Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

It's okay, sorry for being a bit short with you, I had just finished writing a reply out. And all in all, I am more than a little surprised at the amount of people rushing to make a helpful suggestion in this case. I had no idea slashdot was so much into riding bicycles...

Thank you for the attempted advice, I appreciate the thought.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

Perhaps you should read some of my replies to other people that have said the same thing. To summarize - it isn't a viable solution for me.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

We have a 25% vat on all products here, so prices aren't the same. Walmart and those price levels doesn't exist here, in large.

There is pretty rampant bike theft, sure, on occasion they have even driven around in trucks and rather than cut the chains just cut the entire bicycle stands off and thrown the lot in the back. Granted this is rare... But the point here being that there may be a thousand bicycles, whereof a few are new and shiny enough to steal. Mine wouldn't be, so they'd probably leave it alone even though I'd not use a very strong lock. But, mine would be one out of... well, probably ONE, with a bicycle helmet on it. We don't have that much trouble with petty theft, or with vandalism, but the problem we do have go after the low hanging fruit. Again, it's the same as leaving valuables in your car... we don't have much trouble with people breaking into cars here, but when it happens it's probably because someone left something that looked valuable laying around.

And as I said that's only part of the problem. Rainstorms, snowfall, really low temperatures, they aren't going to be so good for your helmet... and might make it impossible or at the very least extremely unpleasant to wear home. Since stable weather is something that happens to other countries I can safely say that it would be a risky idea most of the year to leave it with the bike, even if you locked it in place to prevent theft, and felt that it was cheap enough that it wouldn't bother you if it was destroyed.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

Because it will get ruined by the weather here in the frigid and unpredictable Sweden, and if it isn't, it's likely to get used as a football by some passing kids, or whatever. 30-40 bucks is pretty much the lower range for helmets here according to a quick search I did, and that's not counting the shipping cost since that's not a price you'd find in a store. And 30-40 bucks might not be much to you, but to me that's food for a couple of weeks. It's a non-trivial amount. Not something I could afford to be careless with.

If the helmet was mandatory, then losing it or not being able to use it due to weather damage or vandalism, would mean I couldn't use my bicycle. That makes leaving it with the bike about the same as leaving my drivers license on my dashboard - an invitation to people to fuck with it and a very damaging thing to me if they do. Clearly letting it out of my sight in a public space isn't a great idea.

But again, the issue here isn't that it's impossible to overcome, it's that the effort isn't worth it. Bicycle helmets only protect against a miniscule percentage of injuries in very rare sorts of accidents where the speed is in a very narrow range. If the speed is lower then there would be no dangerous damage, if the speed is higher then there will be damage regardless. They also don't protect at all against the most dangerous damage - concussions. Basically you're paying all this inconvenience to protect yourself from a very small chance of scrapes and lacerations. I don't expect to fall off my bike, but I know shit happens. If shit happens, I can deal with bleeding a bit. I wouldn't want to take a serious risk of serious damage... but I don't. With or without a helmet. So it's not worth the extra effort.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

Actually you're entirely incorrect. The vast majority of falls and crashes of a bike are at such low speeds that the worst you can expect are bruises and scrapes, maybe a sprain or something. In these cases the helmet does absolutely squat aside from perhaps saving you a scrape or a laceration to your noggin. The most common serious head injury - the concussion - is something that the bicycle helmet doesn't even protect against under any circumstances.

As for crashes with cars, the damages here are more severe, but the risk of head injury remains about the same... for a simple reason. Either it goes so slow that it's not really that bad a crash, or it goes so fast that it's too bad a crash for a helmet to help much. Protecting your head doesn't matter if you break your neck, for instance, or get run over by the car that just hit you, or many of the other permutations.

If you look at the actual research, you'll see this quite clearly. The bicycle helmets only provide any insurance for that small fraction of accidents where speed is low enough to not break the helmet, yet high enough to cause damage to the cranium. These accidents are extremely rare.

I encourage you to look at the objective research, or not, it's not my problem. If you want to wear a helmet you can go ahead and do that. I go by science, and science says it's wasted effort.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

I'm not sure a plastic bag covers the kind of weather we get here. Think sub-zero temperatures - yes, in Fahrenheit, I converted it for you. Sure it might handle a little bit of rain in the summer, but you'd still be the one guy with a weird plastic bag on your bike attracting the attention of curious people. Now if it became a standard I could see it working a bit better during high summer at least, but I'm still not sure I'd like to take the risk. For me the cost of a bicycle helmet is about half a months food supply or so, so it's not something I'd feel comfortable leaving around. As for the 18 inch section of gas pipe, well, that's definitely a workable solution but only if you're within sight of your bicycle.

