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Comment: Re:I just don't get that. (Score 1) 81

by jd (#48477863) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

I agree the justice system has gone haywire.

I agree the justice system has no business going haywire.

I agree the justice system has no business treating one person differently from another.

I agree that what was done was completely wrong, not just in this case but in many others.

I've said as much, repeatedly, on The Guardian's website on relevant topics. This isn't a new opinion for me.

There is a difference between having no sympathy for the guy (IMHO he deserved it) and agreeing with the justice system. I agree, and always have, with Tolkien's phrasing of it: "Deserved death? I daresay he did. I daresay there are many who live who deserve to die. I daresay there are many who've died who deserve life. Can you give them that also?" Whilst I admit that I'm "quick to judge" on occasion, I heed Tolkien's words and do not believe that "deserving" is sufficient to warrant inflicting what is "deserved". I do not believe retribution is a functional way to go about things. Trashing a hard drive with a sledgehammer might stop bugs in software affecting you, but it doesn't actually fix anything. To do that, you have to not inflict retribution but therapy, fixing the defects.

The same is true of people. Fixing the defects of character is harder, but certainly achievable in most cases. That pays attention to Tolkien/Gandalf's advice, leaves the world a richer place, and is generally a Good Thing. It's also cheaper than inflicting punishment. A lot cheaper, if the world is a lot richer for it.

He has smarts, he has savvy, with a little examination of why he chose the path he was on and some tests, it would not be hard to figure out how he could either offer the same service in essentially the same way in a protected manner, or (if he preferred) to do something different but that makes use of his skills and knowledge.

Bankrupting him has left the world poorer, because there's no way on Earth anyone will convince him to be more charitable and considerate now, and that's the only way the world would ever benefit from his skills and know-how.

To me, this is simple economics. At vast expense, the US has turned a person who was merely dysfunctional but a potential asset nonetheless to society if he could be persuaded into a dysfunctional wreck with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Empire State Building who is never going to let the world see the positive in his abilities. In short, by clocking up a huge liability, the US has achieved the dubious distinction of turning an asset into an additional liability.

I hold that there is always a solution that is both economically sound and ethically sound over the long term, over society as a whole, and that on closer examination, such solutions will always be superior to those that appear ethically sound but are economically unsound. Most of what is truly ethical is also a boost to some key aspect - to a person, society or planet - in the long term that is in excess of the cost, and thus will automatically be also economically sensible. Everything that is truly unethical may produce some short term benefit of some kind to some person, but is invariably expensive to everyone and everything in the long run. In consequence, even the ethical things with no obvious benefits will be cheaper than the great burdens created by the unethical.

I would not do well in a Star Trek universe.

Comment: Re:All or nothing (Score 1) 40

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48477767) Attached to: Researchers Discover an "Off Switch" For Pain In the Brain
It might not work in young children (see also 'congenital insensitivity to pain' and the unpleasant self-inflicted/accidental injuries that children with it wrack up); but as a now more or less mentally competent adult I'd really be in favor of replacing pain with something more informative and less painful. Maybe SNMP.

Comment: Re:Why is competition not a good criterion? (Score 1) 140

by TheRaven64 (#48477741) Attached to: Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

So why isn't anyone making a big deal about Microsoft any more? The big issue at their trial was bundling the browser with the OS. They are still doing that.

The big issue was using a monopoly in the OS market to gain a monopoly in the browser market. Bundling the browser with the OS was one aspect of that. Giving away the browser for 'free' (actually for free for the Mac and UNIX editions, while they lasted) was another. Tying ActiveX to IE and pushing server products that only worked with their browser was another. Forcing OEMs to pay more for Windows if they included Netscape or other browsers was yet another. The shipping of a browser with the OS was a relatively small part of the complaint, just the part that got the most press coverage.

And this was addressed in Europe, by requiring Microsoft to allow OEMs to bundle other browsers and to provide a box on first boot that would allow the user to select their browser of choice. ActiveX is basically dead and it's been a while since Microsoft launched any IE-only services, so this seems to have worked.

Comment: Re:EUgle? (Score 1) 140

by TheRaven64 (#48477725) Attached to: Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

When did Google ever start forcing users to sign up just to search?

If you visit the Google search engine, it will set a tracking cookie that is used to serve ads to you, so they are forcing you to sign up to their targeted ad service to use their search. If you want to be able to configure the search settings, then they do this via the tracking cookie. This is not a technical decision: DuckDuckGo, for example, sets a cookie that just has a set of preference flags in it, so any two people with the same preferences will have the same cookie, not a unique identifier, and the web server can handle these preferences without needing any kind of database lookup.

I'm not sure if the EU is aware, but Google is absurdly popular. I'd be shocked if Gmail didn't come up #1 in a search for email

That's certainly true now. But when gmail launched, it wasn't absurdly popular, it was a new contender in an established market, yet it still showed up at the top of the search results.

Comment: Re:Poe's law (Score 1) 140

by TheRaven64 (#48477707) Attached to: Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs
When I started using Google, its results were not better than AltaVista. The thing that caused me to switch was the fact that AltaVista took 30 seconds to load the search page and another 30 seconds to load each results page on my modem (with calls charged per minute), whereas Google loaded almost instantly. That meant that I'd find the result faster with Google, even if it happened to be lower down.

