Violynne’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Aug 30th, 2016 @ 9:05am

    (untitled comment)

    ...what stops Comcast from charging you more if you want 4K Netflix streams to work? Or AT&T deciding it can charge you more if you want your Steam games to download at full bitrate...
    These already happen now.

    Every cable company in the US charges a higher price for HD channels despite broadcasts being mandated to be HD.

    It's laughably insulting to see how an HD movie somehow costs $2 more to stream than an SD movie.

    As far as gaming downloads, they *are* throttled, regardless if you're going through Steam or a console's store.

    The day I see my download speeds match my ISP speeds is the day I wake up and say, "How in the hell did I get to Japan?"

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 10:20am

    (untitled comment)

    Here's the thing, though: if you want to get upset about this, don't get upset at Twitter. Get furious at parts of the DMCA...
    Not only No, but FUCK NO.

    I am going to get mad at Twitter, and every other company which refuses to stand up against these idiotic copyright laws as they have the means to do so.

    Remember how SOPA was defeated? Facebook and Google took their sites down, just to name a couple.

    If they had not, the DMCA would have been the least of our worries.

    The reality is copyright law isn't going to change. The MPAA has done well to infect the brains of the young with bullshit (go read up on mod authors and how they feel about "stealing").

    The industry won.

    We lost.

    The ONLY way copyright law now gets fixed is if companies like Twitter, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others stand up against the law.

    Since their revenue is solely reliant on the insatiable appetite of its users to know how big a Kardashian's ass has gotten today, it's pretty obvious copyright law isn't going anywhere.

    PS: thanks to the fucking idiots who paid money to see the latest Star Wars and Marvel movies, in less than 5 years, we're going to see how those billions are spent when copyright law comes up for renewed extensions.

    We're going to lose. Again.

  • Aug 9th, 2016 @ 9:05am

    (untitled comment)

    Let's re-write this article a bit differently, to show why it's funny:

    "Consumer, who replaced a perfectly working thermostat for the sake of an app, now wonders why this new thermostat can't heat or cool their own home. Turns out, it's been hacked."

    Translation: consumer lacks common sense, and expects us to feel sympathy for their plight.

    Tell me a story about how a 7 year old girl was killed because some asshole was trying to catch cartoon animals while driving their 2000 pound automobile, then I'll show compassion.

    Common sense is disappearing from this country at an alarming rate.

    Yes, I do blame technology. It's literally keeping people from thinking on their own.

  • Aug 1st, 2016 @ 8:45am

    (untitled comment)

    Look at the bright side, Mike.

    If this case does go to trial, Getty images just put their own foot in their mouth by admitting they believed the images to be in the public domain and were charging people for it.

    There's no way to excuse this now.

    Hopefully, the lawsuit is so damaging, Getty becomes a footnote in the annals of internet history.

  • Jul 8th, 2016 @ 9:12am

    (untitled comment)

    As much as I try to understand the decision not to report the person's name, I've a more troubling feeling this situation is just another example of a growing problem this country is plagued with.

    Let me be clear on this: the person who sent the letter, all intentions for the better, abused the court system twice: the first was filing for selfish reasons and the second was making it disappear.

    By refusing to release the name is a nice gesture for the regrettable filing.

    By refusing the release the name after finding out the case was removed from public record is a disservice to the public.

    Had the person not written Techdirt, would the missing case ever been discovered if Techdirt's journalism hadn't fact checked?

    I'll respect Techdirt's decision not to release the name, court, judge(s), and attorneys who violated America's justice system, but realize I'm extremely disappointed by the decision.

  • Jun 1st, 2016 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    Basically, yes. The article says it plainly:
    If you read it again, that's not what it says.

    An acknowledgement of information released by a patient is not a HIPAA violation.

    Had the provider made this acknowledgement without prior patient statement, then yes, a violation did occur.

    I'd need to see the Yelp review in question before I can make the actual determination.

    It's unfortunate that HIPAA was another law rushed without regarding the consequences. The changes of the past few years has made it more and more difficult to speak about anything regarding patient data outside of a hermetically sealed, padded, sound-proof room and it's getting atrocious.

    I'm all for protecting one's privacy, but an email address is not a privacy violation, yet it's one of the key words tagged for "privacy info" in a growing list of absurdity.

    Providers should take extreme care to mention any information that may be patient related and stick to using generic replies.

    I also feel patients should be forced to waive their rights if they make these same privacy-ending remarks on any site to which the provider shares.

    What's good for the goose...

  • May 27th, 2016 @ 2:14pm

    (untitled comment)

    A pointless victory.

    No one won this case.

    Especially those who ignored the fact APIs have always been covered by copyright.

    Common sense has, once again, failed us all because you can't fix stupid.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 10:31am

    (untitled comment)

    Starting this week? Maybe I'm missing something here, but the 300GB cap has been with us since day 1, and that was over two years ago.

    Maybe it's for those "unlimited" accounts still floating around?

    At any rate, it's not like any of this matters. It's just another fine job by a monopolistic industry who requires us to grease up and take it where the sun doesn't shine.

    At least they're not charging us for the lube... yet.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 4:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Oh, boy. Karl writes another article, I get angry at his lack of understanding, and yet another pointless post will be made given I know damn well he's not going to change his opinion.

    Karl, how is this any different than current entertainment licenses today?

    Exclusive is what supports the consumer's purchase. Fair? Probably not, but it's been this way for centuries.

    Let's put this in perspective so you can understand it better. Disney recently purchased both the Marvel and Star Wars franchises.

    Prior to the announcement from Netflix, where could anyone stream any movies of these franchises? I'll tell you: No where.

    Now, for the first time ever, in the history of both Marvel and Star Wars, people can actually stream these shows.

    First. Time. EVER!

    Yes, the industry is moving like a glacial landmass to work towards providing people what they want to see and are willing to pay for.

    But the reality of the situation is people do not have to hunt and peck because there are only three services:
    Amazon
    Netflix
    Hulu

    Maybe 4, if YouTube can figure out what the hell it wants to do, but those are the big three.

    Just like the big three in "radio" are:
    Apple
    Spotify
    Pandora

    Yes, there are others out there, but if you're looking to license exclusive content, you're going to go with the bigger players who have established the customer base.

    What we should be taking away from this isn't criticism, but appreciation that maybe, just maybe, the rest of the movie industry will get off its lazy ass and do what Disney is doing, even if this means we have all three subscriptions which is still cheaper than cable.

    PS: there's still no such thing as unlimited data. >:]

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 4:39am

    Re: Stupid question, but...

    Sometimes. Many tattoo parlors I've seen have art books people can select from.

    So long as the final image isn't a copy from the book, the tattooee claims copyright.

  • May 23rd, 2016 @ 11:28am

    (untitled comment)

    Manning can't appeal.

    He* was convicted by a military court, not a criminal court.

    While many will argue his chances were slim because of a stacked deck (along with me), it's irrelevant.

    The rules are much different. He should have waited until he was discharged before blowing the whistle, to which 1) he could have found more secure ways of whistle blowing and 2) he would be facing charges in criminal court, not military.

    I wish her luck, but it's pointless. No way is any judge going to grant an appeal.

    *Manning was male during the whistle blowing arena, hence the use of "his" in the context during that time.

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 7:00am

    (untitled comment)

    What, no complimentary Google tax?

    The UK is slipping.

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 5:31am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm sorry, but how did "I don't see any bad guys here" derive from the moron-in-a-hurry test as to not differentiate "Pilot House" from "House Spirits"?

    I'd definitely call House Spirits the bad guys here, especially that it's reasonable to see Cary is now paying for the license to use the name (which is probably more expensive in the long run than it is to pay $10k immediately).

    I can definitely see a potential for confusion for the first, not the second.

    Though, I'm going to be frank here: Cary shouldn't be in business. If he couldn't even take a day to cursory check the open, free to use trademark website to ensure he wasn't even close to a lawsuit, then he certainly deserved to pay for that lesson he clearly didn't learn from.