I do understand that it's possible, and that it can be worked around, but it's far from convenient - and the small benefits of wearing a helmet (preventing a few types of head damage in a very small percentage of very rare crashes) simply aren't worth the inconvenience.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

Well, the few weeks of stable weather we get here, I can see that might work. Of course it would still be at risk for vandalism, something that happens quite frequently to anything that sticks out. Leaving the bike is usually all right, because it doesn't catch anyones eye, but leave a helmet hanging from it and it becomes an oddity and the wrong kind of people get interested. Paranoid? Back when I rode a bike everywhere I went in my teens I had everything loose on my bike stolen or broken at some point. I remember I had a new bike once and it had a quick fastener for the seat... they took it. No,not the seat, just the quick-fastener. Actually they most likely just unclipped it and threw it into the bushes, but I had to walk home and get it replaced with a standard bolt - easy enough.

Since the helmet becomes effectively like a drivers license if it's mandatory, something without which I'm not legally allowed to ride the bike back, any damage to it or the loss of it would be a big deal under those circumstances. It just wouldn't be worth the risk, just as I wouldn't leave my wallet on the dashboard in the car. It would be inviting people to ruin my day.

And if not people - the weather. Snow storms, rainstorms, whatever. If the weather is nice when I arrive, and nice when I leave, but my helmet is a soggy mess... that's not really acceptable either.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:Brains are Fucking Expensive (1651 comments)

Yes, to a degree, it has been argued before. However the ACTUAL benefits of a condom outweighs the small increase in risky behaviour that this false sense of security gives.

In the case of bikes the ACTUAL benefits of a helmet is very small and only in very limited types of accidents, while the increase in risky behaviour is more dangerous and leads to accidents usually in a way that helmets would not protect against.

about 2 years ago
top

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

Havenwar Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

Now you know of one!

Well, technically I don't have to wear a helmet. See, the law here in Sweden says it's mandatory for people up to 15 years of age to wear helmets. Since I hadn't ridden a bike since about that time I had no idea it wasn't mandatory, so for years I was thinking of all the use I could have had of a bicycle but found ways to work around it - mainly walking a lot - because it's too awkward to carry around a bicycle helmet everywhere. It's too expensive to leave on a clothes rack, too bulky to carry around easily. A real annoyance. Of course that's not the case if you ONLY ride for sport, or if you ONLY ride to and from work where you have a locker or whatnot... but if you use a bike as your main transportation you find yourself carrying a helmet with you to cafés, meetings, shops, the cinema, concerts, and so on.

Actually I've seen a guy being refused entry to a concert because he had a bike helmet with him. Apparently the day before someone had swung one around by the straps and smashed someone's face in. So I guess they do have their uses... but really. No.

Anyway, now that I've found out I don't need to wear a helmet, a bicycle is a much more interesting option, that would increase how far from my home I could travel, and let me get to cheaper stores further away and so on. Of course by some coincidence now I live in a place where everything is in walking distance... but if that changes, I'll be getting myself a bicycle. As long as they don't change the law.

If helmets become mandatory, I'll stick to walking and public transport. It's less inconvenient.

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

That's exactly the problem. Your proposition doesn't try to deal with it, but it makes it illegal. Thus making nearly everyone a criminal due to the sheer impossibility of knowing what is legal or not, thus making the law unjust and pointless.

And this is going to be the last I have to say about it, since this discussion has devolved into just repeating the same thing over and over again and getting no new answers.

You've got holes in your proposition: it needs to cover the entire internet use-cases, not just the fringe ones, and it needs to do so justly in a way where any individual can be reasonably expected to with some confidence determine if they are breaking the law or not. Until you've addressed those issues your proposition is dead in the water. No matter how many times you keep repeating things about fringe cases.

You can not make a law that covers everything and expect it to only impact a small part of things. You can not make a law that makes a major part of internet usage illegal and then just let most of it go unpunished. In one case the law would be unrealistic, in the other it would be uneffective and pointless, and if you address those things by enforcing it harder it becomes unjust.

