The difference is pre-Gawker, online companies seemed to act pretty invincible. Since then, many sites have tightened up and you see less speculative articles and quite a bit more with some meat on the bones.

    There will always be nuisance lawsuits, but some of them are valid. Honestly, I think Hogan was in the right with his lawsuit, no matter who was funding it or who was arguing it. Gawker did him wrong and continued to do harm after the fact as well. It was ugly, and needed to end up in court.

    So if a site / news organization takes a step back from a poorly sourced story or sits on something for a couple of days until they have confirmation, it's probably better anyway.

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 5:22am

    Re: "... yes, but the /fear/ of crime is rising."

    Crime is a slippery thing to report. Many people just don't bother to report things. Robberies / theft is the most commonly not reported because people don't want to increase their insurance rates, or the police won't come out to take a report for a simple theft, they send you to the station. Many people just give up.

    The question also is our tolerance. What wasn't socially acceptable say in 1950 may be acceptable today. A bar fight that might have landed two people in the drunk tank for the night and facing a judge in the morning instead ends up as a "won't press charges" thing of mutual combatants, with the police happier just to send people on their way.

    In the US, you are individually less likely to be a victim of crime today than 20 years ago, but the total number of crimes has risen along with the population. When you add in the media echo chamber, it's not unreasonable for the public to be more aware of crime and more concerned.

    You could look at the National Crime Victimization Survey - it shows trending down, but also indicates that many people are choosing not to report crimes.

    You just have to consider that Harvey Weiner-stein and his ilk have single handedly tilted the stats for unreported sexual crimes... if the reports are true. Also, the MeToo hashtag should give you some good insight into how many women have been victims in their past.

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 4:44am

    Re: Re: Effect this

    You be trolling, Trumpkin!

  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 1:29am

    Effect this

    The Gawker effect? Really?

    What the whole Gawker lawsuit did was remind many "news" organizations (you know, the ones that are fast with rumor, short of absolute facts) that they can be held liable for crossing the line. Online journalism has gotten a pretty easy ride of it for almost two decades now. It took Gawker to go over the line and prove that there are in fact limits.

    Gawker did what no media outlet should do, which is overdo it. They didn't just tell the story of Hulk Hogan and his sexploits (as they were) but rather used it as a spring board to make it personal and offensive. Running the entire video (rather than just a few neatly censored screen shots) is one of those points where it was no longer about telling the story, but about rubbing his face in it and "taking down" a famous person, mostly for promotional value it seems.

    Gawker went to far, got their corporate dick slapped in the dirt, and everyone around them went "whoa, there is a limit after all!". Everyone includes lawyers who love to litigate, Mr Harder apparently being one of them. He has proven that, if nothing else, he is willing to go to the end of the battle with clients who can afford to get there.

    So now, if you are a website writing a story about sexual shenanigans, you have to think for a second: Is this third hand information and innuendo enough to take the risk with? Are we reporting "Rose McGowen says she was raped" or are we reporting "someone said that they heard someone that told a story about someone getting raped".

    The Gawker effect, more than anything, is to make these online sites consider their sources and their material before running it. They found out that they aren't any more special than any other form of media.

  • Oct 17th, 2017 @ 5:18am

    (untitled comment)

    "t seemed like the (mostly) one-man War on Encryption had reached a ceasefire agreement when "Going Dark" theorist James Comey was unceremoniously ejected from office"

    You started with a fail. The idea of an encryption back door was not the idea of a single man, nor was it something pushed by a single man. It's a concept that more than stretches through the various three letter agencies. In fact, the fire is burning possibly even stronger in Europe. While the Euro parliament considers a "ban", the member states are pretty much all lining up to push the concept.

    So thinking some sort of cease fire happened because a single guy got kicking out for failing to lick Trump's boots is a pretty weak opening spot.

  • Oct 17th, 2017 @ 3:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are using standard Techdirt logic, which in this case fails. You are trying to bootstrap stuff by starting in the middle.

    "To be fair to the children in question, given how they were treated I'd place more blame on the adults involved than them, and I wouldn't blame them for not calming down at that point."

    The children were already hysterical and uncontrollable apparently before anything was done. This is not the creation of the cretin deputy (who should face charges). there has to be something there to start with, do you honestly think they are randomly pulling kids out of class to torture them until the scream?

    "They were treated atrociously, and from the sound of it that's practically standard practice('more than ten children have been handcuffed by SROs in schools, and it is possible that the number is more than twenty-five.'),"

    Each case is horrible, and should be dealt with. However, considering the number of cases schools have to deal with every day, I think you are way over reaching to suggest it's SRO or even acceptable. This seems like a very extreme case, both in the behavior of the "disturbed" children and the criminal deputy. I don't think it reflects anything other than the concept that society as a whole is trending violent and young children are no exception to that problem.

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