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Comment Re:He wrote it to share files... (Score 1) 365

P2P is optimized for low cost distribution of large files without a centralized point of failure.

GitHub, Google Code, Youtube or plain old commercial hosting all have significant operating expenses in terms of servers, bandwidth and people power, thus they all require a business model to derive revenue from their content, either directly or indirectly (such as advertising). If youtube where to suddenly go bankrupt, that content would suddenly disappear from the internet. With P2P the costs of hosting are equally distributed among the userbase and in practice will soak up any spare capacity in network (which ISPs don't like as it doesn't fit in with their all-you-can-eat business model).

The inherent assumption is that anything worth sharing online is capable of generating a business model capable of covering its hosting expenses, or is deemed important enough to have a philanthropic donor to pay for it. Also a single point of failure assumes that you want to exert a high level of control over your content and are not subject to attacks from entities (governments, corporations) who do not wish you to share specific content.

So what remains is mostly content that is unable to generate a business model through its online distribution (Linux ISOs) and content that others are actively seeking to remove from the internet (Copyrighted Music and Videos + Wikileaks backups).

What would be the operating, server and bandwidth costs of hosting the full contents of The Pirate Bay on a centralized server? Maybe the internet giants like Apple or Google would have the modern day resources to physically achieve this, it would require a global CDN (like Youtube has), a multi-million pound operating budget, thus requiring either subscription charges or huge quantities of advertising, and would subject its owners to a huge multitude of legal issues, and the business interests of big media would ensure that it would be almost impossible to create such a service. With P2P we bypass all these restrictions and remove our dependance on the good-will of large corporations.

Without Napster pushing the boundaries and showing what was technically possible, big media would never have been forced to agree to iTunes (which tries to play by the rules, but at a cost)

Comment Chaos and Order (Score 1) 412

Chaos and Order... Chaos contains the seeds of infinite possibility yet Order only contains the seeds of incremental change... It is through Chaos that we are forced to evolve but it through evolution that we have establish Order... it is the Tao of Order and Chaos defines our reality...

Comment Re:Feedback loop? (Score 1) 147

It could also be on the assumption that the competitor only has limited stock of each "used" book, combined with the preference to maximize profit per book rather than turnover. Mark my price a little higher than my competitor and once he has sold out, I will then become the cheapest and also know that my price is still "market rates" and thus I will make slightly more profit than my competitor.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 741

I believe the fetish for Greek and Latin actually traces back the middle ages and the origins on universities.

Following the invention of the printing press, many books from the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome where brought to Europe and mass produced via the printing press. To read these "new" books required learning how to read ancient Greek and Latin. Much of what had been know in ancient times had been lost or forgotten in the middle ages, and scholars resided in the monasteries where they could spend their time reading, these monasteries formed the first universities.

Unlike today, where the primary source of knowledge is new research, written mostly in English. A few hundred years ago the primary source of new knowledge was this treasure trove of knowledge from the old civilizations. In 1869 Euclid's Elements probably would have still been required reading, a book written in 300BC. There would have been English translations of important works such as this, but knowing Greek and Latin was still considered important for a scholar.

Comment Re:You are not fighting an organisation. (Score 1) 407

Strangely enough that sounds alot like the description for Al Qaeda.

Yet for groups such as media and government, where the predominant form of organization is a centralized hierarchy, by giving the collective a "name", the default projection is the organizational structure that everybody else is familiar with.

News at 11, a group of unidentified people choosing to use the label Anonymous, who may or may be not be connected to other people who have previously used the same label, have directly challenged a centralized hierarchical Government-like group they have deemed "morally dubious", and vows to bring an end to this group. Government has labeled the methods of Anonymous as "morally dubious" and vows to prevent such activities from happening again. Government is responding to Anonymous as if it is a centralized hierarchical organization, because the concept of Anarchy is completely alien to them. Spokespersons claiming to use the labels "Government" and "Anonymous", have both publicly stated that they where impervious to attacks for the other side, and will soon be dealing a crippling blow to the enemy.

Comment Re:Proposed? (Score 1) 428

Suppose that for crimes such as murder, the level of punishment for getting caught is already so high that the difference between them (life in prision vs execution) has negligible additional deterrence effect. If you are a contract killer or serial armed robber, you might think about the consequences in advance, but I recon that most murderers don't tend to think about the consequences of their actions until after the fact, at which point its too late, or they simply believe that they will never get caught.

Instead the people who think most about crime and punishment are the politicians, and they are the ones who make the laws. In North Dakota, murder is not an issue on most peoples minds, so politicians tend to leave the issue alone, assuming the existing system is doing its job. In Texas, the murder rate is obviously much more of an issue, and if people keep murdering each other, it obviously means the existing system isn't providing enough of a deterrence. So the obvious solution, and an election winning platform is to be "tough on crime", and lets just keep raising the penalties until people start to paying attention to them.

Comment Re:LOL, you people are funny (Score 1) 478

Now assume that there is some science behind astrology, but that not all astrologers are experts.

A physicist would be expected to have a PHD and be publish in peer reviewed journals, before he could really call himself a physicist.

Astrology is also often guided much more by right brain intuition than left brain logic (intuition has its place in science too, its often the first step later to be backed up by logic). Its very easy to call yourself an astrologer, and its a complex subject if done properly, but if you know nothing of it yourself, how can you tell an amateur from a true expert.

Your comment is like suggesting that having logged onto a script kiddy forum, that computer science is bunk because these guys don't really know what they are talking about.

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Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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