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Comment: Re:The article title is inaccurate and inflammator (Score 0) 162

by Melee_Fracas (#34667066) Attached to: UK Banks Attempt To Censor Academic Publication

What surprises me is not the arrogance of the Banks in making this demand, but the fact they actually think they can intimidate one of the worlds oldest universities.

This is nearly precisely my point. It's not a "notice" unless someone is being notified of a legal infraction. This is just pure arrogant bumbling. They may be evil, but it's more important that they're hilariously inept.

Comment: Re:The article title is inaccurate and inflammator (Score 2, Insightful) 162

by Melee_Fracas (#34666600) Attached to: UK Banks Attempt To Censor Academic Publication

Is there no difference between the interrogative ("..we would ask...") and the imperative (for example, "...we demand that you remove...")?

If we're going to call this a "take-down notice," what will we call it when Cards actually notifies Cambridge that they are demanding that Cambridge remove some other content and that Cards believes they have the legal force of law to require it? Will that be a "take-down sexual assault?"

Simply put, there can be letters that are not take-down notices. This is one of them.

But, to answer your question: I'm reasonably certain that we did read the same document. However, I'm also reasonably certain that my interpretation of it is informed by the meanings of the words on the page and a verifiable reconstruction of the authors' understanding of the scope of actions available to them. In contrast, you quoted back to me the supplication, "...we would ask that this research be removed...," and called the document that contained that phrase a "notice," with apparent sincerity. I allege that this characterization is not supported by the text of the letter.

Furthermore, in your brief missive, you managed to impugn my motives in a very silly way, accusing me either of being on the bankers' dole or of being so prostrate before moneyed interests on principle (Heh. "Moneyed interest on princip[le|al]." Get it?) that I'm unable to properly read the letter. Is this a serious way to think or argue? Specifically, is this a way to think or argue that is even capable either of engaging the facts of the matter or of fostering any kind of intellectual progress?

Also, if I don't get modded up for "moneyed interests on principle," then you people have hearts of stone.

Comment: The article title is inaccurate and inflammatory. (Score 1, Informative) 162

by Melee_Fracas (#34666038) Attached to: UK Banks Attempt To Censor Academic Publication

Having read the letter in the supplied link, "take-down notice" is an inappropriate and inflammatory term to use to describe the communication in question.

IANAL, but I am a speaker of the English language. A "take-down notice" would, in common usage, refer to a DMCA (most common) or other style notification that a publisher of some (often allegedly plagiarized) content is legally obligated to remove it, or will enjoy a legal safe harbor if one does so. None of these criteria are met by the letter in question. Also spurious is the use of the word "demand." The letter makes no demands. It expresses (IMO poorly founded) concerns. What we have, instead, is a letter that basically says, "Hey, this bothers us. Would you stop it?"

This may be inappropriate. (It is.) It might be silly. (It is.) It is not, however, a David-and-Goliath story of epic proportion. It is regrettable both that ./ has descended to this kind of pandering in order to attract readership and that, judging by most comments in here, they have consequently succeeded in attracting an audience that doesn't take the minimal time necessary to examine the source material provided and come to a conclusion on the actual merits.

I believe it is customary to shout, "THINK SHEEPLE!," at this time.

Comment: Shuttle II (Score 5, Insightful) 255

by Melee_Fracas (#25524031) Attached to: Setbacks Cast Doubt On NASA's Ares Project

I remember, as a kid, being very excited about reports that the reusable 'Space Shuttle' was going to be like a 'space pickup truck' and reduce launch costs to $50/lb. It was still expensive, but I remember calculating the price for a kid my size. ($4500. Wow!) Then the cost went up to $100/lb. Not great, but still cheaper than what we had. Then $500/lb. Tolerable, I guess. Then they quit talking about it at all.

NASA has done a lot of amazing things in the last 30 years, no doubt. But their manned program is a complete fuck-story. Just once, I'd like to see senior NASA management acknowledge a problem in the manned program, own up to causing it, and taking the action necessary to fix it. I like it that they've split cargo and humans (after 30 years of agonizingly expensive lessons that have greatly diminished American space capability) and are going back to mostly disposable systems (again, after 30 years of expensive lessons). But, why--Oh, why!?--can't they get this right?

It looks like they're going to drive this thing into the ground, just like the shuttle. The public secret is that the NASA manned program shows all the signs of a dysfunctional organization, and has for 30 years. The next president, senate, and congress need to seriously look at scrapping NASA's manned program and building a new one from scratch, possibly outside of the auspices of NASA. For the good of the country and of humankind, I hope that they do.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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