  • May 18th, 2016 @ 10:52am

    (untitled comment)

    As we've long noted, cable operators could pretty easily defeat cord cutting by competing on price and value.

    It's very rare I defend the cable industry, but in this context, I believe it's important to do so.

    I've said for many years our cable industry isn't the problem. Hollywood is the problem and until this monopoly is shattered, every other business pays for it.

    Myth: Cable companies force people to bundle
    Not true. Hollywood forces cable companies to bundle, and most do so via blackmail. It's well known many of the top viewed channels come straddled with east/west coast channels (which simply redistribute the same shows but for different time zones) or "sister" channels no one wants or uses (Viacom forces cable stations to pick up VH1 and/or MTV if they want the popular Nickelodeon)

    Myth: Prices increase because cable companies say "Why not"
    There is more proof to show prices go up after contract negotiations than we can store in a 100 PB database yet this common knowledge is ignored because "It's Comcast". While I certainly won't disagree there are shady price increases on things like hardware, the reality remains that it's Hollywood demanding more money, not the cable companies.

    Myth: Cable companies can do whatever they want to the shows they offer
    THE FUCK THEY DO. Yeah, I capitalized it and screamed the f-word, but as you've just read, Cable companies cannot innovate because they don't own the content.

    Don't believe this? Stop and ask yourself this: What does your cable company actually offer you if it's not for the shows you want to see?

    Bzzz. Time's up!

    The mere fact cable companies are trying pushing their own "hulu/netflix/prime" isn't because they can do so, it's that Hollywood has finally given them the rights to do it.

    Oh, and Hollywood will be taking a cut of of the profits as generated by... the cable bill. You know, the very same cable bill we're already paying for the exact same content but delivered on a station, not a website.

    There's a very good reason why many cable companies bought distributors over the past decade: it's the only way to keep the licensing costs down.

    Myth: Stations own the shows they air
    Rarely does this happen. Most people forget how TV shows and movies are made, but the gist is this:
    Producers invest in a script and try to sell the script to the studio. For TV, this usually means a pilot episode.

    If the show is greenlit, production is started. Contracts are signed where the show is distributed to the network. However, the station does not own the show.

    When the initial airing is over, the production company which owns the show can then license it for further distribution, such as online sites or syndication.

    This market is why prices for cable is atrocious because many people are paying for the exact same content despite being on several networks.

    Cable companies cannot control this. To re-iterate: Cable companies have never been able to control this.

    This will be the only time you see me defend cable companies. As Tom Wheeler mentioned many times, the cable industry used to be the disruptive force in entertainment.

    Now, their world is being disrupted by the very cancer that makes it impossible for them to compete or innovate: monopoly licensing of content distribution.

    Hope is on the horizon, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.

    Many new partners are entering the scene were content isn't owned by a network or Hollywood, but rather Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon.

    Great, until you realize how we get to those sites: through the cable company.

    Take away cable's primary source of revenue, content, and what's left: a wire that costs consumers $100+/mo.

    Who is going to manage that $100+/mo wire when the cable companies fold because of Hollywood bullshit.

    It's going to get far, far worse before it ever gets better.

  • May 17th, 2016 @ 12:51pm

    (untitled comment)

    That may well be true. But the question is, are we ready to do so?
    So long as the public is ready to clink three same-colored jewels together to reap a score, the answer to this question is "The rest of us are now screwed" (aka: yes).

  • May 17th, 2016 @ 10:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Add Philadelphia To The Long List Of Cities That Think Verizon Ripped Them Off On Fiber Promises
    Why? I've already done so, as well as every other city in the US.

    No reason to repeat them.

    Oh, wait. I see what you did there. You added "think".

    My list is "Long List Of Cities That Verizon Ripped Off On Fiber Promises".

    Sorry about that.

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 12:13pm

    (untitled comment)

    "The dog ate my homework" didn't work for us as kids, but I've a feeling it'll be the perfect excuse for the CIA.

