Roger Strong’s Techdirt Profile


About Roger Strong

Programmer in Winnipeg, Canada.

Roger Strong’s Comments comment rss

  • Aug 28th, 2015 @ 11:40am

    Re: You mean: "a woman who played" SOMEONE ELSE'S "music to her horses"

    What about a goldfish? House plants?

    You back the claim that if I legally purchase music for my own use, not only can I not let others hear it, but even my pets must not hear it.

    Is that limited to mammals? Do I need to purchase a separate license if I play it out loud in my apartment and my goldfish hears it? Some claim that house plants may respond to music. Do I need a separate license for each plant?

    And what of my gut bacteria? Do I need to enumerate how many individual organisms are helping me digest food? Can I purchase a site license to cover all of them?

    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Aug 28th, 2015 @ 11:27am

    Re: Drones

    The implication being they wouldn't have much of a problem with it if the military used an F-16 or an F-22 jet fighter piloted by a person to deliver the same bomb to the same target to kill the same people. It's just doing it with a drone that gets their shorts in a twist.

    I disagree. There's an argument about gun control that covers it:
    "Handguns are available for self protection in Seattle, but not in nearby Vancouver, Canada; handgun killings are five times more common and the handgun suicide rate is ten times greater in Seattle. Guns make impulsive killing easy."
    - Carl Sagan, Demon Haunted World

    Drones are cheap compared to F-16s and F-22s. They're FAR cheaper to operate. The drone pilot if FAR cheaper to train. You don't risk a pilot. You don't risk the political fall-out of a pilot being captured.

    Consider the US's first Predator drone murder, back in 2002. Three men in Afghanistan. Murdered because one of them was tall, so obviously he must be Osama Bin Laden.

    Drones make impulsive killing easy.

  • Aug 28th, 2015 @ 11:02am

    (untitled comment)

    completely ridiculous about fair use, telling users that it doesn't recognize it, since it's only a US concept.

    The concept exists in the UK, Canada, Australia and other current and former Commonwealth countries. But we call it "Fair Dealing" instead.

  • Aug 28th, 2015 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re:

    Don't worry; you're not necessarily handing this power to your government.

    The armed drones lording over you will eventually use the technology developed to allow people in California to control drones in Iraq and Pakistan. Which means that not only can their manufacturing be off-shored to save money, but so can their operation.

    This has the added advantage of making it harder to sue when someone feels that they've been unjustly tazed or tear gassed by an overseas security contractor. And those constantly predicting a "cyber-Pearl Harbor" will have a new twist to write about.

    Hope This Helps!

  • Aug 28th, 2015 @ 8:34am

    (untitled comment)

    "Citizen, may I see your ID."

    Fifteen years ago this was a tag line representing a dystopian near-future we seemed to be heading into. Turns out we were naïve and optimistic back then.

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 1:31pm

    Re: That does raise a question...

    There are other reasonably credible sources.

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: ha ha

    Nope. We're just calling YOU racist for using that tired, lame cop-out.

    Hope This Helps!

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 11:15am


    Both sides in WWII - especially once they started bombing cities - killed many civilian bystanders.

    Reports today would label them "insurgents" or "militants."

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 10:54am



    Someone from ISIS sneaks into California from a ship off the coast. Carrying an anti-tank rocket in a guitar case. Wearing an arm band or anything else resembling a uniform. He makes his way to the front gate of a base where the drones are remotely piloted from.

    A car comes out of the base, and he blasts it at the next traffic light. Civilians in two cars are also killed.

    Has the ISIS member committed a war crime? (People in the base are killing the enemy from within. It's a war zone, and they don't leave it when they fetch lunch.)

    Think carefully here; at some point the US will be fighting another recognized government of a recognized country. "We're killing from here but the war zone is over there" ain't going to fly.

    Now add drones. We live in a world where over a decade ago a legally blind guy with almost no budget built a drone and flew it across the Atlantic ocean. You can imagine what small governments can do, especially with GPS-enabled smart phones that didn't exist back then.

    Someone is going to decide that drones are the modern-day "great equalizer" similar to guns in the past. They may not do much real damage, but they'll be highly disruptive terror weapons.

    Do you think it was particularly bright for the US to pre-establish that sending drones into other countries that you're not at war with, to kill enemies and many more bystanders, is perfectly acceptable behavior?

