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  • Aug 9th, 2019 @ 10:25am

    Analyze the metadata of every song...

    Wonderful idea. Every piece of music ever! Be a good foundation for an AI composer application :-)

    This is just as ridiculous as the Oracle lawsuit claiming copyright on an API. I'm surprised no one attempted to copyright the "for" loop...

  • Jul 18th, 2019 @ 3:10pm

    The two other providers of telephone switching equipment...

    Are foreign-owned companies, too. A careful examination of their executive rosters by someone with the appropriate (intell) skills would be rather revealing. Ericsson, the primary vendor of switching equipment in the U.S., operator of the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, and operator of two databases critical to telco operations, previously raised some suspicion in the intelligence community (second hand information, but from a knowledgeable source). We could just ban them all, close down the Internet, abandon cell phones, and return to...writing letters or meeting for lunch. While we're at it, we also need to worry about who's putting logic in automobiles, so perhaps we should outlaw those and return to horse-drawn carriages. Political boundaries don't make any sense in a world built on the Internet. It would, of course, make much more sense to actually deal with the security issues directly, e.g., make those networks secure. Not any easy task, as any network engineer will explain, but what's obviously necessary.

  • Jul 17th, 2019 @ 10:29am

    Just one aspect of a much bigger concern...

    The underlying problem is that technology is far ahead of the knowledge and level of comprehension of too many people in decision-making positions, specifically including legislators and judges, but also including many corporate executives. Unfortunately, this isn't likely to improve in the foreseeable future and will probably get worse. Equally concerning is that ignorance is now in favor and actual facts are considered "fake news." If we had the current people in charge 560 years ago, movable type would certainly have been outlawed.

  • Jun 12th, 2019 @ 11:13am

    Unfortunately, the imbeciles in Congress believe this nonsense

    That was the entire perspective of the Congressional hearings this week, and there was no one to dispute this twisted interpretation of history. "Big Tech" gave us what we wanted, and we kept asking for more, so they gave us that, too. They also gave us "live" news, as it's happening, and from multiple perspectives. Yes, we paid for this by revealing our interests and our connections, and we did that willingly (although, perhaps, naively). I get today's news today, not tomorrow morning, I don't have to hunt in the bushes for the newspaper, and I can hit one key and skip the stuff I don't care about. I do have a concern about the loss of local investigative reporting, but the con jobs have become so big and complex that a local reporter would be unlikely to unwind them. (Think FCC+Verizon+AT&T+Comcast, who each represent a particularly noxious form of "Big Tech" but don't seem to be in the spotlight.) Amazon and Google represent successful business strategies that produced sufficient products to expand into other lines of business. Facebook may have crossed a line when they promised privacy and didn't deliver, but the popularity of Facebook demonstrates a demand for the service.

    [The Congressional inquiries remind me of a similar witch hunt back in the dark ages, when Congress went after A.C. Nielsen for cancelling someone's favorite TV show. Nielsen only counted viewers; advertisers and networks cancelled shows, but Congress couldn't understand that. If anything, Congresscritters are even less knowledgeable today, and that should scare all of us.]

  • May 6th, 2019 @ 10:57am

    Not at all unexpected

    Pai was a well-paid lobbyist for Verizon. You can bet he'll be returning to Verizon when his stint as commissioner is done. He'll almost certainly be well-rewarded for delivering everything his employer could imagine. This is an incredibly corrupt administration and Pai's behavior is as expected. Unfortunately, this administration has set a new lower bound for "public servants" and we should expect future administrations to do no better. Historians will, eventually, trace the decline and fall of the United States to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which handed control of the government to corporate money. Get used to it.

  • Feb 28th, 2019 @ 12:34pm

    Is there a law in Australia...

    that MPs have to be technically illiterate and unbelievably stupid?