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  • May 18th, 2017 @ 2:36pm

    Not particularly unusual

    While "Lateral Entry" might be new for Enlisted ranks, it's quite common for certain kinds of officers... Lawyers, Doctors, Chaplains, etc. They go through "Officer Indoctrination School" (degree already in-hand) and BAM! instant commission.

    I could totally see the same thing for "Cyber Troops" or whatever they want to call them.

  • May 17th, 2017 @ 12:25pm

    Regulations aren't up for popular vote

    I don't agree with the Net Neutrality rollback, not one bit, but the FCC isn't (and shouldn't) pay attention to the number of comments received one way or another. They are a regulatory agency, and their job is to issue regulations they believe implements the will of the Legislature.

    The point of the comment process is for members of the public to bring facts to the FCC's attention that they might be unaware of. A bazillion people repeating the same talking points they heard in a late-night comedy show is just going to get ignored, no matter how correct they are.

    If citizens don't have any unique insight on the situation, but want to stop a regulatory agency from doing something, the method for doing so is through the legislature (as imperfect a mechanism as that is.) Flooding the agency with comments is just waste-of-time clicktivism.

  • May 16th, 2017 @ 1:05pm

    Meh; I doubt NetFlix cares about the lost business

    I very much doubt that the group of users that has rooted/unlocked Android devices AND would drop the service over this is large enough for them to care.

    (Speaking for myself, I've never watched Netflix on my phone; it's all on my iPad or TV. I guess it might be different if I had to spent an hour a day on a train commute or something...)

  • May 3rd, 2017 @ 7:08am

    You gotta love that "contract"

    "The group claims that while the contract was printed, signed, scanned and returned to them, Larson got cold feet about paying up."

    Perhaps these folks need to better familiarize themselves with some of the basics of contract law, like how a contract to pay for criminal extortion doesn't even deserve the word "void".

    More like: "So worthless, we mourn the pointless sacrifice of the few grams of tree pulp it took to print it, the defenseless pen ink, and the innocent electrons used to transmit it." They might as well have signed it "Mick E. Mouse, Esq."

  • Apr 19th, 2017 @ 10:40am

    I can see why the hotels are upset

    I can totally understand why hotels are upset; they are subject to a very large pile of regulations, laws, and taxes that AirBnB (and their landlords) choose to simply ignore. Livery firms have a legit beef with Uber, et al, when they do the same thing.

    And what's with "Why is the hotel industry more focused on harming AirBnB than improving their own product?" Holy False Dichotomy Batman! Who is saying they aren't? It's not an either-or proposition.

  • Apr 14th, 2017 @ 3:56am

    So much fail with this article

    If you think this "undercut the competitive bidding process", then you've never, ever, had anything to do with contracts procurement.

    If a government is large enough to have a competitive bidding process at all, then this offer won't make any structural difference; the trial year and free cameras would be a point in their favor, yes, as it should be, but the contract would still be subject to competitive bidding. (If a vendor presents a bill for many $k's, there better be a properly-bid contract for it.)

    And certainly the free equipment isn't exactly a new or innovative thing to do, as anybody who has ever seen an ad for a burglar alarm system can attest.

    Before opining on the subject, perhaps Tim could have actually interviewed somebody who knows something about the government procurement process? (Corporate/government procurement is complex enough to be a complete career; shouldn't have been difficult to find somebody to interview.)

    Really, Tim talking about something he has insufficient knowledge of, instead of doing a short interview with somebody who DOES know what they are talking about, is a not-infrequent problem here. (He occasionally even gets some of the basics of the site's favorite topic, IP law, completely wrong.)

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 11:16am

    What's with the comments about Federal Appeals courts?

    What's with this comment: "In a relative rarity, the state Appeals Court decides [PDF] to get out ahead of the issue, rather than wait for precedential decisions to trickle down from the federal courts."

    Huh? This statement makes no sense at all. If a State appeals court receives a case, they need to issue a decision; that being their job. Certainly a decision might be slow in coming if that exact issue was currently being litigated in a higher court, but other than that, they have to make SOME ruling one way or another; there's very few cases where a court can just throw up it's hands and punt it upwards without ruling.

  • Apr 4th, 2017 @ 9:03am

    That bit about the loss of the "high ground" for economic espionage was incorrect

    I read the linked article about the loss of "Moral High Ground" for economic espionage, and the linked article certainly made that statement but didn't back it up.

    Economic Espionage refers to the practice of a state actor spying on commercial enterprises in the target country and passing that information onto commercial enterprises in their own country for economic advantage.

    However, the evidence presented merely showed that the US hacked into foreign companies; no evidence, at all, was presented stating that this information was passed onto US companies for commercial gain.

  • Mar 31st, 2017 @ 6:36am

    This is a legit thing for the gov. to do

    Independent of the wisdom of the law (personally, I think short-term rentals should be subject to some regulation, but not to the point where they are effectively prohibited), the idea that you can be prosecuted when you publicly admit you are violating a law is not controversial; a speaker at a government hearing does not receive automatic immunity for doing so.

    And suing AirBnB makes perfect sense also; AirBnB is not merely a listing service that could try and get by with 230 immunity, they also handle reservation tracking, communications, and process payments. The idea that they should bear some liability for owners not complying with the law is not particularly outlandish. (Just like a bank routinely processing sacks of cash from a random customer is liable for money laundering.)

