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  • Aug 7th, 2019 @ 12:27pm

    (untitled comment)

    This is really the result of technology advancement. The whole reason for Nielsen to exist in the first place was because television was a one way medium. One signal went out, but after that, the networks had no idea who was actually receiving that signal. In comes a methodology for deduction through the use of "Nielsen Households" and the manually maintained log of viewing habits. This was neither precise (not every household had one) nor reliable (human maintained logs could easily be wrong and imperfect).

    Cable came along, and with later DOCSIS versions, companies gained the ability to actually snoop in on what people were watching and on how many TVs. But this was considered proprietary data to each local cable exchange, so those numbers would never reach Nielsen.

    Now you have streaming options. Not only can the streaming provider know what you're watching, it can also know how much of it you've watched, and if that viewing led to other shows. With each network launching its own streaming option, Nielsen becomes obsolete. In the end, it really doesn't have anything to do with the expense. Nielsen could provide it for free, and it wouldn't be nearly as accurate or accessible as the numbers the networks have in-house.

    The next step of this is going to be that this viewership data will be considered trade secret, and not divulged to the public, a la Netflix. Production companies will just have to take the network's word for it when they say that viewer numbers are down, which can become an unfair negotiating tactic that favors the networks. This where the evolution of the blackout will head: without cable companies as distributors paying retransmission fees, networks will start squeezing the production companies, giving an unfair advantage to their own content.

    This is not academic. This is already happening with commercial internet services.

  • Jul 30th, 2019 @ 8:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think the duality of it all illustrates the source of the problem.

    1) Content and media companies hate the idea of public domain and open source. They feel like everything should be owned. Otherwise, there's no "business model" behind it to make it successful (forgetting the fact that most ubiquitous internet technologies have been doing fine for decades without a "business model", a term I've always thought was horribly and myopically misused).
    2) The public, however, isn't allowed to own anything. Without a constant nickel & dime microtransactional (it's a word, I'm sure of it) revenue stream, those poor waif-like struggling companies like Microsoft and Sony would just fold up and cease to exist.

    So the result, ownership is king, as long as only royalty has it. The unwashed masses, however, are filthy thieves, profiting on the back of hard working artists and creators. (I know, I spelled "MBAs" and "trust fund babies" wrong)

  • Jul 25th, 2019 @ 1:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    This looks like the modern day equivalent of the wild west gunslinger with his gun drawn yelling "dance, monkey, dance!". There was only one way this was going to end, as long as Officer PTSD was calling the shots.

  • Jul 10th, 2019 @ 5:22am

    Here we go again

    In a country with such a vivid history of bloody civil uprising predicated on political overreach, you'd think they'd know better by now...

  • Jun 21st, 2019 @ 1:24pm

    Re: By Comparison

    Admittedly, this is a highly unscientific analysis. It leaves out way too many variables, like upload rates, etc. Break.com only hosts around 29,000 videos, and has collected that number over the course of 20 years. At an average clip of just under 4 videos per day, one would think that any moderation they needed to do could be easily accomplished by a single person. I would think that their false positive and false negative rates would be much lower than the average.

    And if I remember correctly, Internet Archive also hosts Wayback. Who knows what material might end up in there.

  • Jun 21st, 2019 @ 1:14pm

    Working Conditions

    I live in the Tampa Bay area, and my experience with these outsourced call centers here and the people who work in them are that the working conditions in many of them are miserable. Call center employees around here generally tend to fall into two non-exclusive categories: 1) people who have become catastrophically negative and jaded in general, in part or in full because of the job, and/or 2) people who have a great deal of difficulty finding or keeping a job. Some struggle just to get along with people in general. Many centers have an INCREDIBLE rate of turnover, which is why they're generally not picky about who they hire. As long as you actually show up to whatever semblance of a job interview they have, you're almost guaranteed to be hired. Some don't stay open for very long. Either ownership cuts and runs, or they are constantly moving around. It's a shady business.

  • Jun 20th, 2019 @ 2:55pm

    By Comparison

    For what it's worth, according to the numbers at Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_hosting_services) on streaming video sites (total number of videos, probably out of date by about a year), and assuming a 99.99% success rate in moderating videos:

    Break.com : 2.9 missed videos
    Flickr : 53.2 missed videos
    Godtube : 22.3 missed videos
    Internet Archive : 456.7 missed videos
    LiveLeak : 115 missed videos
    Metacafe : 21.3 missed videos
    Vimeo : 3930 missed videos
    YouTube : 340,000 missed videos

    Dailymotion (FR) : 9420 missed videos
    EngageMedia (DE) : 0.8 missed videos
    Globo Video (BR) : 271 missed videos
    Niconico (JP) : 2650 missed videos
    QQ Video (CN) : 1350 missed videos
    Rutube (RU) : 384 missed videos
    SAPO VĂ­deos (PO) : 88.3 missed videos
    Tudou (CN) : 105 missed videos
    tune.pk (PK) : 341 missed videos
    Youku (CN) : 802 missed videos

    Google is far from the only one with a content moderation problem. They're just the largest. I guess it's time to outlaw Vimeo, Flickr and the Internet Archive now. But then again, going after smaller players doesn't get you votes among your decidedly angry, morally panicked, and underinformed constituents.

    ps. Purposefully not including Pornhub here, because, well, that would represent a 100% miss rate in Congress' virgin eyes.

