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Comment Re:This ruling won't fix anything (Score 3, Interesting) 179

If they're forced to hand over the data they won't be in business in the EU for long, which considering the enormous size and wealth of the EU is going to hurt any company badly, so I guess they'll have to open seperate competing European branches. Either that or the US government is going to have to play nice with the rest of the world.

Comment Re:Does the real name policy curb trolling? (Score 1) 221

While I'd say that it would be possible to remain incognito on facebook with caution and a sprinkling of technical knowledge if they rescind their real names policy, the EU at least is finally making moves to restrict its ability to transfer data to regimes with fewer protections for proviacy.

Comment Re:Does the real name policy curb trolling? (Score 3, Insightful) 221

Real names are far more useful to bullies than otherwise as they allow bullies to track people over multiple platforms, find their phone numbers, place of work, even track them right to their front doors. A real names policy does little to stop trolls either, they just register a burner account and troll until they get kicked off, it's not hard to do.

I'm solidly in favour of this EFF petition and I hope everyone signs, like it or not facebook is the de facto means of mass communication on the internet for most people today. They already have way too much power and have proven themselves more than happy to abuse that power in ways that would have gotten an accountable entity shut down hard, any moves to curb their influence and reach must be supported.

Comment Re:Stronger IP protections (Score 1) 270

"Creative output"? No change whatsoever.

Well that doesn't reflect my experience at all, but we're comparing what people find interesting so it becomes a battle of the anecdotes. In terms of fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction I feel I've far more and better options than twenty or even ten years ago.

Indie authors and musicians are not "sharply on the rise".

A swing and a miss. I believe the author of "The Martian" was an indie. Self publishing is taking off in a big way - but don't take my word for it, google it yourself.

And to think that stronger and longer IP protections is the reason behind the rise of indie artists is just dumb.

Not just small independent artists but large corporations also, stronger protections make creative work more valuable (this can't be disputed) and encourage higher quality. I mean who wants to put in a lot of time and effort if some nimrod is just going to filch it. However they apply to ALL creative work, not just whatever is put forth by Sony.

The people who say "stronger and longer IP protections is good for creativity" are almost universally people who have never done anything creative.

Funny, I was just thinking that people who say "stronger and longer IP protections strangle creativity" are almost universally people who not only have never done anything creative but who probably freeload off the people who do the creative work.

What you're increasingly desperately trying to do is frame this in terms of cigar-smoking capitalist Snidely Whiplashes lording it over poor toiling peasants who don't own the means of production, except they actually do. Welcome to the 21st century, marxism is worse than useless here.

Obviously this doesn't mean I support the entire treaty, at least until I see it.

Comment Re:Stronger IP protections (Score 1) 270

Stronger IP protections are generally being welcomed by the creative types I know.

"Stronger IP protections" are not for the "creative types you know". They're for the ownership types you know.

I've no idea why you think the two are mutually exclusive. Indie authors and musicians for example are sharply on the rise, in terms of cinema while the blockbusters will forever remain in the hands of corporations there's a lot of decent quality amateur stuff coming out. Everything you write, you have immediate copyright protections on, that's how easy it is to take advantage of stronger copyright law.

I'll put it to you like this - with stronger and longer recent IP protections recently, have you noticed a decrease or an increase in creative output?

With that said I'd oppose criminalising non-profit copyright infringements or attempts to eat into existing fair use standards.

Comment Re:Millennials and "codes of conduct". (Score 4, Insightful) 247

You can change your behaviour. You can change your opinion. You can even change your religion. You can't change the colour of your skin or whether or not you were born with nuts, drastic surgery excluded. That's why making racism and sexism of any sort acceptable, in particular under the flag of some warped version of "justice" is particularly dangerous. Because once it becomes acceptable to hate there is no final destination, it keeps on rolling until someone rolls it back, and no matter which direction the pendulum swings the situation is usually worse than it was to begin with. That's the difference.

There's a good reason collective punishment is usually viewed as a war crime. If you go down that road you end up asking why people with white skin, English, Irish, French, American, Polish, Russian, all of them aren't generally being punished for the crimes of the Nazis generations later, or even just Germans. Or why stop there, maybe Mongolia owes Iran reparations for the actions of Genghis Khan. Islamic states should pay for the conquest of Spain perhaps?

Some peoples' attitudes do need to change but what the "millennials", which is to say that subset of American youth who've been fed various offcolour sociological activist theories - not an entire generation by a long shot - need to understand is that if you rope in everyone as guilty you end up creating a reaction and creating problems which never needed to exist in the first place.

Comment Re:O Rly? (Score 0) 109

an embarrassing counter-example to American and western democracy's political claims against communism

Sure, if thousands of executions by firing squad with little to no due process, mass imprisonment and thousands more being "vanished" would embarrass you. They certainly don't embarrass Marxists. As good old Ché, Castro’s chief enforcer put it, "To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution. And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate." All of course while El Jefe himself was living it up on a private island paradise, feathering his bed with drug deals.

Comment Re:I much prefer... (Score 1) 278

People wander across the street randomly, and drivers are very aware that this is going to happen, so they slow down.

Yeah same in this locality, it's fine once you keep your eyes open and watch out for blind spots. As such many of the comments in this story are weird to me - people seem less worried about the fact of killing someone with their car than about the legal liability for doing so.

Comment Re:My first review of Julia Cordray (Score 2) 447

That's still pretty thin ice if you get nasty enough, saying "in my opinion" isn't a panacea.

Back on topic, this is the most completely insane and frankly evil idea I've heard in a long time. There is no possible good that can come from this, and a whole lot of bad. I was pretty unhappy with the surveillance society up to this point but it just got a great deal worse. May they be sued into the dictionary as a salutary lesson regarding the fate of those who implement really bad ideas. I want future generations to refer to any company that pops the cork on a bottle of champagne and rams the business straight into a brick wall as being "yelped".

Comment Re:International Association of Exorcists (Score 2) 268

I wasn't originally planning on going into detail about bad behavior by the Church, but you had to go and wave the red flag. So suck this up.
The number of people executed by the Spanish Inquisition is estimated to be between 3000 and 5000.

Was that supposed to rock me back on my heels or something? Have you any idea about the period under discussion? Genghis Khan put 40 million people to the sword by one means or another not long beforehand, double Stalin's total. The Black Death put between a quarter and a third of the population of Europe in the ground. It was a very nasty period with very nasty people doing very nasty things. Which brings us neatly to the next point.

Your argument that it's OK because of other good works is completely morally corrupt.

Good thing that's not the argument I was making then, isn't it. I said in the context of the times, the Church while no shining beacon of light was probably better than most, not that the crimes of the Church are perfectly okay.

Because that's your position translated to a more obnoxious context.

Amp it up, amp it up, make sure any disagreement with your hate gets classified as hate.

Even the slightest examination of history shows that religious authority over peoples live inevitably results in revolting behavior.

Funnily enough you could say the same about most Marxist regimes, except with more mass murder.

The final insult is your hypocrisy.

Maybe if you read what was actually written you'd have fewer windmills to tilt at.

And don't worry, I have plenty more insults.

Comment Re:International Association of Exorcists (Score 1) 268

I'm not sure why you think pointing to religious observances in a religious organisation might somehow be damaging. There are many different viewpoints one could take, from potential psychological benefits that (usually religious) people who believe themselves to be possessed might gain to aspects of the universe that science doesn't yet understand. The latter in particular would emphasise the limits of our own current knowledge and that science isn't a closed book, which is more pro-science than otherwise.

Likewise in religions like Buddhism, the various planes of existence have been interpreted by some as representative of mental states which can be improved by meditation and chanting, it's a nuanced picture.

As for the historical record, again it's a complex issue. On the whole the Church has generally been one of the few groups that regularly gave consideration to those less fortunate given the context of the times, and keep in mind that the times were savage almost beyond modern comprehension. Galileo was less punished for his views than for calling an absolute medieval monarch a dickhead. The crusades followed and were a response to centuries of Islamic expansionism, including the invasion and conquest of Spain, which also contributed to the excesses of the Spanish Inquisition. It's very far from a clean record, but the history of Europe throughout the existence of the church is a whole lot dirtier.