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 10:25am

    Re: ha ha ha

    Many had the same reaction when the US started kidnapping and torturing people after 9/11. We now know that many people weren't kidnapped and tortured because they were terrorists, but merely to test vague and often wrong suspicions that they had some connection to terrorism.

    We also know from a joint study by Stanford and New York Universities of drone strikes in Pakistan that they've been killing 49 people for every known terrorist. Not just because of innocent bystanders being killed. It's because of the US's use of "double-taps" - something the US itself calls terrorism - where after the first strike they'll send in more missiles to target rescuers.

    But by all means, enjoy your laugh.

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 8:45am


    - Ashley Madison's new slogan

  • Aug 26th, 2015 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re:

    Well sure. But two containers also means carrying the weight of a second set of engines, fuel pumps, etc.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 11:09pm


    Colonization means having children. You want their bones to develop normally. The problem is that in micro-gravity we LOSE calcium from our bones.

    We don't know the minimum amount of gravity needed. The Centrifuge Accommodations Module would have done research on this, but its launch to ISS was cancelled in 2005. It's sitting in a parking lot.

    Still, it's safe to say that you want gravity as close to earth-normal as possible to promote the kids' bone growth. With Mars's gravity being twice that of the moon, its the clear winner.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 5:28pm

    (untitled comment)

    Disregarding the fact that this design wouldn't actually reach space...

    If it could be built, it would still have an import function:

    The ideal rocket nozzle shape at sea level is different from the ideal rocket nozzle shape up in the thin upper atmosphere. A big reason why rockets to orbit use multiple stages is to swap in more efficient nozzles for the upper atmosphere. Which usually means throwing away entire engines and stages.

    Launch from 12 miles up, and you could probably do it with one stage.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 5:10pm

    Strictly Hypothetical

    A decade ago there was a wonderful demonstration of how easy it is to modify web pages passing through to a neighbor stealing your Wi-Fi. There are apps for your laptop or tablet that will turn it into a portable Wi-Fi hub.

    Which means that someone could stick a laptop or tablet in any public place with a high population density, use a misleading SSID, and serve up ads of their own. And possibly make enough money for it to be worthwhile.

    Or while passing through an airport terminal, add audio files to web pages yelling certain words that upset the local security.

    While I would never condone such behavior, I am naturally curious as to what ads and other page modifications people would serve up at various campaign rallies and political conventions next year.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Uh huh. I'll bet that similar claims were made about motorized taxis when they replaced horse-drawn carriages. Similarly pretending that any problems started with the new service and didn't also occur with the old one.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 1:33pm


    How is this different from regular hotels and taxi services?

    Here in Winnipeg there's been two rapes by "regulated" taxi drivers in recent months. Cases of women suddenly being afraid for their lives as taxi drivers heading off in the wrong direction and refusing to stop, turn around or listen, happen again and again. They too have shell companies. Assaults in regular hotels aren't unknown either.

  • Aug 24th, 2015 @ 10:34am


    The let's try to get muslim's to not be so muslim thing has been brewing for a while now.

    Keep in mind that as always in Quebec, it's about separatism.

    For example last year's "Quebec values charter" that would prohibit public sector employees from wearing religious symbols. (With exemptions for Christian symbols because tradition.) It was created by the separatist Parti Québécois government, because not enough people were interested in separation.

    Their solution:

    - Create an issue that would appeal to the lowest, least tolerant, common denominator.

    - Devise a solution (the Charter, stripping away religious freedom) that is intolerable to Canada. Paint the other Quebec parties who reject it as anti-Quebec.

    - When Canada rejects it as going against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, paint that as Canada rejecting Quebec, and stomping on Quebecers' right to pass their own laws. Leverage that rejection to garner more votes and ultimately separation.

    The bill died when the 2014 election was called, but it gave rise to the "anti-Muslim sentiment" as yet another flavor of anti-anglo, anti-anyone-not-French-and-separatist sentiment.

  • Aug 21st, 2015 @ 2:36pm

    Re: For comparison:

    Aw, c'mon. The alternative was to replace USIS with the TSA.

  • Aug 21st, 2015 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Want to ACTUALLY deter these shooting?

    I stand corrected.

More comments from Roger Strong >>