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  • Sep 14th, 2017 @ 11:42am

    Company Quits Unprofitable Business! News at 11!

    Fiber deployment both took longer and was more expensive than Google thought it would be, so they are pulling back on further investment and trying to figure out another option.

    This is kinda how business works; it's not some moral failing on Google's part for a new business venture to not work out as well as hoped-for.

  • Sep 13th, 2017 @ 8:36am

    SSH exposed to the internet by default? WTF?

    I can understand having an SSH server on the thing. And even lazily enabling it by default on the LAN side (that'd never fly in a business product, but is not totally outlandish for a consumer product.)

    But exposing SSH to the Internet by default with hard-coded credentials? How was that ever going to end well? It's all well and good to have SSH and TFTP enabled on the WAN side, but those servers need to Turn the *bleep!* Off before the actual Internet access comes online.

    A diagnostic mode that will do all this after performing some action on the user-side (web GUI button, holding down the reset button on the box, whatever) is not exactly ironclad security (vulnerable to social engineering), but would be a reasonable pragmatic way for the provider to remote into the unit, but enabling all this by default was moronic in the extreme.

  • Sep 12th, 2017 @ 7:30am

    If they want to split it out, fine, but include it in the quote

    For many years, airline fares have been split out between the fare and/or fuel surcharges and/or seasonal surcharges. However, all that happens internally, with the only evidence it occurs at all existing as some cryptic codes on a ticket receipt. And now we have all-in (with taxes) airline pricing, because taxes can vary between airlines for the same source/destination pairs if they take different means to get there.

    I could have some sympathy if they did not include actual required taxes (like sales tax, excise tax, franchise tax, whatever) in the published rate, as long as the taxes were consistent between providers (as in, if there was a special "sattellite tax", it needs to be included in my quote from DirectTV.)

    I agree that fees that don't result in a straight $X-per-customer or $0.0X-per-$1 check getting cut to a government agency are absolutely, no-questions-asked a cost of doing business and should be included in the advertised rate. If they want to split things out on the bill, and tell the customer where their monthly fee went, that's fine, but that needs to happen somewhere outside the "$49/mo" Large Print.

    I went shopping for broadband once, and not only were the bogus fees not disclosed, I couldn't even get them when I asked for them; all I was told was, "You'll know what they are when they show up on your bill."

  • Sep 12th, 2017 @ 7:04am

    I don't think it's exactly an industry crisis

    Yes, the proliferation of trademarks and increases in trademark disputes are a problem, but hardly the industry-defining issue the article makes it out to be.

    In typical TechDirt fashion a large and complex issue is presented as a false dichotomy: "If proponents of strict trademark law are to be believed, if trademark laws are generally benign or to the public benefit in other words, then the growth will continue. If those of us who have foreseen the coming disaster for some time are correct, however, growth will slow and trademark disputes will explode."

    Or, C: The question of craft beer industry growth (or lack thereof) won't hinge on trademark law at all, and instead will be subject to market forces completely unrelated to trademark law.

    As a side-note, articles about the health of "craft" brewing are widely inconsistent because nobody can agree on a definition of what a "craft" brew/brewery is. Definitions range from "Any brewery not owned by the major international beer conglomerates" (but does a brewery become inherently uncrafty because it's ownership has changed if the beer remains the same?) to "Any brewery that produces no more than X barrels per year." (Is there any less craft involved just because a particular brewery figures out a winning formula and expands?)

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 3:11pm

    A dictionary would be a good start

    A dictionary patiently explains that "speech" can refer to more than just actual sounds. (Also, I'm not sure what Deafness has to do with anything...)

    Somebody being forced to testify against themselves (or having things they were forced to say introduced as evidence) is very different from being required to provide indirect assistance to authorities in ways that might not be favorable to you. I gave several examples of the sorts of assistance defendants are required to provide under well-established law.

  • Aug 16th, 2017 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me see if I follow...

    Why would patent enforcement involve large amounts of coast-to-coast travel? It's not as if Edison somehow had the inability to hire lawyers based in California.

  • Aug 16th, 2017 @ 3:30pm

    Not quite.

    Disney Corporate doesn't charge Disney Studios for anything; the way Hollywood Accounting works is the distribution side of a studio over-charging the individual movie's production company for services.

    In Disney's case, this would be carried out by Buena Vista Entertainment (Disney's distribution arm) over-billing a movie-specific subsidiary (say, an account held by Touchstone) for marketing services or DVD sales.

    But since BVE and Touchstone are both under the Disney Studios umbrella, it's a wash as far as Disney Studios go, even if it might cook the books farther down the org chart.

  • Aug 16th, 2017 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Let me see if I follow...

    Edison and his patents are long-dead, and have nothing to do with anything today, other than as a historical footnote. There's no "convenient overlooking" here; it's simply something that's not relevant.

    I am curious how being located in California magically allowed the side-stepping of patent law, which is federal (and Edison certainly had enough money to file federal lawsuits.)

  • Aug 16th, 2017 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Let me see if I follow...

    Disney, the company, might be consistently profitable over the years, but Disney Studios has not been an unending stream of profits.

  • Aug 16th, 2017 @ 1:55pm

    Let me see if I follow...

    Paraphrasing here: "Since piracy has not actually driven Hollywood bankrupt, it's not financially harmful, and they don't deserve that money anyway."

    As an industry, movies do not make "gobs of money"; even the most profitable content machines, like Disney, have good years and bad years, and occasionally completely awful years that get studio execs fired.

    I don't think the movie industry "lost" the moral argument (at least as to the legitimacy of piracy) so much as a segment of the populace chose to completely ignore because they wanted free stuff.

    I won't argue that Hollywood/MPAA have completely clean hands, or that they didn't do some foot-shooting, and I won't deny that many of the tactics they have used to fight piracy have been awful by any measure, but I don't see any inherent flaws in the idea that content piracy is a bad thing, and people shouldn't do it.

  • Aug 16th, 2017 @ 7:45am

    Re: That Alax Kasprak doesn't look political to me...

    Crickets...

    I guess that's what happens when you learn you can't believe everything you read on right-wing websites.

    Just Googling the man, the first hit that wasn't standard biographical info or interviews was an article in The Daily Caller (a right-wing publication), where they proclaimed he was part of Snopes' "far-left" cabal because he... get this... once sent a tweet indicating he did not like Donald Trump very much.

    Of course, such sentiments are hardly confined to the "far-left", since many dedicated Republicans have expressed the same view.

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 1:28pm

    That Alax Kasprak doesn't look political to me...

    I've never heard of Alex Kasprak, so I Googled and found his page on BuzzFeed; I scrolled through the first hundred or so articles with his byline, and it was some fluffy interviews (not with politicians) and a huge pile of the time-wasting clickbait for which BuzzFeed is famous.

    While I didn't click on any of the articles, not a single one of the headlines even remotely suggested something that even had a whiff of politics beneath it. Samples: "Could you pass 4th grade astronomy" and "13 Animal Masturbation Facts That Will Make You Fell Better About Being Single AF" Not a single thing on, say, Global Warming, the National Science Foundation, the FDA, etc.

    It seemed about as political as somebody breathlessly letting us know the 15 most popular brands of bottled water drunk by TV actors...

    If that's what you call "far left", I'm not sure what to tell you.

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm still waiting for you to present an example of this propaganda Snopes is allegedly publishing.

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 12:12pm

    Yeah, no surprises here

    This makes it plainly obvious that LinkedIn didn't actually care that it's user's information was being sold, they were just upset that they weren't the ones doing the selling...

    Just, again, proves the adage that with "free" services, you are the product.

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Saying that a bunch of fact checkers (who may make statements that you don't like) are disseminating "subservient [sic] Marxist propaganda" is not what most people think of when they talk about being "apolitical".

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: I'm apolitical, and I think the situation sucks

    Please examine Snopes list of recent stories and find some examples of "subserviant [sic] Marxist propaganda".

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 11:39am

    I'm apolitical, and I think the situation sucks

    I'm apolitical, but through the years Snopes has been a fairly accurate source of debunking urban legends, and their mix of political stories seems to be a decent blend of deconstructing myths from both sides of the political spectrum. (It's not Snopes' fault that Donald Trump seems to be unconcerned with reality on a regular basis.)

    But, yeah, at this point, I'm totally "A pox on both your houses!"

  • Aug 14th, 2017 @ 6:08am

    Disney wants money; what else did you expect

    Disney thinks they can make more money with a separate service (with fewer subscribers) than sending Netflix a hefty bill every quarter.

    What NetFlix does in response to this is their own business; whether they reduce prices (unlikely) or acquire other content to make up for it, or they can even simply tuck it into their bottom line; that's all up to them.

    "Do you see the issue yet? Disney will tell you that this just makes it easier for people who *only* want their content, but in the real world most people want more than one company's products."

    I'm confused, do "people" want big (expensive; that content ain't cheap to prouduce) bundles, like what they've been getting all these years from their cable providers since forever, or do they want things broken out separately?

    Really, what TechDirt "wants" is for the same selection of content (in aggregate, even if individual consumers consume a smaller piece), but without ads (And I've even seen it said in articles that it is "insulting" to sell an ad-free version), and for less total money than what consumers are paying today. (Oh, and with no DRM, or any action whatsoever against pirates, etc.) Where the money to produce this broad selection of ad-free, freely-pirated, cheap (for those who actually pay) content is supposed to come from is left curiously unsaid.

  • Aug 10th, 2017 @ 2:59am

    What isn't getting serviced

    What "actual demand" are companies "refusing to service"? Who is getting "ripped off"?

    People want online access to Disney content and Disney is offering to provide it in a way that won't require you to pay Netflix (or cable) for their entire programming package. Sounds exactly like what TechDirt has been asking for all these years...

  • Aug 2nd, 2017 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: If "Good Faith" means anything at all, it was applied correctly here

    I'm not following your logic; just because a rule was updated doesn't automatically imply that there was clear controlling precedent to the contrary before.

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