Now I want you to understand that I am trying to see this objectively - I don't really take into account whether or not there is a problem in need of fixing and so on. The only thing I'm arguing about here is that you have a hole in your argument, and if you want to be able to state your argument without sounding like a fool you need to address it. With more than just regurgitating the fringe cases. They're not important. What will your suggestion do to the majority of the internet? And no, "not enforcing it" is not a solution if you want to criminalize it. Look into other laws that use non-enforcement, and look into how rare non-enforced crimes are compared to how common copyright infringement is. And no, still not talking about pirate bay here, talking about facebook walls, tumblr, flickr, twitter, imgr, 4chan, 9gag, reddit, myspace, pretty much any place where user generated content is shared.

Good night, and good luck.

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

But these encounters are about things they knew were wrong. I.e. stuff they got off piratebay, or so on. They would never even have considered mentioning the cat pictures or blog posts or youtube videos that they had no idea was infringing, or couldn't determine. They might have a vague idea that it COULD be infringing, or they might believe like I do that MOST of such material on the internet is indeed infringing on some copyright somewhere in the chain of jurisdictions it's going through.

You give the impression that you base this of a few people - or a lot of people - admitting to a few illicit downloads. That's okay, I get that you have a problem with illicit downloads. But the problem with your suggestion isn't with those people, it's with all the people who never admitted to it because they had no idea. It's with every person who has ever forwarded a funny e-mail with a joke and some pictures of a sneezing panda. You seem to be blind to the vast majority of internet use today.

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

Except the law you compare it with is about stolen property, where an object is lost for the owner and so can be returned. The law you propose is about intellectual property, where no loss has happened and so the item will simply be destroyed, at no gain to anyone.

Also, again, stolen property is a very small part of the property on the market. Meanwhile items with unclear copyright is the absolute majority of the content of the internet. I'm not saying strictly pirated things here, but things where a private person can't be expected to know the copyright of.

And you still haven't addressed this.

By your idea every person who browses the internet would be a criminal just by the fact that their web browser caches the data, but lets assume all jurisdictions are savvy enough to ignore this (which we know they aren't from previous issues about cached data, but let's pretend.)

Okay, so now the number of criminals is limited to anyone who saves any information from the internet, ever, as well as anyone who ever reblogs or forwards pictures, and so on. So basically - the vast majority of people on the internet.

Oh, but they can avoid being criminals by only saving or sharing information where it's absolutely clear to them what the state of copyright is! Yes? Yes!

No. There is almost no such data on the internet. The best you can do is trust any copyright notices attached to the media, and given that these are typically just baked into the template of the site/blog/whatever, it's very rarely accurate. So pretty much all movement of media on the internet would have to seize in order to comply with your proposed law, which just isn't going to happen no matter how you twist it. It isn't reasonable, for one, and it isn't just.

Any law that makes everyone (or a vast majority) into criminals simply because they do not have a reasonable chance to know when they are breaking the law, is an unjust law, and a total no-go. Surely you must understand that?

Now can you actually propose an argument for how people are supposed to know the copyright state of the media they see in all countries that are affected? You sound like a perfectly reasonable person aside from the fact that you blindly refuse to address this simple and pivotal point that your entire proposal stand and falls on.

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

Exactly. Which is why making possession illegal is completely ridiculous. You're talking about making the acquiring of it illegal, and to my knowledge it already is in a lot of places. Possessing something is something you do from the moment you get it into your possession, to the moment you remove it from your possession. If you made possession illegal that would cover that entire time period.

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

Actually he makes a good point. I sure have a lot of digital media - legally purchased at some point in the past 15 years - which I have no record left of where I got it. In fact, in most cases I could not even point out what store I used, exactly. I could offer up best guesses, but since several of these outlets have since closed or been through multiple mergers, or simply thrown their data away since they don't need to store purchase data indefinitely, it would be impossible to prove that these are in fact legally purchased copies, or if they were bought from an illegitimate vendor.

You said it requires that "the authorities are able to identify where and when you are obtaining what content" - I argue that most users have content that's impossible for, digital or even physical. My friend has a DVD collection of about three bookshelves worth, I would challenge any authority to track down where he bought every obscure disc of some long since forgotten film or series. The same goes double for digital material, with the speed that online retailers of such churn over, merge, and the fact that they are often located in various countries and so on... The material might have been legally sold yet be infringing when it arrives, or have been infringing when it was sold but be legal when it arrives. I know I have legally obtained MP3 files that I certainly couldn't remember what the exact source was, whether I ripped it myself or bought it online.

