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Comment: Re:Ads suck (Score 1) 1051

by rbb (#31388980) Attached to: Ars Technica Inveighs Against Ad Blocking

I pay for bandwidth and connection time, so your ad directly costs me money, and it should be illegal for that reason.

Funny, by blocking ads and still visiting the site you are costing the content provider money. You don't seem to have a problem with that. If the ads bother you that much, the solution is much simpler than using adblocking software. Just don't visit that site.

Comment: Re:conundrum (Score 1) 464

by rbb (#30623480) Attached to: Man Tracked Down and Arrested Via <em>WoW</em>

The fact is, the majority of the population favors keeping drugs illegal. If you want to change the law, all you have to do is convince people that drugs should be legalized. Few politicians are willing to bring up the topic of legalization because they know they will be voted out of office if they do.

That would indeed be the correct course of action, were it not for the fact that the government has a rather spotted history of providing the public with good research on the dangers of drugs. The perception of the public that drugs are dangerous is based, for a large part, on government funded research, and the government seems to be rather keen on finding something wrong with the drugs they're actively trying to ban.

As public policy expert Mark Kleiman once said: "There is a very, very heavy cost to the process of devaluing information that comes from the government. Lincoln was right. Government trust is a precious resource and there's a question about how much of it we want to squander in telling kids not to use drugs."

The Courts

Lori Drew Cyberbullying Case Dismissed 408

Posted by timothy
from the neither-vindication-nor-absolution dept.
Trepidity writes "About seven weeks after the judge tentatively overturned Lori Drew's guilty verdict for 'cyberbullying' following her online harassment of a teenager that was linked to the teenager's suicide, the case was finally officially dismissed. In a 32-page opinion (PDF), the court avoided a minefield of possible follow-on effects that civil-liberties groups had warned of by holding that merely violating a website's Terms of Service cannot constitute 'unauthorized access' for the purposes of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. 1030)."

Comment: Re:Not representative (Score 1) 172

by rbb (#29153961) Attached to: Criminals Prefer Firefox, Opera Web Browsers
I don't think any conclusions based on such a small sample group can be called representative, it's not specifically something either in favour or against Opera.

The fact that people who run drive-by exploit sites use Opera or Firefox didn't surprise me much, I just wish they'd picked a larger sample group :)
Space

Planck Telescope Is Coolest Spacecraft Ever 196

Posted by timothy
from the that's-certainly-what-the-moon-rabbits-think dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Launched in May, BBC reports that Europe's Planck observatory has reached its operating temperature, a staggering minus 273.05C — just a tenth of a degree above what scientists term "absolute zero." and although laboratory set-ups have got closer to absolute zero than Planck, researchers say it is unlikely there is anywhere in space currently that is colder than their astronomical satellite. This frigidity should ensure the bolometers will be at their most sensitive as they look for variations in the temperature of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) that are about a million times smaller than one degree — comparable to measuring from Earth the heat produced by a rabbit sitting on the Moon. Planck has been sent to an observation position around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2, some 1.5 million km from Earth and Planck will help provide answers to one of the most important sets of questions asked in modern science — how did the Universe begin, how did it evolve to the state we observe today, and how will it continue to evolve in the future. Planck's objectives include mapping of Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropies with improved sensitivity and angular resolution, determination of the Hubble constant, testing inflationary models of the early Universe, and measuring amplitude of structures in Cosmic Microwave Background. 'We will be probing regimes that have never been studied before where the physics is very, very uncertain,' says Planck investigator Professor George Efstathiou from Cambridge University. 'It's possible we could find a signature from before the Big Bang; or it's possible we could find the signature of another Universe and then we'd have experimental evidence that we are part of a multi-verse.'"

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!

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