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Comment Re:Its a sounding rocket (Score 1) 96

Yeah Britain used to launh rockets from woomera. Probably the aussi government did too. No private rockets tho.

New Zealand is definately a separate country from aussi, and there is a lot of sporting rivalry. (we beat them at rugby union generally, and they beat us at rugby league. We even beat them at cricket when Sir Richard Hadlee was still playing.

And NZ bred horses win the Melbourne Cup ..

We let you win (condescending smirk)

http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~woomera/history.htm
Would the Japanese launch in 96 count as private?
Damn, that's an ugly website.

Comment Re:Does this mean TPB will still be working? (Score 1) 327

The point being, I spend most of my disposable income on media of various sorts, but that doesn't mean I can afford everything I want - and if I can have it, why not? No one would be getting my money if I didn't 'steal' it, so the only person losing out would be me. The whole argument has been rendered redundant in my case by me not having a huge pile of cash to hand over in the first place. The RIAA/MPAA/whoever can take me to court for however many millions of dollars if they want - they'll get a lower percentage of my income awarded to them than I hand over voluntarily.

From a practical, pragmatic standpoint your argument makes sense. The ultimate issue, however is moral and ethical one. The argument here is that although you can pirate the media, you shouldn't because you don't have a claim to it as agreed upon by yourself and the other party (the RIAA, MPAA, artist or equivalent in this case).

The fact that the RIAA/MPAA/etc engage in abusive tactics is irrelevant in this argument, although many try to make it seem that way. It's essentially "two wrongs don't make a right". The actual idea is that you could pirate, but you shouldn't (or don't) because you have a certain moral or ethical standard about how to behave with regards to society as a whole. Assuming others follow your lead, then you will have culture where it's considered appropriate to deny one's immediate personal desires to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to benefit over the long term. The opposite of this would more or less be to engage in satisfying one's immediate desires regardless of the ultimate effect that this has on society in general. Assuming others follow your lead, then you will have a culture that is not interested in a stable whole so long as one's individual desires are accounted for.

Note that I haven't stated that one way is better or worse than the other. Society goes where it wants, and I think it's useless to apply such values as good or bad. You have to acknowledge the change that's taking place and either figure out how to turn it to your benefit, slow it down, or stop it. It's important to note, however, that this is the real crux of the "pirate/don't pirate" debate. At least, as far as I can tell. From a practical standpoint, there's really no useful argument against piracy. People have surprising moral flexibility, and if you can live with it and get away with it, then you will do it. And, since people (especially on Slashdot) will always find a way to get away with it, the question is, should you be able to live with it? If you believe in the "benefit society" argument, the answer is no, and if you believe in the "benefit myself" argument, the answer is yes. That's all. Any debate beyond that is justification and useless proselytizing. It really comes down to what you think is the most appropriate way to behave as outlined above.

I'm sure there are more nuances to consider here, but I think that's the crux of it.

Comment You must have an abnormal hearing to differenciate (Score 1) 849

The german magazine c't made 2000 an test with several people, they found out that the pereson that had the worst hearing was best at differenciating between CD and mp3. That person's hearing had suffered from an explosion and he as only able to hear frequences up to 8kHz on one ear and had a Tinitus on the other ear. He could hear more of the effects from the filters that are applied to mp3 streams. Further (german) info see http://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/Kreuzverhoertest-287592.html

Comment Re:Ubuntu influence on marketing materials (Score 1) 236

That was probably my fourth or fifth installation in Yum (I got alacarte, RPMfusion and the updates before that).

I just tried another package. It went faster than before, though still paused a lot more than apt-get does (it was the program, not the download speed). Fedora 11 did that, too - I used it for about a month and it was still pretty sluggish. It's certainly not as slow as whatever Sabayon was using, though, and it's definitely livable this time around.

I'll be honest - this Fedora release is pretty damn good. I may have found a new home. Well done.

Comment Re:States should fix this in their own laws (Score 1) 762

People who are in the top percentage of wealth concentration benefit the most from public spending. Oh really? Then you follow immediately with the example of the roads. A dude in a $1000 beater gets as much use out of a road as someone driving an $300k+ Maserati. The soldiers defend all of us pretty much equally. (Yea, I know this isn't exactly true, but it's pretty close.)

Comment Old news. (Score 1) 849

Do I seriously need to look into the past articles to prove how old this news is? Seriously folks; this isn't exactly rocket science here - this is all stuff everyone knows about by now. Hey, do I even need to point to the link to the story about how people actually prefer the sound of MP3 because of the encoding artifacts, much like how people preferred records after CD's came out because of the noise/repressed frequencies?

Comment Re:Monopoly (Score 1) 330

Nothing wrong w/ having a monopoly. You only run afoul of antitrust laws when you abuse it. Is Google classified as a monopoly yet? I dunno, but if they're not they're approaching it.

Comment it's an appliance, not a pocket computer (Score 1) 146

People need to realize that the iphone isn't a pocket computer. It's an appliance. Apple didn't market it as a pocket computer, and iphone owners did not purchase the right to run whatever software they like on it. You buy that right when you buy any apple computer, but you can't purchase that right with an iphone.

Comment Assumptions (Score 4, Insightful) 246

Just because you're paying someone to store your data doesn't mean they care about that data as much as you do... That's one of the two big problems with cloud computing that can't be solved by technology. First, nobody cares about your data as much as you do. Second, nobody will protect your data (ie. control it's distribution and prevent unauthorized changes) to the level you find appropriate.

It's usually a good idea to avoid using broad generalities (like I just did), but it seems like in general it would be a bad idea to let someone else be the sole keeper of anything even remotely important or sensitive. There are exceptions, but those seem to be internal to a company (ie. the company runs it's own cloud and has all employees use it). Or military/government applications where centralized security and backup can keep user errors from becoming a real danger to the organization beyond "help I lost my email!".

Comment Re:Bringing Claude Shannon to higher education (Score 1) 165

The internet is at every university already. Campus denizens are overrepresented in many/most/all online forums. It isn't a question of one or the other, but rather of maximizing the benefit from both styles of communication.

OK, but I'm not talking about "styles of communication," I'm talking about the communicating communities themselves. Are the best communities the product of local universities or the global village? It is going to depend on specifics, but usually the local community -- no matter what sort -- is not going to be able to compete.

It's just so much easier to form connections at light-speed than whatever the average speed of a human body is.

Comment Re:Meanwhile, CA unemployment is at 12.2% and risi (Score -1) 265

I think the burden is being overstated here. Five years ago I bought a plasma TV. I replaced it with an LCD TV this past month that's 15% bigger, has a picture that's considerably better in quality, consumes about 40% less power, and cost less than half of what the old TV costs. Families aren't burdened with the cost of buying new TV's on a regular schedule. If you can't afford or don't need a new one this year, just wait around a while. Prices will continue to drop and the technology will continue to improve.

There's no doubt that cars on the road today everywhere produce somewhere between 10-20% less emissions due to the impact of decades of higher California vehicle emissions standards. Saving a few watts here or there isn't a big deal. But at scale you're really talking about saving megawatts of power in California alone. If we can assume that TV manufacturers will follow the auto industry example and produce all their products to meet these new standards, then the global impact could be substantial.

The positive impact of these guidelines are easy to substantiate. So far, IMO no one has made a defensible case about the cost. Is merely stating that this will be expensive and have a negative economic impact a sufficient argument not to do it?

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