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Comments

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Leaked Heartland Institute Documents Reveal Opposition To Science

esocid Re:dont try to fucking rationalize this. (615 comments)

You better have some damn FUCKING GOOD PROOF of the bad outcomes to justify taking away ANY of anyones freedoms.

What happens when you get all the freedom constraining policies you want and it either

a. Doesn't fix the problem. or b. Has no affect.

The government will just say "oops, sorry" right.

We already have dire predictions from over 20 years ago that HAVE NOT HAPPENED.

All I am saying is that I think technology has the potential to save us from global warming and I think government regulation does not.

In fact I think new technology is the only solution to the global warming problem.

With all due respect, you are a tool.

Regulation of CFCs.

more than 2 years ago
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Angry Birds Boss Credits Piracy For Popularity Boost

esocid Re:Or your PR dept. (Rovio is lying) (321 comments)

Your entire comment is based on a false premise. Where did Rovio say that they don't pursue the removal of copies of their game not distributed through their channels? They didn't take anyone to court, they asked xda to remove the apks in question. It's not a dichotomy between turning a blind eye and suing consumers. They acknowledged that piracy got their name out, and instead of taking the MAFIAA route, they take the route of not alienating and punishing their consumers.

about 2 years ago
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Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace To Google: Don't Be Evil

esocid Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (208 comments)

You're spot on. I can't even fathom how ridiculously idiot this whole debate is. Facebook and Twitter don't want Google to index them? Fine. They don't get to complain about a decision that they, themselves, made.

more than 2 years ago
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Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy

esocid Fuck RIAA/MPAA (1005 comments)

The $500 million figure is based on speculation by the MAFIAA. Looks like we didn't even have to wait for SOPA/PIPA. It's already here.

I also don't understand how they got the Netherlands to raid their servers...

more than 2 years ago
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US Supreme Court Upholds Removal of Works From Public Domain

esocid Only This International Treaty? (380 comments)

It's sort of strange that of all the international treaties, this is the one that is going to be enforced in the US. /not that I agree with it at all.

more than 2 years ago
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Russian Official Implies Foul Play In Mars Probe Failure

esocid Re:No (451 comments)

There's also the possibility that it was our fault, and completely unintentional. If the signals from Alaska did in fact have any responsibility for the damage, I doubt anyone would come out and say "our bad."

more than 2 years ago
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Should Science Rethink the Definition of "Life"?

esocid Re:Dumb article (299 comments)

I inferred NASA meant life of the Earth variety, if they ever wanted to colonize it. But I agree, their definition isn't perfect.

more than 2 years ago
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New Study Confirms Safety of GM Crops

esocid Re:That's nice.. (571 comments)

4. crop monoculture

There's the biggest one. I'd have no problem eating GMOs. My concern is that >90% of the cereal grains grown in the US are genetically identical. Did no one learn anything from the potato blight? If our crops are so identical, what happens when they encounter some pathogen that can wipe them out? 90% of our crops are susceptible, and I don't like those odds. Genetic diversity is the spice of life.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Wins Injunction Banning Import of HTC Devices

esocid Re:Evil Monopoly (314 comments)

Yeah, but this patent adds "on a touchscreen device that makes calls and has rounded corners."

eh? eh?

more than 2 years ago
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Google Wallet Stores Card Data In Plain Text

esocid Re:You know what else store CC numbers in cleartex (213 comments)

The good news is that viaForensics confirmed that the app does repel man-in-the-middle attacks, and is protected by a PIN to conduct transactions with the cards.

Isn't that the important part? If someone steals my phone (which is encrypted btw - galaxy nexus ftw) they're going to have an easier time just grabbing my wallet to make fraudulent charges.

more than 2 years ago
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Site Offers History of Torrent Downloads By IP

esocid Uncovered hypocrisy (340 comments)

https://torrentfreak.com/busted-bittorrent-pirates-at-sony-universal-and-fox-111213/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Torrentfreak+(Torrentfreak)
Torrentfreak found some juicy hypocrisy going on:

First up is Sony Pictures Entertainment. As shown below, on this single IP-address alone a wide variety of music and movies have been downloaded. And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, as YouHaveDownloaded only tracks about 20% of all public BitTorrent downloads. Another Hollywood studio where it’s not uncommon to download music, TV-shows and movies is NBC Universal. The employee(s) behind one of the IP-addresses at the Fort Lauderdale office in Florida downloaded the first season of ‘Game of Thrones,’ some trance music, a DVD of ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, and much more. And then there are the fine upstanding people at Fox Entertainment checking out the work of a competing studio. Perhaps downloading ‘Super 8 can be branded as “market research,” but in this instance actually paying for the DVD might be more appropriate. After all, when Fox notices that one of their own movies has leaked online they quickly contact the FBI to get the offender jailed. Ouch.

more than 2 years ago
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Does Mega Media Control 90% of Content?

esocid No he doesn't (231 comments)

He disputes that there is some big agenda. He admits that a few companies have consolidated almost all media outlets, but like most people, doesn't think there's some agenda to pour out crappy media. Those companies do it just fine independently.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Loses Tablet Battle In Australia

esocid Re:Over in France (159 comments)

Because he linked to Florian's blog, and used "Samesung," get it? Samesung....I see what you did there.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Loses Tablet Battle In Australia

esocid Re:denied with costs? (159 comments)

What about the potential of lost sales during those 2 months?

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Loses Tablet Battle In Australia

esocid Re:denied with costs? (159 comments)

(Oh, and falsifying legal documents.)

Oh, I haven't heard this one. Go ahead, I could do with a laugh.

Altering the aspect ratio of images in legal documents to make differently shaped objects look like the Apple devices I believe is what he's referring to. And what do you mean it doesn't have a bezel. What do you call that area around the screen?

more than 2 years ago
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EU Targets Apple In Ebook Investigation

esocid Re:I realized this (99 comments)

I don't doubt it, it's just counter-intuitive. Thanks for the source, I'll check it out.

more than 2 years ago
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EU Targets Apple In Ebook Investigation

esocid Re:I realized this (99 comments)

My thought was more towards inherent costs, and artificial supply/demand. Physicals carry not only costs to print, bind, but to distribute. Shipping 12 crates of books should cost more than uploading an e-book to a source. When the book is in short supply, and it is in demand, the cost should go up. That is practically an impossibility for an e-book. I'm not sure exactly where you're pointing me. I read through the ebook section and only saw this bit:

At the same time, something's going to have to give on pricing. Treating ebooks as a parallel imprint, equivalent to hardcovers or paperbacks, is insane. Rather, we need ebooks with variable pricing — moderately cheaper than the corresponding paper edition (to reflect the reduced cost of production), and dropping steadily over time.

I completely understand its more from publishers and retailers that this cost comes, and that what I'm specifically addressing/complaining about. Something which _should_ have less overhead, _should_ cost less. Even 2$ less would convince me to not buy in print. And again, that _should_ give more money to authors, although I doubt it does.

more than 2 years ago
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EU Targets Apple In Ebook Investigation

esocid I realized this (99 comments)

When I wanted to buy a book, and discovered that the hardcover was cheaper than the e-book....So I bought the hardcover.

There is no _reasonable_ explanation as to why a physical book should be cheaper than 1s and 0s.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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The HUD As The New Desktop Manager

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu Project, is proposing the next direction for desktop managers, focusing on interaction and intent.

Even casual users find typing faster than mousing. So while there are modes of interaction where it’s nice to sit back and drive around with the mouse, we observe people staying more engaged and more focused on their task when they can keep their hands on the keyboard all the time. Hotkeys are a sort of mental gymnastics, the HUD is a continuation of mental flow.

It’s smart, because it can do things like fuzzy matching, and it can learn what you usually do so it can prioritise the things you use often. It covers the focused app (because that’s where you probably want to act) as well as system functionality; you can change IM state, or go offline in Skype, all through the HUD, without changing focus, because those apps all talk to the indicator system. When you’ve been using it for a little while it seems like it’s reading your mind, in a good way.

"

Link to Original Source
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UK Police Test "Temporarily Blinding" LASER

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Called the SMU 100 it costs £25,000 and sends out a three-metre "wall of light" that leaves anyone caught in it briefly unable to see. Designed by a former Royal Marine Commando, it was originally developed for use against pirates in Somalia. While tasers and CS gas work well over short distances the laser is said to be effective at up to 500 metres (1,640ft). Being targeted by the beam has been compared to staring into the sun before being forced to turn away.Paul Kerr, managing director of Clyde-based Photonic Security Systems, which came up with the design, said "If you can't look at something you can't attack it.""
Link to Original Source
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Corporate Claims On Public Domain YouTube Videos

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Corey Doctorow has written a Guardian column, "The pirates of YouTube," about how multinational copyright-holding companies have laid false claim to public domain videos on YouTube. The videos are posted by the nonprofit FedFlix organization, which liberates public domain government-produced videos and makes them available to the world. These videos were produced at public expense and no one can claim to own them, but multinationals from CBS to Discovery Communications have done just that, getting YouTube to place ads on the video that deliver income to their coffers. What's more, their false copyright claims could lead to the suspension of FedFlix's YouTube account under Google's rules for its copyright policing system. This system, ContentID, sets out penalties for "repeat offenders" who generate too many copyright claims — but offers no corresponding penalties for rightsholders who make too many false claims of ownership."
Link to Original Source
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Bill To Let Telemarketers Call Mobile Phones

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Current law bars telemarketing calls to cell phones unless the customer has given approval. The proposed change would allow prerecorded “informational” calls to be made to cell phones without consent, called the “Mobile Information Call Act” and would allow all sorts of nuisance calls to cell phones.
The sole Democratic sponsor stated

"Do we really want to stop FedEx or UPS using modern technology to deliver your holiday gifts on time? Of course not, but that is what we heard at the hearing is one consequence of this 20-year old law."

His statement is still at odds with the ability to give consent to receive such calls."
Link to Original Source

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Looking To Primordial Black Holes For Dark Matter

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "The primary objective of NASA’s Kepler satellite, which was launched in March 2009 to orbit the Sun, is to search for Earth-like planets in a portion of the Milky Way galaxy. But now a team of physicists has proposed that Kepler could have a second appealing purpose: to either detect or rule out primordial black holes (PBHs) of a certain mass range as the primary constituent of dark matter. PBHs have been considered as a candidate for dark matter since the 1970s. They are thought to have formed during the early universe from density perturbations that may have resulted from inflation, phase transitions, and possibly even the collapse of string loops.
The searches for particle dark matter at the LHC, and others, have so far come up empty handed, so PBHs are becoming more likely as candidates."

Link to Original Source
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'Google Earth' Like Application For Mars Surface

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "A new software tool developed by the HiRISE team in the UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab allows members of the public to download high-resolution images of the Martian landscape almost instantaneously and explore the surface of the Red Planet from their own desktops, similar to Google Earth. The images produced by HiRISE are in the gigabyte size range: Up to tens of thousands of pixels across and more than 100,000 pixels high, the images are big enough to be murals on your living room wall.

"You can really get into it in very interesting ways. The ability to see surface features from orbit around Mars and then to zoom right down onto the surface from HiRISE — that's breathtaking." said HiView developer Bradford Castalia

"

Link to Original Source
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Quantum Effects Suggests Links In Photosynthesis

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Researchers working together from the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, have found evidence that suggests quantum effects are at play in plants involving photosynthesis. Their paper, accepted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that a link between coherence and the way energy flows in plants exists. They gist of it is that energy transfers, and where the reactions take place occur with "near unity quantum efficiency," which could change how physics and microbiology explain photosynthetic processes."
Link to Original Source
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Google Activates Forward Secrecy SSL Feature

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Google has now enabled "forward secrecy" by default on all its search-traffic. What that means is that part of the key needed to decrypt the traffic is never stored, so that in the event of a security breach at Google, older, intercepted traffic can't be descrambled.

Other web sites have implemented HTTPS with forward secrecy before [...] but it hasn’t yet been rolled out on a site of Google’s scale. Some sites have publicly resisted implementing forward secrecy because it is more CPU intensive than standard HTTP or HTTPS. In order to address that problem, Google made improvements to the open source OpenSSL library, and has incorporated those changes into the library for anybody to use.

"

Link to Original Source
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Who Made Comics Downloading Big?

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "A discussion is going on about basically how the Streisand Effect is responsible for why downloading comics got so big. It involves a comic called "Letitia Lerner, Superman's Babysitter," by Kyle Baker with Liz Glass that was stopped by DC's publisher/president Paul Levitz, who ordered the whole run of Elseworlds 80 Page Giant #1 spiked, but not before shipments hit Europe. Even though the comic was never legally published, Baker won two Eisner awards for it and it was subsequently reprinted, thanks to comics fans who heard there was Kyle Baker stuff to be had online, learned to use torrent sites and to decode CBR files.

It happened when people couldn’t get copies of Captain America #25. It’s happening now with Miracleman, one of the more popular torrents out there, because it can’t be brought back into print. It’s happening in countries where legitimate versions aren’t available yet, if ever — witness fan-subbed manga and anime, or Doctor Who episodes. It’s happening more and more as publishers try to extract every last dime they can out of the existing fan base, placing themselves on the upper half of a Laffer curve.

"

Link to Original Source
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EDF Fined €1.5M, 4 Jailed, For Spying On Gree

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "EDF, a French energy company, has been fined €1.5 million and its head and deputy-head of nuclear operations have been jailed over its use of Kargus, a private security firm run by a former member of the French secret service, for using illegal surveillance techniques against Greenpeace. Greenpeace was campaigning against two new nuclear reactors in France. The then head of Kargus, Thierry Lorho, also received three years, and information specialist Alain Quiros two. EDF maintained that it had just asked Kargus to monitor the activists, and that the consultants had exceeded their remit, but justice Isabelle Prevost-Desprez disagreed, since Kargus had compiled a dossier on Greenpeace via means that included hacking into a computer belonging to former campaigns head Yannick Jadot."
Link to Original Source
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Viacom, "Decimated By Piracy," Gives CEO $50M Rais

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Philippe P. Dauman, CEO of Viacom, led executive compensation raises this year with a $50.5 million raise, bringing his total annual compensation up to $84.5 (the majority of the 148.6% raise came in stock options). It's curious because Viacom continues to argue that it is in danger of capsizing unless radical changes are made to prevent piracy. Warner Bros. was in the same boat, complaining about not being able to compete with piracy, yet setting a record quarter for income. It's curious how people and politicians still buy their lamentations."
Link to Original Source
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Pirate Party Invited To, And Banned From Gaming Ex

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Despite having booked and paid for their booth at Gamex, Sweden'½Â(TM)s largest gaming exhibition, the Pirate Party have been excluded from the action this week. The party, who say they were nagged for 2 to 3 months to book for the event, were this week informed they were too controversial and no longer welcome. All the big names in interactive entertainment are there showing off their wares, including giants such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Nintendo. Pirate Party leader Anna Troberg says that after the sales people from the exhibition pursued the party for months to participate, they decided to book and pay for a booth. “I thought it was a bit strange, but in the afternoon, the pieces fell into place when the fair manager, Bear Wengse, phoned me and kindly, but firmly, announced that the Pirate Party was no longer welcome at the fair.”

Wengse informed Troberg that the exhibition is a meeting place and not a venue for political conflict and the party’s presence could cause problems, particularly since some of their work “could be perceived as criminal.” Despite the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU) being allowed to appear – even though they too support the decriminalization of non-commercial file sharing."

Link to Original Source
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Oxford Prof. Questioned About Linking Internet Use

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of pharmacology at Oxford, apparently announced that computer games are causing dementia in children. Two months ago the same professor linked internet use with the rise in autism diagnoses (not for the first time), then pulled back when autism charities and an Oxford professor of psychology raised concerns. When [Ben Goldacre of The Guardian] raised concerns, she said I was like the epidemiologists who denied that smoking caused cancer. Other critics find themselves derided as sexist in the media.
If a scientist sidesteps their scientific peers, and chooses to take an apparently changeable, frightening, and technical scientific case directly to the public, then that is a deliberate decision, and one that can’t realistically go unnoticed. The lay public might find your case superficially appealing, but they may not be fully able to judge the merits of all your technical evidence. I think these serious scientific concerns belong, at least once, in a clear scientific paper. I don’t see how this suggestion is inappropriate, or impudent, and in all seriousness, I can’t see an argument against it."

