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Discussions

evildictaitor evildictait​or Devil's advocate
  • Why is this even an issue? (copyrights)

    , bondsbw wrote

    compared with the artist's $2 million from a few weeks' total work?

    If the only person who made money from a single/album sale was the billionaire share-holders and the millionaire pop-stars, I'd agree with you.

    But it's a falacy. Pop-songs don't happen for free. There's a vast industry around pop-stars making the songs, remixing them, doing the technical work to put it work in stereo, The technicians who build the hardware to do the recording. The marketing people who make it so people outside the recording studio can enjoy it, and all of the people involved in the distribution of the content.

    When you steal a $5 song, you're not punishing the pop-stars or the producers. They'll make their money one way or another. You're hurting the technical and creative staff at the bottom on $20-30k. Those are the people that get laid off when the single doesn't make as much money as the producer wants. Not the pop-stars or the producers.

    And you're also hurting the quality of content because in a world of lower-margins, song-writers and movie-producers do what they know will sell, rather than risky, but potentially more enjoyable ventures.

    Want another plot-less Marvel adventure? Sure thing. How about Expendables 17: Return of the Franchise? Justin Beiber the movie? Polls say that'll sell. Want a movie that's got a plot, or tries something new? Too risky. 

    The producer doesn't care. If the economy shifts so you he only make money selling coffee to narcissistic dudebros who think the world owes them a favor and who think high-quality content should be delivered to them for free on a silver platter, then the producer will just close down and invest in overpriced coffee shops.

    Or invest money he would be spending on scripts and music into making DRM so you can't steal from him.

    And then he'll hike the price on movies and songs to pay for his investment into DRM for you to watch the crap movies he can afford to make with the money left over for scripts.

    Because one way or another, the producer is going to take your money.

    When you pirate, the only think you're doing is reducing the quality and diversity of the content on offer, and forces the industry towards DRM.

     

  • Why is this even an issue? (copyrights)

    Why is it an issue?

    Same reason Ford can't play Lady Gaga as a backing track to their car ads without paying her money.

    Happy Birthday differs from Lady Gaga songs only in the fact that it is much older and people find it hard to disassociate it from their birthdays, partly due to brilliant marketing, and partly because the song was in common use to celebrate birthdays before everyone under 50 was born, so everyone just assumes it's "how birthdays are".

    But that doesn't detract from the fact that someone composed it, and at that time it was original creative content - no different in the eyes of the law to a new Lady Gaga track, or Hollywood blockbuster movie. It was protected by copyright just the same.

    You can pirate if you want, but (1) you're the one running the risk of being sued, so it's not free to pirate - sometimes you win and get free media. Sometimes you lose and EMI takes your house and (2) if content creators cannot rely on being paid for their work, they'll have to get a "real" job to supplement their income, and see less creative content as a result.

    It is always funny when dudebros tell you a year of content maker's time isn't worth $2 to you whilst drinking a $5 latte the barista made in half a minute though.

  • Mame for Windows 8

    Seems like you're right (http://techland.time.com/2012/12/20/classic-game-emulators-allowed-to-live-in-the-windows-store-for-now/), although it blatantly violates guideline 3.9 of the App certification requirements (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-GB/library/windows/apps/hh694083.aspx).

    Which is kinda dumb. Because if you're going to allow an emulator, then you might as well allow VirtualProtect too.

  • Mame for Windows 8

    Surely emulators are banned from the Windows Store? VirtualProtect/VirtualAlloc can't be used - so any hope of having the emulator be fast goes out the window to start off with - but an emulator essentially circumvents the principle behind the rule: that all of the code that's going to run in the app needs to be shipped from the app in the first place.

    It was for that reason that I was under the impression that JITs and emulators are verboten in Modern apps.

  • Can VS create a visual graph of typical high performance code?

    , androidi wrote

    I confused the point it seems.

