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Comment Re:Let me be the first one to say it ... (Score 5, Interesting) 1870

Why don't we have a right to copy some other's work?

If I come over to your house and see a table that you bought, do I not have a right to measure it, go home, buy some wood and a saw and build my own? Am I infringing on the work of the carpenter who designed and built yours?

If I go to a restaurant and buy an entree, then go home and attempt to recreate it with my own supplies and utensils, have I infringed on the rights of the chef? What if I then publish the recipe I reverse engineered on my blog? Would the chef sue me for "making available" his creation? Would he win?

If I borrow a CD you purchased and after enjoying it, make a reasonably accurate copy with my own polycarbonate, dye, and laser engraver, how is that any different than the above examples?

Music "piracy" is about consumers competing with a distribution business model based on scarcity of physical goods. It used to be very expensive to duplicate CDs ($50k for a writer in 1989 IIRC) and at 600MB, they held more information than people were willing to burn on HDD storage. Times have changed. Now it's virtually free. But the labels still want you to pay the same costs.

Music piracy cannot steal from the artist the labor they spent on creating their art. There is no way I can recreate the live performance of my favorite band. I would still have to pay for the privilege of enjoying that. And no one would pay me for my facsimile cover performance of their music. Money can still be made in music, but distribution for all purposes is now virtually free. The labels need to adapt or die, but prefer to seek government protectionism by suing their customers.

Comment Re:5th Amendment (Score 3, Interesting) 767

A more apt comparison to the first amendment would be that by cooperating to shut-up at first, you've waived your right to speak up in the future.

This 5th amendment ruling seems wrong. Primarily because the so-called human rights defined in the BOR were not granted by the paper or the government; they are instead inalienable. They cannot be revoked because they are not granted. The BOR was the founder's attempt to remind future government that:

  1. it is futile to attempt to restrict the speech of the people... they will find a way.
  2. it is futile to attempt to infringe the RKBA, because those who want weapons will have them anyway.
  3. it is futile to demand to quarter troops in the houses of the people... that leads to revolution
  4. you better not breach a man's castle for unreasonable search and seizure... revolutions are begun this way
  5. respect the property of the people or risk revolution. And respect their privacy because compelling someone to testify against themself dresses lies as truth.
  6. trial by peers or revolution!
  7. trial by jury over money or revolution!
  8. be reasonable with bail and punishments or revolution!
  9. without limitation
  10. states rule, feds drool

The feds have obviously chosen to ignore all of these.

Comment Re:Lots of other reasons, too... (Score 1) 774

Really, Fermi's Paradox sounds like me saying that if I sit on a lonely beach for a week and don't find a bottle with a message in it in proper English, there are no other intelligent beings in the world.

You forgot to mention that he was throwing bottles out into the sea with "hello?" scrawled on a note inside each one the entire time.

In addition to the bad assumptions you mentioned, my favorite poor assumptions to fermi's paradox are the following:

7. Temporal convergence. Why must we assume they developed at the same time as us? There are far more years behind and ahead than the mere 50 or so we've been listening.

8. Why send a message when you can visit? Columbus didn't throw bottles in the ocean, he got in a ship and went.

9. Shouting out your location is wise. If ET is out there, then it's a virtual guarantee there's more than one. And where there is more than one, there will be conflict. It's altogether more likely than not that shouting out one's location in space is a nice way of getting one's entire species killed or enslaved. It's just a matter of time before the Zorg's hear our broadcast and send the slave ships to haul us away or blast us to smithereens so they can terraform our planet.

I don't understand why so many people want to pretend that space faring races are all flowers and ponies. That certainly hasn't been our experience here on Earth and we're all the same species!

Comment Re:Powers of 2 (Score 1) 454

I once worked for a company that built multi terabyte file systems. They tried to gloss over the difference between Mega and Mibibytes saying customers don't know or care. Then I had to explain that our 60TB system was actually only 54TiB and at $10k per TB, they might wonder where their extra $60K went.

Comment Re:So much for not sacrificing ideals for safety. (Score 2, Insightful) 906

No, the question is: should relatively wealthy people be forced to subsidize the health insurance for relatively less-wealthy people. That is essentially what is being proposed with universal health care here in the USA. The problems I have with it are the same problems that I have with all policies and promises of socialism:

a. Why should one person pay for any other? And,

b. What happens when we don't have sufficient resources?

It is possible to live a reasonably long life without ever going to the doctor. Yes, you might get sick or have an accident that could dramatically shorten that expectation, but such is life outside of a padded cell. If we want to declare that all life is sacred and equally deserving of achieving maximum potential length, health and satisfaction, then universal health care is only one of many axis upon which we should measure. What about other major contributors to health such as:

a. food, both the quality and quantity thereof

b. education

c. judgment, which we try to replace with legislation

d. shelter (free homes for all?)

e. clothing & shoes

I could probably go on, but people will claim I'm way down the slippery slope despite numerous programs already in place to provide exactly those things to the so-called needy; paid for with our tax dollars. The point is, providing all these things to any who cannot acquire them for themselves strains resources, which are finite for any given population, again running up against the two problems above.

Further, while providing resources for free to the needy makes the giver feel good, it's a false emotion since the recipient has a propensity to become dependent whether by hook, crook or habit. This measurable "effect" is why parents kick their children out of the nest either by design ("time to go, son") or biology ("I hate you, dad!") it helps them establish themselves as independent, self-sustaining creatures.

If we go the path of universal health care (and other liberal, feel good initiatives) the benefits will be immediate and positive... until the resources fail to meet demand and care for all dwindles away toward insufficient. At which point, we'll have health care for none and a society of dependents that cannot care for themselves. The consequences of socialism take decades to materialize, but are as predictable as the future of a 40-year-old child that lives in his mother's basement because he cannot, or will not, get a job and fend for himself. At some point, mom, the breadwinner, is going to stop supporting him whether by intent or death. In the meanwhile, he's got a girlfriend and a kid on the way.

I'm not saying people without health care deserve to die, especially not the children... those situations are tragic. But I am saying that tragedies are a necessary part of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They serve to remind us of the paths not taken, the consequences of our choices, and serve as warnings to others. It's important to remember that our Founding Fathers used the word "pursuit" rather than "receipt" or "achievement" or "entitlement" in our great nation's Declaration of Independence.

Comment Re:Agreed, this is silly. (Score 1) 672

Except we don't live on the moon. If a tiny black hole is formed on Earth and its rate of evaporation is exceeded by the rate at which it collides with and absorbs matter on our planet, it will fall toward the center and gobble us up in time.

Of course, it could be debated how long that might take. Decades? Centuries? And we could debate whether we'd actually notice passing through the event horizon. But I think plate tectonics and volcanoes from a shrinking planet would kill us off long before those issues come to life.

David Brin wrote a fun novel with this concept tucked into the plot. It was called 'Earth'.

Comment Re:How many iPhone killers is that? (Score 1) 617

In addition to doing everything the iPhone does and more, they're also going to have to have a metal housing and a glass screen.

I've started seeing some full touch screen knock-offs, but they're plastic screens, plastic body and generally feel cheap. It's not just coincidence that the two hottest selling phones in recent history were metal (RAZR, iPhone) at least to start.

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