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Comment: Re:Generating sales for the plagiarized book (Score 1) 449

by Tezcat (#31120880) Attached to: Is Plagiarism In Literature Just Sampling?

As stated in the article, the whole controversy is also generating sales for the lesser-known "Strobo" book that was allegedly plagiarized. That can't be a bad thing. http://www.amazon.de/Axolotl-Roadkill-Helene-Hegemann/dp/3550087926/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266012743&sr=8-1 Still waiting for copyright enforcement advocates to realize that copyright infringement isn't always a bad thing.

The scandal is generating sales. If there was no scandal, if she had got away with it, the original copyright holder would not be profiting at all, while the plagiariser raked it in.

Comment: Re:So Iran's standards then? (Score 2, Insightful) 697

by Tezcat (#31086710) Attached to: Appeals Court Rules On Internet Obscenity Standards
The difficulty arises if images are shown to provoke and promote illegal behaviour. Although this logic is not used directly in cases of child-porn (although I'd be interested to see studies that found a causal link) , it is used in certain situations regarding terrorism and other criminal acts.

Should society and the government have the authority to ban videos and literature detailing weapon manufacture and security-breaking techniques?

Comment: Re:Can someone summarize this? (Score 3, Insightful) 231

by Tezcat (#30641058) Attached to: Jaron Lanier Rants Against the World of Web 2.0
I wouldn't call them unique to the internet. Paper journalists bemoaned the TV news as a bite-size summary of real news, and then as a torrent of summary when 24-hour news networks rolled around.

In fact, weren't there plenty of people complaining about the growth of first the printing press and then mass-production novels and comic strips? Writers of all stripes seem to have a notion of the 'sanctity of information'... or at least the authority of their opinion.

Comment: Re:Bought the tshirt (Score 5, Interesting) 260

by Tezcat (#30557918) Attached to: Microbes That Keep Us Healthy Starting To Die Off

There is no shortage of domestic cattle, but elephants are endangered because humans want to use and eat them yet make little effort to preserve them in quantity.

I hate to play pedant, but that's a poor analogy. Cattle have been bred to mature quickly; meanwhile the never-fully domesticated Elephants of Africa and India rival humans for their long maturation and gestation periods.

Microbes, on the other hand, are easy to breed in quantity once you have established their optimal developmental environment. Once we work out what we have inside and around us and what we need, we could conceivably tailor our anti-biotic intake based on our inherited and environmental differences.

'Intelligently planned' biotic yoghurt supplements may be the next big thing in preventative health care.
/IANA Micro-biologist

Comment: Re:Fair Use? (Score 2, Insightful) 527

by Tezcat (#30465788) Attached to: Former Congressman Learns About Streisand Effect
I'd happily argue for lighter and proportional prison sentences for a variety of reasons; from prison populations to rehabilitation and education. Just not when I'm fired up after reading about a hypocritical incestuous rapist. Screw his vile guts. Like many people who are socially liberal, I admit my bias towards forgiving the 'victims of society', the poor, mentally disturbed and undereducated. That people given a good break in life still behave abominably is deeply depressing.

Comment: Re:WoW (Score 3, Informative) 125

by Tezcat (#30364190) Attached to: The Struggle For Private Game Servers
There is competition in the form of skill, and there is competition in terms of strategy and concentration. With many games a peak of 'skill' is achievable; but the best competitive players will spend time developing new strategies to defeat their opponents' strategies. This is what happens in games like Street Fighter, Starcraft and Chess:
The meta-game BECOMES the game.

Comment: Re:Let's do it right this time. (Score 4, Insightful) 289

by Tezcat (#30347436) Attached to: Iran Slows Internet Access Before Student Protests
If the regime controls the media well enough, any problems or threats can be described as American-sponsered.

And if any change does occur, it'd not stop sympathetic conspiracists from blaming the downfall of an Islamic state on whoever they damn well wish: The US, the UK, or a sinister cabal of Zionists.

Of course, this is discounting the major problem the anti-government Iranian students are facing; that those they oppose were revolutionary students once, ruthless ones at that, and know a few of the tricks.

Comment: Re:Hypocrisy (Score 1) 571

by Tezcat (#30241076) Attached to: Hacker McKinnon To Be Extradited To US
As noted above, that football fan was clearly framed; someone else admitted to the offense.

In the case of the Lockerbie bomber, he is dying, and was sent home only after he agreed to drop his appeal; part of a legal process which has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years for legal abnomalities, dodgy witnesses, and political involvement. See Private Eye's recently republished report for more details.

What we should be angry about is the kind of political involvement in the legal process which serves to cover up the legal and data-security failures of foreign powers.

Comment: Re:Have a great trip! (Score 1) 1095

by Tezcat (#30212516) Attached to: Geek Travel To London From the US — Tips?
I wouldn't describe the London Eye as 'crushingly dull' : It's a sedate opportunity to enjoy the view over London, rather than a thrilling adventure ride. As for my advice: Get a good guidebook for general advice and 'must sees', but spend some time just wandering around. Take a day or two to visit the city of Bath, perhaps one of the most pleasant places in Britain.

Comment: Re:hmmm (Score 1) 461

by Tezcat (#29791325) Attached to: Observing Evolution Over 40,000 Generations

"If the strong survive and the weak die off, it makes sense that the strong would survive long enough to evolve. Shouldn't there be MORE of these fossils? Why do we only find the dead end?"

If you're digging in Africa and find an elephant skeleton, you accept it and move on. The slight, gradual changes in the fossil record which you ask for are often masked by resembling the standard mutability of existing populations.

For a more concrete example, see the arguments over the remains of early humans; many of which are described as seperate species despite being only marginally outside the normal range of human skeletal features.

In TFA, gradual changes can be seen to lead to something new, something which falls outside the defined boundaries of the original organism.. This effect can be partially observed within human history in other small, fast-breeding species in a stable environment. For large creatures such as mammals, particularly the slow-maturation elephants and humans, we will have to wait and see how change occurs over thousands of years, assuming our species survive that long.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden