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Comment Cross process != bleach bypass. (Score 1) 359

Thanks for your post — posts like this are why I try to make time to read /. when I have a free moment.

I want to point out that the statement you made at the end of your post is not technically correct (afaik). Three Kings and Blackhawk Down both did a bleach bypass develop, which is not technically a cross process but rather involves either skipping the bleach part of the process, or shortening it by more than half (thereby leaving some silver halide on the film). There is also a similar silver retention process called ENR, designed at Technicolor for Vittorio Storaro, and yields similar results (the blacks are "blacker" etc) with more predictability. Saving Private Ryan was processed by ENR.

I am a digital filmmaker, so anything I have written above may possibly be technically incorrect, but I'm 90% confident I got it right. I do shoot a fair amount of Velvia in my rangefinder/SLRs, however, and absolutely love color reversal film. I am headed to Africa (to shoot a documentary) in a few months, and am pondering my access to E6 labs while I am there (read: probably not likely) and considering whether I should switch over to a negative film (fuji pro 160C I have had good results with), or stick with Velvia 50/100 and attempt to get a lab there to C41 process all of it for me. I could wait until my return to the states to develop it, but my hope is to develop and print my snaps while there and then mail the prints to friends and family as surprise one-of-a-kind postcards.

Comment Public Performance (Score 4, Interesting) 973

Actually, what you describe falls under the category of "public performance." To quote ASCAP (one of the two major music rights management orgs),

"Rental or purchase of sheet music or the purchase of a record does not authorize its public performance."

Not saying I agree with that, but there are a lot of intricacies to public performance. See also: NFL threatening suit against bars that have Superbowl[tm] parties and show the game to their clientele. They also tend to sue (or threaten to) people who use the word "Superbowl," which is why all the radio stations promote their "BIG GAME PARTY!" in January, and not any sort of party having to do with bowls that may be super. But that is trademark law and outside the scope of what we're talking about here.

The point is whether he has the right to control what is done with his work. Whether people can make copies of it. Generally, I think the answer is yes. However, I think the real question is: do we want to live in a society where money is what motivates art? The true genius filmmakers, composers, they aren't doing it for the money, and if they are, well, I'll be disenchanted with their work when I find that out. Make art for art's sake. Artists and doctors, two professions that should be about sharing with your fellow humans, about the common good, not about profit. (*imho, of course — and my money is where my mouth is, I'm a filmmaker and people openly pirate my films. Huge pieces of them are on YouTube. I'm okay with it.)

Comment Mod Troll. (Score 5, Informative) 584

Cuba has a dog and pony show.

...and you know this how, exactly?

I already warned you in my original post not to trot this shit out, because I'm not some idiot who happens to have seen a Michael Moore film and now thinks Cuba is a utopia. Instead I'll choose to believe the guy who runs Harvard Medical School's Social Medicine program (see: end of my original post), Jim Kim MD (former Prof of Medicine and Chair of Global Health for Harvard Medical School, now president of Dartmouth), and the World Health Organization, amongst many other credible sources.

Because I am busy and you make no effort to substantiate your claims, I'm just going to paste a chunk from Tracy Kidder's (Pulitzer Prize winner) biography of Dr Farmer, where Farmer talks to Kidder about dispelling myths about Cuba (and then after that some of Farmer's own writings)...

"For me to admire Cuban medicine is a given," Farmer said. It was a poor country, and made that way at least in part by the United States' long embargo, yet when the Soviet Union had dissolved and Cuba had lost both its patron and most of its foreign trade, the regime had listened to the warnings of its epidemiologists and had actually increased expenditures on public health. By American standards Cuban doctors lacked equipment, and even by Cuban standards they were poorly paid, but they were generally well-trained, and Cuba had more of them per capita than any other country in the world-more than twice as many as the United States. Everyone, it appeared, had access to their services, and to procedures like open heart surgery. Indeed, according to a study by WHO, Cuba had the world's most equitably distributed medicine. Moreover, Cuba seemed to have mostly abandoned its campaign to change the world by exporting troops. Now they were sending doctors instead, to dozens of poor countries. About five hundred Cuban doctors worked gratis in Haiti now-not very effectively, because they lacked equipment, but even as a gesture it meant a lot to Farmer.

