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  • Aug 12th, 2018 @ 9:10am

    (untitled comment)

    The subtitle needs a slight correction:

    From the it's-a-court,-not-a-wholly-owned-subsidiary-of-the-NSA dept


    But I was wondering... what does FISC stand for again? The best I could come up with was Fookin' Inept Secrets Coverup.


  • Jul 24th, 2018 @ 9:52am

    Re: The Judge is right...

    (Don't know who Cliff Richards is??? He did the theme song for Windows 95!)

    Err, not quite. Although you've taken a wide liberty with the term 'theme song' for any MS product, I'll grant you some leeway.

    But for a fact, I was there at the original presentation, and I still have the box of W95 that billg himself handed to me. The tune that was played during the intro (with none other than Jay Leno as MC).... that was The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up".

    If you were going for 'the funny', then you succeeded for the most part. If you were somewhat serious, then you should've said that C.R. fronted for The Shadows, until they could cast him off and become the supergroup there were destined to be.


  • Jul 13th, 2018 @ 8:14am

    (untitled comment)

    I have only one question:

    If these so-called government employees aren't "law enforcment officers or investigators", then what the Hell are they doing there? Because it sure looks to me like they are enforcing laws of the land, i.e. "The law says that you can't bring that on the plane", "The law says you have to do this or not do that", and "You must obey the law, or you will be arrested", etc.

    If that isn't law enforcement at the fullest extent, then I shudder to think what might actually qualify as such.

  • Jun 26th, 2018 @ 10:59am

    Re: BTW

    In 2005, the USSC determined in an eminent domain case (Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469) that each state has a right to determine how eminent domain will work within that state. IOW, there is no federal statute that forecloses any state from writing the law as it wishes. This precluded the Court from 'intruding upon the affairs of the state', and let the lower courts' rulings (in favor of the City) stand.

    Sorry, I don't like it either, but that's the way the ball is currently bouncing.

  • Jun 24th, 2018 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re:

    I did indeed misquote the law as commonly found, by omitting the word "falsely" in front of "yell fire".

    While Popehat always has good lessons to teach, in point of fact, there are many small, and not-so-small, towns and cities with the exact law on the books. Correctly put there or not, enforced or not, it's just plain common courtesy that one does not incite others to act in a dangerous way (IOW, make them panic) without good cause. But our society does have a small percentage of bad actors who received questionable parenting in their formative years, hence the "trope" is codifed to some degree. That's not always a bad thing.

    Did you happen to read the comments? I think some of those were quite telling, and I wish Ken had delved into discussion with at least a few of the commenters - that would've been even more instructive.

  • Jun 22nd, 2018 @ 8:56am

    (untitled comment)

    Again, two things....

    a) Selective enforcement. Have you ever successfully defended against a citation for excessive speed by stating to the Judge that "everyone else was going 10 over, why'd he pick on only me?" The Judge is thinking to himself "Why do I get all the loonies", but he's saying to you "Why did you choose, of your own free will, to exceed the speed limit by any amount, thus breaking the law? Which you just admitted to in open court. Guilty as charged. Next, please."

    b) Yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre is against local laws almost everywhere - yet it is a form of expression. I'd hate to foot the legal bills for attempting to controvert this one.

    The public's right to a peaceful environment whenever reasonably expected trumps one's "right" to disturb that peace without good cause. (Although in Chicago, you need only two things to drive a car - a working horn and a working middle finger....)

    The whole case rests on attempting to invalidate a portion of Cal Vehicle Code 27001 for repugnance to the Constitution. I don't foresee much success in that regard, though there maybe an admonishment from the court that the scope of 27001 might need some closer attention. Personally, I'll bet it stands, and that Porter will be seeing fewer portraits of dead Presidents in her wallet as a result.

  • Jun 21st, 2018 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Because they realize there's no benefit in doxing people that have no shame.

    OK, the shame is on me for forgetting that little factoid. ;)

  • Jun 21st, 2018 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed. Bastiat's point was that the shopkeeper was forcibly removed from control of what he rightfully thought of as "his money". (In this case, the force was that the window must be repaired quickly, else the original purpose of the window was merely a vanity.)

    Control of his money, regardless of how he exercised that control, is the name of the game. Choosing which segment of the overall economy to "encourage" was his right, even if it meant that his exercise of that control was to simply save his money for a period of time, before actually spending any of it.


  • Jun 20th, 2018 @ 4:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'd like to contribute two things, if I may:

    1) Why isn't Anonymous doxing these clods, especially their financial records? We know that these Neanderthal-thinking freaks of nature are taking money from the special interests, but we can't prove it without some help from those that can do the dirty work of exposing the money flow. (Apologies for the insult to our ancestors.)

