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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Savage-Rabbit Re:Imagine That... (176 comments)

Long-time government contractor with a history of blowing budgets and under-delivering gets new, lucrative NASA contract. Newsflash: SpaceX was never going to get that contract.

You mean like Boeing bid for the KC-X deal, lost to EADS/Northrop-Grumman, then successfully lobbied for a restart of the bidding process and submitted a bid that secured them the contract leading to EADS deciding not to pursue the deal any further because they thought Boeing's winning bid was so low that Boeing would probably lose money on it? But fret not, I'm sure Uncle Sam will see to it that any losses suffered by Boeing will be made good through some form of kickback and I'm sure that John and Jane Q, Taxpayer will be only too happy to foot the bill. What is interesting about this story is that even US companies are now suffering the same fate as EADS did and falling victim to the Boeing lobby. I sincerely hope that Space X humiliates Boeing and their Washington cronies by somehow outdoing them in cost effectiveness with their private ventures. If there is any single player in the US Aerospace industry that seriously needs to be taught a lesson it's Boeing.

9 hours ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Savage-Rabbit Re:Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypass (145 comments)

I do not want to buy my expensive Tesla from a smelly "genius" walking around with a corporate-logo polo shirt snug around the belly that hangs over his belt, which sports an iPhone holster. I'd rather just order the damn thing on-line and have USPS deliver it to my front door.

Same. Though assuming you were Musk and were putting some stores out there for people to look around... how would you structure it?

One thing that might be a reasonable compromise is if the Tesla franchise had to be exclusive. Consider fast food franchises... they're exclusive. You can't sell subway sandwiches and Quiznos sandwiches in the same restaurant.

What is more, the corporate office can set policy, set prices, etc. Do that and you can let dealerships sell the cars while at the same time controlling how it is done.

Putting the condescension aside that is positively dripping off of the GP post, why should there have to be a compromise? Where the hell do car dealers get off whining about this? As far as I can tell Tesla went for these Tesla stores because the good hard working folks of the car dealing industry put very little effort into selling their cars so it's the car dealers own bloody fault Tesla went for this solution in the first place and as far as I can tell Tesla is well within it's rights to do so. I don't see anybody legislating against Apple for selling their stuff directly in Apple stores owned by Apple, and the same goes for Sony and their Sony centers, I distinctly remember reading that Microsoft has Microsoft stores and now Samsung is starting to set up Samsung centers in Europe where this manufacturer owned or franchised retail store model is just as well known as in the US. You don't see electronics retailers whining about Apple, Sony and Samsung having their own retail stores, perhaps because they, unlike US car dealers, don't have any hangups about selling Apple, Sony and Samsung products with as much vigor as the rest of their inventory. Why can't there be a chain of Tesla centers without every car dealer in the USA whining about it like petulant child? We all know what the answer is, the car dealers are hopelessly corrupt and are into the bargain in the pockets of certain companies who feel threatened by Tesla.

11 hours ago
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New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

Savage-Rabbit Re:Get used to it (215 comments)

Who will you blame for what the PLO did in Lebanon, along with Syria?

Why did you leave Israel out of that list?

3 days ago
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Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

Savage-Rabbit Re:The most important features... (206 comments)

Sounds like what you want is a Nexus 5, or wait a bit and get a Nexus 6. Consider this:

The PIN code weakness seems odd, as most phones have some kind of rate limit that makes it basically impractical to do before you notice someone has stolen your phone. As for everything else, the Nexus 5 does it pretty well, and costs less than half the price. In fact the 32GB model is 1/3rd the price of an equivalent iPhone 6+. With the massive saving you can easily replace any apps you paid for on iOS. Updates should keep coming for years, although realistically 5 years is a stretch. Apple tend to release crippling updates after a couple of years so that you either get stuck on an old version or are "encouraged" to upgrade your device.

Unless you are absolutely set on an iOS device it's hard to justify an iPhone 6.

My friend does it as a party trick, he checks where the fingerprints or slide marks are and surprisingly often he manages to guess the the pin or symbol on Android phones.

3 days ago
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Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

Savage-Rabbit The most important features... (206 comments)

What they're focussing on now is different. CPU is obviously almost good enough, battery is more important.

This... I want a longer battery, lighter weight, etc...

It is already fast enough and it will be awhile before apps catch up.

They will, but not for a few years, then we'll need another jump.

Yes, longer battery life would be nice but it's the bigger screen size and the fingerprint sensor that are motivating me to trade my iPhone 4S in for an iPhone 6+, I've decided that I want a phablet. It takes more effort to crack the fingerprint sensor than it takes to just sitting in your couch and punching in four digit pin-codes until you unlock the phone. I could put a password on my phone but punching in a password every time I get an e-mail is way too bothersome and I can't read Google maps in landscape mode on my iPhone 4S anymore because the display is just too small. As long as the device has adequate processing power to run the latest apps and games for the next 5 years and gets OS updates (which previous experience with Apple devices tells me it will) I don't really care that much about whether it has benchmarks and a processing speed that trumps those of the latest offering from Samsung, LG, HTC et al. In fact the majority of the features that I really value the most are software features ranging from the 'Continuity' OS X integration, 'HealthKit', App services and Universal Touch ID authorization for all apps to the little stuff you almost don't notice like, the revamped keyboard, built in phone calls over wifi, an overview over which app is using the most power, reply notification for especially important messages, ... the list goes on. Now if they'd only get around to putting a folding bookmarks menu in the little wizard you use when you add a bookmark in Mobile Safari... this is iOS version 8 for Christ's sake and Apple still hasn't gotten around to fixing it.

3 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Savage-Rabbit Re:Not just Reno (438 comments)

Climate change and the benefits of using renewables in place of fossil fuels are observable, measurable and given the volume of data we now have it is an irrefutable fact that renewables are preferable to fossil fuels.

Totally agree, but when people cite Germany as being well on their way to using 100% renewables they are missing the facts that Germany has increased its CO2 emissions in the last several years with its shift away from nuclear and they are increasing use of cheap dirty coal to balance the higher costs of renewables.

That is a much repeated statistic and in the short term ... yes, that is true. What is less often pointed out, probably because it does not serve the propaganda purpose of the fossil fuel industry as well as the previous fact, is that their long term goal is 80% renewables by 2050.

Renewables alone are going to be insufficient for the world's energy needs. And industrial scale renewables have their own very negative effects on habitats and the environment. Just as shifting food production to biofuels caused food shortages and food riots, there are going to be negative effects if we have to blanket large areas of the planet with solar panels and wind "farms". Just as we found that the downstream effects of hydro-electric dams are often very negative to fisheries, estuaries and sometimes to agriculture.

And I've said it once and I will say it a million times, nuclear is a far better option with far less negative consequences and with even far less risk than even renewables.

I keep hearing people say this and never backing it up with facts. I know renewables have their own environmental issues but why should they be a show stopper? .... soooo: [Citation needed]

4 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Savage-Rabbit Re:Not just Reno (438 comments)

Was there a reason you omitted nuclear?

Yes, the thread was about Tesla using renewables for it's new factory.

4 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Savage-Rabbit Re:Not just Reno (438 comments)

In environmentalist lala-land neither the end nor the means matters as long as your ideology is sitting in the drivers seat.

And how does that make them different from lala-landers of the politically incorrect christian conservative and occasionally coal rolling variety?

The environmentalists are incorrectly lauded for their beliefs while the other groups are dismissed off hand?

Climate change is not a belief, there is no faith involved, it is not an opinion that claim that ejecting vast amounts of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere is going to have very bad effects on the lives of our descendants and that using renewable energy sources is preferable to that. Climate change and the benefits of using renewables in place of fossil fuels are observable, measurable and given the volume of data we now have it is an irrefutable fact that renewables are preferable to fossil fuels.

4 days ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Savage-Rabbit Re:define (287 comments)

Sure they are customers. They are paying with their personal data, which Google hords and then sells to third parties. Without the people who use Google's free services, Google wouldn't earn a cent.

Yeah and, how can that judge claim that German Google customers do not have a way to communicate with Google? German Google customers send mail to support-de@google.com and a Google bot tells them to F*** Off! Not only does that constitute communication but the message is pretty clear. Of course, traditionally it has not proven to be a particularly intelligent strategy to tell the Germans to F*** Off! since they tend to react badly to that (read: Invasions, panzers, stukas, u-boats, V-1 cruise missiles, V-2 rockets... etc) but If Google wants to take a shot at it they I say let them try.

4 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Savage-Rabbit Re:Not just Reno (438 comments)

In environmentalist lala-land neither the end nor the means matters as long as your ideology is sitting in the drivers seat.

And how does that make them different from lala-landers of the politically incorrect christian conservative and occasionally coal rolling variety? There are two things that are almost always true about zealots no matter what their political or religious convictions, firstly they think they're always right and that that gives them the right to walk all over everybody else and secondly they are all stupid idiots.

4 days ago
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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

Savage-Rabbit Re:OMG! (404 comments)

Someone called something that wasn't an iPad, an iPad! In other news, one announcer was overheard to say that the trainer was placing a Band-aid on an injured player, when in fact the bandage was a Curad! Shocking!

You're obviously not a nerd since you don't seem to understand why it is hilariously funny that a Microsoft tablet is consistently being called an 'iPad' by its users. Even nerds who were only a glint in their father's eye during the Microsoft v. Apple wars know why this is funny. Which brings us to the next question: What are you doing here?

5 days ago
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Northwest Passage Exploration Ship Found

Savage-Rabbit Re:Biggest archaeological event? (80 comments)

I'm no archaeologist, but I doubt most archaeologists would claim this discovery ranks that highly. The person making the claim is an expert on the Franklin expedition, so he's bound to be a bit biased. It certainly sounds interesting, but we know a lot about Britain in the 1840s. I think the bigger archaeological discoveries involve civilizations we don't know much about.

True, I'd rate this wreck much higher. It told us a wealth of things about ancient trade routes, the nature of cargo, how it was stowed, ship design in 3400BP, ... the list goes on, and they were all things that were mostly just make educated guesses at before. Then there is this a 1500 year old Roman transport just sitting there perfectly in tact. It makes you wonder what else is sitting there on the bottom of the Black Sea perfectly in tact: A Greek or Roman trireme, still sitting there with the oars in place and two Ballistas still standing on the deck? A Phoenician transport with it's cargo of perishables still in tact? A bronze, copper or even neolithic period merchant vessel? Something much, much older?

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Savage-Rabbit Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (765 comments)

And yet no one believes in phlogiston anymore. Science did what it was supposed to do.

I can think of plenty of examples of the old guard trying to hang on to discredited ideas. The Out of Africa theory of human origins, when it first came out, flew in the face of a general view among European experts that modern humanity had evolved in Eurasia. The old guard, to some extent, were more informed by racial biases (the very 16th-19th century idea that sub-Saharan Africans were somehow lower on the evolutionary chain), and indeed there were a few angry bastards, notably on the Continent, that clung to the idea of a Eurasian origin of H. sapiens even into the 1980s, when finally enough molecular data had been gained both from extant human populations and from the remains of ancient humans (including Neanderthals) that it became irrefutable that modern H. sapiens had a very recent origin (sometime between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago) in Africa.

And again, on the same general topic, for a long time the idea that modern humans and Neanderthals had interbred was viewed as completely invalid. mtDNA studies were flung in the faces of researchers who insisted that modern humans and Neanderthals had interbred in Eurasia. Those that insisted that the interbreeding had happened were tut-tutted, in some cases viewed almost as hippies. Indeed, even into the 1990s, the "consensus" view was that any interbreeding was so rare as to have had no impact on the genetic makeup of modern human populations.

Well, lo and behold, by the 21st century, better techniques for DNA extraction and genome mapping revealed that virtually all human populations outside of sub-Saharan Africa did have nuclear genes that came from Neanderthals.

So it strikes me that this, and numerous other examples, consensus that does not fit the evidence is always ultimately discarded. But that some consensus views are wrong does not mean all consensus views are wrong.

I can only agree with you for the most part, science did what it was supposed to do but how many times and for how long has the old guard held up progress? Of course one can't generalize about all consensuses being wrong but it still happens often enough that erroneous consensuses are imposed by force. Regarding the whole debate about Neanderthal/Cro-Magnon interbreeding I actually saw Ian Tattersall claim interbreeding was impossible (I'm using the non scientific term Cro-Magnon because it's less clumsy than early-modern-human). Tattersall also wrote an entire paper in 1999 find where he dismissed the Lagar Velho child as a hybrid and then admitted on film in a documentary in 2002 that he hadn't even seen the actual skeleton. This issue is a good example of a consensus being imposed on a community by the old guard, progress in the field was held back for years and the word of Tattersall and his peers would probably still be law if they hadn't been caught off guard by scientists from another discipline with irrefutable evidence. Tattersall is now quite busy eating crow. Science did what it was supposed to but with an agonizingly long hiatus of limited progress. One can say what one wants about the way Trinkaus and Zilhao reacted to Tattersall's 1999 paper but they have been proven right about interbreeding. The only thing that remains for them to be completely vindicated is if somebody actually manages sequence DNA from the Lagar Velho child and proves conclusively that it was a hybrid.

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Savage-Rabbit Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (765 comments)

Science is verifiable and reproducible often in a variety of ways, or it is not "science."

I craft a theory according to the current state of knowledge, and to verify it I do a study on X and come out with results Y, which I use to come to conclusion Z. My article is peer reviewed and published in the relevant accepted journal of science.

Did I do science? By most measures, YES.

However, only steps 1-3 were done on the actual scientific process - it's missing verification until a 3rd party comes along and repeats my study, gathering the same results within an acceptable margin of error.

The problem is that doing my own study is 'sexy', repeating somebody else's, especially when their results are within mainstream theory, isn't.

It's not just that verifying somebody else's results in not sexy. There are other factors as well. There used to be a broad scientific consensus about phlogiston theory being the best explanation to explain processes like combustion and oxidation. Eventually it was discredited against fierce opposition from some of the big names in science at the time and there are many other examples of this from other scientific fields. Scientific consensus about some theory or other sometimes has a tendency to be imposed by big name scientists who have the clout to do that because they have built a career and a reputation that depends on their theory and their research remaining unchallenged long after it is starting to become clear that the theory and perhaps some of their research results are just plain wrong. There is politics in science like everything else and sometimes politics trumps science.

about a week ago
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3 Decades Later, Finnair Pilots Report Dramatic Close Encounter With a Missile

Savage-Rabbit Re:Finlandization... (138 comments)

Much as I'm disliking the Hitlerian Russian government now, I can't believe a) anyone wouldn't have reported it (the pilot) or b) not talked about it loudly for 25+ years.

It doesn't add up.

It does if you know anything about Finnish history. Pissing off the Soviets was may have been an American national sport during the cold war period but for the Finns it was not at the top of their agenda. Finland spent the cold war balancing on a razor's edge they were bound by post WWII treaties to have a military of a fixed (and rather small) size and of course to remain neutral. For this reason the Finns painstakingly split their military procurement exactly down the middle. Half the air force jets, half the army's tanks and half the navy's ships were bought in the Soviet bloc and the other half in the West and it was a very successful strategy (which is why its now being suggested as a solution to the Ukraine crisis). The Finns may have wiped the floor with the Soviet army during the Winter War but it was still not an experience the Finns cared to repeat in the nuclear era. Since the aircraft wasn't actually harmed no purpose would have been served by deliberately embarrassing the bad tempered 16 foot tall, 3000 pound grizzly bear sitting on their eastern border by advertising the ineptitude of the Soviet air defenses so the sensible strategy was just to play it down.

No, that was exactly why I read TFA expecting to see that the Finnish government was the one who buried it. They weren't. Seems to...defy credulity that 2 ordinary citizens would be making a political decision like that. The government yes, 2 copilots no.

