34 posts • joined 22 Aug 2010
Re: No Excuse
The only problem with copyright is the extrme greed and over reach created by the corporate lobbies from companies like Disney. The term of ownership is at least 10 fold too long. The gap between what is and what ought to be in the law always exists until it grows so egregious that the law simply fails to function. The owner has had his work stolen. 2 problems greatly reduce his chances of getting his legal rights protected. One is the ease of the theft. No law can function when enforcement is impossible. The second problem is with the underlying contract between the government and the creator of the work. The government and its citizens are supposed to be enriched with easy access to the copyrighted work after a reasonable period of time. 10 to 15 years is nearly forever in a digital society that creates a nearly exponential growth in media. 20 years was the original grant in the USA before Disney began lobbying for copyright extensions. In a just legal framework, our society should have access to all copyrights before 1994. If this fundamental inequity is not addressed copyrights will die.
Nothing could be a bigger disservice to our society then the current system. Lawlessness is enriching the thieves, and we are all being forced to pay for works that should be free. So the current situation leaves the law completely free of its most essential component: justice. Is it any surprise the Law is failing?
At least they are going after the worst offenders
In North Carolina, it is illegal for a city to offer their own broad band to compete with the current incumbents. The cable companies got this passed in a direct quid pro quo deal.
Even if this is just lipstick on a pig, if they just stop the outright sale of our connectivity options to the highest bidder we could all benefit. Even an attempt at appearing fair would be better than the status Quo
Eu = Articles of Confederation/dysfunction
The EU is dysfunctional and needs a serious revamp at some point. The problem is the current dysfunction is very much more popular than any reasonable substitute.
Example in the USA: New York pays way more in taxes than it receives in benefits directly paid by the federal government. New York's economy benefits more from earnings in other states. The financial, insurance and cultural business income New York receives from the other 49 states dwarfs the losses in tax dollars. No one in the Euro zone is willing to recognize the long term growth Northern Europe will receive from the South and East. In short, most people are too selfish to see their own rational self interest especially when the pain is current and the benefit is in the future.
Bright future for SpaceX
The real difference between the 20th century's version of space technology and the 21st century's will be the application of assembly line efficiencies to the essentially hand made cutting edge tech of NASA. When SpaceX has dropped the cost of launches by 10 fold, then Nasa and the Pentagon can use their financial muscle to actually start new endeavors like a real space station and asteroid mining ventures. How much of the Space Station's cost was simply launch costs? How much more quickly will satellites receive tech updates and refueling if they can be worked on by robots or drones that launch on a 1/10 budget? Most importantly, how much lower will launch costs go if we see daily flights from earth to orbit? With companies like SpaceX building the rockets for daily flights, then they will be made on an assembly line with exceptional quality testing this will continue to lower costs and reduce failure. Costs to Leo could easily reach down below $500 per Kg. That leaves a ticket to the space station running about $100,000 with profit and supplies for a stay added.
These are the kind of interesting times that we can all hope for.
Singing in the rain
I get the feeling that this is going to do nothing more than attract extra interest from NSA ectera. Which is really all to the good. They have no interest in business deals for the apolitical, and the pirates need a good wacking after all the trouble that they have stirred up lately.
Does anyone out there in England feel like we are watching the first land war over internet piracy in the Ukraine? I don't see many strategic interests that can be furthered by America pulling the Ukraine out of Russia's sphere of influence except that it would cut down on one of the hiding places for Black hats on the internet.
What's an honest spook supposed to do?
Anyone over there see publishing this info about the NSA as going way past alerting the US citizens about the NSA's over reach and on into exposure of all secret NSA programs for the sake of notoriety. Whats an honest spook supposed to do if they can't hack into telecoms without being called out by an ex employee? It also suggests that China may be putting custom hacks into any equipment being shipped overseas by changing it after it leaves the manufacturing plant.
Wondering what the view is from your side of the pond?
Perhaps the lawyers for the plaintiffs were thinking about what the rest of San Francisco's citizens would think about this law suit. We are talking about a class of employees that have made oodles of money from stock incentives and who receive a salary much larger than the average citizen. Call it envy or whatever, but choosing a jury in this case would be fraught with potholes. On the other side of the political spectrum imagine trying to sell a high value verdict to a conservative who hates lawyers. Either way they could lose out, and both sides knew it. The settlement made the lawyers rich for less than 1/4 of the work that a jury case would have taken.
The employees got $5000 and a lot of headaches. One man in this class died, possibly from the stress caused in pursuing it. There really is no such thing as a free lunch unless you are at the top.
Intel between a rock and a hard place
Intel is not going to die right now, but their bread and butter business has been ailing for much longer than they have let on. Apple's current A7 chip is really hitting them in the gut. The iPad's average selling price means that Microsoft has lost the profitable part of the tablet market. This is why they are fighting for scraps at the bottom of the food chain.
Intel has been hurting since 2004 and the death of the net burst architecture. Lack of built in obsolescence has been killing them. Without the frequency boost to increase demand for the newest chips they have been unable to get users to switch as frequently. It has taken almost a decade for the wisdom of buying once and holding to become the new norm in computer building. Performance per watt is definitely only a stop gap solution. To make matters worse the cost per node of miniaturization has been going up sharply. Intel is slowly losing it's stranglehold over CPU prices at the exact moment when it needs more cash for future changes.
What we are all waiting for is a basic change in computer organization. Intel does not seem to be a likely candidate for finding the replacement for the PC. Cell phones still use almost the same basic system as desktop computers plus the radio and battery. A fundamental switch to photonics and/or spintronics is really what we need. A new semiconductor material would work as a stopgap, but nothing seems to be on the horizon.
Re: "What is wrong with this picture"?
Apple's money is sitting in US Treasuries making about 1.5-2% per year. As of result of this Apple is very slowly losing it's money to the ultimate tax-- inflation. Apple has no interest in investing the money per se. The cash on hand sitting in their accounts works as a strategic reserve that allows them to purchase entire factories that are a critical part of their supply chain. Apple purchases the equipment necessary for making their devices and keeps the tax benefits of depreciation on their tax return. Apple also pays more in taxes in America as a percentage of sales then 99% of the population pays on their own income (I am not counting Social Security as a tax since there is a financial payback given after age 65). Many individuals have equal marginal tax rates, but very few pay more that 25% in effective tax rates. 26% is Apple's effective tax rate after all the management of taxation risks world wide.
Some times people and companies bitch because things are unfair.
I recommend the following article to any who actually want to know what is going on with this issue: http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2014/02/03/apple-asking-appeals-court-to-freeze-monitor/
The reporting from another blog on the same website: Apple 2.0 actually discusses the hearing where the panel of judges asked questions about the legal issues. They appeared to be leaning towards writing more specific orders that limited the fishing expedition by the special counsel rather than replacing him.
Perhaps the consensus on this website is wrong?
The significant difference is no court, not even a "home field advantage" court has ruled that apple attempted to garnish any of Samsung's intellectual or design properties.
The worst that has happened to Apple has been being asked by a Brittish court to appoligize for accusing Samsung of copying when in the courts opinnion they did not do so. I am also not aware that any CEO at Apple has had to have 2 presidential pardons for bribery. Perhaps all the bluster on here about Apple trying to patent rounded corners is just the bias of the readership? Maybe justice is being done by Apple where others like Blackberry did not think it was worth fighting for. The Blackjack was the Samsung copy of the Blackberry. It did not copy the encryption and server software that made Blackberry the ubiquitous chice on Wall Street. So maybe it made less sense for Blackberry to sue Samsung. Apple uses design and specialized manufacturing to separate its products from the more generic choices in the market. Maybe this is why they do not find copys to be so amusing.
A glance at how much more successful Samsung has been in profiting by selling android based phones, than the rest of the android manufacturers might give some indication of how important those design choices were to Apples success.
Re: The irony
You can't steal open source kernels. Apple paid xerox for the tour of their labs with several million $ worth of Apple stock. Perhaps you should work on your facts.
Re: Pathetic lawsuit
Your final comment shows you just have not spent very much time getting the facts first. One old saw my Mom posted not the fridge was " Get the facts first, you can distort them later".
Apple paid Xerox to allow them to see the prototype in their labs by giving them a portion of their stock worth several million dollars when the company went public. That is not stealing, and the iMac was a product introduced in 1997 not in 1985 when the Mac with the first mouse was unveiled. Making a better design is the type of innovation that the patent system was invented for. The OS introduced with the Mac had many features that were not used by the prototype at Xerox.
Apple did in fact come up with the first phone that allowed full web page viewing because of pinch to zoom. The use of swipes and a multitouch type of screen gave Apple plenty of ammunition to patent. Just because you don't understand how patents work and believe me you are not alone, does not make your assertion that Apple patented rounded corners correct. Your review of all these errors that are so common in blogs on the internet makes you either an astroturfer or at best a naive repeater of their comments who can't tell the difference between facts and falsehoods.
Re: Surely PixelSense is prior art from 2001
Apple and Microsoft have cross licensed all patents after they settled a multi decade patent war in 1997. Microsoft has no reason to sue Apple.
The problem from the Publisher's point of view was Amazon was killing all the other bookstores. The end result was Amazon was amassing the power to demand any price they wanted for their services. The publisher's had every reason to do this because the current system was killing their real customers the book sellers. The best explanation that I have read of this said that the government is arguing the facts and Apple is arguing the law. Without monopolistic control over the market, according to the current case law there is no problem with the agency model. The problem for the government is those who had the monopolistic control have already pled guilty and are offering to testify against Apple. Apple did not do anything wrong because they did not have control over the market. Apple will lost the original case and win on an appeal because the current case law does not have an example of someone doing this. In the last case in this area ToysRUs conspired to force toy makers to only sell goods to them rather than to their much smaller competitors. ToysRUs had both control and a conspiracy. Apple did not have control so presumably they will be acquitted on appeal. This is why Steve Jobs was not concerned about admitting his negotiations for "Most favored nation status".
Denson Scaling anyone?
This is a tech site isn't it? Some of the above have commented on the lack of need of a new computer, but no one has named the real cause of all this drop in PC shipments. The tablet could never have happened if the frequency of cpu's had continued to scale with each die shrink as Denson postulated. This stopped in 2004 and we have had all kinds of effects from it. The lower power envelope of cell phones has meant that Denson scaling continued for a much longer time with regards to low power cpu designs. A cell phone Cpu in 2004 was no threat to replace an intel chip in any fashion. On the other hand, we now have Intel dropping the frequency and cores in their flagship chips to reach down and compete with Apple and the other ARM licensees. The newest of these ARM chips are just getting to the 2.5 GHz level which was where the mainstream was when Intel hit the 4Ghz ceiling with its failed netburst technology back in 2003 or 4.
So why do we no longer need a new computer? We don't need one because Denson scaling is no longer making your old box too slow to be good enough. Steve didn't kill the PC. Denson did it in the cloak room with a good old fashioned heat problem.
I know I am paranoid. The question is am I paranoid enough? Am I paranoid about the right things?
I would guess that living with this little dilemma is the basis for all the religious foo foo rah that has been going on for as long as there have been human beings. Maybe we really need just a little bit of faith to go along with all our new knowledge. I would also wager that no one will be heading off of this rock any time soon without taking time to say a little prayer about making it back in one piece.
OS X has this built in (yeah for unix!)
This is how OS X time machine works. Time machine stores changes in the data base and undoes any saves until you get back to the version you want. It is also why you can simply connect a new Mac to your old one and bring over all of your data in a few hours and start working on the same system. My experience is that old software still eventually starts to crust things up over time. OS X does all of this, but it has weak filesystem support with hfs+. I am looking forward to when Apple gets around to replacing it! A clean install is still best practice for a new machine. I haven't had to do one since 2003 so I talking theoretically :-).
but where does the money come from?
My biggest problem with Google is that it doesn't charge anything upfront. It just takes your data and says oh that will do. If Google and Apple were people who would you trust? The one who told you where they are making their money and charged fully for what they sell or the one who says "Just take it for free, you can pay me back later with a favor...".
So no the question of who has the most income is not irrelevant. Will Linux be there when you need them? Maybe you feel that it is worth it to use Linux, and I would agree with you if it were a simple product and I really had someone who was responsible for what I was buying. If there is a professional vendor then I prefer to get what I pay for, not trust some one that "free" actually is free and not expensive later.
No Pain still equals gain on all hidden misdeeds
There is nothing punitive about losing just the profits when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar. If they lost 5 or 10 times the value of all the contract they might hesitate to do it again. As it is, when the light goes out the cockroaches come back for the crumbs left behind by the sloppy cleanup.
Either make it legal or make it hurt to be illegal. Making it not hurt to be illegal just makes a mockery of the rule in the first place.
PS next time you will get the judge his cut sooner rather than later.
Re: Public sector
I do not accept that all public sector jobs are wealth destroying. Police, University research, road construction, and education are all examples of government functions that actively add to the GDP. We need all of these functions to operate in an environment that supports the creativity, public safety, and productivity of our culture. The problem is that there are actually bad apples in government and in private enterprise who are only looking out for themselves. Theft, graft, manipulation of the public sector rules and regulations are just a few examples of this.
The problem with the political fantasy known as "small government" is that we don't need to get rid of all government except for the defense or medical budget that lines the nonproductive "private sector" companies. We need to get rid of any corruption, back room dealing, and legalistic manipulation of the tax code to line particular pockets at the expense of others. The silly idea that greed is always good in the private sector is just baloney. If you steal, whether it is from the government or private sector you are a leach. Pretending that all the people who agree that the tax rate has to go down are all good upstanding citizens is just as silly as saying that all those who want to lower taxes are self interested lazy bums who already have theirs and don't want to support the common good. The question is which taxes should we raise and which taxes should we lower. Which programs really are full of graft and theft, and which are adding to the GDP? The answer is not nearly as simple as "small government", but the correct decision here will count for more growth in the future and less lying to ourselves about the nature of the problem.
The aswer ain't simple, but it will produce real results.
Could you please update this article in light of Artic fox's post?
It doesn't seem like The Reg is very informed on this one. If you read the link from Ars Technica you would see that the story does not really support the usual Reg Apple kit bashing meme. Apple did make their license available, but the developer wanted to get some controversy for his own Kickstarter competitor. What better way than to give refunds for a product that was canceled before Apple replied and which did not have the Apple part in its original form. This is weak reporting of a shyster scheme. El Reg should be ashamed of itself, or at least repentant enough to admit a mistake
Re: You missed the point ...
I do not think that all software patents are simply a matter of making something move from one side of the screen to the other. It is the practical effort to make it work smoothly, with minimal wasted effort and frustration that makes it worth paying for. Sensing properly the pinch and zoom and then making it call the proper action is not something that anyone would waste time on if they couldn't make money on it. I want it to work right every time not just most of the time. If you don't believe this can be patented then no one will bother. We will all be living with partially functioning devices that kill productivity and creativity.
More optimistic pragmatism?
Would it be possible for the governments to support this by buying up excess quantities of these metals? The government could stretch the demand curve to keep the mining profitable in the near term while the drop in prices is driving demand in the longer term. Politically there is a lot of support for at least the fig leaf of metals support in monetary policy. It is not hard to imagine a few new rooms in Fort Knox full of thousands of tons of precious metals. In the more middle term the supply of steel to build Space infrastructure like habitats would be of enormous value. A large enough habitat could supply its own food and water through recycling and farming. The real question is what other resources such as power generation and climate control could be added if the colonization of space continued over the next 25 to 50 years. Lots of manufacturing would still happen on the earth for the near term. The government would gain income through the growth in economic opportunities brought about by these new markets, and materials. The eventual drop in metal value would not hurt the governments as it builds a stronger tax base.
Apple restoring focus
This is the best news about Apple in a while. Forestall dumped a big chunk of his options last spring (at 600 a share) . He was probably Steve's ax man rather than a top designer or innovator. Jony Ivey had to sign off on this. He was given veto power over the CEO's corporate governance decisions. Siri, and the Maps fiasco were the final straws. I am sure no one appreciated the "Steve wouldn't have done that" bs that was Forestalls trademark. Political infighting over product and marketing focus is what has killed Micosofts innovation. One of the reason for the absurd level of secrecy in Apple was that no one internlly can fight changes in product designs or OS layout if they don't know what is coming. It was not unusual for Apple to by pass middle management by literally adding a wall around some ones office so his boss and co workers wouldn't know what he was doing. This was seen as Jobsian meglomania, but it worked. This kind of a putsch in the executive suite has not happened in Apple since Gil Amelio was fired in 1997.
Re: Software Patents = Retardedness in the Extreme
Apple has tried to license all of Samsungs patents through litigation. That does not mean they agree with any use of those patents. The jury may have made mistakes. They were not wrong about the doctrine of exhaustion. Samsung does not get to double dip especially with Frand patents.
Re: "The jury reached its decision in just three days"
Perhaps the willingness of Samsung to destroy the evidence in the trial might have some bearing about intent here. Also note that Google is not biased against Samsung. Google said get off Apple's IP. Why is it so hard to accept that a company with a history of copying competitors does, in fact, copy its competitors?