One time he got in an argument about Cuba with some friends of his, fellow Harvard professors, who said that the Scandinavian countries offered the best examples of how to provide both excellent public health and political freedom. Farmer said they were talking about managing wealth. He was talking about managing poverty. Haiti was a bad example of how to do that. Cuba was a good one.

He had studied the world's ideologies. The Marxist analysis, which liberation theology borrowed, seemed to him undeniably accurate. How could anyone say that no war among socioeconomic classes existed, or that suffering wasn't a "social creation," especially now, when humanity had developed a grand array of tools to alleviate suffering. And he was more interested in denouncing the faults of the capitalist world than in cataloging the failures of socialism. "We should all be criticizing the excesses of the powerful, if we can demonstrate so readily that these excesses hurt the poor and vulnerable." But years ago he'd concluded that Marxism wouldn't answer the questions posed by the suffering he encountered in Haiti. And he had quarrels with the Marxists he'd read: "What I don't like about Marxist literature is what I don't like about academic pursuits-and isn't that what Marxism is, now? In general, the arrogance, the petty infighting, the dishonesty, the desire for self-promotion, the orthodoxy. I can't stand the orthodoxy, and I'll bet that's one reason that science did not flourish in the former Soviet Union."

He distrusted all ideologies, including his own, at least a little. "It's an ology, after all," he had written to me about liberation theology. "And all ologies fail us at some point. At a point, I suspect, not very far from where the Haitian poor live out their dangerous lives." 'Where might it fail? He told me, "If one pushes this ology to its logical conclusion, then God is to be found in the struggle against injustice. But if the odds are so preposterously stacked against the poor-machetes versus Uzis, donkeys versus tanks, stones versus missiles, or even typhoid versus cancer-then is it responsible, is it wise, to push the poor to claim what is theirs by right? 'What happens when the destitute in Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, wherever, are moved by a rereading of the Gospels to stand up for what is theirs, to reclaim what was theirs and was taken away, to ask only that they enjoy decent poverty rather than the misery we see here every day in Haiti? We know the answer to that question, because we are digging up their bodies in Guatemala."

For me, the first sights of communist Cuba were a great relief after Haiti. Paved roads and old American cars, instead of litters on the gwo wout Ia. Cuba had food rationing and allotments of coffee adulterated with ground peas, but no starvation, no enforced malnutrition.



And now some of Farmer's own writing on Cuba. I have chosen a quick general passage on Cuba from his book Pathologies of Power, which also quotes another noted Harvard historian. This book references Cuba in detail in too many places to list. It recounts Farmers experiences of actually visiting many times the palatial estates where Cuban HIV patients receive free medical care (and in fairness I should note recounts how the initial policy was mandatory HIV testing and mandatory treatment there, and how this policy was relaxed after the initial panic of the AIDS epidemic faded — Farmer can occasionally say things about Cuba that are critical too). Don't take my word for it. You can find it on books.google.com. Search "cuba" within it and read a few different pages. Then search his other books. Repeat. Then try to find a way to prove he's somehow not one of the world's foremost authorities on Global Health (good luck here).

Perhaps the Elián Gonzalez story will help to expose some of the hypocrisy surround both our policies toward Cuba and our attitudes and policies regarding Haitians. The idea that the Gonzalez child would have his rights violated by returning to Cuba with his father is laughable, especially if one regards social and economic right as important to child welfare. Harvard historian John Coatsworth put it trenchantly:

"In Cuba, Elián will have his father and the rest of his immediate family, a decent standard of living, free public education through university, cradle to grave medical care, and a relatively crime-free environment. His life expectancy will be about what he could expect in Miami (73 years). His chances of getting into college will be a bit lower. The likelihood of being assaulted, robbed, or murdered substantially less.

