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Comment: Re:we need a litmus test (Score 1) 1113

by nsheppar (#41574565) Attached to: US House Science Committee Member: Evolution Is a Lie From Hell

If you are religious, you should be prohibited from serving in public office. Further, you should have a guardian assigned to look after your affairs, since obviously you are very weak intellectually.

Probably bring about end of war, famine, disease, poverty, and all evil in the world, if we could just keep the religious from having influence.

The Soviet Union under Stalin provides a counter-example to this assertion. Also, where does your concept of evil come from?

Full disclosure: I am a born-again Christian. I don't think that means some of the things some people think that means.

Comment: Re:and... (Score 1) 661

by nsheppar (#33581332) Attached to: Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane

How different is this from someone taking a tie and strangling the person in front of them? Or breaking off the tray table? Or using any one of a hundred other improvised weapons?

It's different because you can generally do more damage, and more quickly, with an object designed to hurt people than with a tie, a tray table, or a pencil.

Comment: Re:Stealing? (Score 1) 390

by nsheppar (#30866522) Attached to: Judge Lowers Jammie Thomas' Damages to $54,000

If I download and then upload a song, that's copyright infringement. If I walk into WalMart and shoplift a CD, that's stealing. WalMart has been deprived of their property. In neither case has the record company been deprived of anything.

In the former, the record company may have been deprived of some of the money you would have spent if you had actually bought the music legally (whether a CD in Wal-Mart or iTunes, etc.).

Actually, this is an interesting matter. If hypothetically you always bought physical CDs and never used iTunes, then given that large stores buying lots of CDs has some overflow (e.g. Wal-Mart can't know exactly how many people will buy some album, and so will end up with extras in stock) then you could argue that if you were to instead download an album for free, you actually weren't depriving the record company of any money (since all you've done is cause one more album to sit on Wal-Mart's shelves rather than leave Wal-Mart's shelves, and Wal-Mart has already paid Warner when it bought the CDs in bulk). However, in that case you're depriving Wal-Mart of money (by not buying the CD, and by causing it to sit on a shelf, which apparently costs some money), though it would be tough to argue that that money is rightfully Wal-Mart's. Nevertheless, you have clearly violated copyright.

On the other hand, if you always bought music on iTunes, then in this case since your money goes to Apple and then royalties from that automatically go to the record companies (full disclosure: I do not have certainty that this is how it actually works, but this is how I think it works), then you are in fact depriving the record company of money it should rightfully get.

Plus, WalMart owns the CD, Warner does NOT own the music. In the US, this "property" belongs to all of us; the "content creator" has a limited time monopoly on its publication, not ownership.

Yes, but Warner owns the right to copy the music (fair use excepted). By copying the music herself, Jammie deprived Warner of its rights, as well as money which is rightfully Warner's. The fact that Warner is a large corporation and probably has "way too much money" and probably Does Evil does not legitimize doing wrong against it.

If I steal a CD and get caught I have a misdemeanor criminal charge and a few hundred dollar fine, but if I infringe copyright and get caught it costs $50k. This is better than before, but still very bad.

I agree, the damages in both cases should be comparable, and the solution is not increasing the damages from a theft of a physical CD.

Comment: Re:Don't be evil? (Score 1) 671

by nsheppar (#30368848) Attached to: Google CEO Says Privacy Worries Are For Wrongdoers

People keep screaming "evil," but I'm just not seeing it. They're being "nicer" than any other multi-billion corp I can name.

You don't even see it after this direct quote from the CEO? He's effectively saying that privacy is immoral, and private people are shameful.

No, he's not. He said:

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place,"

not,

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

The first raises the question, the second makes a blanket statement. Whether the question is valid or not is up for debate, but it is not like in this article Eric Schmidt has said he's going to start taking steps to curb users' privacy beyond complying with legal requirements, nor has he said that privacy is immoral.

Comment: Re:Being the new default doesn't hurt either (Score 1) 514

by nsheppar (#30146378) Attached to: Bing Gains 10% Marketshare
Click on the drop-down menu button to the left of the search box (which contains the Google icon if Google is currently your chosen search provider). Pick you desired other search provider, or click "Manage Search Engines" to do more complex stuff, and you're done. This is in Firefox 3.5.4

Comment: Re:Novikov self-consistency (Score 1) 194

by nsheppar (#29825057) Attached to: The LHC, the Higgs Boson, and the Chicago Cubs

So, according to this conjecture if the manifestation or observation of the Higgs Boson eventually lead us to develop technology with which we might otherwise violate causality, we'll never discover it.

But what decides where the line is? If this theory is true, why didn't we get hung up before the discovery of the electron?

Comment: Re:No moving parts, please! (Score 1) 238

by nsheppar (#29612321) Attached to: GE Developing 1Tb Hologram Disc Readable By a Modified Blu-ray Drive

Why are they now recreating holographic media as Yet Another Spinning Disc device with parts that wear out quickly, go out of alignment, and put the media at risk of damage?

Because reusing existing spinning disc technology means saving a little money now and not improving on the future, whereas making a whole new, probably much better technology means expending more money now in order to save money in the future.

Comment: Re:Missing Details (Score 1) 607

by nsheppar (#29143069) Attached to: Xbox 360 Failure Rate Is 54.2%
Also, cars have a much more standardized interface than software/OSes. In general, someone who's driven a Buick for the first 10 years of their driving life doesn't worry about stepping into a Mazda and not being able to find the controls, beyond something like a one minute quick scan to see that pretty much all the controls they expect are there, and in mostly the same places. Software, on the other hand, doesn't even dream of being that standardized.

Comment: Re:Or you know... (Score 1) 567

by nsheppar (#28355831) Attached to: Windows 7 Licensing a "Disaster" For XP Shops

And don't tell me open-source doesn't have this problem. Windows XP was released in 2001. If you asked for support and patches for, say, Mozilla Phoenix 0.3 (released 2002), you'd get laughed out of pretty much everywhere. And if you actually cared about using open-source, you'd be using Linux and you wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

It's my experience that open source upgrades don't utterly bork things between versions, nearly as much as Windows does. You just keep your system up-to-date, pay attention to your distro's news bulletins, and things go alright.

Then again, I am an IT professional with only about 3.5 years of experience. Perhaps my elders can chime in with more experience.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

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