  • Jun 17th, 2019 @ 12:04pm

    A Question

    This is something I've always wondered about, particular with some of the more egregious patent trolls: why doesn't the concept of patent exhaustion come into play here? Verizon is no saint, but this is gear that they've bought from other parties. Why doesn't stuff like this get thrown out immediately? This is as ridiculous as trolls shaking down offices for using a copier.

    Is patent exhaustion more of a concept than a law, or is it actually codified somewhere?

  • Jun 5th, 2019 @ 10:49am

    Huge Surprise

    I'm not sure why this shocks anybody in the US. Law enforcement has practically had the same mission statement here for decades: go after the end points, not the producers.

    War on drugs? Arrest the users instead of the dealer.
    Gun control? Go after the shooter and ignore the seller.

    Business as usual 'round these parts.

  • May 2nd, 2019 @ 9:31am

    Border Exception

    The thing that's always rubbed me the wrong way was that I live in Florida, and there's basically no place that isn't within 100 miles of the border, owing to the peninsular shape of the state. I can remember a few years back that my ex-wife was telling me about CBP searching her car without probable cause at a Tampa Bay area beach, and this was a tiny little beach on the bay itself, not even on the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, it just wasn't something she had the resources to legally fight, which can also be said about the large bulk of the population.

  • Feb 7th, 2019 @ 2:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    it does not create the promised new rights for us as content producers, broadcasters and distributors/publishers

    I think that's, generally speaking, all that the content industries are after: new rights. Rights that they didn't have before, and for balance's sake, for good reason.

    Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. I've been of the opinion that the quality of any legislation depends on how much of a balance there is between the two. In this case, all of the rights are going to the publishers and all of the responsibilities are falling on the edge providers. This is the "compromise" Mike speaks of.

    The fact that I said publishers and not content creators above is not an accident. For the same reason that the above quote doesn't include artists, the creators are going to end up getting screwed on this one just as badly as the site operators, regardless of what they think or whose side they're on. It's always the foot soldiers and civilians that are the biggest casualty in any conflict.Those calling the shots are never in harms way.

  • Jan 17th, 2019 @ 5:15am

    (untitled comment)

    Maybe the first tap on the nose with the clue stick is that the Netflix app allows for multiple profiles to be set up under the same account. Every time I turn it on, it asks me who am I, so it uses the right preferences, recommendations and history.

    Besides, I pay for Netflix streaming on multiple concurrent devices (not bad for somebody who used to share an account with somebody), so this "AI" can bugger off and pound sand. It doesn't speak for me.

  • Nov 16th, 2018 @ 8:48am


    Home taping? I thought it was the player piano...

  • Aug 10th, 2018 @ 7:04am

    (untitled comment)

    I don't know if this has been brought up yet, but I had the opportunity to peruse the fine piece of legalese that is the InfoWars Terms Of Service, and for some reason, the one part that jumped out at me was in section 14 (already way too many sections for a document that should be accessible and interpretable by a layperson):

    14.1. In the event that you breach any provision of this Agreement, you agree that we may immediately terminate your use of our Services and System.
    14.2. In the event such a breach occurs by you, we may post on the Website that you have violated our terms and conditions of service.

    So, according to InfoWars, they reserve the right to name and shame you on their web site for violating the Terms of Service. While I'm sure that's perfectly legal, there just seems to be a juvenile element to it, especially considering that they feel the need to explicitly point it out.

  • Jul 27th, 2018 @ 8:13am

    (untitled comment)

    Dr. Raymond Stantz: Gozer the Gozerian... good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.

    Dr. Peter Venkman: [Sarcastically] That oughta do it. Thanks very much, Ray.

  • Jul 11th, 2018 @ 9:38am

    (untitled comment)

    And I'm sure the person responsible for these views has been summarily sacked.

  • Jun 20th, 2018 @ 8:01am

    (untitled comment)

    This is like listening to somebody who has poor excuses for cheating on their spouse. They're not sorry they did it. They're sorry they got caught.

  • Jun 12th, 2018 @ 12:20pm

    (untitled comment)

    "The FCC has gone dark on this issue"

    Take notes, FBI. This is how you properly use the phrase.

  • Apr 9th, 2018 @ 4:48am

    PGP Key

    The fact that he makes a stink about exchanging PGP keys to facilitate secure data sharing tells you pretty much everything you need to know about their security philosophies.

  • Feb 13th, 2018 @ 6:12pm

    Pardon Me, But...

    Did I read that correctly? Did Blackbird try to patent man-in-the-middle attacks?

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