The W3C Sells Out Users Without Seeming To Get Anything In Return
'What do we get for that DRM?'
Did "we" vote on this? Let's look at their members list: Apple, AT&T, Facebook, Csico, Comcast, Cox, Google, Huawei, HP, Intel, LG, Netflix, Verizon, Yahoo!, Zynga and ... The Walt Disney Company. Seriously, are we really so daft that we sit here scratching our heads wondering why a consortium of those players and THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ended up including DRM? REALLY? There is a bill known as The Mickey Mouse Act in regards to excessive copyright that was passed into US law. And we're wondering how Disney might have influenced DRM as an option in a standard ... they're on the list, folks! Pull your heads out of your asses!
And those are just the companies I recognize that have a serious amount of money to be made on DRM (hello, Netflix?!). If I examine closer, there are much smaller players like, say, Fotosearch Stock Photography and Footage that sound like they would gladly vote for DRM in order to "protect" their products/satiate content owners.
Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades
only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere. Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040
Do they honestly believe there is some total quantity of emissions that can be tolerated? I mean as opposed to a rate of emissions - like annually. We know that the system recycles carbon taking it out of the atmosphere, and we know that the rate it's removed increases as the concentration increases. So if we assume there is a limit, it should be on the rate of carbon emissions and not the total emitted over time.
If you read the "Summary for Policymakers" PDF document linked in the summary, there is no talk of "total quantity of emissions tolerated" or any of this trillionth ton idea. Instead it appears to be talking about . In fact, it appears to reside solely in that New York Times article that very clearly says:
To stand the best chance of keeping the planetary warming below an internationally agreed target of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels and thus avoiding the most dangerous effects of climate change, the panel found, only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere.
Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040, according to calculations by Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the new report.
(emphasis mine) So to answer your question: The trillion tons is an estimate of what we would need to burn in order to hit an internationally agreed limit that would likely produce the worst effects of climate change. The number of tons we burn is even an estimate. It's all estimates because we don't have parallel Earths where we can keep controls and change one variable to see what happens. If you don't accept the ability of making estimates with levels of certainty, there is no way to make any statements about the effects of putting carbon into our atmosphere on a global scale.
These guys are looking dumber all the time.
I suppose it would appear that way if you only get your information from The New York Times and throw away everything they're actually saying.
Apple Faces New China Worker Abuse Claims
"All the false reporting" was one nutjob who was confusing journalism with stage performance. A stark difference between Mike Daisey and China Labor Watch is their falsifiable report that, unlike Daisey's heart wrenching anecdotal stories, can be checked.
At Pegatron, over 10,000 underage and student workers (interns), from 16 to 20 years of age, work in crowded production rooms, doing the same work as formal, adult workers. But some students are paid lower wages because schools deduct fees for the internship, while other students will not have their wages paid to them on time.
CLW’s investigations revealed at least 86 labor rights violations, including 36 legal violations and 50 ethical violations. The violations fall into 15 categories: dispatch labor abuse, hiring discrimination, women’s rights violations, underage labor, contract violations, insufficient worker training, excessive working hours, insufficient wages, poor working conditions, poor living conditions, difficulty in taking leave, labor health and safety concerns, ineffective grievance channels, abuse by management, and environmental pollution.
Did you read the report? It's got hard numbers and straight up accusations with defined conditions that can be checked. It's not like "I met a little girl who polished my iPhone." Instead it's like "A dorm room at Pegatron can accommodate 12 people. From Monday to Friday, residents have to clock-in within 24 hours or else they will be considered checked out of the dorm." or "The Pegatron factories had a list of discriminatory hiring practices, including refusing to hire people shorter than 4 foot 11 inches tall, pregnant women, those older than 35, people with tattoos, or people of the Hui, Tibetan, or Uighur ethnic groups."
Tesla Motors May Be Having an iPhone Moment
For all the whining and moaning about rich people, that seems to be how society advances often. A rich person's fad then becomes a commodity.
