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Free Law Casebook Project Starts With IP Coursebook

matbury Do you mean like this? (17 comments)

Creative Commons licensed university course books. You mean like these? You can download and print the whole book, or chapter by chapter as you study. How long do you think it'll take for Duke to catch up with Athabasca University?

7 hours ago

Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

matbury Man, what a bad idea... (118 comments)

Geo-engineering to counter the effects of CO2 is like someone taking sleeping pills to counter the effects of habitually doing amphetamines at an alarmingly increasing rate. If that doesn't convince you, how about listening to a well-informed 3rd party who isn't chasing research funding for their pet geo-engineering project: Can Geo-Engineering Save the Planet? - Christopher Williams on Reality Asserts Itself


TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

matbury I'm not surprised... (220 comments)

I'm not surprised that these scams work. People will readily give their bank and credit card details to random strangers in the street, with clipboards, and wearing colourful vests with logos on, who claim to be collecting subscriptions for charities. How do you find out if they're legit?


California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

matbury Just for irony's sake... (223 comments)

I think all these phones should come with a copy of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four and a copy of the US constitution... for irony's sake. They should also be made suscpetible to packet injection so that the authorities can alter the information that people receive through them. Down the memory hole!


Robo Brain Project Wants To Turn the Internet Into a Robotic Hivemind

matbury Re:Already there. (108 comments)

Does this mean that the terminators of the future will be modelled on cats in shark suits riding vaccuum cleaners? Is THIS how we'll all meet our demise?


Securing the US Electrical Grid

matbury "Inclement weather" (115 comments)

I reckon "inclement weather" will turn out to be the most disruptive force on electricity production and supply. Firstly, drought will starve coal, gas, and nuclear power stations of the huge amounts of water they need to run at all. Secondly, warmer water in water sources may make cooling less efficient for nuclear power stations (and possibly a danger in some cases). Thirdly there's a higher and growing risk of extreme weather events; floods, flash floods, droughts, tornados, hurricanes, and ice-storms. Just think of the more recent extreme weather events but more extreme and more frequent.


Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

matbury Re: Yeah, as music artists know, not so fun is it? (266 comments)

Re: "you'd already be sleeping on a bed made of money" -- Simply not true. Having worked in the music business, I can tell you that it's anything but meritocratic. I have friends and colleagues who were signed up, promoted, had moderate success, and some had hits (Top tip: Getting a distribution deal is the only thing worth having. It means that they have to invest substantial funds into promoting you so that they don't make a loss on all that distribution. This stops them from signing you up simply to shut you up and to stop you from competing with another band/artist they've already signed and are planning to promote). They all ended up owing their record labels money. It's a sad fact that even a successful recording band/artist doesn't see any money until their 3rd successful album. It's a nest of vipers, a tank of sharks, whatever metaphor you want to use. Nobody survives for very long by playing fair and keeping things ethical and above board. With a few rare exceptions, i.e. the longer-term stars that we see on TV, the only people who make decent money out of music are the ones who don't play instruments. If you're wondering why more bands and artists don't go public with this, read a recording contract.

2 days ago

Illinois University Restricts Access To Social Media, Online Political Content

matbury Why are they censoring in this way? (129 comments)

The question is why? What do they hope to achieve with this kind of censorship. I can understand wanting to censor sites that promote and enable illegal activities. I can understand K-12 schools trying to censor porn and violence (doesn't work but at least trying keep parents happy, BTW). So what do they hope to achieve with blocking Wikipedia and other sites? What's their intended outcome? And if they're blocking individual pages, who's combing through the entire internet and deciding what to allow and disallow and how are they deciding it? (Abviously not volunteers from Westboro Baptist Church).

BTW, are they also blocking TOR and encrypted proxies? Are they preventing students from using their own mobile connections? Can't see how this will achieve anything other than generating suspicion ill-will and contempt for the university's leadership.

3 days ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

matbury Re:Actually, it does ! (375 comments)

AFAIK, the UK doesn't actually have the authority or capability to launch Trident missiles unilaterally. The UK are basically "caretakers" to the US nuclear deterrent. In effect, the UK taxpayer is subsidising the US military. Britain and Scotland would be better off without it. Scotland would probably be better off with more autonomy and responsibility. The Tory govt. and the BBC have been pursuing an overt and shameless propaganda campaign, complete with misinformation and misdirection at every turn, against Scottish independence. With this in mind, I can't see how London has the Scottish people's best interests at heart: If they have rational, evidence-based reasons for Scotland not gaining independence then let's hear them instead of this nonsensical propaganda. (BTW, I'm English, not Scottish).

4 days ago

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

matbury Re:End state and private capitalism. (331 comments)

Re: "Much like minimum wage, the only thing you'll accomplish is raising the cost of living" -- An example of another fallacy promoted by the neo-liberal, free market, faith-based (faith in the invisible hand, that is) end of the spectrum. How many studies and examples in the real world does it take to put this one to rest? Check:

If you phase out corporate wage subsidies from the govt., corporations will have no choice but to pay their workers a living wage. Add to that manditory, single payer health insurance and the costs for both employers and employees go down dramatically. Raise the minimum wage and workers get a bigger share of corporate profits which goes back into the consumer economy boosting demand for consumer goods and the economy as a whole. Everyone wins. We're continuing to push all the money up to the 1% and they aren't spending it in the real economy. They aren't creating any substantial demand and demand is what drives consumer economies.

4 days ago

Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

matbury Revenue doesn't equal cost (579 comments)

Don't confuse revenue with cost. By the author's calculations, the internet in the UK generates £140 revenue on average per user. That's not what it costs to run the internet, which is substantially lower or else the companies selling services and ads wouldn't make any profit. What proportion of that £140 goes to Google as pure profit, tax free? And how much money are et al making by selling your details and metadata on to loan sharks, online gambling, aggressive opportunistic sales agencies (AKA con men), etc.? Should we include that in the price it costs to "run the internet"?

5 days ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

matbury Re:god dammit. (516 comments)

Better have a moratorium on building construction too: "An estimated 300 million to 1 billion birds die each year from collisions with glass on buildings, from skyscrapers to homes. Birds simply can’t tell reflection from reality. Even if a bird flies away after striking a window, it may die elsewhere as a result of the collision." Source:

More data on deaths from collisions with wind turbines, towers, power lines, roads and vehicles, urban lights, and glass here: Looks like glass on buildings, roads, and vehicles are more deadly to birds.

about a week ago

The Royal Society Proposes First Framework For Climate Engineering Experiments

matbury Re:What could possibly go wrong? (174 comments)

Geoengineering is yet another stalling tactic by the fossil fuels industry, like carbon capture and storage. They promise huge grants and investments into research which stimulates a lot of interest from researchers and universities who are desperate for the money. They'll build a bunch of white elephant projects and then move on to the next grant while the fossil fuels industry thinks up yet another stalling tactic. If you're not convinced about how ridiculous geoengineering as a concpet is, check out what Christopher Williams has to say: Can Geo-Engineering Save the Planet?

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

matbury What's a troll? (381 comments)

No, seriously, as others have alluded to in this thread as well, the term "troll" is subjective. And some commenters on /. seem to be particularly sensitive to anyone posting anything they disagree with and deciding it's trolling.

OK, suppose you set up a public web forum with 1,000,000 users where trolls are banished for life based on a consensus opinion from other commenters. How long do you think it would take before they reached a total number of 1 commenter? That's by a combination of #1 - banishing each other as trolls and #2 - users leaving because the resulting commenters are so afraid of being labelled trolls that they daren't write anything against the consensus and therefore all the discussions become bland, blithe, agreeable, re-iterations of the already accepted and established consensus view.

Or am I just trolling? ;)

about a week ago

Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

matbury Re:Delays... anything new? (142 comments)

Re: "The world has moved on - now, in the US at least, it's about truly epic levels of pork and comfortable sinecures." -- More than likely true. Still, alarming amounts of fissile materials go "missing" each year. Where's it going? Who's got it?

about two weeks ago

EFF's Cell Phone Guide For US Protesters

matbury Re:carry 'n change (82 comments)

Yes, burners are a tried and trusted way to achieve temporary anonymous communication at an event, like a protest. Just make sure you get rid of the phone before you go home!

The fact is that these days the police are often given carte blanche to do whatever they like with people at or near protests. Your rights more than likely won't be upheld while they try to disrupt the protest.

There are times when your own smartphone can be handy too as long as you manage your privacy well (you shouldn't have your whole personal life on your phone or on social media anyway). As others have mentioned, being able to stream video and audio to a remote server in real time is a powerful tool in your favour. However, you have to be sure that you can trust whoever your streaming it through and who's storing it, i.e. Will your network provider or the storage service block it on request from law enforcement?

Video and audio evidence seem to be the most powerful tools in social movements and challenging institutional abuse and criminal behaviour, e.g. unwarranted assaults on peaceful protesters or killing people of colour by escalating minor infractions of the law into confrontations and conflicts. You don't need a smartphone to do that. Digital cameras are small, cheap, produce high quality video and audio, and are especially easy to use discreetly (You can also get ones that have no BlueTooth or WiFi connectivity so can't be traced, monitored, or compromised remotely); you don't usually have to hold it up and look at it to go through any menus to start recording, just hit a button and you're up and running.

Also, you may not want to alert the police that you're filming the event (unless the intention is to prevent the crime from escalating any further). Start recording and leave it on a lanyard around your neck or in a top pocket with the lens poking through.

Also, store data on removable memory cards (and bring lots of spares - they're cheap and tiny) so that you can quickly remove and pass on to other trusted people or hide in the event that you think you may be compromised.

If everyone uses different devices, techniques, and strategies, the police will have more to deal with and less of an idea of how to manage it, leaving you to get on with protesting and documenting what happens, distributing the evidence, and making sure that the corporate media has fewer opprotunities to misrepresent peaceful, lawful, and very necessary democratic participation.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

matbury Re:End state and private capitalism. (331 comments)

Most developed countries do have soem kind of basic income: It's called the social safety-net, welfare, income support, unemployment insurance, job seekers' allowance, SNAP, or whatever you want to call it. Nowadays, corporations have worked out that they can pay less than a living wage and let the tax payer pick up some of the slack (only some of the slack because we love to blame, berate, and punish the poor for being poor without any regard for the causes of their poverty, and claiming that it's some kind of "life style choice"). Corporations are making record profits in the midst of a poverty crisis and still refuse to pay taxes or pay their workers a living wage. What this has to do with the future of anti-virus software, I have no idea.

about two weeks ago

Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

matbury Re:I hate to inform you (371 comments)

Too true. And it's not just in IT and/or engineering. The idea of management not knowing much about what the company or department that they're in charge of actually does and what purpose it serves has becoming all too common in "business circles." Most senior managers come from sales jobs/backgrounds. They know a lot about how to sell stuff but call for IT support if they notice that the submit buttons on their UIs are a different colour one day or if they've forgotten how to turn on their computer. Think of the people in sales, then think of them with a big promotion; same people, same values, same ignorance, same narrow views, and same lack of a sense of what their product/service actually does and how it works.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

matbury New names? (426 comments)

New names? Let's get started. How about:

  !-- if IE... -- ? (Can't put in the enclosing tags)

M$ Page Breaker?

M$ Still doesn't interpret SVG correctly?

M$ Web Designer F*^ker?

Any more?

about two weeks ago



Google Moves Right By Funding ALEC & Heritage Action

matbury matbury writes  |  about 9 months ago

matbury (3458347) writes "According to Jessica Devereux at The Real News Network...

"Corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, or what it is more commonly known as, ALEC, is holding a conference celebrating its 40th anniversary through December 6. But the guest list may be running a little thin this year, as ALEC is losing some corporate friends. But it's also gaining some new ones, like Google. Google has been funding right-wing groups like Heritage Action and ALEC, which is known for drafting some draconian laws in education and right-to-work policies which undermine collective bargaining."

Whatever happened to "Don't be evil?""

Link to Original Source


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