Can you show me documentation for the exact source of ALL media in your possession? Pictures, books, audio, video? Do you honestly believe that most people could? Or could reasonably be expected to keep such documentation? This is not high value items, nobody wants to keep the receipt indefinitely for something that costs like a good dinner.

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

You still haven't answered the question: How would a normal person find the status of the copyright of anything on the internet? Remember, this is NOT just about the latest movies and songs, your idea makes EVERYTHING illegal, tumblr, flickr, youtube, forwarded cat-mails, The pirated material coming from obviously pirated sources might be the bulk of actual internet traffic, but it's a fringe case in your argument since it is as you say pretty clear-cut. I'm not arguing that. If you go to the piratebay, most people aren't expecting that it's legally obtained copies.

Although I'll add that a surprising number of people actually do believe it's fully legal to download it, even in countries where it isn't, but that's a completely different argument.

Your problem is still trying to defend how Gramma is going to know the copyright status of the pretty cat pictures she's downloaded. Were they professionally taken, or taken by a skilled amateur? Who did it? What country are they from? Did they release it with limited rights, a creative commons license, or did they just "put it up there" without ever specifying anything? On what server in what country did they originally post it? Because that matters when it comes to copyright, if you legally publish something (i.e. you are the creator/copyright holder) without mentioning a license, in some countries it's considered released to the public. How will gramma know the difference? How will gramma know the difference between this and piratebay? How will gramma know the difference between piratebay and using bittorrent to download war of warcraft patches or linux isos?

Those are the BULK cases, the unclear ones, the majority of use of the internet today by average people. Just regular use, facebook, tumblr, youtube, and so on. I repeat: your idea has no merit whatsoever until you can argue that there is a reasonable expectation that these people will be able to tell the origin/license of any random catpicture or quoted blogpost they come across.

As for whether your idea would eliminate piracy, that's also a different argument - I posit it wouldn't make a dent in it. I come to this conclusion because of two things.

First, real data from countries where anti-piracy laws have been introduced shows a temporary drop and then a return to previous levels. Unless you make people actually believe pirating is wrong, they'll just learn how to hide it better, or take their chances. It might make for less cat pictures, since gramma is more worried about shit like that then an actual pirate, but that's striking the "innocent" piracy that you claimed wouldn't be punished rather than the wilful piracy.

Second, since nobody would know HOW to follow the law, and since accidental missteps wouldn't be punished, nobody would have a reason to care. The person that downloaded a knowingly pirated song would know full well that he/she had also downloaded a dozen videos of youtube that day, and that it was likely a few of them were infringing as well. Since everyone is likely a criminal, why would they bother trying to avoid being one? No, they'd just burrow a bit deeper, hide it a bit better perhaps, use some plausible deniability techniques.

So to return to the issue: do you have an argument for how gramma will know, or don't you?

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

The problem here still being that there would be more "fake currency" than "real currency". Your premise is still based on the idea that people have a reasonable expectation of being right more often than not, and that is just not the case. As it is you stand maybe what, a one in a million chance that the bill you accept is fake. Does it make you check it carefully? No, probably not, unless you have reason to do so. It's a reasonable expectation that people can spot the crudest of fakes easily, and that the ones that are hard to spot are so rare that it's okay to leave it unpunished.

On the other hand when you have say 90% of all bills are fake, or half, or a quarter... Heck, let's say one in ten bills are fake. Considering people typically use hundreds of internet spread media on any given day that still means they would be breaking the law in ten percent of the cases. Anyone who was paranoid enough to careful check every single item before saving/sharing/downloading/using for all national copyrights in the country they are from, in the country the webservice is from, and in the country the copyright holder is from, would simply be so overwhelmed with extra work that all sharing of information would effectively seize.

But it wouldn't be normally punished, right? Fine. So then what's the incentive not to do it? Why is the law there at all? So they can bust just the people who did wrong in a way they didn't agree with? So you mean to say it would be one of those laws that would make everyone a criminal, and allow the people in charge to press charges against only the people they had other reasons to dislike, be it political or personal or whatever.

Unless the vast majority of the lawbreakers are intentional such and can be prosecuted as such, the law is pointless. If most of the people who would be breaking the law had no idea, had valid excuses, and would "normally not be punished", then the law would only be usable arbitrarily, which would be contrary to the concept of justice.

So if you want to argue that the idea is sound, you'll have to argue that the average user, whether 13 or 65 years old, whether tech savvy or not, whether domestic or foreign, has a reasonable possibility to know whether the item they are looking at is infringing on any copyright, anywhere in the jurisdictions it touches (source, server, recipient). I claim that's not a reasonable expectation due to the anonymity of the internet, the multitude of jurisdictions material can be affected by, and the differences in laws in those jurisdictions.