In short, Elián's chances in Fidel Castro's Cuba appear to be infinitely better than in most of the developing world. Better than in most places-like Haiti, for example-to which U.S. authorities routinely deport undocumented immigrants and their children. In Haiti, one out of eight children dies before the age of and nearly half have no school to go to. Malnutrition and violence are endemic and male life expectancy at birth is 51 years."


So we have you, with no substantiation, and well, lots of noteworthy experts, at least three of whom (plus the WHO) I've invoked above. Unless you reply and have stellar examples of the "dog and pony show," consider yourself branded a troll, or at best to be uninformed.

Comment Let's ask the AMA (Score 5, Informative) 584

Don't listen to me, just listen to the AMA instead; they're happy to admit their mistake (although they won't overtly admit the motivation behind it). Basically in the 1980s they wrongly predicted in 10-20yrs we'd have a surplus of hundreds of thousands of doctors and the market would crash (yeah, wouldn't that be horrible, to have too many doctors? I mean, horrible if you want to drive a Lexus and you're a doctor, I suppose...). Of course they got it wrong ("accidentally," I am sure) and overshot in the other direction and now we have a huge shortage. "Whoops." Unfortunate byproduct: ridiculous salaries (mostly for specialists). Not so unfortunate if you're a dermatologist, though.

Some quotes from the AMA themselves:

"Not a single allopathic medical school opened its doors during the 1980s and 1990s ... The surge in new medical schools is taking place as the Assn. of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of at least 125,000 physicians by 2025 ... But some experts on work-force issues say new schools are not enough. They say that without more federal funding for residency slots or changes in the doctor payment system, the schools are unlikely to avert an overall work-force shortage or address the undersupply of primary care physicians and general surgeons ... 1 in 3 active physicians is 55 or older."

I think we can agree that it's unreasonable to have 99.999% of the applicants on one side of the line or the other, but beyond that? What about taking only the best 10%, or only the best 90%, would one of those be OK with you?

How about 98% rejection rate? From the AMA article above: "Many private medical schools have 5,000 or more applicants for a class of 100 students."

Again, I hope it comes across, I know something about this issue. I said "ostensibly qualified" and "more than half" in my OP because I didn't want to get into a big debate about the exact percentage of people who apply and are grossly underqualified and rejected versus the legit applicants who are rejected, but basically the former is not happening, since you need to take the MCATs (not easy) and complete the equivalent of a degree in Molecular Biology simply to even apply to med-school (and currently to be competitive you need hundreds of hours of volunteer work, professional medical experience such as EMT work, and even then it is often a crapshoot, I know many qualified applicants who have been rejected more than one year in a row).

Comment also: more doctors, less pay, more compassion. (Score 5, Informative) 584

If I want to give my patients the best care possible ... This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition.

...it will also take the AMA not artificially restricting the number of new doctors. More than half of ostensibly qualified applicants every year are turned away. In the 1800s there were 400+ medical schools in the united states. By the early twentieth century there were less than eighty. The fewer doctors we have, the more each doctor is paid. The AMA carefully guards doctor salaries. This practice can be seen over and over (and resistance to influx of doctors willing to work for cheap) in country after country (the film Salud covers this well).

Furthermore, we need to eliminate the debt load for student doctors. You can't expect doctors to work for lower salaries (as I propose above) when they are graduating with hundred of thousands in debt. Basically we need way more medical schools (or slots in existing schools) and we need to lower their cost in exchange for a willingness to work for less money. This has the benefit of more doctors and lower cost, as well as shifting the pool of applicants to those who want to be DOCTORS and not just those who want to make MONEY or play GOLF all the time (and so on).