    2) I'm pretty sure that the answer here is obvious - Those who ordinarily link to news-sites need only present a bill to the appropriate source for each link, detailing that the link, and the attendant traffic therefrom, was not free. Indeed, the link was put in place, free of charge, by a private party who is authorized in all ways and means to conduct business in a profitable manner. Failure to pay the bill within a reasonable timespan will automatically (via an AI agent) remove such further linkage from that private party's site until remuneration in full, and a contract signed to the effect that there are no, and will never be any, license fees to be paid in either direction.

    In my opinion, the word 'license' is rapidly coming to mean "to take money from someone legally but unethically". That's sad.


  • Jun 18th, 2018 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Horrible Idea

    I guess my description did leave out few things.

    In my purview, there is only one creator, or a partnership wherein each partner contributes a known amount of effort in a creation. All other persons who did not participate in the immediate act of creation are hangers-on, sucking at the teat of creativity. This is not to demean the day-to-day workers, but in point of fact, they only helped to bring a story to a screen (or to a stage, a book, etc.) - they did not create the story. This applies especially to those you termed as risk-takers/investors.

    In my view, risk is automatically an assumption upon the very act of creativity. If a created product does not sell, then the creator has lost at least some time and effort, and perhaps some money as well. So to spread some of that risk to others, by way of investment, that's easy - create a temporary partnership that allows for a full recoupment of the investment, plus a handsome ROI, perhaps even a royalty that goes on for a period of time. But the copyright for the created work remains with the creator, it does not transfer for any reason. Why? Because we've seen all to often that some bigwig will get their hands on a property, tell the creator that they can't do anything with it after all, then turn around and produce it with another's name on the credits screen. Happens more often than one might think.

    As for actors, directors, band members, roadies, costumers, non-creating singers, all such folks... they too are just helpers along the way to publishing the story - they are not story creators, although I will give them their due credit - they can (and do) often make a difference in how the enacted story is received. Compensation for varying degrees of accomplishment can certainly be negotiated, but it should not be to the detriment of the creator.

    Bottom line here: a story is just that. A story translated to a different medium is still a story by that creator, regardless if he/she intended it for such translation. Pretensions of "big risk that must have commensurate rewards" is only a lawyer's dream in taking money from the deserving (the creator) and partying the night away.


  • Jun 18th, 2018 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Horrible Idea

    > abolish copyright, period.

    Well, the founding fathers thought in terms of time that a reasonable business person can take advantage of the copyright, i.e. get his/her book published (and other analogues to that).

    But in those days, that was "real time" to them - there was never any reason to anticpate otherwise. Nowadays, we operate on something that the F.F. never dreamed of, internet time. Call it anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times faster that what they saw in 1776. To me, that means that copyright is a valid concept, but it needs to be adjusted for today's world. Let's just set it at 6 months and call it a day, shall we?

    And while I have this nice, sturdy soapbox under my feet.... Who in the Lowered's name took it upon him/herself to think that a dead person can be persuaded to create more works just because his/her grandchildren inherited the copyright? No one else in the family inherited the creativity to come up with new stuff, or they'd already be doing it under their own name!

    Moreover.... (yeah, yeah, I'll get it out of my system RSN.) We could certainly fix copyright in a hurry, if we just adhered to the original convention - a person has copyright for the duration of yadda yadda, blah blah, woof woof, and so on. Nowhere in there was it ever anticipated that the copyright would be sellable as a commodity. Simply restore the concept of copyright as belonging solely to the creator, unsellable and unheritable by explicit law, and we're done here.

    I daresay, if the public knew even a fraction of what it has lost in potential creativity, the reaction would dwarf what happened in Germany in the 1930's.

    And if push really came to shove, let's start bombarding our representative (or more correctly, those who claim with a collectively straight face to represent us) with copies of The Meloncholy Elephant by Spider Robinson. Seems like about the right time for that little "civic intercourse" with them, eh?


  • Jun 14th, 2018 @ 8:44am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm not the brightest bulb in the drawer, but I can't seem to wrap my head around why everyone (including Google at this point) doesn't see the easy solution...

    Google makes money from advertising, right? So why not call each snippet an advertisement, and send a bill to the appropriate source? And when said source doesn't pay up, after a short period that adequately demonstrates a permanent reticence, then simply cut them off until the bill is paid.

    And make it mandatory, opting out must be a conscious decision, not the default. (Failure to pay the bill would qualify as a method of opting out.) Of course, the opt-out is not half-way, it also means "we're opting out of having our ads (nee news items) displayed".

    Hey, it's just good business sense, yes?

    </not s>

    NOTE to Google: Be sure to put this 'business method and model' into your Terms Of Service Agreement, so that no one can claim you didn't warn them.

