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Slashback

Slashback: Decisions, Recognizance, Canadianisms 246

Welcome to another episode of Slashback, since stories keep popping up in parts rather than in neat, hermetic, well-encapsulated little packages. So read this -- it's like going to the demolition derby. You want to see the slip-ups, the revisions, the torture of correction, but without having beer poured on you by strangers. Read on if you'd like (at the very least) to know more about the the British Columbia law which relegated naughty (violent) video games to the back of the arcade.

And no, he didn't just slip through the bars. Grexnix writes "ShapeShifter, the 2600 staffer arrested during the Republican convention protests, has finally been released, after a series of events that clearly illustrate the sort of things to expect when the wheels of judicial bureaucracy start grinding. Read the article here."

Sticking up for common sense in the Great White North. Ant writes "http://www.globeandma il.com/gam/National/20000812/USOLDN.html Victoria -- The U.S. manufacturers of Soldier of Fortune are launching a legal battle over an unprecedented British Columbia ruling classifying the graphic computer game as an adult motion picture. Activision Inc. announced yesterday it will appeal the decision by B.C.'s provincial director of film classification that restricts minors under 18 from renting and selling the CD-ROM game. The Canadian distributor of the game, Beamscope Canada, has also filed an appeal with B.C.'s Motion Picture Appeal Board."

Well, it's not a law of nature, fellas. Ian01 writes "Here is an article from MIT's Tech Review magazine about how Moore's Law is false." Well, "false" is a little strong a word for as loose an idea as Mr. Moore's -- errr, "conjecture" -- but isn't it nice to see things keep getting smaller faster and cheaper?

Lars Lars Lars Lars Lars Lars Lars Obiwan Kenobi writes: "As quoted from the Q Online article: 'Napster's number one critic Lars Ulrich - who can barely contain his pleasure at seeing the file sharing company in strife - has done a U-turn. The Metallica drummer's business, the no-brainer monikered The Music Company, will promote work from its artists online at www.theMusicCom.com. And users will be able to sample one of the artists, Goudie through MP3 downloads on the band's official site, which it linked through The Music Company site.'

Dudn't it just seem...you know...ironic?"

While Lars hawking online music may seem ironic at first blush, reading the words he spoke to slashdot a few moons ago, it's not that surprizing at all. Metallica, after all, has long allowed fans to bootleg their concerts, and as Lars said, "So of course there will be at some point -- we are not stupid, of course we realize the future of getting music from Metlalica to the people who are interested in Metallica's music is through the Internet. But the question is, on whose conditions, and obviously we want it to be on our conditions." Now at some level, doesn't that strike a chord?

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Slashback:

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  • Nobody questions the concept that you have to be 17 to get into an R-rated movie
    Oh please. That's because everyone knows it's a joke to do so anyway.

    Soldier of Fortune is a very violent game, and if I had kids, I wouldn't want them playing it.
    I'm glad you feel qualified to make that decision for every other parent in the country. Every time you consider making something you don't like illegal, think about this: there are probably hundreds of thousands or millions of people out there who want to make something that you like to do illegal. --jb
  • ``Squeezing more and more devices onto a chip means fabricating features that are smaller and smaller. The industry's newest chips have "pitches" as small as 180 nanometers (billionths of a meter). To accommodate Moore's Law, according to the biennial "road map" prepared last year for the Semiconductor Industry Association, the pitches need to shrink to 150 nanometers by 2001 and to 100 nanometers by 2005. Alas, the road map admitted, to get there the industry will have to beat fundamental problems to which there are "no known solutions."''

    "No known solutions"? In "10 nm Process? [slashdot.org]" IBM is said to be working on much smaller sizes, so we should not be quick to cry "End of Moore's Law!" (i.e. "wolf!") once again...

    10 nm by 2010 (or even 2015) is still on track with "100 nm by 2005"...


    --
  • by Idaho ( 12907 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:28PM (#850021)
    There are plenty of articles like this, from years ago. Every time again people say 'it won't be possible to make it much faster, because we are at the limits of nature'.

    Then, one month after I buy a new computer, one that is about twice at fast comes out ;-)

    OTOH, now even M$ can't come up with Windows/Office versions slow enough to justify a GHz computer for desktop use, there may just be no very large market need for faster processors at the moment.

    Guess I am wrong, am i???? :-)
  • by WillAffleck ( 42386 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:32PM (#850022)
    OK, now I now all the libertarians are going to get upset over British Columbia calling a CD game a "motion picture" and labelling it, but ...

    Look, in the US society supports individual rights over those of societal rights. So long as noone bugs us too much, you can do pretty much what you want, sue whomever you want, and that's just the way it is.

    In Canada, however, societal rights are regarded as more important than individual rights. This extends even to sports - it's not as much about the individual as it is about the team. All of Canada's heroes (and I mean ALL of them) tend to be modest about their own personal acheivements, say how it was a team effort, and (amazing, this) believe it.

    So, the concept that the law can decide to shut down the sale of games that may cause teen violence is totally legit in a Canadian context, whereas in the US it's an alien concept. This doesn't mean there aren't regional variations - B.C. is less Blue than Ontario, Quebec is more open to this (so long as you speak French), and hey Newfoundland is just glad you paid attention to them, since they are the most wired province.

    So, forget about all the posts you'll read today by Yanks about individual liberties and censorship - it's Canada and you're just going to have to deal with the fact that they have different values than Americans and even a slightly different legal system. Did you know they appoint their judges and cops? Not elect them (Yanks elect sherrifs and judges), appoint them.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    (yeah, so I lived half my life in Canada and half in the States, so?)

  • Actually, if half of the 90 million people who don't vote because they thing Bush and Gore are a waste of time would vote for Ralph Nader [votenader.org], a third-party victory would be possible, and we might see some real change

    Nader's really quite interesting because he's the only candidate to strongly oppose corporate funding of government, the only candidate to support universal health care, and the only candidate who really supports worker's rights.

    If you're not familiar with his platform, you should at least give it a chance; it's much more reasonable than other third party alternatives.

    Also, it's worth thinking about signing the petition [votenader.com] to get Nader into the debates. Right now the Democrats and Republicans have created a system that prevents third parties from being heard in the national debates. They don't want a repeat of what happened when Perot was in the debates in '92. But third party candidates are critical in that they bring up issues that the other candidates don't want to consider. This is important regardless of whether you support Nader as a candidate.

    Sorry to rant about politics, but I think Nader provides an alternative to the republicrats with which so many of the /. readers seem to be dissatisfied.

  • Actually it is 4.5 in Canada. Plus you don't drink it for the alcohol. You drink it for the hair it puts on your chest ARGH ARGH (plus the flavour which can grow on you. It only took me three to start liking it)
  • These games do not promote handgun culture. I live in the UK (where there really aren't that many handguns), and we have these games. I *serverly* doubt that someone would play the game and then think 'Damn, I really want a gun now!' or anything remotely similar. They're just fun games, so why ban them?


    --
  • Apparently, neither do the protestors! I know what the Million Man March was about, and what the Million Mom March was about, and even what the ragtag Operation rescue bunches on the street corners are about, but near as I can figure the protestors just want to protest for the sake of protesting.

    I think they're protesting the two halves of the Corporatist party. But I don't know- I wasn't there, and as one of the previous posters pointed out, the media isn't letting us know what it's about.

    Case in point: Emmett's story about how he provoked a cop and got arrested. Not once in his account did he mention why he was protesting or what he was protesting about. Yesterday at LWCE he was bragging to people how he got arrested, but he still didn't state why he was protesting.

    There are always people who will jump on the bandwagon without knowing what's going on. Don't judge all of the protesters solely based on Emmett's actions.

    Heck, how many Linux users out there don't "get" Free software? That doesn't lessen Free software in any way.

  • Just a question, as things here in NZ are a bit different; Is it possible those are standard venue signs? If not, what about the band's record company/management? The band may encourage bootlegging, but their management may not. Were the security monkeys^H^H^H^H^H^H^H guards actually searching for gear? Just looking for the full story...
  • Um, duh, he didn't say it in congress. He said it while he was VP, on a talk show. I recently listened to a soundbite of Al Gore giving that outrageous claim.

  • Fourth, Gore has no experience "running" this country.

    I think we might be better off if we had fewer 'experienced' politicians. Our government used to be made up of 'citizen legislators' - people who served a term and then went back to their life as a doctor, teacher, farmer, lawyer or whatever. Now we have second-generation career politicians - people who have never had another career and lack firsthand experience of the real world.

    I guess I'm just jaded and cynical...



    --
  • or Upper Canada Rebellion, ro Upper Canada Ale. dragon's breath however, tastes like its name. The best beer to feed to our American friends is Brador. ;) (6.5% alcohol)

    That's why I have moved into Guinness. I find most light ales too weak. For me Kieth's tastes like water. But you don't give Americans Brador, (maybe if you like them), you give them Fin du Monde (which translates to "The End of The World") it has 10%+ alcohol.

  • At one point or another the IT department will say "at long last, after thirty years of hard work, there is no obvious process left to computerize".

    I wonder how far off that point is, particularly when you throw the effect of the Net in. My father was in the office equipment industry (what was photocopiers, but is now more and more about what are essentially high-speed laser printers), and there are many, many business processes that haven't seen technology applied effectively yet. A small for-instance:

    A customer rings the dealership to report a fault. The service manager at the dealership then allocates (using rules of thumb rather than anything more sophisticated) a technician to attend the call. A fault report is given to the technician if they are at the dealership, otherwise the message is passed on by mobile phone (which is a drastic improvement on earlier days). The technician then discovers that a machine requires a certain part, they call the dealership on a cellphone, who checks the computer to find out whether the part is in stock. If it is, we're in luck.

    If not, the dealership then faxes a handwritten order form to the manufacturer to order the part. When the next batch of parts comes from the manufacturer, the part numbers are entered (by hand) into the computer, and if a part turns out to be the one that the technician needs, they are then notified verbally or by phone. When the problem is fixed, the technician either fills out a handwritten report form which is handed to the service manager for entry in to the computer, or types it in themselves from the notes they took (or memory).

    Can you see room for improvement here with a bit of intelligent technology application? Just as importantly, is a slowdown in Moore's law going to make any difference?

    IMHO, even if Moore's Law ran out of steam tomorrow (which it won't), there's still plenty of potential productivity improvements out there from IT yet to be realised.

  • Speaking of air pollution in Texas, it's getting ridiculous isn't it? A poison cloud hanging over Dallas........
  • haven't drank much Canadian beer since the early 70s but I recalled the best Canadian beer being the Labatt 50.

    UGH! Labatt 50 is like Bud. Truckers drink that crap! (No offense to truckers) Personally if I drink Canadian beer it is usually Rikkards Red. I hear that before Molson bought the Capilano brewery it was a lot better. I have also heard that about Kokanee before Labatts swallowed them up.

  • The technology to continue Moore's law is already here. Clustering and SMP is the new revolutionary technologies. When we finally reach theoretical maximums that we can't get around, well just double the humber of proccessors a machine can hold every 18 months. Also, if intel if making the same chips for more than two years, it will find ways to make them cheaper. Stagination in one regard will only lead to proliferation in others. Also, redesigning chip architectures will make faster chips.

    Read the article (or do three years of compsci)!

    Moore's Law does not specifically have anything to do with processor speed, it actually refers to the observation (guess?) Moore made in the mid sixties that transistor density would double every twelve months (later revised to eighteen months.)
  • Hey, way to marginalize a political party by taking one of the least significant viewpoints of some of their members, and distorting it. Great debating skills, "mistah monkey."

    Here are some of the real libertarian viewpoints:


    • Free you from the income tax by making the federal government so small it can handle its constitutional functions with just the tariffs and excise taxes already being collected.

    • Unlock the door and let you out of the fraudulent Social Security system -- so you can decide how much of your income to save and what to do with those savings, and so you can enjoy a truly safe and prosperous retirement. And for those already dependent on Social Security, provide a private annuity financed by selling unneeded government assets. No longer should you have to depend on politicians for your retirement.

    • End the insane War on Drugs that has turned the drug business over to criminal gangs, locked up a million non-violent Americans, spawned law-enforcement corruption, and provided a justification for destroying your individual liberty -- whether or not you have any interest in drugs.

    • Make government employees respect every one of the Bill of Rights -- keeping your property safe from search and seizure, keeping the government out of areas not specifically authorized in the Constitution, and restoring your freedom to live your life as you think best.

    • Repeal the thousands of gun laws that do nothing to stop gun violence by criminals -- but do invade your privacy gratuitously and put you at a disadvantage to violent criminals who will never be inconvenienced by those laws.

    • Bring the troops home from overseas where they breed anti-American resentment -- and quit relying on our overwhelming national offense, create a
      secure national defense, withdraw from all international organizations and mutual-defense treaties, and allow other countries to manage their own affairs.


    Libertarians are just people who want to live and let live. Many people on slashdot are libertarians without realizing it. Libertarians don't want Carnivore. In fact, they don't even want an FBI to abuse peoples rights, and subject them to unlawful search and seizure.

    If you vote for George W. Bush because you can't stand Al Gore, your vote will be interpreted as an endorsement for every big-government program George Bush wants to inflict upon you. If you vote for Al Gore because you're afraid of the religious right,
    your vote will be interpreted as an endorsement for all the plans Al Gore has made for running your life.

    Do America a favor during this election. Vote for a third party candidate. It doesn't have to be Browne. Anyone but Bush or Gore.

    Browne and Buchanan are on the ballot in all 50 states! A third party candidate could win the election in 2004, if you vote third party NOW!

  • Once again, malice is read into a situation where none is intended. There's an IRS regulation that says that any transfer of $10,000 or more requires a form. As the article says, it's a drug war thing. Yet another way to contain drug money being laundered.
    Yet somehow, the judge intentionally set this number to hurt the defendent. Am I the only one who's confused? Isn't this whole "everyone against us" attitude self-fulfilling?
  • Most excellent points.

    I might add that some of these legal restrictions may give parents a false sense of security. They may feel that they don't need to pay as close attention to what their kids are up to if they think the law is going to take care of it.

    --
  • I agree.

    First, I am a US citizen however, I think we Americans can learn a great deal from Canadians instead of being so arrogant and claiming the US to be the most free nation on Earth. I have also lived in other countries and I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. The US model for democracy is something to be treasured but it is not the end-all solution.

    Anyone who has crossed the bridge from Detroit to Windsor has to notice the difference between the two sides of the river. The US side has nothing but smokestacks, factories and very ugly things to look at. The Canadian side, on the other hand, is beautiful with a nice boardwalk. If you've seen the movie "Canadian Bacon" you know what I'm talking about. While the economy in Canada is not as good as the US, Canadian's seem to have a more wholesome society.

    I love the US but, there are other things about Canada that appeal to me. When I worked as a tech support for AST Computers in Texas we received calls from all over the US and Canada. No matter how severe the problem, Canadian customers were always polite and civilized. Pissed off American customers would throw fits and curse me and my company.

    I guess I like Canada because it's a mixture of North America with a bit of European flare. It's a bilingual country. It's a multi-cultural country. There is a general civility among the people of Canada. During Christmas time I see kids coming up to me (a total stranger) and wishing me a merry christmas. I walked down the streets of the red light district in Montreal at 2:00 am and didn't really worry about getting robbed. This sounds more like the US in the early 1950's -- the US my grandparents talked about. All in all, it makes me wonder what happened to civility in this country.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a strong supporter of individual freedoms and my political views lean toward the libertarian side. But, as far as these violent games go, I don't think I'd want my kids playing them either. Adults have privledges that kids don't -- period. We have to draw the line and the Canadian govt. has done just that.
  • In contrast, George Bush's press conferences are "fun", because GeeDubyah makes jokes, gives the press guys
    cute nicknames, talks about golf, and what they all did over the weekend.


    ...and whether or not they did drugs or slept with so and so...but the public sucks it up...reporters are concerned with one thing, paycheck and they get this by acheiving ratings. you think people who can afford cable and televisions want to hear about the healthcare or welfare problems of those that can't...no! why should they. they have their own problems and issues.

    i fully agree with you though...i hate the media. everytime i watch a car chase i hear the reporters saying everything 5-10 times...why...thats all they know how to do.

    we will never have another FDR, because someone like that will not be graceful enough for the TV. look at how Kennedy whooped Nixons ass because he banked on looking good on TV.

    our world is forever based off of images and imagery...we can't expect someone to get elected for ideals or character anymore...we elect people cuz they are nice, or speak spanish.

    *side note...i think this whole spanish thing is a crock. those two shitheads running for pres are gonna shit on all the mexicans once they get elected*

    JediLuke

  • Caution: Flamebait!

    Do you remember the communication majors from college? You know, the guys that were only up at 4AM because they were smoking pot, while you were walking back from lab for the 3rd consecutive night. It's no wonder so few of them make it to being serious journalists that can be respected.

    I do, however, give them a bit of credit for being able to hold their own while under the ratings gun. It's awfully unfortunate that the American public (with an attention span as short as the propegation delay through 9 inches of silicon) is holding onto the trigger.


    "Blue Elf shot the food!"
  • Looks like Big Rock is distributed in some areas in the states:

    Here [bigrockbeer.com] is a map showing distributors in Canada and the states..
  • by Idaho ( 12907 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:41PM (#850042)
    British Columbia recently prohibited the game Leisure Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, classifying the high qaulity graphic computer game as an adult motion picture.

    Then you wake up and are glad to live in the Netherlands.
    Some time ago VVN - a national traffic safety organisation tried to prohibit Carmageddon here, but the judge did not allow that to happen!
  • Don't know if you want a guy in the White House who may have a painful, life-threatening ailment

    Does Bush's retardation count as this?

    i'm sure we all want gore or bush in...bunch of hypocraites...

    JediLuke
  • boring or not, at least Gore knows how to run a country

    when he's not inventing the internet :)

    seriously...GWB is a pretty boy that is coasting off his dad's popularity...don't want more reganites fucking up the country...(they managed to do a number on california).

    too bad McCain didn't get it...he would have been good...him or Nader, VOTE NADER...heh...he's totally anti-mpaa and anti-riaa

    JediLuke
  • If gamers want to be taken seriously, we need to acknowledge that not all games should be played by everyone. [...] By clinging to the notion that all games should be available for everyone, we're forcing developers to only create games that can be sold to anyone -- i.e., kid-friendly games. With a ratings system in place, game manufacturers have the freedom to develop games for any age level, [...]

