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Submission + - Prison for Pirate Bay 1

a_n_d_e_r_s writes: The four persons behind the Pirate Bay accused of helping others to commit copyright infringement has today received their sentence of 1 year in prison and about 30 MSEK in damages and loss of the computer equpment that was used to host the Pirate bay. It will most likely be appealed to a higher court. This is reported all over the net BBC and Routers Skimming through the verdict(warning large PDF in SWEDISH) it looks like they where all found guilty as having a general knowledge that the Pirate Bay can be used for copyright infringement and thus where found guilty of the crime. Even though the accused was not even aware of the torrents that was part of the court hearing they where sentenced. This is the real interesting issue — by not even giving an aperance to fight against that their site being used for copyright infringements probably was the important factor that made the court found them guilty. The sentencing is not unexpected (max verdict is 2 years in prison) and the damages is about 1/3 of what the companies that has requested damages had requested. Notice that no punitive damages is applicable.

Comment Re:Why is defection considered rational? (Score 1) 415

It really matters. If you "unilaterally decide that you are on the other prisoner's team" and he does not agree, then you go to jail for the full 10-year sentence. Congratulations, you lost the game.

You lost A game, but not the game you cared about playing - winning for the team. For example, I would not consider losing your life while rescuing that of another person "losing", as long as that was your intention. If your intention was to live long and prosper, then yes, you failed.

By cooperating, you guarantee that the absolutely worst outcome for the team (both prisoners defect) will not happen. It is possible to have goals involving entities greater than oneself, even if some individuals don't.

Comment Re:Simpler explanation (Score 1) 415

Humans are selfish by nature.

I think you might want to read The Selfish Gene. It explains how genes, not individuals, are selfish by nature, and will sacrifice the human carrying them if it can help their cause, replication. An example is suicidal rescue missions of one's own relatives (especially children and siblings at reproductive age). By force of natural selection, the best genes "know" that relatives, neighbors and fellow human beings are likely to carry instances of the same genes (in decreasing order of probability).

Comment Why is defection considered rational? (Score 3, Interesting) 415

Whenever I read about the (non-repeated) prisoner's dilemma, someone claims that the "rational" choice for either party is to defect, because it yields the highest payoff for one player. This seems to ignore an important point:

The game involves three players - "prisoner one", "prisoner two" and "prison". If the prisoners form a team, it will be better for the team if both of them cooperate. There doesn't have to be any wishful thinking, but simply a goal of doing better for the team. You can never improve the score for the team by defecting.

What is irrational or not always depends on what your goals are.

Comment Re:How hard can it be to get this right? (Score 2, Interesting) 114

I *KNOW* that I could make a simple web app launched in firefox and attached to a locally-running apache instance on a linux box NOT MISS A SINGLE VOTE.

I guess the problem was that these people also "knew", and thus didn't see the need to actually test the interface on a sufficient number of people - There's a 95% change that at least 1 out of 150 random testers would fall victim to a 2% failure rate. If you allowed the testers to leave feedback, the mistakes could probably have been discovered a lot faster. I'm basing this on #27545121, which claims this was a user interface issue.

They could have put the machine up in a mall, and let people use it to leave customer feedback or something, with a chance to win a small prize.

Comment Re:Banking doesn't usually require anonymity (Score 2, Insightful) 114

But most importantly, for 99,9% of the voters, it is impossible to understand the system, let alone verify the actual vote.

To verify the system, only a small absolute number (not percentage) of people needs to verify it. Assume 1% of the votes are incorrect and 500 random (from the cheater's perspective) people verify their hashes. The probability that none of these are victims of a forged vote is 0.65%. If only 0.1% of the votes are tampered with, you need 5000 people to achieve a similar percentage.

Your made up number of 0.1% of the people checking the hashes will thus be very resilient for voting populations greater than 500,000.

As for preventing the insertion of fake votes, you need to publish a list of who voted, and compare the length of this list to the length of the vote list. This list can also be verified by random sampling.

Comment Re:Banking doesn't usually require anonymity (Score 2, Informative) 114

If you gave up secret voting, you could likely make a 'secure enough' voting system, since anyone could check their own vote in the system.

This is actually a solved problem. When you vote, you get a unique random sequence of characters. After the election is completed, a list of all votes is published. Next to each vote, the SHA1 sum of the voter's personal ID number concatenated with the random characters is listed. Example (truncated SHA1 sums):

64038c437f2c republicans

aea7fb41626d republicans

86895065f81f democrats

0ee79f4948b0 democrats

The random characters are never stored by the voting system, only the resulting hash. Any one person can verify that his vote has been counted, because he knows his own random characters and resulting hash. No one can find out what anyone else voted, because they don't have the random characters.

Comment Re:RTFS?? (Score 1) 904

The "good side"? Is that the side that is opposed to the war? The people planting road side bombs in Iraq were against the war. Were they on the "good side" too?

I can come up with at least three sides: The side wanting to start a war, the side wanting stop the war through politics and the side wanting to stop the war through roadside bombs.

This, perhaps surprisingly, means you can be on the good side of a war without planting roadside bombs.

Listen, she has the right to say whatever she wishes, wherever she wishes. That's what free speech is all about. However, it shows a true lack class to air your dirty laundry over seas.

I, for one, am not offended. Also, have you considered the possibility the offended group is an unimportant minority?

Like it or not, you can not oppose the mission without opposing the troops who are risking their lives to carry out that mission.

Supporting the troops is supporting the democracy. Opposing the war decision is participating in the democratic process. These are compatible as far as I can tell.

I'll elaborate: Troops are government workers performing the will of the people with high personal risk and low financial gain. In determining your support, this fact by itself can have higher priority than the morality of their current mission.

Comment Re:There is money and publicity (Score 1) 1190


Then again, Science News also chooses to report a 9% growth in the arctic ice as "A near-record Arctic melting"

The article does not say what you want it to: it was not a 9% growth in ice volume, but a 9% growth in surface coverage.

Quoted article, further down:

First-year ice typically measures between 1 and 1.5 meters thick, whereas multiyear ice averages about 3 meters thick. That disparity, plus the near-record low sea ice extent this year, suggests that the total volume of ice floating atop the Arctic Ocean this summer dropped to a new record low.

Comment Re:"windows" article tag biased (Score 1) 408

If your $HOME dir is securely chmoded, the p2p app wont have privileges to browse it.

Of course, removing the read bit and disowning your $HOME will prevent `ls' and file managers like Midnight Commander from being able to list directory contents, but that's how we Unix users roll. We also like to use non-guessable subdirectory names.

Comment Re:And Michael Looked Back (Score 1) 600

Sure, there's some foreign investment, but it's going into crap like hotels and shopping centres, not infrastructure that's going to support a decent economy in the long term.

Are you sure? I motorcycled through Poland a few months ago, and I saw some massive spending on infrastructure, especially the A2 motorway. If you've used the roads of Poland, you'll agree that an upgrade is vitally important. In particular, roads leading to Berlin are important for transportation of goods.

Warszawa seemed modern in most regards (probably because it needed rebuilding after World War 2), and they have a very nice subway system under construction (already partly operational) as well as modern surface trams.

Still, most of the population live in thousands of small villages, and those people probably aren't noticing the economic growth too much.

Since joining the EU, costs of production have risen across the Polish economy leaving it less able to compete.

That's what happens when you become a developed nation, no?

Comment Re:GPL to plugins? (Score 1) 342

It is bad because they don't want the compiler they've written for free to be exploited for profit by someone who's not willing to share their code. If you want to make proprietary software, don't use the hard work of someone who doesn't want to be a part of it.

I have no idea why you compared DRM to GPL. DRM is about restricting use otherwise allowed by copyright law. GPL is about allowing things otherwise disallowed by copyright law (if you don't accept the license, only copyright law applies).

God is real, unless declared integer.