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Comment: Re:science, art, businesses (Score 2) 57

by Alain Williams (#49157895) Attached to: Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Defining "pop music" as whatever is on the Billboard Top 100, especially now, is reductive. I understand it's quantifiable and that's the best idea they had for a quantitative definition of pop. However, Billboard's charts are virtually irrelevant when trying to ascertain what people **actually listen to by choice**

Correct: it is talking about the sales of new records/CDs. This tends to disfavour long lasting styles such as classical music and boosts the here-today, gone-tomorrow junk that fills the 'pop parade'. This is exactly what the music industry wants, they need churn in taste and bands/performers/... to keep people buying their output.

Comment: Re:NSA involvement ? (Score 2) 59

Zimmermann might well be good and honest ... but how well does he know the people who he will employ to help him ? What if one of them has a problem: financial/drugs/marital/... that allows the NSA to put pressure on them (''help them out of their sticky situation'') in return for ''something that is in the best interests of the USA'' ?

In mitigation: they do publish their source code for review. I don't know how easy it is to check that that is what is installed on the phone that you buy.

Comment: NSA involvement ? (Score 4, Insightful) 59

I have to ask: is there secret NSA involvement in this ? An inside man who will put a couple of back-doors in the 'phone.

I have absolutely no knowledge that this is the case, but the NSA certainly has the resources & motivation to do so. It seems to have done this sort of thing in the past.

Comment: Class action lawsuit ? (Score 4, Interesting) 192

by Alain Williams (#49091555) Attached to: How NSA Spies Stole the Keys To the Encryption Castle

Should Gemalto be sued by people who use their cards & other products on the grounds that they did not adequately secure their computer systems and thus let in outside crackers to steal the encryption keys ? That the crack was done by GCHQ/NSA does not really alter things -- they were cracked. The point of this is that successful legal, and expensive, action would make all corporates treat security properly; this would have great benefits -- more than just keeping the spooks at bay.

The only problem is that to sue Gemalto the plaintiffs would need to demonstrate that they have suffered. This might be hard, although insisting that they were all given new SIMs might be a start.

Comment: Who will these copyright be used against ? (Score 1) 154

by Alain Williams (#49053869) Attached to: Trans-Pacific Partnership Enables Harsh Penalties For Filesharing

Individuals, not corporations. Think photographs as an example: if you copy a corporation's picture and put it on your web site - you will be hammered; if a corporation copies one of your pictures and uses it - nothing will happen; you can complain and will just be ignored.

Comment: Re:"if someone says a curse word against my mother (Score 1) 894

by Alain Williams (#48820581) Attached to: Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

People are accepted as prophets, it is a title given by the religious hierarchy. That the $deity does not exist (in any verifiable sense) does not really impact on their role in the religion. You need to be able to understand things as others see them, even if you do not agree with their point of view.

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