    What I meant had nothing to do with profiling or *getting* high performance. It was just an observation based on having seen a bunch of open source code. I'm not saying that performance has anything to do with this but my feel from having seen a lot of code is that those projects that have good performance tend to come in C-style code and have either "meaty/large" method bodies or many smaller methods in single file. Perhaps there's no classes being used at all (C) - so my point was - what good is "Code map" if it can't create a map of the kind of code that really needs some sort of map? (eg. 200k .c file with no classes). IDA Pro can create such maps with assembly code, so creating such maps with source should be no problem.

    My experience of having worked with compilers is the exact opposite. Bloated C files and huge functions are much slower than modular code that is much easier for the compiler to optimize and inline.

  • Do you use Linux?

    Professionally? Yep.

    As a hobby? Nope

    Dual boot? Main OS? I now always boot from flash drives. I have a Windows stick and a BackTrack stick. My machine's main OS was written by me, so it's not Linux or Windows or anything really.

    What distro(s)? BackTrack

    What are your specific interests in Linux? None particularly, although I do occasionally dive into driver code to see how various bits of hardware work.

  • Seems like metro on the desktop is a done deal

    , BitFlipper wrote

    And MS is 100% to blame for this, as they should be.

    Agree.

    I actually think that most of the features of Windows8 are a good thing: more asyncronicity, better app isolation, explicit per-app permissions, getting developers to move away from the Win32 API, better touch capabilities, a central app store, and UI that is DPI-scalable and based on a small number of fixed formats (which compels decoupling of the UI from the functional code) are all great things.

    Look at any one of those things and you have to concede that it, introduced on its own into Windows7, would have been a good thing.

    The problem wasn't what was introduced, but how it was introduced. One new feature is an improvement. A million new features, which are so new they require developers to develop in entirely new ways (async), in new languages (JS), abandon all of their existing libraries (incompatible) and specialist knowledge (APIs), was a horrific mistake.

    Compound on that the dual killers of giving people the opportunity to continue developing as before (with the language, APIs, libraries and institutional knowledge they have learnt over decades) and the direct business reasons not to upgrade (Win8 apps only work on Win8, Win7 apps run on both, oh and by the way we'll take 30% of your profit), and you don't need a crystal ball to tell that Windows8, as released, was always going to fall flat on its face.

    The tragedy is that Microsoft are a bunch of techy people who just don't get developers or users.

    Traditionally Microsoft knew about developers. it killed OS2 and Linux in the 90s because all of the developers developed for Windows. And so users used Windows because thats what all of the apps needed to run.

    Apple knows about users. All of the users want an iPhone. The dev experience is awful but developers suck it up because if you want to make money, you need to go to where the users are.

    But Microsoft is in a dangerous new place where it seems to not really get either developers or users. Metro, but also Silverlight and XNA signaled really serious problems at Microsoft with understanding what developers want, and probably did more in those three things than the entire of the rest of the open-source community in getting developers to abandon Microsoft in favor of "open" standards that weren't going to die for no reason because of an organizational shuffle in Redmond.

    And Microsoft also doesn't get users - excepting possibly Xbox. People queue up outside Apple stores overnight to buy $600 phones that are virtually identical to the ones in their pocket. It's easy to meet people who are proud to have a Mac, or who boast that they run Linux. But when was the last time someone boasted that they ran Windows?

    It reminds me of back in the day I dogfooded an early pre-release build of Win8, and struggling to find the hibernate and logout buttons when I went home one night. The next day I went and spoke to one of the guys in the Windows UX team and said "I want to hibernate my machine, but I can't find out how to do it".

    He showed me on his screen: "Oh, you swipe here and click here and click here".

    I remember saying to him: "No. You don't get it. I want to turn my machine off, and I can't find out how. If you have to tell me how to find a feature that I want, your UI is broken".

    Needless to say, that conversation clearly didn't lead to a fix, and eighteen months later, Microsoft got smashed in the press for having a UI that's hard to use because people couldn't find out how to do stuff like turn the machine off, or open the not-retarded non-metro Internet Explorer on the Desktop.

    That's the problem with Microsoft. It always has been. Their senior engineers are technically smart, but people in Windows just OMG suck so hard at understanding how users behave, or what they actually want out of a UI, and they are alienating developers by not understanding what they want either.

