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Comments

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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Sasayaki Re:Knowledge (1036 comments)

> I actively like people who are gullible enough to believe devoutly, devoutly believing they will burn in hell for harming or stealing from me.

Except that priests still rape little boys. Faith doesn't seem to stop the believer from committing evil, and like they say. If the only thing stopping you from running around murdering people is the fear of divine retribution, then you are a piece of shit.

about a week ago
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Internet Censorship Back On Australian Agenda

Sasayaki As a content creator and an Australian (109 comments)

I'm a self-employed fiction writer, and an Australian, my answer to this is:

No. Fuck off.

My longer answer is:

Why copyright infringement, and why Hollywood? Why do they deserve protection?

I'm David Adams. I've written and published 30+ books across various pen names and platforms, including compendiums, omnibuses, etc. I self-publish and it's been my livelihood for 17 months. I'm no Hugh Howey but I do okay.

Every single time that copyright infringement comes up, it's always in the context of Hollywood. Indie writers, singers, artists, producers... we never get a single mention. It's always all about Hollywood. Every time a tariff is discussed, a new law is proposed, it's always protecting a US industry explicitly. I would never see any money from any of the protection schemes suggested by my elected representatives, and if there's not direct funding involved, the suggested courses of action would only ever hurt me.

My questions for Mr. Brandis, not that he gives a flying fuck about me, are:

- Why Hollywood? Why are you not helping out our local artists? Is it because we don't donate flaming dump-trucks full of money to your re-election campaigns, and if so, don't you feel that you're actively selling out your local entertainment industries? Shouldn't you be representing *my* interests?
- Why are you focusing on copyright infringement, something I give zero fucks about and even actively encourage? if you don't buy my book, I'd rather you got it from The Pirate Bay than passed on it, and I make lots of books free to encourage their proliferation anyway. Why fix something that's not broken?
- As TFS and TFA indicate, this power is sweeping and applies to a lot more than just copyright. The last time the Federal Government tried this, under the banner of child pornography, it was shown (when the list was inevitably leaked) that many more websites were being blocked than simply child fiddling. Innocuous, offensive (but legal), personal grudges... the works. I struggle to believe that this time would be any different, and such blocks are trivial to bypass anyway. Why would you support a system that's fundamentally broken?

about 2 months ago
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Canadian Music Industry Calls For Internet Regulation, Website Blocking

Sasayaki So where's mine? (198 comments)

I'm David Adams. I write fiction for a living (http://www.amazon.com/David-Adams/e/B006S1GSXI/?tag=wwwlacunavers-20 is me). So where's my money?

Sure, I'm Australian and not Canadian, but where's my tax dollars handout? I could really use that. After all, I'm a publisher too and not just a writer, so I should surely qualify for some money. My books get pirated after all, they appear on heaps of pirating sites, so where's my share of the tax on blank media?

Again, let's just pretend that I'm Canadian for a second. It shouldn't be too hard; the RIAA already doesn't recognise international borders when it comes to copyright infringement, so surely they'll be eager to give me my share of that money any day now.

Any day now.

Maybe I'll send them another email just to be sure. They seem to have lost the last few.

I'm sure it's just a mistake. They care about the artists. They said so. It couldn't possibly just be a selfish money grab at the expense of regular Canadians, supporting an outdated business model that just needs to shrink or go away entirely. Surely not.

about 3 months ago
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EFF Says Mark Shuttleworth Is Wrong About Trademark

Sasayaki Wow (103 comments)

Went to register www.ubuntusucks.com to see if Mark Shuttleworth would sue me.

Turns out it redirects to their bugtracker.

Well played, sir.

Well played.

about 5 months ago
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Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot

Sasayaki Re:!! Not (287 comments)

I've long maintained that the progression will go something vaguely like this:

- Fully manual cars.
- Electronic fuel injection, spark plug control, etc.
- Power windows that stop when something's caught in them, digital dashboard that beeps at you when you're low on fuel, bluetooth integration that mutes the audio when you have an incoming call, etc.
- OnStar and equivalent systems.
- Safety and navigation systems like airbags, electronic stability control, GPS, blind spot indicators that can be manually overridden and just sound alarms, anti rear-end sensors, reverse sensors, etc.

This is where we are right now.

- Automatic park systems (some cars have them but they're still very rare).
- Blind spot indicators that physically stop you from merging when a collision is detected.
- "Smart" emergency systems that detect when a car's upside down, had its airbags activated, or is in distress.
- Optional automatic "highway mode" driving.
- Optional "long distance" haul.
- Optional automatic "door to door" driving.

At this point, the requirements for getting a licence become much harder, much like getting a gun licence in Australia. Must show genuine need, must do yearly tests, must have a much higher skill level than our current drivers and demonstrate a need to be able to operate a vehicle manually.

- Mandatory "highway mode" driving, with emergency override.
- Mandatory "long distance" haul, with emergency override.
- Mandatory "door to door" driving, with emergency override.

Our attitude towards manual drivers slowly changes. Back in the day wearing seatbelts was uncool and unpopular, now everyone does it (and is horrified by those who don't). By now I imagine the same attitude is held towards manual operators, especially by young people.

- Total redesign of the personal car, making them more like the back seat of a limo, open and even with things like fold out beds for long trips, etc.
- Total redesign of our transport infrastructure. Cars are now electric, and can now auto-drive to and dock with large trains that shuttle them long distances such as between suburbs or different "sides" of larger cities, charging on the way. Huge trains compliment or replace highways in this way, simply due to efficiencies of scale.

And probably a million things I haven't even thought of yet.

about 7 months ago
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Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot

Sasayaki Re:Autonomous safety (287 comments)

Well, that was the problem that was presented. Let's tackle this one instead.

You're driving at 65mph (104.607km/h, which I'll round to 105km/h just to be easier, and since the previous example was done using metric), in the middle lane of a freeway. Tanker to your right, redneck to your left.

Your car is autodriving, cruising along in conditions that are basically ideal for it; this isn't some trecherous mountain road, it's a highway. Ideal conditions. The LIDAR on top is working away, and you're checking MyFace+ and looking at pictures of cats.

Plastic bag gets kicked up in front of you. The LIDAR probably can't even see it because it's not dense enough, but let's assume it can. This is actually a very well chosen problem: the fact that the bag's off the ground might confuse the system, and let's assume that the system has no way of determining the density of an object and hasn't been programmed for bird strikes (a fairly common occurrence really, but let's just assume).

So the LIDAR and onboard computers examine the object, determines that it's not moving very fast, but there's going to be a collision. There's no way the car can go left, there's no way the car can go right. There's a potential collision object in front of it and cars behind.

Its course of action is to do the following:

- Performs a complex risk analysis. If I'm completely boxed in, how safe is it to collide with the object behind me (or emergency break and risk a collision) vs just striking the thing? In this case, we assume it can't tell the difference between "brick flying off the back of a truck" and "plastic bag", so it assumes the former and reacts accordingly.
- Break as much as possible, keeping in mind that it has full 360 degree vision and won't allow the car behind it to rear-end and will ease up the breaking if a collision is going to occur.
- Attempts, if possible, to go into "harm minimization mode", where it realises that a collision is imminent. Airbags are primed and charged, seatbelts are tightened, the horn is sounded and the system sends an SMS to the local emergency responders, informing them that a collision may be taking place (it later transmits either a 'false alarm', a 'non-critical impact, we'll be okay' or a 'critical impact, send help', with nothing being assumed to be the later).
- The trajectory of the potential collision object is analysed, far quicker than a human can. The computerised system is aware of where its occupants are (even my car has alarms that whine if you aren't wearing your seatbelt). It knows that this object, which we've assumed it can't tell the density of, is going to strike the vehicle, and therefore positions the vehicle within its lane so that the object strikes an unattended area, if possible, such as the passenger seat (assuming only a "driver").
- Other systems can potentially activate, things that just won't work on driver-controlled cars, such as external airbags. Since the car knows it's going into the shit, it can prepare accordingly, and do multiple concurrent things at once (simultaneously prepare for, and try to avoid, an accident) in a way no human can.
- The system begins to record what's happening on a black box. This does nothing to help the people in the car, but helps people across the country and the world, when the data is analysed by the car's engineers. Now, the autodrive system can be tweaked so that this kind of error doesn't happen any more. We've learnt that the density of a potential collision object matters. The accident, even if it somehow kills the people onboard, becomes a learning experience for every "driver" in the entire world, rather than just a statistic on a chalkboard in a police station.

So yes. Assuming that the car mistakenly identifies a non-harmful object as a harmful object, which as I pointed out may not be a realistic scenario (LIDIR may not be able to see a plastic bag due to it being largely opaque and not very dense, and the car's systems may be programmed for things like bird-strikes, where light, flying objects are an acceptable risk to collide with), then the car will perform in error.

That's, in my mind, no greater a risk than the driving panicking and hard-overing the wheel, causing the car to flip and roll, smash into either one of the large trucks on either side, or slam on the brakes themselves and cause a pile up too.

There are edge cases where having a human in control of a car is better. What if the object to be struck was, say, a spray of water from a fire truck? Or a car's on a bridge that's collapsing? Or the car is being "driven" by a criminal who wants to avoid road spikes? Some kind of car with active camoflague? Is it better to rear-end the Prius or the M1A4 Abrams tank? What if there's a crazed nutter on the highway sniping at passing cars? Etc etc.

The thing is... for the majority of cases, where people are commuting to and from work, or picking their kids up from school, or doing any number of daily, mundane tasks, a computer can manage this much better, much more safely, more reliably, and with a greater level of care for passengers, other road users, and third parties than a human can. A human will win in the edge cases -- our ability to do that is what makes us the dominant species on this planet -- but for every day things, a robo-driver is better.

Be like a casino. Support the laws of probability. Eventually you'll win out.

about 7 months ago
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Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot

Sasayaki Re:Autonomous safety (287 comments)

Which would YOU pick? Bearing in mind the car is travelling at 150km/h, and you probably have less time to decide than you do reading this sentence.

So you see something on the road at 50m, which takes your brain 200ms to identify it. You identify it as a baby, which takes, let's say, 500ms (humans are surprisingly good at that). You really quickly check your mirrors and scan the upcoming road to make sure you're not driving into something dangerous (500ms), and see that you are. You identify it as an immobile pillar, highly dangerous.

Now let's throw in some time to moralise this decision. It doesn't matter how long, but let's say 500ms.

You turn the wheel to avoid the crash, which takes 200ms, and the car begins to turn, and in say 200ms, neatly avoids the baby. Right?

Uhh, not quite. You haven't even finished checking your surroundings yet, and that baby is currently underneath your front left wheel (150km/hr * 1200 miliseconds = 50.00000004 metres). Note: 150km/h is 0.0416666667 metres a milisecond.

Your autodriving car, however, sees the baby at 50m. It doesn't care that it's a baby, because it's a solid lump in the middle of the road, and it should be avoided. If it were a wombat, it would wreck your shit at 150km/hr, and honestly a concrete pillar is probably not that much worse.

Let's see how the auto driving car fares.

So your car sees something on the road at 50m, which it takes 200ms to identify. It doesn't spend any further time on this because objects on the road must be avoided. It begins slowing the car while it decides, and a coprocessor tightens the seat belts, primes the air bags, and potentially sounds the horn (or notifies other self-driving cars by wireless that, hey, shit's about to go down yo).

It doesn't need to check its surroundings because, as an automated system, it has full 360 vision at all times and doesn't slack off, get distracted, get tired, have a fight with the ex over the kids or get an SMS or any number of factors that could distract a driver. And before you say "But I constantly pay attention at all times on the road and never, ever slack off ever", firstly bullshit, and secondly you can't do it as well as it does anyway.

There's no moralising in this equation. It just wants to avoid hitting things.

It begins turning the wheel to avoid the crash, which takes 200ms, and the car begins to turn, and in say 200ms, neatly avoids the baby.

What other things can it do?

Let's see: how about talk to other cars wirelessly, informing them that there's a hazard and steering around it. So only this car needs to dodge, all the others are aware of it and react accordingly -- and even get out of the way of the dodger, so that it doesn't have to slam into the concrete. How about the car can (at the speed of a computer, faster a human brain) calculate its current speed, distance to target, potential impact threat of a solid object that size, and just decide to break instead. How about the car (for whatever reason) gets into an accident and automatically informs the first responders, possibly even transmitting things like: "Three passengers. Caucasian female, African male, Asian female. African male is allergic to penicillin." If you want to go truly sci-fi, then it gives real-time status feeds. "Asian female is hemmoraging, heart rate is high, possibly tachycardia. Caucasian female was thrown from the vehicle and cannot be monitored."

The advent of self-driving cars is like the invention of the internet. We don't even KNOW what it'll do to our society, but I'm really excited about it and I want one now now now now now now now now now, and not JUST so I don't get stuck being the designated drivers simply because I also own a car.

about 7 months ago
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Could Technology Create Modern-Day 'Leper Colonies'?

Sasayaki Re:PC at its best (452 comments)

>ask where forum members don't give a shit about PC.

So you're telling him to go ask 4chan?

>dat signature
>mfw

about 7 months ago
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We All May Have a Little Martian In Us

Sasayaki Re:Dagnabit (168 comments)

On one hand, oh god, that is a terrible thought.

On the other hand... if so, that could be a huge catalyst for space funding, if you could convince the Aramahic churches of the world that science says the Garden of Eden is on Mars, and we need to go back there, they could pour funds into sending humans there.

That'd be an interesting idea for a short story, actually. A bunch of Mormons flying out to Mars to find the Garden of Eden.

about 8 months ago
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Dispatch From the Future: Uber To Purchase 2,500 Driverless Cars From Google

Sasayaki Re:Don't wanna be first... (282 comments)

Lots of things. And they will.

But statistically, it'll probably be better than having humans behind the wheel. Not that this will stop anyone the first time the car backs over a kid, despite their excellent safety record.

about 8 months ago
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Why Weather Control Conspiracy Theories Are Scientifically Ludicrous

Sasayaki Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (251 comments)

A key component of nearly all, or in fact all, conspiracy theories is a vast group of dedicated individuals with almost infinite resources who, in ways grand and mundane, affect reality to hide some truth or collection of truths. The problem with that theory is that any evidence to the contrary, no matter how convincing, is in fact seen as evidence *for* the theory.

An example. There are two ninjas outside your window right now.

Go on, take a look.

See any ninjas?

No, of course you didn't, because they're invisible. Ninjas are badarse pros who would never be seen by an amateur. They're there, though. I was reading on Black Helicopter-o-pedia about the ninja training program in 1967 that produced hundreds of thousands of these trained, stealthy killers and they watch "persons of interest" constantly. Go read a book, sheeple!

More seriously, though, the root cause of conspiracy theories is usually ego. The kind of people who believe in them are typically those who have a very high opinion of themselves, often to the point of believing that they're amongst a small group of people (as small as 1 person) who are somehow smart enough, or cunning enough, or brave enough, or in some way "special" enough to avoid some great trick or ailment that affects the "mundanes". The idea, though, that they are infact deficient in some manner, such as being batshit insane, can't cross their minds because they've convinced themselves that they're better than everyone.

That's not to say that mainstream ideas are always correct, or that the most popular opinion is the best one; but any theory that relies, in some part, on you being intrinsically better than everyone, including academics and those with decades of experience and know-how in certain areas who have no incentive to cover up vast scandals, or that relies on a global, infinitely resourced, powerful, invisible cabal to work is probably bullshit.

Plus, you know, these things do have a tendency to come out. The NSA got busted doing a huge amount of domestic spying lately. They ARE an organisation that is essentially global, essentially infinitely resourced, powerful, invisible... and they managed to conceal this fact for what? Ten years, only?

about 8 months ago
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Industrious Dad Finds the Genetic Culprit To His Daughters Mysterious Disease

Sasayaki Origin (204 comments)

Alas, this kind of origin story is less suited to a superhero, more suited to a supervillain.

Good to see people bucking the trope.

about 10 months ago
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Revealed: How the UK Spied On Its G20 Allies At London Summits

Sasayaki Re:Seems fishy (262 comments)

>When the day comes that this information is obtained and used against the same politicians who voted for it, it will be some delicious comeuppance.

I really don't think you quite get how that day would work.

"Senator, PRISM has discovered an email of you admitting to having a gay lover in college, something that would make you completely unelectable in this country for some reason."

"Ahh. Johnny Ten Inches. Yes, well, I admit to that. How much is it going to cost for this to go away?"

"We have all the money we need, but it would sure be nice if that new NSA data seizure legislation in the pipeline got a yes vote. #211,944 if I recall."

"#211,944? I'm not familiar with it."

"Of course you aren't, senator. We haven't written it yet."

about 10 months ago
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How Should the Law Think About Robots?

Sasayaki I agree (248 comments)

I'm a sci-fi writer, and I've thought about this a fair bit. Book two in the Lacuna series deals with a self-aware construct who is different from his peers because of a tiny error. His inputs and outputs are therefore non-deterministic, in so far as you could present him with a set of inputs and record his outputs, then erase his memory and give him the same inputs again. His outputs would be different (subtly). Or they might not. The error was subtle enough to evade detection during manufacturing after all.

Humans are flesh computers, but it is our imperfection that makes us able to grow and change. To be non-deterministic.

about a year ago
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Plans Unveiled For Full Scale Replica of the Titanic

Sasayaki Re:Seperation of classes (292 comments)

Makes me want to write a story about that.

about a year ago
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Researchers Seek to Use Drones For Brushfire Forecasting

Sasayaki Canberra here (52 comments)

Reporting from the ACT, which is a tiny territory wholly within New South Wales.

Today's tempretures were "real fucking hot", about 38 C/39 C, and the wind is really strong. Whipping up dust all over the place, buffeting the car around as I drove, etc etc. The grass around is quite rich and quite dry, like little golden fields. I actually used the lush grass in a Kindle serial set in Canberra, because it's really pretty and there's a lot of it (and it's very dry). Very, very similar to the big fires that swept through here a decade ago (I was here for that).

It's overcast and cooler now, but earlier today it wouldn't have taken much to light everything up. Some people who lived out in the rural areas are staying home today because they're expecting fires.

I expect tomorrow and the day after will be not as bad, because there's a lot of cloud that's moved in, but later in the week will be bad.

about a year ago
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Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

Sasayaki Re:why does anyone pay attention to those petition (1387 comments)

I wonder if you could take the "We The People" site and change it slightly, so that anyone who signs the petition is legally bound to vote against the incumbent at the next election (on pain of perjury or, at least, having your vote disqualified) if the petition's demands are not met.

You'd get much, much fewer signatories, but it would also make the petitions matter and only be used for serious matters. And death stars, which for some are a serious matter.

about a year ago
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NASA Faces Rough Road In 2013

Sasayaki Re:Not only NASA. (132 comments)

So called macro-evolution can't be "proven" any more than anything can be proven absolutely. Like I went to effort to explain, science does not offer absolute proof because as you pointed out, it's impossible.