  • Jun 8th, 2018 @ 10:28am

    Re: Google needs to force the issue

    > they are paid 1 billion **EUROS**

    T,ftfy ;)

  • Jun 8th, 2018 @ 9:38am

    Re: controller misinterpretation

    A mic stand "controls" where the microphone will be positioned (hopefully in front of one's mouth), the translation was a bit too literal.

    But yes, for more than 60 years the mic stand has been (pardon me) a stand-in for a phallic symbol. You have to wonder, is the Chinese government trying to dissuade people from enlarging their population?

  • Jun 5th, 2018 @ 9:30am

    Re: Fiber is hard

    I can push more over a 80Ghz ultra-high frequency microwave link faster than a run of fiber optic.

    Not likely. Besides the fact that 80GHz would be in the Extremely High Frequency band (not UHF), a single fiber cable (not a bundle) can carry more than enough data to satisfy the average residential customer in today's world (2018). In fact, it's not economically viable to run just one single fiber, it's much cheaper to simply run a small bundle to each destination, even to a single family residence. As need increases over time, the bundle can handle such expansion with ease.

    But moreover, where do you expect to find a family-budget-friendly transceiver (or modem, in computer parlance) that can drive that microwave link? Looked at any communications catalogs lately?

    And as noted already, you're gonna be using a fiber to drive that setup, as pretty much the best-quality co-ax cable tops out at 60GHz or so. Under lab conditions, fiber can now hit 255THz

    So let's put paid to this scenario: If you are going to punch out more than 100 milliwatts of RF at that frequency, you will be obtaining an FCC licence in order to stay legal... for starters. Getting someone else to lay your fiber is a one-time expense, and no legal hassles on your part. And let's nor forget that microwave transmissions are not immune to bad weather conditions, nor are microwave towers immune to minor tectonic shifts, aircraft (manned or otherwise) that can't seem to avoid things sticking up out of the earth, the list goes on....

    (Side note: high-end audio equipment from the 1990's usually came with an optical coupler (S/PDIF-TOSLINK). This technology ain't new, folks.)

  • Jun 2nd, 2018 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Techdirt continues ignore Israel shot 60 DEAD wounds over 1000.

    Whle I can't read the OP (the "Click Here" isn't actually a link), I can guess from the above response what happened. It would appear that we now have a 'bullhorn-important' messenger in our midst.

    Listen friend.... Calling out Techdirt for not reporting political news that's 'technology-deficient' is like telling PETA that Kelloggs is being cruel to Tony the Tiger, and hoping to sell tickets to the ensuing hilarity. It doesn't play well in Peoria, I'm here to tell ya.

  • Jun 1st, 2018 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re:

    However, even assuming people that stupid exist...

    You are aware of who's currently sitting in the White House, and how he got there, yes?

  • May 10th, 2018 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re:

    That wouldn't happen to be Essential Consultants, would it?

  • May 8th, 2018 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: How's that saying go...?

    I'm sorry, but I mustashe you a question:

    How is it that you do not comprehend the fact that MM has left your posts intact? He has not censored them, nor deleted them, nor has he responded in any manner but politely. Do you honestly believe that restrictions placed on our government by the Constitution (and Amendments) should also apply to private businesses, and even to private persons? Seriously?

    As Mike has not stooped to your level and responded in kind to your trollish flame-baiting, I will take my cue from him and stop here. (Actually, yes - I'm afraid to engage you... I fear that you would beat me to a serious pulp with your vast experience.)


  • May 8th, 2018 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: The solution is easy.....

    (Sorry, couldn't log in for more than a day.)

    When a complaint rises, I always go to the next level first, usually that's friendly and gets the issue resolved. But if no, then I go right to the top - no wasting time going through the chain of command. In your scenario, it would not be Comcast's fault that PB was blocked, the fault would reside with Congress. I needed only find that out from my "first stop", my ISP, being Comcast.

    In your first paragraph, some people may call/write the ISP, but if the notice is crafted correctly, the reader/subscriber will get the hint right away - no need to contact the "first level", best to just go straight to the source of the problem.

    And in the end, if the ISPs don't lift the embargo, then one can always go to court to have the subscription/contract nullified. That will get some attention, and not the positive kind, I'm certain of that.

    At some point, legislators are going to have to stop pretending that their butts can't be bit, and realize that they have to craft legislation that causes the least harm to the most people. Businesses (ISPs) have a right to earn money, but they also have a duty to earn that money in a fair way. Legislation that hampers that duty is not good legislation.


    The EU is going to have to learn that "doing it on a computer" does NOT mean that people (ISPs) can decrease their reaction time a thousand-fold or better. And to get that kind of reaction time, an ISP will have to hire literally half of the population to monitor the other half that's currently uploading.... with each side being swapped out on a daily basis. Is this starting to sound a little familiar?

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