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Comment: Re: Not fear but precaution (Score 1) 419 419

I'm a 100% staunch advocate of building new nuclear power plants, so I'm not a nuclear fear monger. But even I have reservations about placing nuclear material in the Rockets used to launch science satellites as they'very been proven to be far less than 100% reliable in not exploding and dumping their payloads over a large area of the earth's surface and the upper atmosphere.

Comment: Re:Libgen (Score 1) 138 138

That's a bit like saying coders can just make a game then license the IP to TV stations, moviemakers, writers and merchandisers as a secondary revenue stream. It happens but it's rare enough that it may as well not exist for most. Musicians on the other hand almost all play gigs (as well as being able to sell their music to videogame makers, TV shows and movies), and the movie industry practically invented merchandising as well as other avenues of income.

That's like saying someone can go out and write books, get them published and sell enough copies to make a decent living doing it. It happens, but it's rare enough that it might as well not exist for most.
"It's hard" doesn't refute the fact that it's possible. It's a lot more possible than increasing sales by targeting piracy.

Literary agents liaise between writers and publishers/producers etc. They have nothing to do with building up a fanbase, most authors do all of their marketbuilding themselves, in their own time, on their own dime.

I have a family member who is preparing to release a book at this very moment. Her literary agent's first action was to put together a marketing team to promote the book in order to grease the wheels in selling the book to a publisher.
A good, modern literary agent also performs (or subcontracts) the duties of a manager and marketer as relying on just liaising with publishers vastly reduces their potential income where things like Amazon and iTunes are open to anyone with or without an agent or publishing deal and where a little buzz can vastly increase the publishing deals (and thus comission) they negotiate.

And it's been pretty well established that there's few (if any) people who pirate media that would run to Amazon or iTunes and buy something if they couldn't obtain it via piracy.

Certainly established to the satisfaction of people who pirate books anyway.

Are you really one of those mindless idiots who jumps on the cock of the media conglomerates and believes that every connection to a torrent swarm is a lost sale? I didn't think there was really anyone who believed that and could actually get a computer to work, much less find their way to /.

Freely released books are a very different matter to piracy, especially from creators who can least afford it.

One of the first books I got for free was a the first piece of Twilight fan fiction from an unknown author on Smashwords who was certainly not a well known, filthy rich author at the time. The book wasn't my cup of tea, but it seems to have worked out fairly well for the author.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422 422

Company management mismanaged the company to the point that they had to fire a bunch of workers. They couldn't afford to pay the workers what they owed them and the shareholders weren't stupid enough to foot the bill so the executives could continue to draw a paycheck and bonuses while they continued to drive the company into the ground.

The company didn't suffer because the laws were weighted too heavily in the workers' favor. It failed because management sucked at running a business. Fucking the employees a little harder wouldn't have saved the company. It would only have allowed the management who fucked the business in the first place to collect a few more bonus checks while they sat around deciding which employees to fuck next.

Company management mismanaged the company to the point that they had to fire a bunch of workers. They couldn't afford to pay the workers what they owed them and the shareholders weren't stupid enough to foot the bill so the executives could continue to draw a paycheck and bonuses while they continued to drive the company into the ground.
That the labor laws treat the workers equally to management only kept this from becoming a situation like so many others where the employees are left with nothing because the management take it all for themselves on their way out the door to relax in their summer home while they try to con their way into some other company's management structure so they can do it all over again.

Comment: Re:Libgen (Score 1) 138 138

what other means does a writer have to earn money beyond direct sales?

As far as secondary revenue streams go, authors can license their IP to TV, Movie and Video Game makers or they can sell merchandise themselves.

But that requires they build a fanbase. And in that endeavor, a literary agent is far more beneficial than an industry trade group whose only interest in an individual author is whether they've paid their membership dues who goes out and does boneheaded things that are more likely to incite spite in burgeoning literary fans and thus encourage and spread piracy rather than stifle it.

And it's been pretty well established that there's few (if any) people who pirate media that would run to Amazon or iTunes and buy something if they couldn't obtain it via piracy. People usually pirate things when buying isn't an option. I was no different. In my broke ass teens and twenties, I first got all my books from a library and then later when things like BBSs and gopher became available to me, via piracy. Authors didn't earn a dime from me for a couple decades, except perhaps via a few people who weren't as broke as me who might have bought books based on suggestions from me that I based on the books I borrowed or stole.

But what they did earn during those decades was my loyalty to their "brand". Now that I'm older and have a far greater amount of disposable income and far less patience for digging around looking for books I want on virii and annoying ad infested piracy sites, I'm a prolific purchaser of books (and other media). I've since bought many of the books I'd previously borrowed or stole. And most of the books I buy from new authors these days most often comes from authors who do things like release the first book in a trilogy for free or via word of mouth suggestions from people who are where I was in my teens and twenties and read stolen or borrowed versions of their books.

Comment: Re:suckers (Score 1) 141 141

If "it's been studied" is absolute proof and ends all chance of danger and doubt, then I'm going to go fire up a cigarette that doesn't cause cancer, get in better shape by losing weight taking the safe and effective weight loss drug Fen-Phen and take a cruise to see the lip of our flat world!

Studies are often decent predictors, but history has shown time and time again that things that "studies" prove aren't harmful very, very often are harmful in mass implementation. The real question isn't whether something is safe or not, it's whether any harm it causes in implementation are manageable and/or outweighed by the benefits.

Trying to shut down talk of the potential for danger, often by calling those who do so unflattering names like "idiot" and "asshole", has been shown time and time again to be the stance of those who truly are idiotic assholes. Welcome to that not at all exclusive club!

Comment: Re:One web site. (Score 1) 445 445

IMO the biggest take away is to highlight how the bible should only ever be read as a book of fairy tales.

I look at the Bible as an old social science textbook. The "good story" method of conveying information and ideas still remains an extremely effective teaching tool today despite a massive increase in access to the written word and the literacy to comprehend it. For the time period in which it was written, it would have been the most effective way to disseminate information to the general public.

And, again taking into account the primitive time period, the policies and ideas were quite advanced and sound in reasoning. For example, In a time when life expectancy was low and everything from famine to plague to natural disaster had the potential to (and repeatedly did) wipe out a significant percentage of the human population, birth control and homosexuality could have had severe impacts on the existence of mankind. It could also be argued that some of the info is highly advanced scientific knowledge explained in a primitive way for a primitive people. And with just a bit of creative interpretation one can even apply things like the story of creation to today's scientific knowledge. "Let there be light" could be a 2000 year old scientific reference to the Big Bang.
The take away should be that the bible should be viewed like any old text book or encyclopedia. Interesting, and containing some persistently good information, but still woefully inaccurate, out of date and increasingly irrelevant to the present.

Nothing makes this clearer than Creationists. If we all didn't have a forgiving blind spot any religion would earn the title of "Cult for insane (but mostly nice) folks" - but creationists are a bridge too far. They're where you have to throw your hands up & admit that religion really is a load of bull & anyone who believes is deluded/insane.

Calling creationists deluded or insane is itself delusional and insane. Science is agnostic, not atheistic. Rejecting the existence of divinity requires the same blind faith as any other religion. Creationists aren't necessarily mentally deficient, they simply hold to different theory of reality.
I don't see how their view is any less valid than opposing theories. I myself hold in the theories grounded in the theory that our observable reality is real. But I can't definitively say the universe we observe doesn't exist as part of a computer simulation, a dream or as the equivalent of an ant farm sitting on the desk of some being we can't fathom. I also wouldn't classify anyone who does believe in such things to be insane. So long as they don't use their belief to justify harming people or oppressing the beliefs of others, people should be free to believe in anything they like.

Everyone does SEO. Why should them doing it well enough to reach the top of certain search results be disparaged? Campaigning to suppress, diminish or down rank them in search results because we don't agree with their views makes us no better than them when they try to do it to us.

Comment: Re:One web site. (Score 1) 445 445

I think the fear is more that kids will see this stuff while doing research for school (especially in earlier grades where they don't necessarily know better) and take it for granted.

If they're old enough to be given free reign on a computer to do research, they should be old enough to know how to perform basic fact checking.
The only kids likely to take that kind of stuff for granted are the ones who are already being dragged to Sunday School by devout parents and have been indoctrinated from birth to believe that if someone can make something fit with scripture in any way, it's fact. And even a lot of those kids learn enough about critical thinking and scientific method to recognise the hypocrisies inherent in organized religion and break that habit by their teens.

I personally indoctrinated my kids on Carlin very early. And funnily, I was actually introduced to Carlin by my childhood Southern Baptist pastor. Although the only thing Southern about the place was that it's membership was mostly dust bowl migrants and their descendants and I don't know how it was affiliated with baptists as we had 2 marriage ceremonies for homosexual couples while I was there way back in the late 80s, something even the state of CA wouldn't recognise at the time and that the SBC still forbids.

Comment: Re:Politicans who forget who voted for them... (Score 1) 121 121

...and make decisions with their wallet...

Keep getting reelected.

A few months ago I had to get shoulder surgery and had one arm completely immobilized for 6 weeks. Rather than sit at home doing nothing until I could work again, I took a job doing polls at a local mall. Often, the questions had to do with how people felt about controversial issues such as patent law, gay marriage, medical/recreational marijuana and psychedelics, contraception, etc... And despite being in a solidly Red section of the state, the poll results were almost always solidly liberal by a very large margin.
The disheartening part was that, time and time again, when I asked "Are you registered to vote" those who took the more liberal positions on such issues said "No.", often giving me some diatribe about why their vote didn't matter and thus registering and voting was pointless. However, the ones who were in the "people who distribute contraceptives should be subject to the death penalty" camp always answered that they were registered to vote and voted in every election, no matter how minor.

The politicians haven't forgotten who votes for them at all. They just also know that people who strongly dislike them are more likely to not vote than to vote against them because of the mindset that once a person they dislike gets elected or a policy measure they don't like gets passed, there's no point in voting at all ever again.

Comment: Re:Markets, not people (Score 1) 615 615

Farmers have had automated trucks operating on farms for several years now. A farm just down the road from me went fully automated last year. In spring I can sit out on my porch and watch the cultivators and plows tilling soil without a person anywhere nearby. In summer I watch the automated watering arms crawl back and forth across the fields. And in the fall I watch the driverless combines, harvesters, balers and trailers harvesting the crops.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 186 186

Because only 0.3% of the 60 million downloads were conducted by AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, Verizon or Comcast subscribers. The notices weren't trashed by the infringers, they were trashed by ISPs who didn't forward them because they don't participate in CAS or exist outside the reach of CAS and the DMCA and don't forward notices that cite those laws as the legal justification for the notice.

Many of those ISPs probably received and forwarded a separate notice that conforms to format required by their country's copyright enforcement laws. It just wasn't a CAS notice.
But media company executives and lawyers won't let silly things like the truth or facts get in the way of a good self-serving narrative.

Comment: Re: Those are... (Score 1) 257 257

XX/XY absolutely determines gender in normally developed humans. That genetic defects/mutations/abnormalities such as 46,XY can occur doesn't refute that.

And "identity" isn't meaningless. It's merely subjective whereas chromosome identification is objective. As for which determines what someone IS, that too is subjective.

+ - Space radiation may damage astronauts' brains->

sciencehabit writes: NASA hopes to send the first round-trip, manned spaceflight to Mars by the 2030s. If the mission succeeds, astronauts could spend several years potentially being bombarded with cosmic rays—high-energy particles launched across space by supernovae and other galactic explosions. Now, a study in mice suggests that these particles could alter the shape of neurons, impairing astronauts’ memories and other cognitive abilities.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Seems he has more of a clue (Score 1) 703 703

Creationists have a stronger leg to stand on than climate change deniers.

Creationism is still a valid theory, it's just one completely bereft of scientific evidence to support it. But if God showed up and started performing Deity-ish things, science would have to accept it as fact.
Climate change denialists however are screaming "THERE IS NO GOD!" while He is standing in front of them juggling lightning bolts.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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