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Comment Re:Race to the bottom (Score 1) 184

Don't know about smallpox, but if you're too poor to find a dollar to pay for a song to support an artist you like, you're probably not making much of a contribution to society anyway.

Perhaps your supposed societal non-contributor is also a suffering artist who isn't paid? If people are worthless to society if they are not getting paid and artists are not getting paid -> artists are worthless to society.

With a statement like yours, you must really hate artists. What did they ever do to you?

Comment Re:Suicide! (Score 2) 551

I accept your challenge:
The Swedish market for telecommunication was deregulated during the 90's and is much cheaper with strong competition. We have at least three major parallel mobile networks covering almost all of the country. A lot of small telcos have sprung up selling "old copper". Before anyone brings up the old "yes, but you are such a small country, so it is different" argument, let me mention that we have a population the size of New York spread out over a country the size of Texas. Besides the lower prices and higher speeds, we also get much faster administration when setting up, moving or closing (yes really) an account.

100MB/s broadband at $60/month
80MB/s mobile broadband at $91/month (introduced recently, will lower once mainstream)
Mobile phone at $17/month

That said, the so called "free" nordic energy market and the similarly "free" railroad market are complete jokes. During last winter at least 2 of our nuclear reactors where closed for scheduled maintenance mid-winter. During winter temperature in Stockholm can reach -25 C / -13 F and in Northland it can reach -40 C / -40 F. Not an optimal time for scheduled maintenance but the energy companies said... "Oops, we will schedule differently next year. Sorry for the high prices.". This year maintenance was in the fall, with at least one nuclear reactor still being worked on/upgraded during early winter.

The problem is definitely not a true free market. For the Swedish energy market here are some of the problems.
  • Too little transfer capacity between the nordic countries as well as between Sweden and the baltic states
  • Prices are based on what the most expensive plant in operation is charging, so by creating a shortage prices can jump from cheap nuclear to expensive gas production a.k.a. a stepwise market
  • Denmark and Norway have on occasion decided not to allow more power to go Sweden even though a free market would have allowed this our industry was ready to pay more.
  • The baltic states need more energy after being strong-armed politically by the EU to close the unsafe Ignalina nuclear plant in Estonia (had Tjernobyl design). Our connected cousins have too little energy, but a free market, so we also get higher prices as we export our cheap hydro- and nuclear power.
  • Sweden has a a political ban on building more nuclear power
  • Sweden has a political ban on building more hydro power.
  • It is politically incorrect for power producers to build oil, gas or coal powered plants due to increased CO2.
  • The government is subsidizing upgrades to current plants, but by allowing power producers to get paid for the FULL EFFECT an improved plant and not on the increased effect compared to the old plant, politicians have set consumers up to be taken advantage of.

To me, producers get paid for investing in their own already profitable plants and plants taken off-line during winter are signs of corruption, dishonesty and incompetence. Deregulation works beautifully when politicians are competent and honest. Despite my normal cynicism I do on occasion admit that there are honest politicians out there. This is one such occasion.

Comment Re:Homeopathic Medicine (Score 1) 430

Certain medical conditions will improve and worsen spontaneously. If you are given a placebo-drug during spontaneous improvement, why would you not connect the improvement to the drug? Likewise, if you are given a drug that really does have some positive effect on symptoms, during spontaneous worsening of symptoms, why would you not connect your worsening condition to the active drug? The active drug is also likely to have side effects, which the placebo will not. Unless the improvement on the main condition with the active drug is dramatic, the placebo may end up either on par or even ahead of the active drug for this type of condition.

Why not pit a hidden placebo against a publicly stated placebo?

Comment Re:Ummm, because it is different information? (Score 1) 464

Sorry for the late reply.

You claim that I expanded my arguments from "the youth" to "the people" and from "breaking the law" to weather or not they support the laws. I've tried to argue from the position that "the people" must perceive laws imposed upon them to be just, all the time. I'm sorry if I strayed off course.

A large percentage of our voters break the law when they speed on the motorway, but still a large percentage of the voters also support those same traffic laws. Although a majority of Swedish youth now file-share illegally, me arguing against making this illegal (the law came into effect in 2006, making the sharing of copyrighted files not-for-profit illegal, beyond your closest relatives and a "few" friends) was that the VOTERS, not only file-sharing youth, would consider such a law unjust. When the voters did not want the law and the then would-be prime minister stated before the election that "we can not criminalize and entire generation of youths" the voters/"the people" took this to mean "we will not impose this law on the people". He then proceeded to act on US pressure which had been present from 2004 and onwards, and imposed this type of law on "the people".

I do not file-share illegally but I still can not see how something that strongly reminds me of recording music from the radio when I was young can be such a crime. A lot of the Swedish voters see it the same way. Back then, if you "broke a window" you or your parents had to pay for a new window. Now if you "break a window" you or your parents have to pay for all the broken windows on the planet, because it is easier for the people who own buildings. "Break a window an we will destroy you" does not feel just. (I read that you also did not support hefty fines in file-sharers. I'm just trying to make you see how otherwise sane and honest Swedish voters could possibly be against this law.)

Comment Re:Ummm, because it is different information? (Score 1) 464

Wow. What a dumb statement

I do not consider his statement to be dumb at all, since I want laws to be perceived as just by the people. I believe strongly that any justice system that is not perceived as just, will make people more prone to violence. People will not hate the system as much as they will hate the ones perceived to be receiving all the benefits of the system.

All those laws which you claim he would also need to disavow have strong support from the people.

Did you have an opinion on the democracy issues I raised?

Comment Re:Ummm, because it is different information? (Score 1) 464

Uhm.. Just in my tiny part of the universe, Sweden, there is the issue of our country cooperating much closer with NATO than government/public policy has let us voters know. Although I personally am pro NATO membership, it is a sensitive issue politically. It is something that if stated openly, could have cost all members of the old socialist government their paychecks, BMW's and callgirls. They left office in 2006, but the current government has continued this great tradition of lying to the voters about NATO. For example "the engagement in Afghanistan" makes it necessary to purchase US military equipment. In reality they are working to make all our forces technically compatible with and dependent of NATO, but they do not tell the voters.

In addition, the current prime-minister did make a great and popular statement regarding file-sharing, in public, during the elections in 2006. He said "we can not criminalize an entire generation of youths". His party then won the election and completely reversed on that statement. Wikileaks shows that they have so far implemented 5 out of 6 orders given to them by the US regarding intellectual property, completely reversing their public pre-election policy.

If they state one goal in public before an election, but secretly their goal is 180 degrees from the public one, you no longer have a functioning democracy. If the government is secretly planning to implement laws designed by a foreign power, but at the same time that government pretends to their own electorate that they are not going to implement such laws, you have a form of treason by the government against its own people.

This will of course not change anything because in a real democracy, as we all know, politicians state some popular goals and then the people go to elect the ones who say that the other parties kill more kittens.

I guess you are right. Wikileaks have not changed anything, but managed to increase my cynicism. Damn Wikileaks!

UK ISPs Profit From Coughing Up Customer Data 59

nk497 writes "ISPs in the UK are charging as much as £120 to hand customer data over to rightsholders looking for proof of piracy, according to the Federation Against Software Theft. While ISPs have to hand over log details for free in criminal cases, they are free to charge in civil cases — and can set the price. 'In 2006, we ran Operation Tracker in which we identified about 130 users who were sharing copies of a security program over the web,' said John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST. 'In the end we got about 100 names out of them, but that cost us £12,000, and that was on top of the investigative costs and the legal fees.'"

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