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Comment: Bullshit. The RIAA itself says this is OK. (Score 2) 304

by PotatoHead (#47568153) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

I participated in a forum with Lessig, having my question selected for somebody from RIAA legal to be answered:

What are we buying when we buy entertainment media? Is it a license to view/listen to the product, or is it just a copy of the title that we have limited rights to? That is, do we own the license to view/listen to the content in any format -- or when we buy a CD, are we just purchasing the format of the content?

Matt Oppenheim responds.

(C) [What are we buying when we buy entertainment media?]

When you buy a CD, you should feel free to consume the music. That means you should listen to that disc, and feel free to make a copy of that disc for your own use so that you can have a copy in your home and your office. You should feel free to copy it onto other formats, such as .mp3, so that you can listen to it on your computer. You should feel free to copy it to cassette.

The only time you run into problems is if you begin to distribute your copies to others.

The original event is no longer online. However, it appears to be archived at the forum I just linked. We get to transcode and backup our media, and we've always been able to do that. Of course, the DMCA makes circumvention an issue, but CD's really don't have that problem as they are essentially an open, raw audio format to begin with. In practical terms, they are not much different from tapes.

So we make mix CD's, we back up our masters, so the heat from the car doesn't ruin albums we might not be able to buy again, we transcode for our portable media player, or frankly the media player we made ourselves! Mix CD's to express our love for somebody else? Yeah, doing that is OK too.

What this means is we've always been able to make copies for friends. The answer above from the RIAA actually doesn't state this, and for obvious reasons, but the reality of things is clear. What that answer does state clearly is that we are just fine making a copy for the car. In fact, this is nicer than the backup CD, in that it's not really portable like a backup CD is.

Here's a notable question for you:

Say you archive your CD collection. Then you give the originals away. Ethics would have you get rid of the backups. But the law? No requirement at all. Doing this is shitty, but not something one is going to jail for.

Hope these clowns choke on a dick.

Comment: Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (Score 4, Insightful) 454

by Nova Express (#47505491) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

The way he defines success and failure is framed to say all missile defense fails.

Iron Dome uses a combination of a proximity (radar activited) fuse and fragmentation. Sometimes the interceptor destroys the warhead. Sometimes it causes an explosion of the propellant which destroys the warhead. Sometimes it simply breaks the incoming missile or rocket into segments or destroys its ability to follow its planned ballistic path. According to Lloyd and Postol, if the warhead isn’t destroyed the interceptor failed.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to see the immense flaw in this logic: if someone fires a missile at you and you aren’t hit that is good news.

Comment: Conservatives have been making the case... (Score 0) 474 end drug prohibition since at least 1996, on both practical and 10th Amendment grounds. Statists love the "War on Drugs" because it gives them more ways to control people.

Meanwhile, President Obama, the first president who openly admitted to using illegal drugs, has cracked down harder on medical marijuana and other uses of "choom" far harder than Bush ever did.


People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use 710

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-build-a-few-nuclear-reactors dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes with news that a UK study has found that folks concerned about climate change don't do much to conserve power at home. From the article: Those who say they are concerned about the prospect of climate change consume more energy than those who say it is "too far into the future to worry about," the study commissioned by the Department for Energy and climate change found. That is in part due to age, as people over 65 are more frugal with electricity but much less concerned about global warming. However, even when pensioners are discounted, there is only a "weak trend" to show that people who profess to care about climate change do much to cut their energy use. The findings were based on the Household Electricity Survey, which closely monitored the electricity use and views of 250 families over a year. The report (PDF), by experts from Loughborough University and Cambridge Architectural Research, was commissioned and published by DECC. High power use doesn't have to be dirty: Replace coal, methane, and petroleum with nuclear, wind, solar, etc.

Fighting Climate Change With Trade 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the passing-on-the-savings dept.
mdsolar writes with this story about the possible elimination of tariffs on environmental goods between the world's largest economic powers. The United States, the European Union, China and 11 other governments began trade negotiations this week to eliminate tariffs on solar panels, wind turbines, water-treatment equipment and other environmental goods. If they are able to reach an agreement, it could reduce the cost of equipment needed to address climate change and help increase American exports. Global trade in environmental goods is estimated at $1 trillion a year and has been growing fast. (The United States exported about $106 billion worth of such goods last year.) But some countries have imposed import duties as high as 35 percent on such goods. That raises the already high cost of some of this equipment to utilities, manufacturers and, ultimately, consumers. Taken together, the countries represented in these talks (the 28 members of the E.U. negotiate jointly, while China and Hong Kong are represented by separate delegations) account for about 86 percent of trade in these products, which makes the potential benefit from an agreement substantial. Other big countries that are not taking part in these talks, like India, South Africa and Brazil, could choose to join later.

