* Posts by Public Citizen

182 posts • joined 28 Oct 2015

Page:

Uber, Lyft struck by sue-ball, no, sue-meteorite in California after insisting their apps' drivers aren't employees

Public Citizen

Re: AB5 hurts more than just UBER...

Just in the realm of Musicians and Bands as Gig Economy Enterprises it's an absolute disaster.

You want to hire a band for your wedding reception? You had better establish a business for that reception so you can legally "hire" a band and any other gig workers, like the Photographer, or the Florist, or the Baker who makes and delivers the cake..........

The entire law was a fraud perpetrated on the Voters of California by the Public Employee Unions and their Private Sector Collaborators who are loosing membership to the new methods of conducting business, not to mention the lost tax revenue from gig workers who aren't required to file quarterly reports and remittances but just add it all up and write one check at the end of the year.

El Reg would find it's reporters hard pressed to continue submitting articles if they were located in California.

The whole law is a massive perversion of governmental authority and it is ~forcing~ people to move out of California in order to continue in their chosen professions as gig workers. If it isn't repealed or thrown out by the courts then it will be one of the contributing factors to the eventual complete collapse of the California Economy.

Watch: Rare Second World War footage of Bletchley Park-linked MI6 intelligence heroes emerges, shared online

Public Citizen

Re: Thank you, El Reg

It's also not widely known as the information was only declassified within the last five years that Truman had authorized the use of up to seven Atomic Bombs against Japan, should it be necessary.

The USA didn't have the material to make that many bombs available except as a one-at-a-time hand built production.

What finally broke the Japanese Military was the Soviets declaring war on Japan, combined with the Emperor demanding that the destruction end.

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response

Public Citizen

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Oh it's broken all right.

The circuits for generating the reality check [external to the actual hardware and software requiring replacement with current kit] just haven't generated their output yet.

Looks like New Jersey just had those circuits kick in, and with a vengeance that will express its full output come the November Elections.

Internet Archive justifies its vast 'copyright infringing' National Emergency Library of 1.4 million books by pointing out that libraries are closed

Public Citizen
Pirate

The Elephant In The Room is literally, A Mouse

Mickey Mouse to be precise

First screen debut in 1927 and subject to polish, revision, makeover, and resurrection ad nauseum on a regular basis ever since.

The current mess of Copyright Law in the USA is largely the fault of the Post Walt Disney "Walt Disney Company" lobbying for ever more liberal extension of the laws protecting their precious mouse.

If you understand the commercial output of the Walt Disney Animation Studios you understand that every feature length animation done during Walt Disney's Lifetime was an animation of a work Out Of Copyright. The closest Disney came to a Copyrightable Animation during Walt Disney's Lifetime was the option the studio had on L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz Characters and Stories, which were never brought to the screen.

It was only in the last decade of his life that Walt Disney began to work on projects involving Still In Copyright Works, after the studio had the money spinner Disneyland to draw on for negotiating options and production deals for stories and ideas from outside the studio walls.

Public Citizen
Alert

Re: the poor authors! they'll starve!

Ub Iwerks, the animator who actually drew the first Mickey Mouse died in 1971.

Walt Disney died in the 1960s

Every subsequent animation artist who has drawn a Mickey Mouse has been engaged in making a derivative work.

If you are a student of early Disney you will recognize a similarity of line to the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit character previously produced by the Disney Studio. Disney didn't own the Copyright to the character and the New York Distributor who did eventually dealt the Disney Bros. a cold hand off the bottom of the deck, when in a calculated move the distributor hired away most of Disney's Animation Staff and started producing the Oswald series at less cost than Disney [mostly by cutting corners on the animation].

So no currently living Disney Animator [or Disney Anything Else] is loosing one penny from those original B&W cartoons.

India makes new push to lure global electronics manufacturers

Public Citizen
Flame

Now that China has demonstrated that it has production problems beyond the annual shudown for New Years Celebration we are most likely be seeing more of these initiatives as other "players" attempt to bootstrap their own economies into the first world as well.

Until China solves its "Wet Market" problem it will continue to represent a threat to world health in addition to being an unreliable source of supply. The damage from the supply chain breakdown from relying on China for too much of the worlds manufacturing will take several years to reconstruct.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit

Public Citizen
Devil

Since there is a Declared National Emergency, which gives both the Executive Administrators and the Medical Officers in Charge a great amount of power to Commandeer any needed supplies,item or technology, the Patent Trolls may find themselves not only with an empty sack but also a big legal bill from the people they have attempted to sue over this.

Spawn of Satan being the patent trolls.

IBM, Microsoft, a medley of others sing support for Google against Oracle in Supremes' Java API copyright case

Public Citizen
Mushroom

Re: Why not let idiotic orgs let their APIs slide into obscurity via failing to license freely?

Under such a scenario the world as we know it would evaporate in a cloud of sueballs.

Meanwhile, every court in the nation has to revert to a paper based system with Law Clerks and Interns doing Manual Lookup of all legal citations. Every business would be forced back to manual processing of transactions and there wouldn't be enough people with low level clerking skills available to handle all the paperwork. Credit cards? Fugedabout it! Cash or No Sale.

By the third day of the next Supreme Court Session t[if not before] he "Nine" would realize that they stepped on a sensitive portion of the anatomy with Golf Cleats.

IT departments would be furloughing most of their staffs, and until the sueballs were resolved those people would be advised to "learn double entry bookkeeping".

We’ve had enough of your beach-blocking shenanigans, California tells stubborn Sun co-founder: Kiss our lawsuit

Public Citizen

Re: Eminent domain

Nope.

Not my backyard or bailiwick.

But don't think it can't happen, because I've seen it done.

And the legal defense is "making improvements to a Public Right Of Way.".

Public Citizen

Re: U.S. Constitution says what?

But the taking is being done by Mr. Fecal Brain.

It's a pre-existing right of way, of demonstrable long standing from literally decades before he had any interest in this property.

He's just lucky it's in Californiastan because in other parts of the country the locals would have organized an "attitude adjustment party" and his paid security would have been "persuaded" to look the other way while certain "adjustments" were made, more in line with the community ambiance.

If it didn't work the first time, the next time would see an improved "path" made by grading a road made with the largest available Cat Crawler Tractor, all the way to the beach. Immediately followed with as large a Beach Party Cookout could be arranged.

Public Citizen

Re: I am rather surprised

Not just an unpopular opinion but a legally unsupportable opinion.

The previous owners allowing access via a "path" have created a defacto easement, legally recognizable after 7 years, at which time it becomes an ~actual~ easement, by custom and statute.

In addition, since this pathway is the only landside access to the Public Beach, By Law [in California], uncontested and unblocked access must be granted.

The guy's lucky he doesn't show up very often. If he did I can guarantee that some testosterone fueled hothead would "sort him out" in short order, no matter how much armament his security force has available.

Public Citizen

Re: Eminent domain

I'll see your armed guards and raise you an APC.

Just as soon as the Cat is finished, we'll be out of your way.

Public Citizen

Re: Eminent domain

And a Cat tracklaying tractor with a 10 foot wide blade.

Run it all the way down to the beach, offset 10 feet then run it back up. Load up and go and Bob's Your Uncle.

Behuld – zee-a internet ouff tuilet tissuoe at Meecrusufft Sveden. Bork bork bork!

Public Citizen
Mushroom

Re: I'm sorry

That would be the point when yours truly would be opening up the nearest bottle and emptying the contents into whatever ventilation ports were handiest.

On a second go-round I would make sure to have something very sticky available to hand and repeat the procedure.

Until AI adopts Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics these sorts of "disagreements" will continue to proliferate.

And since AI don't have hands or the ability to use sledge hammers guess who's going to be the eventual winner? It's called learning by having your terminals reduced to fodder for the scrap bin, which is analogous to a 3 year old having it's fingers slammed in a door after being warned.

Brewing in spaaaaace: SpaceX sends a malting kit to the International Space Station

Public Citizen
Pint

Barsoom Brewing and Baking.

Levitating your attitude and your daily bread.

Five new players – including Blue Origin and SpaceX – are now in NASA's race to send landers to the Moon

Public Citizen

If they were seriously factoring such considerations into the mix then the future pool of astronauts would be noticeably smaller in stature than the test pilot hero's who made up the early Astronaut Corps. The only place that the extra "muscle" would be an advantage is for the payload specialists and mechanical engineers doing the building and maintenance on space borne structures.

Our "hero's" going forward would not be the broad shouldered, lantern jawed,above average height types but men and women of small stature, average or slightly below.

Oracle and Google will fight in court over Java AGAIN and this time it's going to the Supremes

Public Citizen

Re: If you ask me

I think this thing long ago passed the point where the winners are the lawyers.

50 years ago, someone decided it would be OK to fire Apollo 12 through a rain cloud. Awks, or just 'SCE to Aux'?

Public Citizen

Re: Apollo 13

If my memory hasn't completely failed me, the explosion aboard Apollo 13 was caused by the failure of a part that was installed a couple of years before the bird flew.

Weird flex but OK... Motorola's comeback is a $1,500 Razr flip-phone with folding 6.2" screen

Public Citizen

Re: Microphone adapter

When used for headphones on a regular basis that C-slot is going to wear unacceptably fast just from the normal everyday jostling.

At #1500 a pop they are setting themselves up for more bad publicity down the lne than the additional cost of a proper headphone jack.

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market

Public Citizen

Re: Alternate headline

To put into language our British counterparts can understand:

They have their knickers in a knot because they just don't understand that for large areas of the USA, that is most of the area West Of The Mississippi River, Evs are just logistically unfeasible outside of clearly defined urban and suburban areas.

Those areas comprise a very small percentage of that WOTMR land and the distances between these centers are greater than most Europeans can actually grasp.

Public Citizen

Re: SUVs and pickups are just a lifestyle fad.

You can put most of Scandanavia in the ~County~ I live in.

And I would like to take this opportunity to remind all you Europeans that there are large areas of the USA where the summertime temps. will top out at 44C and above on a daily basis for two or more months straight. Four months later the same area will be in Minus C territory.

Air Conditioned vehicles are a must in these areas as they also require longer travel distances. When you can show me an EV that will go 300 miles between charges when the temps are at 44C in the summertime [running AC] and then at -20C in the winter [running heater/defroster], while maintaining an acceptable comfort level, with no more than a 20% price differential above the cost of the equivalent ICE engined vehicle then more of us will pay attention

Public Citizen

Re: SUVs and pickups are just a lifestyle fad.

In earthquake prone areas that plywood is an important part of the structural engineering for stick built houses. Without it the structure has insufficient stiffness to keep from shaking to the point where the damage is no longer cosmetic but actually structural.

And don't be surprised if some of the advanced building techniques [such as plywood sheathing] start showing up in your neighborhood [and the entirety of England is just a large neighborhood from my perspective] as a cost saving effort.

Public Citizen

Re: A little education is needed

Thanks to CARB there are very few "California Built" vehicles of any sort.

CARB drove all of the manufacturing out of California decades ago.

CARB Legal vehicles, no matter where they are built, require a separate assembly line in most cases, which runs up the cost of vehicles for everybody, not just California.

Public Citizen

Re: A little education is needed

The "small problem"

>sarc/off

you describe is being looked at at the Federal Level and for exactly the reasons you describe.

Public Citizen

Re: Electricity in the USA

Indeed.

And that's also the only corridor with long distance high speed rail travel available in the USA.

Public Citizen

Re: Elon may be right

There are no charge stations, of any kind in the "middle of nowhere" areas where one would need to top up "way out west".

Public Citizen

Re: Elon may be right

Add in the winds that frequently make driving a smaller vehicle even more challenging and it makes for small cars getting shunted off the road just from the lack of traction combined with a sudden crosswind gust. There are areas of Interstate Highway in multiple states with gates to close the highways when the combination of winds and snow/ice get too dangerous for the average under-trained 4 wheeler driver to handle.

Public Citizen

Re: Elon may be right

We had Brothers and Sisters from our Fraternal Orders [Odd Fellows and Rebekahs] visit from Germany and do a driving tour of the Western USA a number of years ago.

They were basically gobsmacked by the distances between cities and points of interest.

SpaceX flings another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit in firm's heaviest payload to date

Public Citizen

Re: I'm glad my late grandfather is no longer around to see this...

Given the limitations in computing power at the time he probably wrote it, no doubt.

With the vastly increased computing power we have available today it could probably be calculated in an order of magnitude [or more] shorter time that his calculations took.

Public Citizen
Coat

Re: 59 out of 60

Speaking as an American [as in citizen of the USA] I think the plan is to make the Space Force happen in the same fashion that the Air Force itself came about, as the US Army Air Corp being split off into a separate branch of the Armed Forces.

In similar fashion the Space Force will become the branch responsible for the activities currently the responsibility of the USAF Space Command and will be staffed by the personnel currently in the Space Command through the same sort of commissioning process as that which the US Air Force itself underwent when it was split off from the US Army.

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

Public Citizen

Re: Simple solution

NO, it isn't entirely unreasonable. It isn't even partially unreasonable.

We need to expect the same level of reliability of this ~software~ that we ~expect~ from the hardware it is ostensibly designed to correctly operate.

Public Citizen

Re: Simple solution

It should not have been allowed anywhere but on a fenced in Uber Test Track with a herd of deer permanently in residence.

For every deer killed or injured, add a full year of additional testing before the thing is certified to be turned loose on clearly defined city streets, and NO, you aren't allowed outside of clearly defined boundaries within highly urbanized areas.

Public Citizen
Flame

There are many areas in the USAwhere the marked cues of a painted crossing area are not present yet that area is a ~legal crosswalk~ because of the context, be it a roadway junction, adjacent sidewalks, or other defining characteristics that every licensed motor vehicle operator are expected to identify and act accordingly. In addition in large areas of the country one may expect wild animals from the size of a rabbit all the way up to Moose to be on the roadway, particularly at night. The indigenous deer population is responsible for a statistically notable number of accidents, often with injury and sometimes death to the human occupants of motor vehicles.

If this [allegedly] AI system is not capable of properly identifying a human with a bicycle crossing the roadway in the dark [even with Radar that works equally well regardless of ambient light conditions] how can it possibly recognize and respond properly to the not infrequent encounter of [pardon the cliche] a Deer In The Headlights? From personal experience I can tell you that it's a random dice roll to determine whether the animal will freeze on the spot, bolt off the road, run away down the road, or charge the approaching vehicle. Until these systems are capable of correctly analyzing and responding to these situations t100% Of The Time they aren't safe to be certified for test operation on the public highways.

California’s Attorney General joins the long list of people who have had it with Facebook

Public Citizen
Devil

The only way the EU will get the Suck within its legal sphere is through an Interpol Arrest Warrant and a very large crowbar.

Or - just wait till California finally has had enough and arrests him and then deal direct, since California seems to think it can make its own foreign policy.

Spawn of Satan icon used because an actual picture of Suckerberg isn't available.

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry

Public Citizen

Re: What costs?

Even a simple change to a mold for plastics costs $10K or more for the new mold to be manufactured.

Takes a lot of cartridges to amortize that cost without a substantial increase in the cost of the product contained in that new design container.

Gillette was successful with the model because the blades they manufactured were the same over ~decades~ of time, they didn't try to bring out a "new and improved" blade every six months to a year.

So we're going back to the Moon: NASA triggers countdown by firing up spacecraft production

Public Citizen
Coat

Re: Party-Pooper

"Sooner or later, next Wednesday or in a few thousand years time, there's a good chance of a sodding big space rock hitting the Earth."

Again.

FTFY

Public Citizen
Go

Re: Party-Pooper

Substitute "New World" for "Other World" and you have your template.

We have better Navigation Tools, better materials, and an experience base to draw on that the early explorers of the New World could not even conceive of. And that experience base includes what those early explorers recounted on their return to Europe.

You can trust us to run a digital currency – we're Facebook: Exec begs Europe not to ban Libra

Public Citizen
Coat

Re: "Libra is designed to be a better payment network"

Unless it was Zucks actual head placed on the stamping die and then the press activated.

First they came for 'face' and I did not speak out because I... have no face? Then they came for 'book'

Public Citizen
Flame

With respect to the $5bn fine, for one of these multi-national tech companies that is simply a line item business expense.

Fines in the traditional range no longer serve as a deternt and will not serve that purpose until the method of assesing is completely rethought.

It is going to require redefining fines in terms of percentages of the value of the business in order for them to have any meaningful effect on the way these companies do business.

They are now large enough to operate with impunity in smaller countries and only give a casual nod to the statutory laws of even the largest and most powerful nations.

Vulture Central team welcomed to our new nest by crashed Ubuntu that's 3 years out of date

Public Citizen

Re: Langkawi airport:

Cardboard signs have the virtues of never crashing, unless they physically come unstuck from whatever is holding them up, not consuming any power so they are impervious to any disruptions in the power supply, and are easily updated using readily available analog tools.

I could throttle you right about now: US Navy to ditch touchscreens after kit blamed for collision

Public Citizen

Re: Touch screens

It originally required a key on the dashboard to energize the cars electrical system.

When the key was turned off the battery was air-gap-disconnected from the rest of the cars electrical system.

It was a later, but not by very many years innovation to have the key fitted with a secondary position to activate a starter solenoid instead of just mashing a foot down on a heavy duty/high current switch.

Low Barr: Don't give me that crap about security, just put the backdoors in the encryption, roars US Attorney General

Public Citizen
Alert

Re: Ah yes, democracy...

The USA is not a Democracy.

It is a Constitutional Republic that uses Democratic Forms of operation.

In actuality, it is 50 Constitutional Republics plus territories all operating under the same set of collective Chartering documents, those being The Declaration of Independence [statement of principles]

And the US Constitution, as amended. [The framework from which all statutory law and regulation takes its authority.]

You ain't getting around UK data laws on a technicality, top judge tells Google

Public Citizen
Flame

Until the fines levied on these world devouring companies are expressed in percentage of Net Worth [worldwide] then they will continue to be viewed as an operating expense by the perpetrators.

When they start getting hit with fines from all directions, each for between 5 and 10 percent or more of the enterprises net worth [otherwise viewed as Ill Gotten Gains] they will start paying attention to The Law, and not before.

What do we want? Decentralised, non-siloed social media with open standards! When do we want it? Soon!

Public Citizen
Trollface

Re: "whom I don't trust as far as I could kick him"

Some of us would provide the accelerate and matches to start the party.

Public Citizen
Black Helicopters

#SocialMediaStrike=Fail

For me to make a sincere attempt at engaging in a "strike of Social Media" I would first have to become a participant in the black hole of timewasting and data suck that is Fakebook et al.

I plan to engage in my normal routine where certain very select chat boards will be graced by my presence, without all the sturm, drang, and Drama Queenery that represents all to much of S.M.

Wow, talk about a Maine-wave: US state says ISPs need permission to flog netizens' personal data

Public Citizen

Re: Because smaller units of government are more responsive

You've been listening to too many of the semi-literate talking heads in media.

Fact: Private Citizens in the United States do not legally posses military grade weapons, A.K.A. assault weapons" [which is a made up term, invented by media pundits as a scare tactic] without going through the same lengthy and expensive process as that to obtain a license for a machine gun.

The civilian weapons may look similar but they are missing certain key components, which can't even be fitted to the civilian model frames [properly called the Lower Receiver] without precision machine work [of an unlawful nature] being performed.

The civilian model semi-automatic weapons that the media mis-labels require a pull of the trigger for every single round to be fired, unlike the military grade weapons which have a selector mechanism that permits either 3 round burst or full automatic fire in addition to the single round firing capability.

The civilian firearms look from the exterior the same as the military firearms because modern ergonomics and production design have advanced from the days of carved chunks of wood and metal components produced by individual machining processes. Compare a modern electric drill with its WWII era counterpart. The modern tool looks different not just because of changes in technology that permit battery operation but because of changes in materials, manufacturing technology, and most importantly, our understanding of ergonomics. The same principles apply to modern firearms.

Cool story, brew: Utah karaoke crooners receive cold, refreshing shock as alcohol authority refuses beer licence

Public Citizen

Re: "In close proximity to a Mormon church"

In Utah you have to get Really, Really Far Out In The Countryside to not have at least one [if not more] of the iconic spires of their churches visible from ground level.

Public Citizen
Coat

Re: me no understand

That's because they generally died young - from drinking the water.

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?

Public Citizen
Boffin

Re: CDs were always noted as sub 5 year lifespan.

Fired Pottery.

As demonstrated by the massive amounts of clay tablets with cuneiform writing on them.

Lovely website you got there. Would be a shame if we, er, someone were to sink it: Google warns EU link tax will magnify media monetary misery

Public Citizen

Re: Slow learners

I seem to recall, back in the mists of time when the Internet was young, that my primary email address and the software to make it go were provided as part of the monthly fee paid to my internet service provider.

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020