Do you or do you not have an argument for how you could expect normal users to feasibly find this information about some random picture/video/text that they find on the internet, and have no prior knowledge of source or creator or companies involved? (Which covers most material on the internet).

about 2 years ago
top

EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Havenwar Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (157 comments)

Well, we're of diametrically opposite opinions here, so there's no chance of finding common ground. I'd say however that our core disagreement stems not from any of the things you dove into, but in the very last paragraph. You claim these are border cases. I respectfully disagree. I think a reasonable view of the internet is that the majority of things you find there can not easily be determined whether it's legally reproduced or not. You speak about bordercases, I consider those cases to be the bulk of the paper, while the clearcut cases are in my cases the fringe and unusual ones.

You also fail your task to determine the copyright status of the conversation. No, I'm not american. You made an assumption, which casts your conclusions in doubt. The only way the proposed system could work was if there was less unclear situations than clear situations, and that is simply not the case. For a video that was not "obviously infringing" you say. Again, subjective measure. While we can probably take a guess that a full length feature film is not legitimately uploaded, it's far from a foregone conclusion. Likewise there are all the minor clips from tv-shows and such, which may or may not fall under fair use depending on the jurisdiction they are judged in and the exact status of the copyright from the start. Same goes for anything with a soundtrack on it, unless you know the exact copyright status of the song you can't go making assumptions. I for one am not a great fan of music and so most of the background music I wouldn't recognize - yet it might be criminal not to by the proposed scheme.

The fact that it wouldn't be "normally punished" is not in any way a defense of the plan. When it comes to money there is a clear expectation that it's hard enough to fake that the number of fake notes are incredibly small, thus making this illegal to get them out of circulation makes sense, and can be done with minimal impact to the general population. Especially since hard to fake also means that most of them are fairly easy to spot. The proposed idea on the other hand targets the majority of material available on the internet, is incredibly difficult if not impossible to follow for anyone. To use your own simile, it would be like allowing people to use any currency from any country in the world seamlessly in any store, yet still expect every person to know if any given bill is fake or not. Since each country have different rules it would also mean you'd have to know which country each store was connected to (not always so easy), because if you paid with a bill that particular country didn't like then they'd just take it from you, with no explanations, even though it would be fully legal in the store down the street.

I'm not going to touch whether piracy is "right or wrong" or anything like that, because it's really irrelevant to this discussion. This is about any random joe surfing the internet and saving a picture from the web. This is about your mother forwarding cat pictures. I'd say the only good thing about your idea is that it would kill all memes since it's 100% copyrighted material.

about 2 years ago
top

Samsung Smartphones Vulnerable To Remote Wipe Hack

Havenwar Re:Manufacturer's Android (151 comments)

Well, if you made a bad business decision, to be frank that's your problem: always compare prices.

When I got my android phone a year back I researched it extensively, and found that I'd be paying about the same for the phone if I bought it outright or got it with the contract; basically making my purchase a zero-interest loan if I got it with the contract. Since I would have the exact same contract regardless, that cost isn't a factor.

Perhaps this is unique to the Swedish marketplace, or perhaps it was just a fluke with this particular model at that particular time, but the basic premise holds true... Compare prices. And remember that it might be worth a few percent extra cost for the convenience of not having to shell out money up front in some circumstances.

about 2 years ago
top

Beer Is Cheaper In the US Than Anywhere Else In the World

Havenwar Re:Vodka is better (633 comments)

I also usually "choose alternatives that don't cause a blatant poisoning effect on my body." Like water, soft drinks, and so on.

Unless of course I want the effects of alcohol on my system, relaxing with a beer or a drink, some verbal lubrication and so on.

  Arguing that the only distinguishable difference between a non-alcoholic option and an alcoholic option is alcohol sounds like a pretty solid argument to me. Alcoholic drinks does not TASTE better, they are just more pleasant to drink due to the effects. You can argue differently if you wish,. but since taste is subjective and alcoholic drinks much like coffee and cigarettes and other poisons are an acquired taste, you would be arguing from a pretty weak position.

And feel free to call me an alcoholic - I drink alcohol of any kind maybe twice a year on average, so if that makes an alcoholic I'm quite comfortable being one.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

Havenwar hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Havenwar has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>