Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
Carbon is not the entire problem. everyone is worried about carbon, because carbon supposedly adds heat to the earth. Carbon keeps heat here. that's all it does. the problem is the waste heat generated by the first world nations. stop and think about the amount of waste heat our society produces on a day to day basis. on average a set of brakes on a single car will heat up and then dissipate off up to 200C of heat several times a day. a Coal plant will discard 20% of it's output AT LEAST in waste heat all day. and in this nation we have several 300MW and larger coal plants. I live and work in a city with two of them. when the heat exchange tower for the newer, more modern, ahem, clean coal plant activates (it's a steam bed, basically, four basins 20m in diameter that discharge waste heat as steam into the atmosphere. Saskpower Shand Generation station, if you're interested) the greenhouse, more than a km away, routinely has the temperature outside raise by up to 5C on a -40C day.
Accumulation of waste heat in the biosphere is the root cause of global warming. carbon dioxide only makes it worse by lessening the extent to which the earth is capable of radiating her heat load off into space. Wind helps with this, because Capturing the wind robs the biosphere of energy, which in this case is generated by heat. convection drives the wind, heat drives convection. Wind is not the solution, but it's a far better one than nuclear which again just adds more energy and therefore waste heat to the environment. the end result of every joule of electricity generated on earth today is waste heat. every last joule. we need to start taking some of that energy back out of the environment, whether by capturing it with solar cells (well, not capturing our heat, but removing some measure of the new heat the sun adds), harvesting it's result with wind generators, and perhaps invest more in some thermovaltic solutions to harvest heat from the ocean as electricity.
There are limits to that. You can own and modify a coat hangar all you like until you create a tool to unlock car doors with it, at which point it becomes illegal to posses, with good reason.
I agree that people should be able to modify their own hardware however they like, but with that comes the responsiblity for those modifications. this case goes beyond that in that he was modifying hardware commercially for other people, where he was aware that the majority of his customers were using his service to enable the theft of game software. it's morally grey right up until you realize that us as geeks are pretty much the ONLY people who're going to use modified hardware for good means. we mod for XBMC, regular students and youth mod so they don't have to pay for software.
The law that they are prosecuting on is a bad law. I agree. They should have to prove that his hardware modifications were used to steal software and that he was aware or perhaps advertised that this is what you could do and will do with these modifications. prosecute on the basis that he's a copyright thief instead of the basis that he circumvented protection measures. when the DMCA was introduced it was stated they weren't going to use this law this way, now they have. this a bad thing, I agree. this man is still a thief and should be treated as such.