It is hard to believe that a near miss by a SAM would be given less attention by the captain than a malfunctioning coffee maker and even harder to believe that this incident was not reported. If a SAM exploded 20 seconds away from my DC-10 full of passengers whose lives I'm responsible for that would sure as shit get my attention if I was the captain and you can bet your bottom dollar I would report it to somebody. The original article simply says the captain refused to report the incident, it does not say he didn't try so it's entirely possible that he actually did try to report it and was told in no uncertain terms to shut the f*** up about it.

about two weeks ago
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3 Decades Later, Finnair Pilots Report Dramatic Close Encounter With a Missile

Savage-Rabbit Finlandization... (138 comments)

Much as I'm disliking the Hitlerian Russian government now, I can't believe a) anyone wouldn't have reported it (the pilot) or b) not talked about it loudly for 25+ years.

It doesn't add up.

It does if you know anything about Finnish history. Pissing off the Soviets was may have been an American national sport during the cold war period but for the Finns it was not at the top of their agenda. Finland spent the cold war balancing on a razor's edge they were bound by post WWII treaties to have a military of a fixed (and rather small) size and of course to remain neutral. For this reason the Finns painstakingly split their military procurement exactly down the middle. Half the air force jets, half the army's tanks and half the navy's ships were bought in the Soviet bloc and the other half in the West and it was a very successful strategy (which is why its now being suggested as a solution to the Ukraine crisis). The Finns may have wiped the floor with the Soviet army during the Winter War but it was still not an experience the Finns cared to repeat in the nuclear era. Since the aircraft wasn't actually harmed no purpose would have been served by deliberately embarrassing the bad tempered 16 foot tall, 3000 pound grizzly bear sitting on their eastern border by advertising the ineptitude of the Soviet air defenses so the sensible strategy was just to play it down.

about two weeks ago
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New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

Savage-Rabbit Re:Eurasia vs. oceania (215 comments)

The significance of your list assumes that Country = Country's Government. That might be more or less the case for most Western countries with a democratically government. But what about the Arab states. We have no way of knowing if the masses of those countries are actually sympathetic to IS cause (sympathetic until they actually have the chance to live other it). So while a certain Arab government might condemn IS, their support for any US military action might be just that, fighting words without any bite. Who knows if this will turn out to be a coalition of one backed up by a peanut gallery of nations unwilling to contribute a single soldier or even let their territory be used as an operations base.

I've got a better match for you. Here are just some of the entities that the Islamic State has made enemies of:
- Iraq - 65% Shia so mostly against.
- Syria - 72% Sunni but currently at war with them and partly living the reality of ISIS rule, so against.
- Jordan - 92% Sunni, relatively secular country, no history of widespread ISIS support but possibly in doubt.
- Hezbollah - Shia militia currently fighting against ISIS in Syria so against.
- Free Syria Army - Relatively secular, moderate and currently at war with ISIS so against.
- United States - Definitely Against.
- Britain - Definitely against.
- Iran - Shia country efinitely against.
- Saudi Arabia - In doubt.
- Russia (maybe) - Scared shitless of this kind of movement spreading to Russias moslem regions so against.
- al-Qaeda - Threatened by ISIS so, against.

There are also some other entities involved in this the original list left out.
- The Kurds - Mostly Sunni but largely secular and at war with ISIS so against.
- The Kurdish Yazidis - Currently watching their women being sold as slaves to ISIS fighter so definitely against.
- The EU nations - Definitely against.
- The Non EU Nato nations - (chief among them Turkey) Definitely against.

I'd say his analysis is overwhelmingly correct.

about two weeks ago
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New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

Savage-Rabbit Re:Terrorists, not Fighters (215 comments)

Maybe he can't, but I can.

USA has received a shitload of Soviet designed weapons - and I don't mean just small arms, I mean tanks, helicopters, airplanes - starting 1989. From Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary.

