vilain 's Techdirt Comments

Latest Comments (124) comment rss

  • Ubisoft's 'You Must Be Connected To This Server' Annoying DRM Servers Go Down

    vilain ( profile ), 08 Mar, 2010 @ 07:35am

    Re: Damnit

    I didn't buy this game, but if I had and it stopped working because the company "remotely turned it off", I'd be back at the point of purchase (aka my local game store) to complain. If they won't give me another game of equal value or a full credit-card refund, I'd contact the credit card company and request a charge back. I'd tell that to the owner of the store and all my friends. This might possibly result in the owner's credit card processor putting their account on hold, thereby limiting their ability to take credit cards. If I bought it from an on-line store, same thing. If enough people return the game as defective (it's got DRM that doesn't work), maybe Ubisoft might take notice. The game store owners surely will.

  • School Spying Scandal Gets Even More Bizarre: Student In Question Was Disciplined For Eating Candy

    vilain ( profile ), 22 Feb, 2010 @ 06:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    And yet, when a reporter did just this to the trash of a local judge, DA, and police chief and published a long article documenting the items found, there was such a hew and cry. Both the DA and police chief wanted the reporter thrown in jail. The judge knew better and just asked for her personal property back.

    Unless you can cite significant case law to support your opinion, it remains just that--your unfounded and uninformed opinion.

    For which I say "Thank you for sharing"

  • School Spying Scandal Gets Even More Bizarre: Student In Question Was Disciplined For Eating Candy

    vilain ( profile ), 22 Feb, 2010 @ 06:46pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    A quote from The Dude seems apt here. It goes something like, 'yeah, well, like, that's just your opinion, man'.

  • Pharma Patent Nuclear War In Action

    vilain ( profile ), 03 Feb, 2010 @ 09:03pm

    What about all those awsome new products from J&J

    Like Pledge wipes. Or the Nav'i Bandaids coming soon. Highly imaginative and innovative company.

  • Chicago Prosecutor's Office Leaks Old, Unsubstantiated, Discredited Internal Memo To Smear Innocence Project Founder

    vilain ( profile ), 08 Jan, 2010 @ 04:32pm

    Re: IStates Attorney's Offices

    I'd love to have everyone on the IL AG's entire staff past and present submit to a rigorous financial audit crawling so far up their GI tracts that you can see daylight. It's only fair. If they're going to "get the whole picture out there", it should go both ways. A little corruption, graft, and duplicity is good for the soul.

  • Can You Copyright An SQL Query?

    vilain ( profile ), 07 Dec, 2009 @ 06:56pm

    Re: work for hire?

    Yep. I'd start by getting a lawyer to review the contract the guy signed who created the code. Most contracts I've signed (employment or contractor) have verbage saying that any code or "product" I produce while working for the contractee is their property. It's most likely that header is an utter fiction. If the guy litigates, take his house, car, salt his fields and rape his cattle.

  • Bill Introduced To Limit Early Termination Fees

    vilain ( profile ), 03 Dec, 2009 @ 08:55pm

    Same crap on Verizon

    I switched to Verizon when Cingular took over AT&T Wireless. I didn't get a top-line phone and got minimal service. I've also resisted getting the latest phone ever 2 years. They keep nagging me to sign up for another contract but I'm now on month to month and have no termination fee (written before they started charging you for leaving regardless). I won't get an iPhone or a Droid or any other smart phone because of the termination fee. Is it unreasonable to want to stay out of servitude to these guys?

    In their eyes, no. Tough nuts.

  • Tiburon Approves Recording Every Car That Enters/Leaves… Despite More Evidence Of Traffic Camera Abuse In UK

    vilain ( profile ), 23 Nov, 2009 @ 05:56pm

    This could be used in litegation

    Just as the city can use this info, so can defendants. All it will take is a large settlement of a "driving while black" racial profiling class action and those cameras will be history.

  • Sanford Wallace Loses Again; Owes Facebook $711 Million

    vilain ( profile ), 30 Oct, 2009 @ 11:20am

    A solution has already been published

    In a recent novel (DAEMON by Daniel Suarez) a set of automata running on "the Internet" start after the death of their creator, owner of a gaming company (and master gamer, natch). One of the "batch jobs" that's run is "ALL SPAMMERS MUST DIE", where people in the "game" are sent parts to assemble untraceable weapons that are used to assassinate some 4000 people world-wide. After that, the 'Net is a much nicer, quieter place.

    Rather contrived and a sysadmin's wet dream, but what the what. It was fiction. And it's probably not going to win any awards. But it might become a TV mini-series. If an example is made of Mr. Wallace by extraditing him to Russia or incarcerating him for 40 years and we go after the advertisers who use spam maybe people will get the idea.

  • Zombie Spam Blacklists Return From The Dead To Make A Point

    vilain ( profile ), 20 Oct, 2009 @ 01:24am

    I've seen both sides of this

    I contribute daily to SPAMCOP, a user-contributed blocklist. Anyone can add emails they consider spam to the block list which is parsed with Baysian and IP filters. The resulting list is used to filter email processed by SPAMCOP and some ISPs use it as a block list as well. Oftentimes, some spammer gets all cartoony in the support forums threatening to sue for being put on the blocklist. 48 hours later, if no more spam comes from that ISP, it drops off. But if there's a spammer on the ISP, more spam will be reported and the wait is longer.

    The other side of this is I administer a members-only listserv which sometimes gets flagged as spam by various ISPs. Everyone on this list has to personally send me an email and I verify them to be a dues-paying member of a professional organization. Roadrunner is the latest SPAM Nazi to blacklist the ISP serving the list and their support people have no clue why. It left the members using that ISP no access to the list until they moved to Gmail or just left. For many of the older members, Gmail is to much for them to fathom (really, I'm not kidding).

    I'm all for spam block lists, but I warn members to avoid ISPs that act unilaterally by denying stuff rather than just categorizing emails and putting them in a SPAM folder. Comcast and Hotmail also do weird things but they seem to be transient mistakes rather than anything permanent. And I still report spam to SPAMCOP.

  • UK Royal Mail Uses Copyright Claim To Shut Down Postal Code Info Online

    vilain ( profile ), 06 Oct, 2009 @ 10:44pm

    What if someone hosts the data in Nepal or Ukraine?

    What's to stop someone from sucking the data to a server out of the Royal Mail's jurisdiction? Could they still file suit? Would the data still be copyrighted in another country where the copyright laws are different?

  • Lily Allen Distributing Tons Of Copyrighted Music; Blows Way Past Three Strikes

    vilain ( profile ), 23 Sep, 2009 @ 04:43pm

    Now all we need is law enforcement

    Some publicity seeking DA and police chief execute an arrest warrant to "take down a notorious file sharing pirate". Lilly spends a week or so in jail while she's trying to make bail after the judge levy's a $10M bond to ensure this pirate doesn't skip to Europe where file sharing is OK. And a great time is had by all.

  • Dreadful Ruling: Web Hosts Hit With $32 Million Judgment For Content On Customers' Websites

    vilain ( profile ), 01 Sep, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re: ISP or infringer?

    I see this ruling as a good thing for those who use Trademarks and Servicemarks. I practice a form of bodywork that's Servicemarked around the globe. That doesn't prevent other people who didn't go through the training I had from claiming they do this work and are "just like" what I do. For years our school has been going after people who violate the Servicemark in print.

    The web has been harder. Usually sending a C&D letter is enough. But we had one person using a Yahoo address with our servicemark in their name. Yahoo ignored any request for takedown or removal of this person from their systems. Maybe now, they'll listen. $32M is a lot of "Pay attention to me" money!

  • Do Big Tech Acquisitions Ever Work Out?

    vilain ( profile ), 14 Jul, 2008 @ 09:15am

    Same thing happened to a friend...

    Not really a "clash of the titans" but more a clash of cultures which is highly likely with Microsoft and Yahoo (what's left of it), but a friend's company was acquired by Aligent. Aligent thought they were getting a core company that they could use to create a bio-informatics division. The problem is that Aligent is primarily a _hardware_ company and my friend worked at a genomics analysis company. They were the leader in the field, doing what startups do--lots with very little and doing it very well. Aligent was the hardware side of HP--all their non-consumer products sans printers and computers.

    But the person who brokered the sale was shuffled off to another part of Aligent after the founder decided to leave and go raise a child. So there was no internal advocate to speak for these newly acquired drones into the Aligent collective. And the IT transition was very painful. Rather than have the sysadmin restart a server, they had to call IT services in India and go through multiple layers to find _someone_ in the States who knew how to reboot the Linux license server. It's bad when customers can't use your product for several days because you can't find someone who knows how to reboot a server.

    What killed product and the group was Aligent's empire building culture of influence rather than "let's get a product out and help customers". I don't see Yahoo and Microsoft getting along any better. When ASK/Ingres software got acquired by Computer Associates back in the 90's, 99% of the 250 engineers packed their desks and left the building the day of the announcement and found jobs within HOURS. Wouldn't it be a kick if all Microsoft got out of this merger was a bunch of buildings and huge pile of 9 track tapes?

  • Connecticut Still Wants To Try Julie Amero

    vilain ( profile ), 10 Jul, 2008 @ 05:01pm

    I'd like to see...

    the judge throw out the retrail and as an added bonus, cite the entire prosecuting team for contempt, with a large fine and some jail time for wasting the taxpayers money and the court's time.

    I can dream, can't I?

  • Time Warner Cable Tiered Broadband Test Begins

    vilain ( profile ), 02 Jun, 2008 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Doesn't TW know there are alternatives

    I just got a flyer in the mail advertising AT&T's new TV and internet service. No cap were mentioned, just a tiered transfer rate. Their rates were something like $25/month for "up to" 1.5Mbps downstream, $30/mo for "up to" 3.0Mbps downstream, and $55/mo for "up to" 10Mbps downstream. This comes over phone lines and fibre to the home rather than cable.

    If this were offered in TW's market, I wonder how many people would be switching and contesting any sort of early termination fee (which is currently being litigated as a class-action lawsuit here in California).

    Why is TW shooting themselves in the foot here? Don't they see their monoply business model is a thing of the past and that it's only a matter of time before customers vote with their wallets?

  • Blockbuster Thinks You'll Drive To A Store To Download A Movie?

    vilain ( profile ), 29 May, 2008 @ 10:47am

    Re: Doesn't anyone ever think about fixing broken kiosks

    And staffing in each city the repair guys who's sole job is to go to the myriad retail outlets with broken kiosks. The more complicated these beasts are, the more they'll have to stock parts (or have the stores keep spares in their copious storage space).

    And what about any network connection? Does it make sense for each store to have a high-speed Internet connection that can also break? I doubt they'll have T1's from each store directly to the regional datacenters, so they'll have to rely on their ISP and the 'Net to get good bandwidth. And ensure reasonable load.

    Did this idiot think about this at _all_ before saying "Make it so"?

  • And On Second Thought, Maybe Starbucks Shouldn't Be In The Music Business

    vilain ( profile ), 25 Apr, 2008 @ 02:07pm

    Re: Starbucks has lost sight of what they do best.

    The SBucks around here (SF/Bay Area) all standardized on their "house blend" rather than featuring a regional coffee and a decaff. I taste this new stuff and I think it's just vile.

    Looks like I'll stick with Peet's (where the SBucks crew got their start). And they only play classical music in all the Peet's stores. It was a requirement of the buyout from the original owner.

  • Do Patent Lawyers Really Want To Put Limits On The Rocket Docket Of East Texas?

    vilain ( profile ), 01 Apr, 2008 @ 08:38am

    anything posted today is suspecious

    IT'S APRIL 1st people. Anything you see on the Net today should be taken with several Kg of NaCl (Iodized or plain, your call).

  • Supermarket A&P Makes Sure That People Associate Mock Gangsta Rap Video With A&P

    vilain ( profile ), 30 Aug, 2007 @ 01:05pm

    It could have been any commercial grocery store

    There's a large chain here in the SF Bay area where I know if I buy milk there it will go bad by the next day. So, I stay away whenever I can. The video could have been filmed in this firm's stores just as much as A&P's.

    I think these boys have a great case for a countersuit. Whomever that senior director is of A&P needs to find another job. Hopefully, when and if these boys sue, they will.

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