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Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

crizh Not really about the PAC, sorry. (308 comments)

So here in Scotland we are about to have a historic opportunity to strike out on our own and redefine our constitution.

The Scottish Government posted a draft constitution last week for public consultation. I wondered if you might have any advice of what sort of thing needs to be in there?

My personal feeling is that the Declaration of Arbroath did not go far enough. We need to define, explicitly, what powers, we the people, reserve to ourselves and exactly when and under what circumstances we can revoke the power of the various arms of government.

I really like much of the attitude to contracts in the GPL and have also toyed with the idea of unalterable articles. I feel like there are certain principles that we need to make clear are not negotiable.

How, at a constitutional level, can we get the money out of politics and regain control of those we elect?

about 2 months ago
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45% of U.S. Jobs Vulnerable To Automation

crizh Re:45% of US jobs vulnerable to automation? (625 comments)

If the 45% replaced by automation are put out of work then your economy gets 45% smaller.

Take a guess at what that does to the incomes of the 1%.

Sheesh.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:"We have to take all threats seriously" (706 comments)

Absolutely the Police should investigate.

They should investigate to find out if the kid is the victim of bullying (criminal assault) and then prosecute his tormentors for their violent criminal behaviour.

I mean, seriously, what the fuck?

This kid is acting out because he is the victim of a crime.

A crime which in the UK can carry a sentence of up to six months for a single offence.

Put down the doughnuts, get your heads out of your arses and prosecute the real criminals.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:Mod parent up (706 comments)

How did this happen? Didn't the authorities have any warnings about this kid?

I'm willing to bet in 100% of cases, or as close to 100% as makes no difference, the authorities were fully aware that the kid in question was the victim of bullying.

Or to put it another way.

WAS THE VICTIM OF SUSTAINED AND REPEATED CRIMINAL ASSAULT.

I'd also not be surprised if their response to this knowledge was to do Sweet Fanny Adams.

Frankly I think that ought to make them legally culpable for the subsequent actions of said victim of criminal assault.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:This (706 comments)

I can't tell if you are replying to me or the Grandparent.

Based on what you said below I assume you are replying to me.

I which case try reading what I posted again.

It was a reply to almost exactly your point which I felt I had quite effectively rubbished.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:no violence (706 comments)

How?

If they lacked the ability to resort to violence they would be utterly powerless.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:Really? (706 comments)

I completely agree with this.

I blame the media.

By focusing on the wrong metrics of police performance they have compelled the police to try and improve those metrics. By the simplest and easiest expedient.

So rather than cracking down on real crime they find misdemeanour's to prosecute 'law-abiding' citizens for. Most of us are not 'felons' and will come quietly, plead guilty and pay our fines when caught running stop signs, speeding or fiddling our taxes.

People committing real crimes, like assault, resist arrest, scream for a lawyer and skip town if found guilty. They are generally a giant pain in the arse and use up a disproportionate amount of resources per successful prosecution.

What we really need the police to do is crack down on 'minor' assaults. Particularly those committed by 'minors'. Nobody starts out a felon. They have to be carefully trained and nurtured, shown that they can get away with actions that society tells them are unacceptable, taught how to avoid serious consequences.

Whether it is a failing system, lawyers or older felons that teach these things is immaterial.

Bullying in the school yard is the training-wheels of full scale criminality and ought to be trivial to nip in the bud.

What we really need is a two tier police force, one that deals with felonies and one that deal with misdemeanour's.

If the first were constitutionally barred from supplying evidence to the latter all the better.

The felony police would have no choice other than to do their fracking job and the rest of us would never have any reason not to provide them with all the support that we could.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:This (706 comments)

Surely a school authority's responsibility is to punish transgressors and protect victims?

If they are failing to do so systematically as you suggest then they are abdicating that responsibility.

It does not matter what mechanism this takes, it matters what the result is.

And the result is that victims remain unprotected, they may even be punished for being victims, and the criminals remain largely unpunished.

That is unacceptable and needs to change.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:Really? (706 comments)

'Although there are relatively few serious violent crimes at school, there are many less serious crimes and there are numerous discipline problemsâ"primarily disorderly conduct and fights that do not result in injuriesâ"that demand attention. Bullying, teasing, and harassment are common problems that deserve attention in every school, too.'

So the rate of murder and aggravated assault has fallen in schools due to 'zero-tolerance' campaigns but the rate of 'minor' assaults that are arguably the cause of these more serious crimes has continued unabated?

Violence in schools is unacceptable, in particular the sort of 'minor' violence that trains the next generation of criminal thugs and criminalizes the victims when they take the law into their own hands, ought to be stamped out as a priority.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:no violence (706 comments)

WTF?

If schools were so intolerant of violence there would be no bullies!

Bullies exist because of a TOLERANCE of violence.

Idiot.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh Re:Age (706 comments)

To the best of my knowledge, in Scotland its 10.

If you don't know that violence is wrong by age 10 something has gone badly wrong.

about a year ago
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

crizh This (706 comments)

The real problem in our cultures is the total abdication of responsibility by the authorities for the criminal violence perpetrated daily in our educational institutions.

Every child learns that they can either get away with committing acts of violence against others or that society will tie itself in knots to avoid protecting them from criminal violence.

Is it any wonder the victims of violence take the law into their own hands when our most important laws are actively ignored by those who ought to be enforcing them and protecting the rest of us from those that would break them.

Almost every problem our societies have can be traced back to acts of violence that are being tolerated by those that should know better and are committed by those that have been trained by our educational establishments to believe are acceptable.

Assault is a crime.

An extremely serious crime that we should never tolerate. Effectively enforce that one law and almost all the other serious crimes would disappear overnight.

about a year ago
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Official: Microsoft To Acquire Nokia Devices and Services Business

crizh Time to kiss my karma goodbye, bring on the Trolls (535 comments)

Bollocks to it.

We just can't let this happen, it's almost a full blown disaster, the one ray of sunshine is the patent deal.

We need to find a way to buy Nokia out before this deal goes through.

Seriously?!

Microsoft gets a free pass for all the damage they did and gets a licence to all the Nokia patents that they know they cannot survive in mobile without?

For the price of the Nokia-Siemens buyout?

So Nokia shareholders are to sell their entire mobile business to the scumbags that ruined it for just enough money to own the rump end of their own business free and clear?

Screw that.

I'll offer the Nokia board $7.5B for 51% of the whole company, less any long term investors that want to assign their proxies to me, and I'll re-organize the whole company, turf out all the losers that have managed the company into the ground and spank the living crap out of the company that did this to them. The company that deliberately did this to them.

If Microsoft thinks those patents are worth so much, stick 'em under a GPL-like licence that lets anybody play in mobile so long as they share and tell Microsoft and Apple to go screw themselves.

I posted the following on Groklaw the day it died, in the desperate hope of getting some reasoned help. I was too late.

Looks like I might be too late again.

Stuff that for a game of soldiers, Slashdot might be full of loonies and Trolls but there are still some sane voices hidden amongst the noise.

Have at it.

----------

I've been working up to posting this for weeks.

I don't really want to post it now but I may never get another chance.

I'm not ready so the link will be to nowhere till at least tomorrow.

Apologies in advance for any offence but I won't take the chance that I miss the opportunity to reach members of the Groklaw community that I may never be in contact with again.

------

I'm hoping you guys will be able to help me out.

I've been silently standing on the sidelines here almost since the very beginning. I, like you, feel very deeply that what we have been watching happen here is an outrage.

Watching monopolies desperately trying to destroy the open-source world like a bunch of petulant toddlers makes me want to bang my fists and smash things with rage. (Yes I do see the irony there.)

I have, for a long time, felt powerless to do anything about it but I have come to a decision to make a stand.

The real problem is that we lack the sort of wealth and influence that the corporate elite possess. We are forced to contend with them on a battlefield of their choosing with little or no resources.

I think it is about time we stopped putting up with that and started fighting fire with fire.

If we want to win this war we need to acquire more money and influence than our opponents and, ludicrous as that idea seems on the surface, I don't think it's something that is beyond the realm of possibility.

You see the thing is that the businesses that we face here are either monopolists or practising outmoded models, they are desperately trying to hang on to a way of doing business that has been out-evolved. They look on the surface like the 800lb Gorillas but in reality they are more like Giant Pandas. They are tottering on the edge of extinction because they are too myopic to realize that their ecological niche has gone or that they are in the process of destroying it with their own stupid greed.

So here's what I plan to do and what I think I can achieve given a bit of help.

I plan to buy Nokia.

I think Nokia could easily be re-organized into a vastly profitable enterprise and its enormous collection of patents could be used to beat the snot out of the trolls and proprietary monopolists. I think a licensing scheme similar to the GPL could be created that forced everyone in the mobile space to 'share and share alike' and to compete on merit rather than in litigation.

I want to create something that is inherently, by its very nature, what Google promised to be but does not seem to be able to execute on.

I don't want to go on and on here, so I have laid out my ideas in a blog (http://thedarienproject.blogspot.com/) that I have created for the purpose and I'm inviting anyone who is interested to go over there, read what I have to say and to give me a good kicking.

This forum represents some of the most insightful and best qualified people in the world to understand what is really going on in our economy here and therefore some of the best motivated to do something about it. I can't think of anyone else I would rather have criticizing and critiquing my plans and hopefully together we can find a way to build a better future, free of the sort of destructive corporate cancer that seems to be sucking the life out of our economies.

Thanks in advance for any help that any of you are willing to give. Hopefully one day we will all be able to look back on the 'patent-wars' and laugh at just how easy it was to deal with the bullies once we stood up to them.

Yours gratefully, in perpetuity
Chris Hanlon
Founder
The Darien Project

about a year ago
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UK Police Launch Campaign To Shut Down Torrent Sites

crizh Re:Improper use of police powers and public funds (244 comments)

Foreign multi-nationals that pay taxes on their earnings?

Rarer than hens teeth over here.

What we need to do is serve serious crime notices to the Copyright Cartel. Once we have a proper free market in copyrighted content we can take the money we save and spend it on something useful. Like hospitals or a police force that can afford to pursue real crime.

about a year ago
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Browser tabs I have open right now ...

crizh Re:Over 1000 (300 comments)

Quite the opposite, I find.

Tabs grow in a Window in an organic manner, spreading out from the threads that spawned them in a way specific to where and when I encountered them. Not only is it easier to find them but the very patterns that they form contain information about them that would be lost if the were bookmarked or otherwise organised.

I suppose it might be possible to categorize everything that interests me in a way that preserved that information but the effort involved would be significant compared to opening them in a new tab and leaving that tab open until it no longer holds my immediate attention.

I periodically weed my tab collection and close stuff or bookmark it if it seems fitting but the core collection of tabs are pretty consistent.

I find this aids my thought processes. It is so easy to get distracted and forget what one was thinking or reading hours/days/weeks ago, it is immensely helpful to have it all still lying open in front of you exactly where you left it when it first caught your attention.

about a year ago
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Browser tabs I have open right now ...

crizh Re:Over 1000 (300 comments)

I can only assume you are joking.

Four or five hundred seems to be the upper bound of the point where Firefox becomes unusable. It crashes so often and operates so slowly that it becomes a log jam.

about a year ago
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Browser tabs I have open right now ...

crizh Re:every link (300 comments)

I am using tabs the way I want to use them.

Seems to me that is exactly what they were designed for, to avoid doing all that fiddly nonsense you have just described.

I could just use Lynx. I don't because it sucks for the way I desire to browse the Web.

I'm telling you that this is how I, and presumably many others, want to use our browsers.

I even suggested that I might even be willing to pay money to see this functionality of browsers improved.

'You're doing it wrong' is a ludicrous and unconstructive response.

about a year ago
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Browser tabs I have open right now ...

crizh Re:every link (300 comments)

Looks like I've got about 240 tabs open at the moment.

That's pretty conservative for me, it's often much worse. I like having my train of thought where I can see it and access it instantly.

It annoys me that it causes so much instability in Firefox, I seem to recall sometime about 4.0 it was supposed to stop hogging memory with inactive tabs, never worked properly unfortunately. Is it really beyond the ken of man to suspend an inactive tab to disk and release the memory?

Mind you, at least they don't do what Chrome does with tab size....

What's interesting is that memory use seems to gradually sky-rocket even if you don't open any extra tabs. I usually have about 3 crashes a day.

I can't be the only one in the world with this use case. Perhaps we should start a Kickstarter to fund sorting it out...

about a year ago

Submissions

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PJ shuttering Groklaw?

crizh crizh writes  |  1 year,1 day

crizh (257304) writes "In shock news, in response to recent revelations about pervasive government surveillance and the closure of Lavabit, Groklaw is to close. A decade of vigorous defence of FOSS starting with SCO and now the patent-wars may come to an end because Pamela doesn't feel she can continue to operate under the glare of the un-constitutional spotlight."
Link to Original Source

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