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Comment: Re:Google get free! (Score 1) 130

by Chris Johnson (#45389541) Attached to: Brazil Orders Google To Hand Over Street View Data

In the event that Google moved out of the US and moved to a country where they are twenty times the size, manpower and influence of the country's government, is that the point that some people see 'em as an independent entity on scale with a government and with their own purposes which are indistinguishable from such a government?

Folks keep going on about the NSA but I'm not really sure which is bigger or more capable, Google or the NSA. Google has nicer campuses. As far as we know...

Comment: Re:You might be brilliant (Score 1) 472

by Chris Johnson (#35839914) Attached to: Why Google Should Buy the Music Industry

Hm. Creative Commons-Attribution is very similar to endorsement. What do you think of French moral rights, such as right of association?

Currently in the field of music we're getting some rumblings on this front, such as David Byrne suing Charlie Crist for using his song 'Road to Nowhere' in politics- it goes back further with Rush vs. Rand Paul, and Jackson Browne and Van Halen vs. John McCain.

Earlier, both parties tried to co-opt Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA", which has lyrics hinting obliquely at the futility of the Vietnam war.

I use CC myself- the same one Trent Reznor went for, which is not straight-up CC-Attribution. Let's assume you know an artist (not me! I'm a nerd! :D ) capable of writing music that seizes the emotions and powerfully moves people, with lyrical themes which are simple and general (as good lyrics often are). This means the work in question, while powerful, isn't real specific. It can be personal, in other words, the meaning is spelled out by context.

To what extent do you feel popular culture should get to override moral rights such as right of association? If someone does a powerful but ambiguous song, and their arch-enemies (in terms of belief systems) seek to use their work to back and support themselves, to what extent does the artist get to prohibit that particular use? Under ordinary copyright the artist can do this, and under CC-Attribution it is quite the opposite: the arch-enemy not only gets to use the work, but is required to also attribute, associating the artist's name with their worst enemy.

I think one counterargument is that attribution lets people look up the original artist and learn more about their differing beliefs and values- but you're going to run into a problem with asymmetry of information, where most people will not look and will assume the artist is sympathetic if the musical theme seems like it might be sympathetic to the cause.

Comment: How much of that is crappy major labels? (Score 1) 431

by Chris Johnson (#33696368) Attached to: CD Sales Continue To Plummet, Vinyl Records Soar

I'd like to know how much of that declining CD sales is the crappy major label stuff, and how much is indie. It seems to me that doing GOOD CDs would still work for indie music, if you made it an appealing package- I like the jacket/sleeve type, like a miniature record rather than a plastic case. If you can do replication runs the per-disc cost is not super high at this point, and it's as 'permanent' as CDs ever were, and can be made to sound pretty much as good as records.

Case in point: if you record a record to the computer, and burn a CD out of it using decent practices like dithering to 16 bit etc, it still sounds like the record. It IS possible to make CDs sound good, people just DON'T for the most part because it's not obvious.

The Courts

+ - 16 Years Jail For Videotaping Police?->

Submitted by krou
krou (1027572) writes "The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber, who potentially faces sixteen years in prison if found guilty of violating state wiretap laws because he recorded video of an officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop. ... Once [the Maryland State Police] learned of the video on YouTube, Graber's parents house was raided, searched, and four of his computers were confiscated. Graber was arrested, booked and jailed. Their actions are a calculated method of intimidation. Another person has since been similarly charged under the same statute. The wiretap law being used to charge Anthony Graber is intended to protect private communication between two parties. According to David Rocah, the ACLU attorney handling Mr. Graber's case, "To charge Graber with violating the law, you would have to conclude that a police officer on a public road, wearing a badge and a uniform, performing his official duty, pulling someone over, somehow has a right to privacy when it comes to the conversation he has with the motorist.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Easier for denialists (Score 1) 895

by Chris Johnson (#32951684) Attached to: New Photos Show 'Devastating' Ice Loss On Everest

"Where are you going to get funding for your research"

I think Big Oil has a _little_ money stashed away somewhere. As impoverished as they are, seems like they might take an interest. Not that they have any connections into things like government, etc. to help you get your message out ;) ...I think the word is 'gobsmacked', thanks Gordon Ramsay. I am gobsmacked every time anyone brings up the poor hungry moneyless anti-global-warming researchers. I would have thought a relative scarcity of those implies it's really, really REALLY hard to even pretend they have a case, because those who benefit from their position have such outrageously deep pockets.

I suppose it might be a case of Big Oil wanting the global warming narrative to advance, because peak oil is also a reality to them and they'd like to get going on future prices much higher than the current world economy could possibly support. Establish alternate energy to take up the slack, and jack up the price of oil as a luxury energy source. Makes sense to me ;)

Comment: Re:News Flash! (Score 1) 895

by Chris Johnson (#32951426) Attached to: New Photos Show 'Devastating' Ice Loss On Everest

Think of it as a really big-ass spaceship, on which life support looks like it's getting sketchy.

We get to decide what we consider life support. If it's going to become a giant pit of lava in which space salamanders thrive, we get to say 'hey, this is our spaceship, get your own, that's not what I call life support'.

We get to be non-stupid if we like- calculating out the stuff we consume, what it's doing, where it goes, making reasonably educated guesses on what's happening. A previous poster noted cancer rates during the smoggiest parts of the Industrial Revolution. We get to draw conclusions about this without looking for outliers (ooo look, a 102-year old guy who smokes cigars instead of eating! Everything we know is wrong!)

We get to have opinions on what to do, with or without the amazing invasive-species-like ability of our species to loot the henhouse and shit where we eat- the fact that we can always come up with individuals to loot and pillage ANYTHING doesn't mean all human endeavors are worthless.

All we can do is the best we can, which empirical evidence tends to suggest isn't super impressive. But we are allowed to try- and if some of you guys have an attitude of "you're just a bunch of dicks manipulating government and opinion to hurt my profits when I should be allowed to loot the henhouse 'cos it doesn't really matter and everybody dies anyway", we are allowed to be dicks about it.

Think of it as us using the same fox-like wiles and manipulativeness natural to our species, towards a different end. Let's play tug-of-war with it, and for every excessive telegenic weather event (driven by the increased energy in the heating climate- obviously this doesn't produce a steady-state hotter earth, it produces increasingly violent weather, learn 2 chaos theory) we'll point out the influence of greater (hotter) climate energy over the pictures of devastation.

Go right ahead and keep pointing at glaciers and saying they will always be there. Glaciers are a lot more boring than hurricanes and heat waves. Make the right connections and global warming becomes a much more exciting television story.

Comment: Re:Marketing move (Score 1) 263

by Chris Johnson (#32866830) Attached to: What Developers Think About Apple's iAd

I'm not an iPhone coder, but if I was, I would really enjoy sabotaging all you silly people by putting out a flashlight app that did not have any ads in any way :)

The gratitude I'd get would be worth the effort, and being 'positioned' as a helpful, smart programmer who respects people's attention and wishes, is more valuable than being recognized as a dumbass who'll put out the 1000th flashlight app with an ad on it in hopes of being paid by foolish advertisers to market to other dumbasses who are by definition in the dark trying to see something other than the screen :D

Comment: Re:iAds-blocking app? (Score 1) 263

by Chris Johnson (#32866798) Attached to: What Developers Think About Apple's iAd

Oh, no, I'm assuming they are indeed that 'totalitarian', but I'm also going to assume they'll be coaxing all the app developers to use this but will not be placing ads on their own software. Think about it, who would pay them for that- themselves? Ads are for third parties to pay someone for your attention.

I'm weird about my attention. I try to produce a lot of things, only beginning with software, which must come out of my own attention and thought, and I am very fierce at defending my mental 'space'. There's one brick-and-mortar place that I'll carry a 'coupon card' for, and that's my primary supermarket. Every little hardware store and book place (okay, every big corporate one) insists on my carrying their savings card, or will claim that I can have an imaginary card that I don't even have to carry, but they're missing the point:

I know I only have that one supermarket card where I buy most of my food, and I don't have to think about that. Anything else, I don't have to remember or look up whether I have their card, because I won't- I say no thank you and pay effectively an 'I don't have to think about you' tax for the privilege of not having to care about the fucking place or consider them special in any way.

And that's the point: every dipshit corporate bookstore etc. wants to be my SPECIAL friend and have me thinking about them and their services constantly, and I'm sorry- I have to think about things to feed myself and my cats, or I won't come up with new stuff. I'm sure there are people who put burgers in sacks all day who can spend their time thinking 'I am a Borders/Hilton/Home Despot Preferred Customer and must seek out those places to consume at, for which I will be rewarded with special treatment!' but if that thought comes into my head it's one more thing to keep track of, purportedly for my benefit but actually not. My time isn't free...

Want to know the primary reason I got an iPhone? I rightly trusted that I would not ever, not once, have to crack a manual to fully use the thing. It would be 'discoverable' and require no training or special attention. It was... know the first thing I look for in reviews of app store items? Whether or not they show advertisements and such things, which is always revealed in reviews by someone who feels as I do. If they talk about sitting through ads, I'm already gone. I've rejected more than one app product, even free ones, for that.

I used to use an Apple product called Cyberdog. It was special- built on the OpenDoc extensible app framework, at the time it was the only thing where you could fire up web pages, email etc. and everything would just be there. Everything else, Netscape, Eudora etc, all fired up splash screens and made you watch effectively a little ad for the product you already were using. Why not spend the time you're already wasting letting the program load, thinking about the program itself rather than the task you intended to do using it? Right?

Apple's OSX stuff like Mail came out, and it was a flashback to the days of Cyberdog- and now I'm using all sorts of internet apps that just launch and go, such as Firefox from which I'm posting this. I'm looking at the interface and I've got a raft of little crap in the address bar, but not even a logo advertising that it is Firefox on the program window itself. I believe Safari also has a similar ethos.

If Apple is making an ad service, they will not be using it for their OWN stuff, and will not be requiring that app developers place ads- they might require that if app developers place ads, they MUST do so through Apple's setup, but that's typical Apple, typical 'any megacorporation'.

Jobs is the guy that once raged at a developer, insisting he make a program launch two seconds faster, counting up the number of yearly launches over the entire userbase and claiming the two seconds would save the equivalent of several HUMAN LIVES not spent sitting waiting for the program to launch. This guy is not going to stick me with click-throughs or wasted banner ad space on HIS programs (that he gets other people to write for him). If he lets other people show that they value my attention less, fine.

I'll run ads myself on some things, like a comic or whatever. I'm not doing so now. When I did, it was to other comics, generally... almost like a shout-out. We all have learned to overlook or block ads in SOME contexts. I'll avoid (with extreme prejudice) contexts where I think ads should never be, and yet they are... usually it's a tip-off that a content or software provider thinks they are SO ENTITLED to my attention for their thing, that they can afford to spread that attention around a bit without asking.

Ah, no ;)

NASA

+ - No Samples on Japan's Hayabusa Asteroid Probe->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "Reports are coming in that JAXA's Hayabusa probe came up empty handed in its bid to collect asteroid matter. There may be gas in the probe but no dust samples as many hoped. Murphy's Law hit JAXA hard, 'After landing in 2005 on the Itokawa asteroid, which is about one-third mile long and shaped like a potato, the probe's sample-capture mechanism went awry. To the public's dismay, JAXA officials said they were not sure whether any samples had been collected. Next, the probe's robotic rover, meant to take photos and temperature readings on the asteroid, inexplicably floated off into space and was never heard from again. Worse yet, after Hayabusa took off from the asteroid, all four of NEC's ion engines shut down. So did all 12 of the chemical-fueled rocket engines made by another space industry giant, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The probe was left drifting in space. Then, for more than seven weeks, for reasons still not clear, there were no communication signals from the probe. Public dismay quickly turned to derision and, eventually, indifference.' The probe did return, however, and hoped to salvage something but now it appears that the only thing it accomplished was one long and error prone journey."
Link to Original Source

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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