    At first glance, it looks like it might work like this, which would be a good thing. But in reality, it's probably different. Some family-oriented places don't offer restricted media, and if a game gets such a rating, it might not be for sale there. If it's a big shop like Best Buy, EB, etc., the impact on sales would be big. Big enough to make publishers force developers to dumb down their games for kids.

    Right now, games are designed for a target audience, and released for everyone to buy. Kids and adults alike. If adult games are only available to adults, while kid games are available to adults and kids, the kid games will be more profitable. Instead of Quake 3: Arena [quake3arena.com], you'd only get a Nerf ArenaBlast [vmisoft.com], for example.

  • This is kinda like clinton saying "the country did well under democratic leadership"

    well its only because greenspan did so well while the reganites were fucking the nation up...clinton didn't do anything but get some koochie juice on a cigar.

    JediLuke
  • You don't need to have a say in anything in order to trade. All that you need are goods that someone else wants.

    Mutual-defense treaties don't do America any good - we're the superpower!
  • Well, this is my biggest gripe about Gore. He needs to grow some cojones. When that whole flap started instead of his lame ass response, what he should have said was the truth:

    "I *never* said that I invented the damn thing!! All I said was I (and others from both sides of the aisle) helped author and sponsored most of the bills in Congress that allowed the internet to be publicly accessible."

    This is what pisses off about the guy, he can't just call bullshit on the misrepresentations, lest he be viewed as contentious.

  • Well I knew it was a mistake to break my rule about the futility of political discussions on /. (well, anything more political than RDRAM vs. DDR), but I'll bite. Yes, Krugman is a "liberal", if by that you mean someone to the left of you and the GOP party line. As far as economists and Americans go, he's probably just a tad left of center; as far as academics go, he's solidly conservative. Yes, Krugman probably just uses his New York Times column to publicly bash his conservative-but-also-well-respected colleague down Mass. Av., Harvard economist and G.W. Bush advisor Martin Feldstein. Yes, I may just subconsciously enjoy Krugman's column because I think Marty Feldstein is an asshole.

    Nonetheless, the fact remains that here is one of the most respected economists in the world saying quite pointedly that the economic policy Bush is promising would have killed the economic boom were he already president, and will probably kill it if he is elected president. It may not be positive credit given to Clinton for creating the new economy, but I think if you listen carefully to all the Democrats' speeches, most of them aren't claiming positive credit anyways. (If they are, well, of course they're wrong; on the other hand, it's a political convention for crying out loud, of course they're going to exaggerate.)

    You may argue that this is only because we had a Republican Congress forcing Clinton into fiscal discipline. Ok, fine. Disregarding the fact that the Republican Congress was the one so sure that Clinton's budget would send the country straight to hell in a handbasket that they shut down the government for a month before giving up and signing it, this is a reasonable argument. I'm all for divided government too.

    The problem here is that the Congress will definitely be Republican for the next 2 and almost certainly 4 years. That means that if Gore is elected, we'll get a sensible compromise budget which will probably be what's needed to continue our current prosperity, and that if Bush is elected he'll be free of any meaningful checks-and-balances to push through whatever old economic plan he sees fit. Just to refresh your memory, he is currently promising to push through a plan which some very well respected economists (Krugman) think will derail the economy.

    Ever wonder why Women's studies majors are liberals? Not because they know what they're talking about! ...You do know that virtually the entire academic establishment is liberal, right?

    Women's Studies majors tend to be liberal because it is generally only liberal-minded people who believe women's studies is a field worthy of their time and study. Economics majors tend to be conservative partially because conservative-minded people often believe economics is most worthy of their time and study, but more often because it's a decent way to get into Business School. I'm not sure what you're point is here.

    You do know that virtually the entire academic establishment is liberal, right?

    I would wager that I know a good deal more about the academic establishment than you. (Note email address.) While parts of it are indeed prone to being absurdly liberal (e.g. your aforementioned Women's Studies), Economics is not one of those parts. Despite the popular notion that all of academia is overrun by Marxists and Feminists, it turns out that most fields and departments are remarkably well insulated from each other. While there are plenty of wacko Marxist and Feminist professors around on leading university campuses, I assure you none of them are in the Economics department, and that, besides, they almost all know quite a lot about what they're talking about.

    You bring up the fact that successful business owners tend to be more conservative than respected economists. This, of course, is exactly the point: a "liberal" philosophy turns out to be quite well-suited for an economist, whose job is to ensure the fiscal well being of an entire society. Meanwhile, a conservative philosophy is quite appropriate for a business-owner, whose your job is to ensure the continued fiscal well-being of himself.

    Guess which philosophy is better suited for the government?
  • Rickards Red is great, but when I can get it, I get Tree beer (microbrewed in the Okanagan). It's even better.
  • > beer store? --> ontario isn't canada - it differs province to province...

    My apologies. I have to admit I've never been outside Ontario.
    And I wouldn't get mad at that, I heartily agree that our drinking age is absolutely ridiculous. I can't think of a single person who waited until they were 21 to try drinking. Hell, half of my friends (including me) got fake id's just so we could go out to bars when we were sophomores in college! They wonder why so many people 'binge-drink' on college campuses, but they don't let us go out and drink responsibly at a bar. It's way too expensive to drink 'till yer dead at a bar, and there's people there like bartenders and bouncers who will cut you off eventually! But hell, get 10 guys together, throw in $10 each and you got yourself a half-barrel! WOO!

    I didn't intend to write this much, since I know that no one's going to read it cuz this story's so old.... oh well.
  • Many venues have policies of their own about bootlegging (though usually if the artist wants, they can work something out). Last time I saw Metallica (after the black album) there was plenty of bootlegging going on, and even signs saying which sections tapers were allowed in.
  • Just a disclaimer: I used to work for The Man. Not just some big corporation, or the Federal Government, but The Man. (The one that Homey the Clown met) I know his ways.

    There isn't going to be any major media coverage of the reasons behind the protests. One reason is probably because many of the people there don't really have a good grasp on why they are protesting, they're just there to have a good time. The bigger reason is because that type of coverage doesn't draw any viewers. We aren't talking about you and a couple of your friends who are well informed, we're talking about Joe Six Pack. Most viewers don't want to have to think about any issues while they watch TV, they just want to be entertained. This is why Jerry Springer is a millionaire while most political talk shows languish in obscurity.

    The sad reality is that many people have no desire to become educated voters, it is too difficult for them. If you desire something other than mainstream coverage you will have to go find it. The major news outlets are giant corporations, you can bet your ass that no one brings up the quality of the news at a shareholder or board meeting.

  • Yuck. Most American beer is horrible. What did you expect of beer from a gas station anyway?

    Some good American beers are made by Samuel Adams, Brooklyn Brewery, Wild Goose, and hundreds of regional microbreweries.

    --
  • Ogg Vorbis is the totally open, more efficient replacement for old Napster.
  • (you can belong to any religion you want in the US, as long as it is Xtianity)
    (Not True)

    And on Slashdot, you can belong to any religion you want, so long as it's not Christianity.

    --

  • by DanMcS ( 68838 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @07:41PM (#850057)
    Metallica, after all, has long allowed fans to bootleg their concerts
    Um, I was just at their makeup show in Kentucky, last wednesday. There were very prominent signs, obviously put up for that event, which proclaimed that no recording equipment of any kind was allowed inside the arena. So I'm not sure what kind of bootlegging they think they are allowing, unless I'm supposed to remember how it went and sing it back after I get home.
    --
  • Just an FYI... not sure how our neighbors to the north in Canada do it, but in the US, a parent is not legally allowed to give their children alcohol, ever. Most of the time this is not pursued, but on the books, that's the way it is. [Damned Puritans]

    And the flap, mein freund, is that this law basically allows parents to be LAZY just like movie restrictions et. al. Don't want your kid to see or do something? No problem, YOU the parent need not do anything but work and pay taxes, Big Daddy Gov. will make sure your kiddies don't see or hear or do anything that smacks too much of the Real World. You don't want your kids to see, hear, or do something? Stop them your f***ing self. If you can't, maybe they are old enough to see it anyway, despite what you may think.

    -={(Astynax)}=-
  • I don't know about you, but I'm mighty thankful to the Great White North for those Molsons they keep hidden up there. The imports aren't just the same and love it when friends bring down "the good stuff." :)
  • I too used to puzzle about the "productivity paradox." But I think you are off base in thinking that the data is as refined as you say. The "computer productivity paradox" more simply is the observation that--in the aggregate--increased investments in computers has not increased--in the aggregate--overall productivity.

    But when I recently read "Roadside Empires" (How the Chains Franchised America, by Stan Luxemburg--look for it at www.bookfinder.com), I saw that this amazing franchising process can account for much of the paradox, alone.

    Investment has gone in recent years in the U.S. to service industries such as franchise restaurants (now >61% of our food dollar). Productivity is low, the wages are low, and owners have little incentive to use computers to displace cheap labor. The productivity relation stills works in manufacturing industries, or agriculture, or the larger service industries such as banking and insurance, which automated earlier.

    Reading this book made me angry. I don't think you can blame IT for the problems--they are much larger, and would involve rethinking much of our modern social structure.

  • Molson is piss. Try a St-Ambroise from Montreal.
  • I've heard all the jokes about Communications majors, and I've laughed at a lot of them. But being a Communications major myself, I'd just like to point out that not all of the majors out there are 4 AM pot smokers (at my school we call them Business majors :)).

    And while I haven't been walking to and from labs at 4 AM, I do spend quite a bit of time working at the university TV station (editing, audio, camerawork, etc.), and do the rounds on the radio station as a DJ for two shows.

    I realize that this is all horribly irrelevant to the topic. But I felt it proper to clear the air about Communications majors. Yes, I have my aspirations to work in the news media, and no, I haven't been up at 4 AM smoking pot :)

    There are Communications majors who smoke pot and slide by in college, and there are Communications majors who work their asses off and get the experience for the workplace. A college major is only as good as the work you put into it.

    --
  • by Boiler99 ( 222701 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:06PM (#850072)
    I fully appreciate the right to free speech in America, and protests are part of that. I'm sure there was a lot of "non-productive" (read: drunken, "hey lets break stuff", fun but ineffective protests) going on, but to watch the news that would be all you'd think of it.

    I was watching Headline News' coverage of the protests in LA this week...all they showed were teenagers throwing bottles and getting the rubber bullets they deserved. That's it though...no one protesting real issues. I KNOW real issues were being addressed, but the media chooses not to cover it because it's not that interesting to the general public...shooting people with tear gas apparently is...

    I wish the media would use their power to cover things that are important instead of the movie-style violence at these conventions, just like the police should use their powers to arrest real trouble makers instead of people who just look like trouble :) Maybe people would actually start to become interested in issues that affect their every day lives and become educated voters instead of partisian zombies.
  • Does anyone else think that the shrinking+increasing power of CPUs is NOT an excuse to increase the size of programs? I just downloaded the entire SIAG [www.siag.nu] office suite; 2 meg. I have Office 97 on CD; no empty space. Even given the huge differences between these two suites, only some of that size is acceptable. The article's comment about two floppies becoming a CD says an awful lot about what we take for granted.

    If Moore's Law really is coming to an end, then maybe the software engineers can start coming to greater social prominence. (gratuitous reference) Hey, maybe that'd help the open source cause! (/gratuitous reference)

  • >Nobody questions the concept that you have to be 17 to get into an R-rated movie -- everyone understands that's just the way things work.

    Really? I have a bunch of European and South American friends who think its a fairly good indication of the repressive, fascist state of America. They love the drinking age, too.

    Try "it isn't really a free speech issue; the publication is simply being kept out of the hands of scientists, academics, and members of the media."
  • by Alomex ( 148003 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @04:15PM (#850079) Homepage
    One economist researched productivity gains in the 80's from computer purchases and found there were none. This has become known as the productivity paradox, and is now accepted mantra in popular culture, as well as some academic circles. Let us consider the example of a department store I happen to be familiar with. Sometime around the late 70's they became fully computerized in their accounting department. At that time they let go a staff of 40 accountants and over 100 clerks.

    The productivity gains are obvious: 140 people taking home a combined $5M a year in wages replaced with a computer system costing $1M. So why did these productivity gains do not show in the bottom line (and thus in the economist study)?

    Simple, it turns out that once the accounting system was installed, the managers didn't just sit back and wait until the savings rolled in. To the contrary. They noticed the gains and told their IT people "wow! the savings are enormous. Is there any other such savings lying around?".

    The IT people replied "indeed, we could computerize your point-of-sales registers, manage your inventory and payroll as well as upgrade your accounting package to have better tracking of overdue accounts and many other such things".

    To which the managers replied "take this $4M dollars we just saved, and go get more programmers, software and hardware so you can carry on!". The savings from these were again reinvested into more programs and more hardware. Further creating more savings and more reinvestment. As you can imagine, this cannot go on forever. At one point or another the IT department will say "at long last, after thirty years of hard work, there is no obvious process left to computerize".

    That day the company stops replacing computers and software every year and moves to a slower replacement, upgrade and development cycle. Suddenly there are all these savings that start hitting the bottom line and we go from a "productivity paradox" to the "surprising productivity gains of the new economy".

    There is truly no reason to be surprised about either of the two phenomena, as long as you understand the concept of reinvesting 100% of your productivity gains.

  • Well I knew it was a mistake to break my rule about the futility of political discussions on /. (well, anything more political than RDRAM vs. DDR), but I'll bite
    Yes, I think political discussions are generally futile too. However, I think there is some merit to offering an opposing view on slashdot since so little of it is voiced. If "they" still want to assert Clinton's responsibility for the economy, they must atleast make some attempt to justify it. I will not them go unchallenged (atleast when I have the time and the will).

    It may not be positive credit given to Clinton for creating the new economy, but I think if you listen carefully to all the Democrats' speeches, most of them aren't claiming positive credit anyways. (If they are, well, of course they're wrong; on the other hand, it's a political convention for crying out loud, of course they're going to exaggerate.)
    Clinton and Gore have taken credit directly and indirectly for the success in a number of speaches. Many slashdot readers fall into this trap, mostly those with no exposure to economics.

    The problem here is that the Congress will definitely be Republican for the next 2 and almost certainly 4 years. That means that if Gore is elected, we'll get a sensible compromise budget which will probably be what's needed to continue our current prosperity, and that if Bush is elected he'll be free of any meaningful checks-and-balances to push through whatever old economic plan he sees fit. Just to refresh your memory, he is currently promising to push through a plan which some very well respected economists (Krugman) think will derail the economy.
    Though I lean more into the Republican camp, I do not believe Bush's proposed budget and tax policies are the best by any means. I think they are largely unnecessary and a tad bit risky. However, contrary to what Al Gore and company claim, Bush is no radical. Neither his proposals, nor his advisors, are going to rock the boat. Especially after they've been run through Congress. When compared with Gore's romance of the various unions, I think he's actually safer in the long run. Gore, while moderate in his campaign, is far more of a committed left winger than Clinton ever was.

    I would wager that I know a good deal more about the academic establishment than you. (Note email address.) While parts of it are indeed prone to being absurdly liberal (e.g. your aforementioned Women's Studies), Economics is not one of those parts. Despite the popular notion that all of academia is overrun by Marxists and Feminists, it turns out that most fields and departments are remarkably well insulated from each other. While there are plenty of wacko Marxist and Feminist professors around on leading university campuses, I assure you none of them are in the Economics department, and that, besides, they almost all know quite a lot about what they're talking about.
    I wouldn't be so sure of yourself. I've been through business school, and i know the top schools and below quite well. Also having worked in industry, that is not all I know...I have some perspective here. But enough penis comparisons.

    You are right, in that business school tends to be more conservative than some other areas, but to say they're isolated from it is foolish. Sure, you may not see quite so many radical leftists, but most are still solidly democratic. Harvard is certainly no different, in fact, it's "worse" than many.

    As for your opinion that they know what they're talking about: Says who? Having been through the system and knowing hundreds of others who have too, I'm singularly unimpressed. I've come the conclusion that the ability to impress other academics is not necessarily indicative of anything other than the ability to impress other academics. I've been through one of the best business school programs in the country, and I don't pretend for a minute that I know even one half as much as some of the people I work with on a daily basis. ...and since you brought it up: If I had to choose a policy based on its proponents (especially where that policy doesn't singularly benefit the proponents), I would choose business owners. Unlike academics, they are measured far more on results and through a process of attrition, rather than on the ability to impress others, because that's really the only measure in the more theoretical areas of academia.

    You bring up the fact that successful business owners tend to be more conservative than respected economists. This, of course, is exactly the point: a "liberal" philosophy turns out to be quite well-suited for an economist, whose job is to ensure the fiscal well being of an entire society. Meanwhile, a conservative philosophy is quite appropriate for a business-owner, whose your job is to ensure the continued fiscal well-being of himself.
    You confuse ends and means. There is nothing in the practical or the theoretical definition of conservative or liberal that defines one as being anymore geared towards the greater interests of society than the other. Thus it is totally ridiculous to claim liberalism is consequently necessarily better suited.

    Guess which philosophy is better suited for the government?
    On definition alone, neither left nor right is better. It is the particular policies by which one should make that determination.
  • Is it just me or is the guy too fried to just make up one syntactically correct sentence without inlaying a bunch of loosely related topics and forgetting what he was taking about in the first place ?

    "We know it's been hard to understand - although Metallica would like to blame Napster to cover up our pre-"Load" sex change - I believe it's true that Linux is a fresh, new - hey did you see that hottie across the street - fishtank cleaner."

    (Redistribution of this mockery of a Lars Ulrich quote among ameobas is strictly prohibited. Really. Try me. Grr.)
  • Look at what happens when you let a bunch of Puritans start a country!

    We have to draw the line and the Canadian govt. has done just that.

    I agree with that- there are some things you just don't put in front of a kid. But what's the advantage to having the government draw the line, rather than the kid's parents?

    I seem to recall some of my friends having this exchange with their parents:

    "Mom, why can't I? It's a free country."
    "Not while you're under my roof, it's not."
  • i>I disagree. In US society, prostitution is illegal, recreational drug use is illegal, professed public atheism can make you a pariah (you can belong to any religion you want in the US, as long as it is Xtianity), the practice of homosexuality is illegal in many states (and verboten in the military), the use of alcohol is forbidden until the age of 21, the state dictates that you must wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle, there are no nipples allowed in US tabloids (oh, the pain and suffering caused by a perky tit!), and anti-intellectualism is rife (this haven of geekdom aside - and, of course, I know there are other exceptions).

    Sigh. You don't understand, it's just as illegal in Canada, but they actually pay attention to their laws. When their Constitution changed, it was amazing how quickly most Canadians quickly conformed to the new laws, not just in practice but in thought.

    You see, when you live where it gets a tad nippy, conformity and rule of law is kind of critical. And you like government because you have to depend on someone insisting on getting supplies through that pass when it gets snowed over.

    And hence, it still makes sense to outlaw violent video games in Canada. I should point out, Albertans aren't really Canadian, they're Texan wannabees, so you should ignore them on the subject. They'd leave if the Yanks were silly enough to take them.

  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @08:29PM (#850097)

    Disclaimer: I'm Canadian

    At first glance I was against this.. but then I got to thinking; People that aren't 18 or 19 in this country can't drink Alcohol, (legally). Minors can't rent or buy hardcore porn, or porn of any sort from what I can tell.. Not that it's hard to get by any means. So what's different about slapping a Restricted sticker on a video game? Adults can still buy it, hell, they can buy it for their kids if they want. The lack of standards is kinda worrysome - what constitutes excessive violence - but it's not like the game was banned. (Unless I'm mis-informed over here on the East Coast.)

    Those of you who think Canada is socialist / commie should look at your drug and drug testing laws before calling the kettle black. Canada's laws make a great deal more sense IMHO. The post about Canadians valuing the rights of society above was bang on. We believe in Common Sense (tm) up here. There are cops that are assholes here like anywhere else, but for the most part, they're reasonable, as are the judges. Reasonable people that expect to be treated reasonably, I think is a good summary. Tim Horton's for all!

    Here's to high taxes and 5 hour hospital waits! *sarcasm*

  • You're missing something - this ruling allows parents to parent their children.

    The government has not made it illegal for ANYONE to play this game. If you are a parent and you don't mind your children playing this game, you can go buy it for them.

    It's as simple as that. Just like cigarettes, alcohol, restricted movies, etc.

    Things like this don't prevent parents from raising their children as they see fit. They enable the parents.

    ------

  • First, The New York Times, if anything, is more anti-Bush than anti-Gore. If you read it on a regular basis, you'd know this. I dare you to count the number of negative Bush articles and compare them with Gore.

    Secondly, Gore is boring and that is an election issue. It is not necessarily irrelevant for a reporter to point out that Gore's speech is utterly uninspiring. Do you deny that Gore being boring can affect the election? Or do you deny the fact that the election outcome is newsworthy? Face it, it is news.

    Thirdly, there is _no_ evidence Bush did anything other than smoke a little bit of weed. Almost all of his friends and classmates attest to the fact that he was quite clean cut.

    Fourth, Gore has no experience "running" this country. The vice-president's job is to fly around the country and shake hands. I don't call that experience nor his previous jobs necessary proof that he has any of the requisite experience to run an executive office effectively (or even safely).

    Fifth, you complain about the media editorializing "news", yet you proclaim that propoganda URL as factual. HAH.

    ...oh well. You'll just have to wait till Bush gets elected. Have fun kiddo!
  • Um, actually, he said "... when I was in congress, I took the initiative in creating the internet."

    He can't "call bullshit," because he was the first to bullshit. His lies are well documented.

    It's fortunate that he is going to lose this election. I just wish that he would lose to a third party candidate, like Harry Browne [harrybrowne2000.org].

  • Since when is a candidates personality irrelevant? First, it affects the election outcomes greatly. That, in and of itself, makes it newsworthy. Second, a president's personality (or lack thereof) can have an effect on his ability to get the job done--much of the president's power comes not from his direct authority, but rather from his ability to get the ball rolling. An impersonal president who can do nothing but spit out luke-warm words of fear and promise, isn't going to be a particularly effective candidate for any interested party. Bush, whether or not you like his particular policies, has clearly demonstrated the ability to persuade others in the state of Texas.

    That being said, i'm not a huge fan of the media either.
  • i'm sure we all want gore or bush in...bunch of hypocraites

    I'd vote for a potted fern if it was on the ballot... I just hope neither of these two newbies fucks up the country... just maintain the status quo, I'm happy right now and I don't want anything to change.

  • Did the Clinton-Gore administration create this miracle? Of course not.
    In his own words. The most he gives Clinton credit for is not TAKING any wild actions, and that's just a maybe. What's more, he's judging a restrained Clinton's actions (by the republican congress) against the theoretical outcomes of proposed actions. What's more, he is a liberal, and there is a thing called wishfull thinking. While I don't think he's going to "lie", his editorial conjecture isn't so tightly bound. Furthermore, for every one of him, there are a couple more who say nay. ...I'd hardly say this goes in Clinton's favor.

    (Side note: ever wonder why most respected economists are liberal?? Not because they know what they're talking about! Obviously not that!!)
    Ever wonder why Women's studies majors are liberals? Not because they know what they're talking about! ...You do know that virtually the entire academic establishment is liberal, right? This wasn't true 50+ years ago, in fact, it was pretty much the opposite. ...Because they knew what they were talking about? And, for that matter, did you ever wonder why virtually everyone who has ever run a successful business (especially entreprenuers) is quite conservative? It's not just about money either, look at Hollywood, lottery winners, trial lawyers, etc. I'd actually argue here that's because they do know what they're talking about, a bit more atleast. Academia does very little weeding, while business is a far more a process of attrition....
  • No, they appoint their judges in Canada.

    I never said they didn't. However, the original post said that judges were elected in the US, which is not 100% accurate. I was just trying to correct a mis-assumption. Remember, the US is not the same as Canada!
  • What does this illustrate? It illustrates that reporters are not the hard-boiled "get down to the truth" types that they would like themselves portrayed as. Rather, they are like bored teenagers, who'd rather go watch a riot or talk about parties than watch some boring press conference about something so dry as health care, or the genuine concerns of people protesting at the conventions

    Reporters are like drug dealers... they give their junkies what they want. It's our society that clamors for these "news bits..." If people really wanted to hear Gore's views on this or that, they'd cover that. Many people assume the media gives us what they want to give us; I argue that the media gives us exactly what we want.

    Jerry Springer is still in business because people watch his show... The news stays on the air because people tune in to see what interests them... rubber bullets and tear gas.

  • I can understand the notion that community standards or parental quasi-control is a good thing. If for nothing else then mom & dad won't barge into my room and start screaming that I'm polluting myself. I have to question though what we expect of people who turn 18 or 21? Here we have this society that will stop at seemingly nothing to block pictures, sounds, ideas (and sometimes products, like condoms) of more or less any arbitrary 'value' from minors, or in the case of alcohol, adults but not quite. We can't talk about it, debate it, acknowledge that it exists at all. And then the magical day arrives when said child reaches the age of majority and all barriers crumble. Are we rearing a generation of people uniquely unqualfied to function as adults in the world without Mommie's strong hand? What exactly are we protecting these fragile souls from? Turning into us? And before anyone gets all angry about how violent games are rilly rilly bad - I'm not just talking about that one thing.
  • but near as I can figure the protestors just want to protest for the sake of protesting

    Protesting is fun, in a way, I guess. You can tell yourself you're making a difference, think that you might be in danger (although you're pretty safe), get riled up with a bunch of other bored folks... hell, when they had those protests in Seattle, a number of the protesters were college kids who joined in when the protestin' got good...

  • I'm not interested in getting in a discussion of the bona-fide definition of bona-fide fascism

    Then don't use the word "fascism" if you don't mean it. You may not be interested in the proper definition of fascism, but rational discourse demands it. If you can assign any definition to any word, you might as well have accused the US of fredism as fascism, because the meaning could have been the same. If you need help with the definition, go find a dictionary.

    I merely meant to point out that there were a good number of people who would question the r-rating exclusion on grounds of freedom.

    Fair enough. But relevance does this have to your friends calling the US fascist? They would be pissed if I called Europe communist or South America a quilt of petty dictators. Why should I not get angry when they cast similar aspersions on my country.
  • by jailbrekr2 ( 139577 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @04:36PM (#850136) Homepage
    Assuming of course that you *can* run SoF as a dedicated Internet game server, what would be the law surrounding having one in BC?

    I for one am greatly interested, as I am in the process of starting up a gaming site w. several game servers.........

    Would we need to use Adult Check?

    Just a thought.....
  • by Evangelion ( 2145 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @04:38PM (#850138) Homepage

    Holy missing the point, Batman.

    So, the concept that the law can decide to shut down the sale of games that may cause teen violence is totally legit in a Canadian context...

    This isn't about 'causing teen violence'. It's about classifying a product as unfit for people under 18. Period.

    Listen - Raven set out to make the most disturbing, graphically violent game possible. (including keeping track of how many times you kill enemies by shooting them in the groin, and about every other concievable way to focus the game on the act of graphical and brutal slayings).

    Now they're pissed that someone agrees with them - that the game isn't suitable to be sold to children.

    Talk about a bunch of whiners - they set out to do something, and are now complaining when thier own actions bite them in the ass.