Evolution is, however, backed by evidence (go to talkorigins.org to find it out). We cannot "prove" it to absolute certainty, but it is most certainly the "least wrong". It can be shown to be this. If you do not believe there is evidence for evolution, you haven't looked, because there is a mountain of it. And yes -- species do change. For example, google 'fruit fly evolution experiment'. This fact have been shown to hold in laboratory experiments.

As for the questions regarding the big bang theory, the answer to most of this is "we don't really know". That means the theory is less than perfect, as all are, but it is absolutely the "least wrong" theory of them all.

Mild quibble regarding faith. I don't have "faith" in anything. I believe things. I believe that if I hold up a ball and let go, it will drop. I believe this because I have evidence of balls I've dropped before, the mathematics behind it bears out that prediction, and there's all manner of demonstrations we can do to prove that it will, indeed, drop.

Faith is belief that the ball will fall up despite evidence, and if it doesn't, you smile, shrug and say, "God moves in mysterious ways, doesn't he?"

This is why it's easier to believe that Evolution is correct, while a God creating the universe is less likely.

Let me get right to the point: evolution may not be correct. But it's "less wrong" than a magical unicorn farting everything into existence in seven minutes.

Remember: "Less wrong". Less wrong. Less wrong. Less wrong. Not absolute proof. Less wrong.

Less wrong.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Android 4.4 is named Kit Kat

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  about 7 months ago

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "News.com.au reports that the 4.4 release of the popular Android mobile operating system will be named after a brand name food, Kit Kat. This comes as a surprise, given that most pundits had suspected that the "K" iteration of the operating system, each version typically named after a dessert food, would be named Key Lime Pie.

Google and Hershey Co. are already working together to cross-promote the two brands, with special Android-branded Kit Kat bars and promotional tie-ins."

Link to Original Source
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Ridley Scott Loves Hugh Howey's Wool

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  about 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Hugh Howey's Wool, the self-published sci-fi story that's made him the best selling Indie sci-fi author of 2012 and currently the best selling sci-fi author on Amazon.com, has found its way into the hands of Ridley Scott (director of Alien, Prometheus and others)... who loved it. Rumour is the Hollywool movie will be coming to cinemas in 2013 or 2014. With Fifty Shades of Grey and now Wool getting the attention of Hollywood, it's clear the self-publishing revolution is here to stay."
Link to Original Source
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How To Get A Self-Published Novel Noticed?

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Hey Slashdot,

I'm a software engineer who's always had a passion for writing, a passion usually expressed in various play-by-email and text-based RPGs throughout the years. I've decided to turn my hand to writing a science-fiction novel, but now it's done and on the Kindle store I have to ask... how do you appeal to the sci-fi crowd, who generally rely on word of mouth to learn about what's hot and what's not?

I'd love to just say, "the story is good on its own merits give it time", but that's not good enough if nobody knows about it... has anyone had any success stories they wanted to share, or any advice?"

Link to Original Source
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How to Protect Your Audience From Yourself?

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "I've recently self-published a naturalistic sci-fi book called Lacuna: Demons of the Void. I want to encourage fan-fiction and reader participation as much as I can while still offering the book for sale.

However, in light of stories like this, if my book becomes popular (okay, it's no Star Wars, but it's good!) I want my younger, more idealistic self to protect my audience from my older, more possessive self.

I've already released the first three chapters and prologue under CC-NC-ND, and a CC-NC-SA licenced universe bible is in the works to help fan-fiction authors and the like, but how can I do more?

Additionally, the Creative Commons licences seem to be a poor fit for what I'm trying to do, since they seem to apply to whole works instead of characters, plots and universes. Is there something better I can use? How can I do the right thing here?"

Link to Original Source
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Music From "You Wouldn't Steal A Handbag"... Stole

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Everyone knows that anti-piracy clip played on every home DVD, with its distinctive music, comparing media piracy to stealing a handbag, a car, etc.