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 7:28am

    (untitled comment)

    Judge Alsup, who demonstrated some proficiency with programming Java in the first leg of the case, came to the same conclusion.
    That's because Alsup did what many programmers do: They come to the wrong conclusion.

    APIs are covered by copyright, and no amount of wishful thinking makes this go away.

    It's unfortunate, but what Alsup did was conflate the API with the ABI, and that's a fundamental problem.

    It's extremely easy to conflate the two. After all, if we use (or write) an API, we expect that the system will compile that code so that it's executed by the hardware. This compilation is the responsibility of the ABI and it's this responsibility that is not covered by copyright.

    Read the above again because it's extremely important. An API cannot be designed without an ABI. The API is exclusive to the ABI but the ABI is not exclusive to the API.

    That's because we can create the API but we cannot create the ABI.

    Alsup simply learned the application layer and it's extremely unlikely he looked (or cared) about the processing layer.

    While it's true Java has its own APIs, it's important to realize that Java has its own set of compilers.

    Note the "s" on "compiler". Plural, and there's a reason for that.

    The Java Runtime Engine, or JRE, is what makes Java work. No amount of code written in Java works without the compiler and it's this where API separates from ABI.

    Just as a reminder to readers, here's the Java download page:
    http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

    Note how there's a version for each operating system.

    While each and every API in those downloads may be identical regardless of OS, the JRE is not identical! Read this until it sinks in: The JRE is not identical between OS versions.

    With that out of the way...

    This doesn't mean I'm defending Oracle. Oh, hell no. But, what Oracle is doing is not against the law but it is against the cardinal rule of software development: you don't sue users of your APIs because it's win-win.

    The likely reality is that Oracle will win this case, but like the article above, doom and gloom hover over the development world as though it's the End of Days.

    Not so.

    If Oracle wins, there's a great, great chance software copyright ends because it would take about 0.0000001 seconds (and that's being generous as most are probably already preparing should Oracle win) for companies to band together and force Congress to rescope copyright and remove APIs (as well as code itself, because technically, all code is an API) from copyright law.

    Of course, the maximalists will freak out so there's only one viable option left: copyright the design, not the source.

    By the way, this isn't a joke. The very reason software is copyright is because the US Copyright Office took an extremely stupid analogy and used it for software:
    "A blueprint to a bridge is the same as the bridge itself."

    Yep, that's what they said, and now both blueprints and software are covered under copyright.

    If you're wondering why the analogy is stupid, it's because all blueprints will share a commonality on the safety and engineering requirements to make the bridge safe.

    Those elements on a blueprint are not copyrighted just as ABIs are not copyrighted on computers (aka, the "system").

    Before I close, I'd like to remark on another facet of software development which proves APIs are covered under copyright: The GNU/GPL licenses.

    Has anyone actually read them? If not, I'd ask you do because you'll note something unique about them. However, if you don't have the time or care to do so, here's what a typical GNU/GPL licenses says:
    "You can use our software and do what you want with it, but you can't sell it and you need to keep it open".

    That's the gist. But here's something most people don't get about those licenses: they're still a copyright license. In fact, they're written to purposely remove the restrictions of copyright.

    Ask yourself this: how much of the GNU/GPL software uses APIs, do you guess? Quite a few, which means if there's a license to open the use, this means there's a license on APIs, which means they're covered by copyright.

    It's a disgusting pill to swallow, but that's the reality of the situation.

  • May 10th, 2016 @ 5:30am

    (untitled comment)

    The line break of this sentence...

    "And that includes a felony that rubs
    elbows with producing and distributing child pornography."

    ...was pure comedic gold.

  • May 10th, 2016 @ 5:12am

    (untitled comment)

    And then they wonder why the public doesn't respect copyright law?

    Dear editor,

    Having read the article, I was taken aback by the closing sentence, which I included in bold above. Perhaps it's just me, but shouldn't the sentence have ended with:
    "And then they wonder why the public doesn't respect copyright law."

    Note the end punctuation. Rather makes a bolder statement of truth, rather than question.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to check my torrent to see if I have the latest episode of "Boobs and Dragons".

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