Link to Original Source
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High Court Rules In Favor Of Top Gear Over Tesla S

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "In 2008, BBC's "Top Gear" aired an episode featuring the Tesla Roadster. One of the show's car reviewers, Jeremy Clarkson, gave a less-than-flattering analysis of the vehicle, sparking a legal case with the automaker that doesn't seem to be working out in Tesla's favor.
Now, it looks as though Tesla is losing this battle after a full-day hearing yesterday at the high court in London. "In my judgment, the words complained of are wholly incapable of conveying any meaning at all to the effect that the claimant [Tesla] misled anyone," said Tugendhat. "This is because there is a contrast between the style of driving and the nature of the track as compared with the conditions on a public road [...] are so great that no reasonable person could understand that the performance on the [Top Gear] track is capable of a direct comparison with a public road." The hearing now continues on Tesla's claim that "Top Gear" made five other false accusations about the Roadster. Tugendhat has postponed judgment on Tesla's malicious falsehood claim, and is expected to deliver a verdict in the coming weeks."

Link to Original Source
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Law Agencies Attempt To Seize MA Motel From Innoce

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Imagine you own a million-dollar piece of property free and clear, but then the federal government and local law enforcement agents announce that they are going to take it from you, not compensate you one dime—all this even though you have never so much as been accused of a crime, let alone convicted of one. That is the nightmare Russ Caswell and his family is now facing in Tewksbury, Mass., where they stand to lose the family-operated motel they have owned for two generations because occupants in less than 0.005% of the 125,000 rooms the Caswells have rented over 20 years, have been arrested.

The term for this is civil forfeiture. In 1986, the year after the U.S. Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund was created—the fund that holds the forfeiture proceeds from properties forfeited under federal law and available to be paid out to law enforcement agencies—took in just $93.7 million. Today it holds more than $1.6 billion."

Link to Original Source
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Website Sends Letters On Your Behalf To Opt-Out of

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "As game companies, , start to add conditions to their EULAs that prohibit class action suits for their negligence in handling your personal data, a collective of gamers called Gamers Opt Out have created a service that makes it easy to mail printed opt-outs from these conditions.
Gamers Opt Out is a collective of gamers who are sick of absurd EULAs from game companies. These EULAs have clauses preventing class-action lawsuits, though you can opt out of the clauses by sending a letter. We want to make it easier for everyone to opt out because Sony, EA, et al, believe most people won't bother to. Let's show them they're wrong.
We will make it easy for you to create the letter needed to send to these companies and can even send the letter on your behalf at no cost. All we ask is that if you like what we are doing, spread the word or donate to help with the cost of paper and postage."

Link to Original Source
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Thermite Reaction Responsible For WTC Collapse?

esocid esocid writes  |  about 3 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Christian Simensen, a senior SINTEF scientist believes that heat melted the aluminium of the aircraft hulls, and the core of his theory is that molten aluminium then found its way downwards within the buildings through staircases and gaps in the floor – and that the flowing aluminium underwent a chemical reaction with water from the sprinklers in the floors below. “Both scientific experiments and 250 reported disasters suffered by the aluminium industry have shown that the combination of molten aluminium and water releases enormous explosions,” says Simensen.

"Alcoa Aluminium carried out an experiment under controlled conditions, in which 20 kilos of aluminium smelt were allowed to react with 20 kilos of water, to which some rust was added. The explosion destroyed the entire laboratory and left a crater 30 metres in diameter." Extrapolate that to the 30 tons from the planes, and his theory has some weight to it, no pun intended. The article was published in the trade magazine http://www.aluminiumtoday.com/news/view/world-trade-center-paper-on-tv/aluminium-news/"

Link to Original Source
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Copyright Lobbyist Set Up in Senate Rotunda

esocid esocid writes  |  about 3 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "While the Senate is preparing to debate the PROTECT IP bill, the Copyright Alliance, a lobbying group "educational display" in the Senate Russell Building Rotunda. One wonders if the Senate allows such other totally biased parties to set up exhibits like that during debate on other bills.

Directly from their website: "The exhibit is an opportunity to showcase for lawmakers and visitors to the U.S. Capitol Complex the importance of copyright to creators across America...""

