SharpFang writes "In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that misinformed people, particularly political partisans, rarely changed their minds when exposed to corrected facts in news stories. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."
Sir Mal Fet writes "Chile has become the first country in the world to approve, by 100 votes in favor and one abstention, a law guaranteeing net neutrality (Google translation; Spanish original). The law states [submitter's translation]: 'No [ISP] can block, interfere with, discriminate, hinder, nor restrict the right of any Internet user of using, send, receive or offer any content, application, or legitimate service through the Internet, as well as any activity or legitimate use conducted through the Internet.' The law also has articles that force ISPs to provide parental control tools, clarify contracts, guarantee users' privacy and safety when surfing, and forbids them to restrict any liberty whatsoever. This is a major advance in the legislation of the country regarding the Web, when until last year almost anything that was performed online was considered illegal."
katarn writes "Apparently domestic and international pressure, security vulnerabilities, and a $2.2B lawsuit over alleged stolen code have taken their toll on China's Green Dam software censorship program. Green Dam is a separate program from the 'Great Firewall of China,' which remains firmly in place. According to Green Dam program partners, funding for the project has not been renewed. The project development team has been shut down and the installation and aftercare team is facing closure. Unsurprisingly there has been no official comment from official Chinese authorities."
Remember the Communications Decency Act? Enacted 1996, found unconstitutional 1997. Or its successor attempt to reduce discourse on the Internet to what is suitable for 8-year-olds, the Child Online Protection Act? Invalidated 2003. Seven state laws attempting to restrict Internet content on grounds of decency have been struck down. Despite all this, Massachusetts has now added a couple of paragraphs to its (traditionally bricks-and-mortar) indecency law that applies a "harmful to minors" test to Internet content. The ACLU of Massachusetts and others have brought suit to block the law, which went into effect on July 11. Coincidentally, today a US appeals court tossed out the FCC's indecency policy.
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, we discussed Techdirt's tale of 'Hollywood Accounting,' which showed how movies like Harry Potter still officially 'lose' money with some simple accounting tricks. This week Techdirt is taking on RIAA accounting and demonstrating why most musicians — even multi-platinum recording stars — may never see a dime from their album sales. 'They make you a "loan" and then take the first 63% of any dollar you make, get to automatically increase the size of the "loan" by simply adding in all sorts of crazy expenses (did the exec bring in pizza at the recording session? that gets added on), and then tries to get the loan repaid out of what meager pittance they've left for you. Oh, and after all of that, the record label still owns the copyrights.' The average musician on a major record deal 'gets' about $23 per $1,000 made... and that $23 still never gets paid because it has to go to 'recouping' the loan... even though the label is taking $630 out of that $1,000, and not counting it towards the advance. Remember all this the next time a record label says they're trying to protect musicians' revenue."
trashbird1240 writes "Reports on a recent meta-analysis of bullies and victims found that bullies and victims have similar personality traits, but that bullies tend to do poorly in school, as opposed to those who get bullied. Both bullies and victims are poor social problem solvers, but they resort to different tactics to handle their social ineptitude. To me this represents a huge leap forward in understanding nerd psychology."
angry tapir writes "Most people will be familiar with some of the big names when it comes to Linux — distributions like Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, and Mandriva. Most of the well-known Linux distros are designed to be used as general-purpose desktop operating systems or installed on servers. But beyond these distros are hundreds of others either designed to appeal to very specific audiences or to fulfill the somewhat niche needs of some users. We rounded up some of the most interesting Linux distributions that you might not have heard of."
What a pile of horse shit. What needs to go, is the inherent respect for people's precious sensibilities. People who choose to be offended by every blunt fucking thing said, need to be offended to the point that they realize that taking offense is rather like an act of self-mutilation than an act of victimization, and that the idea of reducing blunt insults is not just a worthless, but impossible ideal. As indeed it should be.
Man, am I getting tired of muslims being offended. Hey, muslims, here's a news flash! WE'RE ALL OFFENDED! ALL THE TIME! People with half the guts of a mouse just live with it, and it's not rocket science, either. You just... live with it. It's really just that simple, and you're not beyond it. Get over yourselves, you whining, gutless, fucking pussies.
ub3r n3u7r4l1st sends along this snippet from Science Daily: "Computer games have a broad appeal that transcends gender, culture, age and socio-economic status. Now, computer scientists in the US think that creating computer games, rather than just playing them, could boost students' critical and creative thinking skills as well as broaden their participation in computing. ... 'Worldwide, there is increasing recognition of a digital divide, a troubling gap between groups that use information and communication technologies widely and those that do not,' the team explains. 'The digital divide refers not only to unequal access to computing resources between groups of people but also to inequalities in their ability to use information technology fully.' There are many causes and proposed solutions to bridging this divide, but applying them at the educational and computer literacy level in an entertaining and productive way might be one of the more successful. The team adds that teaching people how to use off-the-shelf tools to quickly build a computer game might allow anyone to learn new thinking and computing skills."
Also I have to add... foreign money is worth a lot in Iceland now, and will for quite a while (decades). It's one of the most serious economic problems facing Iceland, the low value of the currency. It's terrible for the Icelandic population of course, but it means that labour is dirt cheap if you have foreign currency. Odds are you'd get much better bang for the buck.
"Bandwidth is one, another is how much extra does it cost to design a facility to be more resistant to earthquakes as the vulcanization that offers those benefits of abundant geothermal power also means there is seismic instability." While a perfectly legitimate concern, bandwidth is not a problem. Neither is the seismic activity. Any serious seismic activity is well mapped out and building for it hasn't been a problem since we crawled out of the caves (which admittedly was only around 1900). In my opinion, the earthquakes are outright fun, and we know well where the earthquake danger zones are. Start worrying if you hear that they want to build it around Selfoss.
I'm born raised in Iceland but currently live in Canada and I've spent a year in Finland, and I can absolutely, positively guarantee you that the tech guru population per capita in Iceland is drastically higher than in either one of those. Even though the Finns are generally geeks... and I mean that in a good way obviously. Frankly, I think lack of geek skills in Iceland are not a problem for this particular project, and besides, the worst case scenario is that it won't be as monstrously huge as otherwise.
Of course I'm biased, I can only promise you that I'd tell you if I thought it were a problem.
I suppose the biggest problem would be the controversy over the energy it would require. Even though we are extremely lucky for how cheap electricity is in Iceland, there is also the counter-view that nature is to be preserved and therefore not exploited... even though it's the most nature-friendly way of producing electricity imaginable... okay, let's not get into politics. ;)
Honestly, I think that would be the biggest problem. Dealing with the politics.
miller60 writes "Iceland is poised for the completion of its first major international data center project, after years of marketing itself as a potential data center mecca. Iceland offers an ample supply of geothermal energy and an ideal environment for fresh air cooling, but its ambitions were slowed by the global financial collapse. But now the huge UK charity Wellcome Trust has provided funding to complete a new data center in a former NATO facility in Keflavik."
srjh writes "In the Australian Federal Government's latest assault on the internet, draft legislation has been released that allows network operators to intercept communications to ensure that their networks are being 'appropriately used.' Such legislation is particularly important given the interference of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in a recent copyright lawsuit against iiNet, one of the largest ISPs in the country. Conroy called prominent filtering opponent iiNet's inaction over copyright infringement 'stunning,' whereas iiNet claimed that it would be illegal under current Australian law to intercept its users' downloads. While this latest legislation appears to be a concession of that point, the government is said to be watching the case closely and along with attempts to introduce a three-strikes law in Australia, it appears the law will be changed if the government dislikes the outcome of the case. The internet villain of the year just continues to earn his title."