Cuba is a perfect example of this. They have better or equivalent health outcomes to the United States, yet they spend a fraction (read: less than 1/20th) as much per person on healthcare. They achieve these same outcomes using finnicky x-ray machines from the 1980s and out of date textbooks. They do this by having the greatest doctor-to-patient ratio of any nation, and by focusing on preventative medicine. But that's evil socialism. Insert dramatic music here. At any given time more than a third of Cuban doctors are voluntarily serving abroad (often in Africa) doing global health work. More than a third. What percentage of American doctors voluntarily serve in Africa? And they have a 98% retention rate, so any claim that this service is to "escape Cuba" is pretty well dispelled. (and just to go on the offensive for a sec, since I don't generally reply to those who reply to me, unless they actually make good points, since as you know /. has a typical signal-to-noise comment ratio... for those who want to doubt my claims above, calling them propaganda, etc, they are backed up by reputable sources. Paul Farmer, for instance, has written extensively about Cuba [and also happens to be the UN Envoy to Haiti and runs Harvard's School of Social Medicine at their Medical School, so he tends to be considered a reputable source] and almost never has a bad thing to say about their healthcare attitudes or outcomes. The list goes on.)

Comment To address your points. (Score 5, Informative) 688

[1] I don't ignore tax/royalty/dividends that may go to the local government in my original post. I partially address this (mine leases in Mali that are in the hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars per year), but even if the mines are paying "fair" taxes (etc) to the governments, that implies very little about eradicating poverty in a country that is unstable undeveloped. See: Yemen vs Oman. When something like 90% of US foreign aid comes directly back to the United States (source: Baxter's book, which is full of cites, apologies I don't have it available), I am dubious that the taxes paid by natural resource extraction firms will be any more beneficial to the impoverished people of a region.

[2] Morila did get a $150M loan, yes (source: Joan Baxter). These types of loans usually call for community investment, that is the point of the World Bank (ostensibly anyway), to develop countries, not to make mine owners richer (although you can make a good argument for the inverse! See documentary: Life and Debt). As to whether they got this loan, I tend to trust Joan Baxter on this matter (she's a BBC correspondent, etc), although I don't have her book handy (I loaned it to a colleague).

[3] Claims of community reinvestment are now standard practice, sure. Note: you are citing mining companies press released. According to BP's web site they are "unaware of any reason" that would have caused their "share price movement." This just happens to be a timely example, but I think it's a good one, in that it's pretty obvious what caused their share price movement (I assume their argument would be that they are still quite profitable despite their current environmental catastrophe — while that may be true, this argument is spin, at best). I am extremely dubious of any claims made by mining interests as to what they are investing in communities. I'd rather believe neutral sources (like BBC reporters) who actually VISIT these areas and report on what they've seen. "Investing" $240,000 might mean they have a $200,000/yr consultant on payroll and he had $40,000 in expenses while "researching" how to help the community.

Quoting your press released, "in areas where there had been little economic activity other than subsistence farming..." Maybe those farmers were happy. Now there is "economic activity" there, but are the farmers more or less impoverished? I'll bet more. We are debating whether minerals in undeveloped countries bring people out of poverty, mind you, not whether mining companies pay taxes.

[4] Ghana is the most stable of western African countries, and thus the least applicable to Afghanistan. Nevertheless, I'm happy to talk about it. I'll be spending three months in Ghana this year doing infectious disease work, so I'm reasonably versed on its issues. As you stated, Ghana might be the best case example. Even so, a third of the country lives on less than a dollar a day, and although that percentage has come down a lot, and they may well meet their MDG for poverty by 2015, it's still not great. More than half the country lives on less than $2/day. 40 years ago South Korea and Ghana had the same per capita income (source: council on foreign relations). Still think mining has brought Ghanaians out of poverty? PPP GDP nowadays for Korea = $27000, Ghana = $1400. No contest as to who is still mired in poverty. I'll admit that I have a biased perspective, when I see children dying because their parents couldn't afford the twenty-six cent cost of a measles inoculation, three dollars for malaria treatment, or ten dollars for a bed net. And I have yet to witness mining or oil extraction doing much to help fix this. Sierra Leone, Nigeria, etc, the story is always the same ... as the "subsistence" farmers if their lives are better after the "economic activity" came to their region, and the answer is invariably: NO.

[5] To address the last sentence of your post, "But, the assumption that mines are inherently destructive, and that mining companies are inherently evil, is wrong." I content this sentence shows you know very little about mining. I'll simply link this report about gold mining ("Dirty Metals: Mining Communities and the Environment details the massive pollution, huge open pits, devastating community health effects, worker dangers and, in many cases, human rights abuses that have become hallmarks of gold and metals mining in countries such as Peru, Indonesia, Ghana and in parts of the United States."). Or if you don't like my source you can simply google "gold" and mercury/cyanide/pollution/dirty/etc and see what pops up. And just to drop one figure from Baxter's book, a single gold ring can produce 20 tons of mine waste.

