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Comment: Re:sounds like North Korea news (Score 1) 104

by erikkemperman (#47431353) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

News stations use to be required by law to state just the facts and give both sides of the story if I remember right.

Uh-huh. And now (well, for some time already) we have courts agreeing with Fox et al that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

Comment: Re:sounds like North Korea news (Score 1) 104

by erikkemperman (#47431289) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

So... Yeah, this is basically exactly the same issue as the FB "experiment" snafu a while back.

We might try and wait until we can do a slightly more upbeat trend.

I thought a tend is supposed to be some overall direction in what is actually happening in the real world. Not what we would like to be happening.

Comment: Re:Why (Score 4, Informative) 205

This is true for most of Western Europe, I would say. I'm not sure if it is actually reasonable, but very explicit nationalism still triggers memories of certain regrettable events in our not-that-distant past. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say many Europeans find the amount of flag-waving and anthem-singing that's on display in the US frankly shocking.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 65

by erikkemperman (#47371289) Attached to: Seven ISPs Take Legal Action Against GCHQ

Right, because Doctor Who isn't associated with nerds or anything like that.

Well, actually I would guess that the nerd association with Doctor Who is rather less pronounced than, say, everything Star Trek.

The anniversary episode was a major event here in Europe, for instance, certainly extending well beyond geekdom. Maybe that is different in the US.

But back to the Torchwood spin-off, I don't think I'd seen it referred to here /. so I guess I just presumed it hadn't been a thing in the US.

Comment: Re:Good idea (Score 1) 42

About a year into it's life the TP got taken over by the Church republicans.

I thought that church republicans effectively took over, you know, the republicans -- over the course of the 80s/90s? More specifically weren't those evangelical church republicans? Then it should not really be surprising that subsequently emerging factions within that party reflect this situation, seems to me.

Comment: Re:Good idea (Score 1) 42

Mayday plans to fund politicians to get campaign finance reform legislation passed

So, if that is accurate, the plan is to bribe the crooks in Congress, in a one-time deal with -- let's not kid ourselves -- a small grassroots movement, out of accepting bribes and career prospects from multinational conglomerates over the mid- to long-term future?

Good luck with that. Seriously, I support the goal but this seems pointless. Would love to be wrong here.

Comment: Re:Uh... Yeah? (Score 5, Insightful) 242

by erikkemperman (#47359371) Attached to: Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

Your panties aside, the whole problem here is that NSA is using "national security" as reason for a whole bunch of other things. Like economic, diplomatic and industrial espionage. Which is definitely not the NSA's job, no matter how liberally we interpret their mandate. Expand the acronym, there's a bit of a hint in there.

Explain to me why spying on, say, Angela Merkel or the entire Copenhagen or G20 summits is related to US national security and maybe I'll see your point.

You are probably correct that other countries do similar things (China and Russia come to mind) but you seem to be clueless to the difference in scale.

Finally, your sig: you disbelieve AGW arguments because you think Al Gore is a hypocrite? You're right about that last bit, but the conclusion, to put it mildly, does not follow.

Comment: Re:And another on the ban pile (Score 1) 289

You're saying Sony are Too Big to Boycot? And I'm the idiot?

Anyway, I was actually just questioning GP's assertion that us geeks have any kind of influence over such things. And while I happily concede that the sony rootkit example is not the best possible one, it came to mind because after that one I personally stopped believing this assertion.

Doesn't mean I won't speak out if someone asks me a tech question, just that I don't actually expect them to be persuaded or disuaded, as the case may be, because of anything I said.

Comment: Re:And another on the ban pile (Score 1) 289

The hundred non-slashdotters generally rely on their geek friends to give computer advice, such as "should I upgrade".

Ah, so that is why after the rootkit debacle all my non-technical friends followed my advice and started boycotting Sony.

Oh wait, they didn't.

Comment: Re:Of course it is worth it (Score 1) 97

Of course it's worth it to those money-grabbing interest groups to extend their power and bypass all democratic control and law.

And if this is not immediately obvious, there's the fact that we only have even the slightest idea of what's in there is due to leaks. If these proposals are so fantastically wonderful for all concerned, why this selective secrecy -- to include the corps, but not the people?

The version I've seen contains gems such as "importing US natural gas into the EU will be considered in the public interest by default", in combination with all kinds of wording that's obviously aimed at outlawing publicly sponsored alternative energy research...

I hope this will go the way of ACTA. But then they'll just come up with a new attempt, and so on until we relent or otherwise fail to protest it to death.

Comment: Re:Gamers? (Score 1) 168

by erikkemperman (#47086205) Attached to: This Is Your Brain While Videogaming Stoned

I would never recommend using entheogenic substances to anyone who wasn't very curious and confident. Having said that, those who've never tried it can not possibly know just what is and isn't bullshit about the effects. I'm not a believer in supernatural or magical things, but nevertheless some of these substances have allowed me to learn valuable lessons about myself and in one case basically cured a mild phobia. Like GP says, there can be real benefits (and dangers) to this kind of mind annealing.

Comment: Re:Gamers? (Score 1) 168

by erikkemperman (#47082323) Attached to: This Is Your Brain While Videogaming Stoned

> ayahuasca, DMT

Listing both is redundant, as DMT is the active ingredient in ayahuasca (the MAOI component in this plant extract is there to prevent the DMT from being destroyed in the gut by monoamine oxidaze, and its psychoactive effect is miniscule in comparison to the DMT -- if MAOIs had a strong psychoactive effect they probably wouldn't be used as antidepressants).

The harmala component in ayahuasca is there (mostly) to facilitate ingestion, yes, but DMT can be used without it when smoked or snorted (which I think was the original use, powder processed from yopo bark).

Anyway, it might be a regional thing, but my impression is that to the extent that is to be found at all, "DMT" here in the EU refers to synthetic stuff meant to be smoked in a base pipe, and probably is not the 5-MeO-DMT variant found in ayahuasca. Is this use of the terms different in the US?

Listing DMT would have been sufficient; listing both is kind of like listing mescaline and peyote both, which doesn't make sense -- one comes from the other.

Mescaline can come from peyote, of course, but also from San Pedro. The effects are reported to be distinct, to some extent, due to the various other components in either plant. Which presumably make both slightly different from synthetic mescaline. I can't actually say this from personal experience though, these things are not at all commonplace or easy to procure where I'm at.

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos