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Comment: Re:Downloading music for free? Scandelous! (Score 1) 201

by SydShamino (#47918883) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Per Apple, this album is your own stuff. Let's flash back 20 years...

Assume you've told your maid service to always bring in the mail. One day, a U2 album arrive, unsolicited, in the mail, and the maid puts it on your CD rack.

Whether you paid for it or asked for it is irrelevant; once it shows up in your account/mailbox it was placed where it goes by your instructions.

Comment: unfortunately? (Score 0, Interesting) 55

by roman_mir (#47913965) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

So 'unfortunately' if you are going to build a product that people may need and enjoy you are going to start a business, that may create new products and create investment opportunities and jobs in the process, you are going to 'siphon'? 'Siphon' talent away from government ('and everybody else')?????

This 'story' is one gigantic flamebait.

There is nothing unfortunate about building your own company to pursue your own goals and you are not siphoning anything from anybody by building your own business. Under all circumstances, it is better if government doesn't get any talent whatsoever, why should talent be wasted in government rather than be applied where it is actually needed: in the private sector, doing something useful?

This entire premise is insane and asinine.

Comment: Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (Score 2) 171

by swillden (#47911993) Attached to: How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

How is blinding someone with a laser worse than killing or maiming them with a bullet?

Welcome to international rules of war. They're chock full of semi-absurdities like this. One of my favorite is the fact that the M2 .50 caliber machine gun is not classified as an anti-personnel weapon. That means you are not allowed to shoot people with it. You can, however, shoot it at any sort of military equipment, including any that may be carried or worn by an enemy soldier.

I say "semi-absurdities" because with all of these rules you can construct situations where they do make a difference and make war more "humane" (to the degree that makes sense). But you can also always construct common scenarios where they're absurd.

Comment: Re:define (Score 1) 287

by swillden (#47911899) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

I addressed it squarely. Advertisers don't get information from Google, but don't complain (much) because Google is so effective at targeting. Apple, apparently, isn't, and so advertisers feel like they're not able to get adequate value.

You also completely ignored my point that if you want to know what advertisers see you can go look for yourself.

Comment: Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (Score 1) 860

by swillden (#47909223) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

And here is where the pot stats calling the kettle black. You're projecting your particular approach across others.

Completely different situation. Had the other poster said there existed people who believed what he was saying, I'd have had to agree. But he didn't, he imputed those beliefs to me, specifically.

Where is this clear human need to believe in something? Because every culture has had it's God or Gods?

Among other things.

I'm not an anthropologist or a psychologist, so I'm not really equipped to explain it in detail, but ask one. Or do some searches. My first search got this top hit: http://www.apa.org/monitor/201.... I'm sure with a little more effort you could find the studies that appear to demonstrate that the need to believe is pretty deeply wired into our basic cognitive structure.

Give it a couple hundred more years and religion will be a thing of past.

If cognitive psychologists have it right, that's not true. Unless we find something else to replace it. I offered (at length) a possible option in another post on this story: http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

Comment: Re:intel atom systems keep 32 bit systems around (Score 1) 129

by swillden (#47908669) Attached to: Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

I would have laughed at you in 1994 if you told me most things are still 32 bit 20 years from now.

So... do you expect CPUs to be 128-bit in 2024?

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if we stuck with 64-bit for a very long time. At least with respect to address space, it seems unlikely that we're going to have devices with tens of exbibytes of RAM. Or even addressable persistent storage which is touched enough that it's worthwhile having a flat address space.

2^64 is a really big number. 16 EiB = 16,384 PiB = 16,777,216 TiB = 17,179,869,184 GiB. I mean, yeah, Moore's Law and all, but even in a world where high-resolution holographic video records of entire lifetimes are common it's hard to see what machines would do with 18 billion GB, much less storage so much larger that bank-switching is inconvenient. 640,000 TiB should be enough for anyone.

And if we do make the jump to 128-bit, there will clearly never be any point in moving beyond that. Not for addressing, anyway. Not unless our computers are "made of something other than matter, and occupy something other than space", as Schneier put it.

I'd love to hear cogent counterarguments, though.

Comment: Re:BTW, this proves piracy is irrelevant for artis (Score 1) 579

Many years ago Courtney Love wrote on Salon.com ("Courtney Love does the math") that she was not bothered with P2P distribution of her music, as in fact CD sales were not a source of income for artists

Keep in mind that the percentage of revenue artists get from album sales has historically been heavily genre-dependent. Rockers in general, and heavy metal and alternative rock in particular, have long derived most of their income from touring and merchandise. They treat album sales primarily as PR for their live performances. In contrast, with pop and top 40 groups, it's the reverse. Most of them use touring as PR to generate album sales.

U2 is actually one of the latter, even though they're rockers, BTW. They put on such extravagant live performances that their financial goal on tour is to avoid losing money (and they often fail). They do make some money on merchandise, but most of U2's income is from album sales, or at least used to be. Perhaps that's changed; my information is 10+ years old. The source of my information, BTW, is a gentleman (and I use the word deliberately, he was, unlike many of the people I encountered in the music biz) I worked with at Universal a few years back. He had been the manager of U2's account for several years, responsible for the financial aspects of the label's U2 business including royalties and their advances and recoupment.

Comment: Re: Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (Score 1) 860

by swillden (#47903165) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

You accept that all moral philosophies are inherently constructed by people, which means you yourself are capable of constructing one. You also get for free the ability to ignore any part of someone else's morality you don't like.

Deutsch argues that morality is not relativist, nor arbitrary, but instead there are objectively correct values which are derivable (via conjecture and criticism) from the nature of reality. This is essentially Kant's major insight as well, though he phrased it differently. Both of them make pretty compelling arguments, which I, at least, can't refute. And in that view no one gets to ignore any part of morality, any more than they get to ignore gravity or orbital mechanics.

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