Comment: I've a really hard time sympathizing. (Score 1) 81

by jd (#48477573) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

A parasite (he didn't get a fleet of flashy cars by donating disk space to anyone) gets sucked dry by a bigger, nastier parasite.

Sorry, but if you live by a dog-eat-dog creed, don't expect tears when your pet poodle is a predator's desert.

I'm sympathetic with ISOhunt, who got crippled by the UK government, as I'm willing to bet that people after illegal ISOs searched elsewhere. They're a major source of information on ISOs for F/L/OS software, though, which is entirely legal. They got a raw deal on that, because of the bad name the *AA have given torrents. Blocking the others won't do the UK any good, but that's not the point. Nor is it the point that these services index, not host. The point is that it doesn't matter whether the links point to legitimate or illegitimate content, they're tarnished not by what they index but by the mode of transport used.

Kim DotCom is another matter. He raked in an awful lot of money by doing very very little. He'd make a great bank CEO or politician, such is his level of verminicity. Had he done essentially the same, with far less profit (it's ok for him to live, just not ok for him to own half the cars in New Zealand), far less arrogance (like I said, a bank CEO or politician), and far less swagger (maybe, just maybe a touch of humility), I might pity him more. The humble earn at least some respect for being humble. It's rare enough.

If he'd presented his service as "common carrier", then that too would be worth respect. That's legal, that's all about NOT looking at what's there and NOT being shot in the process. DotCom's approach was to be a braggart. Sorry, but that kills any respect.

As judges are renown for disliking the arrogant, swaggering braggart type, that might well have cost him every court case contested. Even on the rare occasion that justice is blind, it still has a sense of smell and arrogant, swaggering braggarts stink.

Comment: Jane/Lonny Eachus goes Sky Dragon Slayer (Score 1) 366

... I was referring to your original "solution" to Spencer's problem, which you posted publicly on your website as a "refutation" of a comment of my own. Your explanation of how you found that solution led directly to a positive feedback loop, which I mentioned to you at the time. That has been a couple of years now. ... [Jane Q. Public, 2014-11-27]

Once again, I explained that the equations I'm using account for an infinite series of reflections. But as MIT explained, this infinite sum converges to a finite temperature. If Jane thinks he's found a mistake in MIT's derivation, please let everyone know exactly where.

And Jane, that wasn't a couple of years ago. I refuted your Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense 3 months ago, not a couple of years ago. It probably just feels like years because you've been cussing and screaming and insisting you're right and I'm wrong for hundreds of pages. Seriously, look at the index at the top of that comment, which has links to this never ending “conversation” LINK, LINK, LINK. BACKUP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

But you have never acknowledged your original error. Ever moving the goalposts, ever finding new "explanations" for how your "solution" somehow didn't ACTUALLY violate conservation of energy. [Jane Q. Public, 2014-11-27]

Jane, have you ever considered the possibility that I didn't make an error, and that you simply don't understand physics as well as professional physicists do? For instance, you screwed up the very first equation because you don't know how to apply conservation of energy to a boundary around the heated source. I've tried to show you how to derive that equation, but you've repeatedly refused. Why?

Furthermore, you won't even ask a physicist you respect if electrical heating power depends on the cooler chamber wall temperature. This would be even easier than writing down a single equation. Just ask Prof. Cox (or any other mainstream physicist) and their answer might finally help you see why your Sky Dragon Slayer equation violates conservation of energy.

... My solution was already demonstrated to be true, and your solution was already demonstrated to be false. I have no obligation -- or reason -- to engage in your game of "No, but you HAVE TO do it this way...". Especially when "mainstream physicists" and textbooks on the subject say I don't. No, I don't have to do it according to your own ill-conceived notions. I already did it, my way... that is to say, the "mainstream physics" way. ... [Jane Q. Public, 2014-11-27]

No, Jane's repeatedly demonstrated that he's incapable of judging whether a solution violates conservation of energy, which is apparently an "ill-conceived notion". Furthermore, Jane's somehow convinced himself that his Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense is "mainstream physics" at the same time that he completely ignores Prof. Grant Petty, Prof. Brown, Dr. Joel Shore, the National Academies of Science, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the European Physical Society, and many other scientific societies.

Since Jane doesn't seem to think those societies understand mainstream physics, maybe Jane will listen to Prof. Steve Carson who also tried to educate a Sky Dragon Slayer. Notice that his eqn 9 with negligibly similar areas is equivalent to my equation, not Jane's Sky Dragon Slayer equation. Again, that's because Jane's Sky Dragon Slayer equation violates conservation of energy: power in = power out through any boundary where nothing inside is changing.

Jane, don't you see how absurd it is for you to simultaneously insist that your Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense is "mainstream physics" while completely ignoring the fact that mainstream physicists are telling you the Sky Dragon Slayers are wrong? Doesn't that self-contradiction bother you even a little bit?

Riverat said Jane would need to actually witness the experiment to change his mind. After hundreds of pages of listening to Jane cuss and scream and endlessly insist that he's correct, I'm starting to agree with riverat. But I'm starting to doubt that Jane would even be convinced by an experiment performed right in front of him.

Jane, what would you do if you saw first-hand evidence that electrical heating power depends on the cooler chamber wall temperature? Would you admit that your Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense is wrong, and try to understand how to apply conservation of energy to a boundary around the heated source? Or would you just retreat to some other absurd evasion, and keep endlessly arguing that electrical heating power doesn't depend on the cooler chamber wall temperature?

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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