Yeah ... but I mean to call the Model S no longer a rich person's fad is stretching it. Their MSRPs for a 60 kWh car is $62,400. $72,400 for an 85 kWh and $87,400 for the 85 kWh with upgraded features. Is this really affordable? I thought I was living a pretty average lifestyle but I spent $6,600 on my current car ... Of course, if you're calling it the iPhone in that everyone else is buying it and I'm laughing at how much money they're spending on phones then, yes, it could be called the iPhone. Still very much a rich person's car though.
Jimmy Carter Calls Snowden Leak Ultimately "Beneficial"
Mod parent up.
We need more brave politicians to finally speak their minds about this instead of fearing the surveillance machine.
What are you talking about? There are plenty of politicians speaking their minds about Snowden -- but I don't know if I'd call them "brave." Looking at just the previous administration, George W. Bush:
I think he damaged the security of the country
And Dick Cheney:
Of course, as another poster mentioned, they've got nothing to lose same as Carter.
Why Yahoo and Marissa Mayer's Over Reliance On Alibaba Could Spell Trouble
What exactly does Yahoo sell? Do they even have a mission statement?
From several investor calls she has said:
“Yahoo is about making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining,”
Which is a little more positive and slightly better than Yahoo!'s previous mission statement:
"Now open up all your little fucking birdie mouths because Papa Yahoo!'s got a big juicy unwanted browser toolbar to slam down your goddamn throats."
Can OpenStack Avoid Fragmentation In China?
More recently, Chinese companies have gleefully gone on their own with Android,
What are you talking about? From that article they made a few comments about how they wish to move away from Google's Android. And actually here's the exact quote that sentiment was extrapolated from:
"Our country's mobile operating system research and development is heavily reliant on Android," according to a white paper from a research division of China's tech regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. "Although the Android system currently remains open source, the core technologies and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google."
That's a quote from some Chinese Ministry, not even a group of Chinese developers. I hear that more like "Chinese are reluctantly still installing Google's Android on most of their phones. Google's Android use still rising sharply in China with no end in sight." Can you point me to the Chinese repo for the forked source to android? Surely if it's widely distributed it must also make the source available?
'Gleefully gone their own way'? Yeah, tell you what, fork Android for China and let's compare the two code bases for support and worldwide use one year later. I suspect the glee will be entirely one-sided and it's not going to be China's Android.
Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie
Your objection is that it has a message you disagree with. In that sense, I agree with Card. It is intolerance. And closed-mindedness. If you refuse to listen to any argument against what you believe in, you must believe in a lot of things that aren't true.
But I've read all his arguments. I've actually read them all. I went from being a huge Card fan to deciding he shall no longer see a cent of my money and I will no longer read his work. That's not closed-mindedness. He's had his pedestal for quite some time and I'm done with him. I'm not stripping him of his first amendment rights, he can go to the town square and scream himself hoarse for all I care. What I'm stripping him of is my hard earned money that he uses to spread that message on the internet and in his community.
Would you buy fruit from a KKK vendor? Would you pay for magazines spouting racism just to make sure you are covering all your bases and hearing all arguments of the issue? No. Because that issue is settled in your mind and you no longer want to financially support the other side. I feel the same way about homosexual marriage. And from what I've read he's not providing any original viewpoints on this issue. So the guy's not getting one more ounce of my resources and on top of it, I'll let anyone know who brings him up what he's said in his newsletters and websites about equal rights of United States citizens.
Believe it or not, KKK members cannot offer you much better arguments for racism than they could a hundred years ago. And for that I'm not stupid enough to accuse you of being closed minded because you ignore their message today.
Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie
In my head, what youre doing to him is on par with what he is doing to homosexuals. Similarly you also have the "i do it because its right"-justification.
Is that a joke? He has a right to his religion. I get upset when that belief infringes on other people's rights. The Federal government has over a thousand laws referring to marriage. Many of those laws benefits couples living together like social security benefits, inheritance rights, etc. I am advocating this from an egalitarian standpoint that those people who are in love with each other are treated like any other pair of human beings consensually in love with each other. And yes, I think that trumps Mr. Card's horseshit religion or his lack of his ability to sit down with his dumbass children and say "Look, two people can love each other no matter what sex they are." But because he's afraid some bearded cloud God is going to fire and brimstone us, I cannot promote equal rights among human beings?