    --
  • I'd say that individual rights are pretty important here in Canada, just as they are in the USA. For example, IIRC there is a court case currently underway to prevent a citizens' group from distributing a list of names and addresses of known sex offenders. The rationale? These pervs^H^H^H^H^H people could be attacked, their houses burned etc. If that's not "individual rights over the collective" I don't know what is. I personally would be happy to see them castrated and hung, but that's not the way a civilized society works and I accept that, because ultimately it protects me too - what if someday, somebody thinks (wrongly of course) that I molested their child?.

    Many Americans see Canada as being really socialist (or even, shudder, "Communist") but in reality our political status quo is pretty middle-of-the-road by world standards. Yeah, we have ultra-right parties, and communists, but in general we tend to elect a happy medium (lately, the Liberal Party). The others, in opposition, can exert influence in the House of Commons, just like what happens in the US Congress & Senate.

    Yes, we do appoint judges and police chiefs (well, the gov't does). It's probably a good thing too. No Canadian ever became police chief by promising to run all the (insert visible minority here) out of town. No Canadian ever became a judge by promising to be "Maximum Bob".

  • Did you know they appoint their judges and cops?

    At least in the Great State of California, judges are appointed. They have to come up for voter approval every so often sure, but they get their first term through the good graces of the politicians, and they have no opposition in their reelections/confirmations. Sherrifs are elected though, which makes the position a politicking office. They should be similar to the judges.


  • This is post No. 250 or so in this thread, so there's little hope it will ever be read. But as Lando Calrissian said: Here goes nothing..

    Lars (Metallica's drummer) did not do an U-Turn on the matter of downloadable music. His role in the whole affair has been distorted to such a disgusting degree that it pains me to even see his name mentioned in the same sentence as 'Napster'.

    As Slashdot reported a month ago, in a Slashdot interview with the man HIMSELF [slashdot.org], and not some public relations idiot, he states that it's all about control. Did you hear that?

    CONTROL

    He doesn't care about the record companies. He hates them as much as everybody else, yeah, even the much-quoted [salon.com] Courtney Love.

    As Morpheus famously stated, The Matrix is about control. Record companies, the RIAA, and the MPAA as well, if you want to open that can of worms, are about control. They want to regulate YOUR access to music that they didn't even create. They want to regulate the ARTIST'S means of getting their music to you. They want to CONTROL both the artists and the consumer.

    I once worked in a record store - and you know those overpriced CDs you complain about? We sold them for about $13-$14. How much did we pay to the distributors, which in turn were often owned by the same record companies that produced those records? About $12-$13. We were lucky to make little over a dollar per CD sold. That was the price, we couldn't do anything about it - even buying in bulk didn't lower our prices significantly. And from that measly dollar profit, multiplied by however many CDs we sold, of course, the store owner had to pay the people working there (let's say $7/hour, plus the tax on that he/I have to pay, of course), the rent for the store, cost for maintaining the store, utilities, etc. Even CDNOW doesn't sell normal 'newer' CDs much cheaper than your usual store; whereas books can be discounted heavily, CDs are a different matter altogether.

    Why? Because the record companies have control over the industry. Mainstream music is tied up by four or five major labels; if you don't get signed to one of them, you have no mainstream chance, your CD will never be distributed to millions of storeshelves all over the country, and the nation's eyeballs will instead be attached to Britney Spear's bellybutton on her next trashy CD, because that's who the record labels are pushing right now.

    And now to Lars: Read his interview. What he doesn't want is for others to have control over Metallica's music. Yeah, it's free - but free as in beer does not mean free as in speech! Any student of RMS and ESR should understand it - there's a major difference in attitudes. Freedom to listen/use/whatever software or music doesn't make it free. Music on Napster isn't free - to be honest, it's controlled by Napster's databases. If Napster's VC-controlled bosses decide to introduce a monthly flat fee for using Napster, say, $5... would you do it? Hell, most people would. For five bucks, you can download as much as you want. [of course, with all the other current alternatives popping up, this becomes less and less attractive]. But the fatc of the matter is that Napster's estimated 20 million users would probably go for it - which would, even after fraud, etc, is counted in, account for a multi-million dollar business per month. Why? Because Napster has control over the distribution of that music. That's what Lars doesn't want, that's what they didn't do too much about it when it was just websites and ftp sites, and that's why Napster is a thorn in the eyes of some musicians as well as some record companies: Yeah, sure, the record companies hate the notion of being made obsolete by any little record store with a fast internet connection and a CD burner. Wouldn't you like to come to a store and pick up those CDs for $2 instead of $12? We could burn them for you, at a cost of less than $0.40, and still make more profit than we do now.. and lots of people would go for it, simply for convenience's sake. Many end consumers would simply just download the hit single they heard on the radio, in CD quality, or just get a compilation CD of current hit singles, anyway.

    Frightening thoughts for the record companies. Unpleasant thoughts for Lars Ulrich.. because other people are still controlling the distribution channels. And Metallica, like anybody else, were dirt poor for a LONG time. Even now, they don't have as much money as lots of people think: Remember Courtney's rant? The record companies are pocketing 90%++ of the money made of a CD. You're lucky to get less than $1 per CD sold, and then about 40% of that goes to taxes. Etc.

    Lars and Metallica distribute some music on their own website. Good for them. They control the music. I think that's the best thing I've heard so far. And once Metallica have finished their record agreements (and you can be CERTAIN that right now Metallica HAVE to produce a certain number of records for their current label or they will get sued like Prince, George Michael, and the Smashing Pumpkins got sued by THEIR record labels), they can start distribuing their own music any way they want.

    More power to them, I say. The sooner we get the power to control music away from the record labels, and to the artists themselves, the sooner the entire cultural landscape will change.

    Alex T-B
    St Andrews

  • Makes sense. You wouldn't show an R-rated violent movie in that public space, so those games don't belong there either. What some people seem to miss, perhaps because they've lost the ability to distinguish 3D rendering from reality, is that video games are motion pictures. Thus they're subject to the same ratings scheme. If you don't like the scheme, protest that, but there is nothing intrinsic that distinguishes a violent game from a violent film. And I say this even though my own introduction to addictive quarter-sucking video games occurred on a BC Ferry about twenty years ago (Space Wars, arguably violent for the time ;).

    I was glad when they took the last of the pinball games off the ferries, anyway - trying to play while the boat was on rough water was just no fun. And yet I always kept trying. Now I'm a little wiser, so I sit outside and watch the scenery.

  • Sure, the economy is doing well. However, that has between little and nothing to do with Clinton. The president has little control over the economy, beyond his control over taxes, going to war, and a few other significant acts, none of which Clinton has really executed. You'll be hard pressed to find any respected economist, even though they're mostly liberals, that will back Clinton's assertions. In all reality, the state of the economy has more to do with the Greenspan, technology, and arguably Reagan's tough stance against taxes and union abuse.

    How about Paul Krugman, Nobel-prize winning economist at MIT? Would you consider him "respected", or is that know-nothing idiot too much of a liberal? (Side note: ever wonder why most respected economists are liberal?? Not because they know what they're talking about! Obviously not that!!)

    Of course, I had to look long and hard to find it--all the way to yesterday's New York Times [nytimes.com].

    According to Krugman, while Clinton isn't wholly responible for the economic boom, or anywhere near it, he *is* largely responsible for balancing the budget, which in turn *is* largely responsible for keeping interest rates low and perpetuating our roaring economy. Conversely, Krugman argues, if Dole had been elected in 1996, and had enacted his promised tax cut, the boom would almost certainly have been shorter lived. Amazingly enough, Bush is proposing a tax cut and which looks remarkably like Dole's, and some pretty impressive spending increases on top of that.

    I think I'll let the Nobel-prize winner take it from here: "Not long ago America faced a choice between sober, sensible fiscal discipline and huge, irresponsible tax cuts. We chose discipline, and were rewarded with growth beyond our wildest dreams. So why would anyone today propose exactly the kind of irresponsibility we were lucky to avoid four years ago?"
  • The fact of the matter is the 90's saw dramatic sustained productivity growth in the US, which is one of the major factors which allowed economic growth without inflation. This productivity growth still continues.

    So there is not paradox, the investments in technology and changes in corporate structures (including massive layoffs) simply took longer to effect a change than some expected.
    --
  • Look, in the US society supports individual rights over those of societal rights. So long as noone bugs us too much, you can do pretty much what you want, sue whomever you want, and that's just the way it is.

    I disagree. In US society, prostitution is illegal, recreational drug use is illegal, professed public atheism can make you a pariah (you can belong to any religion you want in the US, as long as it is Xtianity), the practice of homosexuality is illegal in many states (and verboten in the military), the use of alcohol is forbidden until the age of 21, the state dictates that you must wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle, there are no nipples allowed in US tabloids (oh, the pain and suffering caused by a perky tit!), and anti-intellectualism is rife (this haven of geekdom aside - and, of course, I know there are other exceptions).

    Each and every one of those restrictions violate my individual rights. Every country restricts some of the behaviors listed above, and some restrict all of them. However, my point is that the US is _not_ the sole claimant to the title "land of the free and home of the brave," despite what some of its more insular residents might think.

    And, yes, I _am_ a US citizen, but I lived overseas for approximately 15 years (in many diverse locations), so I do know, firsthand, what I am talking about.

    No, I don't need examples of places that are worse, as I've been to those places, too.
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @04:51PM (#850177) Homepage Journal
    I KNOW real issues were being addressed, but the media chooses not to cover it

    Apparently, neither do the protestors! I know what the Million Man March was about, and what the Million Mom March was about, and even what the ragtag Operation rescue bunches on the street corners are about, but near as I can figure the protestors just want to protest for the sake of protesting.

    Case in point: Emmett's story about how he provoked a cop and got arrested. Not once in his account did he mention why he was protesting or what he was protesting about. Yesterday at LWCE he was bragging to people how he got arrested, but he still didn't state why he was protesting.
  • Uh yeah, it's written right there in republican doctrine that you must hate everyone that all non-6 figure/WASPs . That's how they get elected. Uh wait, that doesn't add up. Far more people vote than that (though the numbers are low).

    ...Did it ever occur to you that two people can have the same end in mind, but a totally different means. The democrats way might be a welfare state, but that doesn't mean they care any more. Hell, that doesn't even mean they care. Remember, they too are trying to get elected?

    ..anyways, fight flames with flames. good night.
  • I disagree with most of your points, but a few in particular:

    Thirdly, Gore was a multi-term senator before he became a vice-president, which is very relevant experience toward being president.
    Uh, many senators can make this claim. Simply getting elected as senator does not mean you're competent. I can't think of anything particular impressive which Gore accomplished.

    Fourthly, Gore is obviously an intelligent person, who can read and write and debate and author legislation. What has George Bush done? The man proudly claims that he doesn't even like to read.
    What has Gore done? Bush never proudly claimed he doesn't like to read, you're mislead.

    Fifthly, like it or not, the nation's economy is doing quite well. The vast majority of the credit here goes to the policies architected by both Clinton and his cabinet, which includes the VP. Budget surplus? What do Republicans know about budget surpluses? Reagan would have squandered it on some hare-brained scheme like Star Wars
    Sure, the economy is doing well. However, that has between little and nothing to do with Clinton. The president has little control over the economy, beyond his control over taxes, going to war, and a few other significant acts, none of which Clinton has really executed. You'll be hard pressed to find any respected economist, even though they're mostly liberals, that will back Clinton's assertions. In all reality, the state of the economy has more to do with the Greenspan, technology, and arguably Reagan's tough stance against taxes and union abuse.

    Sixthly, which is more disgraceful? A president who had the audacity to have sexual liaisons with a White House intern ( oh, yeah, that's never happened before), or a president who sets up clandestine slush funds to train mercenaries and death squads in Central America from the proceeds of cocaine sales after the congress *explicitly forbade* him to do it?
    Don't confuse your Bushes.

    So there's the real deal kiddo. Go ahead. Vote Bush. See if he's all you're hoping for. I doubt that he is.
    You know, it's funny you compare him to Reagan as if that's a bad thing. I actually consider that a good thing. Not so much because I think Reagan's policies should be implimented now, but because I view Reagan as being an effective leader, who was misjudged, much like Bush Jr.

  • The only problem with this argument is that a lot of parents nowadays really don't seem to care what their kids do. It's sad really, and that's probably why Senator Liberman (as stupid as his idea may be) wants to ban violent video games. Not enough people take them as seriously as they should, and not enough parents spend the amount of time with their children as they should. It's sad really, but that's how things are a lot of the time now. Of course, I still think banning violent games or any type of adult oriented entertainment, whether movies, tv shows, or anything of that nature, is dumb, but I do agree with setting a certain standard for ratings. It just might get parents to take some more responsibility with their kids...
  • Uh, no, learn how to count. Tell me, if the only people who vote for republicans have 6+ figures, why is it that the recent republican platform is targeting everything but? They have the money and the votes (according to you?), why dillute that? You're misguided.
  • ... the gaming industry actually makes more money than the movie industry, and yet it's never taken seriously by any mainstream media

    Hogwash. Show stats. I'm not an economist in either industry, but here's my thinking.

    • My guess at an average game:
      100,000 copies of an "A" title computer software game, at $45. That's 4.5mil for the whole title.
    • My guess at an average movie:
      10,000,000 tickets of an "A" title cinema release, at $7. That's 70mil for the whole title, and that's just in the theater. Now, 10,000 video tapes. 100,000 video tape rentals. Add any re-release and dollar-theater releases.

    Figure 52 weeks with an average of three average games and two average movies each (amortized), and you still aren't close enough that you might think it comes out at all even. Even so, add one blockbuster movie (there's usually three per year), and games are left in the dust.

    Oh, or maybe you were talking about gaming, as in gambling. The gaming industry has them both beat. More money flows through the back-water Laughlin Nevada in a month, than will ever be seen by a great movie release. The house only takes a cut, but it's never a losing proposition. Add to that all the government-sponsored state lotteries and off-track betting.

  • Fortunately for me the distributor UniBrew makes the beer available here in S.O. Cal. at Wines of The World in Long Beach. Having Maudite available has greatly aided my adaptation to the land that has no snow and few good places to play hockey.

    Wow. That only serves to increase my desire to live in the Los Angeles area. Hey, do they have "La Fin Du Monde" there?

    No snow = positive. (But it's not a long flight to Colorado when I feel the need to ski.)

    Few places to play hockey = no big deal to me.

    Anyone interested in hiring a Canuck?

    As for American beer, there are some good ones. Those that come to mind are: Pete's Wicked Ale, Sam Adams and Jerimiah Red which is available at a Pizza chain whose name escapes me.

    Call me crazy (and you probably will), but I really like Gennessee.

    Then again, I also love Moxie, though I'm sure that's really hard to get in L.A.

  • you lame north americans DONT KNOW what Beer (with a capital beer because it is proper beer as in Britain) is stuff that has texture it is also known as bitter

    Yes, the word "bitter" is very quaint. Just like being a country of snaggle-toothed tea-obsessed monarchists, driving on the wrong side of the road, paying 4 quid for a gallon of petrol, and having cars equipped with boots and bonnets. And while the North American NTSC TV standard is far less than ideal, I won't get into a debate of the ocular perils of PAL's 50Hz refresh for a few extra scanning lines.

    While I'd agree with a previous reply that some of the best beers in the world are from Belgium, I've also been highly impressed with German beers. And I do love some of the smaller UK beers that we get over here.

    But I do have to take issue with your slam of North American mass-processed beers. Some of them are really good; the fact that something is mass-market doesn't necessarily mean that it is of inferior quality. Some of them reek, but many of them are quite good. All of them are well adapted to the North American marketplace, which generally regards beer as a refreshing drink - not to the elite status of meal replacement with which the Irish have endowed it.

    BTW, I'm of Irish and Scottish blood, and to make matters worse, I'm a Taffy by birth and went to a boarding school. I feel perfectly entitled and justified to take the piss out of my British friends from time to time.

  • by xant ( 99438 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @10:49PM (#850196) Homepage
    No. Fighting back is not protesting. Your battle isn't with the police, regardless of how good or how lax they are at their job. You're there to shout about the issues and get the issues on camera. If, somehow, everyone protesting was peaceful, then MAYBE the cameras would focus on the signs and the reasons for the protest rather than the morons trying to get a billy club to the neck. I don't care if you're there to legitimately protest or not, you don't fight back against the police. If they arrest you for just being there, so much the better - now you're a legitimate martyr. Gandhi didn't free India by kicking someone's ass.
  • I agree with that- there are some things you just don't put in front of a kid. But what's the advantage to having the government draw the line, rather than the kid's parents?

    There is a point, *if* the line is fuzzy enough. There is no chance for a parent to keep up with every movie or game release, getting their own opinion wether it is suitable for their kids or not. *If* my (hypothetical) son would ask to see a movie, cause he really wanted to, *then* I would take the time to make my own opinion.

    Course I'd rather have some non-government organisations rating games/movies than one, single, final, official rating. And I think that a parent should be able to override ratings, at least by allowing more.

  • by dschl ( 57168 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:11PM (#850201) Homepage
    As a side note to the Soldier of Fortune rating, BC Ferries (Crown Corporation which operates almost all ferries in British Columbia, including those from Vancouver to Vancouver Island) announced that they would be removing all "violent" video games [142.36.183.50] including "hand-held guns" (direct quotes from Minister Responsible for BC Ferries, Joy McPhail [gov.bc.ca], as heard on CBC's afternoon show yesterday on my drive home).

    What about games where you can hold a knife in your teeth? Would they be OK? Is a rocket launcher on a character's shoulder acceptable?

  • Don't even try to claim that conservatives care about poor people, when it's so obvious that they believe that poor people are that way because they are lazy.

    Then why not actually try and back up your statements? If it's so completly obvious, you should be able to withstand debate easily.

    Ah, but I understand. Liberals have been taught to ignore the message, and attack the messanger. It can't be that conservatives oppose the expansion of the welfare state because it never actually solves poverty and other social ills, it just takes the downtrodden and makes them utterly depedant on the State, and simply propagates the problems instead of fixing them. It has to be that all conservatves are the steriotypical Big Fat Banker with the Big Cigar Living on the High Hill Somewhere, whose main goal is to steal from the poor and all that crap.

    You're suffering from the same syndrome of the protestors in Seattle, Philly, and now LA. You barely understand exactly what you're protesting against and have no real workable alternative to what you seek to end. That's why you're not a factor in American Politics, not that everyone conspires to shut you out.

    Regards,

  • by DiS[EnDeR] ( 195812 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @04:57PM (#850210)
    From my understanding of this topic, all that the BC regulators did was look at the realistic violence portrayed in the game SoF and say

    "I dont think kids should be able to purchase this independant of an adult giving them permission."

    So what they did was look at how they could legally prevent underage citizens (read: kids) from the purchase and found a Motion Picture rating of 'R' would do the trick.

    This is a good thing. Games like SoF should be regulated and kept away from the paws of the "underage". We do the same with graphic movies, and porn, alchohol, driving, smoking, and voting (the most dangerous of all). The restriction now allows parents to have some control over the content that their child is exposed to. If the parents think their child is mature enough and stable enough (read: doesnt fry hamsters in the microwave anymnore) then they can decide to buy it for them.

    This is my first post after reading slashdot daily for 6 months. My name is Ryan, and I AM CANADIAN - (ps. to the guy who likes Molsons, your damn skippy we keep the good stuff)

  • by tbo ( 35008 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:12PM (#850223) Journal
    I live in BC, and I've played Soldier of Fortune, so this is particularly relevant to me.

    I've seen lots of movies that were a lot more graphic than SoF and got a lesser rating from the BC Film Classification Board. I'm sure this is due to political pressure from various groups, not any real logical or consistent decision by the film board.

    One question, though. Why was SoF ever even submitted to or looked at by the Film Classification Board? Smells like political foul play. Guess that's what one should expect in a province where unions run the government.
  • by vertical-limit ( 207715 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:13PM (#850226)
    This may sound a bit strange, but I think that the Soldier of Fortune ruling is actually good for the gaming industry. Right now, the biggest problem facing the industry is the perception that games are still "toys" for kids -- the gaming industry actually makes more money than the movie industry, and yet it's never taken seriously by any mainstream media. Why not? Because everyone thinks back to the Atari and Nintendo 2600 days and remembers all games as being "for kids." The Soldier of Fortune ruling more firmly establishes the idea that there are games that are targetted at adults, not kids.

    This isn't really a free speech issue -- the game isn't being banned or censored; it's simply kept out of the hands of minors. Is this really such an odd idea? Nobody questions the concept that you have to be 17 to get into an R-rated movie -- everyone understands that's just the way things work. And yet when anyone tries to apply the same concept to games, all the screaming banshee gamers throw a huge temper tantrum. Just because 13-year-olds can play violent games right now doesn't mean that they have the right to. The game industry is maturing from a kid-targeted money machine to a more traditional, artistic form of media, and it's hardly bizarre for the regulations governing it to mature at the same time.

    If gamers want to be taken seriously, we need to acknowledge that not all games should be played by everyone. Soldier of Fortune is a very violent game, and if I had kids, I wouldn't want them playing it. By clinging to the notion that all games should be available for everyone, we're forcing developers to only create games that can be sold to anyone -- i.e., kid-friendly games. With a ratings system in place, game manufacturers have the freedom to develop games for any age level, knowing that they'll be rated appropriately and no one can complain that iD and Sony are trying to sell violence to kids.

  • Just a quick quesiton for the Canucks:

    What was "Saving Private Ryan" rated up there? It's not a sarcastic question - I really don't know.

    It seems to me that governing video games as movies (but with a different board than that MPAA) might be a good idea, but there would have to be a universal standard. What get's rated PG-13 in the US should be the same be it a game or a movie.

    Of course, you could write a dissortation on the hypocrisy of the ratigns system.

  • Sticking up for common sense in the Great White North

    Anything is appropriate for adults. I buy that. Everything appropriate for kids? I don't agree with that.

    There is nothing wrong with a community setting standards. It may in fact by that there is something very wrong with communities that don't.
  • by mistah_monkey ( 141986 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:18PM (#850239)
    Well, it's not a surprise, really.

    I've learned from many sites, in particular, The Daily Howler [dailyhowler.com], that the news media isn't interested in the real deal when it comes to politics, especially.

    There was recently a criticism in the above mentioned site, of a NYT columnist who spoke of Al Gore's press conferences as "boring" because all he talked about was health care, and other "boring" things like what he wants to do if he's elected president. In contrast, George Bush's press conferences are "fun", because GeeDubyah makes jokes, gives the press guys cute nicknames, talks about golf, and what they all did over the weekend.

    What does this illustrate? It illustrates that reporters are not the hard-boiled "get down to the truth" types that they would like themselves portrayed as. Rather, they are like bored teenagers, who'd rather go watch a riot or talk about parties than watch some boring press conference about something so dry as health care, or the genuine concerns of people protesting at the conventions.

    Note that many reporters don't get degrees in journalism, but usually communications. Working in the news media is a stepping stone to taking a position in a PR firm usually.

  • While the economy in Canada is not as good as the US, Canadian's seem to have a more wholesome society.

    Absolutely! I mean, look at Red Green [redgreen.com].

  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @06:29PM (#850244) Homepage Journal
    Why is 'American' beer so weak? Because unlike the alcohol-responsible nations of the world, we drink incessantly. One beer after another, hour after hour. So we've reduced the alcohol content to the point where one can drink beer like cola and still maintain a semblance of control.

    Me, I'll kick back with a few nice European imports and let my fellow countrymen consume their weak swill three times as fast.
  • Too many people pass the buck and say "Well, parents should do this on their own. We don't need the government to do it for us." Excuse me, but can we expect every parent to do the job we hope they will do?
    It's not a question of the job "we hope they will do" - I, after all, hope all parents will raise their children to be leftist pagan vegan treehuggers. It's a question of doing the job they signed up for - responsbily raising their children. And yes, we can expect - nay, demand - that they do it. If they can't, then there is due process of law to intervene and possibly even take the kids away; but up to that point, the state should keep its grubby hands off.

    It's not up to the legislature to decide what ANYONE, child or adult, gets to see or read. That is 100% out of the rightful provence of government; and I weep for any nation that doesn't understand that.

  • Disclaimer: while I have visited both the US and Canada, and lived in the UK, I am a treehugging leftist greenie from Scandinavia, so YMMV.

    We believe in Common Sense (tm) up here. There are cops that are assholes here like anywhere else, but for the most part, they're reasonable, as are the judges. Reasonable people that expect to be treated reasonably, I think is a good summary.

    Common sense is something that seems to be lacking in most of the modern societies, moreso in the hard-wing capitalistic societies like US (or UK in Europe). This is demonstrated by the total lack of vision in the legistlation and its use to make reasonal decicions about this kind of things. Democraticly elected governmental bodies have to be able to pass judgements on behalf of the citizens on situations where it seems that the public is unable to do it themselves.

    And while this approach doesn't always (eh,most of the time) produce final products to my exact liking, it still creates more balanced line than any of the optional ways. Look at the US: thinking is bad, any hint of nudity is bad, atheism is bad, common sense in enviromental issues is bad, anything but white middle-class money-loving hypocritical christianity is bad - but violence is ok. We see the results.

    If this kind of legistlations do make adults to think - even once - what to bring home for the kids, call it success.

    ______________

  • by pen ( 7191 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @06:36PM (#850252)
    These pervs^H^H^H^H^H people could be attacked, their houses burned etc. If that's not "individual rights over the collective" I don't know what is. I personally would be happy to see them castrated and hung, but that's not the way a civilized society works and I accept that, because ultimately it protects me too - what if someday, somebody thinks (wrongly of course) that I molested their child?.

    This has happened in England a week or two ago. A tabloid took justice into its own hands, and published the names of convicted sex offenders. As a result, mobs of "vigilantes" gathered and terrorized these supposed sex offenders and pedophiles. In some cases, houses were burned down, and people were badly injured or even killed. Of course, this didn't prevent a "few" (almost half of the cases) innocent people being hurt, at least one of them being driven to suicide, where either a person's name was similar to or the same as that of a convicted sex offender, a person was merely accused of the crime and not convicted, or the person was otherwise merely suspected of being a "bad guy".

    But that doesn't matter, right? As long as we get those evil bad guys, what does it matter if a few innocent people get hurt in the process?

    --

  • by Snocone ( 158524 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2000 @03:23PM (#850257) Homepage
    Why was SoF ever even submitted to or looked at by the Film Classification Board?

    Let us rephrase this in generic terms.

    "Why did a government bureaucracy of essentially static responsibility and budget decide to attempt to aggrandize more jurisdiction and authority unto itself?"

    Hmmmm. I wonder. Yes, I do. Snort.

    No need to look for Evil Plans or Grand Designs here, I think ... just the natural tendency of any cancer^H^H^H^H^H^H government bureaucracy to entrench itself and extend its power and influence. For the sake of the children, naturally...
  • I don't think what Lars and Metallica has done is ironic. I don't see how deciding that they want to feature their music on themusiccom.com instead of Napster as weird or ironic. I don't see how choosing the method of online distribution, one over another, is bad.

    For instance, what if an artist ardently hates Napster because of their politics(makes money off of others creative work) but loves the idea of distributing their stuff for free on Gnutella? I think it perfectly reasonable for them to harp and harass Napster to stop distributing their stuff or at least help assist in that effort.
  • Right now, the biggest problem facing the industry is the perception that games are still "toys" for kids

    Says who?

  • There's a really good reason that Vancouver is also known as Vanstradam ... ever gone downtown? You can get high by walking down a few blocks.

    --

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