  • Mar 31st, 2017 @ 6:28am

    Errr... no, Uber's cars don't pass taxi regulations

    Uber's vehicles do not meet the same requirements as taxis. In fact, governments that attempt to enforce taxi rules on Uber quickly results in the company throwing a temper tantrum, and operating anyway until the city either gives in, or imposes a fine, at which point they leave town rather than comply with the law.

  • Mar 30th, 2017 @ 1:46pm

    Let me get this straight...

    Because some regulations are influenced by lobbyists, the solution is to not have any regulations at all and let anybody do whatever the *bleep!* they want? Is that your plan?

  • Mar 27th, 2017 @ 2:45pm

    It comes from the dual-customer nature of movies

    Any given movie has TWO customers; theaters and movie-goers. Completely alienating one group of those customers (movie theaters) to the advantage of another (movie-goers) would probably not end well for anybody involved.

    It's all well and good for this website to propose studios go to 0-day and tell theaters "Getting asses in your seats vs. their living room is your problem now", but in the real world, a theater is not going to take that lying down, and will, naturally, prefer to show and market releases by studios that have more favorable terms.

    It may be hard for the editors of this website to believe, but studios have more on their minds than just piracy. (Although given that most new-release piracy consists of blurry copies of somebody pointing a camera at the screen, I agree that it's not really much of a threat.)

  • Mar 27th, 2017 @ 2:32pm

    The size of the company in question is irrelevant

    Either the work in question is covered under copyright, or it isn't. Either this use is fair use, or it isn't. It doesn't become less copyrighted, or the use any more fair, simply because Lexis/Nexis is a large company.

  • Mar 23rd, 2017 @ 5:43am

    I have a hard time getting angry about that first one...

    I have a hard time getting angry about a fake press release in an attempt to get a gang hit called off; in fact, I applaud the creativity involved here. Unless the Does themselves are upset about this plan (which I doubt), I don't really care if the press feels butt-hurt.

    And I'm not sure how the subsequent things mentioned in this article are connected, other than having to do with the same police department.

  • Mar 21st, 2017 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Killing or injury (of the physical variety, not the "I'm injured because somebody said something mean" kind) seems reasonable enough.

    But "Harass or intimidate"? What exactly is "harassment" or "intimidation" in a manner worthy of a criminal charge?

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 11:57am

    Yeah, Steele's plea probably isn't going to buy much

    With all this dirt pending on Hansmeier, Steele's promise to spill the beans probably won't buy him very much, which accounts for the odd nature of the deal. (It appears to be a "I throw myself at the mercy of the court" sort of thing, rather than much of a quid pro quo for turning.)

    I suspect many of the conversations Steele is having with the Feds consist of:
    Steele: "I can totally tell you how Hansmeier was behind [insert X nefarious scheme here]
    Fed: "Yeah, we knew that already, and don't try to pretend you didn't have a lot to do with it. Tell us something we don't know that won't lead to you getting shredded on the stand when you testify to it."

  • Mar 9th, 2017 @ 1:01pm

    The content trends have been fascinating

    Okay, businesses being morons by continually raising prices while providing a sub-par product they happen to have a monopoly on is nothing new.

    What's interesting is the environment this is all happening in.

    The top rated scripted show on TV last year was the Walking Dead, with an 18-49 share of 8.8. Using a chart from 1995, that would have put them between #13 "Murphy Brown" and #14 "Hope and Gloria"; I vaguely remember Murphy Brown, and I don't remember it being a smash it. The most-watched broadcast entry, Big Bang Theory, would have tied for #50.

    Despite the numbers for almost every single show being far lower than what would have been acceptable a couple decades ago, we are currently living in what is regarded by many TV critics as a "Golden Age of TV". Never before have we had such an embarrassment of riches; shows that are excellent by any reasonable standard.

    I don't think it's an exaggeration to state that all this has been brought about by the cutthroat competition; we aren't tied to The Big Four and a tiny handful of cable stations any more, so there's more pressure to carve out a niche by producing something new and different.

    P.S. Yeah, there's oceans of worthless schlock too... gotta put something on those hundreds of stations, but hey, you don't have to watch that either.

  • Mar 9th, 2017 @ 6:53am

    No, that's not what they are doing

    A content-neutral intermediary like FedEx isn't "selling copies [of the work]", they are just running off print jobs for a client. They aren't liable for the same reason we don't charge the UPS guy if he delivers a package that happens to have drugs in it.

    If FedEx were to advertise: "We will provide copies of 'X' for 'non-commercial use'" you might have a point. But they don't.

  • Mar 1st, 2017 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Confidential Informants

    Durn it; my attempt at emphasis got interpreted as an unclosed HTML tag.

    What I meant to say is that cannabis-based drugs cannot enter the FDA approval process until the DEA allows cannabis to be obtained more easily for research. The FDA and DEA are on opposite ends of the Executive Branch org chart and barely talk to each other; you are blaming the wrong agency.

  • Mar 1st, 2017 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Confidential Informants

    The FDA hasn't approved any cannabis-related drugs because said drugs haven't gone through the approval process. They can't enter said process until the -->DEA

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