    If Microsoft is to survive and get past the mental-block that is Windows8 and Metro, it needs to go back to basics and get developers to want to develop for it, and to fix their UI so it works without having to be told how it works.

    If it can do that, Microsoft will have a long future ahead of it. If it doesn't, the days of Windows are numbered.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote

    You're missing the point. It's not about my moral objection about "women being told" anything. My point is that HL, by having to provide contraceptive benefits, isn't compelling anybody to actually partake in those benefits. It's a decision made by the beneficiary. IOW, I disagree that HL is experiencing any "burden" on their ability to exercise their religion by not receiving this exemption to deny this coverage, and I feel the same way about religious non-profits that do receive the exemption. But this case isn't about whether or not religious non-profits should receive the exemption. It's about whether HL should.

    They cover that in the majority opinion. Go read it.

    I'm not sure how the decision pertains to specifically to a methodology of obtaining contraception. It had more to do with HL gets cover under the RFRA to disobey a law, whether it was unlawfully enacted or not.

    SCOTUS said women can get contraception via other means. It doesn't say how that must happen, because that's executive privilege, and outside of the sphere of the judiciary to decide.

    I'm sorry, but what legal principles are being upheld when the decision pertains only to "closely held for-profit corporations"?

    The legal principles as set out in the Law of corporations. Closely held corporations are run directly by the shareholders, in contrast to publicly traded corporations, which are managed by a board of directors who are law-bound to act in the best fiscal interests of the shareholders.

    This means that closely held corporations are strongly affected by the religious views of the owners - the owner runs the company - but that is not the case with publicly run corporations where the board, not the owners run the company.

    The case effectively is stating that when the owners directly run the business, they can't be compelled by the government to put aside their religious views when running the company, and that the religious beliefs of a majority owner of a company are not less valid than a company that is explicitly religious.

    Consequently, if a Catholic school is allowed to opt-out of paying the contraceptive mandate because the organisation is Catholic, then Hobby Lobby can opt-out of paying for it too, because its majority owners are religious.

    If the government wishes to compel Hobby Lobby to pay for the contraceptive mandate, it needs to do so by compelling all organisations to do so. It cannot assert that the religious beliefs of an organisation like a Catholic school give it opportunity to opt out of a mandate, but that the religious beliefs of the owners of a closely held business cannot take advantage of the same opt-out clause.

    You're glossing over the fact that Justice Alito's opinion was narrowly-scoped to "closely held for-profit corporations". IOW, if a company has more shareholders than whatever arbitrary limit Alito had in his head when he drafted the opinion, he doesn't believe that the RFRA protection applies.

    I'm not sure 50% is an arbitrary limit, but even if it is, it's a limit by Congress as defined in the Law of Corporations, not by the Supreme Court.

    If this were truly about the SCOTUS believing that the Executive branch overstepped its bounds, there wouldn't have been 21+ instances of the term "closely held" in the decision, and it would have been a far more sweeping judgment.

    It's pretty sweeping, given that it covers 90% of companies in America.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , ScanIAm wrote

    The fact that this decision, like many, many others, seems to magically fall to the same group of people says that this isn't just careful reading of the law by 5 people and sloppy retarded incompetence by the other 4.

    I didn't say the other four were incompetent, or that the five in the majority formed the majority because they were "better" at reading the law. Cases don't get to SCOTUS if there is an obviously "correct" answer, because it would be decided by the lower courts. Cases get to SCOTUS if they need constitutional guidance to settle non-obvious issues of law.

    The majority held that HHS couldn't overrule the religious viewpoint of the owners of Hobby Lobby, not because they agree with Hobby Lobby, but because they believe the government shouldn't be compelling businesses with religious owners to do things that religious organisations are not compelled to do - namely fund contraception.

    The minority disagreed - but not to "champion women's rights" or because "contraception is great", but because they worry that this ruling opens the possibility of courts being asked to adjudicate on whether a religious view is sincerely held.

    Those viewpoints are both valid - and more importantly, both about law, not about women or contraception, who are largely bystanders in the case. Unlike lower courts, SCOTUS isn't about deciding who wins the case, but who wins the precedent.

    This is a political issue and the decision came down along political lines.

    It split along ideological lines, but you don't have to look far to see justices voting in a way that clearly opposes their political standpoint. In Riley, all of the conservative justices voted against the FBI's right to search a phone during arrest. In the ACA case, Roberts - a Republican voted to uphold ACA - certainly the most hated bill by Republicans in eight years.

    Similarly when it comes to protesting at abortion clinics, Sotomoyer, Ginsburg and Kagan all voted to strike down a law forbidding it within 35-feet of the clinics in Massachusetts.

    And it misses the point that of the 72 cases decided this year, 65% of them were unanimous - more than any other year for decades, on issues including whether the President can appoint people during the Senate's recess, congressional power and shareholder lawsuits.

    SCOTUS does vote on ideological lines from time to time. But claiming that their votes are partisan, and done for narrow party-political reasons, rather than genuinely held ideological differences with a view to sincerely upholding the law and the Constitution is just pure cynicism at its worst.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote

    Look, you came here suggesting that hardly anybody (but yourself) actually read the Supreme Court decision and implied that, had we read the decision, we wouldn't have made the comments that we did. My point was that even the dissenters on the Supreme Court made the same comments. I don't care if these comments were "assertions", "beliefs", or "moral judgments".

    Dissenters didn't make the same comments you did. They claimed that HL should have no case because of fear of the court system potentially having to adjudicate on religious issues, not because of fear that women might not get contraception.

    That is fact. It's not a "belief" or "moral judgment".

    It's an assertion. It's cited not to make a moral claim ("women can chose to buy their own contraception, so it's not so bad for HL to not pay for it"), but to dismiss an important legal claim by the HHS ("If women can't chose to buy their own contraception, then voting for HL would infringe women's 1st amendment rights").

    I don't know why you keep bringing up morality. I never uttered that word in any of my posts.

    Because you keep on thinking that this case is about women or contraception. It isn't. The Supreme Court votes based on the constitutionality of the case, not based on whether they think Hobby Lobby or the Department of Health and Human services should "win" based on some kind of objective "Dept of Health have a good point, women should get contraception and Hobby Lobby are just being dicks" mentality.

    My opinion on HL is based on my belief that any religious objection to paying for a health care benefit that is OPTIONAL for the beneficiary to claim is bullshit since nobody is compelling the beneficiary to partake in the benefit. I had this opinion before the SCOTUS decision, and I was hopeful that the SCOTUS would have agreed that the mandate didn't violate the RFRA on this basis alone. And that's independent of my belief that there should be no exemptions of this mandate for religious non-profits either.

    That's great. SCOTUS' opinion on HL is based not on your moral objections to women being told what to do by nasty male employers, but based on the constitutionality of the Executive branch choosing to impose a mandate on for-profit companies, but not on religious non-profit ones.

    And no, I didn't read all 95 pages. Did you? If so, good for you.

    I originally only read the majority opinion (dissents aren't usually very informative so I usually skip them), but after you quoted bits of it at me, I went and read the whole of Ginsburg's dissent as well.

    I knew before reading it, of course, that I think women should be (morally) entitled to free contraception. But as the SCOTUS decision shows in detail, the way women get that contraception is wrong via an executive mandate explicitly not backed up by Congress. They should get it either directly from the government (via an act of Congress), or Congress should mandate all companies to provide it.

    That's why I have what might look, on face-value, as a contradictory opinion, namely that SCOTUS was legally right to vote in favor of HL, but that women should get contraception as part of their insurance (or directly from the government) if they want it.

    That's my objection to your (and many other commentators') analysis. SCOTUS aren't there to vote for outcomes you agree with. They are there to vote for legal principles that uphold the constitution.

    The executive having a mandate that overrules a statute forbidding discrimination on the basis of religious belief is unconstitutional, even if they are doing it for a "moral good", like giving women free contraception.

    It's not SCOTUS' job to vote for the morally superior outcome. It's job is to vote for the constitutionally superior one, which is why 99% of what's been said about SCOTUS in the media over HL is uninformed BS.