Non Chinese-speakers might enjoy the service of online translation services, as my Chinese friends like to phrase it."
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There have been a series of interesting events surrounding the extended Pirate Bay process. It started with PRQ (the web hotel hosting TPB) being illegally raided, and to add the icing on that cake, the minister in charge acting in violation of the Swedish constitution by directly ordering law enforcement (see New Technology's "Was the Raid a Judicial Scandal?" [in Swedish]). Then the FRA and IPRED bills passed in direct defiance of election promises and popular opinion folding to foreign pressure, as was the trial itself. It is hardly surprising that it turned out that the judge was cherry picked. The judge, Thomas NorstrÃm, argued that "My view has been that these activities do not constitute a conflict of interest," and he was not swayed in his judgement by involvement with copyright protection groups.
There was great surprise over the April 17th ruling. Even the legal experts that expected a conviction were taken aback by the prison sentence and the size of the compensatory fine.
The current debate on Swedish technical boards is one of conspiracy theories. Swedes are generally relatively hesitant of suggesting conspiracies, but this one reeks of collusion.
The former Chief Prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem says (in Swedish) that this will hurt the international renown of Swedish courts as well as damage domestic belief in judicial neutrality and safety.
Also interesting is the public statement from the Pirate Party which calls this "Corruption and miscarriage of justice" and "The copyright lobby has really managed to bring corruption to Sweden".
This may turn out to be a huge inconvenience for the copyright organisations and for the ruling coalition.
You reply in good faith and for good intentions but you are somewhat mistaken,
First, Romans did NOT field regiments of archers. However, following Gaius Marius' reforms, in legions a cohort (8-10 centuries of 60 men) could have archers attached. These were generally placed as an archery shield in front of the front maniples and retracted when enemies approached. More usual, however, was simply the legionaries throwing their pilum javelin before equipping their gladius short sword.
Secondly, Romans did NOT field any cavalry units. Cavalry fight from horseback, and cohesive military cavalry usage requires stirrups. Romans DID use mounted infantry though, and this could also perhaps harass enemy skirmish flankers. Stirrups wasn't invented until approximately the 7th or 8th Century. Thus, cavalry does not mean "mounted soldier". Also, the Roman social hierarchy included a "knight" class. This is not to be interpreted anachronistically as of a kind with the medieval knights, it simply means a social status above Plebeian but beneath the Patrician strata eligible for election to Senate.
This is really the same debate that's been going on since the Greeks, only now in a much more uninformed way. It reminds me of CNN's 1986 Crossfire show where the lyrics of a rock song was accused of promoting incest and Frank Zappa was invited as a representative musician. Zappa is not defending the Prince's "Incest is a good thing" statement in the lyrics in question, but he is defending the right of the artist to say it.
Some telling and relevant in context quotes from the exchange are:
Robert Novak: "Mr Zappa, let me see if I can get your position straight. Are you saying there is no filth, no pornography, no obscenity, that should not be permitted to be sold and distributed freely in this country in the form of music videos and rock videos?
John Lofton (of the Washington Times): "I agree with you that the first line of responsibility is the family [Zappa has not mentioned neither "responsibility" of "family"] to stop the kind of garbage we're talking about here today; but good grief, can't we call upon our government to help us in this fight, Frank? Are you an Anarchist, is it the government's role to do nothing in this?
Chorus: "You're an idiot, then!"
Tom Braden: "What would you suggest, Mr Lofton, as a means of censorship?
Lefton, to Zappa: "What is the government's role, Mr Zappa?"
Zappa: "The biggest threat today is not communism, it is moving America toward a fascist theocracy, and everything that's happened during the Reagan administration is steering us down that pipe."
Panel laughs, "oh really, Mr Zappa" etc etc
It is really an extremely interesting (not to say entertaining!) episode, and I recommend it if you haven't laready seen it. The full video is available here:
In many circles, KDE 4 was greeted by an outpouring of emotions that you can deduce by the number of exclamation marks in the postings. Somebody, it seems, dislikes just about everything about KDE 4, from the icons to the menu to the use of Dolphin as the file manager. Some of these complaints, of course, are justified, but the complaints gallop off so quickly, in so many contrary directions, that the only way to reconcile them is to look for an underlying cause.
The reasons for the user revolt against KDE 4
... appear to be a complex mixture that includes the assumptions that KDE used in its planning, the rush by distributions to include a release that was not ready for general use, and sensationalism in free software blogs and journalism. One reason that has yet to be discussed is one of the potentially most significant — the apparent shift in the FOSS user base. Judging from the quickness and thoroughness with which KDE 4 was rejected, the audience for free software seems to have shifted from a small group of knowledgeable users that treasures innovation to a larger one that values convention and familiarity and is actively suspicious of change.
If this is true, what does that hold for the future of Linux? Will an incursion of the mainstream drive a migration of techheads to BSD or other "untainted" OS:s?"
Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984