Geographic Segregation By Education 230

Posted by Soulskill
from the philosophy-majors-in-philly,-music-majors-in-singapore dept.
The wage gap between college-educated workers and those with just a high school diploma has been growing — and accelerating. But the education gap is also doing something unexpected: clustering workers with more education in cities with similar people. "This effectively means that college graduates in America aren't simply gaining access to higher wages. They're gaining access to high-cost cities like New York or San Francisco that offer so much more than good jobs: more restaurants, better schools, less crime, even cleaner air." Most people are aware of the gentrification strife occurring in San Francisco, but it's one among many cities experiencing this. "[Research] also found that as cities increased their share of college graduates between 1980 and 2000, they also increased their bars, restaurants, dry cleaners, museums and art galleries per capita. And they experienced larger decreases in pollution and property crime, suggesting that cities that attract college grads benefit from both the kind of amenities that consumers pay for and those that are more intangible." The research shows a clear trend of the desirable cities becoming even more desirable, to the point where it's almost a necessity for city planners to lure college graduates or face decline.

When Beliefs and Facts Collide 725

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-do-you-think dept.
schnell writes A New York Times article discusses a recent Yale study that shows that contrary to popular belief, increased scientific literacy does not correspond to increased belief in accepted scientific findings when it contradicts their religious or political views. The article notes that this is true across the political/religious spectrum and "factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines." So what is to be done? The article suggests that "we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues – for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican."

Comment: Reform to how we fund elections is primary (Score 1) 117

by PotatoHead (#47390461) Attached to: Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line

Your term limit issue is secondary, as are many other issues.

Whether or not we have term limits is a matter of reasoned public debate. Right now, we can't have that due to the money in politics problem.

It is unreasonable for you to connect your issue to the core, systemic problem of how elections are funded.

That is perhaps the biggest misconception and hangup people have. This isn't transactional politics. It's not like you get something in return, or trade-offs get made. We do that now, and the money biases it away from the overall best interests of the people.

Really, if we reform money in politics, a fair, reasoned discussion will happen. Or, at least a much better one will happen.

Term limits, and other things get decided then, not now.

This is a single issue effort. It is systemic, not partisan, and not intended to remedy anything other than the basic issue of money in politics.

Comment: Re:OR (Score 1) 579

by neonfrog (#47370383) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature
Yup. Perhaps I should have added "in the lab." Even just a timing firmware rollout in a major city would be non-trivial and the testing needs to be very robust. But weighing the cost of the previous solution (timers) against a new solution that will presumably have a similar roll-out cost, perhaps the development cost of deploying timing firmware is cheaper than deploying stamped sheet metal hoods. Maybe not. I remind you of this salient point: armchair engineer. My off-the-cuff statements are probably either totally refuted or definitively proven by traffic safety data I don't have at my fingertips.

Comment: Re:OR (Score 1) 579

by neonfrog (#47370085) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature
One more thought - I've been in places (Europe?) where the lights turned Red/Yellow just before turning green. Presumably accidents were reduced by this method. Another method I saw in Germany had very long stop lights, so long that you were prompted by a lighted sign to turn off your engine to reduce pollution. These had countdowns on them so you could restart your engine. Other countries seem to be able to make this work.

Comment: Re:OR (Score 1) 579

by neonfrog (#47370023) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature
Isn't this trivially solvable (he says as armchair traffic engineer in a rural state) by timers and/or sensors? If you don't turn the other direction's light GREEN the *instant* you turn the previous direction's RED, would that reduce accidents? Or if you had a sensor that detected someone racing at the intersection during a yellow, hold the other direction's green for a moment? Yes, people may learn to game these systems, but they may increase safety for some drivers (especially those that are inattentive enough to enter an intersection on a green light while other traffic is still moving (against the laws of man, but not the laws of physics)). You can argue the legalities all you want, but if your goal is safety, there may be other measures to employ. One of the safest things I've seen is an intersection with a left turn lane and simple inductive sensors. You simply can't know the light's patterns by heart, and you can't see at least 2 other direction's signals, so you are more careful with those kinds of intersections.

Comment: Re:The answer nobody likes... (Score 2) 286

by neonfrog (#47336241) Attached to: What To Do If Police Try To Search Your Phone Without a Warrant
I agree with most of what you suggest, but I thought the conventional wisdom was to *not* go for identification until asked. If you are rummaging around in the glove box, the police officer has no idea if you are going for a gun. Granted they have no idea anyway in that moment, but the correct steps are everything else you suggested - interior light, hands on wheel, etc., then wait. They can see your hands as they approach from the rear and have less cause to suspect you are arming yourself. Then when they ask for your papers, they can track your hands the whole times and are thus less surprised at any moment.
I've worked with police officers several times and have a great deal of respect for what they have to endure, but a reasonable traffic stop attitude works for all parties.

Comment: Re:Let them drink! (Score 1) 532

by neonfrog (#47334093) Attached to: NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks
The summary you linked to makes no such claims about taking *all* economic impacts into consideration. Both studies cited purely compared "health costs" and made no mention of societal economic contribution. Your claim that retired people are a net economic drain on society. Care to cite anything? I didn't find anything compelling in a few minutes searching, and in fact saw lots of references to the opposite story. "If you're taxing people for life-long health care cost, you should be SUBSIDIZING smoking" is an incredibly narrow method of human cost accounting as the only vector you're considering is "life-long health care cost." I understand your defined, but narrow, argument, and looking at the costs is certainly *one* slim avenue to consider. But the last 2 paragraphs in your link tell the story much more completely for me. I'm not attacking you, just voicing my own inability to see past the narrowness of the idea.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz