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Comment: Re:ha (Score 3, Interesting) 149 149

It isn't a captive market, competition from the ferries should keep it down. A return ferry ticket is about €50. While you could charge a premium for business class seats, they alone won't fill a train. The Eurostar London-Paris service is a reasonable comparison. Booking in advance, you can usually get a return ticket for that for £100 in off-peak hours. The Dover-Calais ferry is cheaper, but way more inconvenient.

Comment: Re:As I understand it... (Score 1) 226 226

It is indisputable that a film or theatre production is an intellectual creation where the actions are the result of the vision of the writers, director etc. That's somewhat more difficult to argue for a sporting event. Beyond setting the rules, a league or ruling body will have a hard time claiming it had a creative input on a sporting event, unless its a scripted wrestling event.

Comment: Their standard MO - sue first, ask questions later (Score 2) 226 226

The Premier League (and their legal strong-arming outfit Football DataCo) have plenty of previous for shakedowns with a flimsy legal basis. First it was fixtures, over which they claimed copyright and demanded extortionate licensing fees (see example: http://www.bsad.org/0506/repor...). This claim was ruled invalid when tested in court, where in a rare outbreak of common sense it was ruled that fixtures have insufficient creative input to be copyrightable.

The main reason they're going after goal clips so much is that they sell rights to such clips to the Murdoch media. Rupert is using it as one of the carrots to drive subscriptions to his paywalled titles The Sun and The Times. In ostrich-like behaviour the music industry would be proud of, the likes of Vine and 101greatgoals.com are viewed as the enemy, when many brands would kill to get their branding spread so widely in that fashion. Sometimes their aggressive approach to takedowns is at odds with the football clubs themselves. A friend of mine uploaded a clip of goal celebrations from a match he was at to Youtube. The club in question evidently liked it, since they linked to it from their official social media accounts. That, it seems, brought it to the attention of Football DataCo and prompted a copyright claim. His Youtube account was summarily suspended with no appeal, and has never been recovered. This, for a cameraphone clip consisting mostly of crowd scenes.

Then there is the ongoing legal battles over pubs showing games "illicitly". In a manner analogous to the TV blackouts in the US, no match starting at 3pm on Saturday (the traditional time from the pre-TV era) is allowed to be broadcast on UK TV. Since channels covering half the rest of the globe broadcast these matches, some enterprising publicans buy foreign satellite systems, and show the matches to their clientele. The legal situation for this is murky. Purchase of systems from the rest of EU is perfectly legal. The PL cannot claim copyright over the action itself, since it is not its intellectual creation. It instead pursues copyright claims on the grounds of the surrounding branding. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17150054) The legal battles will continue, but as with the music industry, the ordinary fan lacks the financial clout to fight a legal battle, no matter how strong the case for the defence may be.

Comment: Just like fitness equipment in general (Score 1) 180 180

I wonder what proportion of people who enthusiastically take up a new form of exercise quit within six months. I'd expect a correlation with fitness tracker use; people who aren't keeping fit any more won't have much use for a fitness tracker. A lot of them are probably sitting in the same cupboard as a hardly-used squash racquet or some near-pristine running shoes.

Comment: Re:Goal of the project? (Score 1) 65 65

I used to work at HSL, left about 5 years ago. It has an unusual remit. Its origins are in providing scientific support to the Health and Safety Executive (e.g. accident investigations, providing scientifically sound guidance to HSE inspectors etc.) but it does a lot of research into wider occupational/public health areas too. It also has some of the UK's leading experts in the effects of fire and explosions, and a fair amount of work done there relates to that - most of the fireworks authorised for sale in the UK get safety tested there, for example. It was a nice place to work, as there were always a bunch of interesting projects being done. The pay there sucks, but I kinda regret leaving, even though I now earn more.

For many HSL research projects, the resulting reports are available on their website (generally those where 100% of the funding came from the public purse). There doesn't seem to be one about Vomiting Larry/norovirus available yet, a press release ( http://www.hsl.gov.uk/news/hsl%E2%80%99s-vomiting-larry-featured-on-the-bbc-website.aspx ) says "The outcomes of these studies have contributed to reviews of healthcare guidance in hospitals and are due to be published in relevant journals in the near future.", so seemingly not yet published.

A list of publicly available HSL papers/reports from 2012 is at http://www.hsl.gov.uk/publications/bibliography-reports-papers-and-articles/publications-2012.aspx
Where work was funded by or done in conjunction with HSE, reports are published on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/index.htm

Comment: Re:big is bad (Score 1) 93 93

When I went backpacking around Europe 10 years ago, the cliche was that nearly every American backpacker had a copy of Let's Go. In some cities it was noticeable that hostels were far more likely to be fully booked if they appeared high in the list in Let's Go Europe. It'd be interesting to see how this has changed for today's backpackers, among whom smartphones and netbooks seem ubiquitous, and where bookings are primarily web-driven.
Social Networks

Facebook and the Merging of Games and Social Networks 40 40

Gamasutra has an in-depth interview with Gareth Davis, Facebook's platform manager, about how social networks and online gaming are intersecting more and more as each industry matures. He says, "There's a cultural shift towards people being willing, excited, and preferring to use their real world identities online. We all know that 10 years ago, you were as anonymous as possible online, right? And today, we spend a lot of our time putting our real world identities out there and sharing them ... And we've seen this occur on Facebook.com, where as more and more people join Facebook and your social graph is more complete, you have the ability to have these social experiences with people you've never had before, and you're playing games with people whom you didn't play games with before, with your family members, with your parents, with friends in remote locations. There's this new gaming activity happening that we believe will translate to the consoles as well."

+ - National Portrait Gallery testing copyfraud

UKNeedsAPirateParty writes: The National Portrait Gallery, London has sent one of the users of Wikimedia Commons, who had uploaded a bunch of NPG website images to the Commons website a legal threat, after Wikimedia refused to remove the images of many Public Domain portraits from their website. Since NPG apparently couldn't get their way with Wikimedia, they now seem to have decided to go after an individual. Wikimedia seems to assert that due to Bridgeman v. Corel, the copyright claim over these photographs is weak at best due to lack of originality. NPG on the other hand claims that this US court decision is not relevant in the UK and also claims their database rights. This practice of claiming (copy)rights on anything and everything build around works that themselves are in the Public Domain, has been described as copyfraud, but defended by others as required to maintain the financial health of museums.
The Courts

+ - The Pirate Bay founders found guilty

arkhan_jg writes: The Pirate Bay founders have been found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement. Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde were sentenced to a year in jail. They were also ordered to pay 30m kronor ($3.6m or £2.4m) in damages. The damages were awarded to a number of entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and Columbia Pictures.

The news was broken early by Peter Sunde aka brokep via twitter, from a "trustworthy source". Sunde is also insisting "nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or file sharing what so ever. This is just a theater for the media." The men have already stated that would appeal the verdict if they lost, and given the distributed nature of The Pirate Bay servers outside of Sweden, the site itself may well prove difficult to shut down. A round-up of the arguments in court has already been discussed on slashdot, and the BBC has some thoughts on what happens next.

The Pirate Bay staff intend to hold a streamed press conference at 13:00 CET (GMT+1) today, Friday 17th April.
The Courts

Pirate Bay Day 5 — Prosecution Tries To Sneak In Evidence 341 341

Hodejo1 writes "On the old Perry Mason TV shows, it was a common sight to see someone burst into the crowded courtroom at a dire moment and confess aloud that they, not the defendant, killed so-and-so. In reality, courts do not allow evidence to enter trial without a chance for the opposing council to view it and for a judge to rule on their admissibility. Yet, in the fifth day of the Pirate Bay trial, lawyers for the prosecution again tried to sneak in surprise evidence while questioning defendants. The judge put his foot down this time, telling lawyers for the state, 'If you have documents which you eventually plan to use, you need to hand them over now.' The prosecution continues to struggle in court. In one humorous moment, prosecutor Håkan Roswall tried to show how 'hip' he was with technology when he questioned defendant Peter Sunde. 'When did you meet [Gottfrid] for the first time IRL?' asked the Prosecutor. 'We do not use the expression IRL,' said Peter, 'We use AFK.' The defendants are not out of the woods yet. Lawyer and technology writer Richard Koman wonders aloud if the Pirate Bay's 'I-dunno' defense is all that much better."

Comment: Re:Rad. therapy (Score 1) 594 594

It is almost certainly gamma emissions which are detected in this case, not beta. You are not taking into account the full mechanism of beta decay. The beta minus decay of iodine-131 has an associated gamma emission, which occurs immediately after the beta emission when the daughter nuclide goes to the ground state. In terms of other isotopes, technetium-99m is a gamma emitter, albeit a low energy one at 140keV. Nuclides used in PET all emit 511 keV gammas.

"Intelligence without character is a dangerous thing." -- G. Steinem