The USA has been buying Soviet made equipment on the black market since the 1980s at least and in large quantities. So if anybody ever wondered where the Soviet weapons came from that the CIA gave to the Afghans to shoot at the Soviets with now you know...

about two weeks ago
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New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

Savage-Rabbit Re:US policy: first arm them then bomb (215 comments)

It's not 2003 any more. Iraq has a democratically elected government, and has for about 10 years now. The Iraqi army was rebuilt and rearmed with large amounts of weaponry. ISIS is mainly coming from Syria, not Iraq. You've got this pretty much wrong.

Bullshit, you can't just reduce this to Weapons. Weapons are only as good as the people who operate them and they are only as good as those who lead them. Everything that has happened in Iraq since 2003 has been influenced by American meddling. Ibrahim al-Jaafari was replaced as Prime Minister of Iraq after the Bush White House became displeased with him due to his inability to curb the insurgency (which was not surprising in view of the fact that the army had been disbanded and some of the best troops had joined the insurgency). Iraq may have had democratic elections but the selection of parties and candidates available for election was carefully engineered by the USA and the same goes when it came to choosing which people occupied key government posts. Eye witness accounts of the search for a successor to al-Jaafari reminded me of the Praetorian's hunt for a new Roman emperor after the demise of Caligula. Having no idea who to replace Caligula with they finally found Claudius hiding behind a curtain and made him emperor and the US had given no more thought to who would replace al-Jaafari than the Pretorians had done when they disposed of Caligula. Finally the White House just chose Nouri al-Maliki, next best guy they could find without having any idea of how capable he was or whether he'd be an inclusive leader or a divisive one. The White House knew so little about al-Maliki that they mispronounced his name until he personally corrected them. Al-Maliki was so inexperienced he had to get weekly tutorial sessions from George W Bush Jr over video link (talk about dub leading dumber). It is this choice that is now coming back to bite the Obama administration along with it's own lack of interest in what is happening in Iraq. Yes the army was trained, yes the Sons of Iraq effort created a chance at reconciliation and yes It was al-Maliki, America's chosen man who de-Sunnified the government and civil service, it was he who fired all the US trained officers and replaced them with militarily inept cronies to coup-proof the army and it was his sectarian policies who sparked the campaign of repression that eventually led to the 'ISIS invasion' which in reality is a full blown Sunni revolt. Iraq today is very much America's mess and that is why the Europeans may be willing to join in the fight against ISIS by helping the Iraqi Kurds and possibly the YPG in Syria but they will remain unwilling to touch Iraq proper with a 16 foot pike. That's America's mess and it will have to be America who deals with it along with (irony abounds) Iran.

about two weeks ago
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Deadmau5 Accuses Disney of Pirating His Music

Savage-Rabbit Re:Joel is a snivelling little twit... (137 comments)

Disney has a "family friendly" image to lose. Joel doesn't. There is one side that can lose a lot of its fanbase for mudslinging. And another one that can gain a lot of cred for "sticking it to da man".

Having a ton of lawyers means jack in a battle that's not fought in court but in the PR room.

I had no idea who this Deadmou5 guy was until today. I searched on his name, saw that logo and concluded the instant I saw it that the Disney company is retarded if they think that their Mickey Mouse trademark looks anything like his logo (which is what this is about, right? trademarks, not copyright). Even a five year old would not confuse them. Disney seem to be suing anybody whose logo or trade mark looks even remotely like Mickey Mouse just on the off chance they find a judge who is brain dead enough to rule in their favour. The US must have a surplus of such judges if Disney did the math and concluded that this is a workable legal strategy. What's next? Sue anybody whose trade mark contains three circles whose centrers are arranged in an Isosceles triangle and who partially overlap? From a court transcript: Why no your honor, Having gone to Harward Law School I am actually quite literate and I know the big circle has "Billy Bob's Auto Parts" written in it and I also noticed that the two smaller ones have a picture of a pick-up truck and a buxom red-neck girl in them but we at the Disney corporation still feel that due to the arrangement of the three circles in an Isosceles triangle and their overlapping nature, that this logo could easily be confused with an image of Mickey Mouse thus confusing consumers.

about two weeks ago

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