Your post was well-written and logical. Thank you for engaging in intelligent discourse (if you look at my prior posts you'll see I rarely reply to those who reply to me, because usually they don't take the time to read + comprehend my original posting). I'd be even happier if you decide to reply again and don't click the AC button. I have work to do now, so I'll see any future replies at a later time (and likely I won't have time to reply), but thanks for your thoughts ... conversations like these are why I read /.

Comment Mineral deposits almost never reduce poverty. (Score 5, Informative) 688

If you think mineral deposits "wipe out poverty" you ought to travel to west Africa.

The vast majority (99%+) of Sierra Loeneans who spend their lives in poverty, toiling to find diamonds, have never seen a finished and cut diamond. Many never even find a single diamond. Sierra Leone ranks amongst the five least developed countries.

A single gold mine in Mali will produce $1.5BN (USD) and has made a 0.07% reinvestment ($100k) in schools from its World Bank loan. The words of one worker, “[w]e read on the Internet that AngloGold has pronounced that Morila is the most profitable gold mine in the world, and yet most workers here get no lodging or training, or even health care. In South Africa, AngloGold is paying for the anti-retrovirals for its staff that are HIV-positive, and here they take all our medical costs out of our salaries.” Mine companies often pay only hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in lease fees.

Rutile is 95% titanium dioxide and Sierra Leone’s deposits of rutile may account for as much as 30% of the world’s supply, and the U.S. government lists it as a “strategic metal” to be stockpiled by the U.S. defense department. Sierra Leone is pock-marked by destroyed farmland and displaced communities, all in the name of rutile and diamond minining.

Another poster made an allusion to the mid-east, but Africa I think is a much better example as oil actually has been good for the average person in some mid-east countries, but these are fairly stable and developed countries. To look at natural resource reserves in unstable and undeveloped countries, versus stable, one only has to look at Oman and Yemen (both oil-rich and neighbors, one has GDP per capita 10x of the other). West Africa is a much better comparison to Afghanistan than Kuwait or the UAE (so if you want to make the mid-east comparison, skip Dubai and look at Yemen).

For a good read (and my source for much of the info above) I would recommend Joan Baxter's Dust from our Eyes.

Comment GM's eyes are bigger than its stomach ... (Score 5, Insightful) 206

"...and can be operated autonomously or under manual control. In autonomous mode the EN-V is designed to use high-speed wireless connectivity and GPS navigation to automatically select the fastest route, based on real-time traffic conditions gleaned from the Web or some other networked source of traffic information."

Seriously? Toyota — the guys who ate your lunch in the marketplace — can't even make a software-gas-pedal work correctly and you're trying to float an EV that navigates autonomously? Good luck with that. You guys need to stick to trying to make what people want now, not what Shatner fanboys are hoping will exist in 20 years. There are so many technical problems here I don't even know where to start. GPS can't detect when little kids run into the road chasing a soccer ball. Trust me, just work on making the Volt not suck, and maybe try to do something like the Aptera, and you'll be just fine.

On a serious note, I don't get why companies introduce "concept" cars with shit they know can never exist in the near future, and with shit no one wants either. If the idea of a concept car is to "WOW" me with all the stuff you're working on making in the next 10 years, how about you start bragging about high density energy storage and biodiesel powerplants that run on algae-derived fuel. This is the stuff people want that isn't practical yet, but might be someday soon[ish]. No one gives a shit about Segway gyro (remember how well the Segway sold?*) and autonomous driving is best left for SciFi films.

*Dean Kamen is a complete badass, though, and despite his misunderstanding of the market, DEKA's other work is amazing.
Image

Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone 643

JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer, who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."

Comment What are you talking about? (Score 5, Informative) 167

I get the distinct impression you are speaking for a complete lay perspective rather than from ANY experience with trademark law.

