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  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 4:18pm

    Good, but depressing at the same time

    The fact that this even needs to be done, that the laws have been twisted so badly that 'You need a warrant to spy on people's private data' even needs to be said, is both depressing, and disgusting.

    Depressing that it's reached this point, disgusting that there are so many out there arguing that people don't deserve such things as privacy, because it makes their jobs slightly harder.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 12:21pm

    'Bias'? 'Conflict of interest'? What are those?

    For instance, the tribunals would be staffed by private sector lawyers unaccountable to any electorate, system of precedent or substantive appeal. Many of those involved rotate between acting as “judges” and as advocates for the investors launching cases against governments. Such dual roles would be deemed unethical in most legal systems. The leaked text does not include new conflict of interest rules, despite growing concern about the bias inherent in the ISDS system.

    Oh yeah, you'd have someone arguing the case of a corporation in one case making the ruling on another case, I can't possibly see how that could lead to insanely one-sided rulings at all, as those making the rulings know that if you don't make the 'correct' ruling they're likely not to be hired by the companies to represent them in the future.

    The entire thing is rotten, but this part in particular takes corruption to whole new levels. It's no wonder they've been doing everything in their power to hide the details of this corporate wish-list, they know that it's bad enough there isn't enough spin in the world to make it look good, as long as people can actually read what's actually in the documents, rather than just be told by a biased party.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 2:02am

    No, not really surprising at all

    Given the magnitude of the effect that TAFTA/TTIP could have on the economies and daily life of both the US and EU, it is surprising that there has not been more analysis of its likely impact.

    If the agreements were really focused on trade, then analysis would make sense, as they'd want to get a good idea of what should stay, what should go, what should be added, and what should be kept out.

    The agreements however, have almost nothing to do with 'trade', with that just being the excuse for them. Rather, they are more focused on giving large multi-national corporations perks and the ability to have equal, if not higher footing than the governments of various countries, giving them the ability to dictate what governments are allowed to do when it comes to making laws or attempting to tell companies what they may or may not do.

    Put more simply, the primary purpose behind these 'trade' agreements has nothing to do with trade, so it's no wonder they haven't bothered with any detailed analysis, as it would be a waste or time and potentially expose just how little they'd actually do to help anyone but the large corporations running the negotiations.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 1:42am

    Re: Colorado TPP cheerleading squad getting fired up

    That's why I've repeatedly written to President Obama and the U.S. Trade Representative to make sure any deal in which we participate includes these critical protections.

    Given that claim, I certainly hope those attending make sure to ask if he supports Fast Track Authority, given approving FTA would completely take the matter completely out of his hands.

    Either they approve everything, no matter how many rotten spots(though I'm betting the rotten spots will be the vast majority of the 'trade' agreement), or shoot it down entirely, and there is going to be massive pressure on them from the WH to pass it I'm sure.

    I hope you'll be able to join me at CU Boulder on Monday for a forum on our nation's trade agenda and how it affects small businesses, wages, and job opportunities in our community.

    Bringing stats from the previous 'trade' agreements, what they were projected to achieve, and what they actually achieved, would be handy, though extremely unwelcome I'm sure.

    This event is a great opportunity to learn more about the TPP's potential impact in areas like workers' rights, job creation, and environmental protections.

    Oh those are easy, they eliminate them if it threatens corporate profits, moves them over-seas, and eliminates them if they threaten corporate profits respectively, though I'm sure they'll be lying through their teeth and pretending that TPP will create billions of jobs every week(because if you're going to lie, badly, why not go big?), gives every worker a raise to a million dollars an hour, and has environmental protections so strong that they'll bring back endangered species.

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Conference table

    A for-profit company might consider the cost reasonable, given an impressed potential customer is more likely to become a paying future customer, but a government agency like this should have no reason to need to 'impress' anyone, and as such should be able to get by with what's needed to do their jobs, and no more.

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re:

    In this case life +x has been relatively well established by research to be superior.

    Three things:
    1. Which research papers?
    2. Who did the research, and/or who paid for it?
    3. Who exactly is benefiting from life+X duration according to this research, because it's certainly not the public.

    Life plus 10 to 30 years seems to be the buffer with some reasoning behind it (Organized crime killing creators to force public domain).

    If that's the reasoning of why life+any amount of time whatsoever is 'reasonable', you need to look for a better example. Murder is already quite illegal, and I find it rather difficult to picture someone being murdered just so that their song/story/artwork enters the public domain earlier.

    "Right, now that we've gotten rid of [Creator X], just 10 more years, assuming none of us go to jail for murder, and we'll be able to make a killing once their works enter the public domain and... everyone can copy all of it freely... we did not think this through."

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 3:27pm

    Everything is cheap when you're not the one picking up the tab

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if $10,000 for a table was the least of their wasteful spending. After all, it's not their money they're spending, why wouldn't they go all out and get the best stuff they can find, spreading their 'good fortune' around to friends when they can?

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 11:28am

    Good news... in theory

    Who knows if the "insolvent" Perfect 10 will actually ever pay up, but the real question is if it will ever stop filing such questionable lawsuits.

    That would be 'No', and 'No' respectively.

    Unless there's an actual penalty for refusing to pay, like being barred from filing any future lawsuits until they have done so, they have no reason to pay. What, is the judge going to send them a sternly worded letter?

    Ultimately, they have no reason care what the fine amount is, they'll just keep on filing lawsuits, collecting money from those that can't fight back, losing in court against those that do, and utterly ignoring any judgements against them. An order to do something carries absolutely no weight behind it unless there is a penalty for refusing to follow it, and I'm not seeing any such penalty here, though I'd love to be wrong.

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 11:14am

    Add another entry to the list

    Yet another great reason why these 'trade' agreements need to die, entirely. Don't just try and trim out the worst bits, the entire things are rotten through and through, and it needs to be made abundantly clear that any 'agreement' made behind closed doors is not acceptable.

    If it affects the public, and is supposedly being negotiated on their behalf, then the public has a right to know the details of it, end of story.

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 2:41am

    Re:

    Why go through the effort, just pick up a dead phone and listen to it for a bit, and you'd get the same response, given both would tell you nothing(though a dead phone is a little less likely to bluster and make ridiculous threats).

  • Mar 25th, 2015 @ 2:34am

    Two problems with one legal threat

    It's not that they didn't care about the game, they likely just saw this as an easy way to kill off any potential competition it might have posed for their current titles, with a minimum amount of effort on their part.

    All they had to do was stonewall and send out legal threats, and a game that people almost certainly would have bought, potentially taking away money from their current offerings, was killed off. Barely any work at all on their part, and they remove any potential competition they might have faced from the game from the equation; from their point of view that must have seemed like an excellent deal, and it's no wonder they acted in this manner.

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 4:51pm

    Re: No prob

    Sounds fair. I mean, if it really is harmless, anonymous, public data, then it makes sense to allow the public access to it, since it's their plates being recorded.

    ... well, unless of course the data is not in fact harmless and anonymous, and people being able to view it would be all that would be required to show that, but I'm sure that's not the reason they don't want the public to have the same access they currently enjoy. /s

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    Well you see, just like the rest of their ('It's legal, promise!') 'toys', they can't give any details, or suddenly the tech will becomes completely useless, as criminals who previously knew that the police had such tech, will now know that the police have the tech, and avoid it by not having cell phones or driving.

    As such, you're just supposed to trust them on it, and given they have absolutely no conflict of interest here, clearly they would never make stuff up or grossly exaggerate things to defend their shiny toys.

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 4:05pm

    Shooting their own argument in the foot

    This claim:

    '...without a proper and fair effort to truly understand the anonymous nature of the data, how it is used, and how it is protected.'

