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U.S. Court: Chinese Search Engine's Censorship Is 'Free Speech'

The Cornishman Highlight quotes from the judgment (284 comments)

I recommend everyone to read J. Furman's judgment: it's crystal clear, and a pleasure to understand.

The argument establishes that what Baidu is engaged in is speech, not advertising or anything, I think these two quotes (or quotes of quotes) sum everything up beautifully:

'Since all speech inherently involves choices of what to say and what to leave unsaid,'" the Court explained, "one important manifestation of the principle of free speech is that one who chooses to speak may also decide 'what not to say.'"

As the Supreme Court has explained, "[t]he First Amendment does not guarantee that . . . concepts virtually sacred to our Nation as a whole . . . will go unquestioned in the marketplace of ideas."

about 8 months ago

The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

The Cornishman Re:Pilot resistance (461 comments)

what movie did you get that from?

You get to my age, some things in movies are almost as real as what really happened :)

However, this discussion on PPRuNe suggests that I didn't make it up. Several professional pilots are on there saying that it's their normal practice. Before anyone points it out, I can see that the thread is ten years old, and it may very well be that modern CVRs aren't using 30 minute magnetic tape loops.

about 8 months ago

The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

The Cornishman Pilot resistance (461 comments)

Nobody seems to have mentioned that *pilots* would/might resist the streaming of flight data to the ground. As I understand it, there's a button in the cockpit which erases the flight deck voice recordings, and that button is one of the first things that the captain presses when the plane has landed.

What's said on the flight deck, stays on the flight deck!

about 8 months ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

The Cornishman Dumping BitCoin (276 comments)

Yes, as far as I can see, if you "corner" a market in BitCoin then you can control its price. A BitCoin, like a dollar or a diamond, is worth exactly what someone will pay you for it.

There was a similar flurry about virtual goods in Second Life, I vaguely recall.
Back on topic, is anyone alleging that the "real" Satoshi Nakamoto has cornered the market? If there is a real concern that the bitcoin architect could bring the edifice crashing down, I'd say that that was a good reason to stay well outside the said edifice.

about 9 months ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

The Cornishman BTC supporters... (276 comments)

... are in the business of talking up BTC, aren't they? The principle of crypto "currency" might be somewhat transformative, but I haven't yet seen any scenario in which BTC or any of the others would "fundamentally transform the economy".

about 9 months ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

The Cornishman The value of knowing (276 comments)

@E-Rock Why do I never have mod points when someone cuts to the heart of the matter? What will be the public benefit of knowing the meatspace ID and location of the bitcoin architect? None. +1 Insightful at the very least.

about 9 months ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

The Cornishman Re:Personal Details (276 comments)

> amassed a huge amount of money doing so

Well, it's more like that the early miners of bitcoin, including its inventor, *made* something that you (and several others) now want. He didn't amass money, he made something difficult (read: impossible) to forge, that now has a real-world value. Think of it like artwork.

I don't understand why anyone wants to know who Satoshi 'bitcoin' Nakamoto is. How will you be better off if you know?

about 9 months ago

Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own

The Cornishman Re:You use ~7% of the O2 you breathe in (375 comments)

That ratio is taken into account in the calculations presented in DeepSeaNews, see above, so the infeasible volume of water needing to be processed remains. Sorry.

about 10 months ago

Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers

The Cornishman OT - was Shut up drinky (and should be again) (335 comments)

A rather terse teacher in Beaulieu
Had a class which was very unreaulieu;
In a fine fit of pique, he resigned, so to spique:

Dear Headmaster,
I'm leaving.
Yours treaulieu,


about 10 months ago

Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

The Cornishman A proof for evolution, step at a time (611 comments)

I submit a proof for evolution, by which I mean the fact of and explanation for mutability of species.

We will proceed by observation.

1. Life forms have offspring.
2. When those offspring are the result of sexual reproduction, they vary amongst themselves and from their parents in some respects.
3. More offspring are germinated/spawned/hatched/born than survive to reproductive maturity.
4. Variations exhibited by offspring are in some respects heritable.
5. Some heritable variations will make a certain individual offspring marginally more likely to breed successfully.
6. Heritable variation is passed between generations by means of the deoxyribose nucleic acid molecules known as chromosomes.

The first five observations, which are not reasonably refutable, lead one inevitably to the conclusion commonly known as "the survival of the fittest", though note that it is breeding success rather than actual survival which is enjoyed by the fittest; barren survivors don't come into the calculation.

When observation 6 and our detailed understanding of genetic heritability is added, it becomes perfectly _inevitable_ that a breeding population will change its heritable characteristics (i.e. EVOLVE) to fit its environment.

When populations are divided, observation 2 means that subsequent changes cause the two populations to diverge in their heritable characteristics, particularly if the populations are subjected to different environmental challenges or opportunities.

Sufficient genetic divergence then results in the appearance of different species, by which we mean a population with sufficiently different characteristics that a good taxonomist *says* they're separate species, or perhaps (given point 6) that chromosomal differences make interbred offspring non-viable or infertile. Q.E.D.
I genuinely would like to know in what ways a creationist might argue against the above, if by creationism we mean immutability of all species created by $DEITY. If creationism is reduced only to special pleading for Homo sapiens, as being created in God's image, perhaps, then the debate is somewhat altered.

about a year ago

Scientific Data Disappears At Alarming Rate, 80% Lost In Two Decades

The Cornishman Lost forever (189 comments)

> many other data sets are expensive to regenerate...
Or maybe impossible to regenerate (for certain values of impossible). I remember reading a classified technical report (dating from the 1940s) related to military life-jacket development, wherein the question arose as to whether a particular design would reliably turn an unconscious person face-up in the water. The experimental design used was to dress some servicemen (sailors, possibly, but I don't recall) in the prototype design, anaesthetise them and drop them in a large body of water, checking for face-down floaters to disprove the null hypothesis. Somehow, I don't think that those data are going to be regenerated any time soon. I hope to God not, anyway.

about a year ago

Man Trying To Fly Across the Atlantic On Helium Balloons

The Cornishman Scary ride (92 comments)

I took the waypoint info from his tracking map and stuffed it into a spreadsheet. Synthesizing the vertical speed indications, it seems Mr Trappe may have had problems controlling his altitude: the maximum descent rate was over 600 fpm when approaching the New Brunswick coast, during a descent from 19,835 ft to just 968 ft in fifty minutes. Having bobbed back up to over 15,000 ft he again descended over the sea, this time to just 314 ft above sea level, with the VSI reading -220 fpm over the preceding ten minutes. I'm guessing that that looked like waves coming up pretty fast. I suspect that his ballast and helium might have been depleted to the extent that he was glad to put down in Newfoundland rather than ditch in the Atlantic. No doubt we'll be told shortly.

about a year ago

We Aren't the World: Why Americans Make Bad Study Subjects

The Cornishman Working with what you have to hand (450 comments)

Three scientists took the train northwards from England to attend a multi-disciplinary conference in Edinburgh.

Conversation flagged as the journey continued, until some time after crossing the border into Scotland when the social scientist, used to seeing Friesan herds in the south, pointed out some Highland cattle.
"Oh, look", he said, "the cows are brown in Scotland!"

The physicist put down the newspaper and looked out of the window.
"Yes, so I see, but your remark isn't scientific, you know. You can't know that all the cows are brown. What do you think, Bob?"

Bob the mathematician glanced up over his glasses at the grazing cattle.
"Observation shows that, through this window, at least one side of some bullocks in Scotland appears brown".

Moral: question your assumptions.

about 2 years ago

Claimed Proof That UNIX Code Was Copied Into Linux

The Cornishman Re:More details and downloadable archive (578 comments)

As AC points out, I WAS talking in my first reply about whether or not SCOG could be said to own the code, not on the fact of copying or derivation from anywhere.