Link to Original Source
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Man Faces 75 Year Sentence For Recording Police

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "42-year-old Michael Allison of Illinois could spend the rest of his life in prison for recording police in public. He faces five counts of eavesdropping, a class one felony. The Illinois Assistant Attorney General has joined the case and told the judge that citizens do not have the constitutional right to record police."
Link to Original Source
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Apple Claims Samsung and Motorola Patent Monopoly

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

esocid (946821) writes "Apple lawyers are crying foul about Samsung, and the recent Google's acquisition of Motorola's allegedly "anticompetitive," use of patents. Apparently Apple is irate about these companies' countersuits, which rely largely on patents covering wireless communications, many of which are governed by the "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (F/RAND) principle, as they were developed as part of industry standards. Apple takes issue with the fact that Motorola in its countersuit declines to differentiate the 7 F/RAND patents in its 18 patent collection. Regardless of what Florian Mueller says, it's hard to dispute that the "rules" of F/RAND are largely community dictated and ambiguous.
Florian Meuller also states that Motorola's patents won't help Android, and thinks Samsung is still a copycat."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Should I depend on my former professor for a recommendation

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 5 years ago Since August I've been in a graduate program in Florida working on what I thought would be research that interested me. It turned out that my duties were misrepresented, as were the perks. Any talk of travel is now apparently reserved for PIs and senior researchers, and what I am doing in the lab is not in line at all with my background. My professor even mentioned "sort of talking me into it." He and I have decided it is best for both of us to "end the semester on a high note," so to speak but seem to have ended the professional relationship positively. I am still in the lab for the remainder of the semester and will finish out my contract.
My question lies in should I depend on my soon-to-be former adviser for a recommendation? I only ask this because of what seems like some fishy treatment. The lab is divided into two rooms, one with really expensive equipment, and one with not so expensive equipment. It appears I am no longer trusted to have access to the expensive room when the lab manager is not present, who shuts and locks the door between them. While I understand protecting ones investment it is insulting to get a very clear message of "we don't trust you anymore." My weekly meetings seem to have ceased as well. While I do not slack on my work, it has taken me some time to get a handle on the lab techniques, as I had no previous experience. I am going to continue going about my work and hope that I can further the project and at least salvage a professional contact out of this as well, but beyond using a friend to fake a job reference call, how should I determine if it will help or hurt me to have him as a reference?

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Engineers and technicians

esocid esocid writes  |  about 6 years ago For anyone out that who has worked on...anything...has it ever run across your mind, while you are cursing the engineers into oblivion, why in the hell did they design it like this? My frustration has come mainly from working on cars. I own a 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme that has not given me much in the way of headaches. It did always confuse me as to why 1/2 of the bolts on it are metric and the other half american. The worst things I ever had to replace were the engine mounts. My most recent tirade of swear words came when replacing the upper control arm on my 1997 Ford Explorer (I'll forgo explaining all the reasons I hate this car for now) and was the 2nd time within a year I've replaced the thing. There are two large bolts that mount it to the frame, one of which was no sweat. The other was buried underneath fuel lines, brake lines, and 4 inches away from the frame when the bolt itself is longer than that. I had to force the steel lines out of the way and manage to tilt the bolt up and out all while having my hand dangerously crammed in some tiny space. It took about 3 hours to replace the part, the majority of which was spent on removing one bolt. Another example: I had to replace the third brake light above the rear window. First of all, I'd like to know why someone decided it would be a great idea to put a neon cathode tube with a ballast-transformer as a brake light. Second, why was this thing enclosed with rivets? To replace it you must drill out the rivets, removed the light assembly, bake it in the oven and use something to dissolve the glue they used to seal the assembly. You could simply replace the assembly for a mere $300+ or make yourself an LED array like I, and many others, did for about $10. Is it that engineers never think of maintenance when designing products, or is it that managers pressure them to do it to the lowest common denominator - cost efficiency? I have come across this with electronics, but with less frequency, and mostly with printers, but why are mechanical devices designed so difficultly to repair?

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Alternatives To Java As a Cross-Platform Language

esocid esocid writes  |  more than 6 years ago I have used, not programmed, Java since it has been in major public use I guess, and it has spurned a hatred for it deep within that place where a soul would normally reside. Whether it is from web-embedded, to a Java based program I have looked at it with disdain. From my perspective it is memory hogging, slow, and extremely bulky (overly used buttons, menus, boxes, load times). The thing that spurred this journal was today's use of an open source Java based program for evolutionary analyses and phylogenetics. I installed and waited for it to load...load...load modules, and went through the little tour that showed its uses. I'm not sure if it is inherent to the language or the people programming in Java, but there are always so many buttons or menus to manipulate something. Isn't there something simpler that will do the same job? I'm not trying to incite a flamewar here, just some discussion and input from those who know more about programming than I do. Why is this the case with Java, and what are the alternatives to using it as a cross-platform language, like Perl or Python?

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