My justification isn't "I do it because it's right" you idiot, my justification is I do it because these laws are ridiculously unfair to a subset of the people who have done nothing wrong in the eyes of a secular government.
If you want to call it a "civil union" or whatever, that's fine. But I don't want employers or government offices calling some people "married" and other people "civil unioned" because that can lead to "second class" treatment and promotes discrimination among employers. In the eyes of the government, two humans should be able to marry each other with equal treatment and equal labeling.
Calling me intolerant on this issue makes no sense. I support freedom of religion but I'm not going to stand for some Christian version of sharia law in what claims to be a secular government.
Capitalism suffers from a lack of responsibility to know what you are supporting. A small group of people boycotting this movie is merely informing people what they are supporting. Just like I would boycott a company that pollutes.
Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie
If I cared about the views of the people behind the movies, or the actors... I wouldnt be able to watch any movies. I look forward to seeing this one, whether the author likes or dislikes gay people.
The primary problem is when he uses his artistic medium and influence to spread this message. Which he most certainly has:
In the first place, no law in any state in the United States now or ever has forbidden homosexuals to marry. The law has never asked that a man prove his heterosexuality in order to marry a woman, or a woman hers in order to marry a man.
Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. And, in fact, many homosexual men have done precisely that, without any legal prejudice at all.
Ditto with lesbian women. Many have married men and borne children. And while a fair number of such marriages in recent years have ended in divorce, there are many that have not.
So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage.
Translation: "Your entire life has to be a lie because I'm ignorant." And no, I do not go see Tom Cruise movies because he uses his stardom and money he gets from those movies to push a very dangerous religion! There are some issues where I flat out draw the line. I'm not boycotting Clint Eastwood because he's said some politically stupid stuff but there are some issues like homosexuality where I feel like I'm promoting ignorance if I promote those who think homosexuals should not have the same rights as heterosexuals. It's an egalitarian issue in my mind and I'm not going to see Ender's Game nor will I read the rest of the Shadow series.
China Environment Ministry Calls Itself One of Four Worst Departments In World
I found this paragraph particularly fascinating:
"The environment minister's admission came as a new study claimed that severe air pollution in northern China had slashed life expectancies there by more than five years compared to the south, potentially robbing 500 million Chinese of a total of 2.5 billion years of life"
Why stop there when the original research paper is fully available to all*?
* For values of "all" outside of China where it's probably considered "disharmonious."
China Environment Ministry Calls Itself One of Four Worst Departments In World
What are your list of the other three most embarrassing departments in our world?
Surely the Environmental Ministry cannot be as harmful as the Chinese Ministry preventing this quote from being carried in Xinhua, China Daily or any major news source in China?
Tell me about the uproar that must have erupted from North of the Huai River when it was announced that the lack of environmental compliance has reduced life expectancy on average by five years in the northern half of China. Show me the state sponsored news source that ran that story. Go ahead, compare that article with with this one. The latter makes it sound like it was second hand smoke as the primary source of limited life spans. It's like reading two completely different health reports!
Solve your censorship problem and you will solve a lot of your other problems. Just be prepared to see high turnover in your leadership -- something that has been needed for a very long time in China.
According To YouGov Poll, Snowden Support Declining Among Americans
Wow does this headline have things reversed.
Edward Snowden has been subjected to a month long attack campaign. This started with go after his girlfriend for being a pole dancer. It followed with other negative news stories and criticism by major politicians. From there there was a federal espionage indictment. He then had to flee the country and the USA has gone to extraordinary lengths putting pressure on countries to isolate him. The media has been mainly complicit. And after all that is approval rating has dropped a mere 5 points.
That's the story.
Submitter here and I'm afraid I'm going to have to outright disagree with you. I just don't see your events lining up with this recent drop in support. You're talking about months old efforts to discredit him that seemed to have little effect on his popularity. If you read the HuffPo article you'll see:
Much of the drop in support for Snowden's actions since the earlier poll appears to have taken place among Republicans, who were divided, 37 percent to 37 percent, on whether Snowden did the right thing in the previous poll, but in the latest poll said by a 44 percent to 29 percent margin that he did the wrong thing.
As fallout from his revelations ruin our foreign relations I think you'll see a lot of conservatives switch positions. This is simply a more plausible explanation. US as a power player in world politics and economics is simply higher on some people's agendas then their own damned privacy.
Zynga Puts Random Stranger In Customer Support Role
Instead, it belonged to Eric Mueller, who owns the domain themepark.com, which he uses for his web design firm.
Given Zynga's code of ethics (or lack thereof), I would wager this e-mail found its way into "their" product by way of their mission statement which probably transcends game ideas into directly taking web designs that are, by definition, available to anyone with an HTTP connection. Stay classy, Zynga.
US Director of National Intelligence Admits He Was Wrong About Data Collection
Then when the lie is outed, you try to soften it some by saying it was a mistake, an erroor, or I misspoke.
Don't overlook the other responses like one of the authors of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner's response:
As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the FBI’s interpretation of this legislation. While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses. The Bureau’s broad application for phone records was made under the so-called business records provision of the Act. I do not believe the broadly drafted FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.
Oh, so now instead of taking responsibility as the author of that which has threatened your constituents it's the fault of those who interpreted the law incorrectly. Surely, then, you will go after those who interpreted the law incorrectly for breaking the spirit of the law? No? You don't say ...
Or perhaps you'd like to hear George W. Bush's take on his responsibility for his administration allowing the Patriot Act to be passed:
Asked about an NSA program that tracks people's Internet activity, Bush said, "I put that program in place to protect the country. One of the certainties was that civil liberties were guaranteed."
So, we have another slam dunk certainty that civil liberties were guaranteed and as long as you keep saying that, it's true in your own little reality that no one else shares with you! Thank god those were guaranteed, right? RIGHT?
Firefox Takes the Performance Crown From Chrome
Neat test but I think the summary could at least clarify that the test system is Windows 8 64 Bit. It doesn't really mean a whole lot to me when I'm running a 64 bit distribution of GNU/Linux. Also the tests are selected by Tom's Hardware as a suite ... some of these tests are fairly meaningless to me and I feel like something like cold start time should be more heavily weighted than, say, hardware acceleration performance. The wait time on start up affects everyone and is unavoidable where hardware acceleration is nice but also not something I focus on. Also, why is a topic like "security" included in a "performance" test? I think standards compliance and security should be separated out to their own scores.
Is anyone reading this actually using Windows 8?
Supreme Court Overturns Defense of Marriage Act
I am having trouble understanding your post. The parts you quoting appear basically unrelated to your responses.
Basically your post demonstrates a failed understanding that there are many marriage laws at the federal level. To say "Good! The US should stay out of it." makes about as much sense as saying "We should have no federal laws regarding marriage." This includes laws like federal tax laws being applied to married couples.
To recap, the federal government had to weigh in one way or another because they had a large amount of legislation that refers to "marriage." And the opposing sides in this issue actually view either ruling as the federal government sticking its nose in people's personal business. The anti-gay marriage crowd saw DOMA as the status quo and will likely view this overturning of DOMA as the federal government getting involved with dictating what is and isn't a marriage. Conversely the status quo was unacceptable to a small group.
Ethically this is a black and white issue and DOMA should have been overturned. But saying the federal government should butt out is not so cut and dried. Your post seemed to say it's just a marriage certificate and "News flash: gay couples live as married couples whether you like it or not." This is completely the wrong way to look at this, they were not receiving the same benefits as heterosexual married couples and saying "gay couples live as married couples" shows you don't understand the significance of DOMA being overturned. Now surviving spouse benefits will apply to one member of a gay couple same as it would to a member of a heterosexual couple. And that's just one of many things that heterosexual couples were enjoying that homosexual couples could not.
Supreme Court Overturns Defense of Marriage Act
Anyway, this is great. People think that preventing gay marriage is somehow taking a stand against homosexuality or something. News flash: gay couples live as married couples whether you like it or not.
You clearly have not been following this issue. This wasn't just about a marriage certificate. This was also about the thousand or so federal laws that applied only to heterosexual couples now also applying to homosexual couples that are married.
Now they can truly be viewed as equal couples in the eyes of the federal government and, most importantly, receive the same exact treatment -- good or bad -- in the federal legislation for married couples.
The only thing banning the marriage certificate does is punish them for being gay.
What rock have you been living under for the past decade?
Interview: Ask Jon "maddog" Hall What You Will
First I praise you for your work and your goals -- they are refreshing compared to "please investors." But one of the keywords in your goals statements for Project Cauã is "capitalistic" as in "do all of this in a capitalistic, sustainable way, with little or no money coming from government." This mildly confuses me. I don't see FOSS as directly contradictory to capitalism but your goal of "triple or quadruple the number of FOSS developers in the world" seems, well, a little more public domain oriented than private industry, ownership and other tenants of capitalism. To put my question bluntly, why even pay petty lip service to capitalism when your goals of reducing electronic landfills, free-of-charge wireless and increasing user security are just not monetarily rewarded by the free market? These goals are about empowering people and protecting our future environment, how precisely does that align with capitalism? I understand how your job creation might benefit the economy but I don't understand how you're going to actually create these jobs. What companies are you talking to that have positions for these jobs? Most countries can't even pay to create jobs -- I'm sure several leaders would gladly put down billions of dollars if it meant magically creating productive and sustainable jobs, what is Project Cauã doing differently?
The IRS vs. Open Source
Did they think it was a for-profit scam, or did they just not understand the approach?
I'm very pro-open source but it appears that the fear from the Internal Revenue Service was that companies were figuring out ways to dodge taxes by moving developers to 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organizations and then paying them in "donations" after the software was released thereby avoiding some federal and state income taxes to what normally would be their regular employees. Basically you would be setting up an educational or scientific group of your own developers, you would be able to pay them less due to 501(c) income tax leveraging and at the end of the day you'd still get your commercial software designed for you under an Open Source license. This, of course, by and large does not happen nor is there any evidence of it (I'd imagine very few open source developers even get paid for it) but was it really so wrong for the IRS to watch out for it? Even if they're not engaging of what the IRS would call "non-linear compensation" you might still be able to pay developers as employees of the 501(c) their regular wages with far less tax.
I mean, are we going to sit here and bitch and moan about corporate tax avoidance in our country and then freak out when the IRS investigates if Open Source groups are being abused in the same manner?
Is it really that wrong for the IRS to identify points of abuse and to look out for them? My gut says they should be able to identify and investigate but perhaps I just can't imagine how they would abuse that ability if they present a legitimate reason. Seems like they had a legitimate reason to watch for unlawful activity, unless I'm missing something?
Rhode Island's "Kingdoms of Amular"
Phygg: Reader Voted Prepublication Academic Papers
There's a new site called Phygg.com that is a cross between the arxiv physics feed and Digg.com in that you can read papers up for prepublication and then vote them up or down. I think this poses an interesting new step in peer review and academic journals in that it gives the public a chance to participate in reading and voting on papers. From there, the journals can separate the wheat from the chaff. While it's not exactly innovative (digg + arxiv = phygg), it'll be interesting to see if people take to it and how good the general public will be at reading lengthy physics papers. MIT's Tech Review has a short blog on the launching.
Arcade Fire's HTML5 Experience
Futurama is Back!
Google's Exit Announcement as Covered in China's News
"China's Internet is open," said Jiang. "China has tried creating a favorable environment for Internet," said Jiang while responding to a question on Google's possible retreat.
"China welcomes international Internet companies to conduct business within the country according to law," she said. "China's law prohibits cyber crimes including hacker attacks."
And also on that day, they seemed to write off the hacker attacks on Google as a global problem while quoting an unnamed 'senior Chinese information official' (later given only as 'Wang') as saying:
"China's Internet is open to the world.... China is a victim of and firmly opposes cyber attacks," he said, noting the number of overseas cyber attacks on Chinese mainland websites in 2008 had increased by 148 percent over the previous year.
This last article is quite interesting in that it shifts the attention back to pornography and illicit materials, blaming those squarely on other countries. It is assumed this is to reinforce their stated right to enforce censorship on Google. And even placing the onus on other countries to:
"take active and effective measures to strengthen management of the Internet and make sure their problems do not affect other countries' cyber order."
Of course, the China Daily article ends with verbage like 'providing a favorable environment for the healthy development of minors' and calls on the government to 'ensure that information flow on the Internet is smooth and timely, and secure and orderly.'
Now, on to today, the fifteenth of January. It seems the goal here is to deflate the impact that Google's exit would have. China Daily has a story of none other than Steve Ballmer's compliance saying:
"I don't understand how that helps anything. I don't understand how that helps us and I don't understand how that helps China," Ballmer said.
Earlier on Thursday, Ballmer told CNBC Microsoft had no plans to exit China: "We've been quite clear, we're going to operate in China, we're going to abide by the law."
Really, this article is a consolidation of American news reports on Microsoft's plans in China. A clear sign that Microsoft is willing to play ball, why can't Google?
Then later, the Ministry of Commerce attempts to take the wind out of Google's sails by saying that not only have they not heard anything from Google yet but:
"Foreign investors should have confidence in China's market as China has the world's biggest Internet population," said Yao. "Any decision by Google to withdraw from China will not affect Sino-U.S. trade relations."
China Daily also appears to call Google's bluff and curiously offers new quotes from the prior day's briefing with Jian Yu:
"Relevant measures taken by the Chinese government are consistent with international conventions."
China Daily paraphrases experts as saying that the 'government will by no means compromise.' Another news article shows no support from the twenty other victims of the attack (aside from Yahoo, who hasn't been mentioned until now) that Google reported and they wrap that up with concerns that an exit from China will hurt Google's stock.
The best part might be the sour grapes editorial from a reader that claims 'Google.cn simply cannot compete with its main domestic rival, Baidu.com' which is completely true in search. But overlooks the previous day's comments from users as saying they were concerned about their Google mail, their access to Google Maps, Google docs and the slough of other services Google provides aside from search.
All of this sounds like a pretty firm "We're shocked you would consider this and don't understand why you are making such a mistake. We will continue to censor to protect our citizens and will not budge an inch for you. Ball's in your court." Well? Will Google act, stall or fold?
Five MST3K Episodes on Hulu
There are now at least five Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes up on Hulu! They are "The Starfighters (Mike)," "Secret Agent Super Dragon (Joel)," "Monster A-Go-Go (Joel)," "The Rebel Set (Joel)," and "The Giant Gila Monster (Joel)." Could we be lucky enough to enjoy the rest of MST3K on Hulu in the future?
Aussie Scientologists Strike Back
Like a lot of countries, Australia doesn't quite know what to make of Scientologists. Okay, some Aussies just can't stand 'em. Australia's Daily Telegraph sends about an effort called Youth for Human Rights, a thinly veiled Scientologist front launched to teach kids about human rights. So, if L. Ron Hubbard (scifi author and founder of the Church of Scientology) made your list of Human Rights leaders, where would you put him? This "informative" resource puts him ahead of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. I little bit of legwork casts more evidence of Youth for Human Rights real motives. With a whois turning up registration at 1332 L Ron Hubbard Way. Are you familiar with that address? Xenu-Directory is. So what's the problem? Well, these videos and booklets are being distributed and aimed at Year 6 students and there's absolutely no indication in the material that this is linked to the Church of Scientology. In fact, a warning has gone out to not use any of these materials inside the classroom. Perhaps Australia's inquiry by Senator Xenu ... I mean Xenophon into the CoS is long overdue and it's time everyone look more closely at their international efforts.
The Music Service Oddity that is BlueBeat.com
- A music service undercutting everyone else by 75%.
- A DRM-less product from a company that initially sued everyone for not using DRM -- a company called Media Rights Technology!
- You can stream whatever you want from the site, whole albums or songs!
- The company doing this is in the United States of America. Where individuals are fined to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars for sharing songs. What then, does BlueBeat imagine will happen to them legally?
So what am I missing here? Has MRT lost it? Is this a marketing tactic where they receive a DMCA take down, adhere to it and send e-mails to users asking them to delete their MP3s as their ToS says they can do? And from there just keep hosting songs that labels are too lazy to DMCA away? Something stinks but if you bought 100 songs for 25 dollars from BlueBeat and then kept using them, who would be breaking the law? You or BlueBeat?
The Patent Lawsuit Explosion in Eastern Texas
- Aircraft Technical Publishers vs. Avantext Inc. et al which entails 'the reproduction of computer-based information and data concerning the airworthiness requirements and other directives relating to non-commercial aircraft.'
- Realtime Data LLC dba IXO vs. Morgan Stanley et al which entails 'the rights to four U.S. patents relating to data compression.' (6,624,761, 7,161, 506, 7,400,274, 7,417,568)
- SFA Systems LLC vs. 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. et al which entails an Integrated Computerized Sales Force Automation System. And how do you infringe on that? 'By making and using supply chain methods, sales methods, sales systems, marketing methods, marketing systems and inventory systems.' SFA claims, "As a result of the above Defendants' infringement of the '525 Patent, SFA has suffered monetary damages ... in an amount not yet determined, and will continue to suffer such monetary damages in the future unless Defendants' infringing activities are permanently enjoined by this court," the complaint states."
Three cases every week should clog up the system. One has to wonder at the number of case titles ending with "et al" and also in relationship to software patents. A patent system that allows patents for data compression combined with Eastern District of Texas Court might be what we need for this powder keg to ignite and the power drunken sot that is the USPTO admit it has a problem.
The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem
Stan Hazelton from the U.S. Delegation immediately threw the hall into a frenzy by emphatically repeating: 4, 6, 11, and therefore 22; 5, 9 hence 22; 3, 7, 2, 11, from which it followed that 22 and only 22!! Someone jumped up, saying yes but 5, and what about 6, 18, or 4 for that matter; Hazelton countered this objection with the crushing retort that, either way, 22. I turned to the number key in his paper and discovered that 22 meant the end of the world.
The Futurologists in this novel are probably best described as each one being a less optimistic Ray Kurzweil in that they all seem to be spouting their own version of obstacles humanity is soon to face and consequently their ideas to remedy it. For instance the second delegate from Japan unveils a 10,000:1 model of a housing complex some 800 stories tall with self sustaining everything and mobile in the ocean! It's the future! In fact, everything is recycled! Even the food is recycled waste and excrement from the people. The sausage left out in the hall is actually reconstituted human waste (at which point everyone in the audience stops eating and shuffles the food underneath their seats). This sets the tone for a few of the minor themes of the novel and gives you an idea of how Lem takes subtle jabs at everyone. For example another United States delegate takes the floor to talk about population problems that are rapidly developing. He outlines seven solutions: "mass media and mass arrests, compulsory celibacy, full-sale deeroticization, onanization, sodomization, and for repeated offenders--castration." The book makes other references to population control and one character notes that continuing trends of population would eventually result in human beings exploding outward at the speed of light. Nature is addressed in an equally hilarious means as later in the book all animals have been extinct and replaced with what appear to be better controlled robots.
While in his room, Tichy makes the mistake of drinking the water and discovers that the water is spiked with a powerful hallucinogenic drug. He assumes it's the work of the revolutionaries and decides not to tell anyone but as the violence outside escalates and he mentions it to a fellow futurologist, he discovers that it is the rise of chryptochemocracy! With the hotel's staff, he quickly equips a gas mask as it becomes clear that chemical warfare is afoot ... of a psychedelic nature. Planes are called in equiped with LTN bombs. LTN stands for "Love Thy Neighbor" which is pretty indicative of today's munitions and their goals with surgical strikes. Hilariously enough, the very hotel in which the congress is convening is immediately bombed by mistake.
After pages of chemical warfare that affect the crowd's temperament and counter chemicals that affect the crowd's temperament, Tichy and a friend find oxygen tanks and masks and descend to the sewers where the hotel staff is relaxing comfortably with their own oxygen tanks and masks.
Unfortunately, Tichy and his companion do not have enough oxygen to last the night and therefore must take shifts suffering hallucinations. What follows from this point is a series of hallucinations that Tichy has ending in him coming to in the sewer. Tichy has several of these bizarre hallucinations ending in him being shot by revolutionaries in the sewer. He comes to certain that he is still hallucinating and refuses to believe anyone he is not. As a result, they freeze him until they can find a cure for his mental illness and he is unthawed many years later in a reality where 'psychemicals' keep everyone happy. This overmedicated society disgusts and frightens Tichy at times. It has gotten so bad that a company now exists where you can order a psychem that allows you the satisfaction of doing evil upon another person. Murder's no longer a problem, you just get reanimated. The worst possible offense is using psychems on an individual without their consent.
Tichy attempts to adapt and I couldn't help but be reminded of Fry in Futurama with similar humor employed nearly thirty years before it. As Tichy reconnects with his futurologist friend (people stopped dying as technology caught up a la Kurzweil), he discovers something unsettling about the drugs everyone is taking. He discovers that there's mascons that act as blockers to your senses and replace it with a superficial reality. And we start to understand why everything is so mysteriously idyllic while at the same times animals have been extinct for many years and the planet is at an overburdening 26 billion people. Tichy's friend hands him two vials that will unblock the layers of mascons. You see, the 'architects' of this current psychem reality have patched and repatched side effects of psychems and mascons with more psychems and mascons in the air and water supply! I'll leave The Matrix-like vials and harsh transition from utopia to dystopia for people interested in reading the book.
This book was a joy to read and although the very end is a bit dissatisfying to me, the satire and pessimism inherent to Lem's writings have influenced me and continue to influence me heavily. I like to think that Lem borrowed from sci-fi writers like Philip K. Dick and that other science fiction authors like Douglas Adams have borrowed from Lem despite the language barrier and difference in culture. While Lem may not be the icon that Lovecraft, Clarke and Asimov have become, I certainly hope that people recognize his large corpus of works for more than just Solaris as I've enjoyed many novels by him. Lem offers a rare dark comedy in science fiction with The Futurological Congress.
You can pick up the English version of The Futurological Congress at Amazon . And catch the Ari Folman movie where the present day will be live action while the unfathomable future will be animated to adapt to the stark impossibilities the book portrays.
Fan Mail from email@example.com
Subject: Why must you lie on Slashdot? Or is it that you're stupid?
So, the question is, are you just a REALLY bad reader, or are you that guy who has to lie because intelligent discourse is beyond his intellectual capability?
Subject: God, why are you such a lying piece of shit?
"Excuse me, how did we go from sarcasm and suing:
(1) get another job, (2) sue people, or (3) invent some magic spell?"
WE didn't, YOU did. WE understood what he meant from the start and didn't have to resort to straw men and lies like you have
Subject: God, you've PROVEN you don't read what you're responding to
HE ALREADY STATED, IN THE POST YOU ARE "REPLYING" TO THAT HE ISN'T PUBLISHED BY OREILLY.
"First, O'Reilly isn't really my publisher"
How fucking stupid are you?
Yeah, I was wrong, I would like to send my apologies to Steve Stephenson who is employed at ecinstall.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was confused with his publisher, I am completely straightened out thanks to your extreme language. You, truly, you sir are the epitome of "intelligent discourse" as yo put it. Never have I matched wits with someone so intelligent. I only wish more people like you would send me mail so I could finally decide to stop visiting Slashdot when I am bored.
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Massive Music Contributions to Wikimedia Commons?
- Music with historical significance--a very small group.
- Music with no historical significance although popular enough that people may be interested in hearing samples of it--a very very large group.
- Music with not only no historical significance but so obscure that no one could ever possibly care--a decent amount (example Zager & Evans' In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus) album).
So before I start this endeavor and devote a lot of time to it, I have been trying to find the answers to a few questions you might be able to help me with: Will all of this be torn down? Just from group 3? Just from group 2? Does Wikipedia care about the "encyclopedic worthiness" of audio files? If there is a page for a fairly obscure album like Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team, would they like clips from every track on the album or just the popular tracks like "Huddle Formation?"
All the info I can find out there seems to be photo oriented and revolve around license disputes when marked for deletion ... but I feel I am sitting on a large volume of music and could spend some extra time carefully documenting it on Wikipedia for everyone's benefit. Is it worth my time or will I face an epic culling (like the anima/manga fans) in the future once word gets out about it?
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