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Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 1) 281

by AmiMoJo (#48671815) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

The US is a paragon of free speech â" not because there is no room for improvement, but because all (certainly most) other societies are worse in this regard.

European countries consider themselves more free than the US, it's just that they have a different concept of what freedom is.

In Europe freedom is seen as a two sided coin. You have negative freedom, that is freedom from interference and limits on your behaviour. That includes freedom of speech. Then you have positive freedom, the freedom to participate in society and to prosper. That includes things like the right to vote, the right to a family life, and the right to education.

In the US you can protest loudly outside someone's home day and night. Some people go and protest at the funerals of soldiers, and good natured bikers have to come and form a line to keep them away. In Europe that kind of thing would clash with a person's freedom to have a private life, i.e. to privately grieve for their loved on at the funeral.

We also see the right to a private life clashing with US company's desire to profile everyone and use their personal data for commercial gain, which Europeans consider to be a massive loss of freedom but Americans consider to be a corporation exercising its free speech rights.

Comment: Re:not really likely (Score 1) 197

by AmiMoJo (#48671795) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

What makes it suspicious is that the hackers seem to have access to Sony's system for an extended period of time before going public. If their goal was to prevent the release of this movie they left it rather late in the day. It doesn't seem to have been their primary goal, and in fact they tried to extort money out of Sony first which seems like an odd thing for a nation state to do.

The only evidence that the FBI has offered are some Korean strings, which by themselves tell us very little.

Comment: Re:Cut Down On Olympic Bloat (Score 2) 202

by AmiMoJo (#48670023) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

Almost all sports are judged to some degree, even if it is only a referee making decisions. In any case, those sports are all in there because they have large international competitions and structures, with well defined rules that many athletes feel are worth competing under. If they were just a pure judgement call people wouldn't bother participating since there would be no clear and objective way to measure and improve their performance, but that's not how they work.

The judges use very specific criteria, just like an examiner does to mark papers in an academic setting. For example, in rhythmic gymnastics there is a list of moves, ranked by difficulty and judged on how well the athlete meets the prescribed forms. It's not about looking good, it's about doing the motions correctly and with a high level of skill.


Did North Korea Really Attack Sony? 197

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Many security experts remain skeptical of North Korea's involvement in the recent Sony hacks. Schneier writes: "Clues in the hackers' attack code seem to point in all directions at once. The FBI points to reused code from previous attacks associated with North Korea, as well as similarities in the networks used to launch the attacks. Korean language in the code also suggests a Korean origin, though not necessarily a North Korean one, since North Koreans use a unique dialect. However you read it, this sort of evidence is circumstantial at best. It's easy to fake, and it's even easier to interpret it incorrectly. In general, it's a situation that rapidly devolves into storytelling, where analysts pick bits and pieces of the "evidence" to suit the narrative they already have worked out in their heads.""

Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 2) 281

by AmiMoJo (#48669901) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

There are still big problems with this.

1. The police were warned not to go after people for this kind of thing, with specific advice from the Attorney General. Yet, they carry on doing it.

2. They don't seem to understand Twitter. The laws they are using are anti-harassment laws, designed to stop people trolling the families of victims and the like. This guy didn't send his joke to those people, and they would probably have never heard it if the police hadn't brought it to their attention.

3. While the tweet was public, so are billions of others made every day. It's akin to saying something distasteful but not illegal to your friends while walking down the street, and being arrested because someone somewhere could have been offended by it.

Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 3, Insightful) 281

by AmiMoJo (#48669827) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

social justice warriors

This is the new Godwin. And in this case, you are wrong. This is the police being dumb fucks, as usual. They have been given specific advice about this sort of thing, but are ignoring it.

It's actually the people who oppose the social justice warriors who are calling for this kind of things: the Daily Mail readers. The ones who wanted the porn filters. The ones were are permanently offended about everything, especially other people people's offence.

Comment: Re:Tree of liberty (Score 1) 281

by AmiMoJo (#48669793) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

Actually European human rights do give people some right not to be offended in certain, very limited circumstances. For example, someone who has just been bereaved has a right to a certain amount of peace, e.g. not having people standing outside their homes screaming abuse all day. See, in Europe there are both positive and negative freedoms, i.e. your right to scream abuse vs. everyone else's right not to listen to it in their own homes.

Arresting someone for posting something on Twitter is way, way, way beyond what little protection people have though. The victim's families are not forced to read these tweets, and in fact it's somewhat doubtful if they would ever have heard about them if the police hadn't turned it into a media circus by being their usual moronic selves.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford