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Submission + - Leaked E-mails Show Barwinska Case 'Shaky' (torrentfreak.com) 1

Khyber writes: "More perusal of the recently-leaked ACS:Law e-mails have shown that the 2008 Isabella Barwinska case was built upon rather dubious grounds. This is starting to look worse for 'Pay up or else' litigation firms that have begun popping up across the world, as it shows that there is no real solid foundation behind the exorbitant damages awarded to the copyright holders, which are employing firms using the Barwinska case as a strong-arm tactic to scare people into payment."

Submission + - Anti-Piracy firm e-mails reveal firm scam (torrentfreak.com) 4

Khyber writes: "A recent DDoS attack against a UK-based anti-pirating firm, known as ACS:Law, has resulted in a large backup archive of the server contents being made available for download, which has been done and is now being hosted by the Pirate Bay. Within this archive are e-mails from Andrew Crossley basically admitting that he is running a scam job, sending out thousands of frivolous legal threats on the premise that a percentage pay up immediately to avoid legal hassles."

Comment Re:Not in this case (Score 1) 572

I do acknowledge, though, that there is a real problem with today image processing software such as Photoshop. It is possible to edit a photo of a real child so that it is impossible to know its origin - a real photo depicting someone or an original drawing.

If it's that hard to tell, the point of making any original photos is moot. Unless these edited pictures are just a form of encryption, and the pedos then reverse the photoshop filters on their end... but still, that's no different from distributing encrypted CP, so what's the issue?

Comment Re:No conflict of interest there (Score 1) 572

I see two problems with your analogy. Crashing a car is far more expensive than producing CP, so much so that it would be hard to justify ever doing it intentionally.

I don't know, I imagine all the underworld stuff involved with CP production is pretty expensive.

In addition, people don't make money off car crash photos; they do make money from CP.

But what if people made money off car crash photos, what would you think of the analogy then? With respect to the supposed implausibility of a car crash fetish.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crash_(1996_film)

Comment Re:Big Bank and Evolution (Score 1) 495

Evolution, in comparison, explains the 'why' completely.

To be accurate (at least, as far as I know), evolution doesn't address the why at all - it leaves that up to other fields (which do so sufficiently). Evolution merely explains the *what* - that is, what happens.

To paraphrase, evolution by itself is rather weak, since it's mainly rules based on evidence. The strength of evolution comes when combined with other related fields, as they appear to confirm the conclusions drawn by evolution. The same is true for the big bang theory which, when combined with other stuff such as inflation, seems to paint a universe consistent with our own.

Also, cosmic background radiation. Ha! :p

Comment Re:Here's the problem (Score 1) 202

I am not sure if this is how they measure, but Google makes some tools for site owners to check speed and it would be logical that they use something like this.
(Similar to YSlow)

Also, Google Webmaster Tools has a Site Performance section (under labs) which may have something to do with this.

Comment Re:I have no problem with longer copyright terms.. (Score 1) 386

Plagiarism? I watched Avatar for the graphics. Not for the plot or idea. A frigging computer program could generate the plotline/ideas[1].

It resembles other works as much as the other works resemble each other.

What next? Some pizza company suing another pizza company for making their pizza taste like pizzas?

Cheesy stuff has been done for ages.

I doubt a Michelin chef is ever going to claim Frozen Supermarket Pizza Co made a billion dollars ripping off his recipe for melted cheese, pepperoni and dough ("invented" back when he was young and thought he was great).

FWIW, most inventors who patent stuff are like 6 year old kids who just came up with the innovative idea for a ham and cheese sandwich.

This guy here must be pretty disappointed at how stupid we all still are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Engelbart#Anecdotal_Notes

Too bad for him, humanity hasn't booted to the next stage yet. That's his dream I think. I doubt he's so disappointed that he didn't make billions from the mouse.

[1] There are computer programs that invent stuff - provide a bunch of parameters and they can vary them to find various "interesting" points.

Comment Measured via the toolbar (Score 2, Informative) 202

From a slightly older article on the same blog:

The load time data is derived from aggregated information sent by users of your site who have installed the Google Toolbar and opted-in to its enhanced features.

So this isn't quite as susceptible to people playing games with Googlebot as it might appear.

Comment Responsbl disclosure is Security Through Obscurity (Score 2, Insightful) 182

And we all know what it really is.

Protect your system as good as you can, firewalls, backups, whatever, or just rely on your own obscurity, and publish!

Act surprised, act I-told-you-so, be outraged with whatever happens, and then - in few days - install a patch.

Comment Re:Substandard apps? (Score 1) 711

"Right. That's why all those games built with engines and level editors and scripting tools always suck. C'mon apple. You have to allow unity. You can't want games but require everyone to make them from scratch." Actually, unless the engine is redesigned for the platform, often they DO suck. Think about the hundreds of games that were great on PC but absolutely dogshit on a more powerful gaming system, or going from PC to Mac.

Comment Robots can inspire, too (Score 1) 278

The Apollo program was unique in many ways. One of which is that you can look up at night and see the moon. I'm all in favor of establishing a permanent base on the moon: the idea that you might live up on that white ball sparks imagination. It would provide a good testbed for true deep space manned exploration, as well as a good launching/supply pad for such missions. Mars will NOT duplicate the moon experience: it doesn't have the "look up and see" component, and I think a permanent colony will be far more inspiring to folks than the "Wow, an astronaut set foot on object X and made a speech!". The idea that we can LIVE long-term somewhere other than Earth is inspiring -- the idea that we might commute there is even more inspiring -- and the idea that we can follow up on exploration (the Moon) with settlement is also inspiring.

BUT, robotic missions can be inspiring, too. Think of the Mars rovers, Hubble, Voyager, etc, which all spark the imagination. You just have to pick the right kinds of missions, which would not all be "make a radar map of object X" -- useful for science no doubt, but not very "I'm going to become an engineer/scientist/space-worker".

Read science fiction and see how often manned exploration is preceded by robotic exploration. And you'll also often find commercial interests, too: mining colonies, etc, and NASA can provide the seed for commercial interests. (Which will then take on a life of their own, beyond NASA's budget.)

Comment Re:Lenders will do nothing until it costs them mon (Score 2, Interesting) 225

Something similar happened to me years ago. A person with my wife's name and who had lived on the same street some years prior had taken out a loan and defaulted on it (among many, many other defaults and legal issues). The lender had sent it to collections. The collections agency called us (presumably looking up name and street), and we told them they had the wrong people. They read off the information we had, and the only thing that matched was the first and last name and the street name. We told them the middle name was wrong (it was X, my wife's is Y) and that the address was wrong (it was 1234, ours was 4321) and so forth. A week later, we had a collections letter at our address with the "corrected" information. We called up the collections company president, and noted the legal trouble he was about to be in if he didn't correct this forthwith (thankfully, we were smart enough not to correct the SSN!), and things got corrected. We no longer give out any PII, and no longer do business over the phone unless we initiate the call. Sad that we had to learn the hard way, but at least it wasn't harder.

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