FYI, it's generally accepted there are five different categories of trademark, each more defensible than the next. The least most defensible mark is a "descriptive" mark. Like "facial tissue." Had the Kleenex brand chosen "Facial Tissue[tm]" for their mark, they may well have lost control of the mark because generic terms cannot function as trademarks.

We all call them Kleenex, but they are facial tissues. If someone had tried to trademark 'facial tissue' we would be in the same ballpark here.

The most defensible mark is a fanciful one, that is a word which does not otherwise exist (Kodak, Xerox, Pepsi, etc). Afaik, Kleenex actually is the best possible name one could choose to associate with tissues, since it is entirely fanciful (and Kleenex company has done a good job associating their name with tissues). As an aside, it is possible for a diluted mark to lose its protected status (such as with Bayer's "Aspirin" analgesic).

These marketing people might as well start trying to trademark things like 'desk' 'pen' or 'screen'.

Netbook would probably fall under the "Suggestive" trademark category (the third most defensible category, behind Arbitrary and Fanciful). Net and Book both exist as words, but were previously not widely applied to this sort of device.

So, in conclusion, "Netbook" is nothing like "pen" or "desk," as far as trademarks go. Neither of these examples would even be registerable, unless they were referring to something they weren't (you could make a ketchup product called "DESK" or a cell phone called "PEN").

Comment 2.5D, not 3D (Score 5, Insightful) 94

The post title/summary is misleading -- this is actually 2.5D and not 3D at all. (It works on the premise that the background is static, and obtains a matte of the background, and using subtraction to dynamically key/mask the participant from the image, and then add the user as a second foreground layer; on the viewer side, headtracking is used to gently shift the user layer to reveal background hidden behind it)

For what it's worth, I really don't care for this effect at all. I am not denigrating its inventors in the slightest; this is a novel (read: low cost) approach, and I am sure some people would enjoy having this in their iChat/AIM/skype. To me, it's the equivalent of Apple's Photobooth filters (fisheye, inverted colors, etc) -- a cheap parlor trick that seems nifty for about 5 seconds, and then becomes precipitously distracting. True 3D has its own issues with distraction and visual anomalies (leading to headaches, etc). Even the best 3D cinematographers around have to be very careful to avoid these issues (for instance, Vince Pace, who shoots 3D for James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator, etc) has plenty of headache-inducing scenes in his demoreel, and this is a guy with state-of-the-art facilities who has as much knowledge as anyone about how to do stereoscopic cinematography). Frankly, I think video conferencing is best left 2D, and any efforts toward improving it should be spent increasing framerate/resolution (and reducing lag + dropped frames).

Comment Sony not as benevolent as you'd believe. (Score 4, Informative) 659

With X-Box, you need to hack the HD in order to run any other software. With the PS3, you simply go into the system menu and select (install other OS).

Sony's just as evil as the next company. From what I understand, they declared the PS3 to be a "computer system" as a means of avoiding tariffs in Europe, and to do this they needed to offer access to the OS. Plain and simple. They tried this with the PS2, but it didn't offer access to the OS, and thus failed the test (as I am led to believe).

United States

Submission + - Gonzales denies Americans have habeas rights

TrumpetPower! writes: "This past Thursday, in response to questioning by Senator Arlen Specter (R, PA), US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary committee that ``The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. '' The exchange between Mr. Gonzales and Senator Specter has received virtually no attention from the press; Google News currently has all of a dozen or so stories. Habeas corpus is the right, in America guaranteed by Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which ensures that people are not unjustly imprisoned and tried."
Privacy

Submission + - MacScan debuts Blacklisted Cookie Feature

Leopard writes: Spyware for the Mac? As more people are 'switching' and more attention is being directed towards the security more holes are being discovered and more spyware applications are being developed. The anti-spyware program MacScan 2.3 adds a notable feature that allows the user to scan and remove tracking cookies without deleting all their saved cookies. The definitions are updated just like the spyware definitions. MacScan's spyware library consists of keystroke loggers, trojan horses, and dialers.

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