There's always South Carolina
One of the more idiosyncratic hold overs in south carolina law from the days of indian raids and red coats demanding money, there is no legal mechinism for collecting debts in South Carolina. This makes it a haven for men who don't want to pay child support. I would assume this would work to keep the record companies at bay.
It would seem to me that if you really think this guy got a raw deal and you have done something similar, you could easily look him up,and send him $10 to show your support for his cause. The record companies might get the money or maybe he might be able to buy a house in south carolina. Either way you would feel better about your own odds.
My guess is that individuals who find it easy to justify stealing music probably aren't real likely to help you out if you are the unlucky bastard who got caught. There are way too may free ways to get music legally (spotify, pandora, internet radio...) to make this a "good" idea.
What do you say internet citizens?
Re: The Usual Silliness
Read- Recycle uranium. It costs money but is much safer in the long run. If 99% of the most toxic longest lasting waste can be recycled then you have a much smaller waste storage problem. The remaining waste decays in 10,000 years. This is something no one has any problem designing storage for. It is the 100,000 plus years storage profile that is impossible to contain.
I am an American, who hasn't travelled internationally since 1995. I think Churchill had us right when he said Americans will do the right thing only when every other alternative has been tried. Our current system of making foreigners uncomfortable, angry and humiliated is not the right thing. We could do better, but when we do something in a hurry the lobbyists buy up all the money for their paymasters. The results are not pretty.
It's really funny how people who blame religion forget what human beings have always been capable of with or with out faith. Religion doesn't cause wars, people use religious ideas to further their political ideas. Using a powerful lever is a powerful way to energize people to do what you want. No church or human institution is free from evil. Try judging religion by the people who don't get in your face and you may find it much more appealing. After all these are the majority of people in religious institutions. It is the people who don't seek the limelight, and practice their faith as a means of personal growth who truly keep human society on its tracks. Even atheists, who work to improve themselves through prayer, have found that it helps them. And yes I do know of more than one atheist who prays daily and finds the practice helps him change himself.
You feel like people who believe in God are something you should be afraid of. In fact, you are the one who is selling fear, not the people who are honestly praying to do better each day by living according to their best understanding of God's will for them. Are there charlatans out there who use others belief in god to manipulate them? Of course there are. Do you believe that Desmond Tutu, Mahatmas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, or the Dhali Llama are all charlatans who simply used people for their own ends? Could it be that sometimes or even lots of times, people gain wisdom and strength from faith? Maybe you have it backwards. Maybe those who truly live in dangerous places, full of fear and doubt, are unable to live productive lives with out religious ideals and ideas to uplift them and support them. Perhaps religion is not the opiate of the masses, but that atheism is the luxury of the rich, safe, and unburdened.
What about all the benefits that have come from religion. You know like the idea that there is an objective truth. One god and one truth are actually the same idea. Science did not arise in separate from religion or simply against religion. It arose out of religion. If you look back to the Founding Fathers of the American Constitution, you will see that they believed in God, but not naively in religious institutions. Ultimately, your life will always be based upon faith. You may have some passing understanding of the electricity that runs your house. You do not, nor could you test all the equipment, tools or ideas you believe in by yourself. You trust that the power will work without knowing how Quantum Mechanics really works. Having faith that even if your plans fail that something good will come out of your actions, is not a naive or silly idea. It is fully profound and freeing.
Please accept this comment in the spirit in which it was made: not to correct or demand belief, but to honestly question the assurance that all that is religious is merely a lie meant to manipulate you.
This article is just common sense. You can complain about the budget all you want but no one is going to pay taxes unless they are forced to do so. No company is going to contribute to open source unless it is in their best interest to do so, or they are forced to do so by some legal obligation. Attempting to shame companies or individuals into producing code is just plain silly.
this article is flat out wrong
see Michael C's comment. Apple does not require you to use their system for sales, but it must be possible to use apple's system to pay for items with their gift cards or store credits.
Restauranteur with curious streak
I was originally interested in this topic mainly because the owner of this company is a regular at my restaurant. It is just too cool to be explaining ideas I read about on the Register to a geek and getting a "hey that's my company" response. If the changes Coraid has gone through are not going well then I can assure you that this is growing pains for a small company. I will be happy to pass on any criticism and support comments posted here. I also noticed the hidden pricing on their website and was a little surprised because the gentleman in question is very straight forward and full of common sense.
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