I'd add another point to your list of So:
-Even if they owned the code and even if some lines of it were infringed and even if Novell's waiver doesn't hold, SCOG went on distributing *the same code* under the GPL for years after they started suing folk (IBM, Novell, Autozone, RedHat...).

I've got a licence for the Linux kernel from Caldera/SCOG already. As SCOG's lawyer said in his summing up for the jury trial in Utah, SCOSource is gone and it can't be resurrected.

more than 4 years ago

Claimed Proof That UNIX Code Was Copied Into Linux

The Cornishman Buying out (578 comments)

Please, if you don't have a grasp of the history, don't post stuff that just confuses the issue. Novell bought the entirety of UNIX from AT&T. Caldera did a deal to acquire the UNIX licensing business from Novell. Caldera changed its name to SCO. The courts have decided that the UNIX copyrights still belong to Novell.

more than 4 years ago

Claimed Proof That UNIX Code Was Copied Into Linux

The Cornishman Missed verdict (578 comments)

You only missed a verdict if you haven't looked up for seven years! Recently a jury in Utah confirmed what a judge found in a bench trial: Caldera (later SCO Group) did not get, and was not entitled to get, the UNIX copyrights in the 1995 deal they did with Novell. Unless you think that the jury was unreasonable in that finding (and guess what, SCOG and its lawyers do), SCOG does not 'own' UNIX in any useful sense.

more than 4 years ago

Claimed Proof That UNIX Code Was Copied Into Linux

The Cornishman I, J and K (578 comments)

Because in mathematics, i, j and k are traditional notation for, e.g. summations. I can't do formula embedding here but think of the big Sigma: sum for all i, integer i ranges from 0 to infinity, that sort of thing. Fortran is FORmula TRANslation language.

more than 4 years ago

UK Government Crowd-Sourcing Censorship

The Cornishman This just in... (262 comments)

King George III is dead. Some time ago. Sorry to break it to you so harshly.

more than 4 years ago

Calling Video Professor a Scam

The Cornishman What you see on the front page... (385 comments)

NoYob quoted text from www.videoprofessor.com and wrote "this is on the front page of his site". Apparently one of the tricks of the trade is to vary the nature and composition of the landing page, depending on how you got there (referrer) and/or by geolocation of your IP address. If this is the case, we can't reliably tell somebody what they'll see on the front page of the site, can we?

more than 4 years ago

UK Academics Arrested For Researching al-Qaida

The Cornishman Re:Spread it around? (681 comments)

From the link:

The manual was translated into English and was introduced earlier this year at the embassy bombing trial in New York. The Department is only providing the following selected text from the manual because it does not want to aid in educating terrorists or encourage further acts of terrorism.

So it seems the US Department of Justice is fairly clear that this is suitable for the public domain, and if it's been introduced as evidence, it's squarely IN the public domain.

Then from the TFA:

On Tuesday they read me a statement confirming it was an illegal document which shouldn't be used for research purposes.

It seems that the Plod haven't even followed up on their sources.

Now, I haven't got the bottle to actually download any of those PDFs (to here in the UK). However, some clueless folk are going to get some real interesting tinyurls real soon now.

PS also from the link:

The attached manual was located by the Manchester (England) Metropolitan Police
WTF? There's no such organization as the Manchester Metropolitan Police. The force is called the Greater Manchester Police.

more than 5 years ago



PJ shutters Groklaw

The Cornishman The Cornishman writes  |  about a year ago

The Cornishman (592143) writes "Early this morning, EDT, Pamela Jones, better known across the world as PJ posted what would appear to be her final article, marking the end of Groklaw. Her reason? The forced exposure which she feels from ubiquitous surveillance makes it impossible to continue to interact with Groklawers over the Internet, and she did always say she couldn't do Groklaw without email. As casualties of Big Brotherism go, this is pretty major. Personally, I thought Groklaw was a force for good in the world."


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