    Is in direct opposition to this one:

    '...generate investigative leads that help law enforcement solve murders, rapes, and serial property crimes, recover abducted children, detect drug and human trafficking rings, find stolen vehicles, apprehend violent criminal alien fugitives, and support terrorism investigations.'

    Actually anonymous data would be completely useless for any of that, because if you can't connect a hit from the readers to a person, then it's not going to do you any good. What good is a picture of a plate, if you have no way of connecting it to the driver or likely driver of the vehicle it's attached to after all? If you can track a vehicle, you can track, with fair accuracy, the one who owns and/or drives it, so there's nothing 'anonymous' about the data being gathered here.

    (As an aside, with all the other things they claim ALPR systems are good for I'm kinda surprised they didn't include '... stops meteors from hitting the Earth, causes puppies to spontaneously appear in the arms of sad people, finds your car-keys, acts as an effective tiger deterrent...')

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 2:12pm

    (untitled comment)

    Well, it would seem some congresscritters have realized the power they have here, and are bucking for a 'raise' from Comcast. Once Comcast realizes this however I fully expect the glowing recommendations and support for the merger to start pouring in though, few things are more obviously for sale than politicians after all.

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Digital versus Physical goods.

    If you want to have fun with the 'Copyright is property' people, just follow the logic of that argument. If copyright is, or should be, treated just like other forms of 'property', then clearly it needs to be taxed as such.

    If your 'property' is so very valuable, then you'd better start paying taxes on it, and hefty ones at that given how much companies claim it's worth.

    Tell them that if they want copyright treated as property then it's going to be treated like property, and you're likely to see more backsliding than you'd find in an instructional video on moonwalking.

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Anything

    So, the FCC screwed up before and made the mess, and now that they're trying to do something about it you cry foul? How does anything ever get fixed under that logic?

    'Well, employee X screwed up, and while he says he wants to try and fix the mess he made, I think it would be a better idea to keep him from doing so, just in case, and hope the mess fixes itself.'

    Also, regulations as a whole are not the problem. Properly written and utilized, regulations keep companies from going from 'moderately predatory' to 'We'll do whatever we want, and we're big enough you can't do anything about it'.

    Regulations on their own are not a bad thing, unless you're a company with bad or anti-consumer intentions.

    Now, can regulations be bad, when they are written, either directly or indirectly by those they are supposed to be regulating? Yes. However, they can also reign in companies and force them to at least pretend to care about their customers, their safety, and things other than the company profits.

    Like many things, regulations can be good, and they can be bad, it's never entirely one or the other.

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re: Anything

    I've seen that asked before, and in fact I've even asked that question myself to those who claim that the FCC getting involved is overkill or a bad idea, and I don't think I've ever seen a real satisfactory answer.

    Was Title II, and/or the FCC stepping in ideal? No, but I don't think I've seen anyone argue that it was. What people have argued was that it was the best option out of a bunch of bad ones, because clearly the chosen option of 'Just let the market sort things out' in place before that point wasn't working in the favor of anyone but the major companies.

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Nigerian-Prince

    Not wanting to visit a site with a name synonymous with dodgy scam artists, and potentially put my computer at risk because of it, is now 'rushing to ignorance'?

    Like I said, my assumption there may not be fair to the site and what's actually on it, but if they don't want people assuming that it might not be the safest site to visit, and avoiding it as a result, then they chose the wrong name to register with.

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 8:26pm

    Oh those poor babies

    After years of 'arbitrary, capricious, and an abus(sive)' behavior, suddenly when someone tries to call them on it they throw tantrum after tantrum, screaming about how unfair it is that a government agency is trying to take some of their favorite toys away from them, and is threatening to slap them down if they continue hitting their customers with them.

    Act like an adult, or get treated like a child. They've shown that they cannot act responsibly on their own, and now the government is having to step in, and they have no-one but themselves to blame for it.

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