It turns out the music used for that clip, written by Melchior Rietveldt, is not authorized for that use and was created for a small Indy film festival on behalf of BREIN, a Norweign anti-piracy group. He did not authorize its broader use and now seeks to recover approximately €1 million (at least) in potential lost revenue."

Link to Original Source
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Phelps Clan Tweets Intent To Picket Steve Jobs Fun

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Margie Phelps of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church today declared the church's intention to picket Steve Jobs's funeral.

A declaration sent via her iPhone.

The text read:

"Westboro will picket his funeral.He[sic] had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin. MT @AP: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died at 56.

2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone"

Link to Original Source
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Interview with Trek author David Mack

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sasayaki writes "The Star Trek Play By E-mail group Starbase 118 recently conducted an interview with David Mack, author of numerous Trek novels and associated works. The interview includes information on how to be a professional writer ("Marry someone rich"), how to write villains, and gives insight into the world of writing for Star Trek."
Link to Original Source
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Cyclone Yasi to hit Queensland

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "Right on the heels of widespread flooding in the area last December, a massive Tropical Cyclone named "Yasi" is about to strike eastern Queensland. Yasi is classified as a Category 4, or approximately the same strength as hurricane Katrina.

The city of Cairns (population ~164,000) is directly in its path and has began evacuations.

News.com.au gives readers this blunt warning: "HUGE AND LETHAL: GET OUT NOW"."

Link to Original Source
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Hating the Google ToolBar

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "I'm a software engineer working a technical support job (in a small town I don't have much choice) and one issue that comes up over and over again is our clients putting our 'Remote Assistance' web addresses into the Google Toolbar, apparently unable to tell the difference between it at the address bar despite clear verbal instructions via telephone. Has anyone else encountered this? Since our clientbase is extremely varied and often completely inflexible regarding change, removing the toolbar is not an option.

On a broader topic, is the "Google is the Internet" attitude a unique issue regarding browser layout or is it symptomatic of how computers have become so important to modern life that nearly everyone must have one to survive, even those who have absolutely no skill or desire to use them?"
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Firefox Automatically Disables Microsoft Addon

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "After it was revealed that the .net update to Firefox pushed through Windows Update left the browser vulnerable, Windows users today discovered that their browser had automatically disabled and blocked that addon (you could 'opt-in' again if you wanted). An interesting move- will Microsoft take it laying down?"
Link to Original Source
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Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Sasayaki writes "I recently purchased a Compaq Presario C500 notebook in Brisbane, Australia which came bundled with Microsoft Windows Vista. However, I wish to install Ubuntu as my Operating System. To that end I wish to reject the Windows Vista EULA which is presented to me when I turn on said notebook, yet I find there is no way for me to do so; when the EULA is displayed to me in the "Set Up Windows" stage of installation, I am presented with what I interpret to be a standard Vista EULA and then a second HP EULA. There is no obvious way to refuse either of these license terms; the only options I am presented with are two checkboxes (one for each EULA) and a greyed out button labelled 'Next'. The two checkboxes read: "I accept the license terms (required to use Windows)" and "I accept the license terms (required to use your computer)". Reading the second (HP specific) EULA carefully, it makes it clear that I cannot use this laptop without agreeing to the Vista EULA. Specifically, ".... YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THESE LICENSE TERMS, YOUR SOLE REMEDY IS TO RETURN THE ENTIRE UNUSED PRODUCT (HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE) WITHIN 14 DAYS FOR A REFUND SUBJECT TO THE REFUND POLICY OF YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE." Naturally (since I still have the notebook) I still have not accepted the terms of the EULA. I crawled Microsoft's website at www.microsoft.com, searching for some recourse for myself and those like me who wish to reject the EULA and receive a refund on the Microsoft Vista Operating System when I do not agree to the EULA's conditions, but did not find anything (unsurprisingly). Can any slashdotters offer any suggestions where I might go to receive said refund?"

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