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Why Eric Schmidt Is Wrong About Microsoft Not Mattering Anymore

metacell Re:A fish rots from the head, down... (398 comments)

Computer programming, for example, will one day be done by just anybody, i.e., with the use of simple gestures to build beautiful 3-D structures from a collection of available components.

That's what they said in the 1990's, when tools like HyperCard came out... "Everybody will be able to program!"

I don't believe it'll ever get there -- you need to apply a certain amount of logical thinking to combine components into programs, and that thinking requires either talent or training, and can't be eliminated by clever user interfaces.

Still, we could improve user interfaces to the point where almost everyone is able to automate simple, linear tasks.

about a year and a half ago
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Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

metacell Re:State of the question (130 comments)

I guess I was a bit vague -- I was thinking of things that were discovered decades ago and considered standard tools by now. For example, when you write a physics paper, you don't need to explain where you get the laws of motion and mechanics from. Or when you write a paper on molecular biology, you don't need to mention who discovered the structure of DNA.

Anyway, I get your point.

about a year and a half ago
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Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

metacell Re:Oh who gives a fuck? (130 comments)

The best ideas I have yet heard from our pirate friends is that musicians would be doomed to a lifetime of concert touring, writers to charging for access to book readings, filmmakers to deriving revenues from movie theaters and nobody has yet adequately explained to me how software developers are supposed to make money in a world where they can't charge people for software licenses.

But that's exactly how most musicians, writers and programmers earn their living today.

Most musicians derive the majority of their income from concerts and merchandise. It's only the stars that get significant income from album sales.

The vast majority of writers derive the majority of their income from writing-related jobs, such s teaching, workshops and journalism -- if they don't just have a day job.

The vast majority of programmers work with writing custom software for a specific customer, and get paid directly by that customer -- not by writing general-purpose software that's sold off-the-shelf.

about a year and a half ago
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Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

metacell Re:Oh who gives a fuck? (130 comments)

The problem being that the creators sustain them selves by the same economic rights the pirates want to abolish.

That's another discussion, but here goes: Creators can earn money without copyright.

For example, a lot of music artists have discovered that they earn roughly the same amount of money by putting up their music on the Internet for free, and selling signed copies, merchandise, extra material, and so on. A lot of people are prepared to pay because they want to support the band, they have the cash and can't be bothered to find the material on a filesharing network, or they want to be sure they get the best quality as fast as possible. Plus, the added exposure draws more people to their concerts.

In fact, the only music artists I've seen complain about piracy, are the ones that are already established and have a steady, safe income ("rent") from albums they've already released. But that's a small, small minority of all artists.

People are also prepared to pay to see films at the theatre, and to see them shortly after the release date. A lot of people download the film to see if it's worth watching, then pay to see it at the theatre a second time.

Usually, there are only low-quality copies filmed with hand-held cams available the first few weeks -- but even when high-quality copies are leaked before the premiere, as with the first Spider-Man film, the film still does well if it's any good.

When it comes to writing, there are (and have always been) precious few authors that have been able to support themselves on writing alone. The vast majority need to have a day job, or supplement their income with writing-related jobs, such as journalism, teaching, holding lectures and workshops, and so on. And yet, people keep writing, even when they'd earn more money washing dishes. As an amateur writer, I know.

Also, I accidentally lied in the GP -- the Pirate Party doesn't want to abolish all the creator's economic rights. They only want to legalise private copying. The artist will still have an exclusive right to commercial use.

about a year and a half ago
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Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

metacell Re:State of the question (130 comments)

Well, if something is generally known to experts in the field, there's no need to give credit; everyone already knows who discovered it and won't believe it's you.

about a year and a half ago
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Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

metacell Re:She should step down. (130 comments)

I'm not contesting that Bush turned out to be the rightful winner in the end, but both sides did use a lot of dirty tricks to make the decision go their way.

about a year and a half ago
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Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

metacell Re:Oh who gives a fuck? (130 comments)

The Pirate Party is actually clear that they want to retain the creator's right to attribution. It's only the economic rights they want to abolish.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Gerrymandering (215 comments)

"Left office with a surplus" means that he reduced the debt during his term, not that it was zero when he left. The US national debt has been trillions of dollars since the 1940's. See graph to the right on this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt#History

But point taken. Clinton was very competent on the issues, despite his embarassing extramarital affairs.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Gerrymandering (215 comments)

It's doesn't need to be intentional. Every politician agrees the debt needs to be repaid (or at least kept from growing), but they can't agree on where to save, so it keeps increasing. In fact, that seems to be how the US government acquired its current debt.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Gerrymandering (215 comments)

Most other European countries have proportional systems, and it works well (as politics goes).

The problem with Italy seems to be widespread corruption and a less-than-serious attitude (like when they voted a porn star into the parliament).

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:and then there's this (215 comments)

In Socialist North Korea, the politicians you vote for are dead..

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Statistical tools??? (215 comments)

In the USA, the state declares fraud on YOU.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Voters' intent (215 comments)

Does it even have to be a coDoes it even have to be a conspiracy? Can't the party members in the individual districts have tried to dispute the votes on their own initiative, without being sure it'd make a difference?nspiracy?

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:and then there's this (215 comments)

Because every time you mention Democrats or Republicans in a thread like this, it tends to deteriorate into an argument about which party cheats the most, drawing attention away from the real issue being discussed.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:and then there's this (215 comments)

Too bad I've already posted in this thread, or I'd mod you up. You've done your research well.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Gerrymandering (215 comments)

It's dishonest, but not fraud. Fraud includes an element of secrecy or misleading, not just rigging the system to your benefit.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Gerrymandering (215 comments)

Actually, that isn't how it turns out at all: there is no "ghetto" established, as the laws that the prevailing governing body passes will apply to the entire incorporated area (city, county, state, whatever). The key difference is that without the gerrymandering, there will be no voice in that governing body to represent the extreme minority's interests at all. So it's actually anti-segregationist, since it gives the minority a stronger voice than they would have otherwise.

That's a horrible way to fix the problem. It's better to have a proportional system, where parties are awarded seats in the government/state/county in proportion to the popular vote. The problem only occurs in winner-takes-all systems in the first place.

If we accept gerrymandering to give certain minorities a vote, we're also giving politicians an excuse for abusing the system to further their own power.

And yes, it's segregationist. Segregation means you separate ethnic groups. Having good intentions or giving the group a stronger vote doesn't change that.

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Gerrymandering (215 comments)

Gerrymandering can be used for good too such as creating voting districts consisting of mostly Blacks or other minorities so they can elect a (favored minority) representative and have a say in the political process.

You mean, so the blacks become "equal but separate"?

about a year and a half ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

metacell Re:Impossible (215 comments)

Interesting perhaps, but not useful. The party that WON using any detectible vote fraud will not let you change anything, certainly not the outcome and probably not even vote methodology, or credential checking in future elections. In fact they probably won't give you access to voting detail numbers at all once it becomes common knowledge that such analysis is possible.

Just because a party won by fraud, it doesn't mean they become dictators for life and can block every attempt to fix the system. Sooner or later another party will win, and the cheating party can't make their manipulations too obvious.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Slovenian ambassador regrets signing ACTA agreemen

metacell metacell writes  |  more than 2 years ago

metacell writes "Slovenia's ambassador to Japan, Helena Drnovek Zorko, writes: "I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children.""
Link to Original Source
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US agents illegally operating in Sweden

metacell metacell writes  |  more than 2 years ago

metacell (523607) writes "Sweden's intelligence service Säpo discovered in 2009 that two Americans were conducting illegal, under-cover investigations in Sweden., the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily reported.

The two men were discovered when Säpo noticed them tracking people who it was also investigating for suspected ties to terrorist groups, the paper said, quoting several unnamed sources close to Säpo.

Washington had not informed Swedish authorities of the agents' activities in the country, and soon after their activities were discovered, the two US citizens left the country, the paper added."

Link to Original Source
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Judge in Pirate Bay case formally scrutinized

metacell metacell writes  |  more than 4 years ago

metacell (523607) writes "The judge in the Pirate Bay case, who was accused of being partial due to being a member of pro-IP organizations and having several connections to the prosecution's lawyers, will be formally scrutinized. The appeals court has selected Anders Eka to perform the scrutiny. Anders Eka is himself a member of a research team at Stockholm University, together with the prosecution's two lawyers, Monique Wadsted and Peter Danowsky.
Article in Swedish, sorry!
http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/musik/the-pirate-bay-nya-turer-i-javsfragan-1.870677"

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